21 December 2010

Reasons Why Chucklebutt is My Kid.

1. He drools when he sleeps. (Especially naps.)
2. He loves pickled ginger.
3. The weird head shape.
4. Impatient. As. Hell.
5. He has perfected the "eat excrement & die" look.

04 December 2010

Our Yule Card

Glitter Glamour Joy Christmas Card
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31 October 2010

The Glamorous Life of Mom.

Note: I meant to post this about a week ago, but.... didn't happen. I'll try to update more in the next day or so.

So I thought I'd do an update on the whole EC/potty-training/a desperate bid to not scrape poo off Cam's butt 34543 times a week thing.

It's going alright. :) We got a little side-tracked last week, but the great thing about EC is the fluidity of it all. (Okay, bad writer. I didn't get that until I added the period. Sigh)

My big old 1-year-old(!!!) can now point to things and say "uhhh". (This is especially fun when he points at the kitchen island with 97423 items he could potentially want. Usually it's a banana. Sometimes it's a whackable chocolate orange.) He has not put 2 & 2 together and realized he can signal to go to the potty. Yet. YET.

The good news is that he goes potty now when we're out & about. We went out to dinner about 3 weeks ago with one of B's co-workers, and Cam started getting a little PO'ed. When I checked his diaper, he was dry. Put him back in the highchair, started giving him Cheerios again. He got a little more PO'ed. So I took him to the bathroom, plopped him on the edge of the sink, and ran the tap. 2 seconds later, he's going in the sink. A lot. Poor kid had to hold it while his momma connected the dots.

But man, was my Cheshire grin big when we walked out of there. Related PSA: don't drink out of public sinks.

Additionally, when we went to Epcot two weekends ago, he peed on the potty/in the sink three (3!) times. He also peed in his diaper three times. (One of which I knew he had to go, but we were on "The Land" ride, so there wasn't much I could do about it. :( ) I think it helped a lot that we were wearing him for 3/4 of the day... generally speaking, babies don't like to soil themselves while being worn (thank. goodness.). Shout-out to Epcot for having an awesome (if slightly outdated) Baby Care Center.

We got a toddler insert for the regular toilet, and he uses that to poo. Apparently he needs a handle or something, because when he does, he demands that I squat and give him a hug while he poos. (Yeah, you needed to know that.) He has never pooped on the little Baby Bjorn potty... I think the poo might be too close to him in the bowl or something.

I've been using a combination of 50% timing (hey, he hasn't been in 2 hrs, let's try now) and 50% Cam cuing (he's grabbing his diaper/grunting). He goes more often in the morning (which is apparently very common), so after lunchtime it's all downhill from there.

30 September 2010

Things That Make Me Go "Arrrgh."

  • Lovebug gunk on my car
  • Dirty dishes
  • My new doctor suggesting that A) I give my son Carnation Instant Breakfast and B) stop breastfeeding.
Now, if I come back deficient in some vitamins or something, that's one thing. And it will be addressed. But seriously? Stop doing something that significantly improves both his AND MY health in the long run?
What. The. Hell.

EDIT 8:40pm: I just looked up the ingredients in Instant Breakfast. Aspartame. Start your day with a hole-y brain, anyone?

24 September 2010

Farmward Bound.

We've already discussed this, and will NOT be circumcising any future son we may have. Wish I'd known this before...

Also, this next link is about 10 things you may not know about baby formula. The interesting part (or at least, interesting to me because I used to(/am starting to be again) sensitive to it) is that carrageenan is known to contain MSG or produce it during processing.

Mmmm, neurotoxins.

How soon can I move to that farm we're planning?

23 September 2010

Dear Future Self. (Take Two: Revenge of the Giggles.)

Dear Future Self,

I hope you're not still watching Stargate. Like seriously, woman, leave it alone. Daniel Jackson is not a real person, give it up.

If you're reading this, it means you're still alive. (Yay.)

