Conversations With…: Where do they get this stuff?

November 29, 2007

I’ve had a couple recent conversations with my daughter which stick in my mind…

They’re always after me luck charms

At our house, my daughter eats healthy, or at least organic and natural, cereals. Mighty Bites (or “guys” as we call ‘em, ’cause they’re shaped like people) and Chocolate Blast ‘Ems are popular (side note: Chocolate Blast ‘Ems, to me at least, are nowhere as tasty as Coco Puffs). But when we visit my mother’s house, it is Trix and Coco Puffs and Frosted Cheerios and my daughter’s favorite — Lucky Charms. How can you not like cereal with little marshmallows in it? Especially if you are three years old.

My daughter also brought back some jewelry, which I am sure is Chock Full O’ Lead, from daycare. Including some charm bracelets. Her favorite? The one that says, “Princess” of course.

So, the other day, Ms. Kaz and I thought it was strange when we had the following conversation:

Daughter: Mom, where’s my.. uh… my marshmallow that says “princess” ?
Ms. Kaz: Your what?
Daughter: My marshmallow that says “princess” on it?
Me: She means the princess charm
Daughter: Yeah. That’s right. My princess charm.
Ms. Kaz: Ohhh…

So this morning, as Ms. Kaz was eating breakfast, I said to her, “Boy, she really likes her Lucky Charms. I think she really likes the marshmallows.” This lit a bulb over Ms. Kaz’s head about the whole charm/marshmallow word mix-up.

Now, we’re not really sure if this is how she mixed up her words. It seems like a really leap to make that connection. But she’s made stranger connections in her mind before.

Isn’t she a little young to be dating?

Usually, our make believe play involves my daughter being a princess (one of the Disney ones, of course), and me being a prince* and Ms. Kaz being someone evil. One day, my daughter said to me, “Daddy, I want you to be the boyfriend! And mommy will be my mother!” Okay, I thought, let’s see where this goes…

Daughter: Okay, boyfriend, time for bed!
Me: Uhh…
Daughter: I’ll sleep here, and you sleep over there.
Me: Oh, okay. G’night, girlfriend.
Daughter: Uh, oh! Mommy!
Ms. Kaz: Yes, daughter?
Daughter: The cat went pee-pee on my bed!

You see, our cat has been acting out because of the new kitty litter and possibly because we brought another torturer child into the house. So, we’ve found, uh, cat urine in places it isn’t supposed to be.

Ms. Kaz: That’s okay, daughter, I can clean the sheets.
Daughter: Okay! I will sleep with my boyfriend tonight!
Me: Uh… I don’t like where this is going.

And, yes, of course I know it is all innocent. But when get the ideas in their heads early?

No dating for her until either (a) she is 30 years old, or (b) I am dead.

Oh, who am I kidding. (b) is the only real option.

* Quick side note: a conversation we often have — Daughter: Daddy, I want you to be uh… uh.. who’s the prince from Jasmine? Me: Hmm… yeah, who is that prince in that Aladdin movie?!?


Green to Grow Bottles

November 28, 2007

Oh, hey, did I mention we got our http://www.greentogrow.com/ a couple weeks ago? I mentioned them originally here. You know, the Bisphenol-A and Phthalate free ones?

Well, we used them fairly extensively for the first time on our trip back home for Thanksgiving. I like ‘em. There are, like with everything, good and bad point about them, which I will attempt to outline here:

Good:

  • Plastic. And not the bad plastic. We like glass, but to put the glass in a diaper bag is not something we like to do.
  • 5 ounce size. The glass we have are 4 oz. Believe me, the extra ounce comes in handy. Especially when travelling. We also have some Born Free Bottles, but they only come in sizes which are way too big right now.
  • They are kind of cool looking. Yeah, I know – silly, but a plus, none the less.

