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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pasta with Sausage and Cannelini Beans Recipe

Last week, I threw together a delicious pasta dish that blended cannelini beans, diced tomatoes, and sausage with pasta. It was simple and yummy, so I decided to make it into a printable recipe card for you. You can use any type of sausage and really any type of white or red bean. It's one of those recipes that takes almost no time to make, and it makes tons and tons of leftovers. The trick to making it tasty and not dry is to add in some of the cooking water from the pasta at the end.

Cook the pasta, then throw everything together.
Lots of nutrients packed into a simple pasta dish.
Dump in some cheese, because that makes everything delicious.
Enjoy. Yum.
Click on the image below to print your own recipe card for Pasta with Sausage and Beans.

For more delicious recipes, check out:
Mandy’s Recipe BoxTasty TuesdaysDelicious Dishes Blog PartyNap-Time Creations

Monday, January 30, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: Off the Wagon Again

Last week was not the best for my menu plan. But I didn't go to the store either, so I didn't spend any money on groceries.We had an incident with my car pouring smoke out of the hood, which would have ruined dinner on Monday if I hadn't prepared it earlier in the day. Big T was working late most of the week, so I didn't have to worry about providing dinner for him. And we had a birthday party to go to on Saturday, which meant I didn't really need to plan dinner for that day either. So I planned out Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and forgot about the rest of the week. Oops.

The Plan:
Monday: Cheesy chicken and rice bake
Tuesday: Split pea soup with bacon
Wednesday: Bacon quesadillas

The Reality:
Monday: Chicken and rice ranch casserole
Tuesday: Chik Fil-A
Wednesday: Split pea soup with bacon
Thursday: Apple with peanut butter
Friday: Eat at the in-laws'
Saturday: Pizza


The Method (not that there was much of one this week):
Monday: I started dinner early today, since the kids were with me all day. I knew I didn't want to be rushing toward the end of the day. (It was a good thing, too, since my afternoon ended up crazy and rushed when my car broke down.) In the morning, I cooked 2 chicken breasts by spreading mayo on them, then cutting an onion into rings and laying that on top of the chicken. I then baked them in a 365 degree oven for about 45 minutes. They ended up soooo moist and juicy. I reserved the liquid that had seeped out of the breasts for my casserole. While the chicken cooked, I made some Lundburg Wehani rice (my new favorite). To make the casserole, I diced the chicken and mixed it with the rice, the cauliflower I had cooked up last week, and frozen soybeans. I poured this mixture into a casserole dish. I mixed half a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing with the liquid left over from cooking the chicken and poured it over the casserole. At dinnertime, I had planned on baking the casserole in the oven to heat it through, but since all the ingredients were pre-cooked, I ended up microwaving separate portions. This was a delicious casserole. The leftovers were even better, and I'll definitely make it again.
Tuesday: Since I had to take my car to the shop today, I had to drive Big T to work. This meant I had to pick him up in the evening, too. Since I knew the kids would be getting home late because of this, we had to eat dinner out on the road, somewhere between picking up Baby T from daycare and picking up Big T from work. We ended up at Chik Fil-A, where Little M ate 4 entire chicken nuggets, and Baby T picked at one and ate some fruit while trying to stay as far away as possible from the clown that was there for kid's night.
Wednesday: I had gotten a bag of split peas the week before, and wanted to try my hand at split pea soup. I used a veggie broth I had cooked in my crock pot the night before, and threw that in with some bacon, sauteed onions, split peas, potatoes and thyme in the crock pot for 6 hours on low. At the end of the day, I pureed the soup (in tiny batches in my knock-off Magic Bullet, ugh). I threw some shredded cheese in at the end. It was better when eaten off the end of the bread I dipped in it than eaten off a spoon. I realized I don't love split pea soup, although it probably would have been tastier with some carrots and celery thrown in. I'm going to try to work it into a pasta and sausage casserole next week. Stay tuned.
Thursday: This was one of those days that I didn't have a menu planned. I was going to eat leftover soup, but I ended up eating the crusts off of Baby T's peanut butter sandwich and had an apple with peanut butter.
Saturday: Party. And pizza. Yum.

For more meal planning obsessiveness inspiration, check out orgjunkie.com!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Surf: A Little Reminder

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI'm joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!
For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.
Happy Surfing!

This week, I didn't really read that much. I don't know where I was, but I wasn't on the computer all that often. That's probably a good thing. I'm going to be on the computer even less this coming week. Remember how I told you how one of my New Year's Resolutions was to promote my business and make more art? Well, it's more than that. It's about really establishing Tmuffin's identity.

