Sunday, August 31, 2008

Since We Can't Go on a Real Road Trip...

I'm going on a Blog Road Trip! It's okay, this is new to me too. Marie over at Mommy Community came up with this idea, and so each day this week I'll be doing a post on a theme from her site, mostly dealing with me and where I live, etc etc. I'm trying to be as excited about this as I was for the vacation that we can no longer take...not going to happen. But it will be a fun distraction!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cloth Diapering Tips

What a lovely sight--cloth diapers and roller derby pads on the clothesline. :) After going to the cloth diaper and sling workshop at Nurtured Family, I thought I'd post again on cloth diapers. I really am enjoying cloth, and now that I'm in the routine, it's so much easier than I thought. If you're thinking about it or just starting out, here are some general and personal cloth diaper tips.

-If your baby has diaper rash (definitely more rare with cloth), use a diaper cream and put on a disposable. The creams will clog up the absorbancy of the diaper.
-If you dry your diapers in the dryer, do not use a dryer sheet--this too will restrict absorbancy. Using a line outside will help their life to last longer than using the dryer.
-If you have staining, put your diapers in the sun for a few hours. The sun will bleach those spots right out! I doubted this, but it's true.
-Run the diapers through the wash twice--once in cold water with baking soda and/or a small amount of your detergent, then once in a warm or hot wash with a normal amount of your detergent.
-Use a detergent with no fragrances or any added "junk." I use Purex and it works well.
-Check this link for great help, even down to specific brands, for care and washing.

My personal preferences:

-I would recommend one-size-fits-all in whatever brand you like. They're around the same price as diapers that are sold in sizes, so why not maximize your investment?
-I do the Mommy's Touch Easy Clean, which are one-size pockets that are designed so that the insert (the part that soaks in the yucky stuff) comes out on its own in the wash--definitely a plus so you don't have to reach in and fool with gross stuff.
-I also love Mommy's Touch diaper bags, which have a zipper, not a drawstring like most diaper bags. This keeps the smell and the yuck inside. They have large bags for home use, and a small bag to take in your diaper bag. Depending on how you do your wash, it's great to have two large so that while one is washing, the other can dry. (All Mommy's Touch stuff can be found at Nurtured Family.)
-Using a large diaper bag rather than a wet (or dry) pail is great because you just dump that bag in the wash with the diapers.
-As far as how many, I would suggest starting with 12-15.
-I like keeping disposables on hand, in case of any redness, and if I have any need for a break. I don't use them often, but it's nice to have them on hand.

Here's what my day of diapers looks like:
-Wake up and change Sawyer. Dump the bag of dirty diapers into the first cold wash with a tad of detergent and a few shakes of baking soda. Go about my business.
-When the first small load is done, I add in any of Sawyer's dirty clothes and anything else I want washed. Wash on hot.
-After the second wash is finished, I hang the diapers on the line outside and if there's room, add any other clothes that will fit. The rest goes in the dryer.
-While the first diaper bag is drying on the line, I have a second large one that replaces it by the changing table.
-Later in the afternoon, I take down the diapers and put them back together.

Tada! That's it. I'm rarely ever out of cloth with this method, and I really like washing in the morning so I can get them up on the line for the light. Yes, I have to do laundry each day, but really with the three of us, I think that's pretty much going to be a given anyway. Questions? Comments? Your own tips??

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tethered

My hubby decided he wanted to take Sawyer with him to see a high school football game today (Go Westside!) and I found myself with two whole hours free. I didn't know what to do with myself! I was pretty boring: running errands, cleaning the house, eating lunch, making dinner, playing Wordscraper on Facebook. Maybe not that exciting, but I enjoyed the little time I had.

It was so strange watching them go--I had to stop myself from throwing tons of info at Rob, and found myself explaining what each thing was in the diaper bag. As if he couldn't figure it out himself. He is a college graduate, after all. But it was a really odd feeling to have Robbie take him away. I leave Sawyer with Robbie all the time to go to the gym or store, but it somehow seemed different for Rob to venture out on the town with the little guy.

I definitely enjoyed my little break (especially after wanting one so much last night), but it's hard to not think about Sawyer. I described this feeling to my new neighbor Alicia as feeling tethered. That's the best description I can come up with for the tie that I feel to Sawyer. It's like there is some kind of invisible cord tying up together so that even when we're apart, I am very aware of him all the time.

I'm still getting used to this feeling of tethered-ness. While I know for some women, this could feel like a great weight (especially those suffering from post-partum depression), I really relish this feeling, and see it as a part of that expansion of myself and my love that I talked about in a previous post. There's a verse in Hosea where the Lord says, "I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them." I love that picture (and the whole story of Hosea, really) and am reminded of that when I think about this tethered feeling. Parenthood is giving me a whole new dimension on God's love for His people...

And here come the boys, returning home. My tether just got a little bit shorter. :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The End of One of THOSE Days

Finally, my little baldy is tired. We ended up having a good ending to the night: I gave Sawyer some Milicon and his crying stopped, and then I made him laugh by doing situps with him sitting on my tummy. Now (hopefully) we'll be back to bed again.

