Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Save the Memories

When you have a baby one thing you hear almost as much as "you'll never sleep again" is "It' goes SO fast!" It's true too! When you're in the blur of the first hectic weeks at home with this new person who needs YOU for everything it's hard to imagine NOT remembering how it felt. But it is! You probably know that now. I got this great idea from my mom and sort of tweaked it a bit, and I'm sharing it with you so that you too can save the memories. I'm a journaler and love to write, so when mom suggested that I write down the things our baby does so I'll be able to remember them later I jumped at the idea. I got a new journal and started writing away. Not long entries, just something short and sweet to trigger my memory in the future. I then decided to add some pictures to some of the memories as well. I don't put a picture for each memory, just a few. I happened to snap a picture of our son toppling over backwards when he was just learning to sit up on his own. Kind of sad, but funny too, so that pic made it into the memory book. The point is to put down little things that they do, or accomplishments of theirs so that months or years later you can read about it. They'll love to see the pictures of themselves and "relive" it all through your book even if they don't "remember."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mommy Moments

We're reminded to enjoy the "every day" moments in our journey of Mommyhood by Jordan, mommy of 2 sweet boys!

Marc Anthony stood forever at the huge pit nearby throwing rocks and pinecones into it. He felt rather daring, I think, standing on the edge (things always seem bigger to a child, don't they) and enjoyed Mama's concern. "Don't fall in!" I'd caution and then notice the gleam in his eye as he edged a little closer. Boys!

There we stood, Marc Anthony throwing debris, Will happily looking on ('big brother is so cool!'), when the garbage truck arrived. The pit was forgotten and both boys watched in awe as the big truck noisily grasped the trash bin and lifted it high, pouring the stinky trash into the back of the truck. "Whoa, cool!" Marc Anthony breathed. I noticed the driver of the truck watching him in amusement. I'd bet a lot that driver doesn't often get looks of admiration from people watching him do his job! He waved cheerily at Marc Anthony who was so delighted at being noticed by such an amazingly cool guy that he jumped up and down and waved back. Then the driver backed his truck away from the trash bin (the shrill 'beep, beep' further impressed the boys and Marc Anthony was speechless) and then he stopped, looked deliberately at Marc, reached up, and honked his horn! Well, that was the icing on the cake and all Marc could do was look at Mama and sigh happily as the old truck bumped its way up the hill.

Perhaps this is one of my favorite things about being a mommy: The chance to occasionally see the world around me through the eyes of a child! It is an amazing privilege. I emerge every time happier, more refreshed and invigorated. Children are so spotless in their intentions and estimations of those around them. Marc Anthony was way more impressed with the garbage man than he would have been had the President of the United States walked up! I love that about kids. Completely unaffected. Unpretentious. I love that being around my kids has that effect on me!

What a joy---seeing the world through a two year old's eyes!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fun With Cabinets

There is a new and excited world to explore as soon as mobility is conquered! It's the world of closed drawers and cabinets! Oh the things there could be behind those doors to thrill and entertain. We've discovered that one of our 9 month old's favorite pastimes is to open as many closed things as possible and empty the contents all over the floor! It's actually great fun and gives him an opportunity to explore. What we've done is provide limited access to these exciting places. In his room the bottom couple of drawers on his dresser are exclusively for some toys and books. He can pull these out whenever he feels like it. Even more fun than that, judging by his delighted squeals, is the freedom we've given him in the kitchen. We secured all the cabinets with "baby proof" latches except for the one with the plastic storage items in it. He is allowed to get in there and make a mess to his little heart's content! And he does! Also on the kitchen drawers the bottom two are filled with safe things like pot holders, hand towels, slotted spoon, and bibs that he can toss around at will. Just this morning he sat in a pile of towels and place mats for close to an hour! He would take things out, put things back and repeat. He was chattering away to himself about how it all worked the whole time as well. Yes, it does require some clean up on your part, but the excitement and skill development that it gives your youngster is well worth it. When everything else is "baby proofed" it's nice for them to have someplace that is not off limits.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Take time to be HUMAN

