Saturday, August 29, 2009

Potty Party!

I haven't had time to blog about this, but it was a very important milestone in our EC journey that I have to note. A couple of weeks ago, Jonah did an astonishing thing. It all started with a diaper rash caused by disposable diapers.

See, when we were on vacation, we had no way of washing our diapers. So, we used disposables. Silly me, thought that one pack would be enough for the whole week, and needless to say we were at the mercey of whatever brands the local stores in Park City offered. They did not carry any unbleached brands, so I got some Luvs and honestly didn't think much of it. It was only for a couple of days. I did note how heavily perfumed the diapers were, but we needed diapers.

When we got home, he had a raw rash on his bottom. I said a few curses towards the disposable diapers, but all in all thought that it would get better once we switched back to cloth. Because of the birthday party preparations, Jonah was in a diaper more than usual that week, and the rash was being persistent.

Finally, I made that wonderful choice again. The choice that we would go one full day without using any diapers. I thought surely, this will help the diaper rash! I stripped Jonah down, put his potty in the living room, and we started to play our games. Suddenly, in the middle of pushing his truck, Jonah stopped and went over to his potty. I wasn't sure how I felt about this. I don't want Jonah to think he can't go near his potty, but the thought of him playing in it doesn't appeal to me either! I waited to see what he was going to do. He climbed up onto the potty and sat down, smiling at me and jibbering some syllables that don't really mean anything.

"goofy boy!" I said as I went to pick him up, but something told me I absolutely should not pick up that baby right now! The look on his face, it was something familiar.... "sssssss" was the next sound that Jonah uttered. He said it while looking at me very intently. Then he smiled, clapped, and climbed down. I looked in the potty. It was pale yellow. I couldn't believe it! We had what I call, a little potty party. Usually, we clap and say "yay!" when he is done going potty (which is why he smiled and clapped) but this time, I went all out! I did a dance, and made up a little song. I told Jonah how great it was. He was so proud of himself, smiling and clapping, I couldn't help but be this happy for him!

I was amazed that after two weeks of going in his pants, the first catch we made was one he did all on his own.

Unfortunately, we've had to keep the potty out of the living room because of our dog, so Jonah hasn't had any more chances to go on his own again. I'm hoping to be able to give him more chances this week. I'll be reporting on how things go!

One Awesome Mama

As a teenager, I really felt that I identified with the TV personality, Blossom. I loved her quirky personality and style. You might be asking, what does this have to do with natural parenting and this blog? A ton, actually. The star of the show, Mayim Bialik, is a celebrity voice for issues such as EC, homeschooling, babywearing, and breastfeeding. I liked her when I was a teenager, but I'm loving her even more as a fellow mommy!

I wanted to share the link to this interview with my readers, because Mayim discusses many issues that I bring up on my blog.
Mayim Bialik Interview on Attachment Parenting and EC

More finger food recipes

Jonah is becoming quite the picky eater. He seems to be put off more by textures than the taste of foods. I've been trying to find ways to "sneak" veggies onto his plate that will end up in his mouth rather than on the floor. Here's one of Jonah's favorites:

Zucchini Fritters:
One or two zucchini's, depending on their size
Your favorite corn bread mix or recipe
Fresh or frozen corn (remember if you're using frozen, it is not recommended to re-freeze)
shredded cheddar cheese

Follow the directions for the corn bread batter. If you'd like a good recipe for homemade, click here. But the boxed mix will do if you're looking for quick and easy. After you've finished making the cornbread, use a cheese grater to shred the zucchini into the batter. Mix in however much corn and cheese you would like. Ladle the batter into a greased cupcake pan, so each well is about 1/4 full. Bake according to cornbread recipe. For true fritters, you could fry them (either deep fry or pan fry) but they are much healthier for baby, and a better texture for young mouths to chew, if they are baked. Frying them will give them a crunchy outside, and they will be like hush puppies.

