Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Honest Scrap




I won an award...well sorta. It was given to me by LAGUNATIC a fellow Canuck who is also trapped on the bible belt. How did this happen? Anyways, it's a total honour coming from her because she is about the funniest read on the net. (Sorry Dooce she has ya beat). and she likes moi! Er, well my blog.

Honest Scrap is blogger pat on the back by a peer or quite possibly it is the "friendship cake" of the blogosphere. It ends with: send it to deserving others before your face and back break out in acne right on time for your beach vacation... noooo I'm kidding, I added that end part just to cover myself in the event of an acne outbreak on my beach vacation.

All the same I am HONOURED. I think it's a really neat way to say; Hey I like your writing and I like lurking your page and now since I am kinda nosey and kinda interested, please tell me 10 things I don't already know about you?

Here Goes:

1. These are my new favorite cashmere socks by Betsey Johnson. An exmas gift from my BFF Smelly Kelly. This NC winter required over the knee socks. Clearly I did not move far enough south.


2. Right now I am PROCRASTINATING. I should be writing for school. I am taking a course through UCLA called Memoir From The Inside Out. I'm learning to write properly about my family. Sorry in advance to my family. I've learned that writers are the custodians of memory. I will carefully and thoughtfully be taking out the trash.

3. I loathe/don't understand why people in NC do not take their shoes off when they enter the house. Not only do I find it rude, I think it's SO DISGUSTINGLY UNSANITARY.

4. I love fart jokes and have already begun teaching Fin to laugh when she let's a real ripper go. You gotta own it sister!

5. My sister has a son afflicted with Crie Du Chat, a genetic disorder. He was/is a handful. On occasion I babysit for her. She deservedly needs time off and I need her to be home when she says she will be. The later she is at arriving home the more girly I dress the boy up. Nail polish, make-up, bra, jewelry, yup, you get it. He loves it. She has to undo it!

6. I speak French. Oui, Oui.

7. I met my hubs at a wedding. I was a bride's maid, he was the best man. The couple who married are now divorced. I wonder if it is because Steve gave them a knife as a wedding present with out the superstitious penny? A common belief is that if a knife is given as a gift, the relationship will be severed...

8. I like to tell people I'm younger than my sister just to tick her off.

9. I have appeared on two billboards. Both images were written about controversially in the news paper.

10. I will be replacing Leno.

And now to pay it forward. I present the HONEST SCRAP (in no particular order) to:

  • A fellow NC transplant who has yet to go to an NC beach? WTF? I won't hold it against her - she totally cracks me up!
  • The lady who manages to do more in a day than anyone I know and who incidentally is working on a super cool project. If only I could bottle her energy and tap into her creativity I'd have an empire greater than Martha Stewart.
  • A girl who really gets what it means to do what you love and love what you do. Her creativity, skill and wit have taken her miles. Incidentally she has worked like a magician to render my acne invisible.
  • To my first momma blogging bud. We spawned our daughters and our blogs about the same time. She's an F-bomb swilling Texan who wears her heart on her sleeve. She gets the award for pretty much saying it like it is. She has balls. I admire that.
  • I'm giving a Scrap to this momma cuz she knows everything music, is part of the YummyMummyClub, is a great writer and continues to crack me up on Facebook with her status updates.
  • This is my new fave read. She's a very talented writer who is about to join the ranks of motherhood! Eeeeek! Welcome! She also loves Andy Samberg, lives all romantic like in Turkey and well ..... go find out about her for yourself she's adorable.


And this is where I end ...



Monday, January 25, 2010

Finley Mae - The 9th Month


Finley turned 9 months old on the 10th of January.

We just saw the pediatrician. Finely is now 28 1/2 inches long and weighs 17 pounds. She has her two top teeth and her two bottom teeth in. She says; Mama, Dada, Ugngh for dog, diths and Dat!

Teething the left top tooth.

Diths!

When I started to take her photo on the 10th of each month I didn't account for how BUSY she would be.... these photos are always taken on our bed...the bed she may take a header off now that she is so mobile. Also, she is very difficult to take a clear photo of even at a super fast shutter speed because she never stops moving!

