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, May 29, 2009

Speaking of P.F. Chang's...

It was in the Foodie post if you haven't read that (Aiden likes the meat in the chicken lettuce wraps - that kid is too cool!).

You can get FREE lettuce wraps with the purchase of any entree. I'm not sure how long this offer is available, but the website still works. Just go HERE, put in your email addy, and they'll send you the coupon. If you don't want the chicken, there is a veggie version with tofu!

What's even better? Ryan stopped by to pick up dinner tonight - two entrees for the three of us (Camden is the third) to share...and we got TWO free orders of lettuce wraps since we got two entrees! :) And those things are sooooooooo yummy! I was surprised they gave us two. We thought we would ask but figured they might only do one per order/person. It pays to ask!

Our Little Foodie

Aiden may not be the best sleeper around, but boy can he EAT! We recently decided to throw out all of the rules with babies and food...and now Aiden is basically eating everything we are. Now, we aren't throwing all caution to the wind or doing so without knowing what we're doing, in case you were wondering. Ryan's sister is about to finish up with her degree in nutrition, and I have a mommy friend that has her PhD as a pediatric dietitian. That, along with advice from Aiden's doctor and our own in depth research....we're confident and know what we're doing around here. No worries there!


Watermelon puree mustache (had to drink it)

Once Aiden started eating solids, he just didn't stop! He gets some pureed foods occasionally now, especially if we're eating something he really can't, but that's not often. (That happens when we're eating things like fries or something with lots of sugar...stuff I'm not about to give him yet!) So, what exactly is the little guy eating? And what are our restrictions these days?

Well....nothing with HFCS at the moment (that's High Fructose Corn Syrup, for those that might not know that - and it's something we really REALLY are trying to keep out of our own diets, not just Aiden's), nothing with refined sugar, no extra butter or salt. And of course, no peanut butter, nuts, or honey - those are big no-nos for a while longer!


This is why beets aren't a finger food...
This is not from him being messy but from doing the spoon swipe across his lips.
Beets are a messy, messy food, even when they're not.


Just about everything else is game, though! Here are a few things he's had lately that you might be surprised to hear about (there are plenty of others but these are some "different" "baby" foods):
  • lettuce
  • asparagus
  • spaghetti with all the works (we have it with all sorts of veggies in there!)
  • garlic toast
  • taco soup
  • chili
  • salmon
  • kiwi
  • hard boiled egg yolks
  • broccoli (I'm determined to have one child that likes this stuff)
  • beans (refried beans and pinto bean soup)
  • mushrooms (cooked and fresh)
  • tomato soup (Trader Joe's has a really yummy tomato soup with NO HFCS) - we also mix in a little bit of plain yogurt
  • grapefruit (nothing added to sweeten, of course!)
  • sweet banana peppers
  • goldenrod eggs with small chunks of hard boiled egg whites
  • beef & lentils (exactly what it sounds like, add some cumin, onions, and garlic - I'll post the recipe soon!)
  • strawberry smoothie - no surprise here! (with bananas, organic whole fat yogurt, and milk)
  • cheddar & Swiss cheeses, shredded or small chunks
  • wheat bread
  • steel cut oatmeal (throw in some bananas and blueberries and oh my - he can't get enough!)
  • baked potato
  • cottage cheese (another thing from Mommy b/c Daddy doesn't like the stuff)
Tonight he also ate brown rice and chunks of chicken from P.F. Chang's lettuce wraps, which is in some sauce that has all kinds of seasonings he's never had. He loved that stuff!! (We do, too, by the way...)


Sometimes Aiden even tries to EAT his books...


And here he is getting mad and throwing the book when Mommy told him not to eat it.

Of course he gets small chunks of things he can smoosh with his gums, and then things like the spaghetti, we throw in the magic bullet to blend just until there are small chunks that he can gum.


It's bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Every now and then, Camden asks what Aiden's favorite food is..... We can't say because he seems to like EVERYTHING! When I gave him some banana pepper, I expected a face but didn't get one. With the grapefruit, same thing! He just kept going! He definitely has a taste for sour things, that's for sure. (That's something he actually gets from ME. Ha!)

So for those of you who are saying...Wait! You aren't supposed to give strawberries (or other berries) until a year old. Or what about that salmon! (We had a hard time finding info on fish other than white fish - so we had to go to our nutrition friends for that ok. She not only answered with an ok but sent me a website link that reinforced it.) And citrus? Well, don't worry your pretty little heads about all that. Sure, you might hear to wait on things like berries and citrus, some say until a year, esp with berry allergy concerns. My friend says most of this caution came from people starting baby foods way too early to begin with (you're now supposed to try to wait until six months or the baby is showing the signs of readiness, though some old school doctors will still say 4 months...). With no family history, though (immediate family), even our doctor says to go for it with all this stuff. Babies can eat almost everything we are by the time they're 9-10 months - and they should be, too. We still haven't tried corn, which is another one "they" sometimes say to wait with but we have been told is fine with no immediate family history (even though my mom is highly allergic, that is not immediate family and Aiden should be fine). The corn will come up the next time we eat it, probably. We've waited a little longer with that one but it's ok by now. But other than that and the other big no-nos that have great reasons for being held off (pb, nuts, and honey), this kid is eating everything we are whenever possible!

If you're interested (esp those of you with babies!), my pediatric dietitian friend recommended a book to me early on, and I absolutely loved it! I had it checked out from the library with multiple renewals. I really want to buy it, actually, to keep as a reference. She said this is the book that most parents say they get the most out of when she recommends it. It's GREAT. It's Ellyn Satter's "Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense." And it's not just about baby food...if you have a younger baby or are expecting, there is great info on feeding from the start, before real food ever enters the picture. And we've actually used some of her advice with how we approach food with Camden...and, even though he is a pretty decent eater, he's doing much better since then. (He's picky with odd stuff...like potatoes. Hates mashed potatoes and things many other kids love. But he LOVES things you wouldn't expect, like banana peppers and salmon - apparently Aiden does, too.)


This is the ONLY way Camden will eat potatoes...smothered with salsa! At least it's not bad for him, like the sour cream and butter I usually use... ;)
Is he not a cute kid??? (Yes, he is.)

So, check out this book. It's awesome. And if you're one of those parents worried about food or trying to get your little one to eat - lighten up and follow her advice. Part of the best advice...follow the baby's lead. One thing I've always kept in mind is her saying that I should not have to put the spoon into my baby's mouth. He should be bringing his mouth to the spoon (or meeting me halfway). And he does. We've never been pushy with food. If he says no, we stop. (That rarely is necessary, but he has said no on occasion, especially when teething or tired.) Meal time is fun. Not playtime but fun. And our baby LOVES to eat!! We're really looking forward to the summer and lots of visits to the farmer's market for all that yummy fresh fruit! I know Aiden is going to love that!

A few more food photos for you to enjoy...


Aiden's first finger foods - egg yolks


Eating a chunk of grapefruit! Yum-yum!


He LOVES milk (or pretty much anything that comes from OUR glasses...). He likes to make sure he gets it ALL out of there.


More sour stuff...limes!

Feel free to share your thoughts, what your little ones like/don't like, etc, etc. :)

Friday Fill-Ins

My answers in bold!

1. It's cold and quiet when I go to bed before Aiden wakes to join us. I'm so used to him being there, breathing, nursing, cuddling as close to me as he can (which means more body heat). Sometimes I have a harder time falling asleep when he's still in his bed, probably partly b/c I don't know when he'll wake up and know it could be just moments after I start to drift off.

