Posts Tagged With: Attachment Parenting

To All The Haters…

I got a lot of crap before Tag was born for my “crazy ways” and “silly ideas”. Let’s remember, I have 5 other kids (and way more that came in and out during my fostering days) yet some people just knew I was making huge mistakes. No swings? No crib? No bouncer? Clearly I am insane! You cloth diaper? Well I’m bringing you disposable anyway, “just in case”.

Hi.

Hello.

I’ve done this before.

It’s rude. It’s not “being helpful” or thoughtful. If I say no and you don’t choose to hear my words, it’s disrespectful.

So to all those that did not believe I knew what I was doing, Tag has survived to nearly 7 months old…

Without a bouncer, swing, walker, jumper, bassinet, stroller, or even a disposable diaper!

I have held him, worn him, or set him down on a nice soft spot when needed. I’ve washed his diapers, by hand even, and never needed to use any throw away ones.  He has survived!

He is a happy healthy little man, even a little advanced if I do say so myself. (and I do, because I’m his mother)

You raise your baby your way, I’ll raise mine my way.

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Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Alone Life

So I’m a single mom of 6 kids, who’s interested??

Yup, that’s the opening line to my stand up routine… hence why I don’t actually have a stand up routine…

But really, who sees a mom to 6 kids and thinks “hey, I want in on that mess”?

Six kids… That is a lot.

Five kids sounded like a lot….

I’ve had it together for these past couple of months since Tag’s birth. I think where most mer mortals would have folded, collapsed at the exhaustion and stress, I excelled. I’ve always taken a challenge well and doing this “single mom to an infant plus five other kids half the time” thing was my biggest challenge to date. I’ve felt in control of my emotions and very “put together”, but not these last couple of weeks. Somehow I have turned into an emotional wreck every time a love song comes on. I cry, in public sometimes- Sabrina does not cry!

So what is it?  I have zero desire to date and zero time.

I am happy being single- While my friends are telling me “you just had a baby, you’ll be interested in dating later”, in my head I’m daydreaming about all the running adventures I will go on in this “later” they speak of.

I have no one to answer to, it’s pretty sweet. My kids roll with all my crazy antics: breakfast for dinner, last minute adventures, impromptu dance parties, and we have no one to judge us. No one to question why we spent money on unnecessary things. No one to check in with. No one to judge my kid messy car. No one to kibosh any stupid (yet fun!) ideas we have. We like it.

If I did have any free time a man is not what I would want to spend it on. I would rather spend more time with my kids, read more, run, go on adventures, write, maybe make that “money” thing everyone speaks of. So much to do, dating is not even close to the table…

So why the sadness as of late? I think I’ll chalk it up to my hormones being a mess post birth. Maybe exhaustion has finally built up enough and I can no longer ignore it. Or maybe it’s just normal? Maybe it’s normal to be sad you don’t have something everyone else (ok not everyone) has but not really want it in the end? Nah, it’s just hormones, I’ll take an extra placenta pill and call it a day.

There was an old woman who lived in a running shoe… I’m pretty sure that’s how it goes.

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All the man I need! (well… Tag and the 3 others I suppose)

Categories: Single Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Things I Don’t do with Babies

Yesterday I was watching a Vlogger I sometimes enjoy. A family with a 2-year-old and a newborn. I don’t always agree with what they do, but sometimes it inspires me to make a new video that day which is cool. As I watched the Mom’s “Things I love and don’t love for this baby” I became more and more annoyed. I may have only watched 5 minutes before I turned it off and huffed away to clean something with grumpiness. Look, EVERYONE doesn’t have to do things “my way” but I feel like if your life is out there for all to see you do have some social responsibility.

So why was I so mad?

EVERYTHING within the first 5 minutes were products meant for you to not touch/pay attention to your baby. WHAT?!?! This mom does baby wear but doesn’t do everything the way I do, which is fine. It just seemed insane to me that she was promoting so many products on how to lay your baby here so it will sleep on it’s on, watch it on this monitor while it sleeps alone, strap in in here so it sleeps alone. I just can’t agree or listen to it.

