Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hug Your Kids Tonight?!?! Why?


                                    Hug your kids tonight? 

Really? This is being thrown around over and over by adults who are "shocked" by this school shooting. And it baffles me. Who needs a tragedy to remind them to hug their kids??? Who doesn't hug their child every day that they see them? Life is fragile, life is fleeting. You shouldn't need a mass murder to remember this. If you need something like this to remind you to show affection to your child and appreciate them, you need to get your priorities straight. 

Every damn day, children die. It's ALWAYS a tragedy, even though 99% don't make the news. Stillbirth. SIDS. Medical malpractice. Disease. Abuse. Neglect. Car accidents. Choking.... etc etc etc. Children die every day and no one ever thinks it could be their kid until it happens. But the truth is... it could be your kid... tomorrow, next week, next year etc. Life is fragile, life is fleeting. Every day, thousands of children die. Every single one is a tragedy, even if they don't get candlelight vigils and news coverage. Don't get so wrapped up in feeling invincible, like it could NEVER be YOUR OWN kid that you take them for granted. Hug them every day, show them you love them, do your damnedest to protect them. Don't take them for granted, because one day, your kid may be one of the thousands that die every day. Don't be so caught up that it takes a mass murder to make you remember you are blessed with having them in your life today. 20 children died in their school in Connecticut, as part of the thousands of kids who died yesterday. They're all missed, all tragedies.

Many people are emotionally exclaiming that they are going to home school now because of this. Schools DO need to be safer. But no, it's not a reason to home school if that's your ONLY reason you want to. I think metal detectors at the gates around schools and having closed campuses. It's too easy for random people to walk in. Paying for the thousands of extra cops that would require would mean a lot of money..... of course, I can think of lots of things I'd rather the govt. drop to pay for that instead but yea, pipe dream.

 After Columbine, I think some schools did tighten up... but a big problem with how people react to preventable tragedy that didn't directly affect them is they are horrified for a couple days and then go on with their lives as if it never happened. So everyone who is making a huge deal about how broken up they are today over this, what will they be doing about it next week? Next month? For many people, this is going to turn into just another date on the calendar. It's going to be just another historical event. Another paragraph to go into the history books. Instead, we need to make changes. After the Oregon mall shooting, some psychologists called the way people reacted "odd", an odd social shift to be exact. Why? Because they reacted instead of sitting there. How is that an odd social shift? But those where adults. What happens when someone takes a gun into a school instead? Kids die. Adults die trying to protect them.

The why's don't really matter. Why- because the gunman was a sick bastard. An attention-seeking psychopath. Whatever they are, we can't actually lock every single crazy, dangerous person up before they cause mayhem. And who doesn't matter either- they are dead and justice can never happen. Making them into celebrities is doing nothing good either.

But how matters. It's the most important part. How did he get into that school? How did he get those guns? How can we prevent other crazies from doing similar things, taking lives in a similar manner. How can we protect our kids in places that we crowd mass numbers of them into 5 days of the week with minimal adults? During the school year, children spend the majority of their waking hours in a vulnerable place, with too few adults there to prevent tragedy. Most schools can't even keep their own young students inside, much less keep dangerous adults out. Why is that? Mainly for two reasons- a naive, idealist idea that surely nothing bad will happen to your kids, in your area AND a government that is focused on test results, not the students. Our schools need to be closed-campuses. Only approved entry and exit. Metal detectors at the gates. And for if someone does get in, there ought to be a warning system to lock it down. Prisons and some hospitals can electronically lock every door inside them if needed. Escape exits- schools have fire exits which often can only open from the inside and if opened, an alarm sounds... why not put one in every ground-floor classroom? There are lots of things school could do to be safer. But they aren't just going to magically happen because today everyone is so sad about a shooting.

I know many people are claiming this is because of guns. But the gun did not walk itself into that school. The problem is people. If we could somehow melt down every gun on earth, then sure, that would be a better world. But if we where to make guns illegal to have, then the moral, law-abiding people won't have them and everyone we should be worried about still will. Let's make guns harder to get (psych. evaluations before buying perhaps) but don't try to pretend like outlawing them would solve anything.

20 children died in their school this time. Innocent, very young kids who didn't have a chance against this gunman. Preventable and tragic deaths. But thousands kids die every day from preventable, tragic deaths. Stop talking about how this makes you appreciate your kids more (really, you need mass murder to remember to hug your kids?) and start trying to help.


http://www.globalissues.org/article/715/today-21000-children-died-around-the-world

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-emily-c-heath/dealing-with-grief-five-t_b_2303910.html


Monday, September 10, 2012

Cornmeal, Oatmeal and Water: Playtime

     
    LM is now a year old and officially a little toddler. If I thought baby, non-mobile LM kept me busy it was only because I'd forgotten how busy mobile toddlers keep you. He started crawling while we where in Panama, at about 10months old. Now he's cruising too but not walking independently yet.

