Saturday, December 27, 2008


Our Christmas was great. Connor wasn't crazy about all of the excitement during the present opening part of the day, but he loves his new toys and had lots of fun with all of the family members around. Some of the highlights that he got are a glow worm, books, a baby signing kit that I'm sure I'll brag about later, a blanket from Grandma Joyce, and a ball with a wobbly monkey on top of it. It's hard to describe, but when you roll the ball the monkey stays on top and makes noises. He loves to bat at it and it will be fun to chase around when he starts crawling.

Here are a handful of Christmas morning pictures!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Finger food is a GO!

So I've been fighting with myself over finger food. He acts like he's ready, but hasn't hit the milestones you're supposed to look for. He's not sitting up yet and his pincher grasp needs a lot of improvement. But every time we eat in front of him he is frantic trying to get at whatever we have!

So I was in the grocery store hmmm'ing and haaa'ing over the different kinds of teething biscuts they have, and as I was walking away I decided to grab some of the Gerber Baby Biscuts. It was only like $3 for a box of 10 and they are individually wrapped, so I figured I could try it myself and if it didn't seem like a good idea then I'd put them away.

Well they are SUPER hard and just kind of melt away slowly, so after dinner I put him in his high chair and handed him one. He LOVED it! I mean he was sooo happy! So here are some pictures of his very first finger foods.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ok, I NEED to get on this thing more!

I really need to start keeping up with this blog! Connor is officially 5 1/2 months old now, and I just can't figure out where the time went! He is SO big and so full of personality it's just amazing. He is rolling over like crazy lately and really wants to sit up. It's funny how milestones come. It's like nothing for weeks, and then all of a sudden, BAM! He's doing all sorts of new stuff! He also figured out how to play with the treehouse toy on his high chair, and that has made mealtimes a LOT more difficult!

I've been uploading movies to my YouTube account lately, and I'll be adding more today. I also started a new online store, which you can find Here. My stock is pretty limited so far, but it will be getting bigger as I go through the house and find stuff to sell. I doubt I have anything anyone here is interested in, but take a look anyway and pass it on if you think you know someone who might be interested! (Just in case anyone is wondering, every penny of everything I sell that belongs to Connor goes toward buying him bigger clothes and more advanced toys. I've had some people tell me it's tacky to sell his things, even if I spend the money on him. I told them to buy the stuff for me then.)

Anyway, here are some pictures!

This one was when we were waiting for the parade to start. We walked in it with my After School program! I don't have any pictures from the audience yet, but hopefully I'll be able to find a few! Our theme was Teddy Bear Parade and we handed out donated teddy bears to the kids in the crowd!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's been a while!

So sorry for the lack of updates! Connor has been keeping us very busy! He's really getting the hang of this eating with a spoon thing, and mealtimes are a messy, fun filled, twice daily experience now.

Ok, so he doesn't look like he's having much fun in this picture, but his expression is priceless! Here's a better one.

This is butternut squash, made in my own little kitchen. Making baby food is surprisingly easy.

In a sadder turn of events, my beloved maternal grandma passed away on the 2nd of this month. She has been ill for a long time, but it was still very hard to see her go. We miss you Grandma.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

So many firsts!

We've had so many firsts this week! First he laughed (we haven't had a repeat performance of that, but it's nice to know that they're coming!) and then Sunday night he found his feet! And Monday he started really grabbing for his toys! He's been trying to hold his bottle for a few weeks now, I guess he knows what's important in life! He's really having a blast in his excersaucer lately too. He's getting to be such a fun age!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A laugh!

Saturday night I was giving Connor his bath (we only pull out the tub every other day because his skin is so sensitive, so I was just wiping him down with a wet wash cloth) and he LAUGHED! Oh it was so great. He's done the thing where he smiles and makes noise at the same time, but this was a real "hahaha" laugh! Megan heard it from the kitchen and came running to see. It was awesome.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Helping Mommy

This is our new favorite game. On laundry day, Connor helps me fold his clothes! In other words, I take the laundry basket and dump it all on top of him. I need to bring my camera with me from the start next time, because he gets SO happy when I dump them out! He grabs them up and snuggles and just laughs and laughs.

