BSM – 6/18/07

Welcome to my Father’s Day edition of Best Shot Monday. 🙂

With the temps in the upper 90s, we spent the afternoon yesterday at the rec center pool. It was Julian’s first time in a pool and he seemed to enjoy himself, as well as his little fist which he chewed on the entire time. (Perhaps another tooth is in the works?) Ava went down the slide countless times and had no fear in the water. We need to sign her up for some swimming lessons. And Jody enjoyed cooling off in the water, while I enjoyed the impromptu photo shoot, and then the water as well. A good time was had by all. 🙂

Here’s my choice for BSM:
Mohawk swimmin’ Julian 6/17/07 Don’t you love the mohawk that Jody sculpted on the buddy? His hair dried like that too. So cute! (Oh, and the chubby lil knee roll there too. Love the rolls.)

Here are some other pics from our afternoon:
Sliding Ava 6/17/07 Ava at the bottom of the slide 6/17/07 Daddy’s little fishy 6/17/07 Father and son 6/17/07 Jody and the kids 6/17/07

Lastly, I want to share one of Jody’s Father’s Day presents. For the past two years, I’ve made him a storyboard of Ava holding letters to spell out “DADDY.” We did it again, but this year, of course, Ava had company. 😉

Ava and Julian - DADDY - 6/15/07

Be sure to click over to Picture This to see everyone else’s choices for Best Shot Monday.

Single parenting no more (and other stuff)

I’m happy to announce that my 4-day stretch of single parenting this week has come to an end! Jody got back tonight safe and sound from California, where he’d been on business since Tuesday.

This is only the second time he’s had to travel since Julian was born, but it seemed like this time was a bit harder than the last. Tandem nursing the kids before bed was, as it always is on the rare occasion it happens, interesting, but it also had it’s sweet moments.

We kept ourselves pretty busy with the farm summer camp for Ava on Tuesday, an attachment parenting meeting and visit from my sister on Wednesday, a couple play dates on Thursday, a doctor’s appointment (Julian’s 6 month check-up) and an afternoon at my sister’s house today, complete with feeding the neighbor’s ponies (two mamas and two babies – so cute!) and testing our her new Slip ‘n Slide. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me.

Julian’s appointment (only his second time to the doctor – we last went at 2 months) with Dr. G went well. He’s healthy and developmentally ahead. He weighed in at 21 lbs. and is 28 1/4 inches long. She gave me credit for my wonderful breast milk. He’s on the verge of crawling forward – already goes backwards quite well. And he got his first tooth this week on Tuesday, which I already mentioned in my last post, but what the hay. 😉 No vaccines for this kiddo yet. We’re waiting until he’s at least a year (like we did for Ava), maybe longer. I thought Dr. G might suggest more solids for the buddy when I told her we’ve only tried a couple things and he hasn’t been very interested, but she didn’t think it was a big deal. Nor did she care that we are still co-sleeping (though I am not sure why it’s even asked). And she didn’t push the vaccination issue at all either. It makes me happy when doctors are concerned with the health and well-being of a child rather than trying to push their personal parenting beliefs on you. I’ve got two healthy, happy kids, so apparently I’m doing something right, right? 😉 Ava got a fishy sticker for being such a good girl during the appointment.

It was hotter than hell here today and will be all weekend. I guess summer has arrived. Not sure what we are going to do yet. I know what we should be doing which is getting a storage unit and moving out boxes and clutter, but that doesn’t sound very appealing to me. We need to go to Costco (signed up for a membership last weekend and I was pleasantly surprised to see how much organic food they carry these days – woot!) to order Ava’s birthday cake for her party which is next weekend. My baby is turning 3 a week from today! I’m totally not ready for the party nor do I have the house ready for my parents who will be arriving on Wednesday. June is such a crazy busy month.
I keep asking Jody what he wants to do for Father’s Day and he still hasn’t given me anything concrete. We’ll need to get out of this hot house though, that’s for sure.

Not sure how much blogging I’ll be doing this weekend, so I’ll wish all the dads out there a very Happy Father’s Day now. 🙂 Happy Dad’s Day to my dad, to Jody, and to all the dads out there in bloggerland!

