Thursday, March 31, 2011

They Call These "The Joys" of Homeownership?

This weekend John is between shows opening so we are doing some spring cleaning. Last year John did this all by himself since I was a waddling pregnant person, or at least when dirt was involved I was. This year I have no excuse and we are short on time due to weather so I have to get dirty. I LOVE having a garden, reaping it's benefits, looking out and seeing all the lush green, I detest gardening of any kind, except picking fresh tomatoes right off the vine and noshing.

This is what our garden looks like right now. Since I like my husband and he's not my paid gardener, it's not really fair for me to expect him to do it all. Although if he volunteered or assured me that this was his favorite activity and that he wanted "me" time I would not infringe upon his request. Since I know the first is not true and the latter is a pipe dream, I'll be getting dirty. Part of this post is to try and psych myself up, excited for all the beauty that there is lying underneath this pile of dirt and leaves. I labeled everything we have to do this weekend, except for the few building materials you can't see behind the compost bin.

The List: remove all construction materials left over from the bedroom remodel (which isn't 100% complete and why you haven't seen pictures); take the slide (since we currently have 2) to our friend's house a block away; finish raking the dog run and the rest of the yard; pull up all trellises and old plants, get hangers for and hang up the ladder.

If the result is half as lovely as last year, which I know it will be more fabulous we are in for a lush summer. A different view, but still a peak into what beauty awaits.

Oh, FYI for you history people, on the other side of our fence is a small alley, it was the privy access before these houses had indoor plumbing.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Another Milestone

Sorry about my last post, there were so many typos and it was a little scattered. I typed it on my phone while sitting on the floor next to Miss K while she was in her swing, spitting out her pacifier every 2 minutes.

Since Sunday evening this is what we've been dealing with.

This is the thermometer reading 102.5, an hour after he had some acetaminophen. He's never had a fever and this is the first illness that we have, (which I attribute in part to breast feeding),but I know it's not the last. He's been so pathetic, whimpering and so very warm. The only part that I have enjoyed is the snuggles that I have been given.

I took him to the doctor today no ear or throat problems. If you need us we'll be at home waiting this out.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Please Pass the Salt

Saturday Brooks was not himself and John had rehearsal, we were going over for lunch anyway and ended up just staying. It's a good environment for him there, lots to look at, different people, rehearsal, and TONS of natural light.

I didn't bring dinner with us, so I ran out to the grocery to pick something us for all. I decided to check out the baby food section to see if there was a meal that Brooks could eat. I admit this was TOTALLY selfish, since I really wanted chicken parmesan and a) didn't want to share b) it wasn't the healthiest for him. There wasn't anything no pureed in the organic section so I went to the regular baby food aisle. There I found several options, carrots, turkey sticks and other vegetables. I picked one up to check out the ingredients and nutritional information, that's when I saw 255mg of sodium in the carrots, 265 for the meat. I was amazed, the organic meal I had an entire lasagna dinner 55mg of sodium.

One of the first things I remember reading when we started Baby Led Weaning was the amount of sodium a baby should have. I also looked up and asked his doctor how much sodium he should have a day, anywhere between 325-600mg is good. So now I'm standing in the grocery shocked and amazed by the amount of sodium in the carrots, JUST CARROTS!!!! I was so upset for so many reasons.

First, the non organic food is 49cents per jar, versus the organic at 99cents. If you have to cut back on your grocery bill or don't know to look at nutritional information, what are you going to chose?

Secondly, there is no reason for the vegetables to have so much salt. Babies kidneys can't process that much. It also puts the taste of salt in their mouths so they become accustomed. As they grow and mature what do they want...SALT! I can't believe that this is not a correlation to childhood obesity.

On a positive note, parents have several options now. I understand giving your child what you are eating may not be your cup of tea or may not work with your lifestyle. You can easily and quickly make your child's food in advance by making purees and freezing them. My personal favorite of Baby Led Weaning or organic baby food options. We just need to educate people out there, and remain vigilant for our children's health.

Oh and Tyler Florence has a line of baby food called Sprout, it's the one we bought the other night. Brooks LOVED it. I got a few more pouches to keep around, in case we are out and about and what we're eating doesn't work for him.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Would Like Thank the Academy

For my Not Mother of the Year Award.....

Brooks has been crawling for about 10 days now. We have been baby proofing the house as we go, which we learned is the best way. Except for the gates which are all over. I knew it was going to happen eventually, a scrape, a bruise, a cut, but it doesn't help when it actually happens.

