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Flashback Friday: The College Edition

Friday, October 30, 2009

college sweetheartsI am running way late on today's post because Marlie and Me are still recovering from our day of fun at daddy's office yesterday. I will be posting pics of us in costume on Sunday (the new location of Baby Log).

Today's Friday Flashback is dedicated to us...as in me and my husband. This photo was taken in his dorm room in 1995 when we just started dating (check out our gear! eeks!). Who could have predicted that 14 years, 4 college degrees, 2 engagements, 1 fabulous wedding and honeymoon, 4 vacations abroad, and 3 cities of residence later that we'd be the happy parents to 1 beautiful little girl!

Don't forget to enter the 100 Followers Challenge Giveaway!

Thursday Thunks

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I went looking for a Thursday Meme and found Thursday Thunks and decided to give it a whirl:
1. So Halloween is this weekend, if you haven't heard. Are you gonna open your doors up or not? definitely open! We have a sign on the lawn that says "trick or treaters welcome" and a big bowl of candy waiting for the tikes.
2. You better open 'em cuz I'm coming... what are you putting in my treat bag? The old-fashioned, but good, stuff...Smarties, Sweet Tarts, Big Bols
3. Since October is the bestest month for television (well for cable & dish subscribers it is) and there is a horror movie on at any given time of the day - are you sick of them yet?
I'm not a big fan of the horror movie genre. I just can't suspend my disbelief enough to enjoy them...a severely burned man kills you in your sleep? Come on!
jack o latern4. Which one of those movies can you watch over & over again? I always watch Charlie Brown, It's the Great Pumpkin. That's more my speed.

5. Tell us about a Halloween scare you've had....
We went on a haunted hayride at a park when I was about 12. It was so boring until right at the end when a headless horseman came out of nowhere and started to terrorize the passengers. He kept reaching out with his long bony fingers. I nearly crapped myself!

6. Did you watch the old Casper cartoons when you were a youngin? Well, back then they weren't old I suppose, but I'm sure you still understand my question.
I vaguely remember these.
7. Have you ever found a four-leaf clover? Isn't that a different holiday?
8. Haunted Houses... you know, the kinds you pay to get in and they chase you with chainsaws and severed heads.... do you like 'em?
I'm not about to pay to have a claustrophobic episode.
9. Do you use cute cartoon type wrapping paper for Christmas presents or the not cutesy paper? Or are you one of those gift card and/or gift bag people? This year, I'm not buying any wrapping paper or gift bags, going to reuse old ones or just buy gift cards.

10. How long do boiled eggs need to stay in the boiling water before they become hard boiled eggs?
I honestly don't know. My eggs are always hard because I leave them boiling too long.
11. Jason is coming in through your front door... Freddy is coming through your back door... zombies are at every window of the house and Norman Bates is calling to invite you to dinner... what do you do? Tell Jason that I already subscribe to the Watchtower; wave a lighter in front of Freddy to scare him away; put some cat food out for the zombies; ask Norman if I should bring a dessert to dinner.
12. Did you know that the scariest part of Halloween is giving all of your Reeses Peanut Butter Cups away? I used to be addicted to these. I haven't eaten one in years. I feel a relapse coming on.
13a. If you were to play a part of a haunted house (not the ghosts in the attic kind), what would you want to be?
See response to question #8

13b. Have you ever played a part in a haunted house? See response to question #13a

14. If Thursday Thunks had a Halloween party, what do you think Kimber & Berleen would come dressed as?
Sony and Cher?
15. Do you cook a turkey for Thanksgiving? My husband cooks the turkey and I watch, does this count?
16. Have you ever read a book that scared the pants off of you? Steven King's IT...but the movie S-U-C-K-E-D!
17. Whats the predicted high temperature for today? If it's below 70 degrees, I don't want to know.

18. Have you ever howled at the moon?
That would be cheating on the Sun.

19.You are in an alley and a werewolf and a vampire are coming at you - one of them has to win. Which one do you want to bite you?
I would try to put them to sleep with a bedtime story...maybe Goodnight Moon.

