<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d24222047\x26blogName\x3dMama\x27s+Nest\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dSILVER\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttps://newmamasnest.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://newmamasnest.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d4991966990382949829', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>


Ashlee is Mama of one darling boy. A 28 week early bird, now 1 and some change, doing beautifully. She lives near Chicago with her sweetheart husband and French Bulldog. She's a thinker not afraid to get her silly on. Babywearer, veggie queen, photography nut. Before the domestic days Ashlee was pursuing a future in developmental psychology but has happily shifted gears in favor of staying at home and couldn't imagine doing anything else. In her free time (ha!) you can find her whipping up babyslings, holding down the fort at Mama Speaks and spotlighting as an Itsy Bitsy Yoga Instructor.

Mama's Nest

Happy New Year Sunday, December 31, 2006 |

What a year! We are still recuperating from the holiday's and excited to see what the new year brings. Stolen from Steph at Adventures in Babywearing and Mama C-ta, here's my...

Year in Review
(compiled by taking the first sentence, of the first post, of each month)

January - Happy New Year! We stayed up late with our newborn son- sure he’s in the hospital, but that doesn’t mean we can’t share a sparkling cider with the nurses.

February - Little X was just weighed in; he’s 6 pounds and 8 ounces.

March - So I have officially been a mom for 93 days now and they have been the most purposeful, satisfying, joyous days of my life.

April - Somebody woke up this weekend and decided to be a big boy, the changes 24 hours can bring sometimes are amazing.

May - I'm going through a strange season in my life.

June - Oh it has been a long time!

July - We've had a busy week- Xavier's
baptism and picnic celebration, my brother came to visit... and got engaged to the most wonderful girl!

August - Last night Xavier and I got out of the house with our best buddies Steph and Grayson to go to our monthly CHOICES meeting.

September - I read somewhere that adults laugh less than 20 times a day. Children- more than 300.

October - You know how when you start taking a new vitamin your, uh-hem, pee can look a little fluorescent?

November -
November is National Prematurity Awareness month, and it only feels natural to devote the bulk of this month's blogging to that cause.

December -
This baby of mine is growing up way too fast.

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Labels: , ,

• 10 Chirping

Girls Night Out Friday, December 29, 2006 |

Our first ever girls night out/blogger meet-up. Lori, Robin, Steph, Sheryl and I (plus babies of course) It was a BLAST. Thanks ladies. Must do it again soon!


• 6 Chirping

Saturday, December 23, 2006 |

Merry Christmas

• 5 Chirping

Well on his way... |

We had Xavier's 12 month well check on Thursday. We have a great pediatrician and since we don't deal with the misery that comes with vaccinations we generally look forward to our visits, and this was no exception. I am happy to report that our 'little' boy is above the 75th percentile in growth for full-term 12 month olds.. Our doc loves to call X chubby, fat, plump - you name it, and considering his start we giggle with pride. And as we went though the list of standard developmental/dietary/temperament questions it became apparent that our should-be 9 month old is on track with his chronological age, doing everything a 12 month old should.

The Stats:
Weight: 24 lbs 12 oz
Height: 29 3/4 inches
Head: 19 inches

And the babe can talk! More for my memory than your viewing here's a list of his words/signs:
Oliver (ah-ver)
Grandmama (Ga-mama)
Elephant (Eh-fun)
I love you
Gray (he loves his best buddy!)

All done

Labels: , , ,

• 6 Chirping

After 4 years... Thursday, December 21, 2006 |

I am delighted to wake next to you every morning.

And fall asleep to your your breath each night.

Still feel the jump of butterflies in my stomach at the thought of seeing you after a long day.

Could listen to your voice for days, so comfortable sharing, silent.

All the feelings of those first days, only now secure and permanent within me.

So many little intricacies as our lives have become our life.

Because without you, now, I would no longer be whole. And seeing our love multiply, that we've created life, I've a new perspective on what it means to be your bride. Thank you. For simply loving me.

Happy Anniversary my love.

• 6 Chirping

Wordless Wednesday - Wishing you a Merry Christmas Wednesday, December 20, 2006 |

Labels: ,

• 19 Chirping

Alternative Use for Nursing Pads #89 Friday, December 15, 2006 |

Tissues. Who would have known? We've all been plagued by the winter funk here in the Allen household. Sore throats, sinus headaches and runny noses abound. It's miserable. Xavier is usually pretty tolerant of getting his little nose wiped (I swore off the bulb syringe months ago)- that is when the wiping occurs a couple of times a day at most. Unfortunately these noses of ours are faucets that require some sort of attention every two minutes or so. And short of catheterizing Xav's nose or attaching a funnel to his head I've had to get creative.