So here friends, a list of what I do NOT do with babies-

  • I do not put them down.

While this may sound crazy, I really don’t. I baby wear all day. Maybe they are set down for a minute here and there, but always put back on. To me this feels right. They grow so fast and don’t want to be worn as soon as they can get around on their own, so why not soak up every minute I can being as close as possible?

  • I do not strap my babies into anything

Except to me or a carseat. No swings, no bouncy chairs, no Bumbo, just no. I refuse. At no point have I seen a need or will I.

  • I do not have them sleep alone

I co-sleep and can not be convinced there is anything wrong with it. Yeah don’t be stupid, if you have a sleep disorder, have been drinking, or smoke, DO NOT co-sleep. But if you are healthy babies can absolutely be safe and comfortable in bed with Momma. Again, they grow up so fast and I will happily have them close to me as long as possible.

  • I do not use disposable diapers.

I cloth diaper. Not only is it actually easy (another load of laundry isn’t really a big deal) they are so darn cute! The only time I use disposable is on a trip, because when you are living outside washing diapers does not found fun. But otherwise, there is no reason to NOT use cloth (and it’s actually a ton cheaper in the long run).

Now I’m sure there is a lot more I “do not” do, but those are the big ones I couldn’t stop reeling over after listening to unnamed Vlogger. In no way am I saying everything I do fits everyone, but keep in mind between my own children, fostering, and nannying I have probably cared for over 15 babies/toddlers. At one point I cared for 8 children 8 & under, and it really wasn’t as crazy as it sounds! Foster children did not co-sleep for the most part and that was rough on me. Getting up in the middle of the night, making bottles and putting a baby back in their bed is so much more difficult then rolling over and pulling out a boob… and falling back asleep before putting it away…

So do what you please, but if you Vlog about it know I will not watch it all, but I guess I’m still giving you views…

 

 

 

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Mama Bear in me.

Tajh is my oldest son. For 12 years now he has been a complete individual, all my kids are but he really takes the cake. He loves animals, has for as long as I can remember. He is kind, gentle, always wants everyone to get along (well usually…). Tajh is the kind of kid that coombya and drum circles are there for. He has a the spirit of nature and does not concern himself with other people’s judgment.  I do not cut my boy’s hair until they are 2. At that point I start cutting myself, shaving it, giving them a mohawk, or just letting it grow. For over 3 years now Tajh has decided to let it grow. I remember another Mom telling me a story of how her son and Tajh got called girls by a woman. While her son took issue, Tajh shrugged it off. He always does. Sometimes he rolls with it while his siblings (or myself) correct the ignorant person. Yes, if you call my 12-year-old son a girl, you are ignorant. His hair is unkept, dreading on it’s on, he wears “boy” clothes, nothing says girl… Well other than the extremely unreliable “long hair means girl” opinion.

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I’ve wanted Tajh to cut his hair for a long time. He doesn’t take care of it and having to comb out the mats is a pain. At one point we discussed dreads,  but there is so much upkeep and he just isn’t willing to do it. Sometimes I try bribing him to cut it, but in the end I know its his hair and he can do as he pleases. My wanting him to cut his hair has everything to do with my desire for something easier, not because of how he looks or my concern for what others think of him.

At Disneyland Tajh became weird about going to the bathroom. Asking to go then saying he didn’t have to. Asking many times to go, going and then asking to go again. Clearly this raised a red flag. He didn’t want to speak about it but eventually he filled me in…

Tajh entered the mens restroom.

Adult Male “You shouldn’t be in here, you’re a girl”

Tajh “No I’m a boy”

Adult Douchebag “No, you’re a girl”

Tajh “No, I’m not.”

And that was it. That small exchange with the slime of the earth has my son uncomfortable going into the mens restroom for the rest of the day and wanting to cut his hair.

To that piece of shit worthless human being: You are lucky my son did not tell me she I could have found you. I always make the joke, I’m a fighter, not a lover, but boy is that true. Not only would there have been no way of keeping me from murdering you with my bare hands, I would have ruined your life. Attacking a young boy in the restroom? You are not worth anything. You do not deserve to live. That’s right, I said it. YOU and all conservative, know-it-all, angry, hateful, worthless, brainless, deplorable human being. You are the reason our world sucks for tweens and teens who are different. How dare you take you own views of the shitty world you want to live in and put them off on my child.

