Wednesday, December 09, 2009

blustery days

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I don't know how cold it is outside. The wind has blown the thermometer off my porch. I'm finding all the places where air infiltrates my home and doing quick fixes of taping over them until we can come up with a better solution.

I'm grateful on this windy, snowy day, that I have a furnace that works, even if it is going full time to keep me at about 70 degrees. I'm glad that my kids aren't freezing, and that the electricity is on so we can watch "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" one last time before we send it back to Netflix. (Finally!)

I'm sad that my husband and brother are out in the wind and snow today, working to finish up the last of this year's work. It is no fun to be outside all day in weather like this. Being 100 feet up in the air makes it even worse. Of all the weeks to be at work, this one is no fun. Maybe they'll give up and come home early!

I'm glad I have some hot tea and some cookies we frosted last night. I did the frosting, Elizabeth handled the sprinkles, and Nathanael hit the table with his spoon. We'll be starting an antiquing/distressing business soon so people can pay me to have my kids damage their furniture.

And I'm grateful for my internet connection that allows me to share this with all of you.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

lovin' the front loader

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When we moved out of our old home, we left behind 2 of the appliances - the 5 year old top loading clothes washer, and the 30+ year old dryer (that just refuses to die!) We abandoned them for the sake of a long held dream: a more efficient front loader!

I like the idea of using a machine that uses less water, and that can reduce electricity consumption when drying be getting more water out during the spin cycle.

Saves money, and helps the environment. I don't know how long it will take for this set to pay for it self, if ever. I don't know that I could realistically figure that out, either. But, I think over time it will prove to be worthwhile investment.



I'm loving my Electrolux matching set. They were not the cheapest (nor most expensive) machines in the store. Honestly, I don't care if I could have gotten something cheaper. I did my research, looked for certain combination of features, and Jude was sold on this set as soon as he saw the LEDs that light up the interior of the baskets.



I've had them for about a month. The washer does great on cleaning things (including mud covered clothing from work). Who would have thought that so little water could do so much?

So far, it's been doing well with the cloth diapers. I'll admit I had some trepidation about getting a front loader. So many people have trouble with bad smells left in the diapers when they use front load washing machines. From what I've read, the cloth diaper/front loader honeymoon ends after about a month of use. So, I'm curious what the future holds for me.

My wash routine is actually simpler with the front loader. I run fewer cycles, so that means less babysitting the machine. It still takes me about 2 hours to get everything rinsed clean, but I'm switching to a different detergent that should hopefully reduce the cycle time. Still better than the 4-5 hours it would take at the old house with the other machine!



I've been keeping a record of my experimenting with my wash routine. Hopefully if I start encountering stink issues, I'll have some indication of what I could do in my specific situation to help things.

Yay for front loaders!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

new dress

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I don't need an excuse to post photos of my girl in a new dress.



She has asked to wear this dress every day for the last 3 days.



I think if I had a dress like that, I'd want to wear it every day, too.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

fish sticks

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Some days are just not very... healthy. Take today, for instance. We're having fish sticks for lunch. Now, I did read labels carefully, and I use brands that leave out most of the bad things, like HFCS, MSG, artificial colors and the like. But still.

Fish Sticks?!?

And so, that's what we're having. Because I still can't find the counter top in my kitchen, or where I put half the groceries I bought yesterday. But I can find the freezer, a cookie sheet and the oven.

I think we'll supplement with a spinach salad, and some homemade applesauce. Sounds healthy, right?



Notice the stems of the spinach lined up in a row on the table? At least she eats something green.

And then while Elizabeth takes a nap, follow it up with a nice dose of medicinal Cookies N' Cream ice cream. Because I need it.

And don't ask about the mac and cheese we're having for supper.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

cuddling

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I love my kids.

Last night, I had both with me in the rocking chair, in their fuzzy footie sleepers - Elizabeth wearing green with pink skiing snow women, Nathanael wearing blue with white polar bears (and polar bear heads on the feet. How cute!) Elizabeth had been fussing and whining and wiggly about going to bed. Finally, sitting with me in the chair, she settled down. We sang a few songs, but really what she needed was her dad.

I went and pulled out the CD that Jude and Randy recorded more than 8 years ago. I enjoyed hearing songs I hadn't heard in a while, and E liked hearing her dad singing.

We rocked away, my two children and I, until both kids drifted off to sleep.

Those are the moments that I wish I could keep forever.


Monday, November 02, 2009

another monday

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The weekend has passed, I'm home with the kids while Jude is off at work. Elizabeth is napping (for now!) and Nathanael is playing with a toy on the floor.

It's November, and windy. I'm in a new home. There's a lake in my front yard, thanks to all the rain we've had. I have a garage, but I'm so used to parking outside that I hardly ever think to put the car in it.

I'm feeling the need to ebay and freecycle stuff. Lots of stuff.

Instead, I'll wander about my house, putting things away, hopefully a bit faster than the kids get them out. I'm grateful that Jude was able to get a lot of stuff put away over the weekend. I feel much less like we're living out of boxes, and more like we've moved in.

We don't have any TV reception here (and at this point, I'm refusing to give in to satellite simply to watch PBS or the evening news!) There's been a little less TV babysitting going on, but there have been more movies while we do things like fold clothes and color. All the while trying to keep Nathanael from staring too long at the TV. I don't want his infant brain to go to mush because we're watching 101 Dalmations!

I don't want my own brain to go to mush, either, but there's not much help for that.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

the young and the relocated

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We've moved to a new home over the weekend. We're still living around all of our stuff. I have hope that we'll be settled in a few weeks.



We're really not far from our previous residence - I can see it across the field and up on the hill. We have a two lane highway out our front door. We hear the grain trucks rumble by at all hours. We have a four lane high way across the field out the back door, and the truck stop that services many of the freighting professionals driving our roads. At night, we can hear the engines running on the trucks while the drivers sleep. Most of it is subtle white noise.

It's an adventure to move into a new place, especially when you've lived in the previous one for a long while. Clearly there are things that we have kept in our possesion that, give the choice of moving it or throwing it away, we'd rather pitch. This is a fine opportunity to re-evaluate the "things" in our lives, and to discover what really matters.

I now know that:
I have an abundance of dishes.
I have an over abundance of kitchen utensils, but I don't want to get rid of any, and I really want to add more. (Can we say Cuisinart food processor, or Kitchenaid immersion blender?)
I'm living in the past - I have lots of stuff from college and high school that I really don't care about, but I can't quite throw away.
I have lots of children's clothes.
I have more cleaning supplies that I have things to clean.
We have lots of technology/electronics. Lots.
Random items rule our household.
It may seem excessive to pack everything up to move 6 blocks, but when you're trying to separate your belongings from that of another family, it's wise. Trust me.

