Car Seat Safety, Precious Bundles, and Oops

I’ve said before that I felt people needed to just back off of Kate Middleton.  It seems like a lot of folks are interested in using her parenting and pregnancy experiences (and mistakes) to further their own agendas.  I have a feeling that @Britax and #carseatsafety are probably trending on Twitter right now… especially since Prince William was seen carrying their new baby in a Britax seat.  Car seat safety will become a topic, too. [Read more…]

Random Acts of Cuteness (Wordless Wednesday)

I was looking through some of my old pictures of Norton for some Daily Cute Fluffy Bum posts on Cloth Diaper Addicts… and I came across this little gem.  It’s not a fluffy bum, but it’s far too cute not to use.

Random Acts of Cuteness

Happy First Birthday, Eudora!

One year ago today, I started the morning out just sure that it was the day.  I spent some time in bed timing my contractions.  They stayed pretty consistent.  The husband called our doula.  I ate strawberries for breakfast and then threw them back up.  In the end, I spent a lot of time barfing, but I got a beautiful little baby out of the deal.  Today is my beautiful baby girl’s first birthday!

To think, she started out looking like this:

Happy First Birthday, Eudora! (Motherhood Looms)

A newborn Eudora. I hadn’t even seen her at this point since I was too busy throwing up in the post op recovery unit after my c-section.

She weighed eight and a half pounds at birth, so she wasn’t tiny.  However, she’s awfully tiny for her age, now.

Happy First Birthday, Eudora!

Here’s Eudora helping me shop at CozyBums

At around eighteen pounds, she’s my perfect little shopping buddy.  She’s light enough to carry, interactive enough to be fun, and is absolutely fascinated with the world around her.  Plus, she really loves exploring cloth diapers, so that makes her a better shopping buddy than her dad!

Happy first birthday, my beautiful baby girl.



Norton & Eudora’s Birthday Party!

A birthday party can be an adventure.  Some parents want to plan a huge birthday party, complete with renting a hall and hiring ponies.  Some parents will just do a simple cake.  Others fall somewhere in between.  With Eudora and Norton’s birthdays only eight days apart and the in-laws getting ready to travel again, it made sense to do a joint birthday party… even if it was much harder on my husband and cake decorator.

This was supposed to be a Wordless Wednesday post, but I realized that I had way too much to say about the event to be wordless.  The cakes were both made at home and decorated by my loving husband.  No, it’s not his job.  He’s a systems administrator who does awesome Martha Stewart worthy cakes for our kids’ birthdays.

Norton & Eudora's Birthday Party!

Eudora’s smash cake, lovingly baked and decorated by her daddy.

Norton & Eudora's Birthday Party!

Norton’s Thomas the Train cake. It was going to be a 3D Skarloey, but we didn’t have enough red or black icing dye.

Norton & Eudora's Birthday Party!

What birthday party is complete without candles? Norton is getting ready to blow out some candles for the third time. (He kept blowing them out before we got a chance to sing.)

Norton & Eudora's Birthday Party!

Eudora started out picking at her cake… then she got a taste of it and really went to town!

Happy birthday to my beautiful babies!

Feeding Babies Formula Will Turn Them Into Trolls

This just in: feeding babies formula will turn them into trolls.

Okay, not really.

I’m down with breastfeeding, as long as it’s not my breasts doing the feeding.  I will never even try to refute the medical superiority of breastfeeding.  I’ll support the rights of any woman to breastfeed any time and anywhere.  Some of my closest friends have breastfed right in my living room.  What I really, really hate is the pro-breastfeeding people making ignorant statements about feeding babies formula. [Read more…]

Infant Behavior of the Violent Sort

Eudora is such an awesome little girl. She’s a beautiful little princess who is very nearly always happy. It’s amazing to watch her move through stages of development. And of course, seeing how her infant behavior changes to reflect the stages of development is always fun.

She’s just neat.

Lately, there’s been an undesirable infant behavior that’s been popping up. It’s a side effect of her becoming so very proficient in the developmental milestone of pulling up. Eudora will hurt. Since I’ve sat down to type this post, she has pinched me three times, slapped me, and pulled my hair. (I type really fast, so it’s not like this is something that’s taking forever.)

Infant Behavior of the Violent Sort (Motherhood Looms)

The bruise and the red blotches are from Eudora pinching.

