Tuesday, June 28, 2011

YouTube and Droid save the day

So, I am one of those people with a smart phone.  I text.  I email.  I browse Facebook.  I pay bills.  I search the internet.  I play games.  I love my phone.  Don't hate. My phone even has magical make-baby-happy powers.  The scenario:

Last night, I was out geocaching with my sister.  [Yes, I geocache.  I'm a nerd and I realize this but that's a topic for a totally different post]  We are out the last one of the day and William starts to get fussy, so mother of the year just looks faster to find the cache.  No luck so I get in the car to head home.  William's fussy turns to screaming-so-my-ears-bleed crying in about .067 seconds.  Great.  My sister sits in the back seat to try to settle him down.  She shook a toy lion in his face.  Nothing.  She tries tickling his toes.  Scream gets louder.  Still 10 minutes from home.  The next move literally made me about cry from laughter.  Since William seems to entertained by remotes, cell phones and shoes, she took off her shoe to show him.  I thought it was hilarious.  William....did not. 

So my sister now has one shoe on.  My ears are bleeding from the screaming (OK, maybe not really).  William is a soggy, crying disaster.  We are a mess. 

Then, I pull out the big guns.  How could I have forgotten.  I whip out my phone (no, no, not while I was driving) and use my YouTube app and search "Bob the Builder Theme Song".  I play this and hand to my sister in the back seat.  Not only did William stop crying, he is now laughing.  Laughing! 

It worked.  I don't care what it says about my parenting ability.  It worked.  Thank you, Droid for making this possible.  Thank you, YouTube for the great app.  Thank you, Bob the Builder for having a wonderful, scream-stopping theme song.  Thank you, EricEngelwood for posting said video.  Thank you, Melanie for taking off your shoe.  You guys make mommy ears everywhere feel better.  :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Skeptic vs. Believer - Baby Sign Language

Before lil' man was born, the hubby and I agreed we would try to use a little sign language.  I had read about the wonderful benefits of sign language, from better communication in the early years and increased speaking vocabulary once he starts to talk.  I had read that it might be a little frustrating if you start too early, since babies will probably not respond until months of repetition and until they are old enough.  Knowing this, we started a little over a month ago (when William was about six months old).  Since we were lazy, the only word we knew was for milk.  We use this right before we feed him and right when we start feeding him.  We figured starting with one word would be simple enough.  If it worked, it worked.  If it didn't, no effort wasted. 

Lil' man is now seven and a half months old.  Over the last few days he has been doing this weird thing with his hand/wrist.  He only does it with his right hand and he kind of curls his fingers in and his wrist.  Hmm...looks an awfully lot like the sign for milk.  Coincidence?

I think so.  My hubby does not.  He doesn't do it all the time, but he does it at times when I don't think he should be hungry.  My hubby (who is a stay-at-home daddy and sees him all day long) says that when he (my hubby) makes the sign for milk, William gets excited and opens his mouth.  I guess I think he's still so young and can't believe he would be able to make a sign already. 

Anyway, we are learning a few more signs.  Ya know, just in case I'm wrong.  :)

Anyone else do baby sign language?  When did your little ones start signing?  Any advice for a new mom?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

William Eats - Carrots

Another veggie, another day.  Carrots this time.  You know the drill - peal, steam, puree, serve.  He was a little hesitant and over the last week that I have been adding these into William's diet, he seems to be getting used to them.  For foods he likes, he eats without a problem.  For the ones he doesn't like, he seems to enjoy trying to blow bubbles with the food and ends up spitting them all over the place.  Carrot spray was all over the counter, highchair, himself and me.  Lovely.  hehe

Friday, June 24, 2011

I can read

  1. Imperfect Birds - Anne Lamott
  2. Operating Instructions - Anne Lamott (definitely recommend for any mother's out there)
  3. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
  4. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
  5. The Audacity of Hope - Barack Obama (audio book)
  6. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
  7. The Green Book - Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen (definitely a book I would recommend for anyone interested in going green)
  8. Firefly Lane - Kristin Hannah
  9. Baby Proof - Emily Giffin (audio book)
  10. Healthy Child Healthy World - Christopher Gavigan (go out and buy it! wonderful resource for keeping your family healthy while living a green lifestyle!)
  11. Heart of the Matter - Emily Giffin
  12. Bossypants - Tina Fey
  13. Prey - Michael Crichton (audio book)
  14. Julia's Chocolates - Cathy Lamb
  15. In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan
  16. One Day - David Nicholls (currently reading)
  17. The Help - Kathryn Stockett (currently reading)
  18. Dismantled - Jennifer McMahon (up next)
Most of the books I read are recommendations from friends (or mostly one friend - thanks Alisha).  Every now and then I will hear about a book on TV or at work and I will make note of it on my phone to check out at the library later.  I heard of Tina Fey's Bossypants on Oprah (of course) and put it on hold at the library behind the 75 other people.  HIL.AR.I.OUS!  This is Tina's autobiography - she talks about her start in improv, moving to SNL, creating 30 rock and motherhood.  It's an easy read and she is a very funny writer.  Looking for a laugh - check it out.

