Tag Archives: parenting

10 Geeky Songs to Sing Your Baby To Sleep To

25 Nov

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I know I’ve been spamming my blog with “4 Things To…” and “Top 10 Ways…” and “30 Things I’d Like To..” lists, BUT!

1) I’ve got an unhealthy attachment to lists.

2) Lists help me gather my thoughts.

3) Lists remind me to stop talking. If I didn’t limit myself with “Top 10’s” I just wouldn’t stop typing. Ever.

And see what I there? I even listed my reasons for making lists. I’ve got a real problem, I know.

Anyway, when I was in the hospital with Tessa – just hours after having her – I held this newborn baby creature in my hands, watched her slowly blinking off to sleep and thought, “Quick! Sing her a lullabye! Be all maternal and junk!” And I kid you not, the first thing to pop into my head and pop out of my mouth was, “Link.. he come to town.. come to save the Princess Zelda!”

Now, I’ve since expanded to, ya know, normal songs. Things like, “Oh You Beautiful Doll” and “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” and other sweet songs slightly more in line with conventional parenting bedtime ballads. But I got to thinking. There are SO MANY songs out there that would transition perfectly for the living-with-parents nerd that has become a nerd-turned-parent cooing into a baby bassinet.

Besides. You gotta raise that child right. A baby without nerd cred is just, well, just another kid. That will probably grow up to like sports. *shudder* I kid, I kid!

But anyway, here’s my list of 10 Geeky Songs to Sings Your Baby To Sleep To. Let me know which geeky lullabies you would recommend. ^_^

1. Biblo Baggins by Leonard Nemoy

2. Legend of Zelda by System of a Down

3. Star Wars Song by Chatting Kids Space Camp

4. Momiji Song from Fruits Basket

5. Everybody to the Limit by Strong Bad

6. The Ultimate Showdown by Lemon Demon

7. Ballad of the Noob by Stone Falcon Productions

8. His Cheeseburger from Veggie Tales

9. The Galaxy Song from Monty Python

10. Guten Tag Hop Clop from The Producers

Four Harmful Things to Avoid With Disposable Diapers

25 Nov

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So I’m planning on visiting my family in California next month, and my mom is busy making preparations for Tessa and I to visit (poor hubby has to work). I was giving her a list of things to buy so I don’t have to pack as much, and when telling her which diapers to get, I thought – hey! Blog post! Nothing like chattering into a void to help you formulate and better articulate your thoughts and research…

When it comes to diaper selection, I must first clarify that I consider myself to be only a semi-crunchy mom in that my concern is NOT primarily for the environment. (Sorry hippies.) I mean, I will, when given a feasible option, choose products that are nicer to the planet. I firmly believe that God has charged us to be good stewards of the Earth. But I also firmly believe that my little girl comes first. If “saving the planet” breaks the bank or strains my family financially, Earth can go whining to Michael Moore.

My one and only concern is my daughter and reducing her exposure to unnecessary chemicals and toxins.

Cloth diapers, which reign supreme in the crunchy mom circles, are not a realistic option for us. We don’t have a washer and dryer and only do laundry every other week when I have the car to run errands. Frequent trips to the Laundromat, with me dropping husband off at work to have the car (an hour drive there and back) would break our budget at this point. Additionally, our apartment complex has a strict “no hanging clothes out to dry on your balcony or patio” rule that they expect us to adhere to, or face a fine. (Really, it’s like Arcadia from X-Files around here.) And besides those facts, neither Jonathan nor I are overly interested in hand washing poo on our down time.

So with cloth diapers out, when approaching the world of disposable diapers, I’ve discovered that there are four major concerns about what will be placed on my baby’s skin every day for the next 3-5 years. And they are as follows:

Perfumes and “Mystery Ingredients”

Perfume fragrances are sometimes used in disposable diapers, under the assumption that parents would prefer a “spring rain” scented turd in lieu of simply changing a smelly diaper. The scents found in many diapers are strong and chemical-laden, harboring unnecessary irritants with potential to cause such health issues ranging from diaper rash to respiratory symptoms to allergies or worse.

