Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What Co-sleeping Isn't.

There is a billboard in our city with a picture of a female medical-examiner and the billboard states, "Don't let me be the last doctor to see your baby." The billboard goes on to point out the dangers of co-sleeping with your baby...never mind the dangers of trying to read their billboard while driving.

I think when people hear the term "co-sleeping" they conjure up an image of a queen-size bed with Daddy on one side, four kids in the middle, and Mommy on the other side. Or they picture a momma sleeping on her side in the bed with a precious newborn cradled in her arms up against her. While these do depict some forms of co-sleeping, this not necessarily what co-sleeping is.

I was at a SAHM playgroup today and was talking with some ladies. I knew to watch my step (and my mouth) because I'm on a very different parenting page than probably the majority of the ladies in the group. I'm a cloth-diapering, breastfeeding (demand feeding), non CIO (cry-it-out), co-sleeping, baby-wearing, attachment parenting, natural parenting, non-spanking momma, and let's just say that everyone I'm surrounded by is pretty much the opposite except for the breastfeeding, but most are not demand feeding. The topic of sleeping with baby was casually mentioned, and I could tell that everyone was in agreement that it was definitely wrong.

A momma mentioned that when her daughter was a newborn, grandma kept holding and rocking that sweet little baby, and momma wanted baby to be put down in a bed to sleep. Sadly, I was like that for the first week of my first daughter's life. "The book" (i.e. Babywise--who has many followers local to me) said to never hold your baby when they're sleeping--not even to put them to sleep. In an attempt to be a "good mom" I followed the book for the first week of my daughter's life. At the end of that first week I had a baby who screamed for 40 minutes waiting to eat and one that I had held only for feedings--just like the book says. I lost a whole week of enjoying many of the sweet and blessed moments of motherhood that I had so looked forward to. Devastated that I had allowed some man to steal those precious moments from me, I scrapped the book, picked my daughter up, fed her when she was hungry, held her when she wanted to be held, laid her on my chest to take naps, rocked her to sleep, and from that point on enjoyed every moment I could with my precious little baby. (And for the record, she learned to sleep through the night and in her own bed just fine!)

Okay, so I keep side-tracking. In response to this momma's comment I said that I sleep with my babies and enjoy those precious moments--you should have seen the looks I got! (Although everyone politely kept their mouths shut.)

So, I just want to clarify what co-sleeping is and what co-sleeping isn't. There are many definitions or concepts of co-sleeping. Yes, co-sleeping can be one big happy family sharing a bed together. Yes, co-sleeping can be a new momma sleeping in a bed with her little new born snuggled up next to her--let me tell you, that's a whole lot more comfortable that trying to get out of bed to feed a baby in the middle of the night when you have a bazillion stitches and hemorrhoids in your bottom! (TMI, I know. :)

But by definition, co-sleeping is a family sleeping closely together for the comfort and convenience of all involved in the family. This does not mean that everyone necessarily shares a bed. All of you who sleep with a cradle or bassinet in your room for those first weeks? You're technically co-sleeping!

No, in all honesty, I rarely sleep in the same bed as my kids because that is neither comfortable or convenient for me. I'm a super light sleeper, and to have my kids in my bed keeps me from falling into a deep enough sleep to get any rest. My oldest daughter moves to much, and I usually move to the couch when she climbs into our bed. :) With my little babies, I'm too nervous about them suffocating (because as a new momma, I'm too exhausted to be very alert when I fall asleep), that I end up not sleeping at all if the baby is in bed with me. I do keep the baby in a bassinet right up against the bed so I am close by. I also unashamedly love to take naps on the couch with that precious newborn laying on my chest--just the two of snoozing away together. What sweet moments! But if my kids need us in the middle of the night, our bed becomes their bed. And if our kids are sick, they usually end up in our bed because it's just easier to take care of them if they're right there.

I agree that co-sleeping, by what many think it to be, can be hazardous. As I mentioned, I know that as a new momma I'm too tired to be an alert sleeper in the bed, so I don't keep my little baby with me. However, some momma's sleep better with that baby right there, knowing that baby is safe.

Co-sleeping is a practice where the family sleeping arrangements help each member of the family to get the best night's rest without causing fear, discomfort, distrust, or feelings of abandonment on the child (CIO). We are here as parents, mom's especially, to be love and comfort for our children. Co-sleeping, for many moms, is a way to provide that for their children while also taking care of mommy's health and rest as well.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Market

Saturday my husband decided we would do our grocery shopping together while we were out running other errands. Believe it or not, I think I prefer shopping with just myself and the kids! He's not really that bad, but to me it always seems to take longer when he tags along. I'm more purposeful and walk through a store as if my britches are on fire, he's very laid back and relaxed. He hunch over the shopping cart with his elbows resting on the handle bars and idly pushes the cart through the store. It was beneficial to have him on this trip since my daughter decided she needed to take an extended vacation to the restroom--I didn't have to haul my youngest daughter and all of my coupon/purse stuffs into the bathroom with me. :)

