Monday, August 31, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

I almost forgot to post this, which wouldn't be a bad thing really because our week is a crazy one. I do want to write a little something about grocery shopping, frugality, couponing, meal planning, etc... but I have to have more rest before I can fill in all the blanks to connect my thoughts.

Anywho, here's our week

Monday - pizza/moving with Kent, Megan and the boys
Tuesday - my ONE planned meal of the week and it's not a very exciting one - jerk-y tofu stir fry with brown rice, pineapples and peas.
Wednesday - Sophia's birthday dinner at Seth and Bianca's
Thursday - Hot Point with Kent and Megan
Friday - dinner at home? thank goodness. I have no idea what we'll cook but I can make something up.. it'll probably be something easy - pasta with veggie sauce? that sounds good. Let's say that.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My first sewing lesson

a self learned lesson really and something that is probably obvious to 99% of the people on the planet. I am not one of those people though.

My lesson is this - In sewing it's a good idea to pin, measure, iron, and generally plan ahead. I just wanted to cut things out and sew them together and in my head that seemed perfectly fine but WOW - it did not come out like it did in my head.

My mom had to come over last night and give me a lesson. After she left I actually sewed a 1/4inch hem around a piece of flannel and got it STRAIGHT! it wasn't hard but it was a little disappointing. Over half my time was spent doing stuff besides sewing - that stinks! I just wanted to sit down at my sewing machine and have amazing stuff come out. Oh well. I almost have an embellished receiving blanket and burp cloth to show you.

I have been busy with other things lately too - my almost crawling son that has become a serious kid in the past couple weeks and is full of energy and pizazz and thinks he's too good to take a nap. And I've fallen in love with this.

my new woven wrap and I'm always in love with this

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cloth Diapers 101 Pt. 1

I spent a lot of time during my pregnancy reading. I read online a lot (while at work) and in books while at home trying to keep my feet up and relax. One of the things I researched a lot was cloth diapers. I spent hours picking them out, building my theoretical newborn stash and then actually searching for good prices and finally ordering them.

Since my boy has been born I've had a number of people ask me for cloth diaper advice for themselves or their sisters, neighbors, brothers, husbands, or their sister's neighbor's brother's husband's sister. oh wait - brother's husband? I guess their brother could have a husband....

Anyhow. I have written a number of emails trying to give an overview of cloth diapers and share some of my favorite links and give personal advice so I thought I would post some info about all that here on my blog and then I can direct people to this spot when they want some info. And for those of you that read my blog and have no interest in what I'm saying? Bear with me for a few of these posts and I'll get off the subject I promise.

So.
Cloth Diapers. Not so old fashioned anymore. There are so many different kinds. So this being part 1 I'll just show you the different kinds

There are basically two parts to all cloth diaper solutions - absorption (multiple layers usually) and waterproof-ness (to keep our clothes, sheets, entire lives dry). Some diapers are just the absorbent part so you would put a thin waterproof cover (bought separately) over it and other diapers have both the absorbent part and the waterproof part together.

So now the different types...

The only kind I don't have a picture of to show you is a flat diaper - these are often gerber, birdseye flats. These are the most old fashioned kind of diaper and I don't know anyone who uses them but some people still do. They are literally just a huge piece of cotton that you can fold in lots of different ways (like origami!) to make it fit your little one and have the most layers in the right spots for maximum absorbtion. You would have to put a waterproof cover over the top still.

and onto the rest

Prefolds - a personal favorite and the next most old fashioned type of diaper. They are basically a flat that is already folded up and ready to go. They are rectangular and are just folded up cotton that is sewn into place. Most are 4x8x4 layers, the most being in the middle. Some are less - 4x6x4 and so on... the more layers the more absorbent and the more bulky too. We use 4x8x4 and love them. Besides layers, and size (infant, regular, premium, etc.) you usually have the choice between bleached (white) and unbleached (natural colored) which are softer, and sometimes you can get organic prefolds which are the softest. Gaining in some popularity now are prefolds made of other absorbent fabrics like organic bamboo velour or cotton with organic fleece on the outer layer. You can pin prefolds closed, or snappi (similar to an ace bandage type closure) them which is what we do, or you can avoid either and just lay them down in the cover. If you lay them down they're not snug around the bum so they're more prone to leakage. Since they're just cotton, they need a waterproof cover on the outside.

