Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Singin' in the Shower...

As I sit here typing, W is in the shower singing at the top of his lungs a patriotic song they sing at school "We're the hope of America, stand and shout for America..."
It reminded me of something...
Today I was helping out in his kindergarten class, where they have a little bathroom right in the corner of the classroom. (I figure it makes sense for the kindergartners to have a bathroom right there--some of them are still on the two-second-warning level of potty training, and wouldn't make it down the hall to the main student restrooms.) Anyway, we were working on a craft when I heard singing...I looked around the room and could not see W, and realized he was in the bathroom. At home he will often sit on the toilet for 15-20 minutes, singing as he does his thing...sometimes he gets so wrapped up in his singing he doesn't seem to notice that he's finished his business and so he just keeps sitting there...singing his heart out... Well, it seems that he sings in the bathroom at school too. I wonder if the teachers notice?!

Cloth Diapers

I just had to show off a little...both my baby and his diapers.
I made these in a similar pattern to ones I had seen, but the color combinations are all my own, so these are literally one-of-a-kind diapers. As W likes to remind us all "S, you have some of the cutest diapers in the whole world!)
And, for what it's worth, we have NEVER had a blow out with these. Slight moisture leaks at the legs, but never up the back or poop everywhere. Truly, a superior diaper!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My Hubby

[daddy with newborn S]

My husband is so cool. He thinks I'm so impressive, and he loves to tell people how neat I am. The other day he told me about how he was telling one of his co-workers about how I made cloth diapers for our baby, and that I got "like 5000 snaps for $8." Truthfully, it was more like 2000 snaps for $20, but it's so endearing that he makes me sound so good. :-) I figure I'm just a mommy trying to do what needs doing and otherwise keep her head above water...but every now and then my hubby tells me I'm amazing, and it sure feels nice. Every mommy needs a hubby like that.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


My baby can sleep, and eat, and poop, all at the same time.

Aren't you impressed?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Dog's Name

[Koira at 6 wks old, April 2006]

We have a dog named Koira. "Koy-ruh" is the Sami word for "dog," but some days I wonder if we should have chosen some other name for her.

We could have named her "Vacuum." If you doubt me, come over and watch her some time. She sits behind my chair at dinner, because she knows that with a baby in my lap, I tend to drop things. She also follows me around the house, because she knows that every so often the baby will spit up some mostly undigested milk, and she likes this. She seems so intent on licking up the spit-up that my darling husband has even been known to call her over for a clean-up job...and she delightedly obliges.

Or maybe we should have named her "Foot Warmer." Alright, I confess I taught her this one...whenever I sit on the couch, she comes and sits on my feet. She's warm and soft and very gentle, and makes a great foot warmer.

We could have named her "Psycho Energetic Ball of Love" because she barks her head off if someone comes near the house, but would never hurt a soul intentionally... She has so much energy that she tends to knock over children with her exuberance; yet she will jump to take a treat from my hand with such gentleness that I have never feared a bite.

We could have named her "Mudball" for her backyard antics, or "Beautiful Devoted Obedient Mutt" for the way she will lay in our bedroom doorway patiently waiting for us to come out and play, but will not come in because she knows she is not supposed to.

But I guess we did name her all these things. After all, isn't that what makes up a dog?!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Musings on Stick Shifts

This morning I was driving my van. As I prepared to pull out from the stop sign near my house, I reached for the gear shift, and had to stop myself as I remembered that the van has an automatic transition, not a manual one.
My parents' cars were always automatics. I learned to drive in one and in fact had no concept of even how a stick shift worked until I was 21 and buying my first car...and then the car I could afford was a 12 year old Honda Civic LX--a stick. I was petrified the first few times I drove it. I even considered putting a big sign in the back window that said "stick-shift student driver--STAY BACK!"
As a child, I didn't really even know what a stick shift was. I guess most kids don't. I remember a friend leaving her orange VW bus ("The Great Pumpkin") with us while she traveled abroad for some months. I was about 7 at the time, and I guess for some reason my mother needed to use the vehicle to go somewhere. She was nervous, because, while she understood how to drive the thing, she hadn't done it much. So she figured she should practice before going out on real roads. We had a 1/4 mile driveway, so she used this to practice...I remember sitting on the couch, watching her out the window, watching her drive back and forth and back and forth, and feeling confused about why she was trying to go as fast as she could. I remember her smiling and saying something about "got into third" so I guessed that was good. But I had no clue what it meant. Retrospectively, getting into third gear on 1/4 mile of gravel isn't too bad!
So I, She Who Drives An Automatic (and had done so for 5 years), graduated from college and got a stick-shift. Then I got engaged to a man who also drove a stick-shift. Then we got married and sold my car and we both drove the same stick-shift. After a mere two years we bought a mini-van which was not a stick-shift...and what do you know, I can't seem to drive the thing without reaching down to shift...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn

I've decided to share some books here on this blog. The first one I'm putting here is the one I'm reading currently for my AP Mamas book club.

