My Motherification.

Last year at this time, I was not a mom. I don’t mean to point out a technical reality, because I actually technically was a mother with an unborn son. However, until I was able to behold Georgie, my heart had not really “mother-fied.” Even then, it had a lot of melting to do.

Stepping back from a full time job was hard. I knew it was best for our family’s situation, but I wasn’t thrilled about the idea. Knowing that possibility of grad school or law school was being overshadowed by something greater wasn’t easy either. This was not because I wasn’t madly in love with my son. It was just a big paradigm shift.

In a way, I think my desires act a lot like CDs in a five disc player. During different seasons of my vocation one CD is playing, but the others are still there. They haven’t been ejected, but acting on them right now would be like rocking Georgie to sleep with Bruno Mars. Not totally off base, but not quite right.

With the help of a years worth of Georgie, my husband’s encouragement, and some oxytocin, I now really feel like a mom. What’s more, I love being a mom.

Here are some things my high school and college friends would be surprised to know I do now.

1. Wake up early
2. Meal plan
3. Clean regularly (not just straighten up)
4. Kill spiders (if Josh isn’t home)
5. Research nutrition

Those might seem like little things, but for me they’re huge. And, they were all motivated by my son.

Being a mom is humbling. One of my new friends in Flagstaff pointed out that we don’t get an evaluation on how we are doing, no measurable praise from some outsider looking in. For me, that was difficult, and the thing that has helped me grow the most. I am now motivated by the maintenance of Georgie’s well being, or happiness, not by recognition from others.

I’m obviously prideful, but not as much as I was before I became a mom. Only Giorgio could humble me in such a major way that I would actually allow.

Thanks, son.

Happy birthday to you.

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Georgie’s First Injury

Tonight parental peace of mind cost a mere $25 (thank you, insurance).

Georgie was playing with plastic bowls and tupperware while I was cooking and…shoot! He tumbled onto the edge of one of the bowls. The tears were immediate, which was alarming, since he rarely really cries. So, I grabbed him and tried to comfort him. I was surprised to find out there was blood, and a lot of it.

He had cut his lip.

So, after a minor freak out, an failed attempt to have him suck on a cold washcloth, a frantic phone call to husband, then to my own mom, we decided to take him to the Urgent Care Center, just in case he needed stitches.

He didn’t. Thank God.

He thought the little field trip was pretty fun. Josh and I felt much better knowing that he was okay.

Is this like hazing into parenthood? If so, I hope there are no repeat rituals.

“THE BOWL” dun. dun. dun.

Didn’t look so bad after we got him cleaned off.

Our first visit to an Urgent Care Center.

For the Love of Living Together

I’ll freely admit that I have a lot more “lazy” habits than my husband. In fact, he’s taught me a lot about laundry since I think I did mine maybe three times a semester. And, for most of college, I had a roommate who could double as my mother when it came to fulfilling our domestic needs. (Thanks Hol!) I’ve always been somewhat of a neat freak, and am obsessed with things being “in their place,” but I always put homework or hangout before scrubbing or sweeping.

I have come a long way since college. I actually enjoy cooking and have learned to deep clean rather than straighten up a room. Not to mention, I do laundry several times a week.

I do still forget (every.single.time.) to clean my hair out of the drain, and move the drivers seat back and the steering wheel up.

Now, I’ve finally caught Josh in a habit of illogical behavior of his own…
(the lid is closed and the basket is completely EMPTY)

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Photo Update: Grand Canyon

During our first week here, before even half our boxes were unpacked, we took a trip to the Grand Canyon. I’m not going to lie, I did have a “Bobby! Cindy!” chant in my head on the way there. (If you get the Brady Bunch reference, good job!) When we got there, I was stunned. It is quite the site!

Here are some photos from the natural wonder of the world.

Hates Spinach, Loves Goat Milk Formula

Though he hates spinach, Georgie is loving his new (goat”s) milk.

