Friday, February 27, 2009

Blog Award!

Cheri at Raising Reid has awarded me the Premios Dardos blog award. This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.

Step 1: respond and rework -- answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own.

Step 2: tag - eight other bloggers to do the same.

1) What are you wearing right now?
Lime green t-shirt, blue jeans, no socks or shoes. Mom style at it's best.

2) What is your biggest fear?
Before kids: falling downstairs or tripping and hitting my teeth on the sidewalk. Post kids: childhood cancer.

3) Do you nap a lot?
I wish! Sometimes I get luckily enough to get the two littles to nap together and I catch a few winks. I loved napping with Sean when I was pregnant.

4) Who is the last person you hugged?
Sean gave me a hug and kiss at preschool this morning. I hug on Ella all day, and get a couple hugs a day from Aidan still.

5) What websites to you visit when you go online?
My old born in November 02 group,,, facebook and my blog list.

6) What was the last item you bought?
I bought breakfast burritos and iced coffee yesterday morning for Doug and I.

7) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I've always wanted to spend a summer in Greece, but there are lots of places I'd like to go as well.

8) If you could go to the Oscars, who would you want to sit next to?
Boy, I don't know! I think I'd enjoy talking to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but I don't know if she's an Oscar gal.

9) Has a celebrity's hair cut ever influenced your own hairstyle?
Unknowingly. When I was in college, deep in my punk rock phase, I shaved the sides and back of my hair, but kept long hair on top to wear in a ponytail. I thought it looked bad ass until someone asked me if I'd seen Parenthood. Apparently the teen daughter cuts her hair in a very similar style. BOO!

10) What is your most embarrassing moment?
I recently re-told this story to Aidan and he loved it.

Early in my dating time with Doug, he was in a band called Sufferbus. One night they had a gig and were invited to a friends house for a steak dinner prior to the show. Doug bought me along. Yummy food, nice beers, then we all road back to the gig. We were hanging out together in the van before the show and my tummy gave a rumble and eeked out a stinky steak fart. Luckily it was dark and no one could see my red face. Unfortunately, they could smell it.

Someone started griping and rolling down a window, "Jeez! Who let one rip?"

I turned redder.

Doug was sitting next to me and knew it was me, I looked at him with fear in my eyes, then he said "My bad! Sorry man!"

The rest of the guys opened windows and gave a chorus of "Minner! You stink! That's so wrong man!"

I squeezed his hand in appreciation as he took the fall for me.

I told Aidan, "That's a sign of true love there! If someone stays by your side in spite of a stinky steak fart, then they will stay by your side through anything."

11) What was the last movie you watched?
Tarzan II, Sean's latest obsession.

12) What is the luckiest thing that ever happened to you?
Aside from Doug and our kids, I have won a few minor prizes in raffles.

13) If you had a whole day to yourself with no work, commitments or interruptions what would you do?
Take a long shower by myself! Finish reading some books. Drink BK Mocha Joes.

14) Is there a major goal you have that you haven't yet achieved?
Major goals? I don't know. I have a lot of little goals short term and long term.

15) Drinks are on the house!! What do you order?
Would love a frozen strawberry margarita.

16) What is something that those in blogland might not know about you?
Some might not know that I have four tattoos.

I tag:
Jennifer at Elliot's Nest
JennyH at Life with 4 Kiddos
Brandi at Liginf for the Love
Cheryl at Ruby's Life
Carey at Dream Big
Beverly at Adventures of Homeschooling Noah
Kim at Charlie's Up To
Datri at Opposite Kids

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Picture Tag!

Jennifer tagged me and I am tagging Sarah at RumTum Crafts because she hasn't blogged since Valentine's Day. Hee hee!

I'm supposed to post the 4th photo in my 4th folder and write a description of it. My forth folder is "Diapers" where I hord pics of our cds and action shots for future re-sell use.

Here is Ella Roo sporting a Wiggle Worm Bottoms cover and her momma made babylegs. Baby got back! ;)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

BLW: More Fun with Food

So we have been giving Ella more foods to try, usually one new food a week once a day or once every other day. So far she's had: bananas, avocados, broccoli, apple, and carrots. I finally got my copy of Baby-led Weaning by Rapley and have read about half of it. She does address special needs babies in one section I've read so far.

