Sunday, December 14, 2008

Where is Cameron? Speaking of handmade toys...

Some of you lovely people who actually read my blog might be thinking, "where is Cameron?" Cameron is up to her ears in photo editing. I have approximately 9,000 MORE images to edit in the next week.

I promise I'll be active on this blog next year when I figure out this whole "how-to-juggle-your-life-as-you-knew-it-now-turned-upside-down."

Until then, I leave you with this cute photo (shot by Matt) of Owen playing with his GREAT handmade toy from Matt's Uncle Jim (Aunt Phyllis painted all the rocks). It's modeled after a REAL filling station on route 66. Uncle Jim is a real craftsmen. Actually, everyone in Matt's family is an artist of sorts. It's just about the best thing ever!! I included some photos of the artists at work...

One guess how you know this photo was shot by Matt? Take a look...

hummm, Oh, is that a baby on a chair by himself? The other photos had Matt's hand in them just "in case"-- I reminded him that babies shouldn't stand on chairs by themselves. Ah men. They just live a tad more dangerously, eh?

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Small Baby businesses! Save THEM

This is from an old friend from 8th grade who I got in touch with recently on Facebook. Thanks Kristen!

Her friend, Keely Shaw, the genius behind Kiddiewinkles Design and purveyor of all things hip for moms and babies, forwarded this information to me. If it burns you up as much as it burns me up, I hope you'll consider doing something about it:

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (the bit that Congress passed to make less lead allowable in toys and children's products as a reactionary measure following the China craziness last year) requires lead testing on EVERY product for children manufactured or sold in the United States. The level of ridiculousness is so high that EVERY color and type of fabric must be tested separately, and every sub-part on the items. So for a diaper it'd be the microfleece, the PUL, the snap, the tag, and the velcro as well as the inner fabric. On a wetbag, the PUL, the regular fabric, the zipper, the hanging loop, and the tag. Each test (third party) costs upwards of $100.

They're including clothes, shoes, bedding, durable goods (which are subject to a higher standard and must be certified and have the certificate and registry with them or some such crazy shit).

The small businesses and independent toy makers of the US are trying to do something, but the law is so blanket that it doesn't include any stipulations for small manufacturers or home businesses. In effect, you couldn't even sell kid stuff at your local craft fair under this law. It was a hugely reactionary measure, (though admittedly well-intentioned) and passed and put into effect before it was fully understood the ginormous consequences.

Consider that the vast majority of your diapers come from WAHMs (even Fuzzibuns, Happy Heiny's, Drybees, and bumGenius are or were at one time WAHM operations), and the fact that the beautiful wooden handmade toys we all hunt down for our kids will be no more if this is allowed to take effect as written. Not only will we lose out on all WAHM products diaper-wise, imagine what this testing will do to the cost of children's clothing at Target or Gymboree.

Of course, this all comes to a head when Congress is recessing, but you can still do something! If your Congressperson was re-elected, contact them now! If you have an incoming Congressperson, contact their local field office!

Here are some links that explain more about what will need to be tested:

ALSO, if you have a baby and use cloth diapers, you should totally buy up Keely's inventory right now:

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

8 month photos

click to see the images larger!!

tia kate: the nanny!
a little climber
his cute little hair in the back
he had 6 teeth by 8 months but they are bigger now! He chomps on crackers, Cheerios, etc.

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Owen 9 months eating...

long overdue for a baby video... this is just the other day. Anyone know how to rotate these in blogger?

until then turn your head... sorry!

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Little bike, little dude

Owen loves this thing. Hilarious. He is looking like a little boy now. So cute. I have some new photos I need to post... will try to do tomorrow before we take off for our T-day adventure.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Have Baby will Travel

So the first trip we took when Owen was 5 months was bad, REAL bad. Second one, not so bad. The difference is that he actually slept on this second trip and didn't scream in the cars when we traveled places. MAJOR improvement. We drove to Tucson to shoot a wedding last Saturday and the 5 hour drive was the longest he's been on and he did great... I did have to entertain him for the last hour of the ride, but otherwise, success!

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Go Dawgs? 8 months in 2 days

Time for cuteness. Okay, I am NOT one of those people who dresses their baby is in their college Alma mater insignia left and right. Hey, if you are, more power to you, I'm just not that attached to the University of Georgia and I don't like to "brand" my child so much, nope--just not my particular style. HOWEVER, Aunt Collette hand knit this sweater without a pattern and well, it's pretty darn cute.

I remember the first time I was on campus with my pal Jon McKenna, we were actually in Athens for a mountain bike ride from the ATL and it went something like this...

JM: "Hey Cameron, stick your head out the window at those people and yell GO DAWGS and bark."

me: I am not barking at strangers out a car window.

