Thursday, October 20, 2011

Varen - 11 months

Varen @ 11 months - October 21,2011

Weight & length - 23 lbs 13 oz & 29.5" long (at 10 months he was 23 lbs 5oz )

Varen 11 months old

Sleeping Patterns - Varen slept in bed with me until about 10.5 months old and then I thought that I should try to get him regularly going to sleep in his crib. So when my mom was in town a few wks ago so that is when I decided to make the switch. (I need the support) I'm still a firm believer in not straight up hardcore CIO until 1 yrs old so I practice the technique of The Sleep Lady based on what a friend told me. Well Varen doesn't have an issue going to in his crib and I don't really believe in the whole self soothing thing, I would nurse him, he would fall asleep I would sort of wake him to burp him and then lay him down, he'd fuss, I'd pop the paci in and place my hand on his chest for a min then leave the room. No lengthy fight, no heartbreaking cries. My issue was that Varen would go down around 830-9pm and wake up around 1-130am to nurse, and after that getting him back into the crib was not an easy task, or maybe I'm just not willing to to give up an hour or two of sleep to get him back in his crib only to have him wake up an hour and a half later to eat again. So my issue is not him sleeping in his crib it's the night feedings. So I've tried since 9.5 mo to try to cut out night feeds but Varen scratches at me and cries, I really think he's hungry, despite what his pedi says I think that for the first yr, those night time feeds are important and necessary. So instead of withholding him of something he clearly wanted (see the scratches on my breast) I thought maybe I can just push the feed back, that will make for longer sessions when he does nurse but also give us longer uninterrupted sleep. I read an article by Dr. Jay Gordon about a less aggressive approach to night weaning and while I'm not practicing that until after a year, I am taking some of the advice and instead of just offering the boob, I'm trying to just hold him tight and push the feed back by an hour or two. That was working out, but once I started dream feeding him before I went to bed I was getting about another hour to hour and a half of uninterrupted sleep in his room in his crib. THEN........ like a like switch turns on and off one day while a friend was playing Varen she notices he had 4 yes 4 teeth coming in at the top. By that night he was a crappy patty and his poor top gums we bright red. He was not sleeping in his crib, in fact he was not sleeping anywhere that wasn't touching or near my breast, and I was not fighting him. I've had many toothaches and I can only imagine the horrible pain he was going through. So I scrapped the routine and until those teeth are all in and he's happy again, he's going to bed with mama again. AND like I said all along, THERE IS NO POINT IN GETTING USED TO ANYTHING WITH YOUR BABY IN THE 1ST YEAR, BECAUSE IN THE 1ST YEAR IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING AND YOU ONLY GET THE SAME BABY FOR 2 WKS AT A TIME, THEN THEY CHANGE.

Eating Habits - Varen has just recently realized he has taste buds. For a while I was wondering if he had any because he would willingly eat anything I offered him. But now he has refused green beans and oatmeal. He's just a great eater over all, it makes me very happy.

New foods he likes - Broccoli

New discoveries - Opening and closing cabinets, emptying out the dvd case.

New Milestones - Super cruiser, but not standing unassisted or walking.

Places baby went - Varen went on an airplane for the 1st time at 10.5 mo and he did great on all 4 flights. We went to visit my mom in CA and I'm very proud of both my boys, who were very well behaved on the plane. :)

Anything else -

How is older brother - Vashon is getting so smart, smart good and smart mouth. lol. But he's doing great, really misses his daddy. He's also playing with Varen more and I'm sure that once Varen is walking well they will be regular brothers, that play and fight, because they have such different personalities.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Deployment Bucket List

So the hubby is deployed and I'm stuck at home with the kids, with no big plans. In past deployments I've gone back to Cali to stay with my parents, there are several reasons why I'm not going home this deployment.

- Vashon is starting pre k and while it's just the school before school, and it's only two days a week, both Vashon and I need this break and adjustment for the future. It's not fair to start him in school in a total different state than he's from and possibly pull him out move him across states again to regain school. And lets face it with Van staying in the AF for the long haul I'm going to have to deal with some deployments during the school year. :(

- We just got back from Cali. Moving from OKC to California is no walk in the park, it's even harder with two young kids. The drive is long, the cost , and lets not forget forwarding my mail, switching our primary care providers and getting adjusted to the time difference.

So for the first time we are staying in OKC, whatever will I do with all my extra free time?

