December 21, 2008

Learning

I have been doing a lot of colour talk with Pookie lately and I think she is starting to get it.  We have also been doing starfall.com once a day and doing the letter A and B, and she will now say the A sound when I ask what A says and same with B.  I don't want to push this all on her but I do want to give her a chance to learn her colours, shapes and letters.

I was thinking once the the holidays are over each week I would pick one shape, colour and letter, and really focus on those ones.  Just like when you are teaching signs.  You don't stop using the other ones but you definitely focus on the ones you are trying to teach.  I am hoping to make some stuffed felt letters and I thought we could play matching games with them.  We could use her wooden alphabet blocks and the felt letters and match them up.  We could do starfall once a day.  I feel like she is just on the cusp of being really receptive to this type of thing.  I guess the thing is to not get discouraged if she doesn't seem to be picking it up, because as long as she is having fun it is all good.

She is also REALLY into animals at the moment (especially horses), so I think I could seize the opportunity and show her lots of different ones.  We got her more mini animals for her stocking.  This time we got the canadian ones.  I think she will really enjoy the moose, and deer since they look so much like horses. 

Another baby... when?



It seems like each week I flip flop about having another baby.  The one thing that makes this decision easy is that I still haven't gotten my first post-partum period... Pooks will be 20 months on Jan 9.  Anyways one day I feel so anxious because I want Pookie and her sibling to be close enough in age to play with... the next I am overwhelmed with how much Pookie is still a baby, and how she needs all my attention.  Then some days I feel relaxed and just figure it will happen when it happens.  I wish there was a right answer.  

Unconditional Parenting by: Alfie Kohn



I have been reading this book and I am really enjoying it.  It was highly recommended over the mothering.com.  I also bought the DVD as I thought I could get DH to watch it.  It talks a lot about why punishments and rewards/ praise don't work.

In my years teaching ballet I have noticed more and more that giving kids praise or rewards only works in the short term.  If you want to get them to really commit and to work hard for the right reason's it has to come from within and not be externally motivated.  It has been interesting to read this different perspective and to find different ways to be a support loving parent, without constantly praising Pookie.  That said it is HARD not to say "good girl" "good job".  And sometimes it does feel right to give her a high five, but for the most part I try to use other alternatives such as describing.  For example when she uses the potty I usually just say "you went pee pee on the potty".  Lately I have been back sliding but I am trying to get back on track now that Pookie is able to understand most of what we say.

December 17, 2008

Giving up... sort of

The other night I tried to put Pooks down without nursing and it was a disaster.  I ended up nursing her but she was still really upset.  I ended up crying because I just felt so discouraged.  After thinking about it I have decided to take a much slower approach and just encourage less nursing.  She is mostly sleeping in the twin bed now so that is good, in the sense that we all seem to sleep a bit better.  Also when she nurses she always pops off at the end before she has fallen asleep.  I have started nursing her while I am on the queen and she is in the twin.  She has access to my boobs but it isn't the most comfortable.  This seems to work because she seems to give up and roll over sooner.  I am hoping that eventually she will start to not bother with nursing so much, and will be fine with just nursing while we read.

Her last 2 molars that are coming in now and really causing her a lot of pain.  Things are rough and I just need to remind myself that soon it will pass just like is has in the past. 

December 15, 2008

Commercial Toys

Since I first started doing a lot of reading over at mothering.com (my favourite website), I noticed a lot of the mom's avoided branded toys.  As Pookie has gotten older it is something I have looked into more.  At first I just viewed toys with the characters on them as junkie.  Then I started really realizing how buying one toy, book etc. with a character on it could turn into needing more and more.  We have pretty much avoided all that which is easy since Pookster is so little and doesn't watch any real TV shows.  One day I was doing more reading on it and someone over on mothering.com was posting about how using those types of toys inhibits creativity.  When I read that it all came together, and I really felt like I finally knew really why I wanted to avoid them.  

When you have a doll or action figure that is a certain character, and you child watches shows with that character, reads books with that character, it usually means they end up reinacting what they have been told that character does.  When they have a no name doll, it can be anything they want it to be.

I am hoping we can avoid all that... but it is hard when people give you those items as gifts.  I am pretty fortunate that the majority of people that would buy a gift for Pookie usually ask what she needs.  


December 12, 2008

Victory!

Daddy agreed to put Pookie to bed and stick with it for 30 minutes.  Everything seemed to go well for quite a while then she got really fussy so I just went in.  Within 5 minutes of just lying next to her and holding her sippy cup she was asleep - with no nursing!  She didn't even ask.  I think maybe having Daddy do most of it helped get it out of her mind and she was just happy to see me.