Babies who have delayed development, muscle weakness or physical deformities of the mouth, hands, arms or back (such as Down's syndrome, cerebral palsy or spina bifida) may do better with spoon-feeding, or with a combination of spoon-feeding and finger foods. However, finger foods shouldn't be ruled out for these babies since they can sometimes be an ideal way to help them develop precisely those skills that they find difficult. Some babies with digestive disorders may need special foods that can't be made into suitable shapes for self-feeding but again, this shouldn't prevent them from having their other foods this way.

In general, all babies of six months or more should be encouraged to explore food with their hands and have a go at feeding themselves as soon as they appear interested. However, if your baby was born prematurely or has particular medical or physical problems, you should seek advice from your baby's pediatrician, dietitian and/or speech and language therapist before deciding whether to use BLW as the only method for introducing your baby to solid foods.

I'll let you know if it comes up again in the book.

For Ella's veggies, I have been putting a few easy-to-handle sized pieces of fresh veggie in a dish with a bit of water, cover it & microwave for 4 mins. This is enough to steam them soft but not mushy. I do not season or butter them, let it cool a bit then give them to her on her highchair.

"Hey, there's something new here."

"Mommy always says I have carrots growing in my ear. Is that where this goes?"

"No, it looks like Mommy is putting them in her mouth."

"Hmm, it's a bit odd."

"Hey, I kinda like it!"

And because you never get too old to have fun with food, I tried a tip I read on Me? A Mom? to get Aidan to eat his bread crusts.

What a hit! He just loved it and gobbled it up then asked for another! hee hee! Thanks, Cara!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Things to Do Today...

Feed cat.


actually, that would be checked for the whole week, it looks like....

too bad not a single piece actually landed in the cat bowl....

The Mom Game Show

A cross between Name That Tune and Survivor.

Schwarmy game show host Tony presents the challenge to two competing moms.

Tony: Ladies, we have one 18 lb baby in a 8 lb infant car seat, 12 sacks of groceries, 2 gallons of milk, a diaper bag and a locked front door. Who can unload the mini van with the fastest and with the least amount of trips?

Mom 1: Tony, I can unload that van in 4 trips.

Mom 2: Tony, I can unload that van in 3 trips.

Mom 1: Tony, I can unload that van in 2 trips.

Mom 2: Go ahead! Unload that van!

Mom 1 unlatches baby carrier and sits baby by the tailgate. She throws the diaper bag on one shoulder, loops 6 bags on one arm, then loops the carrier on the other arm, keys in hand. Staggers to front door, unlocks door, sits carrier on floor & rushes bags to kitchen. Races back out to van. Loops 3 bags on each arm, one gallon in each hand. Pushes tailgate remote to close van doors and races back to kitchen!

Tony: You did it! That's $1000 for Mom 1! For a bonus of $500, get wiggly, refuses to listen or hold hands toddler in the house as well! No meltdowns and you get a chance at the lightening round!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Singer Sessions, Volume III, and More Crafting!

We enjoyed a lovely visit from my mom this weekend. Not only did we get to watch her have a great time loving on her grandkids, but we also got some much needed adult time. She watched all three on Valentine's Day so Doug and I could go out for a quick but very nice dinner. And on Sunday, she kept them occupied while I tinkered around on the sewing machine.

I converted a couple of onesie shirts into t-shirts for Ella. She's too tall in the torso to snap the onesies I had, but they were fine as shirts. I played around with different stitch patterns, so the first one I did isn't as nice as the second. Hey, I'm learning, right? Best of all, it was free stuff I was working on.

Then I decided to try making homemade BabyLegs. I bought a 3-pack of women's knee high socks for $7. I cut the feet off and just zig-zagged a hem on the raw edge to make a lettuce edge bottom. They were super fast to make and I think they look pretty cute!

Ella is a dot-to-dot! hee hee

Aidan did a little craftin'. He made a cd cover. He said, "it's a rock guy giving the horns up!" He sounded out and wrote his version of "rock" above the guy. Love it!

Sean brought home his pirate craft from school today. Too cute!

My mom also did a little crafting while here. She crocheted a heart out of the extra yarn I had from Ella's ruffle longies, then sewed it onto a shirt for me. I will have to add a pic of that outfit tomorrow when Ella wears it. It is darling!

And, yes, I did make the V Day shirts for the kids. Gotta love the freezer paper stencils! It feels so good to take time to make things.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mommy's Little Helper

Sean is such a nice big brother! He really loves to interact with his little sister and help entertain her.

Sharing his love of bubbles with her....