Tip(ful) Tuesday: SWAP MAMAS

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

don't waste adI am all about the Reduce. Reuse. Recycle...I'm crunchy and cheap like that. So when Marlie outgrew her newborn cloth diapers, I went hunting online for a way to exchange them for larger sizes. Environmentally-conscious and frugal moms, meet SWAP MAMAS where you can connect with more than 4,000 moms to swap stuff, be green, and save money! It took me a minute to figure out how the site works and it's pretty simple. You post a description and photos of your items for trade and wait for members to barter with you. You can also scroll through posts looking for stuff you need and make your own offers. Sometimes, members just give stuff for FREE! It is a thing of beauty! Plus, no money transactions are allowed so you don't have to worry about being defrauded. The site is divided into groups such as crafts, books, and coupons (just to name a few out of hundreds). My only recommendation for improvement would be to add a search function so that you can query the posts by key terms rather than having to click through each one. Other than that, I find the site is fairly easy to use AND addictive. I have already exchanged coupons with a mother in North Dakota and I'm hoping to swap cloth diapers soon. Not every group is about swapping goods though...there are even groups that exchange recipes and baking tips! In this economy, very few of us can afford to buy the things we want or need brand-new. Say your kids want the latest Disney DVD, but it's not in your budget. Just join the Disney Mamas and/or the Big DVD Swap and offer to trade a DVD you no longer need in exchange for the one your family wants. My next task is to swap some of my old books for children books to start Marlie's library.
If you have stuff you want to get rid of, check out SWAP MAMAS. Your junk IS someone's treasure!

I'm Bored... (Giveaway Closed)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

...with my blog. Granted I just became a new mommy 2.5 months ago and taking care of baby girl has been my #1 priority. Still, becoming a mother doesn't mean I have to throw my personality out with the baby's bath water. I have been yawning at my blog for some time, but I recently became motivated to do something about it. My inspiration? The Redhead Riter! She has recognized my blog with several awards, and I feel compelled to live up to the honors. Moreover, I am in awe at what she has accomplished. She has built a Taj Mahal in the blogosphere by launching a family of networking blogs she calls the Blogrolls. You have to check it out and enter her giveaway! She makes me want to step up my game. I have been experimenting with HTML/CSS code to add some flair to my posts and created a Flickr account to organize photos and graphics. I am also going to start participating in some memes and put that pizazz back into my blogging (I am making jazz hands right now). Get ready because it's going to get more entertaining around here, and I have a W-I-C-K-E-D sense of humor!

I just needed to remind myself why I started this blog: to journal, make friends, and swap information and resources with other mothers (useful tips and services, product reviews and giveaways). On the PR front, I've been reaching out to some companies...stayed tuned. In the meantime, I will work on making my blog more appealing for you. I'm going to start by:

Hosting my first giveaway and it will be self-sponsored (I selected and purchased the prizes).
It's called the 100 Followers Challenge...I am looking for a few good friends to join my site!

blog follow

The prize: a Fall into Comfort Gift Pack
UPDATED: a $10 Target Gift Card has been added to the prize package!!!

winter goodies(pictured: Xhilaration hat and 2 pairs of gloves, Burt's Bees lip balm 2-pack, Swiss Mocha Cafe)

How to enter (entries that do not follow instructions will be disqualified):

Mandatory first entry:
follow my blog publicly with Google Friend Connect and leave a comment. If you are already a follower, state so in your comment.
Earn extra entries for completing each of the following (leave separate comments for each additional entry):

  • subscribe to my blog via email and activate the subscription (2 extra entries=2 separate comments)
  • blog about this giveaway and leave me the link to your post (2 extra entries=2 separate comments)
  • Bonus for my loyal readers: What does Marlie's middle name mean? Post your answer in a comment
The rules:
  • You must have a blog account to enter. Anonymous posts will be discarded.
  • This giveaway will end when the 100th follower joins Marlie and Me.
  • Winner will be chosen randomly from all comments posted.
  • The winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond. Please make sure I can contact you either by having an email address visible on your blog profile or leave your email address in your comment(s). By accepting the prize, the winner is granting permission to have your name posted here.
  • In the event the prize is not claimed in the allotted time, another winner will be chosen.
  • Giveaway is open to US residents only since I am paying for shipping.