It's suggested that wives stay busy when their husbands deploy. Hmm, am I not busy with two kids already? Am I not busy with the additional chores? sure I get to stop shaving my legs but in my case I now have to take out the trash and do the laundry, I think i'm going to be pretty busy.

It's suggested that wives get a hobby to make the time pass quickly. Hmm the things that I'm interested in doing require me to not have my kids around, in fact anything without my kids is fun for me. lol. Don't get me wrong I love the boys, but if we're talking about "me time" I don't want them around.

So with two kids, additional chores and Vashon starting school and soccer, I think I will stay pretty busy. But I still want to create a lil goal or bucket list. I mean since I don't have to shave my

So before this deployment is done i'd like to :

Lose about 5-10 lbs

Tone up my arms and my butt

Eat 3 servings of vegetables & fruit a day

Drink only water for 26 out of 30-31 days

Actually drink 8-10 glasses of water a day

Curb my sweet tooth at least 5 days a week (limit myself to 1-2 sweet treats 5 days a weeks)

Donate this bag of old clothes that has been sitting in our closet for months now

Get Varen to sleep in some type of bed that is his, toddler bed, crib, pnp all night

Take Vashon and Varen on dates at least twice a month

Set a schedule for the kids and stick to it

Encourage Vashon to try at least 5 new foods

Tone my belly

Remember that Vashon is only 4 yrs old and to speak to him like he's 4 and not 14

Stop impulse buying and save money

Only spend $150.00 on each kid for Christmas

Lead by example of how I want Vashon to treat people

Purge my house of clutter and junk

Take my vitamins and make sure Vashon takes his also for overall health

Read a story to my kids every night aside from the nights they watch the dvd that daddy made reading to them

Say my prayers every night and encourage Vashon to do the same

That's all for now but I'm trying to think of things big and small in order to push myself. I'll print this list out and put it on my fridge. And I guess I'll report back once the deployment is over. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Varen - 9 Months

Varen @ 9 Month - August 21,2011

Weight & Height - 22lbs 8 oz & 27 3/4" long

Sleeping Patterns - Still wakes up 1-2 times a night. Still co sleeps/bed shares. If I can get him to at least drop one feeding I will probably try him in his crib again. Or maybe once Van deploys we'll try it again once we're on a better schedule.

Eating Habits - Varen is a good eater, he tries everything I offer him, has not really refused anything. He has a very seasoned pallet for taste and texture. He is still breastfed and prefers to nurse more than eat food but he still likes food.

New foods he likes - Graham Crackers, yogurt, he just recently started taking a sippy cup of water despite my efforts to give it to him months ago. He'd still rather nurse but has taken the sippy cup of water a few time.

Varen @ 9 months old

New discoveries - Varen has learned that he can pull up on things stand and bounce. So that's pretty much what he wants to do all day.

New Milestones - Varen started crawling at 8.5 months on Aug 11th. He does a wounded solider crawl. He doesn't like to crawl though, he'd much rather make his way to what ever he wants or what ever he can pull himself up on to cruise. He's a great cruiser. Very brave, likes to hold on standing up on something with only one hand.

Places baby went - Last week Varen had to go to the emergency room he had Croup and was just miserable, so I took him in to get a breathing treatment.

Anything else - At his well child check up his dr. said he could be as wide as he wants to be as long as he's breastfed, and that the foods that I'm feeding him are perfect for him. Varen doesn't just look like me, he's totally obsessed with me, he's a super mamas boy, and while sometimes it's overwhelming having to chose hearing him scream or taking him to the bathroom with me, I take it all with a grain of salt. One day he wont want to be around me, but as of now Varen is much more happier sitting next to me or in my lap.

How is older brother? Vashon is doing ok, the countdown to pre school is 2 weeks now and while he is very excited I wonder how much he'll love it after he gets in trouble or doesn't get his way for the first time. We don't allow him to always get his way at home, but it's going to be a whole different playing field in school for him. I hope he adjusts well. He's also going to be starting soccer in a few weeks so we should be pretty busy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What Is That Kid Eating?????

Everytime I take Varen out I also hear two things. No matter where we go or what we're doing people comment on how cute he is, and how chubby he is. While most of the comments are made in good humor and the stranger had no intentions of offending me or giving my child a weight complex, lol people are quick say things like "what are you feeding that boy???"

