Monday, August 31, 2009

BBZ vs. The Home-Grown Tomato

N spent the day yesterday with his very good friend celebrating the friend's birthday. He has a veggie garden and gave us some tomatoes! BBZ really, really liked them! He ate the whole thing in about 10 minutes. He was covered in tomato and seeds from head to toe! It was a great excuse for a bath, even though he just had one yesterday. Here's one that I just love and couldn't help but post it! My little handsome man!

Not Me! Monday

It's been a while, but here we go!
While N was out of town this week, I did NOT try everything imaginable to take a shower with a wide awake toddler. One of those things was NOT to try and get him to play with toys in his crib while I hurried the fastest shower known to man. He did NOT cry the absolute whole time. I did NOT go in to find that he had also wiggled his way out of his pants that were NOT too big over the disposable diaper that I put on him. He was definitely NOT wearing a disposable because of the habit he has gotten into of pooping in the morning. I did NOT think that using the disposable would allow me to throw away the poop rather than scrubbing it. I really love the environment and am certainly NOT that lazy.
That evening I did NOT buy convienient food (Chef Boyardee) for BBZ at Target because I knew I wouldn't have the time, or the patience to cook while N was out of town. He did NOT love it and eat more than he ever has at one sitting. I did NOT feel guilty about it. Nope not me. I also did NOT feel 10 times worse when I looked at the ingredients and saw......
I would never give my child something to eat without knowing what was in it first. I am waaaaay to good of a mom to do such a thing.
Ok, this is NOT really, really bad...the next day, after I tried a co-shower that really worked out well for us (insert sarcastic smerk here) I did NOT feed BBZ the rest of that HFCS infested Chef Boyardee. Nope, not me! That would be really lazy and irresponsible.
When N came home, I was NOT really looking forward to having his help with BBZ in the morning. I was NOT sure that he would wake up at 6am as he did the rest of the week. He most certainly did NOT sleep until 7am! I was NOT showered and dressed and ready to go before he even woke up for the day!
After our garage sale at the in-laws this weekend, we did not spend exactly $.04 more than we made eating dinner out. We are great savers and never let money burn holes in our pockets.
Never tried Not Me! Monday? Give it a feels great! Head over to MckMama's blog for the rules, and to find out what she and everyone there are NOT doing this week!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Extended Breastfeeding

When I was pregnant, I knew I would breastfeed my baby. I wasn't going to try, I was going to do it, and do it I have, for 11 months and 2 days. When I started almost 1 year ago, I wanted to make it at least 6 months, and at 6 months I hoped to make it to a year, and now that I am almost at a year, I have mixed feelings about where we will go from here. I really think that BBZ was on his way to weaning before he became sick at 9 months. He was so busy that I was bringing him to the breast more than he was coming to me. All of that changed after he got sick. As I have said, his only comfort was nursing. Before that, he was a pro at comforting himself. Then suddenly he was extremely dependent on me and on nursing. He is getting much better and I think he will wean when he is ready. I don't really understand, logistically, how a baby weans at a year. He needs to have his regular nursing sessions up to 1 year, so how does someone wean before 1 year? I guess I could have weaned him to the bottle and switched to whole milk, but what is the difference between needing a bottle before bed and needing to nurse? I have never given him a bottle, so to introduce one now seems weird.

I've been doing some reading about weaning and I have learned there are basically 3 ways to wean: abrupt weaning, mother-led weaning and baby-led weaning. I guess I am going to do a combination of mother-led and baby-led. I am not in a hurry to begin weaning him off of the breast milk...I know that the immunities will continue to protect him against all kinds of sicknesses, especially with the bad flu season everyone is worried about. I should knock on wood, but BBZ has been healthy without so much as a snotty nose since his discharge in the middle of July! I really do believe that my breast milk has protected him against illnesses, and it will continue to do so as long as I choose to breastfeed. So anyway, what I am looking forward to is to stop pumping at work. I am SO OVER IT!!!! I can't believe how much I am over it. I will have to cut pumping out slowly, because if I stop pumping cold turkey I will be extremely uncomfortable until my body adjusts. But even cutting down to 1 pumping session a day is something I cannot wait for! I think I will cut out one of the 2 pumping sessions within the next 2 weeks and mix the breast milk I send with him to daycare with whole milk to get him used to it. Then I can continue to nurse him at home until he is ready to stop.