Jonah will eat two of these fritters, and if you used fresh corn the leftovers can be frozen and heated up as needed. I just break the little cakes up into bite sized bits while he is eating.

Pleas note: This recipe has eggs, corn, and dairy products, and so might not be suitible for all toddlers. Corn is difficult to digest for young children, and milk/eggs may pose an allergy risk.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


A year ago today, I went to the doctor for my 39 week check up. I had already been to the doctor twice that week to monitor my blood pressure, which was high. I had left my job at the preschool a week earlier than planned because the doctor was concerned about the blood pressure issue, and even though I only worked three hours a day at that point, and pretty much sat in a rocking chair feeding babies and rocking them to sleep, she felt that just my getting up to get ready and driving and walking around once I got there, was causing my blood pressure to rise. My blood pressure is usually lower than the typical woman's, so the fact that it was shooting up beyond what is considered "high" for a typical person was even more of a concern. At least, this is what I was told. I'm trying to keep this memory in positive light, so I will skip all of my skepticism and dislike for my medical care at this time.

So today was my 39 week appointment. The nurse came in and took my blood pressure and the doctor came in very quickly after, which was not normal at all. She told me that my blood pressure had been very high for the past week, and she was concerned about it going higher. "what are you doing tomorrow?" she asked. "laying in bed, like you told me to" I said. "I'd like for you to have a baby tomorrow."

I hadn't expected that. Tomorrow??? My due date, August 15th, was days away still. It didn't seem to me like I had made any movements towards being in labor any time soon. We discussed it furthur, and she explained that she would like for me to go into the hospital to have my blood pressure monitored, and possibly induce labor if it got any higher. I told her that I wanted to discuss it with my mother and my husband and she said that I didn't have to go to the hospital tonight, but tomorrow afternoon would be the latest. Her concern, she said, was that it looked like I might go late and my blood pressure was already too high. Going late would elevate it even more.

I was scared. I didn't want an induction. A majority of me didn't even want to have this baby in the hospital. An induction meant needles and chemicals and interventions. But I was also scared about my blood pressure harming the baby or causing difficulties in labor if I let it get higher. I also have to admit that a part of me was excited and anxious to meet this little boy. A year ago today, I was having a heart to heart with my mother, deciding what I should do.I called my husband at work, and we talked about it. Finally, a year ago today, I called the hospital and told them that I would accept this plan of action, and scheduled to go in at 4:00 tomorrow.

Although all of this took place to make Jonah come a little earlier, he was still stubborn and refused to come out until his due date of August 15th! I went into labor with only Cervadil, although they say that I was already headed towards labor having contractions even before they administered anything.

A year ago today was the day before I went into labor. My last day to be pregnant. I've never felt so many emotions at once than I felt a year ago today.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Birthday preparations

We survived our first family vacation, and are now thrown full force into our next major life event. Our little man will be turning one year old on Saturday, and I have a lot of preparations (for the celebration, as well as mental preparations!)

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment. Along with the normal party stuff, food and tablecloths and decorations etc, I've decided to put together a couple of neat little "extras." I don't know why I do this. It's like I have this crazy ambition to be Martha Stewart Wannabe of the Year or something. I've decided that I absolutely have to display Jonah's bragbook at his party. This is a scrapbook that I've been putting together little by little that marks his milestones. I couldn't find a bragbook that I liked off the shelf, and I like to scrapbook so I decided to make my own this way. I still have about ten pages to complete, just to make it display-able, but many more that I would ultimately like to have done. It takes me about six hours to work on each page, and with naptime I have about three hours every day. As it is, it is 1:41am where I am at right now, and last night I went to bed at 4:00am! I might have to (gasp!) settle for less-than-perfect at this point, and just get done what I reasonably can do. It's dissappointing to set a deadline for myself and not achieve it. I have been working on this book for an entire year now, but then again I've also been raising a baby!

