So, You’re Tired Of The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?- August 18, 2014

Ice bucket

Every time I turn on my computer or glance at my phone, more friends are dumping ice water on their heads. If they’re not dousing themselves, they’re sharing the video of another celebrity participating in this odd fad. Then there is that moment when you realize you’ve been challenged by a friend. No doubt, it’s the online trend of the summer. I don’t have much in common with LeBron James, but he and I both challenged our friends to take the challenge and and/or donate to ALS. I challenged some fellow moms and their little ones by the blow-up pool on our deck. King James challenged the POTUS from his yacht. Still, LeBron and I were both cold and that’s pretty cool. I really want a Kardashian to do this. I imagine they would use Evian or Fiji or something, and I want to see that.

I saw reports citing statistics from the ALS Association who say donations are at $13.3 million so far in 2014. That’s up from $1.7 million this same time last year. They attribute this to the Ice Bucket Challenge fad and say it’s changing the way non-profits approach fundraising.

I smile every time I see one of these silly videos. I chuckle every time I see someone leave a comment on Facebook after they’ve been challenged and say something like, “Oh no! Not doing it! But, we totally pledge our support. Donated $50.” What a wonderful place the Internet is.

Then it isn’t. Then the Internet becomes the nasty place it sometimes can be. My heart sank yesterday when I read a Facebook status that said, “SO OVER people pouring water on their heads! So stupid!” Another said, “I’ll donate for these videos to stop!”

Really?! Of all the Internet fads, this is the one you want to stop? You made your Year In Review Flipagram video on New Years Eve like everyone else. You just posted the results of the Buzzfeed quiz that told what your favorite junk food said about your sex life, but you’re bashing the Ice Bucket Challenge?

I have to wonder how many people even knew what ALS was until this fad. ALS is Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is a horrible, scary disease that leaves people paralyzed before they die. Thousands of people are diagnosed every year. I think it’s pretty amazing that people are donating money to find a cure and raise awareness.

If you’re “so over” the Ice Bucket Challenge, just keep scrolling down and ignore the videos. You don’t have to watch them, you don’t have to participate and you don’t have to donate, but don’t douse the flames of a trend that has caught fire. Especially one that could help find a cure for a disease that any one of us could get.

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Over And Under-Scheduled- August 14, 2014

extra curriculars collage

Muddling through the dog days of summer makes me ready for the routine of fall. I was really looking forward to August. I wanted to enjoy the last “pool days” with no camp and no commitments. I just wanted to get up and go to the pool with my sweet water babies. Well, the joke’s on me. I broke my foot. The doctor doesn’t want me out of the walking cast. I don’t want to take them to the pool without someone with me. Charlotte swims with a flotation device due to my extreme water anxiety. We’ll start swimming lessons next summer when she’s four.

We didn’t do swimming lessons this summer with preschool camp, dance camp and gymnastics camp. I didn’t want to over schedule her. Which leads me to my autumn dilemma.

I’m worried I over scheduled my 3-year-old.

Here’s our plan starting in September:

  • Preschool half-days, four days a week. She eats lunch at school. Ends at 1:00 pm.
  • Tuesdays: 50 minute gymnastics class after school at 2:00 pm.
  • Thursdays: 90 minute dance class after school at 1:45 pm.
  • Fridays: Free!

A few details:

Nap time typically begins a 2:30pm around here. Naturally, that will be later on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’m worried that will throw off her nap so much that she will start giving it up, which I am NOT interested in doing. This kid is a sleeper and needs naps. I know some 3 1/2 year-olds have already given them up, not my kid.

Charlotte does better on a schedule and when we are busy. When we have days at the house like we’ve had recently her behavior suffers. If we sit around the house I get either anxious or lazy. Neither is good for my psyche. That’s why I get out of the house everyday to work out or go somewhere and do something. We have not been bored since I started staying home and I like it that way. I did leave Fridays open on purpose.

I want her to be a stimulated, well adjusted preschooler who’s extra-curricular activities make her more than ready for Kindergarten. But, I also don’t want her to have an over-scheduled childhood that results in her getting into a fine private university before flunking out in the first semester in a pot-smoke haze. You know, rebelling against her yuppie, scheduled upbringing.

