Friday, August 22, 2008


This is a disclaimer for all posts on this blog. I am not going to fix every grammatical or spelling error. I usually try to correct these things, especially in public arenas. However, this blog is more journal-like, and I'd rather get the thoughts out as clearly as possible without spending a ton of time editing. I'll do my best to make my thoughts clear for my readers (assuming I have readers), but please forgive any mistakes I make. Thank you.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I am an active and visual learner. At least that is my best guess after reading a summary of learning styles on a random website. I am a visual learner in the sense that I prefer learning by seeing pictures, diagrams, or by drawing things out. I am an active learner in the sense that I need to actually do things before they stick strongly in my head.

For example: (visual) as a social worker I learn about families by drawing genograms, and that helps me sort out how to help them; (active) I still haven't learned to swim because my anxiety about water/drowning overcomes any attempts to learn from others or teach myself (I learned to ride a bike after my dad's and brother's attempts to teach me failed- I just grabbed the bike one day and kept trying until I got the hang of it- I am too afraid to do that to learn to swim).

My learning style has affected my parenting. Prior to having Miles I read about some of the struggles new parents have. However I didn't learn how to deal with these struggles until I was in the midst of them. An example: Breastfeeding is not always easy or natural. I didn't know what to ask for in the hospital in regards to breastfeeding and became worried that Miles wasn't getting enough (even though he latched well and it felt fine). I also couldn't rely on the nursery to bring him to me to nurse on a normal schedule. By the time I left the hospital, I ended up pumping breast milk and supplimenting with formula even though the doctor's told me about supply and demand issues with this plan. By the time he was 3 weeks old, Miles was on strictly formula. Looking back now I can see the factors that led to this chain of events. #1 my learning style, #2 my difficulty with asking for help, #3 my fear that I couldn't provide enough for my baby, #4 my desire for a quick easy way to console my hungry baby, and #5 the complete lack of privacy or support at the hospital (although I had plenty of people offer advice they certainly didn't provide the environment to be successful). This is just a short list of things that led to my "failure" in breastfeeding.

That being said, another thing I struggle with is how the "authorities" on parenting tell us what is right for our kids, i.e. "breast is best". [I know that sentence is grammatically incorrect. I'm not going to fix it, and I hope my readers understand what I'm saying.] Perhaps this is my cognitive dissonance talking, but I wish I had learned that my natural instinct of providing for my son is the most important thing to listen to. - not other parents - not "authorities" - not nurses or doctors or friends or husbands. I'm sure that I read that somewhere, but I didn't learn that until after I went through feeling guilty and sad and lost. Formula feeding is not bad for children. Breastfeeding is not always best for children. There is not one "right" way to be a parent. For Miles and I, we found a very happy and healthy way to get him his food. I will no longer feel guilty or sad about that. I've learned a ton about what to expect and what to ask for, so I will (hopefully) find happy and healthy ways to provide for all of my future children without feeling guilty or sad. I still have a lot to learn, and I look forward to doing so every day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Milestones Part 1

Miles is very intrigued by the keyboard and may just help me write this blog. Or he may just keep pulling my hands away from the keyboard. We shall see. *note: Miles typed a little, mostly spacebar, and then started crying so this post was fragmented for a time. I have since edited it prior to publishing it.

There are so many things that I learn every day. I remember when my grandfather used to ask me, "What did you learn today?" every time I came home from school. There were times when I would say, "Nothing," and times that I would actually tell him something I learned. No matter how I responded he would smile at me in a way that I will always remember. I find myself looking for lessons often. I know Miles is teaching me about myself, love, commitment, parenting, and growth. I hope to pay attention to these lessons and even document some of them. This will pay homage to my grandfather who taught me the value of continually learning, and may even prove valuable to myself or others in the future.

These are some of the lessons Miles has taught me so far:
It's all worth it.
It's hard to be a parent.
It's okay to be sad and frustrated.
It's okay to ask for help.
The ablity to make Miles laugh is one of the most awesome gifts of being a parent.
Material things are of little value.
I love being his mom, and I love how being a mom strengthens every other part of my character.
Sleep is precious.
I can survive and function on very little food and sleep; becoming a mom has made me a better person.
Even when Miles is crying if I have to go I have to go.

Miles recently learned to pass things from one hand to the other, to grab his toes, to suck on his thumb without trying to fit his whole fist in his mouth, to sleep through the night, to laugh when mommy laughs, that the hiccups are not the end of the world, that it is awesome when daddy reads "Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs," that it is awesome when mommy reads "Snuggle Puppy," and that it is awesome when anyone reads "Hello Bee, Hello Me" (especially if they include sound effects).

Being a mom makes me miss my mom. Every day that Miles does something new I want to call her. Every day that I feel worn out and think about how she took care of 6 of us I miss her. I wish I had thanked her more, and I wish I remembered more of her wisdom. Nothing can replace that loss, and I don't want anyone or anything to try.

I learn best by experiencing. Someone can tell me "Step 1 do this..." and I will know that but not always learn that or understand it until I experience it. I'll write more on this in another post. For now Miles is ready to eat and hopefully have another night of sleeping through.

Monday, August 18, 2008

No endings, only beginnings

I joined MySpace not to long ago and one of the features I liked was the blog ability. I'm not impressed with the site altogether, and I prefer FaceBook. I'm considering entering a blog here, posting the link on my FaceBook page, and getting rid of my MySpace page. We'll see how that goes.

I finished reading "The Tao of Pooh" last night. I began the book at least 10 years ago and would read pieces of it from time to time. This is a common occurence for me- as I look at my bookshelf I have began to read nearly 30 of them. That does not count the text books or The Bible or books of poetry. Like I said, I finished "Tao" and started considering how to use what I read. This is also a common occurence which contributes to my difficulty finishing books. A lot of the book talks about just doing and being and not thinking so much. Yet here I am, thinking too much on how to apply what I've read. After reading the book I looked up Benjamin Hoff and found a site created by him that points out the problems with the publishing industry and why he chose to stop writing. If I learn how to post a link I will do so.

I'm not sure what my intentions are with this blog. I would love to write about my beautiful son Miles and all that comes along with parenting. I would love to write about grief and loss as that has also been a significant part of my life. As I write more I will develop a more clear intention and be better able to advertise what I'm writing about. For now I will leave it open to possibilities.