Friday, July 28, 2006

Boob, A Baby's Breast Friend

Breastfeeding on the SERIOUS side:

Is it possible? Do I really live in this country? We are so full of ourselves it is unbelievable, because you know, we really do have ALL the answers. And one thing is for sure, breasts are SINFUL!

Just the other day, my husband and I were commenting on how sweet we thought the cover of BabyTalk was, and then we came across and read Eyeful of Breastfeeding-Mom Sparks Outrage. People, including breastfeeding mothers, are actually up in arms over the picture.

We really do need to get over our squeamishness about the human body. It's a breast, it has a WHOLESOME purpose of providing nutrition to babies. Nutrition, that baby formula companies try to replicate.

I breastfeed. I breastfed Ian until he was 12 months, and I'm currently breastfeeding my six month old daughter Laurel. What really outrages me, is I'm too aware of how the public feels about this topic, and so I feed my baby discreetly. I just don't want to deal with backwards peoples' stares or them coming up to me snarling, "That's disgusting."

Unfortunately, growing up a guilt-ridden Catholic, I'm also very modest and worry what others might think about my actions. I just can't get past those facts. Close friends and immediate family members have seen me breastfeed, but only because I know they won't pass judgement. As for the rest of the world, I'm just not ready. I applaud the women that are past their and other peoples' inhibitions and can breastfeed out in the open.

One day, walking around Costco, I noticed a mother breastfeeding her child. I couldn't help but stare. It wasn't that I found it disgusting, it was the fact that she was WALKING around the store nursing her infant. This was truly amazing! Me, I have to get perfectly situated in a chair, with a Boppy or a My Brest Friend pillow no less, before I let Laurel at it. But this wonderful mother was making the most of her time. Infants feed pretty much around the clock. She found a way to multitask. Shopping and breastfeeding at the same time, the ultimate multitasking if you ask me! No slinking off to a dressing room, corner of the store, or worse yet, the bathroom, ick. She was out there, getting things done, not caring what the world thought. I don't know her name, I will probably never see her again, and yet she is my heroine.

I haven't given up on myself. I still hopefully have another six months to "expose" myself to the public, but alas, I just don't think it will happen. A few of my big hopes are that my daughter will be able to breastfeed where ever she needs without worrying about other's thoughts, and that the U.S. will finally educate itself (hello, third world countries are smarter than we are in this matter) and realize a breast has a purpose beyond sex. Don't we have more important issues to get outraged about?

Breastfeeding on the lighter side:

Ian is a keen observer. He is also very curious. When I nurse Laurel, he is right there, checking it out. He doesn't want to miss out on something good. Often he looks like he might jump right in and partake, but then he giggles and runs off.

One day, I heard Laurel cooing and laughing with glee. I peeked around the corner and saw Ian practically laying on top of her head. He was holding his shirt up with one hand and was placing his nipple over her face. I had to ask, "Ian, what are you doing?"

"Mommy, Laurel wants milk."

But of course, perfect sense.

Ok, breastfeeding critics, even my two year old knows what's natural and necessary.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sit Down Comedienne

Umm, excuse me...

I'd like to share a story. You see, there was this baby, toddler and preschooler at the sandbox...

...and then the baby spits out her binky, gives the evil eye to the toddler and preschooler, and says, "THBPBPTHPT!"

Ha, ha, ha, hee, hee, hee.

That one always cracks me up!

True story, honest. What, you don't believe me? Well just ask the baby, she'll tell you it word for word.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Thunder Storm

Last night, we finally had an honest to goodness thunder storm. I can't remember the last time that happened. I lay in bed watching streaks of lightning peek between the slats of closed blinds. I should have opened them to watch the show, but was too tired. Thunder rumbled softly for a while as the storm approached. Then it was over us. Buckets and buckets of rain, lightning, thunder so close it shook the house.

I kept wishing for Ian to wake up and come running into our room. I wanted to snuggle up with him and share this rare event. Paul was downstairs working late, so I decided to peek in Ian's room to see if the storm woke him. No such luck, he was sleeping soundly. For a brief moment, I thought about waking him up, and then remembered the cardinal rule: If the baby's happy and calm, let him/her be. Darn it! I went back to bed and laid down listening to nature's music, quickly surrendering to sleep.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Puzzled 26 month old son is doing 24 piece jigsaw puzzles.

I have some boxes of puzzles for when my five and eight year old nieces come over for a visit. Ian somehow found them, and of course dragged out the one with a picture of Cookie Monster and Elmo on it. He opened the box and delighted as pieces of his heroes fell all over the floor. I decided this was a great opportunity for some one-on-one time with him and helped him piece it together. He was so excited to find that all those pieces came together and made his furry blue and red friends.

Now, the boy is obsessed! Frequently throughout the day, I find Ian working on a puzzle. It is amazing how quickly he is able to put it together. When I watch him complete a puzzle, he likes to tease me and start singing the Clean Up Song while lifting up an edge or corner piece, like he's going to put it away. I'll join in and start singing the song along with him and he'll giggle and state, "No Mommy, no," and puts the piece back in its place.

True to toddler form, Ian loves to do the same puzzle over and over again. This has definitely helped him learn how the pieces fit together. He could probably do a few of the puzzles with his eyes closed. I'm exaggerating, but not by much. I once watched him complete, take apart, and reassemble his Cookie Monster and Elmo puzzle four times in a row before trying a different one.