"Breathing space" "Time out for Mommy" "Girl's night out" don't those just sound wonderful?! Busy mommies LOVE being mommies, but I know if you're anything like me, you sometimes just miss being... HUMAN. None of us would give up our cherished position as the mom to the little rug rats we find our selves changing, picking up after, dressing, feeding, burping, wiping all day long. However here's a few simple ways that CAN make you feel more human and less robot without having to plan a big to do over it. Besides most of us would rather sleep than have a "girl's night out" anyway! :-)
1. Get hubby to pitch in when he's home.
Chances are Daddy loves to play with his kiddos anyway. Take advantage of it! Recently I asked my hubby to give the baby a bath while I cleaned up the kitchen. Daddy and Bubba had a GREAT time, and mommy was feeling a load off even though I was still cleaning up the kitchen. It's not that you always need a break from life, just a break from being mommy.
2. Get some Josh Groban, Michael Bubble or Enya songs on your MP3 player and listen to them while you sweep/mop.
Listening to some soothing music, even while you work, is a way to let your mind escape and relax. The chaos of childhood may still be rolling around you, but you can ignore it in your own dreamy bubble for at least a few minutes. :-)
3. Hot bath, candle, Andrea Bocceli!
We all know the power of a hot bath! If it seems impossible to go to the bathroom let alone have a bath in peace, teach your kids a "signal" that means to leave mommy be. This could be as simple as tying a scarf to the door knob and letting the kids know that unless it's an emergency they may not disturb when the scarf is up. If they are too young for that, as mine is, discover a good distractor. My son gets a kick out of watching Baby Einstein. If I set him in the exersaucer and put it on, I know I have 20-30 minutes. :-) Ahhhhhhhh.... blis!
This is pretty basic, but I've found it works wonders! I like to take a solitary walk when I can. If my hubby gets home and there's time I'll go for a 2 mile walk, and it is amazing how it can clear the brain fog! A family walk is always a great option too!! If a walk isn't in the works I still try to take myself out of doors even if it's just to feed the birds. Breathe a few deep breaths, look around and enjoy what you see. It brings the human back!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sleep Warm Safely

When our baby was "new" swaddling at night worked wonders! It kept him all tight and bundled just the way he liked it, and it gave us the peace of mind that he wouldn't get cold. As soon as he figured out the rolling over thing though, swaddling was a habit of the past! He would break out just as soon as we put him in and flip over onto his tummy where he prefers to sleep. The "soft bedding" had to go, but what's a mommy to do when she's concerned that her little shaver will freeze all night? If you want to save on the heating bill this ingenious product is a lifesaver! I call it a "bag" but it's called a sleep sac and who knows what else. All I know is that we use it every night, and I know that my bubby will sleep warmly, and the "blanket" won't come off! For the warmer months we used the Gerber sleep blanket, and now that it's cold we have some that are fleece. I plan on using them up through 24 months when hopefully he'll be about ready for a toddler bed and some real live blankets! You should be able to find these in the blanket section at Babies r Us or Target!

Monday, February 11, 2008

For baby food makers

It's interesting to observe people, don't you think? You've probably noticed that mommies tend to 'fall into' different "types." This is good because we can all learn from each other and get GREAT ideas! There are the mom's who do everything according to the American Association of Pediatrics, and those who make up their own rules. Some mommies are organic all the way and some just break out the hot dogs. :-) Whichever mommy extreme you lean toward or fall between, we all want to be the best mommy our kids need, and the good news is that you are! I personally am not the type that makes all of my baby's food, but I have friends who do and they have great success with it. This tip is for them. A perfect way of storing excess baby food and thereby saving time later is to freeze it in ice-cube trays! Once it's set, you can just dump the cubes all together in a bigger freezer bag and you will have perfect single feeding sized servings whenever you need them! Try it, this is great!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Diaper Changing Desaster

