Friday, December 23, 2011

Only one more sleep till Christmas (Eve)

Mwah!
Now that Davis is making this face, I can totally see the resemblance to Moira.
One more
Moira wanted to join in the photo shoot fun, so she arranged a tableau. And then she didn't mind me taking a picture of her taking pictures, which is nice because the last couple of days I've seen a lot of her hand in front of her face whenever I try to capture the cute things she's doing.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Best of 2011 Blog Blitz

I am proud and honored to be volunteer with the Natural Parents Network (NPN), a community of natural-minded parents and parents-to-be where you will be informed, empowered, and inspired. When you visit the NPN’s website you can find articles and posts about Activism, Balance, Consistent Care, Ecological Responsibility, Family Safety, Feeding With Love, Gentle Discipline, Healthy Living, Holistic Health, Natural Learning, Nurturing Touch, Parenting Philosophies, Practical Home Help, Preparing for Parenting, Responding With Sensitivity, Safe Sleep, and so much more!

The volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to make NPN the outstanding resource it is also spend countless hours informing and inspiring others on their personal blogs. To close out 2011, the NPN volunteers have come together to provide you with some valuable reading material. Each volunteer has selected either their most viewed post of 2011 or their favorite post and shared the link here. Please take a few moments to visit each post. Our intention is to expand our reach as bloggers and informed parents and parents-to-be who are still growing as we move through our own journeys. Each volunteer has provided links to other social media sites where you can follow them as well.

On a more personal note, I have been humbled and awed by the amazing support the NPN volunteers have provided me and each other over the last year. I know for a fact that I wouldn't have made it through the last few weeks of my pregnancy without them to complain to every night.

We hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as we enjoyed writing them. We are always looking for new volunteers so please, contact us if you are interested. Just a few hours per month can help other mamas in a huge way!

Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares her Christmas Cookie Swap Blog Hop, which is her fourth annual virtual cookie swap and most popular post of the year. Please stop by and link up your favorite holiday recipe until Dec. 31. You can find Farmer's Daughter on Facebook and Twitter.

Adrienne from Mommying My Way shares Fear vs. Faith, one of her favorite posts about how often living a life of faith can look like a life of fear, but the two are really quite different. You can also find Mommying My Way on Facebook.

Alicia of Lactation Narration retells the story of her oldest daughter's 5 years of nursing and weaning in her favorite post of 2011, The Weaning Party. You can find Lactation Narration on Facebook and Twitter.

Amy of Toddler In Tow shares Finding My Mommy-Zen, her most viewed post of 2011. In this post, she shares her desire to balance her own self-esteem by choice in order to parent with peace and compassion. You can also find Toddler In Tow on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, and follow Amyables (Amy W.) on Google + and Ravelry.

Arpita of Up, Down, and Natural shares one of her most popular posts titled Reflections. This is a beautiful look at the type of mother she wants to be. You can find Up, Down, and Natural on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Charise of I Thought I Knew Mama shares Why Do Children Have More Food Allergies Than Ever Before?, her most viewed post of 2011. This post explains the shocking info that one unsuspecting mother discovered when she started researching why her daughter had a violent allergic reaction to eggs. This is a must read post for ensuring the health of your family. You can also find I Thought I Knew Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Stumbleupon.

Christine of African Babies Don’t Cry shares The Best First Food for Babies, one of her favourite posts of 2011. This well-researched post delves into the healthiest and most nutritious food to feed your baby. You can also find African Babies Don’t Cry on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest.

Cynthia of The Hippie Housewife shares Gentle Discipline for Toddlers, her most viewed post of 2011. This post describes five gentle discipline tools for parenting toddlers. You can also find The Hippie Housewife on Facebook, Google +, and Pinterest.

Darcel of The Mahogany Way shares how Babywearing As a Way of Life one of her favorite post of 2011. This post showcases some beautiful woven wraps that she has purchased, traded, borrowed, and sold over the years. Darcel also talks about the benefits of babywearing from the newborn through toddler stage. You can also find Darcel{ The Mahogany Way} on Facebook, Twitter, Her Community for Mothers of Color, and Pinterest.

