Thursday, December 2, 2010

Update! :)

I wish after the previous post (not that you read it) that I could reward you with pictures, but I want to wait until I have our Christmas tree decorated and take some pics with Parker and the tree (cant wait!)

We got back from Montana visiting Jed's sister and her family, as well as some other members of Jed's family. If you have heard anything about Utah weather at all lately, you know that we have been bombarded with terrible weather. I don't want to go into all the details, because just thinking about it makes me sick. The roads were terrible, we had some technical difficulties with our car, and hit a deer. The car trip was a lot of fun, minus the afore mentioned awfulness.

The break from school and visit was festive, yummy, and cozy. Aside from the yummy, yummy Thanksgiving dinner- one of my favorite parts of the visit were going and chopping down our Christmas tree. (Like I said before I will post some pictures soon.) For  $5 we got to go up in the mountains and literally cut down our own tree. It was great! Coming from small farm town America, I loved it! We have done this 2 years now, and I hope to continue doing something like this as often as we can.

We are looking forward to celebrating Christmas in our own home. I love the thought of cuddling up with Parker and Jed, reading stories, sipping hot cocoa, and teaching Parker about our Savior.  Depending on how Parker is and whether I feel up to it, we do have some parties that we've been invited to, but I really would like to just stay home and start making my own family traditions. I like being able to wake up in the morning and decide what I want to do. Especially during a school break.

As for Parker he currently has a small cold, so he was fussy today. It's hard for me to say that he was fussy because he really only cried for a few minutes before I got the snot from his nostrils (eww!) so he wasn't really fussy- just trying to tell me that he couldn't breathe. He has continued to be a great baby, and hopefully soon (!!!) he will be back to sleeping through the night. He got up once last night, and even though a few months ago he was getting up several times a night- today I feel like I haven't slept in years!! He is super active and Jed swears that he rolled over yesterday. Today when I was playing with him, he was SOO close to doing it, so I hope to post a video of when he finally gets it (for momma.)
Jed is in school mode as finals are 2 weeks away. He is home so much more often, which is sooo much better. I love having him around- and sometimes Jed is just what Parker needs. He is such a great dad and I'm so proud of his efforts to keep going to school, work, and be a great family man.
All of my difficult projects/finals are over, so I just have one project (Jed and I are doing together for our creativity class) that I might do a quick post about when we're done. I am trying to decide about taking classes next semester- I'm leaning towards no, but I haven't quite decided.

That's pretty much it for us Alvey's. Look forward to come cute pictures soon!

Book Reviews

{Preface: I am a fast reader. I'm not super smart, there's a lot (LOT!) of talents that I strive for, but I am a fast reader. It honestly bothers me- it's [ALMOST] more of a nuisance. Okay. I have always wanted to review books. It's a weird wish, but since I read fast, I figured I could "read" a book and give a review, so that someone else doesn't have to waste their time reading it if it wasn't what they were looking for. Here goes.}
I read a lot of books during pregnancy. It was a mix of boredom (I wasn't working full time and I wasn't in school) as well as the dire need for information. Being a resident of Provo (engagement/marriage/baby making) capital of the world, I hoped that there would be tons of information readily available. NOT the case. The Provo Library is seriously lacking in the Pregnancy Department. Why? I have no idea. Many a-nights I have sat up wondering this myself.

Anyways- this is my first set of reviews, I can't promise any more, but I would love to do this regularly. I also welcome any differing opinions. I am ordering the books from my least favorite to my most favorite.

This book was honestly terrible. I read (almost) every page. I think I stopped at the last 20 pages. I just couldn't. keep. going. The author of this book is not a doctor, nor does she have any real background of medicine. So yes, the title is accurate. It is just a bunch of gossip.  It has however, won several awards- been on several tv shows (including Oprah) but I just don't get it. There are several blatantly wrong statements- as far as other medical journals are concerned- and I don't think anyone should read this book for anything more than fiction. Yes, a quick read, but awful. * (one star- just to be nice)

This book is WAY TOO LONG. (even for me). No one should read this whole book. Okay-- let me back up. It is separated into months (9) thus one could read a chapter a month. Not that bad. But it is so outdated. Really. It was boring- and I don't think it offered anymore information than one could get just form talking to a mother, sister, or anyone else (which the typical pregnant woman does). Anyways- it does have (A LOT) of information- and I think that's what it should be used for.  A reference book. So, if you don't have the internet- this is the book for you.  If you are in the Utah area-- please don't pay full price for it- there are tons of copies at the DI for $3-- and I have a copy if you want to borrow it (thanks Aunt Carolin). I would NOT have spent any money on it. (**) For the vast amount of information- but seriously- use Google.

If you want a "reference" type book- then this is a good one. Yes, it's long- but it's the type of book that you would just want to look up the sections you are interested in. I like it because it has pictures (that aren't weird sketches like in the "what to expect" book) which is nice when you don't want to google something for pictures.

I also liked that it had stories of real people- sharing their stories. It seemed more personable and more relateable than the typical generalization stories. (****)

There are so many things to say about this book. I will try to keep my thoughts relevant and pertinent to others. First of all, this book is FULL of very useful information. It is written by a woman that has tons of experience when it comes to babies and new mothers. It is broken up into different sections (chapters) about {nearly} everything a mom would want to know.

A few of my favorite things about this book-- there is a well written quiz that helps you decide what temperament your baby has. Knowing a babies temperament helps you know how to best manage them.  Honestly- i'm surprised that more people don't talk about this. How are you supposed to know how to take care of your baby if you don't know if he/she is sensitive, text book, etc??