As I talked about in a previous blog post, infants skin is unbelievably sensitive to product. Babies skin is ten times thinner than adult skin and doesn’t have a natural acid mantle yet, which in adults has a pH value of 5.5. The acid mantle protects the skin from irritants, allergens, pathogens, and from drying out. Babies do not have this protection. Additionally, their ratio of skin surface area to body volume is significantly larger than in adults, so their skin soaks up even minute amounts of chemicals, and it directly effects their fragile developing systems.

My biggest concern with perfumes in disposable diapers (and any product I put on my baby) is the “Mystery Ingredients” that get slipped in. As reported in the Huffington Post and elsewhere: “…due to the ‘trade secret’ status of fragrances, manufacturers are still not required by the FDA to disclose their ingredients on the label or in any other way.”

As a result, a manufacturer can legally bury dozens of potentially toxic chemicals under a “Fragrance” ingredient listing. (This is how Johnson & Johnson has gotten away throwing in downright toxic ingredients for so long.) Anything with “Fragrance” in it’s ingredient list will NOT be going on Tessa’s skin.

Chlorine Bleach and Dioxins

The process of chlorine bleaching diapers leaves tons of chemicals in the fibers of disposable diapers.  These chemical toxins are called “dioxins.” Based on animal studies, dioxins are believed to have the ability to cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency has identified dioxins as a “likely human carcinogen.” You can read all about dioxin from the World Health Organization here.

Dyes and Skin Irritants

Dyes are usually added to diapers to color them. (Duh.) This is really the lesser of all the disposable diaper evils, but still one that I choose to avoid.

The biggest downside to dyes is that they are known to cause skin and diaper rashes and have provoked allergic reactions in some babies. In a study published in Pediatrics in 2005, switching to dye-free diapers was shown to eliminate skin rashes which occurred in areas exposed to colored portions of diapers.

I’m not anti-dye (after all, the fabric on your babies onesie is likely dyed) but when it comes to prolonged exposure on my babies genitals, why not go with a dye-free version? I don’t care if a diaper is colorful and pretty, it’s just gonna get pooped on.

Phthalates and Harmful Chemicals

Phthalates are mainly plasticizers, added to products to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity. In some disposable diapers, phthalates may be used as part of the process to create a waterproof outer or inner liner. The problem with phthalates is that they are not tightly chemically-bonded to the plastic, and therefore they continuously release through leaching into liquids.

Phthalates have been a concern in the medical community for its use in bottled water for some time now due to potential toxic effects to endocrine and reproductive systems – to which infants are particularly vulnerable. (This is why phthalates are a main concern with baby bottles and why I will soon be switching to glass bottles for Tessa.)

Not all diapers use phthalates, but here’s the kicker: US law does not currently require disclosure of phthalates. The only way to know that diapers are phthalate-free is if the manufacturer declares that they are.

So the good news is, there ARE natural diapers out there that are free from these four poopy ingredients listed! (If there weren’t I’d be switching to cloth in a heartbeat.) There are a number of manufacturers who offer complete transparency in their diaper ingredients, though not many. You’d be surprised how many companies do NOT practice full disclosure with their ingredients – the biggest brands guilty of this are Huggies and Pampers.

I personally use Earth’s Best brand disposable diapers on Tessa, as it meets all my personal disposable diaper requirements and then some – it’s also environmentally friendly – and it does not break the bank. They are priced only slightly more than the toxic mystery ingredient leading brands. A really awesome source for side by side comparisons of natural disposable diaper brands is available over at Baby Lab in their Battle for the Best Disposable Diapers.

Do you use disposable diapers or cloth? And if so, which ones and why? ^_^

10 Things I Learned in 10 Weeks of Motherhood

22 Nov

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My beautiful baby Tessa turned 10 weeks old on Tuesday! I really, truly, have no idea how time has passed so quickly. How did time creep by so slowly when she was in my tummy and I was anxiously awaiting her… and now 10 weeks have passed in the blink of an eye? You need proof that time is relative? Get a baby in your arms and watch seconds melt into weeks.

Being a mommy is everything I’d dreamt it would be, and more. The only thing lacking from my visions of mommyhood?

I don’t feel like crap. I feel great.

Hearing the horror stories and warnings in pregnancy and mothering books had got me all prepped for sleepless nights and a dirty house and stress and loss of freedom and no more home cooked meals and no more showers and so on and so on.

