Waiting for the other boot to drop... by Jasa

Our family has been in a somewhat constant state or worry over the last 7 months. Since the day Jake and I met, we have not been together for more than 17 months. The 17 month 1 day mark hits and Jake comes home with orders to be deployed. It seems like we get into a good rythmn and then BOOM, the other boot drops and we are disrupted again.

I have gotten used to it, or so I think. It has gotten easier for me to wave good-bye or not go into hysterics when we drop him off in front or some non-descript building near an airfield - in the middle of the night. I have watched him walk away from us more times than I care to recall, but thankfully he has returned safely to us when his time was served.

What does not get easier is the look in our childrens eyes when he walks away. As they have gotten older, the real meaning of what daddy is doing has begun to sink in. When our oldest was younger, it seemed like daddy was on vacation and would come back when he was done, and I wish I could have felt that. But as both of children have grown up with daddy gone, it has become harder to sugar-coat. Our son gets moody and our daughter gets SUPER clingy, to the point where I have to be in the same room at all times, even the bathroom. We talk about what daddy is doing and where he will be and that he has a very important job to do and that when he is done he will come home again.

So Jake has been home for just over two years now and we are just waiting for the call or the envelope in the mail and when it does come I will be prepared to take on the many additional roles that my children need me to play. We will go on as close to normal as we can and wait for the phone calls and letters and cross off the days on the calendar until the one that says "Daddy is coming home"

Have a fabulous day.

Stroller Strides Gives Moms the Strength for Motherhood

Stroller Strides Gives Moms the Strength for Motherhood
Stroller Strides opens in Wilmington area

Wilmington, North Carolina (Grassroots Newswire) January 9, 2008 -- Stroller Strides, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Wilmington.

“Stroller Strides is a great way to get back in shape, as well as stay in shape,” said Jody Smith, owner of Stroller Strides of Wilmington. “We present a fun opportunity for the moms of the Wilmington community to turn their strollers into a workout.”

Stroller Strides of Wilmington is celebrating its grand opening on February 21, 2008 at 10:00am at Hugh MacRae Park, Shelter #5.

Stroller Strides is a total fitness program for new moms that they can do with their babies. It includes power walking and intervals of body toning using exercise tubing and the stroller. Taught by nationally certified instructors, it’s a great workout for any level of exerciser. In 60 minutes, you will get a total body workout improving your cardiovascular endurance, your strength and your flexibility. The classes are equally beneficial for babies as instructors will weave songs through the workout and incorporate activities to make it fun.

In addition to the classes, Stroller Strides offers playgroups and mom’s night out, giving women an opportunity to socialize and further relationships.

To celebrate their arrival in Wilmington, Stroller Strides is offering the Grand Opening class free to the Wilmington community. There will be great deals on membership for moms who sign up at the Grand Opening as well as a raffle and goodies for everyone.

“We provide the outlet that moms need to enjoy time with other moms, while also focusing on the much needed exercise to fuel their demanding lives,” Smith said. “You can make new friends, get into shape and enjoy time with your baby.”

According to Smith, Stroller Strides allows women to exercise in a social atmosphere and children can benefit from watching their moms participate. For more information on Stroller Strides, contact Jody Smith at 800-691-6154.

About Stroller Strides
Founded in 2001, Stroller Strides has 300 locations and more than 15,000 participants nationwide. The unique stroller workout offers a challenging class for moms who bring their babies and toddlers in strollers, utilizing power walking and exercise tubing. Stroller Strides instructors weave songs and activities into the routine designed to entertain and occupy baby, while mom is led through a series of exercises incorporating stretch tubing, the stroller, the baby and the environment to create an outdoor gym. This unique program also provides moms with the opportunity to meet other moms, form playgroups for their babies, as well as form lasting friendships. Stroller Strides is open to all child caregivers from fathers and grandparents, to babysitters and nannies. Stroller Strides has been featured in publications such as Entrepreneur and Woman’s Day and on programs such as The Today Show and Access Hollywood. Its tremendous growth comes from a franchise opportunity that supports motherhood.

