Sunday, May 30, 2010

To Wean Or Not To Wean?

Lately, there's been a huge debate between the Sailor and myself.

The Monkey is nearing 14 months old, and surpisingly, I was able to make it to his first birthday sucessfully nursing him. For awhile, it was touch and go. I was concerned that my milk supply might not be adequate. Not to mention that the Monkey developed the habit of biting, and that was rather painful. However, despite everything, we made it to the 1 year mark, and now for the last couple months, I have been working on gradually weaning him.

What does gradually weaning mean?! Well, the number of times a day that he nurses has decreased to just 4 times. First thing in the the morning, when I am not quite ready to start my day, (At 5:30 in the morning.) before both his morning and evening naps, and before bed. The rest of the time, he is eating solid foods, and drink fluids. However, the Monkey doesn't have any interest in being fully weaned yet, and sometimes, I feel as if I am jumping the gun a bit.

The Sailor on the other hand, is firm in his opinion. As far as he is concerned, the Monkey should have been weaned at 6 months. A point that he has made more than clear for the last several months, and despite the fact that I have yet to completely wean the Monkey, he seems to feel that we decided as a parenting couple to wean the Monkey 8 months ago.

So, now the Sailor is resentful and frustrated with me, because he feels that I did not take his feelings into consideration when it came to the whole subject of weaning. He feels that the Monkey has an obsessive attachment to me because I am still nursing, and he wants me to stop completely and suddenly, COLD TURKEY.

Unfortunately, at the Monkey's 1 year check up, his doctor informed me that he was slightly underweight. A fact that more than surprised me, and despite the fact that we offer the Monkey cow's milk on a regular basis, he still isn't quite interested in drinking it. Because I don't allow him to guzzle down juice all day every day, I feel that nursing gives him extra calories, in addition to the food he eats, as well as additional fluids, combined with the water, and some juice he does drink.

Not to mention the fact that the Monkey has completely transitioned from breast to cup, having skipped the bottle phase completely. The Sailor believes we should start bottle feeding milk to the Monkey, so that he will wean completely from my breast. But why would I take a step back and put the Monkey on a bottle when at over a year old, he should be off the bottle?!

Lastly, there is a small part of me that isn't quite ready for the Monkey to be completley weaned yet. He is my last baby, and the bond that has been established between the Monkey and me, because I have spent all these months nursing him, is special to me. It is something that I have felt proud of myself for continuing on with, and shouldn't it be my decision as to when I am going to wean him anyway? It is not as if I plan to continue nursing him till his second birthday. I do plan on him being weaned well before 18 months. However, he still isn't quite 14 months old and I wonder why nursing my son became such a problem with my husband?!

Or is it that he is ready for the "baby phase" of our lives to be over with?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Germ Bugs and Baby Rub

The last two weeks for us have been simply dreadful. The Sweet Pea brought home all kinds of germs from school, during her last week as an 8th grader. And wouldn't you know it?! We started dropping like dominoes one by one. The Sailor started to have his own cold develop around the time that the Monkey first started coming down with his cold. In a few short days, I was living in a house of germs, trying not to breathe much, surrounded by a bunch of sickos!

So of course, having each of my kiddos sick, as well of the hubby, under the weather meant I was hitting the ground running, first thing in the morning and nearly falling over from exhaustion at night. The worst part about the plague that surrounded our house, was the fact that the Monkey, seemed to come down the cold hardest. This having been his first cold ever, it was extremely difficult for me.

Not to mention the fact that having a sick 13 month old is difficult because there is nothing you can give them in the way of traditional OTC cough and cold remedies. I was reduced simply to doses of Tylenol and baby Motrin on a regular schedule, followed by rounds of saline mists for the nose and humidifying the little guy.

By about day 4 of his cold, it was beginning to sound as if his cough was settling into his chest, and due to the high fevers he was running, (particularly at night), the Sailor and I decided it was time for a trip to the doctor. Of course, this was on a Saturday, and the medical installation here that we are seen at is only open during the week.

So here we are, in a new place, without the first clue where we can go for treatment, since it was not technically an emergency. As luck would have it, I found some information on the clinic's website, and after a phone call, a skip and a jump later, we were given referral by the "On-Call" clinic doctor to drive 30 minutes out of our way, to an urgent care facility here, where we could see a doctor.

Turns out, the Monkey was doing well, despite being sick, and the doctor merely recommended that we keep doing what we were doing.