  We're been very busy in a lot of ways- LM just experienced his very first hurricane. Which is always fun (not). It seems hurricanes like the babies in my family. I was a baby when Andrew hit, my sister was about six months old when Katrina hit and then Isaac hits right before LM's 1st birthday. We lost power for just a few days and flooding didn't affect our immediate area, though our parish (county) got it really bad in many areas. Also, we went over to my grandparents house to bunker down there and that was interesting all in itself lol.

Anyway, today we where feeling bored and blah with LM teething again. So I went through the albums of the Play At Home Moms facebook page to look for some inspiration. If you haven't checked out that page, you should! Well, I decided on some cornmeal and oatmeal sensory playtime. It was a hit, not a surprise.



This playmat isn't usually used, so when I laid it down, LM was very curious. He actually just played with the mat for about twenty minutes. Pushing it around, pulling it up, etc.




Here's the materials- a few containers out of the kitchen, some old dry oatmeal and some instant cornmeal mix we never use.





He dumped, scooped, grabbed handfuls, tasted, threw around, sprinkled, laughed, banging things against each other and basically had a ton of fun exploring the materials.




    After a while, he began to do more tasting than anything else. Once he couldn't be distracted from eating it, we switched activities to snack time instead. We do baby-led solids but during the hurricane LM was introduced to purees. However, it's in the form of the squeezable/slurp-able containers and he feeds himself still. Plus they're organic. I call them baby smoothies and today's was bananas, beets and blueberry. 

Once he'd slurped his fill of the smoothie, I cleaned up his high chair real quick and gave him a couple measuring cups and some water. Using the high chair tray as a mini-water table has been a favorite of his since he first began using his high chair about six months ago- water-play never gets old! 



Friday, August 17, 2012

Beeswax Eczema "Miracle Cure"

 Ok, it's not really a "miracle" cream but it sure is close to a miracle!

  As some of ya'll might remember, back at the beginning of May, LM was dealing with a bad eczema flare-up and used a tester product that we loved. This cream is from Bocage Bee and Honey Co. and it is amazing. Faster than I could have even hoped, it cleared up the eczema.

Here's the original post about this cream (  http://crunchyrainbow.blogspot.com/2012/05/baby-lab-rat.html  )

 Unfortunately, just a couple weeks later, the eczema returned in the same spot. Because the cream wasn't released yet, we couldn't get anymore. This flare-up actually resulted in a fatty tissue infection in his leg and a trip to the ER. It took two weeks to get rid of the infection and a month for the eczema itself to go away. eFor most of the trip, the eczema stayed away, only to flare up again badly a week before we came home.

This week, I found out that cream had been released while we where in Panama. We got some 3 days ago and it's already improved it so much it's unbelievable. Nothing else improves it this fast. Really the only thing that sorta works is steroids and even then it took weeks to clear it up as much as this cream has done in 3days.

The name of this miracle-working cream is "Creme Bebe Pour le Derriere" and it's from the Bocage Bee and Honey Co. They don't technically sell it online because they're tiny (but growing) business and couldn't keep with all of the sales they think they'd get online yet. However, you can email them and they def. will ship it to you! I asked about this specifically because when we tested the cream back in May, so many people wanted to know how to get their hands on it. The ingredients are all-natural beeswax, shea butter, grapeseed oil, coconut butter, corn starch and vitamin E. Part of the beauty of it is that it's whipped and thus so very soft and easy to apply. It's always totally safe for little ones to get in their mouths. It's not meant to be eaten obviously, but if your LO sneaked a taste of it, they won't be hurt by it. If a lot is ingested, the worst thing would be minor diarrhea from the shea butter. No chemicals, nothing in it that doesn't need to be there. This company is amazing all around, they are natural-minded and really interested in their products being healthy. One of their customers is a surgeon who uses raw honey to pack surgical dressings, another is a pediatrician who gets tons of samples from them to pass out to his patients with eczema.


I would not be raving about this stuff if I didn't truly LOVE it. LM's eczema drives me crazy, trying to keep it under control. The hospital visit in May was horrifying and trying to get enough antibiotics in him to fight the infection was awful work that made us all miserable. Hearing that it had been put on the market was such a relief. His leg, where this reoccurring spot is, is just looking so much smoother and less red.

Also, today he had an allergic reaction (second one he's had). He got his hands on some guacamole that had buttermilk in it and broke out in hives. I put some of this cream on him and the hives went away much faster than they did with his first reaction. The 1st reaction was during our Panama trip, when LM was given strawberry preserves by someone else. Broke out in hives almost immediately and they lasted for three or four days. This time the hives almost lasted several hours. Don't know if it has anything to do with applying the cream or not, but maybe it helped.

It comes in an 8ounce container which costs 16$, which I think will last several months of constant use.

For those local (Baton Rouge area), the company attends the Red Stick Farmer's Market on Saturdays with many of their products. But they also have a physical store at 3358 Drusilla Lane, Suite 1D. Their number is 225-448-5364.

But for those who aren't local, email them at  lliz@bocagehoney.com and mention me (Katherine Eagerton). Their website is www.bocagehoney.com


If you try this cream, let me know what you think! All I've heard so far are people raving about it just like me.






