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Navigating Paleo

Well a few months ago I started following the Paleo diet.  It's not actually meant to be a diet as much as a life style and I love the food.  I have "pinned" a million recipes and also purchased a cook book called "Against All Grains" which is amazing.  It's funny how often anything new added to an already crazy pace of life can seem overwhelming. It's way easier to eat badly but I want to be healthy, thiner, fitter and have the energy it requires to be a mom of three.  

Do you ever have those days where you realize you spent your energy on all things that "needed" to be done, and in the end, the little ones who need you most get the leftovers? Well we have realized life can too quickly head that way and we are taking steps to stop this cycle. For me, eating well is one of those things.  I know when I don't eat dairy or gluten, I don't feel tired and don't need naps. In choosing to eat healthy, I am choosing my kids.

In the last 7 weeks I have lost 20 pounds and also started to exercise a couple times a week. I'm trying to actually do the things I know to do as best I can but without "shoulding" on myself in the process.

Being a mom is a balance of doing your best and giving yourself grace. It's really tricky and stretching but I think it can be done well.

On Becoming Babywise

When we were expecting Abigail I started paying attention to the kids of my friends and family and how things seemed to be going for them.  I found the moms who seemed to enjoy being a mom were less stressed, their kids were a pleasure to be around, and life just seemed more at peace for them. When I asked them for mommying advice, without fail, every single mom said "Babywise! Read it and do it." So I did. I read it, followed it, and it worked great for us.  Now, having said that, Alyn and I are both left-brained, scheduled types so it really appealed to us. We asked the grandparents to read it so they understood what we were trying to achieve when they visited and we stuck to it like glue.  For us, it worked great! We travelled the world with Abi and with Tia (to a lesser extent) and were able to easily switch them into new time zones with sometimes more than a 12 hour difference. 

My advice is to read the book through at least twice before they baby arrives and then download the cheat sheets I have posted on this site to help with quick reference.  The reason I say read it at least twice is because for any new adventure that is going to make your whole world different it's wise to know what you are trying to do and why.  That's why it's so important that, in the tough moments of parenting (and there will be some)  you don't loose focus or give up. You and your spouse both need to do this and agree to do it because, that way, you can support one another in moments of weakness and you are headed in a direction together with knowledge of the goal and the prize.

As with any book or program there are contrary opinions on what is good for a baby and what program is the best. I have observed many people who were into demand feeding and Dr Sears but it just didn't appeal to me, and many (not all) of the families I observed doing demand feeding seemed to struggle a lot more than the Babywise families and got a lot less sleep! Did I mention I both like to sleep and need it?  My cousin's four girls began sleeping through the night (7-8 hours) by 7-9 weeks. My girls were both premature (one by 5.5 weeks and one just under 4) and they managed to start the longer sleeps of 7 to 8 hours by 9 weeks.

My girls are now 5 and 3 years old. We can take them anywhere, to any restaurant, and not worry abut bad behavior.  They are both very cuddly, well adjusted, know they are loved, and rarely fight.  I honestly think a lot of it came from starting them off with Babywise.  Babywise babies never learn to run the home, they are part of a family.  They don't dictate the schedule or cry to get their own way because that behavior is never rewarded. When you do Babywise and read the book  thoroughly you learn the difference between a hungry cry, a tired cry, a frustrated cry or just a cry because babies cry! (They are supposed to cry incidentally... it's how God designed their lungs to strengthen!) I have also never seen a Babywise baby that ever had colic which in itself is enough of a reason to do it! So, yes, I am obviously a big fan and yes we will be doing Babywise with our son.