Sadie's a Night Owl

After a whole week and weekend of pretty much no sleep my husband and I were starting to argue over the silliest things. Sadie Lynn seems to either have really bad teething problems or is deciding to be a night owl...As her mother who thinks she couldn't be rebelling against bedtime ( since she is such a good baby) I truly believe its teething. :)

We decided to get out of the house and try to get Sadie to be happier...it worked!! For the first time Sadie sat in her stroller like a big girl instead of just in the car seat. It was so cute watching her in the stroller looking around at all the different sights and sounds of the MALL!! OOo exciting..oh well its winter and the Mall is a warm and convenient place to go out to. Sadie cooed and talked while we pushed her around she also loved laying down in the recline position and drinking her juice. These cute moments wipe away all the lack of sleep and frustration. We also ran into my parents who gladly watched Sadie for a few moments while Dustin and I had a break ( I love my parents and parent n laws so much for raising us kids and also still wanting to help out with grandchildren!! got to give them credit.). We love Borders so we went there for some quit reading time.

This week seems to be getting better and she is just back to waking up 2-3 times at night instead of every half hour.

We also finally trimmed Sadie's hair this week ..just her bangs b/c they were touching her nose! So far she has had to have two bang hair cuts...this girl has tons of hair for a baby :)

Also another incident that brought laughter in our house was caused by me (mommy)....
After two and half years of marriage and living on my own...I finally figured out why the koolaid mixes got so bad after I moved out. I would buy the 20cent lil package to make some punch..lemonade etc...mix it up with water
and then dump it after every time it tasted horrible...thought that the company just got worse.
Realized tonight after trying to make it again and it turned out bad again...Dustin commented about sugar!! Ahhh another Bethany moment that lasted for a long time,...I thought the sugar came in the packet and totally forgot about that. oops

We were all laughing even Sadie seemed to catch on that mommy had made a goof. She crunched up her nose and did her silly lil face that she loves making when we all laugh. We love her so much :) Even at 2am ...

No White Flour Revolution

There are articles, news reports and comedians that put there “two cents” in on what should be this years New Year’s Resolution. So I decided to join them and suggest to the world to eliminate white flour. There are many supporting facts on why we should do this but we are a Wonder Bread Society and habits are hard to break.

White flour came onto the scene around the time of the Industrial Revolution. We started milling wheat and removing the beneficial germ to increase the bread self life. Naturalist would say that they removed the life of the grain which is what makes it so beneficial to the body. I think this is a valid point but the thing that scares me the most is the use of chemicals in the process. The most common used in the production of white flour is called alloxan. This chemical is used to make white flour look so beautifully clean and this same chemical has the power to destroy the beta cells of the pancreas. What does that mean to our bodies in the long term, the risk of diabetes? Scientists have known the risk for years and even use it to induce diabetes in lab animals by injecting alloxan directly into the animals. How does alloxan cause diabetes? The alloxan makes beta cells fail to operate normally and they eventually do not produce insulin which causes one variety of adult-onset type 2 diabetes. The white flour industry argues if alloxan was the primary cause of diabetes more Americans would be diabetic. Even though that is a valid point we also know that not just one thing usually causes a single health issue.

If you are diabetic or have a family history of diabetics one of the first steps in prevention is the elimination of white flour.

The bakers at Bizzy Lizzy Bakery have come up with a wonderful solution. They have created a breakfast “Hearty” cookie that is packed with fiber and protein. These soft and delicious cookies have 4 grams of fiber and NO FLOUR. Most high fiber products have wheat flours, which many are trying to avoid.

