eBook Survey and Free Starbucks

As you may have heard me mention before this year I have been inspired to write my very first eBook for mothers. With much help, love, patients and assistance from my family – I have thankfully been able to start and get a good amount of the book completed. I have been getting most of my writing done during  my much needed Mommy Time at Starbucks the past few weeks.

Well I have reached a point in the book that I now need your help. It would mean so much if each of you could take the next five to ten minutes to help me complete this book by filling out the survey I have prepared. This survey touches on topics that are discussed heavily in my book.

Find Parenting Survey Here

This project can not be completed with your help and to show my appreciation all who complete the full survey and leave a comment on this blog post will be entered to win a fifty dollar ($50.00) gift certificate to Starbucks. Even if you don’t enjoy coffee, they have other beverages, pastries to enjoy along with some pretty cute mugs.

Here are the rules.

1) Enter and complete my Parenting Survey found at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HTH7GCQ you must answer all questions, with valid responses. Due to the content of the questions you must have had at least one child to participate. Be sure to include your name and email so I can connect it back to this blog post.
2) Return to this blog post and leave a comment letting me know that have completed the survey and would like to participate. Completing the survey alone does not constitute an entry. Be sure to leave the same name and email addressed used during the survey so I can connect you to the responses.

You can only complete the survey once. Completing multiple surveys will not increase your chances. However for extra entries you can do the following:

  • Tweet about this contest and survey then leave a comment with the link to your tweet.
  • Post this on your facebook page and again leave a comment with the link to the post.

The survey will be closed on August 1 when all responses will be collected and a winner will be chosen using Random.org.

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Co-Sleeping: Limited Edition

This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.

So I used to think our family was a anti-cosleeping group. but now that I have begun to read more into it, it seems we have been co sleepers all along.

Many terms related to infant sleep are used interchangeably, which can create confusion. API uses the following definitions:

Co-sleepingrefers to sleeping in “close proximity,” which means the child is on a separate sleep surface in the same room as the parents. This includes the use of a cosleeping bassinet or “sidecar,” which is a crib-like bed with only three walls, with the fourth side remaining open and pushed up against the parents’ bed. For the older child, this can include sleeping in a separate bed in the same room as the parents, or two or more older siblings sleeping together in a separate room.

Bed-sharing, also called the “family bed,” describes a sleep arrangement where the family members sleep on the same sleep surface. This practice is recommended for only for breastfeeding families using API’s Safe Sleep Guidelines.

My family believed that co-sleeping and family bed were the same thing. We once talked about it and said that we did not feel that having a family bed would be the best situation for our family. However, according to the Attachment Parenting International, we were co-sleeping for the first five months of his life and since then have been occasionally sharing a family bed.

When our son was born, we actually had no choice but to co-sleep. At that time we were living with my parents and only had one room for my husband, myself and our newborn son. We had his pack n’ play set up next to our bed and that is where he slept day and night.

No however that we have our own place to call home, our son has his own room. Where he does spend 90% of his night sleep time. But occasionally, mommy will be super tired at night … too tired to saw awake to feed him. So what ends up happening is I pick him up and bring to our bed to lay next to me as I sleep and he breastfeeds. It doesn’t happen to often.

Other than that I am happy to say that my son is quite happy and content with his own spacious room and knows if he ever needs to he can come spend the night with mommy and daddy in their bed.

Baby Proofing Time

We may be just a little late on the planning curve for this but it is time that we being to baby proof our home.

In all fairness prior to now we were still living with my parents and didn’t feel right messing with the structure of their home. Then we finally moved into our own home but our son wasn’t really showing any signs of crawling, in fact it wasn’t until he was six almost seven months that he really began turning over fully enough to move around and be more mobile.

However, now he is eight and a half months old and he is not only a crawling master but is always starting to pull himself up on furniture and walking across the length of the couch or table. It is a very exciting time in our home right now. He is busy exploring and learning and we are having the time of our lives watching him discover the world around him.