Okay with the sarcasm, Saturday was a great trip! We have my oldest daughter on almond milk, and I plan to keep our kids on non-cow's milk. This past week Publix had Silk almond milk 2/$5, and there had been a $2/1 printable coupon available. Through the graciousness of many acquaintances and friends alike...and some people I don't even know...I was able to pull together nearly 20 coupons. Some of them I didn't acquire until after this shopping trip, so I'll redeem those tomorrow before the sale ends. So Saturday alone I was able to purchase $56 worth of milk for only $8! (Sorry to my FB friends, I believe I calculated wrong the other day and posted the totals wrong. :/ )

I came out of the store with 6 bags of Banquet nuggets, 16 cartons (there's 6 in that case in the picture) of almond milk, 2 marinades, 2 salad dressings (which around here are also marinades), 2 packs of slivered almonds, 2 packs of craisins, 2 boxes of granola bars (which DH had just been asking for!), 2 bags of pretzels, 2 bags of Sunchips, a bottle of vitamins, and 4 boxes of pasta (as if I really need anymore, but I'm trying to keep a continuous supply instead of buying so much en masse)...and what is the total you want to know? I paid $38.28 oop, and will be getting back a $10 rebate gift card!

I also hit up Staples on Friday to take advantage of the free printer paper deal. I bought 2 packs of HP ColorLock paper at $5.99, used 2 $1/1 coupons (had to do this in two transactions), and submitted for the $4.99 rebate. I used their easy rebate, which I had misunderstood the easiness of it. I had been told that you can get the rebate back by PayPal rather than waiting 4-6 weeks for it to come by check. But I understood that to mean that the rebate would be rather quick. However, when I submitted it, it still said a processing time of 4-6 weeks, it will just go to my PayPal rather than a check being mailed. Oh, well. It's money back in the bank at some point in time!

So we're now a little low on funds for this month's grocery budget, but out of this month we're getting back $30 in rebates. ($10 in gas cards from the Kellogg's cereal last week, $10 from the Staples paper deal, and $10 from the Banquet/Con Agra deal)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dream Date

I've recently gotten it stuck in my head that I really want to go on a date with my husband. I've been a bit more clingy with him recently. I don't know really how to explain it. We're a pretty "hands off" couple I guess you could say. We enjoy each other's company, but rarely do we take time to enjoy it without the kids. We're not all googly eyed over each other. We're more of a "mature" couple. Sometimes I wish we were more googly eyed and less mature. I sometimes wish we hadn't treated our dating relationship and marriage more like a business arrangement in order to avoid being one of those nasty, mushy couples all over our college campus that just gross people out.

Anyway, recently when I've been out I'll pass something and I'll think, "If we ever went on a date, I'd like to go there." Ever is a key word there. Since I think we've been on maybe five dates since our three-year-old was born, and two of three of those would have been his company Christmas banquet, so perhaps doesn't count. So here are a few of the place that I've noted recently (and that I can still remember)...

Starbucks - grande chai creme frappucino

Olive Garden - once my favorite Italian restaurant, but the last two times I went I wasn't overly impressed. I also like Macaroni Grille. But something Italian, with alfredo sauce, and mushrooms, and either chicken or grilled shrimp, and a big salad with lots of tomatoes....yummm...

Domino's - LOVE me some Domino's pizza with extra, extra, extra (no kidding) mushrooms and extra cheese, light on the sauce, hand tossed crust

Cinnabons - not really a major favorite, but it smelled good when I walked past it in the mall today. :)

Marble Slab - along with Oreos, ice cream is a major weakness for me. But unlike Oreos, I never allow myself the pleasure of spending money on it. I can usually get Oreos cheaper. But I LOVE ice cream!! And Marble Slab makes ice cream fun!

Beach - We use to go to the beach during or after sunset with a light breeze blowing and sand crabs running around in the sand and the moon reflecting off of the water. This was before kids and when we lived 10 minutes closer to the beach than we do now. :) As we walked, hand-in-hand talking about who knows what (especially now since we haven't done this since the kids were born ) the gentle breeze would just blow our cares and burdens out with the rolling tide.

Games - I LOVE games--and my husband HATES them. But wouldn't it be fun to end an evening with one (or two) challenging games of Scrabble or Backgammon or Hand and Foot or something?

Conversation - I don't know if it's even possible or realistic to think we could have a conversation without talking about the kids. Sometimes I try to remember what we talked about before we had kids, and I really can't remember. But just to have a conversation without, "Excuse me. Excuse me. Mommy, I said excuse me." Or the 15 month old yelling, "Pleeeease," as she vigorously rubs her chest with the sign. Uninterrupted conversation...I really don't think we would know what to do or what to talk about!

These are just some hastily "scribble" ideals for a dream date. What would your dream date be?