From Grandma Darcey

When our daughters moved out, it was hard at first. But now it is fun. I get along better with them since they are out of the house. My oldest one is a spitting image of me and she calls me everyday. My youngest calls me about once every few weeks or so. But of course I still worry about them. No matter whether they are married or not and what age they are. They still need mom and dad. And then the grandkids. My husband is a pushover when it comes to the grandkids. We never had a boy and our first grandchild was a boy. He pals around with grandpa all the time. It is funny to watch. You do seem to treat the grandkids different from how you raised your own kids. And then our oldest will ask her father, "Who are you?" Anyone out there know what I mean?

Thoughts on the war from Jasa

It seems that being a military wife gives you an inside political track, at least that is what everyone thinks. Over the past ten years I have been asked things like, what do they do in that big building with no windows, do you know if the war is going to end this term, and the ever present, so how do you feel about the war, the President or the media? I always warn people not to ask me about the war unless they are prepeared to receive an honest answer.

This is my standard..." I think that we are over there for reasons that we, the normal people, will never know. But because I have a long family history in the military, I support the President and most of all, out troops. My husband and my father have both spent tours in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. I have to support our troops, because I KNOW that there is good being done. I have walls full of pictures, real pictures not printed off of a web site pictures, of children waving and giving peaces signs to passing soldiers, pictures of old women collecting brass from the shooting ranges and being helped by soldiers, pictures of my husband and his unit feeding a stray dog and cat and I have pictures of a beautiful country that has known so much violence and suffering, but of a country where schools are being built, children are getting medical care and people can feel a little bit safer because the United States is there."

Some people might argue that there is also harm being done, but I think of it like this. When you decide to clean your closet, you have to pull out all of the junk and make a bigger mess before you can get everything in order again. So we are cleaning out all of the "junk" to make Iraq a safer place for it's people to live and hopefully, in the end we will have helped make it a place where people want to go instead of the place our husbands and wives HAVE to go.

Have a blessed day and remember to thank a soldier.

The Nutritional Value of Plaster by Military Momma

My daughter, “Punka”, has a lot of behavioral problems that are not uncommon for children her age, such as being a picky eater, throwing tantrums, refusing to sleep, insisting on being naked, etc. She seems to take the phrase “Terrible Twos” as a challenge, and is determined to find the weirdest, most frustrating ways to test our parenting skills.

At this point she’s winning. It seems every time I make progress with Punka, her daddy goes to the field or participates in some other Army related event that takes him away for long periods of time, disrupting her schedule and setting off a chain reaction of bad behavior.

Her newest tactic in the quest to drive mommy insane is to gnaw the paint and plaster off the corner of her closet. Thankfully our house is less than 10 years old, so I know she’s not consuming lead paint. Just the same, this can’t be good for her. The frustrating part is that I don’t know how to prevent it.

It always occurs when she’s supposed to be napping, and so we don’t discover it until it’s already happened. I have no clue how to stop her. I’ve wondered if there were some sort of bumper to place on the corners, but that makes me think it would just make it appear more like a teething toy and an invitation to chew. I wonder what a liquid thumb-sucking deterrent would do to the paint? There’s got to be some sort of solution.

I tried to research it online, and hidden in between articles about how to get your puppy to stop chewing on your furniture, I found a few articles that suggested some toddlers may partake in this unusual behavior of eating non-food items when their nutritional needs are not being met. Very plausible considering my daughter’s recent refusal to eat anything that isn’t in hot dog form slathered in ketchup. What am I going to do with this kid? I wonder if there is any nutritional value to plaster…?

The Business of Being Born

Have you heard about this new documentary that explores the way birth is managed in the USA? Ricki Lake directs in this film that gives a message that people need to hear.

As a mother of six, I have had

a hospital birth with an OB

a home birth of a posterior baby, attended by a lay midwife

a birthing center birth with a certified nurse midwife

a c-section for a premature breech baby and a placental abruption

an unassisted home waterbirth VBAC

a c-section for another placental abruption

Watching the film trailer here I was moved to tears remembering my own birth experiences--particularly the very empowering ones. I was reminded that women are getting ripped off every day with the messages and management of birth in our society. Women are so used to the message that birth is dangerous and that their bodies aren't able to birth without intervention, that they believe the lies and allow their natural rights as women and mothers to be stolen away from them.