JM: (sticks head out window) "GO DAWGS SICK 'EM WOOF WOOF WOOF!!"

me: slinking down in my seat, look-of-disbelief

strangers: hands in air, pumping fists, "WOOF WOOF WOOF"

The only UGA game I ever went to I was on the field photographing it for the Athens Banner-Herald. That was a joke, but for another blog post. Let's just say the editor said,

"I'll send you to games for features not sports, Cameron."

I mean who can pay attention to every first down, every play? it's exhausting and not to mention riddled with macho male shooters. You have to be the ULTIMATE fan to photograph football. Opinion mia.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Sleep update - baby sleep routine 7.5 months

I thought I'd give more details about my success after my Sleep Lady phone consultation. I'll outline his overall schedule and then some exciting developments!

6AM awake, hungry, nurses
8:30-8:45 - super baby food breakfast
9 or 9:30 first nap
10:15-11AM - wakes up, usually he's hungry and we nurse again
11-1PM- playtime, errands, etc.
1PM second nap
2:30-3PM awake, hungry, nurses,
5-6PM solid food snack/dinner usually nurses again
6:30 bath with Daddy, nurses in a room OTHER than his
7PM bedtime in crib
midnight snack - I feed him once and only once at night and I let him wake up which is usually between 11PM-1AM.
6AM awake. repeat. :)

I will mention it wasn't until between 5 and 6 months that his daytime sleep regulated. I worked really hard at 8 weeks to get his daytime sleep to be consistently in his crib. At first he napped after he was awake for 2 hours 3 hours and our schedule changed every day. It was nice when I started to notice a pattern and could put him down more regularly. It's GREAT to be able to count on nap time. Owen is happy all day and everyone comments on what a happy baby he is. I attribute it to his personality but really, its all about the SLEEP!

So I talked to the Sleep Lady last Wed. We have a call scheduled for this Thursday as a follow up. In our conversation it became clear that we needed a more consistent approach. She figured out that Owen is using Mommy and Daddy as his "baby tranquilizer" ... our mistakes include patting his butt until he fell asleep and rolling him over (from back to belly -- he sleeps on his belly but cries on his back), a very inconsistent response at night and the occasional nursing to nap or to sleep. I pretty much nursed him to sleep for 6 months. We also noticed that Owen does much better in the middle of the night if Matt goes in and comforts him. Owen knows that Matt doesn't have nursing capabilities, so this eliminates this as a possibility and he seems to fall asleep easier. Plus, we discussed that Owen probably only needs to nurse once each night IF THAT. I know people out there think their babies are hungry. If your baby is eating 1-3 minutes and falling back asleep, you are a sleep CRUTCH and you are not fostering your baby's ability to put himself back to sleep. We also discussed that Owen seems to fall asleep better if we leave the room rather than stay and linger shhhing him too long, etc. I realized we haven't been giving him much opportunity to fall asleep on his own. So our tactics included the following ideas:

1) We decided to move the last nursing of the night to either before the bath, in the bath or after the bath but in the bathroom. This way it separates the nursing from the sleep. After this we would continue our routine of changing him, reading stories and putting him down
2) no more rolling him over AT ALL and obviously no picking him up unless tantrum ensues. Instead standing by the crib shussshing him is encouraged.
3) no more patting his butt until he's sleeping, a little pat pat is fine but not consistent and regular pats-pat-pat in a rhythem. Again, we decided to shusshhhhh standing beside the crib, especially in the middle of the night.
4) Allow him to whimper and cry a bit (5 minutes worth) especially in the middle of the night when he wakes up but is only partially aroused. We are giving him a chance to get back to sleep and not arosing him further up by rushing to his side and stimulating him.
5) Each time we put him down to nap or to sleep, we all had to stick to our routine and rules and let him cry up to 10 minutes prior to going in to comfort him further (barring of course any screeching, howling, etc...) Most times he cries for less than 3 minutes, sometimes not at all.
6) Concentrate on longer daytime nursing sessions and offering him both breasts and NOT nursing more than once per night and only after 6AM in the morning.

So I've been keeping a log. His daytime sleep was easy to fix, he's already doing well with that, but I eliminated nursing at ALL prior to a nap and focused on the hour prior to his nap or when he has just woken up. It's hard sometimes to fix your nursing schedule but start by getting a consistent FIRST nursing session each day at the same time. This helps a lot.

The nighttime waking was amazing. The first night we just let him cry and whimper a little bit at times when we knew he wasn't hungry and really needed to keep sleeping (ie: 10PM, 3AM, 4AM, 5AM). Without changing anything but our attitudes, he put himself back to sleep! Many times in a minute or less. All it took was NOT rushing into the crib. If he didn't get back to sleep himself, Matt went in, NOT me because as soon as I go in, he freaks out and wants to nurse. Kudos to my awesome husband for really stepping it up and helping out with this.