Speaking of prizes, I received two awards from sweet Tami @ Hearts Make Families:

best blog award one lovely blog award

I am passing these trophies along to 10 blogs that I have just found and enjoy (it's supposed to be 15, but new baby, remember?). The winners then accept the award by posting them on their blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link; pass the award to 15 other blogs that they have recently discovered and think are great (don't be a rule-breaker like me); and contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award. The award winners I chose are listed here in alphabetical order:

  1. The Balancing at of...One Chic Mommy
  2. Dradrah's Place
  3. Leigh vs. Laundry
  4. The Lilac Grove
  5. Maneuvering Motherhood
  6. My Sippy Cup Runneth Over
  7. Personal Journal Blogroll
  8. The Politics of Love
  9. When Did I Become My Mom?
  10. Yaya Stuff
 *This giveaway is self-sponsored*

Baby Log: Week 9

Saturday, October 24, 2009

marlie and meI've been sans camera all week, and it pained me not to be able to take photos of my baby girl. My new (refurbished, actually) Kodak EasyShare C613 is on its way from the Overstock.com warehouse. I am so proud of myself because I didn't charge it to a credit card or raid our savings to buy it. I raised the money by having a yard sale last Saturday. It was thrown together at the last minute, but I sold $54 worth of stuff to replace our camera. Hooray! Now for what you came for:
  • Marlie had her two-month check-up on Monday. I asked about the wheezing sounds. Her pediatrician said her lungs are all clear, just some nasal congestion (boogies) and advised we continue using the humidifier. Damon and I placed a friendly wager on her weight. I said she'd be 10 lbs. 9 oz. He guessed 11 lbs. 3 oz. She weighs 10 lbs. 5 oz. and is 22 inches long. I won!
  • Some days she is a perfect angel...eats, plays, and sleeps like clockwork. Other days she is a force to be reckoned with...fusses and fights sleep. But I can always count on her to be the model baby when we go out. People will comment on lucky I am to have such a good baby. It's mostly the truth, so I accept the compliment.
  • She has discovered three things this week. One is her hair, which she is now constantly pulling. Two is her reflection in the mirror. Three is her tongue, which she loves to stick out. See video evidence of 2 and 3 here.
  • She is starting to sleep longer at night and wakes up only once to nurse. This is good and bad. Good because we both get more sleep. Bad because I get so engorged while I am asleep. I have already advised Damon to where a raincoat to bed, LOL! I have a pair of heavy, sore boobs in the morning and used to wait for Marlie to wake up to nurse so I can get some relief. Once, I was so full that I squirted poor Marlie in the face during an early morning feeding. Now I am pumping and freezing my morning milk to store in a deep freezer for mixing with her rice cereal because it's richer in antibodies than the milk I will produce later. I got this tip from Mamapedia.
  • When wakes up she does the cutest two-armed stretch and arches her back just like a pussycat!

She Came Bearing Gifts

Friday, October 23, 2009

That awesome blogger The Redhead Riter is something else! She knows how to make someone feel truly special. She graced my blog with three awards yesterday! She is better than Santa Claus!
"My Comments Rock Award"
my comments rock award Passing along to bloggers who leave awesome comments on my blog:

Teresa @ ♥ Too Many Heartbeats ♥
The Redhead Riter
Gloria @ Gloria's Spanish View

Kim @ What's That Smell
Stesha@ Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha
Betty @ Cut and Dry
Akilah @ Execumama Online

"Dragon Loyalty Award"
dragon loyalty award
Passing this award on to my dedicated followers
Teresa @ ♥ Too Many Heartbeats ♥

Stesha@ Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha
Kim @ What's That Smell
The Redhead Riter
Gloria @ Gloria's Spanish View

"Your Blog is Over the Top Award"
your blog is over the top award
Passing along to 5 stand out blogs:

Speaking From The Crib

Gloria's Spanish View
Execumama Online

Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha
Cut and Dry

The rules that come with the "Your Blog is Over the Top Award" include:

* Thank the blogger who gave you the award
* Nominate 5 other deserving blogs
* Answer the questions below with only one word. Here are my answers:

1. Where is your phone? charging
2. Your Hair? locs
3. Your Mother? disturbed
4. Your Father? missing
5. Favorite Food? Cuban
6. Your dream last night? waterfalls
7. Favorite Drinks? lemonade
8. Your Dreams? prophetic
9. What room are you in? office
10. Your Hobby? learning
11. Your Fear? loss
12. Where do you want to be in six years? California
13. Where were you last night? fellowship
14. Something you are not? materialistic
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. Wish List Item? cures
17. Where did you grow up? Florida
18. Last thing you did? diapering
19. What are you wearing? sweatpants
20. Your TV? company
21. Your Pets? dog
22. Your Friends?
23. Your Life? rollercoaster
24. Your Mood? swings
25. Missing someone? Grandma
26. Your vehicle? Honda
27. Something you are not wearing? bra
28. Your favorite store? Ross
29. Your Favorite Color? purple
30. When was the last time you laughed? morning
31. Last time you cried? Sunday
32. Your Best Friend? husband
33. One place you go over and over? bathroom
34. One person that emails you? Redhead
35. Favorite place to eat? restaurant

Can't We All Just Get Along?!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fallout Shelter Sign
Photo by Beige Alert

Even before I became a mom, I knew there were different cliques among mothers (i.e. lipstick-wearing, posh mothers; barefoot, hippie mothers). What I didn't know was that they were supposed to despise each other. After all, I am a peace-loving, make-friends-with-most-folk kind of girl. So imagine my dismay when I, on the cusp of motherhood, learn that mommies are at war. Yes, some of it is media hype--did you see the Dr. Phil show last week where the battle lines were all but drawn? But let's be honest, the media would not be throwing fuel on a fire that was not already burning (or at least smoldering). Moms have been judging, criticizing and dismissing each other for eons. The only difference now is that we have a ratings-hungry media (hello, Dr. Phil) and the Internet (blogs, Twitter) to elevate our bickering to the world war level.

I refuse to take a side, and not because I am a draft-dodger, but because I see it as pointless, counterproductive, and disrespectful. I believe all mothers should be united in our common goal to raise healthy and happy children. Why can't we see that
this is just another divide-and-conquer tactic? I believe in a mother's right to parent the way she sees fit whether I personally agree or not. Who am I admonish a new mommy for going back to work when I have not walked a mile in her pumps? I truly think I can learn something from every mother and want to be able to reach out to all types of mothers without having my head blown off for not being a member of their particular faction. I believe we should all lay down our weapons and call a truce, maybe even sign a peace treaty. Call me idealistic. It's okay. I live to dream of a better world.

We Are Winners!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

winnerWe all can't be winners OR everybody is a winner OR winning isn't everything. Which saying do you believe? I like to compete. I love winning even more. You may recall I started entering blog giveaways when I was pregnant. I became addicted to...winning! My eyes would light up and my heart would race when I saw a "you won!" message in my inbox. I had to ease up on the contests once I gave birth, but now that Marlie is napping longer I am back in the game, baby! It looks like I haven't lost my mojo either. My latest booty includes:
Not one to be outdone, my Marlie came in second place in the girls' race for Cutest Kid on the blog Baby Makin(g) Machine as part of Future Mama's fundraising campaign for the March of Dimes. Thanks to everyone who voted and donated! Even though she didn't win, I still had to give her a tiara and ribbon because she's the cutest of them all in my book, LOL!

Here are some current contests that I am excited about:

Click, Jump, and Go Enter! You gotta be in it to win it!