Tmuffin is getting reinspired. It's kind of like how I got reinspired as a mama. When Baby T was born, I read everything I could about sleep, gentle discipline, baby-led weaning...and I lost my motherly instinct. I lost who I was as a mama. And I've been a little addicted to the internet lately, which inspires me, but also makes me lose some of the natural inspiration that bubbles up inside of me and makes Tmuffin what it is.

So I'm not going to be around as much this week as I reinspire my inspiration. I've lined up my posts, but I might not be commenting as much. I just need to look inside myself for a little while.

But I'll leave you with some of my inspiration from last week:

Recipes
Homemade Oreos - I was totally craving oreos the other day. Big T found a recipe for a shot called an Oreo that included Bailey's, Kahlua, Creme de Cacao and Vodka. That wasn't going to cut it. I needed the crunchy, creamy, real thing. So off I went to Google, and I found this recipe. Strange thing is, I had totally found this recipe before. This must not have been the first time I had searched for homemade Oreos. But it was the first time I made them. They were pretty simple to make, and totally satisfied the craving. They were even better with milk.

Kids and Parenting
CDC Researchers Say Mothers Should Stop Breastfeeding in Order to Boost Efficacy of Vaccines - This startling article describes how CDC researchers have found the antibodies in breastmilk to inhibit the effectiveness of the rotavirus vaccine in infants. This is yet another example of science and medicine working to resolve a symptom, not to find a cure. Perhaps if we worked on boosting our own immunity and health more naturally, there would be less of a need for vaccines overall. (I know, I know people... that will never happen. But in my utopia, it is a possibility).

Toddlers: Teens in the Making - This really hit home for me. I've been struggling to get Baby T to sleep since he quasi-gave up the crib, and thoughts have gone through my head like, I don't care how hard you cry, or if only I believed in spanking. I always said I would listen to my kids and let them communicate with me and respond to them on a case-by-case basis, as humans, not with the overarching "because I'm the parent." And when I'm in my whiny moments, I forget that Baby T is human, too. He has his own concerns, fears, and comforts. As in our life before kids and our life aside from kids we can lose ourselves from time to time, it's nice to have these little reminders.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Whiny

I've been complaining a lot lately. Mostly about sleep. And I realized that if I were to actually listen to myself, I would probably roll my eyes at myself. My situation is pretty great. My kids go to bed at 7 P.M. There is some hemming and hawing, but they are asleep by 8. They still usually nap. Hell, Baby T is in daycare all day three days a week. I can sleep when Little M sleeps if I want to. I have time to get things done for myself, even if I choose not to.

Then I realized that if I were to listen to someone else complain this way, I might roll my eyes at them. Inwardly, of course. So I'm sorry I've been complaining about a pretty great life.

But as parents, most of us have one thing. The thing we don't waver on. The thing we do unfailingly no matter what. I posted a little about my thing the other day. For me, that thing is breastfeeding. I knew I was going to breastfeed my kids. I never minded being stuck to the couch for 40 minutes at a time, every hour on the hour. I never considered the fact that sometimes only I could soothe my crying child a hindrance. It never bothered me that it was me getting up with the baby at night or me doing bedtime because it was just the way it turned out, since I was the one nursing. You see, for me, breastfeeding was never challenging, because I knew that I would do it no matter how challenging it actually was, so I took away the drama.

Sleep, on the other hand, was a different story. I didn't know what to expect, so I didn't have any expectations. I tend to agree with attachment parenting ideals, but I also turn into a total freak if I'm sleep-deprived and exhausted. I always said I wouldn't support the cry-it-out mentality, but it wasn't my thing. So when it comes to sleep, it is all about drama. It is such a challenge. I've succumbed to letting my kids cry in their cribs at one point or another when the only other option would have been throwing them out the window.

After my kids turned one, I found dealing with bedtimes and nighttime wakeups annoying, even infuriating at times. I recently had a friend tell me that it's so much harder for her to hear her 13-month-old daughter cry for any amount of time in her crib now than it was when her daughter was just a baby. I felt the opposite way. I feel like babies don't have any way of communicating and don't understand why no one is responding to their needs if you let them cry, but when my toddler screams from his crib, "Mom! I need you!" it doesn't break my heart; it only sounds like manipulative whining to me.

