Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm a "Green & Clean Mom" and More!!

I recently discovered this new website on a fellow blogger's page - Green & Clean Mom. It's where "being 'green' can be sexy, sassy, and fun!" ;) It's a place to share tips on being "green" and what have you, just as the title suggest (well, outright says). They have a feature blogger for each day, and *I* am now doing the feature blogs for Fridays. Whoo-hoo!

Today was my first, and I blogged about the green cleaner that I recently mentioned on here. This stuff is awesome, and I love to share it. Anybody that has ever made it has liked it, from what I have been told. (I seriously doubt anybody would lie about being excited and impressed by a homemade all-purpose cleaner...)

Here is the website if you want to check it out. Just scroll down a tiny bit, and you will see my pic and my feature blog!

I have some ideas for future posts there, but I'm looking for more! It has to deal with being "green," obviously. Any ideas? Anything you want me to research some? Let me have it!

Friday Fill-Ins (Thanks, Connie!)

My friend, Connie, does these "Friday Fill-Ins" over on her blog. I've read quite a few that she has done and always seem to learn something new and interesting. I'm not sure mine will be very interesting. At the moment I'm not in the thinking mood and would rather be on the lying on the couch. That's where I'm headed next...

Here is where the Friday Fill-Ins come from. They include a list of words and blanks for you to fill in on your own. My answers are in bold. Hope you enjoy!



1. I'm coughing, I'm sneezing, I am hoping this won't turn into a sinus infection.

2. Why do I have good organizational skills and not good keeping-it-organized skills?

3. How does this video sharing website work, anyway? I'm trying to find a good way to share our short family videos with family and friends that aren't nearby. I think I found one that will work perfectly, but a couple of the videos I made with our small digital camera are not uploading, even though they fit the requirements... I haven't heard back from them yet.

4. Every morning, I put Aiden on my hip. The first thing I do always has to do with him. I pick him up and take care of him before doing anything else. Besides the fact that I WANT to, he's been in that diaper all night. We need to clean that tushie!

5. I consider myself lucky because I have three wonderful guys in my life, my husband and my two beautiful boys. I really have been blessed and need to remind myself of that more often.

6. One day we’ll see Paris. One of my dreams is to go to Paris, France and visit the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and the Virgin on the Rocks, two of my favorite paintings, both by Leonardo da Vinci. My hubby says we'll make it. :)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing on the couch, next to my hubby and hopefully getting to bed a little early (or at least not too late, as we usually do), tomorrow my plans include having Aiden's 6-month pictures taken (even though he's almost seven months! shhh...), along with some of the rest of us and Sunday, I want to go to Marbles, a children's museum here in Raleigh, one we haven't been to visit yet. We told Camden we would take him b/c he wants to see this Imax feature about the ocean (and it's basically the same price to see the movie and visit the museum as it would be just to see the movie). We'll be taking Aiden into the viewing, even though we don't have him watch tv. It's only 45 minutes, so hopefully he will do well (and not get scared by the huge screen and sounds)!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lent is Here!

We participate in Lent by choice. Our religion doesn't call for it necessarily. I grew up in a church where it was encouraged but not required, and I just think it's a good idea. Camden's learned to participate in it, too. He's been joining in for quite a while now and has done really well with it. Actually, he was the one to remind me yesterday that it was indeed that time again. "What are you giving up, Mom?" Giving up? OH, yeah....

He decided tonight that he will give up ice cream. ("But I can still have brownies!" he reminds me!) I wonder how he will feel when he is reminded that the rest of us can also still eat the ice cream, even if he is around.

I'm thinking...maybe cookies? I've been making a lot lately, and it will be hard to resist. It's either that or give up my anxiety about driving in unfamiliar places. Someone gave up something similar once, and I thought it was a neat idea - giving up a feeling rather than an actual thing. I have a huge issue with driving in places where I'm not 100% certain of where I am going. BUT as great as that would be (and as challenging!), I can't think of many places I will go between now and Easter that will require me to be challenged by that. And this should be a challenge that I have to deal with more than just once or twice during this time...

Back to the cookie thing... I actually already had a recipe that I wanted to try out like now, as soon as I get one more ingredient. Hmmmm....so maybe I should do the cookie thing. Is it ok to make some cookie batter and freeze it for later??? Oh, and we still don't have our Girl Scout cookies - so that will be in my face soon! I gave up cookies once a number of years back - I remember it being a challenge, especially once those GS cookies came in. I'm thinking the cookies might be it.

Ryan still hasn't decided on his thing. We'll see what he does. I think he should give up losing his patience with Camden.... ;) Or sarcasm with me. That could work - those funny remarks he makes trying to joke about something when I know what he really means. (Those things that can be funny but also annoying after the thousandth time - you know what I mean. Like I never annoy him, right? Ha.) My luck, I would probably end up missing those remarks if he did that. I think it is probably harder for Ryan to come up with something. He's one of those good guys who doesn't have much that he struggles with. He's not perfect, but he's closer than I am. Must be nice, huh?

Anybody else participating??

My First Born (and Second!!)

So, here's another one of these things going around on facebook. This one's for the mommies! Thought I would share it here, as well. Enjoy! And hope to see some of yours! (Email, blog, comment, etc...)

This is supposed to be filled out about your first born. I did both kids. :)

1. WAS YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY PLANNED???
#1 Not really
#2 Very planned. Very.

2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME???
#1 Engaged. (stupid and young...)
#2 Married

3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS???
#1 We were thrilled! (again…stupid and young)
#2 Thrilled beyond measure

4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU??
Never.

5. HOW OLD WERE YOU???
#1 19
#2 28

6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT?
#1 Home pregnancy test
#2 My boobs felt different right away; we took a pregnancy test a few days later (had to wait for it to be accurate - and we took one of the "early" ones)

7.WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST?
#1 Pretty sure it was my mom
#2 Camden (Ryan was there with me to read the test and when we had it confirmed at Duke, so no need to tell him)

8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX???
Absolutely. Too much of a planner.

9. WHAT WAS YOUR DUE DATE???
#1 June 29th, 1999
#2 August 10th, 2008

10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS???
#1 All day, every day through the 5th month.
#2 Same thing, but it lasted throughout the entire pregnancy. Found out I have hyperemesis gravidarum, which is a potentially serious condition that means you get severe nausea/vomiting when pregnant. Was on medication up until the c-section (and then afterwards, too!)

11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE??
#1 I couldn't get enough Coke (caf free, of course!), and I just loved Jazzman's chicken (those from Winchester will understand). But they weren't cravings really.
#2 Once I had meds and could eat a bit, I wanted pancakes or burgers – something about the breading in the pancakes and then the protein with the meat. I couldn’t eat enough strawberries (hard to find in the winter, but we managed), and I had them for lunch every day for most of the pregnancy. Later I craved other fruits, too – cantaloupe, watermelon. Would love to say how healthy I was eating, but I also ate lots of chocolate cupcakes and brownies…

12. WHO IRRITATED YOU THE MOST?
#1 Nobody really
#2 Rude people that wouldn’t make room for the preggo lady to sit on the bus on campus…

13. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CHILD’S SEX?
Both are boys

14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE HAVING??
Didn’t wish for either sex. We kind of thought #2 was a girl at first, but we didn’t wish for one more than the other.

