Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year Resolutions: Being A Better Mom

2010 is a new decade, a time for old things to fall away and new things to bloom. I believe that I am a good parent, but I know that I can be better. I know that there are ways in which I fall short as all humans do. And I know that although I cannot be perfect I can always strive to be better.

In order to do that I've realized that in order for my children to embody the traits I would like them to have I need to embody them as well and be there living example. I've always believed that parents should be the moral authority for their children and that there should be no "do as I say, not as I do" involved in the process. In raising a toddler I've realized that your children ALWAYS see and hear what you do, even when you think they're not listening. How can you tell your children to do one thing and then do another without them thinking that you're a hypocrite or worse , totally ignoring your rules because you can't even follow them?

So here goes, here are the traits I want to instill in my boys and will be instilling in myself in this new year and beyond.

  • Charity - we will start doing a save, spend, give routine and choosing a charitable act to do once a month.

Friday, December 18, 2009

2009 Wrap Up!

Hello everyone,

This is my last post for 2009; I can't believe how fast this year has flown by! I've added to my family by one lovely son, reinvigorated this blog, showcased some wonderful moms of color that practice attachment parenting, spoke on my experiences raising my toddler son and my pregnancy, and attempted to share a little piece of my life with the blogosphere.

Thanks for everyone that's read and commented on my blog in 2009. I hope to make 2010 even better! See you again in the new year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Post @ Cre8tive Rookie

Although, I've been on hiatus here, yesterday I posted on my other blog, Cre8tive Rookie, about Christmas crafting. Please visit me there!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Crafting

I can't believe it's been almost six months since I've last posted here, which also means it's been about that long since I've crafted. The main reason for that is I've been busy making a human! You can see my little Buddha Baby over at my other blog, The Baby Head Diaries, but I've been missing this blog and my creative endeavors. I really wish I could have made more for the Holiday season, but I have had my hands full finishing up this fall semester (3.5 GPA!!!), birthing a baby, working, raising a toddler, and being a wife.

Well, the holidays aren't over yet and I do have some plans to make some things. I will be making some throw pillows for my grandmother & grandmother-in-law, and a friend. I also plan on making some fabric coasters for myself and this friend, too. Because of the newborn in the house I'm going to have to schedule my sewing around naps and/or at night after everyone is asleep. Hopefully, next year I will be able to make all the things I wanted to make this year!

What I want to make next year:

advent calendar

Christmas Stockings

Day to Day

Felt Tree Skirt

Isabella & Max Rooms

Ornament Wreath

sweet jessie

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Great Deal: Breastfeeding Covers!

OMG, I had to go off of hiatus for this one. While I was reading my Google Reader Blogroll, I found this great deal! Get a FREE nursing cover, just pay shipping & handling of $8.95! They are regulary over $30! The one I ordered is on backorder, but it's gorgeous!

*Typed while I nurse! :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: My Raison d'être

YAY, I got an award....

Erika Ward of The Prissy Mommy graciously gave me this Honest Scrap Award. Danke!

Now I have the honor of passing the award along to the next fitting bloggers.

The Skinny:

•Say thanks and link back to the presenter of the award.
•Share "10 Honest Things" about myself.
•Present this award to 5 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me.
•Tell those 5 people they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines upon receiving.

10 Honest Things

  1. I wanted to be Oprah when I was a child.

  2. I am a reality show junkie (ANTM, RHOA, RHOC, etc.).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Baby Head Diary Hiatus

Hello All!

Sorry for the lack of posting, but I had my newest bundle of joy! Na'im Kedar Williams has arrived. STATS: DOB 10/25/2009 Weight: 7.4 oz. Length: 19.5" Stay tuned for his birth story after I've had some more sleep, LOL!

 Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

Thursday, October 8, 2009

AP Thursdays: Family Activities to Stay Attached

October is Attachment Parenting Month and to celebrate, each Thursday I will be having a contest. Today's contest is about family activities that help you stay attached. API has been collecting activities and posting them for this month, today's activity is: "Look at old family photo albums or videos." What do you do as a family to stay attached?

Today's contest is to answer that question. The winner will receive the book, Attached at the Heart: 8 Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children.

To enter make a comment on this post. For an extra entry tweet the contest and then copy your tweet url into the comments area for an extra entry (you can tweet it once a day for extra entries). Tweet: "October is AP Month: What do you do as a family to stay attached? – Contest - #babyheaddiary"

The contest ends on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009 and the winner will be announced on the next AP Thursday.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

AP Thursdays: October is Attachment Parenting Month

October is Attachment Parenting Month and this year's theme is "Attached at the Heart Through the Years". The AP Month vision is to create one strong voice for AP through activities, events and information and to celebrate what we believe in — the value of being “Attached at the Heart Through the Years” for our families and for our communities.

“Attached at the Heart Through the Years” is the theme for AP Month 2009 and a statement that healthy, secure attachments between parents and children is a dynamic process that extends throughout childhood and does not end with baby bonding. During AP Month, parents are challenged to re-examine their daily activities and traditions and learn new ways to grow with each other and remain close and supportive. AP Month partners will offer resources to support and sustain these efforts all year round.

Key AP Month Goals include unifying the AP voice to:
1. Offer parents and adults support and confidence in growing “Attached at the Heart Through the Years” to last a lifetime
2. Promote awareness of AP
3. Educate about API, other AP Month sponsors and their services
4. Provide a source of funds to support the API mission

To learn more about Attachment Parenting Month, please visit Attachment Parenting International's Website.