Friday, May 18, 2012

Facebook Photo Policy Just Got Worse


Baby Grayson was born on Feb. 15th 2012 and lived for only eight hours. He was born with Anencephaly- a rare neural tube defect in which part of the brain and skull are missing. You might have just seen an episode of Private Practice which featured a baby with this defect. Grayson's mom Heather Walker recently shared photos of her beautiful baby boy- and had them deleted and was banned from Facebook for them.

As if deleting breastfeeding photos wasn't bad enough, now Facebook is messing with angel moms too? Support this family and tell Facebook they've yet again crossed the line!

Three weeks ago, I was banned for a photo myself. And before that, I was banned for sharing my own breastfeeding photo. It's infuriating and insulting. But if I choose to share my angel's photo and THAT was taken down? After I finished sobbing at the cruelty, I'd be screaming. I can only imagine how angry and hurt Heather Walker is right now. This is just so unfair. Facebook is supposed to be a social media site, not an insanely censured dictatorship. PORN is fine, but an eating baby or an "imperfect" baby is judged to obscene.

http://www.myfoxal.com/story/18555730/mother-launches-facebook-protest?=

https://twitter.com/#!/TeamGrayson215

https://www.facebook.com/TeamGrayson21512

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Baby Lab Rat and the Eczema Monster

    Hubs says I've turned LM into a lab rat. My grandmother had a slightly better spin on it- she just called him a guinea pig. And I haven't called my mother because I don't want a third opinion on how I've-turned-my-baby-into-a-science-experiment. You would have thought I was dropping him off for the day at the Biomedical Research Center next door to the farmer's market (there really is a biomed research center next to the farmer's market location now, more on that later though LOL).

 Tuesday, LM made 8months old and was supposed to have a shot-only visit to get his first dose of HIB. But the night before, I decided I couldn't risk vaccinating him while he was in such a bad flare. So I called to change the appt. type from "shot-only" to "sick". Next week, if he's healed up enough, we're going to go back for the vax. His pedi checked it out and confirmed it seemed to just be eczema (roseola is going around) and gave us a script for a topical steroid for the two worst spots. He def. DOES have a problem with heat rashes as well though. Since we live in Louisiana and already do avoid bringing him out into hot weather, this is going to be a hard issue to work around. She briefly mentioned things like "infection" and "oral steroids" and "hospitalization". Sufficiently freaked out, we tried to fill the script that night and ran into some pharmacy/insurance/doctor disagreements that delayed it. So we continued treating at home with everything from Aveeno oatmeal products, topically applied (human) milk, coconut oil, etc. The rash was being soothed and yet still worsening. On Thursday morning, in the car on the way to the farmer's market, both his leg and fingers began bleeding again. It was early in the morning and still pleasantly cool, so we felt safe bringing him out yet that didn't help.

The product LM (and I too a little) is testing is a skin healing cream designed for infants with severe eczema and chemotherapy patients dealing with skin problems as a result of the toxic medicine they're using to try and save their life. It's made by a local small business called Bocage Bee and Honey. They have a physical store but they also set up at the farmer's market which is how I found them. We already eat their honey (Very Cherry!) and I drool over their candles/chapstick/soaps etc. But at the last Thursday morning market, I got to talking to one of the employees and ended up showing her LM's poor, bleeding little leg. She went to talk to a co-worker and came back to offer to let LM test this product. It's currently being tested through pediatricians and oncologists, and has been tested by several other babies too, all with good results so far. They're a local, natural-minded business and I am THRILLED for LM to have the chance to try this product before it's release.  She told me the ingredients AND what's NOT in it (like zinc oxide) which just confirmed to me that this was a great product-in-the-making. It's base is beeswax of course and it's only naturally scented. They do already have other skin care items but nothing quite like this.

They didn't have any of the tester cream with them, so they sent us to their physical store not far away. We've never been and actually didn't know it existed. When we got there, they hadn't actually called the guy holding-down the store yet so we waited and looked around. Just a couple minutes later, she called from the farmer's market and soon we where hooked up with a small tub to try. And with all of their awesome products, I'd better never go there the day after Hubs gets paid because I'd love to try them all!

My first impression upon using this was how easily it went on, how nice it smelled and how great it felt. It's super-light feeling, though it's actually quite thick. I'm guessing this is because it's whipped. The scent is very low and nice. It's also natural, so I'm not worried about it (it's a fruit oil I think). Once on, it's smooth, not sticky at all and rubs in easily. I'm putting it on every one of LM's bad spots with each diaper change and potty break. The less-severe spots, I'm applying it a couple times a day. Also, I'm using it on my elbows, where I have eczema, a few times a day.

Just eight hours and 2 or 3 applications in and I was in love already! The worst spot, on his leg, was much less red and hadn't bleed since before the first application. We finally where able to pick up the topical steroid cream that (Thursday) night but since the beeswax cream was already helping so much we didn't use it right away.