There has been diversion and dancing, beeping nose blots, upside-down snot grabs, wet one's, dry one's, tissues, washcloths - you name it! All tolerated a time or two before it's back to the drawing board. This morning I stumbled upon the holy grail (don't ask how!)... nursing pads. They're soft, absorbent and thus far an entire morning of nose wiping has elicited giggles rather than tears. I'll have to admit even I think a pink and white nursing pad flying at my face would be pretty funny. Definitely more expensive than your average tissue, but worth every penny.

• 9 Chirping

One Year Ago Today Thursday, December 14, 2006 |

1 year ago today, I was in labor. Scared. Worried. Terrified. It was too soon. We had to wait. Somebody had to do something. No amount of preparation could have prepared me for the day. Our baby boy was born before we'd had a chance to process what was happening. So different from everything we'd planned. There was a moment of joy before reality set in. So small and not yet ready for this world, we'd barely seen him and they (strangers) were whisking him away. Crushed, empty, scared, worried, terrified. I felt responsible- what could I have done differently? why did my body fail us? I thought everyone would blame me. What had I done? I longed for him. Would he live? Where was he? What were they doing to our boy? It was a whirlwind. Fragmented. Such a strange mix of ups and downs, ins and outs. Days and weeks of uncertainty. I never knew I could love so much... and ache so much.

Today it all has crept back in. I've remembered hour by hour where I was last year, what I was doing... if only I'd known what the next few hours would bring. I struggle still to process. To accept. While also knowing it is what it is. If one thing were different we wouldn't be where we are, we wouldn't be who we are. And we are blessed.

Xavier is the most amazing little person I have ever met. And I feel a bit odd saying so because he is my son. But I don't take ownership, he's His boy. And he has purpose beyond that which I can comprehend.

In 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,949 minutes Xavier has gained 23 pounds. Grown 16 inches. Learned to breathe. And nurse. And poop. He's called me Mama and David, Papa. Said "uh-oh" and "I love you" and countless other things. He's signed words and phrases. Learned to roll over, sit up and crawl. He's begun to stand, cruise and gotten close to the first hesitant steps. More importantly he's touched lives. Brought people together. Taught us all so much about live and living. He's proof miracles happen. Living, breathing proof.

11:51pm, one year ago today my child was born. I became a mom. Happy Birthday baby!

*Thanks to our dear Stephanie (and Urban Baby Runway) for Xavier's awesome robot shirt!*

• 6 Chirping

Happy Birthday Xavier |

I can't believe it's here. Officially at 11:51pm my sweet Xavier will be one. While the days have crept, the year has flown by. I had planned to write a long post, and maybe I still will, but right now there is a little boy playing by my toes- telling me stories and giggling away. And so I'm off to the floor to embrace this second before it too flies by.

I am the proudest mama. Grateful this precious soul has been loaned to us, entrusted to my care. Blessed to see how far we've come. Hopeful for the days ahead. Blissfully happy in every moment. Happy Birthday Chunk le Funk.

Labels: ,

• 10 Chirping

Wordless Wednesday - I Swore I'd Never... Wednesday, December 13, 2006 |

Labels: , ,

• 11 Chirping

The Breast is STILL Best! Monday, December 11, 2006 |

3 short days until the big first B-day, I am amazed (and a bit offended) by the sudden onslaught of people asking just when I plan to stop nursing Xavier. Most have been surprisingly direct and then there are the few, who were formerly very supportive of my nursing that now look away uncomfortable or make subtle suggestions of "covering up" (while I'm already covered up!). So for the record: I plan on nursing by my darling boy until it is no longer mutually beneficial (i.e. - he will be weaning himself!)

I don't know why this is even an issue. Maybe because in our bottle feeding culture most are instructed to wean baby from the bottle at 1 year- which is because formula has no real nutritional benefit after that point (although I have noticed a bunch of new 'toddler' formula's popping up). But breast milk is NOT formula people!

And if you don't want to take my word for it, here are some handy facts for you: (source: KellyMom)

