Aidan, Creating Memories, Fatherhood, Motherhood, Parenting

Finding BalanceĀ 

Over the past two weeks my son has learned to crawl and pull himself up using furniture. This of course means he is exploring every nook and cranny in our house. I love that he is so inquisitive and wants to learn. I do not love all the bumps and bruises he gets as he does so. As a new mom, I am trying to find a balance between being too over protective and allowing my child to be independent. I do not want to become one of those helicopter moms, but I also don’t want my son to get hurt. Does this mean I allow him to roam the house alone? Absolutely not. It means, I watch him as he explores and plays independently, because I want him to learn how to problem solve and recognize cause and effect. While I have thought about getting him a helmet and bubble wrapping the furniture, I have decided to go a different route. Rather than child proofing my house, I am going to child proof Aidan. While I still have outlet plugs and cabinet locks, I am not going to put away my pretties. Even at 8 months old he understands when he is doing something he shouldn’t be. My husband and I are teaching him early on, what he can and cannot play with. I do not want him growing up feeling like he is living in a museum. Even from an early age, Aidan has shown interest in how things around the house work. I do not want to take that desire to learn and explore away from him. While we will not allow him to get into any dangerous situations, by giving him independence at this age we are helping nurture his love of exploration and adventure. I hope as he grows older, this thirst for knowledge evolves. Nathan and I look forward to joining Aidan on all his adventures. One is never too old to explore and learn!

Molly

Aidan, Motherhood, Parenting

Lessons I Have Learned Taking Care of a Sick Baby:

1) You will most likely become sick yourself. 

2) You will be covered in puke and poop at least once a day. 

3) Pedialite is the devil. It also looks best in mommy’s hair. 

4) Mommy’s face and thighs are meant to be used as Kleenex.

5) Naps will only occur in mommy and daddy’s bed. 

6) More loads of laundry are done in two days than you have done in your lifetime. 

7) Your son will use this time to learn to crawl. He will then crawl away whenever it is time to take his medicine. 

8) PBS Kids is a life saver. You will have the theme song to Cat in the Hat memorized by episode 2. 

9) Your house will go uncleaned and you don’t particularly care. You realize a clean house is overrated. You start naming the dust bunnies. 

10) Dinners consist of cream of wheat or cold cereal. The husband complains, you and the baby cough in his direction. 

11) Sick baby cuddles are the best, except when you are puked on. Refer to #2

12) NyQuil is a mom’s best friend. (For me, not the baby. Do not call child protective services please!)

13) Everything must be sanitized…Everything. Better yet, burn the house down and start fresh. 

14) You will count down the days until your house no longer needs to be quarantined. T-minus two days till removal of face masks! 

Finally 

15) You will blame this and every sickness you and your child catches on your husband, who works in the school system! Dang those nasty kids!

The past few days have been rough. There have been lots of sleepless nights and tears. (Mostly Aidan’s tears). It is never fun when your child is sick and there isn’t much you can do. It is even harder when you are sick as well, and cannot give everyone your 100%. Being a mom definitely puts things into perspective. Even though I can’t call in sick and stay in bed all day, I have a little one who is relying on me to make everything better. I will always do my best to make him feel better, even if I am feeling pretty lousy myself. To all those parents covered in bodily fluids and fighting a fever of 101 degrees, you are not alone! 
Healthy wishes, 

Molly and Aidan

Aidan, Motherhood, Organization, Parenting

Aidan’s AppsĀ 

As a stay at home mom, my entire day revolves around my son. We stay pretty busy between nursing, reading, playing and running errands. I have found a handful of life saving apps I use throughout my day with Aidan. As this blog is about motherhood, I thought it would be fun to share the ones that have come in handy for me. 

The Medela App has been my best friend from the day Aidan was born. It allows you to track how long you breast feed, pumping sessions, diaper changes and how long your little one sleeps. You are also able to input your child’s weight and height every thirty days. I love being able to track how long Aidan eats and sleeps. It also makes it handy when his pediatrician has questions about his routine. I definitely recommend using this app if you are breastfeeding. Especially, if you have forgotten which breast your baby has fed off last. It might seem silly, but this app has given me confidence in continuing my breastfeeding journey.

The Wonder Weeks app was recommended by a good friend of mine. It is definitely worth the $1.99 on the App Store. This app provides all the information and guidance you need as your child goes through different developmental leaps. Whether it is a mental or a physical leap, based on your due date this app tracks when your baby will go through it. Each leap is detailed and allows you to understand what your baby is going through and how to handle their fussy periods. You can even set a leap alarm to notify you when your baby is about to start their next leap. If you haven’t heard about the wonder weeks, check it out! Life saver!!!

