Aug 18 2012

Kid updates and stuff

Vivienne is 20 months as of yesterday. What! The silly girl still only has 6 teeth — 2 on bottom, 4 on top. I don’t know where the rest are but I’m kind of done guessing.

She is talking lots, and adding new words all the time. Sometimes her pronunciation is right-on; sometimes only I can guess what she’s saying. She loves saying “pleeeeease” with a smile because she thinks that means she gets her way :).

Vivie no longer sleeps in her car seat at night or naps. For the longest time, she would only sleep there. She happily walked over to that seat and wanted buckled in and it was the strangest thing, but we went with it. As she grew, it became apparent she wouldn’t be able to keep up that arrangement for much longer.

She started falling asleep on her big twin-size bed and we put the crib mattress on the floor next to it to shorten the distance from the bed to the floor. She likes to sleep on that bed right against the wall and does pretty well, though she has fallen out before. Sometimes she sleeps on the floor (when I open the door and check on her, there she is).

She has become a lot easier to entertain and to take places, compared to when she was oh, 15 months or so. She’s been on a gradual increase of being more fun/less crazy. Although, one day recently she missed her nap and by evening she was a nutball.

She frantically tried to eat a book (never does that!) and slobbered all over it. We got it away from her and she must have thought we put it behind the couch, because she scrambled back there and cried furiously and wouldn’t come out. Still needs that nap FOR SURE.

Vivie loves playing with her baby dolls and likes to take them with her when she can. I was watching her play with one, and she put it in a “high chair” and brought the baby a toy plate and put some toy strawberries on it. Aww. She’ll also kiss her babies and lay (or throw) them on the floor and put a blanket on them and wave night-night.

She loves her daddy and her brother so much! Loves mama, too.

She is still nursing some, but we are weaning. She began to have bad nursing manners (hurting me on purpose, for one, when I told her “not now”) and expecting me to be willing to nurse all day everyday if she wanted. NO.

With some correcting, she’s gotten past that rude stage but I’m still so very over nursing her and we are slowly bringing it to an end. I’m trying to keep it to first thing in the morning and right before nap if I can help it. The last 2 or 3 nights she has gone to bed without nursing and that has been lovely.

I don’t want to be resentful of nursing or of her, so it’s best to just wrap it up. I don’t know when she’ll be totally done — I’m not to the point where I’m going to cut her off entirely. I do want to be reasonably gradual with it and that has gone mostly well.

But whoa. I became pregnant with Johnny in March 2008. So, I’ve been pregnant or nursing or both for 4.5 years solid. I would like a break.

Mr. Johnny is at the most fun age yet. He’ll be 4 in 4 months (!!!!!!!?!???) and has grown tremendously in this last year. He’s pretty great with the potty now (finally!) though he’s still figuring out how to go in public (that hasn’t happened yet) or dealing with a big potty instead of his little one. Yesterday he told me “tomorrow, I will pee on the big potty.” Just out of nowhere. I was like…ok!

This morning, the first thing he told me: “I peed on the big potty!” and he stood up to do it. Ok! Now if we can figure out how to do #2 on the potty so I don’t have to clean the potty seat anymore we’ll be solid.

Nighttimes are hit or miss. Sometimes he’ll wake up dry, sometimes not. Whatever. I’m just pleased as punch that he’s mostly got it, and I know nighttime is a totally separate thing.

He (and his sister) enjoy reading books. We’ll read some favorites together and then later, I’ll catch them “reading” them to each other using the pictures.

The most recent favorite is “Go, Dog. Go!” and they can’t get enough of that silly book. Even Vivie was calling out what was going to happen before I turned the page. I am SO glad they enjoy reading books.

Johnny has a special interest in weather and geography. He has a sense of direction that just amazes me, while out driving or walking or while viewing a map. It’s so neat to see how he’s wired.

He’s still a dominant leftie. He enjoys doodling and coloring and trying to copy letters. I am NOT into early academics (more on that to come in a future post). But at the same time, if he wants to write his name, I’m going to show him how.

He makes the letters really well and I want to show him the correct form so he doesn’t develop bad habits. Right now, he’s making the “o” starting at the bottom instead of at the top. That could be a hard habit to break since that general shape is used frequently. So yah, we’ll work on that a little.

He likes to cut paper and glue it into a collage…but only with the Melissa and Doug plastic scissors since it doesn’t have a true blade. I have some preschool scissors with a blade and cautioned him not to touch that part…and he decided he wanted nothing to do with those scissors. Didn’t want to get hurt. K.

He’s cuddly, sweet, fun to take places and show new things and I am just loving this age so very much.


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Aug 12 2012

Olympics!

Oh I just love the Olympics! The last Summer Games of 2008, I was pregnant with Johnny. So I was very excited to introduce the kids to some awesome athletics.