It seems every night we have more success and Owen does seem to be going down easier and certainly has weened himself off the nursing to sleep he was so accustomed to. Now for the Grand Finale!....

Last night he slept from 7:30PM-11PM
11PM woke up and I went in and he nursed very well
4AM he wimpered for a minute, fell back asleep himself
6AM awake! SUCCESS!
(I was gone all day, noon-10PM, so this really was amazing when you consider he doesn't take a bottle but was drinking breastmilk from a small cup). I got nearly 7 hours of straight sleep and so did Owen. INCREDIBLE Progress.

Funny side note. If it's not one thing, it's another. He can now pull himself to stand up in his crib. So when you put him down for a nap, he stands up, and can't get back down. So we do have to return to his room and release him from the standing position and lay him down, but then we leave... (eventually he can sit himself down but not yet).

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sleep Lady and my birthday

Hi, it's my birthday tomorrow. Oct. 16, 1977!!! I'm going to be 31. I wanted to be in the best shape of my life for my 30th birthday (always a goal) but instead I was fat, errr, pregnant. Anyway, I've revised that goal to my 32nd birthday since that seems more realistic.

So, leave me a comment on my birthday. It will make my day. I love comments. It keeps me blogging out there, so if you read this thing, chime in for goodness sakes.

Also I talked to the Sleep Lady today, um, yes, the real live Kim West. It was so cool. I felt like a celebrity. Anyway, my 20 minutes on the phone just wasn't enough. I wanted to fly her out to Flagstaff to stay for a week in our guest room and fix Owen's sleep waking problem. Instead of that, we scheduled another phone consultation next week and I filled out a 9 page questionnaire about his sleep habits, etc. Yes, 9 pages. Oh, boy, oh boy, I'm going nip this thing in the bud, and even spend some cash on a Sleep Lady consultation. I can taste my heavenly sleep coming... oh la la. I'll cry the first time I sleep 8-10 hours. I really will. It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Bath time with Mommy - nursing in the bath

Daddy is in charge of baths (and dinner) so sometimes Mommy has to take a bath with Owen. I say WITH Owen, because somehow, somewhere along the way Matt and I got addicted to taking a bath with the baby. I realize that if we ever had another child we probably wouldn't get to enjoy this sweet luxury.

If you haven't tried it, you should.

Initially it seems like a hassle to get undressed just to sit in 5 inches of water with your baby for 15 minutes but it's worth it. Owen has been getting in the tub with either Matt or myself almost every night since he was 6 weeks. He loves it and he plays with his ducks, cups, washcloths, and laughs when we make his toys talk to him. I think (speaking as a former swim instructor) that it's also helping him learn about swim positions, water in the face, laying on his back, and much more that will help him avoid a fear of water.

I've discovered that Owen will nurse in the tub really well and it separates nursing from bed-time and allows him to go to bed drowsy but awake. It is pretty comforting as the Mommy, too. A warm skin-to-skin quiet time for us. I look down at him and I know he won't always want to nurse in the bath and that makes me love those little moments even more. In fact, I'm already starting to miss nursing and I'm planning on continuing into his first year...

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

NEW custom blog look!

Yippie! Baby Business, finally got a face lift, thanks to the fabulous Jennisa.

We even have cool signatures... check it out below -- cute eh?

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Where's the POOP? baby didn't poop for 5 days

Just wanted to make the note that Owen didn't poop from sometime on Friday until sometime on Tuesday. All was well, but I was worried.

Why? I asked myself did it take 4 days for waste to move through my son's intestines... answer? Just because.

Yes, it was delightful changing urine-filled cloth diapers for DAYS--BUT somehow these small blessings are plagued by the mommy thought

"Where's the poop?"

You have never worried about poop like you when you have a baby. Poop and sleep. Poop and sleep. Hot topics of conversation at playgroup.

So when Kate, (sister and part time nanny -- seriously don't get jealous, 10 hours a week) called from the landing of our house,

"POOP! He pooped." I knew we had reached a new plateau as sisters. We both RUSHED in to change this dirty diaper. The irony was thick. Just a few weeks ago I was dreading changing another poopy diaper and now, I couldn't wait to unsnap that Fuzzi Bunz

She got it. She was worried too... humm, I wonder if she woke up the night prior with a nightmare about poop? I know I did.

At any rate, he pooped. Finally. So don't worry if your baby hasn't pooped. Feel his belly, if it's hard, maybe call your doctor, but if he seems happy, he's probably just processing more slowly for whatever reason.