Fed Up with Spit-Up

We're not dealing with spit-up so much anymore, but my sister-in-law was asking about it for her sister, whose new little one is spitting up a bit. I'm reposting this picture of Sawyer because I think it's hysterical, and thought I'd look up a little info about this pretty common baby activity.

Babycenter states that 40% of babies deal with this, and that the common reasons are the non-fully-developed digestive system and air getting trapped in with the milk or formula. Sometimes baby overeating or being jostled after eating can contribute to spit-up.

Some helpful tips from Dr. Sears (The Baby Book) that may help keep spit-up to a minimum:
-slow the feedings--less milk, more frequently
-burp baby during as well as after feeding
-feed baby upright and keep baby upright 20-30 minutes after feeding
-avoid jostling baby for at least 30 minutes after feeding

Here are a few signs from Dr. Sears that you may need to worry:
-baby loses weight or doesn't gain enough weight
-to spit-up increases in frequency and becomes projectile (flies across the room)
-the spit-up is consistently green
-colicky behaviors accompany the spit-up
-baby gags and coughs during every feeding

It seems like more and more babies are being diagnosed with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and getting on medicines to help with this. I don't know if reflux is more common now, or if more doctors are prescribing, or if they've found a better drug to address the issue. If your baby has GERD, you may notice that baby associates feeding with pain and may actually refuse to feed, resulting in poor weight gain. The other extreme (which must make it hard to diagnose!) is that the milk neutralizes stomach acids, so baby feeds constantly and may overgain. All spitting up is really some form of reflux, but in most babies, this is the normal kind that does nothing more than make a mess of Mom.

I think that spitting up really provides great stories--at least, after you've cleaned yourself off. Sawyer was never a huge spit-upper, but at least four times, ungodly amounts poured out of him and all over me (or my mother, who received two such gifts). Yesterday was a totally spit-up-free day, and today he's spit up a few times, which means I need to do laundry in the morning. What can I say--it's a rite of passage. :)

Vaccines in the News

I've been seeing vaccine stuff EVERYWHERE the last few weeks. It's definitely continuing to be a hot topic. It's kind of the same arguments and news over and over--people who are pro-vaccine point out the risks of skipping vaccinations and those who are anti-vaccine talk about the potential risks the vaccines themselves pose. It's hard to find anything that talks about the risks of vaccines AND the risks of the diseases. Dr. Sears' Vaccine Book is the best I've found to deal with both. If you're interested in reading what's going on in the news this week, here are a few articles:

Measles on the Rise: discusses a few outbreaks of measles, which it relates to parents' rising fear regarding vaccines and autism. Doesn't mention any other reasons that parents might withold the vaccinations.

The Risks of Skipping Vaccines: tries to give both sides, but in giving the cons of giving vaccines, it's still arguing for them. (In my humble opinion.)

The Relationship between Vaccines and Cancer: discusses how the old polio vaccine was infected with SV-40, which got into the vaccine through infected monkey tissues.

Looking at the Potential Side Effects of Vaccines: talks about some of the potential side effects and brushes on why this issue can be so complicated to figure out.

One of THOSE Days

You wouldn't know it from this picture, but today has been one of those days where I just feel...TIRED. I love being Sawyer's mom and most days (or at least, most parts of most days) I feel like we're in a groove, and I love everything from feeding to diaper changing. Then there are days like today. I had a great time at our playdate, and the morning was really nice, but tonight I just feel like I would give anything for a break. Sawyer is having a fussy night, which is rare (and which makes me thank the Lord he is an easy baby), and I have felt so tired and frustrated and have longed for some kind of reprieve. I guess that's how it goes, though--you have your good days and bad. The key is probably how I respond to them. Apparently I'm supposed to give thanks in all situations, according to Paul in Thessalonians. Do I do that on days like today? Well, now that I'm thinking about it, I will. But it's certainly not in my nature! It's funny though, that in thinking about being thankful, I realize how things really aren't that bad. I really do have a lot more to be thankful for even on a bad day.

Sigh. I guess this means I can't wallow in my grumpy mood.

August Playdate!

I'm going to start labelling these by month, since I can't remember the number. Today Jill joined us with her daughter Ella, who is (if I remember correctly) ten months old. One thing I noticed: our playdates are getting NOISIER. Thanks to Kelly for hosting and for everyone bringing such great food!

(Mostly) happy babies!
Sawyer did NOT like this sitting up picture and McKenzie tried to comfort him, which I think felt more like a head smack. :)
McKenzie and Sawyer duking it out.
I applaud Kelly for her self-timing skills. In my photo, I missed two whole people.
Hannah and Hayley. I'm jealous that Hayley still has so much hair!
Sawyer couldn't handle it all and suddenly conked out in my arms.

The Many Faces of Sawyer

Here are a few cute photos of Sawyer I took today. One close up shows his eye color. You know, he's pretty cute for a baldy.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Warning: Nudity!!

Sawyer discovering his feet on the changing table. Aw.

Sawyer's Namesake

I guess really Sawyer is Tim's namesake, but either way, here is Sawyer Timothy with the now-famous (or infamous?) Uncle Tim.

Sawyer's Squawking

Here's a little video of Sawyer making a lot of racket. I think this should be referred to as a soliloquy.
video

Sawyer at (almost!) 16 Weeks!

