Sunday, June 29, 2008

This Week!

So, this weekend I obviously spent little time online and have been welcoming Rob back and hanging out with my mom. But this week, look forward to hearing from Rebecca at Nurtured Family in the first Moms Who Do features. I have no idea what Sawyer will be up to this week, so we'll have some surprises and pictures of whatever he's doing!

Okay, and can I just say that the Miss Texas Pageant is insanely ridiculous??!?!

Spit (Up) Happens

I was just about to leave my mom babysitting Sawyer when...THIS happened. Click the images for a better (and grosser) look. (Of course, I'm the jerk who says, "Sure I'll help you get cleaned up--just let me take some pictures first!")
How precious is this face??

Friday, June 27, 2008

Your Favorite Things!!

Thanks for all the responses! Here are the things y'all have said you could not live without! I'm having to condense your descriptions just a little bit, but tried to get your reviews in there. I tried to put in links so you can buy the products wherever possible. If I happened to miss you, please send me an email and I'll add you in!

Beth K's top two are the Fisher Price Healthy Care Booster Seat and the Koala Baby Thermal Blankets. The booster seat is a can't-live-without item that she says is far superior to a high chair, especially for her son, who is a little on the smaller side. It snaps onto the chair for easy removal, and supported him well at six months and still now at eighteen months. It's also portable and works well in restaurants.

The Koala Baby thermal blankets can be found at Babies R Us and are the best for swaddling--large and stretchy. Her son broke out of every swaddle until these blankets and they were big enough to use until he was five months old.

Kristen A loves the Baby Bjorn bib. It's hard, so you can wipe it off and it has a pocket, so when her older son uses it, it will catch the food that fall off the spoon and when her younger son uses it, wad it up and put it in his mouth like a soft bib. She says they're pricey, but worth every penny.

Sarah F is pregnant with her first baby (a little girl!!) and said that as far as products, she loves any pants with the Secret Fit Belly (on pants from Motherhood, Pea in the Pod, Mimi Maternity, etc) and that prAna maternity yoga pants are very comfortable and bendy for yoga. They have a roll top waistline and she says they are so comfy that she wants to wear them 24/7.

A non-product that she loves is prenatal yoga because she knows she is doing something for herself and for the little one. It helps with bonding and preparing for labor. And naps are a must-have. :)

James and Taylor G sent these faves for their family: Britax Marathon, Born Free Bottles, Born Free Twister Brush Set, Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags, Maclaren Techno XT, Skip Hop Red Duo Diaper Bag, BABYBJORN Baby Carrier, The Ultimate Crib Sheet, Jumper, Boppy® Rock in Comfort™ Travel Swing, Bravado Nursing Bras, Fisher-Price® Baby Papasan™ Cradle Swing, Rainforest™ Bouncer, Fisher-Price® Rainforest™ Jumperoo, Chicco Polly High Chair.

Jenna R sent this comprehensive list, which I'm posting in entirety because it was a great format. (Plus I like the best baby carrier...)

Best Bottles: Evenflo glass bottles, Born Free bottles and sippy cups. The Born Free line is plastic, but without the harmful chemicals that can leech into the liquid baby is consuming.

Best Products for Eczema: Disney Baby Eczema Cream from Gentle Naturals®, Eucerin Aquaphor Baby Bath Wash

Best Diapers: Pampers Swaddlers

Best Relief for Teething: A combination of icy cold teething rings, a frozen wash cloth, and the most effective: my finger gently rubbing on the gums back and forth.

Best Toy: Taggies Big Soft Blocks. These women are ingenious. It's true that most babies are fascinated and love the tags on toys more than the toys themselves. So they created products that are literally "all tags". Liam loves these blocks. They're squishy and easy to grab and hold, they link together, and he loves it when I link them and hold them above his head so he can bat them. Very versatile toy!

Best Distraction: Bailey [her dog]. He seriously is mesmerized by that dog. No matter how engrossed he is in a toy, or whatever he's doing, if she walks into the room, all play ceases, and he just stares and stares at her. This includes, annoyingly, when he's eating.

Best Baby Advice Book: The Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg. Her ideas and approach really suited me, and worked really well for Liam.

Best Thing About Being Pregnant: It's a tie with feeling the baby truly kick for the first time, and being done with it!

Best Place to Decorate Nursery: www.allposters.com. They literally have everything, and almost every item is just $13 or below. We bought several Hawaii and sea life posters for an incredibly cheap amount!

Best Baby Carrier: My hips. By: God. Seriously. My arms aren't that strong. More often than not I plunk Liam down somewhere, or use his stroller, or even the Bjorn. But for those times when nothing else will do for him, my hip (the left one in particular) is truly a life (and arm) saver.

Katie F sent some favorite things and some favorite links.
Babylegs are great especially for all those diaper changes during the day instead of pants or onesies. Pedipeds are her favorite shoes for little feet--they're cute and hold up well. Squeaker Sneakers are great shoes for toddlers. She loves the smell of the Burt's Bees Baby Wash.

For carriers, she likes the ring sling (for any age), Mei Tai (for 3 months and up), and Ergo or Beco (which can work for infants with an insert, but are bulkier in the diaper bag). She says that several friends recommended wraps like the Moby, Sleepybaby wrap). Her favorite cloth diapers are Bumgenius 3.0 and she also likes Fuzzi Buns and Wild Child Woolies (covers) over prefold or fitted diapers. For swimming, she says the Swimmi cloth swim diaper is well worth the price.

For foods, she likes the dried peas, blueberries, bananas and magoes from www.justtomatoes.com--they are great once kids have mastered soft finger foods and have no sugar added, unlike most dried fruits.

Her daughter likes Oompa toys, which has the best website she's found for toys--very few are made in China toys and lots of them are wooden toys. Love all the Haba toys.

Katie's favorite carseats Britax and the SunshineKids Radian. Here is a great site for car seats. The carseat techs are very knowledgeable and can tell you the best seat for your baby based on weight/height and your car. Kellymom is a great site for breastfeeding questions. American Pregnancy has tons of pregnancy info and a great discussion board for try to get pregnant, pregnancy and baby.

Sara Beth from VA Beach Babies sent this list of favorites, though she says that with the birth of her third baby, she learned she didn't like "things." Rather than using a Boppy, she now uses a Nursing Box. This is a box that you make with your older toddler before the baby comes. You buy a box with a lid and let them pick out all sorts of books and puzzles to go inside. Then, when you have to nurse the baby (which takes a lot of time and adds to the jealousy factor) they get to get out the Nursing Box to play with. She likes reading books and doing puzzles with her little ones while nursing, or even vaccuming! [Wow, I hope I can get to that point!!]

