Friday, September 23, 2011

Mad Hatter Meets Pee Wee Herman ;)

AKA My latest furniture re-do
Formerly an old blue dresser that wasn't
primed (so the
wood showed thru). Initially bought it back in Boston for $40. Transformed with extra fabric (I have too much fabric that I never know what to do with because I don't sew very well :P).
The letters were purchased for $0.98 at Hobby Lobby. Pretty inexpensive to re-do. Cheaper than buying a new dresser.
If you see green along the top edges of two drawers, it's because I didn't make the fabric cuts long enough (and I didn't cut the fabric straight enough :P, so I used green lace to hide the evidence.
I also learned that pinking shears are the best thing to use if you don't want to use anti-fray glue (or you're too lazy to look for it, if you do have it) <---- I'm guilty ;). I have a good excuse for that: most of this project was rushed and done at around 6 AM or during naptime.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Never stop learning

My daughter is one of the best teachers I've ever had. I love how she doesn't care what anyone else thinks. She will not hide her feelings; she is honest. She knows how to use her vocal cords. And of course, she is only 1.

Before becoming a mom, I had no idea that children were born with certain personalities. I thought a child's character could be 100% molded by their parents. That isn't the case. God gives them a soul, and our job as parents is to smooth out the rough edges; it's an honor given to us by an artist who knows what he's doing.

Having a baby really is like opening a priceless Christmas present. I love the gift God blessed me with. And he knew exactly the kind of kiddo I'd need to become a better person, not just a good mom.

If you would've told me that I wouldn't sleep thru an entire night for 16 months straight, I would've freaked out. I would've started trying to PLAN (which I have a tendency of over-doing). I would've said that I couldn't do it. Wow, would I have been wrong.

I'm no supermom. Jose and I tried a couple of different sleep-training approaches. We thought it might be time to do a little "cry it out". We'd go back in and check on Mirabel after a few minutes, or he would. I tried just not nursing her and staying with her, but that resulted in 45 minutes of crying and refusing to sleep for another hour even after giving in. Then we agreed that it'd be best if Jose attempt the sleep training, since he doesn't have any milk :) (maybe she wouldn't be reminded of what she's missing?). I trusted that Jose would do the right thing, and we both prayerfully approached this. Mirabel is our first and we really want to give her our best, and we never want her to feel insecurely attached. So with that, we let her cry for a little. I could hear her on the monitor. I couldn't take it, so I just prayed and stayed in the room while Jose went in to console her before he left for a few more minutes. After a few minutes of this, he decided to stop. I didn't blame him. He said she was shaking, the way she was shaking in a terrified way while we were on the subway in Boston.

We've learned that our kid has different cries. She has a tantrum cry, a tired cry, and a terrified cry (among others). This was a terrified cry.

So we decided to re-evaluate the situation and try a different approach. We discovered that some of her sleep troubles were related to tummy troubles. We listened to our gut, even though we felt pretty alone in our struggle (since most of our friend's have done CIO quite successfully).

Going back to the first paragraph, Mirabel has taught me a lot. She's taught me to not care what parents think when I'm trying to grocery shop and she's screaming in the cart because she wants to run around and examine everything on the shelves. She's taught me that parenting is a lot easier than we all think. That's just it, what WE think, not what everyone else thinks. We know our children better than anyone else. Because they are born with unique personalities, they require different parenting approaches. There's a reason why they weren't born with a handbook or user's manual.

I realize things might be completely different with our second. We could have a kiddo that is able to go to sleep on their own after just a little crying.

God wants us to ask him for guidance regarding our children, not compare our situation to our neighbor's. We should all be willing to support each other, despite our different parenting approaches. Yes, my child is not an infant and she is still nursing. Why? Because she wants to and I don't mind. Am I spoiling her? I don't believe I am. In fact, only in the US is it typical to stop nursing by age 1. But does this mean I'm judging anyone else who stops weaning before age 1? Absolutely not. I'm not even judging those who don't even attempt nursing. I don't know their story.

All I know is that I love my kid and I'm trying to do the best I can; I acknowledge that I'm going to make mistakes along the way. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, so I'll say that the moms I know out there are trying to do the same thing.

A few weeks ago at a meeting I attended, a quote was shared that went something along the lines of "you're going to make mistakes as a parent, but there should be enough love there to cover those mistakes." I think that line sums up successful parenting better than any book or child psychology article I've ever read.


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