Each AP Thursday this month I will be doing some fabulous give-aways in honor of Attachment Parenting Month and maybe a surprise give-away at some other time during the month, so STAY TUNED!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Motherhood Mondays: Donate Your Old Slings or Wraps to a Mom in Need!

Happy Monday! Today is the last day of International Babywearing Week and I have just found out * about a great organization called No Mother Left Behind, that takes in donated slings, babywraps, and carriers for women in need. I think this is a great idea and I will be donating my old sling today! Maybe you, too can help a mother in need because babywearing shouldn't be limited by income!

* Thanks to PhD in Parenting's weekend post!

Friday, September 25, 2009

International Babywearing Week, Pregnancy Progression, & Sleeping Solutions

This week is International Babywearing Week and I've neglected to give it the attention it deserves, for that I apologize. However, I will be doing a lot more babywearing this time around than I did with the big boy and to facilitate that I ordered myself a Sleepywrap, in light blue. I just received mine in the mail yesterday and it's soft and beautiful. I cannot wait to try it out. Well, I tried it on, but my tummy was in the way, however it was VERY simple to tie.

Today I am at home, unexpectedly, just haven't been feeling my best. I'm nearing my 36th week (officialy starts on Sunday) and I'm really ready to just get this baby out! I do feel blessed to have had a healthy pregnancy since my early emergency room scare. I've been reading about so many pregnancy issues that I am so happy and relieved that I've had pretty smooth sailing.

In other mommy news I am so proud of my big boy, he's been sleeping in his bed really well. As I've said before this is all thanks to Elizabeth Pantley's No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers & Prechoolers. Well, I will definitely be buying the original No-Cry Sleep Solution in order to get Na'im off to a good start with his sleeping habits. I know as a new mommy you may want to respond to every single noise that your baby makes at night, but the best thing is to let your baby sleep by knowing what noises are sleeping noises and what are waking noises.

According to Pantley, the first step to helping your baby sleep longer is to determine the difference between sleeping noises and awake noises. When she makes a noise: Stop. Listen. Wait. Peek. As you listen attentively to her noises, and watch her, you will learn the difference between sleeping snorts and “I'm waking up and I need you now” noises.

When I learned this eye-opening piece of information, I started “playing asleep” when Coleton made a nighttime noise. I would just listen and watch — not moving a single muscle — until he began to make actual wakeful noises. Some of the time, he never did; he just went back to sleep!

The idea, then, is to learn when you should pick your baby up for a night feeding and when you can let her go back to sleep on her own.

This is a time when you need to really focus your instincts and intuition. This is when you should try very hard to learn how to read your baby's signals.

You need to listen and watch your baby carefully. Learn to differentiate between these sleeping sounds and awake and hungry sounds. If she is really awake and hungry, you'll want to feed her as quickly as possible. If you do respond immediately when she is hungry, she will most likely go back to sleep quickly.

So, the key here is to listen carefully when your baby makes night noises: If she is making “sleeping noises” — let her sleep. If she really is waking up — tend to her quickly.

Such great advice and I can't wait to read the rest of the book to pick up some more tips!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

AP Thursdays MOC Interview: Elita from Blacktating

Name: Elita

Age: Almost 31

How old is your child(ren)?
21 months

How did you come to be an Attachment Parent?
I actually always had certain beliefs about pregnancy and parenting and I always knew I wanted an all-natural birth, to breastfeed and cloth diaper, because those are the things my mother did with me. When I was pregnant, I reconnected with an old friend on MySpace and we began emailing back and forth. I told her about my pregnancy and how I was seeing a midwife for childbirth classes and I was nervous about a hospital birth because I didn't want any medical interventions. I asked her to recommend some books to me on pregnancy and parenting. She immediately responded, "Oh, it sounds like you're going to be practicing Attachment Parenting" and recommended Dr. Sears' The Baby Book. At first I was like, "Attachment parenting? Is she nuts?" but I picked up the book and everything seemed to fall into place. Yes, this is what I wanted to do with my child. It was everything I intuitively felt and believed, confirmed for me by a doctor.

What do you enjoy most about Attachment Parenting?
I love that my son is secure in the knowledge that I will always be there for him. When I see how well he is turning out, how smart and independent, I know that we are doing the right thing.

What do you enjoy the least?
Feeling like I have to defend my parenting choices to strangers, family and friends. So many ideas about child rearing that are mainstream and considered "normal" just don't work for me. I hate that people have no qualms about telling me how I'm going to spoil or ruin my child, how he'll never sleep alone, will still be nursing in college, etc. For some reason, AP beliefs seem to be up for ridicule. I would NEVER talk to another parent that way about their choices, even it was something I didn't agree with, like using cry it out.

What would you tell other MOC's about Attachment Parenting?
When you are able to follow your instincts and nurture your baby the way your guts tells you to, everything is easier. Breastfeeding is not only better for your baby, but bonds you to him in a way that bottle-feeding can't. Learning how to discipline our kids without physical force could make such a difference in the entire community. Think about how much violence there is in the black community and all of it starts in the home, with corporal punishment. We need to let go of some of those "old school" ways if we want to heal our community. Attachment Parenting gives you the tools to raise your baby in a way that is healthy and loving.