She prefers mobiles over the crib to playmats, since her littlest could get run over by the bigger two while they're playing. She does like the travel swing (since it's small and portable), a bouncer, and a Johnny Jump Up. She loves the Joovy Sit and Stand Stroller and says it is one of the best doubles out there, especially as your older child gets older. That way when they want to get off and walk, you don't feel like you have a huge stroller, but when they get tired they can jump on. It does not have a big basket, but a Skip-Hop Saddle Bag attaches nicely to the handlebar making your stuff accessible. Another must as far as strollers is the Snap and Go--she says she never would have made it through pre-school drop off without this. The Britax is a compact, lightweight stroller, much nicer than the cheap umbrella strollers, yet not as pricey as others. A great idea if you think ahead is the Phil and Ted's Most Excellent Buggy Ride-- which has a big price tag but is worth it if you buy it first and use it all the way through. It can be a single, a double, and a jogger--in one stroller--how cool is that?

Sara Beth loves her Chicco High Chair--easy to clean and folds really flat. She says that those space-saver seats that go in the chair are a good idea, but not when you have multiple kids and need all your seats! She likes the Bumbo for on the go eating (although the tray never stays on) but it does not contain her son Sawyer [great name!], who crawls right out.

For outdoor activity, she loves the Radio Flyer wagon with the seats (and buckles!) the canopy, and the trailer you can drag behind. It is great for trips to the park, zoo, and even the beach if you can muscle it through. They also love to bike, so they like the carrier that can go behind the back, though with three kids, they also use the Topeak Bike Seat. She is not a big sling girl because all things halter-like give her headaches, so she loves the Baby Hawk. I really like that you can customize it and that you can put the baby on your back--this works great when you have other little ones to deal with.

One thing she said was that if you plan to have multiples, buy quality products! You get what you pay for and this really is true for baby gear since kids are so hard on stuff. Think ahead as much as you can--that way you don't end up with extra stuff and dusty strollers in the garage.

Beth S loves the Bumgenius 3.0 cloth diapers [a recurring fave] and says she could not have lived without the Kiddopatamus Swaddle Blankets, which kept Ella snuggled tightly!

Kia W sent in these product faves. For diaper rashes, she used Neosporin topped with Taget brand Creamy Diaper Rash cream and even the worst rashes were gone in a day. The Neosporin was the key but the Target brand diaper rash cream is wonderful!
She loves the smell of the Johnson and Johnson lavender scented baby powder. When her son Luke was in his first couple of months, they had a hard time finding a formula that worked with his sensitive tummy, which made him pretty darn fussy and gave her a share of crying herself to sleep those days. They found that letting him sleep in the Papason swing helped him calm down and sleep through the night. The rocking motion settled him down and put him to sleep almost instantly.

Now that they are on to some solid foods, she loves the Gerber fruit puffs. Luke loves bananas so their banana flavored puffs keep him snacking happy. And they come in star shapes that are easy for him to pick up and they disolve quickly so there is no potential choking. Love them! Also, a serving size is 80 pieces according to the label and they don't have much sugar or sodium.

For those dry eczema like patches that occur, there is a Disney Baby Gentle Naturals Eczema Cream that is thick and creamy and really helps moisturize those dry patches of skin.

Carey says that in co-chairing her local babywearing group, she has tried lots, lots, lots of carriers--and finds that it totally depends on age and duration of carry. For total versatility, the lightly padded maya wrap sling or a rebozo (ellaroo makes beautiful fabrics, perfect length) work well. If you're going on a long hike or zoo trip, try the maya tie by maya wrap or mei tei by ellaroo. For toys, she keeps it simple and likes oompa toys online. For cloth diapers, she uses Growing Greens.

Wow--what a lot of great suggestions!! Thanks everyone for sending your thoughts!

Drive Thru's Are My Friend

I hung out with Beth S the other day to have a playdate with Sawyer and her daughter, Eleanor (Ella), who was born exactly a month before my little guy. (I think it's funny that I call these "play dates" because the babies are too young to play, and Sawyer always sleeps through them. I should put it in quotes all the time--that would be an appropriate use of quotation marks...) Anyway, we got to talking about how our lives had changed, and one thing we both agreed on is that we finally understood why Starbucks has a drive thru. Here are other places we would like to find a drive thru:
-the post office
-the grocery store
-the drug store
-the gym (maybe not...)

But really--when you have a little one strapped into a car seat and need to get one quick thing, like stamps, you have very little motivation to actually unstrap the little one or haul the car seat carrier into a building for five minutes. It's a lot of work. And a lot of straps. Plus, you could wake the baby, who might be sleeping soundly. I'd just rather not do my errand. But if there were a drive thru...mothers everywhere would rejoice!!

Can you think of any other places that would be great with a drive thru?

Things I'm Learning...the Hard Way

Apparently, Sawyer doesn't seem to like it when I eat a lot of cayenne pepper....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mommy to the Rescue!

My mommy arrived this week for much needed help with Sawyer! Yay! Here she is teaching Sawyer to be a cowboy.

Sawyer Stats

Though he may still be the runt of his playgroup, Sawyer is now 12 pounds!! He'll be 7 weeks old tomorrow and is doing all kinds of crazy things. He loves looking around at things, and for the first time this week, really started focusing on toys if you hold them near him. He actually grabbed a rattle while I was changing his diaper--a big, new step. He has found his voice and loves making noises from fake cries (which make me laugh) to coos and gurgles. One of his favorite activities is standing while you hold him either under his arms or by his hands.

The craziest things he's done is to take a few steps. Yes, that's right--he practiced walking. There is a walking reflex that infants have, but in talking with Cathy yesterday at our appointment, she said that they outgrow that around two weeks. Several times now when I've been holding him under the arms, he's stood and taken one step, then another, then another, then another, until he reaches me. I thought I was imagining it the first time, until he did it more than once, and on different days. Obviously he's not strong enough to really walk yet, but it scares me that he's already practicing! Cathy said he is very precocious.

I think today we straightened out his sleep, and I started out a nightly routine of playing "Be Still" (a song by our friend Whitey we played a TON in the first few weeks of Sawyer) while nursing, then reading Scripture to him while burping him, as burping turned to a gentle back rub. I finally put him in his snuggle nest with the sleep sheep playing ocean sounds. We'll see how that goes! Overall, I am enjoying everything and cannot believe how my life has changed (for the better) in these seven weeks!

Yes, I am a well-fed baby.

Check Out My Ghetto Booty! (My Review of Mommy's Touch Diapers)

We received generous gifts of Mommy's Touch diapers this week (thanks Peter and Amber!!). At first, I was a little concerned about them, I'll be honest. I had to go to the website to figure out what to do since there were so many snaps! They seemed really large, especially compared to the one-size Bumgenius diapers.