I also didn't mention that last night after each time she woke to nurse (4 times I think), she rolled back down into her bed.  My theory is this will help her sleep better since I won't wake her when I roll over etc.  Plus I can more easily get out of bed in the middle of the night if needed.

Frustrated with Nursing to sleep



Last night went terribly.  I am thinking part of it is the hour drive home we had, which Pookie slept through.  That was 5:00-6:00pm.  Today I tried to do the same routine for naptime and it was all going so well... then she just WOULD NOT nap without nursing.  I spent an HOUR reading books, rocking her, singing etc.  For most part she was just whiny and fussy.  Finally she got crying really hard and I ended up nursing her.  She fell asleep within a couple minutes (pictured above).  She naps no problem for DH and my mom without nursing.  I just feel really discouraged and I am trying hard not to be angry with Pookie.  Rationally I know it is not her fault at all and I try to stay as loving and calm as possible, but inside I can feel my blood boiling with anger.  After today I just want to give up... It makes me sad because I know life will be so much easier when she goes to sleep without nurisng.  I am thinking about the future and another baby and I just want things to go as smooth as possible once I get pregnant and once a new baby arrives.

Tonight Daddy will try putting Pookie down.  He doesn't have much patience at all for this type of thing, so I am not very hopeful.... but I do think there is a chance she will go down fine for him since I won't be there. Cross your fingers for us!

Waldorf Puzzle


I really want to get Pookie one of the Waldorf style puzzles.  I think she would really enjoy it.  It is very frustrating how few quality wooden toys they sell in Toronto.  I have found a Canadian store which seems to have the best selection www.ape2zebra.ca  I think after the holidays I will order Pooks one... or two! 

New Montessori Shelf

The shelf up in Pookies room has been going unused because it is COLD in there.  I keep the heat at about 17celcius/ 62.5F, which is fine in most of the rooms except for two of them.  We basically can't use those ones in the winter and just close them off.

So I have set her up on the two bottom shelves of our bookcase in the living room.  This is working really well!  She loves her little shelf and has been doing all the puzzles that are on them right now.  She really enjoys puzzles so that is what I have been putting out for her.  

Remember those two piece cardboard matching animal puzzles from a month ago?  Well she loves them now.  She can get them together if she really tries and matches the animals with no hesitation.  It is amazing how quickly they change!

What I really like about using this shelf is that she uses our ottoman as a little table when she doesn't want to work on her mat.  It is the perfect height and size for her. 

December 10, 2008

Bedtime Nursing Update


Things are going well on the bedtime nursing front.  Pookie for the most part is going to bed without nursing.  A couple nights ago she had a melt down and nothing I did could calm her down, so I nursed her.  I was sure I had ruined the progress that we made but the next night she went down no problem.  Tonight she was fine too.  She does make me hold her sippy cup for her.  I am hoping she will take over that job eventually if she still needs it.  

I have been more aware of how often she is waking now that she is sleeping in the twin and Daddy and I are together in the queen.  She has to get up onto our mattress which is about an inch higher so that is making me more aware.  The good thing about the height difference is she often just rolls off our mattress back into hers, although sometimes she insists on staying with us, and this morning she snuggled up with Daddy... so cute.

Anyways she is waking 3 times a night, which isn't much compared to some but it is still 3 times!  I am thinking a lot about baby #2 these days and I am thinking about all the things we can do to make life easier whenever he/she arrives.  I am hoping once her next 2 molars come in she will cut the frequency of the waking.  She is sleeping more peacefully now she only has 2, versus 6 teeth coming in. 

December 5, 2008

Detox

I thought I would post a bit about the detox the naturopath recommended.  The purpose of this is to gently get rid of any toxins in my body before I get pregnant.  She recommended the "Heel Detox-Kit", which is a homeopathic detox.  You can click for more details.  I am not going to buy it until after the holidays, since it seems a bit silly to do it before!  There is a booklet that goes with it which outlines different diets you can follow while on it.

The other part is to take "Ultra Clear" which is a medical food.  It is supposed to help absorb the toxins.  I am also supposed to drink Green Tea and obviously lots of water.  She also recommended dry brushing and sauna's - although I don't have access to one, but I do work up a sweat running a few times a week.


Busy

I have been pretty busy this week, but things will calm way down next and I am hoping to stick to my goal of one blog post per day.  I am also commited to spending more quality play time with Pookie.  These past few weeks we have been so busy getting stuff done we haven't done as much playing as usual.

So bedtime is getting easier and easier.  It is now smoother than when I was nursing Pooks to sleep.  Now after she says night night to the "booba's" she fusses for a couple minutes max and has been falling asleep pretty quickly.  I am really relieved how well it is work.  I would really like for her to get out of the habit of waking on one hour after I put her down, so that is my next goal.  So far it is hit or miss with whether she will go back down without nursing.  I am just going to stick to it and see what happens.  It would be so wonderful to be able to put her to bed and be able to stay up and watch an entire movie without her waking.  Is that too much to ask?