Random stuff

Ava was trying to tell me about something the other day in the car. I couldn’t figure out what one of the words was that she was saying, so I kept guessing – incorrectly. After repeating herself about 8 times and me incorrectly guessing 8 times she said exasperated, “Mom, you are driving me crazy.”
Ha! Just you wait sweet girl. 😉
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Julian’s first tooth came through on Tuesday (6/12/07). I never even knew he was teething. Guess that’s a good thing unless it means I was too busy to notice. Seriously though, he’s been a nonstop drooling machine for months (his nickname around here is “droolian”) and didn’t give any other clues. He’s such a happy baby. This, of course, means his days of gnawing on daddy’s nose and mommy’s chin are numbered. ————————————————————————————————–
I was recently contacted by author Elizabeth Pantley to review her newest book – “The No-Cry Discipline Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behavior Without Whining, Tantrums, and Tears” – on my blog. The (personalized and autographed *grin*) book arrived in the mail yesterday and I eagerly dove in. It looks like it will be a good read and will definitely have practical application. 🙂 More to come at a later date.
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We had our upstairs shower redone last week. No more hole in the wall! Woohoo! Maybe now I won’t be embarrassed to take pictures of my kids in the bathtub. Although we have to add some texture to parts of the walls and repaint a little bit, it looks quite nice and is a huge improvement.

“What did you do with my wife?”

“Who are you and what did you do with my wife?” was the question posed to me by Jody after I told him that Ava was the first child dropped off at the farm summer camp this morning. You read that right – the FIRST child dropped off. Me, amygeekgrl, who is notoriously late (see my 8 things post), somehow managed to get to the farm this morning BEFORE any other parents. And we (Ava, Julian and I) were all dressed and even presentable. Ava had her lunch AND her ziploc bag full of table scraps to make pig slop! I even had my camera in hand just in case any photo ops presented themselves.

I’m still scratching my head wondering how I pulled that off. Actually, I think it has something to do with telling myself we HAVE to leave by 9 a.m. to get there by 9:30. That way, even when we don’t leave until 9:10 or 9:15, we still can get there on time, and, apparently even a few minutes early! Amazing.

I was pretty excited about the table scraps Ava got to take for the pigs today too. I’ve had this 3 lb. bag of organic apples sitting in my crisper for over a month now. The apples (unsure of the variety) were too tart to eat as is, but I kept them around, hating to waste them and thinking I’d do something with them “someday.” Someday arrived this weekend, when I finally decided to peel, core, chop them and make them into apple crisp. It was damn tasty. Of course then I was left with a bunch of apple peels and cores which I started to throw in the trash (I know, we need to start using our composter), when I remembered Ava needed food for the pigs. So I put them in a bag and into the fridge (didn’t know if pigs could eat them if they sat out. I’d hate to be the one who gave the pigs food poisoning). I told the director at the farm this morning that I wish I could bring our table scraps every week. She just laughed. Apparently she didn’t realize I was totally serious.

Ava had a good time again today – making slop for the pigs, making a pig mask and painting a paper pig, among other things. When I went to pick her up today I had her show me her little square of the garden all of the kids planted last week. Nothing sprouting yet, but maybe in another week since we are getting rain again.

Oh, and she didn’t tell me, “I don’t want to be picked up” when I showed up today either, though I was met with a sad face. She had been spouting off animal sounds to her teacher as she read a farm book to Ava and the other kids waiting to be picked up. I walked up to hear her oinking enthusiastically. 🙂

It was pretty cute when after we got home today I took off her shoes and out rolled some corn. Guess who’d been feeding and petting the cows? 😉 My little farmer.

Oh, and just for the record, I was a couple of minutes early picking her up too! Maybe having two kids will actually help me be on time more often. Ha ha ha ha ha. Who am I kidding?

