PARENTING FREEDOM

attachment parenting, homeschooling, gentle discipline
  • .: My Children :.

  • .: Status Updates :.

    Friday, December 21st, 2012 10:23 am

    Hundreds of hurting people visit here every day, most of whom are searching for comfort after loss. Please reach out for emotional support as you begin the healing process. Be patient with yourself. Allow yourself to grieve. Let it out. May God be with you.

  • .: Quotes :.

    “Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught in falsehoods school. And the one man that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool.”
    Plato (427-347 BC, Greek Philosopher)
  • Decluttering Update

    | December 22, 2011

    Going from a family of six to having seven family members has tipped my clutter control abilities over the edge. That’s a lot of people who have a lot of stuff that must fit in this house. All of sudden, things just don’t have a place anymore. The house is bursting at its seams. I am an organizer/perfectionist at heart, so it really stresses me to have a messy house. It hasn’t just been my lack of energy that is to blame. It is because there is simply no more room. How can things be put away if there is no place for them to go? Another thing I realized was that I have to be careful of the temptation to organize clutter. I can make things neat as a pin, but in many cases, those things should just be thrown out the door.

    When we look around and see piles of clutter in our house, my (and Derek’s) first thought is that those things need to go. We should throw it all out! But actually, those are the things that we use. The things hidden neatly in the cupboards, closets, shelves and bins are the things that need to be examined to see if they are worthy of the space they take up. And during the past couple of weeks, many of those things failed the test. YAY!! I filled many bags of trash and have a large pile of things to give away. It includes silver, crystal, VHS tapes, audio cassettes, mementos and clothing, etc. Getting rid of all of this stuff opens up the storage areas for things that I use that need to be put away. YAY!!

    My walk-in closet has been the catch-all for clutter during the past several months. We have tended to collect everything from all the other rooms that didn’t have a home and dump it in my closet. I realized that the problem wasn’t going to go away by just working at it from the outside. All organizing advice says to EMPTY the room or the drawer or the closet, and I have found that it really seems to be necessary. So, last night, the boys helped me to EMPTY the closet (almost) and dust the dressers and vacuum. Then I spent today organizing and purging and putting back only the things that I need, use, or like. YAY!!

    At this moment, as my sweet babe is napping, I am blogging my progress instead of continuing to de-clutter. But I have made progress. You would still see messes if you visited today, but the improvement on the inside is encouraging for me. I got rid of many bags and boxes of things. And you should see my closet! YAY!!

    Christmas presents, here we come!

    A Little Housekeeping

    | December 7, 2011

    When Less Really is More
    http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2011/11/when-less-really-is-more.html

    Purging household items is very freeing. It is hard to know where to draw the line though.

    A Tour of our Family Closet (Video Blog)
    http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2010/08/a-tour-of-our-family-closet.html

    When I saw this idea on the Duggar’s show years ago, I wished I had thought of it when we designed our house. At least we have the laundry room on the main floor and a walk-in closet for the master bedroom that holds the baby’s clothes as well as ours. I knew enough to make lots of closet rods, and we rely very little on dressers. We, too, hang up EVERYTHING except socks, underwear, and swimsuits. I think my children (because they are mostly older) would still want their clothes in their own room, but a family closet would be a central place where things could remain neatly until they carried their clothes to their rooms. My ten-year-old daughter is excellent with taking care of the clean clothes. If I had a family closet, it would need a big-screen T.V.

    Friday Night

    | December 2, 2011

    This is in the oven and Grammie S. and Nana are on their way here. Christmas music is playing and lights are on. A new game will be tried called “What’s Yours Like?”… Wishing M&C et al. and R&J were here, too.

    http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/grands-monkey-bread/7a1e41b1-4708-4028-8ce6-fcb5baebbc19/

    She Baked A Cake

    | November 10, 2011

    My ten-year-old daughter just did something I have never done in 41 years. She made homemade icing! Well, I did try one time to make boiled icing, but my mother had to rescue me after two failed pots. C10 made a cookies and cream cake with Oreos. We are waiting for it to cool. I would have taken pictures, but the kitchen is too messy from the supper dishes not done. Contrary to the stereotype, I am NOT one of those homeschooling mothers who teaches her daughter to cook (tonight was rare), nor am I the cook-from-scratch type, and I certainly can’t take step-by-step pictures to record the experience.