I can't help but feel like our little guy is growing up! And he really is. I've been looking back at his first pictures and can't believe that he is the same baby. (Maybe it's the new lack of hair...) Sawyer is showing his personality now in big ways. He is super social--he loves to go out places and watch people and activities. This week we went to an Indian baby shower that was four hours long (more on that later!) and Sawyer was awake through almost the whole thing, watching everything around him. He also talks up a storm now, and is making loud squawking noises or other sounds with a very serious expression on his face like he knows exactly what he's saying. He blows bubbles like mad and drools like nobody's business. I expect teeth anytime, as he's always chewing on things and pulling on his bottom gums.

Last week he discovered his feet and loves to lie on his back and pull them towards him, holding onto his toes. His coordination and motor skills continue to get better as he can really focus on toys (or people) and then reach for what he sees. He's gotten dangerous with hair-grabbing and often while I'm holding him on my hip, will grab a fistful from each side. I'm going to end up bald just like he is. With his neck now very strong, he loves doing flying games with Daddy and has started giggling. Just like a boy, he would rather play rough. He gets frustrated easily with tummy time, as he'd much rather just be standing, but can lift himself really well, and even roll over--though that's usually an accident. His favorite times right now are in his bouncy exersaucer and his doorway jumper.

As for sleeping, he's doing great! Still with us at night, he'll go to bed around 9-10pm usually and sleep until 8-9am. Then he'll go back down for a long morning nap after about 45 minutes! Of course, if we're up late playing, like we were last week with his Uncle Tim, he wants to be in on the action. It's hard to be upset about him refusing to go to bed when he's such a happy boy. He's not up and fussy--he's up and the life of the party! And most of the time, that's exactly what he is: all smiles and just a super happy little guy.

Oh--and he now weighs in at 15 pounds! His eyes are still blue, but if you look closely when his pupils are constricted, it appears that there is another color (brown? hazel?) coming in there!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mark Your Calendars!

This Friday, August 29, at 1pm Rebecca of Nurtured Family will be holding another cloth diapering and baby-wearing workshop. I went to this when Sawyer was pretty young and got my life-saving sling and some great tips on slings, diapers, and nursing bras. The exciting thing about this workshop is that it will be in Nurtured Family's new storefront, which will be opening in (I think) September! So, if you're in the area and want to hear great info, come on out!

Friday, August 29 1pm
Nurtured Family
8525 B Jackrabbit Rd
Houston, Tx 77095
Corner of Jackrabbit and West in Copperfield

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sitters

Last night we had an offer we couldn't refuse: a couple from church offered to babysit Sawyer AND pay for us to go out to dinner. How often do you get that kind of deal? So, after the whole bike-hitting-my-car thing, we dropped Sawyer off with diapers, fresh clothes (you never know), and a bottle of milk I'd pumped earlier in the day when he took a super-long nap.

We went to Saltgrass, a great but not-too-expensive steak place, and enjoyed steak and wine while having a fun conversation centering on our relationship. It was fantastic! But when we got back to the house, we could hear Sawyer screaming from outside. They assured us he had only been doing this the last few mintues, when he appeared to be hungry and they tried to feed him the bottle. I tried to nurse him, thinking he just didn't want a bottle, but he would NOT let up. So we thanked them and headed home, thinking we'd figure it out there. Of course, as soon as he got home, he was all smiles, and then happily drank the bottle he would not drink at their house.

Little stinker! Something similar happened to my mom when she watched him, which leads me to believe we have some separation issues, possibly or specifically centering around feedings. I'm not sure how you deal with this, or if he'll just grow out of it by the time it really matters, since we don't usually leave him for more than 2-3 hours, or if we do, typically it's one of us leaving and the other one watching him. Just one more thing to try and figure out with this whole parenting thing!

It's Doorway Jumper Time!!

Check out Sawyer's new toy! I think he loves it!!

Sawyer's First Car Accident

Well, you can't stay innocent forever. Tonight, on the way to meet Rob, Sawyer and I happened to get in the middle of a crazy accident. I was actually speaking with Robbie on the phone when I saw a teenager on a bicycle ride out into the road, right in front of a car coming on the opposite side of the street. The car hit the boy, who was thrown into the side of my car. It happened so fast, and yet each little moment stretched out in what seemed like forever. I remember thinking, "He's not going to ride out in front of that car...Oh, my gosh that car just hit him! Oh crap--he just hit me!!!"

Fortunately for everyone involved, the boy was okay, aside from some minor scratches and cuts. I called the ambulance and police, as the woman who hit him was beside herself with what had just happened. It took forever for the police to clear the scene, and at the end of the day, I'm not sure who's going to pay for the large-ish dent in the side of our car, but at least that kid is alive!! And Sawyer handled the whole thing with grace and decorum--I think he just liked the flashing lights of the police car and ambulence.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pregnancy "Scares"

No, I'm not pregnant. But recently I had a pregnancy "scare." (I'm putting "scare" in quotes because I actually was NOT scared, but the phrase "pregnancy scare" is the best one to convey my meaning. "Pregnancy thoughts" doesn't quite have the same ring, does it?) A few things happened at once: I had a migraine, then several headaches; I felt nauseated for several days; a few close friends became pregnant. When I had the headaches, I thought, "Gosh, it's been a while since I had a headache. The last one I had was...when I was first pregnant. Hmm." Then when I started feeling nauseated, I thought, "I didn't have morning sickness the last time I was pregnant, but..." And finally, with several people around me finding out that they were expecting, I could not get the thought out of my mind: I MUST be pregnant.

