Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy 11 months darling girl!

Dearest Staci,

How is it even possible you are almost 11 months old? 

As I write this, I find it hard to believe that exactly 11 months ago I was checking into the hospital where you were born.  The same hospital that had me sign a form stating the only people I wanted in the room during delivery were the nurse, the doctor, and your father, and then went ahead and invited the entire staff as you were crowning. I can't imagine why they made me sign all that paperwork when I was in labor.  In HARD labor.  I would have agreed that I was an elephant and should live at the Zoo if they told me it meant I'd be done signing forms! It's even more difficult to believe they took 7 tries to insert a simple HEP lock.  And then did it during a contraction.  Does anyone wonder why I'm strongly considering a home birth for the next kiddo?  I digress. 

Staci, some of the sweetest memories I have are of you as a newborn.  Your little newborn sounds, snorts, and snores.  The way you slept on our chest all day long (and refused to sleep anywhere but there even at night).  I would relish in every new thing.  Your father and I would just watch you in amazement.  And then we would watch some TV while you nursed because you would nurse for hours. 

Now, you are so different.  It's all I can do to get you to nurse just a few minutes at a time during the day.  You are so busy!  You started pulling up just a couple of weeks ago and are so good at it now.  You can pull yourself up on pretty much anything.  Your daddy is even helping you do pull-ups using the dining room table.  He swears you're doing most of the work.  Little Baby Hulk! 

--You are now wearing 9-12mo and 12mo clothing, with a few 6-12mo sized items thrown in.
--You are finally in the biggest size of your one size diaper. 
--You are pulling up and cruising, and even after only a couple of weeks are able to move from one piece of furniture to the next.  You're a little daredevil and will reeeeaaach for things and then fall if they are too far away.
--You are working on learning to climb the stairs.  Mommy is not encouraging this behavior.
--You still have no teeth
--Even though you have no teeth, you can eat just about anything. 
--Speaking of eating, you have lots of food allergies that mommy is hoping you will outgrow.  So far, you have had not-so-nice reactions to dairy, eggs, and peanut butter. 
--You are still waking frequently at night to nurse.  Mostly, now, because you are too busy to nurse during the day

Thank you for deciding to enter this world and allowing me to be your mommy.  I love you so much and I promise to help you along your path, whichever way you choose to go.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Why I Love Wine

Dear grapes, thank you so much for letting yourself be squished, your juice fermented, so that I may drink it and feel fabulous. You have made bad days bearable and celebrations sparkle. You pair well with all sorts of lovely dishes. You look pretty on my table. You smell nice. I love it when my throat and belly get all warm after a few sips. You feel fancy, even when you’re cheap. One glass and I am the BOMB at Boggle. Two glasses I strat ot spel wrdso wrogn. Oh Wine, you make me happy.

My drinking days started out much like anyone else’s. Under age, fake ID, some Boone’s Farm and bad decisions. The usual. Since then, I like to think I’ve blossomed into a bit of a cheap wine connoisseur. What is your favorite cheap wine?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

GO VOTE!

All the entries are in and the polls are open for Mandy's photo contest!

GO AND VOTE!

Things I Love Thursday: Babywearing

TILT is a blog carnival originating from The Diaper Diaries
This topic was recently discussed on an online forum I post on on IVillage.  I have known many of these wonderful women for years, and last November had the privilege of meeting some of them in Las Vegas.  Babywearing is something I don't just love; I'm passionate about it.  I just learned that many of them don't agree with my views--and that's okay.  Part of the reason I love that board is I get to hear all different points of view and no one shuns anyone for being the best parent they know how to be.  It's wonderful.  I LOVE my IVillage girls!!  But since this is my blog, I feel compelled to share a little bit more here than I did there. 

When I was getting ready for Staci to arrive, I read 'The Baby Book' by the Sears' family and just fell in love with the attachment parenting style.  One of the best pieces of advice I got from that book was to wear your baby.  This is a well researched topic, and a great resource where you can read about the documented benefits of babywearing is here

The reasons I love babywearing:

1) It just FEELS good.  Since the day Staci decided to enter this world, I have felt compelled to hold her, soothe her, and be close with her.  Babywearing nurtures her AND me. 

2) Staci hardly ever cries.  Even as a newborn, hearing her cry was extremely rare.  I attribute this to two things--breastfeeding and babywearing.

3) It's easy to get things done around the house!  Need to vaccuum? Mop? do the dishes? cook? you can do all of these things with your baby in a sling.  Some of my favorite memories wearing Staci are at the Grocery store, walking up and down the aisles with her snoozing away, her head against my chest. 

4) It stimulates milk production.  Any breastfeeding mother can identify with the fear their baby might not be getting enough milk.  After all, you can't measure the amount of breastmilk they are taking from your breast unless you have a super duper sensitive scale.  Babywearing helps keep milk production up and has certainly eased some of those fears for me.