Dionna of Code Name Mama shares 50 Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids Plus Fun Serving Suggestions, her most viewed post of 2011. Most of these snacks are quick to fix and portable, so you can pack them to send with your child on play dates, at preschool, or to just have handy in the refrigerator for when your child wants to grab a bite to eat “all by himself.” You can find Dionna on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Erica at ChildOrganics shares a post that is not only close to her heart, but also her most viewed post for 2011 titled Attachment Parenting in the NICU. This post shares her top 10 tips for parenting should you find yourself with a baby in the NICU. You can also find Erica on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Gretchen of That Mama Gretchen shares her personal experience of returning to work, expressing milk, and the ups and downs in between in her 2011 most viewed post, Mama's Milk. You can also find Gretchen on GFC, Blog Lovin', Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Isil of Smiling like Sunshine shares how to make an autumn tree using pumpkin seeds, her most popular post in 2011. This post features a lovely craft activity that you can do with your kids! You can also find Isil on Facebook and Twitter.

Jennifer of Hybrid Rasta Mama shares 80 Uses For Coconut Oil, her most viewed post of 2011. This comprehensive post provides background information on the benefits of coconut oil as well as outlines 80 uses for it. You can also find Hybrid Rasta Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest.

Jennifer of True Confessions of a Real Mommy shares her most popular post of 2011, Weekly House Blessing (Otherwise Known as Cleaning Once a Week). This post outlines a once per week cleaning routine for busy moms. You can also find Jennifer on Twitter.

Joella, the mama behind Fine and Fair, shares An Unusual Gripe with Bebe Gluton, one of her most popular posts of 2011. In it, she discusses the controversy surrounding a "breastfeeding doll" and offers her take on the gender role implications of dolls in general. Fine and Fair can also be found on twitter and facebook.

Julia of A Little Bit of All of It shares the story of how her co-sleeping relationship ended with her daughter, her most viewed post of 2011. This post shows how her daughter transitioned to her own bed on her 2nd birthday and the emotions involved for her mom. You can also find A Little Bit of All of It on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Pinterest.

Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment shares True Blessings: White Noise and Grandparents, her most viewed post of 2011. In this post, Kat talks about how she maximizes getting sleep and how grateful and blessed she is to have her parents be so involved in helping and spending time with her kiddos.

Kelly of Becoming Crunchy shares That Cup Does What?, her most viewed post of 2011. This post is one of a series of reviews and information on switching to all natural menstrual products - having heard so many different options and recommendations, Kelly decided to give a whole bunch of them a try and pull all the reviews together in one week for anyone interested in making the switch. This post in particular covers the ins and outs of the Diva Cup. You can also find Becoming Crunchy on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest.

Kristin of Intrepid Murmurings shares a popular post from 2011, something she and her husband made for their girls for Christmas, great for open-ended play and construction: Handmade Tree Blocks. You can also find Kristin on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Lani of Boobie Time shares Helping a Fellow Breastfeeding Mom, her inspiration for starting to blog. This post discusses the importance of fellow moms supporting each other and some tips on having a successful breastfeeding relationship. Lani can also be found on Facebook.

Laura at WaldenMommy: Life Behind the Red Front Door writes about finally entering "spring" when her child with special needs begins preschool. After battling post-partum mental illness (post tramatic stress disorder) after the preterm birth of her third child, she finally begins to feel healthy and whole again in "It's Fall, Ya'll-Again."

Lauren of Hobo Mama shares On not having an AP poster child, her (OK, second) most viewed post of 2011. Lauren's first child shook her certainty that attachment parenting meant babies never cried and toddlers grew independent — and that's all right, too. You can also find Hobo Mama on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Luschka of Diary of a First Child shares Lactivism, Breastfeeding, Bottlefeeding and Mothers at War, one of her most viewed posts of 2011. This post discusses how the breastfeeding/bottle feeding debate causes a division between mothers, leading to the alienation of women and babies, while divisive companies prosper. You can also find Diary of a First Child on Facebook, and Twitter.

Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children shares how With Privilege Comes Responsibility, one of her most viewed posts of 2011. This compelling post explains her strong felt desire to stand up for those less privileged. You can also find Living Peacefully with Children on Facebook.

Melissa of Vibrant Wanderings shares a Montessori-Inspired Checklist for Choosing Toys, her most popular post of 2011. The article outlines some important Montessori principles and how they relate to children's toys, translating that into some simple guiding principles. You can also find Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Melissa of White Noise shares Modern Day Wet Nurse, her most viewed post of 2011. In this post, Melissa shares the benefits of human breast milk and human milk sharing. You can also find Melissa at Mothers of Change.

