Daddy gets a tase of Elimination Communication

Waking up to N and E having a good time rocks!

N gets up with Everly each morning and they have this routine that keeps her occupied so I get to sleep. It’s nice because I am still up like once or twice at night to breastfeed Everly, the extra morning snooze time is a life saver.

Anyway, this morning N and E used the potty in addition to all their other morning routine fun. Now he is a believer in EC too. Up until today I was the only one taking E to the potty for poop time. It’s been going very well and she obviously like going in the potty as opposed to her diaper and now N sees that.

Plus, he’s never had the opportunity to take her to the potty until today. Now he is a seasoned EC dad and from what he told me E was all smiles to be free of her diaper and able to poop in the potty.

I am totally a EC believer and am so glad we’ve been able to get her used to the potty for her #2 bathroom needs. I wish we had the time at home to be able to tackle EC with pee but for now, with my teaching schedule I am still okay with her peeing in a diaper. Eventually we’ll move to total diaper free baby. Maybe this summer when I am home with her and doing nothing else.

So now I’d love to hear your potty training or ECing stories or advice. What worked and what didn’t and what words of wisdom do you have for a first time mommy?

Yay! I aimed poo in the toilet. Go team! – An EC post.

Remember in my last post how I mentioned how I plan to try EC with Tater? Well today was our day off and she’s been eating like mad.

She was sitting in her exersaucer and getting all red in the face kind of like this (video was shot a few days earlier):

I had to act fast and was afraid I could be too late but knew we had to try. We rushed in to the bathroom, stripped her down and aimed that butt over the toilet. Her potty patty hasn’t arrived yet so I was just supporting her legs and back like in this photo I shared a few days ago.

She grunted and strained a bit then, she pooped a good solid baby poo right in the toilet! This was only our 2nd try at EC and already we have success!

I was praising her and feeling so flippin excited. Yep, proud excitement over poop! That is motherhood for ya.

So, I wiped her bum and plopped her down on a diaper so I could run, grab the camera and capture the memory. I should have known better…

While I was snippy-snapping the photos of E and her poop I wasn’t paying attention to her cues. Her eyebrows were red and her eyes were all watery, then splat! Runny, green poo oozed out from under her bum around the front and back. Her hands immediately reached down.

Oh dear! We’ve got poo hands now and freely oozing poop. Act fast mom!

I quickly moved her from the floor to the bathtub where she of course smeared her poop hands on everything. With one eye on her I got the water running and rinsed her hands to avoid poo fingers making it to her mouth.

Looks like it is emergency bath time now!

Luckily I was able to rinse the poop from her before she ingested any of it. She didn’t even get any on me either, I was so expecting to be poo covered. Now she’s bathed, clean, all emptied of her poop and down for the night. It’s been an exciting night.

I can’t find the on-off brain switch!

I have this issue I am struggling with…

When you become a parent your instincts and intuition kick in right? It’s sort of this mindless grove you get in to. Play with, feed, change, clean and cuddle baby. Wash laundry, diapers, dishes, vacuum the house so baby doesn’t choke on hair ball from the carpet. Make dinner, eat, shower sometimes. Scoop the cat box so the house doesn’t smell like urine and poo and so the cats don’t defecate all over the house. All mindless, routine fun that you get in the habit of.

Then there is the other stuff people are responsible for. Things that take real brain power and focus. Like writing drill, choreography, balancing the check book, scheduling, writing blog posts and taking care of other business- you know the non-mindless things.

Some days I can’t for the life of me get my brain to turn back on after spending so much time doing the mindless, parenting thing. Does that make sense? I just can’t find the freaking on switch for my brain and I really need to get more non-mindless things done in my day. Gah!

I just sit and stair off in to space knowing what I need to be doing but not being able to get my brain on the same page.

Is my brain broken or lacking some nutrient it needs to function? WTF?

A giveaway for an expectant mom!

I am giving away the following brand pregnancy related/ expectant mother books:
This isn’t a sponsored giveaway. I just have these items on hand (I actually received multiple copies of them from friends and family) and rather than having them here collecting dust I wanted to pass them on to a blog reader who could use them.

