Category: Parenting

WBW: My view

My View [while nursing] | oliverandtara.com

When nursing, your view is sometimes pretty limited. Since learning how to breastfeed Liam in the baby carrier (read: STEEP learning curve) my view has improved. But with a bad back, sometimes I just need to sit and rest myself. Here are some of my views …

My view at home
My view at home

99% of the time, when I nurse at home, I am sitting in my chair. My beloved chair was a gift from my Mother-in-law when we announced our pregnancy. I spent a LOT of time picking it out, and it is my FAVORITE place to sit. Sometimes I have to remember that I can sit OTHER places when I’m not nursing! We set it in the living room at the condo, so we are a part of everything while nursing. This is important to me. No one should have to eat “alone” – including Liam!

The view in Colorado
The view in Colorado

When we move to Colorado, we will spend a couple of months at my parents’ house while we place offers on homes. We went out to visit for Mother’s Day/Memorial Day and this was my view while nursing. Ohemwow – I could get VERY used to this! It is very special early in the morning, when it is just the two of us. I can sit, nurse and praise the Lord for all our blessings … most specifically, Liam. 

This past weekend we took Liam to the aquarium for the first time. To say I got teary eyed watching him in awe is an understatement. But the best part was when he got hungry. Oliver led us to the “Open Ocean” exhibit to grab a bench. I think this is one of the BEST views I’ve ever had while nursing!

 

❤ Tara

 

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WBW: A Day of Nursing

A Day of Nursing | oliverandtara.com

Today, for World Breastfeeding Week, I documented my nursing relationship with Liam. I can’t really capture all of the warm fuzzies, but I can show you how *our* day looks. Everyone’s nursing relationship with their child is different. It’s different because you are unique, and your child is/will be unique. I am writing this to give you an example of what it *might* look like to nurse your 6 month old. But please, don’t compare your breastfeeding relationship to mine. Compare it to nothing, because nothing compares. It is your special relationship, love every minute of it! Accept that trials, successes, frustrations and celebrations. Sit back, enjoy and watch your body do something miraculous!

Our Day [today]

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4am – swaddled in the dark!
Liam wakes up partially around 4 or 5 every morning. He isn’t fully awake yet, really just hungry. The rule in our home is no eye contact! Scoop him up, place him in bed. He eats for about 10-20 minutes and then falls asleep in bed with us

 

Once he is in bed, each wake-up is quick and easy. It took some time for me to master breastfeeding without switching sides. Liam always stays on the same side, and I contort to feed him from both sides. This morning we had three of these feeds before he was up and ready to take on the day. IMG_20130803_235910
6:30 am, 7:15 am and 7:45 am

 

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9:45 am
After our morning routine, and some play time, Liam starts to get hungry again. He usually isn’t ready for a nap yet – just thirsty from all the activity!

 

The morning nap feed is one of his longest all day. During this feed he usually falls asleep for his 2 hour nap. This usually hits 2-3 hours after he is out of bed in the morning. Today he ate for a whopping 45 minutes! (at one point I may have moo’d…. just saying… ) IMG_20130804_101400
10:30 am

 

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3:15 pm
The afternoon he is actually pretty sparse in his “snacks”. He began to show signs of hunger (read: hitting head against boob) while we were out running errands. I didn’t have a cover with me, but I did have him in my Tula. So I just left him in there to snack! In less than 5 minutes he was done and wanted to go back to smiling at the other shoppers!

 

While walking around the complex, we got hungry again. So I sat on a bench to give him a snack. He popped on and off a few times, mesmerized by the trees above the bench. IMG_20130805_111926
5:30

 

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6:30 pm, 7 pm, 7:30 pm, 9 pm
The evenings are usually full of short “snacking” around playing and other excitement. Tonight he munched 4x before his bedtime feed – none lasting more than 10 minutes!

 

His last meal of the night is as he nurses to sleep. This one, much like his morning nap, is a long one. I usually put on a TV show to watch while he eats, since I am stuck sitting for quite some time. His milk coma always makes me giggle! Goodnight sweetheart! See you in 6-8 hours! IMG_20130803_235636
10pm

 

I really enjoyed documenting our day today – I had no idea he nurses THAT much. I mean, I knew it was a lot. But WOW! I guess it takes a lot of calories to keep up those cheeks *smile*

I also didn’t realize how efficient he has gotten at eating. As a newborn he ate at least 30 minutes – 1 hour at each feeding. I thought I was stuck in my chair forever. Now it sometimes feels like he is simply going through the Breastfeeding Drive-Thru! Snack and go. My favorite times are those long feeds now. The ones where I can just smile at him as he drinks and sleeps.