I've learned to smile and laugh the comments off, in the early months as Varen gained rapidly I worried if I was overfeeding him or he had some type of medical condition. After asking the peditrician multiple times there is nothing wrong with Varen's weight or the amount that I am feeding him. Infact he had his 9 month well baby check up yesterday and his peditrican told me that as long as he's breastfed, he can be as wide as he wants to be,because breastfed babies gain good fats and lean out as they start walking. She also jokingly said that I make MILKSHAKES not breastmilk. lol

But since everyone keeps asking and or assuming I'll tell you what Varen eats to dispel the myths that I must be giving him fried chicken, burgers and fries, corn bread and kool aid.
Varen eats what we eat, I delayed starting solids so that I could pretty much skip baby food. I wanted him to have a seasoned pallet and be exposed to textures early on. So does he eat salty sugary foods like we do? Nope. Because Varen eats what we eat I have had to change my cooking style a bit to accommodate him, so I cook with less salt and more herbs and spices and less sugar. If the meal can not or should not be altered I cook his portion separate before seasoning it or make him something different. Varen has helped us to eat healthier. :)

Do I make baby food? No not really. I don't blend things up and pretty much if I can't cut it, shred it, or mush it into small soft pcs I wont give it to him. It may look a lil different than what is on our plates but he has the same meal, so much the same that if I want to encourage him to take a bite, I can take a bite and not want to vomit in my mouth. :)

So what did Varen have for dinner tonight?

Ok we had Chicken Quesadillas, so Varen had 1 tbsp of shredded chicken breast, 2 tbsp of fresh avocado, and 2 tbsp of Mott's Natural no sugar added apple sauce with about 1/4 of a banana mashed/mixed into it. His sippy cup has water in it, (he only takes a few sips) and after dinner he was given a few goldfish crackers. (He only ate about 3 of them, I used them mainly for pincher grasp practice)

So as you can see the boy eats healthy, is not eating adult size portions. He has a variety of different foods that he eats and while I will say that I am guilty of giving him an OREO or a few french fries, those foods are not a part of his regular diet and will never be.

So this is a pic of Varen at 8 months and I know he looks like a 2 yr old toddler but I promise it's the angle in which it was taken and the fact that he is sitting at the edge of the couch and I'm taking the picture from the floor. Anyway I still love this pic because he is absolutely adorable rolls and all.

So what's he eating? Super Breast Milk and a healthy variety of foods.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Varen - 8 months

Varen @ 8 months old - July 21,2010

Weight - 22 lbs

Sleeping Patterns - He no longer needs to nurse to sleep, but he still likes to comfort of someone near him. I'm not able to just lay him in his crib at bedtime and he fall asleep on his own. He goes down at about 830-9pm and wakes up to nurse around 130am. After that he's a beast to get back into his crib, so I recently put his pack n play in our room. Now when he wakes up to nurse I take him in my bed, feed him and put him in the pnp. He then sleeps until around 6am, and nurses again. He wakes up for the morning around 9am.

Eating Habits - He's a great eater in the aspect that he'll try anything and has not really protested against any of the foods I've offered. He doesn't eat bulk amounts of food despite what so many people think, he still loves mama's milk and prefers that over any food.

New foods he likes - LOVES potato's, Mango, pasta, chicken, real green beans, He LOVES pancakes (no syrup) still loves bananas.

New discoveries - He's been blowing raspberries for the longest but now he's learned that he can use our legs or arms to make that same noise.

Varen Jacob 8 mo old

New Milestones - He says da da, mum mum, ba ba, and hi. He got his two bottom teeth at 7.5 months. He cruises, very slowly but he does hold onto the couch and walks. He crawls backwards and is up on hands and knees bouncing, he is so close to crawling. I'm in no big rush, because I have a good feeling Varen is going to be into everything so take your time baby.

Places baby went - Went to visit daddy's side of the family in Muskogee and Tulsa, OK on the 4th of July.

Anything else - I'm still getting a lot of naysayers on Varen's size and while I think they use Vashon as a stepping stone to what a normal baby for me should look like. Vashon was placed on a weight gainers diet at 14 months he was always well below the curve. I love Varen's rolls and I highly doubt i'm over feeding him considering he's breastfed. To those that think that his increased weight is because I feed him table food. I'll correct you on that also. Varen started solids at almost 6 months, and while he does eat what we eat, I alter his portions and the way I cook things now. He does not take in additional salts or sugars.