    Decluttering

    | October 15, 2011

    On the days I have been feeling better, I began to declutter some rooms. The living room and master bedroom are almost checked off the list. I have been able to maintain the level of tidiness in both those rooms during the past few days. I know you are not supposed to bring anything new into the house, but I intend to get a nice laundry bin, matching trashcan, and one storage basket to help me stay on top of things in the master bedroom. The living room could use a low cabinet to store the kids’ video game equipment. I already replaced the family pictures with recent ones. They make me happy. One closet and the laundry room are also almost finished. I have also worked on L7′s room and the big room upstairs. That means I have purged well over 100 books and many other unnecessary things and several bags of garbage. It’s hard to draw the line about what to keep, but as long as everything that is left has a place, and I intend to use it, then I suppose I am on the right track. Decluttering makes me happy, but I suspect I should get rid of much more than I do.

    Life and Home

    | September 14, 2011

    Links with cool ideas that I’ll likely never try, but you might… ;-)

    60 Small Ways to Improve Your Life in the Next 100 Days
    http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/60-small-ways-to-improve-your-life-in-the-next-100-days.html
    Hat Tip: Dana

    How To Keep A Clean House & Free Yourself From The Chains Of Drudgery
    http://www.squidoo.com/clean-and-clutter-free
    Hat Tip: Elizabeth

    Look at those old albums! Surround yourself with pictures of loved ones.

    | March 5, 2011

    Soothing snaps: Looking at a photo of a loved one ‘reduces pain by 44%’
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1360227/Looking-photo-loved-reduces-pain-44.html#ixzz1Fk2nzyoK

    “If they had the choice, many women would prefer to spend time with their children than go to work full-time.”

    | December 13, 2010

    Why I’d rather my daughter marry a rich man than have a brilliant career
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1336905/Jet-set-housewives-Id-daughter-marry-rich-man-career.html#ixzz182ZfXhYK

    “Yes — feminists look away now — most of the girls I talked to are intent on marrying a rich man…”

    “She said that combining a high-powered career and motherhood and doing both well is impossible. It’s time we stopped feeding girls the fairy tale that they can do it all — and I agree…”

    “But, more than that, I think most women — if given a truly free choice — would choose to stay at home and look after their children in their infancy…”

    “Working mums’ guilt: If they had the choice, many women would prefer to spend time with their children than go to work full-time…”

    “If, in 20 years’ time, my daughter announces she’s jumping off the career ladder to marry to a wealthy man, I won’t throw a fit.
    In fact, I rather hope she does marry money so her life is less toil…”

    “Victorian novels dwell incessantly on the theme of women seeking out rich men for their daughters to marry.”

    “The difference, of course, between us and the Victorians was that if a man was vile, his poor wife was stuck with him.”

    “That’s simply not the case any longer. Not that I’m encouraging divorce, but new laws ensure no woman should be left destitute if a marriage fails…”

    The childless generation: Record one in five middle aged women paying ultimate price for putting career before a family
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1337214/The-childless-generation-Record-middle-aged-women-paying-ultimate-price-putting-career-family.html#ixzz182c50sRs

    “Many women have chosen to put family second to careers that would have been out of reach of their mothers and grandmothers.”

    “Others have delayed having children for too long either because they cannot face the high costs or because they are uncertain about the commitment of live-in male partners…”

    “‘Women may reach the end of their childbearing years with no children for a variety of reasons…’”

    “‘This generation of women have generally not achieved their ambitions in terms of having the number of children they wanted to have…’”

    “‘There is increased pressure on women to be breadwinners and too often they have either had to postpone families or, sometimes, lose the opportunity to have children.’”

    Attachment Parenting Nursery / Master Bedroom Baby Nesting Pictures

    | August 20, 2010

    DISCLAIMER:
    Follow your doctor’s advice and all warning labels for ALL issues regarding your baby.

    This will be my fifth “Attachment Parented” baby. I have mothered in this way more intensely with each child, and I have no regrets in that area. I praise and thank God for leading me to “Attachment Parenting”.

    I promised you pictures of my “Attachment Parenting Nursery”, and naturally, you get my opinions thrown in, so here we go… It might make you feel better to read a different blog.

    We have the means, but not the will, to have a separate nursery for Baby. I believe a traditional nursery is NOT in the best interests of a baby. I believe a nursery only satisfies the mother-to-be’s dreams of having a beautiful baby room, as well as peer and family’s expectations and traditions.

