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 babyheaddiarist@gmail.com.

Name:
Kenesha Williams

Age:
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 http://babyheaddiary.blogspot.com
My twitter is http://twitter.com/babyheaddiarist

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 world...um, 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


Resources:
  • An Easy Guide to Breastfeeding for AA Women
  • An Easy Guide to Breastfeeding for all Women
Deals:

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


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