Which brings me to my I You We-Better-Have-Done-This List:
  • I hope you're learned how to cut cheese properly. And make it. And no, I never use euphemisms, so you better have learned how to make cheddar that rocks my socks off. Please drop it off as soon as you get Mr. Fusion installed. Just be sure to sign an insert with it with someone's name whom we know - like our god-twin.
  • Kim rocks. You better have kept in touch with her, even if you've had to invest in Australian postage & currency with every scrap of your allowance because she's living in the outback and you have to grease the palm of the courier because he's a bit dodgy. Even if it's just to say, "Hi. Nothing new here. Brian's a nerd. Cam's an oinker. [insert teasing of future kid(s) here.] Garden's big. How's your internet? Any more tattoos? I like bread. Bye, I love yoooou..."
  •  You better have hung on to Brian. 'Cause he's pretty darn nerdy, and I'm not sure where he'd end up if you cut him loose. Probably snapped up in an instant by some ho. Or a midget wrestler. Also, life would suck without his massages. Keep that in mind when he hasn't cleaned the litter box in a week.
  •  Built a cob house yet? If you haven't, get on that before I hurt you. You know that scar... yeah. That's what I did. Get on it already, while you've got the free labor (yay children!).
  •  I sincerely hope you've learned how to keep your mouth shut by now. Especially when working with drywall (or other dusty substances).
  • Sent Désirée a pirate ship, out of the blue. Because she & David have only one interest: pirateage. (Which is different from piracy, yo. (Ho.))
  •  Figured out our theme song. (And no, for the frillionth time, it can't be "Fruity Oaty Bars".)
  •  Used up the last of those penis post-it notes from our bachelorette party. The last few are around here somewhere, and one of them has our insurance agent's info scribbled on it and is tacked to the bulletin board.
As long as you're not in mad debt because you've been dumb, I think I'll forgive you if you haven't completed *everything* on this list. But now that you've read the letter, you've got a year...

Use up those post-its!

Yourself <3

22 September 2010

Dear Future Self.

Dear Self of the Near Future (maybe 2012, 2013?),

Get off your fat arse before you get preggo again and find a homebirth midwife.

Even if it costs a million $$ and homemade cookies every day for a year.

Your last labor could have been so much worse. And it had its WTF-are-you-doing-you-@$$hat moments (which you thankfully repressed and didn't write about. Thanks, random blogs about birth trauma for dredging some of that up. Now I have to freaking deal with it.) And if that amniotic sac doesn't burst, leave well the FUDGE alone!

Trust your body. Labor at home, where you can relax (yup, being poked & prodded and in a weird place ain't gonna do that fer ya. What were you thinking?). Relax = less pain = faster labor/delivery.

You can do it.

Yourself <3

15 September 2010


Things That Have Happened:
  • We were inundated over Labor Day weekend with guests.
  • Cam has started stacking blocks instead of knocking them to smithereens.
  • Cam says "yeah" now. It's stinkin' cute.
  • I saw a cardinal (haven't seen one in our yard before).
  • Brian finally finished the clothesline. (The stained diapers thanked him profusely.)
  • I managed to break my custom-made night-guard again. (Stoopid teeth-grinding.)
  • Cam has started using the potty.
Exciting stuff, I know. ;)

I've been reading Diaper Free by Ingrid Bauer and The Diaper-Free Baby by Christine Gross-loh; the books are making me rethink what we've been doing. Elimination communication (EC) is not potty-training. It's recognizing when your child needs to pee/poo, and teaching them where they can do it. You're free from dependence on diapers, not diaper-less. It was kind of like a light bulb went off in my head - I know he doesn't like to be dirty. I remember when Cam & I went down to meet Brooke & Kyle for the first time; every time the kid kicked his legs and then started crying - he had just dirtied a diaper.

The "theory" behind waiting until they're 2 or 3 now is at that age, kids are "ready" and before then, they can't control it. After reading these books, I put two & two together: other very young animals don't like to soil themselves/their nest; why would human babies? They may need help getting to where they should potty, but they know they need to go. (Plus, at 2 or 3 kids are beginning to assert their independence, which means getting them to do something drastically different... um, tough.) They learn there's no extrinsic reward for using the potty - just that they don't have to sit in it! Yay motivation! (When was the last time you got a gold star for peeing in porcelain? ;) )

We've been doing this for 9 days now. We had 4 "misses" (= misses in communication) up through yesterday, and we've had 3 so far today. But today he also told me three times that he needed to go, so I think we're making progress.

Last night he did not wake up at all. When I went to get him this morning, he had peed only a little. And when I sat him on his potty... let's just say we were there awhile. :) A few days ago, I put him down for a nap nekkid. (When you begin to EC, it's helpful to just leave the kid nekkid all the time, so you can tell exactly when they're going and you can cue them appropriately instead of finding it later. Remember how you can't scold a puppy for an accident 10 minutes ago? Same principle.) He woke up dry. I can't remember the last time that happened.

Now when I put him in a diaper (before bed, or before we go out of the house), he sits up and grabs it, all perplexed. It's hilarious. :)

Here we are for the 1st Gator game of the season...
4 September 2010

A little bit different from last year:
24 October 2009

03 September 2010

The post where US maternal care makes me a witch. With a B.

(...and proud to be one. ;) )

I stumbled upon this report yesterday by Amnesty International. You know, the human rights group. They did a report on maternal care in the US. It's ridiculous. "It" here being the maternal care, not the report.