What do you think is the most common misconception about Attachment Parenting?
That people who practice AP are hippies who don't discipline their kids. I don't hit my son, but he is definitely disciplined and even at a young age knows right from wrong.

Do you blog or twitter? What is your link?
Yes, I blog about breastfeeding at Blacktating ( and you can also find me on twitter. I'm @Blacktating (

Monday, September 21, 2009

Motherhood Mondays: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

I recently enrolled the big boy in a weekend Spanish Immersion class that is offered on site at his pre-school. His pre-school previously had weekly Spanish lessons and are now transitioning to a weekly Spanish Immersion class on Fridays. This weekend class will supplement that instruction, which begins in October. Not only do I believe in immersion for teaching a new language, I also believe that exposing a child at this age to a foreign language is the best time to do so. You all can look up the studies on this, there have been a ton. Luckily, for me we also qualified for a discount for the weekend class because he is currently enrolled in one (albeit it's the school's program and is incl. in the tuition price). This all adds up to YAY ME! in my book.

So imagine my surprise when some people expressed the notion that this class would "cost too much", especially if I planned on having him in Spanish Immersion until school age and/or he was fluent. I know some people don't like to talk about money, but here goes...this class is 10 wks. and is $180 for each 10 wk. session, that's $18 a session. On a normal weekday I spend at least that on breakfast and lunch (when I'm working), so why would I not invest that same amount of money in my child? I see people who spend money on loads of things for their children, toys, designer shoes, clothes, etc. but don't invest in their children's future or education. This money is an investment in my child's future and even if it was burdensome for my family to pay this I would try and make sacrifices elsewhere in my life to accommodate my child's education.

It's so funny that I received this response because earlier in the week I was reading an article about an elite high school in Northern Virginia and how currently the enrollment is majority Asian, the reason given was that, "Many Asian families will do whatever they can to support their children's education," said Fairfax school board member Ilryong Moon. "They will garner any and all financial resources."

As parents (shoot as an individual) look at where your money goes because it tells you a lot, where your money goes shows you what your values are. Or as the Good Book says, For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also - Luke 12:34

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Feedback: Parenting 101

Friday Feedback is a new feature to the blog, where I will be featuring comments or emails sent to the Baby Head Diaries.

Tiffany said...

This is the first I'm hearing about this term, but it sounds like parenting 101 to me. That fact that it's based on some development psychological theory is a shame. It seems like common sense to me. My mom was nurturing and reassuring. As a result she reared 4 confident, caring, and intellectual children. I intend to do the same and I don't need to study API theories to do it.


I am glad that you were raised in a home where AP values were the norm, many of us were not and many more right now are not being raised in that way. I, too believe that this should be an inherent part of parenting and because IMO, it's the biologically correct way to parent, is why there is developmental psych. theory behind it. Science is just a way to explain the way things should be. It's like someone saying, "Well, everyone should know that eating vegetables and exercising is the best way to stay healthy and fit." Yes, we know that instinctively, science tells us it's so, yet we have an American population that is 31% obese (35% for blacks) and 63% overweight .

The purpose of this site is to reinforce this method of parenting and enlighten those who do not know about it, especially in the black community. Here are some basic AP issues and how black families fare with them.

Breastfeeding: “In 2001, only 52.9% African American women breastfed their infants in the early postpartum period, compared with 73% of Hispanic mothers and 72% of white mothers. The proportion of African American mothers continuing to nurse 6 months after birth was only 22%, compared with 33% of Hispanic mothers and 34% of white mothers. These rates underscore a significant racial/ethnic disparity in breastfeeding rates.” - Oyeku, S. (2003). A Closer Look at Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Breastfeeding. Public Health Reports.

Discipline: Researchers found that black children were spanked and verbally punished the most, possibly because of cultural beliefs about the importance of respecting elders and in the value of physical discipline, or because parents feel they have to prepare their children for a racist and potentially dangerous world. - Thomas, J. (2009) Early Spankings Make for Aggressive Toddlers, Study Shows.

Her study found that about one-third of the 1-year-olds, and about half of the 2- and 3-year-olds, had been spanked in the previous week, according to mothers' self-reporting to the researchers. At all three ages, African-American children were spanked significantly more frequently than those from white and Mexican-American families, and verbally punished more than the other children at ages 2 and 3, the study said. Landau, E. (2009) Spanking Detrimental to Children Study Says. CNN
For this reason this site exists and I hope that you are able to enlighten others through your site as well about the way you parent, some people just need to see a living example of what to do to change their minds. :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

AP Thursdays: Feeding with Love and Respect

According to API, Feeding with Love and Respect is a way to show love to your child. Some people think that this is a principle only for babies and is about breastfeeding, but this principle is especially important for older children, too. I've always felt the bond between food and love and envied my peers who had mothers that would regularly cook meals for them, by the time I was a pre-teen my family's jobs took so much of their time that meals were often quick and dirty affairs where we ate in our own rooms or in front of the television. Food offers an opportunity to connect with your children through family meals served at the dinner table, it's a time to see what is on your child's mind and what kind of day that they've had. Meal times are also a time to model healthy eating habits for your toddlers and older children, by encouraging your child to follow their internal cues for hunger and thirst, and to eat when hungry and stop when full.

