Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Little Big Man

Since bathroom demo begins tomorrow at 8am, it seemed prudent to try to have Pumpkin sleep in his crib in his room today for a nap, just to be sure it would go over well tomorrow when it was a necessity. He has been sleeping at night and naps in his cosleeper next to our bed. It's super easy to feed him at night and I love that I can hear him so close to me and know that he is safe. With Peanut, we started naps in her crib around the same time - 3-4 months or so - and that seemed to work nicely as the beginning of transitioning to the crib for night as well. So I put him down for his nap and he is happy as a clam - why would I think otherwise? He is really a great easygoing guy. Here he is looking so tiny in that big crib!My little man is getting big! He is now enraptured by watching people eat, and I suspect he would make a valiant attempt to wolf down anything he was offered! We'll hold off on solid food a bit longer though. He's also working so hard on rolling over. He has surprised himself a few times by rolling tummy to back, but this week he has been trying back to tummy and almost making it. He looks so proud of himself too!

Here he is pleased as punch about getting to his side -

And here's a short clip of him working at it. He is determined to flip and I think once he figures it out I am in for some trouble!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's for real...

We moved into this sad foreclosed house knowing it wanted the chance to be happy. Over the past year, we have cleansed it of demons and dirt, painted every surface, knocked down walls, installed new floors, fixed major plumbing and electrical issues...we have done everything except our master bathroom. We have three bathrooms but have lived like we only have two. The master was/is so bad that we have never even used it and we basically just keep the door closed.

On Thursday all that will change! Demolition begins and we will have the most awesome master bathroom ever, hopefully by Thanksgiving. It is amazing how badly I want this done, now that we have decided to actuially do it, when we have lived without it for the past year. We ordered all of our tile and fixtures on Saturday and I cannot wait to see it all come together.

Just give it to me straight!

I am not a supplement kind of girl. I have always thought that if you are eating well (real food) you should be able to get everything you need. As I have gotten older and realized how much I need those extra vitamins and minerals that have gone directly to my kids through my milk - no stopping at go, no collecting $200 - I have made the leap. I now take a ridiculous amount of vitamins, and I can tell (and I bet you could too!) if I haven't had one.

Since I have a two year old who can eat a ginormous amount of food one day and nothing the next, I decided to try some vitamins with her as well. She has been taking a probiotic powder that I mix into her drinks and food, and this has been going well. She knows it is there (because I tell her) but it doesn't change the taste of the food or drink so it works. I figured we should try a similar way to get vitamins in. We tried liquid vitamins first. I mixed a bit into her water, but the juice taste was too much for her. She really only does water and milk, and these vitamins had a weird juicy juice taste. So next we did the gummy ones. Since she has little candy experience and I thought these would seem like a treat. She hated them. We tried chewables which worked for a few weeks until they lost their appeal somehow. Same with the DHA gummy fish. So after a good $50-70 down the drain I gave up.

A few mornings ago, she saw me dip my finger into the probiotic powder and give some to her little brother. Well, that did it. She had to have some too. I gave her some on her spoon and she ate it and asked for more. I offered the original liquid vitamins on a spoon too - guess what? She ate them. Then she saw me taking fish oil on a spoon and wanted that too! Well OK... she ate that! So all this time I have been racking my brain to figure out how to get vitamins in, she would have just taking them straight. Oh why didn't I do that first???

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tying things up...

For those of you following along at home, I figured I'd update some of the loose ends here...

I've been trying to avoid the topic of weight as I really do believe that there is an unhealthy focus on this in our culture. You can see the beginning of my attempt to keep track of how long it really takes to lose the "baby weight" here. I cannot avoid the fact that I am still wearing maternity jeans and if I did wear regular pants it would be in a size that I do not now nor have ever owned, and that I simply refuse to purchase. Thus the maternity jeans. I do have one pair of jeans that fit (poorly and uncomfortably) that are in a size I am familiar with :) but I can hardly breathe in them so it really doesn't count.

Can you hear my frustration? Can you sense my attempt to chill out about it as we are only 3 months in? Can you tell this is really really hard for me?

The really crummy thing though is that I only have about 15 more pounds to go, and it wears like so much more. I can tell that what everyone says is true - your body shape really does change after the second one. I am finding that my tummy is really beginning to slim while my hips and thighs remain the same. *sigh*

I know that if I could carve out some time to move it would really make a difference in how I feel about this as well as in the weight itself, but that is proving to be way harder this time around. I think by now with Peanut I was walking the dog everyday (we are lucky if it is every week right now) and had started back at yoga and pilates. In order to do classes now, I need to get daycare which is really silly for an hour or two a day. I thought there was a moment when naps were coinciding and I'd be able to get a workout in during the day, but that was short lived. I know I should just put the kids in the stroller and go but then I feel like I am depriving Peanut of the time she needs to run around....I know, I need to take care of myself if I want to take care of anyone else well. OK, you've convinced me - I'm walking this week.