I was at a great store called Kangaroo Kids one day when BBZ was pretty new and I was talking with a mom of a nursing toddler about how I was not quite comfortable nursing in public, but I wanted to be. She said that as soon as I am comfortable nursing in public, people will say he is too old to be nursing. I pretty much took that as no matter what, someone is going to disagree, or judge me as a mom, and you know what...that's OK! At one point I said I wouldn't dare go past a year, but now that the year mark is right around the corner, I see why people keep doing it. Part of it is that I do enjoy it, but I don't want BBZ to be dependent on me for longer than he needs to be. I want to gently encourage him to eat more solid food, find ways to sooth himself, and when he is ready, nursing will end. I know it won't be next week, and I hope it isn't until he is 2, but this will be an adventure for both of us, as I learn to let go and he learns a first of many lessons in independence. My coworker spoke a poem once that I loved, but I couldn't remember any of it besides "babies don't keep", so while searching for it I found the following excerpt...

Babies Don't Keep By Stephanie I'm what most would call an "attached" parent in the sense that I pretty much never put my baby down. She sleeps with me and she nurses whenever she wants (even if it means I have to pull the car over). I hold her a lot and wear her in a sling throughout the day or when we're out instead of keeping her in a car seat. I do most, if not all of that, because that is what makes her- and me- happy. It works. It's our groove. The dance we do. I understand other Moms might not understand. And probably think I need professional help.

I do put her down if I need to.

But if I don't want to, and she doesn't mind the snuggles and smooches, then I see no harm in indulging. I do not think a baby that is held too much will not learn to walk. Heck, Gray was worn constantly in the sling and was my earliest crawler and then was walking at 11 months. I do not think holding a baby too much will spoil them. Someone reminded me long ago that items that are left on a shelf and forgotten spoil.
So quiet down, you. You who think you know better than me, the mother of this precious child. I'm going to go on rocking my baby, 'cause babies don't keep.

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo
The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.
- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

Ahhh, what a lovely poem. I do not pretend to think that all moms should breastfeed past a year. Perhaps I will wish BBZ didn't if this goes on longer than I would prefer, but I will do what I think is best for my child, and onlookers can judge however they see fit. We will go on doing our little dance together, as the above mother said so eloquently. I also recently read a story that a mother wrote that compared weaning to helping her child balance on the balance beam..."don't let go" her daughter said to her, and as the mother walked beside her, helping her find her own balance, how afraid she thought her daughter would be if she let go too soon, before her daughter had her balance? She held on and gently guided her daughter until she realized that her daughter was a few steps ahead, balancing herself. Looking back, the mother couldn't remember who let go first.

Monday, August 24, 2009

In Perfect Rhythm

This weekend was great. Friday evening we spent a nice and quiet evening at home, after a delicious dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. The whole family went for a walk and midway through decided to grab some dinner. BBZ and I split some pasta con broccoli and N got a delicious sandwich. We sure enjoyed our meal, but we weren't prepared for a slight downpour of rain that came right as we were in the middle of our pasta! There is something beautiful and happy about walking in the rain. BBZand Delilah didn't seem to mind either!
Saturday I helped out my friend and neighbor, Nikki, who hosted a free clothing and food day at her church. And when I say free, I mean free! She organized this fantastic day that included a brown bag for each family member to fill, as well as a bag of groceries for anyone who showed up. There were so many families there who needed help, and so much stuff for them! I helped a woman who was pregnant by going through clothes and finding some cute things she could wear as maternity clothes, as well as help a little boy find a transformers sweatshirt that he loved! I know I am helping people when I do stuff like this, but I really do it for selfish reasons. I love what it feels like to help people get the things they need. I guess there really is no selfless good deed.
The weather this weekend was unseasonably mild, which was great for us! Saturday evening we went to my cousin's little boy's birthday party and then to visit my friend, Laura. She just wrote this blog, which is a tribute to me as her BFF! It was so sweet and thoughtful and I really got teary reminiscing about our many adventures. Our visit on Saturday just wasn't long enough, so I hope to plan another one very, very soon!
We are planning a garage sale with the in laws next weekend, so I really needed to go through stuff to get ready for that, but the beautiful weather could not keep us away! We packed up and headed to a festival in a nearby town that my family took me to every summer of my life for as long as I can remember. My parents always bought my sister and I a Christmas ornament at this festival, which was usually at the booth that makes dough ornaments. When grew up and got married, my mom gave me the shoebox with all of the ornaments, which now pretty much covers our tree. Besides a few handmade others by our niece and nephew, they are pretty much the only ones we have! The first one I have is a little cabbage patch kid from 1984. Wow, I really am old!
My mother-in-law bought BBZ a dough ornament last year at a different festival she and I always go to in November. This year I bought him this one...
I'm not a huge fan of the "I Love Soccer", which I actually didn't see until I got it out to take this picture. It was hidden under the price tag, oh's still pretty good! I didn't really know what I was looking for. He is a little too young to be into anything, so I looked at the soccer player, but he's not quite there yet. I couldn't let him see it because he would say "bawl, bawl, bawl" over and over again if he even caught a glimpse!
After the festival we just couldn't stay inside! We took BBZ and Delilah for a walk and ran into the 3,704th reason I absolutely love my neighborhood. Every Sunday in a nearby park, a group of people, mostly strangers, gather into a drum circle. There were about 20 people there when we walked up and they were all playing together as usual. They came to a stopping point and took a short breather. It made me realize that of all the times I have ever seen them play, I have never seen them start. Every time we come across this group they are in the middle of the jam and just keep going, but this time we got to see the end of one jam, and the beginning of another. Slowly, one by one, or perhaps two by two, each player began to join the group. I can't quite put the rhythm into words, which I guess is often true of instrumental music. I could feel it in my heart; each person brought their own beat, their own piece of this perfect musical puzzle. One man walked up with his chair and and his drum and just sat, just listening with his eyes closed, waiting until he found the part he was to play in this jam. Another man began playing the flute, which was so unexpected and beautiful. Everyone found how they belonged in this group and fell right into place...into perfect rhythm. If only this could be as easy in other walks of life. If only we could all find our perfect place and our perfect rhythm. What a beautiful place this would be!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Baby Boy Z is 11 Months Old!

