Archive for May, 2011

That day in May- May 31, 2011

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Saturday was May 29.  I used to hate May 29.  May 29, 2005 was a terrible, terrible day.   That was the day I got a call from my mother.  I’ll never forget the defeated sadness in her voice telling me my dad had left her after 28 years of marriage.  I’ll never forget getting sick, the look on my sister’s face when we told her, and the moments we spent just holding each other in the middle of her apartment trying to make sense out of shock.

May 29 forever changed my  view of love, marriage, and raising children.  For awhile I didn’t want to celebrate Memorial Day because I spent Memorial Day, 2005 frantically trying to paste together the shattered remains of what I had always known as my nuclear family.

For a few years May 29 passed by unnoticed.  I was working, or we went on vacation.  But this year, six years later, I thought about the significance of this day a lot.

I was very angry for a long time.  He cheated, he lied.  I didn’t talk to him for a year.  Growing up, I had a wonderful relationship with my dad.  We talked a lot.  I looked up to him for so long.  You tend to think after you grow up, leave home, finish college, begin your career, and get married your parents are just always going to stay together.  All the books on parents getting divorced were called something like, “Mommy and Daddy Don’t Love Each Other Anymore”, or something stupid like that.  One day I’m gonna write a book called “This is Supposed to Happen When You’re 12: The Adult’s Guide to Parental Divorce.”

“Uh oh!  Someone has some Daddy issues!”

I’m always going to be honest with Charlotte about her grandparents and their divorce. (Based on her maturity level and age of course.)  Both my parents are remarried now.  Life has gone on.  It still hurts sometimes, but I’ve put a lot of anger aside.  He is her grandfather and I don’t want my tarnished relationship to effect what could be a very special relationship for her.  In the long run, it could help Dad and I too.  I hope so, then maybe May 29 will always pass by unnoticed.

Charlotte and Grandaddy having fun Easter Sunday
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The eye doctor will love this- May 30, 2011

Monday, May 30th, 2011

So, clearly carrots are a hit…

I used to think pictures of kids in highchairs with food all over them were totally disgusting.  Now, I’m obsessed with getting shots of Charlotte coated in the vegetable de jour.  Happy Memorial Day!
(Oh, quick question blogosphere…She eats either rice or multi-grain cereal mixed with breast milk in the morning.  We have a meal of veggies at night.  I’m mixing breast milk in that too and it’s gone over well.  How long should I mix it in the veggies?  Thoughts?)
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My faves! – May 26, 2011

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Tuesday I told ya’ll about the “baby stuff” I hated in the first 6 months.  I wrote a post after Charlotte’s first month about the things I couldn’t have made it without in those newborn weeks.  You will see some of those repeated here, because they are that awesome.

