Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's the Thursday Twenty- Swamp Butt

Big entertainment in a small package (20 words or less)

When Lily has a nasty, dirty diaper,
we affectionately call her "Swamp Butt".

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Got a Zombie Chicken!!

A Zombie Chicken! A Zombie Chicken! I received this very special award from Sweet Words. Thank you! Thank you!

I am flabbergasted! I am astounded! I am beside myself! I am speechless (as if that could happen)! I am stunned! But, mostly I am honored!

Zombie Chicken Award reads:

"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all…

I have awarded a Zombie Chicken to:

Come and get it! Congratulations to the winners!

Wordless Wednesday: Do I HAVE To?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

By Popular Demand...

By popular demand, here is a copy of my cleaning schedule that I never once followed but had a great time making. See So, I Made a Cleaning Schedule.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Sucky Part of Mommyhood

Why is it that whenever moms talk about the sucky stuff of being a mommy they just kind of laugh it off or gloss over it? Like, when talking to a pregnant momma, they say things like, "Going to the movies, that'll be over with soon! Ha ha ha" or "Ha ha ha, I didn't sleep for two years straight! Ha ha ha!" or "She's on the boob 24 hours a day! Ha ha ha!"

When I was pregnant and heard comments like that, I laughed right along with them. And, I knew having a baby would be hard, but, for some, stupid reason I was under the impression that I would be able to just laugh about it at the time it was occuring. Like, "Ha ha ha, Precious Little Lily, you've been crying for 3 hours straight! Ha ha ha!"

Yeh, then reality hit in the form of a 9-lb boobie monster. It SUCKS being up at 4am with a crying baby. It SUCKS nursing until you have a dream that your nipples fell off (yes, I had a dream they fell off in the bathtub). It SUCKS when all you want to do is sleep more than a 3-hour stretch. It just SUCKS. And it especially SUCKS when all this continues for days, weeks and months on end with no real break.

I'm not saying that Mommyhood isn't rewarding and wonderful and fun and all that. But why can't mommies just be real with eachother? Mommyhood is hard. Really hard. And mommies often pretend like it's not.

I think all of us mommies have to agree that we will talk about it. We won't pretend to be Super Mommies. We'll ask for help. Or for an ear. Or a shoulder. Or for a muzzle for our babes. I'll go first: I love my babe, but sometimes, Mommyhood sucks.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

No One Hollers for a Momma

After purchasing a stroller and having a not-so-successful jaunt to the mall with it, I decided maybe Lily would enjoy taking it outside on a walk. It was a beautiful spring day. The weather had finally warmed up and there was no rain in sight. People were outside everywhere. Cars had their music blasting, windows rolled down.

It was the kind of day where a cute girl might just get hollered at by a group of testosterone-filled guys passing in a car. You all know what I'm talking about. A little whistle. A little "woo-hoo" or "look at that lovely lady" or something similar or even more vulgar.

Sure, you can say how offended you are whenever a guy hoots at you while you're walking. But I know you would rather that he did than he didn't. It doesn't hurt to know that someone's lookin'.

There was a time, not so long ago when I was that girl. What is it, guys? You no longer find my puke-encrusted billowy blouse sexy? The crop jogging pants just not doing it for you? You don't like the extra 10 pounds of fab baby flab? Whatever. This is the best I've looked in weeks. Heck, months, if I'm being honest. No less than 5 carloads full of testosteroney guys passed and not even one would waste their breath to whistle for a momma.

Anyways, let's talk about the really important part of this post: Lily didn't cry once on our walk!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

So I Bought a Stroller

Since Lily has been born, it has always been an issue about how to carry her when we're in public. She hates her car seat, so the travel system is out. She was obviously not strong enough to sit up in a grocery cart, yet. And because holding her was like carrying a floppy sack of potatoes, we knew that wouldn't do. So, since she was born, I've pretty much always carried her in the Moby wrap. I love my Moby! It's easy to put on (despite what it looks like in the instructions) and she can be right there, below my head, all the time.