Personally, my son was a bit resistant to certain foods, but I discovered a fun and sneaky way to get him to eat things he wouldn't normally. Instead of eating a piece of chicken, a scoop of mashed potatoes, and a forkful of brocolli, we make COMBOS! A combo is all of those things on one fork or spoon and he LOVES to eat this way. He always says, "Mom we're eating combos!" I even got him to eat grits for breakfast this way. Grits to him were a foreign yucky substance, but not when you have turkey bacon and egg with it on the fork, suddenly it's a BREAKFAST COMBO! LOL!

See he's none the wiser!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesdays:

Do you know about your breastfeeding rights in your state?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

AP Thursdays: Preparing for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting

* Photo is of my eldest on his born day!

The first principle of Attachment Parenting is to Prepare for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting, which is really an apropos topic to tackle considering that I am pregnant with my second child. I will admit that this pregnancy was a surprise one, I initially thought I was food poisoned, LOL! However that doesn't mean I slacked on preparing myself once I learned I was pregnant.

I've been reading up more on Attachment Parenting specifically on how I might do things differently this time around. For example, I bed-shared with my eldest, but I am choosing to co-sleep with Na'im first in a co-sleeper and then in a crib in our room. I've also investigated ways to diffuse any conflicts that arrive from outside influences on my parenting choices, so now I have an arsenal at my disposal, which I didn't have before. Not knowing how to a stand on your parenting choices can cause havoc in your marital relationship as well as make you second guess yourself (espescially as a first time mother), however if you have done your research and trust your instincts no one should be able to stop you from parenting the way you choose to.

Another very important part of your preparation is preparing for the actual birth of your child. So many of us get caught up in buying onesies, booties, blankets, and strollers, that we forget to get to that point, you actually have to give birth! Think about how you want your birth experience to be and what are your actual options at your hospital. I wanted to be as active as possible with my eldest and because I knew from attending birth classes given by my hospital that they are a lay you down and hook you up with monitors hospitals I delayed leaving for the hospital for a while (or what I thought was a while because I ended up at the hospital for 12 HOURS!!!). The time that I did spend at home I spent eating a good breakfast (the hospital I went to didn't let you eat while in labor!), took a nice warm shower, and bounced on my birthing ball (exercise ball) to relieve some of the contractions. I had also previously created and printed out a birth plan that I had made using a template from BabyCenter, that I gave to my doctor before and to my nurse when I arrived at the hospital.

Here are some of API's suggestions on preparing yourself for pregnancy:
  • Reflect on childhood experiences and current beliefs about parenting
  • Explore parenting philosophies
  • Work through negative emotions surrounding the pregnancy
  • Prepare physically for pregnancy; eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, avoid stress when possible
  • Explore different types of healthcare providers and birthing options. Consider reading "Ten Questions to Ask" and "Ten Steps" by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, and visiting the Baby Friendly Initiative website by UNICEF.
  • Recommit to a strong, healthy relationship between expectant parents
  • Educate yourself about breastfeeding
  • Be alert and physically active during childbirth
  • Research all aspects of "routine" newborn care, such as bathing, circumcision, eye drops, blood samples, collecting cord blood, etc. Document your preferences and share them with health care providers.
  • Prepare to have extra help in the first few weeks after birth
  • Consider a birth and/or postpartum doula
  • Be prepared with questions to ask should unexpected birth or newborn situations arise
    • What are the benefits of this intervention, and what are your instincts telling you?
    • What are the risks and possible outcomes if I choose to do this or if I choose not to?
    • What are the other options?
    • How long do I have to make the decision?
The remarkable journey of new life is a positive, transformative experience. Pregnancy offers expectant parents an opportunity to prepare physically, mentally, and emotionally for parenthood. Making informed decisions about childbirth, newborn care, and parenting practices is a critical investment in the attachment relationship between parent and child. Education is a key component of preparation for the difficult decisions required of parents and is an ongoing process as each stage of growth and development brings new joys and challenges.

When preparing for the birth of a child, it is easy to get caught up in the material things associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn care. Tiny infant clothing, the latest maternity fashions, and baby gear can all be part of preparing for a baby, but the lasting investment of preparation involves becoming informed so that you can create a peaceful, loving environment in which to grow, birth, and care for a new life.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: My Little Star

He got these glasses on a class fieldtrip to Chuck E. Cheese. These are his "cool glasses". I also think he just got finished eating his favorite snack...peanut butter on a spoon!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

33 Weeks, O-M-Gosh!

Baby’s senses are continuing to improve -- when light peeks in through your (extremely) stretched belly, those tiny eyelids and irises blink and dilate. And, baby can now recognize and react to simple songs… time to start practicing your lullabies! Growth (at least inside your womb) is starting to slow, and you may notice baby descend into your pelvis at the end of this month.

My baby is a HONEYDEW! I am just so excited and still a little mystified that I will be giving birth in a matter of weeks!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

AP Thursdays: Attachment Parenting is Not...

* picture is of Hass, myself, and hubby April 2008.

I am a huge fan of PhD in Parenting's blog, she's also an attachment parent and speaks so eloquently and knowledgeably about Attachment Parenting. I've included her as a blog link on my sidebar, but I could have easily put her under resources as well. She has a wonderful post on what Attachment Parenting is NOT, that I will refer you to later.

I was thinking the other day about the reasons why some parents choose to not attachment parent their child and I think they do it more for reasons that are based in what AP is not, rather than what it is. I say this because I just cannot fathom why any reasonable and loving parent would reject any of the 8 Principles of Attachment Parenting, so I believe that the misconceptions of AP overshadow the principles at times. Here is my list of what AP is NOT.

