Friday: Things I've found this week.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Top Parenting Stories of the Year. 
1. D.C. as best city to raise kid- Parenting magazine names D.C. as the best place to raise your kids.

2. Over-parenting as the new bad parenting- Atlantic magazine published a piece that claimed that this generation of parents has lost its way. In “How to land your kid in therapy” Lori Gottlieb argued that too many of us are over-parenting and, in effect, setting children up to fail

3. Kids not wanted- Some restaurants revealed a deep anger from many childless adults, and even some parents, at what they see as this parents’ generation inability to rein in their children in public places as well as a perceived entitlement parents display.

4. The Sandusky scandal- Though this terrible, still-unfolding story was not about parenting, it did raise questions about our collective responsibility to children. The scandal brought down a folk hero and forced many of us to examine what we might have done differently had we been in the Penn State chain of command.

5. Parental responsibility in childhood obesity- This summer a commentary in the Journal of American Medical Association suggested parents should lose custody of obese children in extreme circumstances. What seemed like a provocative theory became reality when a Cleveland mother lost custody of her obese son because the county said she was neglecting his health. The commentary and the case triggered difficult questions about who is to blame for the health crisis.

6. Leiby Kletzy- One of the worst events of the year was the killing of little Leiby Kletzy. The 8-year-old got lost on the first day that his parents let him walk home from summer camp and ended up being “helped” by a true monster. His story terrified parents across the country and is one of those events that many of us will remember with chills for years to come.

7. Dads can’t have it all either- Two attention-getting studies this year found that fathers are increasingly struggling with balancing careers and families. The Families and Work Institute reported that men are feeling stressed by the increasing burdens on them to succeed professionally and be nurturing caregivers.
Meanwhile, a Pew Research survey found that fathers who live with their families are more involved than ever before. The same survey found the majority of fathers think being a dad is a tougher job now than it was 20 or 30 years ago:

8. Sarcastic parenting- This year saw the rise of sarcasm in parenting, from Tina Fey’s irreverent and beloved “Bossypants,” (Reagan Arthur Books, April 2011) to the profane take on bedtime stories, “Go the ---- to Sleep,” (Akashic Books, June 2011) by Adam Mansbach. The latter was a best-seller before it was even available and inspired a slew of copycats.
The trend must say something about our need to lampoon our reluctant transition into parenthood. But who reading these could keep a straight face long enough to explain exactly what?

9. Screen time debate- Common Sense media reported that young children are using electronic media at staggering levels, with infants and toddlers spending twice as much time with screen media as books.
At the same time, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with a reiteration of its largely ignored plea to parents to withhold “screen time” from the youngest children. Many parents, meanwhile, say the official advice is not keeping up with either the realities of parenting or the increasing benefits of modern technology.

10. The changing relationship between parents and their adult children- Adult children stampeded back into their parents’ home in recent years and with them the notion of hands-on “parenting” took on a longer shelf life.
The book “How To Raise Your Adult Children: Real-Life Advice for When Your Kids Don’t Want to Grow Up,” by Gail Parent and Susan Ende (Plume, August 2011) came out this summer. Disguised as an extended Q&A, it was really a collection of letters that revealed the angst older parents harbor when dealing with their still-dependent grown children.

Bring in 2012 with love, peace, and happiness. See you next year!

And please vote for FromBean2Baby on! Thankssomuch!

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A Day Off at Our House

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Well, I wanted to give you an outline of a typical day for us. But on a typical day, I'm working. In the spirit of holiday break, I'll give you a general idea of what we do on a day off.

8-9:30ish A.M.- Clara wakes me up via the baby monitor. Normally, she babbles, but sometimes I get woken up with cries. I change her diaper and take her downstairs to get some coffee (made the night before, of course, and set on a timer) and make a bottle. Clara and I come back to my bed, and she watches Mickey Mouse while drinking her bottle and I have time to drink my coffee, pee, and do things on the interwebs for 5 minutes.

9:30-10ish A.M.- We go out in the living room and Clara and I pull ALL the toys out of her toy basket and proceed to play with them all.

10-11ish A.M.- About a half hour after finishing her bottle, Clara is STARVING for breakfast. And she lets you know it. She proceeds to eat about 8 ounces of baby food (equivalent to 2 jars) and normally eggs and cheerios. Sometimes toast and yogurt as well. I feed her all organic products for the most part. If we're at home, she eats homemade baby food, but if we're away she eats Earth's Best organic baby food. (Earth's Best is a wonderful company. We also use Happy Baby organic, and Plum Organics for Clara's "puffs" and "crunchies".) Anyway, the kid can eat. I don't know where she puts it all.