How is older brother - Vashon is doing well, but he just doesn't have the older brother cling to Varen that I would like him to. I know that he's only 4 and things will change but we really want him to understand how important he is to Varen as his older brother. We often tell Vashon how awesome God thinks he is in making him the big brother, we tell him how he's a great big brother the times we catch him doing something helpful or nice with Varen. I think that Vashon is just not a baby person, he's never really cared for babies, so maybe once Varen is more mobile, Vashon will be a more involved big brother. Aside from that he's excited to start to school, but probably not as much as I am, we fight daily. No one told me how testing having a 4 yr old would be.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Closer to My Breastfeeding Goal

When I made up my mind that I wanted to breastfeed, I was all on board to nurse Varen for a full year. As I started talking to more moms and reading up more on the pros and cons of breastfeeding, I got scared and my initial goal to nurse for a year was pushed back to just making it to at least 6 months. Then I started searching for the perfect breast pump and got even more freaked out as my due date approached and my breastfeeding goal dropped yet again to 2 months. About 2 weeks before Varen was born I was just hoping I could nurse the boy for at least 2 weeks.

Breastfeeding started off slow and defeating in a way. Varen was too tired to wake up and latch on. Can you believe it? Big papa 20 lbs 7 month old was too tired to eat! lol I was pumping around the clock while Van would feed Varen my expressed BM. I was hurt, jealous and felt defeated, while I at one point wanted to actually pump vs nursing, at that moment all I wanted was for my baby to wake up and latch on. I kept pressing to get my baby back on the breast, and Varen soon was nursing like a champ.

Before I knew it I grew to love breastfeeding, I feared so many things that never came my way. I enjoyed nursing! Am I weird for that? I grew to hate the pump. The annoying sound it made every time it pulled the milk from my breast. My 2 week, and 2 month goals had already been met. I was smooth sailing to reaching the 6 month goal.

Varen is 7 months old now and I'm still nursing him. I have had no problems and to many I have a life aside from having a baby attached to my breast. I've even stayed away overnight without Varen. I go out in public, I've traveled half way across country twice. I've even gone to Disneyland. Breastfeeding is not what some made it out to be. I've heard some of the most terrifying horror stories from women that said, while they are glad they did it, they hated almost every moment of it. I don't feel that way at all and I even wonder if I truly plan to wean at 12 months.
So if my goal is now 12 months, I've been nursing longer than the amount of time I have left. How cool is that? I can do this, of course Varen doesn't have teeth yet but I'm hoping that even once those come in I'll still have the drive to push forward and continue.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Varen - 7 months

Varen @ 7 months - June 21, 2011

Weight - Guessing 21 lbs but will have accurate weight in about a week - Accurate 20 lbs 12oz

Sleeping Patterns - Trying to get him sleeping in his crib this month, just started it two days ago. So far he sleeps for about 2-3 hrs and then it's up and down for me a lot, so after the first hour of up n down I bring him into bed with me. There is no real reason why I chose to put him in his crib and I do believe outsiders have a bit of influence on this, while at the same time, I have been away from Van for several months and I think we should be sharing a bed and a room alone. I do miss sleeping with Varen though and I don't plan to stress myself out or die trying to get him to sleep on his own, if he's not ready, I will NOT force him to be ready,

Eating Habits - Still Breastfed, he is starting to eat more "table food" or shall I say more of the things I eat. I try to give him a taste of my food within reason at any chance I get. Van thinks it's wrong but I really hate baby food.

New foods he likes - He LOVES bananas, he likes anything I eat that I will share, he's had bits of chicken, roast beef, rice, mashed potato's, potato salad (loved it would scream if I didn't move the spoon fast enough) green beans (real green beans). Gerber puffs, and other Gerber snacks. (Nope he has no teeth) Overall his favorite choice of food is still breast milk and while he does eat he is still not on a regular feeding schedule and I'll admit that if I'm busy one day I wont even give him anything but breast milk. (So all those baby rolls are still mainly from me as he doesn't eat adult size portions of anything food I give him)

7 months in his crib. He stands good, but is not pulling himself up to stand yet.

New discoveries - He spits or shall I say sticks his tongue out and spits. I can't really explain it, but it's really funny.

New Milestones - He's great and sitting unsupported, he's crawling army style backwards (ONLY) trying to be a little copy cat. He has some baby toys and he actually likes playing with them.

