Archive for September, 2009

So apparently I do not have as much time for blogging this week as I thought I would.  It is a lot of work getting ready for a 10-day vacation with two little kids!!  Not only does it limit packing time (their idea of “helping” is taking everything out of the suitcase), I need to remember so much stuff!  Way more than we ever needed before we had kids!

And then there are things that aren’t even related to the trip, but need to be done before we leave.  Things like making sure all the bills are paid, everything is caught up with our business, the house isn’t too much of a wreck, all the library books are returned, etc.  It’s a good thing we decided not to start redecorating/remodeling the dining room until after the trip…I think painting, putting in windows and replacing floor tiles would be a bit too much right now!

So I will be posting as I have time, and I will most definitely finish up my Cloth Diapering 101 series after we get home!!

Life is overwhelming right now.  So much stuff I need and want to do, so little time that isn’t occupied with diaper changes, feedings, playing with the kids, and housework.

We’re leaving for an 8-day trip to Colorado in a little over a week.  I need this trip so much right now, but my to-do list to get us ready is a mile long.  I keep wondering how I’m going to do it all.  The answer I finally came to:  I’m not.

I’m going to have to let some things slide a little (i.e. my blogging and all related projects) so that I can do the most pressing things.  It’s not a permanent thing, just a “for right now” thing.

And it’s not like I won’t be posting.  You can’t get rid of me that easily!  I’ll just be aiming for about 3 posts a week for the next couple of weeks.  You can be notified of any new posts by subscribing via the form on the sidebar!

And when we get home, things can get back to normal and you’ll get your daily fix of reading all about our crazy life again!  That is, if I’m not searching for cheap hotels in Destin FL because I can’t get enough of the vacation-life!!  LOL

babywearing1Did you know that this week is International Babywearing Week?  Anyone who knows me very well knows that I’m a huge believer in babywearing.  I’ve used it with both of my kids and loved every minute of it.

Now that Kelvin’s crawling and getting close to walking, I don’t wear him as much at home, but as soon as he starts getting fussy or clingy, I pop him in a carrier or wrap and he’s instantly happy.  And I always wear him when we go out, whether it’s to an event or just running errands.

I even still wear Ava on occasion!  The other day I took just her to Office Depot with me and she insisted on being worn in the Mei Tai while we were there.

What Is Babywearing?

Babywearing is the practice of holding your baby using a baby carrier.  Babies thrive from being touched and their parents love to hold them.  Babywearing makes it possible for parents to have the best of both worlds…they can hold and cuddle their babies while still accomplishing the tasks of everyday life!  It’s also a very effective way to calm a fussy baby and even get them to sleep.

Why Babywear?

Babywearing has so many benefits, both for the baby and the parent.

  1. Babywearing results in a happier baby (which results in happier parents, too!).  Babies who are held or worn most of the day tend to cry and fuss far less than babies who are not held as frequently.  There is also evidence that babies who cry less have better brain development because their brains don’t have to deal with stress hormones as often.
  2. Babywearing makes everyday life easier. Not only can you use both hands to get things done around the house, it makes errands and outings so much easier!  No more lugging around a carseat or trying to push a stroller through a crowd!
  3. Babywearing makes babies feel secure. It also helps keep them from getting over-stimulated since they can burrow into Mom or Dad when the outside world becomes a little too much.
  4. Babywearing promotes physical development. Your baby picks up on your body’s rhythms (your heartbeat, breathing and movements) which helps her regulate her own.  And for newborns whose circulation isn’t quite up to par yet, it’s a great way to keep them warm.
  5. Babywearing is a fantastic way to bond. What better way to bond than cuddling close to each other all day?  In addition, it helps you to learn about your baby and read his cues, which will also result in less crying!  And it’s a great way for dads, grandparents and other caregivers to “catch up” on the bonding process.
  6. Babywearing allows you to share your personal space with your baby, which keeps strangers and their germs at a distance.
  7. Babywearing is a lot of fun. Even if babywearing didn’t have all these great benefits, I would still do it because I love it.  It’s a great way to interact with my kids and it gets them up at eye-level so they can interact easier with other adults, too.

Watch for more posts about babywearing all week long!  I’m looking forward to sharing about the carriers and wraps I use and love!

Ever thought about making your own baby food?  Check out my post at Screaming Pennies today.  It has basic information, a step-by-step description of the process, pictures and recipes!

multitaskingI think the thing I miss the most about life before kids is the ability to just do one thing at a time and finish it!!  That’s not to say I didn’t multi-task before I had kids, because I did.  But if I wanted to just sit down and do something and not hop up and do anything else until it was done – I could!  But not anymore…here’s what my afternoon today looked like!