We've hit a few fun times here lately. We're slowly introducing solid foods. I know a lot of people will gasp because the new thing is to delay solids until at least 4 months, but I like to listen to him more than I listen to "Them" on certain things. He is eating a 6 oz bottle every 2 hours and wanting more. He is watching us like crazy when we eat. So I tried some bananas with a bit of rice cereal and formula, and he ate it up like crazy! I don't have a great picture of that either, but that's because he is pretty much only in the mood for it in the morning when Chris is in bed and the girls are at school. But I'm working on it!
I already started making baby food, and it's fun! Of course, ask me again in a few months and it probably won't be, but Sara is really excited to learn so I think it will be a neat project for us to do together once a month or so. He's tried banana, avacado, and apple so far. He LOVES banana, apple is ok, and avacado gained me my very first look of death. He absolutely HATED it. But I've heard that with first foods you can often try again in a few weeks with different results, so I'm not giving up yet.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Keeping up

Sorry I haven't updated! Work is really taking it out of me. My mornings are spent napping in the recliner with Connor and getting laundry done, and my evenings are spent getting as much snuggle time in as I can manage!

He is really coming around with the head control! I'm hoping to get him a Bumbo chair because I bet he'd be able to use it really soon. It's less than a week until he turns 3 months old! I just can't believe it! He's really turning into a little person and it's so amazing to watch. Chris is, of course, convinced that he's already a prodigy because he says "Hi" all the time, and everyone is always amazed at how strong he is. He loves to play in his excersaucer, and we got him a Johnny Jump-Up last week, and he loves that too! He doesn't jump in it quite yet, but he loves to be swung back and forth.

Monday, September 1, 2008

How to leave comments

My good friend Peg told me this morning that she couldn't figure out how to comment without a google account. Sometimes I take for granted that not everyone is used to blogs and how they work. So, if you don't have a google or openID account, you can still comment and this is how! Many times comments are where the real action is in blogs. Conversations are started, debates are sparked, and friends are made!

When you get to the end of a post, you will see this:
Click where it says "0 comments" Of course if there are already comments there, it will say "1 comment" or however many there are.

Once you click that, you will see the comments that have already been made, if there are any. At the bottom of the page, you will see this:

Click on "Post a Comment"

Then you will get a popup like this:

Since I'm already logged into my gmail account, it automatically gives my information. If you're not logged in, it will ask you to. If you have a gmail account, you can do that. But if you don't, just go down to the circle that says "Name/URL" and open it.

You will now see this:

Here you just enter your name and, if you have one, the address to your web page. You can even enter your myspace page if you like. The URL space is optional for anyone who doesn't have a page, or anyone who doesn't want to share.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Train horns and videos!

We had a fun day today. First, we went out to the campground where Mallory works and listened to the train horns. Every Labor Day a group of people comes up with real train horns installed in their RV's. We stayed at the office while Mallory took Chris to go see, and it was still SO loud! Connor wasn't terribly impressed, but I think he'll love it next year. We were in a little bit of a hurry, so they didn't get to actually take a carriage ride, but we got a picture anyway.

Then we played in the excersaucer again, and he LOVED it! He was bouncing around and hitting the toys like crazy. I got a video that I'll upload tomorrow.

I don't want to overload the blog with videos, so if you're interested then you can always subscribe to my youtube account! Click Here for my profile page. So far it's a bunch of Connor videos and some cloth diaper stuff for my cloth diapering group here online. I'll be updating it as I get new videos, so keep an eye out!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Connor LOVES bathtime. The girls helped me tonight and we had a lot of fun. Megan played camera person and got some great shots. She got a video too, I'll put it at the bottom. She's not great at that part, but it was fun anyway. We have a hammock style thing that goes on the tub, two of them actually. But he kept sliding down and within minutes he was frustrated and wanted out. But then I just laid a blanket down in the bottom and let him lay flat and now bathtime is his favorite thing to do!
He's becoming more and more social as the days go by. He smiles all the time and is a total wiggle butt. I think I'm going to have to get some of those mesh bumpers for his crib because he wiggles all over it. I have some standard bumpers, but "they" are saying that bumpers are a suffocation hazard now. I figure millions of babies have survived them, but when you weigh the risk of suffocation to the risk of a bump on the head or a stuck leg, I think the bump wins. But they make mesh bumpers now so that we don't have to worry about him wiggling his way through the bars and hurting himself.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Unfair schedule and a video!