To enter you must do the following:
1. Tweet the following message:
Expecting your first baby? Know someone who is? Win this pile of mother to be essentials -> http://ow.ly/RwSQ Ends 2/4 – Pls RT
2. Leave at least one relevant comment on another post.
3. Come back here and leave ONE comment telling me which post you commented on and include the permalink to your tweet.

Please don’t leave generic, two word comments here or on other posts. They will be deleted, I hate spam and so do my readers.

For extra unlimited entries you may leave as many relevant comments on as many other posts as you want. Only one comment per post per person though. Come back here and leave me additional comments with the name of the post you’ve commented on.

Contest will close On Feb 28th 2010, winner will be drawn by random number generator. Winner will be emailed and announced here so please leave a valid email. Contest is open to US & Canada. International entries are welcome but winner will be expected to help cover the extra shipping costs (I am not rich guys).

————————————————-

Update: It is now March 15th and I’ve been a slacker. Was hoping to get a few more entries to the contest. Soory it’s taken so long to draw a winner. We just drew with random.org:

Mother to be giveaway winner

Winner has 72 hours to respond to my email and provide me with a shipping address for the prize. After 72 hours a new winner will be drawn.

The 2nd to last commenter, comment #7 (comments list from newest to oldest, so first shows last on the list) is Ann! Congratulations.

It’s been a whirlwind week and now we have chompers!

Lets see, we got a few inches of snow here and the town shut down. It’s cold and pretty and nice to have snow days and nowhere to be, especially since our car has no heat.

Unfortunately, last night & early this morning we had a major animal emergency. N had to leave work early and we all loaded up in the heatless car to rush a cat to the only ER vet in our town, at midnight. We dropped a huge chunk of change (that was supposed to be for our Arizona trip) to save our kitty, Gabby. Today we’ve been recovering and getting things done in preparation for our Arizona trip.

After three months of grumpiness, Tylenol, lack of sleep, and crying we’ve finally made some visible progress. This week Everly’s first TWO bottom teeth came in.

everlys-first-teeth

It’s both exciting and kind of sad. Our little girl is growing up so fast. She’s also sitting by herself now which is also crazy to think about. We really need to get on the baby proofing ASAP.

First we have our trip to Arizona though, then we’ll spend a week visiting and driving back home in our newly repaired Nissan (that has heat).

Literally the day we get back my students have their first performance. We are meeting them at the show site on our way back to Indiana. It’s gonna be a crazy-busy week for us and we aren’t to sure how E is going to handle it all. Hopefully she does well and enjoys all the travel.

There are a number of things I am NOT looking forward to with regards to the trip. Things like not being with my students the week before their first performance and much more. I’ve been trying to act like my anxieties and stresses don’t exist. Dwelling on them will only make it unnecessarily worse.

Instead I loose myself on Twitter and on Facebook with the mindless. I am cuddling with my perfect baby girl and watching lots of TV too. Soon we’ll be in the thick of it (trip wise) and I wont have anything to anticipate and stress over anymore.

Forward motion and we’ll be through this just like we’ve survived everything else! Right?

Oh, I’ll be blogging the drama from the road- like I always do! We’ve got some Starbucks money thanks to two very sweet friends and we’ll be getting our WiFi on each day so stay tuned!

Thoughts on punishment and expectations in students of the arts – Share your 2 cents.

Each batch of kids I teach is different and in order to effectively “reach” each of them I try to adapt my approach, so I can best help them. I’ve never taught the same from one year to the next because no two batches of students are exactly the same.

The ultimate goal is to leave the students with some life lessons in addition to teaching them how to do colorguard/ winter guard. Things like:

  1. You can do whatever you set your mind to.
  2. Discipline and hard work always pay off.
  3. Actions speak louder than words.
  4. It is better to try and fail than to sit on the sidelines scared.
  5. Without risks and hard work you have no chances for huge success.
  6. Life is not about the end result it is about the journey.

Of course I also want to teach them about showing up on-time, fulfilling commitments, being a team player, planning ahead, time management, setting goals and so on…

Each kids responds differently to various approaches. Right now we are tackling discipline and focus in rehearsals.