15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY?
#1 Almost 50. It really was all baby, though.
#2 24lbs
(but the end weight was about the same for both!)

16. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER???
Yes – a few each time

17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW??
Mostly knew. One with #1 was a complete surprise.

18. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY???
#1 All the morning sickness. A month before he was due I had a lot of bleeding and stayed in the hospital overnight b/c I had placenta previa. The baby also always measured large, and the dr kept telling me he would induce labor early... first it was a month, then moved to three weeks early, then two, then one... he was actually induced and born a day before the due date. He was backwards, so I had back labor. And I had gone into labor so quickly that it was all withOUT medication (which had not been the plan). And the baby was too large to have naturally. His head wouldn't fit through. I had an emergency c-section (during which I threw up – the entire time and the days following).

#2 I had bleeding early on, and we were concerned about the placenta issues b/c it was low at first (sign of placenta previa), so I had to minimize all activity for a couple months, but it ended up being ok. Then, I had really bad pelvis and rib problems and had to go to a chiropractor for a couple months. The morning sickness lasted the entire pregnancy but was managed (for the most part) with meds.

19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH?
#1 Clark Regional, Winchester, KY
#2 Duke Hospital, Durham, NC

20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR???
#1 I’ve never really counted. Induced the night before...went into labor in the middle of the night...c-section around noon... I pushed for over 2 1/2 hours before they finally realized he was not coming out.
#2 No labor. Planned c-section. This was much better than the first time around.

21. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL???
#1My husband at the time took me in the night before to be induced. We went straight from my Papaw's funeral an hour and a half away right to the hospital in Winchester.
#2 My hubby, my mom, and my older son; my mother-in-law and her boyfriend met us there.

22. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH???
#1 Originally, I only wanted my mom and my husband...but once you're in the process, you don't really care...so my mother-in-law and my friend, Patricia joined in. (I think this was a good form of birth control for Patsy for quite a while!)
#2 Too many to count. My hubby, tons of nurses, pediatricians, a couple anesthesiologists, and the ob delivering.

23. WAS IT NATURAL OR C-SECTION???
#1 Emergency c-section. The poor kid couldn't fit b/c his head was too big. Once they made the incision, they started to pull him out then had to push him *back in* and make the cut another inch longer. My scar showed it.
#2 Scheduled c-section

24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN???
#1 I went into labor too quickly for meds and had to do it naturally. They did end up giving me some morphine b/c I had back labor, but it hadn't kicked in when they decided to go for a c-section. I had a spinal for the c-section. The meds made me very nauseous, and I threw up the entire time he was delivering. I was so sick and throwing up for the rest of the day from the meds, and that’s not so much fun after a c-section.

#2 Spinal for the c-section, plus Zofran b/c we realized I have bad reactions to morphine (why I threw up the first time around). We later found out I have problems with other narcotics, b/c the Percocet they gave me following surgery caused nausea/vomiting, which led to more Zofran being given. The nurses kept telling me I was fine when I said I was nauseous – until they found me on the floor in the bathroom after I got sick and my mother explaining to them how bad it really was. After three days of this, they finally switched my meds but were really uncool about it – once giving me Phenergan that knocked me out, and they let me sleep through getting my nausea & pain meds (so I didn’t get them) and I woke up very sick and in lots of pain. (Like I said, throwing up after having your abs cut open – not fun.) We finally figured it out, but we were not too happy with the nurses for a while… We know what to ask for next time, though!

25. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD'S BIRTHDATE???
#1 June 28 1999
#2 August 6, 2008

27. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH??
#1 10 lbs 15.2 oz (less than 1 oz away from being 11 lbs)
#2 8lbs, 11oz (I actually said “that’s all?” ha! We all expected larger.)

28. DID YOUR CHILD HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS???
#1 Nope....Happy healthy baby boy! He was perfect.
#2 Yes – read here for details (http://daisyryanadkins.blogspot.com/2008/11/aidens-medical-issues.html). He was also jaundiced.

29. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER?
#1 Camden Lee
#2 Aiden Joseph

30. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY?
#1 9 ½ years
#2 6 months

I posted about Aiden's birth here if you're interested:
Brief birthday info with pics.
Our birth story.

Ok - your turn!! Email, blog, whatever floats your boat. If you blog about it, let me know so I can be sure to check it out!

Video-O-Rama

Does anyone know of some great sites where we can upload video clips to share with family? Places where we can limit viewing to people we share the videos/link/etc. I have uploaded some to youtube and can have as private, but this means only 25 people that I invite are allowed to see my videos. Plus, they have to have a youtube acct. That's another annoyance - how about a place where they don't have to have an account? Any tips would be great! We would love to be sharing more videos with some of our friends and family that aren't nearby (more than 25 of them, too)!

Enjoy these videos!! They're all really short, so it isn't as bad as it looks!



Aiden was just about to turn 5 months old in this clip. He's sitting up and finally able to grab the butterflies on his play gym. He thought they might taste yummy. ;) I especially love the sigh at the end. He does that all the time, and it's just as adorable each time.



Here Aiden (5 months) spent more than five minutes spinning this frog over and over. It was too cute. He starts to get mad at it once when it doesn't turn just like he wanted.(I didn't tape five minutes, though.) ;)


This was taken on Aiden's six-month birthday. These are two of his most favorite things - making that "brrrrr" sound and bouncing up and down - which he does just about anytime his feet touch something - including when he's nursing and his feet touch the side of the chair. I won't be taping that, though... ;)


Valentine's 2009, Aiden is just over 6 months old. He falls asleep usually by playing with his feet - sometimes it keeps him up, though! We can't put him to bed with socks on - or they'll be pulled off, chewed on, then strewn about! Once he rolls to the side - that's how you know he's actually falling asleep. It's a matter of seconds until he's out once he does that!

And please let me know of any good websites for videos! Thanks a bunch!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cheap Eats!

With groceries, gas, and lots of other things costing more these days, many people are trying to save where they can. One area we're working on is our grocery bill. I realized earlier that we haven't had salmon in a while, and that's typically a weekly thing. Hmmmm - might need to make a trip to Trader Joe's (it's usually cheaper there!). Anyway... In light of lowering the grocery bill, we've been looking through our recipes to see what "cheap" meals we can make. I typically go the homemade route and making things (mostly) from scratch. One of our favorite "cheap" meals happens to be a family recipe that we all just can't get enough of!! It's inexpensive, easy to make, and a definite favorite in our home.

What I want from you is this... I know I have a bunch of readers out there. How? B/c many of my friends and family will say "I saw on the blog..." but we don't have a lot of comments. That's fine. Really. But this is one time we want some! We're sharing one of our favorite meals, so we want you to also share a favorite (inexpensive and simple meals are preferred - but whatever you want to share is up to you!). And for those of you that are familiar with the meal we are sharing (Mom, Bobbie, anyone else in the family?), please share any of your tips, variations, etc. :)

This meal is one that my grandmother, Bobbie, used to make. My mother learned it from her and passed it on to me. So, the extras I have learned - I'm not sure if they come from my mom or from Bobbie (or whoever else). This is a relatively quick dish to make, BUT you will want to do some of the prep work earlier (boiling, peeling, and chopping the eggs) and will need to find a time to do the other parts of the meal b/c you can't walk away while this dish is cooking. You need to stay with it and stir. But it is quick to make (aside from all that).