Connor sure has made an interesting schedule for himself since I've been working mornings doing training. I feed and change him, then give him to Chris so I can go to work. Then he falls asleep and stays that way for 3 1/2 hours until I get home, when he wakes up to be fed and changed again! No fair! Next week I start my regular evenings though, so we'll see what he does then.

Here's a cute video I got of us playing this morning.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Going back to work

Well, I started work yesterday. (She gave us Monday off) It turns out one of the Kindergarden teachers wants to work with me, so that's GREAT news. I'll get to learn with a pro. I'm much less nervous now. I start with the kids on Monday. Tomorrow we'll be going through our curriculum (aka playing with the toys) and Friday we'll do our lesson plans. I'm starting to get excited.

Not alot has been happening on the home front. Connor is getting used to being with Daddy during the daytime, so his schedule is all out of whack. It's going to be hard for me to get used to giving up the control over his daytime schedule, but I know Chris will do a good job. He really is in love with this amazing little person, and it's really neat to watch.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back to the grind

We still haven't figured out how to get the video off the camera, and it's really frustrating. Mallory's boyfriend seems to think he has a program that will grab it, then he'll put it on a flash drive and bring it over. I hope it works, I got some cuuuute video of Connor and some really good stuff of the girls too.

Today is officially my first day back to work. School starts next Monday, and this week is filled with training. Today I work 8 to 3:30. I'm not ready. I work for an after school program, and last year I was with middle school students. NOT easy. Well, this year my boss plans to move me to kindergarden. Also NOT easy. I would say I'm nervous, but that would be lying. I'm scared out of my mind.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

We're back!

We're back from camping and we had a blast. Connor had a great time, but it was a long couple of days for him so we've spent most of today trying to help him sleep. I can see in his eyes that he is sooooo tired, but with all of that excitement he's having trouble falling and staying asleep. We just had bathtime, a lotion massage, and a nice warm bottle, so hopefully he'll be able to stay asleep for a few good hours. I got some pretty good video, so tomorrow I'll work on figuring out how to get it on the computer and then I'll post some.

Joe asked about our experience with hospital staff, doctors, and family members in regards to leaving Connor intact. While I don't want this blog to be an anti-circumcision blog, I don't see the harm in revisiting the topic one more time to answer these questions. I have heard some real horror stories about hospitals and doctors pushing parents to circumcise or even trying to do it against the parent's wishes, but we didn't experience any of that.

Before he was born it wasn't even mentioned to me. I found this a little disturbing because that also meant my doctor wasn't making sure I knew how to care for an intact baby. But the hospital staff showed me so that eased some of my discomfort. Luckily I had already read up on it, but I'd hate to think about someone unintentionally hurting their baby because nobody told them how to care for him. My hospital doesn't do the procedure, so the only reason anyone even asked was so they could give me information on care.

At his first well baby visit when he was 2 days old, my doctor asked if we would be doing it. When I told her no, she gave me a big smile and said she was glad. She made sure we knew how to care for him and told me that since so many insurance companies (including state insurance) stopped covering it, more and more babies are being left alone and she couldn't be happier.

As for family, I got a lot of questions about our choice, and that was pretty much it. Most of the family says they would have made a different choice, but they admit that their reasons are purely social and cosmetic, and they respect our choice. I only had one problem so far, and that was with my old boss. I used to care for her son, and when she found out (through the grapevine, how lovely) that we left Connor intact, she actually cornered me in the grocery store to tell me what a horrible choice I was making. I gave her facts but she still kept telling me that I was making the wrong choice. In the end I told her that even though I didn't agree with a lot of things she did with her son, I trusted and respected her as a mother to do what she felt was right, and all I asked was that she give me the same courtesey.

I don't need people to agree with me at all. In fact, I love having people in my life who disagree with me, it makes things interesting and keeps us all learning. All I need is for people to respect my choices. Question me all you want. Test me. Ask to see my research. But at the end of the day, he's my son and I'm doing what my instincts tell me is right.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Going camping!

Megan bouncing Connor to sleep.

We're leaving to go camping in a couple of hours! I really REALLY need this! We're almost all packed, we just need to get the last few things, pick up the girls, and we're off! Luckily Connor chose this morning to sleep in, so I'm able to get all of the stuff packed that we didn't get around to last night.