Or teaching her to play ball...

He loves his little Ella Roo!

T21 Traveling Afghan

At Little Miss E's blog, E's momma is starting a traveling afghan project. She is making a blanket that will travel to visit families with kids that have Down syndrome. She is also sending along a journal so each family can make a note about their time snuggling with this special blankie. Sounds like fun!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rest in Peace

Audrey Anna
April 4, 1992 - February 11, 2009

In the foreground with her litter mates.

In my first single college girl apartment, with my pet rats, Ren and Stimpy. She was very gentle with them and, yes, I let them out to play with her.

Helping me study in college.

During our hippy girl phase post-college.

Up to no good!

Meditating on my wedding vows. Doug was reluctant to accept her in his home. He had never had a cat and wasn't too keen on the idea. I told him we were a package deal. he quickly grew to love having her around. :)

She was never fond of kids until we had ours. She would keep a close eye on them and always was concerned when they cried. She loved to snuggle up with them. Here she is with Aidan.

And baby Sean!

We loved you old girl!

Thank you for being such a wonderful friend, Audrey. You gave me almost 17 years of love and fun memories. I will always remember you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Phone Call after Phone Call- finally making progress!

So I decided today to tackle some phone business that I've been dreading. Not because I don't want answers, but because I hate hanging on the phone all day. Luckily, I think it is going to pay off.

1. Sean and Aidan went to the Parents Nite Out fundraiser at Sean's school Saturday night. Doug, Ella and I went to dinner then picked them up. They only stayed 1/2 of the time of the fundraiser. When we picked them up, Sean's glasses were missing. Unfortunately, I didn't notice until we got home and didn't find them in his bag. I waited till Monday to see if they were in the office and no one has any idea what happened to them. After searching high and low, I am giving up.

First, I called a local optical shop to see about getting new glasses filled there instead of at his pediatric opthomologist's office (it's an hour away.) Then I had to call the Ped Op to get the Rx transferred. Then I started emailing with Specs4Us about getting a pair of their frames to try. More calls with the optical shop regarding fitting Sean. Calls to Medicaid about coverage for replacing lost glasses.

Good news is he gets 3 pairs a year covered. Good news is the local shop is willing to try the Specs4Us frames. Bad news is it will take a couple weeks to get them in and lenses made.

2. Per Beverly's advice, I called the medical equipment place we used for a nebulizer and asked about Medicaid diapers. Good news is she is mailing me all the forms and info I need to send to her to get that rolling.

3. I'm taking the leap into a difficult decision. I am taking my 16 year old cat to the vet tomorrow to discuss putting her to sleep. We have been trying to get her potty issues under control for over a year and I just can't do it anymore. I can't have Eleanor crawling on pee-stinking floors. Doug is tired of shampooing the carpet every morning. I am tired of the lingering smell. She hasn't been in good health in a long time and I just need to let her go for her sake and ours.

My parents don't think I can do it, they've heard me complain about her for too long. Fact is, I love my children more than my pet and I have to put their needs first. It is going to be hard on the boys, especially Sean as he loves his kitties so. Luckily, our other cat hasn't followed Audrey's path of destruction. So we will still have one fluffy kitty to love on.

Please give me strength to do what I need to do tomorrow. Audrey and I have been together since the day she was born, in fact I watched her birth. It's going to be hard to lose my old friend.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm Iriked at our Pediatrician

I took E in for her 6 mo WBV this morning and the first thing the Ped did when she walked in the room was hand me a print out(written and funded by the maker of RotaTeq) that tries to dispute information from The Vaccine Book by Dr Sears. This is 4 months after she told me "We will just have to agree to disagree on this, but I will let you follow that schedule."

Plus, I asked her 3 different times (in the past 3 months) about Medicaid funded diapers for Sean and she always says "I'll look it up and call you" but hasn't. She said she knows she just needs to write a script and has done it for another family but then she doesn't follow up with me!

Yet she has time to look up anti-Sears info...

In other news, she said Eleanor was doing great and looked good. She weighs 17 lbs 7 oz (70th %) and is 27" (90th %) tall.

Of course, the Ped wanted to make sure I was starting solids (which she defined as iron-fortified rice cereal) and suggested I give her baby multivitamins since she isn't getting copious amounts of artificial vitamins from infant formula. *rolls eyes and plugs ears, asks, mentally, "And when did you become a nutritionist?"*

This little one is the picture of good health, flourishing on 100% mother's milk, the way nature intended infants to grow.