Baby stuff I love:  
  • Bumbleride stroller- When the baby is in bed, Greyson and I take turns giving each other rides in this stroller.  I’m totally kidding, but we do love it a lot.  We did quite a bit of comparison shopping and finally settled on the Bumbleride Indie.  Greyson picked the super cool orange color and we’ve never looked back.  It has three wheels so I can steer it with one hand and have Ginger on the leash with the other hand.  Even though we don’t, we could jog with it.  It turns on a dime in crowded stores at the mall.  We’ve taken on mountain trails, over gravel, and we plan to take it on the beach this summer.  It is designed for all of that.  Oh, and it has a cup holder for my lattes or Greyson’s beer.  (I’m sure a beer will be in it at the pool this summer.)  We registered for it and were fortunate enough to receive it as a gift.
Charlotte out recently in her sweet ride.  We just started putting her in it without the car seat.  
  • Chicco Infant Car Seat-  Is there anything more nerve-wracking than picking the right car seat?  I mean, that is the one thing you want to MAKE SURE is absolutely safe.  I am really glad we went with the Chicco.  (Oh, it’s pronounced “KEY-co”, not “CHEE-co.”  I was corrected.)  I looked at the Graco (a little bulky), the Maxi-Cosi (awkward handle), and the Peg Perego (too heavy).  I practiced pulling each one in and out their bases.  The Chicco was the easiest and smoothest to get in and out.  I was worried it was too “plasticky”, but it ranked very high in safety ratings.  Being the prudent Daddy-to-be, Greyson looked up the safety rating on Consumer Reports and we went with the Chicco.  It also led us to the Bumbleride, as it fit right in it.  I’m really glad I didn’t go with the Chicco travel system with the stroller because I haven’t heard good things about the stroller.  Plus, when you get the car seat separate, it comes with the cover that we love!  This fall/winter it kept Charlotte’s blankets on her securely.  
This was us out Christmas shopping when Charlotte was tiny.  See the cover?  There’s a blanket under it.  It was great.  
  • Moby Wrap-  I wrote about this before.  I’ll write it again.  I’ll shout it from the rooftops. “I love this thing!”  When Charlotte was a tiny little newborn she would snuggle up to Mama and fall asleep instantly.  It freed up my arms so I could walk the dog and unload the dishwasher.  It was easy to tote her around the grocery store in the “Newborn Hug Hold”.  Now she faces out and watches the world. 
Back when she was in the “Newborn Hug  Hold.”  She likes facing out and having her legs dangle now.  
  • Medela Pump In Style Advanced-  As a working mom, I have to pump A LOT.  This thing paid for itself in the first week.  It looks like a tote bag.  I can fill up bottles quickly.  It can work with batteries or a plug.  If I had to do it again, I’d get the even-nicer Medela Freestyle.  It’s more expensive, but it clips to your belt/pants so you can walk around the house.  
  • Hands-free pumping bra-  My fave place to pump?  Driving down the road in the car.  Yep, you read that correctly.  I use the hands-free bra so I can have both hands on the wheel.  It works beautifully!  Such a time saver! I pity the male police officer that pulls me over.  Sorry man, Mamas have stuff they gotta take care of.  (Please notice I’m sparing you pump and pump bra pictures.)
  • Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag- I wanted an awesome diaper bag and I got it.  There is a reason PPB’s have become so popular.  They are great bags.  Before Charlotte was born I waited for the new fall line to come out and picked my fave pattern.  I went with the Boxy Backpack style.  Don’t be fooled by the “backpack” name.  It comes with a long strap and I carry it like a normal diaper bag.  I liked it better than their shoulder bag because the strap adjusts better.  A changing pad folds out, it has lots of room, and the outside wipes clean easily.  One day I will be able to afford a bag from their Cake line.  Devine! 
I couldn’t find a fab pic of me sporting this bag, and frankly I look a little busted right now so  I just pulled this one off the web.  This is the bag.  



Okay, those are all the things I can think of right now.  Do ya’ll agree?  Disagree?  What worked for you? What’s your fave stuff?

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A Baby Pat- May 25, 2011

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Okay, I know I said I was gonna publish the post about all the “baby stuff” I love.  I will, I promise.  But, I ran across this article and I HAD to share.  Have ya’ll heard about “Storm.”  This child’s parents won’t reveal his/her gender as “a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation.”  REALLY?  I mean, I’m all for Charlotte playing with trucks or whatever.  I don’t want to limit her in any way, but I don’t feel like revealing a child’s gender is limiting.  To me, they could be stifling the child by this extreme parenting, making the child an outcast or something. 

I’ve posted the article below.  What are your thoughts on this?  Read the part about “unschooling.”  What is that about?  Any guesses on Storm’s sex?  You got a 50-50 shot!  It’s a cute kid, take a look at the pic.  (See, look I called this poor child an “it”.  That’s limiting if you ask me.) 

You know what the worst part is?  This totally made me think of Pat. 



Parents keep child’s gender under wraps



By Zachary Roth
When many couples have a baby, they send out an email to family and friends that fills them in on the key details: name, gender, birth weight, that sort of thing. (You know the drill: “Both Mom and little Ethan are doing great!”)

But the email sent recently by Kathy Witterick and David Stocker of Toronto, Canada to announce the birth of their baby, Storm, was missing one important piece of information. “We’ve decided not to share Storm’s sex for now–a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm’s lifetime (a more progressive place? …),” it said.

That’s right. They’re not saying whether Storm is a boy or a girl.

There’s nothing ambiguous about the baby’s genitals. But as Stocker puts it: “If you really want to get to know someone, you don’t ask what’s between their legs.” So only the parents, their two other children (both boys), a close friend, and the two midwives who helped deliver the now 4-month-old baby know its gender. Even the grandparents have been left in the dark.

Stocker and Witterick say the decision gives Storm the freedom to choose who he or she wants to be. “What we noticed is that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious,” adds Stocker, a teacher at an alternative school.