We're not exactly hardcore campers. Chris and I bring the mattress from the hide-a-bed and sleep in the back of the van. We bring Little Debbie snacks and tunafish sandwiches. Connor will have his playpen to sleep in with a sheet over the top of it. Chris even packed the changing table that attaches to the playpen. I put my foot down at the bassinet attachment. But there's no way I could convince Chris that we don't need the portable DVD player and Lord of the Rings trilogy. We'll bring the Zune too, but it's battery will barely last for the drive there and back, so we'll be music free while we're there. Unless of course Chris decides to stop at Radio Shack and get the adapter.

But we love it. We go about 45 minutes into the mountains and our campsite has a beautiful little stream right next to it. There are tons of shade trees and flat earth. There is even a full sized bathtub that the water made, and someone redirected some old irrigation pipes to keep it full. There is a natural water slide about a half mile up the road, but then it's another half mile hike and that would be too much sun and heat for Connor. We'll make it up there one of these years, but in the meantime there's a small water slide that the girls found closer to camp.

We're only planning on staying one night, but we're prepared for two if we're having fun, which I hope we are. Here are a few pictures of our trip last summer:
Our campsite
The girls' swimming hole:
Sara in the natural bathtub

Mary Jane gets a long run for her leash. We would leave her free, but she would just chase squirrels all day and get lost.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rockin' and Rollin'

Big news! Connor rolled over from his tummy to his back last night! It wasn't an accident either. He did it three times in a row. It was very exciting!

It's already sad to see him growing. I can still feel where my belly used to be. I got phantom kicks for a couple of weeks, but those are long gone. I still reach down to touch my belly though, and it makes me sad when it's not there anymore. He's spending more and more hours awake now, and he just smiles and smiles. I can tell he's going to start laughing soon. It's just amazing how fast 7 weeks have flown by already.

We're planning on going camping on Tuesday, and I'm really looking forward to it. We have a beautiful campsite up in the mountains and I think it will be a perfect getaway for all of us. We've all been at each other's throats a bit these past few weeks. The campsite is perfect for a baby too. Lots of shade so that he's not in the sun at all, and it doesn't get above 80 because the altitude is so high. At night it gets down around 60 or so, but we have plenty of wearable blankets for him to use. We have his playpen too for him to sleep in, but if it gets cold he can sleep in his carseat in the car with me and Chris. (We bring a mattress and sleep in the back of the van. The girls prefer a tent so it works out great)

If we do end up going, I'll be sure to take tons of pictures and bring the video camera. We have a video camera from my dad last Christmas and I still haven't used it. I really need to remedy that!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just because...

I don't want the circumcision post on the top of the page. lol. Honestly I'm worried about that post. I don't mind discussion but this is such a tender subject I'm afraid of insulting someone I care about.

So here's your daily dose of Connor spam:

A tough topic

This post turned in to a book, and I'm sorry. If you don't have time to read the whole thing, I tried to make each point easy to find so you can skim through the rest. It also reads like a term paper. I don't know why I took such a monotone approach to this.

Some friends and family members have discovered (either by seeing his diaper being changed or by outright asking) that we have decided not to have Connor circumcised. Now, many parents consider this a very private matter and they choose not to discuss it. I, on the other hand, am fine with talking about it to anyone who is curious about our choice. So, I thought I would share some of my research with you so that you can see why we made this choice. I am more than happy to answer any questions anyone might have, and I can expand on any of this information if anyone is interested. I really have done my homework on this because surgery on my infant son, no matter how minor, is a big deal to me and I wanted to understand everything there was to understand about it. I started to research it when I first got pregnant because I assumed we would be doing it, so I wanted to understand what was going to happen. Needless to say, what I found changed my mind.

I would also like to say that circumcision is still legal and common in the United States, and therefore it is up to each parent to decide what they should do for their child. The American Medical Association refuses to take a hard stance on the issue, and basically leave it that they don't recommend routine infant circumcision, but they think parents should research it themselves and make their own choice. Some of my views on the subject teeter on the edge of insulting those who choose to do it. But you see, I'm one of those kind of people who can disagree with someone and still love and respect them. Just because you might have made a different choice doesn't mean I feel you are a bad parent or that I don't love and respect you just as much as I did before. So please, if anything I say hurts anyone who is reading this, I offer my heartfelt apologies. My goal is to inform, not to insult.