Combine the above remarks and attitudes with her poorly worded compliments:
"She has a beautiful round head, no flat spots at all! I just don't see...well actually I do see parents just leave their babies laying around and get those flat spots." (Nice way to lay blame on parents!)

"I bet you've forgotten what it's like to have a baby that eats! Well, of course Sean has his texture issues to overcome, but there comes a time when you need to put on your Mean Mom Face and just say that's it!" (Yes, I'm a pushover and that's why Sean has feeding issues.)

(After I said that I started giving Ella a bit of food to try last week, but not much has been ingested yet.) "You know my daughter is still pushing it out with her tongue too. (Her daughter is a week younger than Ella.) I told her, 'Listen hear, sweetie, you've got to get the hang of this! I can't keep nursing you all the time much longer!'" (Tongue thrust reflex is an indicator that a baby is not ready for solids yet.)

Sigh. You know I don't expect that I will find a dr the has all my parenting ideals or the sensitivity learned by being a SN parent, but it gets tough to grin in bare it every visit. I have to keep in mind that I go to the dr for medical advice, not parenting advice.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Uh Oh! He Kissed a Girl!

Thursday evening, Aidan and I sat down together to make a birthday card for his best girl friend, Mali. She turned six that day and he wanted to make a card to give to her the next day since we forgot to the night before. So Aidan got out his crayons and paper, I folded the sheet in half and told him to color on the outside and we'd right a message on the inside.

He drew pictures of himself and Mali playing outside in the sun, under rainbows. He had me help him draw a dress on Mali and colored it with purple polka dots. He put a lot of time and details in his drawing and then asked me to help write inside. He said, "I want it to say 'This is why I love Mali...'" I said, "How about if we write, 'Things I like about Mali' instead?" He agreed and had me write the following list of attributes:

1. You are nice.
2. I like to play with you.
3. You are cute.
4. We are in the same class.
5. You are fun.

Then I wrote, 'Happy Birthday, Mali. Your friend,' and he signed his name. I gave him one of my fancy velum envelopes to seal it up in and we tucked it in his backpack for Friday.

When Doug arrived to pick up Aidan from school, Mali's mom was also there and Aidan's teacher stepped aside with them to tell them that something happened between Aidan and Mali. Aidan kissed Mali at school. Mali told the teacher that Aidan did this and the teacher talked to Aidan about how we need to respect each other's personal space and do not hug and kiss at school. Mali's mom was not upset, said something along the lines of "A budding romance!" Doug apologized and said he was sure that Aidan wouldn't do it again. Aidan gave Mali his card to open at home and they all left.

Aidan was very upset about the whole thing. He cried, "She doesn't love me! She isn't my friend because she told on me! She thinks I'm a doofus!" He said that he just kissed her on her cheek because he wants her to be his valentine. He was just sure that he'd lost his best friend. We assured him that it was probably all okay and that Mali wasn't mad at him. We told him that schools just have rules that you can't give hugs and kisses to your friends.

Our little Casanova! If this is six what will sixteen be like?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Vintage Cartoons

Doug took over bedtime routines and tuck ins for the boys when Eleanor was born. I admit, it's been hard at times for me to sit on my hands and zip it so that he can do things his way with them. Luckily, the boys enjoy this special time with Daddy and they all seemed to adjust fairly well.

One thing that Doug does that is different from my method, is he incorporated time for a short cartoon before bed. The three pile in together and watch one on the bedroom tv. Doug selected vintage cartoons for this time because they are short and the boys enjoy them. He made dvd copies of the entire Pink Panther cartoon collection and is now collecting vintage Looney Toons. It's so amazing to see how these old cartoons, most without dialog, keep the boys quiet, relaxed and riveted. Doug loves reliving his childhood memories of watching these and recites lines he remembers. Last night it was "My mama done told me... bring home somethin' for dinner!"

The boys love sharing this time together and it really helps them zip up to bed and get in jammies. They bargain with him for "just one more" but have been surprisingly peaceful about Doug's limits. Sometimes I am jealous that I don't get to snuggle in with them!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Baby Led Weaning has Begun!

Ella will be 6 months old tomorrow (!! where did the time go?!) and I plan on BLWing with her.