Friday, April 8, 2011

There Are Some Things Girls Just Know

Princess - I never taught my daughter what princesses (or princes) are. She hasn't seen any Disney, and overall, we've avoided fairy tales. For Christmas she got Disney princess panties from her grandmother, but that's about the extent of her exposure to princesses. Yet she still pretends to be a princess, and she calls Daddy her prince. And you're hard put to get her to wear any of the 30 pair of panties she has if it's not one of the 7 pair of princess panties!

Twirly dresses - I remember begging my mom for twirly dresses. My daughter doesn't quite beg for them (not yet anyway) but both girls love them. They somehow know when you put a certain dress on them that it's a good one for twirling around in. I never told my girls to spin around and watch their dress twirl. They just knew!

Tea Parties - My daughter also enjoys playing tea party. We've never really had one (although i plan to do one with her friends). She got a tea set for her birthday, and without me telling her what the function of each piece was, she laid out the tray, placed the cups and teapot on it, carried it to her table, and started pouring tea. It was like instinct!

Flirting - Even at 15 months old, my youngest one knows how to get what she wants out of people, and both girls know how to play their Daddy! They sidle up to you and give you a sheepish, coy smile, and sweetly say, "Pleeeeeease." No one needs to teach children (not really just girls I guess) how to be adorable beggars!

Modeling - Recently I went to take a picture of my three-year-old, and she put on this perfect Vogue stance with an air of dramatic flair and a saucy smile before I could snap her picture. I couldn't help but laugh at her. I have no idea where that came from! But it was cute!

Each of these things allude to the "frilly" nature of girls. A characteristic I wish to preserve in my daughter. I once use to think that I wasn't against feminine rights of equality and such. And while, to a certain degree, I'm not an anti-feminist, to another degree I am. Why should it be wrong for our girls to learn that it's right and natural for them to be and like frilly, dainty things? Why does society push princess objects at our kids when they're young, but then somewhere in the pre-teen years, you rip the fairy-tales away, throw them into reality, and tell them that girls aren't to be dainty and frilly, and if a man treats you like a "weaker vessel" than it's discrimination? Isn't that what you taught them through the years of sitting them down in from of Disney princess movies?

Just some controversial issue to tack onto the end of an otherwise nice post...leave it to me.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Market Monday

Well, I'm a day late, but definitely not a dollar short!

For the first time in
months I actually did a drug store run. And I think for the first time ever both CVS and Walgreens were successful trips without any glitches...well there was one small "glitch" that I noticed after getting home, so I'll go get it "fixed."

The other day I did a quick Publix run to use up some expiring coupons. I came out with all of this for $10.89!

My Walgreens trip was quick, simple, and profitable. Got mine and my husband's favorite Easter candies for cheap! I got the M&Ms for $1 a bag!! Sadly, I didn't have a coupon for the Cadburry's, but they were still a great price anyway. I did the toothpastes first in two transactions, and put the combined $6RR toward my third transaction which included the candies and the tissues. I started with no RRs and my goal was to leave with no RRs so I didn't have to stress over remembering to use them up later. So I paid $7.36 for all of this. I was surprised until I realized that I'd failed to calculate tax before going. Tax on this was more than one bag of M&Ms!

CVS was again, quick, simple, profitable, and I thought uneventful. When I got home I realized that my ECBs didn't print for one of the toothpastes, so I guess I grabbed the wrong one. I'll go back to exchange it and hope that they still honor the coupon price that was used...if not I'll just return it.

And last but not least, Publix. This didn't turn out as great as I would have liked. I ended up needing to split the transaction between two stores because one was out of the cereal. That messed up the number of $/$$ coupons I was able to use. I would have had $15 if I'd been able to do this all at one spot. As it is, I still was able to use one $5 coupon for each transaction.
I also ended up picking up a few extra items that I hadn't previously known an amount for, so I hadn't worked that into my calculated total. The internet list that I'd printed off of Southern Savers didn't list the Campbell's soup sale, so I'd also forgotten to include that. So my total in store jumped about $12 from what I'd planned before walking into the store. But since I was still saving money on items I needed, I didn't feel too bad about it. I also wasn't able to dig up any of the $1/2 Kellogg's coupons for the Smacks, but my husband really likes those, and I figured the free milk helped balance out that purchase. :) And sadly, that cereal won't last as long as people might think it should. But I must commend my husband, he's gotten much better at rationing his cereal and practicing self control. But he could seriously happily live off of cereal and rice--speaking of rice, they were all out of that so the poor man must suffer with pasta for at least one more night. :) My most exciting purchase for myself was the Campbell's cream of mushroom soups! My daughter seems to be tolerating dairy pretty well, and I can't tell you how excited I am to be able to cook with cream of mushroom soup again!! The hummus was my only splurge item because it's something I've been wanting to try anyway. Now, how do you eat hummus? With something, in a recipe, or by itself?
So, to summarize Publix, spent $41.07, saved $94.64. Purchased 51 items and used 23 coupons. Not the best savings margine ever, but good, and I got stuff we really needed!