Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Here we are as the Wild Things from the book Where the Wild Things Are.  I was so proud of our homemade costumes.  After wearing heels all night while 38 weeks pregnant last year, I have a huge appreciation for the comfort of a costume made of pajamas and Tyler's Tshirt.  We stopped by a few parties Saturday night while Tyler's parents stayed home with Tye.  

Sunday afternoon we went to another party hosted by my friend Ines, where we watched the parade down Halsted Avenue.  Quite a show!  Tye and Marquise both started clapping at the parade.

Hope you had a fun, safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Orange, Black, and Green Halloween

For Halloween this year, we're dressing Tye up as Max from Where the Wild Things Are and Tyler and I are going to be the Wild Things.  I've found most of our costumes at Old Navy.  For Tye's furry hooded Max costume, I picked up these furry pieces.  

I was considering dirtying them up for her so she'd look more like the grey, worn Max, but after a few minutes at a friend's costume party last week, I realized it isn't necessary- she was perfectly grey within minutes of crawling around.  I also sewed on some black whiskers made of thin ribbon, attached a tail, and made a crown out of yellow poster board.  

Tyler will be wearing this sweater from Old Navy, along with grey pants with added grey scales, a tail, and cardboard claws on his hands and feet.
I'll be wearing a brown sweater and brown pants along with the tail and cardboard claws.  I'm in the process of making hats that look like the Wild Things' heads, inspired by this photo:
We'll be able to reuse all of the clothes we bought this year, and we'll save the hats and tails for dress-up for Tye later.  The only waste will be the cardboard hands, feet, and crown (which we'll recycle), the ribbon whiskers, and the scales on Tyler's pants.  Can you tell I'm proud of our re-using abilities this year?  I also love all the costume swaps that are popping up for children's costumes, like the specialty site at   What a great way to re-use an item that has only been worn once, and at a great price, too.  

How are you "greening" your Halloween this year?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cranberry Mama

I am honored to share that I was asked by my friends Alison and Revel of Cranberry Moms to write a guest post today!  Hop on over and read it here.

Alison, her husband John, and their daughter Charlotte stayed with us this weekend and Alison and Charlotte are here for a couple more days this week.  We are loving our time with them!  More pictures of our fun together to come.  

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cranberry Shipment

Our friend Revel, whose family grows cranberries in Massachusetts, was kind enough to share some of her family's harvest with us!  She sent a box of loose cranberries that rattled like a rainstick, which intrigued Tye for almost an hour.

When I opened the box, I was blown away by the beauty of the little berries.  Cranberries have to be the most gorgeous fruit I've seen with their array of rich, dark red to blush pink hues.  Tye liked them, too.

Before I even realized it, Tye had popped a berry in her mouth and was munching away.  I waited for the sourpuss face, but it never came- and in fact, she couldn't wait to shove another in her mouth! (I know, I know, they have to be a choking hazard worse than a grape- but she crunched the berries right away and spent a long time chewing each one under my careful observation.)

I've learned so much this year about cranberries from Revel's blog Cranberry Moms, which she writes with my friend Alison.   I'll have a whole new appreciation for the little berries as I cook and eat them- or join Tye in popping a few in my mouth raw.  Thanks, Revel!

P.S.- These berries came from the bog where the Ocean Spray commercials are shot!  A taste of fame :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Meeting more Great-Grands

We just returned from a long weekend with my maternal grandparents in Johnson City, Tennessee.  Tye and I flew down last week and Tyler met us for the weekend before we all flew back to Chicago together.  Grammy and Papa had never met Tye before, so our trip was well overdue.  It was great to see them! 
(They have two of Tye's favorite things... tickles and remotes!)
Of course, the moment we walked into their home, Tye's eyes widened as she began to take in all the beautiful artwork and artifacts they've collected over the years... so we quickly moved everything out of her little reach.  Grammy couldn't believe that Tye was able to crawl over and onto things, like the bottom (glass) shelf of this antique cart.
Another activity that goes wherever you go... Peek-a-boo!  And what fun with a window inside the house...

Tye also loved getting a ride on Papa's walker, and later pushing it herself.

We were also able to see my cousin Julie and meet her 3 day old daughter, Emily Caroline. (Doesn't Julie look great for 3 days postpartum?)
What a great trip.  We can't wait to go back and visit again!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

To Tye, at 11 months

Dear Tye,

You crack me up.  On a daily basis.  You know how to make me laugh and you do those things over and over just to make me laugh.  Of course, I will do anything to make you laugh, too- games of peek-a-boo, dancing around the house, silly noises and tickle times.  Now when you giggle, I can see teeth on top and bottom.  You have the perfect little jack-o-lantern smile.  

Along with those teeth, you have these scrumptious-looking chubby body parts now that I could just eat right up.  After spending the first few months of your life on the skinny side, you now have thick limbs, fat fingers, and kissably chubby cheeks.  It could be all the food you're eating... You eat like it's going to disappear, especially sweet potatoes, scrambled eggs, and freeze-dried banana.  When you see us eating something that looks tasty to you, you look at us and smack your mouth loudly until it has been filled.  Smart girl already.

We arranged your bedroom this past month, complete with a bed (or mattress on the floor) for you.  I feel good because I know it's the safest place for you to sleep without me, but every time I leave you there asleep, my heart breaks a little.  You can't be growing up this fast.  The mixed emotions remind me of feeding you solids the first time you ate a real meal.  All I could think of was the La Leche League explanation that weaning starts when the baby is fed anything other than breastmilk.  Thinking of you weaning made my heart ache, just as it aches when I see you in your own bed.  I am so happy to see you grow, but so sad to see some of these phases begin to end.  As I laid in bed the other night, sprawled out on my back with you asleep on top of me, your head square in the middle of my chest, my only thought was, This is what comfortable feels like.  

