Getting Baby to Sleep

My son will be 1 in a few days and we have had the hardest year with sleep issues!  There are lots of tips and trick about how to get your baby to sleep.  I feel like I tried everything and it would just make things worse.  I know it is normal for babies to wake up at night, but it can be frustrating!  Missing sleep has been the hardest thing for me.  My 2 oldest were great sleepers from 2 months on.  I couldn’t figure out why this baby wouldn’t sleep.  Was I doing something wrong, was there some medical issue that kept him from sleeping?  I tried Cry-It-Out (it worked for my other 2), but he would never give up.  I couldn’t bear to hear him cry anymore.   I tried soothing, rocking, soft music, a warm room, sleeping with him, anything I could think of.

Finally, someone suggested Lavender.  Why, oh why, didn’t I ever think of that?  It has been 1 week since I have been using Lavender Essential Oil and it is working!  Every night he sleeps a little longer.  Last night he slept from 8 pm until 6:30 am!

lavender

Before bed, I fill up a glass bowl with water and bring it to a boil in the microwave.  Then, I carefully carry it to his room and add a drop of Lavender Essential Oil.  I close his bedroom door and let the Lavender steam his room.  It smells wonderful!  I also add a drop of Lavender to a tissue and put it under his sheet.  I nurse him in his room and he drifts off to sleep in no time.

I am now a firm believer in Aromatherapy!.  I had heard of the benefits, but I never though to pursue it.  I will now keep a bottle of Lavender in the house at all times.  The next time I hear of a baby having trouble sleeping, I will recommend Lavender Essential Oil!

I believe Lavender has saved my sanity!

What Aromatherapy tips to you have?

Best,

Kristen

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Back to School

It is the time of year most parents look forward to.  Those three precious words “back to school”.  I admit, I am one of those parents.  By the time summer is half over I can’t wait for school to start!  The kids have been fighting non-stop, eating non-stop and whining and complaining about how bored they are.  I think I have had enough!  Then I start thinking about what it really will be like when they are in school.

This year, I will not have one in school, but two. My daughter Lexi is going into 3rd grade.  She knows what to expect and loves school.  She is so outgoing and is ready for anything!  It wasn’t always easy for her.  We had an adjustment period when she started Kindergarten.  She started school when she was 4, almost 5.  She was definitely ready for school intellectually, but not as prepared socially.  It didn’t take long for her to get in the groove.  She goes with the flow and is our worry free kid!

My son Chris is going into Kindergarten.  He is going to be the hard one. He is so shy and introverted.  There is nothing wrong with that. I was the same way. The difficult part is knowing how to handle his personality. I am working on it and learning what he needs.  You would think I would already know what to do, right?  Wrong!  As you grow up, you learn how to deal with the world and forget how hard it was for you.  I have forgotten and am having to learn again.

My husband does not have the patience for Chris sometimes, so it falls to me.  I am dreading the mornings when school starts, trying to get him ready on time and the melt downs I am sure are to come.  I have tried my hardest this summer to prepare him for school.  I know he is nervous and a little scared.  That is to be expected.  It still doesn’t make it any easier.  I expect to have a few hard weeks, but I pray he adjusts quickly.  I already have this image in my head of terrible mornings running around and him retreating into his shell because he doesn’t have the right socks or underwear on.  He is very picky about his socks and underwear!  I am thankful that they have to wear uniforms at their school.  Otherwise, that would be something else to worry about!  I am also dreading after school.  Particularly the homework part.  I know he won’t have very much homework in Kindergarten, thankfully, but he will have some.  And then there is the being tired and cranky part after being at school all day.

I have also realized that with Lexi and Chris at school, I will be the one entertaining Danny all day! I was getting so excited for school to start and Danny and I having our time together. Then the two of us were left alone the other day and all he did was whine for someone to play with him. I didn’t realize how big of a help the older kids were until they weren’t here :).  I had this idea in my head of what our days were going to be like, but I will have to make some adjustments!  That is ok.  This time is all about enjoying our kids anyway.  Who cares if the house is messy and there are no clean clothes to wear.  We will survive and be better for it!

So, with school starting in 2 weeks, I am having mixed feelings about it. What about you???

I would love to hear from you!

Best,

Kristen

Chris, Danny and Lexi

Breastfeeding – Mom Confessions

No one will ever tell you how hard breastfeeding is!  I have breastfed 3 kids and they each had their own challenges.  I have heard that if it hurts, you aren’t doing it correctly, the latch is wrong, etc, etc…I am here to tell you that information is so untrue!  I have experienced more pain from breastfeeding than during labor!  I have also experienced great joy from it as well.  I know it isn’t painful for everyone and those are the lucky ones.

