Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guilt Reliever!

Another late-night post. Ah, I find it refreshing to blog after homework!

Mitch and I are both in school this semester, which is the first time we've really had to juggle back-to-back classes with a baby (toddler? child? He's SO not a baby!). It has been working out, but it takes SO much effort! 

I have a 3 hour window with Nathan between my first 3 classes and my last 2 classes (Mitch has 2 classes during this block of time). So usually Nathan and I go home or run errands. Nathan hates it, and the only thing I like about it is that I hit our little baby Walmart while everyone else is in class!

It is so much work managing every minute of our day so that we can get from point A to point B in 15 minutes, all the while trying not to hit pedestrians that are jaywalking all over.
(that's actually just MY problem...I got hit by a car while jaywalking my very first semester up here...sometimes I think people need to learn their lesson like I did!)

In any case, we are enjoying our classes and managing our workloads. Mitch is the only one in class two days out of the week, which is nice for both of us: no juggling and as much on-campus study time as he wants, and no leaving the house or errands for me! Plus I get to be mom all day, which I just cherish!
(Homework in pajamas? You know it. I literally got dressed at 3 pm today and yet I had been productive all morning...BAM!)

So, as far as the title of this post goes, I'll explain it quickly, and then reward you for reading with some pictures.

In my Infant and Toddler Development class I had to read a father involvement study done by some researchers someplace (I read it a couple hours ago, but would love to get the article to anyone interested...it is fascinating, as far as my opinion goes!). These researchers have concluded the fathers who work full-time, working separate shifts from their wives and evenly splitting the workload of housework and time with children (I mean splitting these things evenly with their wife) form secure, strong bonds with their children that last through their children's adult lives. 

This was HUGE news to me! Here my anxiety brain's I've been, stressing about how I have to leave Nathan during the day to go to classes, but how it's really helping him because it will give our family a better life AND teaching me all about him (and our future children), and my schooling will be put to use even if I stay home all day with children (hello, child development major w/a minor in marriage and family studies...pretty sure that applies at home!) Turns out I'm not leaving my son at a disadvantage at all! I pictured our other children all well-adjusted, with older Nathan not knowing me at all. I know, I know, it's nonsense, but it's my anxiety brain's nonsense, so it's worrisome. 

Woo hoo for not messing things up after all!! I sit in these parenting/development/marriage/how-to-teach-parents classes and the teachers make it all seem so EASY to raise well-adjusted, intelligent, spiritual, healthy children. Then I get home and it's chaos just with one tiny little boy. 

There really is a difference between classroom learning and real-life experience! But, I don't know what I'd do without the knowledge I've gained the past 4 years (yup, one year left...don't judge!). After all, if I hadn't been in these classes we'd still be forcing Nathan to be brave and do/touch/ride/sit on things he was terrified of, instead of accepting that his temperament makes him a bit more cautious, and that it is no way a bad thing. Apologies still must go out to EVERYONE who tries to get a smile, a wave, or a consent to be held from him...it's a rare thing, and I'm sorry!!

Now onto the pictures! Congrats, you made it through my tangent. Or cheated and scrolled down.

So Nathan has 4 1/2 teeth now, which as been a major amount of work for all of us! We are so excited to find out new things he can eat with these little teeth. Luckily he hasn't tried to bite anyone yet! Today I sat him down on the kitchen floor, took a bite of an apple and let him go to town. He got tiny little bites (mostly of thin little apple skin) but still was VERY pleased with himself. YES I was watching him. NO he didn't choke, and I don't think the soggy slivers of apple would've choked him anyway! NO I didn't let him roam around with the apple, although it was almost as big as his head, so it wouldn't have mattered much. YES I got cute pictures! :o) 
Once he lost interest, we put the apple on the counter. When he was interested again, I'd cut the yucko-mushy brown part off and let him have at it again. What a big boy!

PS--didn't have time to edit these, sorry. Man I love my lens!

Diving right in...I'm surprised he wasn't scared of it!

TOTAL concentration...go Nathan go!

Most of that bite was mine...that tiny, little crooked part at the top is his contribution :o)

 We love you, little man! 

Notice the sweater? I love baby sweaters. Plus our heat is all electric (with separate thermostats everywhere) and is SUPER EXPENSIVE to operate, so we're down to 65 degrees and wearing layers! (Nathan gets his room at about 72, lucky guy!) Yay, life on a budget! When isn't it that way!?


  1. 65 degrees!? That's crazy girl. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do. And sweaters and socks are easy to put on :-)

    That is cute how the apple is almost as big as his head. And as far as the parenting and family stuff goes, I've read a ton of parenting/mothering blog posts and things and I've come to the realization that there's lots of ways to do something right! I get down on myself a lot for not doing everything perfect, but you gotta realize what's best for you, your family and your baby. Everyone is different and so what works for one may not work for another. I think you guys are doing a great job and you're raising Nathan the way God intended him to be raised. Otherwise I think you would've gotten a different baby. :-) So rejoice in your accomplishments and the good things you're doing! Wahoo!

  2. ah he's so cute! I totally know what you mean about finding relief from blogging, especially after a long day. That's so interesting about the father study. Nice to know! and I love the pictures! So cute :)

  3. You're so sweet, Alaina! Your son is adorable.

    As a past CD major, I know exactly what you mean when you talk about getting that satisfied feeling when you find research to back up good habits. Now, as a master's degree student, it's getting easier to use critical thinking when analyzing research. Keep in mind, the world will always be changing in it's opinions and ideals (yes, even in its research). You should feel good about what you're doing mostly because it's in line with Gospel principles that are steadfast and unchanging. The fruits of family life comes from those principles, not from conclusions in research. And it seems to me that you're right on track. :-)

    You're too hard on yourself - you're amazing and doing a great job!!

  4. Goodness, what a busy family! There's something to be said for baby-daddy time, though...I did the same thing with ezra and it was totally worth it to see the two of them bond. Love the apple pics...so cute!


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