My hubby, the lactivist

This is my first time participating in the monthly Carnival of Breastfeeding, where this month’s theme, in honor of Father’s Day, is “Dads and Breastfeeding.” Welcome! 🙂

When you hear the term “lactivist,” what kind of person comes to mind? How about a nearly 6 feet tall, 220 lb. dude with a shaved head? That dude would be my husband, Jody, and yes, he is a lactivist.

Jody has been supportive of my breastfeeding our children even before our first child, Ava was born. He attended a two-week breastfeeding class with me that concluded just days before her birth. Once she arrived, he was very helpful in making breastfeeding as easy as possible for me. He always made sure my mug of water was full whenever I’d sit down to nurse and that I had my Boppy, and even made me two graham crackers with peanut butter each night before bed for the first few months. I always woke up ravenous in the middle of the night.

He’s never been concerned with my nursing in public – a baby has a right to eat just like everybody else, right? And on occasion while hearing a baby crying, like in airplanes during take-off or landing, I’ve heard him mutter under his breath, “put a boob in that baby’s mouth.” 😉 Not because he doesn’t want to hear a crying baby, but he knows the power of the boob and that our babies have found great comfort having a “boob in their mouth” especially in different situations than they are used to.

Once Ava turned a year old, he never once suggested I wean her. He’s very educated about the numerous health benefits she continued to receive by having mama milk.

Now that Ava is nearly three years old, she continues to nurse once per day, before bed. And our son Julian, at 6 months old, continues to nurse regularly. The fact that my husband gets why breastfeeding is so important has certainly helped make my experience these past three years a lot easier. I can’t imagine not having his support.

In addition, Jody tends to be quite vocal with his male friends at work, etc. who’s wives are expecting, about the benefits of breastfeeding (as well as other natural parenting choices). I never would’ve expected him to be as passionate about it as he is. I think it helps that he’s seen Ava grow up to be such a healthy, happy, well-adjusted kid, so he knows that breastfeeding is good – not just for her health, but for her emotional well-being as well.

I asked Jody if he’d write up some of his thoughts on breastfeeding for this post and here’s what he had to say.

I find it disturbingly common to talk to other dads who give me quizzical looks when I say that my nearly three-year-old daughter is still breastfeeding, so I get to talk up “na-na” (Ava’s word for mama’s milk from when she was younger) quite regularly. I’m always looking for a good debate so I can often be more direct in my responses than I need to be, hoping of getting an intelligent argument. The best anyone seems to come up with is “I wasn’t breast-fed at all and I turned out all right.” But I always think, since this is generally an indication that the conversation will go nowhere, “do you think you could be better?”

I’m proud to walk around with my daughter Ava in her “Li’l Lactivist” t-shirt that outlines the benefits of breast milk and I’m happy to detail what that shirt means. I always prep Ava for what exactly her shirt means in case she’s asked. – “I love mama’s milk.” Simply, from her side of things, that’s what the shirt is all about.

My son’s “boob man” onesie doesn’t speak to lactivism as directly so its not as fun to talk about, but it does make the point that we’re all a bunch of lactivists in this household.

Too true.

Ava and Julian have their shirts and I have my “superpower” shirt, but we still need to get Jody one of his own. Which reminds me, he has said he likes the “my kid’s no weaner” shirt over at The Lactivist. A-ha! A Father’s Day present is born! 🙂

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The other Carnival of Breastfeeding participants are listed below. Please check them out. Thanks! And thanks to all the daddies out there who support their breastfeeding wives/partners. You all really do make a world of difference! 🙂

Breastfeeding123: A Father’s Take on Breastfeeding Perception Versus Reality
BreastfeedingMums: My Hubby, My Best Breastfeeding Buddy!
Mama Knows Breast: Dads and Breast Feeding– My Husband, My Co-Author
Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Proud to Be the Father of a Breastfed Baby
The Lactivist: Fathers and Breastfeeding – The Importance of Seconds
Down with the Kids: Mother’s Milk: A Dad’s Perspective
Hepatitis_epi: Fathers and Breastfeeding
Nursing Your Kids: Partnership
Fine Whine: feeding on the outrage, or, where are all the boobs?