Not-so-Good:

  • As I mentioned before, they are a bit pricier than glass. Maybe that will change if more people buy them.
  • The stuff printed on the bottle scratches easily. We didn’t have this problem with the Avent plastic bottles we used with my daughter. And we used those for years. It isn’t really that big a deal if the cute cartoon fruit guy on the front gets scratched. But, if we lose the measurement stuff on the back… that won’t be quite so okay.

Overall, we’re happy with them. Will we buy more? Probably not. We use glass in the house, and three is sufficient for most travelling. Maybe when we move up to a bigger size for him, but then again, we already have the Born Free in the bigger size…


Boy Update

November 27, 2007

Man, this kid (the boy) is growing. To me, he no longer seems like a newborn. Heck, he doesn’t even seem like he’s only just about two months old! He’s eating a lot – I am sure that helps.

He’s also doing great at night. He’ll go down sometime between 8:30 and 9:30, and wake up just once between then and about 6:30a. He usually has one long sleep (waking up around 2:30a – 3:30a), and one short. Although he occasionally, like last night, swap (wake up at 12:30a). One night he didn’t has his first wake up until 4:15a! It usually takes as short as 45 mins to get him back to sleep to as long as 1 1/2 hours.

During the day, he’s pretty laid back. He’s gotten to the point where he can amuse himself for short stretches, staring at lights, or his black & white shapes in his bassinet, or the dragon above his crib.

But perhaps the most important sleep/awake developments have been: (a) he seems to be able to sleep through noise because, well, he has to, and (b) he seems to be okay if, when tired, we put him down sleepy, but not asleep, and he will get himself to sleep.

Other than sleep/awake developments, he is slowly learning how to smile. Right now, it is still just a bit of a smirk. But he definitely gets excited when he sees me. His mouth will open, his arms and legs will flail, and he’ll shake all over. It is very cute, very sweet, and melts my heart.

He’s also enamored with his big sister. He will stare at her, and attempt to turn his head to see and follow her. She has always been enamored with him, even when taking her frustrations out on him (not physically!).. I think she is learning to adjust to not being the absolute center of attention.


Giving Thanks

November 26, 2007

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Sorry for the late wishes. Especially sorry to our Canadian readers, to whom this greeting is especially late.

Our Thanksgiving was, well… a lot of driving. And the first time with two kids instead of one.

We weren’t sure how it was going to go. In the past, one of us sat in the back seat next to my daughter. This allowed us to interact with her – playing, reading, singing. This time, with both kids in the back seat and both of us up front, we weren’t sure how either kid would react and how we would deal with it if they needed attention. I set up the third row seat, just in case. It was piled up with stuff, but it could be moved.

Oh yeah, the stuff – two kids requires more stuff. And a baby requires more stuff than a 3-year-old. Fortunately, we had the car-top carrier from my last car in the garage.

We wound up not needing the third row. This time. Both kids did great. This time. The baby slept just about all of the trip. This time.

Ms. Kaz is still worried. That’s why I am researching Toyota Highlander Hybirds and Toyota Siennas (Ms. Kaz’s suggestion).

Yeah, I’ve got a Highlander Hybrid now, but the 2008 has a 2nd row center console which can be removed, creating a bit of a pass-through… sort of like a minivan. The third row seating is a little more spacious, as well. And the Sienna? Well, it is a mini-van, and offers all a mini-van has to offer to a family of four.

The thought is — and if anyone has any knowledge or advice on carseats in third row seating, it is greatly appreciated — we could put one carseat in the second row, and on in the third, and we could move about, as needed, to offer attention.

I think Thanksgiving travel went well enough that we are going to see how Christmas goes with the car we have.

Oh, and I asked my daughter, at the dinner table, what she was thankful for. I had high hopes – a week or so before, we had been watching the Little Match Girl, and she was telling me things like, “We’re lucky to have a home,” and, “We’re luck to have a family.” I was hoping everyone could hear some of these gems.

Her response? “I’m thankful for my toys”.

Oh, well. Maybe next year. Now, she and I have to go back to browsing through toy catalogs.