Here is a little video of her doing a couple puzzles.  She can do the cone one with no mistakes, but of course she didn't when I caught her on camera. :P  I would really love to get her a Waldorf Nesting Puzzle.  I think she would really enjoy it.  Does anyone have one?
video

December 2, 2008

My visit to the Naturopath

So I saw the naturopath this morning, and I like her even more now!! I felt extremely comfortable talking to her and I never felt like she was judging me or like she felt like I was horrible for not having the perfect diet.

The first thing we focused on was a preconception plan to get my body in great health before I get pregnant. This is one of her specialties and I could tell she really enjoys it. After the holidays I am going to start gentle detox. It needs to be gentle so the toxins don't go into my breastmilk. She recommended I do the "Heel Detox", it comes with a booklet to explain it. She also suggested a rice based protein powder called "Ultraclear" by metagenics. This is too help absorb the toxins. She also wants me to drink green tea which I have started doing - I am determined to start liking teas! Also I obviously need to be taking a prenatal and fish oil, and work to clean up my diet like I did before I got pregnant with Pookie. She says if I also get my protein stores up before I get pregnant I shouldn't have any nausea like last time.

We also talked about my history of depression and I told her how I have been feeling just a bit off lately - like perhaps my hormones are gearing up. She recommended the fish oil and something called Neuropas by pascoe. I think she said it was from Germany and apparently she really has seen good results with it in her patients.

She also wants me to take a B-complex, and 1gram of cinnimon a day to help with my adrenal gland which is apparently on the weak side. She took my blood pressure lying down and sitting which told her that. She also looked at my tonuge and took my pulse in both wrists which has something to do with Chinese medicine. She talked quite a bit about being hot or cool.

I go back in January for a follow up and to see how my detox is going. She says she has a homeopathic remedy in mind, but doesn't want to give it to me yet because it will make my symptoms exagerated and I guess she wants to do all this other stuff first.

She also talked about doing acupuncture when I start trying to get pregnant to help the egg be super healthy, and I could tell she had lots of information for when I get pregnant and post-partum.

Anyways I really felt like I clicked with her and I felt so positive when I left. I am in the process of making Daddy an appointment. I think it will be great for him health wise and also so that he feels like he is on board with this type of approach to health.

December 1, 2008

Plan Toys Cone




I got this toy for Pookie for her first b-day even though it says 2 and up.  For some reason I thought it was the neatest thing ever and was so excited for her to get it.  Right away she really enjoyed it.  Especially inserting the green rod into the green tube.  I put it away for about a month and pulled it out tonight for her.  She did it about 8 times.  She can now put it all together on her own.  She did it once without any mistakes, and several times she completed it and would correct herself as she went.  Interestingly the time she did it perfectly was the time I didn't say anything!  I try to stay low key and just mention the colours as she picks them up.  I do find I always have the urge to help her do things, but I try my best to let her figure things out on her own.

You can see in th picture she has one black sock on.  Her newest obsession is socks.  She has been putting them on and off for the past few days.  It has been amazing watching her get better and better.  She can now get her own little socks on, and a couple days ago she couldn't.

Update on stopping nursing to sleep

It has been about a week since I first decided to try to stop nursing Pooks to sleep.  I nurse her while we read books and make sure she has had her fill before we say good-night to the "booba's".
The last two nights have been great.  She actually falls asleep faster when she isn't nursing to sleep.  My theory was that the nursing was preventing her from falling asleep because for the past several months she has to stop nursing to fall asleep.  

She isn't happy about this but she isn't traumatized or throwing big fits.  Last night she didn't cry at all she did say "no no no" but that was it.  Tonight she was grouchy well before bedtime so she did cry a bit but quickly stopped and fell asleep.  I just tell her "put your head on the pillow" and that seems to do the job.

I am so pleased with our progress I have been plotting out a plan so that hopefully by the time we have another baby night time shouldn't be too big of an issue.  The next step in my plan is to stop nursing her if she wakes up when Daddy and I are still up.  It is SUCH a pain that she often wakes up within an hour of falling asleep, so I am hoping eliminating nursing there might encourage her to sleep for a few hours straight.   I have no intention of night weaning yet.  I am fine with that.

The final step will be to distance myself as she is falling asleep.  So when I tell her to put her head on the pillow first I will put space between us, then I will sit up a bit, then I will sit further and further away, until hopefully eventually, one day, I will be able to turn off the lights, give her a kiss goodnight and leave.  I am happy to let this happen at Pookie's own pace but I feel like if I don't take the initiative it will not happen for a LONG LONG time!