Perhaps the next time we move I'll have more of a handle on our stuff. One can hope, right?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

vicious viscous circles

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I promise, I do want to blog more.

I realize my blogging relationship is much like my real-life long distance relationships. A vicious (as opposed to viscous) circle of wanting to write, but feeling guilty about not having done anything to contact the other person recently, so I don't write. I want to, but because I haven't yet, I'm not going to start.

Besides, when it's been a while, what do you say? Do you try to catch up on everything that's happened since the last time? Do you update only on the most recent goings-on? It devolves to small talk, and seems superficial.

And so, my readers, there I am. I think I'll let the last few months of non-communication lie, and just move forward from here.

greetings, earthling

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How does a baby say hello? By touching your face with his hand, then leaning toward you until you touch foreheads. Those are two of Nathanael's standard greetings. First thing in the morning when he wakes up, when we go to church and see people. It doesn't matter if he knows them or not. He'll reach his arms out to whomever he wants to see, and greets them in his own fashion.

He has quickly progressed in his mobility. He started crawling a few weeks ago, and now he's pulling himself up on things. He's trying to cruise around a bit, but he's not very good at moving his feet without falling over yet. He's brave, and lets go with a hand to stand there for a few seconds. I've even caught him standing on the second step, playing with toys his sister has left behind.

His "language skills" are also developing - he's making "ma-ma" sounds, "ba" noises, and a new mouth sound that is occupying him. It's a light "pop" sound made with his lips, that you can barely hear. He goes about his business standing and playing with whatever, all the while "popping."

Oh, what a particular boy! He's like his dad - he doesn't like to eat first thing in the morning. It'll be an hour or two before he's ready to eat and nap. He likes his sister, but mostly from a distance. He's friendly to people, but not so much to cameras. He enjoys playing on the floor while lying on his back, thumping his heels on the floor. But, don't take the toy away. That would be an unapproved activity, and he will scream loudly.


(Ignore Jude looking at me like I'm nuts. Also, note Randy and Danielle sitting with Elizabeth on the next trailer on this hay ride)

Oh, what a wonderful boy he is!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

heard in my house

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"Oh, come on, you like cereal milk."

This from Elizabeth's mouth after I inquired of her what we should make for dinner. She listed off several items, including "cereal milk" to which I said no.

Oftentimes, when she is refusing to eat something that she has enjoyed at previous meals, we'll say, "come on, you like ______"

I couldn't Not smile when she said it. And then I had to blog about it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

boy on the move

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Nathanael has been crawling since Monday. Doesn't it figure that I miss his first official crawl? Oh well! He aunt got the joy of seeing a first. On Sunday, I knew it would be soon. He would throw an arm forward, then the other, then belly flop, then push up and move his legs.

I have definitely been seeing crawling this week. I caught some on my camera for your enjoyment, too!

video

Thursday, September 03, 2009

a month in review

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An update, of sorts:

Elizabeth:
She can name most of her colors, and match colors. She calls clear things silver.
She can identify most of the uppercase alphabet, and several of the lower case alphabet.
She refuses to potty in a little potty, or on the toilet. She said, " No potty."
She can sing along to a lot of songs - things from TV, veggietales, radio, and some of the "kids songs" CD's. She's been requesting "Jesus loves the little children" and "Jesus loves me" for her bed time songs, and will sing along with those, as well.
Jude recently purchase a digital camera for her. She runs around, covering the lens, thus taking lots of pictures of her finger. She had me put it on a tripod today. "Say Cheese!"
She can tell you her name - "Beth," and her age "Two!" accompanied by two fingers. Sometimes, if you ask her how old she is, she'll say, "Beth!"
She's pretty good at playing a memory game. She also know the names of most of the Disney princesses, thanks to that game.

Nathanael:
He's now doing a pseudo army crawl. He pulls with his elbows a couple of times, and then pushes mightily with his toes. He approaches things more from an angle than straight on. Once he achieves the goal object, he grabs it and rolls on to his back to study it more intensely.
He lets us know when he wants down (or at least wants to be doing something different) by arching his back and leaning to the side.
He can sit for a little bit, but then usually starts flailing his arms around, or grabs at something and topples over.
He lets us know when he is tired by "singing" - long, drawn out ahh sounds, repeatedly. He also lets us know when the only thing he wants is to lie down, in bed, and nurse. Any other situation gets a prompt screech and back arch.
He lets us know when he is hungry. He grabs your face with both hands, and then chomps down on whatever he can get - cheekbone, nose, chin. If he gets a chin, he'll often start sucking vigorously.
He drinks enthusiastically from a cup. He usually gets water down his shirt, but he reachs for the glass again and holds on. We got him a sippy with handles, and he's fond of that, too.
He's been vulturing our food - he tries to grab plates, bowls and utensils. He watches intently as we eat. In just a few weeks we'll try out some first foods. That'll be fun!

The rest of us:
I have been totally slacking on my exercising. I have actually gained weight since birth. Not cool.
We are finally done with camps. Oh wait, now that we're done, we get to start all over again...
We're going to take a "real" vacation! Where we aren't at camp or visiting people we know!
We're looking for a new place to live. We're currently living communally with our family/friends and it's working okay for us, but we're still on the hunt for housing. Anyone have a free house they want to give us?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

he rocks!

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Nathanael is in the rocking stage of pre-crawling. He's almost 5 months old. I suspect I shall have another early crawler on my hands.

Jude's not helping things, though. Last Sunday, Jude supported Nathanael's torso and demonstrated for him how to move his legs and arms. Nathanael has been working hard at it ever since.

video

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm Beth

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We've been working on getting Elizabeth to say her name when asked the question, "What's your name?" (cause you know, it would be awful if she got lost, and couldn't tell anyone her name.) For a long time, she would say "Beth" - it's much easier to say than than Elizabeth.

Somewhere along the line, someone asked her, "What do you want to be called?" Her Response: "Beth!"

So, we've had exchanges like this recently:
Is your name Elizabeth?
Beth.
Is your name Elizabeth?
Beth!
Is your name Beth?
Yes.

Just yesterday, this exchange occurred. Then, Jude (having overheard the conversation from another room) called to her and said, "Beth... Beth!" Her expression was priceless - she smiled, her jaw dropped open, then dropped even more. She ran out of the room excitedly, looking for her dad.

So there it is. I'll still call her Elizabeth.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Happpy Birthday, Jacob!

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Elizabeth sings for her cousin Jacob's second birthday (from across the state). She also helps to blow out the candles!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

being a big girl

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Over the past week or so, I've been noticing how much of a "big girl" Elizabeth has become. I think she must have grown or something, because she just looks... bigger. I see glimpses of who she'll become, hiding in the midst of the cute toddler that is quickly disappearing.

