Monday, March 7, 2011

Domestic Diva

I would like to start by saying the reason I didn’t post this yesterday was because we were getting our home insulated.  My amazing hubby is super sore today from crouching in the attic running the blow-in insulation hose (my fantastic daddy fed the insulation into the hopper, too - so, thanks!).  So, I guess our home is a little more energy-efficient, after all!  Woo hoo.  I am so excited for progress on our fixer-upper!

Oh, the fluff!
That said – here are my top 5 domestic mommy traits:

#1 – I breastfeed my baby.  Exclusively.  (I use a cover, but I do breastfeed in public and in mixed company, faux pas or not.  Would you rather a couple minutes of awkward or a screaming baby?  Honestly.)  Anyway, from the beginning I was determined beyond determination that Natalie would be breastfed.  I may have cracked, bled, and been miserable for a while… but I was not giving in!  Also, my baby lost more than the acceptable amount of weight at the hospital, and they told me to supplement.  I am SO thankful for my one lactation nurse that said we just needed a little more time for my milk to come in more.  She had me pump after every feeding (not much came out but she encouraged me that the baby could get more than the pump ever could), and she had me feed my baby supplementary bottles (still my milk, though).  Had I supplemented, my milk supply would’ve been even less and my baby that much less motivated to eat.  I thank God for that nurse!!

#2 – I use cloth diapers.  I think it may be an understatement when I say that I had very, very little support when I first told everyone that I would use cloth diapers with Natalie.  Little did they know that I had already used them at home on our foster son (we couldn’t use them all the time because his daycare wasn’t cloth-diaper-friendly).  I knew what I was getting myself into, and I really didn’t appreciate the looks of astonishment, nor the comments about how long that would last or how ridiculous I was being since the disposables are so much easier.  I found myself starting to explain how much cheaper they were, and I’ve even found myself telling people before they have a chance to comment that “whatever it takes for me to stay home with my baby.”  And it usually gets left alone then.  But, to be honest… it wasn’t just about money (although, considering that our bills-like water from using the washer-didn’t increase at all and we haven’t had to buy a single package of diapers since we started using cloth, we’ve already saved money even though I bought the more expensive cloth diapers).  The main thing was that I wanted to use them.  I have the one-size kind with Velcro closure.  They work just like disposables and will fit her until she’s potty trained.  I really love the concept of less diaper rash, and they told our grandmothers how good drying diapers in the sun was for our babies.  Why did they stop telling us?  Oh, and the sun’s ability to remove stains… BIG bonus!!  I now use that trick on her clothes.

Natalie's cloth dipes...
and our lovely view from the backyard, lol
 #3 – I’m a fan of home remedies.  Okay, this may sound weird but here it is.  Back story - disposable diapers did in fact break out my baby’s bottom.  And I’m talking BAD.  The minute we switched to cloth, it was almost instantly better!  Then, we thought we’d use ‘sposies for a trip we took to visit friends because we fell victim to the claim that they were more convenient… and our poor baby’s tush cracked open and bled – it was BAD!  We switched her back to the cloth, and instead of using a diaper cream (which would potentially ruin her diapers, anyway) I tried a trick that the nurses told me would work on me when I was hurt from breastfeeding – I put breastmilk on her bottom, and within one diaper change it was gone.  I later told my mother-in-law that I got the breastmilk home remedy idea from my grandmother, but considering that my grandmother only breastfed for 3 weeks with any one of her four girls… I don’t think that’s where it came from.  I think it was my awesome grandmotherly lactation nurse.  Thank you again, ma'am!!

#4 – Another reason I’m old fashioned is just my values.  Things have changed so much for me as an individual, especially since we've formed our family.  Growing up, I always had plans to have a career.   Going to school, becoming something great, enjoying whatever successes God would bless me with… those were my plans, my goals, my aspirations.  Things were hard for us when I was in college, what with my brain problems and all.  You know, a tumor or a blood malformation don’t seem all that bad until you put the word "brain" in front of it.  Brain tumor.  Brain Malformation.  See?  Because then, it’s like – the problem is where?  Well, that’s not really true, I don’t guess -- those things are bad no matter how you look at it.  But anyway, things were hard then.  But they were nothing compared to infertility.  Not being able to give my husband a child… well, it’s just a pain that somebody who’s never experienced infertility could truly understand.  My attempt to make it understandable is linked if you click here.  So anyway, the year before we got pregnant with Natalie, my husband and I were very fortunate to have fairly high-paying jobs as a teacher power couple (tee hee-I think I just used an oxymoron there).  But when God blessed us with the right infertility doctor, good timing, and luck to conceive our precious angel – well… my plans, goals, and aspirations changed.  Owning a home and a minivan replaced other goals and desires, and my resume now reads wife and mother.  And to be completely honest, I’m loving every minute of it.  I keep getting the looks and questions about when I’m going back to work or if I’ll ever be an Ag Teacher again.  I keep telling them that maybe someday.  But honestly, I think I would be content to stay home and raise babies.  If that’s God’s calling on my life, who am I to argue?  Plus, as long as there’s a 4-h club to be found, there’ll always be a place where I can help with contests, team training, and keep my love of agriculture awareness close to my heart.  Those are the things I loved most about teaching Ag, anyway.

Moving on...

#5 – I can cook.  I can sew.  I can make a pretty good hairbow.  I have goals like reinventing the ordinary and making it extraordinary -- while I don’t recycle plastic, I don’t usually throw containers away – I mix them up and repurpose them into something useful.  I guess I’m not a “recycler” – I’m an “up-cycler”!  I am on this mothers’ panel that does surveys.  My title on the board is “domestic diva”.  That makes me laugh.  I mean, I never thought I would be the wife and mother that stays home all day, cleans, does laundry, and has dinner on the table for her working husband every night.  That wasn’t me.  But now, there’s nothing that makes me happier!  Our fixer-upper is getting fixed up, and our bills are completely manageable, even with only one income.  I don’t have too many complaints.  Above all, I love being Natalie’s Mommy!!

Spirit bow I made for my baby sister

Outfit my mom and I sewed for Natalie...
with matching bow, of course!
My baby sister had completely ragged out her old skecher flip-flops.
So, now they're reincarnated as spirit "fluffy flops"!
Can you tell their school colors are orange and black?

The fact is – a lot of not-so-great stuff has happened in my last couple of posts (the fires, death, first shots, etc).  I’ve been able to use my blog as an outlet for those emotions and fears.  That way, when I'm spending time with my family, I can keep my sunny disposition (that may be stretching it just a little, ha!).  Seriously, though.  I want my daughter to see that obstacles may come your way, but you just get past them one step at a time.  It is my hope that I can teach her to have a high moral standard, good Christian values, and that life isn’t always easy.  But it’s worth living.

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