I Was Not Prepared for This Poop

solidsA. has been eating solids for a little over a month now. Although she hated them on the first few tries, she now really enjoys solid food and has come around on most veggies after trying them a few times. We’ve been feeding her once a day around 5 or 6, with an occasional nibble at other times of the day.

I’ve been feeding her almost entirely homemade baby food. Although this impresses some people, it’s really the easiest kind of cooking imaginable. If I’m making a fruit or veggie for dinner, I just steam it, set some aside, and then run it through the food processor. I haven’t worried too much about making it perfectly smooth and she’s done fine.

Continue reading

Product Review: OK, Mensch on a Bench is Actually Really Cute

When I was shopping around for Hannukah gift ideas, I came across the Mensch on a Bench. I thought it was a pretty cute parody of Elf on the Shelf, but I didn’t have much interest in actually buying one.

Hannukah is a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar, but it is a holiday that’s important to both my husband and I. It’s important to my husband because he grew up not celebrating Christmas so Hannukah was his major gift-giving occasion. It’s important to me for the opposite reason – I grew up celebrating Christmas in a big way, with lots of Christmas decorations and Christmas traditions. I’m eager to recreate that for my kid but in a Hannukah way.

Sadly, it’s hard to find many good Hannukah clothes, toys, or decorations. I’ve walked into several local toy stores and asked, “Do you have any Hannukah stuff. I will buy it.” Sadly, the only thing I could find was wrapping paper. This is partly because we live in Vermont, with a Jewish population of 4, but also partly because there’s just not that much cute Hannukah stuff, even on Amazon.

Because I didn’t grow up with an Elf on the Shelf and actually find the elf a little creepy, it didn’t occur to me to get a Mensch on the Bench. But some friends bought us one…and I’m really glad they did.

I don’t like Elf on the Shelf for several reasons – Christmas already has enough traditions without having to create a blatantly commercial new one, the idea that he’s spying on your kids and reporting to Santa is a little creepy, and I have better things to do with my time than remembering to move an elf every night in December, or feel bad because I’m not creating the elaborate scenes depicted on Pinterest.

But I still like the Mensch on the Bench. Let’s face facts, it’s pretty commercial. But I think Hannukah could use a small percent of the commercialism that gets thrown at Christmas every year.

The doll himself is quite cute and well-made. He has a suit, a traditional hat, and a tallis (prayer shawl). He comes holding a stuffed candle, which you can replace with a real candle. He comes with a cardboard bench (which of course I broke when opening the package, but also sits very effectively on the edge of a shelf or counter. If nothing else, he’s a cute little dude who sits there and holds the shamash (the candle you use each night to light the other candles). Yay, fun and interactive Hannukah decor!

2014-12-16 22.45.24

I’ll have to decide when A. gets older if I’ll actually bother moving the Mensch each night or if I’ll just give him the candle to hold. If I do move him, I’m only committing to the 8 nights of Hannukah, not a whole month!

He also comes with a cute book retelling the Hannukah story. Of course, it takes some historical liberties, but pretty much any book for kids does so and it’s a nice opportunity to talk about the story of Hannukah.

Plus, I may die of cute overload when my daughter is two years old and starts talking about the “Mensch.”

How NOT to Remove Cloth Diaper Stains

cloth diapersWith cloth diapers, a little staining every now and then is inevitable. As the saying goes, “sh*t happens.”

For the most part, stains will come out with a little time in the sun or on the next time through the wash. I have no idea how the sun works its magic, but it’s seriously amazing.

However, if some of your diapers come out a little stained. I do NOT recommend just throwing them in again with the next wash load. Particularly if the next wash load contains a pair of blue jeans. Because that extra wash will probably get rid of the slight yellow staining you had and instead replace it with this:

Continue reading

A. is Five Months Old!

Dear A.,

It seems like only yesterday that you were born and it was definitely 5 minutes ago that you turned 4 months. It still astonishes me when we go out and I see people with babies younger than you.Seeing you grow makes me both really happy and really sad – I can’t bear the thought that you will someday be too big to fit in the crook of my arm and cuddle.

You have matured so much this past month. Your dad and I agree that you are getting more and more fun each day. Your babbling and laughing have really taken off this month. You can be a bit shy around other people or mesmerized by new surroundings, but at home with mom and dad you are quite the entertainer. You make all sorts of sounds and gurgles and laugh when mom and dad make silly faces or sing silly songs.