Now that she's 5 months and has better head and back control, I thought it would be nice to buy a stroller to go for walks at the park. Given my little one's propensity to despise anything that is confining, has straps, or isn't called Momma, I knew I needed to choose carefully. And by that, I mean, I went cheap. After all, I knew that there was a good chance that it would never leave the garage.

For our first stroller outing, I decided we'd go to the mall. It was such an appealing thought, with its smooth marble floors and convenient ramps. First, let me say, if you ever want to find every stay-at-home mom in the same place at the same time, go to the mall on a weekday morning! I could not believe how many moms were walking with their little ones in tote.

So, how did our Lily Pie do? Well, it's an interesting phenomenon the first time someone else sees your baby cry before you do. But, that's what the stroller brings. Of course, I could not see her. And, for some reason she was not making noise. But, after passing two women who said, 'aww, poor thing' while looking at me with disdain, I stopped the stroller and looked at my little girl's face to see a pouty lip and a single tear running down her cheek. Talk about breaking your heart!

By the end of our little mall walk, I would say that I passed probably 30 moms with baby strollers, and I was the only mom with the diaper bag in the stroller and the baby in my arms. I'll just bring the Moby next time.

I Used to Think...

Write for 10 minutes using, "I used to think..." as your starter.

I used to think that "DO NOT PASS" road signs meant that you were not supposed to pass the sign. I thought my dad was crazy for breaking a law that was so clear.

I also used to think that "PASS WITH CARE" road signs meant that you could pass the sign but only if you cared a whole lot about something, although I wasn't sure what. So, each time we passed by this sign, I would hold my hands in prayer and look to the sky (I guess to god) and say quietly to myself, "I DO care, I DO care..."

I used to think that I would never get married. I thought this when I was growing up and my sister and I would look through JC Penny's catalogs and write down all the things that we wanted to buy for our house when we grew up. I would always buy things for the kids, but never even considered that there would be a man living in the house or that he might have an opinion.

I used to think that my sister was lying to me about sex. I always thought that there was no way people would do something that disgusting. I realized she was telling the truth one day when her good friend, who will remain nameless (because I can't remember his name), brought over a porno video in a large white video case that read "hard core". Huh, I guess people actually do that.

I used to think that god would answer my every wish. I guess I thought he was a genie, not a deity. I prayed one night for a barbie house to appear on my doorstep. I could barely sleep all night, I was so excited for my new barbie house. Oh, the things I could play with that! I woke up early the next day and opened the door to....nothing. It was then that my dad explained to me that if I wished for 10 skirts, god may only give me one, because that was all that I really needed. So, god must have thought that I didn't really need the barbie house. I didn't buy that...I DID need a barbie house.

I used to think that if I said "Bloody Mary" ten times in the mirror at midnight, a scary, bloody lady would appear in the mirror and probably jump out of it and kill me. So, I never said it.

I used to think it was amazing that my mom was never accused of a crime that she didn't commit. It happened so often on TV, I guess she let me watch too many crime dramas. No more Perry Mason, mom!

I used to think that my mom knew it all...we probably all thought that about our moms.

I used to think that even though we fought as kids, my sister and I would be friends as adults. We're not.

I used to think that my best friend's deceased uncle was actually talking to us through her Ouija Board.

I used to think that NPR was for old people. Now I love it.

I See London, I See France...

After witnessing an unfortunate "I see London..." incident on a windy day, I was reminded of how smart I am to make the declaration that I will never wear a skirt. Here are my many reasons for not engaging in this female tradition:

1. Windy days (formerly my #6 reason).

2. If Lily can pull my shirt down to my navel, I can only assume she could pull a skirt up to it.

3. It gets cold here in Ohio and I don't think jeans under a skirt are cute when you're 30.

4. Bird legs. Not tweety bird legs. Big, meaty chicken drumstick legs.

5. You can't ride a bike in a skirt (this is also on my list of why I never ride a bike)

6. Bruises on my legs. Always. I am not anemic. I am not clumsy. I am not abused. I don't know how this could be, but it is.