Some of the most popular prefolds are Green Mountain Diaper prefolds and Little Lion prefolds.

Fitteds - like the name says they are fitted to fit around the bottom. They look like a disposable diaper but they're made of fabric. They have elastic around the waist and legs to prevent leaking and have the center packed with lots of layers of absorbent fabric. Some of them velcro closed

and some snap close


and some don't have either and instead you can snappi or pin them like you would with a prefold diaper. Some don't have the elastic and instead are more of a shaped prefold called a countour fitted diaper.

Some fitteds (contoured or not) come with an additional piece of absorbent fabric that is designed to add extra absorbency to the middle (and lessen drying time)- these are soakers. Some soakers will snap in

or are sewn in like these on this countour diaper

Some of the most popular fitted diapers are Kissaluvs, Thirsties, Goodmama, and Swaddlebees.

Fitteds need a waterproof cover. Some moms will leave their children in a fitted diaper without a cover while around the house (with no pants on top). I do this occasionally myself, I do it so that there is extra airflow to prevent a rash but I have to be careful to change them because it'll get the floor (or myself) wet if I go too long without a cover.

Covers - Most are made of PUL (polyurethane laminate) but they are also available in wool and fleece. I have not used fleece but I do have a few wool covers I use in conjunction with my PUL covers. Wool requires a little bit more care to waterproof (lanolizing) but doesn't need washing unless there is a direct stain on it, it's also very dependable and very breathable so it makes a great cover during the summer or winter. Back to PUL though - some covers are made of one layer of PUL and some are two layers or more. The more layers make them stiffer to use but also more durable. There are snaps and velcro options and lots of adorable prints available. One feature that's important to many users are double gussets around the legs. It makes for a more bulletproof leg hole so no poop will get out, but to be honest I haven't had a problem with PUL covers leaking with or without the double gusset.


you can see the double gussets in this picture

and the lack of gussets in this one


Some of the most popular brands of covers are Thirsties, Bummis, Proraps, and Mother-Ease.

Pocket diapers have the waterproof outer and an sewn in piece of microfleece or some other material like that. It's sewn onto the cover on all edges except for a little section on the back that's open. These diapers come with an insert or maybe even two of absorbent material that you stuff into the section in the back for absobency as you need it - hence the whole "pocket" thing. The microfleece inner is nice because it stays soft and wicks the moisture away from the actual bum. Also if you stuff the pocket diapers after they've been washed diaper changes are a breeze, no folding, no nothing, just like a disposable you lay it under the bum and either velcro or snap closed. One of the other great things about pocket diapers is that you can customize the level of absorbency you need. We use pocket diapers at night and put lots of thin, but very absorbent inserts in them (hemp is great for this). Many people will fold up a prefold diaper and stick it in the pocket for added absorbency as well. A lot of day cares will only do this type of diaper too since it's very convenient. You do have to pull the stuffing out of the diaper before you wash it - which can be icky.

Here is a Fuzzi Bunz pocket diaper. Fuzzi bunz have a snap closure.

and here is a Bum Genius pocket diaper, which velcros. You'll also notice the pocket opening looks a little different for each


Last but certainly not least All In One (AIO) diapers are just like they sound - the absorbent soaker and the waterproofing are all sewn into one piece. This is basically a cloth disposable diaper (which you wouldn't want to dispose of of course) and are certainly the easiest diaper to use. They come in snaps and velcro like everything else and there are some one-sized AIO and sized AIO diapers. This may seem like the best option but it's not for everyone - these diapers take a lot longer time in the dryer, their level of absorbency cannot be adjusted (unless it also features a pocket for you to add absorbency, which many do) and they tend to be the priciest diapers by far. It's a hard decision between money and convenience with these, but it can be helpful to have a few of these on hand for the diaper bag or babysitters who are unfamiliar with cloth diapers to use.
Here's the inside and outside of a AIO sized diaper by bum genius




and here are a just a couple other things about some different features of cloth diapers

Sized vs. One-Size diapers
A lot of diapers these days offer a 'one-size' version. It really just means the rise is adjustable by a series of snaps to make it shorter or taller. This is the front of a bum genius one size pocket diaper set to the medium setting.