Baby Log: Week 8

Saturday, October 17, 2009

name in wooden lettersThe bad news: my Nikon Coolpix 3200 is broken after 8 years of faithful service. The good news: it forced me to stop being lazy about uploading clips from our flip mini, plus I learned how to take snapshots from video (to the left: her name on a wall in her nursery and bottom right: Marlie at tummy time). I hope you enjoy my singing as much as the videos! It's been an entertaining week:
  • Marlie is back to her smiley, playful, and cooing self! I take this as a good sign that she has recovered from whatever it was that got into her system. She has her two-month check-up next Monday, so I will have Dr. Agrawal make sure. I hate that she has to spend her first delicate months at the height of cold and flu season. Her mommy is taking extra precautions to protect her little immune system though.
  • She attended her first party on Saturday, a co-ed baby shower for our friends Brandy and Brian. She was dressed to impress and received lots of attention! We took her for a walk with one of our neighbors on Wednesday evening . On Thursday, Marlie and me walked to a baby store the arts district where I bought her a Taggies toy. On Friday, we had lunch with a friend of mine and ran some errands. She has a busy social calendar!
  • We went to Babies R Us after the baby shower to check out some strollers and buy her some winter clothing. Marlie decided this would be the perfect opportunity to have her first public blowout, which leaked onto her pretty outfit because someone didn't put her diaper on correctly (no need to I.D. the guilty party, *cough*). Luckily, I was holding her and my hand caught most of the poo before it could do further damage. I called her daddy to join me in the "mother's room," which I take is reserved for nursing mothers, but I was in no mood to follow rules because the Exxon Valdez spillage in her diaper needed two sets of hands to clean up! Boy, did it stink up that room! Needless to say, we abandoned our stroller shopping, quickly paid for our other purchases, and beat a hasty retreat.
  • Everyone is amazed by her strength. She can keep her head steady for minutes at a timtummy timee and turn from side-to-side when she is being held, and she is a pro at tummy time. Watch girlfriend fuss then decide to give it the ole' college try. See how she sticks out her tongue as she exerts effort? Look at those legs go! Listen to her grunt in triumph and her mommy's cheer! She is destined for the Olympics, I tell you!
  • Little Miss Grabby Hands got a hold of a handful of mommy's locs and would not let go! I had to pry open each finger to undo her vice grip. She really is strong! She has also been scratching her face signaling that it's time to clip those nails and put on some mitts.
  • Marlie has started drooling a lot and going at the back of her hand like it's a Popsicle (her mama loves Popsicles) prompting people to ask if she is teething. Huh? A two-month-old with teeth? That would be one for the record books!
  • The whole reflux business has really thrown off her eating and sleeping. Her tummy was so upset that I have had to give her smaller feedings every 1.5-2 hours. She has been building back up to her regular appetite, but she's still not sleeping well. It's easy to get her to sleep, but she'll only stay asleep for 30-45 minutes at a time. I've been trying the 31 Ways to Get Your Baby To Go To Sleep And Stay Asleep Easier with mixed results. I tried playing a Mozart CD while nursing her in hopes it would lull her to sleep. She suddenly started to pout and whimper. I thought it was a bad latch...nope. I thought maybe there was no milk on that side, so I switched...nope. Her whining turned into a full-blown wail, and I was helpless. I quickly Googled "baby whimpers while nursing" and clicked a Yahoo! Answers link. One of the responders indicated that playing music was while feeding the baby could be the problem. I turned off the CD player and, voila, she stopped crying. I am truly mystified! I guess Mozart makes her emotional.
  • Marlie is a contestant in the Cutest Baby Contest at the blog Baby Makin(g) Machine. She has been holding a slight lead all week. It's time to clinch it! Please swing over there and vote for her.
    The ballot is on the left side toward the bottom (you have to scroll a bit). Just select #8 (that's Marlie) and hit the VOTE button. Takes 5 seconds. Voting ends tomorrow at 11:59 pm. Thanks for your support!

A Shameless Plug

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cutest Baby Contest for March of Dimes
I submitted Marlie's photo to the Cutest Baby Contest over at Baby Makin(g) Machine blog. So please vote for her (you don't have to register or have a blog account). The ballot is on the left side toward the bottom (you have to scroll a bit). Just select #8 (that's Marlie) and hit the VOTE button. Easy peasy! Voting ends at 11:59 pm on Sunday, October 18th, so get over to Baby Makin(g) Machine and vote for my baby! And while you are there buy some tickets for the raffle event. 100% of the proceeds are being donated to the March of Dimes. Every dollar counts toward saving babies!