Gone are the dreamy days of diapering where the sweet baby lay content to be changed and the only drama you had to encounter was the occasional “oops.” Now, I believe even an octopus would have trouble. Yep, with the world of mobility comes a very eager explorer and not so cooperative diaper wearer. My son now tries his best to squirm away half clad at any chance he gets. I have discovered some ways to combat this case of the wiggle worms and tears at least long enough to get the dry diaper on and the clothing back in place. Hopefully you will be able to use some of these tips for your own jumping jack.
Get one of those changing pads with raised edges. This will keep the baby from being able to flip quite so fast.
Make the undressing part “fun” When we take the feet out of pants or footsies we blow on the feet and tickle fat thighs.
Use a distracter. I give our baby a wipe to play with or a tube of lotion or even a sock. This usually keeps his hands (and mouth) occupied long enough for me to get the job done. Change up what you give them or it will become ‘old’ and won’t work. NEVER give something dangerous!
Make the redressing just as fun and then have a tickle time away from the changing table to end on a positive note!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sweetly Sleep (troubleshooting)

Okay, so nothing is perfect all the time. :-) Our baby started "sleeping through the night" at 5 weeks. This (I've been told) is not typical. However we spent the first nearly 4 months of his life traveling. This was not conducive to a schedule, bedtime routine or anything. By the time he was in his 3rd month he was aware enough about what was going on to not want to go to sleep just because he found himself in his bed. We had to work through this whole thing at 4 months. It worked! But since then we've had a few "jags" as I like to call them. Many things can cause this. Traveling is often the culprit because of the mess up in routine, but things like sickness, teething, and "development milestones" can also cause issues in sleep. When he was learning to "pull up" there were a couple nights when our son woke up terrified because he "found" himself standing on the side of his crib and couldn't get down. Ha ha! Kind of funny, but the way to deal with these issues is to go back to the beginning and keep at it. If at all possible when your baby wakes don't pick them up and rock them back to sleep or whatever. Give them kisses and comforting words and place them back in their sleep position and then leave. You may have to go through it for several days again, but they are pretty good about getting back into their routines once it's been established. Keep at it and you'll be so glad you did!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Tip from a Travelin' Mom

This swell travel tip is from Wendy a mommy of a gorgeous little gal!

Hey, one quick tip for traveling! This may not apply to all parents because not everyone travels as much as we do. Being missionaries it has been go go go at times and now that we have a munckin that eats "real food" well, we don't have a microwave in the car! However, this has been rather handy for us! It is a bottle warmer for the car and it is around $10 at Target! It fits bottles and baby food jars (even the homemade food in storage containers!). Hope it helps!

It's a bird... it's a plane....

It's Mighty Mommy!! I have to put in a plug for this great podcast! The Mighty Mommy has 'quick and dirty' tips for mommies. Even better, they are totally practical and did I mention quick? What mommy do you know who has a bunch of time to spend browsing blogs and magazine articles looking for just the right tip to help life run a little smoother with a house full of munchkins? This podcast is a great way to get some creative help on how to run your little kingdom and how to deal with some of the bumps along the way. Not only can you listen to it for FREE! It won't take much of your time. Each segment is short and simple. Here's what you need to do. Go to and download it if it's not already on your computer, don't worry it's free too. :-) Next go to the podcast section and then type Mighty Mommy in the search. It's a very popular one so it should be easy to find. You will be able to subscribe to it simply by clicking the "subscribe" button. Next simply add the episodes that look interesting to you. Once it's on your computer you can listen to it straight from there OR put it on your iPod, which every mommy needs, by the way. That way you can take it on the go and get mommy inspiration while working out, pushing the stroller, or mopping! Another cool thing about the Mighty Mommy is that you can write in with your own questions or kid issues and chances are if they haven't already been addressed they will be in a future episode. Happy listening!

Mommy Moments

Mommy Moments is what we live for. Remember to enjoy each day as they are filled with moments worth having.
This is from Jordan, mommy to 2 beautiful boys!

Overheard from the kitchen....

"Here Wool (translates as Will), you want this toy?"
Will's chirpy little voice, "Tank-tou." (His version of thank you.)
"Mommy!" Marc Anthony squeals, "Did Wool say thank you?"
"Yes, I think so," I call from the kitchen.
"Awwww. You welcome, Wool!"
Then: "What a sweet brover!"


The other day I was working in the kitchen (yes, again. What can I say? I spend my life there!), when Will came looking for me. He wrapped his fat arms around my leg, rested his cheek against me, and chirped, "Mama. Wuv oo." I love you! Clear as could be! Tears came to my eyes and I picked him up in a tight squeeze. "I love you too, Will."

These days are full and exhausting...and I'm having the time of my life!