18 January, 2011

What's In Your Bag??

As promised, my What's In Your Bag post.

Seriously -- if you have an doubts that people like to see whats in other people's bag, go to google and google "what's in your bag" and click on images. Seriously. Do it.

my bag: made for me by my Aunt Cheryl!
Okay so, here's my bag. It's pretty basic. And super cute.

An inside view....I know, my camera put the outside in focus, but not the inside. It's not organized AT ALL and it just has stuff shoved in there. I've never been a fan of organized purses. I LOVE just blindly shoving my hand in there and touch searching for what I'm looking for. I do it all the time. Even if I actually look in it, I still have to touch search.

Here's everything all laid out. My purse wasn't actually THAT full this time around. Shocking. But I know you all are laughing at the ridiculous shit right? Right.

Close up. What's in this picture?:
1-my wallet.
2- my cell phone, which I left in my purse all night, with an unimportant missed call
3-SOPHIE! (she squeaks when I walk sometimes)
4-Fig Newtons. I grabbed them as a snack for Reilly on Saturday when we did some running around
5-a random hair tie
6-tube of Carmex. Never leave home w/out one
7-a bottle of hand sanitizer.

And on this side:
1- Receipts. One from the post office (I bought tape) and one from Whole foods
2-Address of whole foods (to put in our GPS)
3-baby rings. I think I had more than 2 in there at one point, but right now, its just the two.
4-last weeks grocery list. With most everything crossed off.
5-My planner. Seriously, I try not to leave home without it. I have things to write down. Plus, it gives me something to do while we're driving, since I have that stupid little phone.
6-More hand sanitizer. I would say that I have a problem, but that is the lotion kind. It helps keep the hands from drying out from using too much regular hand sanitizer.

So there you have it. What's in my purse.

That was fun right?! Right.

17 January, 2011

What's In Your Bag? Pre-game.

Okay, so I recently (today!)  found this new blog that I {adore} to the max. Nice Girl Notes. She's highly entertaining and is a mommy and wife and I just love, love, love her.

I'd be her real life friend if I could -- that's how much I just adore her blog.

So since I stumbled upon her blog, I've been reading back entries (like I do when I find a blog I like) and I found this one from back in September. I know, I know, I'm about 4 months too late. Sue me, I had just had a baby.

But now I want to do it because...well...it looks fun.

So tomorrow, what I'm gonna do is take pictures of my purse. I know....it sounds boring right? You'd be surprised what people on the internet will look at. I mean, look at all the porn that's out there, and then tell me my purse isn't more interesting than naked girls flashing their hoo-haas around.

Back to the topic -- tomorrow, I am taking a picture of what is in my purse.

Aren't you excited? You should be. Really. Be excited.

You never know what you're going to find in there. Sometimes I'm even shocked!

Stay tuned!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip -- a cooking post

I seriously almost peed my pants when I stumbled across this little gem. (Using stumble! for Firefox no less!)

It's from How Sweet It Is. A fun little blog.

Anyway, it's a pretty easy recipe. Very minimal work honestly.

There's only three things I would change:

1- Honestly, I would add less cream cheese. Not that it's bad with the whole amount, but it was VERY cream cheesey. But again, not in a bad way.
2- I would get a whole slew of things to put it on/dip in it...fruit (apples would be a great choice), Nilla Waffers, things like that.
3- I would wear bigger pants.

Cookie Dough Dip
makes about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 8-ounce block of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups chocolate chips
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture starts to bubble. Set aside to cool, and whisk in vanilla.
Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar for 60 seconds. With mixer on low speed, add in brown sugar and butter mixture. Mix until combined.
Garnish with additional chopped chocolate. Serves with fruit, cookies, crackers, pretzels or a spoon.

      I feel like I'm going to explode after eating that bowl with Brad. 

yea, my eyes are closed. its better than the blurred version
 If anyone makes it with less cream cheese than the recipe calls for, let me know. I'd like to know if it makes a difference. Just be aware...it's yummy and absolutely horrible for you.


12 January, 2011

Why I don't let my baby cry...