7. Upskirt shots. I'm pretty famous and you never know when the paparazzo is right around the corner.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Attachment Parenting Links

Attachment Parenting International

Dr. Sears website

Attachment Parenting: Canada

Parenting: Information and interaction for the nurturing parent

The Natural Child Project

StorkNet's Attachment Parenting Cubby


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Why is There a Sailor Farting in our Bedroom?

Every morning between 3-5am my sweet little baby girl raises her chunky little baby legs in the air and just lets it rip. I'm not talking about a cute little toot here and there, I'm talking about sailor farts. Nasty, big man farts. And they smell. Because I don't want you to vomit all over your computer, the description will stop there. Your welcome.

My newbie husband and I were foolish enough to believe that this is normal baby behavior. However, one day when discussing baby farts with a friend of his, we were informed otherwise. Walking away red-faced, we decided to do a little research on the matter.

Ok, well no real medical sites pop up when you type "stinky baby farts" into google. No big surprise. There are several forum posts out there that seem to have traced the problem to what I'm eating. It's probably the chocolate. I gave it my all to quit eating chocolate a while ago and it just didn't pan out. I have given up my looks, my breasts and other areas of my body for my baby, I will NOT give up chocolate for her.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Letter to My Lily-Pie

Dear Lily:

Here I sit. All alone in my bedroom for the first time in almost 5 months. We've come a long way. From those first few nights, your daddy and me taking turns watching you while you slept, while the other one of us caught a few winks.

Then just me and you hauled up in the guest room so daddy could get a little sleep before work. An arrangement we kept for weeks because you just didn't seem to want to be away from momma at all. A time that brings up only positive memories.

Your daddy, whose new role was to take care of me so that I could take care of you, would get me all set up in our spare room. He set up our flashlight, crackers for me to snack on (I was so hungry breastfeeding in those early weeks), the remote control, ice water, breast cream, diapers, wipes, burp rags, sleep positioner, the list goes on and on. He kept me well stocked. Those were the nights that I would sing you to sleep. You Are My Sunshine. Or Amazing Grace- my grandmother's favorite.

It didn't take long for daddy to miss us at night, so we went into our bedroom. You, tucked away in your bassinet and me, huddling on the edge of the bed so I could frequently peek in on you. Daddy often got worried too, and he'd lean over and make sure your chest was moving up and down. To save my voice, we started playing music that would go all night long.

There were several weeks where all we could do to allow you to sleep was to bring you in bed with us. It made daddy nervous. He wanted to make sure you were safe. I wasn't nervous. I could feel you breathing. You slept best while using my breast as your pillow and folding your arm over it claiming it as yours.

And, now, Lily Pie. My bedroom is so empty. The bassinet has been removed, just an empty space now. Our bed is empty. No more diapers or wipes between me and daddy. No more baby toys or blankets or even your glow worm. And the music that I've heard playing every night for months is now unclear, filtered through the baby monitor. Just as your cries will be when you awaken for your first nightfeeding.

But, the time has come, my darling, for you to move to your own space. You're no longer sleeping soundly with us and you're waking up still drowsy. It's been almost three hours since I laid you in your crib. Eyes closed and so peaceful. Daddy already asked twice if I should check on you. But you're okay. Mommy knows. You just need your sleep little girl. I love you.

Love, Mommy

Naked Baby Day!

Poor little teething Lily has been a little on the, uh, cranky side today. So, she's been in my arms (all day) and just had a major blow-out (all over her and me!). So, as I was getting re-dressed, she was naked and laying on a blanket, she was just smiling away! Kicking her legs like she didn't have a care in the world. I have instituted every day as Naked Baby Day!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Let's Talk about Poop

Whoever stated that breastfed poop doesn't stink was a liar, never had children or both. Worse is the claim that it smells like buttermilk. If what's in Lily's diapers smells like buttermilk, I will pass on the buttermilk pancakes next time I'm at IHOP. There's even a popular website that touts odorless poop as a reason to breastfeed. I'm all for trying to convince people to breastfeed, but let's keep it honest.