Places baby went - Varen went to DISNEYLAND, he was the cutest thing, all dressed up in Disney gear. He had a great time and went on so many rides. It was really nice. To those that think there is no point in taking a child that small to a place they will never remember. I took so many pictures and he was free, no harm done.

Anything else -We're back in Oklahoma City, OK now and I'm just trying to get into the swing of things and adjust to not having my mommy around to help me.

How is older brother? - Vashon is 4 yrs old and he is good at testing my nerves, but we are going to make it through it. I'm starting to teach him to write his name and he's doing really good. He's excited to start pre k in a few months.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Varen 6 Months Old (Already??)

Oh my where does the time go. Varen is 6 months old today and I am a little emotional about it. I've always felt like I've had to try my best to ensure that Varen got the same treatment as Vashon. But it's just not possible, knowing what I knew before Varen was even born. I'm less trigger ready to randomly buy something for Varen that he wont care about or play with. Clothes although he does get some new are mostly hand me downs and if I can find it I'm more inclined to purchase all those expensive baby contraptions off of craigslist. On the positive side I take twice as many photos of Varen than I did with Vashon and I've welcomed myself into the world of videos and youtube and my youtube page is filling up with "random things my baby did". I spend less time reading parenting books and magazines that swear they have the sure fire way to get your child to sleep through the night, crawl early or READ.

I don't compete with other mothers and their babies because since Vashon I've realized that every child is different and you CAN drive yourself mad trying to keep up.

I'm happy to announce that I'm still breastfeeding Varen and have no intentions of stopping anytime soon.

For 6 months I've just enjoyed my baby being a baby, watching him change with everyday. I have my days where being his mom is really hard. Nights where I pace up and down the hall holding him trying to get him to calm down, and sometimes I'll think "maybe this is because I didn't let him CIO, or because he's spoiled, etc", then I remind myself of my beliefs on training babies and that I didn't become a mother thinking it was going to be easy. And while some of my friends may have sweet sleeping non crying babes that doesn't necessarily mean it's because they've done something right and I've done it wrong. It means they just got Lucky.

So to you Varen here is your 6 months update - Happy half a year sweet boy

Varen @ 6 months

Weight - 20 lbs (since 2 months Varen has been gaining 3 lbs a month, at 5 months he weighed 19 lbs so I think his weight is starting to slow down now)

Sleeping Patterns - Still co sleeps/bed shares, occasionally I will put him in the pack n play next to my bed. (we are currently visiting in CA so even if I wanted to he couldn't be in his own room) I will honestly say that bed sharing is for my peace of mind and success in breastfeeding. I don't know how long I plan to do this but I am trying to get him used to sleeping without me.

Eating Habits - Still breastfed, still nursing on demand. I started Varen on solids at 5.5 months I tried to wait until now but he kept grabbing stuff out of my hands.

New foods he likes - Sweet potato's, squash, apple sauce, avocado, bananas, pears, carrots, oatmeal. He hates rice cereal (I wouldn't blame him) now that he's 6 mo old I plan to start some of the techniques of baby led feeding.

New discoveries - He's starting to like toys a lot more and is kind of getting interested in yo gabba gabba

Varen Jacob @ 6 Months

Yep, all those rolls, and I love them. ;)

New Milestones - He sits up unsupported now. YAY!!!!! Varen

Places baby went -He attended his first funeral as his grampie passed away (RIP Grampie)

Anything else - He's starting to teeth and boy is he a beast of a child. Nothing like Vashon. He's pretty much given up the paci we can still use if for a quick soothe but he doesn't NEED it, unlike Vashon. In 6 months Varen has been sick once and he's taken NO medicine. I've pretty much used my breast milk to cure everything. lol

How is older brother - Vashon is good. Loves his brother but doesn't love to share.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Vashon

Vashon is an amazing kid. He drives me mad at times but amazes me everyday. When they say kids are like sponges they are talking about Vashon. He soaks in everything so much we have to ask "where did he learn that from?" He's 4 yrs old now and everyday I look at him and think he's no longer my baby he's my kid. I have a KID. LOL. He reminds me of Van and myself but is the spitting image of his father.

He starts pre school this September. I'm excited and nervous I'm going to miss him. We are about to walk into a whole new world now is the time where I've become passionate about education because now it effects my children and sadly I'm not to happy with the turn education has taken. Vashon will be attending a private pre k but I don't think we'll be able to financially swing it for both boys in the yrs to come.

