Posts Tagged "baby"

Summer By Numbers

Posted on Aug 28, 2011 in Featured, Food, Parenting, Simple Living | 0 comments

Summer By Numbers

We’ve been counting a lot around our house lately. Here are some examples: Number of pounds of pickling cukes picked by Aaron and Rain while I jiggled and bounced Silas in the Ergo: 29 Number of pounds of pickling cukes bought from local farm stand: 10 Number of quart jars of homemade dill pickles made at 11pm after children were sleeping: 31 Number of times per night that Silas wakes to nurse: 8-12 Number of cute noises Silas makes per hour: 568* Number of annoying noises Silas makes per hour: 6 Number of decibels of annoying noises Silas makes: 100* Number of decibels of planes flying over our new house near the Air Force base: 130* Number of decibels of Rain’s constant singing & clapping: 75 Number of pints of strawberry jam canned while children watch movies: 13 Number of pounds of blueberries picked by 3 adults, 6 children & 1 sleeping baby: 16.5 Number of pounds of blueberries remaining after 2 weeks of pies, smoothies, snacking: 0 Number of coats of orange, yellow, red & purple paint (respectively) it took to paint our 1976 Dodge camper while the children slept and watched movies: 5, 2, 4, 3 Number of days on annual camping trip to Klein Lake (Sunshine Coast): 5 Number of sunny days on annual camping trip to Klein Lake (Sunshine Coast): 1.5 Number of teeth Silas has now: 6 * These numbers may or may not be slightly exaggerated. There you have it folks. That’s the way the final days of our summer are shaking down, in numbers. How did your summer add...

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Top Three Baby Toys

Posted on Aug 26, 2011 in Featured, Playing | 2 comments

Top Three Baby Toys

Do you see this? These are the baby toys that we’ve acquired over the last six years. We’ve had others that we’ve sent to the Thrift Store or given to friends so the fact that these are still kicking around tells you that they aren’t bad. They’ve been played with here and there, but almost without exception, we probably could have done without them. Yes, even that Sophie the Giraffe peeking out there. I know, I know. In the natural parenting community it’s pretty much a sin of blasphemy to declare Sophie anything less than an awesome baby toy. But there you have it. All of these brightly coloured noisy (even scented) plastic, plush and wooden toys really have nothing to offer when compared to The Big Three Baby Toys. Third Place – The Rattle This rattle was a gift from friends who traveled to Guatemala. It was probably cheap there but when you add the price of airfare, not so much. So it doesn’t win in the cheap or easy to replace if lost category. But, the handle is small and easy for clumsy babies to grab, pick up on their own and cling to, without fumbling and dropping it by accident.  It is filled with pebbles or seeds likely, the kind of things that if it ever broke open would make it a certified North American safety hazard—though in reality they’re probably small enough to be swallowed and pooped out. Besides, that thing is never breaking open. It’s pretty bomber. The noise it makes is pleasant, not overly loud. It’s not hard enough that if baby smacks himself in the face it will hurt much and it definitely wins in the all-natural category. Second Place – The Lid This toy is easy to grab, easy to bite and for extra fun, it’s bendy. Babies can bang on it to produce a pleasant drumming sound but it’s not loud when thrown or dropped from a high-chair. Technically, it wins in the cheap category seeing as you probably have many of these laying around your house. This particular brand of yogurt, however, runs $4.99 for 500g so not as cheap as it could be. Bonus points: this toy often gets recycled lost and requires you to purchase and quickly consume another container of Liberté Black Cherry (8% MF) yogurt before mom baby freaks out. First Place – The Ring Ever heard a little story about my precious? One ring to rule them all? Well, folks, this is it. This toy is also easy to grab, easy to hold, easy to bite. It teaches babies about shapes that are hollow and sometimes falls onto their arm like a bracelet causing confusion and panic learning opportunities. It is shiny. It makes a nice clanging noise when banged on the floor or dropped from great heights. It is small. It is portable. It is cheap. I bet every single one of you have at least one of these in your kitchen somewhere even if you’ve never canned a single thing in your life. I know some people even tie several of these together on a ribbon for extra clangy fun. We’ve done experiments holding up The Ring and one of the brightly coloured toys above. Every one of our babies reached for The Ring every time. What are/were the best baby toys at your...

