Friday, October 24, 2008

Retiring the Crib at 10 months ...CONTINUED...

I really appreciate the commentary that I get on my posts. It makes me feel so good to know that people out there actually give a hoot as to what I have to say!

So, Harris and the Moms have been doing really well with the transition. During the day, Harris loves to explore his new room. Now, if He and a Mom get anywhere close to his bedroom door, he crawls hastily into the room and UP onto the bed. I am emphasizing UP, not because it is tall, but simply because you can easily see the sense of accomplishment on Harris' face when he gets his cute little butt up there. He totally knows that the new bed belongs to him, and he is embracing it.

*Side note: although changing his diapers is becoming more and more difficult everyday because of the fact that he has discovered free will and no longer wants to lay sweetly for mom, one of my favorite moments in the day happens when I am attempting to change his diaper, he flips over (much to my diapering dismay) and goes crawling across the living room, into his bedroom and up onto his bed, bare bottom to the world, and his jingle bells ringing the whole time... Maybe it is just me, but I think that it is cute as hell...

Back on track...

We felt that there was a big breakthrough when we started being able to nap him on his bed without me being in there. A few days later, we were putting him down for the night in his new bed and he sunk in like butter, but I ended up in there after his first waking at about 1:30am. Since then, we have had at least 2 (maybe 3 at this point...) nights of me sleeping in the mom bed with my wife (where else?!) and Harris sleeping in his own bed in his own room. It rocks. Our house is small, and the bedrooms are close, but even so, we still use a monitor just to make sure we are on top of things. I know that there was a little concern about safety from some of my readers. I really appreciate the feedback and concern, and I would like to address some of the concerns because maybe it will help someone else do the same thing that we are doing with our son!

Issue #1: CONTAINING THE BABY
I totally understand a parents logical desire to contain their child. It makes the most sense to contain your child when you are sleeping because, well, you are not really "present" when you are sleeping. After having a baby of my own, I realized, that containment doesn't necessarily have to be a crib, and I also realized that a crib gave me a claustrophobic feeling, and I wasn't even the one in it. I feel as though it is wholly possible to keep a child contained, while still giving them a certain freedom to move about. After some deliberation, I came to the realization that I really don't like cribs, and with proper planning and execution, a child can safely, and happily live without one. Like many other parents, we co slept with our baby, then we gave him his own little mattress on the floor so that he could have "alone time" close by. He was contained by our bedroom door, and practically never crawled anywhere in the bedroom besides his bed and ours. The door was all we needed. Now that he is in his own room, we want for him to still feel as though he can come to us in our bed if he needs to. Because he is still so young, and we hear him on the monitor, we do not leave his door wide open (he will cry for us, but stay on his new bed). When the time comes where he shows a desire to come to us (as opposed to us going to him) we will leave his door open (with a finger-slam door guard!!), and he can crawl/walk/saunter into our room. Will we still contain him somehow? Absolutely. Because of our floor plan, we will be able to put up a nighttime tension gate that will only allow him access to his door and ours. It is all in the planning.

Issue #2: KEEPING BABY UNSCATHED
Containing a baby to his own room is one thing. Making sure that He is SAFE in that room is another thing. The lassies over at Parker Martin Twin Odyssey brought up that concern in the comments for the last post. I totally understand that concern. My generic response is "pay attention". For the parents out there that are planning on attempting this (at a young age or otherwise), I suggest you sit in there and play with them, or watch them play. I found a lot of potential hazards that way, and FIXED THEM. Bolting things to the wall is a must, installing drawer latches, securing window coverings. Just make sure, that if you desire to put your baby or young child in their own room, that you are comfortable leaving your child in that room alone as you would be leaving your child in a crib.