But here's what I discovered and why I'm glad I went with these one-size, easy-clean diapers. First, while they aren't as streamlined as the Bumgenius, I think that they will actually fit him when he is two. Second, what seems like bulk is actually great absorption and we have had no leaks, even with a giant explosion earlier today. And third, they really are easy clean. I love just dumping them in my diaper sack (Ps-the Mommy's Touch bag with the zipper is the way to go) and then in the washer without having to fool with them. I definitely prefer the snaps to velcro and am happy to have been blessed with gifts of great diapers! We are now on cloth full time--woo hoo!

They're working great, but they sure do give little Sawyer a ghetto booty!

New Work Out

Who needs the gym when you have a non-self-propelled lawn mower and no husband to mow? This is me mowing our lawn for the first (and last) time.

Sleep, That Elusive Creature

Kelly called to make sure I was okay today, and it made me realize that I kind of needed a part two of that last post. :) We are doing much better, thank you! Sawyer did that 6-7 hour awake stretch twice more, once again until 2am (and I had some wonderful relief from Lynn) and then the next day it started earlier, so he went to bed at like 9pm. My mommy is here now and helping so much! We did have another bad beginning last night where, though he was awake a lot during the day, he decided to be really really WIDE awake from 10pm to 12am. I finally wore him down, though, and he slept--yay! Today he's been awake a lot, so fingers crossed.

I went back and looked at the chapter on sleeping in Dr. Sears The Baby Book and found some helpful tips. (All of which Jenna shared with me on the phone a few days ago--you should be writing baby books, Jenna!) I guess when I looked at this chapter before, I was paying attention to co-sleeping and how to sleep rather than setting up healthy sleeping habits. Here are his thoughts:

-Set consistent naptimes, possibly by napping with baby.
-Set consistent bedtimes because babies with fairly consistent bedtimes usually sleep better.
-Enjoy predictable bedtime routines, like bathing, rocking, lullabyes, etc.
-Calm, wear, nurse, nestle, or rock your baby down to sleep.
-If all else fails, put baby to sleep by driving or pushing in the stroller or using something like a swing or vibrating seat.

I think that my brain really equated attachment parenting with no schedules, which just put me on an opposite extreme from the rigid schedulers, instead of somewhere in the middle. I like middles. They're usually pretty nice.

I don't know how we'll establish a routine with Rob being gone, and then mom and I going to Ginny's wedding and a big road trip, but I'm going to start setting patterns and do my best to routine my baby. Maybe I can even try and set routines that I can take with me...that will be my next challenge!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Just to the Top of the Next Hill, Please

Here's the story of the worst night Sawyer and I have had so far.

Sawyer hasn't ever really been on a routine--I have let him set it based on when he wants to eat and sleep, which has meant that I'm always in for surprises, since this seems to change every day. (More on routines in a post to come...) So this week when Rob is out of town, again, things changed.

Sunday night he woke up around 7 or 8ish. I didn't think much of it, as he wakes up every 2-3 hours during the day to eat. He's been more awake and aware lately, so when he didn't go back to sleep after nursing, I still wasn't thinking this was anything new. And the fussiness...that's been kind of common these past few weeks as well.

But then it was 9 o'clock...then 10 o'clock...then 11 o'clock. And I'm wanting to go to sleep, while Sawyer is still up. And fussy. So, I get into the Oliphant's guest room bed (where I'm staying since Rob's gone) and hope he'll settle down. Nope. I let him stand up and sit down. Then I hold him and walk around. Then I prop him up on my lap. Then I feed him. Then I rock him.

Eyes. Still. Wide. Open.

At this point, I'm concerned. I'm tired. And now Sawyer is REALLY unhappy. This is when the fussing turns to crying. At almost 1am, I start to come apart. Nothing is working with him. All his needs have been met. And I want nothing more than to sleep. Somewhere around there, the aloneness and sadness and tiredness turned into something ugly--anger and frustration.

I'm so much angry AT Sawyer. I mean, he's a baby. He doesn't really even know what he wants. But still--I'm angry. I just want him to be silent. Which really scared me. I feel terrible, like the most unfit mother in the world. So there we are: I'm bawling, Sawyer is screaming, and there Tex is at the foot of our bed sleeping like--well...a dog.

The neat thing was that God reminded me of the sermon from that morning, given by Rob's dad Buck. He talked about relying on God's strength and how people say that, but it's really hard to know what it means. He and Lynn took a tandem bike trip from Seattle to Boston last summer, and he talked about how in the mountains of New York, he didn't think he could make it. So he would pray for God to just get them to the top of the next hill. And once at the top of that one, for God to get them to the next.

I really understood that, praying and crying out for God to PLEASE stop Sawyer's crying and to make him go to sleep. And then, when he didn't, for Him to help me just make it through.

Which he did. And so, when Sawyer stayed awake the next night until 2am (another 6-7 hour stretch), I felt better about things. I was ready and could rely on God's strength--I knew what that means in actuality, rather than just something people say. I realized something important--that on my own, I'm a mess. But that even (maybe especially) in my worst hour, God can carry me through.

Guest Blogger Kia!!

Let me introduce Kia W, a fun and fab poet friend. She and I met in grad school at UNCG and had our thesis reading together. I was amazed by her poems about being pregnant and seeing the first ultrasounds of her son, Luke. She also managed to be a hot and fashionable pregnant lady on a grad student budget.

About herself she says: "I'm a first-(and maybe only?)time mom and wife living in the DC area. I have no clue what I am doing most of the time, but it's usually a lot of fun. I work full time making maps and on the weekends I love hanging out with my boys and going to the park or swimming pool."

Check out her post below. And if you want to read more about Kia and her fam, check out her blog!


(The photo is from our thesis reading posters.)

First-Time Second Thoughts About Babies in Public

(by guest blogger Kia Westwood)

My son Luke is 11 and a half months old, on the verge of and rushing toward toddlerhood. This past weekend he took his first official steps without holding a hand, and judging by the grin on his face after taking those steps, he must think he's all grown up. My friend Kerri from Boston, who I haven't seen in 2 years and whom therefore had not met Luke, was coming to DC for some sightseeing and asked to hang out. So, being the hip mom that I like to think of myself, I said sure, I'll bring Luke to the Natural History museum and we can catch up among mammals and dinosaurs.

