All posts by Amanda

Saying Goodbye

2011. What a year. It gave us our beautiful daughter Cambree. But it also made us say goodbye to too many good people, many before their time.

Anne Waligur

My Aunt Anne had a stroke in June of 2010. After that it was up and down, a true emotional roller coaster for everyone in the family, until her passing on July 12, 2011. At almost 82 years old I can’t say she “went before her time”, but when it is a close family member you always wish for more time. She was a loving soul, adopting her younger sister Linda’s son as her own after she passed. A Girl Scout leader, she was always singing camp songs and giving out good advice, much of which I still remember and try to teach my own girls. She sang in her church choir, was a docent at the Botanical Gardens and had many beloved friends. Her gift to me upon her death was the ruby ring her father gave to her for her 16th Birthday. She wore it every day of her life and I remember seeing it on her. She was my Aunt and I loved her very much. She will be missed this Holiday season.

Ryan Jones

Unfortunately, I did not know Ryan that well. He went to college with Derek and I met him a few times, usually at the yearly picnic – “Ocho”. He had health problems that ultimately landed him in a coma, which he was fighting, until his untimely passing this October. He was the fiddler for the Country group ‘Lo Cash Cowboys’. The one time spent with him at Ocho that I do remember was him playing acoustic guitar and everyone singing ‘Moxy Fruvous’ songs with him, laughing and having a great time. I honestly don’t even know if he knew my name, but he friended me on Facebook, probably because I am Derek’s wife. When someone so young, with his entire life ahead of him passes it really makes you stop and reevaluate your own time here on Earth. My thoughts and prayers are still with his family and friends, he was lost all too soon.

Ed McGrath

Ed’s passing is still very fresh, he has only been gone two weeks today. He was a member of our choir at church. Sang Bass with Derek and my Dad. We were not close friends, but he was so kind, thoughtful and fun to be around. It gets personal, even if you are not “close” with a person, when you sing together. There is something about being in a choir (as I am sure it is with any musical group) that pulls people closer together. You are using a part of yourself that is very personal. When you work so hard on making this music together with your voice, it binds you to those other people. It is a shared experience that is unmatched. Therefore, when one voice is missing, after working so hard on a piece, it is felt very deeply. At the Funeral four our friend Ed, I did not cry. I was very sad, but he was not supposed to be singing that day, with us. I cried a lot the day before, on Sunday, when he SHOULD have been there, signing the songs he had worked so hard to make beautiful with us. On that day, and this weekend as well, his voice was missing and it SHOULD have been there with us. I am constantly praying for his family, that God may give them peace during this time.

All in all, I am really hoping that 2012 will not have as many goodbye’s in it. But I guess these are my three for now. Rest In Eternal Peace, all of you. You are missed in many ways.

We Have Kittens!

So the short version is: this Mama cat who hangs around our house had babies underneath our wood pile at the end of September. I was feeding her and she got to trusting me, so when I left our garage door open one day she moved her kittens inside.

I contacted and am fostering them for Buffalo Paws and Claws for the next few weeks until they are old enough to go to PetCo to be adopted out. UNLESS someone out there is looking for a kitten to adopt!

There are 4 in all, 5 weeks old. Three male, one female. Two males are grey with stripes, one male is calico like Mama and so is the female. They are adorable and their pics should be up soon at Buffalo Paws and Claws website (Dawn was here last night and gave them all their de-wormer, flea meds and clipped their claws). Mama is also going to be adopted out, but she’ll be waiting a bit longer than her kittens. She is only maybe 2 years old and SUCH a sweetheart, even called her kittens over to me and sat on my lap so they’d know I was OK!

If you think you might be interested, either e-mail me, or contact Buffalo Paws and Claws directly and let them know you want one of “Amanda Punaro’s Cats”. If you need to be pursuaded by cuteness and soft fur, e-mail meand let me know when you want to come by to take a look at them for yourself! I would really rather them be adopted out from here than have to go through the stress of being put in cages and in PetCo, which can be scary. We will have them here, as I said, for the next two weeks if anyone is interested in coming by to take a look.

Thanks!

The Weaning

The decision to wean your child is a very personal one. It effects many different aspects of your life. But it does not break the bond between Mother and child, mine still cries for me despite the fact that her milk now comes from a bottle. I can kiss her little head while she is drinking her milk now, something that is not easy to do when nursing. It is much messier, however, and needing a cloth under her chin while drinking these bottles makes her as much crazy as me! But it needed to be done. For all our sakes.

As I approached and exceeded 8 months of getting 2 – 3 hours of sleep a night due to a nursing baby every 2 hours, I finally gave in to the feeling that it was time to wean our little one. This is such a bittersweet thing to do. I immensely enjoyed nursing both our girls and was extremely happy I was able to do so. I never had any issues while nursing our latest edition and I even contemplated going longer with her than I had with the first. It just wasn’t meant to be.