At the risk of sounding like a fanatic, I want to tell you this: Women, you are being lied to. You are being told that you are broken and weak. And for the vast majority of you that are forced or convinced into believing this, you may not even know what you are being robbed of. But you are being robbed nonetheless. And it is tragic. Truly tragic.

Take some time to watch this movie. I'm including some videos here, but you can also go to the official web site for more information, including info on local showings all over the world.

Wilmington, NC residents--you have a community showing coming up on Jan. 31. Also, the movie will be available through Netflix in mid-February. Do a search on youtube.com for "the Business of Being Born" and you will find quite a few interviews, etc. to watch.


The Down Syndrome Express-- Intro

My friend, Erica, invited me to write something about my life as a mother of five, for her blog at the Baby Boutique. She asked for something that other moms might relate to, or might identify with.

We have five children. We had four for quite awhile, nearly six years, before our little buddy was on the way. I was so nervous about being pregnant at my advanced age of 43. I wasn’t worried about anything in particular, just the whole idea of giving birth again, even though I had had four wonderful births with the older children. I think my biggest fear was that I would have an even bigger baby this time. Our daughter, our fourth child, was 11 pounds, 7 ounces. I couldn’t imagine giving birth to a bigger baby than 11 ½ pounds!

My due date was January 9. I was hoping for December 31 since that is my husband’s birthday and I thought that would be fun, to have two birthdays on the same day. I also secretly felt that if the baby was born before the beginning of the new year, everything was going to be all right with him and the birth.

During my pregnancy, my baby had had the hiccups every single day and the baby’s movements had been so much more noticeable than in earlier pregnancies. I noticed the difference but did not worry that they meant any particular thing.

I wanted a water birth with this baby because my two sisters had had their babies this way when I was about six months through this pregnancy. Their stories were so wonderful that I decided to pursue this option for birth. The local hospitals offered laboring tubs but explicitly stated that giving birth in the water was prohibited. My doctor was of the “ask forgiveness, not permission” mentality, but I knew I would be very uncomfortable if there were nurses tapping their croc-shod toes at me. Eventually, I decided I wasn’t going to give birth in the hospital and met my lay midwife less than one month before I was to give birth.

My husband and I felt an immediate connection with our midwife and moved forward confidently with this plan.

On New Years Eve, clearly the baby was not going to be arriving before the end of the year. We spent our evening with our little family, looking back at the year previous and looking ahead to what was coming in the new year. We watched a DVD by John Eldredge which taught that Jesus is the hero of the story and we are part of his story. Midnight came and went and I tried to tell myself that my little superstition had nothing to do with reality.

One week early, January 2, I spent six hours laboring and giving birth to our little guy, our smallest baby by far at 8 lb 12 oz. I have thanked God many times for the wonderful labor and birth I enjoyed. Thanked him for the fact that our children got to meet the baby and hold him minutes after he was born. It all came together eventually as an amazing example of the grace and providence of God, but . . . pretty much as soon as I had the chance to hold the baby, I could see that he looked like he had Down syndrome. At that point, I knew nothing about Down syndrome, and was pretty sure that I would not be a good mother to a child with special needs. I knew nothing, and I didn’t see myself as particularly compassionate or filled with whatever genes all “those” other mothers had who mothered special children so well.

We spent the first night at home, but needed to visit the pediatrician the next day due to the fact that the baby’s color was indicative of not enough oxygen in his blood. Directly from the pediatrician’s office, we traveled by ambulance to the hospital where we spent the next seven days in the NICU. It was during this time that the diagnosis of Down syndrome was confirmed through a chromosomal test.