I got my backpack all set with diapers and change of clothes for each of us, snacks, drinks, toys, everything and we set off on the Metro in the umbrella stroller, just me and my munchkin (although I can't really call him that since he's in the 95th percentile in height and weight and such). It was a sunny day in the upper-80s so I began sweating just waiting for the Metro. Luke was good for about the first 5 minutes of the ride and then he got squirmy like little boys (I'm assuming) do. So I put him in my lap and tried to read a book, but he wanted to squirm some more and try to walk across the aisle to play with the little Hispanic girl and her brother. I think it was because they had stuffed animals, or maybe he recognized their Spanish since Luke's daycare provider is from Ecuador and speaks to him mostly in Spanish. At any rate, he squirmed the whole time. Luckily, though he wasn't really cranky. He flirted with the little girl until we got to our transfer station. It was more of the same for the next couple of stops.

We got off at the Smithsonian station and (surprise, surprise) there were about a bajillion people trying to cram onto the escalators and solitary elevator that took about 5 minutes to arrive and which we shared with a very nice but very pungeant homeless man.

Finally, sunshine and more sweating and we made our way across the Mall over to the steps of the NHM, which I carried Luke in his stroller all the way up. Whew. Did I mention the sweat? Probably not the best decision I made to wear a white shirt. I was dripping. And then we were in the totally packed lobby staring a giant elephant right in the face....which Luke didn't notice because he was busy people-watching. It's one of his favorite activities. Mainly women. He likes the ladies.

Since Kerri and her boyfirend were running behind, Luke and I wandered the hall of mammals. By this point he'd had it with the stroller, so I picked him up and we looked at the animals, all the while holding him on one hip, sweating, and pushing the stroller with my other arm. This worked out great. And then, hallelujah!, we found the little movie theatre where they play a short movie about the origin of mammals. And that was the least squirmiest 5 minutes of the trip.

When Kerri and Dave arrived, we headed down to the cafe to get some extremely overpriced food which nearly ended up in my lap as a result of Luke's squirminess. So, this kid is practically starving (of course, you'd think he suffered from severe malnutrition the way he stares down any kind of food container. This kid doesn't like to miss a meal!) and we struggle with trays and food and babay and stroller and make it to three empty seats in a sea of tourists....and not a high chair in sight.

Now, I have never before tried to feed my child while he was in my lap (mainly because when we go on outings it's for a walk around the neighborhood or to the local pool...our outings aren't generally 4 hours long and therefore don't require feedings). I especially haven't fed this child in my lap with runny Gerber 2nd Foods Apricots and Mixed Fruit, which by the way is totally delicious as I came to find out once it was dumped in my lap.

So Luke is in my lap and my lovely $13 grilled chicken salad is just out of his reach and I am trying to feed a hungry squirmy mischevious 11 month old runny orange baby food. Yeah, I'm not the brightest bulb in the box. I managed to shovel most of those apricots into Luke's mouth, but a lot of it ended up in my lap and on the table. Luckily, I had plenty of baby wipes packed. And to top this all of my friend Kerri and her boyfirend Dave are having to watch me trying to get the hang of this mom thing and failing miserably and laughing it off even though there was totally a point in there when I wanted to cry. Bless them for thinking the whole situation was amusing and not running away screaming. Perhaps it was a good form of birth control.

Getting some food in his belly settled Luke down. Or so I thought. When we went back to the exhibits, Luke was in no mood to get back in that stroller. He was ready to walk. And he didn't just want to walk holding my hand. Oh no. He wanted to hold my hand AND help me push the stroller. I gave this kid the thrill of his life (and consequently saved everyone's ears from his fit-pitching) to help me push. I mean, I seriously have no idea whose kid this is. My Luke is cute and laughs when you poke his ribs and doesn't cry unless you show him food and don't immediately give it to him. My Luke never starts to pitch a fit like he almost did. In the middle of a hundred people. In a museum. Surrounded by plenty of other well-behaved babies. Luckily, there were less well-behaved babies whose crying detracted from any of the annoying things my kid was doing. Or so I hope.

Anyhow, Luke managed to get pretty grumpy in the middle of the dinosaur room and we dashed off to the Metro station to head home. He was asleep about 3 seconds after we got out of the museum and slept like a rock through a change-over at Metro Center and through the 3 year old boy who screamed at the top of his lungs and rolled around on the train floor for almost the entire second half of our ride home. I probably would have killed that mother if I didn't have a conscience. And, you know, it wouldn't land me in prison for life.

Even though I learned a lot about myself as a mother and the latent annoyingness of my son, I still think he's pretty much the best thing ever.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Updates and Excuses

I have some lovely, lovely posts coming, including one from guest blogger Kia that's hilarious and wonderful, but this week has been really crazy! And it's only Tuesday...

Here is what has been happening:
-Rob is out of town on a missions trip again
-Sawyer has been awake and fussy for stretches of 7 hours at a time
-Sawyer chooses these awake and fussy times to end around 1-2am
-Tex had his whole vet incident (see post below) which was scary and expensive
-I left my cell phone across town at my house while staying with the Oliphants

And the latest--just moments ago, Sawyer spit up what had to be gallons while I was wearing him in my sling. Lynn put it this way: it was like a barf bag on the airplane, only I was the bag.

So, that's what's happening in my world. My Mom flies in tonight, so I may have hands free a little more to gather together your favorite things and write a post about what an unfit mother I am. Things to look forward to!! :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

When Your Kids Eat Things They Shouldn't.

No, Sawyer didn't eat anything strange. But Tex did. He consumed one set of shark jaws complete with five rows of shark teeth, like those seen on left. My Dad made the point that this is great practice for whatever Sawyer is going to get into. Oh, the things I have to look forward to!!

Lynn and I were cleaning my house, and I had a small set of these jaws in the guest bathroom, which has (or HAD) a number of aquatic things. I caught Tex chowing down on a starfish. Very unlike him--he never gets into things. But I guess the smell of things that were once alive grew too much for him. Usually these things are on the counter, but I had everything in the floor to clean. (Should the moral be NOT to clean my bathroom??) I went looking for whatever else was missing and realized that the shark jaws were gone. The same ones I had cut my finger on earlier when moving them. Surely, Tex would realize something painful was not good for eating. But after searching the house, we realized that indeed--Tex is not smart enough to stop eating jaws with razor-sharp teeth. We called the vet, who said that teeth like that would probably lacerate his organs during digestion. Not a pretty picture.

An hour, a set of $228 X-rays, and a number of prayers later, the vet assured me that there was nothing resembling jaw bones or teeth anywhere inside Tex. (Except, of course, his own.) The vet suggested that the set was plastic, because a real jaw and real teeth would have shown up in the X-ray. I just smiled and nodded. I'm pretty sure I know the difference between real and plastic teeth. Here's what I know:

-The jaws and teeth were real.
-Tex ate them.
-There were no teeth in him.

Does God perform miraculous healing in dogs?? I did pray for them to disappear, but I guess I didn't really think that would happen. I'm still watching him for signs of anything, and we have to feed him special food that helps move things through his digestive tract, just in case.