Back in my jeans

So, I'm back in my regular jeans. Don't ask me how. Sleepless night? I have no idea...I work out once a week, IF THAT. I do walk everywhere since we live downtown and that must do SOMEthing, but seriously let's not talk about the why, and how, let's just be grateful that my clothes fit (pants at least). Tops on the other hand are still in shock from the size of my chest. Eventually, I guess, that will go back to normal too??? Today, though, I'm just going to express to all you pregnant ladies out there-- IT GETS better. Eat healthy, drink water, walk a lot and hey, maybe it will work for you. I lost the first 30 pounds in like 8 weeks or something but the last 10 hung out until about 6 months. My tummy is in need of some sit-ups but hey, I'm not complaining. I seem to be able to eat ice cream everyday (ice cream is the 5th food group). Finding the energy to exercise is another story. With bad sleep it gets hard to get fired up about a 4 hour mountain bike ride, but I did manage one of those recently. So YEAH! Jeans... they've been fitting for about a month and THAT is exciting.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Owen at 7 months and baby sleep at 7 months

Owen in his Halloween costume as a jacket on our morning walk.

Owen was 7 months 5 days ago on Oct. 1. He is crawling like you cannot believe. Today he actually put one hand in front of the other and move his little knees in the "classic crawl" style. It was sad to see his "worm" crawl go but this crawl is much more efficient. I have to upload video if I can catch him. He's really long and skinny. 95% for height and 15% for weight at 6 months. He eats anything we put in front of him. He has 6 teeth! Two bottom ones and the four middle top ones. We hope teething is done for awhile because it's been hard on his night wakings. He stands up on practically anything you put in front of him without holding him at all and he can pull himself up if you help him. He loves to stand. Ironically he doesn't sit that well (too skinny, we think). He sorta topples over but he manages in his high chair or even a restaurant high chair. He can reach out to anything he wants while he's crawling. He babbles and talks a lot and says mmmmm when you feed him. Kaibee cracks him up but he doesn't like it when she licks him. He hates if I touch his nose (gnarly boogers here in AZ), he likes to read the books that have little patches of fur. Owen loves to nurse in the bathtub. He sleeps regular predictable naps. 9AM, 1PM and usually a late afternoon 4-5PM. We are trying to give up the last nap to see if he can go down at 7PM and sleep till 6AM. He did that last night (with 4 interruptions and only 1 nursing)! Progress!

Sleep? HA. It's been bad since 5 months, up until that point he was doing really well (1-3 wakings a night). The worst it got recently, I think he awoke 12 times. I was a zombie. My goal is for him to give up nursing at night and shift all his feeding to the day time but I'd settle for one night nursing/waking. Something that's working for us is Daddy intervention. Matt goes in when he cries and soothes him by patting him and saying "shh shhh" but he doesn't pick him up. Owen doesn't expect nursing from Daddy, so he goes back to sleep. NOW, if I go in there, different story... Owen demands nursing by getting louder and louder and I suppose I could just let him cry but when I do that, he just wakes up again in another hour. A longer post on this when I have time. We went through a seriously challenging time recently with 1-2 poops in the middle of each night and Owen was inconsolable. His daytime sleep is AWESOME, though.

I am talking to the SLEEP LADY on the phone Oct. 15th. I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited. I can't wait to ask her some great questions about my exact situation. My friend, Tamara and her baby Kiley, have had EXTREME success with the Good Night Sleep Tight Sleep LADY method. Her baby sleeps 10 hours a night uninterrupted and has for MONTHS. Don't get me started. YES, she is breastfeeding her. Oh and one night recently Kiley slept 12 hours. 7:30PM-7:30AM. No, I am not kidding. Olympic sleeper, that girl. How am I supposed to co-misearate (sp?) about the lack of sleep with a friend like that?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

motherhood thoughts....

I wrote this to a old friend in an email tonight and I thought it was something to post on the blog...

I am enjoying motherhood and life altering adjustments are always hard but worth it. It's definitely one of those adult encounters that forces you to become your best self and tries your patience by limiting your sleep. It's amazing what I can do on 5 hours of interrupted sleep now. There is something very special about bringing another life into this world, holding it at night while it gains nourishment from you and comforting it simply by your proximity.

Matt is an amazing Dad... he loves fatherhood and he loves our boy. We fell in love again (lots of adrenaline going post birth) the first nights that Owen was sleeping in his bassinet beside our bed. It was this incredible sense of accomplishment that we GREW this human being out of our own selves. Surreal and definitely amazing. I know you will enjoy the sweet sensitive part of becoming a parent. It is bittersweet for sure but more sweet than anything.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

to pump or not to pump: hand vs. electric and the joys of breast pumps

Sorry for my lack of posts... I'm opening a studio in the next few weeks and life is crazy with my business.

Okay, so you're pregnant and you are thinking about breastfeeding, you know you want to and yet you're hoping for some freedom. Freedom that comes in the form of a bottle (if your child will take one). This bottle freedom (if you are not doing formula) comes along with something called a 'breast pump.' You are thinking, "I'll just pump... and when I want to drink 3 margaritas, I'll 'pump and dump'"-- ahh motherhood--so simple in theory. So simple while you are still pregnant and getting lots of sleep.