Momma Jorje shares Amniocentesis - What is it *really* like?, one of her most viewed posts of 2011. This open and honest series offers not only the technical process of amniocentesis, but also the emotions involved in awaiting (and receiving) the procedure and a diagnosis. Momma Jorje can also be found on Facebook.

Moorea of MamaLady: Adventures in Queer Parenting shares Fluoride: Another Reason Breast Is Best, her favorite post of 2011. This post provides research on the harmful effects of fluoride in drinking water for babies and toddlers and ways to limit fluoride consumption in your home. You can also find MamaLady on Facebook and Twitter and her Parent Coaching Site.

Rachael at The Variegated Life is Calling the Muse in her most viewed post of 2011. In this post, she describes how she uses ritual to help her tap into her creative spirit. You can also find Rachael on Twitter and The Variegated Life on Facebook.

Rebekah and Chris from Liberated Family shares Using Cloth In a Disposable Society, their favorite post of 2011. This extensive post provides a lot of information regarding the varied uses of cloth as well as the many benefits. You can also find Liberated Family on Twitter.

Sarah at Parenting God's Children shares her most viewed post: Confessions of a Breastfeeding Advocate: I Couldn't. She confesses her struggles with breastfeeding her daughters, but shares why she'll continue the good fight. You can also find Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Seonaid of The Practical Dilettante offers a science- and reverence-based meditation on The Living Earth, her most viewed post of 2011. This meditation was originally written for Earth Day, but it provides a way to reconnect with your place in the living breathing planet at any time of year. You can also find Seonaid on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +.

Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes shares I Recommend (But Moira Likes This Book Too), her most viewed post of 2011. This post is a review of a wonderful book that talks about all the different ways that families can be made up, along with some of why this topic is so important to her family.

Sheryl at Little Snowflakes shares her experiences with tandem nursing in Tandem Nursing – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, her most viewed post of 2011. You can also find Sheryl on Twitter.



Sunday, December 18, 2011

Feet
Today Davis is one week old. Here's what we've learned about him so far.
He has the huge Hillinger feet, just like his sister.
Diaper changes are his least favorite thing ever.
He also hates swinging movements, or really any sudden movement, especially at night.
If he's annoyed about something, he lets us know by starting with a full tilt scream.
Unlike his sister, he usually wakes up if I try to put him down while he's sleeping, but he will also sleep for 3-5 hour stretches right now, so I figure it's a good trade off.
He likes it when Moira sings to him.
Clipping her own nails
Moira hasn't been sleeping well lately, so she's been extra cranky, but she's also been increasing her in her independence. Possibly that is causing some of the sleep issues. Her are some if here new skills.
She can clip her own fingernails, with only a little clean up help on the edges.
She can get into and zip up her footie jammies.
She can open the car door.
She will climb up the ladder to her playroom and back down with only minimal supervision from us. (She has been able to do that for awhile but was too afraid.)
She also loves to get the new diaper out when Davis needs a change, to the point that she will come running from across the house if she hears the words "diaper change."

I've been borrowing my friend's fixed focus lens, which I already knew I wanted, and I love the pictures I can get with it, although I need to get used to standing farther away when taking photos. I am hoping she's too busy to get it back for a few months.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Welcome baby