2. I love fresh tomatoes, and it's about time to start heading to the Farmer's Market for some good local summer produce, including those yummy tomatoes. I love summer foods!!

3. My favorite health and beauty product is coconut oil at the moment. I'm learning all the wonderful things you can use it for. Longer post about it coming up, but it's a great body oil - and is also wonderful for red baby bottoms, if that happens to occur. You have to get the right kind, though. (Like I said, more soon. I have so many things I need to blog about. Just need more time!!)

4. The trip back home is a nice long ride. Who am I kidding...it's just a LONG RIDE. I'm always glad to go back home, but the ride is not a part I enjoy. It's six hours to Ryan's family (longer with traffic and now with a baby, of course), another two to get to my Mom and step-dad, and another two to get to my Dad and step-mom. It's looking like Lexington might be a great place to end up sometime soon - right in the middle and within two hours of all of them!

5. Well, first of all we have to stay here a few more years. Mostly b/c of Ryan's job, which is fine. But it will happen!

6. Some of my closest friends; those were the cast of characters in a recent dream and it was not a dream I remember clearly. I don't dream much these days b/c I don't get to have that deep sleep, and when I do, it doesn't last long. That's what happens with a baby close by! Once he joins us in the bed, I don't have deep sleep at all, which is fine b/c I wake if he needs me. On weekends when we have little to do, Ryan will get up with Aiden...that's when I usually get to sleep well and might have some dreams. :)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to cuddling up with my hubby, enjoying some homemade brownies, and watching some Friends - it's our "dating" anniversary (yes, we celebrate that!); we went on our first date six years ago today (seems like it was just yesterday and at the same time like it was forever ago...), tomorrow my plans include the last swim class of this session (next one starts up next week!) and then try to finish painting in Aiden's new room, and Sunday, I want to finish the paint job in Camden's room! We're hopeful those are goals we can accomplish!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Painting Day 1

Day 1 of painting the boys' bedrooms is finished. We got both rooms primed and are ready to put the color on the walls tomorrow! It's been a long day with a big trip to Lowe's (and lots of money spent - will do again tomorrow), lots of painting, and lots of time spent in the new house. We learned a few things....

The painting wasn't so bad at all, so far. We haven't started on the stripes we'll be putting in Aiden's room, but I've worked with tape and the chalk line before, so, although I know it will be work, I also know we'll be fine. :) Ryan and I work really well together - we usually do. We're a good team.

Aiden pretty much hates the pack & play when it comes to playing in it. He's never spent awake time in it, really, and he didn't think he should start today. He slept through most of the priming in the first room - and let us know he wasn't excited about being confined while we finished, even if Camden tried to play with him and entertain him. During the second room, we let him have free reign in the master bedroom, with the pack & play as a "gate" at the door. He did fine, but we learned something else...

Camden is not such a great baby sitter. Not-so-much. We might have to figure out a way to take turns tomorrow instead of both Ryan and I painting together. Might take longer, but...oh well.

While Ryan is a big perfectioninst with many things...painting is where my perfectionism comes in, apparently (and this was just with the PRIMER - we haven't even started on the stripes!). We're both perfectioninsts - and usually in different areas.

Aiden likes banana peppers (the sweet kind). Is there anything he doesn't like??

If you try to put Aiden in his car seat when he is tired, he will SCREAM his head off. The last few times we've went to put him in the car when he was tired this happened; it's more of a recent thing. It's not a lot of fun for anyone involved. I hate him crying.

Downtown Apex (the city we drive through to get from our new home in Holly Springs to our apartment in Cary) is a pretty happening place at 9:30 in the evening. That makes me smile.

Michael Buble helps calm Aiden down. I've noticed that he seems to like Buble's "Mrs. Jones" song. I hope this isn't any sort of sign for what's to come eventually. (If you have no idea why I say that, check this out to see why.) It's a good song, though, with very calming music, so I can see why he likes it. There are others on the cd that seem to help, too, which is nice.

More to come tomorrow....hopefully with pictures. We took some today, but it's very, very late, and I'm too tired to bother. Soon, though!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Help Wanted

If any of you locals (to us) are free over the weekend and want to help paint or watch the kiddos while we paint, you're more than welcome to stop by and help out. :) Just comment, email, or call my or Ryan's cell for more info. We'll be painting the boys' rooms Saturday and Sunday. Thanks in advance!

Friday Fill-Ins

Another Friday - time for Friday Fill-Ins! Getting to them late today...been that kind of day. Funny how teething only causes us problems when it comes naptime....

One thing I like about Friday Fill-Ins is reading some others' posts. My friend Connie does them (she introduced me to them), and so does my sister, Lauren. I always do my own before reading theirs - as not to get any ideas, so mine will be original - but it's fun to see how others fill-in their sentences and see how different/similar they are. If you decide to try them out, be sure to let me know!!

Here we go!

1. Moving is kind of fun, I think. It's the packing that's not. But I love the excitement that comes with moving to a new house, a new area, getting to organize and set up all the furniture in a new way. I'm one of those people that likes change.

2. Good sturdy boxes are free at the liquor store. I sure hope our neighbors don't see our boxes and think we're alcoholics, though... We really don't drink that much.

3. My best quality is...hmmmm....I don't know. Anyone want to throw out one? I know I have some great qualities (along with some not-so-great ones), but I'm not really sure what my best one is. I'd be happy to read what you think, though.

4. I'm good at writing with lots of details. Haven't you noticed that by now?

5. In nearly 10 years, my life sure has taken some big turns and changed in many ways. I'm certainly not the same person I was ten years ago! A lot of ups, downs, and times in between have shaped me greatly since graduating from high school (which actually happened 11 years ago..). *Sigh* Camden will be ten this summer. Hard to believe...that he can be that old, that I can have a child that old, that I have been a parent that long...

6. Peace is what I need right now! I've had some things on my mind and would like to be at peace with how some of those things have turned out and with the direction some are going towards. It's so hard sometimes to know whether or not you've made the best or "right" decisions. And sometimes you never know. I would like to be at peace and trust that things are exactly as they should be.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to boxing up a few more things, packing up the car with more boxes to take to the house, and then watching some Friends DVDs with Ryan, tomorrow my plans include purchasing paint for the boys' rooms and starting to PAINT them and Sunday, I want to finish up painting the boys' rooms and maybe (maybe!) get some time in the pool while we still have one we can use (or is that wishful thinking?)!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More Vaccine Info

Here is some good info I recently read on Dr. Sears' website.

U.S. News and World Report February Issue Features Dr. Bob’s Alternative Vaccine Schedule

It's under the paragraph about the separate doses of MMR being available. Note - I was wrong when I said it was now available again. According to this, it will be available in 2011. If you're planning on getting the M-M-R shots separately, you might want to look more into this to determine if it is worth the two-year wait for you.

In this write-up, Sears discusses how the Centers for Disease Control is looking at vaccines and vaccine research differently, especially addressing the NEED for more/better research and touching on how vaccines enter the public domain before enough trials are done to ensure any sort of safety, such as the Menactra vaccine and an older version of the Rotavirus vaccine that was pulled after enough babies had bad reactions (after it was given to millions). And the Gardisil vaccine is questioned as being safe, as well. The need for better research on vaccines is HUGE. The VAERS database that Dr. Sears mentions is the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System. Information of severe side effects are used with this database to determine when vaccines should be taken off the market (and yes, it does happen...such as with DTP which caused shock/collapse, screaming, and high fevers, live-virus oral polio which caused paralysis, RotaShield which caused life-threatening intestinal blockage, as mentioned above). There are problems with how the VAERS database is run, though, as is mentioned in the article Sears is reffering to here. He discusses this in his book, as well. Either way, I'm glad the CDC is taking this serious look at vaccines, even if the AAP is not. Sears states that this article is not one taking sides on vaccines being "good" or "bad."