She is much more verbal, and understandable. She'll quietly look at a book or magazine. She's 2 going on 13 - she loves music videos, she throws inexplicable tantrums, and she's at times incredibly frustrating. She's stubborn, just like her mama (can we say "no potty on the pot"?)

She loves her some technology. ;) (had to throw something hick-like in there in honor of my hick-in-hiding sis-in-law). She loves playing Wii at other people's houses, she'll steal any cell phone she can find (and take pictures with it). She can manage the entertainment system.

One of my favorite things of late, however is her mimicry of music videos. There are several that she does, but some of the Taylor Swift videos are my favorites -
video

Here she is singing along to the "Picture to Burn" video by Taylor Swift. The drying rack leg with the blanket is her microphone, the broom is her guitar. At the end, she's asking for "should've said no" - That one's fun - when I get a good video of it, I'll post it!

Kids are Great!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

loving my baby

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I'm loving my baby.

Nathanael is really displaying his personality in the past few weeks. He is generally a happy guy, but he lets you know what he wants, when he wants it, and does so immediately, with very little warning.



If we remove a toy (or other object of interest) from his grasp, he starts wailing, and calms as soon as it is returned to his tight grip.

If he is tired and we aren't taking him to bed (other places just won't do) he is vocal about it. But sometimes, in spite of himself, he'll fall asleep comfortably in our arms.


When we balance him on a knee, he gets his whole body moving - arms, legs, torso - all motion, all the time.

He may not be crawling, but don't be deceived into thinking that he can't get anywhere. He "slizzers" - by pushing and kicking with his legs, he can propel himself across the floor, on belly or back (although since he perfected his roll over, he's mostly on the belly now.)

One of my favorite times is when he is breastfeeding. When he's really hungry, he's focused. No time for chit-chat. But, towards the end of a nursing session, he'll stop, and look up at me, study my face, smile. He'll nurse a little bit more, and repeat. If I'm talking, he'll stop and pay attention to me. If someone else is talking, he'll stop and look for their faces. I adore his sweet smiles and the look of intense focus when he's looking at someone.

He's a wonderful, precious little boy, and I feel blessed to be his mama!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

new cloth diapers!

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Well, after 2.5 years, I'm getting some new one-size pocket diapers. The BumGenius OneSize diapers I have are nearing the end. They have some major aplix/velcro issues (think a chain of diapers coming out of the wash), The aplix on the front of the diaper is starting to come of the diapers, the elastic is failing, and some of the diapers are starting to wick right through the fabric. Not too bad after 2 years of use. They paid for themselves in the first year, so I certainly got my money's worth out of them!

I was having a hard time justifying purchasing new diapers. They haven't completely failed, but they are not reliable enough for me to be willing to use them on trips out of the house or for overnight, which were the reasons I got them to begin with. When I realized that, I knew it was time for some new diapers.

I debated whether or not to go with BG again - I know I loved them for the first few months I had them, but I also recall that I became disenchanted with them after a year, mostly because of aplix and elastic issues.

In the end, I did order 12 new BG diapers, and I'm going out on a branch to try some One Size Fuzzi Bunz. They have snaps instead of aplix, and a different technology for adjusting the size of the diaper. I'm a little concerned that I might not love the snaps. I have a couple of snap covers, and they aren't my favorites, but I'm thinking these might be different enough to be okay. If they don't work out, I can always turn around and sell them!

Anyway, I'm excited about new diapers. Yay!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

toddlers are gross

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Nathanael has taken to spitting up recently. Today, he left some cheese-curdy spit on my shoulder (something I apparently overlooked.) I sat down to check my email, and Elizabeth climbed into the chair next to me to brow beat me into watching music videos (7 things? start over?)

She looked at me, touched the spit with her finger, and proceeded to put her finger covered in baby spit-up in her mouth. "Mama yogurt!" I explained that it was baby spit-up. "Baby yogurt!" I don't think she really understood.

Ew. Gross.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

a week in review

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We are back from a week of Sr. High Camp. Things went pretty well, considering we were not planning to be directing that camp this year. So that makes this the second year of us officially quitting. I wonder if we'll still be trying to quit next year too!

Thanks to Bro Army Man and his wife, for their loan of their camper trailer. I am now spoiled forever. I don't know that I'll be able to handle cabin or tent camping again! At least, not with small children.

Nathanael decided to be all progressive last week. On Monday, he rolled over on his own. I consider that the "first" because other instance were in question as to how much help he had by the surface he was laying upon. Somewhere in the middle of the week (the days blurred together by then) he was grabbing his toes. He was also making directed grabs (usually a closed fist grab, if that makes sense) at my necklace. He was gathering in hands that came near his face to chomp on fingers. He also started to figure out on Friday how to reach out and hook the edge of a plate with his fingers and pull it towards him. So now, plates go farther away!

Elizabeth had a fantastic time at camp. There were some other non-camper staff children present, and they were quite the pack. There was a boy called Aidan who she kept calling "Jake" (her cousin), even though Aidan is 8, and Jake is 2. Mid-week, Aidan sent Elizabeth a note through inter-camp mail (AKA "fuzzy grams") saying he thought she was fun, and "I guess it's okay if you call me Jake." She had it figured out by the time the week ended. She made a new friend, Tori (my friend, whom E is trying to steal) and when we got home, she kept saying "Tori outside?" Elizabeth has also progressed well into full sentences, although, I'm having trouble recalling specifics.

All in all, a good week.

Friday, June 12, 2009

techno-toddler

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Already, my daughter knows more about our new blu-ray player than I do. Her Dad showed her the eject and power button.

The result? She can pick out her preferred movie, tale it out of the case, properly insert it into the player, hit play, turn on the TV, change the source selector. The only thing she gets stuck on now is if the movie doesn't auto play. Soon, she'll figure a way around that, too!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Updates, and all

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Little had I realized how I have neglected my blog! I have several half finished posts, but nothing major.

So, for an update -


Nathanael is mighty sweet. He makes all kinds of baby noises. Jude claimed he rolled over this past weekend, but he acknowledges that perhaps Nathanael had some advantage in the way the blankets were under him, and the pitch of the mattress. This morning, according to our home scale, Nathanael is 14 pounds. That would mean in about 2.5 months, he's almost doubled his birth weight. Isn't that supposed to take 6 months?









Elizabeth is now managing a few complete sentences, like "Make it go on." I've let her watch a lot of PBSkids recently, so now, she recognizes sesame street characters, super why, barney, clifford, and a few others. It's both cute and disturbing.



First cone of the summer


We're gearing up for the summer youth camp season. This year, we're directing a sr. high camp, a college camp, and we've done substantial work coordinating two other major youth events that are sponsored by our church.

A busy summer, indeed.

