Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Forgot One

I forgot one of the REAL reasons to breastfeed.

MUCH less stinky poop.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

More Fun for Nothin' Ideas

I just found this great blog with lots and lots of free/low cost fun activities for little: No Time for Flashcards. I can't wait to try some of the ideas!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Fun for Nothin'

You may have noticed a new link on my side bar... Fun for Nothin'. I was reading my blogs the other day, and came across this much more eloquent version of the same idea I talked about a while ago. The flickr group has even more ideas, and for more ages.

I also really enjoyed this article in Wondertime about parents who take their baby to some fairly remote destinations. On these trips they have a "no toys" rule, both because it would be hard to take toys from a practical point of view, and also because their baby seems perfectly happy to explore the world at hand... even when it doesn't beep or light up.

I think the key is to develop your adult creativity so you can find "toys" anywhere you are, and/or let your baby find their own toys, since they are so curious and creative by nature.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sleep is for the Weak?

I recently heard of a new book by several mommy bloggers called Sleep is for the Weak. I've been thinking about that title a lot lately. But I think they got it a little wrong. I'd call it "Sleep is for the Self-Disciplined, Well-Organized, Worry-Free, Non-TV-Owning, Non-Blogging, Super-Lucky Moms Whose Babies Supposedly Sleep Through the Night." Qualities which I possess none of.

The one night the big man and I had a little getaway without the little man, I STILL WOKE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.

The one night the little man slept until 6 am in a vaccine-induced sleep-coma, I STILL WOKE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. (Why is it that I have to run in and check to make sure he's still alive? Humans beings are known to sleep through the night on a fairly regular basis.)

Every night at 8:30 when I say "tonight I'm going to get to bed early," I STILL STAY UP blogging, watching TV, doing chores, and getting ready for the next day, only to sag into bed 5 minutes before the little man wakes up crying. Then I sometimes want to cry a little, too. But did you see that super-cute picture of the little man that I posted over on my other blog?

Counting the time I was pregnant and getting up to pee every night, I'm at well over a year now without a full night's sleep. And I haven't been in a car accident, or gotten fired at work (actually, I just got a promotion!), or gotten into any major fights with any of my family members, so I guess I'm doing OK. Maybe the succinct answer IS the right one: Sleep IS for the Weak.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The REAL Reasons to Breastfeed

As my time of breastfeeding draws to a close, I've realized there are some very persuasive reasons to breastfeed that they really don't emphasize in breastfeeding books and classes. When we were planning to breastfeed, we had all these lofty reasons to do it... of course it's wonderful for the baby's health, it's great for bonding, reduces food allergies, yadda yadda yadda. But what I really love about breastfeeding is not nearly so noble. First, I love not having billions of bottles and nipples to wash. Next, I love the FREE source of whole nutrition for my baby (have you seen how EXPENSIVE baby formula is??). I also love not having to warm up bottles - breastmilk is always available and at just the right temperature. Another great thing is how easy it is to travel because you have much less equipment to take along. But I think the thing I love the most about breastfeeding is that it is the BEST DIET PLAN EVER. I heard someone on some TV show said that breastfeeding is like having a treadmill strapped to your butt. Well, let's just say I'm down 2 dress sizes from my pre-pregnancy size. And I eat like a pig. Cake? Sure! Donuts? Sure! Gigantic Texas BBQ lunch? I'll be hungry again by 3! All this talk of food has made me hungry. I've got to go get a snack.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Finger Foods - A Partial List

Finger foods that work:
  • Cheerios
  • Gerber Graduates Fruit and Veggie Puffs
  • Homemade mini ciabatta rolls (hard crust, soft crumb - good for teething, as long as baby chews up the chunks he bites off)
  • Baby Mum Mums
  • Shredded cheese (he likes mozzarella)
  • Smallish pieces of sliced bread
  • Teething biscuits (until he started biting off huge chunks and nearly choking)
  • Fruity Booty (the smaller pieces)
Great ideas that my little man thinks are gross:
  • Black beans*
  • Blueberries*
  • Carrots*
  • Avocado*
  • Peas*
  • Shreds of poached chicken
  • Bits of fried egg
  • Any small bits of vegetable from my plate
*He likes these items just fine when they're pureed.

Things I plan to try:
  • Bits of toast with spreads (hummus, avacado, etc)
  • Chunks of watermelon and other fruits
  • Torn up pancakes, muffins, etc
  • Bits of cooked fish
  • Bits of cooked pasta
  • Macaroni and cheese - put it in the fridge, and when it solidifies, cut it into bite-size pieces
  • Little balls of mashed up beans and rice
  • All of the above "gross" items again - I heard it sometimes takes up to seven tries to get a baby to like a new food

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pregnancy Survival Kit

If you're looking for a good gift for someone you know who just found out she is pregnant, these are my recommendations.
  1. The Pregnancy Journal
  2. For her husband: The Baby Owner's Manual
  3. Thank you notes (for all the baby gifts she'll soon start to receive)
  4. A HUGE bottle of Tums, preferably also with a to-go case so they are always at hand
  5. Belly oil (I used this)
  6. A Bella Band (for the awkward time between when your old clothes don't fit and maternity clothes still seem tent-sized)
  7. Dark chocolate (which is definitely good for pregnant moms, if not physically, then mentally)
  8. Good non-alcoholic soda (for moms who will miss their beer/wine/cocktails)
  9. A great baby name book (such as The Baby Name Wizard) and/or a good funny baby name book (any book with 50,000+ names - buy it used)
  10. A good big water bottle (drinking LOTS of water is very important!)
All of these items were much appreciated in my house during my pregnancy. Let me know if I missed your favorite!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Buy Baby Gear on Craigslist

As soon as you get pregnant, you all of a sudden become aware of the gigantic baby product industry. If you're not careful, you'll end up with all manner of "must-have" baby items that will get used maybe three times if you're lucky. So when I get that urge to get my little man something else, I look on craigslist. His swing and his Bumbo were both second-hand purchases. I'm now in the market for a jogging stroller (maybe). And best of all, when you're done with them (even if you only used them three times), you can just give them away, or sell them again on craigslist, and there's no heartache. This process is not only economical, it's also very sustainable.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Favorite "Toys"

Toys do not have to be purchased. Many of my little man's favorite toys are not toys at all. You could go out and buy all the latest and greatest toys, but these have the double advantage of being cheap/free and readily available. Here are some of the best "toys" in our house:
  1. Cereal box
  2. Sippy cup with something rattling inside
  3. Mailing tube
  4. 6-Bottle wine carrier (cardboard)
  5. Water bottle with colored water inside
  6. Water bottle with macaroni inside
  7. The Dishwasher
  8. Remote control
  9. A spoon
  10. A magazine
  11. Empty beer bottle (supervised of course!)
  12. The tupperware cupboard
  13. Easter egg with rice in it (taped shut)
  14. Anything on the coffee table
  15. Those springy door stop things
  16. Pack of cards
  17. A piece of paper
  18. Can of Little Puffs/Gerber graduates finger foods
  19. Empty cardboard box
What does your baby play with?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Best Baby Carrier Ever

The Ergo Baby Carrier is the best baby carrier ever. I can carry my little man with it even when my lower back is out of whack and killing me. Awesome!