Sitting back and thinking about it my children do live in a fairly “safe world”. They all go to private schools that are very welcoming to being yourself. They live in the ultra world where all adults are a little “off”. Being an individual in our world is the norm… So yes when we head into the norm of society this is what we have to deal with… I failed as a mother to prepare them better I suppose. Most times he has dealt with the judgement from others well, I think this time the idea that he was alone in a restroom must have been scary.

So my response to Tajh “people are terrible. There are stupid people in the world and when you come across them you are welcome to treat them just as terribly as you need to. You should have told him to ‘go fuck’ himself and come and told me.” Look, normally I’m all about kill them with kindness, but some people just don’t deserve that.

So to the asshole who was a piece of shit to my son, please next time you say something terrible and ignorant to a child let me be standing right there to handle you myself.

And to my kids- Continue to be yourself. Those that matter will always love and support you.

My boy….

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Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

BababaBabywearing!!

I love baby wearing. Even before I knew what is what, before I gave birth to Tajh, a stroller seemed crazy to me. Why push my little person in a giant wheeled contraption when I am perfectly capable of holding them?  I really didn’t like extra “stuff” of any kind… (shhhh I did use a stroller a little… live and learn)

So I bought a ghetto front pack and made it work. Was it perfect? Hell no. It did allow me to have Tajh close and get shit done. Win.

With Tea I gained a wonderful Mommy friend that helped pull me into the endless beautiful options baby wearing has to offer. I mean, I had a pouch, but that wasn’t even scratching the surface. So I became obsessed (shocker, I’m an extremist!). I research and bought 2 of everything, almost. I loved my endless world of possibilities. I even loved kicking it with super militant breastfeeding/babywearing extremists at time! (It was pretty entertaining)

Recently I was talking to my favorite (and possibly only, unimportant, still favorite) French Canadian friend about life and something like it. We spoke about the Copper Canyons (Ultrarunning peeps, Mas Locos, Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon Caballo Blanco stuff. Born To Run? If you don’t get it, no worries, doesn’t change the story). I told him how in love with traditional carriers I was and how a Rebozo is one of the carriers I have never had, sad face. He told me he had one and would give it to me, YAY! In the wee hours of the morning as he was about to start a 50k (ultra runner talk), he saw me and yelled “i have something for you!”, ran back to El Capitan (his vehicle/home) and pulled out the most beautiful piece of fabric I have ever seen. Seriously, I am one HAPPY Lady. Thank you again Frenchy!

Here I sat tonight wondering what to do with myself, well, carrier photo shoot of course! So here are a few of my favorite (or not so favorite) baby tying devices. (I don’t have that old front pack to share, thank goodness)

The Pouch. A Hotsling pouch circa 2005. Vintage.

The Pouch. A Hotsling pouch circa 2005. Vintage.

Her Baby needed a photo op.

Her Baby needed a photo-op.

 

Hotsling ring sling from back in the day. zipper pocket and is perfect for in the water. It's a winner!

Hotsling ring sling from back in the day. zipper pocket AND it’s perfect for in the water?! It’s a winner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Disclaimer- Photos were taken by people under 5 feet tall… Quality is a little lacking I know…

Didymos wrap. A huge favorite! With a photo bomb.

Didymos wrap. A huge favorite! With a photo bomb.

Great for dancing.

Great for dancing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s where I will tell another little story. So I have a friend from Sierra Leone, of course I asked her about the traditional baby wearing. She was happy to share with me, I just needed to bring a towel to practice. Yup, that simple, a rectangle of fabric. Being as wonderful as she is, she brought me some fabric her husband had brought back from Ghana, much prettier than a towel 🙂

We really like this no hands thing...

We really like this no hands thing…

 

Things got weird….

 

Awkward.... Though I do love me some Mei Tai!

Awkward…. Though I do love me some Mei Tai!

And finally, My beautiful present!

"Back Mommy Back!" of course I can!