So when Baby T changed from that kid who asks to go to bed, lies down, pulls up the blankets, says goodnight and sleeps through the night to that kid who climbs out of his crib, appears next to the bed at midnight sucking on his paci Maggie-Simpson-style, and wakes up at 4 A.M. turning all the lights on, it was practically an earth-shattering event in my house.

But it's all about perspective. I keep asking my sister how she managed it with two kids in a New York apartment. Her kids share a room. Her kids have shared a room since her second child was about three months old. When I ask my sister how she did it,she just shrugs her shoulders and says that it just worked out. But sleep is her thing out of necessity. She didn't have another place to put her second child. She always knew her kids would share a room, and there wasn't another option. She never complained about one waking the other up or the challenges that come about from a baby sharing a room with his three-year-old brother.

And I realized...the way to release the drama from motherhood is to make everything your thing. To do that, you must:
  • Get rid of all expectations
  • Live in the moment
  • Address each action as it occurs; don't expect it to happen again, but don't expect it to never happen again either.
  • Don't obsessively picture what your future will be like if you act a certain way today. 
  • Remember: tomorrow is another day.
  • Imagine the moment you first held your child in your arms.
  • Imagine the moment your child will grow taller than you, leave for college, or get married.
  • Have a beer, relax with friends, and get some sleep now and then.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Support with Integrity: Judgment Day




This post was written as part of the weekly Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Slacker Mom and cohosted by The Gnome’s Mom and Happiness Redefined. Visit the links below and link up your own story or leave a comment!


Last week's theme was reverse cycling. This week, we're talking about support with integrity: supporting breastfeeding women no matter how they do it, how often, where, with what tools, etc. In fact, you can go sign the pledge saying you will support with integrity too. I signed it. It's important to be unified when it comes to mothering. There can be so many different aspects to parenting, but at the end of the day, we're all doing the same thing, trying to do the best for our kids, and facing similar challenges and triumphs.

Honestly, I'm having trouble writing this post, though, because I have been judgmental when it comes to breastfeeding. I do believe that breastmilk is better than formula, and I believe every baby deserves the right to receive that nutrient-rich colostrum at birth or the antibody-fortified milk that's made especially for them as they grow.

I try to be open minded about ideas that don't fit with what I prefer or believe. I don't want to be judgmental when it comes to parenting matters. In my birth classes, when a woman looks at me earnestly and tells me that she fears she won't be able to have a natural birth, I urge her to do what is best for her. When a friend tells me she eventually let her baby cry it out because she was unable to function due to her exhaustion, I tell her not to feel guilty, because that's what was best for her at the time. When an acquaintance explains that she switched to formula at six months because she needed to have some space, get some sleep, and let someone else feed the baby, I ...

See, right here is where I cringe and falter. I would like to say that I tell her to be confident in her decision because it's what is best for her and her family. And I think I did tell a friend that recently.

But my heart cries out, did you try cosleeping? Isn't it so much more time-intensive to have to make and wash bottles? Didn't your husband try a different way to bond with the baby, like rocking her to sleep or babywearing?

And what I really want to know is are you going to try breastfeeding with your next baby? 

Breastfeeding is my thing. My soapbox. The one thing I would never change about my parenting style. It was the one thing I always knew I would do. I'm actually a little bit scared of formula. Do I fear that it will grow horns and a tail and wield a pitchfork? Possibly. It's irrational, I know.


And even now, as I write this, I remember how it actually did go down when my friend told me she stopped breastfeeding. She was a little hesitant to tell me. But it started a conversation. I wasn't surprised. I knew that it was affecting her sleep, and it was limiting her ability to blossom as a mother. I remember that, at the time, it seemed like the right thing to do. And I supported her. My heart didn't even cry out with the did you's and what if's. Not until much later.

When it comes to parenting issues, I can often see both sides of the coin. I know the pros and cons of the epidural, and I've had the experience to know what it's like to try for a natural birth but fear that it might not be possible. I know the effects letting a baby cry it out could have on the developing brain, and I've had the experience to know what it's like to be at your wit's end in the middle of the night and feel like there is no other option.

I know the benefits of breastfeeding, and I know the challenges that might arise. I've even experienced some. But since breastfeeding is my thing, I have never envisioned another option. So sometimes it's hard for me to empathize with someone who does envision other options.

But I try to keep an open mind. In the end, it always comes down to making an educated decision. If someone knows the options that are available, has weighed the pros and cons, and has made the decision that's right for her and her family--whether it has to do with birth, sleep, breastfeeding, or any other decision that we make every day in our lives--then I wholeheartedly support her. But if the decision is made on ignorance, assumption, or fear, I am more likely to encourage her to question her decision.