This 'pumping' term is so casually thrown around amongst the breastfeeding mommies it must be super simple, and fun! You are thinking, "Maybe I can read a book and pump at the same time... I'll get so much reading done. How long could it really take? I'm going to be doing the best thing for my baby..." Oh these thoughts have entered your brain.

REALITY check.

Pumping does have it's advantages...ahem, one advantage: your breast milk can be delivered by another vessel other than yourself (unless you are me and your child WILL NOT accept said vessel). Hooray! You can go out and ride your bike and do lots of fun things. BUT WAIT! You forgot, when your child is drinking from his/her bottle, and you are out doing things, like, for example, work...your boobs say "UM, I need to be emptied." Thus the breast pump to the rescue. The joys of holding those satellite dishes to your breast, thinking about your little baby and expressing milk, all the while hearing the delightful noise...KERRR-sssshh, KEERrr---shhhh, Kerrr-shhhhh. What no one told you about pumping those jugs, you are about to read... the ugly side of breast pumping....

1) You can do nothing else while pumping (at least I can't -- but I did see this shirt thing you can get to hold both pumps in place it looks BAD, real bad). In fact, you actually pump more milk per minute if you sit there and stare at a photo of your baby or think cute thoughts about your baby. If for one second you take your hand off the little dish that goes up against your breast, you lose suction and it doesn't work. JOY. So get used to it, time spent just sitting there watching your breasts eject milk.

2) If you pump, your breasts make more milk. This is basic, enough, right? Your breasts work on supply and demand and so when you pump them, they think they need to replenish the supply. Best to pump the same time every day so they don't get confused or if you are away from your baby pump on his/her schedule. If you begin to pump helter skelter, you future will include leaking. So pump your breasts only as much as your baby drinks (go by time) or else, you'll end up with too much milk with no place to go...

3) if you aren't in the habit of pumping, there won't be a lot of extra milk. Again, supply and demand. This is really only after your milk supply and nursing rhythm is established. Ex: at 2 months I could pump 8 oz like a champ pretty much anytime. But I never pump much now so when I do finally sit down to the chore, I get an ounce...unless it's Owen's nursing time. So, establish one time a day when you pump regularly so you will produce for that session. If you are like me and don't have any luck, then begin to pump at the same time every day and eventully your breasts will get the idea. They are smarter than you think!

4) hand pump (AKA manual) v. electric (Medela pump n' style) -**side note, there is NOTHING stylish about breast pumping, nice try Medela**- so they both work, but manual pump is to mail like pony express is to FedEX. I don't know if I wrote that correctly, I'm not a writer for standardized tests but trust me, just go for the type you plug in. Too expensive? Your local hospital will rent you one monthly or you can buy a used one from a friend and get all new hoses and satellite dishes, and collection bottles or bags. Funny thing is, the milk doesn't go through those hoses, so if all you are sharing the electric motor, then it's perfectly sanitary.

5) pump if your supply is low. This is one other advantage not mentioned above. You can pump to increase your supply when you are just starting to nurse, if you are having problems. This includes sitting there holding the satellite dishes to your breasts while they suck your nipple into their plasticy-shell and tell your body "produce milk." (side note, you can do this even if you haven't had a baby, mothers of adopted babies have had success actually getting their milk supply to come in when they were never pregnant). CRAZY, I KNOW!!

6) double pumping is not necessary and will increase your supply like crazy. I single side nurse, so I single side pump. I've had to pump one breast and then the other but didn't find the need for double pumping. If I was a 9-5 working girl, I guess it would come in handy. Chime in here, working girls.

I never ever pump (like once a week or so) and I can't still wanted to fork out the dough for the electric pump. I can't stand the manual pump... it's just so odd, it takes longer for your milk to let down and frankly it hurts as little. I think your breasts are like, "What-chyou-talkin'-bout-willis?"

So in short, if you want your freedom, and believe me YOU DO, get a breast pump, suffer through those boring pumping sessions and do it early. If your baby is a good nurser and having no problems, start with that bottle a day no later than two weeks. They will not get confused with one bottle a day. If you are nursing 12 times a day, they will always prefer the breast to bottle and you'll be happy you did it. If you have a little stubborn baby, like Owen, you run the risk of missing the window of opportunity of accepting a bottle. I'd say most people will agree, if they don't take it by 6 weeks, they will most likely never take it. My boy is 7 months and thinks pacifiers, bottle nipples and sippy cups are chew toys. At first he would just scream if we tried to bottle feed him (4 weeks- 4 months) and now he just chews the nipple and moves on to another toy. We have had success with VERY watered down rice cereal and spooing that down his throat when I've had to be away for work for the day.