Things that have caught my attention in a word or few:

where's my exercise routine?
geocaching
plastic baby pools, covered sandboxes, outdoor fun
decluttering
loving my little camera
loving having kids back into cloth diapers
considering going old school: flats
couponing
where's this "breastfeeding moms loose weight faster?"
the epson is my friend
wish I were digital scrapping...
kidmondo.com

Friday, April 24, 2009

DIY baby announcements: the end result

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A while back, I posted about DIY baby announcements. I made some announcements for my son's birth, and I thought I'd share the results with you.



The details:

Software: Photoshop CS on a G5 PowerMac
Printer: Epson Stylus Photo R1900
Card: 5x7 bulk stationary from Mountaincow.com Love their stuff! The envelope was a matching (well, almost matching) brown to the stripe.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

big smiles

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Nathanael is smiling at us!

Just like with Elizabeth, Jude caught the first smiles, but I figure he might as well catch some of the firsts!

I do just about anything to get a smile out of him. Today at lunch, I was tickling his lips with my finger, touching his nose while saying "Beep" and making other silly sounds and faces. Most importantly, I caught his eyes. Oh how he watches - I love his smiles, and I stop just about everything if I see his eyes crinkle up, and his cheeks pull up big and round.

Of course, I'm so busy looking at his smiles, I haven't caught one on camera yet. Soon, soon!

Interior Design done badly

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Just like my grammar and spelling, interior design can be done badly.

Typically, the general public thinks about interior design in terms of color and arranging furniture. Sure, that can be an important part of the game. But most important is whether the space is designed in a way that solves the problem, or answers the questions of the user. Is the space designed in response to the needs of the occupants?

Many of us have watched interior design shows on networks like HGTV. Honestly, much of that stuff drives me nuts, and here's a typical example of why:

The show was either design on a dime or trading spaces. I don't recall which. It was several years ago when I saw the episode. The scene that I remember is the reveal to the couple involved, showing their newly redesigned bedroom. I will tell you it looked cool. The old room was a mess, badly arranged in a way that definitely didn't address the needs of the couple. The redesign focused on creating a "couples only space." Why? Because the designer thought they needed some space from their infant child who also slept in their room. How was this accomplished (other than using the cliche red and black to create a romantic atmosphere)? By moving the baby's bassinet away from being a sidecar to the bed.

Dumb. Absolutely unresponsive to the needs of the parents and the child. The baby's bassinet is now across the room. I can almost guarantee that within a day, that baby's bassinet was right back where it started, on mom's side of the bed. Either the designer had no understanding of parenting, or was impervious to the fact that someone might parent differently.

Having a child sleep very near it's parents is typically not an issue of space. They could have easily put the baby in a different part of the room, or in another room entirely if that had been their desire. But they choose to have their baby along side the bed for their own reasons. Maybe the child is a troubled sleeper, and sleeps best near mom. Maybe mom breast feeds the baby, and finds it more restful to have her infant close by so she doesn't have to spend extra time getting up and going to another part of the house, contributing to less sleep.

So to all of my interior design friends out there - Don't make assumptions based on your own parenting style, or your opinions about how to parent (including where a child should sleep). Find out why a family function they way the do, and design around those needs.



Note: Although I'm not actively employed in interior design as a profession at this point in my life, interior and environmental design is my professional training, and I reserve the right to cringe at bad work.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

sounds around the house

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Elizabeth is singing now. I have a series of songs in a play list, and she sings the lyrics to several of them in her own timing. I smile when I hear her own version of falsetto (don't know why she does this). So phrases I hear from songs are: "You make me beautiful!" "no, no, no, no" "Shake it" and several others I can't think of off hand.

Nathanael is starting to make sounds of his own. E was not much of a babbler or sound maker and an infant, so to hear these little coos for Nathanael is fun. Up to now he had the typical pigeon sounds often associated with hunger. He sometimes throws in
growls and grunts that remind me of the sounds Master Yoda makes - "Hmmmm." Now, though, he occasionally produces a "whooo!" sound that makes actual use of vocal cords. What fun!

Yesterday we went to Wal-Mart, and we gave the ladies monitoring the self-check out a chuckle. I wanted to know how much Nathanael weighs, so I could determine if it was time to buy the next size up in disposable diapers. I took him to the check out lane, and laid him on the scale. I figure since it has to be accurate and legal for trade, it would give me a good assessment of his weight. 9 pounds, with diaper and clothes! So, yes, it would be wise to purchase size one diapers instead of newborn diapers.

Some photos from a day out with the family:



Notice the cute little froggie faces on the feet of this newborn outfit from his aunt Emma. He'll fit this for about 2 more days!





I have hopes of eventually catching up and putting some pictures up on my flickr. I also have hopes that I'll get my printed baby announcements out this week. Last baby, I had the announcements out within a week of birth. I'm doing good to be working on them at 3 weeks postpartum. Oh how time slips through my fingers!

That makes me think of something else that's different when parenting two:

Everything Takes Longer. It took me an hour to get both kids and myself ready to go shopping yesterday, and that didn't include anything fancy like me showering. I kept forgetting things like, Change diapers! pack extra changes of clothes and diapers in the bag! baby in seat, toddler in seat... Forgot the shopping list! forgot the shopping bags, what else I am forgetting...

Another new lesson I've learned about parenting two:

Don't leave the older child alone with the younger child for a second. I stepped out of the room to deal with laundry, leaving Nathanael on a blanket on the floor in the living room, Elizabeth on the couch watching a movie. I come back to the living room to find an empty blanket, and the baby lying on the treadmill in the other room. Ack! My mom tells me a story of me and the brother immediately older than me - he about 3 years older and he crawled into the play pen with me, and while choking me with his arm while hugging me, he exclaimed, "I'm playin' with the baby!" Alas, I think nowhere would be safe.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

reality check: from parenting 1 to parenting 2

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I've been discovering the differences in parenting two children versus parenting one child. In some ways, I'm sad for my second child, that he won't have the same kind of attention as an infant that Elizabeth, as my first child, had.

Here are some of the differences I've already noticed after 2. 5 weeks as a parent of 2 kids:

Fewer photos - yes, this is what everyone always says, but I'm still sad about it. I had hoped to beat the stereotype, but I find it's an issue of time, not an issue of not caring. When you're chasing the older child, you simply have fewer opportunities to sit and stare at your lovely newborn while photographically documenting ever burp, bubble, blink and babble.

Less arm-time - I find I hold my infant son less than I held Elizabeth, and use mechanical soothers and containment devices more than I care to. I haven't yet worked out the art of using my third magical hand. So, In order to work with Elizabeth, and more importantly, to keep Nathanael safe from the loving clutches of his older sister ("Hold de baby?!?") I place him in a safe area while I deal with diapers, household activities, and simple things like going to the bathroom. I'm thankful that I have a baby carrier (a Moby Wrap) that gives me 2 hands free. Unfortunately Nathanael doesn't like to be in it for long periods of time - he starts to fuss after a while. I may need to invest in another type of carrier.