In addition, she gives detailed explanations on diapering, bathing, massaging etc. your baby. I found this very helpful. Especially the diapering. Of course I know how to change a diaper, but I had never considered talking to my son while I change his diaper- telling him what I am doing. If someone started to change my diaper (haha) I would want the same courtesy-- that mindset- do as you would want-- is the theme of the whole book. A philosophy I full-heartedly agree with.

She also stresses the importance of a schedule. {and I CONCUR!) Her schedule follows the acronym EASY. Eat, activity, sleep, you time (mom to-do time/sleep).  This is a life saver. Honestly. The best advice in the book by far.

There are of course a few things I didn't like about the book. When it comes to the schedule- she didn't really give an actual time table that it's supposed to happen on. Which I didn't understand. Also- she has a few very strong opinions on things that you MUST do or things you SHOULDN'T do, and though it's her book and she can say what she wants- obviously as a mother, you have to make the decisions that are best for your baby. (****1/2)

This book really is excellent. It's a quick read- it's specific, and has very easy to follow directions- and the outcome is... {sanity!}. This book helps you to know how to get your children to sleep. It sets up a schedule- with time increments to follow- that really help your child become independent and set good, healthy sleeping habits. I like that the book gives realistic situations that could/do come up frequently that would compromise your baby's schedule- and give possible solutions. For example- if your baby is on a 3 hour feeding schedule, you're on a plane and you're baby is fussy-- do you feed him/her? Of course- it would be rude to the others on the plane not to... but there are some feeding schedules that are VERY rigid. 
This book sets up a feeding schedule referred to as the Parent-Directed Feeding (PDF).  This is a healthy combination of watching the clock and your baby's cues to know when to feed. I loved this book! It honestly gave me an idea of {what the heck!} I was supposed to do with Parker. I had no idea at first. It is the same idea as in Secrets of the Baby Whisperer- Eat, Activity, Sleep which is very important. I loved this book- and would give it 5 stars, but it isn't a stand alone book. There are so many other aspects of babies, pregnancy etc. that this book just doesn't cover. (****1/2)
I cannot do this book justice. I have done plenty of reading, in all facets of life, and this book- aside from the Book of Mormon and the other scriptures and a very short list of other books, this book has done the most to change my life. Whew. That's a rather bold statement that I hope to properly defend. All of my life I have been a rather curious person. I am really grateful for this quality. It has led me to enjoy schooling, people, and life in general. This curiosity mainly comes from my grandmother and sister who are two very curious people. 
        Anyways, I have always been curious about child birth. Growing up, I really never thought that I would have my own children. (WEIRD!) I mean I knew I wanted children, I love children!, but childbirth scared me more than almost anything. I talked of adopting because I was so scared (un-informed) about childbirth. (Not to discount adoption- something that I would love to do.)
       But this book really, truly helped me to better understand childbirth and the beauty that it really is. I know, within my heart, that childbirth doesn't have to hurt. It really is a natural thing, a power that we women have been so blessed with. And this book gives a natural alternative to excruciating pain that is most often associated with childbirth. 
      Now that I have had a child, I totally understand the beauty that modern medicine is. After being in labor for 10 hours, I too received an epidural (beautiful thing!!) By that point- that day- everything about that day- Tuesday August 17th, was terrible. Parker was born August 18th so I can say that. :] But hypnobirthing teaches that it is the tensing of the muscles that actually causes the pain, and that tension come from fear. Fear from everything that we women have seen, heard, dreamt about etc. about childbirth. So as we are already terrified, we tense our muscles- which constricts them from doing what they are naturally meant to do. 

From my experience, after having one child, this is true. I have heard (obviously I don't have anything to compare it to) that being induced causes stronger contractions that if someone goes into labor naturally. I was induced and the first 10 hours of labor I was doing my breathing and self-induced hypnosis and it was beautiful. I was talking on the phone to my family, I got in a jacuzzi, and played games- all while the contractions were full blown. 
It wasn't until I was checked by my midwife and found out that I had not dialated at all, that I lost control. I mean I wasn't screaming or anything- Jed said that I was actually really calm, but mentally I couldn't get to my "safe place." That is when I decided to have the epidural- because I was feeling pain. 
     In addition to teaching self-induced hypnosis (not weird, I promise) this book teaches of delayed cord clamping. I can't personally teach the medicine or research behind delaying clamping the umbilical cord for 10 minutes or so, but from what I have read and heard, it is the BEST thing for newborns.  (I am willing to talk about what I have learned if you're interested). For Parker, it was beautiful. After he was born, they immediately put him on my bare chest, and he was calm. He wasn't screaming or anything like I have always seen. He was calm and comfortable. 
        Though I don't have the greatest personal experience with this, I loved how well this book teaches the hubby to be involved with the birth. I was nervous because my hubby was uninformed about childbirth- really when would he talk about that?- so I was worried that he would either freak, leave, or stay silent.  I was glad that this book does give things for the husband to do. 
This book is primarily about pregnancy and childbirth, not about the children or really anything else, so I still must give this book (****1/2) I understand that no book could realistically discuss all aspects of babies in a reasonable number of pages- I wanted to reserve 5 stars for a book that does that. 
So now you have my 2 cents about baby books. If you have any books to suggest, questions, or comments, I would love to hear. Thanks for reading this (honestly a little surprised you finished!)