Attachment Parenting is Not:
  • Using elimination communication and never wearing diapers. Although some AP parents practice this, it's not an AP principle.

  • Homeschooling or Unschooling your children, though some parents feel that their children will learn better in this environment.

  • Totally crunchy, i.e. organic foods, making your own baby food.

  • Against circumcision. My son is circumcised and more than likely his brother will be as well. It is a personal and/or religious choice to choose to circumcise, but if you are on the fence here's some info. from Dr. Sears.

  • For more on what AP is Not, read PhD in Parenting's List
Attachment Parenting IS:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Motherhood Monday: Back to School

Today was the first official day of my son's pre-K 3 class. Last week they had a transition week to get them used to the set up and rules for pre-K. I am so proud of him, he's currently only 2.5, but they believed that he was ready academically and socially to move to the pre-K 3 class. To get ready for this momentous occasion, he got to pick out a new book bag yesterday. His choice a Diego "rescue pack" that can also roll. This morning instead of mommy carrying him almost to the front door, he proudly walked backpack in hand the 10 ft. from our parking spot to the school's front door. He ran excitedly in and gave Mr. Mike a big high five and bounded to his classroom. Today was breezy and a little cool, so he had on his jacket which he took off and handed to me to put in his new tall cubby, along with his backpack. Then he sat on the alphabet carpet and said goodbye mommy, goodbye daddy. No tears, no protests, no fussing, just pure joy and happiness for his first day of school.

I am so happy to see my little baby growing into a confident and happy little boy right in front of my eyes. And I'm also thankful I'm about to have a new baby to do all of the baby things with all over again. Being a mother is a blessing and a joy, I thank God every night for the family that He has given to me and the awesome responsibility He has entrusted me with. Moms, don't ever forget how blessed you are!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Finds...

I just read a wonderful post from the Peaceful Parenting blog entitled, Car Seats are for Cars: Leaving Baby in Carseat Lowers Oxygen, Increases SIDS. It was very insightful and reenforced some things I knew and felt and taught me some new things as well.

Exploring the site, I also found an article on boys playing with dolls written by a father. This is a piece to cut out and hang on your refrigerator. I can't remember if I posted about this before, maybe it was in my mind to write about, but I wholeheartedly support boys playing with dolls.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

AP Thursdays New Feature: Moms of Color

Hello all,

Today I'm introducing a new feature on The Baby Head Diaries and that is an interview with a mom of color who practices Attachment Parenting. In the blog-o-sphere it seems like the majority of parents who practice AP are not moms of color (MOC) and I get so excited when I find one who is. So, this will be their introduction to the world via my blog. I hope their interviews inspire other moms of color to research and practice Attachment Parenting. So, for the inaugural interview, I will be interviewing myself and monthly on the last Thursday of the month we will be interviewing a new MOC that practices AP. If you'd like to be interviewed and featured, please send an email to

Kenesha Williams

Almost 30

How old is your child(ren)?
31 mths. and -8 weeks (I'm baking a late Oct. baby boy)

How did you come to be an Attachment Parent?
I actually started doing a lot of things that API recommends for Attachment Parenting intuitively. I researched many things going into the birth of my eldest son and knew that I wanted to breastfeed and that I wanted alternative pain management techniques in addition to having the option of an epidural. Once he was born it made sense to me that we would bedshare because it was the easiest way to breastfeed at night and I loved snuggling with my bundle of joy. I ended up babywearing because it was easy and my son was most at ease in my arms or close to me. It always made sense to me to listen to my babies cues instead of trying to force my will upon him and I've never been a fan of violent discipline. Then early this year I found Attachment Parenting International and I was like, "Hey, there's a name for what I've been doing and great research behind it." That was really a turning point for me.

What do you enjoy most about Attachment Parenting?
The closeness that I have with my son. He's now two (and a half) years old and he is simply THRIVING and I attribute that to the way that we parent in our household. He is secure and independent, yet very attached to us, which is the way it should be. He also is doing exceptionally well academically and was just moved up to the Pre-K3 class at his school.

What do you enjoy the least?
What I enjoy the least is people who extend their unoffered opinion about how our son is being raised and equate Attachment Parenting with spoiling your child. However, these are the same people who think that holding a baby at any age is a recipe for "spoiling". I don't know what it will take for people to understand that you cannot spoil a baby, their wants and needs are intrinsicly linked. People think that if he/she "just wants to be picked up" it's not a need, but it is! The AP principle of nurturing touch states:
  • For the child, nurturing touch stimulates growth-promoting hormones, improves intellectual and motor development, and helps regulate babies' temperature, heart rate, and sleep/wake patterns.
  • Babies who receive nurturing touch gain weight faster, nurse better, cry less, are calmer, and have better intellectual and motor development
  • Cultures high in physical affection, touch, holding or carrying, rate low in adult physical violence
What would you tell other MOC's about Attachment Parenting?
Attachment Parenting isn't new, crunchy, or hard; it is however intuitive, intentional, and a full-time job (as parenting should be). Also, AP isn't a list of do's and don'ts, it is a collection of 8 Principles to guide your parenting and to produce secure, joyful, and empathatic children in order to strengthen families and create a more compassionate world. Who doesn't want that?

What do you think is the most common misconception about Attachment Parenting?
That it is the same as permisive parenting, that it's too hard/takes too much time, and that it's new agey/crunchy.