It's been two days now and to begin with- he hasn't bleed since. That in itself is a huge improvement. Also, we still haven't felt the need to resort to the topical steroid. His fingers look "normal" again and feel soft and smooth save for the two or three of the deepest cracks. These cracks still feel much better now but will take a while longer to completely heal. If he'd stop sucking them, I think they'd be almost back to perfect now. The open spots on his leg have scabbed over and are healing well now. The rash around them has smoothed out dramatically and is almost back to the normal color. All the other, less-severe spots are almost unnoticeable now. His healthy skin is soft as butter. The only place still not looking GREAT is his face. And that's mostly because I'm wary of putting it onto his cheeks and him rubbing it in his eyes. In fact, I'm sort of thinking of rubbing a bit in my eyes to test it out (did this with the coconut oil btw, and it's fine). He's no longer batting at the spots or trying to scratch. It is wonderful!!! I really could not be more satisfied. My own "spots" are much better as well, and nothing has ever helped them.

So basically, I just want to stockpile a lifetime supply of this for LM and I, and make sure everyone else knows they NEED to check this out once it's available to buy.

Oh, when asked for her opinion (she has become really awesome about not "offering" a less than stellar opinion unless asked, my mom had this to say: "well, I kinda just thought your whole life was a science experiment, so what's new?". Best part is, I'm not sure she realizes how funny that statement is LOL.

Oh, and about the biomedical research center: Our farmer's market has two weekly days year-round and a third during the summer. Saturday is the big day, Thursday's the second of the year-round days and Tuesday is the summer-only day. Each are in a different location and this week, the Thursday location changed. It's now set up in the parking lot of the Penningston Biomedical Research Center. The Center so far has been awesome- making sure the area was clean and dry for the market, and it's employees where walking over to buy the ready-made products to snack on. The vendors and customers feelings where mixed about this new location. Some where just vaguely uncomfortable with being this close and associated with a medical research corp. Others where discontent enough to consider dropping out of the Thursdays market and sticking to the other days/locations. And others where just pleased with the bigger area and good treatment from the center. One vendor in particular whispered that the center does stem cell research, which she doesn't mind but knows it's a religious/moral issue for some. As for myself, I don't think buying my organic food from the parking lot of a research center has to be a moral issue.


Sorry for the lack of photos BTW, camera got left at my grandmother's house and not retrieved yet!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

May Media Detox

    I don't remember ever using a tape, all my childhood music was on cds (my mom says she had lullabies and toddler music for me on tape though). As far as I remember, my elementary school just "always" had a computer lab. I know I was using it in kindergarten. I have no idea when exactly I first used the internet. It's just always been there for me. I started using cell phones in elementary school. I started my first Myspace account in middle school. I joined Facebook my first year of high school and had no idea how new it was.  The few times as a teenager when we didn't have internet, I would haul my butt on foot or by bus to the nearest library several times a week. I never willingly went without media or gadgets. I slept with my cell in my bra so I could be woken up by the vibration of incoming texts. My mother used to take my cell phone battery out of my phone when I was on restriction. I had two extras at any given time because I could NOT be without it. I taught my mother how to IM. 


  All of that should let you guess my age. I'm 20 years old, born in 1991. A dedicated member of Generation M (media). And I never questioned that until becoming a mom. Now though, I'm looking at media through a different lens. And thinking- I need to take a step (or four) back. Recently I read "The Winter of Our Disconnect" and it really struck me that I'm part of the kids in that book's generation, not the moms. The same thing occurred to me when I read Generation Text.  What kind of parents are Generation M'ers? And what will media consumption look like for OUR kids? Right now, the children born after 2010, are babies and toddlers. But they are def. the beginning of a new generation. They can use iPads before they're potty trained. They can work YouTube better than their grandparents. What will this even-faster, even-younger and even more consuming media appetite do for them? 

I believe in no screen-time under 5. And limited after that. I love social media, and a good Friends marathon is perfect for a rainy afternoon. I am on Facebook and that even more ensnaring addiction Pinterest every time LM nurses to sleep during the day. I don't even want to count up how much time that is. Because it would probably horrify me. Which is just another reason I'm going on a semi-media ban for the month of May. It's not a full-media ban, because I would lose my schmit without books (which yes, are just an old-fashion form of media). 

So here are my personal rules for my May Media Detox:

1. Zero Facebook and Pinterest time from May 1st until May 31st except for May 23rd when a good non-local friend's baby is scheduled to arrive via necessary c-section. 
2. Once a day at most email checks (walkingtowardscrunchy@yahoo.com, email me!) 
3. Tv/videos are only on when Hubs is home and wants to watch. And I'll be discouraging that
4. Google and internet in general only when I really  need it. No more random WILF'ing!!!
5. Will still be blogging! And hopefully without all my other internet-distractions, it will be much more frequent

* I won't be posting the links to new posts on my Facebook page, because yep, that would violate the Facebook ban. Any readers who want to do it though, feel free! 







Sunday, April 22, 2012

What We've Been Up To- April

   Mostly, we've been sick.

All three of us.

Yea, blugh.

Mommies shouldn't get sick. We all know there's no such thing as mommy sick days. I'm drinking elderberry syrup, Hubs is taking random OTC meds and LM is getting Hyland's cold tablets as needed. But mostly we're coughing and feeling crappy all day. For two weeks now. Sigh. Hubs is mostly over it if not completely and LM is mostly mocking my coughing at this point. Mainly, I'm the one who can't shake it. A less than great immune system seems to go hand in hand with my chronic pain.