“Back Mommy Back!” of course I can!

 

 

So perfect. I still have some work to do on perfecting the knot.

So awesome! I still have some work to do on perfecting the knot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I seriously LOVE babywearing! I may get a little crazy with it at times….

Crying with a sleeping baby in a mei tai on your back at 13,000 feet? Oh yeah, I've done that.

Crying with a sleeping baby in a mei tai on your back at 13,000 feet? Oh yeah, I’ve done that.

Creek hoping with one on the front and one on the back? Done that too.

Creek hoping with one on the front and one on the back? Done that too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, maybe I’ll share some better pictures sometime, maybe not. I think you get the idea.

Big news on the “Babywearing I’m a crazy Lady who likes to do epic shit front, stay tuned!”

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Boobies!

If you can get a "good" picture of 5 kids, I'll give you a high five.

If you can get a “good” picture of 5 kids, I’ll give you a high five.

There was something ingrained in me and I knew I would nurse my baby from the moment I found out I was pregnant with Tajh. It was almost gross to me to think about putting a bottle in his mouth, yet I didn’t understand why. My mom hadn’t nursed me and I was aware of that, so why did I feel so strongly that I was supposed to? Slowly memories came back of my mom stopping every so often and my little sister hiding under her shirt. I was 6 at the time and then it didn’t mean much to me, not even enough for me to have it as strong memory, but evidently without knowing it my Mom had created a lasting impression.

I knew I would nurse Tajh, but there was also something odd about it to me. It felt weird being a 19-year-old kid and feeding another human being from my boob. Yes, I will admit, it felt weird. The idea of doing it was right, I knew that, but it didn’t make it any less awkward. Having a lactation consultant at the hospital help him latch on, and having people watch me nurse and possibly catch a glimpse of my boob, everything about it made me terribly uncomfortable. I would plan trips around nursing him so I rarely had to nurse in public, and I would always cover up with a blanket. Tajh had bottles of  my milk on rare occasion when he was tiny, and began getting formula as well at around 6 months. I started him on baby food at that time too, and then at 11 months I felt he was “too old” for the boob. During a nursing strike I let him quit. My baby was done with the boob, and although I was sad, I was slightly relieved.

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Tea was born in New Zealand and there was once again never a question from me if I would nurse her, but there also wasn’t a question from my midwives, it’s what you do. Tea nursed like a champ and having an almost 2-year-old as well, covering up became even more difficult. I have a great technique of wearing a spaghetti strap tank top under any shirt I was wearing, it was a simple pull one up and the other covers your belly. This worked great, but something you have to chase the other one around, so exposure became a little more normal. Tea was an avid nurser and continued to nurse well over a year. At this point I started running and found out I was pregnant again. Tea nursed through me training for a half marathon into my 5 month of pregnancy. At some point my body was exhausted and I’m not sure if I was even producing anymore. At 20 months old she just stopped asking and she was done. To be honest, I think my body was very thankful for at least a little break.

Tea Baby

Tea Baby 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tay was another nursing champ. He was born at home and nursed basically right after birth. He was an “all the time” nurser which I attribute to him not using a pacifier (plug as we like to call them) like the other two had. He was on the boob all day every day and it was exhausting. As he grew into a toddler I did love his nursing moments, they were the only time he sat still! At 22 months I remember one particular day that I was just done being touched. I had watched the kids all day alone and was now attempting to get my own schoolwork done. I was tired, grumpy, and just done with everything. Seth brought Tay in to me because he was cranky and needed the boob. I remember letting him nurse for a few minutes and just feeling angry. This time things weren’t special I just wanted him done. I told him enough and sent him out, and he never asked again. I feel terrible about how my nursing relationship with Tay ended. It was a moment of frustration that ended my special bond with my little boy.

