Friday, September 26, 2008

How I've changed as a mom....

The fact that I'm having another baby soon has made me more contemplative and self-reflective lately. I realized that being a mom has changed me in a lot of ways, some good, some bad, and some I have yet to digest. But I figure I would write down some of my thoughts of how I changed personally BEFORE baby #3 comes, so I can have a point of comparison for later on. :)

Being a mom of one -
1. I became more environmentally-conscious, esp as I take out a bag of diapers every other day to be disposed of in the landfills. [Note: Totally a personal conviction that I only applied to myself.] And when Aidan started chewing everything, I started to think about the chemicals I cleaned with and started researching more natural ways of cleaning, as well.
2. I was a nap-nazi! :) Almost everything revolved around whether Aidan could take a good nap or not. I got annoyed when he didn't get a good nap or when circumstances prevented him from even having one. My main thought was that if he didn't nap well, MY day didn't go well because he was grumpy or fussy. A valid point but I think in retrospect, it prevented me from doing some things that I wish I could've done. I did have days that were just for me when I got to do things when I wanted to regardless of his nap schedule but on other days, his naps took precedence. Thank goodness he had a pretty good schedule, so I did go out when he was supposed to be awake! :)
3. I made charts and list of when he hit his milestones - our calendar was covered with what Aidan did. :) I also had a mega chart of when he slept, how long he slept, when he ate, how often he poo'd/pee'd til he was about ONE - it was a masterpiece! LOL!
4. I discovered how much I could care for someone I had only known for a bit. :)
5. Because Aidan was such an easy-going and happy baby AND I did a modified version of Babywise with him, I totally believed in the Babywise method and touted it to anyone that asked. I had no idea that it doesn't work with every baby. Oops. ;)
6. I took advice from trusted sources pretty seriously and tried to do everything by the book - giving veggies first, tummy time everyday, baby sign language, blah, blah. But, thank goodness, early on, I had people in my life who were moms of many kids give me advice as well - this helped broaden my thinking a bit at the time. :)
7. I learned how important it is to still have 'couple time', even though taking care of Aidan took up a lot of time. We went out on our first date within 2 weeks of him being born. Having in-laws 7 minutes away really helped! :) Even so, sometimes we would forget and months would pass before we would go on another date...

Being a mom of two-
1. Naps are still important but now that I have 2 schedules to contend with, I realized that Jana would be ok even if the naps were interrupted sometimes. I also try to schedule their naps together, so that I would have some 'peace and quiet' time for me - and those weren't exactly the times that they were super sleepy. :P What they say is true, parenting became more relaxed for me (though I thought I was pretty relaxed before...;)). Maybe the fact that less things are in my control that made me decide to be more relaxed! :D
2. I did the modified Babywise method with Jana, as well, but she didn't sleep through the night as early as Aidan did. New conclusion: This method doesn't work the same with every baby. :)
3. Cloth diapering and being more 'natural' became more fun! Girly diapers are like girly clothes - so much more to choose from and more fun prints! :)
4. We tried to record all the milestones for Jana, as well, but started falling behind when the busyness of just taking care of the kiddies took over!
5. Jana didn't love solids, so I ended up giving her fruits first *gasp* - but she turned out to eat a bigger variety of foods than Aidan..hehe.
6. I started to understand what my priorities were and tried to manage my time better, esp with 2 vying for my attention. I also knew that I needed something other than mothering in my life as an outlet of sorts. So I joined the condo association board in my neighborhood for a start. Still trying to revive my interests and make time for those.
7. I continued to be more open-minded about how others parent and learn from the moms that I'm friends with but are so different from me. I also learned to take things less personally, esp when others make comments about my style of parenting. But that's so hard because when you stay-at-home and parenting is "all you do", it almost becomes a reflection of who you least that was subconsciously how I felt. After praying about this a lot, I felt like God was saying that you can do only the best you can and leave the rest up to Him. And children are going to be children, no matter what we do - they are going to have their quirks, their bad days, but also days when they are so lovable! :) Plus, you are not just a mom but so many other things as well....that yes, being a mother is the prominent thing in this season because we have kids but that I have to keep growing as a person, too.

Anyhow, all this to say that mothering showed me who I really am as a person (all the good and bad) and stretched me in ways that I didn't know I could be stretched. I definitely do enjoy it and am looking forward to see what other ways I am refined as I become a mom of three. I've been told that this transition is a real doozy, so please pray for us as we embark on that journey in a little over a month! :) Feel free to share your thoughts, too!