Loving this age.
She's such a character!



Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hat Thief



Dear Mother Ship - The Turd!



Erin & Kelly Asked:
Okay I HAVE to know more about the baby potty training. How did you get that to work? Share your secrets.

Early Potty training ... works! Basically EC works because you tune into the child's wants and needs. There is a basic dialogue between baby and momma. The baby tells us when it is hungry or tired or wet. So since we are already communicating these basic needs why not learn about toileting? I bet a lot of you know mom's who can tell when their child is pooping. If they are mobile children they stop their activity, pause, squat and make a funny face then they resume their activity. What if you tune into this body language and catch them before this?

We started with Finley at 4 months of age. I began to notice what times of day the breast fed baby would have to drop a deuce. I tracked it for about a week and then I bought a Baby Bjorne LITTLE potty. It fits her little body well. It's a small potty. I take it with me when I travel too.

I began putting her on the potty at every diaper change. While she sat there I made a ssssssss sound while using the ASL (American Sign Language) sign for toilet. This prompts a pee.

As an Aside: I happen to have an arsenal of signs as my nephew only speaks in sign. It's how we converse! I plan to teach Fin so she can chat with her cousin Aaron.

Back to potty training ... I then sign toilet and say poooooooo and grunt. (No joke. I DO THIS EVERY DAY.) Low and behold the kid poops on the potty! In the beginning it was like a magic trick. I screamed in awe. I made Steve come up to look at the poop in the potty. We clapped for Finley. She did it again and again. Soon I went from washing 6 poopy diapers out of 12-15 to one and then none. Now Finley has regulated and poops once in the morning as soon as she wakes up on her potty. If she does not go then, I try her on the potty at every diaper change until she's ready to go and I "catch it." Am I trained or is Finley aware of her need to move her bowls? She is aware. She signs potty. She has since she was 6 months old and at the right time. I am still amazed!

Is it always perfect? No this week she got a little backed up. We tried the potty several times over two days and then the dam broke. She signed potty at me & Steve and then we raced her UPSTAIRS to the potty but she was done. This happened four times in one day! Ahhhhh. Guess what? Today another potty arrived. I purchased from DIAPERS.COM they are awesome have the best rates and offer free delivery on most items. I now have a potty for the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms. I have tried her on the toilet but she won't sit there, she wiggles too much and won't pay attention to her jobs.

There is a link for DIAPER FREE BABIES on my side bar and you can read TWWLY's blog she is my friend who has practiced EC with a daughter and a son with success. She writes a good chapter about EC on her site. She was a good source of help for me and likely will be for you too!

I think a lot of cloth diapering parents will begin to use EC. It really does not take more time than changing a diaper. I don't make a point of talking about infant potty training amongst strangers as I really don't care for the comments of skeptics. I have already heard that "I AM TRAINED" and been looked at funnily, but I can take it! I am not cleaning sh*tty diapers. That's good enough for me and our environment!

E.C works! If nothing else the child should not be afraid of a potty and we'll be out of diapers more easily and sooner.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dear Mother Ship - Part Deux!

First let me thank y'all for the feed back on the last post and here are some answers to your related questions.


Dear Mother Ship:

Jen512:

I found this very interesting (being preggo) and I've got a couple of questions!

I don't think I'm going to be able to co-sleep because our bed is too small (full sized) and I've been looking for a co-sleeper crib here in Turkey without luck. But I plan to keep the baby right next to my bed, probably in one of those packnplay convertible bassinets for as long as it is safe for her.

We have the ARM'S REACH Mini Co-sleeper. That is where Finley slept until she was 4 months old. Then she was rolling over and pushing up and I felt she would fall out of it. We converted it to the pack and play and it's still attached to our bed. pop he in there to play when I need hr to be safe while I am doing other glamoorous things like refilling the wipe warmer, making the bed, and showering. Getting a massage having a pedicure or roller setting my hair are just ghosts from my past....

I'm hoping this will still make night-feeding manageable.

