Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bottle Kits


I love this idea that I ran across last night. It's a Nalgene bottle stuffed with things in case of emergency - heat blanket, food bar, ibuprofen, gauze, band-aids etc. I'd recommend buying your own Nalgene and stuffing it with emergency essentials rather than paying $25 for one.

BUT, it is a great idea. I think I'm going to start making these and keeping them in my car. It'd even make a good baby shower present if you stuffed it with a gift card, travel shampoos, hair clips and put a baby Nalgene sippy along with it!

Check them out here (always free shipping)...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

more books...


"Young Cat! If you keep
Your eyes open enough,
Oh, the things you will learn!
The most wonderful stuff!"
-I Can Read With My Eyes Shut

The world of reading just excites me. Some of my best memories include becoming lost in a story. There are so many good books - classics and new ones. Thanks for the recommendations thus far.

Izzy is constantly on the go, but if she has her bottle we're more likely to get through nearly an entire book! It helps when I make really embarrassing intonations with each character or sentence.

Here are some of my favorites (that span various ages):

Ramona Quimby books by Beverly Cleary.

The crazy Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. I think we can all relate with poor little Alexander.

Where the Sidewalk Ends: the Poems and Drawings
of Shel Silverstein. I really like Shel's website too.

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss.

Sideways Stories From Wayside School
by Louis Sachar

These are just some of my favorites that popped in my head. There are plenty more.

Monday, February 26, 2007

diaper duty.


This is going to be a jumbled, random post. I'm sensing it. But..I was thinking about these things this morning:

1. I really love Costco diapers. In the 8 months we have been using them, I can remember maybe 3 times that Cole has leaked. I love getting such a deal. And the box lasts for ages. (In Boston, we bought diapers in maybe 75 count packs. It meant diaper shopping every week.) I do have to say, though, that I would only use Pampers Swadlers when he was a newborn and/or Huggies Supreme in the transition stages before size 3 Kirkland brand. What do you swear by?

2. There are a lot of "tricks of the trade" when it comes to diapering a baby boy. They were lessons we were forced to learn pretty quickly, considering ignorance was not bliss when baby boy squirts your face, outfit, or crib sheets during almost every change. I always had a stack of thicker baby washcloths by the changing station when Cole was teeny tiny. Washcloth would go right on top of his privates when I was wiping him clean. I don't know how in the world people used kleenex or wet wipes to do the same job. That would have been a guaranteed soak through for us.

*Another: baby boy would leak no matter what quality of diaper unless his privates are pointed down (in the diaper). Quite a difference between newborn boys and newborn girls, right?

3. Did you have quite a few diaper leaks when your babies were brand new? I remember changing his crib sheets and/or sleepers almost every night. (And we always did a middle-of-the-night diaper change too.) That's never a problem for us anymore. Did they just pee a lot more when they were smaller? Or do newborn diapers have less of a holding capacity? I wonder..

Saturday, February 24, 2007

mini boden.

If you like how we got started stories, this is a fun one:


I recently heard a rumour that I didn’t exist. This was mildly disconcerting so I thought that I should set the record straight.
Boden isn’t a figment of a marketer’s imagination. 15 years ago, having failed miserably as a stockbroker and realising that I wasn’t particularly suited to having a proper job, I started my own company.
I began with just me and 8 menswear products in my flat in west London, doing things the way I’d want them done if I were a customer.
It hasn’t always been easy. We’ve had five burglaries, one office dog, twelve nights spent in the warehouse, one consignment of refugees in a delivery, about twenty fantastically annoying customers (more than half of them related to me), two false breasts in a returns parcel, four office moves, and far too many anchovy pizzas to be considered healthy.
The range may have grown a little since then, but my values haven’t changed one bit. I’m still as passionate about what we do now as I was then, and am more than a little bit proud of what we do. That’s why we have launched in the US. Aside from the whole ‘tomayto/tomarto’ thing, we’re not that different, and I thought that you might quite like our beautifully colourful clothes as well.
I hope so anyway.