Do you blog or twitter? What is your link?
Yes, you're on the blog
My twitter is

Any final words?
I hope to be able to spread AP to MOC all over the US, starting with my own corner of the world and eventually moving further. I believe that with more MOCs practicing AP we can create a better world.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Late Night Crafting

Joel Dewberry Fabric + Composition Book = My new fabric covered journal!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Breastfeeding Experiences: National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Hi all,

I wanted this post up yesterday, but life had other plans. I wanted to end the last week of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month with my story on breastfeeding my first born, so here goes.

I had planned that I would be a breastfeeding mama and so like any good planner I made sure that after I had my son, I requested a lactation specialist to come to my room to help me get the hang of breastfeeding. Well, she came in and looked nice enough, like someone's grandmother, and proceeded to show and tell me how to get my baby to latch on. Here's where things didn't go so well, first it was like she was throwing the baby's head on my boob to get him to latch on (in my subsequent readings, I've never read about that method), then Hass is getting very cranky and upset about being thrown onto a humungo boob and not getting anything out of it. She then tells me that he is impatient and he'll have to learn patience in this, he's like what an hour old? So, eventually we get him to latch on and things seem well, but he seems to not be getting "enough" so she says, let me get you a bottle of formula so he won't be hungry. Oh, if I knew then what I knew now!

So, Hass came into the world having both the bottle and the breast. Not only that, my parting gift from the hospital was an Enfamil sponsored tote bag (that's supposedly a breast milk storage bag, anyone else see the irony in that) and like a case of Enfamil formula. How does this exactly foster breastfeeding? Once, I was at home I would find that it seemed like Hass wasn't getting much milk from one breast, so I always supplemented his feedings with formula because I didn't want him to be hungry or malnourished. Now, this would be when you go to your local La Leche league to get some help, right? Well, I live in a majority black county in Maryland (Prince George's) and although we are the wealthiest majority black county in America, we still have NO LA LECHE LEAGUE in our county. As of press time we STILL do not! So, although I would have liked to go the logistics of actually going to one out of my county was bad. Luckily I bought myself the American Academy of Pediatrics, New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding. Which answered a great deal of my questions.

At some point in my half breastfeeding/half formula feeding routine I got myself a breast pump (a manual one, wrong move) and found that my right breast actually did produce significantly less milk than my left. The reason as to why Hass would be so cranky when he nursed on that side. Even with all the monkey wrenches thrown into the program, I really enjoyed the bonding time I spent with Hass while breastfeeding, along with the benefits I believe he was getting from my breast milk. I stopped breastfeeding with the advent of Hass' teeth, he got them earlier than most and thought it was funny to bite me. I think he was too young to get the implications of the biting and and even with the "disengage" technique he didn't realize the pain he was causing me. So, I stopped around his ninth month.

I hope to breastfeed Naim until he's at least one year old, I know the WHO recommends breastfeeding for two years, but honestly I have to get past my own issues with "extended" breastfeeding. And these issues are solely my own, I am happy to see another woman doing so. So, that's my story, what's yours?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Happy Friday

Hi all,

Sorry I've been MIA, but I've been feeling under the weather lately and didn't want to write while I was all discombobulated! Today is Friday and I just wanted to say that, yes I am still alive and still very much with child (no surprise early visitor). Since I've been home I started on a little craft project for Naim, fabric baby rings for him to play with and chew on. The tutorial for this craft is from the blog Make It and Love It. And I'm using scraps from the pillows I made for him last month. I'll post pics, when I'm finished, I've done 3 out of 5 rings, and the big boy has kidnapped one of them that hasn't been looped yet, calling it his candle, so maybe there will only be four rings.

I'd also like to make some applique onesies for Naim.

Monday, August 17, 2009

In Breastfeeding News

I know I promised you all a post about my breastfeeding experience with the big boy, but I am not feeling up to snuff today, so it'll be next week. In the mean time I've scouted out some great articles about breastfeeding!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

AP Principle Thursday: Respond with Sensitivity

Every Thursday I will be doing an Attachment Parenting principle to familiarize those who do not know about attachment parenting, engage with those that are currently attachment parenting, and create interest in those who would like to know more about attachment parenting.

Today's Attachment Parenting Principle is Respond with Sensitivity.
Build the foundation of trust and empathy beginning in infancy. Tune in to what your child is communicating to you, then respond consistently and appropriately. Babies cannot be expected to self-soothe, they need calm, loving, empathetic parents to help them learn to regulate their emotions. Respond sensitively to a child who is hurting or expressing strong emotion, and share in their joy.

I have a very high-spirited toddler and sometimes his emotions get the better of him, this is the perfect time to practice this principle. Oh yes, sometimes it's hard when he's refusing to put on his clothes and pretends to swim naked on my bed with my 300 count sheets (true story, it happened today). Although we were on our way to work and needed to get him to school for his field trip, instead of yelling at him to get dressed or even ignoring him and walking away, I took it as an opportunity to share in his joy. Now, it would have been counterproductive to share in the joy of nudity because we did have somewhere to be, so instead I engaged him in imaginative play about animals.

I said, Oh so you're a fish or are you a bird? He makes bird sounds, I put on pull-ups. Are you a bird or a frog, he ribbits I put on socks. A frog or a bird? He chirps and the shorts go on. We did this until he was dressed and was finally a little boy.
It took a bit more time, but it also led to the desired outcome without yelling or tantrums (from both of us).