YES! It will! And hopefully you will have a baby who will continue to sleep in the pack and play when it is converted. Our baby only slept in the swing, ergo and only at night in the co-sleeper! She is what one might call a HIGH NEEDS sleeper.


What I've always wondered is how do you feed the baby without being fully awake, isn't there some mess involved? I'm worried about burping, spit up and breast leakage. Do you find this is simply less of an issue when you are both asleep or is it something you have to deal with from time to time?

When I say we are still mostly asleep I am referring to more recently. From 6 months to now at almost 10 months. When she was a newbie I sat bolt upright WIDE AWAKE to feed her, which took upward of 45 minutes. Then burp her, change her and settled her back to sleep before I tucked my new found monster boobs back into the bra with new dry breast pads ...oh gawd I hated the new leaky boobs. By four months the boobs go back to normal and stop leaking (as much). Some nights FIn wouldn't settle and I would lie with her on my chest until she was sound asleep then transfer her to the co -sleeper. If she stirred I would place my hand gently on her chest or stroke her head and she would settle ... which was easy to do because she was right beside me. At night I would lie so tight to the co-sleeper just so I could look at her. I was so excited at her arrival. Jen you'll instinctively know when to bring her into your bed to nurse. You will have a chance to place a hand on baby and comfort her before she becomes very upset. Just being that close is great for night waking and you will comfort instinctively without becoming fully awake after a few months. It's natural. Most mammals sleep with their young. I love it and I sleep better with her in our room and bed than if she were in another room.


Twwly:

Dear MotherShip,

If I remember right, your little lady and my little lady both suffered fromCarSeat-Screamitis.

My little lady outgrew her Screamitis, but I have noticed as she grows that her penchant for the dramatic has continued. I feel that the carseat screamies were just a part of her now developing personality.

Wondering if your wee lass is similar?

Ohhhhh Ashley! Yes, she has relaxed in the car seat and we do enjoy driving - she napping while I drive. It's part of our week now! Hahah, I plan for the car ride naps. YEAHHHH. When she doesn't get to have her own way now she has begun to arch herself into a FULL ON BACK BEND while screaming. Honestly, I should not have done so much yoga while pregnant the kid is a rubber band in all directions. She has even taken to nursing while standing in down dog on the bed...

A scene from my week:

"Finley, no thank you we don't climb on the open dishwasher door" ... I lift her to remove her from the dishwasher and she immediately throws herself into a back bend whilst screaming. I protect her head and set her on her back on the floor. She then kicks her feet a few times, gets up, climbs up my pant leg while I close the dishwasher. I lift her up and squeeze her little snuggle body and we're off to distract her with a safe fun new game. REPEAT. This goes on ALL day now. Man good thing she's cute - cuz she sure is WILLFUL.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dear Mother Ship


I have been asked a number of questions lately about cloth diapering, attachment parenting and co-sleeping. I thought I would address some of this with you guys....in case you are interested? If not check back soon I will post something ...

As a NEW MOM I have learned a lot in the last 9 months from patient friends and was taught by the excellent mommy community out here in cyber world. What a fantastical network I didn't even know existed until I got all knocked up! So many resources and opinions and of course old fashioned trial and error to use as a resource.

Here Goes, Dear Mother Ship:

I have a few questions about how things went for you and Finley. I don't know anyone else who exclusively breastfeeds. It's pretty rare these days!
The World Health Organization advocates for breast feeding up to age 2 ...I doubt I'll go that far but my beloved Dr.Sears says 90% of calorie intake in first year is from breast milk. Link to Dr. Sears http://www.askdrsears.com/

I was very encouraged to hear that Finley only wakes once at 8 months. I was wondering if you had any tips that helped Finley sleep longer that you might want to share.

Fin sleeps with me at night and I let her have at the boobies as needed. Most of the time it's once at 4:15am, however she has high needs times like this last month when she has been cutting 4 teeth and had a cold and I felt like she was on me all night...but it does not disturb my sleep so much. No more than when I get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, she nurses and then falls back to sleep neither of us is wide awake. Not to say that I never have a fitful sleep cuz I do but it's not totally because of the baby.