Davis Owen Hillinger
I finally went into labor the night before we were planning an induction. My midwife had told me on Wednesday that the reason things weren't starting on their own was that the baby was hanging out with it's head resting on my on pubic bone. She tried to push him off, but he wasn't interested.
He continued to rest on that bone for most of my 15 hours of labor. We tried a lot of things to get him to move off, but nothing worked until my water broke. Seconds later, he was crowning and 15 minutes later Davis Owen was out.
Mommy and Davis
Apparently my body is designed for a quick active labor and pushing stage, and too much bleeding afterwards. With both Moira and Davis, I had a super speedy delivery and then post partum hemorrhaging that landed me in the hospital. In California the bleeding was entirely stopped by my midwife and the EMTs, and the Dr I saw only tried to shame me for having a homebirth and watched my stats without doing any tests other then making sure I could stand up and walk without fainting. I insisted that they let me eat a sandwich before I tried that one since I had just, you know, given birth.
Davis and Daddy
This time, everyone was wonderful and complimented me on my home birth, and complimented my midwife on her excellent care of me, and basically treated us both like people. Oddly, I was much more compliant and willing to do things their way this time. Just like last time, nothing was actually wrong with me, except for a slightly paler then normal appearance, some slight shakiness, and a tiny temperature. The thing that kept me in the hospital so long was the iv antibiotics, which means I saw three Dr's (day, night, next day) each of which wanted to do a new test, just to be sure. I guess the last Dr couldn't think of anything else to test for after the test to see if I had pre eclampsia came back negative, so we were released slightly earlier then expected.
Hug!
While all of this was happening, Moira was visiting her friend Jenna. They had both been hugely disappointed last month when my first round of labor stalled just in time for Moira to come home for bedtime. Jenna's Dad is a saint who apparently had to go into the room they were in every hour to settle her back down. I expect the next few days will be interesting while Moira settles back into our regular routine after a night away.
Davis and Runny Bunny
Jenna's Mom helped her pick out flowers for me, and a present for Davis, a pink ballerina ornament which she was excited to show him, but explained it was fragile and we should put it someplace high. The present I let her pick out was this pink blanket bunny thing, which she was less excited to give him, because she really wants it to be for her. She really wants to help change his diaper, but so far every time we've tried with her help, it's been clean. She got to "help" him eat, but I'm probably going to have to explain now why she doesn't get to slap my breasts every time. She also wanted to put him in a dress, but sadly, all the dresses we have are for bigger babies. I pointed out that Davis gets to decide for himself what to wear, just like she does, but I'm sure he'll end up being her doll for awhile.
Happy family
Despite the exciting start, everything is going well. Even the little dent in Davis' head from resting on my pubic bone for so long is gone. There was a short grumpy period from him while we were in the hospital but since then he's been eating and sleeping well. The midwife didn't have time to do the full check on him because I was being so overdramatic with the bleeding, so we don't know how long he is yet, but we should find out tomorrow. What we do know is this:
Born at 12:08 on 12/11/11, weighing 9lbs 4oz.
(Added after his check with the midwife) Length is 21", head is 14".
Yargh
Moira at birth
Yargh
Davis at birth
I was looking to see how similar they look, and it amused me that we randomly have a picture of both of them with the same expression at roughly the same number of hours post birth. I don't think they really look that much alike, other then that most babies look generically baby like at first. There's also the 3 and a half week difference in their gestation that makes a huge difference.
That's all I have for now. I'm really looking forward to sleeping in my comfy non hospital bed tonight and I think I will head there shortly.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Comfy baby

Happy as a clam
Baby is still happy and healthy inside and has no plans to come out as far as we can tell. Eviction notice will be served on Sunday, although we hope it decides to make an exit before then.
At least all this waiting has given me an idea for what kind of ornament to get for baby's first Christmas. I found a snail ornament the other day and that seems like a good idea for someone who takes their own sweet time.
New dress
I had a second day in a row of sewing, but my energy for that is gone again. I got this blank dress for Moira decorated. She's very happy with it because...
Baby's stocking
It matches the baby's stocking. We've been careful not to refer to her new dress as a Christmas dress though, or she would refuse to wear it until Christmas. Instead we told her it's a winter dress, and she's happily worn it twice since I made it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Well rested

Even though the baby is still stuck on the inside, Walker decided to start his paternity leave today. My friend Willow has also been visiting for the week, and Moira is in love with her, so I'm finally well rested. This means among other things, I finally got the photos from the last few weeks off the camera.
Ready to go
This is what Moira decided to wear to see "A Year With Frog and Toad" with my parents (the umbrella stayed at home).
Moira loves Willow
I told you she's in love with Willow, even when her PSP is not out. It's been at least six months since she was willing to sit next to anyone at dinner other then me or Walker, but she wants Willow to sit next to her all the time. She is also very sad that Willow is not going to stay here all the nights forever.
Felt tic tac toe board
Also because of all the rest I actually managed to make something today. Moira loves playing tic tac toe lately, although she doesn't care to try and draw circles or exes in the grid. My theory with this is that we will be able to play even at restaurants that don't supply paper or crayons. And waiting rooms.
I have been wanting to make her a busy book, because she has loved every one that other kids have brought over to our house. I'm trying to decide if it's something I'm actually going to get around to or if I should just buy one. Making this little board was fun, I'm leaning more in the direction of making it myself. I suppose we'll see.