Point blank, there is no medical reason for it. It is cosmetic surgery, plain and simple. Insurance companies (including private and government funded state insurances) are dropping it all over the country. I will attempt to counter some of the reasons you may often hear in favor of the surgery.

~The Bible says we should circumcise.

It's true that the Old Testament orders boys to be circumcised as their first covenant with God (Genesis 17: 10-14). However, the New Testament does away with this law. Here is a quote:

Galatians Chapter 5

2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

~I don't' want my son to be teased for being different.

Today, about 50% of boys are being left intact. (More or less depending on what part of the country you live in. Blue states tend to have less circumcisions, while the Bible belt tends to have more. Regardless of region, the numbers are dropping nationwide in every part of the country) This means that by the time Connor is in a position where others would see his penis (the locker room, with a girl, etc) he won't be "different." He will be just like half of the boys in his age group. It would be like teasing someone for having brown hair.

~I want my son to look like his daddy.

Connor won't look like his daddy in the first place. Just talking about genitals alone, he will be smaller and have no pubic hair. Of course that's not even mentioning the rest of his body, which is smaller, chubbier, and far less hairy. ;) If he ever does ask, I will simply tell him that when daddy was a baby, they thought it was good to cut off part of the skin on his penis. Now we know that we don't have to do that so I decided not to do it to him.

~I don't want my son to get infections.

The risk of urinary tract infections raises by less than 1% during the first year of life if the foreskin is left intact. After the first year the numbers are the same. We don't surgically alter any other body part simply for infection prevention. Ear infections are very common in babies, but we don't put tubes in their ears as a preventative measure at birth. We wait until there is a problem and then we treat it.

~If my son is uncircumcised, his future wife will get infections.

That's a lot of power to give to a flap of skin. I honestly don't understand the logic behind this idea, but I've heard some very intelligent women claim that it happened to them. What is more likely is that they were passing an infection back and forth between their partner. When one partner gets an infection, many times both people need to be treated even if they don't both show symptoms. The fact is that the labial folds on a woman are a MUCH better breeding ground for bacteria than the foreskin, and women should always urinate and shower after being intimate. Men need to keep themselves clean, whether they are circumcised or not. Yes, it's more important for an uncircumcised man to be careful with his hygiene because bacteria can breed inside the foreskin, but I wouldn't want to be with a circumcised man who didn't wash himself either.

Besides, 80% of the worlds men are intact. If they were walking infections, America wouldn't be the only country in the Western world so still perform routine infant circumcision.

~Uncircumcised men have a higher risk of cancer.

Yes, if I circumcise Connor he won't be able to get cancer on that particular piece of skin. If you cut off your finger, you won't be able to get cancer in your finger either. The comparison is sadly accurate. The foreskin is the only place on the whole body that is surgically altered for reasons of cancer prevention. It's true that some women who are predisposed to breast cancer and who have tested positive for several factors will have a mastectomy in order to prevent cancer. But these women, like I said, have a higher risk of breast cancer than the rest of the population. I suppose if there was a long line of penile cancer in our family that would make me weigh this topic more heavily.

~Uncircumcised men have a higher risk of contracting HIV

The study that suggested this idea is the basis of a lot of debate on it's own, and is not recognized by any major medical community. The first flaw is that it was performed in Africa, where poverty and a lack of information are undeniably at the base of the AIDS problem. Men who are of a higher social standing are more likely to be educated about safe sex, and they are also more likely to be circumcised. The fact that they have less instances of AIDS and the fact that they are circumcised are more socio-economic related than health related. Even if the study weren't so fatally flawed, I certainly wouldn't want my son thinking that he's safe from AIDS simply because he was missing a piece of skin. The simple fact is that AIDS is transferred by bodily fluids, not extra skin.

~I'm uncomfortable with the idea of cleaning under my sons foreskin.

The foreskin on an infant should never NEVER be forcibly retracted. At birth, the foreskin is attached to the glans (the head of the penis) by a tissue similar to the tissue that holds on your fingernails. By retracting his foreskin you are literally ripping his skin away from his glans. This can cause infections, adhesions, scar tissue, and later painful problems. Sometime between the ages of 2 and 10 (usually on the early side, and rarely as late as puberty) the foreskin will naturally separate and he will be able to retract it himself. He should be the first one to ever do this.