Is that the right move? I don't know. I had another friend who used to be adamant that how she feeds her baby is none of my business, no matter how she came to the decision. But I can't help but want the best for my friends and their kids. If my friend was smoking in the car with her child in the backseat, I would want to start a conversation about how we can do our best to promote our kids' health and keep them away from toxic substances. So if a friend decided to quit breastfeeding--or never to breastfeed at all--I would want to start a conversation about how we could promote our kids' health and provide them the immunity and bonding that is so important to a child.

And in the end, it should always be just that: a conversation. Support, encouragement, and education should be offered as one side of a multi-sided conversation. I've learned to then step back and listen to the discourse on the other side, though. My soapbox is perfect for my own family, but everyone has their own thing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: When You Just Want to Cry...

I used to be a big crier. Oh god, in middle school I would cry if I got a bad grade, if someone looked at me funny, or if a teacher reprimanded me for anything. In high school, I would cry when I broke up with a boyfriend, when I didn't get the role I tried out for in the school play, and when my parents wouldn't let me stay out as late as I wanted. In college, I cried when I didn't win the Hamblet Award at Vanderbilt, and...well, I'm sure there were other times. I just don't remember. I'm sure I cried a bunch after college too.

But since having kids, I haven't really cried very much. I cried in the hospital after having Baby T while reading a magazine that described an infant's age in stages, and I couldn't imagine him ever being older than he was then. When I was pregnant with Little M, I was very emotional, but I couldn't cry. In fact, my midwife thought maybe a good cry would bring on labor after my water broke and I wasn't having contractions, but I just couldn't do it.

This week, the same day I was complaining to Big T that there were toys all over the house and I just couldn't keep up with the laundry and clothing rotation, smoke started pouring out of the hood while I was driving both boys around town, and I frantically toted both boys and all of our belongings down the street to a generous friend's house. I kind of wanted to break down in tears. But I didn't.

Maybe this is why:
Drowned Toys




Bathtime Antics




A Noodle Hose




A Determined, Yet Sleepy, Fireman




Those Eyes!




Monkey Butt

This Sweetness

Check out other wonderful Wordless Wednesday posts and link up at:
I Thought I Knew Mama: A window into the adventures of stay at home mamahood, natural parenting, & green and healthy livingHobo Mama: A Natural Parenting BlogThe Paper MamaStacy uncorkedVisit Natural Parents Network

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Homemade Tater Tots

Homemade Tater Tots

This is the recipe for crispy potato tots from the October/November 2011 issue of Cook's Country magazine. I'm posting it in this blog because it was amazing. These are our new go-to potato. (Big T asked me, "Does everyone have a go-to potato?" I'm not sure, but if they do, this should be it).  

Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable recipe card.

It wasn't as easy as baking up a bag of tater tots from the freezer, but they were insanely better. Super crispy and golden on the outside, deliciously fluffy and chewy on the inside... Mmmmmm.
Homemade Tater Tots


The recipe basically involves chopping about 3 potatoes (the recipe calls for russet, but I used 2 russets and one yukon gold) in the food processor with a salt water solution, then microwaving them until they are dry and sticky.

Homemade Tater Tots

Then, you spread them out on aluminum foil on a cookie sheet for ten minutes.
Homemade Tater Tots

After 10 minutes, gather the potatoes in the center of the foil, transfer the foil to an 8" x 8" baking pan, freeze for 30 minutes, then remove from the pan and cut into small rectangles. Fry until golden and drain on a wire rack.

Homemade Tater Tots

Enjoy with a juicy steak. Or whatever.
Homemade Tater Tots

Click the image below for a printable recipe card. Use the muffins along the edge to rate the recipe for your reference.


For more delicious recipes, check out:
Mandy’s Recipe BoxTasty TuesdaysDelicious Dishes Blog PartyNap-Time Creations

Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - Pizza, Pasta, Leftovers, and Homemade Tater Tots

I actually stuck to my menu this week! It was relatively simple. I didn't have to buy anything. Since I'm trying to go through what I have in my pantry, I'm trying not to spend much at the store. I got the staples--eggs, milk, bread. But everything else I already had. I didn't do much cooking ahead of time. I'm going to try to do more of that this week to free up my evenings. This is what I made:

The Plan:
Monday: Homemade Pizza
Tuesday: Pasta with Sausage and Cannelini Beans
Wednesday: Chicken, veggies with cream sauce, rice
Thursday: Leftovers
Saturday: Steak, Homemade Tater Tots

