Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Need Logo/Design!

Who wants to help me make a logo & design for my blog?? I've gotten my desires down to the minimum. Just need a little help because I'm not so awesome at the codes & stuff. And I added a cute picture of Isis as a makeshift logo for the moment, but dang it is HUGE & needs to look a little less totally crazy big for my logo. Anybody want to help? Or know anybody who could help?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Daddy Duty







I must say, I have a wonderful husband! Every other Saturday is Daddy/Daughter day. I get to go out with Diana by myself & he spends the whole day with Isis. This Saturday I had to go to an event as a UK College of Education Ambassador, so I left before she even woke up in the morning. Lewis had her all day! I didn't get home until 4:30!

He also does all her bath & bedtime stuff every night. I'm usually running around rinsing off cloth diapers or putting dirty clothes in the hamper. He really enjoys that time every night with her because he is at work all day. He always wants to cuddle with her when he's home and he'll usually change her diaper for me when he is home, too. He just does so much & I love it!

He was completely on board with the cloth diapers and even told me that yesterday when he had Isis for Daddy/Daughter day that he tried to see if she'd pee in the potty like with the Elimination Communication! He's just not scared of anything! He's dealt with diapers, spit-up, changing clothes, feeding her, cutting her fingernails, holding her after her vaccines, cleaning out her ears with a q-tip & using the nasal aspirator on her nose! I love it that he's totally hands-on! I felt like sharing some pictures I've taken with my phone! He's a cutie!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Elimination Communication


Lewis & I have definitely exhibited some outside the "normal" parenting decisions: naming our daughter Isis, using cloth diapers, etc. So it should come as no surprise to you that we have decided to try out another unusual parenting strategy: elimination communication.

First let me explain what it is: it is a method where parents use cues from their baby to let them know when the baby needs to use the potty and they just take them to the potty rather than have them go in their diaper. It relies on the fact that before diapers and in countries without diapers, mothers have been using this method for centuries. In America, we train our children to go in their diapers and then train them not to at the age of 2 or 3. There are many benefits to this method including less diaper rash, reduces diaper use, keeps baby in touch with their own body, etc. The thing I do like about it is that rather than teaching a child to "hold it" like you do when they are older, you are just learning to recognize their natural cues for when they need to go and then taking them to just GO in the potty.

The process involves several factors including observation, anticipation, potty place and communication. Here is how I plan on trying this:
Observation - I'm going to lay Isis diaper-free on a towel while she has some tummy time or plays in her play mat. I want to see how soon she pees or poops after waking up or eating. I'll probably do this several times a day for a while. When I think she needs to go or when she is going, I'm going to make a noise like "ssssss"
Anticipation - I'm going to take her to the potty to try to go at times when I think she would need to go - like right after she wakes up, right after she eats, right before a bath, etc. I'm also going to make the "ssssss" sound so that she starts to associate that sound as a cue to go pee or poop.
Potty Place - I'm going to hold her over the toilet because I just don't know if I can do poop in a bowl or the sink. It bothers me for some reason. LOL. And don't worry, I'll be careful to hold her securely!
Communication - I'm going to pay attention to her signals and cues to see when I thinks he needs to go.

Honestly, this may not work for me. I'm not sure yet how it'll work out. Not that I don't think the process would work for a baby or that you wouldn't be able to learn their cues just like you do when they are hungry or tired or anything else. It's more that I'm not sure how it'll work with me out & about or things like that. So I'm definitely still going to keep putting her in cloth diapers even if it does work. I'll keep you updated with how it goes. I'm going to start tomorrow!

Overall, it's definitely a really different approach than what is probably considered "the norm." But really when it comes down to it, I think "the norm" is doing what works for your family and your baby. Every family and baby is different, so different approaches ARE normal if they work for you. I'm still learning what fits with our family, so I'm going to try this out and see! I don't think there's any harm in giving it a shot!

Here are a few sites that talk about Elimination Communication, but just Google the term and you'll find SO many more! I was really surprised! My friend Alice from my Centering group told me about this & she wasn't kidding when she said that there is a lot more information than you would think! She's been trying it with her daughter who is 4 weeks older than Isis and she's been really pleased with the results so far!