I know, I know--the chances of getting pregnant while nursing full-time are slim. But it CAN happen. Espeically if the feedings space out during the night. I have to be honest: having Sawyer sleep with us means that I hardly wake up to nurse him, and once he's latched, I'm back asleep and don't know how long he's nursing. It could be a full feeding, or it could be comfort nursing for just a few moments. So theoretically, I COULD be ovulating again, which means I COULD maybe possibly might be pregnant.

Four pregnancy tests said no. (And the stomach flu--AGAIN--explained the nausea.) The funny thing was that when there was only that single line on the test, my first feeling was disappointment. That's right--disappointment.

Am I crazy? I guess so. The thought of gaining weight again when I haven't even gotten back to the shape I want is gross. The thought of swollen, un-feet-like feet again is disturbing. The thought of labor and delivery is terrifying. I still remember how difficult my labor was and I shudder. But Sawyer is such a joy, that I think the idea of having another little one overrides all those negative thoughts and memories of pregnancy. I can't wait to have more!

That does not mean we're TRYING, or doing anything to help encourage my body to resume its cycles, but I am happy to know that no matter when I do (Lord willing) become pregnant again, I will welcome it. (Except that I do wish this time my pregnancy would not come at an inopportune time for roller derby. I want to finally skate in a real bout!!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Do They Give Tickets for DWP?

On our trip to Tennessee and beyond, I found myself doing something while driving that I bet is pretty uncommon: pumping my breastmilk.

The second day we were travelling I think Sawyer's feedings were a little off, and I suddenly noticed while driving 70mph north toward Knoxville that I was totally engorged on one side. Being resourceful, we have a converter for normal plugs that runs into our car jack. So rather than take a little break from driving, Mom passed up the pump and I let 'er rip. We stored the milk in a cooler in the back, and twice more we had a situation arise where rather than stopping, I pumped and passed back bottles to Mom, who fed Sawyer in his car seat. Mostly we stopped for him to nurse, but on a 3-day car trip, sometimes DWP is a great option.

I didn't notice anyone staring, though if they had, I think they would have been a little surprised to see what I was up to. People do a lot of strange things while driving, but I wondered how many other women have been guilty of DWP. Anyone???

Ironic Note

I finally got my ads working for Blogher (thanks Jenny!) and found one of them pretty funny, all things considered. One of the ads in rotation is one about vaccines and features Amanda Peet and talks about the importance of vaccinating. I wanted to address that just to avoid confusion, since I've discussed vaccines on my site before and want to be clear on our stance, which is that you should research vaccines and decide for yourself.

I'm headed to the doctor next month with Sawyer, and after researching, we are probably not going to give him any of the recommended vaccines for his age group. This doesn't mean we won't vaccinate period, or that we're committing to one side of this, but we looked at each of the recommended vaccines for his age and made our decision. Rob and I decided on these criteria when making the decision:

-the risk factor (is the virus or disease still active? how common? how do the potential vaccine side effects compare with the virus it protects against?)
-the ingredients (I'm not comfortable with those using cow or monkey tissue or tissue from aborted fetuses--yes, that is an actual component of one)
-personal genetic concerns (Rob and another family member--our nephew Caleb--suffered severe reactions to the same vaccine. Rob almost died and our nephew had brain seizures)

In any case, we discussed and prayed about this and I plan to also discuss this with my doctor in September. (I should also point out that being a breastfed child not in daycare, Sawyer is at very low risk for most of these illnesses anyway.) I think this is a personal decision for each set of parents and encourage you all to look up information and research for yourselves. The site in the Blogher ad does have information about vaccines, though it a pro-vaccine site. But I would encourage you to check out that site (I have!) as well as others as you make this decision. Just wanted to make sure I addressed that since there may sometimes be a large banner for that site running on my sidebar!

Sawyer's Riverdance

Here is a video that shows Sawyer doing what we call the Riverdance. This isn't the best showcase of his talents, as he seemed a little put-out by our demands for a demonstation, but what do you think--does he have a future in Irish dance?
video

Baby Schedules

Usually I just delete the emails from Babycenter, but this was a link I really liked. You can go and see other sample schedules from real parents with their kids, whether they are breastfed, bottle-fed, stay at home, etc. Pretty neat!

He May Be Bald...

...But he's still cute.

Rogaine Alert

I knew this might happen. And I know it will grow back. But can I still have a moment of silence for the loss of Sawyer's gorgeous hair??

Sawyer at two days old.
Example A: from the back. Note the mullet bottom, which is still growing and not falling out.
Example B: the side. Yikes. Donald Trump ain't got nothin on this boy.
Example C: the top. Oh, so thin. So sad. :(

Should I invest in Baby Toupees??

