Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Gratitude Challenge.

Linking up with Let's Take the Metro for the Gratitude Challenge.
In no particular order, 100 things I am thankful for.

The fact that the baby blues are very short term.
Air conditioning.

The geographical closeness of our family.
Vinegar. Chemical free cleaning. And it makes my hair soft.
My husband and his sacrifices.
Video Camera.
The ability to stay home.
Glass storage containers. Soon to be plastic free in the kitchen!
Graham Crackers.
Our pets, and their ability to distract Mason.
The library.
Our fan. Couldn't sleep without it.
Our Ergo and Boba.

Coffee. I'm not one that needs coffee in the morning to get through the day, I actually just love the taste of it.
Being born in the United States.
The beauty of our planet.
Water. Clean, drinkable, fresh water.
Cloth diapers. Especially after reading this.
A bank account with money in it.
Contacts. I'd hate to have to wear my glasses every day. And, I'm too much of a weenie to do Lasik.
My sister. She's like a built in best friend.
Whole Foods. Now, if only it wasn't so far away.
Free blog hosting.
RVs and the friendly people that own them.
Health insurance.
Mistakes. Without them, we would miss out on a lot of learning.
Amber teething necklaces.
Winter coats.
My sewing machine.
Small towns.
My husband's family and how easy they are to get along with.
Having a place to live.
Snow. It makes winter bearable.
My husband's free summers.
Jim Flowers (our favorite meteorologist).
My dad's knowledge. He's a wise man, and he's only 45.
Exercise balls. That's how we get Mason to sleep.
The ocean.
Community. Both blogging and "real life".
The ability to travel places, near and far.
Video monitors.
Farmers. They work so hard to grow our food, textiles, Christmas trees and other things.
Washing machine. Without it, cloth diapers wouldn't be as much fun.
Glass and trees. I don't think I could live in the dessert.
My ability to cook.
Nursing pads. Saved me from many possible embarrassing moments.
Shoes. My legs and back hurt if I walk around barefoot for too long. Thanks for that, mom.
Texting. It is helping me avoid brain cancer.
Parenthood, the TV show.
Parenthood, the experience.
The mail. Please don't close, USPS.

King Size Beds.
Thumbs. How hard would everything be without them?
Strawberries. Yum.
The arts. Theater, music, visual arts.
Stop signs.
God. Jesus. The works.
Spiders. As much as I am tired of them, they get rid of bugs I hate even more.
The capacity to learn.
The ability to teach.
Foxes. They are just so cute.
Board games. Lots and lots of board games.
Daffodils. They are my favorite.
Eyebrows. Because we look weird without them.
Lush gardens. Like I will have next year.
Tax credits.
Mud. Would childhood have been as fun without it?
Macaroni Salad. Double yum.
Little House on the Prairie. Favorite show ever.

Fingernails and toenails.
The sun.
Weeping willows.

Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Favorites: In the Hospital.

Now that Mason is a year old, I thought I would think back and make a list of our favorite things from the first year. I'll do a few posts starting from birth and going to his first birthday. 

* * * * *

We were at the hospital a total of 5 days from November 7th to the 11th, experiencing things from hall walking to the operating room, lots of welcome visitors to middle of the night wakings from the nurses, and extreme fatigue to midnight snacks. Here are some of the faves from my hospital stay.

I needn't explain this one, I'm sure. But, I figured I would share the camera we have. It is a Canon Rebel XSi and I am a fan. I can use the manual mode to get the shots just as I want them, and when my husband is behind the camera, he can switch it to automatic and it still takes great pictures. I wasn't at a very good angle to take pictures of Mason being born or afterwards, so Tyler was in charge of that. He got some good pictures to document those moments.