Summary: Maternal care in the US sucks monkey nuts. Our maternal mortality is higher now (13.3 deaths per 100,000 births) than in the 1980s (6.6). The kicker: There are no federal requirements for reporting maternal deaths, and the authorities concede that the number of maternal deaths may be twice as high. (pg 10) All we know is there are a crap-ton of barriers up for women with limited means and women of color. (Do I need to draw a Venn diagram here to see the overlap?)

This gets me really steamed up, in particular because of the correlation with abortion rights. And an imaginary conversation I had running in my head with a conservative "Pro-Lifer" (aren't we all anti-death and pro-life? I mean, except for death metalheads? but that's a slightly different issue...) - I like to sub in my FIL for the conversation. That does nothing for my blood pressure, however.

P-L: Abortion should be banned. It's murder.
Me: Really? So you're going to provide free, high-quality maternal care for all of the pregnant women out there who wanted an abortion, but thanks to your stance can't get one? Or is God going to provide that, too?
P-L: No. Er, yes. But I don't want to pay money raise taxes to do it.
Me: Why not? If a fetus is so sacred, doesn't it deserve the best care? And since the woman is carrying that baby, shouldn't she also be well taken care of? Did you not talk about the importance of the future generation at our wedding?
P-L: It's her body & baby. She should pay for them.
Me: A) You're turning a rights violation into a discussion about money. B) You denied her the option to abort, so you've taken on some other responsibilities now. This is almost as messed up as court-ordered cesarean sections.
P-L: What?! I never said that.
Me: Well, when you decided that she couldn't be trusted to make the right decision one time...

I always win [...in my mind...]. :)

27 August 2010

And a bunny rabbit covered in pastry.

Cue the twilight zone music.

My house is clean. Clean! Even the kitchen!

Something got under my skin yesterday and after getting up at 6am to get the bread dough going, I decided to vacuum. The. Entire. House.


If I just pick up the papers on the floor of in the office and unload the dish drainer, I could actually start painting the baseboards like I've been wanting. (They look like sh...ugar.)

Cam & I are meeting Brian at Lowe's today after he gets off of work, and picking up materials for my new clothesline(!). 'Bout darn time. We're also getting some garden supplies (neem oil -which supposedly gets rid of fire ants!, fish emulsion) and will hopefully repot the rosemary and the bougainvillea this weekend. And I'm planting some more veggies. Because really, buying zucchini from Publix grates a bit. (Okay, a lot.)

17 Aug 2010
This is the inside of that Moon & Stars watermelon we harvested a few weeks ago. ~8.5 lbs. So sweet! When's the last time you ate a watermelon with SEEDS? (Can't have a spitting contest without seeds!) We have four-five more growing right now... four of them trellised. :)

Recently, we had two events going on at our house: Medieval Night and the 2nd Biennial (Defying) Physics Party. Both were successes, in that we got to eat a lot of good food and hang out with awesome people. (And shoot diet cola REALLY high in the air. Never gets old.) Here are some pics:

 20 Aug 2010

The bunny. This is a rabbit, covered in pastry dough. It was delicious. We got the recipe from a medieval cookbook Brian got for Yule/Xmas. He baked up a nice golden brown... but sadly, his eyes fell out. But his head stayed on! (there's no actual rabbit head in there, just wanted to point out.)

20 Aug 2010

We ate by candlelight (after Cam went to bed). Also served: wine, beer bread, kale, and amazing sauteed mushrooms.

The Physics Party was disgustingly good. We had a variety of pimped-out snacks: a Cadbury egg the size of a dinner plate; a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup the size of a pie dish; a four-layer Portal cake; and, of course, a  Rice Krispie treat. Beer pongage also occurred, in addition to Pirates vs. Ninjas Munchkin.

21 Aug 2010

Why yes, that's a butter knife on top of the RKT... for scale.

I have gained two pounds. (Which I needed... so maybe biennial -> bi-annual? bi-monthly? ;) )

23 August 2010

Parenting? Hard? What?

Now that Chucklebutt is 10 months old, he's starting to do things like look at Mom/Dad, then casually lean over and try to rip out the electrical outlet plugs. Or headbutt people in the face. Or even better bite people... on the shoulder, the chin, or on the last remnants of the baby fat bits on my stomach (my personal fave).

It wasn't enough I had to birth this kid, now I have to parent him too? :) GAH.

Right now we're at the "Don't ___" and redirecting phase (ie, he bites my face, I say "don't bite" firmly, and redirect him to a teething ring he can bite to his little heart's content.) It's hard. I've been known to slip and just yell "OWNODON'TDOTHAT"... which accomplishes precisely nothing, as Cam stares at me thinking, "Hmm, interesting sounds."