I learned about Boden this morning when I started flipping through a (mini Boden) catalog we got in the mail last night. I think I really like them. Here are some of my favorite pieces (I found considerably more "girl" things than "boy"):






Fun...right? Simple and playful and very summery. You can check out their sale here. (They do have women's and men's clothing too.)

having a baby

My sister's friend had her baby on the way to the hospital - IN THE CAR. Crazy. Here is her personal account and here is the news article.

Her three other kids were in the backseat and her husband was driving.

Other crazy labor stories - my old next door neighbor (when I lived with my parents) was getting out of the car at the hospital (she was in labor) and her baby fell out of her onto the ground. She lived near the hospital and had been cleaning her house a little too long, not wanting to just wait around at the hospital.

And one more - my mother in-law's friend had her baby on the toilet seat (she thought she needed to go to the bathroom, but really it was just the urge to push).

All babies were and are happy and healthy.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Miss USA

Don't ask me why I'm into Celebrity Babies, but I am. I love to read this site, although I haven't had time in a long while. I was trying to catch up this morning during Avery's (suppos-ed) morning nap.

I'm sorry if you like the Apprentice, but I'm not a fan because of Donald Trump. He bugs. He annoys me and everything he says itches me the wrong way. From his way of saying that his daughter (with Marla Maples) is so beautiful even he would date her (were it not for the father/daughter relationshiop) to his "Trumps don't change diapers." Get real. Welcome to 2007 Donald. Get a life.

He bugs. Anyway, this made me annoyed this morning. He didn't want Nancy O'Dell to host the USA pageant because he "doesn't like how pregnant women look." Please.

Decor


I ran across The Art Farmer this morning on my design search for something to hang in our guest bathroom. It's a fun site and if I had a baby boy, I think I'd purchase the elephant above.

They come ready to hang, which is always of help and who doesn't love silk screen, handmade art? Support the locals and/0r freelancers.
They have contemporary, kids, nature, beach (with polka dot bikini prints!) and one's that just make you smile.

sleep and poop.

I'll combine the two hot topics on this blog and talk about our problem with pooping in the middle of nap time. Any experiences with this? This is how it happens: Cole usually loves his morning nap and sleeps a good 2 hours (if he's not sick or teething) but..lately? He'll sleep an hour and wake up very grumpy. When I go in to lay him back down, he's stinky. He won't sleep with a stinky diaper, but changing him will completely wake him up. It's a problem. I always change him and sure enough, naptime is over. And then we have a grumpy Cole until his afternoon nap. I'm thinking it's just science: he eats breakfast and he poops. But why is this a new happening, then? Any ideas?

a kick in the pants..

Since having Cole, my body keeps changing sizes. It's not a problem that I'm going to get much sympathy for since the numbers are getting smaller...but regardless, I have maybe 1 pair of pants that kindof fit me. (Shoes are too big, my rings are too big, my bras are too big, etc.) Clothes too big or close too small both pose a problem, right? I haven't bought a single item of clothing since I first moved here in July (which I'm really proud of) but yesterday I made the venture to the Banana Republic Outlet in Park City. I thought I came home with 2 great finds (a pair of cotton pants and a pair of jeans) until I go to put the jeans on this morning and they are way too big. I have always done this; I always buy clothes too big. I don't know why and Brad isn't much of a help since he's my husband and thinks that everything looks good. Flattering, but when it comes down to shopping...I need the help. So I'm still on the search for a good pair of jeans. I don't mind fitted, but I don't like tight. I have a very straight figure and I'm most comfortable in comfortable. Banana Republic is usually a good find and I'm in love with my JCrew jeans that I wear every day (which are also big), but I'm hoping to not spend as much as I did for those. (I know it could be worse. If I was trendy, I would pay at least $140.00.) Price aside, any favorites?