When I google "breastfed poop smell", it becomes apparent that every baby's breastfed poop smells a little different. Some people describe it as like cream corn, apple cider vinegar, or cinnamon toast. Why all the comparisons with food? That's just nasty, folks.

Then, I came across this article. A 2006 study that required moms to sniff dirty diapers found that moms preferred the smell of their own baby's poops. This was true even when the diapers were purposefully mislabeled. Either moms just get used to their own baby's poo smells or humans have evolved to not be revolted by their own baby's smells so that the smell doesn't interfere with their ability to care for their young.

Interesting. Apparently my nose is broken or I have just not evolved in this respect. I cannot possibly be the only momma that feels this way about their little one's diapers. But, I'm apparently the only one willing to admit it. My little darling's poos don't smell like anything that I ever have eaten. I'm stating it loud and clear. My baby's poop smells like poop. And it stinks. Pass me the gas mask, please, I need to change a diaper.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I'm a Google Addict

I am a google addict about anything and everything. Presently under my recently searched history, I have everything ranging from "Jonestown Massacre" to "what is an exempt employee" But, of course, the main thing going on in my life right now is my baby girl. And google has seen a dramatic increase in searches regarding anything and everything related to parenting. Here's a list of my searches since the last time I cleared my history (about 2 months ago):

all about baby university
ask dr. sears
why breastfeed
attachment parenting
attachment parenting controversy
baby wise
baby wise versus attachment parenting
breastfeeding alcohol
rice cereal allergy
infant reflux maalox
infant zantac side effects
infant zantac overdose (Lily did not overdose, explanation forthcoming...)
baby gas
acid reflux infant
baby refusing cereal
baby whisperer
baby wise failure to thrive
breastfed poop
breastfed poop smell
breastfeeding research
how to clean baby bottle
how to cut baby's nails
infant birthmark
prevacid infant side effects
prevacid gassy baby
when do babies wear shoes
cloth diapers
cloth diaper seconds
how to wash cloth diapers
stripping cloth diapers
cloth diaper detergents
happiest baby on the block
bum genius
healthy sleep habits happy child
infant sleep
newborn sleep
my baby doesn't sleep
cry it out
cry it out research
is cry it out harmful
infant sclera
blue sclera
lazy eye infant
take baby temperature
solid food
make your own baby food
wholesome baby food
toys 6 months
infant massage
infant sign language
parenting news
parenting education
parenting boards
parenting forums
parenting resources
parenting links
parenting blog
parenting styles
parenting philosophies
"wonder weeks"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Does your Baby have Manicured Nails?

Mine does. Well, not really. In truth, it's been over a week since her 4-month check-up and therefore over a week since I first cut her nails. Now that I've done it once the expectation would be that I will keep up with it.

But, really, they look so beautiful in this feminine state. They truely do look as if she's had a professional french manicure. The downside of all this baby beauty, however, is that I can count over 20 tiny, nail sized wounds all over my hands, arms and breasts. My husband has at least 1/2 dozen marks on his face alone.

Time to google how to properly do this. Hold the baby's palm in one of your hands and clip with your other (no sh*t). Trim them with a partner. Trim them when she's sleeping-even bringing the clippers in the car so you can trim them while she sleeps in her car seat. This is not a useful tip for a baby that screams in the car. Use your mouth- bite them off (I've done that one). Perhaps the most useful advice I've received came from a friend who suggested sitting her in front of the tv (something I otherwise would not do, but it's something she loves) and clipping them there.

Agh, my stomach aches just thinking about the pain I could inflict on my poor girl.

