Thursday, September 22, 2011

More tidbits

First, a picture of the new poop factory:

I cropped this out of the birth announcement the husband emailed out, so it has a goofy little bow at the bottom that I couldn't crop out. There are more (and probably better) photos, but I can't access them right now on the husband's computer.


SchmoopyBoy is sick. Isn't that awesome timing? I have a 3 day old newborn, and a sick 3-year old who can't keep his hands off anything, and wanted little more last night but to sit in my lap with his hands on my mole and my belly - all evening long and into bedtime. Primal scream going on over here from that mess.


I had one goal for yesterday - take a shower. (First post partum shower, mind you.) I failed that goal.

Which is only scary because now I have 2 goals for today - take a shower and take LittleSchmoo to the pediatrician by myself this afternoon.

Can I handle 2 goals in one day yet? Ugh.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Checking in - He's here!

At 3:32am Sunday morning, we became a family of four. I'm currently experiencing the delirium of 3 nights with no or very little sleep so I'm going to make this short. I will likely check out for a while, but will share some reflections on this birth, which I did rock, if I may say so myself. Going into labor naturally and progressing completely on my own all the way to pushing him out was somewhat awe inspiring to me - I can finally see why and how women feel transformed after a natural childbirth. It was really quite empowering. I will confess that I was screaming for an epidural at one point, just before it was time to push. Of course by the time the guy arrived the baby's head was half way out.

Nursing is going well.My milk is already in! This kid is going to be a boobie-monster just like his brother.

Speaking of the big brother, SchmoopyBoy is loving him some baby. I can't believe how great he is responding to him. Here are some quotes:

"He's so small!"

"He has no teeth!"

"He is so soft!"

"I love him" (followed by kiss, yes I started to tear up at that point)

"You have a soft big round belly now!"

Friday, September 16, 2011

Checking In - Still Pregnant

I'm still here. Yes, I'm still pregnant. Yes, I'm uncomfortable as all heck. No, I don't want him to come out yet. I need one more weekend. He can come out anytime after Tuesday. I'll be at 39 weeks starting Sunday so that sounds completely reasonable to me. Plus, that would be infinitely more convenient. ;-)

SchmoopyBoy start T-ball on Saturday and I really don't want him to miss the first day. Then he's got a birthday party on Sunday evening to which we've already RSVP'ed and I would hate flaking on something like a child's birthday party. Then on Monday we are going to be very short staffed in the office and Monday is a very busy day with reports on tight deadlines and meetings, and Tuesday evening the husband has an assignment to do for his class this semester. I know, I know, I'm sure everyone would understand if I was in labor at the time of the event in question. I just don't want anyone to miss anything.

I'm sure I'm being quite ridiculous, and I'm ok with that.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sing-along, Brush-along Songs

Welcome to the September Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Through Play

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how challenging discipline situations can be met with play. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


SchmoopyBoy does not like getting his teeth brushed at bedtime (or any other time, really). Tooth brushing has been a struggle pretty much since we first started brushing his teeth. He is the king of holding his hand over his mouth with his lips tightly fused together. I’ve tried reasoning with him about the dangers of cavities. I’m pretty sure all he hears is “wah wah wah.” Have I been tempted to just pry his hand away and use my physical strength to overpower him and force my way into his mouth on a particularly tiring and frustrating day? I’d be lying if I denied it. Yet using my superior physical strength to impose my will over his body feels very wrong. I think it teaches him a dangerous and destructive lesson that using violence and physical force over a smaller, weaker person and forcing them to do what you want is ok. Not to mention how NOT conducive to a peaceful, relaxing bedtime it is to engage in a physical struggle with a screaming, flailing, 30 pound octopus of a three year old.

So how do I get him to willingly open his mouth? One major tool I don’t hesitate to bring out is music and song. I am all about making up alternative lyrics to popular (or not so popular) songs, and singing them in funny voices with lots of melodrama and silly vibrato. If you think this idea might work for you and your child, here are a couple ideas for a variety of musical preferences.