Here is the article that Dr. Sears is referring to:

A Parents' Guide to Managing Vaccinations

What to do if you don't want your child to get 8 vaccines at once

It's a short article - shorter actually than Sears' write-up about it. Take a look at it and share your thoughts!

By the way, Sears mentions the vaccine/autism issue and the case where vaccines were ruled to have "triggered" autism in a child that had a mitochondrial disorder. While I have not jumped on the "vaccines CAUSE autism" bandwagon, I do think that there is some value in the "vaccines can TRIGGER" some of these issues, especially because vaccines can affect the immune system, which is why we do the alternate schedule and do not have Aiden vaccinated if he is sick. Just throwing that in. There is still a lot to learn, though.

The Great Thing About Parenting... VACCINES

Ok, so this one is a HOT topic, as in HHHHHOTTTTTT. So, let's try to remember our nice words and be nonjudgmental. This is not a debate, folks! We're simply sharing what we do and why. That's all. Not trying to convince anyone what is right, wrong, ect.

So...here's OUR story.

First, with Camden (born almost ten years ago), I approached vaccinations the way I did most other things with him....I didn't question anything and just went with what seemed to be the norm. I didn't even realize there were options! But this time around, I knew better than that. I wanted to be informed and make decisions as an educated Mama. I went into the research just wanting knowledge - not planning on going one route or the other. No agenda other than learning. And let me tell you, it is hard finding info on this topic that is NOT biased!

The best resource we found was Dr. Robert Sears' book - The Vaccine Book. The book has a chapter on each vaccine and disease. The chapters are divided up into sections explaining things such as: how common/rare the disease is, how serious it is, how each vaccine is made and what the ingredients are (esp the controversial ingredients), the possible side effects and the likelihood of them, the different brands/types of vaccines (and why they are different than the others). There is also info about traveling concerns, vaccine research and stats, delaying or declining vaccines, etc, etc. It's got a lot of info - but it's a very easy read. And you will come away knowing more than you expected.

After reading all about the different vaccines and thinking a lot about everything...Ryan and I decided to do an alternate vaccine schedule. That means that Aiden will be getting the vaccines, but he will have them more spread out, getting only two at a time. He will not get the combo shots. Some combo shots combine three or so shots in one, which for some is a plus...less injections at once. For us, it is not a plus because there are more controversial ingredients, such as aluminum, in some of these shots. Also, the purpose in doing only two shots at a time is the child is only getting TWO SHOTS AT A TIME, which is not happening with the combo shots - he would get more than two.

Why do we want only two at a time? Well, we think it is better for his immune system to get fewer than more at a time. With the regular schedule, babies will get up to SIX vaccines at a time at some visits. That's just too much, in our opinion. We would rather introduce a smaller amount into his immune system at a time because we feel that is what is best for his body. I keep saying "we" because Ryan and I are in complete agreement with this. None of this was the decision of just one of us with the other going along with it or just not arguing against it. Complete agreement. We did the research together and made the decisions together. And we believe that too many shots at once are not good for the immune system. Now, do we believe that all those shots put into a baby's immune system can cause autism? (I know you're wondering!) Well, not necessarily yes or no. I actually am not taking a stand on that issue. But I will say that I believe that harming the immune system with certain children could lead to some problems, and I believe that too many shots at one time can harm the immune system. I'll leave it at that. Ryan is also not really sure where he stands on the whole autism and vaccinations, mostly because he hasn't had the time to do much research on the issue.

When I compare the shot schedule today with what Camden got less than ten years ago, there are so many more shots now! It's amazing how many more there are all the time. I can't remember at this time what the numbers are, but I did compare when we were looking at this, and I remember being very surprised at the difference. And comparing it to when I was a child...huge difference. From 1991-2001, the number of shots that children received DOUBLED. While I do believe that good can come of vaccinating children, especially when looking at the "big picture" (not just the one child but the nation, etc.), I question some of the other factors going into vaccinating.

One other problem I have is vaccine research. There is a minimal amount. What? Well, when you think about it, it's very difficult to do vaccine research on each vaccine. When new vaccines come out, they are given along with other vaccines, so if there is a new side effect, it's assumed it is from the new vaccine. You can't ethically give just the new vaccine to a child while not allowing the other vaccines that we are told are very important, now can you? So, you can't test vaccines in isolation. When other new medications are created, they go through years of rigorous testing, trials, evaluations, etc. When it has been declared safe, it is then given to the general public. This doesn't occur with vaccines. No blood work to check for toxicity. No long-term safety research. Any research is very minimal and very flawed (using only parent questionnaires, animal studies, comparing different countries, etc.). We don't even know what some of the possible long-term side effects from many vaccines are, though it is questioned that diabetes, eczema, arthritis, and other chronic diseases could be caused by them.

Now, I am not saying that we shouldn't vaccinate because of these issues. But as someone who wants to know the research behind these types of things, things I am doing to my children, to myself, this isn't the best news. It's bad news, actually. It's something I am interested in...and something I definitely keep in my mind when thinking about the pros versus the cons of vaccinating.

If you take the time to read about the diseases that vaccinations are for, you will also realize that some of the diseases are not as relevant today. They do not occur often (maybe partially due to vaccinations...) and are not that serious when they do occur. I thought one vaccine in particular was interesting...Rubella. Rubella is dangerous for pregnant women because the fetus can be infected and have birth defects due to that. It is very, very mild for children and often isn't even noticed. Children are vaccinated, however, so that they will not infect teachers and mothers that are pregnant. Rubella is now very rare in the US. I'm not saying we should stop vaccinating - I'm saying that I like to know WHY we are vaccinating and if the reasons pertain to us. (Some of you will immediately say YES because we need to think of more than just our immediate family. I'm not arguing one way or another.)

And then there are the ones that we vaccinate for early on, though they aren't likely to occur until later, often requiring a titer later on to ensure the vaccination will be more effective. (Did you know that the vaccines only last so long? Many require more shots later on, but some people aren't aware of this - and therefore aren't vaccinated when they most need it.) One example of this is the Hep B, which is given at birth, though it's not needed then unless one of the parents has Hep B. Otherwise, you can wait until much later to give this vaccine. It's a sexually transmitted disease. I like how Dr. Sears puts it. "Besides being transmitted through unprotected sex, hep B can also be passed on by the sharing of IV drug needles, the use of improperly sterilized tattoo needles, or an accidental stick with an infected needle. So any baby who participates in one of the above-mentioned risky activities could catch hepatitis B." But it can also be acquired from blood transfusions, though rarely.

These are some issues we have with vaccines, when they are routinely given, etc, etc. This is not a list of ALL the issues we have. But I don't need to go on and on and on. This is a very complicated topic, and one could really go on all day about it. And longer. We're not going to do that here. I do think that vaccines have done a lot of good for populations. At the same time, they can be risky for individuals.

If you're interested in what our schedule is, here it is....