Infant Potty Training
Diaper Free Baby
Look Who's Going Potty - TimesOnline
What is Elimination Communication? (this one includes regular updates from a mom who started EC with her baby at 2 days old!)
Infant Elimination Training 101 - iVillage

Monday, April 19, 2010

Joie de vivre: Photography

My friend Hannah who took our maternity pictures has just set up her own blog! She's still getting it started and getting info and prices and pictures on there, but I still think you should all check it out!!! She is the one who is going to be watching Isis in the fall while I'm doing my student teaching, so I feel so lucky that not only does Isis have an absolutely fabulous babysitter, but she also has her own personal paparazzi to take her pictures!!! LOL we already have a bunch of pictures Hannah has taken so far when she's watched Isis! I look forward to many more!!

But if you are interested in some pictures, keep her in mind!!

Joie de vivre

To watch or not to watch...the TV discussion

This is totally debatable & I'm interested in hearing different opinions of moms who have been there. It's so funny that I'm so interested in this because I'm such a major TV watcher! Lewis and I have always been of the opinion that our children will not watch TV until they are 2 years old. I want lots more reading, crafts, games, etc. Even when they are 2, TV will be limited to probably two shows per day. And this doesn't include movies. We want to have family movie nights and things like that. We are still following this plan as of right now, but have heard lots of different opinions and would like to get some insight from others. I've broken down some pro and con arguments I have thought of myself or have heard from others. I'm looking for comments or additional insight! Keep in mind that for me, these are arguments for or against TV under the age of 2. I'm ok with TV for my kids after the age of 2. I think educational programs are really beneficial for them at this point (within limits) and can help teach them lots of social and educational things.


Arguments AGAINST TV
  • Could contribute to ADD by conditioning children to be constantly entertained & stimulated
  • Children learn by actively participating in their environment - TV encourages passivity
  • Activities like drawing, painting, reading, etc. are much more beneficial for mental and emotional growth
  • TV limits social interaction between the family - not completely, but much more so than other activities like games and reading that encourage interacting with each other

Arguments FOR TV
  • There are educational programs and children's TV stations that have great information for children (QUESTION: how beneficial are they for children under the age of 2)
  • There are programs like Baby Einstein and Your Baby Can Read that are geared specifically for children under the age of 2
  • It gives the mom a break by entertaining the baby for a little while
  • It is easier to prevent the first baby from watching TV, but it is almost impossible to keep the 2nd baby from watching TV if the first one is older and watching it

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New YouTube Videos!!

I posted several new videos of Isis on our YouTube page! There's one of her rolling over, one of her playing on her play mat, but I have to say that this one is my favorite...



She's discovered that she can grab her own legs. So now during diaper changes, while she's in her play mat, when she's just laying somewhere - she picks her legs up & touches her knees or her thighs. She started doing it tonight in the bath and then she would kick really hard. It was so funny! So we got it on video! I love looking back at her videos over the past few months! She's just growing up so fast!!!! I feel so lucky to live in a time where we have little video cameras and cameras on our phones and things like YouTube & Facebook where I can save these things and share them with friends & family! It's awesome!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Baby Stuff I Can't Live Without!

I was talking to a woman tonight who is 7 months pregnant and she was asking about what baby stuff I recommend! So I've made a list. But I've only picked things that I think the particular brand was what made it special for us. My honorable mentions at the bottom are things that I've used a lot and definitely think I needed, but any brand could have worked just as well.
Chicco Cortina Stroller & Carseat
I absolutely love this travel system! It's really easy to use - once you get used to carting around carriers & strollers in general. I think there's a learning curve to that no matter what brand you buy! I looked like a total clutz the first few times I was getting out my stroller in a parking lot. But the stroller in this system is really smooth and the carrier is really easy to strap in to a car with or without the carseat base. Although I LOVE the carseat base, too! We chose the Cubes pattern and I love that it can be used with a boy or a girl. It's really neutral.