While it might sound nice to buy 20 one sized diapers and be done forever it usually doesn't happen that way. There are many reasons that might not work some of which are - they get a lot more wear if used for years, which they don't always hold up well under. Also, they don't usually fit newborns, most one size diapers start fitting around 10-12lbs. Also, committing to a specific kind of diaper doesn't work for most people since you don't know how the fit will be on your child or how your experience will be. Personally, we have 3-5 one sized pocket diapers that we use occasionally and 1 one-sized diaper cover that we use a fair amount. Since these are the only items we've used consistently in the six months since our boy was born they definitely show the most wear of anything we're using right now.

and just a little word about Snaps vs. Velcro - totally a matter of preference, but here are some things to consider - velcro will catch on other parts of the diaper in the wash, even though most with velcro have "laundry tabs" to attach the velcro too while washing, none work perfectly and you can get little snags on other parts of the diaper. Velcro is definitely easier to get the perfect fit because snaps are set in place so you might not have the right fit for your child at the time. Kids can also learn to undo velcro. Velcro will also roll up, get pilly, and generally show signs of wear faster than snaps will.


OK, that's part 1. A little long but I think I got everything in there - let me know if you have questions and I'll put up part 2 very soon

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Car Seat

There is a wide world of carseat information out there. With the help of the moms of car-safety.org and my local CPST Brooke I finally decided on the First Years True Fit. It has a much higher shell than the Britax Marathon we were deciding between but the install is known to be more difficult and the Marathon is usually outgrown by height before the weight limit (both have a 35lb rear facing limit) is reached. Since our boy seems to be a tall one, the height factor won out. We plan to keep the boy rear-facing as long as possible so our choice in seats was influenced by that. Do you know about the benefits of extended rear-facing? Here's an overview of information if you're interested. Car-safety.org has a great page about it too



Is it just us or is he actually cuter in the new car seat?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Breastfeeding a 6 month old



Yet again, a lot has changed. Well, a lot and nothing really. Just lots of new quirks have developed. Let me see if I can remember them all... Well the most memorable is the dexterity he has with his hands and how much he wants to use them
while nursing. I say most memorable since I have two deep scratches on my breasts from last night and that's a pretty common occurance these days. If we're nursing laying down he has to be holding onto, scratching, whacking, tapping, twiddling, patting, pushing on my other breast and nipple. Soooo annoying. If we're in the nursing chair it's not much better since he does all the same stuff it's just on my face. It's just a matter of what that top arm has acess too.
He's still Mr. distractable nurser and even if he's not distracted sometimes he'll just refuse the boob altogether and instead want to use my breasts as a pillow or just a snuggle. This can be endlessly frustrating for me since I usually have leaky breasts while he's doing this and if I try to nurse he just purses his lips and wiggles his head around. He's also not doing much nursing to sleep anymore, he'll nurse for a while and then pull off and doze out while just looking at me. It's very sweet and encouraging that he'll develop his self soothing tools even more.

I've also had my mom and my husband notice this month that nursing is a full body activity for Q. He wriggles, he shimmies, his hands are going all over the place and his feet are kicking anything they can get a grip on to kick or push against. My body is feeling sort of abused by this little guy. I miss my sweet newborn cuddles and endless nursing sessions.

I'm also (un)happy to announce that Q celebrated his 6 month birthday waking his mom up by biting her nipple. Yow that hurt! It wasn't as horrifying as I expected it to be, but it was definitely not something I'd like to repeat.ever. you hear me you sleeping boy? don't bite mommy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

It's been crazy around our house lately and I'm ready for things to calm down. I'm ready for a nice, boring, meal planned week. So here it goes...

