Who knew that toxins exist EVERYWHERE? I certainly wasn’t cognizant of my exposure to toxins. Teflon, PABAs, air, water, food, etc. But, I have learned so much and am constantly learning of the dangers of these toxins in our everyday lives. Most recently, all the soaps, lotions, and cleaning products have been updated in our house.
I’ve been hearing more and more about a whole food plant-based diet. There’s definitely data out there that shows this lifestyle is the key to longevity and protective from illness and disease. My curiosity first started when I had our first child. It was important to me to learn more about nutrition because I wanted to learn how and what to prepare food for my kids. From this curiosity, I stumbled upon a book called Genius Foods. Then, I listened to the Audible version of The Obesity Code. Most recently, I’ve been embracing How Not to Die and Eat to Live.
Am I vegan? No. Am I a vegetarian? No. Am I here to save the animals? If saving the animals is a positive side effect, then absolutely! My main goal is to have the l o n g e s t quality of time with my kids as well as teach them how to incorporate nutrition into their lives. As a parent, I want to make my kids’ lives easier, more meaningful, and more fun. Aside from financial freedom and responsible parenting, the next best gift I can give to my kids is the power of nutrition. I wish I knew this information when I was a kid and grew up knowing what was helpful to fuel my body.
Since January 2019, Arden has been waking up 1-2x/night for milk. She turned 12 months old in February 2019. We’re not sure why she started doing this as she used to sleep through the night. So, I’m gathering some info and seeing what we can do to improve her nighttime sleep.
My mom, aunt, and mother-in-law have been coming on the weekends to help meal prep for the week and also help look after the littles (2 under 2 years old). My aunt mentioned something in Chinese culture re: the first 100 days after a baby as being a time for healing for the mother. I had heard of this in Korean culture, but didn’t realize it was in my own culture! Apparently, it’s in other cultures as well (see the wikipedia link below). Today, I’m on day 18 postpartum and it’s been a roller coaster of emotions, thoughts, lethargy, soreness, and fatigue.
After reading several of these articles, I definitely think there should be more pampering and healing in Western culture after the arrival of a baby. While I disagree with just sitting around without showers… I do believe in having extra help (house chores, cooking, etc) and allowing the mother to bond with baby without these distractions.
What do you think? Have you hired new help or had family members stay for an extended time to help with chores and cooking so you can focus on bonding with your baby?
We weren’t really sure how to do an introduction. Arden is very observant and we didn’t want to cause a bunch of anxiety or jealousy with bringing home a new baby. I don’t think she’s old enough to understand the concept of a baby brother, but I could be wrong. So, we’re introducing her slowly to her lil sibling. At first, she was very curious and _____________ (surprised? shocked? curious?). She wanted to touch him. It also seems like she wants to be held more and we want to giver her that love just as we always have. More and more, we have Garrett in the same space as Arden and she seems to be ok with it. She fought her naps the day after we brought G home from the hospital…. skipped them all. That was new. So maybe she feels the difference? Arden is my OG, my Bug. I’d feel terrible if she felt any less or even threatened with a new baby that requires more attention.
Tips that I received from friends, teachers, moms of multiples:
Make her feel like she’s helping with caring for lil brother. This will distract any anxiety and confusion.
Arden. Don’t worry. In no time you will be trying to “help” your baby brother! Replacing dropped bottles and pacifiers, returning rattles, sharing your food (shhhh, don’t tell anyone I kept handing noodles to my nanny’s grandbaby).
Early on before Evie, I taught Sam to be by himself and play, etc. when I had both at home by myself, Sam knew I was taking care of Evie so we read together and played as soon as she napped. Big thing is getting Bug involved, simple things, grab a rag, grab a wipe, make a big deal of it. Sam loved being the helper. Thankfully Evie was super chill her first 3-4 months, eat poop sleep…that was her routine. She even slept 6+ hours a night from the minute we brought her home. Even Debbie got to sleep.