~I know someone who had to be circumcised later and it was horrible for him.

The most common reason for a pubescent boy to need a circumcision is because someone forcibly retracted his foreskin when he was a baby. Believe it or not, many doctors don't even know this because they weren't taught it in medical school. A friend of mine was told by her doctor to retract the foreskin of her infant. This is a problem with our health care, not with the male body. But like I said earlier, this can cause scar tissue and adhesions, which will prevent the foreskin from naturally disconnecting itself and will be very painful.

Another common reason is phimosis, which means the foreskin is too tight to retract even after is has disconnected. First, phimosis can't be diagnosed until puberty because it can be totally normal for the foreskin to wait that long to disconnect. It's rare, but it can happen and is considered normal. Second, the use of steroid creams can loosen up the foreskin and usually correct the problem without surgery. But still, sometimes it happens and circumcision is needed.

The last reason that is commonly heard is infections in elderly men who can't care for themselves any longer. This shouldn't be looked at as a problem with the male body, but as a problem with elderly health care in this country. If you don't clean any part of the body that isn't regularly exposed to air (the underarms, between the toes, etc) then infections can happen. If a man you know got regular infections in a nursing home or under the care of someone else, you should either educate that person in how to care for your loved one or you should fire them. This isn't a problem in countries where medical staff is trained in proper care of an uncircumcised man.

~Circumcision later in life is more painful.

It's true that any man who was circumcised later in life will tell you it is painful. But think of it this way. He was put under for his surgery, and he went home with pain medication. Babies are *sometimes* given an injection to numb the site (which takes away about 50% of the pain) and are sent home with no form of pain relief at all. Some doctors just give the baby a pacifier dipped in sugar water and call it good. Just because he doesn't remember it doesn't mean it's ok.

~Uncircumcised penises are dirty.

The care for an uncircumcised penis isn't nearly what some people make it out to be. Once it naturally separates from the glans, all he has to do is pull the foreskin back (it takes two fingers) and wash with soap and water. It's only one small extra step, since we would hope he will be washing his penis with soap either way.

~Circumcision is a simple little snip. It's not very painful and they won't remember it anyway.

While it's true that Connor wouldn't remember the surgery if we had chosen to have it done, the idea that it's not painful is very very untrue. Some doctors have started to use a local anesthesia, but even this is painful because it is a large needle inserted directly into the penis. Some babies scream in pain. Some don't make a peep and seem to be drifting off to sleep. Why the difference? Recent studies tracking brain waves show that the ones who seem to be calm are actually on the verge of passing out from shock. A needle and a pacifier dipped in sugar water are NOT enough to erase the pain. Studies show that even with anesthesia, the pain is only reduced by about 50%. If you're interested in how the procedure is done, you can click here for part one and here for part two. WARNING: This is extremely graphic footage of an actual infant circumcision. Please don't have the kids around and wear your headphones because the baby screams very loudly.

~Uncircumcised penises are ugly

First of all, penises aren't exactly pretty no matter what. Second, I think every part of my precious son is perfect, and I intend to leave him that way. :)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming...

I was going to do my controversial post today because I basically have it all typed out, but something MUCH more important has come up.

I finally got a smile on camera! Woot!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Stuffy nose and internal battle

Nothing too exciting happened today. More smiles, but more fussiness too. His nose is a little bit stuffy, and he HATES it when I get out the drops and nose sucker thing. (Nose Sucker Thing is a technical term, btw.) But he has trouble eating with his nose stuffy, so he deals with it.
I'm arguing with myself over whether or not I should make a post about circumcision. Any moms on here who have spent any time at all on parenting boards know how heated this topic can get. Half of me wants to just leave it alone, but the other half of me wants to spread information to those who might not have gone looking for it on their own.

*sigh* Tough decisions.

Here's a picture of Connor taking a nap a couple of days ago. Don't worry, we only let him sleep on his tummy when we're right there in the room.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

First smiles!

I haven't caught one on camera yet, but we are getting REAL smiles now! He loves to play with me in his crib, which is great because I can leave him alone for a few minutes at a time and actually get dressed and eat in the morning now. I lay him down and we play with his elephant for a while, he talks to the baby in his mirror, and watches his mobile. He just smiles and talks and it's awesome to watch. I was really starting to feel the blues creep up on me the past few days, but now he's giving me all of these smiles and it just melts away all of my problems!
This is the closest I've gotten so far:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Baby signs!