Article on Home Birth

I'm frustrated right now with trying to upload the cutest video of Sawyer ever, which somehow won't work. Ugh. Until then, here is a great article about home birth and the AMA's recent opposition to it. What I found most interesting was the stats from a British study on American home birth--the mortality rate for babies was .09%. That's a pretty low number for a country that ranks 37th in world infant mortality! In any case, some interesting reading for what is in Texas a rainy day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What We're Eating

Tricia over at Reston Mom is amazing in her domesitc-ness. Every week she posts what she had for dinners, and let me just say it's intimidating! I'm still trying to figure out how to cook with a baby! But I will share great recipes when I think of it, and tonight we had a really good one--not only good tasting, but good in how easy it was! This orginally came from Wanda at church, who cooked it for us after Sawyer was born.

Easy Roasted Dinner

1 package lean uncooked turkey sausage
1 yellow onion
1 zucchini
1 green pepper
any other veggies you like--mushrooms, squash, broccoli, potatoes etc
1 apple (this is my addition and it's great!)
olive oil
salt & pepper

Cut up all the veggies (and fruit) and de-case the sausage, then tear it into bite-sized portions. Place all in a roasting pan, drizzle generously with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Shake or stir to coat. Cook at 400 for 30-40 minutes, or until the sausage and other veggies are cooked through. (I like my onions VERY cooked, so I may cook a little bit longer than necessary.) Simple and delicious!!

Product Review: TaylorMade Water Mesh Sling

Here's a shot of Rob demonstrating the beauty (and head-covering properties) of our new water sling. This is really a great idea--a sling to carry baby in water. It's made of light mesh that dries quickly and is cooler for outdoor situations. The long tail, which Rob has over his head, is great as a nursing cover. While I wouldn't recommend wearing this sling for long periods out of the water (both becuase of the lack of padding and because the mesh is slippery and I wouldn't fully trust it out of the water to hold baby), it's fantastic in the pool or lake or creek. We've used it in all three, and it's great for keeping baby safe and close and not wearing out your arms. My sister-in-law Krista bought one as well and uses it to hold her baby Ila while keeping an eye (and two free hands) on her other three boys. Definitely a must-have for summer swimming! You can find this sling at Nurtured Family, linked to the right.

Book Review: The No-Cry Sleep Solution

I took this book by Elizabeht Pantley on our Tennessee/Virginia/Georgia trip, and enjoyed reading it along the way. I came away feeling hopeful about sleeping, and also realizing that Sawyer is a much better sleeper than I thought. The book breaks down into three basic parts--helping you identify your sleep patterns and problems, offering various solutions or suggestions, and encouraging you to implement relevant options. What I like most about the book is that Pantley allows for the wide variety of choices you might be making. She addresses ideas that might help if you're co-sleeping OR crib sleeping, breast-feeding or bottle-feeding. I haven't totally followed the book by making a commitment to try some of the suggestions for ten full days and document how it goes, but then, I feel mostly okay about our sleeping. I will return to the book when we move Sawyer to the crib full-time, as she has some great suggestions for making the co-sleeping to crib-sleeping transition. I would highly recommend this book if you are needing to find sleeping help, and if you're not willing to simply close the door and let your little one cry it out.

Sawyer at 15 Weeks

Is it bad that I'm not sure if we're at 14 or 15 weeks? I'm pretty sure it's 15, but I'm totally sure that time is moving way too fast. Here is a photo of Sawyer practicing sitting up. He is actually getting pretty stable now if you prop him in the boppy. On his own, he can sit up for a few seconds before leaning to either side or forward on his face. But he has definitely strengthened his balance! He's great at holding his head up and is only wobbly when he's first waking up. We're doing tummy time still and he can scoot around a little bit and every now and then surprises himself by rolling from his tummy to his back. He really gets frustrated with tummy time and really just wants to be standing. He smiles a lot now, and has started with little laughs that are just precious. In sad news, he's getting bald. He looks like a man with a combover now. I know it will grow back, but I hate it. I loved his gorgeous hair!!

New Fave Product

This has nothing to do with babies or parenting, only with finding the perfect lip balm. I was shocked and saddened when I went to the store yesterday to find that my go-to lip product was absent from the shelves. I've been using Neutrogena MoistureShine Lip Balm for years and have found that it's the only thing I want to use on my lips. A little bit of color and shine, but no stickiness. Feels like lip balm, looks like natural lipstick, and has SPF to boot. Honestly, I've thought of stocking up in case they stop selling it, and last night I was terrified this was becoming reality. (I'm only exaggerrating slightly--you'll understand this if you've tried to find the perfect thing for your lips. Don't laugh, Rob.And Neutrogena still does sell the balm, just not at my local store anymore. So, happy day for me!) Because I simply needed SOMEthing to keep my lips from feeling chapped, I picked up their MoistureShine Soothing Lip Sheers. (On a personal note, could they come up with some kind of simple one-word title for cosmetics?? I feel really silly writing out these long names for something as simple as lip gloss.) It's very similar to the Lip Balm in that it has slight color, feels great going on and is shiny without being sticky. It also has SPF and is slightly minty. I love it!! If you're in need of a new lip product, this is about as close to perfect as I think you're going to get.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sawyer, Sleeping

Sometimes I feel like all I write about these days is sleep. Honestly, I've slept more since having Sawyer. Maybe not at first, but often he sleeps more each night than I used to. Plus sometimes I take (gasp!) naps with him. But even with all the sleeping, as a new mom, figuring out sleeping habits is a huge thing.