Aiden's Vaccination Schedule

2 months DTaP Rotavirus
3 months* Pc HIB (Get the Act HIB brand - no aluminum)
4 months DTaP Rotavirus
5 months* Pc HIB
6 months DTaP Rotavirus
7 months* Pc HIB
9 months Polio
12 months MMR Polio
(Do Polio at either 10/11 months or 13/14 months)
15 months Pc HIB
Flu (2 doses, between 6-12 months in flu season, mercury free shot - if you ask, it seems more offices are using the mercury free shots)
18 months DTaP Chickenpox
2 years Polio
2 years, 4 months?* Flu (mercury free)
2 years, 6 months* Hep B Hep A
3 years Hep B
3 years, 6 months Hep B Hep A
4 years DTaP Polio
5 years MMR
6 years Chickenpox
12 years Tdap
13 years Meningococcal

* can be "shot only" visits with nurse

Notice we have only two shots at a time. We are fortunate to have doctors that support our choice with our vaccine schedule. Fully support. When we go for our visits, the nurse always knows what shots Aiden is getting based on HIS schedule. (One nurse tried to tell us we had "missed" shots, but she was not our usual nurse and realized what was going on once I explained it.) Another time, when calling to make sure we got the Hib brand that doesn't have aluminum, the nurse wasn't sure what to tell me, and a doctor told her "find out whatever she wants to know!" I was very pleased to have that kind of support from this office. (Incidentally, after reading the ingredients, the nurse said, "Now I don't want to give these shots!" She clearly had no idea what was in them.) I do have to go into the office more often for the shot visits, but they do not cost us extra. They are "nurse visits" - I call the day ahead to make sure they have the shots in and then show up for the nurse to give the shot. No cost, no appointment, not much of a wait.

There was a shortage of the MMR shot divided up into the three separate parts, but I've read that it is available again. We cannot get them divided at our dr office but can go elsewhere for it. We might do the MMR together and get that shot only during that visit.

There IS a shortage of Hib going on. Aiden missed his at the seven month visit. But whenever it becomes available again, we can get it then. No biggie. Most of the shots aren't necessary at the exact month they are scheduled. Going off track is not a big deal.

We may change our schedule as time goes on, as we learn more, etc. This is not set in stone. As of now, we're following Dr. Sears' alternate schedule with a little tweaking based on when Aiden was born (for the flu shot) and some other factors, which ensures Aiden will have the shots that schools require by the time he starts. Anyone can change their vax schedule if they decide, which also means that if you are going by the regular schedule and wish you had done the alternate schedule - you can change that! It's really not a big deal.

In case you don't know what it is and are curious, here is the regular vax schedule:
American Academy of Pediatrics 2007 Recommended Vaccine Schedule

Birth Hep B
1 month Hep B
2 months HIB Pc DTaP Rotavirus Polio
4 months HIB Pc DTaP Rotavirus Polio
6 months HIB Pc DTaP Rotavirus Hep B Flu
1 year MMR Chickenpox Hep A
15 months HIB Pc
18 months DTaP Polio Hep A Flu
2 years Flu
3 years Flu
4 years Flu
5 years DTaP Polio MMR Chickenpox
11 years HPV (3 doses, girls only)
12 years Tdap Meningococcal


Yes, it looks a lot simpler than Aiden's and requires fewer visits - but he's not getting 5-6 at a time, either, which is what we prefer. Did you know the reason they lump so many shots into as few visits as possible?? It's because they want to ensure people come in for them. Some people will not come in for frequent visits because they may not be able to afford the copays for so many dr visits. Fewer visits = less $$ for the client to pay = the client is more likely to show up = the child is more likely to be vaccinated. You can spread the shots out if you want. What harm could that cause? That's our view. We are causing Aiden no more harm in spreading out the shots, but we may be helping him.

Ok...is that enough on my end?? I really could go on. But do you really want me to?? ;) I want to hear from all of you - what you are doing, will do, what you think about things, why, etc. Remember that this isn't a debate. We are not here to judge. Just SHARE. I will say this...one thing that really bothers me is when someone who has NOT done the research judges others that use some alternate/selective schedule. If you do not know much about it, do you really have the right to judge someone who does and makes an educated decision? And on that note, I will also comment that doctors do not necessarily know all of the research behind vaccinations. My doctor knew some because she had a child shortly before Aiden was born, and she did research as a parent, but it seems that many doctors are not too knowledgable when it comes to this topic, not in the way we might want them to be, at least. Just a thought.

Remember the rules please. Use your nice words. Please comment on blogger (not via email if you subscribe or facebook if you read there) - let's keep all the discussion in one place. If you do comment, be sure to click to recieve other comments so you can see what others have to say/ask/etc. (esp b/c I will most likely reply to some of them, and you won't get it if you don't subscribe to them). And if you are using the anonymous feature (if you don't have a blogger/aim acct), please remember to put your name somewhere in there. :) And once again, BE NICE. If it reaches not-nice status, I will jump in and moderate.

And for those of you not joining in on the conversation, please vote on the side bar! Thanks!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Avon, Anyone?

My friend just started selling Avon and is trying to get her business going. If you have a few extra moments to spare, please visit her site! Avon has tons of things you already buy and at great prices! Shipping is free for orders over $30, and items are shipped directly to you. No more waiting for the rep to bring it to you. She says there's something for everyone, too, so no excuses. ;) Please check it out and support her new business! Any questions - her contact info is on the site.

Thanks!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

That's Life

When I listen to music, I tend to repeat things over and over until I'm just about sick of it. Then I move on to the next cd and do the same. (This is why soundtracks and music collections like WOW Hits are good for me...) I also tend to turn it up and sing very loudly in the car. Aiden should have come out being able to recite just about all the words to songs by Michael Buble, Daughtry, Norah Jones, Robbie Seay, and a few others because when pregnant and commuting to my field placement in Raleigh 45 minutes or so away, I would listen to a cd for a week or so at a time and then switch to another.

I popped Michael Buble back in the other day and thought I would share this one song. It's not my favorite of his, but I think it's a great one for the lyrics. It's a good pick-me-up song, and you can't help but sing along. Life just plain ol' sucks sometimes...and then it's great at other times. When it's not-so-great, you just pick yourself right back up and keep going, you know. That's what my mama taught me. ;) Right, mama!? I've had many people ask me how on earth I did things, such as go to school as a single mom, not to mention get great grades, be so involved with other activities of my own and Camden's, etc. (as an example). I've had people tell me they were impressed with some of the things I've dealt with and came through. But to me...that's just life. You take what you get, you deal with it, and you move on. Not really many other choices. Sitting around feeling sorry for yourself does nothing. You suck it up; do the best you can with what you have. That's Life....

That's life
That's what all the people say
You're riding high in April
You're shot down in May
I know I'm gonna change that tune
When I'm back on top in June

I say that's life
& as funny as it may seem
Some people get their kicks
Stompin' on your dreams
But I don't let it, let it get me down
'Cause this fine ol' world keeps spinning 'round

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate,
A poet, a pawn & a king
I've been up & down & over & out
But I know one thing
Each time I find myself, flat on this face
I pick myself up & get back in the race

That's life
I can't deny it
I thought of quitting, baby
This heart wasn't gonna buy it
And if I didn't think it was worth one single try
I'd jump right on a big bird & then I'd fly

My favorite line is this one: Each time I find myself, flat on this face, I pick myself up and get back in the race... Many times, that's just all there is to do, my friends.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Forgot to Mention...

Ryan unplugged our phone last weekend and forgot to plug it back up. (I've been enjoying the phone not waking Aiden up but didn't realize the phone was still unplugged until Camden said he tried to call from school one day.... Good thing it wasn't important that time!) So, if you've called and didn't reach us - SORRY!!

It might still be unplugged, come to think about it.

