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IMG_2156a portrait of my children. every week. once a week. in 2013.

Piper: so girly. loves new shoes, having her hair done up pretty, and getting her nails painted. how did I end up with such a girly girl.

Bridget: switching from nursing every 2 hours to every 3 hours. ah, relief! also as you can see she’s getting stronger.

 

 

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IMG_2144a portrait of my children. every week. once a week. in 2013.

Piper: loves

– playing outside

– being read to

– going to her Mimi’s house

– her rain boots

– hardcore music

Bridget: loves

– sleeping at night

– only her mama when upset

– a clean bottom

– a breeze on her face

– milk. frequently.

 

around the “homestead”

Well, I thought I would catch everyone up on what is going on around the homestead lately.

Chickens…

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this is what happened to the chickens my parents hatched last summer! they ended up with 6 hens and 2 roosters, so 1 of the roosters had to go. the hens are laying eggs now and are averaging 3 dozen eggs a week. great job ladies!

Goats…

we are done with goats. unfortunately we realized that it was more work at this time in our lives than either Joe or I could put into it, especially while I was pregnant. thankfully we were able to pay forward the kindness of others by giving goaty gifts to others we know who are raising dairy goats. we feel horrible because of the kindness others showed to us in their giving and we are just unable to follow it through. thankfully others will be able to reap the benefits of their generosity.

Pigs…

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last years pig raising endeavors began and ended quite a bit later than usual. we got our pigs in May ’12 which was much later than normal (we usually get them in March or beginning of April), and they didn’t get slaughtered and butchered until February. thankfully though, we now have freezers stocked full of pork, and home made sausage, bacon, and rillettes.

Joe also was able to hire himself out as an amateur butcher this year. a person he works with raised pigs with friends and they’ve hired him to butcher, brine, and smoke for them. he is currently in the process.

Garden…

I’m really looking forward to our garden this year! our plan is to buy (very soon) a couple of apple trees and start an orchard for our parents. hopefully we/they can purchase a couple of trees a year, and it should take no time for a small orchard to become established.

we are late, as usual, with getting our seeds started. thankfully this year Joe was able to get himself a grow lamp and if that can be set up in the next week the seeds will be underway and not too late. i’m not entirely sure yet of all the plants we’ll be growing this year, but I know I can be sure we’ll have potatoes, garlic, and hops. we have our priorities.

more about the garden as the season progresses!

baby sleep training…round 2

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Oh parenthood. Why do you not come with a manual? Instead parenthood lets people enter headlong and ill-prepared, offering no comfort and heralding no tidings of things to come…for every child is different.

When I was pregnant with Piper, I thought I was good to go with this parenthood thing. I’m the oldest child of eight – that’s right EIGHT – siblings. When my youngest sibling was born I was 15, and I had been changing diapers as long as I could remember. I thought I had observed my mother in her nursing and disciplining skills. I thought I was so ready, and had parenthood “in the bag.”

Then I birthed Piper and fell down the proverbial rabbit hole.

Parenthood is so much harder than anyone could have ever prepared me for. In the beginning I kept wondering, “Why didn’t anyone tell me this stuff?!” But now I wonder if I would have listened to begin with.

Oh parent training, you are heartless.

I promised a friend I would write about my sleep training endeavors and explain what it is I mean when I say that, and what it involves.

With Piper I never slept. Never. Its amazing I am a functioning member of society and not locked away in an institute, wearing a white jacket accessorized with belts and locks.

Someone recommended I read the very controversial sleep training book, On Becoming Baby Wise by Gary Ezzo.  This book, in theory is great. You get your kid to sleep through the night in 6-12 weeks. Oh how I would have loved that, but I was in no state of mind to enforce this action upon my child. I didn’t receive the book until Piper was already 12 weeks old (or older?) so I feel like I lost a lot of momentum. I really wish I could do a do-over and try again, but that is not in the cards for Piper. Between teething, colic, caffeine sensitivity, and trying to figure out if she had food allergies, she only started sleeping through the night after 12 months old.

A note on Baby Wise: This book is very controversial. A lot of internet searches will turn up blogs, articles, and forums BASHING on it. I believe the reason for this is that a lot of people are looking for the “right” way, or a manual to parenting, and when someone’s approach fails them, then they blame it. My approach to any child training book or method is that it is a tool, not the Bible or manual for doing it “the right way.” I believe the parent is the ultimate authority on knowing their own child – better than a doctor, better than a teacher, better than any “method” – and therefore should use their own personal discernment toward raising their child.

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I require sleep for my sanity. Sleep training is for me.

When I became preggers with Bridget I decided I would start sleep training immediately. I fortuitously came across this blog post, which sums up the Baby Wise sleep training with a practical motherly spin, if you will. So with Bridget I find I am more often referencing here than the book. I have less time for book reading these days.

I’m not a co-sleeping, demand-feeding mom, so this method works out perfect for my family.

So far I think Bridget is doing very well. She’s not on a 1 1/2 hour schedule (awake 1 1/2 hrs, asleep 1 1/2 hrs) and she nurses every 2-3 hours depending on if she’s awake or asleep. What is important to me is that her wake time is during the day and she sleeps at night other than waking to nurse. So at some points of the day she will be awake for 4-6 hours and be asleep from 4-6 hours, and other times of the day she will be awake for an hour and sleep for an hour. Just as long as she sleeps at night, I’m happy. Her napping and waking in the daytime hours varies from day to day, but I think that as long as I am waking her to feed her every 3 hours (tops) and feeding her more frequently in the daytime and making sure all of her wake time is during the daytime, then she will even out her nap time eventually. Piper did, even though a schedule was out the window with her.

I am a strong believer that once a baby proves that it can sleep through the night, letting the baby cry/fuss itself back to sleep. I hate hearing it, but it helps the baby form a new habit of sleeping through the night. I know, it’s not for everyone. At least this method helped with Piper. Bridget is still too small/young for sleeping through yet.

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Sleep Training reviews to come:

Happiest Baby on the Block DVD

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg and Melinda Blau

And that’s all folks!