Tuesday - Pintos, cornbread, collard greens.
Wednesday - Farmers market BBQ, leftover cornbread, ?? veggies
Thursday - Baked Tofu with roasted zucchini
Friday - Mexican Lasagna

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A start

When I got home from my trip there were lots of packages waiting at the door for me. That's the fun of birthdays (and amazon). Among the packages was my new sewing machine! and all the various supplies I had gotten as well. Life has been crazy this weekend and I haven't gotten a chance to play with everything yet but I did at least unpack it all and set it up in preparation for what I hope will be lots of crafty fun.

Here is my new setup:




my mom told me to get pins with big heads for grabbing and I just think these are so pretty. Of course, I mostly think they're pretty because they're all in their pack so neat and colorful


Now I actually have to figure out how to sew....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Question of Quality

In the land of baby gear there is so much to be had, to be longed after, and most importantly to buy. We try to feel it out as we go- the whole 'is this worth it?' thing when it comes to nice baby stuff. We're both of the mentality that we'd rather buy something quality, spend more money on it and have it last rather than buy cheap and end up replacing it. However, we also don't need every baby item out there, not even close, not even the ones you're told you absolutely must have.

It's the worst when you do spend money buying a good quality item and then it ends up NOT being quality and you have to replace it with another quality and pricey item. It's also the worst when you buy something that's pricey and it ends up being great and you want more. That's what happened to me this week.

The world of cloth diapering and the degree to which some moms are into cloth diapers reminds me of being in middle school and trading magic cards, beanie babies, pogs, all those fads. It's intense. I am somewhere in the middle of being totally up to date on cloth diapering stuff and being someone who just buys some plain old diapers and moves on, not exploring other kinds, etc. I like to try lots of different things but I have a budget to work within and can't afford to go crazy. There are some expensive diapers out there. One mom told me the other day that she saw a wool soaker on ebay go for $300. Crazy!! I mean your kid is going to
poop in it. poop!

There are a couple brands of diapers outside my price range that are popular and I managed to snag one last week for a really really low price, needless to say I was little bit embarrassed to have such a fancy thing my child was going to poop in and excited to see what all the fuss was about. Well, I'm very upset because you know what? I LOVE it. I don't even care about its cuteness. It's so soft and it
stays so soft after washing and drying repeatedly, it's insanely absorbent and the trimmest diaper I've used. I cannot afford to buy another one of these diapers, I seriously can't. For the moms that DO use this brand of cloth diapers exclusively (owning 20+ of them) I'm sure they are paying more for cloth than disposables and while some people are okay with that, saving some money is a part of the reason we chose to go with cloth.

Without further ado - I'll show you the
Goodmama diaper...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!

I turn 26 today. Best. Year. Ever. I'm celebrating the day in Washington, DC with two of my best friends. I love how you can sit down with old friends you haven't seen in a long time and catch up and reminisce and fall right back into old patterns and hear all about their adventures and tell about your own. They are so in love with Q, as am I. Great birthday.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New Project

Last night I wondered aimlessly around Jo-Ann's looking at fabric and trying to find something to make that would be easy. I decided to go with the swaddle sheet and matching burp cloth. Here's the fabrics I chose.


They can be gifts if necessary or just good beginning projects, depending on how badly they come out of course. I'll let you know how it goes.

My sewing machine should be here tomorrow. Me on the other hand? I'll be in our nations capitol this week. I'm hoping on a train this morning with baby Q in a sling. I'm nervous, but so excited to see my girlfriends on the other end and for them to finally meet baby Q!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Solids.... the beginning

We're planning on starting solids soon and so I've been doing lots of reading on the subject lately. We're planning on going with a combination of baby led weaning (child-led solids) and purees. Since Q is exclusively breastfed I'm not overly concerned with him getting lots of nutrition from his food just yet. Not like I'm gonna give him junk food or anything, but I just don't plan on giving him a lot of food yet. We're planning on delaying grains, dairy and meat for now. At some point I think we'll open the flood gates and let him eat whatever we're eating but for now, it'll be fruits and veggies one at a time.

One of the things I like about blw (baby led weaning) the most is allowing Q to hold the food and feed himself. He'll be able to gauge how much he wants, and as most people remind me - for the first couple months he won't consume a lot and it'll be mostly for play and to explore flavors and textures.