What a hard time that was, as we were separated from our other children, dealing with recovering from childbirth, dealing with our own emotions, and learning everything we could about Down syndrome. But who could ask for better doctors or nurses? Who could imagine the level of care we received from the hospital? Who could ask for more than my mother, sisters, and brother-in-law gave to help out with the kids? How could we have imagined what kindness would be poured out to us from friends from church, and friends and acquaintances from the previous summer’s swim team? In short, truly it was Amazing Grace.

I have an indelible memory of gazing at my brand new baby as he lay in my arms and knowing almost instinctively that he had been born with Down syndrome even though I had no conscious understanding of how I knew this to be true.

But the overarching memory of that time was that Amazing Grace. The music that was playing when the baby was born was the CD Dwell. The words stick with me:

Dwell in the midst of us

Come and dwell in this place

Dwell in the midst of us

Come and have your way.

Dwell in the midst of us

Wipe all the tears from our faces

Dwell in the midst of us

You can have your way.

Not our will, but yours be done

Come and change us

Not our will, but yours be done,

Come sustain us.

And he has changed us. And he always sustains us. And our little boy is an incredible blessing that we could not have imagined. There are still days when my mind does the math and remembers how old we will be when our little guy is a grown man, but we believe that God will be with us and with him every day of his life. Oh, and if you ask my son, I’m pretty sure he’d categorize me as quite a good mom to him. Amazing Grace.

Sadie's Birth Story

My daughter Sadie Lynn was due on May 26, 2007 which was my father's birthday and also the day that my husband purposed to me so that day was pretty significant to us. As it got closer to the due date I was nervous about making sure we were all prepared for her big arrival. We both finished our school finals and due to low blood pressure making me black out all the time I was pretty much stuck at home through out my pregnancy unless my husband Dustin took me out somewhere. Dustin planned to take a motorcycle safety course two days before her due date which I was all nervous we would spend the money on it and then he would have to miss it because I went into labor.

On Thursday May 24, 2007 Dustin had just finished his safety course and was with me until work that night from 5-1 am....and I really wanted to clean the apartment, do laundry, and go grocery shopping. I had this sudden feeling that everything needed to be done. So we did laundry went shopping and did some cleaning. At this point I was very sick of people touching my belly and calling to see if she had been born yet. So while Dustin went to work I invited my friend to come over and hang out for a couple hours. We watched a movie and I started to feel very uncomfortable and sick...I just kept ignoring it though because I thought it was just nerves or some stomach bug. So she left and then Dustin came home on break and I told him I thought I might be having contractions...he said to walk around and take a bath and see how I felt afterward. We had already had one false alarm a month ago so we weren't too sure this was the real thing. I took a bath thinking that would help but it didn't so I called him around 12:30 and he came home. We called the obgyn and the midwife asked how far apart the contractions where. AT this point they were every 5-6 minutes on the dot and pretty campy. Since I had tested positive for Group Strep B she said to come in to the hospital since I would need medicine soon.

With excitement building we packed up and headed out to the car at 1:45am and driving over to the hospital was a exciting and also painful trip since my contractions kept coming every 5 minutes and the bumpy roads did not help. When we got there the nurse checked me and said I was around 2 to 3cm...Yeah!!! I was so nervous they were going to send me home...this was the real thing now! They gave me the medicine through the IV for 20 minutes and monitored the baby for awhile then let me get out of bed which felt great. I did not like laying in bed while in labor. We tried the tub for awhile...but after awhile I got too hot and dizzy and got out. We were both exhausted and it was 2am when we got to the hospital so there was no sleep in the near future. I tried walking a bit but then decided to try a shower which felt nice....around 4am the contractions got closer and we were delighted to hear that after a couple more hours I had dilated to 4cm. I did not like when the doctor did the exams because my cervix was hard for them to find so it hurt a lot and every time I got a contraction I wanted to be left alone.

