Monday, April 29, 2013

Am I a Good Mom?

Becoming a mother has made me feel something I am not accustomed to feeling: incompetent. I mean, I usually feel pretty good about my decisions as a mother until I start hearing someone else's philosophy or routine or expectations. And this weekend was extra difficult for me. That question just kept repeating in my head over and over again, "Am I a good mom?".

For starters, I let Maleah stay with my mom Thursday night so Blake and I could go to a concert. The kid is 13 weeks old and she's already spent the night away from home three times. Am I a bad mom because I wanted to go to a concert while someone else took care of my kid?

Then someone said yesterday how hard it was for them to drop their baby off at the church nursery door instead of being able to walk them in (new changes). The statement stunned me because I really didn't feel that way at all. I didn't think that mother was absurd for feeling that way... I thought I was absurd for not feeling that way. Am I a bad mom because I don't feel the pangs of being separated for a few hours?

Then I got reprimanded for letting Maleah sleep on her tummy for naps. "Would you put her in a car without a car seat?? It's just as risky to let her sleep on her stomach - she could die of SIDS." While I am aware that it is not recommended for babies to sleep on their stomachs, I also know that letting her sleep on her stomach isn't 100% what causes SIDS. And my kid needs to sleep in order to grow... she sleeps better on her stomach during nap times, so we let her.  Am I a bad mom for letting her do this?

And then there are the things that no one even has to mention to get my mind stirring. Every time I scoop out "nasty formula" (as I refer to it), I am reminded that we switched to formula long before I ever intended. And we feed her that nasty formula on a routine. (Side note- I don't think formula is bad. I just wanted to be able to nurse longer. And it's "nasty" because formula smells so bad!!) We only change her diaper once after each feeding (so, about every 3 hours). I rock her to sleep at night. I put big giant bows on her head. I do not have a thousand adorable monogrammed outfits. We let her sit in her bouncy seat and entertain herself for a while sometimes. I don't freak out when she spits up and will let her wear a bib until it's really soaked. We did Ferber's "Progressive Waiting" at 6 weeks. Do I need to continue?

I'm constantly questioning myself. Wondering if what I am doing is going to scar her. Wondering who's judging me and when (the question isn't "if" - they're definitely judging). Wondering if I should watch what I say in fear that someone's going to comment on my parenting style and abilities.

And then I look at my sweet little baby. She is super happy and content - rarely puts up a fuss. She's easy-going and predictable. She is growing and developing just as she should.

And I look at how I feel. Prior to putting her on a routine and doing the Progressive Waiting method, I was miserable. I did not enjoy having a baby because I was so lost. Maleah would be upset and I would have to try a hundred things to finally figured out why she was crying. For others, it's opposite - being on a routine is stressful for them. That's great for them! But what makes our entire family happier is doing things the way we do them.

Knowing that my family is healthy and happy is confirmation enough that yes, I am a good mother. I just might do some things differently, and that's okay.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Flashback Friday: Take 1

So in the spirit of Instagram's "Throwback Thursday", I bring you a new blog series called "Flashback Friday" (or did you already guess the title??)! I loved reading my old blog so much that I am going to try to post an old blog post from way-back-when each Friday. Woo hoo! Let's get started!

This is a post from January 20, 2009 - two days and four years before little Maleah was born (surprisingly enough I didn't post anything on January 22 from 2007 to 2010...). My dad had been gone for two and a half years at this point and I would randomly recollect little snippets of memories with him. After being in a coma for two months, my dad woke up to a world he didn't belong in. You see, he had all sorts of interesting dreams while he was sleeping. And he was completely convinced they were real. This post was a reminder of some of the hysterical things he said:


"While You Were Sleeping..."

After my dad was in a coma in 2000, he woke up telling some really funny stories from dreams he had while he was sleeping…. Apparently at one time I wrote them down intending to make some goofy song for my dad. I never really put it all together, but when I read this… I laughed. These are things he really said! I just had to share.

while you were sleeping
you made some funny faces
but nothing could prepare us
do you know who i am?
i’m a mexican movie star
i’m really quite thirsty
from eating all these sandwiches
could you please attend to me
and get me out of this mess
i’m tired of being in this bed
i’d like to get up and walk around
so please go to the nurses station
and grab me another gown
i’ve been alseep for far too long

… and apparently, I jotted this down, too:
we don’t argue anymore
about monday night television
an agreement was made
that for one night, we’d make revisions
and every monday night
of every week
we watch super stars
like undertaker get beat
how could you be so fun?
i used to think you were dumb
but now i look forward to your program
dad and i really love the ring
I love silly memories like these!!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Used to be Katie Lewis

I need to first start by saying this: I am not at work.

Okay, that's a lie. But all my work is caught up for the moment so I had some spare time.

I just spent a good hour or so reading blog posts from December 2006 to May 2010. Yes, yes I did. And let me just tell you...

WOW, HAS MY LIFE CHANGED!!! (In a good way!)

I am always so grateful that I write things down. I seriously would NEVER remember things if I didn't! There are so many things that happene during those years and, wow, I am just amazed at all God has done. To relive some of those moments in my life.... wow.

I have said "wow" three times now. Obviously I am in amazement-mode.