Honestly, I've been on the fence about starting solids. I LOVE LOVE LOVE our breastfeeding relationship and don't want to do anything to jeopardize it or change it. I see that Q has an interest in what we're eating and a strong interest putting it in his mouth but I'm just not sure his little gut is ready yet. At least that's what my grown up gut is telling me. I do find myself wanting to give him food at dinnertime - something to hold and play with and gum. So you know what? I did. I followed the advice of other blw moms and opened a banana up, exposing some of the 'meat' while still leaving the peel on for him to hold onto.

Here's how it went:


He mostly nursed the end of the banana until he got some off and then smacked it around in his mouth for a little bit. He made some hilarious faces, gagged a couple times, spit it out on his shirt, and gagged quite a bit more. I practiced a trick for gagging babies that my mom learned in Mexico.

I'm fairly certain no actual banana was ingested. It was fun though and we'll definitely be trying again - maybe mashed up on a spoon or maybe like this again....

Friday, August 14, 2009

Attachment Parenting Pt. 1

I have tried many times to write down what I feel and think about attachment parenting but I get so overwhelmed and end up writing nothing and instead making my husband listen to me babble on about one thing or another instead of actually writing it down. I thought I'd start trying to record my thoughts here and maybe I'll end up helping someone or maybe I'll end up helping myself.

I don't think I ever really heard the term 'attachment parenting' before I got pregnant and starting reading about parenting and pregnancy. I have three awesome sister in laws who all had their first children last year. Talk about a wealth of information! It helps that they are also three amazing moms that I look up to a lot.

During a family visit when my brothers partners were both pregnant they turned me onto Mothering Magazine. Through the magazine I found a wealth of information and then through their website I read and watched other mothers talk about parenting and pregnancy. It was here that I first really learned about the term attachment parenting.

Armed with an arsenal of book recommendations I started reading about attachment parenting and you know what I thought when I read all that stuff? 'Um, duh!' This was how I was raised, it's how B was raised, it felt like obvious stuff to me. I honestly felt like 'why do they even treat it like a whole school of thought, isn't it just the normal obvious stuff that all moms do?' - I still feel this way most of the time.

I wish I had a great definition of attachment parenting to share but I'll do my best. To me, attachment parenting means being close with your baby. Physically and emotionally. Being in tune with your baby instead of distant and separate. That's all sort of abstract sounding isn't it? I guess to me it's sort of mentality opposed to a specific set of actions. It's wanting to understand your child and help meet their needs instead of seeing them as distant, manipulative and something to be tamed or trained. Still not coming out the way I want it to...well I don't know how else to describe it because it feels so "duh!!" to me. In terms of real definitions I think the Dr. Sears description of attachment parenting is my favorite. Dr. Sears is sort of the father of attachment parenting. His description is very lenient and I'll copy and paste my favorite part from this page below

7 ATTACHMENT TOOLS: THE BABY B'S

1. Birth bonding

The way baby and parents get started with one another helps the early attachment unfold. The days and weeks after birth are a sensitive period in which mothers and babies are uniquely primed to want to be close to one another. A close attachment after birth and beyond allows the natural, biological attachment-promoting behaviors of the infant and the intuitive, biological, caregiving qualities of the mother to come together. Both members of this biological pair get off to the right start at a time when the infant is most needy and the mother is most ready to nurture

"What if something happens to prevent our immediate bonding?"

Sometimes medical complications keep you and your baby apart for a while, but then catch-up bonding is what happens, starting as soon as possible. When the concept of bonding was first delivered onto the parenting scene twenty years ago, some people got it out of balance. The concept of human bonding being an absolute "critical period" or a "now-or-never" relationship was never intended. Birth bonding is not like instant glue that cements the mother-child relationship together forever. Bonding is a series of steps in your lifelong growing together with your child. Immediate bonding simply gives the parent- infant relationship a headstart.

2. Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is an exercise in babyreading. Breastfeeding helps you read your baby's cues, her body language, which is the first step in getting to know your baby. Breastfeeding gives baby and mother a smart start in life. Breastmilk contains unique brain-building nutrients that cannot be manufactured or bought. Breastfeeding promotes the right chemistry between mother and baby by stimulating your body to produce prolactin and oxytocin, hormones that give your mothering a boost.
3. Babywearing
A baby learns a lot in the arms of a busy caregiver. Carried babies fuss less and spend more time in the state of quiet alertness, the behavior state in which babies learn most about their environment. Babywearing improves the sensitivity of the parents. Because your baby is so close to you, you get to know baby better. Closeness promotes familiarity.

4. Bedding close to baby
Wherever all family members get the best night's sleep is the right arrangement for your individual family. Co-sleeping adds a nighttime touch that helps busy daytime parents reconnect with their infant at night. Since nighttime is scary time for little people, sleeping within close touching and nursing distance minimizes nighttime separation anxiety and helps baby learn that sleep is a pleasant state to enter and a fearless state to remain in.

5. Belief in the language value of your baby's cry
A baby's cry is a signal designed for the survival of the baby and the development of the parents. Responding sensitively to your baby's cries builds trust. Babies trust that their caregivers will be responsive to their needs. Parents gradually learn to trust in their ability to appropriately meet their baby's needs. This raises the parent-child communication level up a notch. Tiny babies cry to communicate, not to manipulate.

6. Beware of baby trainers
Attachment parenting teaches you how to be discerning of advice, especially those rigid and extreme parenting styles that teach you to watch a clock or a schedule instead of your baby; you know, the cry-it-out crowd. This "convenience" parenting is a short-term gain, but a long-term loss, and is not a wise investment. These more restrained styles of parenting create a distance between you and your baby and keep you from becoming an expert in your child.

7. Balance
In your zeal to give so much to your baby, it's easy to neglect the needs of yourself and your marriage. As you will learn the key to putting balance in your parenting is being appropriately responsive to your baby – knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no," and having the wisdom to say "yes" to yourself when you need help.

-------------------------------

One thing I like about this definition is that it's not absolute at all, there are mothers who don't breastfeed, co-sleep, had epidurals (me), babywear, etc.... and I would say they are still completely AP (attachment parenting). To me it's a mentality and not a set of things you do.

So I've told you how I'm all "duh" right? Well I also have a couple problems with AP. The main problem being that they classify themselves at all. What I mean is that when they do this classification of themselves as AP then they are making a very us/them distinction. As if other parenting styles are bad in some way, or as if everyone not identifying as AP is somehow not wanting to be in touch with their baby. I hate the idea that by distinguishing with a term you create a line that some mothers feel like they can't cross. I have read way too many things about people feeling guilt or shame because they don't babywear, breastfeed, co-sleep, whatever and so they're not in with that crowd even though they share similar morals and would like to be friends. As a mother it's hard enough to feel like you're doing the right thing and if you classify yourself as one particular method of parenting you are shutting yourself off from lots of other moms. Being a mom is hard enough without alienating yourself from the one group of people who you can identify with the most - other moms.

I'm not doing a very good job of explaining this I'm sure, it's been way too long since I took a sociology class and had to write down how I felt about classifications and social groups. But I'm trying and it feels good to examine this so bear with me as I write more about AP in the future.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sewing

I have a birthday coming up next week and my family was lovely enough to get me a sewing machine this year! I'm SO excited to re-learn to sew. I see so many projects that I would love to do and I see many possibilities for future crafting.

Now that the sewing machine is on it's way (from amazon) I need to figure out what kind of projects I want to do when it gets here. If you've been around me recently you've probably heard me talk about the felt playmat I want to make for Mateo. I'm still planning it out in my head, but that will definitely be one of my first projects.

I also wanted to share a few others that I'm thinking of doing and invite suggestions for other projects. Do you want me to make you something? I have a pile of things to be hemmed already and my niece has a birthday coming up that I'm sure I could make something for.





Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Deal

So you know how I'm a little crazy? Well look what I did last night

I bought two tons of pasta!

OK, just 8 boxes. But seriously. that's a little crazy

But you see, it was a crazy good deal. I have found the closeout corner at my local Food Lion and I always find cool things but last night I total scored. I got some other stuff besides the pasta but this was an awesome deal.