Wow, he is really 11 Months Old!!!
I didn't take many photos this month besides the ones from our trip to the far North and the train ride. But here are a few more just for fun...
Still practicing! He even tried the big one!
Swinging at Kayla's 4th birthday party.
Swinging again at one of the neighborhood parks. They are both anxiously waiting for Daddy to come home from work. Waiting for the train.
Playing ball with Daddy. Playing ball is his new favorite game!
To add to his vocabulary, BBZ tried to say "spider" tonight! N and I were singing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and he said lots of words that sounded just like spider! He does something new and fun everyday. He is basically back to his old self! I can't believe how fast time goes by...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

BBZ's Vocabulary (in order of appearance)

Our little guy has been cooing and babbling for a while now, but it seems lately that he is really making the connection between sounds and stuff! Here are his current words and what we think he means...

"Da-da" = Daddy
"Buh-buh" = Bye bye (and now he waves too!)
"I tee tee" = Hi, Kitty kitty
"Ba-ba-ba" = His ukulele or his daddy's guitar
"Ma-ma" = Mama (the first time he said it was in the hospital the day before we brought him home after his surgery)
"Baw" = Ball (it is often many many bal, bal, bals while pointing at a ball)
"Bat" = Bath (when pointing at the bathtub or at our friend's pool)
"mo-mo" = More (I tried to teach him the sign for more, but he started saying the word before he learned the sign!)

I posted this mainly to remind myself of his little milestones. I can hardly believe it has been almost a year since he was born! Time goes by way too fast and I'm trying not to forget a thing!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Planes, trains and automobiles

Within 1 week, our little traveler rode on a train, 4 planes and lots of automobiles! Our trip was an amazing success. We woke up early on Friday morning to catch an 8:40am flight to Minneapolis. BBZ did so great! It was right about his nap time, so he cried a little when he was tired but not quite ready to sleep and ended up passing out right as we were landing. He slept through the entire layover and woke just as we were getting to the gate, which was perfect for me to change his diaper and get us all fresh for the second flight. He was in the best mood since he just took a great nap, so everyone had lots of nice things to say about his behavior...and his cute self! Meme, Papa, my sister and my nephew CJ met us at the airport. It took me a while to get the car seat situated, but once I did, we headed to their house. I let them know that his new favorite things are balls, so they were prepared with lots of fun toys, including lots of fun balls for him to play with.
Do you think he will be a soccer player? N and I both played, so probably!
Here he is giving his cousin a nice and wet kiss and hug!
Playing the piano with Papa...he liked the black keys best. On our way to the Fargo Children's Museum. He is such a happy little boy!
I must admit that I didn't have very high expectations of this place. Not that Fargo doesn't have cool stuff, but coming from the big city, I didn't expect too much. It was really cool though! It was perfect for someone BBZ's age because everything was at his level so he could crawl around and play with everything! Here he is painting a beautiful painting for Meme and Papa's fridge.
There was a huge music room with every instrument you could imagine. I think N and I liked this room best.
I'm not really sure what's going on here...
This cow was pretty cool...
We took this one just for Grandpa Z! BBZ is a natural!
This room was designed for the really little kids and had lots and lots of balls to play with! His favorite game was knocking down all of the round blocks after daddy stacked them really high.
Making friends with the bees. There was a real bee hive in the building with a tube that led outside so the bees could come and go as they wanted.
He did a little grocery shopping...
And climbed to the top of this castle.
Ride em' cowboy!
He was a really big help with Papa's crossword puzzle.
And he found this toy in his room that was a gift from one of my parents very good friends to my sister when she was a baby. Notice the balls? He loved it!
We didn't take any photos during the first plane ride, I guess because we were all a little nervous about how it would go. It was a big success, so we took some on the way back.
Sporting his Bob Marley shirt
The new book Auntie Em got him kept him pretty occupied on the first flight home.
He was a little wiggle worm, but we survived.
We took turns passing him around. We had an extra seat in our row and that last leg which was very helpful! He did poop about 20 minuted before we landed and it started to leak out onto my pants. He sat on a burp cloth the rest of the way home and I changed him in the extra seat before we got off the plane. All things considered, it was a great trip! He's a great traveler!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Free gDiapers, a 30th birthday, breaking records, and BBZ's first train ride