The first few days I only gave her bottles during the day, to see if she would make a big fuss or not. She was still up all night long for the comfort of Mama. The first night she had a bottle after her bath I got a little nervous, she was so wide awake I thought she would never fall asleep! But a few minutes of her fussing a bit in her crib, she was out. She woke up at 12:30 or 1:30am and I nursed her (which at this point was at least 8 oz with how engorged I was!) which of course put her right back to sleep. Except that 2 hours later, there she was again wailing and complaining. The next night I decided to give her a bottle instead. She slept right through her “normal” feeding! It was a nice, solid, five hour stretch. This was something that has not happened I don’t think ever!

I know, I never should have been nursing her to sleep in the first place. It didn’t start out that way I assure you. If you have ever tried to wake a newborn while nursing, you know all the tricks they give you don’t always work! I attempted to remedy this with the ‘Baby Whisperer’ E.A.S.Y. method which worked for a bit, but even through this she was still up – screaming – every two hours at night after her initial long stretch once putting her down. I gave her cereal before bed, changed diapers, walked her, didn’t walk her, kept her in the crib rubbing her back, let her cry a bit before going in to soothe her again. Nothing was working. I asked her doctor about it, at each of her appointments worried that maybe I wasn’t producing enough milk or maybe not good enough milk to sustain her for longer periods. She only told me that it was my child’s temperament and that I had to persevere through the crying and just not feed her. Her weight certainly attested to the fact that my milk was enough for her to live on and she was always the happiest baby no matter what during the day – no colic or digestion problems here.

So, for the past five days at least, I have been EXTREMELY uncomfortable (cabbage leaves in the bra, pumping once a day to relieve the pressure) but things have been going very well. I am amazed at how easily this child adapts to different situations and how she has very rarely fussed over being given a bottle instead of me. Perhaps she’ll need therapy later for the “trauma” of being denied the breast, but for now her successes since the weaning are a testament to the fact it was time.

She can now put herself back to sleep without us needing to get out of bed and pick her up. She is sleeping better through the night and has even been put back to sleep without a bottle several times. She is enjoying more intimate time with other members of her family, Daddy, Grandma and others will soon follow I am sure.

This is a sad thing for me mainly because this is most likely our last child to be nursed. I do miss the closeness and the special feeling that only I could do this for my child. However, you have to wean your child at some point and for us this was the moment. She was only two weeks earlier than her sister (and she was weaned after she bit me with her new teeth!) and I am proud that we were able to make it past the 6 months they say is most beneficial. The benefits have certainly outweighed any physical or emotional drawbacks I have been feeling so far!

Gerber vs. Home Made

After feeding Cambree (now 7 months) Gerber’s baby food for a few weeks, I started rethinking having started her on solids. She wasn’t liking anything I was giving her, whether it was fruit, vegetable or meat. I thought maybe she wasn’t ready, until I took out the baby cookbooks my Mom had gotten me for Ariella.

Once I started to make my own food, her appetite and interest in the food I was giving her completely turned around. Now I have made her everything from fruits, vegetables, and meats and she LOVES every bite! I have even pureed some of our own dinners for her to try.

Tonight she had ground beef, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. A few nights ago it was Cod with an orange sauce. Lunches have included chicken with apples and avocado slices to help her learn to chew.

While Gerber is a great stand by, nothing beats making your own meals for enticing your baby’s taste buds and giving her a great start to healthy, happy mealtimes. 🙂

Anything’s Possible

My luck won’t quit today.

Ari wanted carrots for a ‘healthy’ snack, so I went into the fridge and saw that they were all rotting in the bag. So I took them out and decided to steam the good parts for Cambree’s first veggies, so they wouldn’t go to waste.

Got them into the pan with water and Cambree needed nursing again so I nursed her and she fell asleep. She hasn’t been sleeping well at all lately, so any short nap is a good one in my book.

At the end of the session I thought I smelled something burning so I took her upstairs, asleep, put her into the swing and she stayed asleep. I ran downstairs to get the carrots, and they were all stuck to the bottom of the pan, burned on one side.

I got them all out and decided that we will just have them for dinner when I realize that Ari is nowhere to be seen. I didn’t know where she was, but got a bad feeling about her being upstairs with the baby when I hear a single high pitched scream coming from our room, where the swing is, where Cambree WAS asleep five minutes earlier.

Ari was playing with the Nemo toys and making lots of noise. Cambree was watching her confused as to why there was all this noise suddenly interrupting her nap.

Therefore, I am taking the rare moment in the middle of the afternoon to blog about the craziness my life has become all about. Someday I will look back on all this craziness and finally laugh about it, instead of letting it get me so stressed I want to scream, or lock myself in my room for the rest of the day and let the girls fight it out for themselves. But I’m a Mom; I’ll persevere and be fine. 🙂