Goldenrod Eggs
Serves 2-3

Hard boil 4 eggs

White Sauce:
1/3 c flour (If you use all-purpose, add a bit of salt, to taste, once you get the sauce thickened)
1/3 c butter, or less
1/2 c milk + 1/2 c water to = 1 1/2 c total (yes, 1/2 + 1/2 = 1, but just do equal parts or however suits you based on taste)

Melt butter in sauce pan. Mix in flour. Add milk/water a little at a time. When thick enough, turn to low or off. (You need to stay with the sauce and constantly stir it to prevent clumping and sticking.)


Melted butter, adding in the flour. And stirring it all in until it's thick.



Chop egg whites (reserve yolks for later). This can be done ahead of time. Mix egg whites into white sauce.


take your BIG bowl of egg whites, chopped...and add to the white sauce.

Optional:
Melt cheese into sauce (about 2 slices)
Add in dry mustard (or regular mustard in a pinch!)
Add in chopped onion (I've never done this one)

Pour white sauce over biscuits or toast. (We usually use biscuits, but sometimes prefer toast.)


Yummy homemade biscuits!

Crumble egg yolks and sprinkle some on top.

And voila!

Breakfast
(or in our case, dinner b/c we love having breakfast for dinner)
is served!

Notes:
I always double the recipe (or more) b/c we need enough for at least two meals. We love this stuff! I started out always boiling one extra egg (just in case), and have just kept doing this. When doubling the recipe, I'll use between 8-10 eggs. I also no longer really measure the flour, milk, water - I just add until I have enough to get the taste and amount I want. (I hate when people give me a recipe without exact measurements, but once you try it a couple times, you can change it to suit you.) I always add in the cheese and dry mustard - makes it taste really yummy! (Even if it doesn't sound like it would.)

When Camden was younger he did NOT like this. I think it was just the "different" factor, at first. But he is a convert and loves, loves it now. He also loves to help make it. :)

I've made this for a number of people, and everybody has always loved it (or at least said they did - and ate plenty!).

So - here's what you need to do now...
  • Leave a comment with a favorite recipe of yours. Bonus points if it's a "cheap" meal (and easy!). Some of you comment on facebook where my blog posts show up in the notes and some of you reply via email b/c you subscribe that way. Please leave a comment here so we can all see the recipe. :) (Or if you want to on facebook, that's fine - more people can see it there.)
  • Let me know if you make this dish. And tell me what you thought about it!
  • Let me know if you make a dish someone else posts (and say what you thought).
Can't wait to hear from you! I LOVE collecting recipes from other people!! (Seriously - LOVE it!) But this way, not only will I get some new recipes, but all of you can see what others post and get some new recipes for yourselves!

This is the time to comment - all of you non-commenters!!! ;)

Funny Faces II

Here are a few more...







I love looking at his funny faces. Reminds me not to take everything too seriously and to stop and have a good chuckle every now and then!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sittin' Pretty

Last night Aiden took his first bath SITTING in his little bathtub. It has one end sloped for the baby to lie on and the other side is for sitting. He was all about that.



When lying on the other end, he kicks to make splashes and has a grand ol' time at it, too. But he immediately figured out that he could make even bigger splashes with his hands if he was sitting. He would smack them down as hard as he could! Notice the water all over his face and head - that's from his splashes.





He also found out how easier it is to play with his toys while sitting. The only problem is - they seemed to all want to float to the other side of the tub, so he had to reach for them. Yes, he did get his face in the water once when reaching for a toy. Mommy acted swiftly and picked him right up and hugged him close. He cried a bit but more because he had gotten scared from bumping his head on the side of the tub (he didn't fall forward - more to the side). He very quickly got over it and was ready to return to the fun, fall all forgotten.



He really liked having the visor on his head and watching the water pour down, but I wasn't able to get a picture of that. Hopefully next time. He was just grinning and laughing - it was so cute and he had tons of fun!!


Saturday, February 21, 2009

German Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

I haven't posted lately about anything I've baked. That's because I haven't baked much lately. But I thought I would do a little something tonight. Bakerella had this recipe for Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies (well, it's not really a recipe) that looked yummy, and I had a box of German Chocolate cake mix in the cupboard, so I figured I would try it out. And yes, I said a mix. Is it really called baking if you use a mix?? Mixes are something I typically scoff at. That said, I haven't ventured into making cakes from scratch yet; that's next on the list.

So, tonight I whipped up some German Chocolate Sandwich Cookies. I thought it would be better than just making the cake or cupcakes because Ryan doesn't like the coconut frosting. I am able to use that in some of the cookies and then some plain ol' chocolate icing in between some others. (Not that anything is wrong with just chocolate - there's never anything wrong with that!)

This was too easy to make. Take the mix (any cake mix you like), add some butter, some eggs. You need to use your own muscles to mix it up, though. I started out using my KitchenAid mixer and soon found out that it was so dry that wouldn't work. Manual stirring is necessary - but not much. Then make balls and put on a cookie sheet. I used a small scooper for that.

Before baking


And after


And this is what you get after adding the icing and then...sandwiching.



Enjoy. Mmmm...

Even if it was from a mix.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mm-Mm Good

Aiden tried his first green veggies today - peas! He ate them like they were nothing new. And eagerly. Just like almost every single other food he has tried (both things - like they're nothing new and eagerly). Out of all the foods he is now eating, there is ONE that he hasn't been in love with -- pumpkin. I don't really blame him, though. Plain pumpkin isn't all that tasty. It happened to be the one food we had the most of, though. BUT I already had a plan. If he didn't like the pureed pumpkin - we have plenty of it for pumpkin pies (and some other pumpkin desserts that I have recipes for but didn't make this past fall, as planned).

Here's a list of his faves (meaning everything he's tried other than pumpkin!)
  • Sweet Potatoes (of course! What baby have you heard of that doesn't like sweet potatoes?? It's like THE baby food!)
  • Butternut Squash
  • Avocado (yes, it IS green, but it's a fruit - so peas ARE the first green veggie)
  • Bananas (another duh)
  • Applesauce
  • Prunes (oh my! The first time he had a bite of this, I had to feed him three times what I planned b/c he loved it soooo much! Ryan -and Camden!- said to enjoy that diaper when it rolled around. Nice of them...)
  • Peas
  • Oatmeal (we use steel cut) - esp with bananas or applesauce on the side
Oh, he wasn't a big fan of the rice especially, either. But it really doesn't have much taste to it, so I don't blame him there, either. I'm not a big rice fan myself - not by itself, at least. (But put it with some battered and fried chicken pieces with some red sweet & sour sauce on it - Yum-O.)