The other special project that I'm working on is actually finished. I finished it today right before making dinner. I have so many pictures that I wanted to share in a scrapbook, but (as stated above) I just don't have time to finish it for the party. A much faster and efficient way of sharing pictures is through creating a slideshow. It took me a while to find a program that I could actually use. See, instead of Windows, I use Ubuntu which is a linux based operating system. While I feel that it is superior in many ways, one drawback is that I can't use a lot of programs that are for Windows or Mac. I mainly rely on web-based programs, which again has its pros and cons. After a few hours of searching, I finally found a wonderful web-based program that offered everything that I was looking for. I was able to put all of my pictures and video into a cute presentation, and I was even able to choose songs from my own computer (many other programs that I found only let me choose from a few cheesy songs off the site.) I am currently waiting for the program to convert my creation into a downloadable file. I'm planning on taking Daryl's large flatscreen monitor and hooking up my laptop so that we can view it before the grand cake smashing.

This year seems like it has flown by, yet so many things have happened that I can't believe it's only been a year! It seems like Jonah has been in our lives for so much longer, yet he still seems like such a baby to me. All of these party preparations have been a wonderful opportunity for me to reflect on how much he's grown, and what a wonderful journey motherhood has been in this first year.

I will hopefully have time to blog a little more about other celebration preparations, and be a little more practical, but for now excuse me if I'm a blubbering sentimental mess. If the embedded video above does not work, here is a link to it:

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Touch of Nature

Today we went up into the mountains. It could be argued that we are already up and into the mountains. But I mean we really went INTO the mountains. We rode a gondola to some really great outdoor sporting trails. The trails are all part of a resort, so I can't say they are out of civilization, but they are definitely at the point where rugged wilderness meets civilization. The hiking and biking trails go into the forest, and while they are very well carved out and defined, you really get the sense that you are just engulfed in nature. Where the trails start and end, there is a restaurant complete with shade and bottled water. This was a great comprimise for me and Daryl. See, I'm an outdoorsy girl. I would have very happily packed a tent and camped out there. Daryl, not so much. He'd rather sit in air conditioning and enjoy the views from the comforts of modern civilization. This surprised me when I first learned of it, because while we were dating his mother bragged often about his achieving of the Eagle Scout status. It's definitely becoming evident to me that this was something Daryl did only because his parents wanted him to. I hope that Jonah, and any other children we may have, will feel comfortable with himself to tell Daryl and I when he doesn't really enjoy something that we are pushing him to do.

I did convince him to go on a very mild nature hike with me. I also convinced him to try the carrier out with Jonah. All it took was a little peer pressure from a fellow hiking family. I saw them approaching as we got off the gondola. The father had a little girl, just a bit older than Jonah, on his back in a metal hiking frame. "See!!!" I poked Daryl's arm. "See, he doesn't complain about getting sweaty or anything! Look how much fun he's having!" The family smiled at us, said hello, and within moments Daryl was strapping on the mei tei. Jonah thought it was hillarious that he was getting to ride on Daddy's back. He has been very much into his father lately, often leaping out of my arms and into Daryl. It stings only a little to be pushed aside for Daryl, but my heart leaps at seeing them bond so well. He loves his father so much. Daryl agreed after the hike that wearing Jonah was a breeze, but getting the carrier secured still confuses him. That does take some practice, I'll admit. I am glad that he at least tried, and now maybe he can jump in when I'm having the "stroller debate" with well-meaning relatives, concerned over the weight of Jonah on my 'delicate frame' (shya... nothin delicate about this pleasantly plump body!!)

We started out on the trail, which was only .7 miles and fairly flat. There were breathtaking scenes everywhere that I looked. I just don't see beauty like this in Ohio. The quivering aspens, the mountain streams as clear as crystal, bright yellow and flaming red flowers. I kept my eyes peeled for a moose, but we never saw any animals besides the biting flies. Those were a nuscence, but worth putting up with. Jonah was covered, and did not get bit.