Nursing toddlers benefit NUTRITIONALLY:
  • Although there has been little research done on children who breastfeed beyond the age of two, the available information indicates that breastfeeding continues to be a valuable source of nutrition and disease protection for as long as breastfeeding continues.
  • Breast milk continues to provide substantial amounts of key nutrients well beyond the first year of life, especially protein, fat, and most vitamins.
  • In the second year (12-23 months) 448mL of breast milk provides: 29% of energy requirements, 43% of protein requirements, 36% of calcium requirements, 75% of vitamin A requirements, 76% of folate requirements, 94% of vitamin B12 requirements and 60% of vitamin C requirements.
  • It's not uncommon for weaning to be recommended for toddlers who are eating few solids. However this recommendation is not supported by research.
  • Some doctors may feel nursing will interfere with a child's appetite for other foods. Yet there has been no documentation that nursing children are more likely that weaned children to refuse supplementary foods. In fact, most researchers in Third World countries, where a malnourished toddler's appetite may be of critical importance, recommend continued nursing for even the severely malnourished. Most suggest helping the malnourished older nursing child not by weaning but by supplementing the mother's diet to improve the nutritional quality of her milk and by offering the child more varied and more palatable foods to improve his or her appetite.
Nursing toddlers are SICK LESS OFTEN:
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that children weaned before two years are at increased risk of illness
  • Nursing toddlers between the ages of 16 and 30 months have been found to have fewer illnesses and illnesses of shorter duration than their non-nursing peers.
  • Antibodies are abundant in human milk throughout lactation. In fact, some of the immune factos in breast milk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process.
  • Per the World Health Organization, "a modest increase in breastfeeding rates could prevent up to 10% of all deaths of children under five: Breastfeeding plays and essential and sometimes underestimated role in the treatment and prevention of childhood illness"
Nursing toddlers are SMART
  • Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement and breastfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children breastfed the longest.
Nursing toddlers have FEWER ALLERGIES
  • Many studies have shown that one of the best ways to prevent allergies and asthma is to breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months and to continue breastfeeding long-term after that point. Breastfeeding can be helpful in preventing allergy by:
  1. reducing exposure to potential allergens (when baby is exposed later, allergic reactions are less likely)
  2. speeding maturation of the protective barrier in the baby's intestines,
  3. coating the gut and providing a barrier to potentially allergenic molecules
  4. providing anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the risk of infections (which can act as allergy triggers).
Nursing toddlers are WELL ADJUSTED SOCIALLY
  • One study that dealt specifically with babies nursed longer than a year showed a significant link between the duration of nursing and mothers' and teachers' ratings of social adjustment in six-to-eight-year-old children. In the words of teh researchers 'There are statistically significant tendencies for conduct disorder scores to decline with increasing duration and breastfeeding'.
  • Children who achieve independence at their own pace are more secure in that independence then children forced into independence prematurely.
Nursing a toddler is NORMAL
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that "Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child... Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and mother... There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychological or developmental harm form breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer".
  • The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continue throughout the first year of life and that "Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child, and should continue as long as mutually desired." They also note "If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned."
  • A US Surgeon General has stated that it is lucky a baby who continues to nurse until age two.
  • The WHO and UNICEF emphasize the importance of nursing up to two years of age or beyond.
  • Scientific research by Katherine A Dettwyler, PhD shows that 2.5 to 7.0 years of nursing is what our children have been designed to expect.
MOTHERS also benefit from nursing past infancy
  • Extended nursing delays the return of fertility in some women by suppressing ovulation
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer. Studies have found a significant inverse association between duration of lactation and breast cancer risk.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian cancer
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of uterine cancer
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of endometrial cancer
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Breastfeeding has been shown to decrease insulin requirements in diabetic women
  • Breastfeeding mothers tend to loose weight easier
  • Breastfeeding protects against osteoporosis
And if all that isn't enough, adjusted for prematurity X is only 9 months, so put your opinions and looks on the back burner for a few more months! :)

Labels: , ,

• 10 Chirping

Wordless Wednesday - O Christmas Tree Wednesday, December 06, 2006 |

Labels: ,

• 16 Chirping

Blueberry Tuesday, December 05, 2006 |

This very morning my neat eating blueberry fiend discovered that the tasty, semi-frozen treats he loves so much can squished and smashed between clapping hands. The result? Lots of laughs and a boy who now resembles papa smurf.

*you asked for it! not a great depiction of the madness, but you can use your imagination!*


• 6 Chirping

Just Another Day Sunday, December 03, 2006 |

It is 1 degree outside. 1 degree! I need to take the trash and recycling down to the curb, but can't rationalize getting all bundled up for such a task. I tossed around the idea of just going out there in my pj's, running as fast as I can but I'm worried I'll freeze mid-stride. I feel like blogging but don't have much to say - so I'm afraid this is as good as it gets people! I have been working on my 100 things post, but am feeling more tired than witty and introspective right now so you'll just have to wait. Maybe I'll go indulge in some steamy chai and gingersnaps...in fact I will.


• 3 Chirping

In the Blink of an Eye... Saturday, December 02, 2006 |

This baby of mine is growing up way too fast. First the clapping and enthusiastic "Yay!'s". The words and attempts to read his books to me. But now my baby- who I thought would forever (ok, maybe not forever- but just a little while longer?!) be content in my arms, sitting or scooting around on his bottom, is crawling, pulling up to standing, cruising and attempting to walk on his own. Maybe it would be easier if it was gradual but all of these feats were accomplished in one day, as if something just clicked. It's amazing how you can be bursting with pride and just a bit sad all at the same time. I am so proud of Xavier- his accomplishments made that much more glorious when we remember his start. But there is this little, teeny, tiny, most likely selfish spot in my heart that is missing the baby this boy is leaving behind! Today we're off to shop for the big first birthday party next weekend and then it's probably time to start taking this baby-proofing stuff seriously.


• 6 Chirping