You have always loved to eat, but you finally settled down to eating a few times a day instead of every waking minute. When you are hungry, you still don’t hesitate to let mom know it. Your latest trick is trying to eat mom’s face or shoulder! Nursing is our special time together and you love to look into mom’s eyes and play with my shirt or relax with your eyes closed when you are sleepy.

You also started solids this past month. You weren’t too keen on them at first, but now you are very excited whenever you see the spoon and move your whole head toward it. So far you have tried applesauce, brown rice, cranberry sauce, avocado, butternut squash, sweet potato, broccoli, peas, and banana. Rice, applesauce, and bananas are probably your favorites so far. You’re not quite sure about broccoli but we’ve only tried it once.

You still have a very tough time falling asleep without mama’s “magic pacifier”. You are getting better at going to sleep, but it’s a process. You usually nap 3 times a day for 45 minutes at a time. Most nights you wake up 2 or 3 times but fall asleep pretty easily after you eat.

This month, you really started enjoying books. You love to grab and swat them and look at the pictures. You used to have a hard time sitting through them, but now you usually enjoy reading 2 or 3 at bedtime.

You are definitely a tummy sleeper and have been since a let you sleep on your tummy. You still love tummy time and are working very hard on getting up on your hands and knees. You’ve managed to do it a few times for a split second. You are also working very hard on rolling from tummy to back and side to tummy, but can’t get from your back to your tummy yet. Sometimes you practice in your crib and get stuck, which makes you very unhappy until mom or dad flips you back!

You don’t mind when mommy kisses your head and your hands and your feet which is a good thing because mommy does it a lot! Sometimes when daddy comes home he thinks you smell like mommy’s chap stick because of all the kisses! I loved you from the minute I found out I was pregnant (and before – I knew it even before the pregnancy test) but I love you more and more each day. I’m not sure how I can make room in my heart to love you any more, but I know I will.

Love with all my heart,

Mama

Tales of Caffeine Addiction

A_small_cup_of_coffeeDespite the fact that my husband works for a coffee company and receives ridiculous amounts of free coffee, neither of drank coffee before our daughter was born. My husband used to drink a cup every now and then because he enjoyed the taste, but SWORE he would never become a coffee drinker.

Two weeks after she was born, he began drinking a cup of coffee every day at work. But he wouldn’t drink it on weekends and SWORE he would never do so because he didn’t want to get addicted.

After a month of living with a weekend zombie, he finally started drinking coffee on weekends. But he SWORE he would never have more than a cup a day.

Continue reading

I Guess Sleep Training is Not Not Working?

sleep

We’ve been committed to sleep training for about a week and a half and have definitely seen some improvement, but it’s definitely not been a miracle. A lot of people promise it will be better by the third night. Those people probably have normal children, not demon children who would prop their eyelids open with toothpicks to stay awake just one more hour if they had the hand-eye coordination to do so.

After a week and a half of sleep training, we’ve continued to have okay, not great nights. We’ve put her in her crib awake every night. Some nights she goes to bed without even a fuss. Some nights she fusses or cries for 15-20 minutes. She feeds 2-3 times a night, which is not terrible, but I can still count the number of times I’ve had four continuous hours of sleep since she was born on two hands. Sometimes she wakes up an hour or two after bedtime and we have to let her cry a bit before she goes back to sleep.

Continue reading

The Exciting Life I Now Lead

Birthday

Since my daughter A. was born, I’ve pretty much only left the house alone a few times to run to the grocery store or to go to the dentist. Even those occasions were pretty exciting – I could park ANYWHERE without worrying about how far I had to schlep the car seat, trying to heft the thing onto a grocery cart, and then dashing through the store in time to get home for a nap.

So I was pretty excited on Friday night when our in-laws graciously volunteered to come over so we could put the baby to bed and then go out to a hockey game. My husband and I are both big fans of UVM’s hockey team, currently ranked #10 in the country.

So after inhaling my dinner, and encouraging A. to inhale hers, I tossed her in the crib and bolted out the door as fast as possible, yelling FREEDOM on my way out (not joking, ask my husband).

Continue reading