Plus, my Mom was like, “She doesn’t need all that! She’s only three!” Cue the guilt. 

So, if you were me, what would you do? I feel like we could drop gymnastics if it’s too much or if her naps start to suffer. Thoughts? How many extra activities are too many?

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“Bridesmaids” Moment- August 12, 2014

Our family is in the home stretch before my step-sister’s wedding. I pick up my bridesmaid dress from the tailor shop in a few days. I finally found my little flower girl some shoes to wear with her dress. Tahlia texted me yesterday asking about firming up a videographer. She has samples of the programs. She and my mom were recently discussing the order of service.

The couple has been showered and celebrated. It’s almost time.

I waited to order Henry’s suit until right at the start of August because, you know, the insane growth of 9 month-old’s. Oh, did I forget to tell you my son and my nephew will be MATCHING in these adorable suits?! I was so excited, I had to take some iPhone pics of Henry yesterday. I couldn’t wait. He is getting harder and harder to photograph.

Henry suit

This reminded me of a time this winter when Henry almost cost me a wedding dress. It was February. He was 3 months-old. I was quite a bit puffier and not overly anxious to try on bridesmaid dresses. Alas, it was for Tahlia, so I tucked Henry in the stroller, sucked in my baby belly and barely zipped up several dresses. We weren’t there for me, though. We had to find her dress.

IG bridesmaid dress edited

Tahlia tried on gorgeous gown after gorgeous gown. They all looked great on her. It’s ridiculous how stunning each sample dress looked. I was sitting to the side with my step-brother, their mom and our sweet friend Erin. Erin was feeding Henry his bottle. After debating the top two choices, it was unanimous, she found the dress. We were celebrating and being silly. I walked over to the stroller to stash his bottle. Tahlia was dancing around in the dress and wanted to “dance” with Henry. It was adorable. She took him from Erin.

My “mama senses” kicked into gear. I sniffed the air. I knew what it was. I turned and looked up as Tahlia grabbed him. It was like slow motion. I shouted, “Tahlia!!!! No!” She was holding him under the arms. Henry was headed for her hip covered with beautiful organza, or silk or some other fabric you only wear when you get married. I darted between the chairs to grab him just in time.

Bright orange liquid poop was soaking through the cute sock monkey outfit pictured above. This diaper disaster was less than an inch from the dress. Yep, I was less than an inch from being the proud owner of a sample wedding gown. I flashed to this…

 

You say, “Oh, but you could have just cleaned it and Tahlia could’ve worn it.” No, she’s so adorably petite she needed to order an even smaller size. Henry had to be a few ounces smaller after that unloading. Let’s just hope he keeps the suit clean until the family gets through pictures.

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Sleep Update! (And Bitta Kidda Review)- August 10, 2014

Hi. I’m Amy and I slept 7 hours last night.

 

I slept 7 the night before too. It’s a miracle, ya’ll. My squirmy little 9 month old has found his circadian rhythm. It’s about time, son! We were incredibly spoiled with our daughter. Our first born slept through the night when she was just a few weeks old. Seriously. It’s this trait that runs in my husband’s family. All the babies do that.

We quickly realized Henry did not inherit this trait. After talking with a pediatric sleep consultant, I learned a couple things:

  1. We can’t do the same thing with both babies. They are different people. Happiest Baby On The Block, the 5 S’s and all that shushing was great for Baby #1. That helped her establish early sleep patterns as a young infant and we never had to use any other sleep methods. In addition, I was working so she naturally fell into a great sleep routine with daycare. I lazily did the same for Baby #2. Mistake! As a newborn, the 5 S’s were great,  but then he needed ME to help him get into a sleep routine as he grew into an older infant. With me staying home, I was the one who needed to establish that, not daycare. Duh! I’m not sure why it took me so long to figure that one out. Live and learn. Granted, he is a lighter sleeper and more voracious eater than his sister, so he may have still had trouble until 9 months, who knows?
  2. “Cry It Out” is not the child abuse I thought it was. I wondered how anyone could ever be so cruel as to let their baby scream. Here’s the thing, I was still in the “newborn mindset.” Of course you don’t let a newborn cry it out. They need milk and swaddling and comfort. They can’t be taught anything. They are in the “4th Trimester.” Thank you Dr. Karp. (Karp wrote Happiest Baby On The Block.) But an older infant? My older infant needed a sleep routine and I knew he could sleep through the night. The first night was rough as you may have noted from my Twitter stream as I live tweeted the affair using hashtag #HenryCIO14. But, the next night was better. The next night was even better and by the fourth night he was asleep by 8:30 pm and waking up at 6:00 am. Cue angels singing!

One other thing really helped Henry too as he transitioned out of the swaddle. Remember last week when I had a review and giveaway for Summer SwaddleMe products? I mentioned Henry is now in the fourth stage of their swaddles, the Wearable Blanket. While, he does wear it at night occasionally, he mostly wears that for naps. What is he wearing at night? Glad you asked!

When he was really little I mentioned to Beth Anne, “Henry wants to hold any tag on any fabric all the time. It’s crazy!” She said, “Oh! He’s a tag baby.” Huh? Oh, yeah that’s a thing. That’s why they have baby products devoted to kids who love tags.

Right as I was trying to ditch the swaddle because he was squeezed in it like a little sausage, I discoverd Bitta Kidda. I was all like, “ZOMG! What is that?!” They sent me a Bitta Blankie. They call it a “wearable lovie.” Genius! It’s a sleeper with soft tags right on them to promote self soothing. It is truly perfect for a tag baby or a kid who loves lovies, but you don’t want them to have toys in the crib. In some of the pictures below, he is holding the tag as he sleeps.

Bitta Kidda collage

All this good sleeping at night as put him on a better nap schedule and we are all generally happier in our house. Now that our tag baby is a self-soothing night sleeper, the husband and I are all like…

Disclaimer: Bitta Kidda sent me a sleeper. My opinions are free and honest. 

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9 Months- August 7, 2014

Henry 9 months

Dear Henry, I won’t say “Aw! 9 months! You’ve been on the outside as long as you were on the inside!” because that’s a nauseating cliche and surely when you’re older we’ll roll our eyes at statements like that. That being said, I can’t believe you turned 9  months old yesterday. I love the loud “slap, slap, slap” of your hands as you crawl across the floor. I will miss that sound when you start walking soon. You crawl so fast we can barely keep up. You know your name now so when you travel too far we say, “Henry!” That’s when you turn and give us your “Aw, shucks!” grin before turning and crawling some more.

H 9 mo post edited

We have to sweep the floor after every meal because of the mess you make with the finger foods you’ve been trying. Finger foods are a 95% to 5% affair, with just 5% actually making it in your mouth. It’s not unusual for you to have multiple baths in a day because you smear baby food in your hair and all over your body. When we wipe your face you act like we’re pouring acid on your skin or something. It’s dramatic. So, often we just throw you in the tub. Oh! The bathtub. Yeah, you constantly try to climb out of that, risking your life and taking years off of  mine. Little daredevil. This  month you went to the beach for the first time and loved the water and eating sand. You will see the video of your first time in the ocean below. Yeah, I should have edited it, but I figured you would enjoy rolling your eyes at me and Grandma’s friend who’s recording this momentous occasion as we fiddle with the phone.(Here is a very similar post and video of your sister 3 years ago this week! )

 

Last night you gave your mama a belated birthday present and slept through the night! We are SO PROUD of you. We knew you could do it! This week we let you “cry it out” while I live tweeted the whole affair with the hastag #HenryCIO14. Go ahead. Roll your eyes. It helped me be distracted from your cries. You make our lives better, Henry. I love you, my sweet, sweet boy. Love, Mama P.S. Here’s an outtake this month from our monthly photo shoot. Yes, your daddy is wearing Angry Birds pajama pants. I feel you may be rolling your eyes.

Summer 2014 057

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