How do you/could you work this principle in your own day to day parenting?

Friday, August 7, 2009

What to Wear While Breastfeeding?

Sorry for my tardiness, this should have been up yesterday!

I am currently in my seventh month of pregnancy and lately I've been thinking what will I wear as a breastfeeding mama? The first time around I had a couple of nursing bras (5) and a few nursing tanks, and one pair of nursing pajamas. That was sufficient for the time because I was mainly in the house and I wasn't breastfeeding exclusively (more on that Monday). However, this time around I plan on breastfeeding exclusively and although I will be home a lot, I don't want to look like the frazzled housewife from heck all the time either.

So, I've been perusing some breastfeeding mama stores online and unfortunately I feel like a lot of items while nice are too expensive. I've found that TARGET has gorgeous maternity bras and tanks from their Gillian & O'Malley line that won't run you an arm and a leg like some other stores (average price at Target $14.00). Motherwear is also having a sale in honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month and I've seen some great steals!

As for outerwear for this time of your life, I've found that most maternity tops are sufficient for breastfeeding as lots of them have deep v-necks or wrap type tops. Then you can supplement those with blouses that button or cardigans and of course the fabulous, must have for every woman...the wrap dress.

So, don't let not having anything to wear be an excuse not to breastfeed there are many great affordable options.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Back to School Goodies!

It's almost back to school time and I am so excited! Everyone in the family except the new baby will be going back to school pretty soon. I am currently in school for my M.S.M (Non-Profit/Association Mgmt.) and I just ordered my textbooks and I can't wait to crack them open! The big boy goes to a wonderful pre-school that uses the Funshine Express curriculum and although we'll both miss all the field trips that he's been on this summer with the summer program, we can't wait to get back to homework time!

Homework time will be even more fun this year because I've found these great colored pencils (big pencils for tiny hands) from Stubby Pencil Studio; in fact, I'd like some of their eco-friendly colored pencils myself! Hass usually puts a lot of pressure on his crayons, which ends up in broken crayons and little tears. I don't forsee that problem with these!

I'm also in the market for some identifying tags and labels for the big boys supplies and clothing that we take to school. So, browsing one of my favorite blogs, Design Mom, I find Mabel's Labels and yell EUREKA (I don't reccomend you doing this at your office...LOL!).

They have a great back to school label pack ($39!!! ), that is going to make one thing in my life, much easier! It's only available until Sept. 25th and then you have to buy the items seperately, so don't wait too long!

I've always loved back to school time myself and seeing the sales papers on Sundays had me reminiscing about my Lisa Frank folders and notebooks with their fabulously bright colors and dreamy desgins. But now that I'm grown up where do I look for MY back to school supplies? Well, I've done well with MomAgenda in the past and it really helped for the early years with Hass. Ingeniously, the year begins with August and goes to December of the next year! My last one was Fuschia, I'm wondering if I should switch it up and go for True-Purple?

Anything else I need I'm sure I could find on See Jane Work. I'm sure these page markers will make research more fun! Also, if you've been reading, you'd know how I am hankering to create the perfect home office and I know that these brocade desk accessories would be perfect for it!

The DH is pretty bare bones when it comes to school supplies, but I think I might surprise him with a nice notebook that is all his own, so that he won't have to borrow looseleaf from my stash or write in one of my old notebooks for his notes. This one is graphic and not girly at all.

*This entire post is totally my own opinion and was not sponsored or paid for in any way by these companies.*

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Hass is Chilling!

He fell on the sidewalk and got a boo-boo, but mommy made it better and then we had some quiet time watching Special Agent Oso!

Monday, August 3, 2009

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month!

For those of you who weren't aware, August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month! In honor I will be posting, information, resources, and deals every Monday, all month that coincide with breastfeeding.

When you breastfeed your baby, you're providing him with the best possible infant food. No product has ever been as time-tested as mother's milk. Human milk contains all the nutrients your newborn needs and is more easily digested and assimilated than any other infant food. As reassuring as this is, superior nutrition is only one of the many advantages you and your baby gain from breastfeeding.

Putting your newborn to the breast within minutes after delivery causes the uterus to contract and reduces the flow of blood. It also results in the uterus getting back to shape more quickly than it would if you were not breastfeeding. With his small head pillowed against your breast and your milk warming his insides, your baby knows a special closeness to you. He is gaining a firm foundation in an important area of life -- he is learning about love. - Source: La Leche League

  • An Easy Guide to Breastfeeding for AA Women
  • An Easy Guide to Breastfeeding for all Women

In honor of Breastfeeding Awareness month Babies”R”Us is offering free shipping on any Medela or Boppy breastfeeding accessory purchase totaling $20 or more

Friday, July 31, 2009

Crafting for the boys...

So, I've finally made something out of that big pile of fabric I showed you!

Pillows, which my son has already taken a liking to throwing and catching and a baby blanket for Na'im. The pillows are for what I'm deeming their cozy corner in their room. I will probably be making one more pillow and then a floor mat for that area. I'm also in the process of making another baby blanket and a boppy cover for Na'im as well.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Adventures in Bedsharing and Co-Sleeping

I write this post while I am a week into having my son sleeping in his own bed! But we are still co-sleeping. How is this possible you ask?