Then the nurse suggested this big ball to squat on and that was the best idea ever! Dustin rubbed my back and I swayed back and forth on the ball every time a contraction hit...by 7am the pain was getting worse and I was very tired...I started to lose it but then this nurse who was the best nurse I ever met..came in and calmed me down and stayed with me for a long time helping me concentrate on just getting through the contraction. Around 9:30am I was 6cm and was unable to deal with the pain anymore...I was disappointed in myself but the pain just became to much and felt like my hips where being torn apart every time a contraction hit. I also was tried and so was Dustin so I decided to get a epidural which was so great. After waiting forever I finally got the epidural around 11am and was able to rest. I did not like how my legs went numb and I still felt faint contractions for awhile and the numbness switched in legs. I also had to have a catheter which was unpleasant.

Around 1:30 I felt different and pressure in my butt and asked the nurse to call the doctor..she checked me and found I was almost 10cm...I had to wait for the last lil bit to dilate which seemed like forever. They turned the epidural off and it was pushing time. Around 2:45pm they let me start pushing which was exciting and both hard work. I knew we were closer to seeing our beautiful baby but it still was painful and scary. The thing that kept me going was the encouraging nurses and my husband encouraging me and looking so happy. He was watching and the smile on his face was priceless. Anytime I felt like giving up I saw him looking so happy and saying "sweety she is almost here"...that helped me a lot. I was not so good at pushing at first...I just wanted it over with so I pushed anytime I could, but then they instructed me to push only when a contraction came. After an hour the doctor was thinking of giving me a little bit of pitocin to push things along...I did not want this though and I am glad I did not end up needing it. I started pushing with all my might and got the hang of it...even after nineteen hours of labor I somehow found energy to push her out. As the baby started to crown they let me touch her hair which was a great experience and when Sadie Lynn finally entered the world I was both in shock and amazement that this was my baby that was in my belly for nine months and she was on me skin to skin. It was the best moment and I will never forget looking into her bright blue eyes and getting to hold her for the first time.

Dustin cut the cord and she was weighed...8lbs and 2 oz!! Big girl :) she also was 19 ½ inches long and had tons of hair! She still has tons of dark brown hair and green/blue eyes. My recovery was slow...nobody warned me how much it hurts afterward! But after about a month I felt more like myself and breastfeeding was going great and still is!

I am very happy with the overall care and treatment we received at the hospital..the nurses followed our birth plan and respected our space and wishes. And Sadie Lynn is a healthy, energetic, and happy 7 ¾ month old!! She is our joy and I still find myself just amazed at this lil miracle God blessed us with.

Grandma Darcey--Intro

I am a native of Arizona. My husband and I grew up in the same neighborhood but didn't like each other until later we were 18. Been married to him for 22 years now. Still live in the same neighborhood we grew up in. We have two girls, 24 and 20. They have moved out now so we are empty nesters. And now we have three wonderful grandchildren. So we are busy to say the least.

Well, raising our girls was one thing. But being a grandparent is something else. You know, you hope you are doing the right thing with your kids. Teach them right from wrong, don't do this, don't do that. No you can't have a cell phone, or a boyfriend until you are 18. Just get through school first. Then you have your oldest tell you that she is never having kids and never getting married. Because how can you stay with one man for all those years. And she is the one that said to us, I am engaged. And I said really. Never getting married, huh. She said yeah well. Now she has three children and I was able to be in the delivery room with all three. I even got to cut my grandson's umbilical (not sure if I spelled that one right) cord because my son-in-law really didn't want to. But he did cut the other two granddaughters umbilical cords when they were born. And now being a grandparent is great. More coming later.

Darcey Shumaker
Avon Independent Sales Rep

Jasa's Intro

I am delighted to be writing a blog on my adventures as an ARMY wife and mom to two BRATS. Though it has been hard and we have spent more time apart than together, I wouldn't trade my ARMY man for anything.