So- is anyone else convinced? Is anyone else out there itching to try the "big switcharoo"??? C'mon LURKERS! Talk to ME!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Retiring the Crib at 10 Months

We love co-sleeping. BUT, we are getting the itch to reclaim our space. 10 months has been a long time to not really have a "private space if our own". I have really really enjoyed our co sleeping experience thus far, but a few days ago, we decided to retire his crib in favor of his very own, new and improved, firm yet comfortable full sized futon mattress. Now, I say "retire his crib" but, in reality, it was never employed. Like. Ever. I can't help but feel guilty- the crib was an expensive gift from Mindi's mom to us, and he never spent a single night (or nap for that matter) in the darn crib. Alas, that chapter has been closed, and the chapter of "big boy has his own room" has begun! We have been introducing him slowly to the new room. He has spent a fair amount of time in that room up until now- it was his nursery after all, with the changing station and the rocking chair, but now he is becoming familiar in a whole new way. We decided that, in order to make his transition easier, I have been taking his first nap with him in his new bed (gee, twist my arm...). I have done that now for about 5 days. Then, about 4 days ago, I have started bringing him to his bed right after his midnight bottle, and I would stay with him there for the night. I think that tonight will be the first night that we are going to try putting him in his big boy bed, and I will return to the mama bed.

I love that the futon mattress is thin enough for him to crawl up onto, and off again at will. I put some soft, quiet toys down at the foot of the bed for him, in hopes that, if he wakes before we do, he may just play quietly for a bit before sounding the bell. It worked this morning, in fact, at least, after he "tapped" me on the forehead, instead of just pushing me to get up, as soon as I opened my eyes and acknowledged him, he headed down to play and I was able to catch a few more winks!

What about you mom's and dad's out there? Has anyone else simply bypassed the crib? Did you then move your child to a big-person mattress? How was the transition for the family??

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

3 Days, 3 Ways

I am not sure if this motto is extended to the entire US, but in the last 2 years or so I have been hearing it A LOT here in WA state. For those of you who may not have heard about 3 Days, 3 Ways, it is the catch phrase for "be prepared in case of emergency", the most likely emergencies in my area being earthquakes, floods, and possibly some wind storms. 2 winters ago, we had a big windstorm in December. Along with over half of Seattle, and surrounding areas, we lost power to our house for 5 days. Typically, people think of Seattle winter as mainly rainy, but it does get cold here too- below freezing at night. We managed to do just fine camping out in our house, because at that time, we were still childless besides the animals, but by the 3rd day of the power outage, we could see our breath while we were laying in bed. I felt that we did ok in terms of being prepared for an outage, but it did make me realize that we needed to really find a home for our flashlights, and be aware of where our camping gear is stored. If we had not had a fireplace, and some sweet neighbors with extra firewood, I think that we would have been a little more in the doghouse...

The point of this story, is that I have been wanting to make a preparedness kit for a while now, but just haven't. I did pick up some jugs of water, but I knew that we had to have some sort of non-perishable food plan, as well as supplies. I am still working on "supplies", but the food portion of the plan just got a lot easier!
Because I am trying to rid the plastic from our lives, I stumbled across the information that BPA, the chemical that started this whole "quest to deplacticize" is also found in canned goods and soda cans. I was floored. I had no idea! Here, I thought that I was doing good by passing by the plastic jugs, jars, and bottles in favor of metal cans, only to find out that they are practically all lined with BPA. Ug. So, Mindi and I wanted to get a true interpretation of what kind of foods that we had in our pantry, and ate on a regular basis, that were not canned, as well as evaluate the canned foods and find safer/better/healthier alternatives. We got a box, and literally put everything in a can, into that box. So then, we have this box of "tainted food" that we didn't know what to do with. We decided to donate it, but then realized that it would definitely fulfill the "food need" in our 3 Days 3 Ways plan. Wahoo! Moral of the story: I would rather eat some tainted food in a disaster than starve.


Here is a picture of our food box!


Does anyone else have an obsession with glass/ plastic/cans? What are you guys doing in regards to the news about BPA? It is found in a lot of baby bottles too!!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fun at the Farm

Yesterday, we loaded up, and headed to the farm! We had a blast! They had a little petting area, a hay maze, a pumpkin patch, sweet corn and a really fun corn maze that was the shape of WA state! The maze was WELL WORTH the $6 per head that we paid to get in. Being that there were numerous nooks 'n crannies, we were able to steal some precious little romantic moments for ourselves. With Harris strapped to my back with the help of our new-to-us-used Mai Tei, we navigated the maze like a team of police dogs, with Mindi in the lead... stealing an ear of corn here and there...

