Monday, December 31, 2007

New starts

Don't you love a fresh start? I do. Maybe too much. Fresh start moments, like the beginning of a new year, make me want to get everything right this time. It's all I can do this time of year to keep my inner perfectionist from breaking loose and wreaking havoc.

In a Babycenter poll, 75% of the 7112 participants (at the time I looked it up) feel pressure to be the perfect mom. Those of us who aren't moms feel the pressure of perfection in other ways.

So what's a girl perfectionist person to do? Well, I can't promise I won't make any New Year's resolutions (especially since I've already started), so I won't ask you to give that up either. Maybe what we should do is throw in a few more. Let's try these...

  • I will not see failure as the end of the world.
  • I will give myself (my spouse/my kids/etc.) another chance.
  • I will not try to accomplish my goals completely on my own.
  • I will remember how much I am dependent on others - friends, family, God - and ask for help often.
Ok, I think that's quite enough for now. Think it'll work? Well, if it doesn't, it's not the end of the world...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Playing it safe - part 2

Remember those safety assemblies at school when you were a kid? Like when the firemen came and taught you to stop, drop and roll, and everyone got to crawl around on the floor and pretend the room was filled with smoke? I would go home, head full of important new information and wait for my house to catch on fire so I could put it to use.


Or how about when they talked about Stranger Danger and how to not be lured into someone's car just because they offered you candy? I took it pretty seriously.

One time when I was little (but old enough to have had the Stranger Talk at school), I was walking into the post office with my mom. Suddenly, a man I didn't know - a Stranger, you might say - offers me candy. Yikes! I'm thinking This is exactly what they warned me about!! I was too scared to say anything. Mom accepted the sucker on my behalf, thanked the postal worker and later talked to me about how I don't have to freak out if I'm with a parent. I kinda felt like Mom didn't really know about Strangers, though. After all, I was the one who had been through the special training.

Anyway, because of situations like that, people are rethinking the whole "Stranger Danger" thing. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) calls Stranger Danger "a myth."

McGruff the Crime Dog distinguishes "bad strangers" from "safe strangers." BTW, McGruff has come a long way since the coloring book pages of my childhood. He has his own website, downloadable wallpaper and a seldom-updated blog. (I checked to see if he had a myspace, and I found this. Does that seem a little sketch to anyone else?)

My earlier "Playing it safe" post focused on self-defense classes for kids. While I was researching that, I came across these additional resources for keeping kids safe:
  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a great child safety FAQ. They also have a program called Prevention Works, which they offer to corporations for free.
  • The AmberAlert.com Child ID Kit stores information about your child, is small enough to keep with you, and, if it's ever necessary, you can give it directly to law enforcement officials so they have all the information they need immediately.

  • Youth Educated in Safety, Inc. has some good suggestions of things to talk about with your child - like protecting your personal space and when not to be helpful.
* * * * *
Photos: 1) "Stop drop and roll" by Al Bakker. Creative Commons License. 2) Wallpaper from McGruff.org. 3) "Karate kid" by Strollers. Creative Commons License.

Resolved

I already know one of my new year's resolutions will be to tie up loose ends on this blog. In my quest to keep the subject matter varied, I haven't always gotten back to topics I wanted to follow up on. But I'm going to get started on that right away. Hopefully tomorrow. Just thought I'd let you know.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tradition - part 3

At some point my family started reading the Christmas story from Luke 2 before opening presents on Christmas morning. The passage seems so long when there's presents waiting to be unwrapped. But, really, in the grand scheme of things, what do presents matter?

I guess that's exactly the point.

"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.'"

- Luke 2:10-11, NIV

Saturday, December 22, 2007

There's a time, a place, and a conference for everything

Did you know there's a babywearing conference? Yep. It's four days long. And I'm a little baffled by the whole thing. Who goes to a babywearing conference? Maybe I could see it if you sell items for babywearing. But how many people fall into that category?

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for carrying your baby in a sling/pouch/mei tai/soft carrier type thing. And I get that having your child close to you is great bonding, etc., but I really don't understand how the subject merits an entire conference.