Yes, I’ve been tired. Yes, I did get a few weeks of the baby blues (which I mostly took out on my husband… sorry honey!) And yes, I’ve gotten a little overwhelmed with mounting chores and housework, I’d be lying if I said we didn’t cave and order a pizza now and then and I do now shower like I’m in some kind of speed bathing competition in case the baby wakes. But it’s not “bad” or “hard”. At least not hard in the conventional sense.

As I reread the warnings and cautions found in basic “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” type books, I think I’m starting to see a couple of areas where some new mommies sometimes go “wrong”, in my opinion. As my husband likes to say, “Opinions are like a$$holes, everyone’s got one and they all stink.” So if you think I’m way off track, you might be right, who knows? I’m just speaking from my own experience. I know I’m a new mother, and I’m very new to all of this, but my 10 weeks with Tessa have made me realize what works best for me as a mom.

Maybe I have an amazing, easygoing, textbook perfect baby. Or maybe I’m on to something. Maybe it’s a little bit of both? (Probably.) But regardless, I’d like to share with any other mommies out there the ten things I’ve learned that has helped me in my first ten weeks as a mommy:

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This article needed an imagery break. So I present to you: The many faces of baby Tessa!

1. Don’t listen to the nay-sayers.

This is probably going to piss some people off when I say this, but I firmly believe that the widespread insistence that having children means you automatically inherit a messy house and a lack of home cooked meals is just an excuse for laziness. Now I understand that once a child (or two, or three, or four) are walking and getting into everything and being tiny little maniacs, order and cleanliness get hard. And I think “clean” clutter and mayhem in an environment can be HEALTHY and in some cases NECESSARY for a child. I plan on having my home being a delightful jumble of homeschool projects splattered all over the place.

But I think too many people propagate the myth that having children means there must therefore be a departure from domestic duties. In other words, too many women nowadays are using their children as an excuse for their slovenliness, in my opinion. And to excuse their messy house and chronic fast food meals, they ferociously stand by the ideal that children are to blame and “it will happen to you too”.

Maybe I’m just blessed to know a lot of awesome moms who can raise happy healthy kids AND cook and clean too (and teach their children to join in the housework!) or maybe I’m just stubborn, but I refused to believe this from the start. Entering motherhood with the attitude that I can be a mommy and maintain a house as part of my daily duties has helped enable me to do so. So when the going gets tough, I don’t just cop out. And I’ve spent every day since Tessa’s birth sticking by my duties as a stay at home housewife with an “I can do this” attitude.

Yeah, it’s somewhat harder to accomplish housework and social obligations and recreational time with a baby, and I’m sure it’ll be much harder when she’s toddling around and eventually running all over the place. To get chores done or run errands or even meet with friends I have to plan my day now, and work around her naps or carry her in the ring sling while I work and play. But maintaining the house and living my life while still giving Tessa my all as a mother is do-able. And if it’s ever not, this brings me to the second thing I’ve learned…

2. Take all the help you can get.

When I came home from the hospital, my in-laws were visiting from Washington State. When the dog needed walking, or a prescription for that sweet, sweet miracle of Tylenol-3 needed picking up or if mommy needed a nap, the in-laws would walk the dog, pick up the prescription or watch Tessa. My husband made a point (and still does) of taking care of as many dirty diapers and bottle feedings as he can when he’s home, to give me a break.

After the in-laws left, my parents came to visit, and the baby watching and chore helping happened all over again. As a result, I was one of the most well-rested, bright-eyed new mommies you’ve probably ever seen. I’d have had a spring in my step right out of the hospital if it weren’t for that damn perineal tear. Whenever people were amazed I was “so awake” or “out and about so early”, I thought I was just one tough cookie. A champ if you will.

Then the in-laws and parents went home and Jonathan’s paternity leave went away and he went back to work, and I realized, HOLY CRAP caring for an infant solo is no walk in the park! While I CAN take care of Tessa alone, it is far better for myself and by extension far better for her if I take all the help I can get.

So I’ve made a point of swallowing my pride (like a little kid trying to assert her independence, I still have a tendency to shout, “I can do all by self!” and try to take the reins on… well… everything) and now I ask for help when I need it. While I am lucky to have family and a husband that can and want to be involved in carrying the blessed and beautiful burden of raising a baby girl, I am convinced that if ever I can’t turn to them for help, I will – for my sake and for my daughters – find a network of people who can.