Will it actually be easier when he can talk?

Words Cam knows: Mama, Dada, Cameron, Uncle David, Aunt D, nurse, bear, kittens, Gwen, ball, food, more, all done, don't, smoothie, banana, EDIT 8/24: wave, clap
Words Cam can say: Mama, Dada, na na (nurse)
Words Cam can sign: All done, more

Aunt D getting bitten. Not in a True Blood or Twilight or [insert hokey vampire reference here] kind of way.
18 Aug 2010

Fangs Mom!
20 Aug 2010

09 August 2010

More food pictures.

Exactly what the doctor ordered at 2am. I'm hungry now...

Raw spinach dip with basil and garlic. 
Totally threw a bunch of stuff into the food processor; it was magical. Luckily I wrote down the recipe... somewhere.

Smoked chicken. B's got skills.

Homemade hummus. (Not to be confused with humus.) Cam loves this stuff.

Honey Bee Ale! My first time brewing by myself.
And I'm hugging it because I made too much ice to cool the wort... it needed to be warmer for the yeast. Oops. (And you thought I was a lush.)

EDIT 8/23:
Since I can't find the original "recipe" at the moment, here's my attempt at remembering it:
  • ~6-8ish oz of spinach
  • ~6 fresh basil leaves (add more if you want more basil flavor)
  • ~2 raw garlic cloves (ditto)
  • 1 pkg cream cheese (I used one thawed from the freezer. In a dip like this, the texture difference doesn't matter)
  • tad of olive oil
Throw garlic in food processor. Pulse for a few seconds, until flung into little bits around the bowl. Add spinach and basil. Drizzle (very lightly) with the olive oil. Process into a green paste. Add cream cheese. Blend the heck out of it (as there is heck in it). Enjoy! If I find what I originally wrote down (and it differs from this), I'll modify this recipe.

29 July 2010

Coupons and the Pursuit of Happiness

I've written previously about taking up couponing as a hobby. However, I've been doing some reassessment. Of life in general. As Marty McFly would say - "Heavy." ;)

What brought this on? Reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver; watching An Inconvenient Truth (I know, I'm five million years behind) and Sweet Misery, a documentary about the story behind aspartame; realizing for the fiftieth time that all of our sh...tuff has a crapload of chemicals in it, but finally doing something about it. Something more than just buying organic apples to keep the doctor at bay.

So what am I doing, exactly? I'm not entirely sure myself. I'm going to be making a lot more of my own personal and household products. I'm going to be buying 100% recycled paper towels and toilet paper. I'm going to be eating more local food (look out, farm down the road). And I'm thinking about getting another chest freezer and buying grass-fed beef (in bulk... 'cause it comes off a cow. Which is huge!). And hopefully we can enlarge the garden soon. Like next month soon, because late Aug - September is the time to plant here. (I'm a Floridian and still can barely wrap my head around that.)

So... back to couponing. I knew when I first got started that most coupons are for processed products, so I haven't been able to get the super-super-cheap deals (because I won't eat them). I think/hope I've relaxed to the point of keeping my eye out for them, but not going out of my way every week to make sure there's no potentially free (junk) shtuff somewhere. And since farms don't take coupons... lol.

Checking out Phoebe's "fuurrniture"
24 July 2010

Just some thoughts on living life to the fullest. :) Cam is still working on those four teeth up top, and fighting a runny nose & slight cough right now. I made a totally awesome, off-the-cuff (raw) spinach garlic dip two nights ago, and have been eating it and feeding a bit to him as well. His nose is better today, so... we'll see I guess. My throat, however, is kinda scratchy at the moment. I made a green smoothie this morning for our breakfasts, but Cam just threw it up. :(

16 July 2010

The post where I use CAPS a lot.

So, a lot has been happening at Casa de C's.

Nana & Gramps came & went off on their month-long sojourn to Europe (sigh). Brett's staying here for the duration - he's been a lot of help, actually. I just feel bad "ignoring" him during Cam's nap... which is when I usually write blog posts. (Hence the lack of them recently.) We blew insulation into the attic with no casualties (YAY). I got some sewing done (GASP). And here's another sentence with something in parenthesis and caps (CAPS).

Update on the Ergo situation: I'm okay with it. I don't love it, probably because I am short and short-waisted. I can't quite make it small enough. I would never use it to carry Cam in front of me, but it's okay for carrying him on my back. The first time I used it, I was petrified he was going to lean back and fall out. Since then, I've used it three times. The Moby and I are still [likethis]. Brian likes the Ergo better, though. Which was the original intent when purchasing it, so... ha!