Help

I'm in need of a closet-good-smelling-sprayer. Is there such a thing? We have a walk-in closet and while our shoes are kept downstairs in our garage, sometimes it doesn't smell good. Maybe that came across wrong. It doesn't smell bad, as in rotten/gross/icky bad. But, just stuffy you know? I need something fresh. Something like a candle, but I can't light a candle and leave it alone in a walk in closet for fear...

Any ideas?

Authors


Lauren Child is one of my favorite children's authors so far. My mother got Avery this book when she was just four months old (very applicable since she rarely slept). I've looked at her other books and they are just as good. They are fun to read with unique illustrations (actually more like collages with real-life images paired with her own drawings).

Charlie informs readers that when his parents ask him to put his sister to bed, "This is a hard job because Lola likes to stay up late.-most of all chattering." When he says, "But all the birds have gone to sleep," she does not fall for his logic: "But I am not a bird, Charlie."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

latitude.

I found a fun new company when I was researching for some gifts. Google sent me to Baby Oliver Boutique, where I learned about Latitude Enfant fabric toys from France. I'm excited. These are two of my favorites: (let's just say the Hugo the Hedgehog is coming home to Cole come March 19th...the big birthday..)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

story time

The books I pulled for story time tonight are two of my favorites. [Story time in our house is so funny because Cole can rarely sit still long enough to get even half-way through the 2 words on a page books.] Let me share:



Julia Wants a Pet is about little Julia who lives in an inner city apartment complex. She takes her baby carriage out every day to look for the perfect pet.. "Crows are too fast and flies are too small. A pony would be perfect, but a hedgehog or a frog would be fine, too." Her everyday outfit is a blue tutu over a yellow leotard. I love the illustrations and I love remembering that my biggest dream in life (pre-teen)...was to own a chimpanzee, of course.












Goodnight Opus, a play off of Goodnight Moon, is another fantasy adventure where little Opus "departs from the text" to visit the Milky Way, the tooth fairy, Abe Lincoln in stone, Blue Mist Lagoon, etc. with a silly twist at the end. The author offers a warning before page 1:
"This work of fine literature is not suggested for use by an adult unless accompanied by a kid or a kid guardian. If a suitable minor cannot be located, a proper set of bunny jammies should be worn during the reading. Please help us maintain these minimal standards."

Humor is good.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

West Elm


West Elm's Spring Sale started today. If you don't buy anything, no worries, the decorating ideas are fun to just look at! And the throw pillows are to die for...

Monday, February 19, 2007

family car


I'd like for the Volvo XC90 to be our family car.

Any favorites?

Plump Your Pucker

is one of my favorite lip gloss lines. It's by The Balm, a makeup company based in San Francisco. My cousin works there and she introduced me to their line a few years ago.

Their lip gloss is supposed to make your lips look fuller and there is actually a tingling sensation when you first put it on. I'm not sure if my lips actually look fuller, but I do love the colors and their names are too cute.

I always have a Plump Your Pucker lip gloss in my bag.

My faves are:

water my melon (looks bright pink, but more of a shine).
razz my berry (berry/bronze color)
crush my grapes (darker berry)
squeeze my lemons (clear/shine)

I love reading the "about us" stories of companies - just to see how they started. The founder of The Balm began by purchasing how to make makeup books and started mixing in her kitchen.

Someday I want to start my own business...something from home, something I love...hmm.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

belly blues.

I know this may be an issue unique to me, but I thought that I would come forward and say.. sometimes I want my belly back. I don't dwell on it (unless I'm taking a bath and my stomach pre-bath looks the same as my pruned fingers..) but it's a reality for me. I think carrying a larger than average baby 2 weeks over due just did it in. There's no going back to smooth or flat (naturally) because my skin is just plain stretched and my muscles are permanently separated. Luckily, I've never been fond of flaunting my body and consequently, I can guarantee that you will never have to count on seeing me in a spandex body suit or a bikini. That leaves me with having to find clothes that flatter my new body; my body that tells a story of...well, all that motherhood represents.