 

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Tay Baby 4

 

My time nursing my children was beautiful. I think through my years of nursing I learned a lot. I nursed longer each time, stopped supplementing with bottles and plugs, and learned that nursing should never be on a schedule. The day I received my first foster baby and held the little girl and gave her a bottle I felt something was lacking. It wasn’t that it “wasn’t my child” it was the closeness that was lacking. I was always sad to give any of my babies the bottle, and I was embarrassed in public. Sometimes I wanted to tell people I would be nursing if I could, that I too hated giving the baby the bottle. I felt like people were judging me, and maybe they were?  Or maybe they weren’t and it was me feeling like I wasn’t doing the best I could for the babies in my care. With Tenny and Tru especially I had huge regrets about not nursing them. Nursing soothes an upset children, puts them to sleep, honestly makes life easier. I found parenting and not nursing to be much more difficult and harder to create the bond I wanted with them.

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Tru Baby Tru Baby2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes I am very pro nursing. I understand it is a choice everyone has to make for themselves. I began nursing as a choice I made for my children. I continued to nurse them as long as I did for myself as well. I am thankful for all my years spent cuddling my little ones giving them the best I could. I hope that my baby wearing and snuggling with my little 2 gave them at least a little taste of the closeness the other 3 had.

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Never invite a Grandma up a mountain, and other awesome training trips.

Part on my new training “idea” is that I need to learn to like hills. My usual response to something as small as a speed bump is “oh shoot a hill, I better hike!” and I start walking, slowly. Obviously if I have any thought of doing well at a race this strategy doesn’t work on speed bumps or tiny mole hills. So alas I have decided to make myself like hills, or at least not feel like I have an excuse to be lazy the moment on comes into sight.

My new training plan has started, I will hike as much incline as I can in a matter of a mile or two, with both of my little, Little people on. That’s right, one on my tummy, one of my back, and Tay running ahead as he pleases. The goal here is that going up with 60lbs on is going to suck, I will really appreciate having that 60lbs off and will be more likely to run up the hill (or at least wreck it hiking). So far I have had a few trips with them both on, and I can say that things are always interesting, but when is my life not?

My Mom.

My Mom. The original GramCracker.

My Mom is quite the team player and helps me out a ton. When I was little she would often take myself and my siblings hiking up Squaw Peak (Piestiewa Peak) by herself. I had a brilliant plan of taking all my 5 this weekend and enlisted her to join us. My mom is a busy lady and ended up showing up to join us in jeans while the rest of us were decked out in running clothes, poor choice I thought. We got to the park with cheers from Tru, who apparently loves climbing mountains I assume from his squeal. He went on my tummy and Tenny on my back, and we were moving.

GramCracker and Tea heading up!

GramCracker and Tea heading up!

The Babies and I following behind.

The Babies and I following behind.

Tajh took off and picked places to hang out and wait for us, scaring my mom as he slightly hung off cliffs with a giant smile on his face. After a couple of “get off of there, what are you doing” ‘s I was pretty glad she didn’t see the crazy stuff we were up to this summer. Plenty of people hiked by and told me how “crazy” I was or wanted to have a mini conversation with the crazy lady wearing two kids up a mountain, sorry I gotta breathe. So on we trudged and I began remembering how giant the steps are on the way up and started to think possibly this was a terrible idea (which my bestie Lala had reminded me of earlier. I’m a terrible listener….).

Tenny Taking some "selfies" on the way up.

Tenny Taking some “selfies” on the way up.

I always forget about this tattoo. Thank you Tenny for the reminder!

I always forget about this tattoo. Thank you Tenny for the reminder!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the awesome thing when you think you are some decent runner and you spend you summer climbing crazy mountains and living outside? When you you hear your Mom, Grandma to 7 say “oh guys hold on let’s wait for your Mom”. That’s right, my Mom, in jeans and Puma’s, was kicking my ass up the mountain. At some point wearing 60lbs isn’t an excuse… I am fired. So she kicked my ass up, and then back down (I only wear Tru on the way down, Tenny hikes). And I… I am deflated. This would be a true moment when you are put in your place and realize you are NOT the badass you think you are… sigh…

My Sour Patch Kid Tay.

My Sour Patch Kid Tay.

Tajh making GramCracker freak out a little. Photo by Tenny

Tajh making GramCracker freak out a little. Photo by Tenny

My Gang. Tough bunch.

My Gang. Tough bunch.