Non-slip socks.
Yeah, mine were dorky and an ugly tan, but who was I to care? A room full of people just spent a good half hour staring at my body naked from the chest down, like wearing a dorky pair of socks was going to phase me. I was scared to walk around after surgery (it hurt!). The last thing I wanted to do was slip and fall. Besides, they kept my little toes nice and snug. The hospital gave me my pair (free with abdomen slicing?), but there are cuter ones out there, like these:

Water, with a straw.
This one may seem kind of simple, and dumb, but I'm serious. Between those painful contractions, I had little time to re-hydrate. I'd say/yell, "Lindy, water!", she'd bring it over to me, I'd suck in as much as I could before the next contraction started up again.  It was just so convenient to always have that water sitting right next to me. I loved it. See, simple. I used the styrofoam cups they kept bringing me, but I think it would be smarter (and by smarter, I mean greener) to bring your own. Perhaps one that wasn't made of the most dangerous plastic?

Lots and lots of fluffy pillows. When I was learning the ins and outs of breastfeeding, I relied heavily on propping Mason up on heaps and mounds of pillows. Sometimes when he would eat in the middle of the night, I would make Tyler give me his pillow because the 17 I already had weren't enough and I needed just one more. My poor husband, I'm sure that didn't make his fold down, lumpy couch bed any more comfortable. Good thing I was the only new mom in the hospital, or they could have experienced a severe pillow shortage.

That's really all I can think of, hmm, the mixture of lack of sleep and pain killers must have zapped my memory.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Miscellany Monday.

Thanks for stories/thoughts/suggestions on what to do with Mason's healthcare provider situation.  We have a while to think things over and decide what we want to do, but it helps to hear what you think!

I was looking back on my posts from the first months having Mason around and I'd have to say that I've not only grown as a blogger but as a person. Being a mom has changed me in ways I never thought would. Crazy how much influence such a little person has on your life.

This weekend we experienced some freezing rain. 'Tis the season. Fa la la la la.

Mason doesn't talk much, but he does some pretty cute things, like call for our cat. He's caught on that we click our tongues when we call Kinnick, and has started doing it, too, whenever he sees him or is searching for him. I didn't even notice he was doing it at first, I just thought he was making random noises, Tyler was the one that realized what he was trying to do. Such a smart little boy.

I let my diapers soak up some sun yesterday after washing them. They froze a little, but the stains came out and so did some stink. However, I really really need to strip all my diapers. I've been putting it off for a while now, and they are getting a little too stinky. I've never done it, any suggestions?

Miscellany Monday @
lowercase letters

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What's Up, Doc?

Yesterday was Mason's 12 month well check. I called at 9am to schedule it, got in at 11am (during Tyler's lunch so he could go, too). Anyone else schedule their appointments the same day? You know, every time we go to the clinic, we are the only people there. That's the good thing about our small town clinic. The bad thing? I don't agree with 80% of the things our PA tells us we should be doing.
Like yesterday, she asked if I was still breastfeeding. I said yes and then she gave me the scrunchy face (don't tell me you've never seen the scrunchy face) asking if I was ready to be done with it. I felt as if she was implying it to be an inconvenience or burden. I answered that, no, I wasn't looking forward to stopping. Her response was that since he is a year old now, I should wean him and start giving him whole milk. Um.. uh.. I didn't know what to say. So many things floated through my head. Should I tell her the CDC reccomends breastfeeding to 2 years of age? Should I remind her that we are practicing baby-led weaning? Should I ask her why she recommends such a thing? Should I start chanting "cow milk is for cow babies, human milk is for human babies?"
I ended up doing my go-to smile and nod. I didn't want to hurt her feelings, I didn't want to be a snotty know-it-all and I didn't want to be the crazy mom that starts chanting things. So, smile and nod it was.

This was one of three S&N's (a.k.a. smile and nods) today. Another was when she started talking about television. This is a hot topic and there are a lot of different views on it. I vowed to not let Mason watch TV until he was at least 2 years old. I failed there. We use the TV as a distraction during diaper changes and sometimes when I clip his fingernails. Sometimes there is something on that captures my attention (don't tell me you can just shut Jeopardy off without a second thought) and I'll be sucked in after the diaper change is over. My will power eventually kicks in and I hit the power button, but I always feel guilty for the five minutes I let slip by. We try not to turn the television on until after Mason is in bed, but there are a couple shows that we make exceptions for and try to keep Mason distracted with other things instead of watching. Because, when this kid sees the TV, he goes into instant Zombie Mode.