I've noticed another pro to making our own baby food. Well, for one, it tastes good (b/c it's just regular food, steamed/baked/etc and pureed) so if he leaves a bite or two, we can eat it, too. But that doesn't often happen. He loves to eat. But the part I was getting at...I eat a tad bit better, too. That's b/c when he eats avocado or banana, he's not eating the whole thing. So, I snack on the avocado some and finish off the banana. I *love* avocado, but nobody else in the house does, so we don't get it much. But now there is another fan!! :) And I go through phases with bananas. I love them, but I'm just not always that into them. I'm like that with yogurt, too; don't know what that's all about. But anyway - a little side benefit for me. :)

I also like the benefit of trying foods on the fly. Like - hey, there are some prunes - how 'bout we puree some of those and see how he likes it?! Not always a lot of thought going into it. We see what we have in the cupboard, freezer, fridge, on the counter, etc and go with it! That's what we did with the peas tonight. Lots-o-fun!

Stainless Steel Straws?

Yep, that's right... I came across these mentioned in an email earlier today. Something I hadn't seen before. Thought it was kind of interesting.

Now you can buy these (4 for $9.49) and not add any more little plastic straws to the landfills.

Well, except for the ones you use in restaurants. Oh - except for the ones at Ted's Montana Grill - their straws are made from paper (according to their website - Ted's is 99% plastic free!! How 'bout that?!). Ted's is also nice to nursing moms - at least the one we've been to in Durham was.

Not sure if WE would really go this route - b/c we really don't use straws much. But -eh- who knows. Maybe. Especially once there are more kiddos milling around... ;) There were lots of other kinds of reusable ones, too (such as glass and bamboo). Just search at amazon. If you're interested.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why Oh WHY Did We Ever

move Aiden into his bedroom to sleep at night?! We waited until he was five months for various reasons...

For one, we traveled a lot during Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we didn't want to transition him during all of that, so we waited until returning from our two weeks of Christmas travel.

Number two - that's all Mommy, well, mostly Mommy... With an infant waking every couple hours during the night to nurse, it's a heck of a lot easier for Mommy to get up, take a step or two to the bassinet, and get baby to nurse than it would be to walk to a different room to do so. I could also check on him without getting up - all I had to do was sit up, and I could see him to know if he was just making noise in his sleep, actually waking, etc. Plus, when he was just a few months old, Mommy simply wasn't ready to not have baby within arms' reach.

People say that when you move the baby to his own room, often he'll start sleeping longer and better. Well, some say this. Others disagree. I'm not saying either is true, especially after seeing how it worked for us! Aiden sleeps fine in his crib. He's been napping there since he was a couple months old. So sleeping during nighttime wasn't a big deal for him. He didn't wake up more, but he certainly hasn't been sleeping more, either! BUT now Mommy has to get up from bed, walk across the apartment to his room, and sit in there to feed him. Then I have to lie him down...and wait. I don't want to leave until I know he's out. WHY? Because I don't want to get all the way in bed, get nice and comfy, just to have to get right back up because he's fussing or needs something. It's easier to stay and wait a few moments. That's usually all it takes. Not always, though.

Sometimes Aiden wakes for a typical nursing session - 10 minutes - and goes right back to sleep. Sometimes he thinks it's fun to stay awake a little longer, anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours. Those are the times I usually do end up going back and forth between rooms because he's asleep, then he's not, etc. Those are the times Mommy can't help but thinking why did we think this was a good idea?? Why did we ever put him in his room at night??

Aiden might be sleeping the same. But Mommy is getting much less sleep. Something about that doesn't add up right... With Camden, it was better having him in his room. I slept better b/c I wasn't constantly worried about him and checking on him. He spit up a lot, and after one week of having him in the bassinet in my room, I had to move him to his own room so I could sleep! He also slept through the night by this age. But with this child...not the same at all.

Well, Aiden just woke from his nap (a little early this time - his sleeping is not always so consistent, even with consistent routines!), so I'll end this already-too-long-post that was simply meant to say maybe this was a bad idea! Why did we ever do this??? (And what to do now?)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's that smell? Dinner!!

In light of all the diaper talk lately, I thought this was pretty entertaining...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Gotcha!

I am pretty sure that's what Aiden was saying all night long (and into the morning).

Let's see, after the most wonderful night the night before, he did sleep one four-and-a-half hour stretch without getting up. Well, he woke once after an hour but didn't even need to be picked up. He was awake for maybe 2 minutes and went right back to sleep once I was next to his bed.

But then, once he woke up around 1, he was back to the every-two-hours schedule. And then at 5, well, he just decided he would STAY up. I ended up bringing him to bed with me since Ryan would be getting up soon, and he STILL stayed up - for at least an hour and a half. He fell asleep shortly before 7 and slept for a while longer.

I'm learning to keep my mouth shut when things actually go the way I want. Otherwise, they go right back to what I don't want. That's what I get, huh?

I'm not all that surprised. I was hopeful but not expecting a whole lot... But hey - at least there is a little improvement. That four-and-a-half hour stretch and not needing to get up shortly after bedtime - that's improvement. That's something!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Funny Face, I Love You!

Aiden has the funniest expressions sometimes. Every now and then, we get lucky enough to capture a few on film (er...well, not film, but...). Case in point...


This is not an upset face - this is Aiden spitting and making the "pbth" noise. He has lots of fun doing this - and drenches everything nearby!


We get this kind of face a lot. The "What are you thinking?" face.
He raises that one eyebrow and scrunches up his mouth - it's funnier in person!!


This doesn't really capture it, but when Aiden laughs, he often looks like he's about to cry!
Esp when he laughs REALLY hard!


"Ok, if I must"


"Seriously, another picture?!"


This is his "I'm bored and too good for this" look


He seems like he IS interested in something here.


And a look of shock here, maybe?

And this is my favorite at the moment...

Caught helping with the laundry (his diaper inserts - CLEAN, of course!).
You might need to click on the picture to enlarge it so you can better see the expression - it's worth it, we think.
How can you NOT laugh at this expression??

Honestly, these pictures don't begin to show the hilarity that are some of his facial expressions! (Or the cuteness.)

He certainly keeps us entertained here!

Oh Wow!

So, we've been having a hard time with Aiden sleeping through nights lately - lately meaning since he was about three months old. He was sleeping wonderfully, waking once or twice during a 12-14 hour period from two-months until three-months. Then he suddenly started waking every two hours again, and we've been going back and forth between every two-three hours ever since. Sometimes he starts to go a little longer, then BAM, back to waking every two hours. He's been in his own room since after all the Christmas travel, but he's not sleeping better in there. It's the same for him, but harder on me, since I'm having to go farther to feed him (and sometimes wait until I know he's settled in his bed before coming back to mine). So, needless to say, I haven't been getting much sleep lately! It doesn't help that Ryan and I often don't get in bed until around midnight, which means I'm not getting to sleep until after 1 or 2am - b/c of my insomnia and the fact that right about the time I'm nodding off, Aiden wakes up. Strange how they know when to do that, huh?

I've posted about his sleep before and stated how we don't do the cry-it-out method. One book I found extremely helpful was The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. You might be thinking, obviously it wasn't that helpful. Actually, when we got it, it was to help with naps b/c bedtime wasn't an issue. And it worked wonders for naptime!! And since his bedtime sleeping has not been improving much, I revisited the book recently for bedtime help, too.