It was a bizarre, stressful, expensive and perhaps miraculous afternoon. Doesn't he look innocent??

Change Your Bookmarks!!


It's official--I am now a dot com! I don't know why, but this excites me. What annoys me is that I was going to buy "istillhatepickles" as my domain and looked it up to see if it was free (it was) but by the time I decided to go ahead and buy it, one of those fake companies had bought it. I guess they sort of keep track of what you're trying to buy and then buy it first so they can charge you more. Grr. But I guess www.stillhatepickles.com is easier since it's basically what I had. You'll still be redirected if you use the blogspot dot com address, but isn't dot com simply prettier? :)

And again, I'm making some changes and expanding and all those kinds of things, so feel free to pass this site along and to email me if you have questions about what I've written or suggestions for things I can write about! I will be starting with some new weekly features as well as spotlighting some local businesses. This week you can also look for your favorite things--yay! Things are looking bright this morning, despite Sawyer's successful attempts to keep me from sleeping last night.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The (Legal) Business of Being Born (at Home)

Though I waited eagerly for it to arrive on video, I still haven't watched the Business of Being Born. In my defense, it came out days before Sawyer was born and then afterwards I was not in the mood to relive birth so soon. :)

However, I just read about the AMA's response this week to the Ricki Lake and to home birth in general. You can check out their resolution here, but basically they state that the safest place for birth is in a hospital (or birthing center within a hospital--vastly different than a free-standing birth center)and that they hope legislature can be created to support this position. (I haven't looked this up, but I did wonder if, in response to all the celebrities planning C-sections, the AMA spoke about the risks of elective C-section vs vaginal birth...)

Ricki Lake responded in an article in The Huffington Post, where she fires back at physicians, stating that they have no evidence to back their claims of safety and that they are trampling women's civil rights to choose their place for birth.

This debate has really been going on for almost a century--since hospital births became more than just a sort of laboratory for doctors to practice medical procedures on lower-class women. (Really, that's what the first hospital births were.) It heated up the blogs and the news this week as home birth advocates and those from the medical community faced off. I read a post about this on Blogher, and the comments that followed were a war zone.

Now, especially after having my birth moved to the hospital, I have a special appreciation for the hospital setting and the wonderful nurses and doctors who helped me give birth to Sawyer. All along my position on home birth is that I want to speak openly about it and advocate educated choice for women, similar to the reasoning behind Ricki Lake's documentary. What struck me after reading the comments on Blogher, and after my time in the hospital, was how much of a disservice it is that there is such a divide between the medical community and the home birth community.

While I was in labor, I listened to Cathy and my nurse Esther discuss different methods and practices during birth. Esther was fascinated by the way Cathy used her hands to try and turn Sawyer from a posterior to an anterior position. Cathy also suggested that the hospital use olive oil for lubricant (vs whatever topical lube they used) because it worked better and would save them money. Esther's response: "That sounds great, but the hospital would never go for it."

I wish there were a sharing of information here--that doctors might encourage their patients to take alfalfa in the weeks before birth to promote clotting, or that when midwives had to transport to hospitals, the reception would be warmer. (Ours was great, only because Cathy has a great relationship with a doctor there.) Or that women planning a hospital birth wouldn't feel guilty or judged reading homebirth literature. (This isn't always the case, but I know that as I read a lot and talked with people, I knew I'd feel distinctly uncomfortable if I were planning a hospital birth.)

I know why there is this gap, and in a perfect world (at least, my perfect world), there would be a better bridge here. But with resolutions like this one from the AMA, we're only moving further apart.

Return to Church

We made it to church for the second time today, woo hoo! It was a little easier getting ready this time, as Sawyer slept while I got ready. I was even able to watch the E True Hollywood Story on J.Lo while straightening my hair. (I will admit--not the best way to prepare your heart for worship...) The first time I went, Sawyer was wide awake, which meant that I was putting him in the bouncy swing for two minutes while I put on pants, then switch him to the pack and play (since he was crying) for another two minutes while I put on a shirt, then switched him to the swing (since he was crying) while I put in my contacts, and so on and so forth. It was like some kind of athletic event.

This week was wonderful! I had my sling (last time Robbie just held him, which was super cute) and that was perfect. He slept and it kept people from trying to hold or touch him too much. I'm not a germ-o-phobe and could care less about people wanting to hold him, but it wakes him up and overstimulates him if he gets passed from person to person to person.

Though Robbie wasn't there (he's on another mission trip--West Virginia this time), I really enjoyed being a part of the body again and was encouraged by the prayers, singing, and sermon. Buck (Rob's dad) preached, though it was a last minute thing as the pastor got sick. Even though Sawyer was asleep through it all, I kept whispering to him, "That's your grandpa!" Maybe it will stick somewhere in his subconscious!

I really had forgotten how amazing it is to be in fellowship, and I was greatly encouraged. And three cheers to Sawyer for making it through the whole service!

So Yummy I Have to Share...

This recipe came from Lynn's sister in Kansas and really wowed me. Basically, the ingredients are the same as when I make Caprese*, but here, the marinating makes all the difference! I could eat this every day of the year!!

Tomato Mozzarella Salad

4 large ripe tomatoes (or a bunch of grape or cherry) cut into cubes
1 pound fresh mozzarella cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 cup fresh chopped basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Chop first three ingredients and place in a dish. Whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the top. Stir (or, if you use a dish with a lid, shake) and let stand at room temperature for two hours. Serves four. (Or, if you're me--it could just serve one!)

*To make Caprese the way I usually do, I use the same ingredients and simply slice the tomatoes and lay flat in one layer, adding a slice of cheese and some fresh basil to each, then sprinkling with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. This is more like an appetizer, whereas the other is more like a side salad. Both are yummy!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Vaccine Interview with Dr. Robert Sears

I've talked about vaccines before, but it's still something I'm researching, so I want to share what I come across. This interview with Dr. Robert Sears, author of The Vaccine Book, is really helpful and interesting and seems to go along with the other things I have been reading and hearing. Check out the interview here and also check out this site, Organic Green Mommy!

Friday, June 20, 2008

What Happened to My Happy Baby??

In the last week or two, Sawyer has really woken up! He has longer periods of alert time now, and spends most of them with wide eyes, looking around at the world. It's really neat to see his personality emerge. He's talking and cooing and smiling and wanting to stand and move and look at the things around him. However, as he wakes up, one thing has disppeared that I really miss--my content, happy baby.