Kids woke up from their naps while I was balancing the checkbook.  Got them up, changed their diapers and tried to finish the checkbook while they played in Kelvin’s room.

During the 5 minutes that it took me to finish, got up once to help search for a missing toy.

Took them downstairs and sat down with on the floor with the kids in their play area.  Noticed how messy Ava’s kitchen was, so I started organizing it a little.

Kelvin kept taking out everything I put away, so I left that half-done and started gathering library books to return.

Ran upstairs to get a library movie and was followed by Ava, who needed another diaper change.  Took care of that.

Forgot I was gathering up library stuff and got the mail instead.  Had one letter that needed immediate attention.

While the kids and I were by the computer taking care of that, I remembered that I needed to order more toner for the printer.

Went back downstairs and played dollhouse with Ava while simultaneously helping Kelvin with a shape sorter.

Remembered that I was supposed to be looking for a few more library books.

Moved the couch to look underneath it.  Found the library book and a whole bunch of toys.  Started putting the toys away.

One of the toys I found was a ball that went to the ball popper.  Tried to teach Kelvin how to press the button on the ball popper himself.

Moved the couch back and couldn’t find the book anymore.  Finally found it in the library bag (Ava must have put it in there for me).

And on and on it went!  I won’t bore you with any more, but seriously!!  Who needs diet pills when they’re doing this much running around all day long?  I was never this sidetracked until I had kids!  I wonder if I’ll even be capable of just doing one thing once they move out someday!!  Maybe I have Mommy ADD now…

Looking for the next installment in my Cloth Diapering 101 series?  Don’t worry, it’s not over!  It will be back next week with a post on cloth diapering accessories!

This post included in Real Life’s Your Life Your Blog.

“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.”
– Agatha Christie

fussybabyI have had my share of dealing with a fussy baby.  In fact, I’ve had several people’s share of dealing with a fussy baby!!  Ava wasn’t so bad….she barely ever fussed.  And then along came Kelvin and I had no idea a baby could fuss so much!!  He had acid reflux and has been teething non-stop since he was about two months old…so it makes sense that I have a few tricks up my sleeve!  Luckily, he seems to have outgrown his acid reflux in the last month or so and I think (hope!) he’s taking a break from teething for awhile…and so I pass my ideas on to you!

  1. Make sure all of your baby’s needs are satisfied.  Is he hungry?  Does he need a diaper change?  Does he need to be burped?  If all that fails, you could try changing his clothes in case there’s a tag or something that’s making him uncomfortable.
  2. Find a sound that’s calming to your baby.  For Ava, it was white noise.  She even slept with white noise until she was almost 2!  For Kelvin, it’s usually a soft lullabye CD.
  3. Swaddle your baby, if she likes it.  Ava loved being swaddled.  That’s the only way I could get her to sleep until she was over 6 months old.  Kelvin hated being swaddled so I didn’t do it more than a couple of times for him.  It all depends on your baby, but for many babies it’s very calming, so it’s definitely something to try!
  4. Wear your baby in a sling or carrier.  Babies love being snuggled up to their parents and it makes them feel secure.  Both of my kids have loved being worn and I still wear Kelvin when we go out on errands or to places like the zoo.  It’s especially helpful when you’re out and about because it can help avoid an overstimulated, screaming baby!
  5. Pace with your baby.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many countless hours I spent pacing around the house with a fussy baby!  Something about the movement and having different things to look at seems to quiet babies down!  If your arms get tired, see #4!
  6. Get a change of scenery!  Go out in the yard, take a drive in the car, go for a walk (and work off some of that belly fat leftover from pregnancy in the process!!)…anything to get your baby’s mind on something besides what’s bothering them (whether it’s boredom, discomfort that you can’t ease, etc.)!
  7. Put your baby in the swing.  Babies love the motion of swings and if they’re overtired, it will usually lull them right to sleep!

For more great tips, visit Works For Me Wednesday!

all-on-one-diapers-1_FullThe fourth type of cloth diaper is the all-in-one (AIO).  AIO’s have everything you need for diapering…the absorbent insert is sewn into the waterproof cover.  They come with either velcro (hook and loop) or snap closures.

Pros

AIO’s are the easiest diapers to use…there’s no assembly or folding required.  Grandparents and alternate caregivers really appreciate these diapers!!  Many people also say that they’re the least bulky diapers, but I find pocket diapers to be about the same.