I got married VERY young, right out of high school, to my favorite soldier. We have been married for almost 10 years, but we joke that it has only been 5 since he has been gone so much.
Being married to military man, or woman, is no walk in the park. You learn to rely on yourself and make friends with those who are in the same boat. Not knowing if your spouse will be home at the end of the day can be quite unnerving and it has happened to us. Don't blame your soldier, they are doing the job they signed up for and that is something you should be proud of.
Having children and being married in the military is whole other ball of wax. You get to be the mother, father, nurse, teacher, doctor and maid all in the same day, sometimes for months at a time.

I hope that in writing this blog I can help some one who may need support or make another military wife say "ok, so I am not the only who is going through this" You have a huge network of wives and husbands out there going through the same thing. So welcome to my Blog and enjoy the fun and tears and know that you are not alone.


Military Momma: Welcome to Chaos

My goal here is to give readers of the BB@WW Blog a new perspective on the struggles and joys of being the wife of a soldier and the mother of an Army Brat. Army wives have been known as the “Silent Ranks” and until recent years, the civilian world gave us little thought. Now with the media saturated with images and stories of war and military, we’ve begun to receive due recognition. The trouble is, the media often stereotypes us and misleads the public on what our life is really like. With this blog I hope to educate everyone about my personal reality of being a military wife and family.

That said, let me introduce myself. My name is Deb. I am 25 and have been an Army wife for close to 5 years now. We are currently stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas with my Staff Sergeant husband, our 2 year old daughter “Punka”, and mutt dog named Bubba. My husband has been deployed twice to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and recently spent a year unaccompanied tour in Korea. Last Spring when he returned from Korea, we relocated to Fort Bliss and I became a work at home mom. I am a graphic designer by trade, but a stay at home mom by choice. I freelance from home and also have a side job crafting.

While you may not be able to relate to all the situations I write about, my day to day life is full of happiness, stress, struggle and strife just like any other mom. Mine just happens to be a different breed of chaos.
DebD, MilitaryMomma

Sadie's Young Mommy--Intro

My name is Bethany and I have been married for over two and a half years now and also my husband Dustin and I have a beautiful baby girl named Sadie Lynn who is 7 ½ months. Dustin graduates from college this spring and I am working on my degree also...so juggling motherhood, wife hood, school, and other family and friend activities is quite crazy, but fun. My daughter Sadie was born on May 25, 2007 one day before her due date which was going to be on her Grandpa's birthday..I guess she decided she wanted her own day for her birthday.

Now that she is 7 ½ months old I am just amazed at how much she has grown in such a little span of time. In one week she figured out crawling, pulling up to a stand, and sitting up after falling down. She learns something new everyday good and bad!! Like this week she thinks nap time consists of standing up in her crib and yelling Da! Da! Da!! over and over again...till mommy breaks down and goes in to check on her. She also has decided to move her bedtime to 9 or 10 clock instead of her 7:30 bedtime routine we had down so perfectly for months. I guess this all comes with the changes she is making, but it is very hard to adapt to such a sudden difference in our baby. She also has decided mommy is the only person who can feed, bath, cloth, and or do anything with her.

Sadie Lynn does bring a lot of challenges, but she is overall a very content and happy baby and I am overfilled with love for her. Being a young mom has its own sets of stereotypes also. I get a lot of grief about it from strangers in stores or some classmate joking around. It is tough being a mom at any age I think and I know I have the maturity, knowledge, and love to care for my daughter no matter what age I might be. I got married at eighteen to Dustin and I now have my daughter Sadie at age 20. I enjoy being a wife and a mother so much...it is filled with huge rewards. My Aunt Erica asked me if I wanted to write some lil bits here and there about my life as a young mommy, I am enjoying being a mom and I like to think of myself not as just a young mommy, but also Sadie's mommy :)

Sadie's Young Mommy :)

Cat-Naps -- Making Short Naps Longer

By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of The No-Cry Nap Solution

Is your child a cat-napper? Does your baby fall asleep being fed, while in a car seat, sling, rocker, or someone’s arms? When transferred to bed, does your baby then sleep 30 to 50 minutes? That’s the exact length of one sleep cycle. These factors combined define the main cause of mini-naps: an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep without aid – your baby wakes fully at the end of the first sleep cycle, resulting in a too-short nap. I refer to this problem as One-Cycle Sleep Syndrome (OCSS). This leads us to understand the reason that many babies are cat-nappers and also directs us to potential solutions.