I have mentioned before that Sawyer doesn't cry very often, and he still doesn't. But he FUSSES. When he's awake, it's like he wants to take on the world. Only, he's so little, there are few things he can do. He no longer wants to spend all his time curled up like a froggy (though he does like that when he's sleepy). Now when he's awake, I'm constantly trying to keep him happy. It's like he gets bored and wants to DO things, only there are so few things you can do with a six-week old. I change his positions, let him practice standing and sitting when I hold him, walk him around, carry him in the sling, carry him in the Baby Bjorn, take him around the block. Everything seems to keep him happy for about two minutes and then he wants something new.

I love that his personality is coming out, but it's exhausting! Especially when, like last night, he was awake for three straight hours, fussing and fussing. I was encouraged this morning reading in American Baby magazine that crying "typically starts within the first two months, heightens between weeks five and eight, and is usually gone by the third month." Though he isn't crying, I feel like this fussing is his version of what this magazine talks about, and hopefully is just a phase.

Until this (hopefully) passes, my goal is to enjoy every minute with him, fussy or not, and to pray for patience as I attempt to find whatever it is that will keep Sawyer content for his awake hours.

Post-Baby Body Part 2

**UPDATE: I lost five pounds this week! And that with a night at the Melting Pot, overindulging. Yay South Beach!**

So, I wrote a few weeks ago about how wonderful it was to have my feet back, but I'm still in the process of getting back to pre-baby shape. I lost about forty pounds within the first ten days (which tells you how much fluid I was retaining!), so I only had about ten to fifteen to go if I want to get back to my pre-baby weight, which is not bad! Of course, I was about ten pounds heavier than I wanted to be when I got pregnant. Adding all that together sounds a little overwhelming, and I know that unlike that first wonderful forty, this will be all work!

Today I got back on skates again for the first time and Robbie and I skated with baby and dog for two miles, which about killed me. I'm going to try and get to speed skating tomorrow morning which will REALLY kill me. :) So...I've been working out at the gym, doing mostly cardio on a stairmaster or elliptical and some weights or toning at home. (I really am a big fan of the I Want That Body! video, which has abs, arms, and legs.) I also started this week on the South Beach Diet, which to me is not so much like a diet, but more of a healthy lifestyle of eating. I haven't gotten on the scale again this week (I hate scales) but think I've probably lost about three pounds and can tell my clothes are fitting better. Rob even noticed that I'm looking trimmer this week--yay!

Basically, if you've never read the book, it has three phases--a first phase that is the most strict and helps you get rid of your bad-carb cravings and helps lose weight pretty quickly, a second phase that still has weight loss but brings back in some whole grains like bread and pasta and even chocolate (!), and then a third or maintaining phase that adds even more foods back into your daily diet. It helps get rid of the white, processed carbs, but unlike Atkins, takes into account fats (so you don't end up with a coronary from all the grease of fatty meats, etc) and has lots of great recipes.

It's definitely hard to look at myself now, as much as I feel like I'm making progress. Having a baby uses your whole body and it's amazing to see that body work, but less amazing to see how it affects your body afterwards with stretch marks, new shapes, and everything else. But looking at Sawyer, it's totally worth it!

Um, Disturbing.

Thanks, Kelly, for passing on this funny but scary site. I really hope people are NOT buying these high heels for their baby girls...

Moms Who Do.

I'm going to start doing a new weekly post where I feature a guest writer. I'm calling it "Moms Who Do" because I want to feature moms who do things. Whether this is a hobby like gardening or a profession like engineering or a lifestyle choice like being a vegetarian or an activist, I want to show some of the diversity that's out there among Mommies. I've already asked a few people I know to write posts, but I want to open it up to any of you readers if you're interested.

I'm looking basically for what it's like to be you--a Mom who also does something else, whatever it may be. I want to hear about the benefits AND the challenges of whatever it is you do as a Mom. The post should be limited to 300-350 words and I'd love a photo of you or your kids if you have one. So, if you think that you'd like to take part, send me an email! kirstenoliphant@gmail.com

Looking forward to hearing from you Moms!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Someone's Ready for Summer!

I took Sawyer to Target today to buy him sunglasses (it's so dang bright here!) and found a really cute swim outfit to keep him covered when we swim in our pool.

How cute is he!?

Technology Is Amazing

Though there are times where I think hospitals can overuse our technology (often in managing birth, for example), I read an amazing story in People magazine this week about a real breakthrough. Keri and Chad McCartney discovered through an ultrasound that their baby had a rare tumor, the hospitals performed a surgery that removed their daughter from the womb, took out the tumor, and put her back. As it sounds, it's a very risky operation, but it was successful! At 25 weeks, Macie was taken out of the womb, underwent surgery, and was put back. She was born at 35 weeks via C-section and had the remains of the tumor removed at 9 days. She is now healthy and at home. If you want to read more about this amazing story, click here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Weird, Wild World of Blogging

If you're reading this post, it means one of two things (or maybe both): 1. You know me or know my mom. 2. You have discovered the strange world that is the blogosphere.

I've become a little blog obsessed in the last few years, starting with our family photo blog. I kind of thought blogs were strange at first (though I enjoyed reading them) and posted photos only as a way of keeping up with family and friends as we were living in Greensboro, NC for my grad school. Though I got my Masters in creative writing, I never thought I had anything interesting enough to say in a blog, so I stuck to the photos. Until I got pregnant. Since then, I haven't been able to shut up!

I've also discovered the crazy network of blogs--specifically Mom blogs. In addition to keping up with good friends, I have been reading blogs by everyone from my old babysitter in New Orleans (Hi, Andrea!) to my Mom's friend's daughters (Hey, Blair!) to people I've only "met" online (That's you, Carey & Ainsley!). My blog roll on the right keeps growing and growing. You could say I have too much time on my hands except that, well...I don't. But I have been spending more and more of that precious free time exploring this crazy blog world. It's a fun way to meet new people, get ideas, keep in touch, and connect with people--an especially important thing to a stay-at-home Mom who is literally staying at home most days.

All that to say, you may see some changes in my blog in the coming weeks. I'm experimenting with layout, as well as with advertising and being an affiliate for companies that I support. We'll see how all that goes, but feel free to let me know if I'm making changes that you don't like. And thanks for reading about our little family!

Second Call for Your Favorite Things...

I wanted to remind you that I'm still wanting to hear about YOUR favorite things in regards to all things pregancy and baby. I have gotten a few emails, but want more! So please send me an email telling me what you couldn't live without so I can compile them and share. I'll try to do the post early next week, so email me sometime before then: kirstenoliphant@gmail.com

Gadgets!

