Alisa. 37. New Hampshire. Married for almost three years to this wonderful, funny, smart guy. Previously married. Went through in-vitro fertilization to have my five year old magical son Keegan. Stepmother to the charming Isabelle (6). Gushingly in love with our baby boy Harper(1). Policy Wonk and dreaded bureaucrat. Lover of fine cuisine, honeybees, truly romantic moments and the underdog.
Curried Beef Short Ribs

Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.

Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds ...continue reading

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Cuddle Time

This is an interesting article on creating a family culture while working.

Family Culture

Dream A Little Dream of Me

Fifteen months and 11 days ago Keegan came into our lives. At first when it came to sleeping I just did whatever worked. Because I was nursing he was in a cradle in our room and sometimes in our bed too. Around three months I transitioned him into the crib and his own room. He was never a great sleeper but atleast everyone had their own space. A few months after that he got sick, was back in bed with me and then had a hard time going back to his space. When I went back to work and he hit daycare he was sick every week. I needed sleep and he needed sleep. So I chose the lesser of two evils and he ended up in bed with me. The months passed and we came up with a routine out of necessity. Along the way we did develop a regular night routine and bedtime but never got him back in that crib. My goal then became to wait until after his ear surgery to start a plan of action. I read books, consulted with other mommies and procrastinated like a kid in college. I had a convenient excuse every week to put off implementing the plan. I know it's not Keegan's fault, it's mine. I didn't teach him how to go to bed and how to soothe himself at night. This past week became do or die week for the plan.

I selected Wednesday night for the first night of the Sleep Shuffle.

Sawing Wood

Yesterday I went to the bookstore in search of resources to help with our non-crib sleeping baby. I had a tip from some other moms about two books. I was able to buy Kim West's book but the second one, a no cry approach especially for toddlers, wasn't available yet.
I noticed that they have those theft deterrent gateway things before you could use the restroom. Smart. That should alleviate that whole "bathroom book" issue (ala George Costanza).
Now I just need to find time to read the book in order to come up with a plan. Of course it may mean less sleep in the interim but atleast it will give me hope. Sometimes that's all a tired mommy needs.

Immunize This

Margie had a post the other day about childhood immunizations. I found a cool scheduler that customizes to your child.

Cover Me

The shopping cart cover can be found here. Plus it is from New Hampshire!

Sometimes The Village Isn't Needed

"the single greatest predictor of infant adjustment is maternal mental health. In other words, to put it more scientifically, if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. So do whatever it takes to be happy."

Big discussion going on about people telling others how to be good mothers. I can not say anything that hasn't beeen said more eloquently by others but I really liked that quote. Sums it up nicely. As much joy as I felt when Keegan was born I was very sensitive to any symptoms of post-partum depression. I wanted to make sure that I would be able to tell others if I needed help. Fortunately I was okay but I also knew my limitations and what I needed to do to maintain my mental health. And when I didn't, the people I loved insisted on it. My pediatrician's office now screens for parental depression at all child appointments. I think it is an idea long overdue.

I have lots of strong opinions about mothering (and many other topics) too. I didn't make any do or die decisions about breastfeeding, cloth diapering, etc. until I was there actually doing it. Everyone's experience is unique. I would never deem to tell someone else what to do. I try to only give solicited advice. Well unless it is for family and close friends, then I butt right in. But they already know this about me.


For new mommies & daddies:

The first few weeks are extremely challenging. Do not feel guilty or like a bad parent if you cry and get frustrated. This is a healthy release.
(Friends and family of new parents: Don't ask if they are getting any sleep. Of course they aren't and you are just rubbing it in.)

It takes about 8 weeks before you get your "sea legs". This is also when your baby will be more active and fun to watch.

At ten weeks you will feel competent to handle daily tasks. Take advantage of this new found confidence to get out in the world.

I Should Have Known

Here is some wisdom (ha,ha) from a very new mom:

Best products so far:
Pack N Play Bassinet (conveniently setup in our bedroom to make diaper changes accessible)
Boppy Pillow (the best for postioning for breastfeeding)
Hobbit Breast Shells (for giving those sore ones a break)
Medically pure lanolin (see above)
Bravado Nursing Bra (especially good for us larger gals)
Breastpump (hospital gave me hand one and I bought unit to make it electric)

For breastfeeding:
Get this book, "The Nursing Mother's Companion", before you deliver. It would have helped me immensely.
Make a nest; pillows for back, foot stool, table setup with water bottle, lip ointment, notepad to keep feeding & changing log, burp cloths, breast pump, breastpads

Also make sure you have atleast three of everything (one to use, one in wash, one on standby). I had this problem with nightgowns and quilted waterproof pads. It helps if you have a mom willing to run around and shop for you.