Do you use a pacifier? I haven't used one with up until this point, but I'm wondering if maybe I should. I don't know if I want baby to use ME as one!

Fin would NOT take a paci or a bottle - yay me and my boobs - they have never seen so much action! I'm like the boobie milk gas station. haha. We tried several paci's only after she was established on the boob about 2 weeks onward with no luck. She does use me periodically as a paci yes...but only in high needs times. Otherwise she just eats and pops off. It can be annoying especially if I want to do something else. But then I remind my self there is nothing more important right now than soothing the baby and making her well fed and comfortable. This year passes SO quickly as you know and you can't get it back. So I am enjoying my nursing time even the suckling paci time...really I am. Really.

I know they say you can't overfeed a newborn, but I'm wondering about that one... She's already a whopping 14lbs at 10 weeks old! Maybe I'm too quick to just put her to my breast, I'm not sure. Did you follow a strict schedule with Finley or did you let her sort of make her own?

I feed on demand. So does my sister in law. Her baby is a little porker too! Both Steve's sister's babies are exclusively breast fed and both were in the 97th percentile for weight at their age when they were 3-4 months. Now at 7 & 9 months old one is a little peanut on the bottom of the percentile grid the other is still on the top end. It's true you can't over feed a baby on breast milk because you body only makes what is needed. So long as the baby is healthy keep feeding that's what is important! Babies need the nutrients so they can start moving and have energy to develop. If baby were a 2 year old eating pizza and soft drinks I would worry but not a wee boobie fed lass!

Girl baby is sleeping in a bassinet in another room (we had to remove her from the room due to some very loud grunting keeping us up!) She wakes about every 2.5, 3 hours, but sometimes even less. She has slept for 5 hours at a time a few times, but that was after hours and hours of screaming at the top of her lungs so she must have been exhausted! (colic) We are grateful that the screaming has subsided. But I am finding it hard to find the get-up-and-go that I need for these kids during the day without my sleep at night!

Every family does this differently. From what I learned and what instincts I am using is: DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO TO SLEEP OR GET SLEEP. This also comes from comparing notes at play group. Most of the moms I know use this philosophy too. Fin sleeps right beside me in bed. Only in the last 2 months have I been able to nurse her down into bed at night and then leave her so I can go have some ME time. I get her to sleep in our bed around 8pm and then I go to bed at 10 pm. She usually stirs a little and feeds a bit then we both go to sleep until 4 - 4:30am when I change her diaper and feed her. We then sleep until anywhere between 7-9am...I do feed her around 7am.

I am not a napper I have tried to lie down and sleep in the day with her but I can't so I need my night sleep. She would not stay asleep if I were not beside her I am sure of it. We tried the crib and she cried until I thought she was going to throw up. Right now she is having her morning nap in the sling...attached to me! She sleeps with out crying and is safe, feels secure and our trust bond is intact. It works for me. I do get a lot of criticism but I have always marched to the beat of my own drum and this works for me and I'm ALONE almost everyday with her so this is what we do to get through our day happily.

I have also been thinking a lot about cloth diapers recently. You are the only person I know who uses them and I thought I'd ask you about them if you don't mind. What do you need to start up and approximately how much would it cost?

Why don't you try a diaper service for a 2 week period and see how you like them before purchasing?


I also have Fuzzi Bunz which are snap enclosure and beautiful and soft but Fin is such a wiggle worm I find it hard to snap her in before she's rolling away. They also leak sometimes. The Bum Genius are Velcro enclosure so they are fast t get on her and we find they never leak!

At start up you will need about 20-24 diapers. Figure on 8-10 a day. I also bought an extra insert package to double the inserts for over night. The diapers are about $17 -19 each. So initial investment was about $400.00 but you WILL spend $3000.00 on disposable diapers by the time a baby is potty trained! So they are cost effective. You can also look to purchase second hand cloth diapers. I borrowed the 0-3 month size from a friend who had used them on her 2 kids prior to Finley. They worked great.

How often do you wash them and what do you do in between washes?