Born Free Bottles
I only have to give Isis bottles if I'm not with her for some reason - like Daddy/daughter day every other Saturday - or some other event I need to go to. So she hasn't had to take a whole lot of bottles, but we did find pretty quickly that she liked Born Free & nothing else. Granted, we only bought Born Free and Avent bottles, but we tried another brand at Diana's house, too. We had heard good things about Avent from the lactation consultants at the hospital. So this is really Isis' preference. My only advice is to try out a couple of bottles & figure out which one your baby likes before you buy a whole bunch of one brand.

Medela Pump n Style
I really like this pump because it is a double pump and it's pretty fast and not too loud. You can adjust the intensity and the speed of the pump. I haven't used any other pumps, so I can't really compare, but I can say that I recommend this one!!

Fisher Price Cradle n Swing
I have posted several times about my swing. (Search: Swing) I like this one because it swings in 3 different directions, it lays back like a cradle and it has a mirror in the center of the mobile above her head. She loves mirrors! So this one is perfect!! My friend Laurel told me about this one and she said she has yet to find a baby that doesn't like this swing. Isis definitely didn't like her other swing (Graco Lovin' Hug Plug-in Swing) - which was so sad because my lovely friends from the College of Education bought it for her!!

GroBaby diapers
You know I had to put this in there! I tried a couple of different kinds of diapers right at first, including FuzziBunz pocket diapers and some fitted diapers. None worked as well as the Gro Baby! They adjust around the waist and have elastic around the legs, so they fit Isis from the time she was 7 lbs! We have had a couple of blow-out diapers that leaked, but no more than I would have expected from disposable diapers! Check out this post for more info.

JJ Cole Diaper Bag
I have gotten lots of compliments on this diaper bag from other moms! I definitely really like it because it has plenty of room, lots of pockets and comes with a changing pad. I also really like the pattern! I've seen some other JJ Cole bags that I really like, too, so it seems to be a good brand all around!


Honorable Mentions:
Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Ocean Adventure Gym

Boppy

Graco Pack n Play with Newborn Napper - Hamilton

Fisher-Price Hoppy Days Bouncer

These are all personal preferences! I'd love to hear what brands or items you've found helpful!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cloth Diaper Update!

I get asked a lot about how cloth diapering is going! I thought I'd post a little update!

In short - we LOVE it!

We knew it wouldn't be easy and it definitely isn't, but I can't imagine that it's too much harder than using disposables! I do more laundry now anyway, so it just adds one extra load every 2-3 days. We are using all GroBaby diapers. She's pooping less now, so we can reuse the shells a lot more. She's also sleeping through the night, so I bought some of the GroBaby stay-dry boosters. I haven't started using them yet because I need to pre-wash them.

We had to buy some disposables, though, to use when she goes to the nursery at church now! So we'll use 2 disposables a week because they have to change them once during the service.

We've been really happy with the GroBaby! She's on the infant setting now because she's 13 pounds. It has fit well around her legs the entire time. We've had a couple of leaks, but no more than I think we would've had with disposables. She leaked a couple of times with the disposables in just the 2 weeks we had her in them at first. They fit well around her belly & I feel like they're just tight enough without being too tight!

We are washing them in hot water with an extra rinse with Tiny Bubbles detergent. I dry the soaker pads on high heat and I air-dry the shells, but this summer I want to try to dry all of them in the sun. I'm not sure if that's allowed on our back deck because we live in a townhouse. I'll have to ask our neighbors, but our back deck faces a train track, so I can't imagine they'd be an eye-sore for anybody!

So basically, things are good! We're very happy with our choice to use cloth!!

Isis' Baby Milestones - 3 months!

Talking
Well, she talks non-stop! She's always cooing and gurgling and blowing bubbles and making the "ah-goo" noises - although she normally does more of an "ah-gee" kinda of noise! She will just make noises over & over & over.

Tummy Time
She spends quite a bit of time each day now in her play mat. I try to start out on her tummy and when she gets tired of that - after about 10-15 minutes, I switch her to her back. I'm trying to extend the tummy time each day. She does better with it if I'm not right next to her, so I'll sit on the couch or watch her from the kitchen and she stays happier on her tummy longer. She does a little mini-push up now! And she keeps her head up the whole time. She used to hold her head up and then lay it down for a little while, but she's keeping it up the whole time now! She rolled herself over from her belly to her back the other day without me being around! I got it on video. I'll post it soon!