We did a few things to prepare Jacob. We told him that he was going to have a new friend come and play with him. when we brought Dos home, we had gifts ready for Jacob that we said were from Dos. We also tried to get Jacob involved – like why do you think Dos is crying? Do you think he’s hungry? Do you want to help me change his diaper? etc. And thank and acknowledge when they are helping out. Also, make time for someone with Arden – it’s so hard in the beginning when you’re tired/nursing frequently but hand G to grandma or dad and cuddle/nap/walk with Arden. You got this, mama!!!
When people came to visit or Facetime, have them greet/chat with Arden first about her. And keep it about Arden instead of asking “how’s it feel to be a big sister” or “how do you like your baby brother”. I felt like Jacob was too young to understand what big bro/lil bro meant but he did know about someone new being in my lap. It’s a work in progress still, but Arden and you guys are doing great!!
Mana is 18 months older than her “Tita”. we modeled gentle touching and interactions, and said: “This is your Tita” to help her understand it’s her tiny baby sister. Ownership of that special relationship helped, I think. But I can relate to feeling so sad and guilty that I had a little less to give the OG girl. It turns out just fine.
Love on Arden – let everyone else love on Garret – he just needs someone to hold him doesn’t matter who!!!
Don’t worry, kids adjust very fast. They are at a very young age. Just shower both with love and they will love each other.
Arden as slowly adjusted. She was a bit more sensitive at school and was challenging with her naps while there as well. At night, it would take around 30 minutes to calm her to get her to go to sleep. We have slowly incorporated G into daily life. He’s around when we do dinner. Now, when Arden gets home, I take her and play with her and hold her and papa takes care of G. For some reason, Arden is clingy to me even though Bear/papa takes her to school and picks her up and does most of her diaper changes. Even during the last month of my pregnancy, Arden would be picked up and held by her papa more and more bc she was just getting too heavy for me to lift and hold. Over this week, she has slowly adjusted and has gotten better about going down for “night night” at night. The last 3 nights, she has gone to sleep easily without a fight. We lay her in her crib and she rolls over onto her stomach and goes to sleep.
New changes we’ve incorporated:
Mama greets and holds Arden when she gets home from school
Wash her hands (tons of germs from school)
Mama holds and plays just with Arden before dinner
Dinner time, mama/papa/G are present (usually I wear G or breastfeed him at same time
After dinner, we clean up and Papa plays and reads with Arden
Getting ready for bed, we do a nighttime diaper change… get her into her sleep sack… have milk. G is present for this depending upon how Arden is doing. If she’s super frustrated, then I will take him separately and either feed him or put him down. We both will be with Arden for her last nightly milk feed, teethbrushing, hugs/kisses/cuddles before papa puts her down in her crib.
I wasn’t always a huge supporter of eating organic. I was a poor college student… a poor medical student… and a poor resident. In fact, I didn’t start thinking about my health seriously until my husband and I were planning to get pregnant. Maybe this was a little late in the game at 37 years old… but better late than never, right?
In college, I lived off of lean cuisine microwaveable meals with plastic and drinking 3 diet dr. peppers a day. In medical school, I survived off a protein bar, sandwich, and microwaveable dinners as well. Did I mention that I experimented with smoking to help me study? Ick, what horrible habits! In residency, I continued with protein bars, microwaveable meals, and hospital food that was free for residents around 9p. Not to forget, that I made sure I went to a bunch of residency interview dinners to meet potential incoming residents. Fast forward to getting ready for my wedding day, I went 3 months on a paleo diet and felt incredible and saw real changes in my body without feeling deprived or hungry. We went organic during my first pregnancy. We’ve placed more importance on sustaining our baby and helping her maximize her growth and learning with a more nutritious diet. During my second pregnancy, I again ate organic. But, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and moved to a more Whole30 diet — eliminating processed foods as well as sweets. I was able to really control my blood sugars with diet alone, and I feel better without all the processed food and sweets in my system.
Why do I think about this now? More and more, I feel the impact of a well-balanced diet on my body. My AGING body. Perhaps in our youth, we can fake it and make it by eating crap food and maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle. But as I’m aging, I feel the effects more and definitely sooner. Additionally, I care more now about what I put into my body and in my family’s. I would love to teach my kids the importance of healthy eating and what good food tastes like. So, enter my quest to eat organic as well as grass-fed, hormone-free meats as well as going more plant-based.