Every baby cries. It's just something that goes along with having a baby. They cry when they are hungry, cold, tired, too hot, need to be changed...babies cry for a lot of reasons since they don't have the language down yet. It's how they let mom and dad know that they NEED something.

After months and months of long nights, and being sleep deprived, moms and dads are generally at the end of their ropes. I know, I've been there. That's when the advice starts in. "Let your baby just cry in his/her crib. It's okay." "I did the [insert method type here] method, and it worked perfectly for us! Now so and so just goes to sleep and sleeps all night!"

While, IN THEORY, we'd all love for there to just be something magical that happens that makes babies sleep through the night and not cry. I would have loved it with Reilly, and I would love it now with Ophelia. Tons of different doctors have written books on how to get your baby to sleep though the night with different CIO (cry it out) methods, and people who use said methods claim that they work.

 The Ferber Method tells parents to leave their baby in his/her room, and check on them periodically, until they fall asleep, starting with small time frames, and working your way up. (ie - check on your baby after 3 mins, then 5 mins, then 10 mins, until your baby falls asleep.) In theory, this could work without letting your baby cry. But those of us with babies know that if they are upset and NEED something, they are crying (read: not fussing) before those three minutes are up. Ophelia can go from happy to sweaty crying in a minute. (Usually in the car). I honestly don't know many parents that can handle their child crying for three minutes when they know that there is something that they can do about it.

Gary Ezzo (read: not a doctor) created a method called Babywise.  He created (along with his wife) a parent-directed routine for babies. Suggesting that they have a strict schedule of eating, sleeping and play time. Here is an excerpt from the website:

Babywise presents a parent-directed schedule or "routine" for nursing, napping and wake-times to give parents control over their baby's day. The Ezzos believe this promotes character formation in the infant by giving the baby experience in delayed gratification and submission to parental direction. By contrast, they have portrayed demand feeding of infants as a dangerous, child-centered practice which indulges undisciplined desires for instant gratification.

I'm sure you all read that and this weird contorted facial expression came over your face, and if we had word bubbles, yours (and mine) would probably be censored. I have the biggest problem with this guy. His methods have been linked to failure to thrive and poor weight gain in infants because he preaches that feeding your baby on demand is spoiling them and that your children are trying to manipulate you by crying. To be honest, I have considered testing the pediatricians that see Ophelia and asking them if they have anything to try to get her to sleep through the night and see if they recommend this guy. Thankfully the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), as of the late 90's, has stated that this isn't a healthy method to follow. (Here is a resource link filled with good info: http://www.rickross.com/reference/gfi/gfi5.html)

Personally, I've never used a CIO method. I never let my babies CIO. I think the first time I let Reilly "cry herself to sleep" was when she was about 19-20 months old. By that time, she knew it was bedtime. She knew I was there. She was just fighting it. Within 5 minutes of letting her "CIO", she was asleep. I wouldn't even consider it CIO....She was standing in her playpen, "yelling" at me, stomping her feet, and just refusing to lay down. Once she laid down though, she was out. We've never had a problem with Reilly needing to be cuddled to sleep or sleep in my bed for long periods of time...she just goes to sleep. And she's a great sleeper.

The point is, babies cry. They cry because they NEED something. My baby...my 4 month old baby...isn't trying to manipulate me. Hell, Reilly didn't even try to start manipulating me until she was about 3. If you think that its okay to just let your baby cry, even after all their basic needs (ie: hunger, warmth, diaper) have been met, you are just plain wrong. A basic need for infants consists also of being close to mom and dad. Getting cuddled. Being held. Sometimes, babies just want to be held....to be close. Ophelia does it all the time. Yea, she has periods of the day where she is perfectly content hanging out in her swing, or laying on her play mat or the couch and just playing. But other times of the day (mostly at night) she just wants to be loved on. And why should I deny my baby something that can so easily be given, just to do things around the house?

my sleeping baby. fell asleep WITHOUT crying.
A lot of mom's and dad's get defensive when you bring up the fact that babies shouldn't be left to just cry. I have a theory as to why. When we leave our babies to cry, it tugs at our heart strings. When Ophelia (or even Reilly still) cries, I physically hurt. All I want to do is cuddle her till she can't be cuddled anymore. And sure it gets frustrating (especially those babies with colic), but my job as a mom is to comfort my children. And I honestly believe that the reason people who use the CIO methods get so defensive is because they feel guilty that they let their babies just cry.

