Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Homemade Christmas

I mentioned awhile ago that I am making all of the Christmas presents this year. I really should get started since my life will become a bit busier shortly, but I am a procrastinator and have been taking a break from sewing. Here are some sites that give lots of ideas if you also plan to make gifts:

DIY Gifts for Kids: Everything you could possibly imagine and then some

Another one that is mostly kid oriented, but does have quite a few adult ideas

More ideas or I accidentally bookmarked the same thread twice

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Maeve's Parenting Guide

At bedtime tonight, Maeve was reading us a parenting book she found on the floor. She covered very important topics like hitting, boxing people down, jumping over people and running into people. Basically, if you do anything of those things, you might be sent to your room for the day, taken to the doctor or taken to the hospital. 

The funniest part is that while she was preaching all of the dangers of things she does daily, Finnegan was slamming his body into hers and saying "oops, sorry". She finally interrupted his rough housing and calmly explained that if he continued to run into her or jump over her that he would fall off the bed and end up in the hospital. 

Halloween in July

We had a Halloween party on Monday. Yes, that is correct, Halloween. 

Maeve decided during her quiet time on Monday that it was the perfect day for Halloween. She requested that all of the decorations be put up and planned what costumes we were all going to wear. She originally wanted to invite everyone she knows, but when I explained that we wouldn't be able to have the party that night, she changed her mind and said it should just be our family.

Maeve drew pictures of incredibly scary pumpkins, hung decorations on the walls, strategically placed all of our spooky light up decorations and did it all while wearing her jack-o-lantern sweat suit. We bought red juice to have with dinner, I made spinach spaghetti (I didn't want anything too gross looking for fear that the kids wouldn't eat it) and we carved a watermelon brain. I also made a round zucchini cake that we were going to decorate as a pumpkin, but Maeve lost the black icing and I ran out of red food coloring so the frosting was more yellow than orange.

Finnegan and I were ghosts, Maeve was a jack-o-lantern, Brigdet, our black lab, was a black cat and our rabbit was an evil rabbit. Maeve had a vampire cape ready for Mathew to wear when he got home from work. Maeve was so proud of her decorating and Halloween party. Throughout dinner she turned to Mathew several times and said, "Don't you just love all of our spooky Halloween decorations?".

I love being able to indulge Maeve's creativity. Yes, it was more work for me that I hadn't planned on, but she was so happy and is there anything better than Halloween in July?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Life With a Newborn

I am not a baby person. 

You will never see me make a big fuss over a baby that isn't mine and chances are I will never ask to hold it. I am awkward with other people's newborns and get a bit nervous when I'm left alone with one. 

That being said, I love my newborns. I love the way they smell. I love their grunts. I love their tiny diapers and I love breastfeeding, even if it's all I do some days. My mom claws tend to come out shortly after birth and I become very protective and feel a deep need to be alone with my husband and children. I make people wash their hands before touching my baby and if my baby makes even a peep while being held by someone else, I take them back. You will never see me handing my fussy child over to someone else for soothing. That's my job.

My husband and I were talking today about how we take care of our newborn babes. Granted, there are tough days when our baby is fussy, tired, cranky, gassy, etc, but for the most part, our newborns are usually content. I nurse on demand, which means I breastfeed anytime the baby is rooting or needing to be soothed. Yes, it can be tiring, but it makes life so much easier to just nurse a fussy baby instead of trying to come up with creative ways to make it happy. We co-sleep so I am able to tuck the baby in the crook of my arm while we sleep and breastfeed whenever the baby starts to wake. I enjoy sleeping and co-sleeping is the only way we all stay rested.  I also believe in babywearing. I think I wore Finnegan everyday until he was around six months old. Babywearing kept him close and gave me the opportunity to easily do things around the house. 

I am thankful to have a husband who shares my parenting philosophies and who is completely supportive when it comes to taking care of a newborn the way nature intended instead of what is more readily accepted by our society. 

I am excited to add a third child to our family. I think transitioning from two to three will be much easier for me than it was to go from one to two kids. Sleep deprivation for the first month or two will make life interesting, but once we fall into a routine it shouldn't be too tough. Maeve and Finnegan will be great siblings if they can overcome the temptation to box down their new baby brother. Time will tell. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Song for a Fifth Child

This is one of my favorites and helps me keep things in perspective.

Song for a Fifth Child


Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth

empty the dustpan, poison the moth,

hang out the washing and butter the bread,

sew on a button and make up a bed.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?

She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.


Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue

(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due

(pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew

and out in the yard there's a hullabaloo

but I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.

Look! Aren't her eyes the most wonderful hue?

(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).


The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,

for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.

So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.

I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.


 by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton  

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bare Books

These look like lots of fun and will probably be the only non-homemade gift from us to the kids. I think I might order the plain game board too.

Fats and Oils

Here is a good explanation of fats and how to use them.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Wheels are Turning

I really enjoy sewing and have been having fun making cloth diapers. So....

I need to read more about all of the new laws regarding products for children to see if starting a business is really something I want to do. I am getting excited thinking about it, but I get excited thinking about a lot of things and then reality sets in and I get completely overwhelmed. Obviously, I'd start small. 

Here's my to do list:
-draft a few more diaper patterns
-figure out what I want to sell (probably pocket diapers and fitteds since that's what I like)
-learn how to use my serger
-figure out start up costs and rules/regulations
-drool over all of the fabric that might someday be in my stash

In the meantime, I'm busy sewing Boppy covers and a few cloth diaper covers, making play felt food and putting together various pretend play kits (doctor, lunch, etc.) for the kids for Christmas. Yes, I wrote Christmas. We are doing an entirely homemade Christmas this year so I need to start early. I also want to figure out some neat woodworking projects for my husband that would use up some of the wood we've been storing in the garage for a couple of years. 

Friday, July 3, 2009

Baby Magazine Blunders

I signed up for a free subscription to American Baby magazine. I typically disagree with many things in mainstream magazines, but there were two things in the latest issue that were particularly bothersome.

The first, "Should you circumcise? If you're on the fence, it may help to know that 79 percent of newborns boys are circumcised in the U. S., and they have a lower risk of developing urinary tract infections in their first year and STDs later in life."

Interesting that they conveniently omitted the current policy of American Academy of Pediatrics, 
"Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. In circumstances in which there are potential benefits and risks, yet the procedure is not essential to the child's current well- being, parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child."

I'm too lazy this evening to find more links and articles against circumcision, but it seems that the magazine, at the very least, should have mentioned that circumcision is not medically necessary. It's also declining in popularity and urinary tract infections are uncommon as it is so having a lower risk really doesn't matter too much. As for STDs, cover it up. 

The second thing in magazine that irks me is this "Experts recommend breastfeeding through at least 6 months." That statement is technically correct, but they neglected to mention that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends "Exclusive breastfeeding for approximately the first six months and support for breastfeeding for the first year and beyond as long as mutually desired by mother and child." The World Health Organization says,  "Infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond."

If a magazine is going to quote experts, the very least it could do is quote them correctly. Yes, experts recommend breastfeeding through at least six months, but they recommend exclusively breastfeeding for six months. Exclusive, as in no cereal or baby foods.