Look! It's all organic and made in italy in stuff!

and it was .55 cents! Seriously, we have pasta for the next 6 months!





P.S. Did you spot the bottle of wine behind the pasta? Mmmmm. wine

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Be Here Now

I struggle with this. A lot.

I want to enjoy each and every moment with Q, he's the sweetest boy ever and I'm so incredibly in love with him. But I want to prepare for the next stages - solids, tantrums, talking, walking, school, etc. I want to think, plan, read about all the things we'll be going through in the coming months and years.

How do I do both? I don't want to spend my time thinking about what he'll be doing next, I want to spend every. single. moment. staring into his beautiful face, smooching him, and not thinking about anything else.

How could I not?


Breastfeeding bliss

I found this picture on B's iphone and it made me smile




Monday, August 10, 2009

Meal Plan Monday

Yesterday I sat down in front of the computer and went to my grocery store's website and downloaded the weekly flier. Using the flier and the coupons I had clipped out today I came up with our weekly meal plan. From the meal plan I made a grocery list and then added some staples to it that we consume throughout the day. Then we went to the grocery store and shopped methodically and with as little impulse buying as possible. We saved $35 and spent $70 (before batteries, which, even with coupons cost a lot!) and we have groceries for this week and we were able to stock up on quite a few things too. Like juice. We have big bottles of our favorite juices in our cabinet since we got a really good deal. And dishwashing detergent, we figured out that we have enough for something like 90 loads of the dishwasher for $3.50.

Anyhow, here's our meal plan for this week. We have some dinner stuff through the next week too but I'll post only the meal plan for this work week.

Monday - spicy tofu stir fry with brown rice
Tuesday - grilled chicken with roasted zucchini, summer squash, and rice pilaf
Wednesday - mexican stuffed bell peppers, or burritos, or both. something mexican.
Thursday - creamy linguini with summer veggies - peas.
Friday - birthday dinner with family. I'm turning 26 baby!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Teething



We're teething over here. I say we because it's a whole family experience. It's impacting every aspect of our lives and it sucks. It's not terrible terrible but it's not fun either. The worst part about it is that I find myself questioning if each new or changed behavior is teething. Teething is such a joke. I feel so bad for my little guy. Luckily he's still pretty happy, well, mostly happy. He's ready for his teeth to pop through so he can bite me.

OK, so what are the signs of teething?

drool.
But that can mean they are getting teeth right now, or sometime in the next 6 months right? Not really definitive.
putting everything in their mouth (hands, toys, etc). Don't babies do this anyhow? This seems like it could be developmental as well as a sign of teething, not really definitive either.
being fussy
. Um, babies get fussy sometimes. It could be for a variety of reasons (teething included).
Still not definitive.
diaper rash
. Can happen for any number of reasons.


The only definitive ways to know if it's really teething that I can tell are these - red, puffy gums with a white spot of pressure or teeth. We have the red gums with the white spots of pressure so where are the freaking teeth? It's getting old. I'm ready for them to get here already. We have days of fussy baby and then days of happy baby, we have days filled with drool, days with less drool, no diaper rash, and everything is in Q's mouth. We have red angry gums and still no teeth. Do you get the point? NO TEETH!

Our two newest teething remedies are an amber teething necklace and a mesh feeder with ice cubes of frozen breastmilk. They both seem to be helping actually. Other things we've tried include - cold wet washcloths to chew on, Boiron Camilia and Hyland's Teething Tablets, those cool ring toys you put in the fridge, our knuckles :)

What else can we try?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Water Color Wall Art


I've been in a constant state of redecoration around our house and I was looking for something new for Q's room. I ran across a pretty watercolor someone did and it inspired me to make this personalized art for his room.

Supplies:

watercolors (no need for anything too fancy)
watercolor paper (watercolors really look better on actual watercolor paper I've discovered)

simple picture frames

x-acto knife

glue stick
pencil
stencil
letters or computer print out of letters



I quickly (during naptime) did some simple abstract watercolors. I tried to fill up the entire sheet of paper and use as many different colors as possible.
I had a blast mixing colors and using different ratios of paint to water to get lighter shades and more bleeding together (which looked very cool) After the paintings had dried (the next naptime) I used some letters I had printed out off the computer to trace the outline on the back of the watercolor. I cut out each letter, used the glue stick to glue it onto a piece of white paper and stuck those babies in some frames.