Granted, there are several workshops on the schedule that don't seem to be babywearing-specific (i.e. "Website 101," "Intro to Cloth Diapers," and "Mom and Baby Yoga") and several more on businessy things (like "Legal Considerations for BW Vendors" and "Owning a Bricks [sic] and Mortar Store"). There are, however, plenty of workshops just about babywearing, and that's what confounds me the most. How much knowledge does one need in order to wear a baby? Am I missing something here?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tradition - part 2

My hope is that by sharing the little things that have become holiday traditions for me, it will spark your memory...and your imagination. What are your traditions? What will you pass on to the next generation?

It's not every year that I get Christmas baking done. When I can fit it in, I'm always glad I did. There have been years I've baked with friends and others I've gone solo, taking my time, tweaking the recipes as I see fit.

When I was a kid, I "helped" Mom in the little kitchen that seemed so big at the time. I remember those rich, cinnamonny, nutmeggy, smells that fill the house only in the last two months of the year. At her direction, my brother and I would dump (pre-measured) ingredients in a bowl or stir or push candied cherries into the tops of unbaked cookies or use a spoon to drop cookie dough onto a big metal sheet.

She also let us cut out and decorate sugar cookies. I stuck with Christmas-themed shapes; I believe he added dinosaurs. My trees were green with carefully placed candy "ornaments;" his were much more colorful.

They all turned out delicious.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Tradition

In this tradition-laden time of year, are you waxing as nostalgic as I am? So many memories, meaningful rituals, accidental traditions...

As a child, I loved to push the presents aside and lay on the floor underneath the Christmas tree and look up at the colored lights. I would watch them blink and smell the fresh pine scent. I would stay there so long my parents would wonder where I went and come looking.

Now, my hubby and I have an artificial tree. We have those white lights that don't blink. Things don't stay the same. But, still, at least once a year, I try to push aside the busyness, lay still and look up at the lights through the branches of our tree.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Just add inspiration

My in-laws have acquired (thanks to Elizabeth) 2 boxes of butcher paper rolls - some with butcher paper still on them, some without.


They're all about 4' tall and maybe 3" or so in diameter.

Apparently, they make great weapons for fending off older siblings.
I'm sure that's not all they're good for. I think they'd be for some kind of craft or project. What do you think they should do with them? What would you do?

Oh come on now, don't be shy, I'd love to hear what you have to say. Post a comment, send an email, we promise not to bite. Someone may come after you with large roll of butcher paper, but no one will bite.

Edited to add: Elizabeth posted a comment with more info on what's in those boxes.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

It was quite awhile ago when I posted the question "What do you eat when you don't want to eat?" Since then, I've learned a few more tricks that might be useful for anyone who's lost their appetite due to pregnancy, chemotherapy, whatever.

One is to make the most of whatever you can manage to get/hold down. So if you're not getting all the fiber or protein you need, you can spike your food and drinks with products like Benefiber or Beneprotein. Here's what I know about those.

You can buy Benefiber at any drugstore.

It dissolves really well in liquids. They say you can't event taste it in water, but I haven't tried that.

Beneprotein has kind of a powdered-milky taste. One time I got confused and thought that was the one you could dissolve in water, so I tried it. Pretty nasty. Don't do that. What you can do is mix it into any beverages or soft foods that are dairy or go with dairy - so yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, cream of wheat, tapioca, peanut butter, cottage cheese, etc.

Another thing you can do....

take some eggs

add Beneprotein while they're cooking



scramble it all upand when they're done, you won't be able to tell you added anything. (Also, see how I put the eggs between the English muffins - makes it look like less food. ;) )

Beneprotein is harder to get in stores but you can order it on Amazon or Walgreens.com and probably other places online as well.

Ok, before I go, I should disclaim some things.

Disclaimer: Here is where I tell you to check with your doctor before trying anything new - especially if you're pregnant. If you choose not to do that and something goes wrong, you can't say I didn't warn you. I'm doing that right now.

