Sunday, June 29, 2014

9 Months!

Wow! 9 months already? Where has the time gone? I'm seriously in awe at how much Kaiden has grown, and how he continues to grow. It is amazing. Simply amazing.

So, what has my Bug been up to?

Separation anxiety is in full force. Kaiden wants to be attached to me day in and day out. He doesn't want daddy, or his caretaker, or anyone if I am in the same room as him. He will cry if I turn away from him, or if I go into a different room, or even when I am holding him, sometimes that's not enough. I love the snuggles and the hugs and the kisses that he shows in obvious affection now (and not only to me -- he kisses all babies, because for some reason, that's what he thinks you are supposed to do), but sometimes the separation anxiety wears me out, and I get frustrated and annoyed.

Thankfully, I communicate with my husband about this, and I get breaks to myself, which include going out shopping, or playing a computer game, or just taking an extra long shower. Also, since I am on summer break now, I've been taking Kaiden out to activities, such as going to the public library for Play Partner and Song Times so he can interact with other babies. We go to the park, or I just take him to the store so he can be out and about. We've gone to the Gymboree Gym and My Gym to check them out, and I just enrolled Kaiden in swim lessons for the summer as well. Keeping both he and I busy has been key to keeping sane when he wants me and only me 24/7.

I love watching him interact with other babies, both younger, the same age and older than he is. He is the only baby at his daycare, so he doesn't get to be around them too much. I've been making an effort to keep him socialized, since he loves to be around other babies, and he learns so quickly from them.

For instance, Kaiden seems to be skipping crawling all together and wants to walk. He can stand on his own and has great balance, but he hasn't figured out how to move his feet yet. Just tonight, for the first time, he held my hands as we walked around the living room. He wants to walk because he has been around other babies that walk, and he desperately and frustratingly wants to keep up with them. Sometimes, it is cute to watch, but sometimes it is heartbreaking because he gets so sad that he isn't as mobile as they are.

We are still breastfeeding! Kaiden also gets solid foods, not just purees. This is the list of foods he has eaten/self fed:

Rice Pop Cakes
Raspberry Spread
Cottage Cheese
Apple Sauce
Mashed Potatoes
Baked Potatoes
Frozen yogurt

I am getting better with offering him more foods, like the baked potato at night. He wants to eat whatever we have, and he's getting much better at chewing, despite the fact that he doesn't have any teeth yet. I feel like he's been teething forever, since it's been five months now.

So here is a list of things that he does now:

- stands on his own
- says "mama" "dada" "baba" and "nono"
- says "mama" and "nono" with intent
- can pivot 360 degrees on his tummy
- pushes himself backward on his tummy
- self feeds with pincer grasp
- can get on all fours from sitting position
- holds onto objects and stands
- gives kisses when you ask for them
- sometimes high fives (but usually kisses your hand instead)
- gets to a sitting position on his own (as of today 6/40)

I will add more to this list later. I am too tired to think of anything else. Haha!

Here's a picture from his first haircut today. Don't be fooled by the smile; he cried the whole time!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Crunchy vs. Non-Crunchy

Last week, some dramatics went down in my due date group. For more than a year we've been linked together, sharing our stories, our downfalls, our awesome moments and the times when we are just hiding in the bathroom and crying...and that all came to a screeching halt over some Snope article that debunked an article about cancer that was supposedly released by Johns Hopkins.

All hell broke loose.

In particular, it was between the "crunchy" mamas and the "non-crunchy" mamas, and anyone in between.

Now, before we move forward, let me just say one thing: I don't know where the hell the term "crunchy" came from, and I don't really care. Nor do I care what qualifies or disqualifies one from being "crunchy" or not.

There were a handful of women in our group who are proud to call themselves "crunchy." They are anti-vaccination, all-organic, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, all-holistic mommies, and they are super proud of it! And that is JUST FINE. Really. I mean, I don't agree with not vaccinating one's children, but whatever. As long as their children aren't by my children, I'm fine with it.

But, I am not fine with the divide. The this-mom-against-that-mom-because-she-doesn't-do-what-I-am-doing.