    What about Baby?

    Baby not only WANTS to be with Mother, but EXPECTS and NEEDS to be with Mother.

    What is the perfect nursery for a baby?

    Mother’s eyes. Mother’s voice. Mother’s arms. Mother’s breasts. Mother’s love. MOTHER.

    Contrary to what you might think, nesting is a big deal for me. I prepare for months to get things ready for Baby, but I do nurseries differently than most mothers. I prepare the nest in the location where I actually intend to nest.

    During the past few months, we redecorated our master bedroom, and it was completed today with the arrival of our two new swivel/rocker recliners. And now for details…

    NESTING AREA
    ~ large bed
    ~ comfortable chair for mother (Mine is the patterned one.)
    ~ comfortable chair for father (My husband wanted his in leather which I find too cold.)
    ~ Baby’s dresser (with a drawer on one end for mother and a drawer on the other end for father)
    ~ coasters for glasses on each end of the dresser
    ~ night table
    ~ lamps

    (The flash made the colors a little brighter than they actually are. The reds are darker in real life.)

    NURSING CHAIR
    ~ swivel/rocker recliner
    ~ My Brest Friend nursing pillow
    ~ blanket
    ~ book basket on floor next to chair for reading to older child

    SIDE TABLE / NIGHT TABLE
    ~ tissue box
    ~ touch lamp (so important for Mother’s panicky concerns for Baby in the night)
    ~ telephone with the ringer off (I can hear the phone from the kitchen.)
    ~ intercom where I can call for help when Baby poos all over me or when my throat is so dry that I desperately need water (My family is great to help!) The intercom also doubles as an audio baby monitor when necessary.
    ~ white noise machine (Thanks, M&C!)
    ~ place for TWO water glasses (in wooden container where I won’t knock them over during my sleep-deprived nights) (Experience tells me that TWO glasses of water are needed for nursing mothers.)
    ~ same container also holds remote controls, cream, pens/pencils, notepad
    ~ phone book in a drawer
    ~ Bible/books in a drawer
    ~ notebook in a drawer for my middle-of-the-night inspired writing and list making
    ~ night light that I can cover/uncover when needed (I prefer darkness, but need to be able to check baby quickly.)
    ~ diaper change basket (includes diapers, waterproof change pad, tissue box, container with soap, water container)
    ~ garbage can on floor

    FAMILY BED
    ~ king-sized bed (We downgraded! The biggest we have had in the past was a queen and double side-by-side.)
    ~ waterproof mattress pad for king-sized bed
    ~ waterproof change pads for Baby to sleep on (with soft material on one side)
    (If Baby’s diapers tend to leak, sleeping on these tend to protect the mattress and save unnecessary work.)
    ~ king-sized bed is also used for changing wet diapers during the night or naps

    GUARD RAIL ON BED
    ~ extra tall with anchor for king-sized bed
    ~ has attached case to hold easily accessible diapers, waterproof change pads, receiving blankets, undershirts, my books, etc.

    BED NEST
    I have never been able to nurse lying down, but I still like to be comfortable in my bed during night feedings, etc.
    ~ two 12-inch foam wedges
    ~ at least two pillows (one for my head)
    ~ My Brest Friend nursing pillow (a substitute for a nursing pillow is a regular pillow folded in half and stuffed to the end of a pillowcase with a knot in the end.)
    ~ pillow seat (I use a foam medical supply pillow for my sore you-know-what following birth)

    FLOOR DIAPER CHANGING AREA
    I always thought change tables were ridiculous. I prefer to SIT when I do diapers. I also like the safety factor of a floor changing area which means Baby will NOT roll off when being changed. I can go get more supplies without any concerns.
    ~ thin foam mattress with crib mattress pad and crib sheet for cover
    ~ waterproof change pad
    ~ diaper change basket (includes diapers, waterproof change pad, tissue box, container with soap, water container)
    ~ jungle gym blanket where we will hang our mobile/toys overhead Baby to entertain Baby and siblings during diaper changes and playtime (not pictured) (Thanks, Grammie and Grampie!)