A few things I was reminded of:

- The long string of deaths we had in my family for a few years. It was brutal on the heart.
- How much I learned about the Lord during those years
- How much I loved being single
- Some funny dreams I had (including one where Ludacris - the rapper - was my boyfriend)
- Just HOW MUCH I love "Shout to the Lord"
- Some fun times at Gospel Supply House
- Road Trip 2009 to Maine with my mom... and driving aimlessly around Manhattan, completely lost
- How much time I spent thinking about the end of Harry Potter (two whole blog posts dedicated to it...)
- How much time I spent blogging (more than I currently do, that's for sure!)
- How many documentaries I used to watch... wow (#4), I was really on a reality kick for a long time
- All the books I read
- Meeting Blake in March 2010 (although I didn't blog about him for quite a while!)

It's just so strange to go back and visit Katie Lewis. She was, in my opinon, a fantastic person with a passion for life. She was reflective and introspective, funny, candid, and quite goofy. She still exists, somewhere deep down inside this boring old married mama. I've felt her bubbling up a lot lately, so maybe it's time to pay attention to her. :)

There's this whole "Throwback Thursday" thing on Instagram where you post a picture of yourself in times past on Thursday with the hashtag #tbt. Well I don't Instagram, so I think I'll be doing a little #tbt here on the blog. Some of you have never met Katie Lewis and, well, I think it's time you should.

Monday, April 8, 2013


We're eleven weeks into this whole parenthood thing and we're finally feeling more confident and like we almost know what we're doing. (And, of course, after I type this, everything is going to change!) Nothing has gone as I imagined it would, but I'm learning to go with the flow.

For starters, we have a little girl. No, I mean little. As of right now, at least. At her eight week appointment, she was an ounce shy of 10 pounds. That put her at around the 15th percentile for her height and weight. Last Monday (a day shy of 10 weeks), she was 10 lbs 4 oz. There are babies born bigger than what she was at 10 weeks old! She's perfectly healthy and growing the way she should, but this has posed a small problem: clothes. We stocked up winter/cold-weather clothes in 0-3 month and warm weather clothes in 3-6 months. Unfortunately, the weather isn't going to wait until she's big enough to wear her summer clothes. Thankfully, I have been able to find some outfits at consignment stores and on sale, and some of our friends have been generous enough to loan us some 0-3 month spring/summer clothes. I really don't want to go buy any more!

We also had to make the switch to formula much sooner than I had hoped. I wanted to nurse for six months, but nursing didn't work out for us. Pumping was exhausting, so I changed my "goal" to three months. My knee had other goals. After dealing with tendonitis and fluid build up on my knee for two weeks, I was finally convinced to take medicine to help it get better. This particular medicine made my milk dry up, so Maleah only got 10 weeks of breastmilk. I still think that's better than nothing, but it made me a little sad to have to make the switch so soon. She seems to be doing well on formula, though. It doesn't seem to bother her tummy, although it does seem like her intestines are doing a bit of adjusting if you know what I mean. ;)

Maleah has adjusted very well to her daytime routine. We wake her/get her out of bed around 7am and she follows this pattern every three hours: eat, diaper change, wake time, nap. Daycare hasn't seemd to mess with the routine as much as I thought it would. She has been sleeping less during the day, which means she is sleeping more at night. So, I can't complain!

Speaking of daycare, we love her school! She's only been four days so far, but we have no complaints. They are loving and compassionate ladies and they are doing a great job taking care of Maleah while we're at work! She seems to be adjusting well to being in the room with other babies and they say she eats and sleeps very well! That makes this mama VERY happy!

She isn't sleeping through the night just yet, but we are starting to see a shift in her middle of the night feeding. We think she's just not big enough weight-wise to go more than 4-5 hours without eating, so hopefully as she gains weight, she will sleep longer. People have told us (and I have read) all sorts of ways to try to get her to sleep through the night. Honestly, I'm tired of trying new things. What we're doing is working and she'll sleep through the night when she gets there! Lately she takes her dream feed at 10:30/10:45 and can sleep until 3:30 or 4, which is good! That's 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Blake and I take turns with the night feedings. One of us does the dream feed and the other does the middle of the night feeding and we swap roles every two days. It isn't easy and I'm sure there's some magic trick (not) to get her to sleep until 7am, but right now we can manage this routine and as they say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Our favorite part about her current age is that she has started to be much more interactive. She smiles more and with purpose and she "plays" with us. She also babbles and "talks" a lot! She loves, loves, loves music (as all babies do!) and enjoys time on her Baby Einstein activity mat. We like to take her out in the stroller, too, but we're waiting until the pollen count goes back down before we venture outside too much in the next week or two. She's been grasping her hands together A LOT lately and I'm hoping this means she's starting to figure her little hands out. So far she doesn't really reach out for things, but I think as she learns to control her arms better, that'll happen, too.

My favorite time of day is still around 8:00/8:30 p.m. when I'm rocking her to sleep. I always sing hymns to her during this time and it's hard for me not to get choked up while I'm singing! I have dreamed of singing hymns to my kids for-ev-er and it's just so sweet to be able to do so.

Eleven weeks and going strong... can't wait to see what's up next!