Baby Log: The Real Week 7

Saturday, October 10, 2009

pouty baby MarlieWho's That Girl?! That can't be the same tiny, barely-six pound-baby I gave birth to two months ago. I mean, look at her! Look at those chubby cheeks! She has gotten so big! It makes my heart sing with joy and cry with grief at the same time because she is growing and thriving, but it seems to be happening too fast! How do I hit pause?
  • Miss Marlie gave us a scare on Sunday. She woke up pale, red-eyed, wheezing, listless, very fussy and had no appetite. She got better as the day wore on, but I called her pediatrician just in case. The diagnosis: a 24-hour bug. I made sure she stayed hydrated, let her soothe herself with extra time sucking at the breast, and resumed co-sleeping to keep an eye on her. She rebounded quickly and was 80% back to normal by Tuesday, except for the wheezing which I'm treating with hot steam and eucalyptus rub.
  • Mid-week, she starts spitting up after feedings when she burps and has terrible gas. I'm thinking, WTH? I gave her some gripe water, but don't want to make this a habit. I went to my go-to resource kellymom.com and found this article on reflux in babies. The part about allergies immediately caught my attention. I start looking at what I've been eating. Aha! Could those chocolate-covered raisins I have been munching on for the past three days be the culprit? I stop eating them and she has no more reflux. Great! (this is sarcasm, in case you don't know). I had already eliminated dairy (no cheese in my grits, ice cream) and wheat (gluten intolerance) from my diet. Now I have to give up my last remaining guilty pleasure. But, for the love of baby girl, I will.
  • She has almost mastered the rock and roll (see photo above). Rocking is her new thing. She bee bops all the time like she is dancing to music only she hears.
  • Her other new thing is to stick out her bottom lip (also see photo above). I keep telling her that she is going to wind up like Bubba from Forrest Gump if she doesn't quit the pouting. LOL!
  • Her personality is developing. She is going to be Bossy! (parental advisory: video I'm Bobossy baby Marliessy by Kelis feat. Too $hort)! I want to record and post a clip of her shrieking orders at me, which is usually accompanied by a furrowed brow (sort of like this photo to the right, but much scarier). Of course, she's only babbling, but loosely translated she is saying: this is not a democracy, this is a dictatorship!

That's Just My Baby Daddy

Thursday, October 8, 2009

maternity photo of parents-to-bedaddy and baby Marlie

Dear Husband Baby Daddy,

Listen, I know you're not fond of the moniker but that's what you are now! I admit I was worried what you'd be like as a daddy since you didn't grow up around babies (or have a very good role model). We both know the pain of absent fathers and deadbeats dads all too welMarlie and daddy loungingl. Is that the real reason we waited so long to have a child of our own? Deep down, were we both worried that we might repeat the cycle of the broken homes we came from? All I know is that having a baby with you was worth the nine-year wait. On the morning our daughter was born, I saw a look of fierce love on your face when the nurse placed her in your arms. I knew right then that she couldn't be in more capable hands (hands that would never let her go). I am impressed--scratch that--I am in love with the way you have embraced fatherhood. From swaddling to rocking baby girl to sleep to changing poopie diapers to playing tummy time...you do it all and relish every minute of it! It's your birthday, but I have received the best present...a loving father for my beautiful little girl.

Cloth Diaper Review: Babyland One Size Pocket

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Babyland One Size Pocket Diaper ReviewWe test drove the Babyland one-size pocket diaper for a friend who is opening a cloth diaper business. I was happy to do so since I have been wanting to try a pocket diaper. There is a lot of chatter about this brand on the internet mainly because they are so freakin' affordable. You can purchase 10 of these diapers for $50 on a popular online auction site (hint, hint). That is a steal for one-size pocket diapers!