    FLOOR BED
    The change area also makes a great floor bed. It is also a very safe place for Baby to sleep when mother has to leave the room and Baby can roll over.
    ~ thin foam mattress with crib mattress pad and crib sheet for cover
    ~ blanket to match our king-sized bed blanket

    BABY’S DRESSERS
    ~ waterproof change pads
    ~ receiving blankets
    ~ towels/washcloths
    ~ undershirts (My babies always wore undershirts to bed because sleepers were too warm for them. I like the one-piece style with no snaps or buttons on the chest, but just three snaps at the bottom.)
    ~ diapers
    ~ baby toys basket (Baby toys range from 17-years-old to brand new.)
    ~ blankets
    ~ bathtub rack liner
    ~ socks, hats, etc.
    ~ slings and wraps and carriers (see picture below)

    BABY’S CLOTHES (IN MY CLOSET)
    It took me five babies to figure out that I should HANG the baby’s clothes on hangers instead of keeping them in a dresser. Hanging them enables you to see the lengths, and Baby won’t grow out of them without wearing them if you can see the sizes.

    BABYWEARING NEST
    When Baby and Mother are not in the nest described above, Baby still gets to be close to Mother in a carrier/sling/wrap. Here are some of my slings and wraps all washed and ready. I wouldn’t want to count how many carriers/slings I have owned over the years. They are much more important to me than any other article of clothing that I have. I am not a shoe or purse or clothes girl, but definitely a sling girl.

    EXTRA THINGS IN THE MASTER BEDROOM
    ~ definitely a TV with remote controls
    ~ clock
    ~ paintings
    ~ pictures (I have to wait for Baby to get born to get a huge family picture for over the bed)
    ~ flowers
    ~ teddy bear

    DIAPER BAG
    ~ my new red leather diaper bag ready for hospital

    (The flash made the colors brighter than they are. The reds are darker in real life.)

    ~ diapers
    ~ waterproof change pad
    ~ tissues
    ~ water bottle
    ~ soap and container
    ~ diaper wipes
    ~ opaque lunch bags with ties for dirty diapers
    ~ clothes
    ~ receiving blanket
    ~ ring sling
    ~ and more…

    Almost 17-Years-Old Going-Home-From-the-Hospital Baby Outfit Worn by All Four of My Children and Ready for #5

    That sums up everything I can think of now. When Baby actually arrives, I will no doubt see areas that need to be changed to make things easier. I like things to be practical and efficient. It’s hard to remember everything since it has been six years since I’ve had a baby in the house. AND JUST SO YOU KNOW, everything will soon be MESSY, and I will be embarrassed to show you when you visit. I tend to make people and things look better in pictures.

    If you have any suggestions that I would like, please write them in the comments, or send me a note. I love new attachment parenting ideas.

    MY SHARING SLEEP NOTES
    The following are my personal observations of sharing sleep with my baby.

    ~ I like to listen to those soft little coos in his sleep.
    ~ I like to watch him sleep.
    ~ I like to reach out and pat his back.
    ~ It is so touching to catch those little sleep smiles, and he sometimes even chuckles out loud in his sleep.
    ~ I feel secure when I hear his quiet steady breathing, and contented sighs.
    ~ I know he is safe.
    ~ However unlikely, I never fear having to go get him if there is a fire or emergency.
    ~ I like to cover up his little shoulders.
    ~ I like to be certain he is warm during our Canadian winter nights.
    ~ I am there to help him regulate his body temperature.
    ~ I am able to unconsciously teach him to sleep with my body rhythms.
    ~ If he starts to stir, I can sometimes comfort him back to a deep sleep.
    ~ Feeding baby couldn’t be easier or more convenient.
    ~ I am there to massage his tummy to relieve that uncomfortable feeling.
    ~ I am able to prevent him from completely waking up when his tummy feels empty, thus making it easier to get him back to sleep after nursing.
    ~ I never have to try to lower him down into a cold crib, desperately hoping not to awaken him.
    ~ I get more sleep.
    ~ Sleep sharing extends postpartum infertility.

    MY ATTACHMENT PARENTING ESSAYS
    William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N. are credited with coining the term, attachment parenting, to summarize the following practices:

    * Connecting with your baby early.

    For more information, read Pregnancy, Natural Childbirth, Birth Comfort.

    http://parentingfreedom.com/pregnancy

    * Reading and responding to your baby’s cues.

    For more information, read Cry it Out, Sleep Training: Is CIO Biblical?

    http://parentingfreedom.com/cry-it-0ut

    * Breastfeeding your baby.