“Unconditional parenting assumes that behaviors are just the outward expression of feelings and thoughts, needs and intentions. In a nutshell, it’s the child who engages in a behavior, not just the behavior itself, that matters. Children are not pets to be trained, nor are they computers, programmed to respond predictably to an input.”
In other words, the kid may not know why he does what he does, but that does not make his reasons invalid.

Did you think time out was a form of gentle discipline? I always did. After all, there’s no hitting involved; I always felt so pleased with myself when I was able to calmly, gently, take my son by the hand and lead him to the time out chair…no temper, no aggression…I was being gentle! Sure, but what is ‘time out’ time out from?? It’s time out from attention and affection—time out from LOVE. Depending on the child, that can be SO much more harsh than a spanking. I have often tried to have W help determine the consequence for a given behavior…I now understand why he was always quick to suggest a spanking, but really hated time-out. I always thought it had to do with having to sit still, but I realize now that it probably went much deeper than that. SO, I've decided to try something different...Instead of having him sit on a chair and then ignoring him for several minutes, I'm having him sit on a chair near where I'm working and then we take a few minutes to talk about the problem. I put him in the chair to help him stay focused on the conversation, but I don't withdraw anything. So far so good...we'll see how it goes in the longer run!

Kohn contends that the biggest problem with parenting in our society today is not permissiveness, but rather over-controlling...when a child is hyper-controlled, he tends to do one of two things: comply (often into learned helplessness), or defy... W is definitely in the latter category, and I can attest to the fact that additional attempts at control are NOT solving the problem...

Kohn suggests that we take a better look at our parenting strategies. After all, if the strategy is failing, isn't that an indication that the strategy is the problem, rather than the child? He gives ample scientific evidence to prove that punishment is not effective, and (via personal experience) I have to agree. It creates a 'might makes right' economy, which is certainly not something I want to teach my children. It also makes the parent-child relationship into a battlefield, and when someone wins, that means that someone else is you really want your child to be a loser all the time?!

The major shortfall of the book is that it doesn't give much in the way of advice or suggestions about ways to handle certain situations. Kohn does give some 'guiding principles' though, which are pretty good.
1--be reflective consider what you do and why. Realize what things and people have influanced you to parent the way you do, and then be willing to change if you should
2--reconsider your requests why are you telling the child to do this or that? Do they really need to, or are there alternatives?
3--keep your eye on long-term goals what kind of person do you want your child to grow up to be? Are you fostering those traits now?
4--put the relationship first make sure the kids always know they are loved
5--change how you see, not just how you act view things as problems to be solved (together) rather than as infractions of law
6--RESPECT teach by example--respect your kids: their needs, desires, and opinions.
7-be authentic kids can see right through you if you don't mean what you say and do
8--talk less, ask more
9--keep their ages in mind
10--"Attribute to children the best possible motive consistent with the facts"
11--don't stick your no's in unnecessarily the more they hear it, the less they will listen to 'no' for when it's really important
12--don't be rigid foolish consistency is the halmark of ineffective parenting...don't hold onto a rule for stubborness' sake...make occasional exceptions or change rules as is practical
13--don't be in a hurry take the time to be together, and just enjoy your kids--they grow up fast!

A final suggestion: rather than criticising the child's action (because they will feel like you are criticising them) try to help them understand the effects of their action--other's feelings, objects damaged, etc. This helps them understand WHY the action was a problem, rather than just hearing 'no no no' and they are more likely to internalize it, and more likely to care. After all, you don't really want your children to be good because they are afraid of retribution if they are bad--you want them to be good because it's the right thing to do.