What does your breastfeeding day look like?

❤ Tara

 

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Fear Is A Thought…

Fear is a thought | http://www.oliverandtara.com/fear-is-a-thought/

A friend liked this on fb today, so it popped up into my feed. And stopped me dead in my tracks. And trust me, that’s impressive. Because I’m moving FAST today trying to get things done! Why did it stop me?

Fear stole so much from me. Joy. Opportunities. Hope. Options. Learning to deal with it has opened so many doors. A private practice. Patience. A big move. Hope. Joy. Liam!

For the longest time, my fear was never having a child… infertility planted the seed of fear for me. Not but I’m not ashamed any longer! And I’m learning every day how to deal with my fearful thoughts! Oh, none of this is EVER easy… my gosh, overcoming fear is harder for me than figuring out how to be a mom has been! It’s an uphill battle against my sinful heart and flesh. What’s hardest is its sneaky…. it gets into your head and heart when you aren’t looking and all of the sudden you are drowning in it!

What do you fear? Sometimes just making it public helps release some of it. I promise not to laugh.

❤ Tara

A Mom’s Body

*This is a (slightly edited) fb status message I posted late last night regarding THIS article – please read it first!*

I love the comment about surrendering your body to motherhood… that is it EXACTLY! Not only in shape and size. You GROW a child. You are at your body’s beck and call while that blessing develops inside of you. Then you BIRTH a baby. No matter how it happens, that child then comes out of you and that leaves behind its mark. Now you have this beautiful being who needs you at their beck and call for comfort, food, development….

Why can’t we see that this surrender makes our bodies BETTER than ever. We waited for so long for Liam, yet there are some days where I hate my “tiger stripes”. But I am happy to say they are few and far between. More often than naught I can look at myself in the mirror and say “I GREW A FREAKIN’ BABY – THAT’S AWESOME!” But men, listen up. A big reason that I am able to do that is because of my husband. He is constantly telling me (and proving to me) that I am hotter now than ever – because I grew, birthed, feed and care for our beautiful baby with this body.

My body is no longer my own. And I am learning to find joy in that.

❤ Tara

[And mamas in waiting, use this time to prepare. Prepare to let go, prepare your mind and heart. Because, although you will never be fully prepared, your future babies need you to be happy with who you are and how you look. It’s how your daughters will learn to take pride in the body God gave them instead of the one the media tells them they should have. And it’s how your sons learn to value a woman’s heart and see that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. And adoptive mamas/aunts/etc … your attitude towards your body is just as important. And those littles need your hugs, laps and kisses just as much!]

Parenting Crazies

The Parenting Crazies – it’s those words and/or actions we do for the good of our child. Ok, sometimes it’s simply for the good of our sanity. But if you think about it, our kids fair MUCH better when we are sane. So all in all, it’s really for them.

I’ve had many of these moments in Liam’s short life. The things I’ve said and done to keep him happy, out of pain, calm… to keep myself sane, calm, persevering … oh there are too many to count. But the other night was a real doosey.

If you’re my “friend” on facebook, you may have noticed a recent post in which I made it publicly known that I’m at a crisis point with Liam and his car seat. He really hates the car seat, to epic proportions. Not just fussing, crying, general crankiness. I mean turning purple, gurgling, screaming till he has no voice, HATES it. And quite frankly, it’s killing my sanity. I dread every time I put him in the car. Thursday, as I left the office to go meet my mom for dinner, he screamed the whole 20 minute car ride. I called my hubby to have him distract me because I seriously was ready to pull over and walk the rest of the way.

Here is where the parenting crazies moment kicks in…

I walked home from dinner. No joke. It took me so long to settle him down in the restaurant that I just couldn’t stomach putting him back in the car seat. Granted, we were only a mile from home, but I totally left my car there. I just could NOT do it, I’d reached my limit.

What’s really hilarious? I took this photo on the way home…

 

All smiles now!