Now, one thing she says in the book is this... You really need to decide if you, the parent, are really ready to make changes and to have your child learn to sleep through the night. Sounds silly, huh? Well, it's not. One reason I didn't use it for bedtime for so long - b/c I haven't been in a rush! Let me explain...

For one, I have concerns about milk supply. I want to do any and everything to keep it up (esp after it went away when Camden was 6 months - the same age Aiden is now). Yes, I do worry that if Aiden sleeps ALL night without waking to nurse once or twice, it might affect my supply. They say it shouldn't, but I still worry.

Two, I actually love our time together at night. It's kind of nice when the home is quiet, everyone else is asleep, it's dark and calm, and just the two of us are up, rocking in his room and snuggling close. It can be a very sweet time. I know that before long, we won't have that. And I'll miss it.

But lately, I have been TOO exhausted, and it's really starting to affect my daily life. So, back to the book we went. And we changed a few things with how we do nighttime feedings. I still feed him, but we're working on making some of the feedings shorter. We did this a while back, and he was ok with it, but then he decided no more and wouldn't have it. But things are getting a little better once again. My goal is not to have him sleep all through the night, from the time he lies down until the morning. My goal is for him to wake only once or twice to nurse through the night.

Aiden often wakes shortly after lying down, crying out like he's scared, it seems. We've been working on him not nursing then b/c he really doesn't need to, and the last couple nights, we've been successful. Remember, we're doing this with NO CRYING, so if he cries, we pick him up. If he is insistent on nursing, I nurse him. We want nighttime to be relaxing for him, and we want him to know we will respond if he needs us. So, being able to not nurse during those first couple hours of sleep the past couple nights has been great! He's doing so well.

Now why is this post titled "Oh Wow!"?? Because last night we had a different pattern... Aiden always goes down for bed at 8:00pm. We're having him nurse before storytime now, so he falls asleep on his own in his crib - instead of falling asleep nursing. He didn't wake up fussing until 11pm!! And didn't need to nurse. I picked him up, and he actually took the paci (he hardly EVER does this!). I put him back in bed, and he laid there, looking up at me calmly, and just drifted back to sleep. There's the first Wow! Then, he didn't wake again until 2:30!! Nursed for a little while, went to bed still awake and fell asleep on his own. THEN, he woke again at 6:45! He nursed and was up for a while, so I brought him to bed with me while the other boys got ready for the day. Thought we would snooze a bit before getting up, but he fell back asleep! So, we slept for another couple hours.

WOW, WOW, WOW.

This kind of thing HAS happened randomly a couple times lately, but this has been the biggest stretch. Usually after the first waking, Aiden is up every two hours. So, we'll see if it continues. Either way, this is a HUGE deal for us!! Waking every 4-6 hours compared to every 2 or less.....Wow.

I still need a few nights of this to feel like I'm getting caught up on some of my sleep, but this is an awesome start! (And hopefully telling about it won't jinx us...)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Shout Out

So, I just wanted to say a big, huge thanks to some of our friends (and even some people we don't know!). After some not-very-nice (and some not-very-true) things were said the other day during the debate, many of you responded to us via email, instant messages, and facebook, etc. (No need to go and read them if you haven't.) Obviously differences will come out during a "debate," and that's what it's all about, but some personal things were (unnecessarily) thrown out there. You all said some wonderful things in response, and they were all very appreciated! :) What a great reminder of all the positive people in our lives - and where our energy should be focused.

THANKS!!

That was my big, huge thanks.

This is what happens when...

...you ground your nine-year-old from any and all media.



He gets all creative and makes his own fun. :)
How 'bout that?



(Idea courtesy of Highlights)


He didn't have anything that looked like a baseball (or a marble, like the magazine suggested), but he DID have this tiny soccer ball, which was just as good, as far as he was concerned.

Being grounded is such a drag, huh?

Oh, and then he spent the rest of the day playing outside.
Harsh.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cutest Blog on the Block :)

I'm a little excited - I figured out how to get new backgrounds for my blogger page! I like to be able to personalize things a little bit, at least, and have been bored with blogger's lack of more layout options since we started blogging, basically. I know many of you might be rolling your eyes b/c you've known how for a while now (or forEVER...) how to do this, but I just figured it out, so I'll be excited. :) And I found one that didn't completely rearrange my other stuff and take out my gadgets (pictures and other things on the side) - some I had found before did, and I wasn't going to redo everything. There's a little marker up at the top that says "cutest blog on the block" - that's where I got my background from. Lots of cute ones there (as the name would suggest). I wanted the one on the website page but couldn't find it. Bummer. But I like the one I have now, so...

Yipee!

If you have favorite background sites, feel free to share!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Six Month Weigh-In

So, I forgot to post Aiden's weight & height from earlier this week. We were in the dr office Monday for his 6-month appt (and for Camden's follow-up on his ear, which is all better now).

Weight - 17.5lbs
Height - 26inches

Time for a Change...

Most of you didn't know this was coming. That's part of the fun!! ;)

Here is the big reveal.

Before:






(drumroll please......)




After:




I've never had it this short in the back. I figured, since I'm making a big change, why not go all out?! I told my hairstylist what I had in mind and then those famous last words - I trust you!





In case you were wondering, yes, I donated it to Locks of Love. I have been growing it out for this purpose, and it finally was long enough to cut and send in!

Camden's been really excited about the cut coming up. I think we all were. I've had it short before, but it's been a while. I loved the long hair b/c I haven't had it that long before (or in a really, really long time), and it looked nice and was easy to just pull back on those days (which you have many of when there is a newborn in the house...). But it's nice to have hair that will be quicker to wash and dry (even if I have to take the time to fix it everyday) and that won't get all tangled up every time the wind blows and that I don't have to twist and hold back every time I lean down. This is a nice change!

gDiapers on SALE!!!

For you gdiaper users (and those considering them!), gdiapers has a sale on solid gpants going on right now! 20% OFF!!! This is a great deal, and I haven't seen them on sale like this before.

Hurry and place your orders b/c they are definitely going quickly!

I got the news yesterday and put in my order for four pants in large (we certainly need no more at the moment, but we're stocking up in the next size), and one color was already sold out just from orders placed that day.

The sale is only good now through Feb 13th!

gdiapers.com - Hurry!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Name That Candy!!!

So, every now and then I take a stroll down the candy aisle at the grocery store to see if I can find this specific type of candy. I remember having it when I was younger, and I know it still exists, yet I can never find it and have no idea what it is called. It's just a simple hard candy - but I want the specific kind! I remember liking the lemon and the orange. Can't remember what other colors there were...

Well, yesterday I went for a walk with the kiddos (b/c we have had excellent weather the past couple days!!) and we stopped in the apartment complex office to ask a question. Camden always spies the big bowl of candy they have, and I let him take the next to last piece while I chatted with the ladies.

Lo and behold - it is the candy I have been looking for!! Can anyone tell me what it is called and where in the heck I can find it??