We watched all sorts of events — swimming, diving, track, gymnastics, equestrian stuff, judo, synchronized swimming, trampoline, basketball, volleyball…we covered a lot.

Johnny would often ask “Is that the Indiana team?” and I’d keep having to explain that it was the United States. We’d point to his globe and show the other country. He’d ask if the other team were “the bad guys.” No, they’re not. Just athletes. We want to see them all do well, without injuries or falling or disqualifications — and yay for USA winning!

Vivie showed how much she was paying attention when later away from the TV, she squatted down, put her hands on the ground and said “One, two, three, GO” and took off running around the house. Heh!

As these Games are wrapping up tonight, I wanted to note for posterity’s sake how irritated I was at how NBC handled the coverage. I get that there was a 6-hour time difference, but WHY air spoilers before showing the event? They’d mention results during the national news on some nights, and then show the event way late in the evening.

Then many major news sites posted spoilers as breaking news. JERKS. They could have just posed “results of this event are in” or something for people who wanted to know ahead of time. There was a site for viewing events live, except there weren’t any spoiler-alerts there, either.

Some of my friends had spoilers posted in Facebook newsfeeds. I was spared of that. But grrr.

I also wanted to note, part of why I love the Olympics so much is because it is so, so cool to see the physical capabilities of God’s creation (the athletes!). Why is Usain Bolt so fast? Because God made him that way. (And let’s hope there aren’t any performance-enhancing drugs involved…good grief I am so sick of dopes).

Bolt is one of the most confident (arrogant!) athletes in these 2012 games, but he can at least back it up by smashing world records and smoking the competition. Hopefully he’ll learn some humility between now and Rio but I doubt it.

I wanted to jump up and cheer for US gymnast Gabby Douglas when, after she won gold for women’s all-around, she gave thanks to God.

I also saw a few track athletes mouthing scripture (I saw Lolo Jones reciting “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” right before an event) and I saw a high-jumper singing gospel.

It’s not that I think those who pray and who acknowledge their creator will win gold, or even medal. No. I just think it’s a great, humbling thing for someone who can run blazingly fast or flip her body through the air in such a beautiful, awe-inspiring way that it becomes an act of worship — of saying wow, thank you Lord for how you made me. Look at what God has done for me!

Looking forward to the 2014 Winter Games — and just 18 months away! Not too long.


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May 08 2012

Is this a secret blog? Anyone out there?

Does anyone read here? I dunno. I took this page off my navigation bar on my main blog, and now I can’t add it back. So now, this is my SECRET blog and I can tell you secrets.

Between you and me, I’m just not motivated to do much blogging these days. I’ve written on my main blog for 4.5 years and part of me just doesn’t care about the money topic anymore. Part of me wants to keep on going, because I know a few people have really benefited. Part of me has moved on, and I bet that’s obvious to long-time readers.

Blogging takes a lot of time, but it also takes a lot of my mental energy. So I’m easing up a bit on my main blog.

The income over there is drying up faster than nothin’ but in a way, it’s a blessing. I don’t need the money right now, though I did like it while it was there. It’s making less pressure on me to keep with it, so that’s positive.

I thought about starting another blog. The topic would be homeschooling. I’ve written a few posts to try to find my blogging voice in that niche, but so far it’s not really there.

That could be because I have really little kids and I’m not exactly homeschooling yet. Still, I’m not sending them to preschool so eventually we will have more things to write about.

I just don’t know if I want to blog about it or not. I don’t want to do an activity or read a book for the blog’s sake. I don’t want to construct our days based on creating blog content. I see that happening. I don’t know if I’m ready to put myself out there like that. I’m ready to tell you all about our money, but my own kids? I just feel more vulnerable with that.

I would like a log of our activities, photos and my thought process along the way but there’s nothing that says I need to publish it. I just don’t know of a medium that would be easy to update for me, but private.

I look at some preschool homeschool blogs and I’m overwhelmed. I am NOT an arts-and-crafts, lapbookin’, complicated lesson kinda gal. I don’t want this phase to be stressful. I want it to be fun. It’s supposed to be fun at this age.

So do I blog about it? What do I add to that online community? How would it benefit my family? I just don’t know.

Offer me some perspective, people of the internet who know about this personal blog of mine.


Dec 30 2011

I hope this nursing photo doesn’t offend

In light of the recent Target nurse-in stuff, and the people of the internet who say it is immodest for a mom to nurse her child anywhere except at home, in a bathroom, in a dressing room…I’ve gotta ask. Does this picture offend you?

I hope not. You see 3-month-old Johnny’s bald little head. You see me holding him. I am nursing. Wearing a nursing tank underneath my shirt, and my scarf is helping as an extra cover. Clearly I’m comfortable with this photo, seeing as I am sharing this photo. But are other people uncomfortable with it?

