Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Leader Mothers

I don't usually use this blog to promote programs.  This is one that really speaks to me and I see as incredibly valuable.  At the core of Clever Mamas is being a mom.  Today I received a letter in the mail from a charity I support.  Their overall mission is to assist communities in poverty, training locals to become self-sufficient.  The program/project that I read about today is called Leader Mothers.  FH (Food for the Hungry) is training Leader Mothers "to teach, serve and promote health and wellness to others in their communities, especially to pregnant women and mothers with children under the age of two...The Leader Mothers each train at least 10 women who agree to train 10 more until the knowledge has rippled out across the entire community."
Here in Canada we take for granted the ability to have a healthy pregnancy with medical care, to have a clean birth with a doctor or midwife present.  That isn't always the case.  We know how something as simple as handwashing can prevent infection or illness from spreading. 
If helping a Mom in another part of the world have a better chance at life for her and her family speaks to you as it does me then I ask you to consider sponsoring a Leader Mother.  For more information visit FH's website at  Imagine the impact just one person can have in her community.

*This response and post is entirely of my own initiative.  I do not work for or represent FH, it's just an organization that I support because they do good work!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I didn't teach her that - more gender reflections

My 17 month old daughter currently likes to wander around sporting a furry winter hat with a bow and wear 2 rings from the fisher price stacking ring set as bracelets.  When I brought home a new set of onesies this weekend she immediately took one, held it up to herself and said 'mine'.  She cuddled the rest of them to herself.  I have two other children, both boys, none of them ever played like this.  The thing is, we didn't teach her this either, she just does it.  I wear very few accessories myself.  I don't think she's ever seen me wear a bracelet, so she's not getting it from me modeling it or teaching it to her.  She just wants to be fancy on her own.  Already I can see the gifts for her under the Christmas tree this year, my little girl is becoming a girly girl.  I foresee purses, tiaras and tutus coming her way.  And I'm fine with it.  I don't parent to fight nature.  I have two boys and one girl.  My boys wrestle and think farting noises are funny.  They are also very gentle and kind to their baby sister.  My daughter likes to dress up and twirl in a skirt.  She also like to zoom cars and play in the dirt.  I think you can raise masculine boys who are gentle in the same way I think you can raise a girly girl who isn't afraid to get dirty.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Too Old For A Pacifier?

My daughter is 17 months now and I'm starting the process of weaning her from her soother. All three of my children have used pacifiers and all of them under different circumstances.  (I've previously written about my sookie babies here) My first started using one at about 6 weeks of age. He was a constant nurser and I needed something to help him comfort suck. My second I transitioned to a soother when he was an older baby, as he started to use me as a pacifier. My third was put on a paci at the hospital as a preemie in the NICU. Preemies are often put on a pacifier to help their jaw muscle development so that they can have the strength to become good nursers.
My first was weaned from the soother at about a year and a half. He had been finished nursing at 12 months. I used a 'lovey' (stuffed toy) to as a sleep aid rather than the paci. And then when we moved we 'lost' the soothers in the move.
My second was a little bit older to stop using a pacifier. It happened around his second birthday. He nursed for longer (17 months) and never did take to a 'lovey'. Getting rid of his paci was tougher as we couldn't find a good transition sleep/comfort object for him.
My third child is still nursing and I'm hoping that she nurses until close to her second birthday. I think as long as she is nursing before her nap and bedtime I will be using the soother with her. Right now I'm working on making it available only for sleep time. So far, it's working. Out of sight, out of mind.
As I've been re-reading and re-visiting the idea of pacifier weaning, I came across some articles that for lack of a better term fall into the great pacifier debate: "How old is too old for a pacifier?" It reminded me of once seeing a child who was about 6 still using a pacifier, out with his parents for the day. The look just took me by surprise. As much as I try not to judge parents, I couldn't help the thought of, "that's just not right". I will confess that I was a long term thumb sucker as a child (till age 6). One of the reasons I like(d) having my children on a pacifier rather than a thumb is that a pacifier can be taken away, a thumb can't. My parents had the cost of orthodontic bill for me to fix my crooked teeth partly caused by thumb sucking.
Famously in the media is celeb offspring, Suri Cruise, who at age 4 still uses her paci. Toddlers and Tiaras star Mackenzie has been caught on camera more than once freaking out looking for her 'ni ni'. (As a side note, wouldn't you love to see the Supernanny take on Mackenzie and her mother?)