I probably won't be running out to get a bunch, but it would be nice to know where to go if I ever have the desire. (And it could very well be at any ol' candy store - but we never go into those, so I wouldn't know.)

And, no, I don't care if you think this is silly. (I'm sticking my tongue out at you as you think it.)

:)

Please leave a comment if you know what this candy is!! Thanks!

Green Cleaner

A friend recently asked for the recipe to the green all-purpose cleaner I use, and others I have shared it with have really liked it, so I thought I would share with my blogger friends. I got this recipe when I lived in the Ecovillage at Berea College, and I have been making it ever since. It works wonderfully, smells great, I always have the ingredients on hand, it's cheap to make, and...it's green! Can't get much better than that!!

All-Purpose Cleaner

Mix 2T vinegar with 2t borax until dissolved.
Fill bottle with hot water.
Add 2T liquid soap (e.g. ivory).
To scent, add 10-15 drops essential oils.
Follow in order to avoid clumping!



Someone once asked if it needed to be hot when using. No. The hot water is just to help make sure everything is dissolved and mixes well. You do want to make sure all the borax dissolves - maybe even adding a little hot water to make sure it does so before adding all the water (b/c it will be difficult to do at that point).

Also, I use more than the 10-15 drops of essential oils. Just add until you get the scent you want. My favorite combination is grapefruit and lime. Mmmmm.... But you can use whatever you want and in any combination (lavender, lemon, orange, tea tree, the list goes on!!). Some at the Ecovillage liked lavender and lemon. I'm not a big lavender fan. I like the citrus smells!

If you don't have the ingredients on hand and have to purchase them - know that they will last a long time and make MANY bottles of this cleaner. (And I mean MANY!!)

Enjoy! Let me know if you try it out and what you think!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

HOT TOPIC - Cloth Versus Disposable Diapers

A friend of mine, Gwenn, does Hot Topic discussions on her blog. I am joining in as a "guest blogger" and doing the Hot Topic this week: Cloth vs Disposable Diapers. Well, cloth versus disposable versus gdiapers. Please join in on the discussion by leaving a comment (or more - especially after seeing what others have to say). There is one big rule we all need to adhere to: use your NICE WORDS. These can get pretty heated because people have different opinions. It's fine to voice your opinion even if it's different, and it's encouraged. But we all need to be nice. With that said, here we go!!!

With my first son (nine and a half years ago), I never questioned using disposable diapers. It was just a given. I didn't consider how much waste was being produced and what I was adding to the landfills. Or what was IN the diapers and, therefore, going against my son's bum all day long. When I got pregnant this time around, I was in a different place and doing a lot of things differently - I was more green, to say the least. So, when I heard about gdiapers, I was immediately sold! These are a mix between cloth and disposable - an outer cloth pant with a snap-in waterproof liner (not plastic!) and then flushable (yes, flushable! or even compostable!!) inserts. The insert is the "disposable" part - you can toss them, too. They decompose within a couple months, whereas a disposable diaper takes more than 500 years. Anyway, we used these right away with our new baby that was born in August - left the hospital with them on him. And we've never gone back.

We have gone a little farther, though. We now use cloth inserts that a lady makes to fit the g's (here is her website in case you're curious - you know you are!). I never would have thought I would be using cloth diapers, but here I am loving it. We use the g's with cloth during the day and BumGenius cloth diapers at night (since he pees a lot but we don't change during the nighttime - they hold a lot and keep him dry). I am happy to say that we have not bought him any disposable diapers - oh, wait - we have. We bought one package of Seventh Generation diapers when he was first born, as a backup to the g's since they were a new concept and to use during those middle of the night changes that happen with every feeding with a newborn (so that we didn't need to have a light on to change the "new" diapers). We didn't even use the whole package.

So, here are some of my thoughts on the cloth versus disposable debate.... And in case you're wondering, I lump g's in with the cloth side b/c they do have a cloth component, the flushables are, well, flushable and decompose so much quicker than typical disposable, and - we use cloth in the gdiapers...

Cost - Disposables are not cheap, we all can admit to that! Cloth has a big start-up cost, but that's about it. Yes, you have to wash them, which uses money, but we use an energy efficient washer/dryer, so it doesn't factor in as a higher cost with us. Once you have a supply of cloth, there is no more cost. It can be a couple to a few hundred dollars for the cloth supply versus a couple thousand dollars for disposables.

Baby's Skin - Ok, another argument is that cloth is better for baby's bottom. Disposables have chemicals and plastics in them. Cloth does not (and you can get organic, if that suits you). Many say babies in cloth get less rashes. I don't know about this myself b/c my little one gets rashes very easily - but he has had skin issues since birth and has eczema, so it's not because of the type of diapers. (Though I wonder if it would be worse in disposables with all those chemicals - I can't see how that is good for the skin.) BUT many people (not accusing anybody but this is what I have heard and seen) think that b/c disposables are made to keep baby feeling dry, they can leave the diaper on longer. With cloth, that's not an option. I actually change diapers more often in cloth - more than many would do - b/c of his skin issues. But since I'm using cloth and it just adds a couple other diapers to the laundry load (that I would be washing anyway), it doesn't cost me more to change more often. It would with disposables. And when disposables are kept on baby longer - even if they feel dry, they still have urine up against their skin for longer, which exposes them to bacteria and other things that cause rashes and infections.

Environmental Impact - This is a BIG one for many that use cloth. Disposable diapers contribute an enormous amount to our landfills, and they take over 500 YEARS to decompose. Cloth is a greener option b/c you reuse them. You can even use the supply from one child for other children you may later have. Some say that once you factor in the use of water/energy to wash the cloth, using cloth isn't much better than disposables from a "green" standpoint. But this isn't necessarily true, especially if you use an energy efficient washer/dryer. Then you are certainly not using enough water/energy to make that a good argument.

The poop - Ok, ok - cloth can be messy. I know you're thinking that. BUT I don't see this as a great argument against cloth. While baby is exclusively breastfed (I don't know as much about formula fed b/c mine does not get formula), you simply throw the poopy diapers in with the others and wash - there is nothing to get out of the cloth b/c it (sorry if this is gross, but we ARE talking diapers here) is runny and is absorbed into the cloth. Now, once baby is on solids, there is "real" poop, and you can't throw that in the wash, no. Some "swish" it in the toilet to get it off. We have a diaper sprayer, so we touch no poop. Spray and throw in the diaper pail with the others. Simple. Now - disposable diapers... If you read the directions, you really are supposed to put the poop into the toilet before throwing out the diaper. You are not supposed to put human waste into the garbage. But who does this?? If you use disposables, do you shake out the poop and flush it down? Or do you wrap up the diaper, poop and all, and toss? I have never seen anyone flush it before throwing out the dipe. If you do, GREAT! But I've never witnessed it. Allowing the fecal matter to get into the trash takes it into landfills, where it will sit. And the bacteria and possible viruses can live in the landfills for a long time and possibly contaminate water supplies.