Bedroom Antics

November 20, 2007

Ms. Kaz asked me the same question every day for a week and a half, “Did those monitors arrive yet?”

My son is a grunter. And a snorter. And a shuffler. Especially when he sleeps.

Ms. Kaz has been having sleep difficulties beyond the ones that go with getting up in the middle of the night for feeding, and the grunting, snorting and shuffling that came after that middle of the night feeding often drove her to the daybed to try and sleep.

Of course, once the monitors arrived, we always found excuses – “Just one more day”, “Tomorrow would work better” – to keep him in our room.

Even our daughter began to ask, “Did he sleep in his own room last night?”

Two nights ago, Ms. Kaz asked again about moving him to his own room. Finally, I was ready to take the plunge. “I feel kind of guilty,” Ms. Kaz told me. “We’ve got to do it before he know the difference,” I reasoned, with myself as much as with her, “otherwise, he’ll know the difference.. and then we’ll have more difficulty.”

Besides, we needed to test the new monitors.

So, two night ago, the boy began sleeping in his own room. The next morning, Ms. Kaz awoke to tell me, “I kind of missed him, you know?”

And I told her I kind of did. As much as it keeps you awake, you grow used to the snorting and grunting and shuffling. At least you know he’s there. And still okay.

“Besides,” I told her, “you were only in the room for half the night, anyhow…”

So… two nights, and so far, so good.

*knock on wood*

ps – the Philips DECT monitors work great, but are a little freaky, in that you get used to hearing the static coming from a monitor, and these are so darned quiet until the baby makes a noise. Fortunately, we can set the sensitivity to pick up cries, but not grunts and shuffles and snorts. And when he does cry..? It is just like he’s in the room with us.


These things I wish…

November 15, 2007

I wish…

… we didn’t have to travel so far for the holidays.

… the holidays weren’t in Western New York, where we need to pack a ton of bulky, warm clothes, which we then need to try and fit in the car.

… things weren’t so crazy at work, with a major project due in probably less time than it will take to complete it.

… newborns were a little less time-intensive.

… three-year-olds were a little less intensive.

… I had more time to post updates (see previous two — and again, sorry for not having more updates).

I am sure there is more, but mostly, I wish I weren’t up at 2:30a blogging. And, no, the baby is asleep right now.


Have your people call my people…

November 13, 2007

One difficulty with a second child is trying to fit your life around the new baby’s schedule.

Ms. Kaz and I are pretty flexible, but our daughter… not so much. We’re working on the patience thing. And, to her credit, she is getting better.

But things like making and eating dinner are more difficult. Especially if we want to give one of the kids a bath after dinner. Or if, say, we want to get our daughter to sleep before 11pm.

Up to this point, we’ve just kind of been winging it — letting the boy eat and sleep when he wants. Now that he’s, ahem, maturing a bit, we think we can have a little say in his schedule… Read the rest of this entry »


Baby Haters

November 10, 2007

A short while before my daughter was born, a coworker of mine was about to have his second child. “I hate babies,” he told me, “they are boring. I can’t stand when they are babies.”

At the time, I thought he was crazy.

With our second child, now a little over a month old, I am reminded of this statement, and how it isnt far off the mark. I know “hate” is too strong a word, but, compared to a lot of other stages, babies are boring.

Especially now that I have a three year old around, whom I can play, joke and have conversations with (although she does bring her own set of challenges).

Sure, my son is damned cute. I love to look at him. I even love to hold him. I don’t mind his crying — as with many second parents, it doesn’t bother me to have him cry for a few minute while I get a bottle ready or whatnot.

But, well, he doesn’t do anything beside cry, eat, poop and look cute. He can’t even smile yet. “Cute” is all I get for the hours of work (at all hours of the night) I put in.

And, dude — you’re cute, but after two straight hours of holding you to feed and burp you, I get a little bored. And my arm gets tired. And, well, After that long, I’d just like to do something normal, like read a book, or maybe eat or something.