So there was a quick stop at the store to pick up some much needed supplies. Juices, popsicles, fruit cups, etc. Since the Monkey had a pretty raw throat, due to all of the coughing. My goal was to hydrate him and keep as much of the throat friendly items I could down him. That was no easy feat in itself.

In the morning, before our visit to the urgent care, I had been online doing some research of any kind of remedies out on the market, that might just be available and safe for the Monkey to take/use. The only item I could find that is marketed to infants with colds was Vicks BabyRub.

Strangely enough, I had not yet heard anything about the rub. But the online reviews were pretty impressive. I decided we'd give it a try for the Monkey. The Vicks BabyRub turned out to be quite the Godsend. Before we used the Rub on the Monkey, he was sleeping very restlessly. His mid day naps were lasting for no more than perhaps 10 minutes at best. Unless we were holding him upright for the duration. In the evenings, his sleep was fitful, and very uneasy. He was crying because the drainage and coughing he would do while sleeping would wake him up, and for the first 3 nights of the cold, I was up with him for the most of the night, while he tossed, turned and whimpered, because sleep was nearly impossible.

Within the first 10 minutes of applying the BabyRub to his chest and back of the neck, the Monkey was feeling extremely better. He stopped fussing, and actually started to play for a little while, before finally laying down and actually resting for more than 10 minutes. We had our first long nap in days.

I was able to tell when the Rub wore off. He became cranky, and restless again, but with each re-application of the rub, I saw immediate results in his comfort level. Overall, the Vicks BabyRub, was the only remedy I had to use for the Monkey while he was ill, that actually improved his physical state of being.

The scent of the BabyRub was not objectionable to the Monkey. He did not mind the feel, or the vapors. I noticed when I was holding him that the vapors were noticeable to me, but were not overwhelming, like some other types of menthol based rubs. After a few applications of the BabyRub on him, the Monkey actually started to become visibly less fussy when he spotted BabyRub container. It's seems as if, he actually understood that the rub would help.

Despite the petroleum jelly base to the rub, I did not seem to notice much of a problem in removing it from his skin, when I would wipe him down. I also did not seem to have any issues with it staining or remaining on any fabrics that the BabyRub came into contact with.

Eventually, once the kids and the Sailor were on the mend, I started coming down with the same cold bug. The last 4 days have been relatively miserable. I actually started taking to using some of the Monkey's BabyRub myself. The scent was not as overwhelming to me as the normal types of VaporRub, and I have to admit, I did find it was easier to breathe when I was inhaling the BabyRub, than it was when I did not have it on. Overall, I am convinced it is one single best products out on the market for infant cold care.

Of course once I got sick, things here at home were still just about as bad as when I dealing with the sick kiddos and the Sailor. Because everyone still was depending on me to feed them, pick up after them, keep up with the housework, and all of the other comforts on the "MOM" list, that I seem to be the only one that can administer them properly. By the end of this week, I was so ready to just have a vacation, to try and recover from recovering from this bug.

But as of yesterday, I have begun feeling more than sub-human, and thankfully, I think I am finally on the mend. So I am crossing my fingers that I did not re-infect everyone here in my house, and praying like mad that the vicious circle of cold bugs does not yet again repeat itself.

Let's hope not anyway!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Catch A Wave

Hello and welcome to my blog. I suppose this is where I tell you all a little bit about myself and my reasons for writing.

I am a 33 year old Navy Wife, since June 2008. I grew up as a military brat, having lived in mainly different places by the time I was 18. I spent my late teen years in the heart of Wine Country, California. In 1996, I became a mom for the first time, to a beautiful daughter, (Sweet Pea).

After a brief stint living in Sin City, Nevada, we returned to Wine Country where we lived for several years.

In 2007. I met my husband, (The Sailor), and after a whirl wind of a romance, we were engaged in January, 2008.

Sadly, in February 2008, I received devestating news that I had miscarried, losing our first child together at just shy of 8 weeks pregnant. We continue forward, and in June, 2008, I officially became a Navy Wife.

Sweet Pea and I joined the Sailor on a Tropical Island out in the Pacific, where we lived from June 2008 until March 2010. Shortly after our wedding, we received news that the Sailor and I were again expecting.

In April 2009, we welcomed our son, (The Monkey), to our family. So now, I am a full time, SAHM to a very active, wonderful toddler, and a very dramatic, expressive, teenager. My life is busy, and full of surprises.

So feel free to grab an oar and join me in the life boat, as we navigate the seas of Navy Life..

Welcome Aboard