Laundry - Another one that many people seem to think is a good argument. You'll be doing so much laundry if you use cloth. No fun. Well, not-so-much. If you have a baby, you know you are already doing a TON of laundry. Probably every other day or so. We do. So, what is another load along with that? I wash the diapers every three days, at least. It's simply one other load to do, and it's not a lot of work. Dump the diapers in the washer (I don't have to touch them b/c they're in a lined bag, so I just push them out from the bottom of the bag and throw in the bag, as well), do the wash, put them in the dryer, and then fold. Whoop-de-do, right? :) I feel that it takes just as much time to do this as it would to have to go buy diapers and take them out to the trash when the pail is full of dirties. And I spend no time trying to find coupons or the best deal on diapers. I know if I used disposable, this would be another effort I would have to make. If you really aren't into the laundering thing, another option is using a diaper service. This would still cost less than using disposables, from what I understand.

Another issue with laundry is what to launder with, as in detergent. You can't just use any ol' detergent and you can't use fabric softeners. They coat the cloth and will prevent absorbancy. We have looked into this some and use the same detergent for all of our laundry (and it's one that's better for the environment than most typical detergents). We use Country Save and love it so far. We also cut out using fabric softeners and use dryer balls. So the detergent issue isn't really an issue for us b/c we found something that works for the diapers and everything else. Just thought I would mention in case some people were thinking they would have to use a separate detergent for the diapers (which I guess I'm saying you kinda do). Also, the detergent we use is cheaper than most. We bought a case from Amazon and got a two-three years' supply for $40 (when using subscribe and save), free shipping - not bad. This stuff is better for the environment and better for us anyway, especially with both boys having eczema - and Aiden's being pretty bad and easily aggravated.

Potty Training - Ahhhhh...potty training. I haven't experienced this with a child that has been in cloth diapers yet, but it is said that babes in cloth potty train earlier. They feel wet when they go in the cloth, unlike when they wear disposables. Now, when my older child was potty training, I will say that I did NOT use pull-ups. In my opinion, they are just disposables that pull up instead of fasten with tabs. I did use cloth trainers. And he was trained in NO time. Seriously.

gDiapers - I haven't really said much about these like I meant to. So, I'll just write a little bit here. G's are kind of the best of both worlds - disposable inserts with cloth pants and a waterproof (that is not plastic so it is breathable) liner. About 18 BILLION diapers go into landfills each year, taking about 500 years to break down. gDiapers take just a couple months to break down. There is an obvious and significant difference there. And there are no plastics, chemicals, chlorine, perfumes, etc. Oh - and no diaper smell!! I mean, if you flush the insert with all the pee and poop down the toilet, you have no diapers sitting around, and therefore...no smell. (I can honestly say, though, that the only time I smell any "diaper smell" from using cloth is when I open the pail to take out the bag of diapers to put them in the laundry - and really, I can hold the bag closed and barely smell a thing!) Some people say that gdiapers are more expensive, but I would have to disagree. They are actually about the same. The cost of disposables goes up with the size changes (I can't remember if the dollar amt per package goes up or if the amount of diapers in the package goes down, but the cost per diaper does increase.) With g's, there are two sizes of inserts - small and med/large. After all things are considered, the cost is very similar. And from what I hear, the cost of disposables is going up lately. The cost of g's is not. (Plus, if you use cloth.....well, then the cost definitely does not increase.)

Oh, and we use cloth wipes, too! We actually just bought some microfiber cloths (from Target - in the automotive department, of all places!). They were really cheap and do a great job. So, one more thing we never have to shop for. And we don't have to worry about all the things they put in disposable wipes. This wasn't something we planned on doing (whereas the diapers were planned). Our little one had some skin issues when he was born, and we didn't want anything to contribute and possibly make things worse, especially while we were still going through all the tests to find out what was going on. So, it was a very easy decision for us to eliminate any possible skin irritants, such as the disposables and wipes.

OK, so I think that's the majority of my argument. You might say I'm a little biased. ;) And I think my baby's bottom would agree with me. Plus, cloth diapering is just CUTE! Case in point...


Now, it's your turn. Say what you think BUT keep it clean and keep it nice. And be sure to read others' comments and comment again, if you would like.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

SIX Months!!



Aiden has hit the half-year mark! I'm not sure if I'm more excited or sad - a little of both, I guess. It's just going by way too quickly! I think with the second child, you're more aware that it will happen like that. With the first, you're so anxious for each next thing to happen and before you know it, so much has gone by. But with the ones following, you KNOW it will go by so quickly and you want to cherish each little thing. Well, that's how it is with ME, at least.

This past month has been a BIG one. (Do I say that each month??) Let's see....

Aiden has a new habit of playing with my lips when he's nursing - he likes for me to kiss on them and will just hold his hand up to my mouth so I can do so. He also has this habit of grabbing for his foot while he's nursing... He'll reach for it, might stop eating to lean forward and look for it... He'll also "bounce" himself if his feet touch the arm of the chair - that's interesting. (He loves bouncing in his activity jumper and now thinks if his feet touch something, he simply must bounce!) Aiden can get quite distracted when eating. We've had to resort to nursing in the quiet of his room. If someone else comes in or says something from the door, Aiden will stop eating to be nosy. Mealtime is just a lot of fun these days. (I say that with a little sarcasm but also meaning it - it can be frustrating sometimes when he's so distracted, but sometimes he's just fun to watch!)

Aiden is also eating solids now! We tried him with some rice cereal on Innauguration Day. He liked the cereal ok, but we quickly moved onto other more interesting foods that he likes even more. So far, we're into pumpkin, butternut squash, avocado, and banana. He seems to like them all, and we have more to try soon! He LOVES drinking water from the cup, too.

One day this month, Aiden discovered that his two teeth can hurt.... :( He had a finger in his mouth and bit right down, not realizing that pain would follow. But it did. And he cried. Poor guy. He hasn't done it since, but he does chew on his fingers, feeling of those teeth. He just knows better than to bite down hard, I guess. And for those of you wondering if he has bitten ME (since he is nursing) - yes, he has. Not hard, but it doesn't feel good either way... He doesn't do it much at all, just a couple times. But I have discovered that it only happens when he is done eating. The downside to that - the punishment (being taken away from the food source for a little while) isn't as much of a punishment since he does it when he's no longer hungry... But it should be easier for me to prevent, though. (He did it tonight and DID get upset with the punishment - which then upset me and caused me to pretty much forget that he first hurt me - so maybe he'll do better now. We'll see. It's still a rare thing, though.)

We're teaching Aiden some signs for a few things, such as "milk," "eat," "drink," "more," and "sleep." He might be understanding "milk" b/c I do it everytime I get ready to nurse, and he gets really excited (or very impatient, depending - but impatient is the one more common these days!). But then again, he might also just know it's time b/c we're walking toward the chair we sit in. I'm sure he'll be catching on to more of the signs very soon.

Aiden has been having some fun with his friends at MyGym this past month. At MyGym, we get to sing a lot and play around. Aiden is still hesitant about the swings... He usually gets this look like he is considering freaking out when the swing goes away from me. Last time he didn't get that. So maybe next time we might even get a smile? We have learned some new things that Aiden loves - especially things that involve being upside down!! He loves it when I hold him upside down and nuzzle his chest - he's VERY ticklish there and just giggles and giggles!

