Monday, July 28, 2008

So okay...Musical Mommy was taken

The last thing I want to do is draw attention away from my husband's wonderful blog, The Musical Daddy. I also find it pretty funny that he's the one working on the math degree yet *I* get stuck with "logic" in my blog title. For those of you who are readers of the above-mentioned blog, you'll find that my blogging style is similar. In fact, the last entry was written by me. I wrote a review of gDiapers.

A bit about me, and my family, for those who are new readers or would like to hear more about us: Musical Daddy and I are both public school music teachers, and The Boy is almost 11 months old. Musical Daddy spent last schoolyear at home tending to The Boy while I went to work. His blog was originally created to chronicle the life of the stay-at-home dad.

The major disclaimer that I will write is that, for the sake of this blog actually being useful, it does get a little personal. Certainly not TOO personal, and without branching into the "inappropriate." I intend to keep the language clean, and since much of this blog will be devoted to discussions about the raising of children, it should be fine fare for anyone who is interested in these topics. So with that in mind...

I am a nursing, cloth-diapering, part-time co-sleeping, sling-wearing, baby-led solids encouraging mama. And when I put it like that, I sound like a raging hippie. I'll admit that my perspective has changed somewhat since having The Boy, but most of the choices that we have made as parents have evolved from our day-to-day actions. As in, they are "logical" choices. Hence, The Logical Mommy.

There was no "choice" involved in nursing The Boy; it was what I had to do. No question, no debate, no discussion. Even when it turned out that I'd be going back to work, I bought one of these and committed myself to, at least, 6 months of exclusive mama milk for The Boy. And then at around 3 or 4 months, I figured out that there was no need to stop before 1 year or even 2 years.

With the cloth diapers, there didn't seem to be any other option either. The Boy kept on getting these nasty rashes from disposables. I wasn't thrilled with the amount of garbage that we were producing as a result of him being in disposable diapers either. Thankfully, through the magic of the internet, we discovered that cloth diapering didn't have to be done with pins and rubber pants, even though we did start with those for a few days.

In our cloth diaper stash (you can skip this paragraph if you don't care), we have primarily bumGenius 2.0 OneSize pocket diapers (they have since upgraded!). They are fantastic! We also have HuggaBuns pocket diapers in a size medium and 1 Happy Heinys pocket diaper (yes, that's really what it is called). The pocket diaper goes on the baby like a disposable would, with snaps or velcro to hold it together. It has the waterproof cover on the outside and fleece of some sort that touches baby's skin. There is a pocket to put absorbent inserts. The All-In-One diaper is similar except that everything is put together. I find that it takes longer to dry. We have fitted diapers with matching covers from BluePenguin and a few from EcoBaby that I picked up on FreeCycle. Fitted diapers also go on like disposables but do require a cover. And we also have good old fashioned prefolds, which are pretty much the only cloth diaper that can be purchased in the big stores around here. For those, we have Bummis covers, mostly the Super Whisper Wrap. We have a Thirsties cover as well.

The co-sleeping came about because The Boy started sleeping through the night on his own at 2.5 months--actually, the same night that he was first cloth-diapered--but then changed his mind a few weeks later. He had stopped waking up to nurse, but then decided to phase night feedings right back in. First a 3:00 AM feeding returned, and sometimes Musical Daddy would bring him into our bed for me to feed him...but then none of us would stay awake for him to finish the feedings. Then he tried a 12:00 AM feeding instead. Usually for that one I'd go in to feed him and then put him back to bed. But then both feedings returned sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And he phased himself into our bed, nursing to his heart's content. Everyone got more sleep with the baby in our bed.

An added benefit was that he started to want more milk at night from me than he did during the day from bottles, which made pumping easier. This isn't uncommon, apparently, for babies to reverse-cycle and nurse more at night even though they will still sleep between feedings.

Sling-wearing: we got the NoJo Baby Sling as a hand-me-down from Musical Daddy's brother's family. We didn't use it when The Boy was very little but when he was 3 or 4 months old, we started to experiment with it. He is often carried in the sling during shopping expeditions. He will ride in the cart for awhile, but it's just so much easier to carry him close. He doesn't fuss. Sometimes he even falls asleep. The sling allows for constant snuggles while allowing for freedom of movement for parents.

Baby-led solids (baby-led weaning): one of the best decisions that we ever made. No question. And also one of the laziest, but in a good way. Baby-led weaning is based on the theory that babies will eat what they want when they are ready to do so. As they become more familiar with food, they will take less milk via nursing. The key is that the parents offer the food but the child has to pick it up and try it. Which is impossible with puréed carrots. Starting with soft foods--veggies and fruits--that are made into sticks and trees, babies as young as 6 months can start to eat at the table with the family. Much younger than that, and they might not have the ability to get the food into their mouths and may not have lost the tongue-thrust reflex that keeps food out of their mouths until their bodies are ready to process food other than milk.

That's the long rundown of how we do things around here. If you've read this far, GREAT! If you cheated and skipped to this paragraph, that's okay. I won't know.

Last month, The Boy was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor, which is in the kidneys. He had his entire left kidney removed and is going to have a chunk of the right one removed soon. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy. Musical Daddy has done a remarkable job of chronicling this whole experience. Read the post about the origins of The Boy's condition right here.

Thing is, for 5 days a week, everything is pretty routine for The Boy. He does the normal things that any 11-month-old does. And even for the other two days--the day of chemotherapy, that night, and the day after--he's still pretty much himself and we're the ones with the issues. All things considered, we're not doing too badly. It's been great having such an outpouring of support from family and friends, and it makes it so much easier to look at The Boy and his handsome smiling face.

That's about it...after spending an hour writing, interrupted by the sounds of The Boy who is asleep in his crib (a quick feeding and he was back in slumberland), I think I've covered "the basics" of our family and this blog.

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