Voila! Cheap, cute, waldorfy, personalized wall art!


I was very happy with how they turned out and I just love any excuse to play with watercolors.

Aren't they beautiful?

Decision Making is Hard

Moms make a lot of decisions. I would say parents make a lot of decision, but, well - In the many discussions B and I had before Q was born we talked about my role as a stay at home mom. One thing we talked about was while B is obviously a parent and involved in all major decision making, there would be a lot of decision making that I would make while he wasn't around. Small things of course but big things too - nap schedules, buying baby stuff, etc. We agreed that as a stay at home mom it would fall to me to keep up to date on important baby related information - health info and all sorts of other stuff. This means I read all the books and then pass on the info, links, or the post-it marked books to B. If you know me you know how much it kills me to have to do all this reading about baby stuff (sarcasmsarcasm). I've been thinking that I'd like to post some book reviews here on my blog because I've read some interesting books that I'd love to recommend (and warn against!). I've been thinking about information tonight; where parents get it, what they do with it, and what information to trust and follow. I find myself being a little bit of a hypocrite on certain things and I wanted to explore that and find my way. I find parenting to be a very windy path and a good chance for some self exploration and I hope to flesh some my own self exploration out here on my blog. Feel free to critique or comment as you wish.
The thing about me being a hypocrite - I noticed this today, well, this particular thing - I was talking to B, making some point about developmental milestones, and I heard myself say "the
AAP, the WHO, and LLL all agree that..." but I also know that I don't follow a lot of guidelines given by these organizations because I think of them as outdated, incorrect, or otherwise not worthy of following. Let me qualify that by saying that there are a number of things these organizations recommend that pediatricians themselves do not agree with AND these organizations rarely agree with each other on specific issues.
I feel like a hypocrite because I use those organizations to support some of my choices and I rail against these organizations for their stance on other choices I make happily. I can't have it both ways, but I choose to anyhow.

The one thing that's indisputable in decision making is what
works for you (given that you're not actual harming yourself or your child obviously). But then again some people would think you are harming your child for something as simple as... I don't know, but something simple.

I've been spending time with a variety of moms lately and I love being around people who make such different decisions than I do, I like to find out why they do what they do. Not in a critical way, but because it makes me examine myself and it usually makes me go to google and do some more research on something. It would be easy for one (like me) to alienate themselves by being very high and mighty about their decisions and preaching about how wrong people are for doing something. But who am I to talk? I know I'm not doing everything "right". Heck, I'm not even doing everything the way I want to be doing it, but everyday I try to do it better than the day before. I'm trying to move towards my idea of "right" which is obviously different from everyone elses (as it should be).


I have very strong opinions about how my children should be born and raised, but I recognize that not everyone feels the way I do (how boring would that be?) and I honestly appreciate it (for the most part). I'm really trying to make well informed decisions. I don't want to be someone who tells someone else what to do or why what they are doing is wrong just because it's not the decisions I made. But I'll be the first to hand you a book to educate yourself, which is not to say that if you are educated you would make the same decision I would. I like that even more. I love it when I find someone who read the same book I did and came out with a completely different take on things - its fascinating and it usually makes me go re-read the book and get lots more information than I had before.


Education is probably the thing I feel most strongly about. I try to respect any decision that is well educated. I think as a parent it is an incredible disservice to our children to follow pediatrician and government recommendations blindly. When I do follow someones suggest I want to follow with my eyes wide open, reading and trying to understand as much as I can.


Speaking of which, what is UP with pediatricians wackadoodle recommendations lately? I feel like I have read a million and one stories recently about pediatricians saying the most bizarre things and giving all sorts of parenting advice opposed to medical advice. That would make me bonkers!

I think the two things I feel most strongly about as a parent are these: educate yourself and trust (and follow) your intuition. I'm working on both of those.

Thank you for reading these late night ramblings.

Oh, and please recommend your favorite books to me!