And now for a cute baby pic:

12 July 2010

He was not so happy this evening; he's cutting three (3!) teeth along the top. Not. Much. Fun. Try yelling for an hour, refusing to nurse, and passing out from exhaustion on Mom's shoulder. All while I try and keep my sh...tuff together, because I can't do anything for him. :-( Parenthood really teaches you patience.

And now for some other pics, to make up for the lack of pics in the last few post-lacking weeks:
 Come to Mama...
14 July 2010

MOON & STARS WATERMELON! Words cannot express my excitement. I've wanted to grow this since I was like 9. Or 12. And obviously, a huge nerd. There are two plants, and they're kind of taking over the garden right now... which is fine, since nothing much else can stand the heat. I pulled up half our basil tonight and we made pesto ... to last us the next year or so. Did I mention it was only half?

A lazy afternoon...
15 July 2010

I found some scrumptious-looking organic strawberries at my local Publix. Can you guess what's going to happen? <3<3<3 Nothing like cutting up some strawberries with a glass of tea (and a glass straw - AWESOME!) on a hot summer afternoon.
I love my Publix, but dang are they chintzy with the organic produce. So I was exceedingly delighted to find 3 perfect packages of these babies... and bought them all. They're destined for green smoothies. We're hoping to go to a local farm on Sunday to get some kale and raw, grass-fed milk! My stomach is already grumbling. However, that could be the lack of munchies to go along with my beer. :-D Now for some reading and then off to bed!

02 July 2010


So, we just got one of these.

Why? Because A) I can't carry Cam in the Moby on my back until he's coordinated/old enough to hang on while I wrap it, and B) Brian is intimidated by a long piece of fabric. Guess I'll have to hide his Yule presents in my sewing room. :)

I might not post next week because we're putting more insulation up in the attic. Those $190 light bills ain't going to solve themselves.... On the plus side, Brett will be here to help. And my mom can watch Cam. And my dad can... be Gramps. :) Yay for family time! In the meantime, enjoy:

26 June 2010

27 June 2010

Happy One Year Blog-a-versary!

I have officially been blogging for one year as of two days ago! Oversharing in the blogosphere since 2-0-0-9!

I think I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves. (all taken 25 June 2010)

23 June 2010

To poke or not to poke.

Possibly the only kids' topics I've heard more debate about are sleep-training and discipline. Oh wait, no. Most hotly debated. Hands-down.

Nearly everyone has an opinion on vaccines - that they're [a] god's gift to mankind, that you're a bad parent if you choose not to vaccinate, that they directly cause autism and OMG-other-diseases... and other, wildly divergent views. (I could list hundreds of links to sites to support pretty much any opinion, but I feel that that's pointless unhelpful when Google is just a click away.)

So many people make blanket statements about this topic as well... and I can't agree with any of them. Like most things, I think the truth is in the middle.

Do I want to put my baby at risk? Certainly not. For anything. Ever. (For any reason...)

Is it possible to never put your baby at risk for anything? Uh... no.

For me, it boils down to:
  • there not being a lot of really good, LONG-TERM data about vaccines with regard to allergies, neurological disorders, and cancer* in particular
and more importantly,
  • With vaccines, there's an tiny possibility of a serious reaction (although potentially more for Cam, because Brian's had one). Without vaccines, there's a tiny possibility of contracting one of those diseases, and IF he contracts one, a tiny possibility of a serious side effect. 
So I feel that either way, we all run a risk.

I've done a lot of research and still can't say I'm 100% confident in my decision. Ultimately, I think we've decided to put off Cam's vaccines for now. That doesn't mean we won't vaccinate him when he's older.

*Hmmm, yeah. Cancer. We inject our pets every year with at least a rabies vaccine. The pet cancer rate stands at 50%. There's something going on there.

22 June 2010

Those boots were made for walking...

Things we've been up to:

* testing out swim diapers. No reliable data yet, because he hasn't pooped in them. Filling up the big tub is fun, though...
* suddenly creating HUGE PUDDLES when he wakes up from a nap. I have to put two inserts (usually 1 cloth, 1 disposable) in anytime he goes to sleep. Because of this, he could probably get hit with a baseball bat between the legs and not really feel it. (lol)
* teaching Uncle Brett how to change diapers and babysit... which he actually ain't all that bad at. He makes Cam laugh. Of course, $$ is a big motivator for a 15-yr-old.
* BABBLING like there's no tomorrow. Mamamama, Dadadada, Naynay, Bababa, Pa (not sure if there's any meaning associated with those last few).
* learning that prunes & oatmeal is quite possibly the nastiest thing to clean up, ever. And squash. EWW squash.

