Water Bottles


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My Jacquelyn does everything to the beat of her own drum. She is breastfed and has never really taken to a bottle. I would say before the last month or so she had only ever had a bottle about three times her entire life. She just refused them and that was fine with me because I cherished (still do) our nursing time.

Then during the holidays my brother and his family came to stay with us. Jax took interest in my youngest nephew, particularly because he had a bottle. She swiped it right from his hands and helped herself to the goodness within.

Since then, my goofy girl likes to drink her water out of a bottle, juice out of a cup, but water from a bottle. I know at 19-months, she is too old for a bottle and she doesn’t do it often enough to damage her pallet and teeth, so for now I will indulge her.

Her silly idiosyncrasies put a smile on my face.

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She had to have the pink bottle to match her pink princess jammies, of course.

Obsession


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I am besotted with this baby. I cherish this cherub. I absolutely LOVE this little lady. I’m infatuated with this infant…..well, now I’m getting carried away with the alliteration, that and the fact that she’s no longer an infant, but a full fledged toddler.

Seriously, I can’t get enough of this nugget. She’s delightful and delicious. I’d probably stalk her if she wasn’t already stalking me, following my every step. She’s my shadow and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sometimes if she naps for a long time, I start to miss her and I want to go in and wake her up just so I can see her smile. Instead I just snuggle in and join her…and wind up waking her up anyways.

Call me obsessed.

Call me addicted.

Call me a mommy.

Not Losing Any Sleep


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While I was pregnant and when Jax first came home there were two things I was adamant about:

1. Breastfeeding – I wanted to
2. Co-sleeping – I NEVER wanted to

At almost 16 months Jax is an avid booby lover and, well…she is a mommy/daddy bed invader as well. And honestly, I love having her sleep with us, so I am glad I broke my word to myself on that one.

When I tell some folks that we co-sleep with Jax I get the “look.” I’m sure some of you are making it as you read this…am I right? I’m sure I am, and that is ok with me. Co-sleeping isn’t for everybody, but it works for us.

We didn’t start bringing Jax to our bed until she was about 6 or 7 months old. Before then she slept in a Nap Nanny (yes, I know they have been recalled) nested in a cradle wedged up against our bed. I slept right at the edge of the bed only inches from her. She slept through the night early on, I’m talking at 5 weeks old she was sleeping 8-10 hours straight. It was bliss.

Then around 5 months she started waking up in the wee hours of the morning. Every night. I would reach out and rock her and she’d bellow to be picked up. So I did. And I took her out to the living room half awake and freezing and nursed her until she was ready to go back to sleep. Then I’d put her back in her cradle and she’d sleep another hour and we’d do it all over again.

She had spoiled me early on with a full night’s sleep and then suddenly at almost half a year. I was grumpy, short-tempered and exhausted. This carried on for a month or so. I tried feeding her oatmeal so she’d have a full belly while she slept. We gave her warm baths at bedtime. Nothing worked. She always woke up like clockwork between 2 a.m. – 3 a.m.  I felt like a brand new mommy hovering on the brink of sleep-deprived insanity.

One early morning when she woke up, my husband sensed my anguish and suggested I just put her in bed with us.

NO WAY! What if I rolled over on her? What if she fell off the bed? What if she got smothered in our bulky comforter? What if she got used to it and sleeps with us until she leaves for college?

But as I made my way with her in my arms down our cold, dark hallway I changed my mind, got back in bed and nestled Jax alongside me, she latched on for about 2 minutes then immediately fell asleep. And she stayed asleep until 10 a.m. It was bliss all over again.

Now here we are 10 months later and she has been in our bed every night since. Knowing that she is safe and warm and breathing and content next to me is an unbeatable feeling. Never have I rolled over on her. Never has she fallen off. Maybe she will sleep with us until her prom night, but I doubt it.

Right now I don’t care.

I love crawling into bed with her. She keeps my side of the bed nice and warm and as soon as she feels me she melts into me. There is no better way to fall asleep then with the two people you love most in the world pressed against you. I won’t have that forever. She’ll grow up and want her own space and I’ll ache for her closeness.