About a month ago, I knew I needed to start giving Georgie something more than just my milk, since I wasn’t producing as much as he was wanting. And, I knew that I may need to find an alternative to my milk, in case I wasn’t able to continue pumping sufficient amounts. The thought was scary. Breast milk is so obvious. With my own milk I didn’t have to worry about harmful ingredients, and allergies. What’s more, my family has a history of dairy allergens and other information on the importance of “real food” made me hesitant to introduce a formula to my healthy guy.

My fear was replaced with excitement when I found this goat milk formula from someone much smarter than me  on the Organic and Thrifty blog. (Here’s the link to her page: http://oreganicthrifty.blogspot.com/2009/05/goat-milk-formula-recipe.html)

Georgie has been fully on this goat milk formula for almost two weeks now, and is doing great. I haven’t seen any notable difference yet. (Which surprises me!)

So, here’s the formula:

(I am paraphrasing and adding my comments to this recipe and commentary from Organic and Thrifty, who adapted this from Dr. Mary Enig & Sally Fallon’s Milk-Based Formula recipe in Nourishing Traditions)

Goat Milk Formula
36 ounces:2 cups raw or pastuerized goat milk (Organic and Thrifty says: “While raw milk will give optimal nutrition, it is my opinion that pastuerized and even powdered goats milk may be perferable, in some cases, to cow’s milk for children with extreme sensitivities.” For these reasons, I’ve been using Meyenberg’s pastuerized goat milk.)2 cups filtered water (I do closer to a 3:1 cup ratio of goats milk to water, now that Georgie is almost 11 months)

1/4 cup liquid whey from whole milk yogurt or kefir (I don’t include this in the formula, but rather feed Georgie yogurt in the morning, including the whey that has formed on top each morning.)

1 -2 tsp organic blackstrap molasses (Start with less, add more if needed. This provides B-vitamins, iron, trace minerals, and helped relieve constipation. If stools are too loose, decrease amount!)

2 tsp Grade B organic maple syrup (adds carbs, necessary for brain growth)

1/4 tsp of bifodobacterium infantis (I use MaxiBabydophilus from Country Life)

1/2 teaspoon high-vitamin cod liver oil (I use Nordic Naturals Children”s DHA. I don’t include this in the formula, but rather, give him this amount each day during one of his meals. I was worried about the fishy and fruity flavor it would add to the formula.)

1 tsp unrefined sunflower oil (Rapunzel brand) for Vitamin E

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil for monosaturated fats

2 tsp virgin coconut oil (this is very important, as it contains lauric acid which is a medium-chain fatty acid. It’s an important antiviral, antifungal that’s found in breast milk)

2 tsp nutritional yeast (This is also very important as it contains the B vitamins.If your child is gassy or has reflux on this formula, remove the yeast first and see if it improves. Yeasts vary from brand to brand, Organic and Thrifty recommends Lewis Labs.)

1/4 teaspoon amla or acerola powder (I am still on the lookout for this, and can’t find it in any of the natural food stores here in Flagstaff.)

Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Pour into individual bottles or one large. (I have found that pouring into bottles immediately helps distribute the coconut oil that sits on top, as it is harder to separate after refrigerating.) To warm, place in a bottle warmer, or pan of simmering water. Never use a microwave. This formula is best made daily to preserve freshness and to optimize nutrition.

Helpful Hint: I put in the dry ingredients first, then the oily ones, then the syrup and molasses. That way, I can use one measuring spoon for the whole process, and the oils keep the molasses from sticking to the spoon.

Hope this recipe, and link to Organic and Thrifty helps!

My Victory in Breastfeeding

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About two months before Georgie was born, I was confronted with a question I hadn’t thought of, and quite frankly, knew nothing about: “Are you planning to breastfeed?”

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Being the avid information gatherer that I am, it signaled the beginning of a race of research. I was really hoping to find out that it didn’t really matter too much one way or another. The whole idea of breastfeeding was foreign to me, and it didn’t seem conducive to my mobile lifestyle. However, the more I read, the more I knew that breast milk would be ideal for my baby.