I put him down for his nap and went into the bathroom next door. I heard him stirring and was getting ready to go in, but I had to get the medicine off my fingers first. I didn't get there soon enough, next I heard *THUD* *SCREAM*. I ran to him and he was on the floor. I scooped him up and checked him over visually first and realized he fell on his head. First thing that ran through my head, "OMG we have to go to the hospital he has a head injury." Then I took a deep breath, gave him lots of hugs and kisses and walked over to the window. We looked out the window and almost immediately I got two whimpers a sigh and baby hands banging on the window with a big smile.

OK He's alright, I knew this, I really did, but I couldn't put him down for about 30 minutes. Thankfully Miss K slept through all of this and the post cuddle which was more for me than him. We went downstairs and I kept him in my lap while we read books. Poor guy all he wanted to do was crawl away and play, but I needed him close.

We always joked that we were going to need to wrap him in bubble wrap so this was nothing. John has had more than his far share of stitches and I have broken 7 bones, so we know that this is the first of many accidents to come. He did a good job, a nice purple goose egg on his forehead.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Two For One

Since I was sick Monday and Tuesday I thought I'd try and make up for it today with two posts.

I have to gush about My Little Seat. It's not so much a high chair but a piece of fabric that slides on to most chairs and converts it into a high chair. It is a MUST for anyone who lives in a city, travels to a city on a regular basis or visits small cafes. Most of these places will not have high chairs and this means you don't have to hold your little one the whole time.

Look how happy he is, but I didn't get a picture of John and I smiling while eating our lunches. It will be a MUST give for a baby shower from now on.

OK my love fest is over. Until I use it again maybe tomorrow at the coffee shop.

Well worth the wait

My life is rarely dull, which is great, today was no exception.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has a great stroller talk program where a docent takes you to a gallery and you discuss a painting. Never before had I looked at art this way and I think its a great thing for John and I, since he is an artist and all. I packed our bags the night before since we were going to be gone most of the day. Days like today I pack two bags my tote which houses my purse, and a diaper bag that holds everything extra that I can pull from as needed but stays in the car.

We get to the museum and meet up with a friend and two acquaintances and have a lovely time on he tour I even learned a new word. We grab sandwiches in the cafe and have a nice lunch when it is decided that we would all chill there for a while. I has changed Miss K upon entering the museum but knew that Brooks needed one. My friend kept an eye on Miss K while I took Brooks to get changed. I get him out of the stroller onto the table unsnapped and go into my purse for a diaper, there are none. John had taken it out of my tote and changed him earlier. Grrrrrr..... I go back to the ladies explain the situation and pack us up. I wasn't too upset Miss K hadn't napped and Brooks was also running down. We get to the door and I see that it's full out raining, no big deal I was prepared, I put on my raincoat, pull the bunting over Miss K and put the rain shield over Brooks, and off we go.

Once we get to the car I go to grab my key and can't find it, dumbly, but luckily I had left the car unlock. I unload both babies, stroller in the trunk, etc. and sit in the driver's seat to retrace my steps. All the while I am telling myself, don't cry, you're fine, you CAN go back inside if needed, and now both babies are in serious fuss mode and about to explode. I retrace my steps and after a while remember that Brooks was playing with my clutch which houses my keys, ID and money. Praying I go to Brooks in his seat and reach behind him, there's my house key, I reach again and there is the key. HUGE sigh of relief.

OK so now we're in motion ANDDDDD gas light comes on, crap. I pull out the phone and we go to the closest one, babies wake while car is stopped, get back in on the interstate and finally they are both back asleep. *PHEW crisis averted, almost....

It had started raining again so I turned on the wipers only to find that they are totally jacked out and have scooted about 6 inches up, so I have metal scraping against the window in my vision. This is where I let you know that I wasn't driving my car, but John's. Finally we get to John's school and I let out a big sigh.

Amazingly I still consider today quite the success. Both babies were well fed, clean and slept well, and I didn't end up in tears, plus we all got cultured. Sometimes I feel like there are people watching me taking notes and writing a sitcom.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Been MIA

Sorry I'm MIA I'm a bit under the weather. I'll be back in full force tomorrow, with I"m sure grand stories. The kids and I are going to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for a discussion, I'm sure the 8 and (almost) 5 month olds are going to be integral parts of the discussion.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Putting on my Flame Suit

We're co-sleepers and bed sharers. We planned on co-sleeping originally. With nursing it makes everything so much easier. Especially in the first few weeks, when he was still feeding every two hours, even after that slowed down he was still up 3-5 times a night. But as we have discovered we can have a plan, but we have to be flexible.