I'm trying really hard to pick my battles with him and let him just be a kid, trying not to freak at every scrap and ruined pair of jeans. I wish I could give all my time to him but Varen demands so much of my time. I remind myself that vashon had his time to shine for 3 yrs. I remind myself that I am not Vashon's friend I'm his mother and it's not always my job to just play with him all day or say how high when he says jump.

I have so much planned for him its very exciting so stay tuned.

The Nolan's - The last family photo

I don't know if many of you know but my father passed away late April. You can read vayden's blog for further details. The night we found out that the Dr. was giving dad 6 mo to live I contacted a photographer friend. My brother was in town I was here visiting and with the news it was something I think we needed. Our last family photo aside from in front of a the house was taken over 20 yrs ago. Only by the grace of God did she have a cancellation and was free to come take photos for us. At the time we were grateful but had no idea how important those photos and that experience was going to be. 6 days later my dad passed away. That Saturday was the last day we all sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful day. We laughed and even though my brother and I are adults and married with kids that Saturday we were the Nolan's.
I am forever grateful to my dear friend Taryn.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Varen - 4 months old

Varen @ 4- months - March 21, 2011

Weight - 16 lbs

Sleeping Patterns: I recently moved Varen into the pack n play in my room at my parents house. I miss him so much being next to me. He's doing fine with the change it does take him about 30 extra min to go down, he still wakes up at 3 am to nurse then cuddle with me for about 30 min including nursing and burping. I love him in bed with me but I'm sure than when Van gets back he's going to want to sleep in the same bed with me.

Eating habits - Still on SUPERMILK aka Breast milk . I don't plan on starting him on rice cereal until about 5 - 5.5 months. and good at 6, unless he starts to show the cues but right now he's fine on breast milk.

Varen at 4 months old
New Discoveries: He is starting to hold onto more toys and give them a little shake but I don't think he has a big interest in them. He does seem to focus in on Vashon a lot more.

New Milestones: Varen started smiles at about 3.5 months and OMG he has my smile and looks so much like me. I just love this lil guy to pieces. He also has great control of his head (see photo below) he's rolled over once but has not done it again.

Places Baby Went: The boys and I took a road trip to California and Varen did amazing. We drove 12 hrs the first day and 7 hrs the 2nd day. We had scheduled stops but only had to pull on the side of the road once for a blow out nasty diaper. So in less than a week Varen went to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

Anything Else? Another baby? lol People actually see me out with both the boys and my massive sit n stand stroller and actually have the nerve to ask me if I want anymore. As if a toddler and an infant aren't enough. lol No I don't think I want anymore kids.

How is big brother? Vashon is starting to really love his brother and he's taking care of him in the best way he can. Telling me what the baby needs. lol. Vashon will be 4 yrs old in April and I am going to cry. My baby is not a baby anymore. :(

Friday, March 18, 2011

Since When Did Breastfeeding Become So Bad

I thought when I gave up breastfeeding before I even tried with Vashon that outsiders looking in would shake their heads at me in shame. But who would have thought it would be the other way around. Although people are not disappointed that I've chosen to breastfeed Varen I do think their jealous and been getting unsolicited advice and/or comments.

Many of you know I wanted success in breastfeeding just as much as I wanted a successful pregnancy and delivery. This was very important to me and I put myself out there asking numerous amounts of questions and reading anything and everything I could find. I took classes and prepared myself for the good, the bad and the ugly but I never thought I would have to prepare for the ugly things that people were going to say.

"He only wants you, because I don't have breast"

"You have that baby spoiled, you're always holding him" (umm I'm always feeding him)

" He's so FAT"

"He's overweight"

"he could stand to drink some water"

"What are you eating?"

"What? Nursing on Demand! That's why he so damn big"

"You're going to roll over your baby, while you're sleeping with him"

"you love him more than your other son because you didn't breastfeed him"

"This baby is HUGE"

"You're feeding him AGAIN"

Is my baby really BIG or is he just BIG to you? It's funny because almost EVERYONE that has something negative to say about Varen's size either didn't breastfeed or was not breastfed. Let me first start by saying that Vashon was tiny 4 lbs 14oz at birth and dropped to 4lb 6oz by the time we went home. He being my first set the mold I guess for what a normal baby is supposed to look like. But lets be real, a 4 lb baby is not normal and what everyone seems to forget is how often they made comments about how "small" Vashon was. But I guess in a world that is so fearful of obesity being a skinny baby is the better of the two.