P.S. Sorry my photos are so blurry. I was trying to scramble and shoot and stir all at once and fast. Not a good combination. I promise to slow down.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

What the cool kids are eating

I don't usually think of baby food as trendy...or tasty. Apparently, Tastybaby is out to change all that. Is it really that hip or is it all hype? I'll let you visit tastybaby.com and see what you think. As always, I welcome your comments.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thankful




(I'm participating in Wordless Wednesday. If you can't see the photo, click here.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

A cute remedy for acute nausea

What do you do when feel sick to your stomach but can't (or don't want to) take anything for it? For some people, putting pressure on their wrists helps prevent/relieve nausea. I've seen people wear special (but ugly) wrist bands to ward off motion sickness.

Thankfully, that remedy is looking more attractive these days. I came across these Psi bands, which come in three very fun designs as well as your basic black. I haven't tried them, but I would say it's worth a shot - especially if you're pregnant and can't just pop a pill to make it feel better.

More tips for dealing with morning sickness, etc. coming soon!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wednesday on Friday

A couple of you mentioned having trouble seeing the last Wordless Wednesday photo, so I posted it here on my website. If you still can't see it let me know.

Hope everyone had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Skip the mall madness

It may seem a little early for this post, but I figure that by the time most of you read it, you will be just re-emerging that familiar turkey-induced stupor and starting to contemplate joining the masses (possibly with kids in tow) for Black Friday.

I want you to know: you don't have to go through with it.

You may consider what I'm about to say shameless self-promotion. On the other hand, it may be useful information for you. So I'll continue...

This Friday instead of fighting the crowds, you could be home in your p.j.s, sipping your coffee (or tea or whatever your morning beverage of choice is) and still getting all your shopping done.

Because you can purchase ornaments,

cards (on sale!),


t-shirts,

cute kid clothes,

stocking stuffers,



and all kinds of fun gifts in my online shop.

Which means you can skip the driving and have your purchases shipped to you or directly to the recipient. (Speaking of which, check out our free shipping promo.) The designs are original; we have a great return policy; and you can shop whenever you want - you don't have to elbow your way into the store at 4am.

Although if you enjoy that sort of thing, you can always visit my shop once you come back home.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Said enough?



(Wondering about Wordless Wednesday? Click here.)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Not always "EC"

Ah, the gap between theory and practice.

I remember a meeting for a group project in college where 3 out of the 5 members of the group were late. The first one to arrive had been an international student who was pretty irritated. I'm not sure if she was more upset with the latecomers or the orientation materials she had been given before coming to the U.S. that claimed you should never arrive late to a meeting because punctuality is very important to Americans. It is. In theory.

As you know, I've been reading about Elimination Communication (EC). Some websites make it sound like it's the simplest thing in the world to learn your baby's signals and make sure they're in an appropriate place to potty when the time comes. But, like anything else, you dig a little deeper and you'll find out real life is a bit more...messy.

Still, theory is good. It helps to know what you're aiming for. ;) So here are some articles/sites that will give you the idea behind EC and some forums that will give you an idea how it plays out in real life. (For example, a lot of people do some combination of EC and diapers.) Oh, one more thing before you start clicking away, you start researching this stuff you'll probably end up seeing way too many photos of peeing babies. You've been warned.

The Theory of EC...

EC in the real world...

Photo 1 by me: Dog jumping out of a fountain at ASU. Photo 2 by Gisarah: A different kind of diaper mess. (Creative Commons License.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Where I've been

Merry Christmas card on Bold Avenue
So I haven't been posting as much lately (but I'll start up again soon, don't worry). One reason is that I’ve been hard at work on holiday newsletters for my business, Bold Avenue. Over the next couple months I’ll send out about three editions of In Bold Print with ideas for gifts, simplifying your holiday season, decking the halls and all that good stuff. Oh yeah, also, there are occasional subscribers-only sales too. Want in on that? Just enter your email in the box below and click "go."








Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007

Attaching the dots

When I started this blog, I thought I'd look at the diaper debate for a couple weeks, then move on to baby carriers, strollers, etc. Nothing has been as simple as it seemed. Why did that surprise me?