Friday, September 12, 2008

A bunch of fun sites for deal-lovers!

Hi all: I know a lot of you like deals and I wanted to share 2 different types of shopping sites with ya. The 1st type is the A-Deal-A-Day sites. I haven't heard of these websites til this year and I think they're getting popular really fast. Now I know why! ;) The premise is that they offer one deal a day at a great price and stay 'open' until the deal is over or the item gets sold out. Pretty interesting concept, eh? I've only made one purchase at the first site today so I'll be back to report on how it all went. But after doing some online sleuthing, they seem to both get good marks for follow-through and customer service (with the first site being touted with even better cs then the second). And, yes, they both have RSS feeds so you can be notified when they have a new deal! :)

Anyhow, without further ado, here are 2 sites:

MamaBargains (sometimes has more than 1 deal a day)

Baby Steals

Another type of a shopping site I've discovered are these invitation, member-only sale ventures. These sites offer special pricing on usually quite expensive designer clothing for a set amount of time and sometimes, it becomes very reasonable. :) Some of them offer kiddie clothing, too. Anyhow, I haven't purchased anything from these sites but have been simply observing and doing some research. :)

Here are some of the ones I found:
Gilt Groupe
Rue La La
The Mini Social (I think it's just for kiddie stuff)

If anyone has any experience with either of these sites or have another site to recommend, please let me know! :) Happy browsing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Has anyone read this book?

I've been reading "Positive Discipline" by Jane Nelson these days and it's been a great read so far. The funny thing is that I didn't even know about it to look for it - I just happened to pass by it at our local library when the title caught my eye. Some background: I've been having discipline issues with my kiddies and my current methods have worked but seemingly only for the short-term and has almost made me not enjoy my kiddies as much. :( So, I've been looking for something else and praying to God for wisdom. So when I read the description of the book at the library and it says it's "the classic guide to helping children develop self-discipline, responsibility, cooperation and problem-solving skills", I figured, what's not to like, right? So i checked it out :) Plus, those qualities are truly some of the things that Kev and I want for our kids - we want them to grow up to be responsible, conscientious adults who love God, love others and love themselves. [We've been talking about some goals we want for our kids lately, anyways - what a coincidence!]

Though I've only read 2 chapters, I've already learned so much and gotten many insights - it's very encouraging! I've also implemented some new discipline strategies and it's really resonated with the kiddies, too - how exciting! :) Anyhow, I'm curious if anyone else had read this before and, if so, had any feedback for me. I will do my best to update you guys on what I've learned when I have more time to digest it. But looking forward to hearing from you! :)

What this preggo mama really loves.... my new handvac. :) Yes, my hubby loves me and he ordered me the Bissell Featherweight Lightweight Vacuum a few weeks ago. Hehe! Not having to bend down very much but still have a clean, crumbless floor for a few hours everyday is such a wonderful thing. Even the kids have really taken to it and are fighting for the chance to use it - and of course, I let them! :) Anyhow, just wanted to put in my plug for it.

I'm also really loving the Belli line of skincare for preggo and nursing mamas (though I like it so much that I want to use it afterwards as well!). I found it while I was searching for something that has a refreshingly light scent that will also quell my itchy preggo belly. With every pregnancy, as soon as I hit the 3rd trimester, my belly starts to itch. [Sorry if this is too much info!] But anyhow, in the past, cocoa butter made me a bit nauseous and my DHC Virgin Olive Oil was a bit too pricey to rub all over my belly. So, I went online and happened upon this line. It's supposed to be super safe for baby and mommy and the belly oil and lotion really did the trick! It is a bit pricey but they were having a major sale a while back that I thankfully caught. :) [I think it's on sale at right now.] I'm also taking my flaxseed oil and dandelion root capsules to hopefully quell the itchiness from within and reduce any swelling - we'll see what happens! So far so good, though!

And lastly, these 2 sites have been a godsend: Safe Mama and ZRecommends. The mamas behind these sites do lots of reviews and investigation on what's safe and what's not for families with young children. For example, they were way ahead on the whole BPA issue and Safe Mama came out with a 'cheat sheet' of which bottles and sippies were BPA-free, which was so helpful. And they are not alarmists but do good research on what they report, which is refreshing. :) Anyhow, check them out!

Alrighty, happy reading (and surfing)!