All the doctors in the world will tell you, "oh a hungry baby will eventually take a bottle and No baby will starve itself." Owen has stamina like you can't believe. He'll hold out ALL DAY until I get home. We frankly I didn't want to put any care-giver (namely my husband) through a 24 hour fight ending in the baby "giving up" and sucking down a bottle from pure exhaustion and hunger. That didn't sound real humane to me.

Last thought... no one ever told men to hook a machine (manual or electric) to their 'male parts', no, they don't have to look down only to hear "the pump sound." But this, ladies, is one of the many, many joys of being a woman. Suck it up. no pun intended.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Solid Foods (and Poop) | Super Baby Food | How to make baby food

So despite that Owen was not 6 months yet, he had teeth (4 months, I KNOW, I KNOW) and because he wouldn't drink from a bottle and I had to be away from him a few times during month five, we decided to pump some breast milk and mix it with rice cereal (Earth's Best Organic brand). He loved it. Knowing that I really didn't want his sweet smelling baby poops to change just yet and realizing that breastfeeding exclusively until 6 months was a goal of mine, I chose to introduce solid foods slowly and irregularly. When he approached his 6 month birthday (the last 10 days) I began to give Owen at least 2 solid food feedings a day, sometimes three. I would follow the four day rule (introduce new foods one at a time and wait four days before introducing something else so you can predict what, if anything is bothering your child's digestive system). Knowing virtually NOTHING of solid foods and not getting great of advice from the pediatrician's office, drove me to look at my growing baby book library. Ah yes, my friend had given me the book Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. Great ideas in this book, but so much to read that it's impossible to pick and choose chapters, one really must read from cover to cover. This book is the authority on making baby food. She has LITERALLY exhausted every possible question or topic within this genre.

So, the day has come... solid poop. Yes, friends, it's here and it seems it's here to stay. I even got to see a "live demonstration" on the changing table the other day. Incredible display of the human body... a few grunts some flush cheeks (facial ones) and voila! More baby poop than I ever thought my little 16.5 pound dude was capable of. GOOD NEWS: it's easy to pop the poop off the cloth diaper and into the toilet (65% of the time) BAD NEWS: it's hard to pop the poop off the diaper and into the toilet (35% of the time).

Here's my summary of Ruth's method for 6 month old eaters:
1) bust out your Cuisinart (forget the blender, folks, it doesn't cut the mustard-ah hem--grains) My mini prep bought at a yard sale for $5.00 works great, although I COVET the Vitamix blender in a way that cannot be quantified... I WANT IT BAD.
2) blend (separately silly) avocado, mango, banana, yams (cook yams in oven in foil for 1 hour)
3) dump puree into little ice cube trays
4) put ice cube trays into the freezer
5) next morning, pop little cubes into a 1qt freezer bag, and store in freezer
6) defrost cubes and feed to baby...mmmmm

I defrost mine the night before in a little plastic Tupperware and in the AM, I mix with either store bought WHOLE grain rice cereal (Earth's Best) + breast milk or into the Super Baby Porridge I make from Millet, whole oats or brown rice. Super Baby Porridge is the staple morning goop that you feed your baby. As they get older you can mix in all sorts of stuff: egg yolk, brewers yeast, beans, etc.

To make Super Baby Porridge:
1) blend 1/4 cup brown rice or whole oats (or 3 tbs millet) in Cuisinart -- 2 minutes... create yourself a powder... no lumps, no bumps. (baby will make funny face if you don't follow this direction).
2) boil 1 cup water
3) sprinkle rice, oat or millet powder into boiling water, turn down to LOW LOW
4) break out the that metal thingy that whips stuff and beat that mixture up
5) cook 10 minutes
6) divide into 3 portions and save for morning goop...yummy
**I have to re-blend mine in the Cuisinart one last time after it's cooked to make it even smoother or Owen give me the funny face and no food is swallowed**

The stuff in the jar is good, especially the organic stuff, but I take pride in making my little man some "real food" and hey, this might be my only baby, and I always wanted to make baby food... so I'm having fun and Ruth says her babies were NEVER sick and I believe firmly you are what you eat, so Owen is going to be a big old YAM-BANANA-PEAR-WHOLE-GRAIN-AVOCADO-- at least that's what his poop is telling me. If you want to live a long time, one should listen to one's poop.