Aidan did BLW before I knew anything about BLW. LOL He just didn't want runny baby food, absolutely refused to have anything to do with it or momma mashed foods. When he was 9-ish months old he started sampling table foods and gradually transitioned himself. His table food eating never impaired his breastfeeding, but rather supplemented it at first and provided an opportunity for him to explore foods. He has a very healthy appetite and love of fruits and veggies. I am very happy with how his transition worked out.

Sean was receiving home-based therapy when he reached the age of starting solids. His speech/occupational therapist insisted that we start with rice cereal and other commercially prepared baby foods as she said it was "important" to make sure he had a regulated texture to learn from. It was against my every belief, but I felt at the time that I didn't know enough about Ds to know if she was right or not. I trusted her advice and followed the AAP feeding schedule. I like to call it the Gerber Schedule :P When I look back at it now, I see that Sean did not show the signs of being developmentally ready for solids: he was not sitting independently, could not pick up and put objects in his own mouth purposely, and was not showing a particular interest in our food. This path completely backfired on us. He became texture adverse and psychologically dependant on those evil little jars. We have spent the past 3 years trying to unlearn this behavior and make the transition to table foods. We feel very lucky that he has had the whole nutrients from breastmilk to fill in the gaps in his diet since he doesn't eat a balanced variety. It has been an emotional and difficult road for him and our family to feed him.

I began reading about the Rapley book before Ella was born and realized that it was a philosophy that I agreed with. I am so glad to have the research available to support me!

As part of Sean's feeding therapy, I am going to include him in my BLW time with Ella. I am hoping that the two of them can BLW together and that we can all enjoy the experience.

Ella is sitting independently, has 2 teeth, picks up objects and brings them to her mouth and shows a lot of interest in our food. Yesterday I decided to kick off our adventure and offered both kids a banana. I gave Ella 3 baby palm size pieces to play with and gave Sean the remaining banana in the skin, peeled open. He wanted to hold it and eat it like Aidan.

Sean took several tiny bites of his banana, chewed and swallowed them. Ella played with her pieces and brought them to her mouth a couple of times, licking and sucking on them before dropping them. They both enjoyed playing with their snack!

At this time, I plan on giving them a food to try once a day, every other day for a week before trying a new food. Sean does feeding therapy at school every day but at home we have not pushed the issue, but let him try things if he initiates the desire to do so. We feel like he is starting to make some wonderful progress and want to keep gently encouraging him at home on a regular basis.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Just Shy of Six Months Old...

and Miss Eleanor Ruby is sitting independantly!

That is, of course, until a strong wind blows her down! hee hee hee

After four years of watching Sean slowly inch towards his milestones, it just doesn't cease to amaze me how easily and quickly typically-developing children grow. I am just trying to soak up every bit of her baby time because I see it slipping by so fast.

Congratulations, baby girl!

oh, a P.S. I have noticed that we always seem to take photos or videos while in the same room, our little family room. It's not that we do not use the other rooms, it's just that the camera is back there so I tend to grab it and shoot where we are at! I look foward to warmer days where we can get out and take nice photos playing in the sun! Rumor has it that it is supposed to be near 70 this weekend! *thud*

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Banana Before Bed

Okay, maybe he is starting to get this food thing!

Aidan was yelling at his video game in the background on that. Let's try this again without Aidan's antics.

Of course, Sean insisted on a whole banana to himself, like Aidan had, then only had a few nibbles. Mommy got to eat the rest.

We met a family yesterday for a playdate that has a new baby with Down syndrome, then we all went to lunch together at McDonalds. Sean ate lots of ketchup off of a fry, then he took Aidan's cheeseburger scrap and dipped it in ketchup for a while. He took a tiny bite of the cheeseburger bun as well! I showed him how to dip the apples in caramel and tried to get him to taste that, but he told me no. When I went to sit down at the other table, we all saw him take an apple, dip it in caramel and try it. Apparently he wasn't too excited about it, as he stuck the rest of the apple back in the bag. LOL I will probably start letting Ella experiemnt with solids within the next couple of weeks and I think I will just sit them both in their booster chairs at the same time and have "Food Play Time." Peer pressure has to have some benefits!

Speaking of eating, what's on your Super Bowl menu? We are just hanging out at home and having Doug's brother over for the game. Here's our game munchies:
Boneless Hot Wings
Pizza Rolls
Baked Potatoes with the Works
Little Smokies in Pinapple Sauce
Spinach & Artichoke Dip with blue corn chips
and of course, beer! I requested some PA beer, so we got some Rolling Rock.

Game on, folks!