Cons

AIO diapers are definitely the most expensive option.  They also take the longest to dry because you can’t disassemble them for faster drying.  Another disadvantage is that there are very few one-size AIO’s (there is one from BumGenius, but that’s the only one I know of).

Cost

AIO’s range from about $18 to about $30, depending on brand.

My Thoughts

I don’t really use AIO’s.  I have used some from Thirsties, but I never bought more after Kelvin outgrew them.  There wasn’t anything wrong with the way they worked…I never had leaks and they fit great.  I’m just perfectly fine using pocket diapers and don’t see the need to pay extra money to avoid spending 5 minutes stuffing diapers on laundry day.

I also don’t like AIO’s because I never feel like I can get them clean enough.  I like being able to take the insert out of pocket diapers and knowing that the whole thing got really clean.  That’s just the way I feel, though…I’ve never seen any evidence to support this.  There is evidence that they take forever to dry, though!!

But if you dislike stuffing pocket diapers or have another person caring for your child for a large amount of time, AIO’s might be the way to go for you.  Basically, you’re paying extra for the convenience of not stuffing diapers and if that’s what you’re after, this is the diaper for you!

I can’t personally recommend many AIO’s.  Like I said, I have only used Thirsties and those worked fine.  I know that at least one of my sister-in-laws has some BumGenius AIO’s and really likes them, though.

Do you like AIO’s?  Why or why not?  What is your favorite brand?

“It kills you to see them grow up.  But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn’t.”

~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams

29e18fa2e37b5a9aNow that I have two little people who go everywhere with me, even simple errands can be unpredictable.  Shopping is no exception!  I never know whether to expect angel-children or beast-children.

Here are some ideas that have worked for me:

  1. Choose a good time for shopping. Obviously, you don’t want to shop right before meal time or nap time.  You also don’t want to shop late in the day when the stores are busier and the entire process will take longer.  I find that our best shopping time is first thing after breakfast.  We usually end up getting home right before lunch time and then I can put everything away while the kids are napping.
  2. Use baby-wearing. Since Kelvin is still pretty young (11 months), I still wear him in the mei tai nearly every time we shop.  This leaves the seat in the cart open for Ava, so I can strap her in and no one can go anywhere I don’t want them to go!
  3. Bring plenty of drinks and snacks. My kids literally eat their way through shopping trips.  They constantly have crackers or granola bars in one hand and their sippy cups in the other.  Not only does this keep them busy and content, it keeps them full so Ava isn’t begging for junk food because she’s “so hungry”!  LOL
  4. Get them involved. Some people make a picture list of everything they need from the store and let their toddlers tell them what’s next on the list and then check it off once it’s in the cart.  I don’t think Ava’s quite ready for something like that, but I involve both kids in choosing the different types of food (i.e. apple or strawberry granola bars, cherry or lemon yogurt, etc.).  This trick also cuts down on begging for things you don’t want in your cart, since they’re the ones helping pick each item.
  5. Know when they’ve reached their limit. I shop at several different stores every week and it takes a couple of hours total.  But if the kids are really grumpy and I can tell they’re close to meltdown, we finish up in the store we’re in and go home.  I’d rather finish the shopping later that day or even the next day than deal with screaming kids in a store!

What are your tricks for making shopping with young children more enjoyable?

For more tips and tricks, visit Works For Me Wednesday!

Last week was Ava’s first week of toddler school!  I use the term toddler school, because she’s not technically a preschooler yet and we’re being pretty laid-back about it at this point.  She’s only 2, and the curriculum is meant for her age group, but our main goal is to get her used to doing school and hopefully teach her a few things along the way!

I’m using this curriculum and I like it so far.  They don’t have a rigid plan of what they want you to accomplish each day.  Instead they have objectives for what the child should be able to do at the end of each month.  They also have some seat work and some out-and-about projects (identifying parts of the community, learning about transportation, etc.) so that you can choose what suits the child’s mood that day.

I bought the pdf download of the curriculum, which was considerably cheaper than buying the wipe-off book.  This week, I’ve just been printing out each worksheet for Ava and letting her write straight on the page, but I think we’re going to change that this week.  I didn’t realize how many times she was going to need to do each worksheet!  Instead, I’m going to put the worksheets in page protectors and let her use a dry-erase marker.  That way she can trace whatever she’s working on that day over and over again without me having to print out new sheets!

While we are having some issues with attention span and cooperation, I do understand that she’s only 2 and it’s to be expected.  I definitely do not want to make school something she doesn’t enjoy (especially at this age), so we’re being very flexible and following her lead.  I’m hopeful that as we keep going, she’ll get used to it and we’ll have lots of fun this year!

wordpress hit counter