Owen eats 1-2 cubes three times a day + one serving of porridge

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tommy, Tommy, Tommy

Tommy loves records, Tommy loves Mommy & Daddy, Tommy loves Curious George. My pal, Mary Jessica, who used to be my favorite reporter when I worked at the Athens Banner-Herald, has been kind enough to contribute to my baby business blog. While I was in Athens last month I photographed her precious boy. To all you mommies out there I know how hard it is to snap that shutter fast enough to catch a two year old. Practically impossible without a professional camera. Good thing for f-stop 1.2 and my 85. I can't love that lens enough.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Owen 6 months

click photos to see larger
I was in the studio for one thing or another and so we decided, why not take some photos of the boy on a bear skin rug? This way, I can bribe him with that when he's older. photos ©2008 dawn kish photography don't steal photos off this blog, it makes professional photographers sad. side note: I'm back into my clothes, a little extra flab around the mid-section, but I trust in time, that too will disappear.

Teething & Breastfeeding | AAP and Breastfeeding

Owen grew his two first bottom teeth at exactly 4 months. Cutting teeth doesn't seem to bother our boy. One day Matt looked at his gums and said, "hey, honey, our boys is growing teeth." Everyone gives me this horrified look when I tell them I'm still breastfeeding and my boy has teeth. I'll admit, the thought had me a bit worried too. It was simple though, and once again, nature and instinct ruled. When the boy bit me, and he definitely tried out his chompers on my nipple, I simple over-dramatized the "ouch" and he just stopped. I think he did it about 3-4 times the first week they came in and I could tell he was just trying it out and not being spiteful.

I definitely get the "are you still breastfeeding?" question often. I can remember the days when I thought women who breastfeed for a year (or more) were crazed stay-at-home mothers who would never let their kids watch TV, have a girlfriend, or eat non-organic foods. It's not about that, people. There are significant recent studies regarding breastfeeding. The AAP, American Academy of Pediatrics revised their statement about breastfeeding in 2005. Read full article here. You might be surprised to hear that it includes the following: **note I'm pulling this directly out of the above referenced AAP articles.
  • 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.
  • Mother and infant should sleep in proximity to each other to facilitate breastfeeding;
  • Pediatricians should counsel adoptive mothers on the benefits of induced lactation through hormonal therapy or mechanical stimulation.
  • Healthy infants should be placed and remain in direct skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately after delivery until the first feeding is accomplished.The alert, healthy newborn infant is capable of latching on to a breast without specific assistance within the first hour after birth. Dry the infant, assign Apgar scores, and perform the initial physical assessment while the infant is with the mother. The mother is an optimal heat source for the infant. Delay weighing, measuring, bathing, needle-sticks, and eye prophylaxis until after the first feeding is completed. Infants affected by maternal medications may require assistance for effective latch-on.Except under unusual circumstances, the newborn infant should remain with the mother throughout the recovery period. (I believe most hospitals take the infant away for Apgar immediately and return the infant in a swaddled blanket; however, remaining skin-to-skin and all above mentioned procedures are the standard of care for most midwives). I found this quite interesting!
  • There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer.
  • Infants weaned before 12 months of age should not receive cow's milk but should receive iron-fortified infant formula. I am certainly not sold on the cow's milk for a 1 year old. I will do more research in that dept.
I think we've made some strides in the breastfeeding arena. It seems almost everyone I know breastfeed their baby at least for the first few months. However, that is when society begins to turn their nose up (including my uninformed self). We should be CHEERING to hear that woman and baby have made it to 1 year, 2 years or as long as mutually desired by mother and child. Benefits to the baby are numerous including less ear infections, less risk of obesity, bacterial meningitis, allergies and many if you meet a woman who is breastfeeding into her child's first year and beyond, smile at them, and congratulate them on a job well done.

I enjoy our breastfeeding sessions as does Owen. Now that he's six months, Owen is eating solids... and this boy loves to eat. I am making his baby food with some great advice from a great book, a review is in order.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Birth Stories | Griffin | July 26, 2008

My client and friend, Ashley, was kind enough to send me her birth story. She really wanted a natural birth...ended up with an epidural but with a happy ending, so please read more to find out. I know this is a long one, so I'll post her "birth plan" later. Ashley, send me a photo or two to upload with the story. :)

Griffin’s Birth Story
Born July 26, 2008; 9:47 p.m.

This is a bit long-winded, so be prepared for a long read…We saw my OB at 10 a.m. on Friday (July 25), and were happy to find out that I was 3 centimeters dilated. Being 3 days overdue, Dr. Faulkner agreed to strip my membranes and OK me for acupuncture to induce.

I spent that day doing a final project for work, and visiting the mall with my mom and Alyssa for some last minute shopping. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, until that evening when the acupuncturist made a house call to try and induce me. The treatment was interesting—I had some very strong Chi sensations, and felt lots of baby kicks. We were advised to take an hour-long walk afterward, to try and stimulate things further. Greg, Alyssa, my mom and I enjoyed the Sculpture Park and waterfront—I was having minor contractions at that point. By 11 p.m. that night, I finally started having regular contractions, but still nothing painful. They were five minutes apart, but Dr. Faulkner suggested that we get some sleep until I was really in pain.