This week on our vacation, Sawyer actually started going to bed earlier. Surprise, surprise! Other than our first night there, and then the night he woke up with gas pains, he went to bed around ten or eleven. Co-sleeping really made travelling easier, or at least lighter, since we didn't have to bring a bassinet or pack n play. He had his first nights on his tummy, when he rolled from back to side to tummy. We had some really sweet sleeping times, and he had some creative napping times, as shown below.

Napping the afternoon away with Daddy.
Napping on a cushion outdoors.
Napping on life vests and towels on a rock cliff. (Nowhere near the edge, don't worry.)

Blog the "Recession"

Yes, I put recession in quotes on purpose. Things are for sure tight, but I really think that the media loves a good scare. All my conspiracy theories aside, Kristen over at Motherhood Uncensored came up with this idea of blogging the recession. Basically, it's a call to help bloggers out by clicking through to their sites, which ups their numbers, which ups their potential profits. If you follow the link to Kristen's blog, there are some other great blogs listed who are taking part in this adventure. Grab a cup of coffee and do some reading and some clicking. Immerse yourself in the interweb. Go ahead, I dare you. Live vicariously through the blogosphere.

If it makes money for some people, that'd be great. Even if it's not me. What else are you going to do when you're not watching the Olympics?

(Thanks Brandilynn for letting me know!)

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Exercising with Daddy

Here is a fun video of Rob doing sit-ups with Sawyer. Listen closely and you'll hear Sawyer laugh in the beginning. video

Meeting His Namesake!

Finally. Sawyer Timothy Oliphant, meet Tim Oliphant, American Gladiator champ and all-around super uncle. Pictured here with all the nieces and nephews. You've got to be a good uncle with that many!!

Not Because I'm Awesome, But...

So, in order to grow readership, I've nominated myself (I know, pretty sad) for a Blogger's Choice Award. I totally don't think I deserve it, but it's a great way for people to hear about my site. And actually, if you head over there to vote, it's a great way to find fun new blogs. I don't know if my site is up yet for voting, but if so, you'll probably find it on page 178 of the Best Parenting Blogs. But if I get even something like 30 votes, I'll be on page 2 or 3! So, for the sake of exposure and not necessarily honesty, cast me a vote and check out some other great blogs while you're there!

Here
is where you can find me to vote.

Vacation!

We made it home after a great and fun and wild week at Lake Diversion. With septic explosions and boat fires, it's a wonder we survived, but we did and have some great stories and memories. I'm trying to upload videos, but apparently, the ones on Rob's camera make the computer angry, while my sad camera is easy. Oh, well. For now, here are a few photos of the little guy.

Taking a first boat ride. Methinks he likes it.
Being Godzilla. (If you've watched Season 3 of Arrested Development, this is funny. "Godzilla, rawr!" "Who will save our Tiny Town??")
Driving his first car.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fun Week Ahead!!

Tomorrow we head to the lake for a few days to hang with Rob's family--yay! We kicked off our fun week by going to the Houston Roller Derby bout tonight. Sawyer dressed the part and even flirted with some derby girls--he sure seemed to like those Sirens!

We won't have computer access so I'll be back on Friday or Saturday!!

Mommy Bonding Time

So...it's 6am ans Sawyer's up. Is this what happens when he falls asleep at ten? Or is he teething? Or did he just want to watch local access church with me?? That's the thing with babies--they can't tell you. So we're just hangin' out. And I need a cup of coffee.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Weird Label

This is a weird tag on the cute outfit that Alicia gave Sawyer. You might want to click on the photo if you can't read it. I mean, shouldn't we know that clothing isn't flame retardant? And why is loose-fitting clothing more of a fire hazard??

My Hungry, Mouthy Baby

Here are two quick videos that show Sawyer the ravenous animal, eating everything in site and making lots of racket.
video
video

All the Boys A-Sleepin

More Swimming!

We've had some great family swim days recently. Check out our new sling for the pool! I found it at Nurtured Family (links to the right) and LOVE it. We didn't quite adjust it right for Robbie's first time with it, but both of us love being hands-free and knowing Sawyer is safe with us in the pool! More photos on our other blog.

Fun Idea!

I read about Goosie Cards this morning on Lil Sugar. You can go to their site and upload photos to make personal flash cards. I think it's a pretty cute idea, but if you're industrious and cheap (like me), you may think about making your own!

Sawyer at Three Months!

I can't believe it's been three months! It feels both like forever, and like time has flown. I have a feeling that's how the rest of my life is going to feel...

Sawyer is growing and changing so much in little ways each day that it's hard to keep track. He is very active when awake and wants to be moving or engaging in his world constantly. He tries to sit up when I lean him back into his boppy or, as right now, I put him next to me on the couch, propped up in the corner. (He actually just tried to stand up from that position and then got really frustrated.) He would prefer to stand than anything else, though we still try to give him tummy time every day. We're due for a doctor's appointment, so I'll update on his weight and stuff when we do that. From our scale, I think he's around 14 pounds.