I can't believe you're almost a year old.  One year ago, I was almost finished with my bed rest. How my life has changed in the past 11 months.  You're an amazing little force, Baby Girl.  I love, love, love, love you.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Beach Day

We decided to celebrate the unseasonably warm weather with a picnic at the beach... which turned into a swim at the beach when Tye saw the water.  I've got to hand it to her- she knows how to really celebrate.

Pesticides in the womb cause obesity

An article in last week's Science News exposes a link between pesticides in the womb and rapid weight gain in the child's first year of life, which increases the risk of obesity later in life.  There has been controversy in the past over growth charts for breastfed babies versus formula-fed babies, since formula-fed babies gain more weight initially than breastfed babies, and some breastfed babies were thought to be gaining weight slowly in comparison to their formula-fed counterparts.  This article brings another factor into the weight gain equation, regardless of whether the babies are fed breastmilk or formula.  

Another reason to eat organic foods as often as possible.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

International Babywearing Week

October 6th kicked off International Babywearing Week!  In celebration, a list of reasons I've found to wear Tye:

  • I know she's warm enough in the winter, no matter how cold it is outside.
  • The carrier is the cleanest place to stow a baby when using a pubic restroom.
  • Babywearing allows for nursing while walking the dog, grocery shopping, socializing, cooking (carefully!), cleaning, eating, blogging, waiting at the doctor's office...
  • Wearing Tye as she sleeps while she's sick allows her nasal passages to stay clear enough to breathe comfortably.
  • Having Tye so close helps me notice her subtle signals that she's hungry, tired, or needs to use the potty or be changed.
  • Tye is at conversation level and is able to participate in social interactions.
  • Her head is at perfect kissing height.
  • Strangers are less likely to touch a baby when they have to enter my own personal space to do so.
  • The transition from awake to asleep happens easily, whenever Tye is sleepy, without having to stop whatever else I'm doing.
  • A carrier takes up way less space in a crowded bus, train, sidewalk, store, or restaurant than a stroller.
  • A baby in a carrier goes wherever I go.

  • Two hands are always better than one (or none).
  • There is nothing, and I mean nothing, better than being able to hold and cuddle a baby all day long.
  • Well, maybe there is something better- having a happy, secure, attached baby.

Babywearing International has a more official list of reasons to wear your child here.  

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tiiiiiiiime is on my side (yes it is)

I've always dreaded the end of Daylight Saving Time each fall.  When I was young, it meant the end of soccer practices.  When I was older, being able to sleep in an hour didn't make up for the dark evenings.  Recently, the time change meant that suddenly, my evening commute was spent driving in the dark.  Last year, it didn't make much of a difference to me other than having to walk Mico earlier in the evening and hope his puppy bladder held 'til morning. 

This year, I am really looking forward to the time change.  Tye's sleep patterns have shifted recently in a way that makes daily activities a lot harder for me- she's up until 9:30 or 10 each evening, and then makes up for it by sleeping until 9 the next morning.  While I don't mind sleeping in with her, it makes getting to our 10am activities difficult (and we've been late to every one the past two weeks... something I hate).  And, in order for me to get any time to myself while Tye is in bed, I have to stay awake later than I prefer.  There goes my time to fold laundry, prep food for the next day, and do any work on my computer- like blogging.  Hence my recent absence.  

I think the change in sleep patterns is related to Tye's shifting nap schedule.  Somehow, she's surviving on one nap a day most days.  I'm trying to help gently persuade Tye to sleep in a pattern that will help her fall asleep earlier in the evenings using her bedtime routine of reading stories, then nursing in the rocking chair to lullabyes, but some evenings it just doesn't work.  In the past, I could keep Tye on my breast until she relaxed.  Now, when she'd rather be up and about, she fights back- or should I say, bites back.  And I can't blame her for biting when she's bored with nursing and would rather be playing.  I learned that lessen rather quickly.  

In terms of sleep issues, this one is so minor- Tye is sleeping almost 12 hours a night, and sleeping in fairly good chunks (last night, I got FIVE HOURS of uninterrupted sleep- heaven!!!!!!!!).  She goes to sleep easily once she's tired, whether it's for a nap or in the evening, without being fussy beforehand.  If our social calendar didn't require us to wake up earlier each morning, I wouldn't even worry about it.  Sure, it would be nice to wake up early enough to run and shower before our 10am appointments, then have a couple hours to work and relax after Tye falls asleep each evening... but I can also survive without, and Tye is happy now.  That's why I see the time change as the perfect solution.  Our sleep patterns will swing one hour in the direction I'd like without having to push Tye at all.  I'm still not excited for dark evenings come November 7th, but at least this year there's an up side to the time change.  Of course, things could change in the next month...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The more they sleep, the more they sleep.

Have you ever had a period of days all so busy, so full that you need a day of recovery?  I love being busy, but we hadn't had a break in our schedule for way too long.  Nothing was particularly exhausting (though the teething-induced lack of sleep wasn't helping), but everything was adding up to a sum greater than its parts.  I felt like I do when we return from vacation and I tell myself, I need a vacation from my vacation.   

We finally had our recovery day yesterday.  It was beautiful.  Tye slept until 9:30am.  When she fell asleep for her nap at noon, we were both still in our pajamas.   After waking an hour into her nap, she fell asleep in my arms and I decided to simply sit on the couch and watch recorded TV shows until she woke up.  She took another half hour nap at 5, and still went to bed about 8:30, within her normal range.   I guess I wasn't the only one feeling like I needed a day to recharge.


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