Less new-mom nervousness - I remember being concerned about every fuss and cry with Elizabeth. I must be more practiced now, and I recognize that (depending on the kind of cry) I can take the time to finish my shower, or whatever little task I'm doing and then pick up and soothe the baby. While I functionally did the same with Elizabeth, I'm less anxious about Nathanael waiting and fussing for a bit while I finish up.

2 in diapers = using more disposables - I intend to post more on this later, but I find that my diapering philosophy has changed somewhat - I'm using more disposables, especially at night for 2 reasons - my sanity and my sanity :) Yes, I must be a bad mom, but using a disposable on Nathanael means that he can stay in a diaper for just a bit longer at night, which equals fewer diaper changes and more sleep for me. Considering my experiences with post-partum anxiety last time, I'm willing to put a few more disposable diapers in a landfill for the sake of not being afraid that I'll have an unmanageable panic attack every time I leave the house. I also have trouble keeping up with washing diapers nearly every day. Using disposables at night means I can go just a bit longer before I need to wash the diapers. I hope to return to cloth diapers full time in a few weeks. I feel like a traitor to my environmental and health ideals, but I guess my ability to cope comes first!

Less documentation - Already I'm behind in documenting Nathanael's life in a baby memory book. I don't even have one for him! Even if I did, I think I would have less time to just write the little things in his life down. With Elizabeth, I could spend most of the day sitting in the rocking chair, holding the baby and typing or writing one handed. Not so much when I have a toddler to chase!

More television baby sitting - I told myself that this would not be me, but I find that keeping Elizabeth occupied and quiet by watching a movie is sometimes worth it. We have been watching at least one movie a day. I intend to wean us from this bad habit, but I recognize that I am a bit of a lazy parent, and if it will give me 30 minutes of relative peace while I make dinner or take a shower, I'll use it. I want to find alternatives, so if you have suggestions, please offer them up!

I'm sure as Jude returns to work and the children and I settle into our own weekly routine that I'll find more interesting things in being the parent of two. I'm sad that things won't be as ideal as I would like, but I accept the reality that being the sole parent 4 days of every 7 means that there will be some sacrifices for me to manage caring for my children and my own well-being.

Friday, March 27, 2009

41 weeks (or, 1 week old)

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The latest photo update:



Here we are at 41 weeks -
It's hard to think that already a week has passed! I feel like there are so many little things that we've already forgotten, but we just enjoy the moments when they arrive. Already, Nathanael is smiling and laughing in his sleep. He has the lopsided grin that I share with my siblings.

People claim he looks like me or my family. It's hard for me to see the traits from either families. He has brownish/blonde hair, and dark blue eyes, but I think I see a little bit of brown or hazel around the pupil. He may have eyes like his dad!



And for reference, you do indeed look about 6 months pregnant after giving birth. I look somewhere between my 22 week and 26 week photo updates.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Introducing Nathanael Rex

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Our son, Nathanael Rex was born at home March 19, 2009 at 1:01 am. He weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces, and was 20 inches long. While we were planning a homebirth with a midwife, we ended up with a home birth, with no midwife, as we didn't have time to call the midwife once we understood that labor was really happening!




So, here's the long version of what seemed like a very short labor and birth:





I had some prelabor on the night of the 15 and 16 that I was able to sleep through. On the night of the 17th, I had contractions that were keeping me awake all night - they were about 4 minutes apart, but they were short - 20-30 seconds, they never got closer together, and they weren't too intense. Everything I'd read suggested that this was just more pre-labor. I caught some sleep, and when I got up the morning of the 18th, the contractions really spaced out and were hardly anything to speak of in terms of intensity. I did see some bloody show, so I knew that it was a good indicator, but that real labor could be a some time away. I took a nap for about 1.5 hours, and felt better. I had maybe 4 contraction all morning. They were just as light in the afternoon. Towards evening, The contractions picked up again, but felt the same as the night before - We just watched some TV, and I talked to my mom about 9 pm. I had another contraction or two while talking to my mom. I prayed quite a bit about not wanting to go through another night of prelabor that would keep me up, but not seem to go anywhere. (God answers prayers!)

Jude and I started getting ready for bed about 10 pm, and were in bed by 11. Contractions seemed to pick up a bit, but nothing really bad, frequent, or long - it was just like the previous night.

After lying in bed for about a half hour, I get up to get a hot water bottle, and to get a blanket and go sit in the rocking chair. My legs were shaking a little while I was lying in bed, and I remember thinking that I read about legs shaking during transition (but I couldn't be in transition, because I haven't had much other labor - or so I thought!)




I rocked in the rocker for a while, and it seems to help. It then occurred to me that I could try walking to see if the contractions changed or went away. Nothing seemed to change, but they didn't go away, either. I could still walk through the contractions, so I thought I had a while longer to go. I thought about timing them, but I didn't want to mess around with turning on computers. I sat in the rocker for a few more contractions, but decided in the middle of one to get up and try doing some lunges to see if it would help with the achy back. I remember thinking the contractions might be closer together, but I wasn't too worried about them - they still seemed short, and not as intense as I remember contractions with Elizabeth. I waddled/hobbled across the room to the piano bench, put up my leg and leaned. I felt a gush, and I know I must have had a surprised look on my face. I hadn't had my water break like this with my previous birth, so it was all new to me! I knew it was the real deal now, but I thought I still had at least several hours left before me.

About 12:35, I went in to tell Jude that my water had broken, and that I was thinking about calling the midwife. He was pretty groggy, as he'd been sleeping. While in the bedroom, I had another contraction, and I had to pause in the middle of my sentence to focus on it. He didn't know how I'd been laboring, so he was taking my word that we had some time yet. I went into the living room again to turn on a light and see how wet the floor was - not very much, I guess it mostly got on my clothes. While there, I had another contraction the pretty much doubled me over to leaning on the piano bench, and I remember feeling like this was one of those "double peak" contractions I'd heard about. My legs were shaking pretty badly. I felt like I had to go to the bathroom, so I went in and say down, and called for Jude. He came in and sat on the edge of the tub and held my hand. I could see the concern in his face. I told him I felt like I wasn't coping very well, and I'd like him to be up with me.

The next contraction felt totally different - I felt pressure in my bottom, and I couldn't help myself from pushing. I let out a huge grunt, and Jude said, "That sounds familiar!" I reached down to feel what was going on and said, "There's a baby there!" He said, "Are you sure?" Me - " I think so!" I asked him what time it was - 12:43 am.

He got up and said,"Well, what do I need to get out?" I said something again about calling the midwife, and he said he didn't think we had time, if the baby was right there (she's 45 minutes away). I had another pushing contraction and told him again that yes, there was a baby there.