I was about ready to choose cloth diapers over disposable when I found out that "none of the above" is actually an option. Need to read up on that.


I thought carrying your baby around in a sling/pouch was just handy, little did I know that simple action came with its own terminology (noun: babywearing; verb: to babywear) and often a whole philosophy. Need to read up on that too.

When I read that both those things - along with breastfeeding, co-sleeping and probably some other activities that help you pass the granola mom test - can be all connected under the "attachment parenting" umbrella, I realized I had a lot to learn. And a lot of reading to do.



Photos: As I have no babies, and therefore, no baby stuff, I have to use photos of other people's baby stuff. In this case, Twelve Paws (photo 1) and Sean Dreilinger (photo 2). Yay for Creative Commons ! (Licenses: photo 1 and photo 2.)


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Another day, another recall

With the Aqua Dots recall and all the other recalls of baby and kid products going on, I thought it would be a good time to re-post the link to the CPSC's Product Safety and Recalls page.


You can also sign up to receive email alerts about product recalls from the CPSC (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.)


Photo from CPSC.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

To diaper or not to diaper?

As it turns out, that is actually a valid question. In an earlier post, I think I mentioned someone joking about skipping the diaper debate altogether and letting their baby go diaperless.

The thing I didn't know is that many people around the world believe diaperless is the way to go. In western countries, it's known by names such as Elimination Communication (EC), Infant Potty Training, Natural Infant Hygiene, or (ugh!) trickle treat.

At first, I thought the whole idea was insanity. However, the more I learned, the less crazy it seemed. The basic idea is that babies naturally show some sign that they're about to potty (scrunch up their faces, make grunting noises, etc.). Once you're familiar with a child's schedule and signals, you can hold them over a toilet, sink, bowl, etc. and let them do their business there rather than in a diaper.

Proponents of EC make some valid points, and I'd say it's worth looking into. If you'd like to find out more, this article would be a great start - it examines contrasting attitudes about diapering in India and the U.S., as well as broader issues like consumerism and parenting.

What's your take? Feel free to comment. :)

Photo by Sean Dreilinger: One day's dirty diapers are at least the size of the baby! (Creative Commons license)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Are you positive?

I was vaguely aware that sometimes a baby's blood could somehow be incompatible with the mother's and cause problems, but I didn't really know what that was all about. So when it came up the other day, I decided to do some reading. Here's what I found out.

Most people's blood has something known as the Rh (Rhesus) factor, which is basically a protein that rides around on your red blood cells. If you have it, you're Rh positive; if you don't, you're Rh negative.

Being Rh negative isn't a big deal. Your body doesn't even know what it's missing. The only problem (that I know of) comes if you happen to be an Rh negative woman who is pregnant with an Rh positive baby and if your blood happens to intermingle. In that case, your white blood cells - who tend to be a little trigger happy and very xenophobic - go into attack mode and could seriously hurt your baby.

Anyway, if you are at risk for Rh incompatibility (more on that below), usually all you have to do is get an Rh immune globulin shot when you're 28 weeks pregnant and then again after you give birth. That pacifies your white blood cells and keeps everyone healthy. There are a few other instances (like if you have a miscarriage) where you might need that shot, but your doctor will be able to discuss that with you.

There's no way to tell for sure if a baby is positive or negative until birth. However, since it's a genetic trait, it's pretty easy to guess if there's an incompatibility possibility.
  • Rh positive dad + Rh positive mom = always Rh postive baby (compatible, no worries)
  • Rh negative dad + Rh negative mom = always Rh negative baby (compatible, no worries)
  • Rh negative dad + Rh positive mom = maybe Rh negative baby (rarely a problem)
  • Rh positive dad + Rh negative mom = maybe Rh positive baby (incompatible! Get your shots.)
  • If the dad's Rh is unknown and you're Rh negative, assume you're at risk.
More info:
PS The first photo is of blood cells, but don't you think it'd be an awesome pattern for a funky top?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

So cute it's scary






(If you don't know what Wordless Wednesday is, click here.)