The weekend in review. Everyone knows that I cloth diaper BBZ, what everyone might not know is that cloth diapering is a bit of a hobby for me. I have all of the diapers I need, but that doesn't stop me from perusing the web for good deals on g's. I often go to Craig's list and eBay to see what people are selling. I rarely buy them, but every now and then I come across a deal I cannot pass up. What is the best possible deal imaginable? How about 4 gdiapers covers with liners and flushable inserts for FREE! That's right folks, all that perusing paid off. I'm not sure what I am going to do with the covers yet...probably sell some of the old ones and keep these, but I hurried up and grabbed them and figured I would decide what to do with them later. That was on Friday, what a great way to start the weekend! BBZ woke me up super early on Saturday (before 6am), so we played in the guest room for a while since I could close the door and my eyes for a few seconds at a time until he got too antsy and we moved the morning party downstairs. He took a few naps and we ran some errands. Then we went to our friend's 30th birthday party Saturday night. I wasn't sure how BBZ would do sleeping somewhere besides home, but we brought the play pen anyway to give it a try. At about 8:45pm, which is about 2 hours past his regular bedtime, I tried to lay him down. I fed him and laid him down and he laid there for a second or 2, sat up, looked at me and said "ba!". He was so smiley and cute and obviously not ready for bed. We went back upstairs and he played and partied with his friends until 10:30pm! That's even later than at the Bob Dylan show! He absolutely crashed when we got in the car. He didn't even wake up when I took him out of his seat when we got home. Such a cutie-pie. I hoped he would sleep in on Sunday and he did a little. 7:30 that is. Hey, it's better than before 6am! He was ready to nap around 9:30am, so I laid him down and he slept for 2 1/2 hours! I actually had to go in and wake him up so we could leave! That is an all-time record for him. I can't remember him ever taking a 2 1/2 hour nap. So I had to wake him up on Sunday so we could take him on his very first train ride!
We had to get him a conductor hat to match his cute outfit!
Look Grandpa, he's got his ticket!
Aunt C and Uncle B gave this trip as a gift to Grandpa Z for father's day...we just tagged along. This was 1 of only 2-3 of these 12" railways in the country!
It was a beautiful 2 mile ride...
...and although it was hot, we had a great time! We passed BBZ around to keep him entertained!

He is so busy all the time! This weekend we are going to visit my parents in the far, far north! So BBZ will have his first train ride and his first plane ride in the same week! He sure is a little traveler!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Entering a cloth diaper giveaway!

I came across this crazy awesome cloth diaper giveaway! Click here to check it out. I love my gdiapers, but it would be fun to try others and see how they work. These are all handmade and super duper cute! Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Eating with your fingers 101

So we are working on something big here in the Z household. BBZ has absolutely no interest in feeding himself. At least not with his fingers. He will often grab the spoon while I am feeding him and feed himself, but as far as using his fingers... no way, Jose. I talked to his teachers at his daycare about this and my least favorite teacher gave me some song and dance about them not being able to give him table food until he can feed himself. For what I am paying for him to go there, they should be working with him on learning to eat finger foods... IfIdosaysomyself. So his primary teacher, who is my very favorite, came back and was more than happy to start table foods with him. That was the beginning of last week and he is pretty much off baby food, at least at home anyway. So back to our finger food eating lesson. I worked very closely with him the last couple of days...showing him how to pick it up and put it in his mouth. We tried puffs, peaches, carrots and even spaghetti! Finally we are making progress. He now picks up the food by raking it (he doesn't have the pincer grasp yet) holds it up, gives it to me and opens his mouth for me to put it in there. It's pretty darn cute that he gets so mad if you take a long time to come over there and put it in his mouth for him. How long do you think it will take for him to realize he can do it himself? Oh well, it's a start, right??? The video doesn't quite capture it, but here it is anyway!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mr. Redlegs sends the motherload!