I continued to sit on the toilet, holding on to the tub with one hand while supporting my perineum with the other. I knew that I didn't want to tear if I could help it, but I think I also needed to have the reality of a baby right there under my hand.





In the midst of me involuntarily pushing and groaning/grunting, Jude was getting out the birth supplies. He said something about having meant to ask me what was what in the supply box so he'd be ready, but it's too late now! He asked about what to do for the bed, and I said to strip the blankets and the sheets off, and to put the clean sheets and the plastic cover on the mattress. 2 more contractions. I feel around, and definitely feel the baby's head. Jude pokes his head into the bathroom, and said "Don't have the baby in the toilet!" He grabs a few towels, and I get off the toilet, and try to figure out the best way to put myself in our very narrow bathroom, so Jude can catch the baby. I get on my hands and knees, lean on the edge of the tub. I grabbed the bathrobe I had left laying on the tub and pull it under me, go give a little bit of a soft place under myself and the baby.

Jude gives me a play by play of what he can see - the top of the head, then eyes and nose. He says the head isn't all the way out, so I give a little push. The next contraction, the body slides out. I look between my legs to see the baby's body and Jude's hands. I catch a glimpse of little boy parts and ask "It's a boy?" "I don't know... Yes!" Jude's holding the baby, I'm on hands and knees, and we're a little stunned about the speed of the event. I tell him to hand the baby up to me so I can change positions, and to get a towel to wrap him in. I ask Jude what time the baby arrived - 1:01 AM. We stayed in the bathroom for a little bit, trying to decide what next to do.

We decided it was high time to give the midwife a call, to check us both out, and make sure everything is doing alright. I hang out in the bathroom cuddling with the baby and getting to know him and introduce him to the good food at Mom's. Jude is getting dressed in something more presentable, and finishing putting sheets on and cleaning up the birth area a little. I move into the bed room, because we're still waiting for the placenta.

The midwife arrived a little after 2 am. It took some time and a little work on the part of the midwife to assist the placenta out, but everything was okay - not much bleeding, and no tears. I felt great, and the baby was great - 7 lbs, 4 oz, 20 inches long, 13.5 inch head. He took to nursing pretty quickly. Elizabeth slept through the whole thing, and woke up to meet her brother as I was in the shower. She was horribly upspet that the midwife got to hold the baby before she did - she kept crying and saying "Hold the baby!!" After the midwife left, Elizabeth and I had a bit to eat while Jude finished picking things up. He joined us all at the table, and suggested that I should call my mom since she'd be leaving for work in just few hours. Jude sent text messages to our siblings, and about 3.5 hours after baby was born, we finally got into bed. I felt pretty wired, but I knew I need to sleep as well as I could.

After the baby was born, I kept thinking and saying how unreal it all felt - how quickly the baby came, Me totally not getting how seriously into labor I was - the shaking legs should have clued me in! We were both happy with how things turned out - we had a much more intimate birth than we expected, since we were anticipating having our mothers and 2 midwives there. We enjoyed spending our first night and morning alone, calling family and friends and getting to know our little boy.

I'm a little sad we don't have pictures much, but I wouldn't trade our experience for anything! It was wonderful!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

39 weeks

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Here I am at 39 weeks. This picture is a little different from all the rest; Jude took it for me. So, here I am, laughing because he said "Now that's a fake smile," in response to my previous smiles. So, squinty-eyed, showing gums. That's how my family and friends know my "real" smile. It's also a little off angle, as in, I've been taking shots that where I'm not turned to the camera, for a good idea of where my belly is. I'm slightly turned to the camera, so I won't say this is a comparable shot. But it was fun to do, anyway.

I'll be sending this camera off to the manufacturer's repair shop again today, for a mysterious rattle in the camera after it was returned from the repair shop the first time, which resulted in broken pieces falling out of the camera after we opened the doors and shutters to see if we could get out whatever was making noise. We got out the noise-maker, but it is not reassuring to send an item to be repaired by the manufacturer and have it come back apparently broken in a different way. So, I have my Canon PowerShot SD880IS to take pictures for the next while until my Canon 10D SLR returns to me. We have a camera for taking new baby shots, which is really all I care about at this point. Besides, my Dad will be around shortly after baby is born, and he has an awesome Canon 30D, so it's not like I'll be without a nice SLR to use.

I'm exercising my patience, and working at finishing up little tasks (and some big tasks) around the house. I am trying to jinx myself into having this baby sooner rather than later by doing things like planning to attend or be responsible for certain things at church (I have a back-up in case it works!) I was thinking maybe sending my SLR off a week before due date would help, but I suspect since I have another camera to use, it won't.

The reality is that Baby will show up when he/she pleases.




And, here is Elizabeth at just over 2 years old. She said, "Turn?" as in, my turn? She posed like Mama does, and we took her picture!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

38 weeks!

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38 weeks - Do I look much different compared to 36 weeks? I don't really think so, but if you look back earlier, to say, my first post at 18 weeks, or at 26 weeks, you can certainly see a difference!

I'm feeling pretty good. I'm trying to catch up on sleep so I'm as rested as can be, but Elizabeth isn't cooperating. I think she knows something is up. She's been waking more often at night, and crawling into bed with us, which certainly gives us a less restful night!

I've been working on using positioning techniques, in hopes of getting this baby into a more favorable position for labor. This baby has been floating towards a right side position, and sometimes a posterior position, while I'm encouraging baby to turn to a left position. I've been using some of the techniques from spinning babies. The nice thing for me is that they also relieve some of the low back discomfort.

I'm all set with my birth supplies, and I've been prepping my newborn cloth diapers, in addition to adding a few new diapers. I had some Kissaluvs size 0 fitted diapers that I used with Elizabeth, and I liked them enough that I purchased another 6 of them. I also bought a couple of new covers - they are Thristies brand (never used, but heard great things about them) in melon and celery - the names really do capture the colors well!

At about 33 weeks, I had created a to-do list before birth. It grew to be about 4 pages long. I've accomplished enough on it that I consolidated it into a new list, which is now one page long, but there are additional things on this list that weren't on the original list. It gives me something to do, instead of stewing around waiting for a baby to arrive.

Don't forget to guess!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

week 36 - and a game!

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In honor of completing 36 weeks of pregnancy, I offer up a photo update, and a guessing game!

Here I am, at 36 weeks.



I feel pretty good, and I feel pretty big, too! It's becoming challenging to navigate around things, and to do certain tasks, like tying my own shoes, scrubbing the bath tub, and holding Elizabeth on my lap. But, it's been pretty enjoyable in general.

