3 Months

Baby Boy, today you are 3 months old.
No longer a newborn - simply a baby, although much more to me.
You still don't want to miss a thing, refusing to rest your head even for a moment on my shoulder.  A snuggler, you are most certainly not, so I have to take advantage of times you have fallen asleep and your sweet baby squish can be held close.  
I love the way your big bright eyes examine everything, and can now find me across the room.
You love to kick off your socks and you prefer to keep your toes curled up unless Dada is kissing them, and then you wrap them around his nose. 
You are still blinking up at us through those beautiful, light eyes, which seem to be a light brown in the center before spanning out into a mixture of gray and blue.  My eyes are similar, only green instead of your gray-blue mix, as are your great grandmother's, so maybe you will keep your color.
You are such a happy baby, only really crying when you are tired and cannot get yourself to sleep.
You love conversations, and will grace anyone who starts one with an enormous smile and lots of cooing.
This month began teething, which means lots of gnawing and drooling.  Luckily, you've also found your hands, and not only are you fascinated by them, but they provide a perfect teether for you since you cannot yet manipulate objects.
At the beginning of the month, you began batting at the toys hanging above you on your play mat, and by the second half, you were getting a grasp on them.
You want to sit up so badly, pulling yourself forward with your little ab muscles whenever reclined.  I think you're going to be a mover and a shaker.
I can't wait to see what you will surprise us with next month.
1

Bent

Oh, my boy.  My sweet, sweet boy.
So kindhearted.  Considerate.  Caring.
To tell the truth, I'm a little jealous of you.
Of what a wonderful person you are.
Of how you always think to include everyone and how your love knows no conditions.  Despite injustices or wrongdoings, you love anyway.  At 6 years old, you are more Christ-like than I can ever hope to be.
The level of empathy you display astounds me.  It always has.  Ever since you were one and would cry at Twinkle Twinkle Little Star because it sounded so sad.
The way you care for your baby brother is nothing short of amazing.  You are like a miniature father to him, and I couldn't be more grateful for what a wonderful role model you are.
Lately you've been dealing with so much.  It must be so hard to learn to share the attention of your parents.  It must be so hard to watch Mom nursing the baby and feeling like he's getting all the snuggles.  To look at your parents eyes while they are gazing at your baby brother with so much love.  To find that your usual spot in their bed is sometimes taken by this new little person in your family.
But sweet boy, let me tell you.  You will always be my baby.  I will always love you Alll The Mosttt!!  I will always have snuggles for you, and I will always give you baby kisses and get all that sugar.
I cherish our evenings together, reading a story in your bed.  I revel in the fact that you love reading as much as I, and that we are into chapter books now.  I'm just waiting for the day you are ready for Harry Potter and hoping you fall in love with it and I can take you to The Wizarding World, just you and I.
I'm grateful that you have such a wonderful father, and that you and he are becoming the best of friends during this time of transition.  I've watched your bond increase tenfold since the new baby has arrived.  I know how much you look forward to "guy time," and even though that means I'm not included, it warms my heart to think of the memories you are making with Dad - something some kids never get that.
Oh, Bent. Mommy's little Goose.  I love you more than you will ever know.
2

Evenings

When the boys are grown, and off to make their way in the world, I want to remember these moments.
I want to remember the evenings, and how Bent would play PBS Kids on the laptop while Baby took his last nap of the day.
I want to remember their sweet little hands in the evening light; Bent's clicking away on the mouse, and Baby's relaxed while he snoozes in his crib.
One day, when I'm making dinner for just Hubby and myself in the quiet stillness of our home, I will think back on these evenings and my sweet boys, wishing I could kiss their soft, puffy cheeks and hold their little hands once more.




1

Nice to Meet Ya

Contact us at thewildfolkco@yahoo.com

I'm Melinda. Mel to most, Mom to two.  I have one Hubby, one stepson, and two sons.
Did ya catch that?
Not a girl in sight.  I'm it.  The lone wolf in the midst of WWE, NASCAR, Monster trucks, football, and r/c cars.  No barbie dolls for miles. Sigh...

If you're looking for preschool and kindergarten activities to do with your little one, I'm pretty sure you won't click away from here empty handed.

This space has now become a catch-all for my life.  
What you will find here:

Recipes I've tried and don't want to forget.
Crafts I've done and want to share.
My parental wins and failures. 
Places we've visited around Central Florida.
And my musings about life.

What you won't find here:

Consistency - it's just not me.  I like to change things up.  A lot.  

Things about me that never change:

I love, love, love being a Mom and feel like that was my calling in life.  My mission is to prepare my children - not for how to get ahead in the world - but to stay true to themselves and continue to be good people despite what the world may throw at them.

I love, love, love my husband and will always choose him first.

I struggle everyday to find the good in people, push ego aside, and be in the world but not of it.