For the classic rock lover, sung to tune of Queen’s We are the Champions:

I’ve got a toothbrush, my schmoo-oooo
And I’ll keep on brushing every tooth
I’ve got a toothbrush, I’ve got a toothbrush,
No time for cavities, so I’ll keep on brushing…
‘till they’re clean!

For the pop music fan, sung to tune of Madonna’s Music, Hey Mr. DJ:

Hey Mr. Toothbrush
How are you today?
Come on and brush my teeth now.
‘Cause when the toothpaste’s on,
I never want to stop
You know it is so yummy.
Hey there! Mr. Toothbrush!
Brush my tee-eeth! Yeah!
Hey there! Mr. Toothbrush!
Brush my tee-eeth! Yeah!

For the Star Wars fan, sung to the tune of the Imperial March (aka Darth Vadar’s theme):

Brush brush brush
Brush your teeth, brush your teeth
Brush brush brush
Brush your teeth, brush your teeth
Brushie-brush, brush, brush, yeah
Brushie-brush, brush, brush.
Brush brush brush
Brush your teeth, brush your teeth

The lyrics of this are simple and boring enough that silly voices/faces and gratuitous over-the-top vibrato (think of an Ethel Merman caricature or Goofy from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) are a good mix for this choice.

Really, the possibilities are endless. Any tune I get stuck in my head is fair game for being turned into a tooth brushing song. If I can’t think of any appropriate lyrics on the fly, I just substitute the word “brush” or “toothbrush” or “brushie” for the usual “la la” or “doo doo doo” that most people hum to themselves.

The benefits of a playful approach to brushing teeth are numerous. First, the obvious – teeth are successfully and adequately cleaned. Second, the child is either smiling and giggling at the end, or at the very least isn’t having a melt-down and no one is hurt in the process. Third, on those rough “I’m so done you could stick a fork in me” days, you might even find yourself in a better head space – such is the power of play and laughter.

Happy brushing!


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • On being a more playful parent — Isil at Smiling like Sunshine shares how the Playful Parenting book impacted her.

  • Parenting a toddler through play — Alicia at I Found My Feet lists some examples of how she uses play to parent through everyday tasks and challenges.

  • Splashing in Puddles — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter shares how she learned to get dirty and have fun with her little boy.

  • Say Please — Cassie at There's a Pickle in My Life explains how they taught their son manners by "play," showing that actions speak louder than words.

  • No Nanny Needed — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life wishes parenting through play was her only responsibility during the day.

  • I'll Run Away With Gypsies — Nikalee at Spotted Pandemonium maneuvers physical and emotional obstacles while spinning playful tales, jumping through hoops, and inspiring the kids to clean the living room.

  • A Promise To My Daughter — Lindsey at An Unschooling Adventure writes a poem for her daughter promising to use play instead of anger when facing difficult situations.

  • Parenting Through Play — Not Always Easy But Always Rewarding — Amy at Peace4Parents discusses how play hasn't always come easily to her, the power of appreciative observation, and how her family learns together through play.

  • Imagination Plays a Role in Our Parenting — Tree at Mom Grooves shares how parents can use play to set the foundation for communication and understanding.

  • A Box of Crayons — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction talks about how a simple box of crayons has become a wonderful parenting and teaching tool.

  • The Essential Art of Play — Ana at Pandamoly shares some of her favorite lessons available for young ones through play.

  • The Art of Distraction — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro shares a list of distracting alternatives to harsh punishments in tough parenting situations.

  • Grace and Courtesy Games at Home or School — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now has ideas for grace and courtesy games that help you encourage courteous behavior without reprimanding your child.

  • I am woman, hear me roar! — Mrs Green from Little Green Blog shares how one simple sound can diffuse an argument in an instant.

  • Getting Cooperation Through Play — Amyables at Toddler In Tow talks about respecting the worldview of a preschooler by using play to encourage connection and cooperation.

  • Playful Parenting = Extra Energy??Momma Jorje didn't think she had the energy for playful parenting. See what she was surprised to learn…

  • Dance Party Parenting — Laura from A Pug in the Kitchen learned how to be the parent her children need through play.