What makes it sort of worse in a way is that she’s not trying to hurt me at all. The pinches come from Eudora trying to pull up to standing while holding on to my arm. I don’t wear sleeves. So she ends up pinching me. We’re not talking about little tiny pinches. We’re talking about “my arm always has at least one bruise” from pulling up. I don’t bruise easily. When that particular infant behavior pops up, I’ve yelled (not intended to startle her, but because it hurts). Of course, because she’s not out to hurt me and she pulls up on everything in a similar manner, it’s not really making much of an impact.

The pulling my hair was done for a similar reason.

I’m just not sure what I should be doing. I tried tapping her hand to correct that particular infant behavior, but the tears and look of confusion didn’t help. It’s bad enough that her big brother will beat her up whenever he gets a chance. I don’t want to have an undesirable infant behavior become a full-blown “toddler beating up other kids on the playground” behavior or anything. I just need to figure out the appropriate infant discipline for this.

Norton did things at that age, but pinching me was not among the “unpleasant infant behavior” issues that we had. They are just two completely different children with two completely different temperaments.

Have you experienced painful infant behavior? How did you correct it?

Baby Giggles and Rubber Ducks

Baby Giggles and Rubber Ducks (Motherhood Looms)I firmly believe that baby giggles are the most wonderful sound in the world.  And Eudora’s baby giggles are the most intoxicating sound ever made.  Yes, I’m biased.  I’m her mother.  I should be.

Eudora adores rubber duckies.  Norton was also quite fond of them at her age, so I realize that it’s not an unusual phenomenon.  But what’s interesting is that Eudora doesn’t play with rubber duckies just in the bath tub.  She likes to play with her rubber duckies whenever she can.  (This is part of the reason that we don’t use the rubber duckies with the holes in the bottom.  We use the ones that we call “hot duck” to avoid sprays and the mold growth that happened with our cheap stash of duckies that Norton played with.)

Last night during a diaper change, she kept yelling “Duh!” at him.  Finally, he said “Duck?”

Her little face lit up and she just burst into precious little baby giggles.

He brought her out to the living room for her final feed of the night.  She was clutching the rubber duckie and errupting into peels of baby giggles every time her daddy said “Duck!”

It continued as she climbed around the loveseat with me.  She was far too busy playing with her duck to want to feed.  She did, however, kindly attempt to share her rubber duckie by attempting to shove it in my mouth.  There were also sound checks: she’d bash her rubber duckie on my laptop table, on the wall, on any other available surface.  She thought it was the happiest, most brilliant thing in the world.  When she’s having that much fun, she really has no interest in food.

It took a few times of her announcing, “Duh!” for me to realize that she was actually attempting to say “duck.”  Finally, we had Eudora’s first word.  (Well, other than Mama and Dada.)

What kind of words made your baby giggle?

Self-Feeding Princess – Mostly Wordless Wednesday

My lovely little princess is a cute little girl.  She’s also getting more independent by the day.  Some skills are yet to be mastered, though… like using a spoon.




Toddler Jealousy – Now What?

Toddler Jealousy - Now What?

This is a rare moment of peaceful interaction.

I knew that we’d have some changes in life as Eudora became more mobile. We’d have to get used to having a tiny person who puts things in her mouth. One thing that I did not anticipate was an unbelievable increase in toddler jealousy.

Norton has always had issues with his baby sister. Granted, the birth and homecoming wasn’t exactly what we’d had in mind.  Our plans for a VBAC didn’t work out.  The husband was so sick with a stomach flu that he couldn’t come get us. My mother-in-law had to pick us up.  I was also starting to come down with that same stomach flu.  In short, Norton ended up spending five days at his grandparents’ house.  It was the longest that he’d ever been away from us.  Then he finds that little baby sleeping in his old room and riding in his old car seat.  Toddler jealousy was pretty rough for that first little while.

For a couple of months, we kind of reached a sort of uneasy truce.  Norton had stopped napping altogether.  Eudora was still taking two naps a day.  We usually had our Mommy and Norton time while Eudora took a nap.  Then all at once, Eudora started crawling and dropped a nap.

That was was the end of the truce.  Norton was no longer able to just ignore her.  Oh, he’d try, but Eudora would commit the intolerable acts of touching his toys and petting his puppies.  That was what caused the resurgence of toddler jealousy.  At first, it was manageable.  He’d snatch a toy from her.  Maybe he’d push her if she touched something of his.  It was always dealt with swiftly.