11 A.M.-1:30ish P.M.- After a late breakfast, Clara gets cleaned up and we read a few books. She goes down for her first nap between 11 and 11:30 and sleeps for about 2 hours. I get to work on my crocheting, clean (usually what I do), pick up Clara's toys, eat something, blog. etc.

1:30-2ish P.M.- Clara wakes up and she's always so smiley and happy. She has her second bottle and then we dump out her basket of toys (again) and play until we can't play anymore.  Sometimes we watch SpongeBob.

2-3ish P.M.- Clara eats again. Normally she has applesauce and some other fruit mixed with cereal. Sometimes eggs again. "Crunchies". Soup. LOVES potatoes. etc. Basically, it's yet another feast. And yes, it does take an hour.

3-5ish P.M.- We play some more and read more books, then Clara goes down for her second nap. I never want to give up nap time. It's the best.

5-6ish P.M.- When she wakes up (all smiles), she eats again. Big surprise, huh? No bottle this time, she goes straight for the food. She eats less at "dinner" time than she does during her other two meals during the day. For "dessert", she teethes on a rice rusk.

6-8ish P.M.- Clara has a bath (which she loves) and we play. At some point during this time, Clara has a bottle. We play a ton, and read more books.

8-9ish P.M.- Clara goes to bed between 8 and 9, and yes she sleeps for about 12 hours + naps. It's kind of ridiculous.

After Clara goes to bed, I do dishes, laundry, take a shower, clean up her toys and relax before doing it all again the next day.

And that's our typical day! Soon, I'll do a typical work day.

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My Wonderful Experience with Hypnobabies

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I had a wonderful experience using hypnobabies during pregnancy and labor. I heard about it through a friend, and I really thought it would be worth a try. I started the program when I was seven and a half months pregnant. What I noticed right off was how easily I slept. Instead of waking up multiple times a night due to discomfort and baby kicks and hiccups, I slept....well, like a baby. 
As Clara's guess date approached, I became more and more anxious about delivery. The positive affirmations really helped. I wrote out my birth plan, and my doctor found it to be appropriate. 
I was doing prenatal yoga and hypnobabies every morning and evening until the day before Clara was born. I finally felt ready and prepared. 
If you read Clara's birth story, you know that  we had some complications, and I was brought in to the hospital to be induced. Needless to say, my birth plan went out the window. After 18 hours of labor with no epidural or IV pain medications, I was still  going strong thanks to hypnobabies. I mean, I'm not gonna sugarcoat it, it was HARD. But manageable. I could do it. I was able. But I had only progressed a half a centimeter in those 18 hours. So, it was decided that a C-section would be done.
 I'm still getting over the fact that I wasn't able to have Clara naturally. I will most definitely be with a birthing center or possibly a home birth with my next child. 
I would never take back my experience using hypnobabies. It kept me calm. It kept me focused on allowing my body to do what it does naturally. I truly believe that without the medical intervention, I would have been able to have Clara naturally.
Benefits of using Hypnobabies

● Many moms use fewer drugs or no drugs, which means less risk of side effects for you and your baby, due to elimination of the Fear/Tension/Pain Syndrome, and using post-hypnotic suggestions.
● Most Hypno-mothers have shorter labors since there is less resistance of the birthing muscles when pain and fear are minimized or eliminated.
● Hypno-Moms generally have much more energy throughout first and second stage, due to total relaxation throughout the birthing process.
● The birthing environment is much more calm and peaceful when you, the natural childbirth mother are comfortable, relaxed and confident.
● Breech and posterior babies can be turned using hypnosis.
● Blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature can be lowered and nausea, back and hip pain eliminated with hypnosis during pregnancy and labor.
● There are fewer interventions for failure to progress and therefore fewer complications during labor for our mothers and babies.
● As a Hypno-Mom, you are easily "deprogrammed" from the usual negativity of childbirth stories and scenarios you may have heard or read, by way of training in Hypnobabies classes and audio CDs which have positive messages and hypnotic suggestions. This automatically allows you to have a much more positive attitude and confidence in birthing. It is truly a gift that you are giving yourself, an amazingly easy way to enjoy your pregnancy more and actually look forward to your baby's birth.