I was supposed to give birth in a birth center, unmedicated. After 50 hours of labor I was transferred to the hospital and 15 hours later Brooks came out via C-section. The C-section was the first big change that we had. Brooks was supposed to sleep in the Baby Moses basket next to our bed, but it was too hard for me to sit up and get him out. After one night we went to the store and bought a co-sleeper.

He slept in this, between us for the first few weeks until I was healed enough to move him to the basket.

Around Thanksgiving we started moving Brooks to his crib, but he's still nursing and we were in and out of his room 2-3 times a night. It was SOOO much easier and we got SOOO much more sleep when he slept with us.

While I sometimes miss waking up and snuggling with my husband, I get to wake up to this every morning.

How long will this last? I don't know, right now I'm just enjoying the view.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Trade Off

I woke up this morning and a pimple in one of my "smile lines". There should be a rule, wrinkles or sits not both. Who do can I take this up with?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Living in a Gated Community

Thinking the Real Housewives of Orange County? Well don't, more like romper room. Brooks is officially, totally, and very mobile. Since we have three levels and only one of those has a door, up the gates went.

It's great to watch him though, he's into everything and loves exploring his boundries. The latter is definitely a blessing and a curse. He is automatically drawn to what is worst for him. While we have baby proofed a lot, there is still some left to do. Then of course there is no way baby proof Miss K, he loves pulling her hair and removing (read yanking) her pacifier.

I have suffered though...while converting his activity mat into a tunnel, I realized that this is harder than opening medicine tops. The tubing to hold the tunnel up is fabric then the tunnel is fabric which of course creates terrible resistance. While threading the tubing through the fabric I lost my grip not once but twice and ended up with a knuckle in my eye, then I broke my nail. *sigh* big deals me. All in the name of love, right?

Also if you could follow this link, it should take you to a photo of Brooks, if you could like that picture I would REALLY appreciate it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Small goals

This week my small goal is to wear makeup daily. Yes it's frivolous yes its silly nut it makes me feel netter. I don't think that the small amount I put on doesn't make a world of difference except for my perception.

Today I had every intention of waking up and putting on makeup when I was done dressing.....well I overslept by an HOUR! I blazed out a text to Miss K's mom asking if I could have 10 more minutes. Fortunately they live next door and this wasn't a problem. Got my shower on, hair dried, teeth brushed and dressed in 12 minutes! I ran downstairs as her dad knocked on the door. I was nervous that this was going to be a foretelling of the day, but it wasn't. That was the only blip on the day.

After getting both babies down I went through Brooks' closet and put away his too small clothes and brought out the next size. I decided then it was time for a little makeup. Brooks stirred an wokeup about half way trough but then was kind enough to play while I finished. Horribly tomorrow will be just as blemish free.

Monday, March 14, 2011

*grumble grumble Daylight Savings Time

This post would have been called something different if I hadn't given up swearing for Lent. By the way, for you nay sayers, I'm doing a pretty good job.

After forgetting to turn the clock in our bedroom back and being an hour late for choir practice yesterday, you would think that I would make sure all of the other clocks were also adjusted, ohhhh no, not me. I forgot the main floor clock the, floor where I spend most of my day. Because of this I was thrown off all day.

Before we headed over to have lunch with John I changed both kids. Since I was off I had missed the fact that it was nap time for both. I'm changing their diapers and they are both wailing. Took me 50 minutes to get out of the house once I started getting ready to do so.

They fall asleep in the car, I grab a coffee and play on my phone. We arrive at John's school about 5 minutes before class was over. I take the kiddos to the lobby, where they have a nice carpeted area and lots of sunlight, and take them both out of their seats. I get Brooks out and notice that his jeans are a little wet, oh no they are soaked. Oh well he's going to be crawling the whole time. Then Miss K, she's soaked too, well she's not going to be crawling, fortunately she was wearing a dress, so off went the leggings.

John gets out of class and we change both babies and I realize that I forgot to tuck the diaper fully into the cover, on BOTH. Poor kiddos, I was trying so hard to soothe them both that I hastily put on their diapers. The worst part I don't have a change of clothes for either, oh and I forgot Brooks' blanket. *face palm* We just don't have leaks or blowouts with the cloth diapers so I normally don't carry a change with me. Fortunately the cloth diaper covers are larger and their wet onsies don't touch the skin.