Today I got a package from my parents' college friends Mark and Bet. In addition to a super cute baby tote, they gave us a Sleep Sheep. It's a really soft stuffed sheep that has four sounds and a timer so that you can take it anywhere you go and use it to help soothe baby to sleep. It has four sounds: Mother's heartbeat, waves, whale songs, and ocean waves. Sawyer's not the only one used to sleeping with noise (either a box fan or our little waterfall sound machine)--Rob and I both love having some kind of background noise at night. What a cool idea!
That reminded me of another cool gadget my friend and neighbor Tara has called the Itzbeen. A cool little timer, this is a big help if you want to try and keep track of things like feedings, naps, etc. I tried writing things down in a notebook, but I lost the notebook, so here's to my organizational skills! I'm not sure I'd do any better with this, but I love the idea! You can pick this nifty guy up at Target!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Our First Post-Baby Date

We have been saving a Melting Pot coupon since I was pregnant, knowing we'd be too busy this summer for lots of dates. So we left the little man with Buck & Lynn and had a big date.

Here we are! Before getting full and bloated...
Rob. With meat.
We ended with a trip through the Starbucks drive-thru. I always need coffee after dessert.

Smiles!

Here are my attempts to capture Sawyer's elusive smile. You can tell it's going to be cute, right?

Diaper Roundup

Beth K asked in comments for my final reviews of cloth diapers, and I realized I had never really finished discussing how things were working out. Here are my thoughts on the ones I've tried, and then I'll say a little about Mommy's Touch, the ones we plan to order in a larger package.

Kissaluvs: These are straight up cloth diapers and need a cover. They fasten with snaps and are super soft and I really liked that about them when I first saw them. They have been holding in everything after that first day, but my main problem with them is that they get so heavy and soaked with pee. Also, I've found that in terms of ease, using a pocket or all-in-one (AIO) is vastly easier. Plus, on the expense side, the cost of Kissaluvs plus cover about equals (or is more than) that of a pocket or AIO, though you can use one cover for a number of diapers if it doesn't get soiled.

Bumkins: This is a cover with velcro, used with diapers like Kissaluvs. I like. No complaints.

Happy Heineys: These are pocket diapers where you insert a pad and the part touching the baby wicks moisture away to that inner pad. They fasten with velcro. The first day, these were the worst leak offenders. Since then, they've been better (often the more you wash, the better they absorb) but I have found that sometimes the top front gets soaked in pee despite the pad.

Bumgenius 3.0: These are also pocket diapers, but are one-size-fits-all, which means that they have adjustable snaps that make it possible for these to fit from birth to two years (in average babies). I really like that feature, plus they have never leaked. They are pretty affordable as well, about the same as other pocket diapers, and considering that you can use them for years, I think that makes these a much better deal. My only complaint is that they fasten with velcro. I've decided I'm not a big fan of the velcro, which is one of the reasons that I'm planning to buy lots of Mommy's Touch.

Those are the diapers I have tried. I also have Fuzzi Buns, but have not yet tried them, as the ones I have are still a little big. I have prefolds as well, but they are too big for Sawyer right now. I can write about those when I get to them. For now, here's why I'm choosing Mommy's Touch, even without trying them.

-They're one-size-fits-all. This is such a big selling point for me!
-They have options: you can choose snaps (my preference) or velcro (which I feel like already on my other diapers is wearing out and cathching on things). They also have a pocket option or an AIO where the pads are attached.
-They have a fantastic product repair policy. They will repair anything for free within six months, and after that, they will fix snaps, etc for $3/diaper. That is great--especially considering that if you're buying one-size, you probably plan to use them for several years in a row. That's a lot of wear!

I'm choosing the easy-clean pocket, which have slits at both ends of the diaper to insert the pads. Most pocket diapers have one slit, which means that you have to pull the wet and stinky pad out before washing. With the easy-clean, the pad comes out by itself in the wash because of the two openings. That's fantastic! I feel confident about buying this brand after talking with Rebecca at Nurtured Family and also my friend Hannah, who opted for the Mommy's Touch AIOs. You can buy these at Nurtured Family by clicking the ads to the right.

So, there you have it for now. Uh oh--free time just ended...

Definition of the Day

Free Time: n. 1. A period of minutes or hours with no restrictive activity. 2. Something that eludes me daily.

It's funny how the days are passing so quickly (Sawyer will be 6 weeks on Friday!!!) and yet, I feel in some ways like I'm treading water. My days are so full of repetition--wake up, feed Sawyer, burp Sawyer, change Sawyer, play with Sawyer (if he's still awake), put Sawyer down for a nap, catch my breath, repeat.

I do actually have free time when Sawyer is asleep, and these days, he's taking naps that are usually 45 minutes but can go up to two hours. That's my free time. The hardest thing really is choosing what to do during that precious time. I could:

-clean up whatever mess I made earlier
-do laundry (I have never-ending loads now)
-write emails or post to the blog
-nap with Sawyer
-eat
-work out (I have some great toning videos at home)
-catch up with friends via phone
-waste time playing Scrabulous on facebook
-shower
-pee
-work on that novel I haven't thought about in months
-organize my chaotic house

The window of nap time seems to close so quickly, and it's amazing how little I feel like I get accomplished. I have to constantly remind myself what's really important: Sawyer. I am accomplishing a TON even if I get nothing on that list done, because I am pouring my life into another person.

Before getting pregnant, I really did count the cost. I am an introvert and super selfish or jealous with my time. I knew having a baby would mean that my time would no longer be my own. But thinking about what Jesus said were the two greatest commandments made me feel like this sacrifice was totally worth it. First, he said, love God. Then love others. I'm not great at either, but with Sawyer, I have the opportunity to really learn to love.

There are times where seeing that sweet smile makes it all feel worth it. But in the times where I feel exhausted and frustrated, remembering that I am fulfilling the second best thing by loving Sawyer, I am able to push on.

Though I have to say, sometimes I really, really just want to eat and pee... :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Yes, I Am Cheap

I found out about Baby Cheapskate over on Virginia Beach Babies. It's a site dedicated to saving money on baby stuff. You know I love that! Since I did a post on the gDiapers and have been talking about cloth, this site deals with some of the costs of disposables. Check it out!

Exercising with Baby

I've been getting back to the gym whenever Rob can stay home to bond with Sawyer and can't wait to get back to speed skating and roller derby! But today I got home from the gym to find Rob making the best use of time with Sawyer to stay in shape. Somehow I think this wouldn't work for me...

It Ain't Cloth, and It Ain't Plastic

My friend Sarah F did a post a while ago about gDiapers, a product I'd heard of, but wasn't really informed about. It's kind of a neat alternative to plastic diapers, and a little more of a middle ground if you're not quite ready for cloth. Basically, gDiapers have a re-useable cover (like cloth) but then have a non-plastic insert that you can flush, throw out, or compost.