Since we're feeling better these last couple days, we participated in the Great Cloth Diaper Change yesterday! We set a record for our city (Baton Rouge) with 36 pairs.



 The host for our city is a friend of mine, and the owner of my favorite store- Angel Britches. She handed out goodie bags.... and coupons for buy 1 get 1 half-price. And then announced that if you came in after the Change, it would actually be get one free. Oh yea!



We went straight from the library (our rainy day back-up location for the Change) to Angel Britches, along with several other of the participating mamas LOL. We where in a hurry to get to my sister's karate tournament but as an official cloth diaper addict, I couldn't pass up a deal. I picked BumGenius snaps to get in Albert and Lovelace. Sooooo pretty. Also, bought all the small and regular size Fuzzibunz mama cloth she had, 10 in all since I heard they're being discontinued. So don't actually need them yet (yet another reason breastfeeding is awesome) but have them on hand whenever. Was thrilled to learn that Angel Britches is moving into a bigger store this week! 300 more square feet for diapers, toys and more! Way back in October when I first found AB, Stephanie (owner) had told me she was trying to lease a bigger store so I'm very excited it's finally worked out.

What else have we been up to? Well, my identity was stolen. I apparently bought a house back in 2008, which was the start of it. In 2008, I was 16/17 years old btw. Def. not buying houses. So we've been working on sorting that out. Spending literally hours sitting in the IRS waiting room with LM is NOT exactly fun. They don't even have changing tables in the bathrooms, so after a few hours I had to balance him between the sinks to change him. It was narrow and too short and he tried eating everything he could get and rolling off. My nerves where shot by the time I finally got him redressed. But while waiting, he was actually very zen. They had small benches so he could sit next to me and play. I was really, really impressed with how well he handled having to be contained and just wait for so long, especially while sick. His only complaint seemed to be me not letting him wiggle down to the (very nasty) floor. Collected a bunch of compliments on his calmness and cuteness, which of course no mama is going to turn down.

LM's been trying a few new foods, though we're still just not big into doing solids. He's getting close to 8months old and it's just not clicking with us yet. He likes it sometimes, mostly to play with and taste a bit but still only 2-3x a week is he interested when I offer him something. Which is fine with me. Right now, it seems like he goes back and forth with liking a particular food too. He does seem to like the flavor of the herb dill though.






I'm also checking out convertible carseats. LM was 22.9lbs and 28inches long at his 7month check-up. His infant seat is a Britax B-Safe, which goes up to 35lbs and 32inches. So we have a while, which is good because it's going to take a while to do all the research LOL. The Radian rxt was the seat we where planning on getting, but now I'm not so sure. It's a GREAT seat, but maybe there's something better. In the UK, Britax has a seat that goes up to 55lbs RF, whereas the rxt only goes up to 45lbs RF. I've been drooling over that Britax seat this afternoon. It's called the Max-Way and I'm going to be calling Britax to see if there are any plans to bring this seat to the U.S. And there's another seat debuting here this summer- it's called the Foonf by Clek and you should check it out. It goes up to 45lbs RF like the Radian but it's taller. If it comes out before LM outgrows his infant seat, it might be the way we go.

Just read the Winter of Our Disconnect- about a single mom and her three teenagers who unplug for six months. The fourteen year old actually moves out in protest (to live with her father) but then comes back home despite the no-screen rules. It talks about how Digital Natives (aka Generation M, born 1990 and later, aka MY generation) have major screen-time addictions. Which is true and only going to get worse unless we as parents wake up to the problems with this. It was not only an interesting read but a truly funny read. AND despite her children now being teenagers, the mom references breastfeeding (positively) several times throughout the book. I actually found this at our local library.... and started reading it while still in the parking lot! For me, it serves as a warning manual, another sign to never let screens take over, to not let us get THAT bad.

I'm actually thinking of doing a media detox around here, maybe for the month of May. Not from blogger though, so maybe more of a Facebook and Pinterest detox, the two biggest addictions for me. I do have to say I've excited that in just a couple months our cable contract will be up and we'll just be getting internet and phone service, not cable when we renew!



^ While talking about media, there's a pic of my not even 8month old playing with a laptop. That laptop is the new one that makes us a 2-adult, 3-laptop family. Yeaaaa. We also have 3 tv's. In my defense, the laptop was either off or had a dead battery at the time. But still, sigh. Hubs is a techie, he loves all forms of media technology (except Facebook and Pinterest) and is going to school for computer programming. So we'll never manage to be a NO computer family. Unless I want him to spend hours and hours at Starbucks using their wi-fi.


LM showing off his new Lovelace BumGenius one-size with snaps!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Humble Beginnings (Garden 2012)


That's the garden plot at my grandparent's house, which this year it kinda mine. It's not big but without some trees coming down, it can't get any bigger. Maybe next year? But anyway, this is it last weekend, before anything's been done to it this year. Last year it was fairly successful, and mostly I'm hoping I don't totally manage to screw it up. See, I don't have a green thumb. More like a black one. My grandmother certainly didn't pass down her soft touch with plants to me.