Here are some of my favorites (things I would really wear). I like them simple. That fits me the best. (There is one of everything. I'm ready for summer.. Can you tell?):

(bananarepublic.com)

(nordstrom.com)

(jcrew.com)

(anthropologie.com )

(jcrew.com)

(jcrew.com)

(jcrew.com)

(jcrew.com)

Of course, I like to set my style apart from any mall mannequin by adding unique jewelry, scarves, hats, and/or especially shoes. (I LOVE flea markets and new artists and European design.) Most of the time, though, I care less about upholding any latest and greatest trend, and put all focus towards comfort. Comfort and individuality.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Organic or No?

We are getting close to the age that we can introduce milk to our babies. I have actually been thinking about this for the past couple months. I am not in a huge rush to push cow's milk on Avery, but someday I will be introducing it to her and I want to know what we're getting into...

It's obvious that girls today are entering puberty at a much quicker rate than we were a mere 10-15 years ago. And when we compare the size of girls today versus the size of girls in the early 1900's, the difference is staggering.

The Washington Post published an informative article a few years ago. This is actually where I first started reading and learning about the importance of eating/drinking organic. The article takes both points of view. It makes you think and causes you to choose which side of the fence you sit on.

The concern and main argument is over the hormone rBGH. While the WHO and the National Institute of Health conclude that the hormone does not show evidence of leading to cancer, they did not come back with significant data to demonstrate that it changes the way girls mature over time.

What makes me sad about this is that farmers are injecting cows with this hormone to increase the amount of milk a cow is producing. They want more milk at a quicker rate so their sales increase. I'm not willing to take the risk to give my daughter hormone-pumped milk in order to give a farmer more revenue.

I've spoken about females, but the article actually points out that boys are maturing at an accelerated rate as well. My mother-in-law is a high school teacher and has been for the past 16 years. I talked with her a while ago asking her if she noticed girls getting bigger over time. Incredibly was her response.

Why is this such a concern to me? Not only can early breast development lead to embarrasment among classmates (wearing a bra in 2nd grade?), but also the breast tissue has more time to develop breast cancer and the emotional aspects of puberty are nothing that a 9 year old should be faced with. Not to mention the size issue of growing large at a young age and only getting bigger over time (weight) could also lead to adult obesity.

Now, our budget does not allow us to go completely organic. Unfortunately there are not enough organic farmers out there. This drives the price up of all organic products, which leads to farmers being less willing to switch to organic. It's a Catch-22. What can we do? We, as a family, try to buy organic where we can and where we feel it matters most. Milk is one of those specialties, especially since having Avery.

For those living in California, Trader Joe's has an USDA certified organic milk for $1 less than the chain markets. Otherwise, Horizon Organic is a good brand. Just be sure to look for the USDA certified label on a carton. This ensures that your milk came from a cow that was NOT treated with hormones and fed on a grass and no-pesticide/insecticide diet. A grass-fed cow is much healthier than a grain-fed cow. This NY Times article is a good one about cows milk.

I won't get started on how the federal government will not offer organic milk on the WIC program. Ok, maybe a little bit. They consider it a luxury item and will not sponsor it because of the high cost. So, they offer the cheapest milk. The least they could do was sponsor a milk that was free of hormones, right?!

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

good, clean fun.

I love organization and cleanliness. I don't particularly love the cleaning part (I think that would make me extra odd) but the end result is thrilling. Have you found that being a "clean" person attracts a lot of criticism? I have had several experiences in the last couple of years that have completely thrown me for a loop. For example, a co-worker when I was an assistant manager at a live-in treatment center several years ago initiated a conversation with me about...when I become a mother (she was a mother of 2), I'll learn that it's impossible to keep a clean home. I told her that it wouldn't be impossible for me because it's important to me. "You just wait," was her response. She continued to press the issue on me. Where was this coming from? She didn't even know me. I had another balmy remark last summer from someone who was supposed to be my friend/support: "I thought you were never going to have kids because cleanliness is SO important to you." Ouch. Yes, it's important to me. But it doesn't control me, and it certainly doesn't override a life that I've always wanted: to be a mother.