    For more information, read Breastfeeding, Extended Nursing, Spacing Babies.

    http://parentingfreedom.com/breastfeeding

    * Wearing your baby.

    For more information, read Babywearing: Why Should I Carry My Baby?

    http://parentingfreedom.com/babywearing

    * Sharing sleep with your baby

    For more information, read Sleep Sharing, Family Bed: Where Should Baby Sleep?

    http://parentingfreedom.com/sleep

    DISCLAIMER:
    Follow your doctor’s advice and all warning labels for ALL issues regarding your baby.

    Pregnancy Update

    | July 9, 2010

    If you are a regular reader and would like access to my family pictures, feel free to email me and tell me about your family.

    I just posted 70 family pictures! (May 16th to July 4th 2010). Even some pregnancy pictures.
    http://parentingfreedom.com/2010/07/09/family-pictures-may-16th-july-6th-2010/

    A very sweet reader wrote to me today, and I thought I would post some of my reply to her. Please pray for H as she is having a difficult pregnancy as well. I know I haven’t written back to a few other readers, but I expect to eventually. Sorry about that, S, B, and A. Some letters are easier to reply to then others.

    I was just wondering yesterday how common it is to feel this bad during pregnancy. I guess it’s part of the curse. :-/ Pregnancy books list oodles of uncomfortable symptoms, so I suspect it’s very common to feel terrible. And when you meet fellow mothers, they sympathize when you’re visibly pregnant, especially in hot weather. This is definitely my worst pregnancy by far.

    “He is not a daylight God, who can not know his children in darkness.” Charles Spurgeon

    I like when the baby has hiccups, because the location reassures me that the HEAD IS DOWN! Hurray! (I will feel sorry for him/her after birth when he/she gets the hiccups though.) Breech is always a worry to me because I was breech, and our hospital has never heard of delivering breech babies naturally. Their c-section rate is the highest in the country. *gag*

    Baby is kicking well. Some kicks make me catch my breath and say “Ouch”. I have a hard time getting enough air in. My lungs are getting crowded. I can only lie on my side (if I want to breathe). Walking waddling hurts. I look down at my belly and wonder how I’m going to get the baby out. ACK! I know I’ve done it before, but still… My doctor is on vacation until three days before my due date, and I am NOT happy with the replacements. I have always delivered before my due date. Please pray that I will handle everything well, and that the baby (and I) will be fine.

    Everything I do takes such effort. I have not exercised or practiced squatting with this pregnancy at all – BUT, I have practiced deep relaxation. Self-hypno-style birthing worked great last time.

    SMALL steps in nesting mean a lot to me these days. I would love to have the house clean and organized, but during this difficult pregnancy, I have been able to accept the disorder, do the bare minimum, and realize it is not the end of the world.

    “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42

    As long as I get my nesting area ready, and the kids are fed (even junk) and happy (relatively), I am choosing to feel accomplished. :-) I have been trying very hard to do some summer things with the kids, but I always pay for it the next day (and sometimes the following day as well).

    Derek took me to a nearby city to finish up some nesting. Two La-Z-Boy chairs, a comforter set, and curtains have been ordered for our bedroom. We bought a new cabinet for baby stuff and a Danier leather diaper bag! YAY!! (I DON’T do nurseries, baby rooms, cribs, cradles, change tables, strollers, bottles, pacifiers, baby food, etc.) I DO designer slings, wraps, guard rail for king size bed, etc. Baby #5 and Attachment Parenting still rocks!

    I bought our first DIAPERS for this baby!!!!! YAY!! Last year, I cried every time I went by the diaper aisle. I also bought CONTAINERS for baby stuff. Fun!

    With the hope of preventing continued insults and negative, disapproving looks, I stopped answering two questions: “What is your due date?” and “How many is this?” My honest reply to “How many is this?” is: “Well, I wanted ten, compromised with my husband for six, but one died last year, so this will only make five.” I suspect the mouths will still drop, but with a little less disgust.

    As per each of my pregnancies, there is an ongoing contest between my belly and my butt. It is usually a tie, but thankfully both lose in the end when I give birth. (At least I’d like to think so.) Anything else you’d like to know? ;-)

    I don’t do ultrasounds, but I have five reasons why I think the baby is a girl. I’ll share if I’m right. Heh. I will be happy either way.

    I’d love to hear from you! I sometimes wonder if anyone besides my mother and a few others still visit my blog.

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