Now, I do not think this book is the be all and end all of good parenting advice...BUT, I do think there are some good, thought-provoking ideas here. It's certainly given me some things to mull over.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Little One Sided

Here's how I feel today...strangely, it wasn't from the night, it is just that S has decided to nurse for longer than he used to at a feeding, and I'm too lazy to make him switch sides... growth spurt anyone?!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

NIPping--Got Momma Milk?!

NIP. Nursing in Public. S and I love doing this! I am discreet, but I don't hide the fact of what we are doing, neither do I put a blanket over my baby or my shoulder. Sometimes we get funny looks, but never a dirty look, and never a "would you please go somewhere else"...I guess the publicity of the nurse-ins at The View in NYC and in Delta airport terminals and Victoria Secrets across the country has brought to the public eye the fact that nursing in public is 100% legal. If you don't know about the nurse-ins, here is a video
Did you know that, here in Utah, nursing mothers are excused from the public lewdness law if they happen to show their nipple while feeding their baby?! Not that nipple displaying is a goal of mine, but I think it's a very sensible law.
I think I'm becoming something of a radical! I actually relish the chance to nurse my little one in public places! Let the world see how normal and appropriate it is for mothers to feed their babies! Thus far, we have nursed in Walmart, Borders Bookstore, a couple of restaurants, the WIC office (of course they were supportive), Motherhood Maternity (they were too), an auto shop (while getting the oil changed), in the middle of the mall (with a friend--we both NIPped!), in my in-laws house, and on the front row at church. :-)

I want to go be in a nurse-in and hold up one of those big signs that says "Breasts are for Breastfeeding!" I also love that the women in the video are not just nursing tiny infants--they are nursing their toddlers too. After all, momma milk doesn't become any less healthy once the baby passes 6 months or 12 months or 2 years! If mom and baby are both in favor, well then go for it!

(I also love all the babywearing in the video. :-) Now I want to go make another sling and an ABC! :-) )

What They DON'T Tell You About Losing Baby Weight

So, I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight...but I'm sorta squishy and stripey in the middle...I didn't use to be like that. Also my milky makers are somewhat larger than before, so if I'm the same weight, it seems that something else should be smaller, right?
One of my friends put it beautifully this week. She looked down at herself and said "I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but everything isn't where I left it!"

Ah well. My tiger-stripes mark me as a mommy, my hubby likes to rub my soft tummy, and my baby thinks I'm great. Who needs to look like I did before anyway, right?!

Friday, March 2, 2007


OK, so, people are always wondering who S looks like...(we all already know the W is daddy's "mini-me").
I was looking at S in the tub last night, and have reached some conclusions. In order to set debate to rest, here is what S got from whom...

deep blue eyes (mom's are greyer), big feet, two separate eyebrows (mom has a unibrow), big head, loud voice, fast-growing fingernails, dimples, and major fascination with mom.

high hair line, dark hair (so far!), high cheek bones and narrow jaw, receding chin, habit of talking all the time, articulate hands, and big nose.

Pretty good mix we think. :-)

Thursday, March 1, 2007

2008 Presidential Solution

I don't know who started this...I heard it from a friend who heard it from her mom... but I found it amusing enough to bear repeating:

"There's no doubt history is in the making for the 2008 presidential race. We may have either the first Black president, the first Woman president or the first Mormon president. Why not kill three birds with one stone and elect Gladys Knight and call it a day?"

I wonder what Gladys would think of that idea?!

Big Brother

Wolf seems to really enjoy his new status as the big brother. He loves to kiss Bear, take baths with him, and he holds him without getting bored (if you know the whirlwind of a boy that is Wolf, that is really saying something!)

He often tries to help calm Bear when he's upset. First he tells me "Mom, I think Bear wants milk" (ie--to nurse). Then he sings "Rock-a-bye Bear-ee" in a very high-pitched and strained voice. (The crying baby makes him uptight, and he hasn't learned how to keep a calm voice through it.) Then he talks to him in a sing-songy way: "it's ok Bear, I'm right here. I'm big brother! It's ok..."
(None of these efforts ever seem to help, but it's cute to see him try!)

Now, amid the frequent repetition of the phrase "I'm Big Brother!" daddy has taught Wolf to say something new to Bear...daddy just read a classic Orwell novel you now Wolf says "it's ok Bear, Big Brother is watching you!!!"

Oh my poor dear kids, there is no hope for normalcy, is there.
Thank Heaven!

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