The diapers I use are POCKET diapers. You have to change the whole diaper at every change. I have 2 diaper pails. I bought slick looking stainless steel garbage pails from Walmart, step flip lid with a removable plastic pail inside. One is for the diaper covers and one for the inserts. You can get diapers that you change only the inserts and the covers you wear all day. That way you need only buy 4-5 covers. The diaper services use this type. I have used them and they are just as good.

To wash:
Drop into the washer ...even the poopie ones (until feeding solids)
cold water rinse cycle with table spoon or two of white vinegar. Then Hot water wash with a small amount of soap. If you use too much soap they will repel. High heat dry the inserts and hang dry the covers. I do this every other day.

Are there different sizes?

YES but the Bum Genius ones I have are adjustable so I have been using them since she was 3 weeks old. They snap from small, medium and large size. 8lbs to 35 lbs!

Are they much less absorbent than the disposable ones?
I have only found Pampers to be absorbent in the disposables as I used them when we flew. The other's I tried were not good! I find the cloth to be very absorbent, they wick away the wet and you will not get a diaper rashwhile wearing a cloth diaper. Unless the child gets a rash with teething but that's not from wearing wet against the skin.

E.C Elimination Communication:
I potty train Finley. She has been pooping on the potty since 4 months. She knows the sign and goes every morning for her poop on the potty. I don't contend with poo diapers which makes cloth diapering work for us now that she is on solids. Otherwise you are scraping poo into the toilet then rinsing and then washing it gets more complicated with solids poo and more work. My hubs does not help with laundering the diapers they are my deal. He changes them but doesn't even split them for the pails he leaves them on top of the pail. The reason for splitting is so they don't turn sour. I say this because the laundry is all mine and it does take effort and organization to stay up on it. If there was a diaper service I might have gone that route but for me the laundry is not that big a deal.

Please feel free to ask more questions or ad your comments and observations and let me know what works for you! I am an eternal student of the mother hood and always eager to learn anything that can make our ship run smoothly with baby on board!


Monday, January 11, 2010

37


Me. I'm 37 years old today. I got to do 25 minutes of power yoga ALONE and take and shower ALONE, not rushing either and then arrive downstairs to a beautifuly cooked breakfast by my sweet hubs. Fin was in her highchair -she raised her arms up overhead and squeeled a greeting to me then tried to share her scrambled eggs with me. How's that for a birthday morning!?

The best part about this birthday is that it's my first one as a MOM. From here in it's all home made cards, macaroni necklaces and gifts of tacky shirts, I'm gonna have to wear, because Fin gave it to me. I can think of NO BETTER GIFT!

My friend John said:

You have reached your age maximum... from now on, this will be your age forever... happy birthday!


I think 37 is a perfect age to reside the rest of my life in don't you?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Warning



If you tick off my 3.5 year old niece she will try to feed you a poison apple.

Seriously Yo!

Be Warned.

Disney has infiltrated the imagination of the young.

Friday, January 8, 2010

From The Mouth of Babes

This holiday I spent a lot of time with toddlers. They are pretty funny to watch. The way they interact with one another is wild. These little ones are my niece and nephews. Kaylee is 3.5, Gavin is 2.5 and Bastian is 2 years old. They are all in the MINE phase and sharing is a concept forced upon them. Playing (when I say playing I really mean clobbering each other, pushing each other off chairs, grabbing toys from one another's hands and biting one another) is a skill not yet mastered in a group setting. They do play very well on their own and with their imaginary friends. Don't get me wrong they did play well together sometimes. They participated in arts and crafts projects while under strict supervision quite well and for their ages their attention spans are excellent better in fact than most adults I know.

Here are some GEMS from the holidays:

On New Years Eve I decided to take the toddlers to my Yoga studio to teach them some yoga in an effort to keep them entertained so that they were not under foot in the kitchen while the seafood feast was being prepared. I rolled out four mats. The three children took their places on the mats facing me. I asked if they were all ready to begin yoga. All three faces smiled at me and then they began to follow my verbal cues and imitate my gestures. We all sat cross legged and then began to inhale and exhale while raising our arms over head. This was going swimmingly and next I asked the kids to make their hands float around their heads like butterflies. It is then that the 2.5 year old's expression changes. He starts to look worried and then begins to cry.