I mentioned in an earlier post that we plan to use sign language to help Connor commuincate in the months leading up to actual first words. Baby signing is still fairly controversial. A lot of people will tell you that it hinders speech, that it will make a baby speak later and use less words because they depend on sign language to communicate. At first glance this makes sense, but the farther you dig into the research the more it makes sense to use sign language to start the learning process of how to communicate.

First, the big thing that people miss is talking while you sign. I'm not trying to teach him how to say "more" with his hands, I'm trying to teach him to say "more" in any way I can. A parent should NEVER use sign language instead of spoken words. The word should always be used with the sign.

Now that that's out of the way, here's the basic logic. At around 7 months or so, a baby understands the basic concept of communication. He will raise his arms when he wants to be held, he will point to a toy that he can't reach, and he understands much of what you say to him. He understands that people communicate ideas to each other through words and physical gestures. But if he is hungry, he has no way of telling me that. If his tummy hurts, he has no way to tell me that. If he's bored, tired, uncomfortable, in pain, etc. This is very frustrating for a baby, and it's the cause of a lot of crying at that age before they gain the ability to verbalize.

By teaching him a few signs (more, food, milk, play, diaper, mommy, daddy, etc) that he will use every day, we bypass that frustration. Now he can tell me what he wants. Of course I will constantly use spoken words and encourage him to do the same, but without that frustration in the way, he can pay more attention to learning how communication works and less time crying about not being able to get what he wants or needs.

To sum it up, babies who sign not only speak earlier than non-signers, they experience less frustration, develop larger vocabularies, become better readers, and even have IQ’s that are at least 10-12 points higher. There was one study that used finger signing (using letters only) with school aged kids who had trouble with spelling. Within months the spelling scores for the kids in the program went from D averages to B averages. Signing triggers different parts of the brain in order to work. Basically a baby learning sign language is learning how to learn.

Here are a few websites about baby sign and the benefits. There is a link to an ASL browser in the sidebar.

This is a really neat video of a baby signing. I can't get it to embed because blogger is arguing with me.

And, of course, a new picture of Connor in a super snazzy all-in-one diaper.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another theory

Connor's rash is almost all gone again. I came up with another theory on what is causing it. I really don't think it's regular diaper rash just because of where it is and how it looks. Plus switching to disposables gets rid of it. I really think it's his pee reacting with the soap because it's happening right where his diapers get the most wet. We change him at MOST every three hours because that's as long as he sleeps.

But like I said, I came up with another theory. We use cold water in our washing machine. That's it, just cold, no hot at all because it's not even hooked up. Well, cold water doesn't rinse as well as hot water, which means that no matter how many times I rinse, there could still be soap on them. Chris has extremely sensitive skin and I have a mild allergy to soap just like my mom, so this makes sense.

In any case, two women offered to send me some all-in-one and pocket diapers that their babies have grown out of. These are better because they have a layer in them that pulls the moisture away from the skin and they aren't as bulky so no wet fabric is touching his thighs. So we'll try these for a while and see what happens, and Chris will hook up hot water to the washer. In the meantime, I'll be going to the laundry mat to do an extra hot rinse with all of the diapers. We have a big enough stash so I only have to do laundry every 3 or 4 days, so this won't be a huge deal. They have a front loader there that will hold as much as I can carry. In a pinch I can even rinse them myself in the sink or shower, plus we still have disposables on hand.

Yes, I am insanely dedicated to cloth diapering. I know you all think I'm crazy, but these bumps in the road are worth it to me. Besides, you love me anyway. ;)

One more thing. I'm going to be selling the rest of his newborn clothes on craigslist probably tomorrow sometime. If anyone wants first dibs, I think I'm going to ask $25 for the whole lot. It's a Target bag full of boy stuff (onesies, rompers, sleepers, and sleep sacks), most of it was never even worn. I would just give it away, but I already gave away all of the gender neutral stuff and I really need a few more things in 3-6 month size for him. I have enough to get by until laundry day, but I really do need a few more pieces. So that's the only reason I'm selling them instead of just passing them down. If you want them or know someone with a newborn boy, these are some seriously great clothes.
Another bathtime picture:

One of his new cloth diapers:

Monday, July 21, 2008

One problem gone, another arises

Well, his runny nose is all cleared up. Call it first time mommy paranoia because it lasted about 3 whole hours and I was panicking!
The diaper rash has come back though. I'm at a total loss for what to do. Cloth diapers are supposed to prevent rashes, not cause them. At first I thought it was his urine reacting with the soap we make, since it has some harsh chemicals in it. (Borax, washing soda, and Ivory soap) So I stripped them to make sure all of the soap was out and I used a soap that's free of dyes and perfumes and that is recommended for cloth diapers by several websites and hundreds of moms. But yesterday it came back. The thing is, it doesn't even look like a rash. Rashes, whether diaper rash or a yeast rash, have bumps or spots, but this looks like a burn! I just can't make sense of it.

So, we're back to disposable diapers and I am so frustrated. I'm still looking for a cause, but unless someone comes up to me and has been through it and solved it with their own baby, I just can't bring myself to put him back in the cloth diapers. I'm really disappointed because, cost aside, there are so many reasons that cloth is better. Of course the cost is bothering me too, because the investment we made in the covers was fairly big considering they haven't even paid for themselves yet. In a month or so, if I still don't have any answers, at least I can resell them and make most of my money back. I was just really looking forward to cloth diapering him. But if he's getting a rash when he's never in a diaper for longer than a 3 hour nap, what are we going to do when he starts sleeping through the night?

Chris says this shouldn't bother me so much, and he's probably right. But something is hurting my baby and I can't figure out what it is. I've always relied on research to solve so many problems, and none of my research is telling me what's wrong here. I have a doctor's appointment for myself tomorrow, so if it's still there I'll bring him in to see if she can identify it. I also have a WIC appointment this morning, so maybe she'll have a clue. I am just ripping my hair out over this!

In the meantime, here's a picture I snapped of him in my arms yesterday. I was trying to catch a smile because he is REALLY smiling at me now when I catch him in the right mood, but every time the little green light came on to focus, he stopped.

Edited to add: I just checked my email (why didn't I do that first? I have no idea) and I have TWO moms from one of my message board offering to send me new diapers! Well, they're used, but cloth diapers are constantly being sold used because they're so easy to sanitize. So if it's my soap or something in the diapers, I'll know! Between the two of them, I'll have almost enough diapers to throw away the prefolds I've been using if they happen to be the problem! Of course, I'll be doing laundry every day, but it would be do-able! Yay!!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Stuffy noses and PS3's

Nothing too exciting has been going on today. Connor was really fussy and last night he acted like he had a little bit of a stuffy nose, so we're wondering if maybe he caught the cold that I've been hearing about. Nobody in the house has it though. I asked his doctor about it on Thursday and she told me what to look for and when to panic, so we're just taking care of him the best we can and hoping we're wrong. With all of the fires that have been around here it's possible that he just got irritated by the smoke. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
Here are a couple shots from a little photo shoot we played with tonight. He's turning in to his Daddy already!

Friday, July 18, 2008

I think I got it...

Grandpa Bill feeding Connor at about 2 weeks old.

Ok, I think I'm done changing the template around here. I really liked the monkey one, but it was in the new blogger format which means I don't know how to change or add anything. This one is in the classic style so at least I can play with the sidebar.

Speaking of which, I've played with the sidebar. :) I added Connor's Amazon wishlist just in case anyone is interested, a great site for ordering cloth diapers and accessories, and a browser for American Sign Language because we plan to do baby signing with Connor when he's a little bit older. I'll have to remember to make a post on baby signing because it is really cool. We're all very excited to really start.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

One month check-up

Connor had his one month check up today! Everything looks GREAT. He weighed in at 10lbs 12oz, which is almost a 2 pound gain! He measured 23 1/4 inches, which means he grew an inch and a half. All of his milestones are right on track or ahead of schedule, and he is healthy as a horse. (I've never understood that saying. Who says all horses are healthy?)

He has another appointment on the 17th of August, where we'll be getting the dreaded 2 month vaccinations. Vaccinations scare the life out of me, but I think it's still for the best. But if you know me, you know I'll spend the next month reading and researching every little thing they're about to inject into my baby!