I prepped our sample with one rinse on the delicate cycle of our HE washer and line dried it. We were then ready to be guinea pigs! Hurdle #1: two college-educated adults with four degrees between them could not figure out the snaps on the rise. I couldn't find instructions online, but found a manufacturer picture on another blog and was able to figure it out. Hurdle #2: after adjusting the rise, there were more snaps to contend with around the waist. I never achieved a perfect fit because one snap inward was too tight and moving the snap out one space was too loose. Hurdle #3: the gussets around her legs were gaping, but nothing could be done since this brand lacked adjustable snaps in this area.

The test: I put Marlie down for a nap in the diaper. When I picked her up an hour later, I felt a wetness down the front of my shirt. She had peed and the diaper leaked!

Verdict: This diaper is supposed to be one-size, but it swallowed up my baby (she was a little over 8 lbs at the time). It probably works better on babies 10 lbs+. I am giving it a thumbs down for leaking, which I think is due to the gaps around the legs. Yeah, it's an economical brand, but IMHO you get what you pay for. I very much liked the cover pattern though (see photo). Baby girl looked so fly wearing it!


A Sunday Treat

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I just learned that I won a copy of the book, IT GETS EASIER! . . . And Other Lies We Tell New Mothers, by Claudine Wolk at My Organized Chaos. This is just the kind of tongue-in-cheek literature I need to get back into reading again, and the fact that I am going through all the things she talks about is pure icing!

I have also b
one lovely blog awardeen presented with another blog award! I am starting to feel like the Meryl Streep of bloggers, LOL! This Lovely Blog Award is from Jen at Jael Custom Designs. Thanks lady! She is a wife, mother, entrepreneur, and blogger extraordinaire. Go check out her out! Now it's my turn to pass this award along to 15 cool blogs I've just discovered (listed alphabetically):

The Baby Head Diaries
Beautiful Brown Babies
Determined To Be Fit
Mama Plays Mozart
The Monkey-Bear Mom
Nad and Zara Take on the World
Speaking From The Crib
You hear that, World?!

To accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award. Okay...so I didn't exactly follow the rules. I have had very little blogging time since the arrival of baby girl 7 weeks ago, this includes exploring new blogs. I think I get a pass for my list being 3 short.

Baby Log: Week 7

Saturday, October 3, 2009

It has come to my attention that my online baby journal does not correspond to Marlie's age. For instance, this journal entry is titled Baby Log: Week 7 so it should chronicle what happens during her 7th week, but Marlie just turned 7 weeks today. This post title should really be next week's, right? I have never been good with numbers, ugh! I should have labeled my first baby blog journal entry Week Zero. Too late now. Anyways, here's Marlie's weekly update:
  • She has the cutest double chin and fat rolls on her neck and under her arms! Her new nicknames are fatty boom-boom, chubby wubby and chunky monkey. She weighed 9 lbs., 7 oz. at her follow-up visit to the pediatrician on Thursday where she got an all-clear on the cradle cap and thrush. Hooray! She is experiencing nasal congestion at night and will sometimes sneeze three times in a row (just like her daddy...funny!). We're getting her a humidifier this weekend.
  • She had another growth spurt and was nursing like a little piggie at the trough. It felt like she was permanently attached to my chest like a parasite. I was rewarded for my patience though with...wait for it...FOUR HOURS OF UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP AT NIGHT! You read that right. For the past three nights she has slept from 11/11:30 pm-3/3:30 am. I awoke panic-stricken the first time it happbaby Marlie sitting in rocking chairened thinking something was wrong, but when I checked on her she was blissfully asleep and woke up a few minutes later to nurse. I never knew fours hours of consecutive sleep could feel soooooo good! It is still a struggle to put her to bed at night. Damon usually rocks her to sleep and she fights like a warrior! He likens the process of getting her to sleep to the "death throes" horror movie villains perform before finally surrendering to their fate.
  • Last week we took an infant CPR and child safety course at our local hospital. This week we did some more family preparedness stuff like putting together an emergency supply kit.
  • She loves exercising on the yoga mat. She gets lots of traction so she can now scoot on her belly!
  • We have started taking her for walks too. We walked to church for the last two Sundays and walked to visit some neighbors on Wednesday evening.
  • Speaking of church, I was part of a ceremony called the churching of womyn to celebrate the new mommies in the congregation. It was so touching!
  • I started planning her christening for Thanksgiving weekend (in honor of the time she was conceived last year). She already has her gown thanks to her godmother. This will be the first time we are hosting our families for the holidays...pray for me!
  • We had a mommy and me Friday. We went to lunch together. I had a mushroom swiss sandwich and she had the breast milk. Then we went to Mater-Na-Tea at the birthing center where we joined some other new mothers and babies in sharing our birth stories.
  • She is smiling back at me now, and it has me falling in love with her all over again! She is making all sorts of noises like cooing when she is happy and shrieking when she is displeased. Her middle name does mean "will be heard." She also "talks" in her sleep. It's so cute to hear her dreamy mumblings!