What I've learned from these experiences that leave me feeling so small is.. that order in my home helps me be a better person and mother and wife. I cannot operate in a messy home; it's stressful. I love the peaceful and smooth life that my commitment to--cleaning well once a week, washing sheets once a week, vacuuming a couple of times a week, and putting things in their proper place in the home--allows. It's easy. Considerably easier than not doing these and consequently having to fix a big mess every so often. I also love the peace of mind I get from knowing that Cole is crawling in and licking and touching a reasonably clean environment.


So, I get excited about things that help me be even better in this arena in my life: small things like Real Simple magazine, or Method cleaning products or Paper Source filing folders and holder. I have these

and I love walking into the room we use as the office, and being able to go straight to a "receipts that need to be entered (into Quicken)" file or a "to be filed" file or a "to do" file or a "church" file.

Do you have any "organization" (or "cleaning") favorites?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

music.

Since most of my days have a soundtrack, I decided to do a little research on Cole-friendly music. This seems to have good reviews, and how could it not? I've always been a Jack Johnson fan.

You can listen to some of the song clips from the album here.

I really like the Ben Harper and Jack Johnson duet:

and the Jack Jonson version of this: .

Do you have any good listening for once our under one-year-olds figure out what music is all about?

update.

On the art front, I thought that this was a really great painting. Cheery and colorful and very adolescent.
You can find more of Sophie Soprano's original art (and limited edition prints) here.

Red Stamp Cards turned out to be a great company to work with. I got my order within days: unbent, really unique, quality cards with a handwritten note thanking me for my business. I love that place.

On another note, Dwell's bibs and burp cloth set gift idea was such a bust. It was 2 amazing bibs and one burp cloth for $16... and when I go to purchase it for a friend, they add on a $25 shipping fee. Hhmmmm. Crappy tactic, Dwell. They lost my business.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Hoodie and Sweats


Every baby needs a hoodie and matching sweats. For the rainy (or snowy or windy or single digit weather) day to make them feel snug. This is my current favorite and if I can narrow down my personal wish list for simple t's, maybe I'll make a purchase.


baby lingo

English is the dominate language in the US and the UK, but when it comes to baby vocabulary there are some major differences. As an American living in London, I'm often caught between the two vocabs and attempting to adjust certain words in my conversation before the person I am talking to says, "What? Is that what they say over there? How odd." I figure if I can just remember to adjust, I can avoid explaining the terminology again and again.

If I'm talking to my sisters, US friends or parents, I slip back into American baby lingo. When I'm talking to my Brit friends or doctor's (or strangers on the street), I am back with this now second-nature vocab which once seemed so unnatural and like I was forcing the words out of my mouth. Now it's just another normal name for that baby item.

Here are some of the major differences when it comes to baby terminology.

diaper - nappy
binkie / pacifier - dummy
crib - cot
bassinet - moses basket
stroller - pushchair / pram

I also went to a midwife for delivery and most of my post-natal care. We also had health visitor visit us at home after the birth of Isobel. My doctor is called a GP (general practitioner). She was great, but didn't do much and had nothing to do with actual labor. Just a few differences...

Art


I would really like to spruce up Isobel’s room by adding a piece of art. I’d like to keep it simple and modern, but so that it's obviously her room (with or without a crib).

The only thing we have is her bedding (but it's pretty easy to match with, I think). We were moving right after she was born, so decorating her room wasn't in the cards. We'll be in this flat awhile so this room deserves some attention.

Right now a double size bed dominates her space, because her room also serves as our guest bedroom. Still, I want to make it her own and I think that starts with adding a piece of art and working around that addition.

The piece above, from Modern Tots, is my favorite so far. Another I like (I just don’t know how much) is below. It's from Habitat, which is one of my favorite home stores. I think the one from Modern Tots is my favorite though.