So question is, does this take the place of his garbage truck obsession? No way! When he hears the garbage truck coming down the street, he drops whatever puzzle piece is in his hand, runs as fast as his not-so-little leggies will carry him to the front window, and excitedly screams, "Garbage truck, garbage truck coming!" Imagine how crazy he would become if I found him a garbage truck puzzle!

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Big Pay-Off

Paul and I are doing our best to make sure Ian is exposed to different foods. As all parents are aware, cake is more than acceptable to a hungry toddler. Cookies, ice cream and french fries, ditto. Brussel sprouts, well, have to draw the line somewhere, right?

Different articles state it takes several attempts, perhaps around 15 times, before a baby/toddler gets used to a new food. Armed with this information, Paul and I face each meal with determination. No matter how often Ian refuses to eat a particular fruit or vegetable, protein, or other food group, we continue to put it on his plate.

Another frustration we are aware of, is the fact that a toddler will refuse to eat favorite foods on a whim. This does not mean he suddenly dislikes it, just that he wants to exercise his power to say no. After all, toddlers thrive thinking they have control. We can't force Ian to eat, but by golly we can continue to put those foods in front of him. The idea behind this is to let him think it's his choice to eat those vegetables.

Persistence is key. Articles claiming it takes about 15 times to acquire a new taste, are understating it ten fold for flavors along the lines of say brussel sprouts and broccoli. Those are some strong flavors to get used to! Be that as it may, we continue to put those lovely greens before our charming little fellow. And guess what, he's come around to liking some of them. Look at the picture carefully and you'll notice Ian happily eating broccoli. There are even floret fragments on his chin to prove it! Trust me, this didn't happen overnight. It didn't even happen within a month. He's probably seen broccoli at least 20 times before even trying the stuff, quickly spitting it out with a declarative, "BLAH!"

At that point, he was at least willing to keep trying broccoli, although for a long time it kept being spit out. Eventually he started swallowing the horrid, ahem, I mean wonderful stuff. He even eats the left overs while still cold. Crazy I tell you, and I'm loving it!

Today, Ian's eating broccoli and tomatoes. Tomorrow he may eat red peppers. As for lima beans, we've got a long way to go, but we keep trying. Poor Ian, he's going to have a lot of beans staring him square in the face during dinner.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Catch Up

Hard to believe, but it's been a month since I last posted. YIKES!

Let's see... what have we been up to?

We took a road trip to northern Arizona to see not one, but two Great-Grandmas! Add to that two Great-Aunts, two Great-Uncles, three second cousins, and a Great-Grandpa. There's just a whole lot of family going on up there. Laurel and Ian are very lucky to have an abundance of family nearby.

Right before we left for the road trip, our computer died. I was trying to make a collection of pictures of the kids to print and take up to the grandparents. In the middle of editing a picture, the hard drive took a turn for the worse. We had not backed up last month's pictures and were worried they were lost for good. Paul is a genius and managed to recover them all and fix the computer.

Paul and I celebrated our third anniversary. Thanks to our gracious parents babysitting the kids, we went out for a very stereotypical dinner and a movie date. LOVED IT! We saw Superman Returns, a very fun movie in my opinion, and ate at Cheesecake Factory, super yummy.

We spent the Fourth of July at my parents, along with the very energetic cousins Miss Allison and Miss Madison, and their not so energetic dad. The girls definitely know how to get Ian excited and bouncing off the walls. We stood out on the street and were able to watch not one mind you, but three firework shows! BANG!

Lucky Ian got to see the dentist. In the past, Ian has screamed bloody murder the minute he has to lay down for the checkup. I thought I would help the poor little guy get mentally ready by talking to him days ahead of time of what to expect. We even role played the visit. Pretending to be the dentist, I would tell Ian to open wide and then I'd count his teeth while I brushed each one. He was cooperative and seemed ready for the real thing. Confidently we went to our appointment, Ian talking about the dentist on the drive over. The second I laid Ian down in the big chair, I could tell he was not ok with the proceedings, whimpers and sobs were heard throughout the exam. At least he didn't scream this time, a huge improvement in my mind.

A couple unpleasant events occurred this last month. Our air conditioner went out on a Friday night. The soonest we could get someone to take a look was Monday. We quickly packed for the weekend and headed to a cheap motel, big mistake. The room we started out in was having cooling problems itself. Ugh. We packed everything back up (which of course is an easy thing to do with gear for a toddler and a baby) and headed to another room. At least it had a working AC unit. Monday morning, we left the kids with grandparents, Paul headed off to work, and I waited in a sweltering house while the technician determined we needed to replace the compressor, ouch. Of course, he wouldn't be able to pick up the parts until the following morning, double ouch. Tuesday, I lounged in a 97 degree house while the guy worked in 110 degree heat for seven hours. Thankfully, we have cool air again.

We also have had swimming pool trouble. We feared there was an underground leak in the pipes leading back to the filter. The soonest we could get someone out for the repair was two weeks later. Despite us manually trying to scour and skim, the pool was slowly getting dirtier and dirtier and turning green from algae. To our relief, the leak was above ground and did not involve jackhammering the deck.

Currently, both Ian and Laurel have colds. It seems every time Ian and I go to a toddler class, he comes back with another cold to share with Laurel. At least their immune systems are getting a workout.

I think that catches us up. Hopefully, I'll be able to find time to keep a little more current.