Learning to breastfeed was highly representative of how hard it was to adjust to motherhood. I was in love with my child, but didn’t love that I couldn’t pick up and go without a fully stocked diaper bag in tote, or that I was spending all day on a couch healing and nursing, and nursing and nursing.

Eventually, with the help of a lactation consultant, we discovered that our little guy had a slow-suck. Which explained why I was feeding him for nearly an hour, then pumping an enormous amount to supplement with.

I can’t quite remember which month we were in when I decided it was time to begin exclusively pumping. Though much of our decision seemed driven by my slow adjustment to the new obligations of motherhood (check out this article…it explains the adjustment so well! http://www.ncregister.com/blog/simcha-fisher/to-the-mother-with-only-one-child), I couldn’t deny that Georgie was happy and plump because of our ginormous breast milk supplementation, and that he was losing interest in “nursing”.

So, we began the adventure of exclusive pumping. I say we, to give credit to Josh. I think Georgie’s slow suck, or was it my discomfort (does it really matter?), was countered by Josh’s “We can do this!” attitude. So, while Josh was with the baby in the morning and night, and during our lunch, I was pumping.

Between cleaning bottles and parts, and having to pump in the middle of the night, it was a lot of work. I can’t describe how much I wished I was nursing Georgie, rather than chilling with a machine. However, it doesn’t matter. Georgie is nearly eleven months now. He is healthy and he loves his mama. (I was worried about missing out on important bonding.)

So, why am I posting this now?

Two reasons:

First, I want to celebrate something. When I first started to exclusively pump, my goal was to make it until Georgie was nine months. I made it ten and a half!

Second, to mention a formula alternative, that made my inability to produce anymore, feel a lot better. So, stay tuned. I’ll give details on that tomorrow.

This is the Life…in Flagstaff

Well we finally got internet, more than a week later than promised, but we’re connected now.

In the last three weeks we’ve officially relocated to a place where hummingbirds float outside, the altitude makes cookies flat and one beer feel like three, and every time we look north we are staring at postcard worthy mountains.

Flagstaff is like the lesson learned after a time of suffering. By that I’m referring to the drive. It was long, and a lot of desert. Then, just when you start to wonder if you are on a perpetual tour of purgatory, trees appear and the air cools. Josh and I were immediately convinced that we would like it here.

Despite my loathing of the moving process, and thanks to Josh’s helpful parents, we got settled quickly. I think it felt like home within the first few days.

I will post pictures soon. Promise.

This week is Welcome week for students at NAU. So, needless to say, Fall Outreach has begun and our family is going to be busy meeting new students during these next few weeks. In fact, Josh is out right now playing a campus-wide game of Fugitive (which I gather is like Cops and Robbers). This is an effort to introduce students to the Missionaries and student leaders. There will be about two hundred students gathering at the Newman to play.

Wish I could be there, but motherhood calls (aka a glass of wine and a few taped episodes of the Big Bang Theory). Pretty great. Though, I will admit, there will probably be posts soon about the difficulties of adjusting to a less than full time position.

I also promise to give updates on Georgie. Ah. He is the best.

Sending love from Flag.

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(photo credit: arizonaforvisitors.com)

So, So Good to be Back

We had a great Fourth. Well, more like a great First, Second, Third, and Fourth.

We’ve spent time in Falls City with Josh’s family, Lincoln with mine, have seen both of our Grandmas and spent last evening with our friends.

O it’s good to be back in The Good Life.

Visiting Grandma LaVeta.

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Time at the pool with my sisters, and celebrating with the Hanigans.

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Like a Duck in Water

We took Georgie swimming today. He loved the water. Mostly, he just loved watching the other swimmers, and hitting the water over and over and over again. It was so much fun to watch him be a kid.

Now, we’re home and he’s crawling around in a clean oversized t shirt after a warm, post swim shower. I feel really blessed right now, and I think he does too. Josh definitely does (since I’m letting him nap for a while).

(My phone camera doesn’t work, so we didn’t get good pictures from the pool. Bummer! Here’s a few from when we got to the car.)

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