And as for the game part - Who's the best guesser? I've created an online game where you can enter in your predictions about this baby.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

reporting back from Cookie Day

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Elizabeth and I had an excellent time at Cookie Day yesterday, an event sponsored by Friends of Missouri Midwives to greet new and old legislators who will be representing us during this session of the General Assembly. We passed out about 20 packages of cookies to legislators in both houses, and we shared the sugary love equally across this aisle. Unfortunately (for us) most of the legislators were actually in session and out of the office when we we stopped by. That's good news for the citizens, however. Last time I was there, many of the legislators were not in the chambers during session. So, we talked to staff and asked them to pass along our well wishes for the session and shared what info we had.

Elizabeth was such a trooper. We got her a monkey backpack/harnessed tether for walking the halls. I knew she wouldn't want to ride in the stroller all the time, and I also knew that my pregnant self wouldn't be able to keep up with her all day. So, even after 3 hours of mostly walking, she walked along, at this point holding the monkey in her arms, as she was too tired to really take off running. I asked if she wanted to ride in the stroller, but she kept saying no.

Apparently, Elizabeth and my belly were on a local central Missouri news station. Elizabeth was pushing the stroller with a basket of cookies while I walked alongside. I knew the camera guy got some video of us, but I totally forgot about it by the end of the day. My mother-in-law called to say she was surprised to see both of my children on the news last night, and thought to call me and let me know.

We enjoyed eating pizza with a bunch of other homebirth supporters. We participated in the Rally at the Rotunda, where we heard from the movers and shakers over the last few years of Missouri's midwifery movement. We also heard from the main speaker for the even Jennifer Block. Unfortunately, where we sat it was hard to hear all of what was said, but I got the general feeling of what was going on, and Elizabeth gave enthusiastic applause each time the crowd clapped.

After that, we sat in on a discussion session with Ms. Block, I got my book signed, and Elizabeth made all kinds of friends - she traded her bear for a doll for a little while, and she shared her crackers with another child (with the mom's permission, of course). I'm concerned that we were being overly disruptive, though. Maybe that's just me being paranoid, though. By that time of day, Elizabeth was more than past ready for a nap, but I didn't want to pull myself away from being surrounded by like-minded people. I chatted for a few minutes with people from around the state. I originally felt a little disconnected, because I'm not associated with any homebirth/midwifery group that I can meet with in person, but there were several friendly people who introduced themselves and made me feel more welcome.

We got in the car, and headed home. Elizabeth fell asleep before we even hit the highway, and snoozed until we were home, about 3 hours later. It was a long day, but I hope that we made a difference by putting a face (and cookies) before the staff and legislators.

Friday, January 30, 2009

CPSIA victory! sort of...

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This press release from the CPSC says it pretty clearly, I think.

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09115.html

From the read of it, most of the businesses I was concerned about will be granted a stay of execution, er, that is, a stay of testing and certification. This doesn't mean that they don't have to fulfill the requirements, just that they don't have to prove that they fulfill the requirements. This is not unlike previous laws that just say that products need to meet minimum requirements. This is do-able.


This is good news on many fronts-


- The CPSC can now have just a little bit of time (one year) to get their act together to create clear(er) and more small-business-friendly regulations and rules.

- The one year stay give congress a chance to amend the law.

- Most importantly, the one year stay gives the rest of us a chance to make sure our concerns are heard frequently, loudly and clearly. That's where the "sort of" part of the victory comes in. They've given a stay, but it is clear that those of us who are concerned about the CPSIA need to make our voices heard about our on-going concerns, and make suggestion on how to mitigate the economic impact on tens of thousands of small businesses.

I do hope that it's not too late for some businesses. I've still been reading news stories about businesses planning to close. Hopefully, they'll hear the news, and be able to restore their business to full running, banking on the idea that the CPSC will make some reasonable interpretations of the law, or that Congress will amend the law.

Now is the time to write thank-you notes, and to repeat the concern we have already expressed!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

pregancy update

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Many weeks after my last photo update, I have 2 photos to update you with!

Here I am sometime after 30 weeks.



And here I am again, sometime after 30 weeks.


Wow! What a difference! Or at least, what a difference better posture can make... in the first photo, I actually stood up straight. In the second, well, that's my normal posture. No wonder people keep thinking this baby should be due any time now. Nope. We've got most of the third trimester left.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cookie Day!

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I'm going to try to get to Jefferson City on February 10 for Cookie Day. I've gotten the fliers, and seen the pictures of previous cookie days, but I think this is the first time I have a realistic chance of going.

What is cookie day, you ask? It's an event sponsored by Friends of Missouri Midwives. A day when supporters of midwifery and home birth get together at the state capitol to share cookies with our state senators and representatives, share the word about the benefits of having midwives legally free to practice in our state, and an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals.

I figure that since I like to bake cookies, and I've apparently become a little bit of a political activist (perhaps to the irritation of my friends and family), I can go and spend some time sharing my baking talents and words.

Oh, AND! Jennifer Block, the author of Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care will be the guest speaker for the event. I just finished this book, and I think it is a fantastic read. It's not a book about homebirth, although homebirth is discussed. It's a book about the realities of the maternity care system that most Americans experience. Although I didn't receive the worst of the typical American hospital experience, I can certainly attest to many things in the book that captured my experience in during my first childbirth. So, needless to say, I'm enthused about the prospect of hearing Jennifer Block speak in person.

So, if you're interested in taking a trip to Jefferson City, or even just making cookies to send down to the Capitol, let me know! I think it'll be fun!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

toddler reading lists, and more

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Here's a collection of thoughts and happenings in our household:

I perhaps I should be pregnant more often. Or at least, in the third trimester with my due date approaching faster than I'd like. I've been plowing through some tasks that I have to do every year for summer youth camps, and they're getting done much faster than previous years. I've also been making headway on a variety of other personal projects. Unfortunately, I think the to-do list grows faster than I take items off the list!

Jude has been on vacation for the past month or so. We spent much of the first half traveling, then we spent last week working on our taxes, sorting, throwing away, and generally making an effort to find the backs of closets, the bottoms of boxes, and the surfaces of desks. Hopefully, if he's home for another week, we'll unearth even more mysterious items and lost information than we have recovered in the previous week.

I've been without a camera to document my growth for a while. Hence the lack of photo updates. Eventually I'll return with photographic documentation that I have indeed moved farther along in my pregnancy.

I saw Elizabeth get mad today. I'd seen some foot stomping and fussing before, but today, she pushed her trike over on its side. Perhaps I need to watch my behavior a bit more! Not that I push trikes over, but I sometimes set things down forcefully (throw) when I get mad.

We've also been watching a lot of Taylor Swift videos on YouTube. It's a pleasant change from MetroStation's Shake It. When I put on some of the videos, Elizabeth exclaims, "SONG! There she is!" Although, it sounds more like "SHONG! A-shay-es!"