It is well worth the time to look into Hypnobabies as a wonderful birthing option, both for yourself and for your baby. Natural Childbirth without intense discomfort has many benefits to mom and baby, and the deep relaxation has even helped many a nervous birth partner to enjoy pregnancy and childbirth, since they experience hypnosis in Hypnobabies class as well! In addition, the skills you will learn for relaxation and hypnosis will benefit you both for the rest of your lives.

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9 Months Old!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy holidays to you and yours! If you haven't noticed, we've been a bit busy over here at our house. I've missed blogging tremendously, but I  didn't want to throw in a pity-post, so I'm here to tell you that I'm back for good! I've been crocheting like a crafting fiend, and I'm hoping the Etsy shop will be up and running here shortly, so keep an eye out for a post all about that. :)

In other news, my sweet baby Clara is 9 months old! When did that happen?

Recently enjoyed things:

-Awkward army crawling (video to come shortly for  your enjoyment)
-Eating "big girl food"... table scraps... whatever you want to call it... we're slowly moving deeper into the solid food category
-Seven teeth! That's right, people! My little girl has 7 teeth, hence the big girl food.
-Moving into 9 month clothing... slowly. She's straddling the line between 6 and 9 month clothes... which is kind of a big deal since she's been in 6 month clothing since 4 months.
-Seventeenth percentile on the growth chart, weighing in at a whopping 17.5 lbs! 1 pound larger than my 3-month-old nephew.
-Favorite songs: Row-row-row your boat, and All the Pretty Little Horses.
-Favorite books: The Little Engine That Could, and Like Mommy Does.
-New (first) words uttered this month: MAMA!!!!! and ball.
-Best friend: Triple tie between my mom, Kris Porter, and Landon Griffin.
-Favorite xmas gift: wrapping paper/tissue paper or anything she puts in her mouth.
-More weird behavior: "shakes" her head no often, does not stop moving her hands during meal-time, awkward army crawling.
-Developmental developments: signs "more" and "eat", claps hands and stands up (with help) on command.

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Being a mother is the most difficult thing I've ever done.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hands down.

Being at the disposal of another human being 24/7 is trying. It takes away your sense of self. You become a person you don't recognize. While pregnant and after giving birth to Clara, I had to mourn the loss of the self I knew. I would never be the same person again. I had to go through the loss and understand it in order to have appreciation for the mother I have become.

At times, I feel like I'm babysitting. It's daunting to realize that this little, teeny tiny person is my sole responsibility.

There are days that I just wanna say, "no thanks". I don't want to do the mommy thing today. I want to sleep late, hang out with my sorority sisters, leave stuff on the floor and not deal with poop. I don't think that makes me a bad mother. But definitely a wistful one.

I've learned to take breaks, although I'm not always the best at it. Taking time for yourself is important. Don't be mad, but I'm gonna brag for a minute here.

I have the best baby in the world. There is nothing she doesn't like (car seat, nap time, bath time, play time, etc.). She's always happy. She smiles socially (to get attention, of course). She never had issues eating. She's been sleeping through the night since she was a month old. Even when she's sick, you could barely tell. She's just a little quiet and cuddly.

All other mothers, please forgive me. I don't take it for granted. I thank Clara ever morning when I get up for letting me sleep.

I guess what I'm getting at is that even if you have the best baby, being a mother is the hardest job I've ever done. But if it makes you feel any better, she'll probably go through some pretty wicked terrible twos.

Also, I'm terribly sorry for the lack of attention to the blog. We've been very busy. The good kind of busy. Things in my life right now are fantastic. Hopefully I'll be able to post an update soon here.

In  addition, please vote for us on and make a happy girl even happier.

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Friday: Things I've found in week 11!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

1. What to Say if Your Kid Asks if Santa is Real: Hilarious and useful. :)

2. Extreme Attachment Parenting: How to practice attachment parenting without going to the extreme. Wonderful advice!

3. 10 Ways to Get Your Child Interested in Reading: I'm definitely going to take these tips into account when teaching the Bean to read. She already has a love for books, mostly chewing on them... but that counts, right?

4. Free Free books? Umm, YES.

5. Disrespect for Children: Does our society have a blatant disrespect for children? Read this blogger's opinion and decide for yourself.

6. Lunch. Parenting: Relevant reviews by real people.

7. Secrets of Boob Feeding: Oh the powers of boobies.

Enjoy! Feel free to comment. Also, the competition on is a bit ridiculous, so could you spare a vote? Thanks. :)

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