Michelle
Gavin what's wrong sweetie?

Gavin
I want to do yogaaaaaaaat.

Michelle
We are doing YOGA honey - it's an exercise.

Gavin (cries harder)

Then Gavin's Mom comes into the studio to see how we are making out with our yoga class and sees her son dissolving into a puddle of tears.

Dawn
Gavin what's the matter?

Gavin
I want to do yogaaaat.

Dawn
Oh honey, it's not yogurt- its yoga. They are different.

Gavin
But I want yogaaat.

Dawn and I try not to laugh too hard and then I say there is some in the fridge. Dawn takes Gavin away to the kitchen to eat some Yogggggggaaaaaaaaaaat. And the rest of us continue for a while with our yoga.


NEXT:

On Christmas day Steve's Mom and Aunt and I took the kids up to the bonus room to chillax for a while. We put on the Rudolf movie and the kids rested while watching and played a little really nicely. Everything was calm and peaceful for 50 whole minutes. Then the attention spans shifted, the boys left the room grandma chased after them, aunt was sleeping on the couch and just Kaylee and I were left upstairs. I picked up Finley and took her over to execute a quick diaper change. Kaylee came along to watch. She was pretending to be Princes Lillis a character from her repertoire of her imaginary world. (Some of these characters she transforms into others are just hanging around and you have to be careful where you step lest you squish one.) This when Kaylee's mom Jen arrived in the room.

Jen
Hi whats going on up here?

Michelle
Well Princess Lillis was just dancing for us.

Jen
Princess Lillis show me your dance!

Kaylee aka Princess Lillis
F#ck, F$CK, F*CK, F******CK

Jen and I are shocked and look at one another. I tuck my face into my shoulder so I don't give away my smiles because clearly this is not funny.

Jen
That is not a nce word we don't use that word Kaylee.

Kaylee aka Princess Lillis
F#ck, F$CK, F*CK, F******CK

Jen
Where did you hear that word?

Kaylee (points at me)
Aunt Shell!

Michelle
You DID NOT!

Aunty (who has now woken up from her nap on the couch)
She most certainly didn't hear it from anyone in here in the last hour.

Kaylee aka Princess Lillis
F#ck, F$CK, F*CK, F******CK

Michelle
I admit it's one of my favorite words but I have not said it even under my breath since I was getting in the car this morning to come here.

Jen
You were just the closest in proximity to blame. She could have heard it days ago.


So there ya go - a couple of little gems from our holidays... There s another cute one please check back ad I'll post it soon.




QUESTION???

What do you do when a toddler starts spewing out curse words? I remember having my mouth washed out with soap. How do you guys deal with it? I need to know before it comes up!




Monday, January 4, 2010

Baby Steps



Dear Grandparents,

Within days of your departure Finley decided to walk. This little video is for you!

This is an actual VIDEO of Finley's FIRST steps .
(Taken at 10 pm when she should have been sleeping! )

She is SO VERY PROUD of herself!

video

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cotton


Second Wedding Anniversary

They say you give the gift of cotton for a second wedding anniversary. I bought Steve a very romantic card about his snoring, then I wrote inside about the cotton I would be placing in my ears to dull the snoring. He said "HAR- HAR" just like that too, all sarcastic, then made a beautiful dinner for us by the fire. Steak and shrimp on the grill and snow crab legs with salad. DELICIOUS! I just love our dinners together especially when he cooks!

I decided to put on my wedding dress . I only got to wear it once, you know, and last year I was too fat with baby pea in the pot....tadaaaaaaaa.

I love it just as much as the day I chose it and altered the snot out of it to make it ME.

Happy Anniversary Steve.
I love you more today than I did the day we were married and that's a LOT!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!


Wow.
It's 2010.
I actually stayed awake to greet this New Year.
Steve and I spent our first New Year together- it was Y2K.
10 Years Later.
We celebrate with our girl.
Pretty Cool.

Happy New Year Everyone!