Most churches have mommy’s night out daycare nights. There are tons of friendly mom groups out and about in the community – from Crunchy Moms to Military Moms to Christian Moms – that are an amazing resource for babysitting co-ops, housework swapping or simply available as a shoulder to cry on. Not to mention lots of babysitters aren’t opposed to an extra few bucks for doing housework.

Just don’t be afraid to ask for a hand. I would not think being a mommy was such a walk in the park if I’d had to go through the baby blues alone.

3. Know what kind of a mother you want to be.

Know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Any business, corporation, heck even student clubs in elementary school campuses have a mission statement. It you know what kind of a mother you want to be, and what you expect to accomplish by your children, it will steer you in the right direction when the waters get choppy. I am convinced that clarity of vision and focus will get you through the darkest of hours.

I wrote a Mission Statement on Motherhood last Mothers Day, when Tessa was still just a wiggle in my belly. Jonathan and I were in Washington State visiting his parents before he left for Navy Boot Camp, and we were staying at a cabin in the gorgeous Olympic Peninsula. Surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of God’s creation (and the location of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, haha) I spent a weekend just pondering what being a mother meant to me. And then I put it down in writing.

By charting out my course beforehand, I don’t feel so overwhelmed now. I don’t suffer the nagging doubt that I’ve heard so many fellow moms confess to: Doubt in their ability to be a good mom. Fears that their children won’t love them. Fears that they’ll “mess up” their upbringing or won’t be good enough.

When I look at my “Motherhood Mission Statement” I know that as long as I stay true to those principals, as long as I give my all in those areas and commit to staying true to my ideals, I will be the best mother that I can be. Even when I’ve fumbled in areas, I have no regrets over the past 10 weeks because I have kept my eye on my goals as a mother and have given Tessa my 110%.

I am convinced that more moms wouldn’t feel so lost or confused or doubtful if they simply determined beforehand what kind of mother they will daily strive to be.

4. Know that you are an imperfect person.

While we strive for perfection as mothers, the simple fact is, there are no perfect people on this planet. (Well, there was this one guy, once…)

Having a Motherhood Mission Statement is vital, but we must also realize that there is no such thing as a Supermom. We can’t do it all. And sometimes, even when we have the help of friends and family, it’s still not enough to feel “on top of it all”. And that’s okay. You are not perfect.

That doesn’t mean that you are valueless. You are loved by God. You are unique and you are indispensable to your child. But knowing that you aren’t perfect and that you can never be perfect gives you the freedom to try your best and accept grace when your best doesn’t seem to be enough.

The thing is, you WILL fall down as a parent. You WILL drop the ball and make some mistakes. But you just need to get back up and keep trying. Because your baby is worth it and your all is all that she needs.

Resting firmly in the knowledge of that fact makes my “failures” seem like learning curves and not an assault on my qualifications for motherhood. God gave me this child for a reason, and as long as I keep trying and keep moving forward (to quote that amazing Disney motto in Meet the Robinsons) I will do right by her when I give her back to God. So when I am too busy to water the plants or take the trash out, or so tired I change the litter box but put the lid on wrong so that the cats end up pooping all over the floor (sigh), it’s not a huge issue. I’ll plan better next time and I’ll do this next little thing I’ve learned…

5. Laugh at everything.

Laughter really is good medicine. When you’ve got a tiny little human on your hands, nothing is in your control anymore. Things are gonna get pooped on, peed on, spit up on.

So just laugh! Here are some benefits of laughter that I totally didn’t just steal from this website:

Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

So laugh! But even better than laughter…

6. Give everything to God.

Pray about every little thing. The good, the bad, the funky. I started praying for Tessa when she still in the womb (and before she was even conceived, truth be told) and I blogged earlier about Praying Through Your Pregnancy. While it’s important to cover your child in prayer, the benefits for you are impossible to exaggerate.

Can you think of any greater honor than to have an audience with the One who rules over ALL creation? We have been invited to talk with the one who put the stars in place. We are invited to seek counsel from the One who is truth and wisdom. We are invited to sit down with the One who knows all things.