Jonah loved touching the flowers and the trees. I'm always amazed at how much he loves nature. He always wants to touch it and explore it, and whenever something catches his eye he gets this big grin on his face. I am hoping that this is something that cultivates as he gets older. I would love to take him for camping trips, and to share with him the joys of the great outdoors. I want to share with him how special our world really is.

Would You Like a Side of Toddler With Your Eggs Today?

I mentioned in my last post about having the best breakfast in the country, here in Park City where we are spending our first family vacation. This breakfast is worth having its own post. Not because of the food (heavenly as it was) but because this is when Daryl and I realized.... it's happening. Our sweet natured baby boy is becoming a demanding pistol of a toddler.

We knew it would happen sooner or later,but I was really hoping he would hold this off until he was two, or at least until he was a full year! His birthday isn't until next week, and he's already steering us into some hair raising tantrums.

The morning at the cafe started out nice enough. We put our name in, and had to wait a few minutes before being seated. Jonah was his typical, lovely self. I offered him milk in his sippy cup, he flirted with a woman sitting opposite from us, and Daryl had a fun game of peek a boo with him. Typical. We then were seated. I put Jonah in the high chair and buckled him in. Still typical. Gave him a toy, and fastened it to the chair with some links. typical. About a minute after we sat down and started to look at the menu, we heard the most awful sound come out of our child. "aaaaAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!" uhhh? He gave his sign for drink, so I poured some water into his sippy and gave it to him. He threw it on the floor and made the noise again, only this time it was louder and even more grating. I tried to draw his attention to his toy. He's getting louder. A new toy? He's now waving his hands in the air and holding his breath. I started to panic, thinking something was wrong- was he choking? He finally gave in and drew in another breath, only to follow it with that terrible sound "AAAAGH! AGH AGH AAAAGH!" Where did my sweet baby go?

Daryl and I just sat, bug eyed, staring at eachother, hoping the other would know what to do to diffuse this situation. "Can't you give him some puffs or something?" Daryl asked, in that tone that let me know he was as embarrased and befuddled about this as I was. "I didn't bring any!" I whispered back in the nervous tone that told him I was completely out of control. It was obvious now, Jonah was in his high chair, and he expected to be fed. Now. He was throwing a tantrum.

"people are staring..." Daryl said. I looked around the small cafe. Heads throughout were turned our direction. Some were mothers, smiling as if to say "I've been there so many times, sister!" some were teenagers, eyebrows raised, and some were just innocent bystanders trying to enjoy their otherwise perfect brunch.

Just as Jonah went in for another breath hold, the waitress came with the food. Finally. It was only a few minutes, but it had felt like an eternity. I went rigth to work, cutting watermelon and fruit like a mad woman; while Daryl eagerly blew on oatmeal to cool it, the whole time Jonah was reminding us that he was STILL waiting.

After Jonah was fed, I still needed to eat my scrumptious meal. Jonah's food was gone, but he was threatening to start the storm again. He has just begun to realize when people are eating something that he doesn't have. Even if he is not hungry, he does not want to be left out of the loop when it comes to food. On one hand, I can't blame him- food is good stuff! On the other hand, I couldn't share my eggs benadict, which is not safe for an infant to eat (undercooked eggs) Daryl quickly jumped on the situation and took him outside. I could see them from the window, playing airplane, as I ate. Jonah had returned to his cheerful and sweet self. If this is a preview of what's to come, I'm bunkering down because toddlerhood is going to be storm filled with brimstone and fire.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Baby Takes Flight

A few months ago, when Daryl suggested that we take a family vacation to Utah, I was a little nervous. We had planned family trips before, but for various reasons had to put them off until later. To be honest, I was extremely nervous to be traveling with a child. I love to travel, and this is the longest stretch of time that I have gone without going anywhere beyond a day trip. I wasn't nervous about the inconveniences of having a baby on the plane, or even that Jonah would be upset on the plane. He is a very easy going baby. I was scared because traveling has become so routine in my life, and having a baby would change that. For the first time, I would have to check bags; there would be differences in security which was something that, pre-baby, I had down as a flawless routine.