Friday, April 6, 2012

If You Give A Baby A Spoon...

            you might end up with a happy baby, a mess and some great pictures. At least that's how it played out here. We're getting into solids more, a couple times a week now. I was munching some cilantro hummus from the farmer's market and LM was trying eagerly to get into my plate. After he managed to swipe some into his mouth and loved it, I gave in and sat him down. He didn't seem to be enjoying using his hands, so I handed over my spoon. It was love at first touch. And yes, it was messy. But as someone who's fed several babies and watched many a young child eat..... not that messy in comparison. He got a little in his hair and that would have been the hardiest to clean if he had more hair but we jump into the bath after he eats anyway. I know even many parents who are into Baby Led Solids avoid utensils as long as possible because of the extra clean-up but I just found it to be part of the fun. Not something I'd do in a restaurant probably anytime soon.... but I don't exactly see him eating a lot of restaurant food now or later. Too much salt, sugar and who only knows what else.






            Cilantro hummus is his clear favorite so far. He stayed interested in it the longest, seemed to enjoy the taste and ate all of it he could.



                                       Last night, we shared half a raw yellow bell pepper.



Despite that face above, he did seem to like the bell pepper slices. After several tastes of it, he stopped scrunching up his nose in surprise and was soon trying to cram two slices into his mouth at once. Several times, he bite off a piece and considered it for a while before pushing it off of his mouth. He knew he couldn't handle it and took care of it himself. Not a problem, though I must admit- I was nervous watching. Not too bad, but I stopped taking photos once he begin biting off pieces so my hands where free.



   He had cantaloupe recently too. The coolness of it, shape and smell of it all seemed to appeal to him. But the taste of it must not have or he just wasn't feeling it because he lost interest after just a couple minutes.


And a couple days ago, he also got to gnaw on some bread and bite off a piece. He sent my grandmother's kitchen into an uproar over that, which is kind of funny now but wasn't then.

Tonight's menu for LM is bananas (which he's tried before but not really liked) and maybe some more bell pepper slices. I don't follow the 4-day/7-day "rules" about introducing new foods. I've done enough research to be comfortable with only doing that for high allergy-possibility foods and we won't be introducing those yet anyway. We do watch for any possible ill-effects like rash, upset stomach etc but at this point LM isn't really even ingesting much of it anyway (besides the hummus!). We're just having fun and it's great!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hey Avocado

       
    LM is saying "hey" and "hi"! Look at me like I'm crazy all you want, my 6.5month old is saying hey and hi. Often, clear and to get my attention. He ducks his head when we try to get him to say it, but eventually warmed up and said both to his G.G., Little Aunt Emily and grandfather. So at least I'm not the only who's heard it. 




Solids!!! Last weekend, I was hanging out at home with LM. He was playing on the floor but was getting fussy, so I picked him up to sit on the couch with me while I ate. He grabbed a piece of avocado and tried to pick it up. Mostly, he squished it and then tasted the mush on his hand. So I said what the heck, he's over six months and sitting up now, so why not. I brought the bumbo out and sat him down with some "fingers" of avocado.



Things I learned: Wanting to play with it does not mean he'll like the taste, and not liking the taste will not mean he stops putting it in his mouth. And avocado should be in much bigger pieces because of how mushy it gets.

 The next day, at my grandmother's house, he was offered some more avocado and banana. He was less interested today (out of his element) but played with it. Mostly, he was trying to get to the fried chicken on my plate. He coughed a bit after my grandmother scooped up some on her finger and put it in his mouth (a no-no, sigh). Not sure if it was out of surprise, gagging or just because he has a light cough right now.

So I guess we've officially began solids. But that's actually all he's had so far. We got red sweet potatoes intending to offer him some, but his teeth have been bothering him worse again, and today his reflux has flared for the first time in a while. So no playing with food for him today. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week. No pressure. Food before a year old is all about playing and exploring, as I keep having to repeat to certain people ;) He's certainly thriving on just milk after all.

In other news, we got an Ergo yesterday and we are loving it. Review coming soon, but really, who doesn't already know that Ergos rock?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sitting, Sensory Play and Solids



  LM is sitting, as I've announced on FB already :D  I am SO excited about this, it's probably my favorite milestone. It's opens up the possibilities for play so much. After about two weeks of being able to sit unsupported for as long as he wanted, today he actually sat up by himself for the first (and 2nd, and 3rd) time. Could. not. be. more. stoked. Seriously, you'd think my baby was the first to EVERY figure out how to sit up with how proud and excited I am. Bliss of motherhood- your baby's firsts might as well be the first's of the world. Anyway, by a friend/fan's request and my own desire to share how totally giddy I am, here's some shots of the play we've been doing now with LM sitting unsupported. I've yet to get a video of him actually sitting up because he's either shy or sneaky- he won't even do it if he knows we are watching. LOL. Makes me wonder if this was actually the first time he's done it since we know he's being sneaky about it. Despite that, I think it really was the first time he was successful because today he keeps becoming incredibly frustrated when he can't repeat it.






