Monday, April 26, 2010

nesting... a year later



well, since i felt like i was in labor for a week (although when it really happened it was rather short) i kind of think of this as birth week for miss anna... and i am nesting all over again to celebrate ;-) ...busy making lots of fun things for the upcoming birthday girl and her celebration. i'm sure i'll at least have a few things i'll get around to sharing. and i do have the pictures taken to post a tutorial for the fluffy skirt in the previous post (2 posts ago)... i just have to get it written up, and that certainly won't happen before the birthday on sat, so don't look for it;-)
i will try to get a fairly detailed birth story up to celebrate... and i finally have pictures to show you of an exciting business development i hinted at a while ago... you'll have to wait ;-)
off to work again!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

big brother/sister advice...

.... from a two year old (oh no! in almost a month he will be a three year old!)
over breakfast this morning elisha and i were talking about a friend of his who is about to get a baby sister.
here is our conversation :

me- "elisha, soon claire is going to be a big sister... did you know that she is going to have a baby sister just like you do?!"

e- just kind of nods and smiles while devouring his yogurt.

me- "can you help her be a good big sister? what will you tell her when you see her?"

e-" i say- claire, just hug her."

me- "is there anything else she should do?"

e-"kiss"

me-" what about if the baby is sleeping?"

e-"be quiet"

well, i think that about sums it up... don't you? maybe e should write a handbook ;-)
i hope that makes you smile.... i'm still smiling and it's past lunch!

Friday, April 9, 2010

"spin baby anna"

i know you saw this skirt in my previous sweater post-- but it deserves it's own! when i first put this fun fluffy skirt on anna, elisha told her to spin ;-) he knew that it was the perfect twirling skirt! she isn't even walking on her own yet, so i think spinning may be a ways off.
"hurray! i love my new skirt, mama!"
the fabric i used for the skirt is from anna maria horner's newest line - "little folks"... it is a light weight, super soft and silky cotton voile. i also made a little hair bow... the fabric gathers beautifully, so the little gathered and twirled rosette on the hair clip was so fun and easy to make. shoes she has on are unfortunately the last ones she will probably get "mama made"... she is just too hard on them now with all her escapades. the sweater she is wearing is so precious... i need to get up some pictures that show off the details in a better way. it has cable knit owls around the yoke. it was so darling, that i was motivated to learn how to cable knit-- not as hard as i imagined (with some good friends on hand for moral support ;-) the pattern is "owlet" and i will definitely be making more... anna will have one in every size !
here she is on the go... she is into everything these days! i really want to do a tutorial for the this skirt... of course, i have become motivated to do this while our basement (ie. my workspace) is a pipe bursted, dehumidifier leaking, laminate floor peeling mess! oh, dear!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

potty learning- what we've learned

not sure why i feel like blogging about this today...

sorry to those who don't have kids... you may want to skip this.
i know a lot of people with children elisha's age are at least thinking seriously about (aka: dreading) potty training... and probably those w/ younger littles, too. i think most parents dread potty training almost from the moment they birth their babies. it can be exhausting, frustrating, and messy... but it is also very exciting too! goodness knows, we have been changing wet undies here and there for quite a while so, while the weather is warm (the BEST time to start) here are some of the things we have learned (with the disclaimer that i realize there are many different child/parent teams, and different things will work best for different people-- and some people are amazingly blessed to have children wake up one day asking for undies and never have an accident....but don't count on it!)
i think it is best to approach the whole thing like we do walking, eating, and all the other things our children gradually learn to do on their own--- meaning: it is a process. you don't have a marathon weekend where your child starts out immobile on their backs and ends up walking. their are many steps in between that take a lot of development to master, not to mention help (remember holding their hands for so long as they learn to walk independently?) training our children to ignore the feeling of eliminating and being wet/dirty for years and then all of a sudden expecting them to recognize the feeling of needing to "go" and doing it in a new place, a new way, is a LOT to ask... and can be very frustrating for both of you. my approach (and i don't claim that it is convenient) is to try to at least keep a little awareness along the way- cloth diapers and changing frequently has helped, but also keeping a little potty around and letting my babies (anna as soon as she could sit supported) sit on them from time to time. i try to do it at a consistent time, like right before and/or after naps/bedtime... and most importantly-- when i KNOW she needs to go... you know what i mean. if your baby is around you, you usually know when she is starting to poop. why on earth do you want to sit there and watch her get used to doing it in a way and place that you will desperately be trying to tell her not to a few months/years later. do yourself(and your child) a favor and time the time to grab her, say "hold on a minute, let's poop in the potty instead", and then rejoice in not having poop smeared all over her little bum. wiping a potty with clorox wipes is a lot easier that getting poop out of all the crevices of a squirming child. even if you don't "catch" every poop, at least they will be familiar with the idea and the feeling of pooping as they sit on the potty.
having a little naked bottom outside time while the weather is nice can be really helpful to let your child/baby become aware of the feelings of eliminating. talk to him about what is going on (try to act nonchalant if they poop in the grass ;-)... remember- easier to scoop off of the grass than clean poopy undies later ;-)... notice their "cues"-- sometimes your child may do a little dance or get antsy, or just pause and look off in the distance before or during eliminating--- notice this, it will help when you get to the next step of undies inside and getting them to the potty in time. and again, talk to them about everything. help them learn how it all works, point out what they are doing. if you don't like the idea of baring all for the backyard to see, get some cotton undies and watch for wetness streaming down their legs (they don't take much space in the wash) or just put them in a long shirt.
the official recommendation from pediatricians is to put children on little potties because they will feel more secure with their feet on the ground. we really like the "baby bijorn little potty" it is only about $10... i like potties to be all one piece-- they are easier to keep clean. ikea sells a simple one piece potty for $3. it is a cheaper option (maybe to keep in the basement, outside, or in the car)... but it is a tiny bit higher than the bjorn, so not as good for little bitties... and it tips over a little easier and the bowl shape causes a little more sloshing when carrying to the potty. if you want to high end potty for $20 you can get the "babywunder deluxe" clear potty... again nice one piece, but clear, as the name implies. sounds weird or gross at first, but is great because you don't have disturb the child to see if there has been success, and you can communicate with them as they go, b/c you will sure of what is happening in there ;-) it is shaped like the bjorn , so it is shorter and more stable.
now, a word about pull-ups: i cannot tell you how many times elisha has explained to me that "pull-up: it it it like a diaper" i try to tell him to pretend they are undies and to keep them dry-- but you can't fool the little guys! they are good on occasion ( a stomach virus! or long car trips, or times of absolute need for dry clothes, but you will still be able to take them to the potty) ... but in general you are just using more expensive diapers.
my last tip for the day is: don't ask your child if they need to potty-- just say " its potty time, let's go give it a good try on the potty." what do toddlers love to say? "no"... they are usually not going to choose to stop what they are doing to go potty, just get them used to taking potty breaks. another thing we have learned is that sometimes needing to potty makes kids fussy... so they may resist using the potty most when they need to go the most... strange, i know. but that is another good reason to give babies a chance to pee or poop before bedtimes... a lot of times they will go to sleep easier if they have an empty bladder and a dry diaper.

if you have read all of this, you will find it very helpful and well worth the effort!