I have done and said things in my life that I regret and am ashamed of, but I believe that everyday is a chance to start over and live a better life.

I always, always cry when reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, and when listening to this:
Lead Me by Sanctus Real on Grooveshark

I always try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and love playing devil's advocate (maybe because I really want to believe that everyone is inherently good) and I get super bummed and take it personally if I find out I'm wrong.

I try not to take life too seriously, and like to find fun wherever I can.

Still Jonesin' for more about our little fam?  CLICK HERE to read more about each of us.





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Easy Oreo Truffles

oreo truffle recipe
My aunt gave me the recipe for these OREO truffles a few years ago, and I've made them every year around the holidays since.  With the new baby this year, I sort of forgot about these little gems (and really any treat baking for that matter) until one day when we were riding in the car and Little Guy said, "Oh Mom!  Don't forget to make your truffles!  It's tradition."

Well...

I hadn't quite thought about them like that, but looking back, I remember always having certain treats (fudge, chocolate covered pretzels, and butterscotch haystacks) every year as a child and how I thought of them as tradition.  Now it seemed Little Guy was beginning to think of the treats I made as tradition, so I certainly couldn't let him down.  And they're super easy and only take 3 ingredients so there was definitely no excuse.

All you need to make them is:

1 pack of OREOs
1 box of cream cheese
1 bag of semisweet chocolate chips (or any chocolate of your choice)

Directions:

Crush OREOs in food processor until consistency shown above.  
Add cream cheese and process until mixture forms a thick paste.
Roll mixture into 1 inch balls and place on a parchment paper lined tray.
Once all mixture is rolled into balls, place tray into fridge to cool.
Melt chocolate.
Coat 1 inch balls in the melted chocolate and place on parchment paper lined tray.
Allow to chocolate to harden undisturbed. 
**Note:  If you place the tray back into the fridge for the chocolate to harden, the truffles will have to remain refrigerated.  

Enjoy!
oreo truffles


**Do you have any traditional treats in your family?




8

Month 2

2 months can't have gone by already.  It seems like we were just welcoming you into the world, and here you are - already giving us sweet baby smiles.
Your thighs are filling up with baby squish, and your arms are becoming your greatest force for discovering.
You love to bat at the toys on your play gym, and you are fascinated by your hands.
You no longer want to be cradled unless you are asleep - there is far too much to see to have your gaze aimed at the ceiling.
You are becoming a mover and shaker, air-swimming much of the day, and it's time to start strapping you in.  Already!  It's so hard to believe.
You celebrated your first Christmas and were loved on by so many.
You had your first official bath (in a bath tub) and didn't cry once.
Our love for your grows stronger and stronger everyday - if that's even possible.
My sweet boy.
My baby.
I love you so.



6

Breastfeeding - What No One Told Me

Um, yeah.  This post is about breastfeeding, so if that makes you squeamish, you might want to click away now.

Before I was a Mom, I thought about breastfeeding as something weird and there was no way I was ever going to breastfeed.  At 21, I remember having conversations with girlfriends who'd say they were definitely going to breastfeed when they had kids, and thinking how crazy they were.  

Fast forward to 2007, when I had Little Guy.  During my pregnancy, I figured I'd give breastfeeding a shot - mostly just to feel like I made the effort, but it wasn't a huge priority.  I was a first time mom.  I had no idea about anything, and wasn't one of those researchy types who read every book out there to prepare.  I was just winging it.

So when I tried unsuccessfully to get a latch in the hospital, and the nurse handed me a bottle of formula, I fed it to my baby.  I continued to try at home, never really getting a good latch (but not really putting a huge effort in).  So I pumped.  But my already hungry for formula baby could eat much more than I could pump and I found myself basically formula feeding and supplementing with breast milk instead of the other way around.

Then I just quit.  I felt like, eh.  It's not worth the effort.  So that was that. 

In the years since, breastfeeding has blown up.  If you're expecting, everywhere you look and everything you read puts a huge emphasis on how breast is best.  You can even attend free classes in your local town teaching you about why you should choose to breastfeed.  So when I became pregnant with our new Baby Boy, I knew I needed to make breastfeeding a priority.

There were two things that were super important to me when having my second child:  natural, unmedicated childbirth, and breastfeeding.  

I suddenly became one of those researchy moms - reading everything I could get my hands on to prepare for my birth and for successful breastfeeding.  I was ready.

Except that I wasn't.  

Sure, I knew all about how breast was best, and what a successful latch looked like, and that my newborn really only needed a teaspoon full and not to worry about supply.  But I also knew that "although I might feel some discomfort, breastfeeding should never hurt."  That's what they tell you - that you should never feel pain.

WRONG.

It hurt something fierce.  

I had just come out of an unmedicated birth, so I knew the difference between pain and discomfort, but every time my sweet boy latched on I cringed, clenched my teeth, and my eyes welled with tears. And we had a great latch! 

It. Just. Hurt. 

