I’ve been cruising the Rookie Moms site, and even trying a few of their activities.  Number 473 is called “Interview Your Friends”, and I thought it would be great to interview my highschool bud/blogger friend, Kristen, who has an adorable son, Talan, and is expecting little boy #2.  She lives up north, but we’ve had a couple playdates together, while I was visiting my family.

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1. How old is Talan, and what’s his Zodiac sign?
Talan is 3 yr. 10 months old, which I am completely in awe of – that my baby is almost 4! When did this happen, and why so quickly?! Turning 4, to me, is the official turning point of going from baby/toddler to a big boy. He has looked like a big boy for quite some time, but this birthday milestone makes it more official! He is a Sagittarius, and fully encompasses many of the traits – he is good-humored, full of energy and adventureousness, and strong-willed. He was also born in the year of the Rooster, so he is also one who has to busy all of the time(don’t all boys though!), they always think they are right, have extreme moods, and are usually brave.

2. What is your favorite outing with Talan that’s not necessarily Talan-centric?
I have been a frequent beach goer ever since I could drive myself, as being near the coast has always been a place of escape and relaxation for me. Since having Talan, I haven’t given up these day trips, with his first visit being aroun 4 months old. Early on he seemed to really get a lot of joy from dipping his toes in the water or throwing sand onto his head. And as he has gotten older, going to the beach has become one of his favorite outdoor activities. We try to go weekly during the warmer months, and maybe once a month during the cooler ones.
We take walks looking for sea treasures, to bring home for him to sort through and catergorize, jump the waves together, and our latest venture has been to see how deep of a hole we can dig in the sand!

3. Since you work in the evenings, what is your morning routine wth Talan?
I always thought I would be like my Mom, who when we were kids, would get up early before us, to get dressed, eat, read the paper, etc. But when I had Talan, that just never seemed logical, as I tried to take advantage of every possible hour that I could in order to sleep. So our routine is mornings for us start between 6:30-7, although this last week he has been getting up at 5:15 on the dot (children love to change their routine just when you get used to it, don’t they?!) He usually comes bounding in to my bedroom, announces he’s not tired anymore, and hands me my glasses from my nightstand. Occasionally he might crawl in bed to cuddle for a few minutes, but it is rare! Then we head downstairs where I immediatley start making breakfast. Besides eggs, he eats anything, but does get into patterns that he will stick with for weeks at a time. He is just like me in that he is ravenously hungry as soon as he wakes up, and if neither of us eat soon enough for whatever reason, mornings can be rough. I let him watch an hour and a half of either a disney movie or one of the few cartoon series we allow him to watch. This is when I myself get to eat, go online, and pick up a bit without distraction. Then he plays, while I get dressed, and we are out of the house by 9 or 10 depending on how much effort I put into my appearance, and we run some errands, or have a playdate, or tae a day trip somewhere. Luch is around 11:30, naptime is 1:30. He has had a pretty consistant routine which has been nice for both of us:)

4. What is one thing you learned with your first born that will be easier-than-pie the second time around?
Breastfeeding, definitely. I was slightly nervous about breastfeeding as I neared his due date, not because I didn’t want to nurse, but because I was very aware that it may not work out. In my experience working as a pediatric nurse, and for a while in Mother/Baby, I encountered so many new mother’s who either had difficulty producing enough milk, who felt awkward/embarressed/unnatural while nursing, who’s baby’s were poor latchers, or mother’s who were not prepared for the time and dedication it required to breastfeed. I had gained plenty of knowledge and helpful tips over the years providing lactation consulting to these mom’s, but it still didn’t prepare me for my own personal experience. So I decided not to set any expectations on breastfeeding, I loaded a corner of our pantry with some formula just in case, and tried to think positively – as long as my baby was healthy and thriving, what he ate wouldn’t matter.
The moment I delivered Talan, the desire to nurse my baby was instinctual. I didn’t feel nervous, awkward, or however else I thought I would feel, I just knew what I needed to do. He was immediately a good latcher, my milk came in on the 3rd day postpartum, and it turns out that he was breastfed until he was 22 months old. It’s not to say that I didn’t have moments of frustration and doubt when I was bleeding, blistered, sore and sleep deprived. And it was never the plan to nurse that long, but once our routine had been established, I decided that we would stop when either of us began to show disinterest. I thought by 6 months old he would be done once solids were introduced, then when he turned 1, I thought the increase in mobility would distract him. Of course the frequency dramatically decreased with increased age; it’s not as though I was nursing every 3 hours when he was 1 1/2, as most people exclaim in disbelief when tell them how long he was breastfed!
So I feel far more prepared with this new baby on the way to apply the same dedication to breastfeeding as I did with Talan. I firmly believe that the reason he is so healthy is because of breastfeeding him for so long. I am also very proud that I was able to stick it out as long as I did without giving up. Hopefully the new baby will take to it just as easily, but you never really know.

5. What’s the best book/resource you’ve found on discipline for little boys?
I have to be honest, I haven’t used any books to specifically address discipline. The only book I have is called “Boys Will Be Boys,” and was given to me by my MIL for Talan’s 1st birthday. It addresses the state of raising boys in our current 21st century social climate, compared to 15/30/50 years ago; how the attitude that we approach to raising our boys has changed and may have a negative impact on them. The book disusses their natural impulsiveness, hyperactivity, distractability, and moodiness. The idea behind the book is basically that the approach of just letting boys be boys has been stifled by social expectations, lack of patience and understanding by educators, and increased aceptance of ADHD as an all too commonplace medical diagnosis. If anything, what the book helped me to see were my unrealistic expectations of him, how I wasn’t initially allowing him to explore the world in his own way, holding him back from acting, playing, verbalizing in a more natural boy impulsion.
My resourse for thoughts on discipline has been talking to my other Mommy friends, observing what they do, and taking from it what I think may work, or seeing how I don’t feel I want to discipline. I think discipline is always a work in progress as children grow, so my husband and I just work together and address making changes if we see something isn’t working. We both agreed on one thing when it came to discipline and that was we had to start quite early, and remain consistant.

6. What are your thoughts on choosing schools for your kids?
Word of mouth from other parents experiences, going to open houses. Of course no school is created equal so I wouldn’t arbitrarily choose a school out of convenience of location. The difficulty in choosing a school is that you truly never really know if it was a good choice until they start going.

7. What are a few of your personal “splurges”?
New bedding for our master bedroom. I constantly feel the need to make it more cozy, luxurious. My goal is to feel like every time I step into my bedroom, I am staying at a fancy hotel on vacation some where with my husband!

8. What is one question that people often ask once they discover that you’re a pediatric nurse?
The first question is always who do I work for, and what department I work in. Funny enough, once I tell people that I am an pediatric advice nurse, they tend to not have much to say afterwards. I think it isn’t exactly what people imagine as being an actual nursing position, compared to if I said I worked in NICU, oncology, or cardiac step-down. So often, very little is asked of me after I state my position. If anything I tend to get questions about why I don’t work in another area of nursing, what is it that advice nurses do exactly, what did I do before I was a pediatric advice nurse.
I take pride in my very specific role in providing health care, but it is not one that many take the time to understand. But I am content in knowing that the level of care that I provide is immeasurable and in some ways unexplainable.

Thank you, Katherine, for this opportunity to be interviewed by you! I hope it had shed some light on my thoughts on being a Mommy!

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