And prayer makes a difference! Circumstances change when people pray. Diseases are sometimes healed, strength is imparted, guidance is given, hearts are softened, needs are met. I know that when I pray for others it helps them. But I also know that when I pray, I am changed. Into a better person, a better wife and a better mother to my little Tessa.

7. Don’t stop doing what makes you happy.

This was a BIG point that Jonathan and I heard a lot when we found out we were expecting. “You won’t be able to cosplay anymore once you have children.” “Eat up now while you can, you won’t be cooking anymore gourmet meals with a baby.” “Your poor cats, you won’t have time to play with them once Tessa is born.”

I will admit, I actually feared that these statements would be true. Like some inexplicable and irreversible virus in a zombie apocalypse flick, I feared that the infection of becoming a mother would render me hobby-less and passion-less for my personal pursuits, completely outside of my will. It was the thought of losing myself that scared me the most.

Because while my baby girl is my little baby world, I am not my child. If I find my identity in her and her alone, I am not living my life the way God intended. While my priorities have undoubtedly changed, I still think it is important – if not vital – to pursue you personal interests. From personal observation, the healthiest and most emotionally adjusted mothers I know take time to pursue interests, foster friendships, and make time for the things in their lives that bring them joy – both with and without their kids. So Jonathan and I are both making a point of taking time for the things we liked to do as a couple before we became three.

Again, it’s harder to, say, try out that new recipe in my New Orleans cookbook with a baby in tow, but it’s not impossible. It brings me joy, therefore I will make time for it and plan for it, even if it means hours of prep time between naps and feedings.

Just don’t lose yourself. Keep growing and cultivating who you are.

8. Don’t neglect your marriage.

Your baby needs two loving, devoted, madly and passionately in love parents. So flirt like a sexually frustrated pubescent teenager and indulge in some cheese-ball level romantics with your honey.

Find time for intimacy, in any and every way. After Tessa made her grand debut via vaginal birth, I couldn’t have The Sex for about 6 weeks post-partum, so Jonathan and I made a point of giving each other massages, making our own aromatherapy massage oil concoctions. (I don’t know what was sexier, playing mad scientist with tiny vials of smell pretties with my husband, or massages by the fireplace.)

While we aren’t alone anymore, we’re making a point of becoming closer than ever. We take our baby into the tub with us and have long talks about our hopes and dreams for her future. We watch Muppets Tonight reruns while hugging her between us. Just gazing down at a sleeping Tessa is one of the most romantic things we’ve ever done.

Keep the romance going. Your husband will be the one still by your side when your little baby is off making babies of her own someday.

9. Don’t neglect your friends.

In the same vein of people warning that we “won’t have time to pursue hobbies anymore”, we didn’t want to be the couple that neglected our friends once we had kids. We’re lucky because a combination of Jonathan working constantly and us being a country away from our friends and family has made it easy to neglect our friends out of necessity and not out of baby induced negligence. Haha!

But we have made a point to socialize with our little tot in tow. We attend community events from art walks, to book signings to anime conventions. We meet up with new friend at movie releases and church events.

No man is an island, and no family should be either. Get in the habit of fostering active friendships and maintaining relationships with loved ones. I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s good for you emotionally and what’s good for you, makes you a better mother. (Plus, you’ve got a really frikkin’ cute baby to show off!)

10. Take time for yourself.

Last but not least, take time for yourself. When the baby is sleeping, give yourself a foot soak. Read a book. Watch some anime. Write a blog post. Go on a hike. Take a nap. But don’t forget to take care of yourself.

Your baby needs a healthy mommy. So make sure you meet your own needs. When you are well-rested you can enjoy every minute with your baby that much more!

WELL! Those are the ten things I’ve learned these past ten weeks. I think these points really are the “secret formula” to healthy and happy parenting. I’m sure I’m overlooking some other vital points. So help me out. What have YOU learned as mother? Let me know, I’d love to share trade secrets! ^_^

Family Photos at Seville Quarter

22 Sep

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The day before I was induced, Jonathan and I discovered Seville Quarter, a gorgeous Dixieland-esque slice of New Orleans located in the old Pensacola Cigar & Tobacco Company warehouse on Government Street in the middle of Downtown Pensacola.