Hmmm...I'm looking at them now. Beautiful. Maybe I should just accept her in her womanly state and enter her in one of those baby beauty contests. Yup, that's the answer. Now I just have to take her tanning and buy her a set of falsies.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Did those Blue Hairs in the Buick just Pass Me?

So this weekend, the family and I went to Michigan to visit the rest of my family. My Dad still had not met Lily, even though he tried to convince us to come up for Christmas when she was four weeks old. No thanks, Dad, don't really want to drive five hours with a 4-week-old that screams in the car. Now that she's 4 months and is able to hold toys and look around, the car is a much friendlier place. So, anyways, we decided to finally take the plunge.

As I was driving and Rob was trying to calm our crying babe in the backseat, I felt a bit of freedom. The last 4 months of my life have been a drastic departure from the first thirty. I used to do things like stay up til 2 and sleep in til 11. I used to take showers. Daily. And even the occasional bath. And shave my legs. I haven't done any of those things in, well, four months. (Well, okay, I have taken the occasional shower, but I digress). Within the last four months, I haven't been more than 45 minutes from my house and I've only ventured that far because the Babies R Us is that far away. There have been entire 2-week spans where I didn't even leave the house.

So, here we were. On the open road (does a congested freeway qualify as open road?). On a weekday. This was like a real vacation. The sun was shining. It was (almost) warm enough to open the windows and feel the wind in my hair. I was in heaven. Well, my version of heaven. This was very reminiscent of what Rob and I used to do pre-baby. Travel throughout the state visiting various family members. Cranking up the stereo (well, NPR), having some of the best conversations we ever have. And, even though the kid was sometimes crying and we had to listen to #7 on the Chocolat soundtrack to try and prevent this, this still brought back perfectly lovely memories.

During this great reminiscence, I must have entered sort of a highway fugue, because the next thing I knew, somewhere between Uniopolis and Maumee, I looked to my left, and there they were. Two blue hairs (and I mean that with the upmost respect for the elderly), probably 80-years old, were passing me in their Buick. Out loud I said, "Did those blue hairs in the Buick just pass me?" I checked my speed, and upon seeing this significantly smaller number than I used to drive, realized that yet another thing has changed since the baby. I now have this incredible sense of responsibility. To keep her safe. To do the right thing. Just like I've given up listening to NPR in exchange for her music. And taking vacations whenever I want. And even taking showers. So I've sacrificed a little freedom. Not even a sacrifice, just a change, I suppose. An evolution. An improvement in myself, even. A sense of purpose and responsibility and loss of selfishness.

But now I'm just rambling. Trying to figure out how this whole baby thing has really changed me. And it has, for the better, I think. For now I'll leave it at that.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Why I Didn't Cut my Baby's Nails for Four Months

This is not an exaggeration. I literally could not bring myself to come anywhere near my daughter with nail clippers until her 4-month well baby check-up. It's not that her nails didn't grow. They grew. And grew. Often, just as one was getting long enough to need cutting, it would snag on something and I would breathe a sigh of relief and tear the rest off. Sometimes I'd place her little hand in my mouth and try to bite the darn things off. Sometimes this worked. Sometimes I was more worried about doing this than using clippers because I couldn't see where her nail ended and hand began when it was in my mouth.

So, instead of taking the plunge and cutting her nails, I let her walk around (well, lay around) for four months with long nails and cuts all over her face. Poor thing. Finally, at four months we were going to see a new doctor, and my fear of what he would think got to me. So I opened up her rarely-used first aid kit (see, You Put the Thermometer WHERE?) and picked up her nail clippers.

I tried the clippers on my own nails at first, just to see. They were actually much duller than regular nail clippers, which should have eased my mind, but it didn't. So, I sat her in her bumbo in front of the tv and clipped away (thanks Troy for that nugget of advice). They didn't get much shorter, but I clipped a little off. I felt so proud of myself. Little did I know, that once I clipped her nails, they would be sharper than they ever were before and I would end up with little scratches all over my face, hands, and boobs. I still considered it a success.