The Method: 
Monday: I still had pizza dough and homemade sauce leftover from a couple of weeks ago. It was borderline...it was 2 weeks old. But I made it anyway. And nobody died.
Tuesday: I had bought sausage the week before and never did anything with it. So I decided to throw it in with some rotini pasta, cannelini beans, and a can of diced tomatoes. I added a couple of ladlefuls of the pasta water back into the pot, and the pasta soaked it up so it wasn't too dry. It was a delicious, easy dinner.
Wednesday: I had visions of making a cheesy chicken and rice dish, so I roasted some cauliflower (bought the week before and never used), cooked some rice, and pan-fried some chicken thighs. By the time I was done, I picked at the veggies, chicken and rice so much that I wasn't hungry for a real dinner.
Saturday: I had a steak in the freezer, which I defrosted and grilled. Easy enough. I also had 3 potatoes that were starting to sprout aliens out of their eyes, so I had to do something with them. My recent copy of Cook's Country magazine had an article for homemade tater tots in it. I'm a sucker for anything with potatoes, and tater tots are awesome. I even like the frozen ones. Not anymore, though! Holy cow. Homemade tater tots are delicious.

Update: Here is the Homemade Tater Tots recipe with a printable recipe card!


For more meal planning obsessiveness inspiration, check out orgjunkie.com!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Surf

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI'm joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!
For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.
Happy Surfing!

Crafts

Kid-Friendly Printmaking - Valerie of the Frugal Family Fun Blog uses foam stickers and a small paint roller to make some simple prints.

No-Mess Marbled Paint - Another quick project idea from the Frugal Family Fun blog. Unfortunately, all Baby T did was sprinkle glitter all over the house. He couldn't care less about actually playing with the bag of paint when we were done putting the ingredients in it.

Kids and Parenting

Mamatography Week 2 - Momma Jorje is taking a photo a day to capture her life in 2012. These candid photos capture her beautiful life with a preschooler and a newborn.

Bonding with Kids - A compilation of pictures at Natural Parents Network that shows all the different ways parents and caregivers snuggle, inspire, and connect with their kids.

Nope Nada Ixnay Negative Pass Decline - Zoie from TouchstoneZ experimented with only saying "yes" to her kids. Read about how it changed their attitudes and made her feel more connected to her family. I would love to try this in general. It's so funny how easily "no" slips from your lips and how difficult it is sometimes to say "yes."

Talking About Race with (White) Kids - Lauren at Hobo Mama explores how talking to kids about race (rather than pretending race differences don't exist) can help promote tolerance.

Birth

You Call That Prenatal "Care"? - Melissa of Vibrant Wanderings talks about the care--or lack of it--she has received so far in her pregnancy. From nurses who make uneducated comments and contradict themselves to processes that are in place that make you feel like a number as opposed to a patient, Melissa honestly shares her experience, which unfortunately happens all too often.

Recipes

Baby's First Birthday Cake - Little M celebrated his first birthday on January 19th, and I made him carrot cake cupcakes. Sweetened with carrots boiled in fruit juice and raisins, this healthy first birthday cake tastes great and has fiber, iron, and nutrients. Best of all--it looks like a cupcake!

A Healthy Snack for Nursing Mothers - Megan of The Other Baby Book shares a recipe for a melt-in-your-mouth snack that's easy to make and easy to grab as you're hungry and heading out the door.

Maple Cinnamon Swirl Bread - It's too bad I just polished off six caramelized banana and sweet potato pancakes, because I want to make this recipe shared by Abbie of Farmer's Daughter. It's almost too beautiful to eat!

Inspiration

This video of a talk by Simon Sinek describes how the most successful leaders became that way: by leading with the "why" rather than with the "what." In light of me working on my business, this really hit the right chord. I've known the "why" all along, and I've been refining that. The "what" is still coming, a little more slowly. But it helps to reiterate that I'm on the right track. A few months ago I wrote about how I feel like I've taken the meaningful path in life. I haven't rushed anything, and I'm grateful for all the experiences I've had along the way--experiences that have shaped who I am now and what my business will become. So anyway. This video is a must for anyone driven to lead and inspire.

Do you have IKEA furniture? I discovered a new website that shows you ways to embellish basic IKEA designs. So I've been poring over ways to make Baby T's new loft bed cooler, like making a castle bed. Maybe then he would actually sleep in it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Perspective

This evening, one of my friends helped me put things in perspective. I've had a rough few days, and I'm surprisingly exhausted (for the first time since having kids, of course). I've been attempting to sleep in in the mornings (not happening), and I even fell asleep on the couch a few times this afternoon, only to get "boinked" in the nose by Baby T every 15 minutes.