Seville Quarter is described as “Historic Pensacola with a bourbon chaser!” The large building houses seven unique rooms. One is a turn of the century speakeasy bar with a steampunk twist. One is a bar with an old Western theme, featuring a lamp lit stage where a dueling piano show is performed every night. So on and so on. Check out their website to see more details, instead of hearing my enamored gushing.

At any rate, the day before Tessa made her entrance into the world, we discovered the Palace Café room of Seville Quarter – a dimly lit coffee bar that looks like you stepped into the New Orleans French Quarter. The French doors in the Palace Café are from the old Italian Hall in New Orleans. The bar and back bar in the café date between 1810 and 1820 and come from the Palace Hotel, which is said to have had the first liquor license in the state of Florida. And the stools are from the Wisteria Cafeteria and date from 1870.

Jonathan and I sat in the café, just soaking in the ambiance. The Palace Café connects to Apple Annie’s restaurant, where a live jazz brunch was in full swing. We enjoyed warm beignets and café mochas while listening to the live jazz and people watching – particularly watching an adorable toddler running around while his parents had to take turns chasing him between bottomless mimosa refills. We kept giggling over the cutie and rubbing my tummy, imagining what life will be like when Tessa is that size.

We’ve decided this place MUST be a regular date spot. In fact, we’ve been there twice since that one date day. We took Tessa and Jonathan’s parents exactly one week later on the next Sunday… and I was able to enjoy bottomless mimosas this time! And a few days ago we took my mother who is visiting from California, where we shared beignets and lattes and then wandered the courtyard taking family photos!

Below are some of the photos we took. I’m so in love with my little family!!

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Praying Through Your Pregnancy

11 Jun

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Week by week throughout this pregnancy Jonathan and I have been reading the book, Praying Through Your Pregnancy by Jennifer Polimino and Carolyn Warren. It’s been quite an inspirational read and fulfills the inner nerd in me that gets retardedly giddy over any form of checklists. What are we praying for this week? This, this, and this? I’M ON IT!

Also? It’s helped me put things into their proper perspective. When it comes to family life, people often get distracted with material, tangible things – when having a firm spiritual foundation in prayer is the most important aspect of a Christian home. Jonathan and I have made praying together for Tessa a priority in our family. The prayers you speak during pregnancy will quite literally be the first prayers your baby will hear.

It’s amazing, awe-inspiring and sobering to think that even before your baby was conceived, he or she was on God’s calendar! Scripture says:

“I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born.” – Jeremiah 1:5

God has incredible plans for your child, and it is never too late or too early to begin praying for His power and protection over your precious baby’s life. As Christian mothers it is our job to spiritually – not just physically – nurture our children.

Regardless of circumstances in life, prayer is quite literally one of the most important things a Christian can do. Prayer is so powerful. Each time you take your thoughts, your worries, your cares and your concerns to the throne of God, it builds confidence in your Creator, and reduces stress and anxiety as your trust grows in Him.

There’s no “trick” to prayer – simply talk to God about anything and everything you can possibly think of regarding your baby during your nine months of pregnancy. God is real and nothing is too big or too small for him!

My problem when it comes to prayer is that my head is a very loud place. I get easily distracted; other thoughts constantly push me out of my quiet zone. This applies to general periods of relaxation / meditation / breathing exercises as well as times when I try to clear my mind and simply focus on talking to God. This is why I find this book so helpful. Having topics to focus on week by week, and relevant Scripture to meditate on, really does help me to pray much more effectively.

Here are some basic things you can (and should!) pray for you unborn child:

PRAY FOR PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT

Each week, research to find out what is developing in your baby’s body and pray specifically for that body part as it grows and develops.

Pray for your child’s overall and long-term health and growth, that all things proceed as they were designed to as your baby is knit together in your womb.

Pray that any family or genetic traits or illnesses that you or loved ones suffered from, will not affect your baby.

PRAY FOR SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT

Pray for wisdom for your child and a mind that thirsts after Gods Holy Word.

Pray that your child have a heart that longs for God and strives to please the Lord.

Each week, focus on a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and claim Gods promises and blessings for your child. Pray for a sensitive and discerning spirit to be fostered within your child as she grows.

PRAY FOR PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT

Pray for what kind of person your child will grow up to be. Pray that whatever life throws at your child, they will become stronger and better because of it – through good times and bad.