Ten wrecking the downhill… well not exactly.

Ten wrecking the downhill… well not exactly.

Not sure how this training plan is going to work out, but so far I like it. Hills just look all that much smaller without 2 Little People hitching a ride… But I’m pretty sure my Mom isn’t invite to the next one…

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Yup… That’s poop on my floor

And yes, its human.

How we roll... literally. At the time of this picture, at least 3 of them regularly used the bathroom and the other 2....

How we roll… literally. At the time of this picture, at least 3 of them regularly used the bathroom and the other 2….

As I’ve said before, my parenting has always been very natural. Even in my babysitting days the idea of changing an older toddlers diaper just bothered me. Why does a 2-year-old want to sit in their own excrement? So when Tajh approached 2 I knew I had to handle this before it became a disaster. By his second birthday Tajh was out of diapers, Mommy win.

Teagan was for sure my first super hippie baby. everything I had done with Tajh was now done to an even higher hippie degree. I wore her, all the time. I nursed her, everywhere. Disposable diapers were for the people who clearly didn’t care about the environment, I cloth diapered. I started looking into all the “extra” hippie mom stuff and came across Elimination Communication (EC).  Basically the idea that if you connected with you child (in all the hippy ways I was) you could start having your baby use the potty as early as 6 weeks. Now I thought this sounded crazy, so I waited until 6 months. I simply put Tea on the potty when I thought she needed to go, and by 9 months she was using the potty regularly. By a year we were completely out of diapers. Time consuming you ask? Not really. She sat and we read books, played games, had a snack, we made it work. The only real problem being, they don’t make underwear small enough for a 1-year-old. She did however go back down in clothing sizes due to the lack of diaper which meant less clothes to buy. Mommy win.

Hippy I still was, but this Little Orangie threw me for a loop. Around 18 months we were out of diapers again (yeah EC took a little longer with this one) but then he got sick. I don’t really know what it was, but he had terrible “sick poop” and it just wasn’t working. Also around that time he had a fun “habit” of peeing in random bowls, cups, boxes, anything he could find. Always up for keeping life interesting…. Still at 2 for little Orangie Tay, there were no diapers. Mommy, still winning.

Now it was on to Tenny. This Little Lady had the joy of being our first little one as we lived outside more. Being naked was the norm for her (and still is) so obviously going to the bathroom outside was normal too. She also was around a lot of ultra runners during those formidable years, and for those that don’t know, ultra runners tend to use the outdoors as restrooms. So my Little Tenny made the world her potty, sigh… honestly I didn’t mind except when it was in the front yard, in front of the neighbors (which FYI, she did last week). No diapers after 2 again, just a pooper scooper…. Mommy win?

On to our adorable Mr. Tru. When I realized Tru would turn 2 during our crazy homeless summer, I decided he would spend time naked as much as possible, but I still wanted diapers on in the van. Why you ask? Laziness. I’ll admit it, I didn’t want to stop 30 times during a 9 hour van ride. Having Miss Tenny already who required frequent stops, I just couldn’t handle another. The plan was after we were settles into a kid house diapers were gone. Somehow I hadn’t counted on a broken femur and the amazingly large awkward cast that would come with it (SPICA cast). I felt guilt and decided diapers would leave when the cast was off. So here we are… my 2 1/2-year-old has decided he doesn’t mind diapers and would much rather have them on. Sitting on the potty? Well screw that I’m busy! Ugh… As you can see, this Mommy always wins, so yes, he is diaper free. And yes, that is poop on my floor. Currently the potty is his least favorite thing and he will avoid it at all costs. He loves his train underwear, so why does he soil them so often? Sigh… And I thought the Orangie was bad!

Right now we have a work in progress. Little Miss Tenny still needs to “sit” for a couple minutes sometimes until she can stand and make her way to the bathroom (to be honest I did that when I was little too, too much fun stuff going on to miss), and Mr. Tru still poops ad pees where he pleases. While you sit back and judge think about this, people stick their hand in a bag and pick up dog poop all the time. At least the fecal matter on my floor is all fruits and veggies, totally natural and not weird at all… Not a Mommy win… YET!

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