I woke up around 2 a.m. (on Saturday morning—July 26) with painful cramps. I quietly got through things on my own for a while, relaxing in bed and walking around the condo. After a few nudges from me that things were starting to happen, Greg got up and helped me. After an hour of painful contractions, we called Dr. Faulkner again. This time she advised us to come to the hospital when we felt like it was really ‘time,’ but not later than 7 a.m. By 3:45 a.m., I knew I was really in labor. I had some moments where I felt really scared and discouraged—the contractions were already intense, and I wasn’t sure how I would cope through the entire process. Greg helped me relax, and was very reassuring. I was feeling very nauseas and cold, which was also discouraging. During the time that I labored at home, I showered, took a bath and sat on the birthing ball to get through the contractions. By 5 a.m., we felt like we were ready to head to the hospital. The nausea and chills were getting worse, and I did not realize that was a normal reaction to labor.

We were not stressed on the way to the hospital, but I was VERY uncomfortable. Greg drove the wrong way by accident, and we stopped at Starbucks for a quick snack (I knew they would not let me eat once we were admitted to the hospital). We were put in a small room in triage (the area where they monitor you to determine whether or not you should be admitted), and I was hooked up to the monitors and checked for dilation. I was SO upset to find out that all the labor I had been through so far had not dilated me any more. I was still only three centimeters. They were not sure they wanted to admit me, as my contractions had slowed to only 7-8 minutes apart. I was very frustrated and began fighting against my body, which was a big part of why I was not progressing. After an hour or more in triage, things got a little ugly. They told me my baby was a bit ‘flat’ and that they wanted to see more activity out of him. Then I started throwing up (another common side effect of labor), and this apparently put the baby in distress. The triage nurse started acting like we were in code red, and hooked me up to oxygen and ordered an IV. I was scared at that point. As they were poking me over and over to find a vein for the IV, the call was made to admit me. At that point, my personal nurse arrived in triage to rescue me. She was a saint. She took me off oxygen, told them to stop trying to give me an IV, and calmly walked us to our birthing room. I loved this woman! She was the turning point in my birth experience, where I realized that my birth plan would be respected and that I would be in very good, caring hands.

With nurse Alyssa’s and Greg’s help, I then began to progress very quickly. We were in our birthing room by 10 a.m., and I was in the tub by 11 a.m. I labored in the tub naturally for about 3 hours. I was in active labor, and became very mentally focused to get through the pain. At about 2 p.m., I started telling Greg I needed to get an epidural so I could take a nap. Remember, I was planning on going through the entire process naturally, so he was very strong in trying to talk me out of it. Our nurse came in and also tried to talk me out of the epidural. She checked my progress and I was already at 8 centimeters! I was in transition, and had gotten there pretty fast. Greg and the nurse coached me through about another half hour to try and avoid the epidural. I had lost my focus at that point, and decided that I needed relief to make it through. At that point, I was about 9 centimeters.

After the epidural (which did not hurt), I took a nap and waited until pushing could begin. I felt really really good for a while. I could still move and feel my legs, and could tell when I was having contractions. When pushing started, the nurse was certain I would have the baby very quickly. After about an hour of pushing and getting nowhere, she started to suspect that the baby was facing the wrong direction—face up instead of face down. I started to feel more and more pain, even with the drugs. Long story short, pushing went on and on for 5 ½ hours before Griffin was finally delivered. I was so grateful for having the epidural, because I was in a lot of pain and was completely exhausted. Pushing was so physically exhausting, I’m sure I could run a marathon after having gotten through it.

In the end, we decided to let the doctor use forceps to deliver Griffin. She was willing to let me keep going on and on, since he was not in any distress, but I couldn’t bear the thought of pushing for hours and hours more. Plus, with him facing the wrong way, there was no guarantee that I would EVER get him out on my own. His head was essentially stuck in my pelvis. The forceps delivery was painful, but Griffin was delivered very quickly once they got started. The doctor also wanted to let me push him out, so she only used the forceps to get his head over my pelvis. Once he was crowning, I was able to finish the job, and bring my baby boy into this world. The feeling of getting him out was the most relief I could ever imagine. The look on Greg’s face was priceless, and as he watched Griffin be born, he just calmly said ‘Wow.’

They put Griffin onto my chest right away, and we cuddled skin on skin. He pooped all over me, and started nursing almost right away. I was in shock, and total euphoria. It was an overwhelming feeling of happiness, relief, shock, disbelief and amazement. He was so beautiful, even with his horrible cone head (which went away by the next day). Greg, Griffin and I bonded as a family and started getting to know each other right away. He never left our sight or our room, and we held him close until we were able to leave the hospital the next night. All in all, we are so happy with the birth experience, and will look on that day forever as one of the most momentous of our lives.