Also, In Defense of Food was quite an eye-opening book for me.  It made me think of the food that is available to us in a different way.  It's not a book to live by to lose weight, it's a book to educate you on where your food is coming from and what you should be considering when you select what you eat each day.  Definitely informational for me.
Sinve I've been reading much more lately, I haven't watched TV almost at all.  So instead of plopping my rear on the couch and staring at the tube during my free time, I'm plopping my rear on the couch and staring whatever book I'm currently obsessed with.  Is this an improvement?  haha

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

There are so many captions I could think to write for this one.  Look at those thighs!!  Someone is getting very anxious to stand up already.  He's barely seven months and I give it before eight months until he is pulling himself up.  He is on the move for sure....

That picture just puts a smile on my face.  :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

William is Moving....

Gone are the days when lil' man gets put down, I run to the bathroom, grab a shower, cook dinner and return and he's still in the same spot.  Oh, how quickly those days came and went.  He has been scooting and rolling around for awhile now.  But slow enough that I could at least run to the bathroom before he could get far enough to get into anything.  Well now he is officially crawling and can get into things he shouldn't at medium speed.  While I'm cooking dinner or reading my book, I can generally gauge where he is on the living room floor based on the music that is coming from what toy.  "Oh, that song comes from the wobbly penguin and that is against the wall, next to the toy bin. He's at least five feet from anything he can destroy."  or "Oh no!  That music is from that singing helicopter and means he's next to the entertainment center and probably trying to stick his hand in the VCR!" (yeah, VCR...we have one, what of it?)  I guess this skilled hearing is something I developed after becoming a mom.

Not only is he getting around and potentially getting into things he shouldn't, I'm viewing the house with an entirely different set of eyes.  Everything is way sharper than it used to be.  There is way more lint and dirt on the carpet than ever before, I'm sure of it.  Everything is a potential paper cut, bruise, black eye or broken limb waiting to happen.  I remember watching Baby's Day Out when I was a kid.  It was so funny how that little baby got so far and got into so much trouble.  Now that I have a kid?  Umm...that's not funny at all.  This is serious shit, yo!  HA!  (OK, that baby is still kind of cute...)

So I guess now is the time to stop encouraging any walking or crawling because I'm sure that's when the fun really begins and we end up submitting pictures to Sh*t My Kid Ruined.....

Friday, June 17, 2011

Did Mother Goose write that one?

Just like any other skills you might develop, parenting skills seem to develop out of necessity.  You WILL figure out the best strategy to change a diaper without getting pee all over your hair and the wall and the dog.  You WILL figure out not to bounce your kid up and down or even make any sudden movements with said baby after they eat.  You WILL figure out how to rock (or pretty much toss around) in the weirdest position that are never shown in baby books to soothe them.  You just figure out the 'tricks of the trade' by trial and error.  Anything to keep everyone involved sane.

I've learned - babies like music.  Seems fairly intuitive. 

However, you may not always have a copy of the new Cee Lo CD or Toddler Tunes available for your little ones awaiting ears.  So you sing.  You sing whatever comes to mind.  And it is some sort of Murphy's Law that you can no longer recall any of the songs you loved as a child or any of the songs you learned in Girl Scouts.  Not even the school song from your elementary song that you've literally have had in your head for the last 20 years.  Nope.  None of those songs come to mind at the critical moment when baby is starting to take the about face from being the happiest baby on the planet to fussy, whiny baby.  So there are two options.  You make one up or you sing any other song you know and spin it into a performance for your lil' one using "baby voices" and soothing rhythms. 

If you opt for the 'making-one-up' route - this can be easy or extremely difficult.  I like to keep things simple.  You can just sing anything that comes to mind.  "Mommy is doing the di-i-shes, the di-i-shes, the di-i-shes.  Mommy is doing the di-i-shes because daddy didn't do them this morning."  Simple can mean perfection.  Daddy seems to have more time on his hands and likes to perfect his songs after plenty of thought, practice and fine-tuning.  His go-to song is a three verse song set to the Flipper theme song (seriously, no joke).  Whichever route you decide, these seem to be highly effective. 

If you decide to take the less creative route and perform a song you know, don't be discouraged.  You too can soothe baby.  This might actually be a type of Rorschach test of music and parenting depending on what song you choose.  Last week I actually witnessed my own husband rock our teething, sick child to sleep while singing a nursery rhyme version of Whoomp, There It Is.  Nothing says rest your eyes, little one, and go to sleep like a little Tag Team - "Can you dig it?  We can dig it.  Can y'all dig it?  We can dig it."  The crying was resolved.  I don't think I've ever been more proud of my husband's parenting skills....

To assess the situation and determine if a song is necessary - baby might look something like this....

"My Mom's songs are the best!"
After song-of-choice, baby should look something like this....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

William Eats - Apples

So we haven't tried a new food with William over the last two weeks.  He (as well as hubby and me) has been getting over a nasty cold and figured it wasn't the time to potentially torture him with something he might not like or worse...be allergic to.

This week I went with something easy - apples.  I pealed and sliced two medium gala apples.  The usual - steam and puree.  Froze in ice cube trays (for up to three months).  William loved them and I would totally eat it too! 