So what's the big deal? When is a good age to remove the paci? How old is too old for it?
A paci is designed for infant use. We all know that sucking is an important part of an infant's development. Most pediatricians recommend losing the paci by age 1, and definitely by age 2. The rationale is to allow for the child to find another way of comforting themselves and to allow the child to develop proper speech. Yes, I've seen plenty of older children trying to speak with a paci in their mouth and you can't understand what they are saying. There is also the danger of using the paci as a way of keeping your child quiet. Daycare centres who are successful in not allowing the child to use a paci all day are often frustrated that the first thing the parent does when they pick their child up is put 'the plug in the mouth'.  I think pacifiers have their values and benefits, but they are not something that should be used long term.  If you are having troubles getting rid of the soother, there may be deeper parenting issues there.  Look at the reasons why you are using it.  Is it to make your child happy at all costs?  Is it to make your life easier and quieter?  Or, maybe you just aren't bothered by it and it isn't an issue for you.  I'm interested to hear what other moms think on this topic.  It's a great debate.  There are those who wear their status of "my child never used one" with pride.  There are others like me who found them useful, but were happy to be done with them once their purpose was served.  And then there are those who have long-term paci users.  I could be opening a can of worms here, but I think that's a good thing, I love a good debate.

Monday, June 13, 2011

You gotta check everything!

Last week we came home to a flood in the house. Not an act of nature, but rather an act of a 4 year old. Yes, my child was playing with water post morning teeth brushing before we went out for the day and left the water running with a facecloth in the drain hole. Now that we are a week past it, I feel I can write about it a bit. As I was speaking with the insurance agent last week, she was quick to assure me that I'm not the only one this has happened too, in fact I'd be surprised how many people she speaks to who have had the exact same thing happen to them. So this is a friendly letting you know that yes keep checking the stove, the coffee pot and the windows before you go out, but also check the taps because you never know!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mommy Moment Giveaway - A to Z CD

Mommy Moment is having a great giveaway right now of the God's Words from A to Z CD!
Description from their site:
When we memorize Scripture to song we are able to recall it more effectively.

The God’s Word A to Z cd is a cd with a variety of music (jazz, classical, bluegrass, pop, country, rock, celtic) that highlights 26 Bible verses that start with a letter of the alphabet – hence the name A to Z.

These 26 songs will take you on a journey that beings with the sinfulness of man, brings you to the cross, and ends with joy in heaven.

Abe & Liza Philip had their children, ages 2 & 4, memorize all the memory verses and they recite them at the beginning of each song.

Sounds fantastic and exactly what I would love to have for my kids, wouldn't you?
Hop on over! Click Here!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

God's Grace for Sleepy Moms

This morning at 5:40 my daughter awoke ready to nurse. The past couple of weeks that has meant nurse and then get up, but to my surprise she went back to sleep. As I unlatched her and went to go to sleep myself, she woke up completely. With a deep sigh, I said, "okay, let's get up". I checked the clock, it was almost 6:30. What?! How did that happen. She's an older baby (16 months) and rarely nurses longer than 5 or 10 minutes, and it really didn't seem like much longer than that. What happened here? Where's my missing time? I'm guessing we both fell asleep. Me sitting straight up in bed with a latched on baby.
This is not the first time this has happened. It just hasn't happened for a long time. I remember moments with my first child waking up in a rocking chair, baby still in arms 2 or 3 hours later. I'm so amazed that not one of my children has ever fallen out of my arms while I fall asleep with them. The only explanation I have for it is the grace of God. He must have guardian angels working overtime with sleepy moms and little ones. There are nights I recall waking up and thinking, "where is the baby?" because the last thing I remember was picking them up to nurse, only to find them sleeping soundly in their crib. I must have put them back in there, I just have no recollection of that happening. I'm sure I'm not the only one out there with tales like this.
Thomas Blackshears' Watchers in the Night



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