BSM – 6/11/07

I realized Sunday night that I didn’t really use my SLR at all this week, except for a couple pictures I took of Ava on her first day of summer camp which I already shared. All the other pics I took of the kids this week were with the point and shoot and they were all pretty snapshot-ish, nothing that felt worthy of sharing for Best Shot Monday aka BSM. So I pulled out the SLR, cranked up the ISO to 1600 (gulp) and looked around my house for some things to shoot.

I decided to go with an elephant placard that my in-laws made for our kids’ room, and then alter the heck out of it in Photoshop. So here it is, something different for this week’s BSM. Oh, and I’m posting this a bit early too because I don’t think I’m going to have time to do it Monday morning.

Ellyfant

Now mosey on over to Picture This to see everyone else’s best shots. 🙂

Everybody must get sconed

I’ve fallen in love with a recipe for vegan oat-nut scones out of my The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook. I’m not currently vegetarian and I’ve never been vegan, but these are some kick ass scones. I seem to make them about once a week lately. They are fast and super easy. Ava loves to help make them, as well as gobble them up. I’m sharing the recipe (and a pic to boot!), so everybody can get sconed. 😉

Oat-nut scone with strawberry jam

Oat-Nut Scones

These vegan treats take just seconds to whip up. For breakfast or tea, try them with fruit-sweetened jam. They’re also delicious with soup or salad.

2 1/2 C rolled oats
1 C whole wheat flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cardamom
1/4 t powdered ginger
1/4 t sea salt
1/2 C chopped walnuts or almonds (Since I’m allergic to walnuts, I use almonds)
1/4 C oil
3/4 C apple juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Flour a medium-size baking sheet. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Add oil and juice. Mix until combined. Form dough into a ball and place on floured baking sheet. Press into a circle about 1/2-inch thick. Cut dough into 8 wedges but don’t separate them. Bake about 35 minutes.

Makes 8.

Approximate nutritional info for 1 scone:
Calories: 268 cal; Protein: 7 g; Carbohydrates: 32 g; Fat: 14 g; Fiber: 5 g; Sodium: 110 mg.

Key nutrients:
Thiamine: .28 mg; Niacin: 1.3 mg; Pantothenic Acid: .51 mg; Vitamin B6: .12 mg; Iron: 1.86 mg; Magnesium: 70.01 mg; Zinc: 1.45 mg.

There’s a note that they freeze well, but I wouldn’t know about that. We always eat them within a couple of days. 😉 Ava likes to eat hers plain. I think they are OK plain, but I prefer mine with strawberry jam. Actually, I love them with jam. Mmmmm. Jody has tried peanut butter on his and likes them that way or plain or with jam (he’s easy). I’ve thought about putting chocolate chips in a batch to see how they turn out (just because I love chocolate), but I haven’t tried it yet (and then, of course, they’d no longer be vegan).

If you try the recipe, please let me know how you like them. 🙂

best. rattle. ever.

Last night we had to say goodbye to the best rattle ever, when Aunt Carrie accidentally stepped on it, causing it’s demise.

The little yellow plastic telephone rattle was over 30 years old. It was mine as a baby, then my brother’s, then my sister’s. My mom saved it and gave it to me for Ava when she was born. Ava loved that rattle and so did Julian. It was the perfect size for little hands and little mouths.

Exhibit A – Baby Ava enjoying the rattle:

Ava with mommy’s old rattle 11/4/04 Ava loving her rattle 4/28/05

I looked through all of my pictures of Julian today and was bummed to discover what I suspected to be true – I never got a picture with him playing with it. Maybe there’s one hiding out there somewhere. Mom? Carrie? Either of you have one?

Edited on 6/9/07 to add: I found a picture of Julian with the rattle! Woohoo! 

3/15/07 - Julian and the phone rattle

Here’s the rattle carnage.

RIP rattle

RIP dear rattle. RIP.

Not long after the rattle was demolished accidentally broken, Jody hit the ‘net to see if he could track down a replacement on Ebay. He didn’t find anything there, but he did come across these wicked cool wooden rattles that are pretty much the same shape, and, judging by the pictures of the babies on the site, look to be enjoyed equally as well.