5) It's way better than using a stroller nine times out of ten.  It's easier to transport (especially if you have a small 4-door sedan like we do).  it takes up less space--not just in the car, but if you are in a crowded area as well.  You and your baby will always fit in the aisle and between racks of clothes--unlike most strollers.  Besides, what do people do when they go to the bathroom?  I have never figured this out.  Most strollers don't fit...and even if they did I wouldn't feel comfortable closing the bathroom door and leaving my baby in a public place where I can't see them.  Wear them and go on about your bathroom business.  It's so much less stressful!  It does take some maneuvering and getting used to, but it's so worth it. 

At ten months old, I still wear Staci frequently.  Now I put her in the grocery cart most times, but occasionally I decide to wear her because I want her close, and she wants to be close.  Babywearing has become part of my parenting style, and we both love it.

Photo contest!

Most of you know or have heard me talk about my good friend Mandy.  She is a new-to-the-biz photographer and in order to gain some traffic to her site is having a photo contest.  If you are in the Indy area,  you can enter by sending her your favorite photo of your child.  If you are not in the area, I encourage you to go to her site and vote!  Become a fan on facebook and you can vote there, too.  I did enter Staci so go and check out the pictures and vote for your favorite.  It doesn't have to be Staci--I won't throw cyber-rocks! I know she would very much appreciate the traffic!  Click here to get to her website, and then click 'enter blog'.  you will find her post about the contest there.  Voting begins this evening I believe!

pulling up, falling down, and family fun

This past week has been an explosion of development for Anastasia.  I think she heard me say she was a bit behind the curve in the movement category and said to herself, "what the WHAT? I am not behind, Mommy, I'll show you!"  Over the course of two days, Staci taught herself how to get into a sitting position on her own and to pull up to standing upright without having to rest her belly on anything.  She is now a sitting and standing machine!

Due to her quick development, we didn't get the crib lowered in time to prevent her from falling out of it.  She's fine.  I'm probably scarred for life, but she continues to try to crawl off of things so I guess she's not too affected.  I hope she has no more knievel Impressions planned!

On Saturday, we got together with Max's brother and sister in-law and their 3 boys.  It was so much fun to see them (they live out of town) and Staci had a wonderful time with her cousins!

Here is Staci with Trent--he was such a good older cousin and she had such fun playing with him!

Carter was adorable as always and stopped playtime to give her a hug! <3
Carter was VERY excited about his new Nerf gun!
and just cuz I couldn't resist.  GLEE on that face I tell ya!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Things I Love Thursday--MD Skincare daily alpha beta peels

Things I Love Thursday is a blog carnival over at The Diaper Diaries


Since I love skin care so much, I thought I’d focus on a skin care product that I L-O-V-E! This really got me thinking, because since I have left the workforce I find it excruciating to spend money on myself. After all, I’m not bringing any money in, so what right do I have to spend money on frivolous (to my husband) things like beauty products? Over the past few months I have really begun to get over that. I’m not saying I am going to go out and spend buckets of money on spa treatments, but when I look in the mirror and see breakouts, the beginnings of *GASP* crows feet, and rough patches on my cheeks I feel bad about myself. When I feel bad, how can I be a good role model for my daughter? How can I teach her confidence when I’m not confident myself? I know I do not want to teach her that looks are everything, but I, personally, feel a whole lot better about myself when I FEEL good. And, being the girly girl I am, pampering myself makes me feel good. Confident. Happy. Gorgeous.

One of my favorite products to pamper myself with is a daily (well, sorta) alpha/beta peel by MD Skincare. I don’t use it every day. Once or twice a week is plenty. I don’t always have it on hand, in fact I haven’t had any in my overflowing-under-the-sink cabinet in months. However, I always come back to this product. I find this is the best way to approach a more aggressive hydroxy acid skin care treatment. Skin actually has a way of getting ‘used’ to alpha hydroxies, so if you were to use this product daily for an extended period of time it would eventually start to lose some of its effectiveness. Thankfully, this is not the same for beta hydroxies. I have an on-going love affair with salicylic acid. (please don’t tell my husband)

Alpha hydroxies work by breaking up the stuff that keeps your skin cells together, called intercellular cement. Think of your skin as a brick wall. Intercellular cement is the mortar. When that mortar is dissolved, the old, dead bricks can fall off much more easily. This results in clearer, smoother, and brighter skin.

Beta hydroxies work by helping to peel away the layers of skin. Think of how you peel the dead, dry outer layers of an onion off to get to the shiny and supple inside. That is how salicylic acid works. It’s great for keeping breakouts at bay and helping bring a nasty under the skin breakout to the surface.

I love the MD Skincare daily alpha beta peels, and when I have them, use them once or twice a week. They help to reduce breakouts, even out skin tone, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and help your skin achieve a bit of a glow. My best tip for using this product is to cut the pads in half and only use half a pad for each application. This makes the product last much longer so you can get more bang for your buck!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Staci's first word

It might still be 'baby babble', but it sure sounds like 'Hi' to me!  Complete with a wave--I finally caught it on video. 

Wordless Wednesday: worth a thousand words


There is so much I could say, but I'll just say this. She is the definition of joy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010