 Nana got John Deere boots in SC!
17 June 2010

13 June 2010


Yes, I've been playing around with new design templates and headers for the ol' blogstead. You're still in the right place. (Theoretically.) This is apparently what I do on Satuday night around midnight instead of realizing all that yawning means I need to get my butt in bed so I can semi-function when I get to see ALL the in-laws tomorrow. (and I mean all)

* Cam is now free with his high-fives. (He previously restricted them only to "Katie"s.) Aunt Kim is very proud.
* He has pulled himself up so that he's sitting on his knees, using the side of his crib.
* He is vocalizing way more, I think. It might also be because Uncle Brett's around, too... and he likes Crazy Uncle Brett. :-D Especially Magnum Socks, à la Brett. (HUGE GIGGLES!!!)

Mom, put down the camera & play with meee!
11 June 2010

06 June 2010

What I Choose to *ahem* Do.

My house is a(n organized?) wreck.

Since moving in last year (while pregnant, which I do not recommend under any circumstances to anyone, ever), I haven't exactly made housework a priority. While part of me would like the floors mopped every week, the bathrooms scrubbed, and the kitchen spotless every single second of every day... I'm one person cleaning up after three people. And taking care of an almost-8-month-old.

There's not enough time in the day. Between Cam, eating, basic personal hygiene (hairbrush optional), food, going to the bathroom, and making sure there are clean diapers... I have about 30 minutes of totally free time a day before passing out in an exhausted puddle. Do I want to twitch and nitpick about hard water stains on the bathroom faucet?

Uh.... no. Surprise.

So while I'll make sure the guest room's sheets and towels are clean when people come visit, I'd much rather try and keep my relationship functional, if not happy. So I can either do the dishes, or my husband. Hmmm.... maybe that's what got us into this mess in the first place.

This mess! :)
1 June 2010

29 May 2010

Taking inventory:

Locking clips: -1 (forgot to get it out of the rental car *SHAKES FIST*)
Flying Saucer Pub coasters for the beer cave wall: +3
Bottles that we can use to bottle homebrew: +2
Disposable diapers: -55
Clean laundry:  -45676543
Dirty laundry: +45676543
Sanity: -2

Experience: +1 frillion

Beware the dangers of condensates...
21 May 2010

25 May 2010

The "method" post.

I feel like getting T-shirts that say "We survived Texas."

Cam was amazing nearly the entire time. You'd think he had frequent flier miles. We got so many compliments on how "well-behaved" he is. And at every one, I laughed a little. (Mostly to myself, but sometimes aloud. Okay, mostly aloud.)

Why? Because I don't feel like we're doing anything special to have such a happy kid. But then I look at what other parents do, and realize we're ... different.

I like to call our "method" laid-back* attachment parenting. When you read about AP initially, it sounds hip & groovy, but (like most things in life) some people take it to EXTREMES. (Hence the qualifier.)

Laid-back meaning:
  • We don't baby-wear constantly. Sometimes it's too damn hot. Sometimes he's too darn wiggly.
  • We don't only feed organic foods. (Can't find organic mangoes, lol)
  • I breastfeed because it's easy (not too mention cheap and better for him). 
  • We haven't vaccinated Monkey yet, but we're going to (when he's older).
  • We don't co-sleep (although sometimes I'll nap with him). 
  • If I need a shower, I'll change his diaper & put him in his crib. None of this "I can't put him down or he'll cry..." He'll be fine for 15 minutes. Hell, he might even nap.
  • We go with what's best for him and reasonably easiest for us.
Attachment parenting meaning:
  • We respond to him fairly quickly when he cries, and assess his needs. 
  • If he wants to eat twice in an hour, that's cool; babies have tiny stomachs. 
  • I'm thinking about bf'ing until he's 2... just in the morning & at night. We'll reevaluate the plan at a year.
  • We hold Cam a lot. We interact with him a lot. We play & read... a lot
  • We realize we're his parents and he can't entertain himself for hours (just yet) and that crying is his way of communicating a need right now.
Personally (and yes, I know everyone's not game for it, which is ok), I think having Cam naturally and getting in that skin-to-skin time right away helped considerably with the whole bonding process. Babies have a few hours after birth when they're in a special kind of alertness, and if they're drugged at all it's going to interfere with that. (Also, you get such a RUSH after delivery! I think it's a special bonding time for the mom, too.) I feel like Cam's so "well-behaved**" because we're well-bonded and he feels secure, knowing his needs will be met.

Oh yeah. And we're lucky... because every baby is different.