And actually, when we do move, we won't be using a land-line anymore. Just our cell phones. So, if you don't have my or Ryan's cell number - or both - comment or email and let us know. We'll send it to you! We still have our numbers from when we were in KY, so they're local for you folks. ;)

And if you want our new address (no, I'm not posting it on here publicly...), also leave a comment or email. We'll probably send a big email out soon with that info, but not sure when. So if you want it now, just ask. That way if you plan on mailing anything after today, you can use the new address instead of assuming the mail will be forwarded when that kicks in (b/c sometimes it doesn't get forwarded like it should.....).

CLOSING

We closed on the house today! The place is officially OURS.

The seller wasn't at the signing, and I had kind of hoped she would be. We wanted to meet this lady... As soon as we put in our offer, she stopped taking care of the yard. Her realtor had to twist her arm to get her to mow it sometime last week. It looked terrible! Over a month of no mowing...come on. She was still living there up until yesterday. And aside from it being rude to us, there are ordinances about not mowing your lawn in the subdivision. (I think the realtor had to use that angle to convince her to mow...)

Then she took all the window treatment hardware down to take with her - when it was in the paperwork that it would stay. And left all the holes for us to deal with. Nice. Her realtor didn't even know she took it and said to give an estimate for what new ones would cost, and we would get a gift certificate. Then the seller decided to just let us keep the old ones, but she's out of town for two weeks, so we have to wait...

Then just other little stuff here and there. Thanks, lady. We never played hardball or tried to get anything special when we put in our offer. So, I'm not sure what her deal is. We think maybe she's just not so considerate? Oh well.

Either way...the house is OURS now! We spent some time today cleaning the walls to prep for painting, getting sample jars of paint to test out in the place, and doing other little things like that. We won't move in completely until the beginning of June, so we have a few weekends to paint and clean and take some things over ahead of time. We have a busy month ahead of us!

While there today, I kept thinking that it didn't feel like OUR place quite yet, even though we were there vacuuming, cleaning, etc. It felt like we were doing all that stuff to someone else's place. I'm sure it won't take long, though. The novelty will wear off soon enough, too. Haha!

We only took a few pics today - not much going on quite yet. But we'll update the album as we make our changes and make the place our home.
Our House

Friday Fill-Ins

I am actually making time for this, even though I don't really have it tonight. :)

Friday Fill-Ins...Note from creator:
This week, I chose quotes having to do with spring...as always when I do this, feel free to fill-in whatever you'd like; it's more fun that way! Of course, if you know the quote, feel free to fill that in, too! The quotes will be on my blog, should anyone want to see what they are.

My answers are in bold.

1. If we had no winter, we would miss it. And spring wouldn't be all that exciting, either. I love each season, and by the time it is ending, I am ready for the next to arrive. The end of one always has me looking forward to the beginning of the next.

2. People's rudeness and tactlessness will always be a perpetual astonishment to me. There's just no need for it, and it typically doesn't get people what they want, does it (in the long run)? I sure hope not.

3. If I had my life to live over I wouldn't change too, too much. I've not had a perfect life so far, and there is a lot that I wish I hadn't had to go through. But everything has made me who I am today. I appreciate each season, no matter how difficult it has been. Some of the things I wish I could do away with the most - I really wouldn't because they resulted in some of the best things I now have, such as my first born son, my husband, my college education, my (still strengthening) faith, and much of my perspective...just to name a few.

4. I stay a busy, busy lady inside of four and twenty hours. I don't get nights or weekends off, like most of us parents. Aiden still wakes up all throughout the night, and lately some of those awakenings are more than brief.

5. If you've never been thrilled, you should seek it out a little harder. Challenge yourself, do something new that is out of your comfort zone. The thrill would be worth it, don't you think?

6. To be interested in the changing seasons is to be interested in LIFE. My life is constantly changing, just as the seasons are, just as everyone's life is. It's actually quite interesting when you stop to really pay attention.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to maybe packing up a little more and hopefully resting a few minutes at least, definitely with a big bowl of ice cream - maybe that will take this so-far-two-day-long pounding headache away (all that sugary goodness is sure to do it, right?), tomorrow my plans include a make-up swim class with Aiden that is way too early in the morning, then heading over to the new house (we closed today!!) to do some painting prep work, then on to Camden's soccer game (assuming there are no storms and Camden is feeling well enough - both are iffy), and then back home to do things like laundry and all those other typical chores and Sunday, I want to have a day of rest! Is that too much to hope for? Yes, of course... We will need to pack up more and plan out the next few weekends of painting and moving!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Aiden is CRAWLING!!

Thursday, May 14, Aiden is nine months and one week old...

...and is *officially* crawling! He's been getting around just fine lately - pushing himself forward on his belly, rolling around, scooting, going backwards, even doing this sitting-to-lying-to-sitting thing that really got him where he wanted to go. BUT we now can add crawling to the list of ways to move!!

Pictures...
Just click on the album to view them.
Aiden is CRAWLING


Videos...

The day he began to crawl showing how he moved around BEFORE he started to actually crawl. He still managed to cover lots of ground, and it was pretty cute!


The FIRST Crawl!!


He would have done this yesterday, but the two times he almost did, Mommy got very excited and it ended up distracting Aiden. Of course, right?!

And the next couple times...

Notice how Aiden doesn't seem too impressed with his new method of moving around... That's just how he is. Not much impresses him. Anytime he learns something new, eats something new, etc, etc...he just acts as if it's, well, nothing new! The one time he has been really excited was when he first learned to go from lying on his belly to sitting up. Now that impressed him. But otherwise...learning to sit, roll over, and just about all those other milestones - while we're busy acting all silly and excited, Aiden is rather nonchalant about it all.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Things like this kinda tick me off...

We were ordering Aiden's new car seat from Babies R Us the other day because they have a coupon code for 15% off car seats AND there is a free shipping promotion on the car seat. Great, right? Well, apparently you can only use ONE promotion. Huh? I mean, they did put the coupon out at the same time the shipping deal is out on the SAME PRODUCT. Hello..... Ryan even called customer service to ask about it. So, we had to pick the "best deal" from each of those. Doesn't make sense especially knowing that in-store you can combine coupons, but this car seat is only available online. Basically, the 15% off just paid for shipping and taxes since we couldn't get the free shipping, too. That kind of stuff really annoys me. I would have ordered from somewhere else just because of the principle, but this still saved us a tiny bit of money...

If Ryan hadn't went on and placed the order while I was feeding Aiden in the other room, though, I might just have ordered it from somewhere else anyway.

I'll tell you more about this seat and why we chose it once we get it and try it out with Aiden.

Sleep Regression??

So, I've been reading some about sleep regressions... Seems like Aiden's about due one, and I think it might be beginning. The problem I have with reading about these "sleep regressions" is that I begin to wonder if they really are regressions - or if the babies ever have good sleeping routines that stick around longer than a couple weeks at all! If the latter is the case, how can there be "regressions"?

The first regression is the four-month one. Aiden got this early - at the beginning of three months, when he was teething. From two to three months, he was sleeping ALL NIGHT. Yes, he really did this at one time! Promise. And when I say "all night," I mean he would wake up ONCE (once!!!) to nurse during the night. Apparently he did not get over this "regression" because he has not come close to that since (still waking every two hours, at least), which is why I'm having a hard time calling it a regression then...or a regression now.