Varen is NOT HUGE, he is a healthy baby at 17 weeks of age weighs roughly 16 lbs give or take a few oz. (when I weighed him at home this morning the total came to 15 lbs 4oz) Yes he's doubled his birth weight already but that's what he's supposed to do. He's happy and healthy and he is 100% breastfed. No water, no cereal, no food, no juice.

So why the harsh and complex building comments. I don't mind people calling him a chubby baby, he is a chubby baby, but when you walk into the world of saying my son is overweight, needs a diet or maybe I should space out and time his feedings I feel personally offended. The worst thing a person can do is tell a mother they are doing something wrong with their child. Varen doesn't just eat all day but it may seem like it, because I nurse on demand and he snacks. He takes bottles only when I'm away from him which is not very often and the amount doesn't exceed 3 oz.

It's been said that breastfed babies grow rapidly in the first 3-4 months then slow down and by a year are mostly leaner than formula fed babies.

I was told to nurse on demand until I started solids and then starting solids would create somewhat of an eating schedule. It is hard and rare that a breastfed baby, baby on breast will be overfed. Despite what all you naysayers thinks babies know when they are done and they can also change their sucking to switch from nursing or just sucking for comfort. I'm fine with Varen using me as a pacifier.

Yes I bed share and yes there is a possibility in me rolling on my baby, just as there is a possibility in me sitting on him, forgetting him in the car, or in a basket at the grocery store. These a risk I take as a mother and to tell you the truth and most mothers that bed share will say the same. When sleeping in the bed with your child you are NEVER 100% fully sleep. I often tell people that I get 7-8 hours of rest which in my opinion is the equivalent to a new mothers 3 hours of sleep.

But overall Varen is happy, he is healthy, he is chubby but with the older brother that he has I guarantee that once he starts moving he will be as lean as Vashon.

I am not going to put my 4 month old on a diet, I am going to continue to nurse on demand and I am also going to enjoy every single moment with my baby as a baby, because it does go by fast and while everyone else is so worried about sleep training and feeding schedules I'm more concerned with never missing a moment.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Varen - 3 months

Varen @ 3 months February 21,2011

Weight - 13 lbs

Sleeping Patterns - Sleeping longer, wakes up once or twice to nurse then back to bed. Still co sleeping.

Eating Habits - Nursing on demand, only drinking breast milk.

New foods he likes - None

New discoveries - His voice, he's found his voice and likes to use it. But it's so cute to hear him try to talk to us.

New Milestones - He's loving tummy time, lifting his head up, good control of his neck, smiling and laughing.

Places baby went - No where special, it's still cold and flu season so we try to stay in more than out.

Anything else - A lot of people ask what I want to do different with Varen that I didn't do with Vashon in regards to eating or schedules. Because I am blessed to stay at home, training Varen to sleep and eat when I want him to is not a big thing for me. To be honest the first yr we pretty much let the baby call the shots. I don't believe in CIO and I'm not into reading all those baby books. So we go with the flow, we try new things and we do what works for us.

How is older brother ? - Vashon is doing good he actually loves Varen a lot more and is finally taking pictures with him.

Vashon 3.5 yrs old Varen 3 months old

Friday, January 21, 2011

Varen - 2 months

Varen @ 2 months - January 21, 2011

Weight & Height - 10 lbs 4 oz & 21 1/2" long

Sleeping Patterns - I moved Varen into our bed and Van moved into the other room, lol. While he was going through his 6 week growth spurt I was dead tired and it was either co sleep or stop nursing, I did my research and practiced during the day with Van in the room watching me and felt secure and safe about co-sleeping. It made a world of difference in my sleep and his. But just recently I moved him back into his bassinet so Van could come back into our bed. Now that he's a little older he sleeps fine in his bassinet.

He naps poorly unless he's being held, but that's ok because I get a longer stretch at night.

Varen is however a loud sleeper, he farts, snores, grunts and makes other loud noises when he sleeps, which is the main reason Van moved out. lol

Eating Habits - Still breastfed, and nursing well, he has about 1 bottle a day at night with the vit D in it.

New foods he likes - Ok maybe this isn't a food but Varen loves Gripe Water. lol. He gets all excited when he sees the lil syringe. lol

New discoveries - umm nothing more than his hands.

New Milestones - He is starting to take things from us if we tap his hand with them, like a pen. Holding his head up more and doing little baby push ups.