Look at and access the areas of weakness within yourself and your spouse – these are generally the areas that we pass on to our children. If you are impatient, pray for patience for your child. If you are quick to anger, pray for a spirit of peace for your child. And so on and so on.

Pray for aspects you admire in others: a sense of humor, a quick wit, a creative mind, a carefree spirit. In praying for these virtues in your children, you will be setting the tone to foster these traits in them as they grow.

PRAY FOR YOUR CHILDS FUTURE

Pray for joy and happiness in your child’s life, and an unbreakable spirit.

Pray that whatever God has planned for your child, that they will walk the path carved for them before the world began. Pray that they fulfill their purpose in this life.

Pray for your childs future spouse, and for their parents. Pray for your child’s future friends. God is omnipotent and omniscient, these prayers – while seemingly putting the cart before the horse – are not trivial or out of place to an Almighty God!

PRAY FOR YOUR FAMILY

Pray for protection for your family – financially, physically and spiritually.

Pray for future children, if you intend to have more. Pray for your current child and your future child’s relationship as siblings.

Pray for you and your spouse, that God will equip you to be the parents that you need to be to raise up your child in the way they should go.

For more inspiration, or to post prayer requests on the public forum and prayer network, you can check out the Praying Through Your Pregnancy books interactive website here.

Natural Parenting for Non-Hippies Babywearing Meet-Up

8 Jun

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I finally got to attend a Natural Parenting for Non-Hippies meet up! I was invited by the lovely Miss Emily of Joyful Abode, who has become my mommy networking guru for the Kings County area. The NPNH group is a wonderful source of information for local mothers in the Central Valley. It’s a great place to give and get help – and as a new mommy, I can use all the help I can get!

This specific meet up was all about babywearing, and was intended to allow mothers to share their favorite carriers, slings and wraps with other moms. I fully intend to babywear, so I was excited for the chance to ask questions  and play with other peoples products and babies. (I have to keep reminding myself that soon I will have a tiny little Tessa to play with and I don’t need to steal other peoples offspring, haha.)

I think that I am personally going to go with the Maya Wrap. It seems the easiest and less threatening of all the baby wraps I’ve seen and it would be easy for Jonathan and I to interchangeably use the wrap. I also intend to try and sew a couple of my own slings from tutorials I’ve found online.

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I was able to steal a tiny two week old to try on the Maya Wrap sling. I am on such a baby high right now, you have no idea.

After spending a couple of hours picking the brains of local mommies, I realize that I have a lot more research and experimenting to do when it comes to settling on “the” wrap that is best for me, but in the meantime, here are a few reasons that – regardless of sling – Jonathan and I both intend to babywear:

Benefits of Babywearing Include:

–          The parents oxytocin is increased through physical contact with their infant, leading to a more intimate maternal / paternal bond. (Oxytocin is considered the “love horomone” or the “trust chemical”. It is the chemical that is released during orgasm and promotes intimacy and bonding. Some benefits of increased oxytocin: a lowered the incidence of postpartum depression and psychosomatic illness in the mother, overall lowered stress in men and women, men with increased oxytocin experience a boost in romantic urges and studies show that men with increased oxytocin levels are more likely to stay faithful in a relationship!)

–          Infants who are carried are calmer because all of their primal survival needs are met. The caregiver can be seen, heard, smelled, touched and tasted, and the motion of being carried helps continue neural development, gastrointestinal and respiratory health and to establish balance (inner ear development) and muscle tone.

–          Infants are “humanized” earlier by developing socially. Babies are closer to people and can study facial expressions, learn languages faster and be familiar with body language.

–          Studies of parent-child attachment, parental satisfaction and infant crying all point to babywearing as an ideal solution for most parents to provide an optimum environment for attachment between parent and child. Baby carriers and slings help increase the number of hours a day an infant is held, and there is an inverse relationship between the number of hours spent crying and the number of hours a child is held in a given day.

–          Babywearing allows the wearer to have two free hands to accomplish tasks such as laundry (or cosplay crafting, haha) while caring for the baby’s need to be held. It also allows children to be involved in social interactions and to see their surroundings as an adult would.

–          Last, but not least, slings can also be a fashion statement! They come in many different designs and colors and are available in many different types of materials. Can we say hello Comic Con themed wraps??? (Starts eyeing nerdy fabrics…)

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