On the home improvement front, we did finish Peanut's bookshelves - they came out great! Here they are -

And we got our small composter back - had no idea how little it really was! In our townhouse yard it looked so big!

As far as the Oil Cleansing Method I started in July (read about it here), it is really great! For the most part, my skin feels great - and really when it doesn't I know it is because of something I ate (or didn't eat) or that I need more sleep, or should rethink something I have said "yes" to... It's as if by cleansing this way my skin has been allowed to tell me more about the rest of my body. Or maybe it just forces me to pay better attention. Pretty cool.

I'm sure there are more loose ends to tie...but a little man here needs some attention!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I am creating my own little foodies. We are a bit uppity about our food - we like real food to begin with which seems to be an oddity. Food from a box is really not my thing - it is not more convenient, nor is it less expensive. It is also completely loaded with crap. In my hunt for foods without soy I have been pressed to read labels once again and I continue to be amazed at the unpronouncable things in what ought to be regular foods.

We buy mainly fresh foods and make things from scratch. I love to have Peanut help in the kitchen, at the farmers market, grocery store and the garden so she sees how food begins and how it gets to our table. She knows that chickens are animals and that we eat them and their eggs. I am trying not to hide the realities of food from her just as we are trying to teach her about money - it doesn't just appear and it doesn't come from "that card".

We get most of our meat and eggs from Polyface farm and I will never go back to store bought meat and eggs if we can help it. The taste of happy, appropriately fed animals is second to none, and the eggs are amazing. Here's a picture of breakfast preparation when we had to use store bought eggs in addition to our last farm egg as we had run out. The difference is astounding - and the store bought eggs are organic cage free....etc. so we are comparing equally. Check it out -

In the wee hours

I hear a rustle, a few little coos, another rustle. The clock says 3:30am. I look over and my little man is wriggling around. After a few minutes of thinking "maybe he will settle back down again", "I just can't move", "is it really 3:30?", the coos become caws and I know he is wet and hungry. Decision time. Will he scream if I choose to change him first? Will he (and I) fall back asleep if I feed him first and thus make it harder to get up to change him afterwards? I get up, change him, he yells a little but mostly smiles, happy to be dry and with mom at our alone time this early in the morning. We've been up and down all night - well, I've been awake but Honey has been the one to go in to Peanut's room to settle her down. We've finally discovered that she is teething her huge molars which is why we have 2 year old madness time 875. As we settle back into bed to nurse, I hear a little rustling in the other room. This is now become a routine - as I begin to nurse Pumpkin, Peanut wakes up calling for me or daddy. No need for half the family to be awake - we should all be up really. Goodness - it's 4 am - the day is getting away from us! So we tend to babes, and snuggle in, explaining to the older that it is still nighttime and she needs to go back to sleep. Time to roll over and switch sides, but Pumpkin is having none of it. Now that he has his sugar rush, he is wide awake and ready to play. He smiles and wriggles, rolls and complains that I am not an active participant. Daddy takes him and lays him on his chest and I go back to sleep for a blissful few hours. As tired as we are, I wouldn't trade these times for anything.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Please Sleep!!!

I am a girl who needs her sleep. Early to bed and early to rise and all that, but there better be some good solid sleep in between. So far, my little man has been doing really well sleeping (knock wood) and he wakes to eat or pee and then drifts back off again. I am getting maybe 5-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep if I go to bed by 10. Not to shabby for an almost 3 month old.

On the other hand, Peanut who has been sleeping in her own room since she was like 6 months old and was sleeping through the night early enough that I got lots of dirty looks from other moms, is now giving us a pretty good run for our money. For over a week now, she has fought and fought HARD to stay awake at naps and bedtime. It all seems fine until you move to leave the room (we do books and music and then tuck her in - we used to just leave and shut the door and she was out 90% of the time) and then the drama begins. Even the first "mommmmmy, mommmmmmmy" or "daaaaddy daaaaddy" sounds pained, like someone is hurting her. She says she needs to pee, poop, have a drink, get her baby doll wrapped up, get a tissue, read a book, change the name it. She has even said "don't leave mommy" which I was thankful to hear because at least she is saying what is under all of the drama instead of wrapping it up in all the other nonsense.

Honey and I have tried to think through this logically and discuss how to deal with it. We are a really good team - able to back each other up and support one another when we are clearly at a loss. There have been a few times when I have been doing the bedtime routine and the crying and pleading has just gotten to my "anger/lose control" switch and I have relied on Honey to take over mid sentence (that is certainly not to say that I haven't lost it a few times...). We began by reasoning that she is looking for more attention and control and so we calmly talked with her about going to bed, asked why she was crying, and fed into the litany of routines and rituals that she needed to get settled. At some point Honey discovered that she was afraid of the dark and we put in a night light which seemed to help momentarily. We also supplied a pillow and another blanket. When we realized the wailing stopped and she was smiling at us like she had won when we went in and asked what was wrong, and we were both working hard for the whole evening, we decided to try a new tack. We began to go in and say "it's time to go to sleep" and put her back down/in bed. This seemed to be working, but last night it was over two hours from the time we put her down to sleep to the time she was actually asleep. I finally went in close to 10pm and told her that if she stayed awake and yelling, I was going to call her friends and tell them not to come to playgroup the next morning because she would be too tired to play. Unbelievably, that worked.