Elizabeth has also begun requesting books by name. Or at least, the name she calls them, which is typically a key word from the story that she has picked up.

Her standard request list:

ButBown (Nutbrown) AKA "Guess How Much I Love You"
Sam - "Kiss Good Night"
Poop - "You Can Go To The Potty"
Guy - "More, More, More Said the Baby"
Pocket - "There's a Wocket in my Pocket"
Fish - "One Fish, Two Fish"
Bears - "Three SnowBears"
Cookee (Turkey) - "Blue Hat, Green Hat"

Saturday, January 17, 2009

where have all the children's products gone?

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I'm walking through my local Wal-Mart, in the baby section. Yes, I'm a pregnant lady cruising the aisles of cute baby gear. Except. There wasn't much baby gear. I realized that there was more light and space there than usual. I looked up. The top shelves were empty. I looked down. The cribs and mattresses were being sold at less-than-usual prices. There were 3 play yards on the shelf. Not 3 models, like usual, but just 3 ready to sell. There was one infant car seat in a box, of the 3 on display. There was lots of empty shelf space. And I realized that I'm already seeing the impact of the CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act).

I've had friends tell me that their Target's clearance aisle has multiplied, and is full of toys. Not just the Christmas cast offs, but the regular stuff they keep in stock all the time.

I've seen signs in consignment shops and thrift stores, saying they are not accepting children's items, even after the supposed "Clarification" by the CPSC.

Shops on Etsy and Ebay are clearing out items and closing, because they simply can't comply with the law. It's too expensive to test those custom handmade items.

I first encountered word about the CPSIA from my friend Trent over at The Simple Dollar. His post was about the issues facing resellers. But, I came to understand that there's more to the law than face value.

It affects everything intended for children 12 and under. Toys, clothes, books, custom items, educational materials, furniture, new, used, existing inventory... I found an article over at Forbes.com that really lays out who it affects. You should definitely take a look at it.

Needless to say, I'm upset that I will have a difficult time finding handmade and custom products for my children. Like certain cloth diapers, wooden toys, the matching "Little Sibling" shirt that goes with Elizabeth's Big Sister shirt (I have to wait to find out if baby is boy or girl, but by that time, the custom shirts might not be available, due to the CPSIA. And the cost increase? Not pleased.

So, I've been doing lots of searching for information. I have hope that at least the law will be put on hold until they can sort out the regulations, and find viable alternatives for small businesses. I think the financial burden on small-scale manufacturers is too great.

I'm not looking forward to the likely price increases in children's products. I'm not looking forward to seeing thousands of at-home and small businesses that will suddenly be out of business. Yes, some could choose to continue to operate illegally, but, many people don't want to be running an illegal operation. I don't want to face the choice of participating in an illegal industry, even if I believe the law is wrong.

So, I've been making efforts to contact my senators and representatives about my concerns. I've been on Change.gov voting this issue up in the hopes that maybe President-Elect Obama will have a chance to see the concerns before the law goes into effect February 10. I've contacted the CPSC to express my concerns as a consumer. And meanwhile, looking for good deals as manufacturers big and small sell off their products that don't comply with the law (which is not to say they have lead, just that they can't prove they don't have lead and phthalates, because they can't afford to test their items.)

Here are some websites and blogs that I've found to be interesting reads. They cover a small sampling of the industries affected, and the concerns of manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.

Cool Mom Picks - an excellent summary on the impacts on the handmade toy and clothing industry. Also lots of links to other articles on the the CPSIA.

National Bankruptcy Day - a site specifically about the CPSIA, so named because of the thousands of people and businesses that will likely go bankrupt if this law remains in effect as currently understood.

Publishers Weekly - a look at the CPSIA from the book publishing perspective. It inventory in stock, bot just items manufactured as of February 10, 2009.

Boston Phoenix - and article about potential impacts on libraries.

Fashion Incubator - Generally, this site deals with the apparel industry, but it has grown to cover more. The forums are an especially interesting read.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

a day of firsts

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Several firsts happened today -

- The lowest temperature on record since I've lived in this house. -11 degrees.

- We lit a fire in our fireplace. This required rearranging the entire living room, as the couch had previously been sitting in front of the fireplace. Very aesthetically pleasing, and made for a nice warm room!

- I saw my midwife without a toddler in tow. It's nice not to have to chase a little one while visiting your health care provider!

- I've not had my old, but nice Canon 10D in my posession. I sent it off this week for some much needed work (spots on the sensor, focus issues), and was frustrated when I realized I couldn't do my weekly pregnancy photo.

- Homemade pizza - I've enjoyed my neighbor's pizza, and helped make it, but I'd never made a homemade pizza on my own before. Jude seemed to like it, as did Elizabeth!

It's nice to have accomplished some of these thing before I turn 30. I've only got about a week and a half left.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

welcome, new year! (even if it's a bit late)

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I'm finally back at the computer with some spare time. It's been a busy few weeks!

So, I think an update of sorts is in order, to justify my absence.

Jude, Elizabeth and I took of to visit some family in the North East in mid-December. We had a fantastic time, with sub-zero temps, snow, and ice. It may sound like I'm being sarcastic, but really, it was fun. I enjoy cold weather, especially when I'm pregnant. I managed not to slip on any ice, but Jude had a slippery adventure down a sloping, ice covered sidewalk while carrying a large plastic bottle filled with water. He got a little wet, but came through relatively unscathed.

Elizabeth discovered that playing games on the Wii is fun. She constantly asks for "Cow? Bowling? Fish?" which are games found on WiiPlay and WiiSport. It seems to her like everyone except us have a Wii - she played on 3 different consoles over the course of just a week. Too Bad, though. No gaming consoles in my house (at least none that we are going to purchase.)

I had fun talking and doing a silly "walk a mile" video. It cracked me up. But at least I got some exercise in! And, I was happy to see that the healthier eating provided by my sister-in-law managed to keep my pregnancy weight gain in check. Lesson learned, and trying to incorporate that into my life at home!

We were on the road home over New Year's Eve. That's the first time in close to 10 years that I haven't been surrounded by a youth group on that night. And what did we do? We all (E included) stayed up late, ate pizza and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, watch the Ball drop in NYC (on CNN) while in the Eastern time zone, texted family in the central time zone saying things like "You are so last year," and then finally falling asleep.

We finally got home, only to turn around and leave to go help Jude's sister and her husband move and visit the Grandma and Grandpa (and the aunts and uncles still living in their home). We then proceeded over to my parents house (the Nana and the Papa) where we spend a couple days visiting with family, fixing on the truck, and picking up some items for Elizabeth and Baby 2. And so now, we are home, trying to sort out our Taxes while Jude has some time off. And accomplish whatever other tasks we can fit in.

And that's what we've been up to.
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