Wooden rattle

So I think we’ll cough up the (gulp) $20 for one of those. It should last forever and would be a cool replacement to pass down through future generations. 🙂

For all the grief we gave you about breaking it and as sad as I am to see that rattle go, Carrie, maybe the change to something new won’t be so bad after all. 😉

Ava’s first day

Today was Ava’s first day attending a summer program at a local farm. Dropping her off went off with out a hitch. She kissed me goodbye and promptly was engaged in a craft (making a bracelet out of seeds). I snapped a few pictures, then decided it was time to let my girl stretch her wings.

As Julian and I headed back to the car, I got a little teary-eyed, but knew she’d be ok. Julian and I headed to Vitamin Cottage where he got to ride in a cart for the first time. He was so cute holding on. I should’ve taken a pic. He’s usually in the Ergo and Ava’s in the cart when we go shopping, so this was a treat.

After hanging out at home with Julian who refused to sleep until it was almost time to go pick Ava up (so much for getting anything done around the house today), we headed back to the farm to collect her.

She had a great time and really seemed to have latched on to one of the young girls (she’s about 12 I’d guess) who is helping out with the program. When I came to pick her up, I found her reclining in a rope hammock with the girl and another helper, happily hanging out with the big kids. 😉 I know she had a great time, because as soon as she saw me she said, “I don’t want to be picked up,” and promptly walked away from me. Can’t ya just feel the love? 😉

Since I had left Julian napping in the car, unfortunately I didn’t have time to play with her there. We agreed to two pushes on a tire horse swing, then she willingly came with me to the car. Though I do admit I bribed her a bit with some grapes I’d just bought at Vitamin Cottage. The kid loves grapes.

She first said she wasn’t going to tell me what she did all morning, but eventually spilled the beans about petting cows, seeing horses, feeding goats (or maybe sheep), playing in the big sandbox, singing songs, painting with water, and playing with playdoh. I was happy to find that she ate some of her lunch too, though she was still pretty hungry and ate more of it when we got home.

She gets to do it all over again next week, and I’m sure she’ll be counting down the days. 🙂

Here are a few snapshots.

1) Getting ready to leave. 2) At the farm and ready to go sign in. 3) With her “blue bird” name tag on. 4) Hanging out at the end of the morning. (I’m quite sure she was smiling in the hammock until I arrived and she knew it was time to go home!)

1) Ready to go - 6/5/07 2) Ava’s first day at the farm 3) Ava with her blue bird name tag 4) Not ready to leave

Busy as a bee

I’ve been busy as a bee these past few days, as well as fighting a cold or allergies (I can’t determine which so I’m not currently pumping for the milk bank), and thus not spending much time on the computer.

This weekend we saw a few houses and fell in love with a different one. 😉 It’s actually in MUCH better shape than our last home love affair, and cheaper. However, we’re not going to act on anything until our house is at least on the market. That’s our big priority now.

We also attended a birthday party, and I started cleaning out our basement. I took a bunch of cardboard to the recycling center and got some of our boxes out of storage in hopes of boxing up some of our stuff soon.
Today, our upstairs shower was gutted, uncovering a bunch of mold. 🙁 I sprayed it with bleach to kill it and it’s airing out for the night. The tilers will return tomorrow to put up the drywall and tile and we’ll have a nice new (hole-less) shower again. Woohoo!

Also today I called around for prices on storage units and am trying to find a new dentist that doesn’t use amalgam fillings. (More on that later.) And I used “Liquid Gold” on some of our woodwork and was AMAZED at how well it cleans it up. That stuff is awesome.

Tomorrow is Ava’s first day of “preschool” at a local farm, though it’s actually more like a summer enrichment program. In any event, it’s her first venture into any sort of organized child care. We bought her a lunch box this weekend and she’s quite excited to go. It will be hard to leave my girl to someone else’s care tomorrow, but I know it will be good for both of us. I’m excited for her and know she’s going to have a great time. I only wish I could spend one morning a week hanging out on a farm as well. 😉

I’m off to go pack her lunch now and get myself to bed.  Cheers.