Well, co-sleeping as defined by API is actually sleeping in "close proximity," which means the child is on a separate sleep surface in the same room as the parents. This includes the use of a cosleeping bassinet or "sidecar," which is a crib-like bed with only three walls, with the fourth side remaining open and pushed up against the parents' bed. For the older child, this can include sleeping in a separate bed in the same room as the parents, or two or more older siblings sleeping together in a separate room.

When we first had our son we invested in a co-sleeper which he basically never slept in, it was too easy to just keep him in bed with us especially with my breastfeeding throughout the night. As an aside, I never understood why people would put their children in a totally separate room when all you're going to be doing is marching back and forth to said room for feedings and changing throughout the night, but I digress. Also, even if he fell asleep in our bed as soon as I moved him to the co-sleeper and he felt that unfamiliar mattress he would wake up! In order for all of us to get more sleep we decided bedsharing it was!

Bedsharing also called the "family bed," describes a sleep arrangement where the family members sleep on the same sleep surface. This practice is recommended for only for breastfeeding families using API's Safe Sleep Guidelines.

We have had a family bed basically from our son's birth until a week ago. That is not to say that it's all been a bed of roses. As our son has grown this delightful little bundle of joy turned into a jumble of arms and legs that could land on you in the middle of a peaceful sleep without any warning. While I got the head of our son, his little noggin snuggled next to mine, arms wrapped around my neck in a loving embrace. My husband often got the tail end of our son replete with kicks to the tummy and feet in the face. We also received unwanted advice from people who "care", but do not practice Attachment Parenting. The refrain of Is He Sleeping Through the Night? and other well intentioned, but intrusive questions and advice on our sleeping arrangements. I was even BLAMED for why our son couldn't sleep without us.

Some of this advice led to a one time use of trying the Cry It Out method. That was tormenting for both my son and I. We would wait 5 min. of crying go check on him, then we were supposed to increase the intervals. Our son WAILED and every time we tried this method (for about 3-4 days) he was so scared, so in shock that he would SOIL himself. That is how upset CIO made him. After that would happen I would just try and comfort him (he would be shaking with fear) and put him back into our bed. NEVER AGAIN! I learned from that not to be intimidated by well meaning, but intrusive people again.

So, then when our son turned two (and daddy was again tired of the midnight sleeping kicks) we bought the book The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers by Elizabeth Pantley, which was a God send. Imagine a book where no one is ridiculing your parenting methods or telling you that what you're doing is wrong, but tells you how (if you would like to) to get your toddler to sleep on their own. Well, we tried some of the suggestions to get him to sleep in his toddler bed in his own room, but after one night of sleeping in there until about 1 am (a coup in our household) he promptly told us, "I don't want my bed", this is now a great family joke and source of laughter for my husband and I. So, what did we do, we ended up moving him back to our bed, knowing that we had a plan for moving him to his own bed in due time.

One of the suggestions that Pantley makes in her book is that for children who have bedshared to start to co-sleep in the family bedroom in their own bed. Well, that made a lot of sense the transition is much smoother from sleeping with mommy and daddy to sleeping beside mommy and daddy versus sleeping in a whole different room (my son has also developed a little fear of "monsters", I have no idea where this came from). So, two weeks ago I ordered him a new toddler bed (to make this milestone more meaningful for him) and told him he'd be getting a new bed and a "mama luvie" (which eneded up being a teddybear with a heart on him).

When the bed arrived our son helped mommy put it together, helped me make the bed, and we put the mama luvie in the bed. We then went through our regular nightime routine, when it came time for us to go to sleep I told him that he was now ready to sleep in his own bed, but that it was right next to mommy and daddy's bed and if he needed us all he had to do was call us and we'd be there. I also explained to him why he was going to be sleeping in a new bed, I told him that he's getting so big that we could no longer all fit in one bed and that sometimes daddy gets hurt at night when we're all in there.

He still looked dubious, so I asked him if he'd like me to lay in there with him for a little while and he said yes. So, I laid in bed with him until he went to sleep then went to my own bed less than two feet away. He woke up about three times, two of those times to say mommy and I would give him a hug or rub his back and one of those times for a drink of water. By the third day I no longer had to lay with him until he went to sleep, I told him he could lay in there by himself and if he wanted he could hug the teddy, because the teddy loves hugs.

In the middle of this we went away on vacation and went back to bedsharing for two nights and I was afraid he'd regress, but he's back to sleeping in his own bed and life is sweet. No more kicking of the daddy, more room for my pregnant belly, and a little boy that is sleeping in his own bed, proud of his accomplishment, and confident in the fact that his parents are there for him even in the middle of the night.

We base our sleeping arrangements on this Attachment Parenting Principle:
Ensure Safe Sleep, Physically and Emotionally: Babies and children have needs at night just as they do during the day; from hunger, loneliness, and fear, to feeling too hot or too cold. They rely on parents to soothe them and help them regulate their intense emotions. Sleep training techniques can have detrimental physiological and psychological effects. Safe co-sleeping has benefits to both babies and parents.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Etsy Love Thursdays!

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

This will be a new feature on my blog. Every Thursday I will be sharing my favorite Etsy items and/or sellers. Now, if you've been reading this blog, you would know that I LOVE FABRIC! So, today's Etsy Love Thursday will feature my favorite fabric sellers on Ebay.

Eden's Garden of Fabric
So summery and bright, I see this as throw pillows for your enclosed patio!

Fabric Lane
I would love this as throw pillows on a neutral couch!

Fabric Worm
I see this in a mod nursery for a little boy!

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