Places baby went - He went to a friends house but it was really a play date for his big brother, lol

Anything else - Varen failed his newborn hearing screen in the hospital so I recently took him to have the diagnostic test and he passed on both ears. Praise God.

How is older brother- Doing well, very understanding of when the baby needs to be changed or fed. He's more into playing with brother bear at the moment.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Last Baby, My Way

Most people learn from their mistakes when subsequent children are born. After our first we learn that sometimes even the very loud cry means, nothings wrong, and I just need some more attention. We realized that we can leave a diaper on until the baby is actually done doing their business, because diapers are expensive to buy. We threw out the baby books and our elders advice and we do it our own way.

One of the things that most first time parents end up dealing with is the "needy baby", the baby that always has to be held or at least be able to see their mommy every minute their awake. So the second time around we let the baby cry a little longer in hopes that they will learn some "independence".

When I was early pregnant with Vayden I knew all the things I was NOT going to do with him that I did with Vashon. Vashon was a pretty good baby, but our issues which still stand were eating and schedule. Vashon is a very picky eater and we can't seem to actually stick to a schedule that works. That means lots of fights over food and crazy nights where he can stay awake longer than us. I knew for sure with Vayden I would not make the same mistakes. Then we lost Vayden :(

So here comes Varen and the things I swore to do different were all by the book. He was going to sleep in his bassinet on his back and I banned anyone including mommy and daddy to fall asleep holding him. Unlike Vashon I didn't want anyone around Varen for at least until he was 2 or 3 weeks. I didn't want give him a pacifier because Vashon was addicted to his and I was going to train him to love all the crazy contraptions we bought for him like the swing, bouncy seat and boppy pillow.(Which meant that I wasn't going to hold him a lot).

Sounds pretty cold huh?

Well you all can sigh in relief because pretty much everything I swore I wouldn't do I have thrown out the window. Varen loves his paci, but loves my breast more :) guest were at my house when he was just a few days old (however I have stuck to one of my rules not allowing children around him) He co sleeps now for most of the night because breastfeeding is much easier when he's laying in bed with me and can eat while I sleep. And although he uses all the cool baby gadgets we hold him quite a bit and of course he favors being held over anything.

Today I was nursing him and he fell asleep while I was burping him, I could have probably held onto him for a few more minutes then put him down, but my arms wouldn't let me put him down. So I sat there rocking my sweetheart and found myself staring at Vayden's picture, I looked down at Varen and heard a lil naggy voice in my head saying "you're going to wish you didn't hold that baby so much". I went to put Varen down and once again I just couldn't, and then I realized that I didn't have to. I'm a SAHM and I will be for a long time, if he develops a need to be held it wont be anyones burden but mine, but like many other things Varen wont go to High School in my arms.

I didn't get to hold Vayden all night long and didn't get to feel him wiggle in my arms. So I'm going to hold Varen as long as I want and I'll deal with the consequences of my actions if and when they come, but one thing I'll know is that I enjoyed every moment of the baby stage with Varen which many times parents miss out on when number 2 + are born. Varen is already 6 weeks old, so clearly time is speeding by and since he is my last I'm just going to soak it all in.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hello 2011, I'll miss you 2010

I must say if ever I wanted a year to last longer it would be 2010. That year was filled with multiple blessings after blessings after blessings. Not much went wrong or bad in 2010 and after the year we had in 2009 I was ready for a good year. So I am going to miss 2010 because it was such a wonderful year. My husband and I finally took a real kid free vacation, we bought a brand new car, we became pregnant and welcomed our rainbow baby all in 2010. In 2010 I continued to honor Vayden's memory by donating more teddy bears, sharing his story with more people and working along side some great bereavement resources here in Oklahoma City. Vayden's story was shared on the local news 2 times in 2010, even after a year our angel is still being remembered by people other than his family. In 2010 my husband started attending church more than just on Easter and after a pay raise, we even went as a family during football season (those that know Van, know that almost NOTHING trumps football). My husband and I fought less and loved more. Vashon has become so smart, was hardly ever sick, and was able to experience new amazing things. I spent lots of time with my family in California which is very special and important to me. God truly blessed the Stewart family in 2010.

What more could I ask for of 2011? That God continue to bless us, our friends and our family.

I wish everyone a wonderful new year and if 2010 was more like our 2009 for you my advice is to stay faithful to the Lord, God wont put you through something without getting you through it. He keeps all his promises I know this is true because 2010 is what I call my testimony year.