Cognitively, I know that our kids, like all kids, will go through phases in all aspects of their development. We'll have these times where life is difficult. But for some reason, sleeping really pushes my buttons. I think it is because with two little ones, the only time I get for myself is nap time (if I can get them to sleep at the same time) or bedtime. The only time that Honey and I have for each other is when the kids are asleep. If I am anticipating "getting a break" and then it never happens, I am just really annoyed. As a mom, I feel like I am "on the clock" all the time, and can't really take a moment to do something for just me. I did do yoga the other night at 10pm though - it felt really good. And I have been taking a little extra time in the shower just to breathe.

Honey and I had a whole discussion about men and women and the bathroom. It seems that men are more comfortable going in there and reading and continuing to hang out and read long after they require the facilities. I am going to need to give this a try (of course not unless Honey is home...).

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Huge Freecycle Score!

Last week, the whole family went to hear a speaker on composting that was hosted our Holistic Moms Network chapter. He was just what I needed to inspire me to get moving again on my composting. We have a "pile" in the yard - just yard debris that we let sit out there and decompose. It will become "black gold" someday, but not for a long time. We used to compost our kitchen scraps when we had a tumbler like this, but we left that at our old neighbor's house when we moved and have yet to pick it up. Actually, I just sent Honey over there now to go get it. From what Mitch, our speaker, said we should fill the tumbler up and then let it do it's thing rather than continue to add stuff to it. To me, this meant we had to start another compost pile or bin. We always have scraps in the kitchen to toss and really half the point of composting is to save the usable scraps from ending up in the trash or the disposal. Also, it is hard enough to train everyone to toss the veggie and fruit leavings in the compost bin under the sink instead of in the trash or disposal - imagine I we are constantly changing that. Oy.

So I'm thinking we will have to get another tumbler, because we don't want critters getting into the compost and we don't have the time/energy/inclination really to build a lacking bin. This means a few hundred bucks that we don't have in our budget. Oh well. I figure we will scour craigslist and something will turn up. Well, what do you know - I saw a post on our local freecycle for a beat up compost tumbler like this one, and said "woohoo!". I replied that I wanted it, arrangements were made, and sweet Honey made two trips with the tremendous thing and it's stand strapped to the roof of our Santa Fe. Free! Yes free! A $500+ composter! We set it up in the yard yesterday and have already added last nights tomato ends, stray spinach leaves, onion nubs and pear and apple cores. Here it is in it's new home...the drum is a little banged up, but it is fully functional and who cares if your composter is pretty or not?
If you haven't joined your local freecycle group yet, you are a ninny. We have gotten so much great stuff for FREE! When we first joined, it wasn't to get things either. I originally joined when I had bought my townhouse and was renovating it. I was hoping to get rid of some things without bringing them to the dump. I was successful in that, and soon realized I could get rid of pretty much anything. I know you have crap in your attic or garage that you don't need or want. I know, I know - there is no tax deduction! I still donate quite a bit, but you can't donate an open container of ice cream that you just don't like the flavor of. I have given away a pan of BBQ when we ordered too much for a party, shelves, cabinets, a floor (!), fabric, sewing patterns, record name it. Now, I keep a box for stuff to give away by my computer and when it starts to get full I sit down and post on freecycle. I check the site out every day or two to see what others are parting with and sometimes (like the composter) I hit gold! I've gotten lots of things including clothes, (a maternity swimsuit with the tags still on!) a brand new drying rack, hangers, toys, shrubs and plants and have met some really nice people along the way. So join up, and save those old patio chairs from the landfill. Some guy is happy to take them and paint them up for his yard. There is someone who needs a part from your old broken kitchen aid mixer. Someone will use the rest of the body glitter you only used for clubbing that once, and there is a taker for all those pieces of wood leftover from your deck building. Join freecycle! Save stuff from the landfill and make someone else very happy!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Every day - a little amazement

I won't give you the gory details, but Peanut was trying out her new travel potty seat today on top of the big toilet at home. She likes to keep track of her progress on the little potty, and was doing the same here. I guess the water in the bowl was a new experience because she said "look mommy - swimming!" Just a riot.

Then, she truly astonished me. She gets a sticker if she poops anytime before dinner (we were/are having a battle over sleeping and the litany was "water", "milk", "poop", "wrap baby", "fix blanket"...etc. ) and she got to choose one today. The stickers are those teacher motivational ones with things like, goal!, wow, nice work, great job, terrific...etc. on them. I asked which one she wanted and she looked and chose one and while she began to peel it off she said "mmmm, how bout this one - Nice Work!". Yeah. You guessed it. That is what the sticker said. Could have knocked me over with a feather.