The next two apps are very similar to one another. They are Kinedu and BabySparks. These apps provide you with different activities you can do with your baby, based on their age. These activities help them reach their monthly milestones and are also a great bonding experience between baby and parent. A lot of the activities they describe are usually done without any materials but you and baby. All of the activities have descriptions, material lists and videos to provide you with an example of what you are suppose to do. I love all the different ideas these apps give you. They have come in handy as Aidan continues to grow and meet new milestones. I might enjoy the activities more than he does! 

When you have a fussy baby and you are also trying to be supermom, you have the Pandora and Pinterest apps. My son loves listening to music. He listens to it when he sleeps, while I cook and when we play. Music seems to calm him down and it also allows me to have background noise going throughout the day. Pinterest is amazing when you need recipes for baby food, crafts for your kids and ideas when your child will not sleep at 2 in the morning. These two apps are definitely favorites of mine and are used on a daily basis.

If you are a rookie or even a veteran parent, I suggest you check out one or all of these apps. They have all been very useful to me as a first time mom and I definitely recommend downloading them! 
Enjoy,
Molly

Aidan, Fatherhood, Motherhood, Parenting

Parenting Advice: In One Ear and Out the Other

From the moment you share the news you are pregnant, you become bombarded with unsolicited advice. Family members, friends, neighbors down the street and even the cashier at Walmart all feel the need to tell you the right way to raise your child. If you are anything like I was, as a soon to be mom, I was writing down these tips in my phone and saving them for later. The moment I had my son, I was up late reading every parenting article and thinking back on all the advice I had been given. A month and a half later, after reading and hearing so many opposing opinions, I looked at my husband and said, “screw it, we are going to do it our way!” Each parenting article contradicts another. The rules of raising a child change every couple years. My best advice is the advice a good friend of mine finally gave me, “do what is best for your child and ignore what others say about it. If what you are doing works for you and your family, who cares what anyone thinks.” She is a pretty smart cookie. As soon as I started listening to my gut and recognized what worked best with my son, motherhood became a whole lot easier and much more enjoyable. I never thought I would be trying homeopathic remedies or random tricks I thought of at two in the morning. What has worked for my son could be the complete opposite of what works for another baby. Who would have thought an adorable six pound little lad would make me question everything I had ever known. (Or thought I knew!) 

I remember my idealistic dream of my son sleeping peacefully in his bassinet for a few months before we transferred him to his crib. Did I take into account that my child would be a terrible sleeper and only sleep when he was on me? No, I did not. After a month of sleeping on the couch, with Aidan sleeping in his pack and play for 15 minute increments, something had to change. When you are as sleep deprived as most new parents, you will make choices you swore you would never make before your child was born. Enter co-sleeping. For two and a half months our little man ended up sleeping in bed with us. While many articles and the Pediatrics Association do not recommend bed sharing, many families all over the world do it. Nathan and I agreed before kids, we would never allow them to sleep with us. That changed pretty fast, when Aidan would only sleep if snuggled up next to me. We ended up loving it, especially because we all got the sleep we needed. When the little man started to wiggle around and roll from his stomach to his back, it was time to transition him to his crib. This was not an easy venture and once again I was dealing with advice on how to sleep train. A few people told me not to let my son cry it out or he would be emotionally damaged when he is older. Aidan’s pediatrician said to transition him by allowing him to cry and checking on him every few minutes. Once again, I had to do what worked best with my son. Aidan will not be emotionally damaged or have trust issues, because I chose to use the CIO method. After a week of letting him cry during naps and at bedtime, he finally learned to self soothe and put himself to sleep in his crib. (Hallelujah! I was no longer sleeping on the edge of the bed anymore!) My son turns six months in a few days and we are still learning what is best for our child. I will always be grateful to those close to us who give us advice, especially when it works. I do not and will not be made to feel guilty for doing my own thing. Nathan and I are good parents and while we will make mistakes, we have to do what is best for our son and not what is expected of us. This post isn’t to put down those who have given us advice, just to let other parents know it is okay to do it your way. Don’t worry about what the articles say, they change day by day. Who cares what worked for Susie Q down the street. Trial and error is the best way to figure out what is successful for you and your children. Don’t ever let anyone judge you or make you feel bad for how you raise your child. As long as you aren’t leaving your child in the car or letting them play with fire, you are a good mom and dad! Your children will turn out just fine. My little goober has so far. I will get back to you when he is in his teenage years. So forget about whether solids before one is “just for fun,” or allowing your child to scream for five minutes, while you finally shower is damaging. Parenting is challenging and as soon as you figure out how to solve one issue, five more pop up in its place. You will figure out this parenting thing, or at least learn to fake it like I have. Remember, as a former student of mine use to say, “do you boo boo!” 

Love,

Molly