You’d have no idea this child had just been ballistic a half hour earlier. I guess he was just reassuring me that it was a good choice to walk home.*wry smile* This is a clear example of what you see on facebook isn’t always the WHOLE story…

So, tell me about your “parent crazies” moment … 

♥ Tara

6 week change

Liam is 6 weeks old now, and so much has already changed. Of course he looks different and has learned so many new skills. But life is demanding I return to the “real world” as well. There are things demanding my attention, so I have to begin the struggle every mom hits – balancing life. Our typical morning routine is:

  • Liam chatters and fusses in his swing for about an hour
  • Daddy then gets up and changes his diaper
  • I feed him for about 45 minutes while doing my bible study
  • Mommy changes the next diaper
  • Mommy and Liam have story time and singing time
  • Liam takes a nap on mommy’s lap or against her chest

This morning I had a few things to do and actully had the energy to get them done. So I set Liam down in his swing for about 10 minutes. When I came back, he’d slipped into his morning nap and was dozing pecefuly. This may sound like freedom – he’s happily asleep and I’m free to move around! But actually, it was sad. I adore his morning naps on me! But I also know they have to become fewer as I prepare to begin seeing clients again.

And it breaks my heart.

<3 Tara

He’s Arrived!

Liam John MacKinnon Roehl arrived at 12:57pm on January 14th. Daddy and mommy were both able to be in the OR together, holding hands and awaiting his arrival. He was a true breech, feet clear over his head and butt first. As our amazing OB brought him into the world we heard shocked phrases such as “wow! What a big baby!”. Later he was weighed in at 9lbs 7 ounces at just 20″ long. Shortly thereafter he demonstrated amazing lung capacity, again shocking everyone in the OR. Daddy was able to stay near him while they wiped him off and swaddled him. A nurse brougt him over to mommy to see. The anesthesiologist took him from the nurses arms and placed him on mommy’s chest, allowing her to stroke his cheek and say hi before they took him away.

It wasn’t our dream delivery, but it is the child we have always dreamed of. And THAT is what matters. He is a great eater, very alert, and clearly knows mommy’s voice and daddy’s touch. He sleeps in 2-4 hour stretches right now, giving mommy time to recover and daddy time to acclimate.

We are so VERY in love!

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<_3 tara="tara" and="and" oliver="oliver" p="p">P.S. full birth story coming at a later date… God orchestrated so many events and His hand was clearly on our little man. We felt your prayers and thank you for covering us. It’sbeen an amazing 24 hours! And Tara’s heart performed perfectly!

Beautiful Bums

We are planning to do cloth diapering on Squishy’s adorable bum after he comes out into the world. We have the supplies, have taken mini-lessons from a friend who successfully did it and YouTube has been quite the best-friend as we embark on this adventure. Oliver installed the “sprayer” on the toilet the other day, all of the diapers have gone through the laundry, and today I made the leap into organizing my cloth wipes. This video was my inspiration …

 

So I sat this evening and tried her technique out. Wicked fast to get them all folded up and into the containers! We’ve inherited two containers and have filled both, with some extra to go in the diaper bag!

Cloth wipes with easy access!
Cloth wipes with easy access!

 

We also made a “solution” to moisten the wipes. We’ve done quite a bit of reading on this, and looked through sites (like this one) just full of recipes. An interesting thing we discovered is that, for baby boys, one should NOT use tea tree oil or lavender oil. Now, the research isn’t exactly sound .. but there is a plausible connection between them and weak estrogenic and antiandrogenic activities. We decided to just not mess with it, and looked up some alternatives that also have antibacterial properties. The recipe we’re trying first is:

  • 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dr Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap [Baby Mild]
  • 3 drops essential oil (we’re going with lemon)
  • 1 cup water

We put it in a nice squirt bottle (apparently spray bottles take too long to soak the wipe) and we’re ready to give it a go!

… well, once we have a baby’s bum to try it out on!

<3 Tara and Oliver

Daring Greatly: The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto

Oliver had this book recommended to him recently, and just started reading it this morning. I’m excited to get my hands on this book, as all day long I have heard “oh my gosh!” and “of course!” and “wow!” coming from him as he stares into his tablet or phone (he’s reading it on his kindle app). A few times he has handed it to me and asked me to read a certain section so we can talking about it. Once such section was the “Parenting Manifesto”. I really like what it has to say. Now don’t get me wrong, I in no way think it will be easy to do any of this or think every one of you agree with it. So don’t feel you have to debate me *smile* It’s just something I think everyone should read and consider. So… consider away! (and click the book cover to read more about the book itself on amazon!)

 

Download the PDF of this at http://www.brenebrown.com
Click the image to download the PDF of this. More available at: http://www.brenebrown.com

 

<3 Tara and Oliver