Any recommendations for places to find cool nursery art?

Thursday, February 8, 2007

fashionable cards, fashionably on-time.


I know I did a post on Valentine's Day cards at bellamuse.com, but after a better look, I'm not a fan of their overall product. Some are a little tasteless. So, I've been doing my research for the perfect site for cards (since Paper Source only sells their cards in stores...what?) and found this: Red Stamp Cards. It is so perfect: a greeting card for every occasion, in every style, with decent prices and, AND... the option to have their company hand write in the card of your choice and send it to the lucky person you're thinking about directly from the store. Isn't that pretty brilliant?! (I know, ideally, we write and send our own cards. But for the times you forget until the day of? And you have to load baby in car, drive to your nearest Borders or Papyrus, pick a card, write in it, and make it to the post office before 4:00 to buy a stamp and send it... That's when this works. That's when you go to redstampcard.com and choose the "we will handwrite your message and mail your card for you" option to get that card there just a little sooner. )


Added bonuses: they have 10 helpful etiquette tips. In their words, "Real paper notes mark true style and grace. Here’s the skinny on all things paper." They also provide a choice to give to a number of charities when you're checking out. (I think it adds $.98 to your total bill.)
I just finished purchasing a Valentine's Day card for Brad, a birthday card for Cole, a birthday card for Brad and a birthday card for my little sister. I'm set until May. Good find.

Framing


Here is an easy (and cheap) way to spice up the look of frames in your home...

First, get a picture of your baby or anyone else and enlarge it - 8x10 works well.
Second, buy an easel at a craft store like Michael's

Third, get some foam board at store

Get the acid-free double-sided tape and attach the picture to the foam board and use a razor blade to cut the board perfectly around the photo.

Voila! You have a stylish photo up on your shelf or somewhere in your home that differentiates itself from the rest of your frames.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Sleep

Remember how you both warned me that at 8-9 months your babies were having nap issues? Yeah. I think we are going through that. Isobel is really fighting her second nap and even going to bed. The fact that she stands up in her crib doesn’t help either. She is sleeping through the night most of the week. That makes me happy.

Anyway, the purpose of this blog? For me to state that it’s comforting to know other moms go through napping/sleeping issues too. It’s not the “misery loves company” comfort, but the “we’ll get through it" comfort. The "trust me, isobel - you'll be taking your second nap" comfort.

I read on Ask Moxie (thanks Missy) about it too.

“The "8-month sleep regression" (which for some babies is closer to a 9-month sleep regression) is related to the 37-week spurt. For some reason that one just seems to cause more waking, too, than some of the other spurts do. It might also be particularly hard because many babies are smack in the middle of working on crawling or walking, and also teething.”

She didn’t fight bedtime this evening. And she had two naps. Maybe we’re back on track? Oh, who knows...

Sunday, February 4, 2007

breastfeeding.



My thought for the day as I was knitting in my bedroom during Cole's nap: breastfeeding in the parenting world is such a sensitive issue, like abortion in politics; there is usually such an extreme left or right view, with very little attention to an individual circumstance that might land middle ground. (Actually, not only very little attention, but often immediate judgement for not breastfeeding.)

I understand and fully agree that breast milk, with the ability to.. meet a baby's changing nutritional needs, provide antibodies to protect from common respiratory and intestinal diseases, and aid the mother's health, to name just a few benefits.. proves the best option for the baby. I am definitely pro breastfeeding, but Cole was only breastfed until he was five months old, all along being supplemented with formula since day one. I definitely didn't go without criticism (verbalized or not) for pulling out a bottle. To put it out there, here's my story:

Cole was born a HUNGRY baby. He still is.. always starving. When he was a newborn, he was immediately a "good" breast feeder. He would latch on correctly, had a very strong suck, and would empty both breasts completely, usually in as much as 30 minutes. I never had the problem of the newborn falling asleep at the breast. (Well, maybe the first 2 days.) This wasn't an option for Cole; he was too focused on filling his tummy quickly. His eating habits were nice for me. I very rarely felt engorged or had a problem with leaking. I always wore breast pads to play it safe, but only remember it every proving beneficial maybe twice in the entire 5 months of breastfeeding. But I very often fed Cole for a good 30 minutes to finish with a baby who was still hungry. His doctor encouraged me to supplement with formula. (Usually after just a couple of feedings a day.) And that helped!

