Ellie visits 1192

Last weekend, Ellie attended her second annual Sherwood Forest Faire.  We brought her last year, when she was a wee little one, but she didn’t really get to enjoy it very much.  She spent most of her time breastfeeding.  And she couldn’t walk.  Add a super stressed mama with a tumultuous friendship nearing its final stop and, well, I don’t think any of the Nelson-Campbell’s had a good time.

To be honest, I was starting to tire of Sherwood.  After last year, I really thought 2013 would be my last year running a booth at the festival.  When I started the booth at Sherwood, it was because I wanted a short-term storefront where our fans and friends could stop by, have a place to hang out and we could earn money for charity.  A win-win-win.  As personality conflicts grew and my personal life became much more busy, the idea of filling up two months worth of weekends was looking more and more grim.  Some ingredients are combustible — and no matter what you do to try to stabilize them, they will always be combustible. Believe me, managing a store was never on my ‘to do’ list of life accomplishments.  And after 2012, I really thought I was going to throw in the towel.

What a difference a year makes!

The booth has an entirely new energy.  It’s positive, collaborative, inviting.  It renewed my love of the faire, for sure!  And Ellie seems to love it out there.  We bought her a new pair of faire shoes from Medieval Moccasins — and let her run around the booth and in front of the booth.  She spent a bunch of time next door, as well, with some of her favorite ladies.  She danced and yelled. And gave kisses and hugs.  And, in general, enjoyed being outside.   We put a chair in back so I have a quiet, calm place to breastfeed her, when she asks for food.  Ryan took her home for the afternoon each day.  Not because she couldn’t handle it, but because he had errands and chores he wanted to tackle (and, honestly, I don’t think Sherwood will ever be his cup of tea).

We put together a little faerie outfit for Ellie for next weekend.  And her aunt and uncle will be in tow, so I’m sure she’ll have even more fun!

All in all, Ellie has enjoyed her time at Sherwood.  We’ll get some pictures this weekend.  I hope I find time to take her to a few of the kid-friendly areas or the faerie tea party even.  We shall see.  :)

 

 

Everyone is an expert!

Ellie has been sleeping through the night since we brought her home from the hospital. The doctors, the nurses, numerous people told us to wake her up every two hours to feed her.  But, my Nanny’s advice always repeated in my ear:

Never wake a sleeping baby.

We acclimated Ellie to sleeping through the night, by not making her accustomed to waking up numerous times. When people would ask how she was sleeping and I’d tell them she slept through the night, they would assume she was formula fed.

“Nope,” I’d say.  ”She’s exclusively breastfed.”

Other mama-folk would instantly give me their ‘facts’:

 

  • If your baby isn’t woken up every 2 hours, she isn’t eating enough and she will starve.
  • If your baby isn’t woken up every 2 hours, she won’t learn to breast feed properly.
  • If your baby isn’t woken up every 2 years, she won’t bond properly with you.
  • If your baby isn’t woken up every 2 hours, she will dehydrate and die.

I experienced this sort of unsolicited advice with numerous things, not just breastfeeding.  Having Ellie introduced me to this culture of women who believe that having a child instantly made them an expert about everything parenthood.  Don’t get me wrong — I believe that experience is extremely important.  But, it was a broken record of judgment and being told I wasn’t doing the ‘right’ thing.  I was constantly being told that if I do [blank] then [blank] WILL happen.  So rarely was it suggested that something might happen or could happen.  No, these women always believed it would happen.  And if I disagreed with their assessment, then I was making ‘questionable’ parenting choices.

Ellie was still sleeping through the night at 6 months.  I was told that she wouldn’t last with that sleeping pattern beyond one year.

Ellie was still sleeping through the night at one year.  And again they repeated their judgment and nay-saying.

Ellie is still sleeping through the night at almost 15 months old.  And perhaps she’ll have trouble sleeping at 2 years.  Maybe she’ll always be a good sleeper.  But, why turn everything negative?  If she’s a good sleeper, why can’t she just be a baby who enjoys having a restful night?  Why does something have to be wrong if she’s sleeping well?  If I told people she was waking up every 2-3 hours, they wouldn’t respond with negativity or automatically assume the worst.  Instead, I’d get lots of messages telling me how this is ‘normal’ and totally common for a baby.