Now it's supposedly about time for this nine-month regression. And how do I know he's starting this one, especially if he never seemed to get over the first one?? Because we're waking up lots more, having a hard time staying asleep, and the last few mornings, we've been up for at least 2 hours starting around 3 or 4am. (WE are waking up lots more because WE can't sleep if the baby is awake, too.) The other night, I actually had to let Aiden sleep ON ME or else he would not sleep. I know that is not the safest place for him to be, not the most comfortable for me, not the most preferred for anyone (even Aiden most of the time), but when it's all that will work - you go with what works!! He's also starting to get up on those hands and knees when he's in the light sleep or barely awake stages. Did you know that during this time, their bodies and minds are working so hard with learning to crawl, walk, etc, that babies can actually try to crawl and stand up in their sleep?! Oh geez.... When Aiden does get on his hands and knees during the night, it's almost like he can't help it. I'll try to put him back down, and he almost pushes to stay up! (And keeps popping back up after I get him down. Usually he fights to NOT get on his hands and knees, but he also might be trying to sit when he's doing this at night...) I wonder what is going through his mind at these times... Is he actually aware of what he is doing?

Since we co-sleep, we had already decided that when we move, we're leaving the mattress on the floor and not putting the bed frame together. Right now there is something in place to keep Aiden from rolling off the bed. But if he is actually crawling, that's another story. And even though he's not crawling just yet, he can get himself on his hands and knees and propel himself forward - almost like he's launching himself up into the air. No kidding. Now we're actually going to take the bed frame apart this weekend so the mattresses are on the floor. Hopefully that will be enough. We have a temperpedic mattress, so they're thicker than most - but not too much more. I'm sure Aiden will really like it once he figures out how to crawl off........... I think whenever he decides to start sleeping through and staying in his bed, we might just be ok with that. ;) Not rushing it, but still.

Now if I could just learn to start going to bed earlier... With all this waking up (for hours at a time), I'm clearly not sleeping much. I've been allowing us to "sleep in" more this week (meaning he falls back to sleep around 6 or so, and we sleep another couple hours) when he does go back to sleep. We both need it! One place I read said that if you had a good sleeper before the "regression," it might just last a month or so - but if you had a baby that had a difficult time getting back into routines and sleeping well to begin with...it could last until the baby is 14-16 months old. And then apparently there is another sleep regression around 18 months? I don't think we can call it a regression if it NEVER ENDS. *Sigh*

I will say, I never feel sorry for Ryan having to get up at 6am when I'm "sleeping in" until 8 or 9. Not at all. He's probably getting more sleep than I am!

I'll get sleep one of these days, right?

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's a Hard-Knock Life

Mother's Day morning I woke up to Aiden's smiling face, and then the other guys joined us on the bed to hang out. Aiden was giving out kisses...to everyone but me. He gave them over and over to Daddy. And even more to Camden. Everytime someone would ask if he wanted to give Mommy kisses or anytime I would try to get one, he would turn around to give one to someone else or blow raspberries. And when trying to reach Camden (to give him kisses, what else?), Aiden would kick against my belly or my boobs or whatever else he could use to push him towards big brother. We joked about how Mommy does all the work and nurturing, etc, etc, and everyone else gets the loving; how Mommy was being left out while Aiden showered Daddy and Camden with kisses. And I just got kicked.

I couldn't help but think of the song from Annie.

It's a hard-knock life for me.... Instead of kisses, I get kicked....

Yeah, pretty much. Happy Mother's Day to me, right? Camden gave me kisses to make up for it. And I did end up getting some from Aiden later on. You just have to wait for it to be HIS idea sometimes. ;) And with the amount of kisses he gives out lately, it's hard to feel deprived!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

April Photos

Just click on the album to view them!

2009 April

If you go to the gallery, you can see all our latest pics, too. We have some great ones from swimming this past week since Daddy was able to come see us! We'll be posting videos soon!!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mamas, Grandmamas, and Mamas-To-Be!

And in case you haven't seen this...you just have to check it out.
Click HERE.
Enjoy! ;)

And, of course, some Mother's Day pics...

Me & my boys


Aiden gives Camden kisses ALL the time! He gets way more than the rest of us.
But I finally got one, too. (After about ten pictures of Aiden kissing Camden, that is.)


A few more pics here (including more of Aiden kissing Camden) ;)
2009 May

Friday, May 8, 2009

Breastfeeding Article

I think it's worth a read. Not long but full of some interesting information in terms of health benefits for moms that breastfeed - and risks for those that do not. Based on some good stats and 139,681 women in the study - some nice numbers. (I love when things are backed up with good stats. I think I've mentioned before how I can get excited over good stats - not just stats in general - and research-based info. That happens when their importance has been embedded into your brain. Other Berea psych majors feel me, right? Or is it just me?)

I see it as an extra incentive to breastfeed and one more reason to be happy that I can and do breastfeed (and will do for quite a while longer with Aiden...and with our future children).

Here's the article.

Let me know what you think!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

NINE Months

My baby is NINE MONTHS old.......... He is growing way too quickly. Someone needs to slow this train down!!

Ryan keeps saying "he's almost a year!" Ummm...no. Not quite. Not in MY book.

As usual, this has been quite the month. In fact, the last couple DAYS have been huge!! Let's try for a quick list....

Aiden's favorite things...
  • Cell phones! Or any phone, really, but especially the cell. I keep mine next to the bed - sometimes on the bed and next to my pillow (in case I need a light suddenly in the middle of the night - with Aiden next to me, you never know). His face lights up when we call Time&Temp in the mornings and it's on speaker phone. He knows not to put it in his mouth now. He used to try, and I would say "ah!" (or "nah!"), and he would jump and stop. Then try again...repeat cycle. He finally realized what it meant and doesn't try anymore. :)
  • Food. Any kind of food. And NOW - finger foods! This kid loves to eat! And just about anything you put in front of him, too. Even a new food - he won't make a face like "what's that?" - just eats it like he always has been!
  • Wooden Toys. These are apparently the best to chew on. So I've heard - and so he shows us. He will put the plastic toys aside and go for the wooden ones nine times out of ten. Actually - more often, but you get the point.
  • Water - as in the water you GET IN. He really likes swim time. And he loves, loves (loves!) showers! He will try to drink the water. He'll sit in the water when Mommy showers in the mornings. He thinks it's all kinds of fun. Doesn't even mind getting it in his face. (He loves the kind of water you drink, too.) He also likes taking a bath in the BIG tub - especially when Camden joins him (Camden has been waiting and waiting to do this! He loves his little brother so much!!!).
  • Our faces. He loves to grab at our noses and mouths. Fun for him. Not always for us. When I say grabs - I mean grabs and pinches and twists... I think he's trying to get us back for all those times we try to clean out his snotty nose.
  • Camden. Oh my how Camden can make him laugh by doing almost nothing!
  • Other people. He will stare at anybody that walks by. Today, while in a card shop, I had him in the Ergo carrier on my front - he was trying to bend over backwards to look at people and was just grinning at everyone, even if they weren't looking at him! (He really could have just turned his head to see them, but apparently it was more fun to bend back as far as he could.)
  • Kissing. This kid can kiss! If you say "kisses" or especially "awww..." he will lean over, mouth wide open (of course!), and give the best kiss ever. He really loves to kiss on Camden. He'll just lean towards him and kiss anywhere on his face - or shoulder or whatever else he can get to. (I'm telling you, he is crazy for his big brother!) He is the sweetest thing ever. And will kiss over and over and over. He also likes to kiss himself in the mirror.
  • Teething tablets. He learned quickly that he could eat those things. And was hooked after the first few. I don't know what it is about them...
  • Mom. He's just a little attached.

Watching Camden - he watches every little thing he does!