The pumpkin patch was great fun too! Everyone had wheelbarrows to tote their big orange finds, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get my hands on one. Luckily we had our stroller in the car, and so I just brought the base back without the seat, and viola! Our very own wheelbarrow, dirt and all...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Baby Likes it Chunky

Harris is a good eater. Note that I am saying good and not fantastic, or wonderful, or bad. He is good. He has an attitude when it comes to eating. I can only presume that most children have a "food attitude" if you will, and that the vast majority of babies (and/or toddlers, and, well, teenagers too come to think of it...) don't simply sit there at the table with their mouths wide open like baby birds, ready to accept just anything that mama bird (or papa) wants to stick down the hatch. Harris has a certain pattern to his desires. He really loves being spoon fed, yet, he is also highly enjoying his new found "free will" and wants to only feed himself. (Oh, you just wait for that you new parents or new parents to be!! The "free will", oh, yeh, THAT's fun...) He has also decided that he really cares about the consistency of his food. He no longer wants simple pureed food. No no, now he wants it chunky. We give him all kinds of food, not just puree. He loves pasta and whole veggies, the broth of soups, tofu, potatoes, but he does still like his puree, but God forbid it be silky. As I mentioned before, he likes it chunky. One of Harris' favorite chunky purees is Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, made By Earth's Best Organics. It comes in the "big boy 6 oz jar", which he has been polishing off every morning. I decided that I was done buying this oatmeal at 1.19 a jar (give or take), and decided to make my own.



I put about 1/3 cup raisins and 1/2 cup applesauce into my Magic Bullet, (you could use a food processor) and blended it until there were no more chunks of raisin. I stuck the mixture in a bowl. I then cooked about 1/4 cup of thick cut rolled oats, waited for the extra water to absorb a bit more, and added it to the raisin/applesauce mixture. I added a bit of cinnamon, and then added about another 1/2 cup of applesauce. I tasted the mixture, and thought it was a good mix of flavors. The consistency was good and chunky (from the oats) but the puree part was not quite as thick as Harris usually likes it, so I thickened it with a little bit of his Earth's Best Oatmeal Cereal. I am pretty jazzed. I put about 2 days worth in a glass bowl in the fridge and I froze the rest. Now, if I could just find the Peach Apricot Muesli that he loved so much... that one looks a little trickier to emulate, and I would want to do a taste test!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hey TIFF!

This picture is (lovingly) for my friend TIFF, who is adorably 30weeks pregnant with a little boy, and to all the other pregnant first time moms out there... this is what you are in for:

Luckily, later in the night, my house looked like this, but either way, Tiff, and all others... Be prepared for chaos!!!

I just thought I'd share...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ouchy

Ok, I wanted to post some cute pictures that we took while at Harris' 9 month pediatrician appointment (about 2 weeks ago):

Harris enjoying the fish tank


I am not quite sure what my look is in this picture. As you may be able to tell, I got a haircut. I think it looks super cute in this picture, but my typical "hair days" certainly do not match this picture. I guess I got really lucky... too bad I wasn't smiling....



Stuffed gorillas make everything better:


Here we are discovering that, although we thought he was working on 2 new teeth, in reality, he is working on 4 new teeth, (1 of which has broken through in between the appointment and today, making his current tooth count 5...)



Here is Harris' first finger bandaid. It was super cute. He apparently thought it was quite tasty, and despite our best efforts to make sure it stayed on his finger and out of his mouth, he won again, and I discovered it in his mouth about 30 minutes later...



Yes, that needle was huge:


Mindi did a wonderful job of soothing him after that needle stick. I was horrified when I saw it. I mean, look at that thing! It looked as if it was longer than his arm is thick!


After we got home from the pediatrician's office, I got a phone call from the pediatrician. When I first answered the phone, I thought it was a tad strange to be speaking directly to the pediatrician. He called to inform me that the Hep B shot that my son had received was actually a Hep A shot... Long story short, this particular incorrect immunization will not negatively effect him, but I was, lets say, a tad irked that the nurse had given my nine month old the wrong shot... you would have thought that she would have double checked the notes... So yeh, that HUGE ASS NEEDLE contained the wrong stuff...


On a happier note, here is a cute reminder of Harris' first trip to the pediatrician at 5 days old... what a difference!!!



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