Cycle-Blender Naps

One way to help your baby sleep longer is to put him for a nap in a setting that will lull him back to sleep when he wakes between sleep cycles. Cycle-Blender naps occur in slings, cradle-swings, rocking cradles, or baby hammocks. Any of these can help cat-nappers extend their sleep time because when Baby begins to awaken the rhythmic motion can lull him back to sleep.

You can also create a Cycle-Blender nap in a stroller. Take a daily walk outside (it’s good for both of you!) or bring your stroller in the house. Walk your baby until she falls asleep, and then park the stroller near you. If she starts to move about, resume walking or give her a bit of a bounce and jiggle.

Once your baby gets used to taking a longer nap in the stroller, you can make a transition to bed naps. Start by reducing the movement, rolling slower and for less time. After your baby is asleep, park the stroller, using the jiggle if she wakes mid-nap. Over time, let your baby fall asleep in the stationary stroller parked next to his crib, and when the nap habit is in place, change to naps in the crib.

Create a Sleep-Inducing Bedroom

Light, noise or an absence of noise can all cause a cycle-shifting napper to wake up fully instead of falling back to sleep. To encourage longer naps, keep the sleeping room dark so that bright light doesn’t keep him alert between sleep cycles. To soothe your child through sleep cycle changes, use white noise (a recording of nature sounds), or relaxing music. Keep this turned on all through naptime. It will mask the noises that can wake a child who is shifting through sleep cycles. This also creates a powerful sleep cue, and if it is portable -- like a CD or travel sound alarm – can be taken with you for away-from-home naps.

Build a Better Bed

To entice your baby to have a longer nap, recreate the crib into a cozier nest. Use softer sheets, such as flannel, plus a thicker, softer crib mattress pad. You can also warm the bed surface before naptime with a towel fresh from the dryer (remove this and test the surface before laying your baby down.)

Make the Bed a Familiar Place

Let your baby have several play sessions in his crib during waking hours. Stay with him, engage his interest and introduce a few new toys. Let him see you as a part of the crib experience so that he gets a happy feeling being there. This way, when he is put in his crib for naptime and wakes up mid-nap it won’t be a lonely, foreign place, but one that carries familiar memories of fun times with you. This can help him accept it as a safe place for sleep and allow him to fall back into slumber after that first sleep cycle.

Interpret Signs of Tiredness

If you put your child for a nap before he is tired, or when he is overtired he won’t sleep as well as when you hit that ideal just-tired moment. Observe your child for signs of tiredness, such as losing interest in toys, looking glazed, becoming cranky, or slumping in his seat. Put your child for a nap the moment you see any sign of fatigue. If you take note of the time that this occurs over a week you should see a pattern emerge. This can help you set up a daily nap schedule that suits your child’s tired times perfectly.

Gauge time spans between naps

In addition to signs of tiredness also watch to see how long your child has been awake. Children can only stay happily awake for a certain period of time until they receive a biological pull towards a nap. Once that “pull” begins your child becomes fatigued and his cheerful mood begins to deteriorate. Each child has unique sleep needs, but this chart shows the typical span of time a child can stay happily awake:


Awake time span


1 – 2 hours

6 month old

2 – 3 hours

12 month old

3 – 4 hours

18 month old

4 – 6 hours

2 year old

5 – 7 hours

3 year old

6 – 8 hours

4 year old

6 – 12 hours

Keep in mind that children grow and change and their nap schedule should change with them. What’s perfect today may be different than what is perfect next month. Keep your eye on your child and on the clock.


This is a copyrighted excerpt from The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, December 2008). Used with permission.

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