Snuggling in TX!
23 May 2010

*I was going to call it "lazy...", but then realized I'm too tired from parenting to call it lazy.
**Does this go back to the "children should be seen & not heard" saying? It just seems weird to me to call a baby well-behaved, when in essence you just mean "not loud".

16 May 2010

Sharper than a serpent's tooth!

Let me preface this by saying two things:
1) Cam's been "teething" on and off for awhile now. Since January. Drooling, gnawing, the whole nine yards.
2) It is physically impossible for a baby to bite his or her mother when properly latched.

Having said those two things:
Cam's cutting teeth! I was rubbing his gums today (that seems to feel good when they're bothering him), and the bottom two in front are coming in. Shouldn't be long now until he has actual teeth... and looks even cuter. :)

Cam bit me today. (He wasn't actively eating, just finishing up.) It was not the first time, but with those tooth nubs... let's just say it was not pretty.

I may have yelled "OW!" in his face. He may have cried. A lot.

I may still be sore.

But I will be darned if he continues with this land shark business. (And you thought Land Shark was just a beer.) I do not want to have to end breastfeeding early (...before we both want to).
I'm halfway through our lists for TX. We're bringing the playpen, stroller, and Cam's (old) car seat... in addition to everything else. I'm glad we're going through security at 4 or 5 in the morning both ways... 'cause I have a feeling it's going to take awhile.

Especially if they make us take off our shoes - I really don't want to ponder that one.

Outtake for Aunt D:

 Upset baby.
12 May 2010

10 May 2010

Never put off 'til tomorrow...

Things have been a little crazy around here recently. Family coming & going & coming ... (you get the idea). Friends popping in, tolerantly putting up with my fruitless quests for free photo DVDs (*shakes fist @ Target!*), and ultimately picking out a really cute new swimsuit for my post-baby body. FIL insisting on inviting himself over for lunch.
Realizing that my new nightguard has a huge crack and grooves in it because apparently I grind my teeth even worse than before. Stress much?

And now for more craziness: the Texas trip - a.k.a. Cameron's first plane ride.

While much is made of my ability to pack a car trunk, I'm finding it difficult to organize all of the stuff we need to bring with us. Why am I finding it hard? Because I haven't started my lists yet.

Yes, you read that right. Miss Let-Me-Plan-Everything-Months-In-Advance-By-Making-Fifty-Bazillion-Lists has yet to start a single one. Breathe. (In... out. In...)

Did I mention we're ten days away?

Happy Birthday, Aunt D!
2 May 2010

05 May 2010

Bad ideas.

For the record, this is what happens when your husband suggests giving your brother incentive to clean the shower in the form of writing embarrassing quotes in bathtub crayon on the walls... and when your brother decides it's a better idea to make up other quotes, write them up... and not clean the shower.

(thank you for cleaning my shower, D. :-D <3)

30 April 2010

Friday Food Porn.

Shells & cheddar cheese with scallions and Campari tomatoes to make it... "healthy".

The homemade cheese sauce was deliciously smooth. The slight tang of the green onion every now and again kept the sauce from becoming boring, and the tomatoes added a fleshy sweetness. This picture was taken before the pan went into the oven... that's why the cheese on the top (which turned into a golden-y crust!) isn't melted. 

I have the recipe if anyone wants it... or I could just post it.

EDIT May 1:  Here's the recipe-

Nicole's Mac & Cheese
2 cups (uncooked) elbow macaroni or shells, cooked
2 tbsps. butter
2 tbsps. flour
1 1/2 tsps. dry mustard
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups milk (I think the sauce is better if you use whole milk, but that may be psychological ;) )
2 to 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar
chopped green onions & sliced tomatoes, if desired

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter; whisk in flour, mustard, & salt mix (pinch by pinch). GRADUALLY whisk in milk (do this too fast & you'll have lumps). Gradually means just a splash at a time. The idea is to make a slurry with the butter + flour mixture, then evenly incorporate the milk into it (or vice versa).
Cook & stir until sauce thickens slightly (coats the back of a spoon). Add 1 1/2 - 2 cups of sharp cheddar & let it melt, stirring very regularly. It should look like super-creamy cheese sauce! :)

Place the drained noodles in a greased 13x9 pan, and pour the cheese sauce over them. Add chopped green onions, stirring to distribute. Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar. Place tomatoes on top.

Bake 20-30 minutes or until bubbly. Makes 6 big servings.

27 April 2010

Bed time.

So we all know I'm a hippie granola mom, right? Good.

One of the things I'm trying to do more often is bed time. No, not going to bed on a set schedule (though we mostly do that anyway); spending time in bed. Together. With toys, books, and lots of cuddle time. Sometimes with a laptop.