Crying isn't just bad for mom and dad, who feel emotionally (and sometimes physically) bad for letting their babies cry. Of course its bad for babies. Our babies depend on us to be there for them. And what happens when we aren't? What happens when they are left all by themselves to cry? They come to realize that mommy and daddy aren't going to be there to fulfill their needs. "I'm crying. No one is coming. My needs aren't being met. I'm all alone." And honestly, who needs that? Research has found that leaving babies to CIO can cause brain damage. (http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/crying-it-out-causes-brain-damage.html - this was done in 2006, but still.)

So why would you subject your child to just cry it out, feel abandoned and alone, when you, the parent, could do something about it? Even just holding your child while they are crying is better than just sitting your child down, away from you while they are crying.

It's just something Brad and I aren't fans of. We don't let our babies, especially Ophelia, cry.

(side note: if you feel like you may hurt your child because of their crying, please just place them down in a safe spot, like their crib or swing in a separate room, and step out for a few minutes. One of the biggest causes of baby injury is Shaken Baby Syndrome. It can be prevented, and stepping away for a few minutes to clear your head or take a break is better than a dead or brain damaged baby. Please DON'T SHAKE YOUR CHILD! They did nothing wrong.)

11 January, 2011

My First La Leche League Experience

For those of you who don't know, La Leche League is an organization that is all about breastfeeding. Feeding your child the best food that you can give them and do what is best for your baby.
This is their philosophy:

  • Mothering through breastfeeding is the most natural and effective way of understanding and satisfying the needs of the baby.

  • Mother and baby need to be together early and often to establish a satisfying relationship and an adequate milk supply.

  • In the early years the baby has an intense need to be with his mother which is as basic as his need for food.

  • Breast milk is the superior infant food.

  • For the healthy, full-term baby, breast milk is the only food necessary until the baby shows signs of needing solids, about the middle of the first year after birth.

  • Ideally the breastfeeding relationship will continue until the baby outgrows the need.

  • Alert and active participation by the mother in childbirth is a help in getting breastfeeding off to a good start.

  • Breastfeeding is enhanced and the nursing couple sustained by the loving support, help, and companionship of the baby's father. A father's unique relationship with his baby is an important element in the child's development from early infancy.

  • Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible.

  • From infancy on, children need loving guidance which reflects acceptance of their capabilities and sensitivity to their feelings.
    They have groups all over the country, and the world, to help mom's and dad's have a successful breastfeeding and parent relationship with their child. 
    international breastfeeding logo
    So yesterday, January 10th, my friend Jamie and I went to a LLL meeting here in Hawaii. The awesome thing about LLL meetings, besides the support, is that kids are welcome. Even Reilly came, fully prepared with a bag with books, her iPod and DS and a pillow pet to keep her entertained. 
    At every meeting, something is different. You have "class time", where they discuss the benefits of breastfeeding, and other breastfeeding related topics. Yesterday, we passed around "goodie bags" filled with things that have to do with breastfeeding, or having a good breastfeeding relationship, especially the first couple of weeks. We all talked about our personal experiences, and textbook information, all of which was very helpful. There was time for a Q&A afterward. They also have a lending library, where you can "check out" books from them and read them over for the next month, and then return them. Makes it easy to get the books that you want and are beneficial to you, without having to search out in a public library, spend time looking at a bookstore, or ordering online. 
    The only negative that came out of the meeting was the fact that during the entire thing, there were side conversations going on. I have to admit, I was guilty of carrying on a side conversation or two, but in general, it was a little irritating to listen to about 4 conversations all at the same time. It was hard enough that there were older kids running around, that the conversations were just a little much. I'm not sure how that would be in meetings elsewhere, and I'm not sure it's always like that, but that was probably the only negative. 
    I encourage all my breastfeeding or pregnant mama's to give it a shot. At least one meeting. On their website (linked above) you can find meetings in your area. They generally meet once a month and the LLL leaders are available via phone or email in between. They are a great wealth of information. 
    (Please note: Not all members or leaders are going to be amazing. As with any group, there will be women who you won't agree with. That isn't to say that it still isn't a good idea, just be aware that you may not get along with everyone.)