Forgive the badly edited shot of us on the splash pad. I had NO idea how low my shirt dipped when I leaned over like that. Didn't know until I saw this pic *facepalm*

Swinging in a bucket swing at the park, exploring metal kitchen utensils and playing in the water at the splash pad have been just some of the ways we've been celebrated his new milestone. We're having so much fun, just like he is. By the way, I totally recommend going to a park for sensory play. After all, sensory play is all about exploring. The splash pad at this park is just wonderful. The shot of us above shows LM sitting in front of the smallest fountain on it. He slapped at it, tried to catch, tasted it, got splashed etc. Loved it for a while but got bored or over-stimulated after a while. So we walked around the splash pad, letting him see all the other much bigger fountains and play with the ones he reached for.

Last week, we went to a meet-up at a local indoor playground with some of my friends. As a kid, I played there all the time. We got there early (how I have no idea) and while Hubs grabbed a bench and pulled out his laptop, I climbed (rather awkwardly) all over the play equipment with LM in tow. There was just a trio of young kids there, who's mom's where great about helping keep the kids from running over LM. Getting into the big climbing tower-thing (play equipment thing?) and being able to check it out really excited him. He totally lost the ability to balance from laughing so hard.

LM's six month check-up STILL hasn't happened despite us going there for it yet twice. It's so frustrating I can't even form coherent thoughts about it yet. Just AUGHHHH. But whatever. Delaying his 3rd doses of DTaP and Rotateq (only vaccines he's received) and arguing with his pedi about iron supplements another month works for me. So he'll get a seven month check-up instead, in about two weeks. I'm guessing he's about 22lbs now.

With LM over six months, sitting unsupported and now sitting up himself we're getting ready to try Baby-Led Solids. Today, I woke up to a  package waiting for me on the ottoman. Hubs' ordered Baby-Led Weaning for me as a surprise. Oh yea! Books are better than jewelry. Since we have both organic sweet potatoes and avocados right now, those will probably be on the menu. Can't believe he's old enough to start tasting and playing with dinner with us.

Friday, March 2, 2012

New Hemp Fluff!


     New FLUFF! Oh, yea. New fluff always means a happy rambling mommy. This afternoon we visited the local diaper/baby store, Angel Britches. Favorite store ever, as I think I've mentioned before. I'd planned to get an all-hemp Happy Heiny's one-size diaper, a large Happy Heiny's Stuffin set, a Happy Heiny's So Simple cover and a pair of Babylegs. The HH trio are our leak-proof night-time diaper solution. They rock and I've been scheming to get two more sets ASAP. Today I just planned to get one set though, because of a lack of cash.  The Babylegs I've been wanting to try for two reasons: one, the cuteness factor and two the EC convenience. I planned to get the rainbow Babylegs, because I have a major love of all things rainbow because of LM being a "rainbow baby". 
Feeding at Angel Britches. My big boy and I really appreciate how comfortable the owner (and friend) make moms and babies feel here. Comfy recliner, not exiled to some small room, you can chat while LO gets their meal. There's a changing table just out of the picture and she keeps bottled water to hand out. 



    However, I ended up with different items. They were out of the rainbow Babylegs, and since there was no plans to order more until after summer, I picked another set. The cute owls grabbed Hubs' attention and they match his orange Fuzzibunz one-size perfectly. The name of these are Hoot. I had to try them as soon as we got home and LOVE THEM. They REALLY are awesome for EC'ing. We'll be getting a few more pairs with Hubs' next paycheck. 
They rock. Now he needs t-shirts. LM has SO MANY onesies, maybe three  t-shirts. I wasn't planning to do EC :/ 

Then, while chatting and browsing, I found the Fuzzibunz hemp inserts. They were three for $16 instead of the Stuffin's $12 each, so I have to give them a try. Next, I found the Happy Heiny's hemp&PUL combination diapers. With the addition of the PUL, they were only a  couple dollars higher than the all-hemp one-sizes but don't need a cover. Since the cover is nearly as much as the diapers themselves, the hemp&PUL combo is def. better value if it works just as well. I'll update about this soon. Since I wasn't having to buy a cover, I got another diaper. Yay! 


Today's goodies from Angel Britches! Two diapers, Happy Heiny's brand. Three inserts, Fuzzibunz brand. One pair of leg warmers, Babylegs brand.


These are the inserts. I choose the large, and they def. are! Very generous sizing, even on the biggest setting, there's a little left out of the pocket of these diapers. Not the same brand, so a difference is not surprising. 

                        
          The green with brown bears is set to the smallest, while the cow print is the largest. Here's a few pics to see how much of a difference. I really think these will fit LM longer than the Fuzzibunz one-size. 


                     
   
BTW, I picked the cow print. Hubs' actually was the one who suggested LM pick the second one. I feel guilty for not thinking of this myself. I held up the three remaining options, and LM selected this one eagerly. It's kinda mint green with various brown bears on it. Some of them are holding peace signs. 