I remind myself how marginalized being treated this way made me feel every time I see a parent who makes a different choices than I would make.   I also remember how annoying unsolicited advice (that’s really just judgment) made me feel. What is fact for my baby isn’t necessarily fact for your baby.  And vice versa.  

The only baby(ies) we are an expert about?  Our own.  Let’s try to remember that.

* Obviously, medical conditions and the like change things entirely.  Jaundiced babies or premature babies, etc., fall under different parameters.  

Did I make my baby an addict?

I rarely eat Cheez-It crackers now.  There are many reasons behind that, including:

  • they make me sick
  • they aren’t exactly healthy
  • they aren’t a practical food source
  • and I overdosed on them during my pregnancy.

When I was pregnant with Ellie, I had morning sick every day, all day.  I could barely keep anything down.  My only saving grace, for a period of my pregnancy, was Cheez-It crackers.

 

Fast forward to 14 months after giving birth to my bundle of joy and energy and we’re at the Disney resort and she sees a bag of Cheez-It crackers for the very first time in her life.  Now, she’s never had these crackers before, since we don’t really feed her many crackers.  She hasn’t watched Mama or Papa eat them, so she doesn’t have a memory of them being our food and, therefore, delicious food.  Nope, she doesn’t have any reason to want them. Heck, she doesn’t have any reason to know they’re food, since this is a small, red bag and I was moving it from box to purse at a decent speed.

Ryan’s mom brought some snacks for our weekend at the parks.  When we pulled out some little bags of Cheez-It crackers, Ellie went nuts.  She screamed and asked for food.  Over and over again.  She rarely responds like this to any food item, let alone something she doesn’t know about or shouldn’t have a desire for, at least.

Ryan joked that maybe she remembers the crackers from when I was pregnant with her.  And we all laughed.  But, then it hit me.  How often do we hear stories like this?

When I was pregnant with [insert kid's name here], all they wanted was [insert random food here].  Now that they’re all grown up, they are still always asking for [insert same random food here].

We hear stories like this repeated and we think it’s just an old wives’ tale but how many times does it need to happen for it to be true?

Ellie loves Cheez-It crackers. Since they aren’t very good for her, she will rarely eat them, but when she gets one or two, she devours them!

I was also addicted to watermelon and chicken. Wait, she’s addicted to chicken, too. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad. That is, until we introduce her to watermelon.

Experiment starts…now!  I need a watermelon!  :D

January 1st, 2013

The first day of the new year.  The first day where we try to maintain all of our resolution promises we’ve made to ourselves (and our facebook friends).

Most people will try to convince themselves that they don’t really have a “resolution” per se, but they are most likely lying.

 

Since I’m not a liar, here are my resolutions:

 

  • Blog more.  I really enjoy sharing my thoughts with…the internet.  I need to promise to do so on a more regular basis
  • Collect happy memories.  I want to keep a jar and collect all of our happy memories throughout 2013.  Next New Year’s Eve, we can go through the jar and remember all of the amazing memories we shared.
  • Celebrate life.  2012 brought with it great joy and great sadness.  I was able to watch the beauty of life (Ellie) and the sadness of lost life (Nanny, Grandpa Steve).  Both of these things taught me and reminded me that life deserves to be celebrated.
  • Take a day off.  I am a workaholic.  I am a perfectionist.  And no matter what I do, I always feel like I am not successful enough.  In 2013, I want to remember to take a day off every once in a while.

I’m excited to see what 2013 brings.  Today was a day of relaxing with my family.  We laughed together, shared delicious food and stayed inside.  The weather was pretty gloomy and my Ellie had her first diaper rash ever.  She’s been pretty sick, actually.  That being said, I know the rest of 2013 is full of excitement for us.  Hopefully a new house and maybe…a book?  Not just buying a book, but writing one.

I think that’s enough for now.

 

To Sir, With Love,

Beth