Our group fell apart because in the past, we've had some blow ups over vaccinations. Some passive aggressive linking to articles that were either pro-vaccination or anti-vaccination that resulting in arguing that went on for days. And for what? No one was going to convince the other side of anything different than what they already believe in. A person's beliefs aren't that easily shaken. It reminds me of missionaries, in a way. I think they are worthless and insulting, personally. Anyone who thinks that it is okay to dump their beliefs on another in hopes of changing them so they are more like you...well, they need a serious wake up call.

But I digress.

I wanted to write this blog to show how "crunchy" I am or I am not. I wanted to expose that it is okay to do whatever the HELL you want with your own children, just as long as you aren't hurting them or putting them in any danger (and again, I know that the pro-vaccination people, including myself, just winced at that statement and yelled at their screen WELL THEY ARE HURTING THEIR CHILDREN, but's not going to do much but get you angry. We are set in our ways, and they in theirs), raise your children how you see fit.

So, here are some of the major "crunchy" categories and my viewpoints on them. Then, we can measure my "crunchiness."

Vaccinations vs. No Vaccinations 

I think I made this obvious. I think children should be vaccinated. I think the return of measles in the numbers we are seeing is alarming and scary. I do not believe that vaccinations cause autism. I don't believe the rise of autism diagnoses is attributed to vaccinations either. I do believe that the number has artificially risen because we have become better at recognizing its symptoms and can diagnose earlier and more accurately. Twenty years ago, autism wasn't studied as closely as it is now. Most, if not all of my friends and family are vaccinated, and not one of them has been diagnose with a spectrum disorder. On the flip side, in my husband's family, two males (and a suspected third) have been diagnosed with Asperger's...and they were vaccinated.

Independent Sleeping vs. Co-Sleeping

From birth until about four months old, we co-slept with Kaiden. He slept in his sidecar sleeper or the rock-and-play right next to me every night so that I could nurse him with little interruption to either of our sleep. When he started to sleep through the night, we moved him to his nursery. The transition was not traumatic at all for him. In fact, it was rather easy. Kaiden has always been great at self-soothing. He wasn't dependent on his pacifier at all, and around five months old, he started to suck on his thumb to calm himself when he was frustrated or sleepy.

I have been adamant about getting Kaiden into his own room. We only occasionally allow him to sleep in the bed with us, and that's usually when he's sick, teething or just not feeling well. It has never been a regular thing because it's not a battle I want to fight down the road when I want him out of my bed, and he doesn't want to go. I value my space and well as a good night's sleep. I don't get a good night's sleep when I am tossing and turning and trying not to squish my baby in the process.

But, I do love to bed-share with him from time-to-time. Like today, I stayed home from work because I'm sick. I took Kaiden to bed with me so we could both nap, and he laid down next to me and snuggled up, hummed a little bit and fell asleep almost instantly. We slept for two hours, and it was lovely.

Organic vs. Non-Organic

For the most part, I buy organic food for Kaiden. I feel like I should put the least toxic things into his body if I can help it. I didn't think I'd feel so strongly about this, but the more he eats solids, the more I find myself searching out the organic options.

At the same time, I don't get all up in arms if I have to feed him something that I know isn't organic. Hell, I lived on non-organic foods, so a little bit won't hurt him every now and then.

Baby Wearing

I want to do this more, but I find that as a working mom, I don't have the time to do it as much as I want to. I take my wrap everywhere, and any chance I have to use it, I do. If there's another baby after Kaiden, I want to make sure to wear him/her more. I feel like I missed the boat on this, even if I DO baby wear...I just wish I did it more.

Holistic Care

I love holistic, non-traditional medicine. While I was going through IVF, I did regular acupuncture treatments. I use massage and acupuncture to treat and prevent my migraines. When it comes to Kaiden's treatments, I try to find a balance. I don't give him herbs and supplements unless his doctor tells me to. I have found through my infertility journey that taking herbs and supplements without a doctor's input is dangerous and stupid. So, I won't take that chance with my baby.

Anyway, the point of this post is not to tell you what I believe, necessarily. It is to show you that everyone is a mix of something, and there's no right or wrong way when it comes to a mother's personal decisions.

I am sad that my due date group fell apart. I am hoping that they come back together. Every day, a few more return to the group and stay on the sidelines. Maybe, one of these days, we can co-exist again and come to an understanding that we are all very different people who love our babies just the same. :)