Because of his ever-present hunger (that his original doctor attributed to being a big baby and a probable inheritance of my blood sugar issues), breastfeeding created a bit of anxiety for both of us. Even one second of the nipple being out of his mouth initiated a screaming, angry Cole. This is obviously unavoidable when I was switching sides, so I just got crazy good at being very quick. Our second and most pressing issue was Cole's refusal to feed under a blanket or cover without a fight. So feeding in public? Impossible..unless I didn't mind doing it with a kicking, crying baby, or, at it's best- an anxious baby that couldn't relax during feeding time.

So, for five months I would breastfeed Cole the appropriate number of times a day, sometimes follow with a couple of ounces of formula, and usually choose to be a calm mother with a calm baby on Sundays- our day with an inevitable public feeding session- and bottle feed him ONCE during church. Cole took to a bottle easily, and his bottle feeding never imposed on his breastfeeding. He would do both easily. This worked for us. And this allowed me to get out every once in a while, leaving Brad with a bottle and good instructions, without worrying about having to be back in two hours. (Or more often than leaving Cole with Brad, taking Cole with me and packing a bottle.) My anxiety was drastically toned down and Cole was calm and content. This made me a better mother.

Then a cross country move happened immediately after I was hospitalized for a rare tropical disease I picked up in Hawaii. Both events depleted me of fluids or caused major stress, lowering my milk supply. By the time we got to Utah, when Cole was just over 3 months, breastfeeding became a physical struggle between the two of us. I was so determined to keep feeding Cole the "best," but Cole's frustration with getting so little milk during breastfeeding turned him off completely. I tried holding his head to my chest to encourage him so suck. I tried only feeding him in a quiet room with just the two of us. I tried singing and stroking his head. Nothing would convince him to breastfeed. I researched my options. I cried. I had a serious inner struggle about my decision to bottle feed.

Come five months, Cole was easily weaned from the breast and took a bottle for all of his feedings. Arguments from the breastfeeding-is -the-ONLY-way community:
health risk from lack of antibodies: I hope I didn't jeopardize Cole's health! This was the major issue that caused inner conflict with my "to bottle feed or not to bottle feed" decision. He's had 3 ear infections and his most recent cough/cold. Maybe that is from the lack of antibodies from breast milk; maybe not.
contamination of bottles and nipples: I don't think I could get any cleaner/ conscious of what I give to my child. Not an issue.
lack of bonding between mother and baby: Luckily, this was NEVER an issue for us. Actually, it was quite the opposite: Cole is so much calmer with a bottle that he ever was with the breast. I would never compromise the time I have with Cole when I'm feeding him, breast or no breast.
ability for mother to loose pregnancy weight quicker: I'm 15 pounds lower than before I got pregnant. I need to figure out how to stop loosing weight.

I hope that I don't put Cole at risk for a lower IQ or myself at risk of Ovarian or Breast Cancer for breastfeeding 7 months shorter than the recommended amount of time. I have been conscious of not adding to plastic waste in the environment. I have tried to make a decision based on what was best for me and what was best for my son. It was a hard one but one that I have yet to regret.

Where does this leave me? It doesn't change my ideas about breastfeeding being the best option. I will definitely start new with my second child. But it puts me in a position where I have realized that life can't always be so two-valued: black or white; left or right; breast or bottle.

Simply Yoga

I love the way I feel after yoga - mentally and physically. I've been eyeing a couple yoga dvds at Costco since before Christmas and finally bought this one.