  • 05 January, 2011

    Goodbye 2010. Hello 2011

    Firstly, I missed the most recent wordless Sunday. It was a "busy day" and I just didn't have time was just too lazy. But no fear! A picture will be posted at the end of this blog to make up for it.

    Second, Happy New Year to all! We are 5 days into the new year...and well...nothing has happened. No, I take that back, I got my IUD (birth control) put in on Monday, so I am now an anti-baby zone for the next 5-ish years.

    New Years has always been a time of reflection for me. I always cry when the clock hits midnight. I feel like a chapter of my life is coming to an end. Though, Brad made a good point that it really isn't...but to me it is. The years are always filled with happy times and sad times. And while I don't remember everything that has happened in the last year, there are specific memories that will always stand out. For instance, this year some of the following things happened:
    • Two days after Brad left for Maldives, I found out I was pregnant.
    • I turned 25.
    • My husband was gone for my entire first trimester, and a good 8 weeks or so out of the beginning of the year
    • Reilly turned 4
    • We sadly said goodbye to our beloved dog, Jax. (No, she didn't die. We knew we were moving to Hawaii, and didn't want to put her through all of that, especially with the chance that she could be stolen for fighting purposes)
    • We had our orders changed to move before the baby was due instead of after.
    • A friend of ours died in Afghanistan. 
    • My brother in law went to war. Again.
    • We said goodbye to my family and our friends in Washington and made the trek to Hawaii.
    • I hated Hawaii.
    • We made good friends.
    • My amazing, beautiful second daughter Ophelia was born. 
    • My parents came to visit their grandchildren.
    • I liked Hawaii.
    • Brad turned 28.
    • Brad and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary. 
    • My mother in law came to visit.
    • We spent an amazing Thanksgiving with our friends and family.
    • We spent an amazing Christmas with our friends. 
    • Our daughters got a fantastic Christmas (with a real tree even!)
    • My husband and I celebrated New Years Eve at our house, enjoying each others company, with our two little girls sleeping, toasting with champagne, kissing at midnight, and inhaling firework smoke outside. 

    It isn't everything. We've had our fights, tears have been shed, we've done it all. And there is so much more in store for us.  This year is going to be amazing. At least, I am going to be making the best of it. I have plans for what I want to accomplish this year. There are things we need to do, and want to do.
    • We want to get our budget in check. 
    • We want to buy a new (not brand new, new to us) car. 
    • I want to co-sleep for at least 2 more months and breastfeed for another 8 months. 
    • Reilly turns 5! And starts school in the fall. 
    • Ophelia turns 1! 
    • We'll be getting another visit from my mommy and my sister in law. 
    • And hopefully my brother in law as well. 
    • And hopefully making a trip to Washington to visit my family, and see my best friends new baby. 
    • I want to become a certified doula and look into starting school. 
    • I want to bring in some kind of income. 
    • I want to blog and read more.
    • I want to be a better wife and mother.
    • I want to get in better shape.
    I am so excited about this next year.  These are not resolutions. I don't "do" resolutions. After years and years of promising myself that I'm going to do this or that, and not following through, I just stopped. But this year, I decided I would make a resolution. Mostly because it'll be an easy one to do (after we get that car) and I miss doing it so much. But after we moved, we stopped buying natural/organic foods and I stopped using my reusable grocery bags (which I've blogged about here). I want to do that again. I miss it so much. So that's my resolution for this year is to start buying natrual/organic foods and products and be more of a hippy.

    And that's it. My year in review. My wish list for 2011. My one and only resolution.

    I hope you all had an amazing new years. I hope all my readers have an amazing 2011, a year full of new and wonderful things.

    goodbye 2010

    hello 2011
    And now, as promised, pictures!