                 
 The green is snapped as tightly as possible, but the cow print could actually be looser. There are two rows of snaps on each side but if you needed it to be wider/looser, you could of course only snap it as far as the first row. Does that make sense? 


                    

                     
     Above is the diapers closed and now stuffed. I have two inserts in the cow print and could easily fit at least one more. My experience with hemp so far tells me this won't be necessary but it is def. an option. The green has one insert in it. However it's a large folded in half. Fits very nicely like this. 

I'm really hoping these hemp and PUL combo diapers work as well as the all-hemp with So Simple cover. I'll update after a few nights to see how they work! 


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy 1st Half Birthday LM

    Oh baby baby, where has time gone?! My little man is six months old! We thought about doing a family dinner aka little party but then I quickly realized LM would not be ready for solids and thus the idea of a cake wouldn't happen. The plan kinda frizzled out after that. We did mark his birthday with a brand new potty of his very own, and of course lots of pictures. We are also getting him two new toys- a Green Sprouts teether key ring and a Haba Sunni clutching toy but haven't gotten them ordered yet. They aren't so much about getting him "presents" as being good quality, "useful" toys that he will benefit from.

Which is how I want presents to be always. Not just for the sake of buying something, but good quality useful items that he will benefit from. And having fun and exploring is VERY useful for a baby or older child too. Toys, whether from a company or from normal household items, are the tools of children at their work of learning through play.




I'm really shocked how fast time goes with LM. That saying "the days are long but the years are short" is half-wrong, for us at least. Even the days are short, time is flying by. Six months ago, I finally saw his blue eyes for the first time. Today, they're still blue but the face around them has changed so much.

He was born weighing seven pounds and twelve ounces. He's twenty-one and a half pounds now, almost triple his birth weight. He's trying to sit up on his own, and can stay up for a minute or two without support if he's helped up. Then he loses interest and plops over. He sucks his thumb now, and sleeps in for a while after I've gotten out of bed in the morning. Chewing on his feet thrills him, though he really can only do without a diaper on. When it comes to his feet, absence only makes the heart grow fonder I suppose. He goes wild when taking a bath, so much so that my grandmother won't bath him anymore. Arms and legs failing everywhere, I don't think I've ever seen a baby who loves a bath more than him. It's not just bathtime either, he's becoming more physical about everything. Cuddling with him during the day is leaving me feeling mauled and beat up. Yesterday, he smacked me in the eye so hard it hurt for an hour and later left a bloody scratch under that same eye. If you see me wearing an eye patch, you'll know who's responsible. I def. remember this stage with my sister. It climaxed in the moment she run up to me for hugs (laying on the couch, corned) with a plastic toy farmhouse in her hand. My mouth bore the brute of that, with a swollen split lip but my chin was fairly bruised as well. Walking that off so she didn't realize HOW MUCH IT HURT wasn't the easiest thing ever.

Crawling is just barely beginning to interest him but he hasn't figured it out yet. With his distaste of being on his stomach still strong, I wonder if he'll be one of the few babies who just never crawls but instead waits until they can walk. He'll ride in the sling for up to an hour, a huge improvement for him considering it used to just be a five-minute thing.. Recently laying down to play is boring him more and more.  I spend more than a little time helping him sit up to play. He's only been in his stroller once or twice ever and didn't think it was that great either. I still ride in the backseat with him but he's gone for a few rides with just Hubs and been mostly content. If he's distracted because we're away from home, he'll go without naps or eating for several hours but at home during the day he still eats and sleeps quite a bit. Eating every two or threes hours, usually an hour nap after every meal though he has been skipping naps more lately.

Zantac is no longer part of his life, thanks to (I think) a combination of aging and his chiro Dr. Cathy. Sometimes we still have bad days with the reflex, but we had them on the zantac too. He almost never has gas anymore. I'm really beginning to think he has a sensitivity I haven't discovered yet. Gluten maybe? Tomatoes, beans and  DAIRY all bother him, though I can have small amounts of the beans and tomatoes and tiny amounts of the dairy without upsetting his stomach.

The EC is going pretty well considering we've JUST started getting into it. We're only averaging one solid catch a day, mostly missing all wet but have caught a few. I'm thinking it's time to roll up our living room rug for a while.  Those who do EC- how do you clean LO's potty? I've been using wet wipes but it seems wasteful. I use cloth wipes for LM at diaper changes.... *Update* someone in the comments on Crappy's Pictures' post about cloth diapers answered this for me! That nifty little diaper sprayer we've never used because his poop is watery-all-breastmilk-washer-safe and may never use since we're catching most poops? Yep, perfect potty sprayer apparently. Can't wait to get it hooked up and try!

We're going to be starting really working on the Baby Sign Language. I've been using it sporadically for a while for but know I want to get much more consistent with it. Right now, I'm just signing milk and potty. He keeps swatting my hand away and either laughing at me or very pointedly ignoring me....





   Basically, LM is growing and thriving, healthy and happy. And I am totally in awe of him for just being himself, and mine to watch over. Watching him grow is exciting to me in a way I couldn't ever explain but many moms understand anyway.