Oh, I love him well enough, and look forward to seeing how he grows and how he turns out compared to my daughter, but, well.. I dunno. I’m sure, when I look back on it, it will have flown by.

And, when he throws a tantrum at 3 years old like the kind my daughter is having, I’ll wonder why he couldn’t have stayed a baby forever.


Bottle Quest

November 6, 2007

Yowzers! Just caught a glimpse of these bottles over at ApartmentTherapy.

G-to-G bottleG-to-G bottleManufactured by GreenToGrow, these bottles are Bisphenol-A and Phthalate free. And they look friggin’ awesome.

They are a bit pricey ($7.49 for a 5 oz, up to $10.49 for a 10 oz, wide neck bottle), but they, well, look pretty awesome. Oh, and the whole “not full of bad stuff” is pretty awesome, too.

And the website this husband and wife team put together is chock full of educational resources to help educate parents about creating a health environment (and not just limited to bottles!) for their kids. And we’re definitely all for that!

Of course, we already purchased some Born Free plastic bottles (9 oz bottles go for about $9-10 each, so the cost is comperable), but they are way to big for our son right now. It might be nice to grab a couple of these 5 oz bottles).

So… even if you aren’t interested in purchasing, head over to their site and check ‘em out! They are at GreenToGrow.com.

Previously: WeeGo BPA-free Bottles, and a little blurb about Born Free Bottles.


A variety of things

November 5, 2007

Lots of stuff going on, but little time to talk about them…

  • We gotta move this boy out of our room. He’s in a bassinet now, and half the night he shuffles and grunts and we just gotta get him out of here. That being said, we’ve gone with the cadillac of monitors – the Philips SCD 590. Pricey, yes, but it is very feature-laden, and Thingamababy gave it a great review. This is a newer model – sacrificing temperature readout for a second receiver.  I look forward to reviewing it here… in a few days.
  • We went with the Eco-friendly birth announcements at FineMoments. Again, a bit pricey, but they seem really nice. We’ll let you know how we like ‘em.
  • Toys-R-Us has announced a recall of their Elite Operations toys due to an unsafe lead content. No injuries have been reported, but they recommend you remove the toys from your home and return them to your local Toys-R-Us for a refund. Toys-R-Us recalled their army guys — doesn’t seem to be that difficult, now, does it?
  •  The WeeGo Bottles availability date is now “early November” … and it appears they are one step closer to their on-line store.
  • Speaking of which, the Tyler Morning Telegraph (TX) quoted me in their on-line edition here, in an article titled “Are Plastics Hazardous for Babies?” They didn’t ask, but I don’t mind (although a link to the blog would have been nice!). My section is followed up by a quote from a Dr. Cherry mentioning choosing between the risk of chemicals and the risk of cuts from glass bottles. Ms. Kaz and I made a conscious decision not to give our son broken glass bottles to play with… Seriously, though, we don’t have this concern now because (a) he’s too young to hold the bottle, and thus throw the bottle, himself, and (b) we have hardwood floors, which I am sure would cushion a falling bottle enough to at least avoid breakage.

Sorry about another “quickies” post. I hope to have something more substantial soon!


Postpartum Doula

November 1, 2007

I held off writing about our use of a post-partum doula because we, at least initially, did not really make use of the service that much. Things have changed, and we’ve found ourselves returning to the doula service for more help.

What is a post-partum doula? Yeah, I never heard of ‘em, either until our Hypnobirthing instructor (yeah, I know, I should post about that, as well) referred a service to us.

Post-partum doulas are there to help families during the time of birth (though not with the birth) and to help them after the birth. After the birth, their job is to help families concentrate on taking care of their newborn by tackling a myriad of tasks. They also seek to educate, particularly with new parents.

Our intention was to have a doula ready to watch our daughter, if needed, at the time when the baby came and Ms. Kaz and I had to go to the hospital.

And that is exactly what happened… Read the rest of this entry »


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