I was shocked when our PA said that 2 hours of television a day won't kill him, it is the 6-8 hours in front of the TV you want to avoid. I'll admit it made me feel better about the couple episodes of Two and a Half Men Mason has seen, but in no way made me feel they were justified. I'm sure she was talking something more on the "educational" side, but the are a lot of lessons to learn from prime time tv, no? Just kidding.
At his last appointment (9 months), she told us he needed to start learning to self sooth. We are totally not into that style of parenting. I feel like crying it out is dangerous and it makes me sad whenever I think of a baby crying and not being consoled. I can't help it!

Mason's stats were:
23lbs, 9oz for weight
28.25 inches for height

According to the folks at the clinic, he over the 95th percentile for weight, but we shouldn't be too concerned, especially if he's going to be weaning and eating more table food (gah!)
Well, I looked up charts for breastfed babies when I got home and he's actually pretty average. See?

His height, no argument there. 5th percentile, he's short. But, I am, too. And Tyler is not giant himself. Maybe we'll start hanging him upside down for a couple hours a day (while he watches TV?) to stretch him out.

We do think the people at the clinic are super nice. Our PA is a wonderful person and we like her. But, needless to say, her approach to parenting (or advising) is completely different from ours. We don't see eye to eye and I never know what to say!

The question is, do we keep going there because it is so close and convenient? Do I speak up in the appointments? Do we look in bigger towns for someone who is on the same page as us? Decisions, decisions.
What would you do?

By the way, just because I don't make the same parenting choices as you, doesn't mean I don't support that your parenting style is your choice!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

12 Months.

Dear Mason,

Well hello, my little one year old.

I've been looking back on some older pictures of you and it seems crazy that you were ever so small. It is as if you've always been running around, doing your thing.. never just a little blob content to sit and snuggle for hours.

You are really good at walking in your shoes now, and they fit a lot better.
You enjoy playing with them, too. The velcro is fun and apparently tastes good, too.

Yes, you are still putting everything in your mouth. Including, but not limited to: crayons, gravel, and food off the floor.

Your favorite foods right now haven't changed too much, but you are starting to eat more at meal times.

Your face lights up with a smile at the sight of a graham cracker, even if you don't want it.

You and Gulliver are best buds. You like the other animals, but they don't like you as much. Luckily for me, Gulliver can entertain you for several minutes at a time.

For Halloween you were a robot. For two minutes. Then you really really wanted your costume off.

Lately, you have found running under blankets to be super fun. Blanket forts are a must, even if all you do is run through them.

Your book loving has slowed down. I think since you are so active right now, it is hard for you to sit still and enjoy having a book read to you. This is a drastic change. We are hoping your love for the books returns someday.

You don't mind getting bundled up to go outside, probably because you love being able to leave the house, even if it is cold and windy. When we go out, you want to walk, and you head straight for the lane. Mittens do seem to slow down your gravel sampling though.

When you don't get what you want, you look like this.

Sometimes, you cheer up in 2 seconds, other times, you need some extra attention.

Whenever you knock something over, whether it be a block tower or little animals, you clap. It is so cute. You also clap when we sing "If You're Happy and You Know It".

You also are really good at waving bye-bye and sometimes do so with without prompt. You learned the sign for milk this past month and it only took you a couple days to catch on. But it looks just like your wave, so... are you hungry or are you leaving?

Your hair is getting so long in the back, soon it will be time for a cut! It looks especially rad when you smear food in it and it sticks straight out.

You've starting pretending to talk on the phone. It is so funny because you hold it up basically to the back of your head. It doesn't have to be a phone either, a block or other toy will do. Heck, even food works.

You really don't say many words. Mama and dada, but that's not new. When I ask if you are done at the table, you try to repeat me. It sounds like "duh". You can say "tractor". It is hit or miss, but you love them so much I guess you wanted to learn how to say it. 

I think you've started pretending. You will slowly approach the dogs and then turn and run away like they are chasing you and practically leap into my lap. If this is a sign of what's to come, I can't wait.

I guess you are a toddler now, or so that's what they say. I'm so excited for all the things you are going to learn.