When I was given the chance to get out of the house tonight, this was my response:
Gaby Merediz6:38pm Jan 20
Ugh. I'm stuck home with the kids right now. Ty won't get home till around 7, and then we'll have to deal with Tieren waking up more often than his brother because he is a crazy toddler! Why didn't anyone tell me the toddler years would be ridiculously harder than the newborn years? Give me a newborn to stick on my boob in the middle of the night any time. Give me a toddler who constantly wakes up, turns on all the lights, wakes up his brother, and tosses and chatters in bed with us and I go nuts. So I can't leave Ty alone with that right now. Especially because there is also the one who needs to be stuck on the boob periodically. Grrrr.... and WTF. And Grrrr....
Gaby Merediz6:39pm Jan 20
Oh yeah, but thank you for the invite! I will be there in spirit as I chug some beers here on my own!!

And here I am (you'll be reading this on Saturday, but I can assure you I am writing it on Friday night), one beer down, some receipts recorded, Baby T in the crib (yup, you read that right), Little M ruining his spine in the pack 'n play, Big T asleep (I told him I would be in bed 15 minutes ago, and I'm now just wasting time), and I'm going to be woken up sometime in the middle of the night by the boob sucker, and several times by the crib-sleeping wackadoo toddler, and then again in the morning by the boob sucker. And then the wackadoo toddler will wake up the boob sucker.

But back to my friend, who just emailed me and reminded me that soon enough Baby T will be driving Little M to soccer practice. Way to put things into perspective.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Reverse Cycling is a Meandering Road


This post was written as part of the weekly Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Slacker Mom and cohosted by The Gnome’s Mom and Happiness Redefined. Visit the links below and link up your own story or leave a comment!


In last week's post, I wrote about tips for breastfeeding a toddler. This week's theme is reverse cycling.

When it comes to breastfeeding issues, if you've taken a class or read a book, you're likely to think that things are either going to go one way or another. Either your baby cluster feeds or he doesn't. Either you schedule your feedings or you don't. Either he nurses at fixed intervals during the day and night or he reverse cycles--he nurses less during the day (especially if you are working) and nurses more at night (especially if you cosleep).

The thing is, babies haven't taken that class or read that book. They do whatever they want to do. And what they do may not follow the textbooks or the general guidelines, which can leave you feeling confused and unsure of what to do.

I went back to work full time three months after giving birth to Baby T. I had an oversupply, so I was pumping 8 ounces at a time. Baby T would take a bottle, but he wasn't a guzzler. In fact, he would often only eat 2 ounces in one sitting. He would nurse well before going to sleep, and he would wake often, but he wasn't nursing all that much at night.

I started to worry that he wasn't getting enough calories. I was building up a huge stockpile in my freezer, I was pumping every three hours at work, but Baby T didn't seem to be eating. I would look at the 8-ounce bottles of breastmilk or formula that the other parents were dropping off for the kids in daycare, and I wondered when Baby T would graduate from his little 4-ounce Nuks. He never did.

Still, Baby T was gaining weight. He was consistently in the 90th percentile for weight. He was chubby and thriving and hitting all of his milestones on time.

I didn't feel like Baby T was attached to the boob when I was home. He didn't seem to be reverse cycling. But he wasn't attached to the bottle when I was away, either. Again, it was a lesson in just going with the flow. Baby T was healthy and thriving, and we were both happy. Even though he didn't eat solids until later than most babies, he still never drank more than 4 ounces of my milk at a time from a bottle. But I trusted that my body was giving him what he needed. Maybe he just nursed very efficiently. Maybe he nursed more during the weekends. I wasn't really sure, but I didn't really mind. Whatever was happening, it worked for us.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: 12 Months

One year ago today, my water broke.
One year ago tomorrow, Little M was born.
I can't believe it has been a year.
Twelve sweet, snuggly, challenging, nursing, babywearing, singing, loving months of this:
Newborn

1 month

2 months

3 months
4 months

5 months

6 months

7 months
8 months

9 months

10 months

11 months

12 months

Happy Birthday!

Check out other wonderful Wordless Wednesday posts and link up at:
I Thought I Knew Mama: A window into the adventures of stay at home mamahood, natural parenting, & green and healthy livingHobo Mama: A Natural Parenting Blog Visit Natural Parents Network
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