As we were leaving I grabbed a monogrammed burp cloth that had been given to Brooks and tucked it around his legs. Miss K had her fleece blanket so I wasn't worried about her warmth. They both fell asleep on the way home and took a nice nap. Once we were inside it was 3pm!! Where had the day gone? I ran upstairs to get pants for them both but couldn't find any for her so I grabbed a pair of Brooks', they are light blue with blue lambs and blue writing that says "thank heaven for little boys". Oh the humanity!!! At least they were now both dry and happy.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It Takes a Village

I've always heard the expression, "it takes a village to raise a child", and now that I have a child I truly understand the sentiment. You can't watch your child all time and not have any time to yourself. My brother and sister in law told us before Brooks was born to make sure we had a date night at least once a month. This is made more challenging since we have no family locally and we've only lived here a year. Fortunately in that short time we have been able to meet and befriend some amazing people.

Things got a smidgen easier last month when a friend moved less than a block away. Their son is a week older than Brooks. We've been able to discuss development, ask questions, bounce ideas and run over to one another's homes for a moment of sanity. Our lives took another parallel when Leslie (the mom) started watching a friend's daughter 3 days a week.

Last week Leslie suggested we do a sitting swap. We would watch their son one night and they would watch Brooks. Cha-CHING, sign me up! We started our swap this past week, we had Gabe on Thursday and Brooks was with them on Friday. Neither boy had even stayed with someone that they hadn't spent a significant amount of time with, so all 4 parents were holding our breath and crossing our fingers.

Gabe came over and was just fine, until his parents left, then he got fussy. He stayed fussy for about 15 minutes, then started to really break down. That's about the time we realized he didn't like John. So John went downstairs, suddenly we have two happy babies. John came upstairs, Gabe started crying, John went upstairs, Gabe was fine, all night long. It was quite comical, but not a big deal since the boys were playing well together and learning to share. After 2 hours his mom and dad came back and John could safely enter the room.

The next night it was our turn. We had every intention of grabbing a glass of wine at the local wine bar and coming home to clean and prepare for a get together the next day. Welllll we stayed at the wine bar, grabbed some Thai food and had a proper date. It was so chill and lovely. When we got back to Gabe's we found out Brooks was the same way with Seth (the dad) that Gabe had been with John. We all got a proper chuckle out of this. It was decided that maybe the boys need a little more time with the other's dad. I'm hoping that Leslie, Seth and Gabe will join us for dinner this week.

I don't have a village of family near me, but we are all so fortunate to have a village of friends who will lend an ear, sage advice, a kind smile and a long walk.

They were both smiling right before this was taken, but you get the idea.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Babies MUST know

The babies must know that I am not 100% today. I went to put Miss K down for a nap and Brooks screamed. I even gave him his new toys, but I had the audacity to put him in the pack n play. How dare I try and protect him! She would only sleep if I was holding her. I could get her to sleep and put her in her seat and then Brooks would wail. He of course quieted as soon as I picked her up again, I'm sure they planned it ahead of time.

Not only am I not 100%, but it's raining, AGAIN. I'm sure you've heard this, since it's the opening headline on all the national news this morning. I am thinking of selling the house and buying an ark, that way we could get more animals. Just in case you haven't turned on the internet, TV or radio today, the whole Northeast is a mess. I'm just grateful it's not snow.
I feel like I'm back in Louisiana with all the rain only it lasts for days and we are once again under a flood watch, and expecting about 2 inches of rain today. Thank God for Wellies, mine are yellow and make a dreary day a little more cheery, especially paired with my bumble gum pink trench.

The only other thing that is helping is the double stroller we are borrowing and the mall. I'm sure the mall will be PACKED today, but I don't care. They have covered parking and both babies love to people watch. So today we will watch lots of people.

Well little Miss just stirred and Brooks broke through the barrier I had, so we are off.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Your Baby Eats What?

Before Brooks was born we read about a philosphy called Baby Led Weaning. Basically your baby eats what you're eating. No purees, no cereal, etc. We do a modified version of BLW. We felt it necessary to do it this way in order to incorporate enough food into his diet slowly, plus I was gluten and dairy free.