It's a dvd and 26 flashcards with various poses. I need someone telling me what to do and making up the routine for me, so the dvd will initially be my guide rather than the flashcards.

Just bought it Friday. I'm excited.

What yoga or other exercise dvds do you use? What would you recommend? Missy, tell us the best yoga dvd!

I also bought a Kathy Kaehler Total Fitness dvd in the $1 section at Target in January (except it was $2.50). Only done it once.

DVDs are a new thing for me since my good intentions of making it to the gym are just not happening.

Seriously. I can't wait to try the Yoga dvd. I am craving that mental and physical state.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Blueberry


I just googled blueberry in search of a picture and it came back with "did you mean blackberry?" It made me laugh.

Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels
They help prevent cancer
Great source of fiber (helps constipation)
Assist in decreasing stress
Build up minute retention skills

AND they make wonderful fingerfoods for our little bunnies. They're in season right now and would also be good in the cobbler that some of us are thinking of making for Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 2, 2007

toys.


I was thinking today that Cole (and Avery and Isobel) will be moving into a new phase of toys pretty soon.

Cole isn't extremely into the basket of toys we have in the living room; he will dump them all out, play with a few until his attention darts to any outlet, cord, or decoration he shouldn't be playing with. He does have a couple of favorites that he returns to over and over again, though. He especially likes two Manhattan Baby balls that he got for Christmas: the Skwish (left) and the Winkle (right).

What are your girls' favorites? Do you have any toys that are a bit beyond their level right now but that you think might be appropriate in a couple of months? Any ideas for new toys come 1 years old?

(blocks from www.babystyle.com)

dwell.

I've been eyeing Dwell for a year now. I'm so in love. There fabrics are exactly what I would choose to get the perfect balance of soft but unique-to-Carters. Since I've checked it last, they've come out with new products including a kid's bedding line as well as burp cloth/bib sets and stuffed animals and soft blocks in the Dwell Baby department.


Do you really get 2 bibs and 2 burp cloths for as low as $16 total? Deal, right? And the soft blocks make a perfect gift if you don't mind a bit of a splurge.

The good news: next time I'm up for a new duvet set, forget Pottery Barn. (Especially if I hit Dwell Sale.)

www.dwellshop.com

eating out?

Cole and I made a trip to Bajio today on our way to Costco. I love that he's now sitting in the restaurant high chairs and gets excited about eating finger foods. It makes going out fairly low-key. Do-able. When I first found out I was pregnant, my mom bought me table toppers. They're not a cute product but I've used them several times now and LOVE them. The concept: a clean plastic "place mat" that sticks to the table and provides a easy clean-up surface for baby to eat off of. I especially like that they are large enough to cover the entire surface within Cole's reach. Unfortunately, they don't really solve the problem of Cole loving to drop his food off of the table to watch it fall. We'll have to figure that one out.

Making A Splash


The fashion industry will be launching their spring styles in New York soon. And while I wouldn't consider Old Navy a fashion go-getter, they've suprised me with their cute baby clothing. Especially some of the swimsuits. I like them.

Cute Clips

One thing I love about having a girl is the clothes and accessories that I can buy and dress her up in. My daughter has quite a bit of hair and these are my favorite. They have flowers, animals and fruits and veggie clips.

Giddy Giddy Clips. You can buy them through paypal from the makers or you can get them at a variety of online shops.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

rock-a-bye



Before I became a mother, my vision of the joys of motherhood was rocking a sleepy baby in a rocking chair. We didn't have room for one more piece of furniture when Cole was born (living in Boston), so we went without for the first 6 months. I always found a way to improvise. (I think an instinct that comes of giving birth is a rocking motion that I always found myself doing...baby or no baby.)
So, a rocking chair was on my "to buy" list when we finally got settled in Midway. We have a Puff Chair in creamy-yellow microsuede. (Similar to the one in the picture..)I love it. It's amazingly comfortable. And.. with Cole being sick these last couple of days, I've given it some wear. Rocking my baby boy truly is a joy of motherhood.
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