I’ve been toying with the idea of physical punishment (aka push-ups and so on). It is something many marching bands incorporate in to their rehearsals as a means to refocus the kids and to give them incentive to do their best.

For me it is something that I’ve never really been able to fully appreciate. Sure I was forced to run a few laps in marching band when we all were having a really, really bad rehearsal… it only happen like twice the entire 4 years of high school though.

Now that I am teaching in a totally different place (culturally) I am having to revisit the idea of forced discipline & focus as opposed to simply expecting it. Does that make sense at all?

I guess what I mean is I am used to just being expected to act properly or leave as opposed to being expected to behave improperly and then to pay for the misbehavior.

You know on the one side there is no room for acting up but with the punishment there is the expectation of acting up followed by a punishment. It’s a glass half full or half empty sort of thing… with expectation of good behavior as opposed to expectation of bad behavior

What are your thoughts? Do you think there is any benefits to one over the other? How do you think they translate in to life lessons and shape young people?

Tween gremlins, missing gifts, brain cell lackaged and a puzzle in a pear tree.

I am a lazy, zoned out bag of bones! Did I tell you I am teaching 10-14 year-olds now? TWEENS!!! Did you know those little gremlins are hyper as all get out? Man, I feel old and the hyperactivity is not helping my scatter-brain at all.

It’s been too long since my last post but honestly, I am focusing on my daughter and the finer things in life these days. By the time I have a spare moment to sit down to write I’ve got like half a brain cell left and I usually talk myself out of writing another nobody-could-possibly-want-to-read-this-garbage post.Today you aren’t as lucky.

Updates? Well, we had a good belated Thanksgiving and spent some chillaxing time over the weekend. Mostly we played Ultimate Band on the Wii and ate. It was fun and I am so sore. E’s still teething and has her good and bad days. Saturday was very bad, Monday was better and today verged on suckage again.

Oh, we did rearrange our living room in preparation for the holiday tree. No, we’ve not put the tree up yet but we have started the transition between our fall and winter decor. The living room is much more cozy and feng shui which has helped to improve my mood and productivity.

N got some of the holiday lights hung. Tater and I did online shopping and also wrapped the stuff I already bought before Turkey Day. The one really important holiday gift I bought N last month, wrapped and stashed was lost when I went to find this weekend. Yep, I wrapped it, hid it and forgot where I put the darn thing. Nice huh? When do your brain cells return following child birth?

The gift, it’s found now and has been moved to a pile with all the other things I’ve bought and wrapped in preparation for the holiday. I dispise Christmas Eve wrapping madness thanks to my mother who always waited to wrap everything until the night before. She would have me come in her room and wrap for her once my brothers were asleep on Christmas Eve… Those were long nights. Now I wrap everything right after I buy it, it’s less overwhelming that way.

So yeah, tween gremlins, missing brain cells, holiday preparation…

Oh, E is starting to sit unassisted and today marks her 24 week birthday. 24 weeks/ 4 = 6 months right? So why does facebook say E is only 5 months old? We think she’s 6 months! Right?

Ugh, anyway. She’s 6 months today and is starting to sit on her own. She doesn’t have the balance thing mastered yet though so she can sit but will quickly fall to the side if she makes sudden movements or tries to look around.

She’s still having an occasional bowl of baby cereal here and there and man does it change the poop frequency and odor! She eats the cereal very well but isn’t all that excited about the process. She tolerates it and does get some food down but we aren’t looking to wean or force her as the breastfeeding relationship is still going strong.

I’ll be okay if she is still breastfeeding at a year old. Especially since I learned that scientists have found stem cells in breast milk, it’s even more evidence supporting breastfeeding in my eyes and I just want to give her as much immunity & health benifits as I can- for as long as I can.

So that is the update from our neck of the woods. Earth shattering huh? I bet you are glad you wasted your time read this. Nobody goes away empty handed though! My words might not have compleated your world today but at least you can do a fun little picture puzzle. That is entertaining right?

Create your own puzzles at PuzzleBee.com!