Other favorites involve his Baby Einstein activity jumper. He figured out that being in that means he can bounce to his heart's delight - and he certainly does so!! Camden plays a game with him sometimes by standing nearby and "bouncing" (jumping up and down) along, and Aiden will do it with him, bouncing even more enthusiastically. (And if Camden walks away, Aiden will stop to watch him - intently - until he comes back. As soon as he starts to come back, Aiden will pick up the bouncing again. He watches every little thing his big brother does!!)

Aiden experienced snow a couple times this month, once at home in North Carolina (we got way more than is typical - more than 4 inches!) and then when visiting West Virginia when we were snowed in for a few extra days. He touched it, tasted it, and even got pulled around in a sled. He wasn't too impressed with all of it, but he can be hard to impress with many things. I don't think he cared to be so bundled up. This kid likes having as few clothes on as possible - he can move so much more then.

Speaking of that, he can also get his toes in his mouth - but it works better if he is sans clothes (and diaper). His fascination with his feet is just endless right now!



Aiden is starting to show signs of attachment now, too. He will reach for me when someone else is holding him (even Daddy - esp if he is hungry!). He has cried for me on a couple occasions when I had to leave the room to get something and someone else was holding him. He hasn't shown any signs of stranger anxiety yet - still very friendly with everybody. I'm sure that might pop up soon, though.

Aiden is now SITTING!! On Jan 22nd, I just sat him up to see what he would do - and he stayed! (So, I kind of wonder if he could have done this earlier...) Sometimes he sits well for the longest time, sometimes he tumbles over easily. For some reason he always leans more to one side. And it doesn't seem like he pays much attention to the fact that he CAN sit, so he doesn't really TRY to sit. But he does it, nonetheless. He's also pushing his chest way off the floor, so we'll see how long until he's at the next step: crawling! Oh my!

Hmmmmm....is that enough? I think that's about it for the big things. I told you a lot happened this month!! (This is a long month-birthday post!) Maybe in the next couple months I'll get to post about a couple new teeth...the top front two are working their way through the gums now!

And a couple more six-month pictures...b/c they're just too cute not to include them all (well, this is what I chose from the MANY that I took this time around - it seems to be just a few more each month...).





Oh, I almost forgot!! Aiden will now give us kisses and cuddles!!! Well, not the kind of kisses we all give, but baby kisses. When picking him up from a nap or in the mornings (it happens more at these times than others), he will grab my neck and bring himself as close as he can. He'll put his mouth up against my face (pretty much wherever it lands, usually on my cheek or sometimes my mouth) and rub it in for a while. He can sometimes hurt b/c when he grabs, he tends to pinch really hard - but we just go with it. And if I kiss him on his cheek, he'll usually turn his face so that I kiss his mouth! I usually make the "mwah" sound when I kiss, and sometimes he says "aaaahhhh" when we kiss him (or when he is "kissing" us back). It's adorable. We are just loving this!!! All of us kiss and cuddle with him all the time. And apparently, he loves it, too!! :) (That's good b/c we kiss and cuddle a lot in this family in general! So he fits right in.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Silpada For Haiti!! Ending Soon!

If you haven't seen this post, check it out! We're doing a fundraiser for our friends, the Mangine's. They'll be moving to Haiti VERY soon, and we're trying to help them out a bit by selling Silpada jewelry.

For all orders, 15% will go to the family. For orders over $100, 20% of the proceeds will go to their cause. This ends THIS Friday, though!! So get your orders in NOW! :)

Go here for the online catalog.

And here to learn more about their mission. It's a worthy cause, so please help out if you can. Plus, you'll get some awesome jewelry out of it. ;)

Remember, Valentine's is just around the corner... (You can do gift certificates, too!)

More details - click here. Thanks!!

Snow Day??



Do you see all the snow we got in the middle of the night last night? No??? Me neither.

After a prediction of possibly getting snow (and also being told we might get missed altogether), our school district decided to have a two-hour delay this morning. This was decided last night.

Welcome to North Carolina, folks.

This may seem normal or not such a big deal to people who are used to being here. But I must admit, I laugh every time they predict a dusting and schools close... And it usually is just a dusting - as in you can see the grass still. This time we got NO snow. But still had a delay. Just in case.


Just for the fun of it...here is a pic from our first NC "snow." This was in January 2007.



School was called off, of course. It seemed like everyone went crazy b/c of this... Camden and I had a good chuckle. I kept thinking - you can see the GRASS! It's not enough if you can see the grass! But now - I worry about Ryan driving to work in these kind of "conditions" - b/c people here aren't used to driving in the snow and the city is not prepared (for salting, scraping, etc.).

Oh well. I guess it's not nice to make fun. Sometimes I just can't help myself. ;)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Winter in WV




Aiden and Granny meet for the first time, November 2008

As I mentioned in a previous post, we went to West Virginia last week for Ryan's Granny's funeral and to be with family. And we got snowed in. I posted pictures of the tree that nearly fell on the house. I have some other pictures from the trip in the album below. Since we were stuck with nowhere to go for a few extra days (from Tuesday evening until Sunday morning, we were able to get out once, and that was for the funeral - it was almost like the weather cooperated just so we could make that and then kept us in again!), we thought we should at least take advantage of the snow and have some fun in it. Camden had a blast! We recently had a little snow at home in North Carolina, but this was so much more. And there was a great hill. And a real sled.

The hill is actually part of why we couldn't leave... It was solid ice under the snow. And we weren't about to try to carry all of our luggage down that hill. And then drive down the street that was also covered in ice (under all the snow). Especially with our two boys with us. Not worth the risk. But Camden had no problem sledding on the hill.

Winter in WV

The funeral was on Thursday, put off a little b/c of the weather. It was a beautiful service. Granny looked wonderful and young. And peaceful. Ryan's sister, Rachel, flew in from Hawaii. It was nice to have time to spend with her, too. And she had no problem being stuck in the house with Aiden! ;) This was actually the first time I had been around Rachel more than for a short visit (and that's only happened twice since they live so far away). I joked to Ryan that now I know why he married me - he missed his sister being around. We are different in a lot of ways, but I was surprised at how similar we think about so many things!

We had planned on seeing Ryan's dad and stepmom some, but the weather prevented that from happening, too. We were just a few miles from each other but couldn't make it. We finally got to see Gary on our way home Sunday. Susan couldn't make it b/c their heat was out and someone was there at the house working on it. We were sorry we weren't able to see her. They had the unfortunate experience of being snowed in for a while, too, as well as being without power a couple times. Partly b/c of the weather and then later b/c of the plane crash that happened right down the street. You've probably heard about it on the news.

Now, I am sure you have heard about how hard many parts of KY were hit with the big winter storm. We got a lot of that storm while in WV. Our power managed to stay on (though it went out and back on a number of times!) and we were snowed/iced in and we had trees falling all over. Many people in the area were out of power/heat/water/phone service, etc. However, it was worse in much of KY. I know MUCH of my family was out of power for almost the entire week (some still don't have the power back on, and it's been over a week now). It's devastating how bad it is in most of the state. Please send out prayers that things are resolved as soon as at all possible. Unfortunately, it's nothing to take lightly.