They say that kids receive messages from society that encourage them to fit into existing boxes, including with regard to gender. “We thought that if we delayed sharing that information, in this case hopefully, we might knock off a couple million of those messages by the time that Storm decides Storm would like to share,” says Witterick.
“In fact, in not telling the gender of my precious baby, I am saying to the world, ‘Please can you just let Storm discover for him/herself what s (he) wants to be?!.” she wrote in an email.
How did Stocker and Witterick decide to keep Storm’s gender under wraps? During Witterick’s pregnancy, her son Jazz was having “intense” experiences with his own gender. “I was feeling like I needed some good parenting skills to support him through that,” Witterick said.
Stocker came across a book from 1978, titled X: A Fabulous Child’s Story by Lois Gould. X is raised as neither a boy or girl, and grows up to be a happy and well-adjusted child.
“It became so compelling it was almost like, How could we not?” Witterick said.
The couple’s other two children, Jazz and Kio, haven’t escaped their parents’ unconventional approach to parenting. Though they’re only 5 and 2, they’re allowed to pick out their own clothes in the boys and girls sections of stores and decide whether to cut their hair or let it grow.
Both boys are “unschooled,” a version of homeschooling, which promotes putting a child’s curiosity at the center of his or her education. As Witterick puts it, it’s “not something that happens by rote from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays in a building with a group of same-age people, planned, implemented and assessed by someone else.”
Because Jazz and Kio wear pink and have long hair, they’re frequently assumed to be girls, according to Stocker. He said he and Witterick don’t correct people–they leave it to the kids to do it if they want to.
But Stocker and Witterick’s choices haven’t always made life easy for their kids. Though Jazz likes dressing as a girl, he doesn’t seem to want to be mistaken for one. He recently asked his mother to let the leaders of a nature center know that he’s a boy. And he chose not to attend a conventional school because of the questions about his gender. Asked whether that upsets him, Jazz nodded.
As for his mother, she’s not giving up the crusade against the tyranny of assigned gender roles. “Everyone keeps asking us, ‘When will this end?'” she said. “And we always turn the question back. Yeah, when will this end? When will we live in a world where people can make choices to be whoever they are?”

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I’m a hater, for real- May 24, 2011

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

I told Greyson the other day I was planning to write posts about all the “baby stuff” I loved in the first 6 months, and all the stuff I hated.  I asked him what he hated.  He replied with gusto, “I’m gonna punch Dr. Brown in the face!”  I said, “Yeah Grey, we established our annoyance with Dr. Brown.”

I could really only think of 3 things I absolutely hate.  I’ll mention 2 of them here as one item was a gift from a family member I didn’t register for and I don’t want more family drama to hurt the giver’s feelings.  If you want to know what it is, leave me a comment or send me an email and I’ll tell you.  It totally blows and no one should buy it, ever. 

Baby stuff I hate:

  • The washPod- Basically, I got duped into buying a $25 bucket.  I bought it on recommendation because another mom said her kid loved it and it made bath time this spiritual family bonding experience.   The labels on the outside promise a soothing “womb-like” experience that will magically transport your child back a few months to the better days of being a fetus.  It’s a “European inspired design”.  This cracks me up.  We Americans are such suckers for anything “European”.  I found it to be awkward for Charlotte to sit in, so mostly she stands in it with Greyson’s support.  The cushy “seat” for the bottom of the bucket pops up all the time.  Water has gotten trapped in the rim edges and smells mildewy.  Now that Charlotte is sitting up better, we’re gonna start putting her in the tub. 
washPOD™ by Prince Lionheart®
  • Battery powered nail file- It is a terrifying thing to file a newborn’s nails.  But, those little things are sharp!  In Charlotte’s first weeks I tried to use this to file her nails.  It did absolutely nothing.  The vibration is mild and the actual file surface is not very rough.  Obviously that is so it won’t hurt the baby, but it also means it doesn’t work.  You also have to hold the button down.  My thumb was very sore by the time I got to her second finger.  I just got clippers.  Greyson won’t do it since he knicked her a little once.  Clipping nails is now officially a “Mama-only job.”  He’s terrified of the clippers and winces everytime I trim her nails.  I assured him it happens and to let it go. 
 
So did anyone have successes with these items?  Any suggestions for other bathtubs or files?  What “baby stuff” do you hate? 
Tomorrow I’ll post the list of stuff I love.  It’s a lot longer. 
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