Bookmarks: For Future Mothering Reference

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This post is inspired by an homeschooling article a neighbor sent me. The father who wrote the article describes the various reactions of family, friends, and STRANGERS to their family's decision to home school. He says, "other parents often seem to feel attacked by our eccentric choices." I found it to be a very interesting read, not only because we are considering homeschooling Marlie, but also because you can insert just about any parenting debate into this article...homebirth vs. hospital birth, cloth diapering vs. disposables, pro-vaccination vs. anti-immunization, breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding. People (especially mommies) are very sensitive about their parenting choices. I learned this the hard way when we announced our plans to have a natural childbirth at our first baby shower. Several mommies chimed in at once..."why would you want to do that?!" and "wait until the pain hits, you'll be screaming for an epidural." One person wrote in my guest book, "drugs are good." I got the feeling that most of the mothers at the table felt I was issuing an indictment against how they delivered just by expressing my desire to have a different experience. I could hear them thinking, "so, you think you're better than me?!" and "so, the hospital ain't good enough for you?!" The home-schooling father captures the paradoxes faced by the 21st century mother perfectly: Whether they're working-class or middle-class, most working mothers feel fundamentally torn between home and the workplace. They get shunted into mommy-track careers if they seem insufficiently devoted to their corporate overlords while getting grief from mothers-in-law for not spending enough time with the kids. They're doing the best they can and it's not that much fun, and the last thing they want to hear is somebody telling them, in effect, that they must have missed the latest memo on hip 21st-century motherhood.
I so get it. As mothers, we constantly question whether we are doing right by our children, and it can sting when you think you are being cast in the 'bad mommy' category for not practicing the 'best' methods. I hope people who read my blog understand that I am just writing about my experiences and not claiming that what I do is superior. I trust my faithful readers know that I'm a new mommy trying to figure it all out and far from being perfect. It bugs me though when I express pride over achieving a parental milestone like successfully breastfeeding and someone who doesn't know me makes a snarky comment like, "I don't have that luxury." Why can't we just support each other even if we don't parent the same way? One of my blogging buddies Tooj, posted this meaningful comment on my cloth diapering article: It's always nice to hear that what you DO works great for YOU.
I wish more mothers would follow her example. To paraphrase a line from the Different Strokes theme song...what might be right for me, may not be right for you. That's okay! It's not a competition, you know. Anyway, I bookmarked the homeschooling article to read again when the day came to make a decision on Marlie's schooling.

That got me thinking about what other informative articles I should bookmark for future mothering reference. I had two really good ones delivered to my inbox yesterday: A Father’s Painful Reality: It Takes a Village to Protect Our Daughters by Nick Chiles. A self-described womanist, Mr. Chiles tells the painful experience of parents' whose 24-year-old daughter went missing after being released from police custody. He shares their story as a way to underscore the importance of not sheltering our daughters and to instill in them a healthy dose of street sense. His article dovetails nicely with the second one I bookmarked, Alert: Safety Tips for Women by The Redhead Riter. She provides an exhaustive list of safety tips every woman should practice.

Do you have a really good resource article bookmarked that you'd like to share?

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