Hands
She's discovered her hands and stares at them all the time. I'll catch her looking at them and then she'll just shove them in her mouth! haha She also started grabbing things on her own a couple of days ago. On her play mat, there's a little octopus that hangs and she grabbed this orange fish toy thing that's attached to it and then started pulling it and I even saw her grab it with both hands and then try to put it in her mouth! Although, she could've just been trying to shove those yummy hands in her mouth again and the toy just happened to be in her hands! LOL.

Head control
I've started doing the thing with her daily where I lay her in my lap and then grab her hands and slowly pull her up to a sitting position so she can practice keeping her head steady while she moves up to sitting. She's doing great! The first day, she didn't really hold her neck straight very well, but today when we did it, her head was sturdy the whole time. I don't ever hold her neck anymore when I'm holding her unless I have to. So she's getting lots of practice holding her head steady and she's doing great at it!!

Eye sight
She follows objects with her eyes all the time. She follows me all around the room and everyday I get her to track a smaller object with her eyes. She seems to be doing great with that! I'm reading books to her everyday and she looks at all the pictures and even tries to touch the pop-up ones. So I think she's starting to get better hand-eye coordination!

Laughing
The only thing she hasn't done yet that I'm so anxious for her to start is laughing!!! I can tell she is right on the verge. She'll sometimes make a sound like she's about to laugh, but then she'll just grin at me really big. I'm doing everything I can to get her to laugh! I'm playing games, trying to tickle her, making faces, singing songs, dancing, etc! I'm just doing everything!! Any tips for how to get her to laugh?? I'm just so ready to hear that laugh!! I know that can be more of a 4-month milestone for some babies. I just can't wait!!! It'll be so great when I hear it!!

New Sleep Issues!

Remember when I talked about flexibility? Well, we're having to adjust things now that Isis is sleeping through the night! Not a bad problem to have!! It's been 9 nights in a row now that she has slept 11-12 hours a night! The problem is that now her daytime sleep is totally different. She clearly doesn't need as much sleep during the day because she's getting so much at night!

For one thing, I think she's starting to not need her swing anymore. She still sleeps really well in it for her first nap each day, but for all the other naps she wakes up after 30 minutes or so. So today I started putting her to sleep for her 2nd nap in the crib in her room. I figured even if she only sleeps 30 minutes in there, I can't really mess it up. She only needs 2-3 hours sleep during the day to have the minimum recommended for her age. She's in there right now for her 2nd nap of the day and she's been asleep for 30 minutes. She only fussed for 4 minutes when I put her in there. Major improvement over my nap training when she was 7 weeks or so!

I'm also working toward eliminating her 4th nap of the day which has always been more of a catnap anyway. I'm adjusting some times of feedings and things and then seeing if we can eliminate that nap. She just doesn't seem like she needs it anymore! She's just getting so much bigger! Yay for growing up!!

You know you're a mom when...

I was going to make my own one of these lists, but then I found that there are a million of them already online!! So I decided to just read over the other lists & pick the ones that apply to me! It's been surprising some of the things that have made me feel like a mom that I never expected!

...burps and farts are exciting and even CUTE.
...your morning routine has been cut from an hour to about 15 minutes.
...you’re picking someone’s nose. And it’s not your own.
...you have 20 minutes of free time and you’re able to get done what used to take you 2 hours to do.
...the slightest baby whimper wakes you up, but you sleep right through a level 4 earthquake.
...you’re willing to stand in one spot for 20 minutes, taking 100 pictures, hoping to get ONE good one. But you can’t delete any because they’re ALL good ones.
...you have caught spit-up in your hand.
...you have shared a fifteen-minute conversation about your baby with a complete stranger at the grocery store.
...you are just as surprised when you sleep through the night as when your child does.
...you look through family pictures, and realize there aren’t very many of you, because you are always behind the camera yourself.
...you have time to shave only one leg at a time.
...you spend an entire week wearing sweats.

Ah, lovely.

Sources:
BabyDickey
Beliefnet
BethanyRoberts
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