Don't be fooled by this picture, he loved them....

"Yes, please..."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

[Mostly] Wordless Wednesday - Summer Fun

So one of the reasons I haven't kept up as much with writing and updates is because I have been taking time to enjoy this age.  William is seven months old and is crawling and babbling and laughing and playing.  It is so much fun!  The weather has been beautiful and we've made some trips to Cincinnati and my family has visited us and it's been a great few weeks. 

We have one happy baby on our hands.... (at least now that teething has somewhat subsided)

Monday, June 13, 2011

I am still alive...

I've been absent lately on the bloggy world.  My apologies.  Between this nasty cold everyone in our house has gotten (one week and still counting with it...) and teething and no sleep and the hubby being gone and the water in the basement and the water in the car and the dog eating everything he's not supposed to and...well, you get the point.  So, I'm still alive and will be back to the bloggy world soon....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Breastfeeding Rollercoaster

OK, if you are reading my blog and thinking - "Geez, I wish this woman would stop talking about her milk and/or boobs and/or nipples..." - then this probably isn't the post for you.  Fair warning.

So while I was out on maternity leave, I had breastmilk galor.  Cows were jealous of my milk that was inevitably sprinkled on the bathroom floor because I couldn't get in the shower fast enough or all over my jeans when I tried to nurse lil' man in the mall.  You get it...I had tons.  When I started back to work, it started off great and then all of a sudden my supply plumeted out of no where.  [Read: Breastfeeding Troubles] I increased my pumping sessions to try to increase with little luck.  I increased what I was eating.  I tried different foods.  I drank more water.  Nothing worked.  Then I discovered fenugreek and had great luck with it.  My supply had increased enough so I didn't have to supplment.  [Read: Breastfeeding Rebound] Mama happy.

That lasted a little while longer and then slowly, supply started to drop again even if I drank, ate, took fenugreek, jumped up and down while singing that milkshake song religiously.  I figured it was the end of my breastfeeding journey.  I knew I hadn't 'failed' but it wasn't what I wanted. 

Well, I figured it out....what was causing my supply issues.  Yay for figuring it out.  Boo for not realizing sooner.

There has been a go-to item in my wardrobe that I have a million on hand.  Ok, maybe not a million, but at least a dozen.  I wore them throughout pregnancy and since I went back to work - tank tops with a built in bra.  My favorite are from Express - they are very fitting and slimming and smoothing and help contain the "situation" I have up top from bobbing around and giving people black eyes.  They stay stretchy and tight too!  I wore them around my huge belly during pregnancy and seriously, they are still in great shape. 

Umm...OK, so does anyone see a problem with a nursing mother who is trying to keep her milk production up and then going and putting on a super tight tank top?  So yes, I have now stopped wearing those and voila - milk again!  No need for fenugreek either.  Mama happy...again.   

So having problems with your milk supply?  Maybe look at what kind of clothing or bra you are wearing to make sure you aren't causing problems under your shirt. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

I can read

Here's an update on what I've been checking out at the library.....
  1. Imperfect Birds - Anne Lamott
  2. Operating Instructions - Anne Lamott (definitely recommend for any mother's out there)
  3. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
  4. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
  5. The Audacity of Hope - Barack Obama (audio book)
  6. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
  7. The Green Book - Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas Kostigen (definitely a book I would recommend for anyone interested in going green)
  8. Firefly Lane - Kristin Hannah
  9. Baby Proof - Emily Giffin (audio book)
  10. Healthy Child Healthy World - Christopher Gavigan [in process] loving it already!
  11. Heart of the Matter - Emily Giffin [in process]
  12. Bossypants - Tina Fey [in process]
Do you have a favorite book?  Any suggestions on something I should read next?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Baby's 1st Swim

The Dreaded Teething....

Everyone knows it happens - the drool, the crying, the teething rings, infant Tylenol.  All being the tell-tale signs of teething.  It's a new phase of motherhood.  A phase I lovingly have begun to call salt-water-taffy-nipples. 

Recently, during a trip to visit my parents, my mother watched lil' man and commented on how rough he was while taking a bottle - practically chewing on the bottle nipple.  She made a remark about how swollen his gums were and how much that would hurt me.  Umm...yuh-huh....I'm aware. 

I love nursing.  I have exclusively been breastfeeding lil' man since he was born.  It's been amazing.  When I was pregnant I knew teething would come, however I was just considering the long nights of crying....not nipples that become chewing gum for my adorable baby.  Who knew it was possible for nipples to stretch that far?  Yeah....not cool.

I have made it this long nursing;  I am determined to stick this out.  I've made it through all the long nights at the beginning.  I've made it through a bout of mastitis.  I've made it while working full-time, pumping twice (or more) a day.  I've made it through the stage of being soaked in milk in public.  I've given up caffeine and nuts (upset lil' man).  With the exception of a few times, I haven't really drank alcohol in 9 months of pregnancy plus six months since William was born. 

I will make it through this.....nipples intact hopefully.

I'm completely open for any suggestions, mommies out there.


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