I spent the first two days Googling.  Reading about how there should be no pain when there clearly was. 

And then you know what?  By the end of the third day, the pain was gone.  Apparently my nipples had to "toughen up."  No one told me that.

For about a day we were doing great.  Then boom.  Engorgement.  

Yes, it was uncomfortable but nothing compared to the pain of the first couple of days.  I did have to pump a little each time before I could even get my baby to latch on though.

Once engorgement ended, I thought, Ok.  Now we're getting it. 
Until we weren't.  

I was eating oatmeal everyday for breakfast, and drinking a cup of mother's milk tea every evening, but by 7pm I was out of milk - or at least it appeared that way.  Baby was tugging and pulling (and hurting me!) and getting unbelievably fussy and frustrated.  Luckily, I had a bottle of pumped milk in the fridge to get him to sleep with so that my body could use that time to make some more milk.  

But almost daily, baby nursed every 45 minutes (sometimes every hour, sometimes every 20 minutes), and the tugging and pulling in the evenings happened more.  

I realized that I had more than enough milk at night (since he'd go for 1-2 hours between feedings), so I decided I'd start pumping to reduce the nighttime engorgement and have a stash for the tugging and pulling sessions.  

And then.

We bought a pacifier.  

Everything you read says "Don't do this!" but we had to.  Baby was still feeding so often, and I was so sore.  He wouldn't even go down to sleep.  He wanted to sleep with me in his mouth, or at least on me, and I am still a human being.  I still need water, or food, or to use the bathroom and I wasn't able to do anything.   

At 2 weeks I talked to my midwife, and she pumped me up on all the reasons to keep going.  I felt so motivated after talking to her, but the next day, it was right back to the same.  
I felt like I was losing myself.  I couldn't even live.  I was stuck on the couch all day long.  I stressed about picking up Little Guy from school.  I couldn't go to the grocery store or even for a walk around the block with the baby.  I was becoming a prisoner.  A very sore, tired, lonely prisoner.

Hubby was getting virtually no time with the baby.  The baby only wanted me.  I fulfilled his every need.

Everything I'd read told me how beautiful breastfeeding was.  How much I would love the bonding time with my baby,but you know what?  I couldn't even remember the last time I picked up my precious boy because I wanted to. I was feeding him so often that it was becoming a chore - one that I performed like a robot, and I was devoid of those beautiful emotions they told me I'd have.  No one told me that might happen. 

I was tired.  I was overstimulated.  My personal space was constantly invaded, and I had nothing left to give Hubby or Little Guy.
I found myself wanting to snap at them for no reason.
Resenting them for being able to play outside, or get themselves a drink of water, or use the bathroom.  
I was slowly slipping away.  Sinking.  

I decided to quit.  

I made a bottle of formula and fed it to my baby, crying as he drank it down.

I know that there's nothing wrong with formula feeding, heck, Little Guy drank the Target formula (it was the only one he took well to), and he's awesome.  But there are moms who would give anything to be able to breastfeed.  Who purchase breastmilk for their babies because they don't want them to drink formula.  And here I was, with a perfectly good latch, and a pretty decent supply, quitting because I needed more "me time?"  

I felt so selfish.

That's when I decided to take it week by week.  I set a goal.  
I will make it to the end of the week, and then we'll see.  

Then I'd make it to the next week and do the same thing.  

By 6 weeks, I almost forgot that I was taking it week by week.  Breastfeeding had become much easier, and we were really doing great.

Now we're at 10 weeks and I have no thoughts of quitting anytime soon. 

My supply has leveled out.  I quit eating oatmeal for breakfast (apparently it was making me ravenous all day), and I rarely need to drink any Mother's Milk tea.
Nursing sessions take about 5 minutes or so and happen every hour and a half to 3 hours.
I even get a 3-4 hour stretch of sleep at night now.
The pacifier has not caused us any problems with latch at all, nor has giving a bottle of pumped milk once or twice a week.

When he's hungry in public, that's still a little awkward for me, so I either bring a pumped bottle, or go sit in the car and nurse.  
But I know that in the middle of the night, it would really stink to have to get up to make and warm a bottle when baby wakes.  And if we were going on a day trip, I never have to worry about coming home before we run out of bottles.

Breastfeeding really has become as easy as they told me it would be.  It just took time to get there.  

If you really want to breastfeed, but find yourself struggling, try setting a goal.  The end of the week, maybe even the end of the day.  It really does get easier by the 6 week mark, but prepare yourself for those first 6 weeks.  

And join a support group.  I don't know what I would have done without the girls at my birth center, and my breastfeeding mama friends. There's even a great group on facebook called  Breastfeeding/Mama Talk.  

Or you can email me. marshmallowmudpie@yahoo.com  I may not have all the answers, but just know that I've been in your boat, and it can get easier.



*Did you find yourself struggling at first while breastfeeding your baby?





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