The benefits of caring for newborn (especially premature) babies skin to skin have been recognized for awhile now, but some people say it continues to provide support for older infants (regulating breathing, heart rate, blood sugar, etc.).

Not to mention the current benefits of a soft surface when you're learning how to sit upright by yourself.

Bed time!
27 April 2010

This is probably going to happen more at our house over the summer, when we set the air to 81 and turn on the ceiling fan. In nursing bras and shorts (for me) and a frakin' cute diaper (for him), 81 is downright tolerable. Especially when you can nurse the kid and then take an afternoon siesta...

19 April 2010

The dirty (five) dozen.

I get a lot of questions about cloth diapers. E.g. "Aren't they more work?"/"Don't they take more time?", "Isn't it gross?", "Aren't they just for tree-hugging hippies like yourselves?"

I may have made that last one up.

A) Yes, they're two* more loads of laundry per week more work.
B) It's gross using disposables, too. I mean, c'mon, it's -poop-. There's no way for it not to be gross.
C) Nope! Cloth is also for the budget-conscious. And for people who have a problem with putting chemical-laced nastiness on their baby's butt.

We're currently using prefolds with diaper covers. You pin the diaper on (although I much recommend Snappis... no chance of stabbing a hole in your kid's torso/other places), then basically add the diaper cover - which attaches like a disposable would. The diaper cover protects clothes/everything else from the wetness/sh*tskies.

Baby excretes, you change. It's really not that hard...

1) MUCH cheaper in the long run. -Especially- if you have more than one kid.
2) MUCH less diaper rash. Butt paste is expensive, people. Especially if you want non-petroleum-based stuff.
3) Reduce, reuse... once you're done having kids, diapers make great cleaning rags. My mom still has some from when I was in diapers. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
4) You can also use cloth diapers as burp cloths, mini-towels & blankets, protect the car seat cover with them... etc.

1) You do have to do the laundry... unless you get a service.
2) You do have to buy bigger diaper covers every once in awhile. Cam's gone through extra-small and small, and is now on medium (which he'll be in until he hits 28 lbs. I'm hoping for potty time by then). We have 4 (you don't have to change them every time).
3) There is the potential for big messes if you can't get the diaper on fast enough. Which is about to be alleviated by -


I'm so excited. Why? That's for a future post, because this one's already looong...

*Cam never stopping pooing 4567876 times a day. Some kids do. So I change about 15 a day right now, and we have 60 diapers... you do the math.

15 April 2010

A new, weekly feature.

On some of the blogs I read, there's a weekly feature on one or more days of the week - "Wordless Wednesday"; "Snackurday"; "Tide You Over Tuesday".

I'm toying with the idea of starting one. It's called, "Who's On My Irrational Sh*tlist Thursday".

This week's Offender:
(Do not buy!)

Back story: My mom found this cool fabric remnant at Joann's that fits in with my sewing room colors & theme. So, hey - I don't have allergies. Why don't I make some sort of window treatment for my room! 

In an attempt to actually finish a project, I went with the no-sew cornice kit pictured above. For $20, it seemed like a good deal. (Yes, I had a coupon.) Comes with all hardware; just tuck, fold, & hang, right?
BZZZT. Wrong answer.

First problem: the fabric I have is too thin, so I had to double & triple layer it where it's supposed to be tucked. If I manhandle it (gee, like, when I try to hang it), it comes out.

Second problem: the molly things that are supposed to go into the wall... hmm. Let's think. Last time I checked, 99.8475% of windows let you look outside your house. Which means they're framed. Probably in metal or wood, at least on the outside. The mollys they give you are cheesy little tiny plastic things that aren't meant for anything other than really, really thin drywall. I get one in 3/4 of the way, and it hits wood/metal. STUCK!

Third problem (hey, I said this was irrational): I put in all four mollys anyway... with the help of Captain Hammer. I managed to get the brackets up, though they're loose. The cornice isn't that heavy.... Oh wait, or it wouldn't be if the "clips" that the brackets are supposed to attach to weren't impossible to attach to the brackets. So I'm stuck balancing on the footlocker under the window, trying to clip the cornice up in vain.... while trying not to curse loud enough to wake up Cam.

I have to do projects like this in spurts, while Cam's down for a nap. Earlier in the week I spent the 30+ minutes fiddling with the fabric & putting the darn thing together, and today I had planned on hanging the thing. That way, I could point to it and go "HA! I did something home-improvement-y around the house without you" to both Brian and Désirée this weekend. Looks like that ain't happening. 

And that's it for "Irrational Sh*tlist Thursday". Should I make this a weekly thing?

14 April 2010

A day in the life of a six-month-old.


 So darn cute.



 It comes in textures?!

Happy clean wee one.

The end.