Surprisingly my husband likes her in our bed too. I think he likes it even more than me. He suggested it many times before I finally, desperately gave in.  Sometimes when he thinks I’m sleeping and Jax has found her way between us, I catch him gazing down at her with such adoration it brings tears to my eyes. I’ll see him holding her tiny hand, looking so content and wistful, overjoyed with pride at his little human masterpiece. Very sweet.

We all sleep better…together. Warm and content.

Sure there are restless nights. Times when I wake up with a foot jabbing my neck or a head burrowing into my back. Sometimes all she wants to do is nurse and I have to sleep on my side to allow access, making me feel like an open bar, milk on tap all through the night. That usually only happens when she’s teething or feeling under the weather and I am happy to oblige if it brings her comfort.

Yes, I know I probably overindulge my child, but she is thriving with our parenting choices and that is all that matters to us.

So yeah, I know the look all too well when I tell people I co-sleep. Often it’s followed up with one or more of the following statements/questions:

“Co-sleeping is dangerous.”

“How do you and your husband have sex?”

“You’ll never get her out of your bed if you don’t stop now.”

“You should never share your bed with your babies.”

“Aren’t you afraid you’re going to hurt her?”

And my answer is:

“If we’re not losing sleep, why should you? Don’t worry about it!”

It’s Potty Time


She’s not quite 16 months old but we’re going to give potty training a try. Jax seems more than ready and wants so badly to be a big girl and do everything herself. She is very interested when mommy is on the potty, tries to inspect what’s going on and is very inquisitive. She also pulls at her diaper when she’s wet and gives us plenty of signals when she’s relieving herself. So we’re giving it a go.

I’ve read some parents start as early as 6 months and have their child diaper-free at a year. WOW! That is aggressive. We’re not going to push it or rush it, we’ll take it one step at a time at her pace. I bought a potty last night and she’s so excited. It sings and lights up and she already loves to sit on it.

Right now her potty is in the living room so she can get used to it and not be afraid of it. We’ll move it to the bathroom over the weekend. My plan is to set her on the potty without a diaper every time I go to the bathroom and whenever she makes her poop faces.

I don’t have any goals or expectations on when she should be diaper-free, we’re just testing the waters (pun intended).

Wish us luck!

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Happy Mail


ImageMom Mail Exchange. Have you heard of it? Are you already participating? If you haven’t, and you’re not, then you definitely want to read on.

Remember when you were a kid and getting a piece of mail with your name on it was the most exciting thing…ever? And now as an adult checking the mail isn’t so fun because it’s usually only bills, bills, junk and bills?

Well, Mom Mail Exchange guarantees you at least one day of fun mail every month — Hooray!

MME pairs up mommies with other mommies to share their favorite items with each other. You get a smattering of goodies and a new friend every month. Then the next month you get assigned a new mommy to exchange with. The only rule is that you don’t spend more than $30 (including shipping) per month, so it’s fun and affordable too! Read more about MME here.

Cool, huh? Such a genius idea. I wish it was mine.

There is still time to get paired up with a mom for November. The deadline to sign up is October 28. You’ll get your partner by November 1 and then you take it from there!

October was my first month participating and it was so fun picking out fun items for my assigned mommy partner, Julie from The Blog Dalia. It was such a joy to get to “know” her via email and open up the package of goodies she thoughtfully picked for me. LOVED it all. I’m definitely keeping in touch with her even though our October exchange is over.

All mommies in the USA and Canada are welcomed to participate. I’m so looking forward to getting partnered up again in November! Hurry up and get your name in, I mean, come on, who doesn’t need a new friend and who wouldn’t want a monthly box of surprises?

Click here to email Ursula at MME and get registered for November. Or copy her email addy here: mommailexchange@gmail.com. And don’t forget to follow MME on Instagram for reminders and giveaways!

Happy mailing!

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My awesome Mom Mail from my new friend. Thanks Miss Julie!