Aiden loves scratching things - like the chair in the picture here

Things Aiden does NOT like...
  • Being laid on his belly - most times he doesn't like it. Exceptions are if it's on one of us while lying down or if he's ready to go to sleep. He would rather sit. Or be held. Or roll around because HE chooses to, not because you put him there.
  • Mom leaving his sight. Really not a fan.
  • Teething. Not when there are four at a time, at least. One...he's ok with.
  • Having toys taken out of his hands (or anything he's found that he shouldn't have).
  • Sunglasses on his face. He has no problem with a hat - but there will be no sunglasses. They come RIGHT off. A hat - he never tries to remove. (I wonder if he'll be like Camden, who wouldn't go anywhere without a hat until he was at least five or so... He won't wear one now, but it was the cutest thing ever!)
  • Having to wait more than a couple seconds when he wants Mommy to nurse him. He knows what he wants and he wants it now.
As you can tell, the list of things he likes is much, much bigger than the things he doesn't like. He's a really easy and happy baby most of the time! (We do NOT take this for granted.)

New developments this past month...
  • Aiden can do the sign for milk now.
  • He's been pulling himself up onto his hands and knees for a while. He can push himself forward if he is lying down, too. But he can't do both at the same time yet. He'll be crawling VERY soon! Sometimes when we lie him down for a nap - if he's not ready, he'll get mad and get up on his hands and knees and rock a lot. But he isn't happy about it!
  • He went from lying down on his belly to sitting today!
  • Aiden is now napping better after our Naptime Boot Camp (Attachment Parenting Style) week last week.
  • When we pick Aiden up, he will pat our shoulders - just like when we pat his back when he's upset or sleepy. It's very cute!
  • When we go to pick him up, Aiden will lift his hands up for us.
  • He learned in one day how to pick up finger foods and get them to his mouth. He tried yesterday and was struggling, but he would open his mouth and try to get it to our hands...hoping we would just put the food in. Today, he got it. As soon as he managed to get a couple pieces in there - he was sold!
  • THREE teeth came in over the course of 2 days - well, probably within 24 hours, actually (two were in the middle of the night - not a very fun night). Aiden has a total of 6 teeth in so far. One tooth is still about to come through, any day now.
Weighing in....
19lbs 11oz
28 1/2 inches
We're getting ready to order Aiden's new car seat... We got an infant carrier that goes up to 30lbs and 30 inches. He's about to outgrow it with his height.
Aiden did get one shot this month - Polio. It's the only new one he's had since...well, since he was just a few months old. He cried more when I laid him down on the table than from the shot itself. As soon as I picked him up, he was smiling again.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tornadoes? Here?

Yesterday we had some bad storms here in NC, including some tornadoes touching down. We were completely unaware until a neighbor came by to stay in our first floor apartment. He lives on the third, and his parents had him stop by since they weren't home. Good thing because it made us aware of the storms coming our way! There are already more watches for tonight, though there are warnings around Charlotte, just a couple hours away. Hopefully the watches and thunder storms will be the extent of it, but we have yet to see.

Ironically, just the day before...I made a comment about tornadoes in North Carolina... I was registering Camden for school in Holly Springs, where we are going to move next month, and we were going on a little tour so Camden could see the school. I made a comment about how wonderful all the natural light was from the huge windows. The lady with us agreed but said it wasn't great for security. Understood. She said they had a hard time finding places to do tornado drills (but they DID find places, in case you're wondering). I remarked that you don't hear about tornadoes in NC very often. I'm from KY, and even though it's not part of tornado alley, we have our share of storms there. But I haven't heard hardly anything about them being in NC.

Guess I spoke too soon. They arrived the very next day.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Boot Camp UPDATE

It's been a while. With all the sickness going around in our family, I have found little time to blog, and when I did have the time, I wanted to just lie down on the couch and put everything else aside.

But we've still worked on those naps! We've had some success and some setbacks, but even the setbacks are steps forward compared to what naps were like prior to last week. So, I can say the result of Naptime Boot Camp has been very favorable. We're going to focus on the positive, right, folks? :)

Here is what a typical nap is now looking like for Aiden (typical meaning more than half of them):

5-10 min. Nurse
15-30 min. Naptime Routine
  • Read story on Mom's lap
  • Lie down in crib while Mom reads another story (putting the book in the crib for me to see - this helps me settle down in the crib). I will actually reach towards the crib because I know I'll get another story if I get in there!
  • Roll around and "play" in crib quietly while Mom sits nearby
  • If I get tired but am having a hard time getting to sleep on own (usually the case at this point), Mom will pick up, rock for a couple minutes until I'm calm, and then lie me back in the crib...pat my back a bit while singing, and I will doze off. Mom will stop patting before I close my eyes. I like for Mom to sing "You Are My Sunshine" - at first, she said she wouldn't because it's her and Camden's song, but it helps me more than any other song, and Camden doesn't seem to mind sharing it.
60-120 min. Sleep (Yes, it's quite the range, but it can be anywhere in there on a good-nap day.)
If I wake up before or at an hour, Mom will come in, rock me a few minutes, and try to get me back to sleep.
I wake up rather happy from my nap and will even play a bit in the crib before calling for Mom to get me.

***

We started reading Aiden a second story in the crib to get him ok with going into the crib. At first, I would have to sit him up and read the story. Then I could lie him down and read it again. Now, after doing a story on my lap, he'll reach for the crib - and I can lie him down and read one additional story before he's ready to chill in the crib a bit. I still stay in the room while he rolls around some - he is content for a while if I am still there but will get upset if I actually leave. That's fine - it's still progress! (Not considering the fact that he used to lie down on his own and fall to sleep in less than 5 minutes with me in the other room, but oh well. Right?) ;)

Rocking in this scenario means that I am standing and cradling Aiden in my arms, while swaying him a little. Once he's moved around in the bed a bit, he'll start to fuss. I pick him up, do this, and sing "You are My Sunshine" a few times, and he usually gets to a point where he is what I call "in the zone." Once he is there, I can lie him down, he'll roll right over, and...almost go to sleep. I still need to pat/rub him a bit and maybe sing a bit more. But this is soooooo much better than it was before. And he's doing a lot more on his own, so I am rather pleased (most of the time).

Another plus...he is doing better going to bed, too. He was on a big Daddy-strike there for a while, and I was having to do all the work. It was exhuasting after doing it all day, but I would have to step in. But now, he's doing great with Ryan again. I'm nursing him before Ryan changes Aiden's clothes (before, Ryan did pj's, I nursed, and then Ryan did storytime and down for bed), so maybe that helps a bit, too. I still have to go in some nights, but most of the time now, it seems, he goes down just fine for Ryan. Sometimes quicker than he does with me. Ryan put him down for a nap this weekend in no time at all, and the little guy slept two solid hours!! I told Ryan he is now in charge of weekend naps. Yes, that is what he gets! (And I deserve it, too, right?)

So...yes, we saw improvement. No, it's not perfect. We still have our days! Trust me. BUT I'm looking for improvement of any measure, not perfection. Hopefully we will continue to see improvement, as well. We've had a couple short naps the past two days, but still longer than those 30-minute naps! Baby steps; baby steps! And actually, some of these steps have been bigger than that.