On the other hand though we have realized that there are many areas in the home that aren’t so safe for him to explore. In order to protect him for those areas we have had to baby proof the areas that he is allowed to enter. What we have done so far is:

Child proof the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms.

We have put those cabinet stoppers on all the doors except one cabinet, the one in the kitchen were are the unbreakable lunch containers and Rubbermaid containers are. He hasn’t quite figured out how to open cabinets yet but when he does I am sure he will enjoy having that cabinet to play with.

Protect all the plugs.

We primarily use power strips to protect our electronics and conserve electricity so we have several unused and exposed sockets around the home. We simply got the plug fillers to block his access to them. I hear that in a few years he will figure out how to remove them and get to them but we are hoping to educate him on the dangers before them.. (High hopes).

Gated Access

The way our home is laid out we only need one gate to really protect him from the ‘forbidden’ areas. Which really we don’t have that many areas he can’t go to yet. Right now we either keep him in the living room when we are having family time. Or we move over one hallway  block access to the kitchen while I am cooking. The other rooms like the bathrooms we just shut those doors.

Door handle stoppers.

Okay so probably not the technical term but that is the best I could come up with. We only have one door that we could use the handle stopper on, and that is the most important door, the front door. All the other doors inside our home have the long horizontal pull down handle, not the round turning handles. I haven’t seen many child proof handles for those types of doors so if you know of any please help out.

Table Corner Protectors

We have a massively strong  and large wood center table with extremely hard corners. We knew immediately those would need to be covered some how. We were able to find some foam covers that you just tape on and so far they have worked like a charm.

That is all we have done so far. We are still looking for other ways to enhance the protection around our home. If you have any suggestions or see any areas that we have missed please share what we can do to improve his protection.

A Mother's Heritage: Holding my Child

After I had my son in September my sister-in-law gave me a gift. She gave me a journal titled A Mother’s Heritage, A Loving Keepsake For Your Children by Ellie Claire. This is different from your every day journal in that instead of an empty canvas for you to free write, it has the topics and questions laid out for you. I like it because it prompts you to share insight to who you are that you may have never shown otherwise. Most of these questions are dealing with topics that, unless my children actually asked, I don’t think I would have jumped up and shared. Instead of writing them in the book, I decided it would be easier to do a blog post for each.

I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. – Ephesians 1:16-17 (NLT)

This week’s journal questions is … Holding my child for the first time I felt … and The prayers I have for my children …

The first time I held my child was right after I gave birth. While still attached with the umbilical cord he was placed on my bare stomach and chest for about ten to fifteen minutes. Most of that time was a blur to me. Everyone was still all excited and in enjoying the moment that he entered the world. And me personally I was mostly in shock. I partially was still in denial about the whole situation of being pregnant and having a child so when I actually laid eyes on him and felt his skin I was in shock, excitement and slightly disbelief. It wasn’t until a few hours later when I held him and fed him again that it really settled in and became truth for me. That was when I first realized that I was capable of loving another person more than myself. I have loved and continue to love and honor my husband and put his needs and desires before mine … but the love for my son is totally different.

I have so many prayers for my son. I mentioned in a previous post about a great book The Power of A Praying Parent. That book has really helped me pray some focused and direct prayers for my son ranging from health, salvation, happiness, growth, relationships, education. I know he is only nine months old now but the is no harm in starting the prayers early.

A Mother's Heritage: Experiencing Motherhood

After I had my son in September my sister-in-law gave me a gift. She gave me a journal titled A Mother’s Heritage, A Loving Keepsake For Your Children by Ellie Claire. This is different from your every day journal in that instead of an empty canvas for you to free write, it has the topics and questions laid out for you. I like it because it prompts you to share insight to who you are that you may have never shown otherwise. Most of these questions are dealing with topics that, unless my children actually asked, I don’t think I would have jumped up and shared. Instead of writing them in the book, I decided it would be easier to do a blog post for each.

Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body – Elizabeth Stone

This week’s questions are … Experiencing motherhood for the first time. And When I was pregnant I’ll never forget …

Dear precious son of mine,

I consider my first experience with motherhood to be a few hours after you were born. Right after you entered this world and we met face to face, we spent a few moment together. You laid on my chest and we got to know each other and feel each other warmth. You then spent about an hour with your daddy getting all checked out by him and he took you to met some of your other family members and friends. Meanwhile, I was getting cleaned up and taken care of getting ready for our big moment. You were finally brought back to me and we had our first real bond moment together. This was the first time that we attempted to breastfeed. At that time I really didn’t think it went all the successful but looking at it now I realized just how much we accomplished that night. It was in that moment that I first felt like a mother and experienced motherhood. I realized then just how important we were to each other and how much we were going to forever need each other.

When I was pregnant I will never forget the first time that I heard your heart beat. You were only inside my tummy for nine weeks when we went for our first ultrasound. You were already pretty busy in there and moving and a lot. We saw your little body wiggling around and being just as curious as you are today. Then the ultra sound tech turned on the monitor and we heard our tiny heart beating at a super quick one hundred and sixty beats a minute. That was the first time I really believed that there in fact was truly another life growing inside of me. GOD IS SO GOOD!!!

Seconds Anyone

I know just how inquisitive family and friends can be … especially in matters of family expansion so I am not surprised that we are already being asked about when our second child will be expected. My son is just eight months old but it we have people already questioning and planning out our next child and when we should have them.

When we first found out that were in fact truly expecting a child we naturally started our family planning. We decided then that if it was up to us we wanted to wait at least three years before planning for our next child. We like to space them out just a little to provide each child with some focused personal time. We realized just how important these first few years can be in a persons development and want to be able to focus our attention on child before needing to turn and address another child.

That is still how we feel and what we plan for our family but we fully understand the power of God and how His will always prevails. Just like the first child we are doing nothing to prevent or cause a pregnancy. We konw God’s timing is perfect, not matter if we agree or not, it always works out.

So that is my answer to any and everyone that asks … ‘It’s all up to God.’

Oh and by the way … when it does happen … we would love a little girl.

My Baby Needs Hugs

This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.

This month’s carnival topics deals with a subject that is near and dear to me, the use of a nurturing touch. I mentioned a few months back now that my primary love language was physical touch. That is the most effective way for my husband to show that he loves me and finds me valuable and appreciates me. So I found that it made complete sense when that a nurturing touch helps meet a baby’s need for physical contact, affection, security, stimulation and movement.

While my son may still be a few months off from actually speaking real English words that he himself comprehends, I know how to read his signals for affection any time. He is a very affectionate little man and I would not be surprised if one day we discover his love language is physical touch also. I have witnessed several different actions in him that show his need to nurtured through physical contact.

Nursing:

I find that if I take off his shirt and allow out tummy’s to connect skin to skin while he is eating he actually eats longer, is less distracted and more content afterwards. Not all feedings allow for this type of bonding but when it does happen I know there is a difference.

Sleep Time:

I have never been a fan of leaving a baby to cry themselves to sleep and that is one thing I was very adamant about in my home. I know I never wanted to have a pattern or need to be rocked to sleep, but I would never allow him to just scream himself tired. So my answer was to hold him and lay with him on my stomach or chest as he relaxed and eventually the warms lulled him off to sleep.

Boo-Boo’s:

Within the last month he finally mastered the ability to crawl. Which as opened up a whole new world of exploration for him. He however has an anxious need to want to walk already so he is insistent on pulling himself up into a standing position and eventually falling. I have come to understand that it isn’t so much the fall that has hurt or scared him into a short cry spell but the fact that he wasn’t able to do what he wanted to do. In that moment of defeat he looks to us as parents and providers for a hug of encouragement to say it is okay … you are doing well now keep trying.

Over the months as I watch him grow and develop I have learned that I should never look at my sons desire for physical attention as being needy or weak. Instead I realized that it is a very important step in his development towards being a loving, caring, nurturing and responsive man. His wife will thank me one day.