He loves watching his older cousins play, and I think is taking notes on how to be an Oliphant boy. He can grasp things fairly well now, and tries to grab everything to put it in his mouth. This morning I watched him try to pick up a round toy shaped like a dog, and when he couldn't get a hold on it (because it was round) he moved his hand to grab its ear. Everything still goes in his mouth, and he's drooling tons and gumming things, so I'm thinking maybe he'll get teeth early.

Thankfully, he's still a happy boy, and loves everything from diaper changes to baths to walks in the Bjorn or sling. He'll cry or fuss only when he's hungry, bored, or has gas pains. Oh, and when it's time to go to bed at night--he fights it!

He's also become a regular chatterbox and makes tons of sounds. His new thing this week is to break off in the middle of nursing, stare up at me, and start telling me something. He gets this great serious look on his face and often clasps his hands, as though what he says is of great importance. I love those little moments!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sawyer's Daily Habits

At the suggestion of my sleep book (which I'll review as soon as I can find it in my house...), I wrote down Sawyer's daily schedule for a few days two or three weeks ago. I found that not only was he a better sleeper than I thought, but he was a lot more on a routine than I realized. I think in reading the sleep book I realized that we were actually doing pretty okay with sleeping. The main thing, which Ainsley said happened with her son too in the comments, is that he goes to bed LATE. Usually midnight or one. But then he'll sleep for twelve or thirteen hours. A few nights we've gotten it down to ten pm, but if he's up, he's up. And since I'm not willing to do the cry-it-out method, that means that we can try and get him sleepy, but basically we're up until he's out.

Anyway, this may not be interesting to you guys, but here is what I recorded for those few days. I should note also that when I talk about him nursing in the night, I don't always know how often because I'm barely waking since he's sleeping next to me. I wake up before he fully wakes up (he starts flailing in his sleep when he's hungry) and then I fall back asleep as soon as he's latched.

Day 1
(fell asleep 12am the night before, woke 1-2 times to nurse)
9am- woke up and nursed. active time.
10:30- fell asleep in the Baby Bjorn, moved to crib
11:15- woke and nursed. active time.
1pm- fell asleep nursing, moved to co-sleeper. slept 45 min, then moved next to me in bed for rest of nap.
3:20- woke and nursed. active time
4:30- fell asleep in Bjorn.
4:45- woke up.
5:30- nursed.
6:30- fell asleep in Gammy's arms.
7:15- woke up and was fussy.
8:40- fell asleep nursing, transferred to co-sleeper.
9:15- woke up, nursed, and fell asleep next to me.
(nursed 1am, 3am, 5:30am)

Day 2
8am- woke and nursed. active time.
9:20- nursed, fell asleep in crib with pacifier.
10:15- woke up, active.
11:20- nursed.
12:15om- fell asleep in car.
1:05- woke up.
1:20- nursed, active.
3:20- nursed.
4:10- fell asleep with pacifier.
5:30- woke up and nursed.
6:30- nursed, awake and fussy.
8:15- fell asleep nursing.
8:30- woke up fussy and wide awake.
10:30- nursed.
11:00- fell asleep drinking bottle of pumped milk.
(nursed 1am, 5am)

Day 3
8am- woke up and nursed.
9:00- fell asleep in sling.
9:40- woke and nursed.
11:05- fell asleep in sling.
11:30- woke and nursed. active: tummy time and swimming with Gammy.
1:15- fell asleep.
4:30- woke and nursed.
5:30- nursed.
7:40- nursed.
8:15- fell asleep in car.
9:00- woke up.
10:10- fell asleep nursing, moved to co-sleeper.
11:30- woke and switched to sleep next to me. Fell asleep nursing and with pacifier.
(nursed 5am; woke next day at 8:45)

Though no day is identical, he basically took a longer nap each day, and a few small naps, and ate pretty consistently every two hours. (The one day he went without eating for a big period, he ate more frequently later.) It's funny to look back, because things have changed since then. He is more consistent about taking one long nap, though it varies and is sometimes mornings, sometimes afternoons. He also wakes less to nurse in the night, especially compared to that first day where it was three times that night. His bedtime is usually midnight, as I said, but three nights this week he's gone to bed at ten pm, and it would have been four, but he woke with gas pains.

This was a good idea and really helpful in seeing not only how often he slept and when, but HOW he fell asleep, whether in someone's arms or in the sling or with a pacifier or while nursing. The book's suggestion was to take a few days' records, then identify patterns and problems. I think it's a great idea and probably should do it again, just to see how we're doing and how things really have changed.

Yay and Aw...

So, I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but is it only because I again have the stomach flu? Oh, man. I heard that women often got sick post-baby and so far, I've been sick twice when I'm usually sick once a year, maybe less. But it's okay because Sawyer is chewing happily on a pillow, so I'm okay with that. At least my litle guy is happy and healthy!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Great Website to Start Your Morning

Thanks so much to Beth C for sending me this website with its insanely funny (and wrong) cakes. With misspellings, mistakes, and just generally creepy ideas (see the Baby Cake and the Woman Pushing Out a Baby Cake), this site will have you laughing and shaking your head. Here's a great (gross) example: a cake shaped like a chinese bound foot.