Oh - another thing... The other night, when I did the sign for "milk" (squeeze together fist like you're milking a cow - most of my family shouldn't even have to think about this one), Aiden did it back!! Then yesterday, a not-so-great nap day, Aiden woke up from his first nap. While I was trying to get him back to sleep, he was fussing some and then....he made the sign all on his own!!! I said, "oh, do you want some milk?" and those eyes of his lit up and he gave me this big grin! He knew exactly what he was asking for. He's clearly been recognizing the sign for milk for a long time now, but he is just now doing it himself. How exciting!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ice Cream makes it all better (or at least a little)

Camden hasn't been able to eat much of anything today, though the vomiting has subsided since early this morning. I remembered back when I was pregnant and couldn't eat anything. I hadn't kept anything down for a few days (and no, I'm not exaggerating; I have a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum). While I was waiting for the dr to call in some meds, the nurse suggested I try to eat a bit of vanilla ice cream. Yeah, right...

But no, it really wasn't that bad. It was a tiny scoop and took forever to eat it, but it stayed down! Nothing had reached that status in quite a while, even all the things you're told to try when dealing with morning sickness.

So, I thought it might help Camden. When I handed it to him, he asked "Why are you spoiling me?" with a tiny smile. ;) I explained what it really was about, but he can think it's getting extra attention if he wants. He is, after all. I mean, he's getting to watch movies all day....and that NEVER happens.

If it weren't for feeling so badly, I think he would enjoy being sick.

He did manage to get the ice cream down. And keep it down. Maybe there's something to it, after all.

Change of Plans

All of our weekend plans have gone out the window.... Aiden has had a cold all week, and I finally got it from him. He never acted like he felt that bad - but there has been a lot of snot and coughing (still is). I woke up with a really sore throat, though. Might be allergies instead of a cold.

Camden had his big field trip yesterday, and Ryan went along. They got home about 7:30pm. Camden had already thrown up once and spent the rest of the night doing it more....all the way until this morning. He hasn't thrown up for a couple hours, but he's on the couch with a pail next to him still and has barely been able to eat anything. (I'm actually hoping it's the food he ate for lunch and not a virus, which would mean we all might pick it up, too.....)

So, we'll be taking the day off. No soccer, no other plans like we had considered for the mornings. Just hanging out.

I'll post an update on the naptime boot camp situation soon. After we get Aiden back to sleep from waking early from his first nap maybe.... We've had successes and set-backs. More soon.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Great Thing About Parenting... DIAPERS

Topic #2...Diapers! Let's share what we do, how we do it, and why... If something really impacted your decision, do tell. Here's the link back to the original post if you're new to the parenting series and aren't sure what this is all about.

I did a post on disposables vs cloth (and gdiapers) a while back. Some of this will come from that post. So, yes, I'm cheating a bit. That's ok. It's my blog, so I'm allowed. ;) That was a debate, though...THIS is not.

With my first son (almost ten years ago...wow!), 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.

gDiapers are kind of the best of both worlds when it comes to the whole cloth vs disposable issue - 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. Some people say that gdiapers are more expensive, but they don't have to be at all! 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. And more good news - gdiapers is coming out with their own cloth insert within the next couple/few months!!

Some other great things about g's (aside from their obvious cuteness factor!!!)... The company is top-notch! Really great customer service; wonderful, friendly people. Recently, some test Babies R Us stores started carrying gdiapers...now they ALL do!! Target also has them online, as does diapers.com. And many other stores carry them (many Whole Foods and other stores that carry cloth diapers). Check out gdiapers.com and do a search if you want. As I said, they will be introducing a cloth insert very soon. They recognize what their customers want and really try to respond to that. Some folks that sell cloth inserts to fit the g's will be carrying the new gdiapers cloth inserts, so even they don't see this as competition. How great is that?


Aiden in his g's - he clearly loves them!

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! We love the gflappers - named that b/c of how they are made to dry quickly - with the organic bamboo velour. Those things are incredibly soft! And in case you're wondering about the whole smell issue, I can honestly say 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!) . 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), stuffed with some gflappers. 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. I gave about half the package away after we realized he had grown out of them, actually.


Aiden caught helping with the diaper laundry
(yes, they're clean!)


So, here are some of my thoughts on why we use cloth.... 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 bigger 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 (except for those of us that get addicted to some of those adorable cloth dipes or covers and can't stop buying more - but they are still cheaper than disposables, in my opinion!). It can be a couple to a few hundred dollars for the cloth supply versus a couple thousand dollars for disposables.

Baby's Skin - Cloth doesn't have a bunch of nasty chemicals in it. And you can use organic cloth if you really want. Yes, organic materials can be a bit more, but it still will be less than using disposable during the diapering years. Also, I change diapers pretty often to make sure Aiden's skin is not wet or irritated - and it doesn't cost me any more to do so. I change at least every two hours if not more often. This way, I know that he does not have urine against his skin for long periods, which exposes babies to bacteria and other things that cause rashes and infections.

Environmental Impact - This is a BIG one for 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 true, especially if you use an energy efficient washer/dryer.

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. Also - I hear most people that use cloth say they hardly ever or never have "blowouts" - and it's very rare with gdiapers. Blowouts are rather common with disposables, though - I'm not just thinking that; I've used sposies and have worked in a nursery...I know it. We never have blowouts - saves lots of clothes that way, too. ;) (Ok - we've had two...one was my fault b/c I put on a smaller diaper for just a moment b/c I had the others in the wash. My prayer that he didn't poop was not heard... The other time, he pooped without me knowing and was bouncing on his bottom...so the bouncing caused some...leakage - but still hardly any! Both times...not the diaper's fault.)

Laundry - Some people think 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. Heck, if you have a family of four or more, you do it often. Probably every other day or so. We do. So, what is another load along with that? I wash the diapers every third day, 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 if I had to go buy diapers and take them out to the trash when the pail is full of dirties. I usually load the diapers to have ready while I'm sitting down watching tv or something; doesn't take much time at all and requires little thought. And I spend no time trying to find coupons or the best deal on diapers. If you really aren't into the laundering thing, another option is using a diaper service. This would still cost a lot 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 many 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. This stuff is also better for us with both boys having eczema - and Aiden's being pretty bad and easily aggravated. Once we're not using diapers, we'll still use this detergent, too. Also, instead of bleach, we use Grapefruit Seed Extract in with the diaper load to disinfect.

Potty Training - Ahhhhh...potty training. It is said that babes in cloth potty train earlier. They feel wet when they go in the cloth, unlike when they wear disposables. When Camden was potty training, I did not use pull-ups. In my opinion, they are just disposables that pull up instead of fasten with tabs. I used cloth trainers. And he was trained in NO time. Seriously.

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 - well, using gdiapers was planned...cloth was not planned, but here we are!). 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.

For the longest time, we just used water to wet the wipes before using each one. We just kept water in a small squirt bottle on the changing table. Once Aiden started on solids, his poop was thicker, so we felt we needed a bit more to feel like it was really clean. I put a squirt of California Baby Calming wash (that stuff smells soooo good!) in the bottle, along with 1-2 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE). That's it. You can buy special solutions for wipes and what-have-you, but many people use similar homemade solutions. It's easy, cheap, and works. The GSE is great for keeping bacteria away and reducing rashes, too.

***

Ok, your turn!! Share what you do and why. And be sure to vote on the poll (see sidebar), even if you choose not to comment. I would especially love to hear from people that have tried both cloth and sposies.

Remember the rules.... Be nice. No debating. This isn't about what is "right" or "wrong" - just sharing our methods. If you read this on facebook or via email, comment on the blog itself so we can keep the discussion in one place. When you comment, please include your name, as well. :)

PS - If you're interested in gdiapers, visit back soon. I'm going to post the tips and tricks I have learned with fit, cost, and everything else. :) Plus, I'll have coupons....