If so, I’m wondering if people are uncomfortable with the idea of breastfeeing in general — not if they can see a mother’s bare boob.

To those who suggest a nursing baby could just take a bottle: Not all of them are physically able. First, there’s a prime time for a baby to be introduced to the bottle, and if they miss it, it becomes much harder for the baby to learn how. I missed the window with both kids.

Secondly, some children have physical difficulties with bottles. Vivienne was born with a moderate-strong tongue-tie. Nursing was difficult for her, but she quickly adapted. But, she wasn’t able to take a bottle. Babies do a different motion from bottle to breast, and she couldn’t get a bottle to work. She had tongue-tie surgery at 3 months but by that point it was too late for her to learn how to take it. Even at 12m, she cannot do a bottle but we are working with her to take a sippy cup.

Also, the girl has no teeth. She eats some solids and baby mush, but lots of her nutrition still comes from me.

I’m not about to just stay hidden and indoors out of the public until she no longer nurses. I think that’s reasonable, right?

At the same time, know that I DO take care to not flash anyone while I’m nursing. If it’s a crowded area and I know she’ll be really distractable, I’ll go to a quieter area. In cooler weather, I usually have a scarf and that can help as a cover. I always wear a nursing tank to keep my belly covered. And I try to position my body so that no one will see when she latches or unlatches.

I’d really prefer to not nurse in a public restroom. It’s impractical (no chairs…and I am NOT sitting on a toilet to nurse!). A dressing room, sure. Especially if I’m with my 3-year-old and want to keep him corralled.

But if I also want to just sit on the floor in the women’s clothing section at Target and nurse real quick, I’m gunna. The law is on my side. I’ll try hard not to flash you, but give me a little space and don’t stare at my boob. Feel free to make eye contact with me, though. You can talk to me, too. I’m not usually uncomfortable, though I recognize that many people aren’t comfortable with nursing mothers.

It’s my hope that by the time my daughter is a mother, nursing moms will be everywhere and it won’t cause a second look because it’s so common.

If you still do not like the thought of nursing mothers, consider the benefit to you. Yes, YOU have a benefit when mothers breastfeed their children. Healthcare costs go down. Way down. Mothers and babies are healthier. There’s about a thousand other benefits.

1.5 MILLION babies die each year because they are not breastfed. If a mom felt more comfortable nursing around others, that would likely encourage her to breastfeed in the first place, and nurse for a longer stretch of time. 1.5 million deaths is more than the amount of people who lived in the city of Indianapolis.

Most of these deaths are worldwide, but still, 911 babies in the United States die each year because they weren’t breastfed. That could be your sister’s baby. Your friend’s. Your neighbor’s. YOUR baby. What if those babies’ mothers had the support they needed, not just from medical breastfeeding resources but from the general public? What if they received the message that breastfeeding is encouraged, and not just behind closed doors?

Between my children, I’ve been breastfeeding for 2.5 years. My own risk of several types of cancers has dramatically dropped simply because I’m nursing. My own children’s risk of various cancers and diseases are down. Put in another way, if I used formula for 2.5 years, my risk of cancer would go UP. Their risk of cancer and other illness would also increase.

It’s time the American people as a whole say, “enough!” Enough with the babies dying. Enough with mothers having no support when they want to breastfeed. Enough with mothers being shamed into hiding.

Related: See this fabulous post about the nurse-in controversy.


Nov 17 2011

I should stop griping

At least I can eat food. At least I can eat lots of yummy things (thank you, Trader Joe’s!!). At least I have access to safe, sanitary cooking conditions and nutritious foods, and I can afford to spend what it takes right now. I am really fortunate. Some people can’t eat at all and need to have their nutrition pumped in a feeding tube. Or some people don’t have enough money to buy basic nutritious foods.

So what that I can’t have pumpkin pie right now? Bummer, yes. But there are worse things and me whining isn’t so pleasant.

I’m looking at the Udi bread, btw, and it doesn’t look legal for me right now. Egg whites. Pooh. Also, the ingredient list just says “yeast” and I’m not sure which kind it is, but possibly baker’s, which I can’t have.

Whateverrr.

The nutritionist got back to me and told me there is a soy-free, dairy-free “butter” I can try and find by Earth Balance. Yeah! Not sure if they have it at Trader Joe’s, but I was *just* there so it will have to wait until I’m there again, unless I can find it somewhere else.

Also, she told me that if I did cheat, that would set me waaay back. I’d have to start all over. Not worth it! See, this is different from a weight-loss diet. You probably can cheat a little here and there for weight loss (maybe?). But I’m trying to heal my gut, and there’s a different process going on.

Oh, and she loaned me the GAPS book and I’m reading through it. I really don’t know if I can hack GAPS. I need grains! (Or do I?) Either way, the diet I’m currently on is at least a gradual step toward something more extreme, if need be.