Night Owls

So, I can't seem to get Sawyer to bed before midnight. Many people might think this makes me a bad mother, and maybe it does. Right now I'm standing in the kitchen hoping that being in the sling will put him to sleep. (It's working!) Either Rob and I are still way up and he wakes up around 10pm and wants to party since we are, or, like tonight, he falls asleep around ten and probably would stay that way, but seems to wake from a gas issue. It's hard to know why babies cry, but I'm figuring him out. If, as demonstrated last night, when we turn the lights on and let him stand up or play, Sawyer smiles and is happy, then he's just not in the mood for sleep and that's why he's crying. But if, like tonight, he wakes from a sound sleep and cries his head off no matter what, then I'm thinking he's having gas. He also might be teething, but that's a scary thought, so we'll forget about it. He did have several huge burps, so we'll go with the gas theory. He sleeps so well in the morning that it's hard to complain, but I really would love to start him on the going to bed at (at least!) ten pm. Eventually maybe earlier, but for now...baby steps.

And...he's asleep.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Morning Cutenes

My boys.

Reflections on Mommyhood

Before getting married and before having a baby, I always thought about how I didn't want to become one of those people. Those people who, after getting married, suddenly transformed into Married People. Or who have babies and suddenly become Baby People. Do you know what I mean? I think I'm mostly talking about people who seem to totally change who they are to take on a role, if that makes sense, and who can no longer relate to those who are un-married or without-baby. If you've met these kinds of people, you'll know.

I was pretty certain that in getting married, I wanted to stay me--just be me, married. And in having a baby, I didn't want to transform into instant Soccer Mom. I really thought about this a lot--probably too much. The other day I was talking to Kelly C about this idea, and I realized that I hadn't reflected very much about how I've changed since becoming a mom, and that as I thought about that, I realized that I have changed.

I've never been much of a baby person, and I was worried a little about what it would be like to have one of my own. I still don't go crazy the way some women do when they see someone else's baby, but I sure am enjoying the heck out of my own. Kelly said that she loved the fact that I was totally embracing motherhood. I hadn't stopped to think of it that way, but I really am. (This blog is probably a pretty good indication of that...)

But do I feel like I've become one of those people?? I don't think so. I think that I understand them more, and feel less harsh because I can understand that moving into being Baby People happens easily when you have an amazing baby that comes in and turns your world upside down. What I feel like is that I have become an expanded person. I'm still me. But I have this whole new amazing part of my life that has caused who I am to open up a bit to include it. And instead of shying away from it, I've flown headlong into the changes Sawyer has brought about.

I love it. Right now I'm typing this watching as he tries to figure out how to suck just his thumb instead of his whole hand and listening as he talks seriously to me about his morning. (See photo.) I know I won't see all the ways right now that I have changed or grown, but I definitely feel like I am a bigger or wider or deeper person than I was a few months ago, and I wouldn't go back for anything.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What's Wrong with My Hair??

In another post-baby-body malfunction, my hair is falling out. Kristen A warned me about this, but I was unprepared for the sheer amount of hair that comes out when I take a shower. I've always been a shedder, but I'm talking like baseball-sized clumps. I'd take a picture, but it's way too gross. How can I keep my hair? I'm afraid soon I'll be bald.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Yay, Uncle Tim!!

Congrats to Sawyer's Uncle Tim who WON AMERICAN GLADIATORS!!!! Good thing, too, because otherwise we were thinking of changing Sawyer's middle name from Timothy to something else.

Pacification

So, we're back from our trip and I wanted to (finally) post something on pacifiers. Here's a cute photo of Sawyer and his packy with Aunt Sarah.

It's funny how something so small can cause such a big debate! But I think that like any child-rearing issue, everyone has an opinion and many people are vigilant in voicing them. I have heard more people say negative things about pacifiers, and so I have been listening and looking up thoughts online because frankly, I just don't see what the big deal is. I'll break down some of the reasons people are anti-pacifier...

-in the first few weeks, it can inhibit a correct latch in breastfeeding, as can sucking on really anything other than the breast
-it can become habit-forming
-it looks bad (really--I've heard this)
-thumb sucking is preferred because the baby will never lose his or her thumb, as some children get dependent on pacifiers and then freak out when they get misplaced
-later down the road, it can inhibit dental development (but so can thumb-sucking!)
-a study linked pacifier use with middle-ear infections

The reality is that babies have a very strong sucking need. I think that much of this can be satisfied with breast-feeding, but I don't have a problem with baby sucking his or her thumb OR a pacifier. I really think that it's up to the parents. Both can become habits that might need to be broken as the child grows, and both can affect dental development. Personally, I think that after a baby has established a good latch if breastfeeding, letting baby suck his thumb or a pacifier is not a big deal. Yes, breaking a habit may be hard, but it's also a place for a good life lesson down the road. I also read that a new study found that babies who use pacifiers have a much lower incidence of SIDS.

Sawyer is funny with the pacifier--sometimes he wants it and it helps him calm down, but more often than not, he'll totally reject it and gets mad when you offer it. He'll suck it in his mouth only to spew it across the room (really--he gets some distance!) or will clamp his mouth shut if he's not in the mood. But then for a few days, he really seems to like it and it does help calm him, at night or nap-time in particular. I'm not sure he'll ever take to it, as he also likes sucking on his fist (he can't quite find his thumb...) but if he takes to either, we can deal with breaking the habit at an appropriate time.

What are YOUR thoughts on pacifiers??

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