Last week BBZ got a package in the mail. In it was an Honorary Contract with the Cincinnati Reds, an autographed photo of Mr. Redlegs, a stuffed Mr. Redleg's doll, 2 Mr. Redlegs stickers and the following letter... Dear BBZ, My name is Mr. Redlegs, and on July 11th of 2009, you and I came in contact at the St. Louis Children's Hospital. I was there for the All-Star game, representing the Cincinnati Reds. As a part of our duties in the host city, we visit the hospitals in the area that care for young people. On the 11th, I was at your hospital making my visit. Also in attendance for this was Slider from the Cleveland Indians, Ranger Captain from the Texas Rangers, and Screech from the Washington Nationals {as opposed to the Washington Natinals, ahem.} We were there also to dedicate a new portable game station for the hospital that had been donated by MLB, we then broke up and all went in different directions. The young lady that led me around took me to many different rooms to see many different children before I reached you and your family. It was obvious when I reached your bedside that something was up. I have done these many times and was able to recognize that right away. Your parents were very nice for not throwing me out by my laces especially with the concern that you could feel in the air and that showed on their faces. I exited and moved on down the hall. When I returned to the ballpark after the trip I got an email from your parents thanking me for my visit and apologizing for not being more receptive. That gave me a thrill and a chuckle because I usually do not get apologies.
The message was very nice and informed me of your condition and how it had improved, things were looking up. I felt a sort of closeness with you at that point and your family and wanted to send along a little something that would remind them of the love and concern there is for you and your mom and dad here in Cincinnati. Here's to a long, successful and happy future for you and your parents.
Yer Pal,
Mr. Redlegs
After receiving the letter, N and I thought it would be most appropriate to buy a fake scoundrel mustache from a nearby store that happened to have a sign out front that said "That's right, we sell mustaches" and try to get BBZ to pose with it to show his unwavering likeness of the Cincinnati Reds and Mr. Redlegs...
He didn't like the idea as much as we did...
N says we should use this one as his birthday picture and say he is unhappy about getting older...
I remember a big sign for Jagermeister in a bar where I went to college that had a picture of a guy with a mustache just like this one! He was making a very similar face too...remember that, A???
At least it ended with a half smile! We didn't get a great shot, but he was a trooper!

Way back When-sday!

So I was looking through some old photos to find something fun to post today, and I came across the photos from our vacation last year. My dad grew up in Massachusetts and we went there for summer vacation every year for as long as I can remember. When we were really small they would drive overnight and put suitcases behind the front seats, lay an egg shell pad across and my sister and I would sleep the whole way. It was a 24-hour drive, and now that I have a baby I can see why they chose the overnight route! Funny how there was no worry about car seats back then! So anyhoo, last year we all went to Massachusetts for my cousin's wedding. My aunts (my dad has 4 sisters and 1 brother) threw me a great shower since I was about 7 months pregnant at the time. My parents also took us to Maine to a small cottage where they had vacationed the 2 years prior. My parents are in Massachusetts right now for the very same vacation! I spoke to my mom today and they were driving back to Mass from Maine. They and my nephew stayed in the same cottage and went to the same beaches we did lats year. It was an amazing trip! Hopefully we will be able to take BBZ there one day soon. We took a road trip to Vermont. It was beautiful. I would love to live there one day...
Me and BBZ at my cousin's wedding.
I love weddings! They are expecting a baby boy one day very soon!
This is the top of a mountain we always called Snuffy Mountain because it looks like Mr. Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street. I love my mom's shirt in this says "I live in Fargo...really."
On the beach
Trying on hats on the boardwalk. Moose head.
Our view from the cottage in Maine.
We went to Old Sturbridge Village where everyone lives in the 1800s
N also found some sparklers so we drove up to Snuffy Mountain and wrote our names.
I got so close to getting the Westminster Crackers sign in Westminster, Mass.