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3 Ring Circus

Posted on Aug 25, 2011 in Featured, Parenting | 1 comment

3 Ring Circus

{A couple of weeks months ago I wrote about everyone asking us how it’s going with three kids. Since that is THE question, the only thing people really want to know, I’m going to answer it, honestly. Not just with the “fine” that I tell people in real life. Part 1: the good stuff…and today, because I promised to be honest, Part 2: the hard stuff.} For me, the hardest things about having three kids: I don’t have a single minute in the day where I’m not actively caring for someone. Have you noticed that I almost never post here anymore? This is why. When Rain was a baby, he went to bed when we did but at least he took occasional naps during the day. When Noa was a baby, I was so so lucky that her afternoon nap was often at the same time as Rain’s (I know – THEY say that never happens but it does, and regularly did for me). Then, when Rain and Noa both stopped napping, wonder of wonders: we had our evenings to ourselves! From 8-10pm every night, I could punch out on the mom clock and just have time to recharge myself. Not so anymore. The big kids don’t nap so I’m caring for them all day and Silas has a fussy spell from 7-10pm every night and often doesn’t settle until AFTER I usually want to go to bed. This means no more day time breaks (though Silas naps well) and no more evening breaks. I’m even parenting in my sleep as I sleep lighter when I have to listen for a hungry baby and I’m nursing 8 times every night right now thanks to teething and 6 month developmental leaps like sitting and crawling. The moments when all 3 need my attention at once. I’ll set the scene: I’m changing Silas’s diaper (on my bedroom floor) to get him ready for a nap, and Noa falls and hurts herself badly. She begins to wail. I leave Silas and go find Noa. While I’m comforting her, I hear Silas beginning to fuss. I bring Noa with me to finish putting on Silas’s diaper. By this time Silas is screaming, probably hungry and tired too, and Noa is still clinging and wanting to be held. Then I hear Rain climbing the cupboards in the kitchen to get something from the top shelf that he’s not supposed to. I carry crying baby and clinging toddler with me to the kitchen to make Rain get down from the counter. He throws himself on the floor whining that I’ve spoiled his plans. These kinds of moments don’t happen all day long but I would be lying if I told you they never happen. When they do, I come pretty close to throwing myself on the floor and crying along with them. When 2 or more are crying/whining/yelling/shouting/singing at the same time. Does this really need more description? I didn’t think so. It’s amazing how our tolerance for chaos increases with every kid. Our house often feels like a nut house but I’ve resigned myself to that. I don’t get as worked up about it as I used to. I know it’s a passing phase. I know it will get easier and I know that there isn’t a lot I can do about it right now. It might seem ridiculous to say on the one hand that I’m hanging on for dear life and on the other that it isn’t nearly as bad as everyone expects. But you know, we’re complex beings: I think we can handle the contradiction. The circus may be loud, disorienting and a little frightening, but there’s also amazing acts, music, and popcorn. I might as well sit back and enjoy the show. Tell me about the circus at your house. I could use some...