The more mobile Eudora got, the worse the toddler jealousy issues got.  Now I can’t turn my back for a second.  Even going from the living room into the kitchen to get a bottle is enough time for toddler jealousy to rear its ugly head.  He’ll push her or hit her.  Eudora is no angel, either.  She will pre-emptively scream like he’s killing her because he brushes up against her or even looks at her.

I’m completely at my wit’s end.  I can’t get anything done.  My house is in shambles.  I have to try to minimize bathroom breaks even.  And him telling her “no no” when she does anything (including climb on me or play with her own toys) is getting beyond old.  Sending him to his room for timeouts has no effect.

Have you ever had to manage toddler jealousy?

Choosing a Convertible Car Seat – Decisions, Decisions

We’ve come to that point.  Eudora is nine months old.  While there’s still plenty of time left for choosing a convertible car seat for her, it’s something that’s on my radar.  Right now, Eudora is using a Graco SnugRide 35.  There’s no way that she’ll outgrow it before she’s a year old.  However, it’s getting heavy and I don’t like to carry it, so I’m interested in us choosing a convertible car seat now rather than later.

With Norton, choosing a convertible car seat was easy.  I wanted him to have a Britax Advocate, and that’s what we’ve got.  The Britax Advocate is a great seat, and we got it on sale for $100 off.  I was also doing a lot more paid writing then, so money was really not an issue.  I wanted the best convertible car seat that I could get for him.

With Eudora, I find myself thinking more about what we should do.  I have three ideas for choosing a convertible car seat.

1.) Skip the Convertible Car Seat

Choosing a Convertible Car Seat – Decisions, Decisions (Motherhood Looms)  One thought I have is to skip out on choosing a convertible car seat altogether.  Instead of buying another convertible seat, just buy Norton a Britax Frontier XT.  The Britax Frontier XT is a front facing only model, which is not a big deal.  Norton is already forward facing in the Britax Advocate.  The Frontier XT can be used as a five point harness front facing car seat for up to 65 pounds and as a booster seat for up to 120.  If we did that, we’d just put Eudora in Norton’s Advocate.

Pros – The Frontier XT would be the last car seat we’d ever have to buy for Norton.  It lasts for nine years, which would put him at eleven when the seat expires.  I also don’t think that he’ll be able to ride in the Advocate until he reaches 65 pounds.  (Note: while the Britax Advocate is rated up to 70 pounds in the US, Canadian laws and standards are different.  Here, it’s the Britax Advocate CS 65.)  I expect him to hit the height limit long before he hits the weight limit.

Cons – How would Norton feel about Eudora ending up with his old seat?  Would he be jealous over it, or would he pitch a royal fit because it’s “his”?

2.) Stick with what we know

Choosing a Convertible Car Seat – Decisions, Decisions (Motherhood Looms)I already know that I love the Britax Advocate.  That seat is like a tank.  Granted, it weighs about a billion pounds (okay, really, it’s more like 22 pounds, but the point is, it’s no light and flimsy thing), so I’m not inclined to move it from car to car, but we’re a one car family anyway.  At the end of the day, I know that the Advocate is a great seat.

Pros – That seat has better lumbar support than the driver’s seat in my van.  In fits awesome to rear facing.  And it would be strictly Eudora’s, so we wouldn’t have to put up with Norton feeling slighted because Eudora is using his old seat.

Cons – It’s expensive.  Really expensive.  We’ll eventually have to move up to booster seats for both kids anyway.

3.) Go for different

Choosing a Convertible Car Seat – Decisions, Decisions (Motherhood Looms)Everyone I know that has the Diono Radian RXT (formerly known as the Sunshine Radian XT) loves it.  It would be the last car seat that I ever buy for Eudora, as it’s valid for nine years.

Pros – It’s a highly regarded seat by everyone except for Consumer Reports.  It’s reasonably priced for something that she’ll use until she’s outgrown a seat.  It has a weight range for up to 120 pounds.  It’s a narrower seat, but still quite safe.

Cons – I’ll still have to get Norton a booster seat eventually.  And I have to admit, I do feel exceptionally secure with putting my child in that huge, hulking behemoth of an Advocate.

Honestly?  I’m thinking now that I’ve talked myself into either the Radian or the Frontier… but I’m still not 100% for sure on which one will serve us best.  Which would you get?

Update: Ultimately, I did go with the Frontier, and I’m happy with that decision.