When my first baby was born, I knew I wanted to breastfeed.  My main reasons for wanting to breastfeed were I knew it would save us money and it was better for her.  I did not read any books on it and the only thing I read about breastfeeding came from the book What to Expect When You Are Expecting.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that book!  I mean, how hard could it be?  It is the most natural thing in the world.  I was in for a shocker!  I wish someone would have prepared me for the challenges that lay ahead.  I did not expect to be a cow, providing milk for my baby ALL THE TIME!  I did not expect my nipples to hurt so bad.  I did not expect to fear when my baby would latch on (whose latch was correct by the way)!  I did not expect to cry from the pain.  I did not expect it to be worse than going through labor.  I persevered for 3 weeks through the pain and frustration and finally the pain started to ease up.  It took about 3 weeks for my nipples to get used to nursing.  But…I never enjoyed it even after the pain went away.  I feel like I missed that early bonding experience with my daughter because all I did was feed her and I did not enjoy it.  I kept doing it because it was better for her.  At 8 weeks, I returned to work and was still determined to provide her with the best milk I could.  I pumped during both of my breaks and through my lunch period.  I started to dry up and then I was frustrated that I couldn’t produce enough milk for her.  I took Fenugreek, Alfalfa and drank more than my fill of Mother’s Milk Tea.  Nothing worked.  I finally had to stop breastfeeding my daughter when she was 4 months old.  I was so much happier when I didn’t have to nurse her anymore.  I felt so free!  I feel guilty, but I think it was better for us.

23 months later came baby number 2, a boy!  I still did not read any books on breastfeeding, remembering how hard it was the first time.  My son did not eat as often as my daughter, so I was able to go longer periods between feeds.  I still experienced the excruciating pain for the first 3 weeks as I had previously.  He had a correct latch as well.  I was not as determined to stick with it this go around.  By the time he was 3 weeks, I was sleep deprived, bitchy, in pain and just wanting to sleep!  Understandable, I think 🙂  At the hospital, they had given us some formula samples and I asked my husband to give my son formula for the first time.  That was the beginning of the end of our breastfeeding relationship.  My husband fed him and I slept.  It felt so good!  My milk finally dried up at 3 1/2 months.  Since we were supplementing with formula and I was getting a break, I did not feel like we had any bonding issues.  I was happy.  I never truly enjoyed nursing him either.  I just did it for the immune boost.

Fast forward 5 years and we welcome another baby boy:).  I was determined to breastfeed this time and stick with it.  I read books during my pregnancy and decided I would go see a lactation consultant once the baby was born.  It helped that I wasn’t going back to work with this baby and I didn’t have to worry about my milk drying up.  I was prepared for the pain and expected to hate the first 3 weeks of breastfeeding.  Even though I expected the pain, I think it was the worst ever!  I did not think it could be any worse that what I had already experienced!  I saw the lactation consultant at the hospital and again, we had the correct latch.  By the time we left the hospital, I was sore, but not exactly in pain.  When my baby was a week old, the pain started.  My nipples were cracked and started bleeding, which I did not experience with my other two.  I would start sobbing before he even latched on, I was dreading it so much!  I went to see a lactation consultant at the hospital to see what I could do.  Although the latch was correct, I was not holding him in the most comfortable position.  The new position (holding baby up high, across your breasts) helped, but did not make the pain go completely away. We also had some other challenges that prevented my milk from coming in as fast as it should have, and my baby was losing too much weight.  I did not want to put him on formula so I endured the pain and pumped every time he finished nursing to ensure a good milk supply.  After about 2 weeks bi-weekly weight checks, his weight was where it should be and I was so happy I did not have to supplement!  It took about 2 1/2 weeks for nursing to become somewhat comfortable and not painful.  Here we are 7 months later and we are still nursing!  It did not become enjoyable for me until he was 4 months.  It seems like it takes that long for both of you to be comfortable (at least in my experience).  I can definitely see why so many women give up breastfeeding!  It is not always easy.  I am so grateful we made it through our challenges and now I look forward to our nursing sessions.  I can honestly say I will be sad when he no longer wants to nurse.  That is something I NEVER thought I would say!

None of this would have been possible without a supportive husband.  He encouraged me every step of the way and helped me so much.  Although he could not endure the pain and frustration, he did anything he could to help me.  He did a lot of research online, went to the lactation appointments, bought supplements, encouraged me…Without his support, I would have given up after 3 weeks with all of my children.  I think this is another reason so many women give up.  If you don’t have the support you need, you will not succeed.  I encourage every woman wanting to breastfeed, to read, research, get help and support.  You can do it and the rewards are immense!  🙂

I would love to hear about your own breastfeeding adventures!

Best,

Kristen

How Well Do You Know Your Spouse? – Fun Post

My husband and I have been together for almost 12 years (oh my gosh)!  Time has flown by.  In that time, we have moved, purchased a house, birthed 3 great kids, lost jobs, taken some amazing trips, weathered some downs and been blessed with many more ups.  We are still totally in love (awwww). 

Yesterday, my husband was watching Food Network, which is our go-to channel when nothing else is on.  We especially like to watch it at night before bed and we go to sleep hungry or end up eating at 9 pm.  Maybe we should do something about that?  Anyway, I was upstairs nursing little Doo Bug and Hubby came upstairs to say he wanted to have barbeque for dinner.  I knew he had been watching a barbeque competition on tv, so of course he was hungry and wanted barbeque for dinner!  I am totally cool with it because it means I don’t have to cook (all smiles).  He was telling me about this place in town he wanted to try.  I said “So you were watching that BBQ competition on tv and now you want it for dinner?  I bet you googled best BBQ in Colorado Springs and that restaurant has the best reviews?”  He looked sheepishly at me and said “Yeah, so?”  I said “Nothing.  I just know you so well.”  We both just smiled at each other.

We have also been saying the exact same things at exactly the same time.  It has been happening a lot lately.  Hubby says “Oh, no!  We are turning in the same person!”

So I ask you, how well do you know your spouse?