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Easy as 1-2-3

Posted on Jul 15, 2011 in Featured, Parenting | 0 comments

Easy as 1-2-3

{A couple of weeks ago I wrote about everyone asking us how it’s going with three kids. Since that is THE question, the only thing people really want to know, I’m going to answer it, honestly. Not just with the “fine” that I tell people in real life. So, then Part 1: the good stuff.} In many ways, having three kids isn’t much different than having two. Our life was already pretty loud, chaotic and sleep challenged. It was already a gong show getting dressed and in the car to go anywhere. Silas doesn’t really change that much. In fact, on the whole he’s very quiet and easy to deal with. We’ve already raised two babies. Pretty much everything Silas does is old news to us. We know how to take care of him. We aren’t surprised by the lack of sleep or the inconsistency of newborn clothing sizes or meconium. We were even better prepared for dealing with the big siblings in the transition this time. We learned from the mistakes we made when Noa was born so that this time both of our bigger kids have adjusted to their new little brother much more easily than Rain adjusted when he became a big brother for the first time. The third time around, it seems that we more or less know what we’re doing. Finally! It’s mostly just a matter of integrating a new personality into the family and as far as that goes, it’s luck of the draw. If your first two babies were quiet easy babies and your third is high needs, you’re going to feel that the third time around was the hardest. For us, all three of our babies had more or less the same temperament and so we haven’t had to make huge adjustments in the way we parent our babies. Another little bonus is that once you have three kids, those times when you get to go run errands with just two of them suddenly seems totally doable, fun even. Truth be told, by the time you have a 5 year old and a 3 year old, you realize that babies are nothing compared to the sassy, mess-making, willfulness of preschoolers. So while I say babies are old news, I don’t mean for a moment that I don’t delight in our baby. Silas is my secret little joy right now. Thank goodness for him who brightens up my often frustrating, head/wall banging days. When the older two won’t listen, when they fight and scream, when they pee on the floor, when they refuse to pick up their toys, I breathe in extra deep to inhale the smell of the top of Silas’s head, squeeze him a little tighter and nurse just a little longer because he’s not big yet. There may always be some stress when you add to your family but for us, so far, it seems to get just a little easier every time. If you’re curious about the hard parts, stay tuned for Part 2. In the mean time, how have you found the transitions each time you added to your family? Did it get...

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Navigating Sleep with a Third Child

Posted on Jun 3, 2011 in Featured, Parenting | 8 comments

Navigating Sleep with a Third Child

{This is a follow-up to my January post Reconsidering Co-sleeping where at 35 weeks pregnant I revealed that after 2 kids and 5.5 years of co-sleeping I was considering a crib for my third child.} I had this idea back in January that I wanted to write a post that would realistically present the nuances of co-sleeping, that would argue that Attachment Parenting is not a set of cult rules but rather a complex personal philosophy that shifts from family to family, from child to child, and over time. By highlighting my own sleep struggles and divided mind on the issue of co-sleeping, I wanted to show that you can still be an attachment parent even while you decide not to embrace all elements of the philosophy…because you are making the best decisions for your family in the spirit of striving for balance in personal and family life. I believed that my post was balanced in that I could be honest about my struggles while remaining incredibly supportive of co-sleeping (from personal experience not just a theoretical standpoint). Some commenters correctly pointed out that there is a difference between co-sleeping and bed-sharing. Dr. William Sears, a well-known pediatrician and author of many parenting books, defines co-sleeping as sleeping within arm’s reach of the baby. Bed-sharing on the other hand is actually sleeping on the same surface, in the same bed, as the child. Having slept with both of my kids since 2005, I know that distinction, and yet, for some reason, I seem to continually use the two terms interchangeably. To be honest, I find that many people do this on a regular basis and while I find the distinction can be important, I also feel comfortable with my use of co-sleeping to encompass all the ways that parents share sleep with their children. I really enjoyed all the commenters who shared their personal stories, experience and tips. I appreciated the tips and atmosphere of support though as a long-time co-sleeper and supporter of the practice, most of the ideas were ones that I had entertained and discarded as not working for us in our 800 square foot, 2 bedroom house. No chance of a mattress beside our King size bed that took up our whole room. No chance of a double bed in the kids room that already housed a loft bed, toddler bed and all of their clothes and toys. Nevertheless, I really appreciated the helpfulness and understanding. However, there were also comments (notably in response to a re-posting on the Natural Parents Network facebook page) along the lines of “every child deserves to be co-slept with” and “I co-slept with all 4 of my children and wouldn’t have it any other way.” I regretted that I had somehow given the impression that: I was planning to stick the baby from Day 1 in a crib in a room down the hall, I had no intention of being sensitive and responsive to the individual needs of this particular baby, I was absolutely, certainly never going to sleep with this baby at all, I no longer supported co-sleeping, My mind was made up. My intention from the day of that post was to start with a bassinet beside the bed and move after a couple of months to a crib in our room, a few feet away from our bed. This way I could still hear the baby easily and respond before baby cried but I would have a little more physical space so that I would not jump to attention every time baby stirred and so that baby wouldn’t get in the habit of nursing every hour. As a mother of two other children, I was also well aware that even our best intentions are at the mercy of our individual babies. I was prepared for the fact that this baby might not want to sleep anywhere other than on my body. As an ardent supporter of co-sleeping for its benefits, I was also prepared to share my bed with the baby whenever necessary, if we were...

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