I'm really getting the hang of cloth and will fully commit once we can afford to buy a full set to keep us through a day and night. I think we're going to go with Mommy's Touch Easy Clean with snaps. But I do like the idea of the gDiaper. I'm not big into math, but I'd be interested to see if you save money, not just the environment with gDiapers. If I had to guess, cloth is cheapest (I'm sure of this) and then there'd be a toss-up between the g's and disposables.

To Change or Not to Change...

It's a tough decision. On one hand, I want to be a good mom and remove the very stinky diaper from my son's behind. On the other hand, it's 4:30am and after nursing, he's sound asleep. What to do, what to do?

I guess it's pretty obvious what I chose, as I'm now writing a blog post at 4:51am. I can't be upset though when he's smiling and talking to me. Plus, he's just really cute. See? But I would like to be asleep...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!!!

I feel super blessed to have married a man who's not only a wonderful husband, but totally schools me as a parent! Robbie, you're the absolute best and I love you! You're a great dad, even after only five weeks!!

Overstimulation!

Sawyer is a very easy baby. In fact, last week while I stayed with Rob's parents, Buck made the comment that he had never heard Sawyer cry. "I'm not sure he's a real baby," he said. (I told him he was welcome to change the next diaper to be sure, but he declined.) Sawyer will cry if he's hungry, but usually I see the signs and feed him before he gets that worked up. A few times he has cried when he's having some gas issues, but after burping, spitting up, or pooping, he's fine.

However, I've noticed a pattern in seemingly senseless crying. Three times he has had very fussy and cry-y days where feeding him, changing him, burping him, and comforting him had no effect. It's hard to tell with babies. When they cry, you try the usual assortment of things: feeding, changing the diaper, burping, checking for some irritant like a hair getting wrapped around a finger or toe, etc. You can rock them, carry them, lay them down, pick them up, swaddle them, swing them, and so on and so forth. I've been learning to read Sawyer better and better each day. For the most part, I know which fuss (or cry if it gets to that point) means he's hungry. I can tell when he's just about to have a diaper explosion or when he's feeling gassy.

But during these three incidents, none of the usual responses to his cries did the trick. He was inconsolable. I think in reading the book The Baby Whisperer, I first heard about trying to listen and identify your baby's cries to try and let your baby communicate his or her needs. So I thought about those times and what they had in common. Pretty quickly, I realized that the most likely culprit was overstimulation.

Each of these times directly followed a period with tons of activity. The first was after we got back from our lake house trip with Rob's family. He managed the trip fine and slept a ton while there, but when we got home, he was unusually fussy and almost impossible to comfort. The second was the day after Jenna and I took him to Galveston--a two hour road trip each way, lunch at a restaurant, and an afternoon shopping on the Strand. As soon as I got home from droping her off at the airport, he cried for two hours. (I guess he could have just been missing Jenna...) And the third was yesterday, following a night where I took Sawyer to the airport to pick Rob up, and then we had dinner at a super loud Mexican restaurant, complete with mariachi band.

I did some reading, and one way to help calm an overstimulated baby is to give him or her some space. After Jenna left and Sawyer would not stop wailing, I finally swaddled him and put him in his co-sleeper. Almost immediately he quieted, and I noticed that he didn't fall asleep at first, but for about ten minutes stared quietly at the curtains (his favorite thing to look at in our room). One article I found said that giving an overstimulated baby time to comfort himself builds a sense of self-esteem and helps promote independence as the baby learns to self-soothe.

It's neat to feel that I am learning Sawyer's cues and am growing more confident in this daily. Now that I've identified this pattern with him after busy days, I know to try giving him a little space (after I try feeding and changing him) to see if perhaps he simply needs a little bit of Sawyer Time. As an introvert, this is one feeling I completely identify with!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Another Plug

I wrote last week about the sling that I love from Nurtured Family and wanted to point out that I now have direct links for their site and for SlingEZee, the sling I bought, over on the right and at the bottom of the page. I joined their affiliate program, so if you want to buy a sling or diapers from them, clicking through my site gives me a commission. Woo hoo!
Cloth Diapers, Nursing Bras & Baby Slings - NurturedFamily.com
Their products really are fantastic and what I love is that the owner, Rebecca, uses everything she sells. Her story is pretty neat in terms of how she came to be doing what she's doing. I love hearing about people who do what they know and love. They have a great selection of cloth diapers, slings, and nursing bras. What makes the site especially great is that Rebecca puts notes about some of the different products to show what her favorites are. I plan on ordering Mommy's Touch diapers from them--I was sold on them after trying out the ones I have and seeing their products in person. The great thing about that company is that they have a policy about replacing parts (velcro, snaps, elastic) that wear out. Plus, like Bumgenius, they have one-size-fits-all. Nice!

So there's my shameless plug for Nurtured Family. Check them out! You'll be hearing more about them when they have more workshops and open up their store this summer--great news for those of you in Houston!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

When You're Up at 4am and Need a Laugh

You may not be nursing like me, but if you're up for whatever reason in the middle of the night, here are some suggestions to help lighten your mood. Not that they wouldn't work in the day, too, but I just definitely need attitude help in the wee hours.

*Note: not all of these sites are squeaky clean or necessarily family friendly. I'm just sayin.

Passive Aggressive Notes
I love this site. I'm sure that in my college days, I left some of these notes rather than doing the mature thing and actually resolving conflict with my roomies in person. People all over the country send photos and stories behind passive aggressive (and just aggressive) notes.

Here are a few nice examples:



The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks
My brother and I used to love a site that did this and it disappeared, now to be reborn with photos! People send in pics of signs and letters flaunting flagrant misues of quotation marks, which often changes the meaning from what the writer intended. It makes me think fondly back to the "Dentists" in Austin. I "love" it.


I Can Has Cheezburger

You don't have to like cats to love this site, but you may have to read some of the captions twice. A wildly popular site, and one that I love to check at least once a week. It's basically bizarre but fitting captions for cats and other animals.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Because We Don't Have Enough to Worry About...

My Dad sent this to me yesterday. Check out this story about a snake that was included with a crib mattress. Yikes!

My Adorable Little Man!

Here are some random photos from this week with Sawyer!

Sweet stretch. Snuggling up with Amber Callaway!
I put Sawyer on his tummy yesterday and he lifted his head all the way! It was amazing! Of course, I only got to my camera as he was getting tired and sinking back down...


Lynn tried out my new sling while I went to the gym!
Look at those eyes!!
Look! We're branching out into new outfits! (Thanks from my Greensboro peeps!)
Okay, I know I'm biased, but my little man is so cute!

Playdate #2!

Kelly was sweet enough to have us over for a playdate! Here she is with Hayley, who missed the first one last week. Thanks for having us, Kelly!!
Me and Sawyer, Hannah with Hayley, and Natalie with Mackenzie. We were all in the same Bradley classes and both of them went to high school with Kelly.






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