  • Wrestling Saved My Life — Wrestling is as vital to her son's well-being as babywearing once was, finds Hannah at Wild Parenting.

  • Parenting through play — By playing with her children, Tara from MUMmedia is given amazing opportunites to teach, train and equip her children for life.

  • Parenting Through Play Starts in Infancy — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Issa from LoveLiveGrow shares that though she only has a 3-month-old, playful parenting has already started.

  • Play Before Sleep — Adrienne at Mommying My Way writes about how playing and singing with her son before he falls asleep helps calm her frustrations that tend to arise at night.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Three-year old + nail polish = Halloween toes

This is what happens when I let my three-year old paint my toenails. The final product looks like something from a Halloween movie.

Lest you miss the fine details from my oh-so-stellar photo skills:

In case you are wondering, I did manage to remove all polish before I left the house.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Good analysis of a complicated issue

You may or may not have heard about the controversy surrounding a certain barf-inducing sexist shirt for girls on sale at a certain major retail store. I won't get into the details here, but rather refer you to the most articulate and well thought out commentary I have read about it by Liz at Mom-101.

It is useful to note that she approaches the issue from the perspective of a mother of girls. As a mother of boys, I will need to approach the topic of sexism with my children from a slightly different angle. I will confess I'm still sorting out in my head how I am going to do this.

My 3 year old son has remarked on the giant billboard on the freeway near our house which shows four scantily clad women with bare midrifs. The photo is cropped to just above their necks - the photo is literally a bunch of faceless bodies. He thinks it is hilariously silly that there's a giant picture of a bunch of tummies. He has also deduced, in true 3-year-old logic fashion, that since the tummies in question are clearly those of women, and clearly flat (versus his own mother's huge round pregnant tummy) that these "mommies" have already pushed out their babies and that is why their tummies are now flat.

I have no idea how to address this in an age appropriate way, other than to say that they may be mommies and they may not be mommies - I don't know because not all women are mommies. I have not touched the whole objectification of women's bodies issue, nor have I touched the idea what constitutes female attractiveness in our society and how that contributes to unhealthy body image and behavior.

I don't know when is the right time to start talking explicitly about these topics. I do believe it will be critically important for me to talk to my sons about it though, because teaching women to empower themselves is only half the equation. As one of Mom-101's commenter's put it, "You know who will help stop sexism? MEN. Men standing up and saying THIS IS BULLSHIT." I want my sons to be two of the men who recognize sexist BS when they see it and stand up and call it for what it is.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Random Tidbits

SchmoopyBoy is going through another growth spurt. I cannot believe the volume of food this kid is consuming. Seriously. I'm talking twice as much french toast for breakfast than I can eat, or three dinners in one night (separated by about 1/2 hour to 1 hour intervals). He's still a pretty thin kid, so where the heck is it all going? Furthermore, if he eats like this at the age of three, how the heck am I going to feed him when he's a teenager without going bankrupt?


Wow, I am uncomfortable these days. Which is ironic to me only because of how very different this pregnancy is that my pregnancy with SchmoopyBoy. With SchmoopyBoy, I was so miserable the first half of the pregnancy, I remember thinking that I would prefer 40 weeks of the 3rd trimester over a single week of what I experienced during the first two trimesters. This time has been so easy and relatively comfortable that I'm kind of beside myself that I'm so uncomfortable now.

This baby is just so... rude! It's funny that I don't remember SchmoopyBoy being quite so rude about practicing boxing on my intestines nonstop for over an hour. Or just hanging out on my bladder, putting so much pressure on it, if there is more than a trickle inside the discomfort is so excruciating I cannot even stand up straight sometimes. Hopefully not an indicator of things to come once he's on the outside. ;-)


At 36 weeks, my doctor is not going to do anything to stop labor once it starts, so I'm officially on baby watch. That being the case, I'm still not ready for him to come out quite yet. I need probably at least one more week at work to wrap things up (although I'm planning on working until the last day to save my leave for after he's born) and my house is definitely nowhere near ready. I have a to do list on my refrigerator, and it feels like for every item I cross off the list, 2 new items are added.