We started with sweet potatoes, a nice yummy 2 inch or so roasted piece of sweet potato. That was 2 months ago, since then his diet includes, squash (acorn, butternut and summer), asparagus, green beans, white potatoes, bananas, quinoa, beef, chicken, avocado, grits, just to name a few. He doesn't like celery or eggs and as of yesterday quinoa isn't one of his favorites, but we'll try that again next week.

It's terrifying at times to give him food and listen to him gag, but he's never choked (knock on wood). We did make sure we knew the baby Heimlich before this all began. We also waited till he dived bombed our plates until any solids were introduced. Though once he started there was NO stopping him.

Besides him dive bombing our plates we knew he was about ready to start this, he had a pretty good pincher grip and was able to sit up unassisted.

Look at that grasp

BLW has really helped with his hand eye coordination. He's not perfect, but he's pretty freaking good. He's able to get a bottle in and out of his mouth as well as tipping it further up as he eats. He's also able to drink water out of his sippie cup unassisted. He doesn't drink all of the water in the cup, but since he tilts it, we like to fill it too high so he doesn't have a problem wetting his whistle.

Look at this contended avocado filled face.

If BLW hadn't worked for us then there are other options. But so far it is working, We don't have to cook, prepare and then freeze his food, don't have to buy jars of baby food and we know where all of his food comes from and how it's prepared. Woot!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This Old Home - well our old home at least

We moved to PA in November 2009, and bought a Federal style row house built in (apx) 1890. We knew we wanted an older home, we feel as though they have more "soul". Not that you can't bring soul to a newer home. There are definitely some...well challenges in having a baby here all, not to mention two babies!

First, the house is 3 stories and a basement. The first floor has the living and dining rooms and the kitchen. The second floor, has the nursery, storage room, bathroom and master bedroom. Third floor 2 bedrooms. Notice I only mention 1 bathroom AND it's on the 2nd floor, challenge #1. I have figured out, on most days how to leave the babies and pee without total meltdowns, notice again I said most days.

Challenge #2 - the staircase. The stairs in this house are so freaking steep. How steep are they? So steep that you can't fit a queen sized box spring up them, trust me, we know from experience. This makes carrying a baby down an experience, or carrying two babies simultaneously an adventure.

Challenge #3 - The nursery is only 81 square feet. This is actually plenty of space, unless people forget or don't think about this and decide that your son needs every stuffed animal ever AND the largest ones they can find. This isn't actually the case, but it sure does feel like it sometimes.

Challenge #4 - the door knobs.

This is one of 4 like it that we have in the house. They might not be the most beautiful doorknobs in the world, but they have so much character, the same character that drew us to our home. They are porcelain (I think) and a beautiful tortoise shell pattern. I feel each time I turn the knob I'm touching where who knows how many have touched before. What was their story? What were they wearing? Was this their baby's room?

The challenge with these door knobs is the catch, it's loud and doesn't always catch, and of course there is one on Brooks' nursery. There have been numerous occasions that we have him asleep and go to sneak out and spend an hour a minute or two getting the door to latch. This of course makes noise and wakes up the aforementioned sleeping baby, who has no intention of going back to sleep easily or quickly or for that matter quietly.

So now I'm torn. Do we replace the door knob on his door for the occasions it doesn't latch or just continue to suck it up. He'll be putting himself to sleep soon enough anyway right. That happens soon, right? Not at like 10 years old, right. Right, RIGHT, please God, RIGHT?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Nevermind: I found him

Sorry I've been MIA, we had a family emergency, then my parents came into town. I got some great pictures, but no one will ever see them, since I didn't have the card in the camera and it has no internal memory. So you'll have to take my word for it.

I did find Brooks, the one that we all know and love. He was hiding and still is playing peek-a-boo with separation anxiety. Yay (where's the sarcastic font again?) It started when John went into tech for a show an hour away. Fortunately things got a LOT better Friday, when my parents arrived and John's obligation at the theater was done. We were even able to leave him with my parents for several hours.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have more and new pictures. We've had a lot going on including the introduction of avocado into his line up.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Have you seen my baby? I seemed to have misplaced him.

I lost mine. He's about 2.5 feet tall, around 17.5 pounds and loves to smile and laugh with everyone. He's been missing since Thursday..if found please swap him out with this pissy, clingy baby that arrived on Thursday.

Attached is a picture of what I am used to seeing all day, except nap and bed times. I will try and get a picture tomorrow of his replacement so perhaps his parents can be found.