This was adding an element of the unknown into something that is very well known to me. Even after calling the airlines for answers about what to expect, there was still confusion.

Then there were planning details that were not relevant to the flight. What will Jonah need? How many outfits should I pack? What if he has one of his messy days, where he either spits up on, poops or pees on, or smears mashed carrots all over every outfit I put on him? What about food?

It took me the entire day Friday to choose what to pack, and yesterday morning we left for the airport with our full sized suitcase, diaper bag, carry on bag, and laptop in tow. Oh yeah, the baby too. As far as baby gear goes, I chose very carefully. We checked the pack n play, and I packed a collapsable high chair in the full-sized suitcase which was also checked. We were charged $15 for the suitcase, but not for the pack n play. The woman at the counter told us that baby items are free to check. We bought a Cosco Scenera carseat specifically for this trip, but it will be our secondary seat at home as well as our carseat for future travels. We carried this through the security checkpoint, and checked it at the gate. I did this because I had heard that carseats are often damaged when checked at the ticket counter. Our next trip, to Mexico, we will be buying a seat for Jonah, so the carseat will come on the plane with us. I did not bring a stroller. Instead I've been carrying jonah in the mei tei carrier. The security gaurds did not make me take Jonah out of the carrier as we went through. They gave me the option of taking him out to put the carrier through the machine, or I could consent to a quick search. The search was not bad; it was done by a woman, and was very quick and non-invasive at all. I felt fine with it, compared to having to take him out of the carrier and try to get him back in; especially since we were running the risk of being late for boarding. They did make me take Jonah's shoes off, which was weird because honestly what could I put in those? They're so tiny! I am glad that we opted to forgo the stroller. I cannot imagine having to push the stroller along with trying to carry everything else, especially once we got to Salt Lake and claimed our checked luggage. It was already quite a haul even when we both had our hands free.

It was strange to be so weighed down with baggage. I typically only pack a backpack for a week. Even when I stayed in England for a month, I brought only a carry on sized pack. Having so many items to keep track of was definitely a change for both me and Daryl.

Jonah did really well on the flight, as we expected. He liked looking out the window, and had fun playing with the two new toys that I bought him, just for this occasion. The people in front of us did not even know we had a baby until the flight landed! He is so calm-natured, just like his father. The people behind us knew that Jonah was there, though, because one of his favorite in-flight activities was to pop his head up over my seat and make faces at them! This is something he has just learned to do, and he loves getting a reaction out of complete strangers this way!

The restlessness came after we landed in Salt Lake. We went to see the temple. For those of you who don't know, Daryl was born in Utah and raised Mormon. For the most part, he is very silent about his past faith and his heritage. Any questions that I ask are answered by short and round-about replies. "How can you get married in the temple?" for example was answered by "you have to be mormon." I learned yesterday that you in fact have to undergo an extensive interview, and it is quite a process. So, I was eager to learn about where Daryl comes from. He may not believe completely in the mormon faith at the present, but I firmly believe that it shapes who he is and what his views are. Anyway, we went to visit the temple and learn a little history. Jonah began to get restless. He had not been able to crawl all day. He just wanted to go go go! We found a room where we could put him down and let him stretch his muscles. He spent about an hour just crawling in circles and laughing the whole time! We also let him loose on a quiet part of the lawn. Of course we stayed right behind him the whole time, but he enjoyed being free to roam and move about on his own.

From there, we came to Park City, where we are staying. Today we had what I think is quite possibly the best breakfast in the country, at a quaint little cafe in the mountains (okay, so everything is in the mountains here!) We are also lucky enough to be visiting during the arts festival, so as soon as I finish writing this we will be heading out to that.

All in all, traveling with a kid isn't as different as I thought it would be. It does take a little more planning, and a little more effort (checking baggage and bringing more items etc) and we do have to schedule site seeing around nap and snack times, but this vacation does not seem to be going any differently than any other trip that we've taken.