Getting back to rountine madness

Routine is important in this house, especially now that Everly is with us. For the last week or so our routine has been jacked up. There has been no marching band practice for Everly and I due to fall break. It’s been nice having the time to get caught up around the house.

Most of my lengthy to-do list is complete and it’s been less stressful around here but now it’s time to get back in to the swing of things. That is the hard part.

E slept okay last night. She was in bed by like 7pm, woke to feed at midnight and again at 6am. We were all up at 9:30am because Everly’s overnight diaper had sprung a leak. She was in a Knickernappies diaper and she soaked it so naturally once the insert was soaked it leaked out the insert pocket in the back making for a wet outfit and crib sheet.

After a change and a feed we were back in bed for some early morning cuddling because darn it was cold in the house! We didn’t hear any offending noises but there sure was this smell coming from under the covers… Almost rotten egg like and I thought aloud “It wasn’t me… Could it be E? I just changed her.”

N just laughed at my reaction to the stink and went down to make coffee while E and I laid there some more. The smell didn’t get better, only worse so I got up and was going to check E’s diaper…

Sure enough she loaded her fresh bumGenius diaper and poop oozed right up and out of the diaper at her right leg. Her 2nd outfit was also covered in poop now… She sure is a master diaper loader!

Now she’s napping. I got the laundry folded, picked her clothes for the day out (it’s gonna be chilly), I’ve got a load of clothes in the wash being stripped and I am blogging.

N went to the post office and to drop off our recycling mess because this is how the garage was looking:

Recyclables are taking over the garage! on Twitpic

I still need to eat, dress myself, feed the pets… feed, change, medicate and dress Everly for the day and get the diaper bag packed for our long day…

Tomorrow we’ll also have band practice and it will be Everly’s 4 month birthday… Then on Wednesday we’ve got “take 2″ of our family photo shoot (because of this drama) and I’ll be doing Webcast Wednesday here… It’s back to the insane swing of things around here and time is flying!

P.S. I little birdie told me that email subscriptions to my blog are no longer working. Upon investigation I noticed that feedburner says I now have zero email subscribers when I know I had many people who were receiving email alerts of my new blog posts… So if you like email alerts consider resubscribing now. Sorry dudes!

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My 3 month old is getting her first tooth/ teeth…

My 3 1/2 month old is getting her first tooth/ teeth, the doctor was right! I can feel a small jagged little thing poking though her lower right gums. It is the worst thing ever, for both of us.

Not only does it mean she’s *gasp* growing up, it also means wakeful nights and fussy days for all of us!

My What to Expect the First Year book talks about all the different issues associated with teething like refusal to nurse, biting and so on… They mention the use of acetaminophen for pain relief and most annoyingly they warn against comfort feeding during this extremely irritable stage.

For some nursing moms I am sure the no-comfort-nursing advice is welcome, I mean who wants to have their nipple chomped by a teething baby? By the way E did chomp me today and now I’ve got a nasty nipple blood blister. Ouchie! Be glad I am not sharing a photo of it here. I did snap a few just not going to subject you to the sight.

In our case this comfort nursing advice it stinks, even in light of the nipple blister. I mean nursing is pretty much the only thing that can be done to console Everly when she’s having a hurty-mouth fit and parents need to console their unhappy offspring right?

Since the day she was born breast has been her main source of comfort. She still doesn’t readily take a bottle or pacifier, she prefers the real thing (as in real skin). She’ll take finger, knuckle, shoulder, neck, wrist, nipple, etc… It seems skin is her preferred comfort texture but above all she likes comfort nursing (as in lightly sucking and not full on feeding).

These days she’s been sleeping less soundly and is frequently waking during the night and not going back to sleep with ease, this is unlike her. For the sake of everyone’s sleep and sanity I’ve been nursing her back to sleep each time so I was not pleased to read about how comfort nursing during teething can sometimes cause newborn night waking/ night feeding patterns to return and linger even after teething discomfort has passed.

The last thing I want is for my good sleeper go back to needing several night feeds and comforting after the teething is over!

Problem is nothing else seems to soothe her, nothing but the comfort nursing. She’s still not grasping things in her hands well which means having her suck or chew a frozen teething ring, wash cloth or whatever isn’t really an option unless we are on holding it in place the entire time. Plus, we have tried it and she doesn’t seem to like the cold. She just yells extra loud when we are putting stuff in her mouth.

We did have a minor breakthrough over the weekend involving a pacifier. We’ve discovered that while she hates them we can often trick her in to taking one while she’s drowsy and half asleep. If timed right we can soothe her half-asleep crying with a pacifier, woot! Slipping it in her mouth right while she’s still zoned out works to keep her zoned out and sleeping. Yay!

Last week we were given the okay for a half dose of acetaminophen/ Tylenol Infant Drops for Everly’s pain. She weighs over 12 lbs at 3 months so that means a 0.8 mL dose is fine for her to have when she’s particularly fussy… according to the pharmacist.

I am not happy that she’s needed so darn much of it though. We are half way through the freaking bottle already and to non-medicine takers this is a big deal.

The acetaminophen seems to allow her to relax and to help with the pain though so we are glad to have something to help her in addition to sneaking the pacifier in her mouth while she is groggy.

Oh, the last and most exciting breakthrough we’ve had during this teething madness is her sleeping preference. For about two months she’s been a swing sleeper. For her first month of life she co-slept to make nursing and sleeping easiest for everyone.

Having her in the bed with us meant we weren’t sleeping as soundly for fear of rolling on to her or accidentally covering her face with blankets. When she wasn’t waking every hour or so for a feed, a cuddle and some soothing back to sleep we wanted to sleep more soundly too so we stopped having her sleep in our bed.

Unfortunately, she didn’t take to sleeping by herself that well at first. We got a spiffy swing that really helped her sleep and that has been her womb-sound-making, rocking little sleep haven. Until her teething began.

Now she’s not jazzed about sleeping in the papasan cradle swing and likes laying flat and motionless best. We knew eventually we were going to have to start the motionless, flat sleeping transition as she’s halfway to outgrowing the swing’s weight capacity. We just haven’t been in a rush to do so, especially during this already hard time for her.

So, she’s transitioned herself to motionless, flat sleeping just like she pretty much transitioned herself to independent sleeping and also to sleeping though the nights. She’s an intuitive one!

So she’s now sleeping though the nights in her pack n’ play/ bassinet at night and napping in her nursery during the day. She’s changing, growing and adapting so darn fast. It blows my mind.



Ah, the insanity of football season and being a mommy.

The joys of football season are endless… Not because I love football or anything. It means four straight months of teaching, reworking and cleaning a marching band show. Rehearsals and performances galore, fun (insanely busy) times!

I actually hate football with a passion but marching bands perform during halftime at football games so that means I am there and crazy busy. Teaching is my passion, it’s hard to balance passions with motherhood though.

Currently Everly and I go to band practice pretty much 4 days a week, from here on out I’ll have their performances to attend almost every Saturday. That’s 5 out of 7 days working, in addition to being a full time stay at home mom.

I basically have time to eat, wash laundry, feed Everly, bathe and sleep. There isn’t time for much else, which is why I haven’t been blogging as much.

We aren’t leaving her with a sitter because finding a sitter we can TRUST (it’s way more than just finding someone we trust her with if you know what I mean) isn’t easy at all.

We are worried about protecting her from germs too, especially since she’s not vaccinated yet. Did you know breastfeeding is the best protection against the swine flu, regular flu and other common sicknesses? She’s still exclusively breastfeed because of this and many other reasons.

Anyway, Everly is growing so fast, she’s 3 months tomorrow. She looks much different now and is a little slobbery, licking and hand sucking fiend these days. Oh and she still wont take a pacifier! She’s content with sucking her fingers or licking my shoulder instead. Nice huh?

Also, she’s a pro at whining now. There are no more indistinguishable cries here, she whimpers and whines and will even full on wail when she’s needing different things. She’s expressing herself, lol.

She’s doing better at sleeping in her bassinet for naps too. I even made some blackout curtains for her nursery so she could nap in there during the day.

We still struggle with her getting overtired on our busy days but all in all this parenting thing is going much better than it did when she was first born.

Now, if I could just get a handle on this being exhausted and lacking motivation thing :-P