Sunday, July 31, 2011


Check out my super hot (make that hott!) mom! She's lost a LOT of weight (26ish pounds on a 5 foot body) and has gone down two clothes sizes. I am so proud of you Mom! I know you want to lose more but I am proud of you for loosing this first half and I think you look INCREDIBLE!! Thanks for setting a good example.

In honor of so much weight gone, we went through mom's closet and donated everything that was hanging off her. Then we went SHOPPING!! And got her some nice flattering clothes to last till next summer, when we'll have to do it again. 

Because no post is complete without a picture of Shane, below is a picture of him "helping" us pick out clothes in the dressing room. Or maybe he was picking up stickers off the floor under the bench. I'll let you decide.  

And since I'm talking about Shane, I have to tell you some stories I want to remember from today.  As we walked into Target today Shane saw his shadow in the parking lot and stopped to try to grab it. Then he was trying to pick the shadow of his finger off the ground with his finger and thumb. It was hilarious.

While in Target I was carrying him on my shoulders when I felt something wet on my neck. Thinking maybe his diaper had leaked I put my hand up to feel and pulled it away covered in purple puke. Bright purple I-ate-beets-last puke. In my hair and on my shirt and his WHITE clothes. Mom and I looked at each other and cracked up. Poor kid. He's only thrown up like three times in his entire life, including when he was a newborn.

Then on the way home he was pinching his nose shut and making different sounds and laughing at himself. Too funny, I tell you!

In other big news, my grandparent bought a house here in Ohio! Praise the Lord that's out of the way! God put the grease on it--they bid on it one morning, got a counter offer and had their counter counter offer accepted the next day. Wow.  I don't have many details on the move yet but eventually they'll be moving up here from Florida and my mom and dad will be moving in as well. This way they can all help take care of each other. Isn't God great!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Here is a nice article written by a Pediatric Nurse.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

On the road again....

We're on the way to NY for my baby brother's wedding! Shane is starting the trip off right by reading a book. Loudly. With accompanying side effects! So funny.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Columbus Zoo

This weekend Nate and Erika took Mom, Shane and I to the Columbus Zoo. It'a a great zoo, much bigger than ours! We had a lot of fun.

After much applying of sunscreen: "Can we GO ALREADY?!"
 My sister Erika and her husband Nate. Yes, she also married a Nathan. I had mine first.
 Checking out the baby flamingos.
 This was Shane's favorite for the day. A diver was feeding the fish and Mom was able to get Shane a spot right against the glass. He was thrilled!

 Both Mom and I actually got the Lorikeets to get up on our arms. Shane wanted to feed them too, but I didn't want him to get bitten.
 After the zoo we went to this restaurant called The Pub. They serve authentic Brit food, so yummy! Check out these chairs they imported from England--the waitress said they cost about 2200 each!  The server here was really cool. She has a 3 yr old and a one year old so she got along with Shane brilliantly. When he was signing she understood what he was saying because she used sign language with her kids too! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Breastfeeding past infancy

Recently my husband asked me how long I planned on breastfeeding. I was a little surprised, because he’s always been one of my biggest breastfeeding supporters, but I told him: I don’t know, I’m going to let him self-wean, but at least until two, and then until he wants to wean. He expressed surprise, and asked me why I would want to continue so long. Well, I thought, why wouldn’t I want to continue? We’ve got a great thing going here! And what, is 1 year, 365 days, some magical number at which a baby no longer needs to nurse? I don’t think so. He’s not much different at 400 days than he was at 365, except that he’s learning things even faster than before and so needs breastmilk just as much or more as he did before. There isn’t a magical cutoff for when they no longer benefit from breastmilk. That is why child led weaning is so important—they know when they no longer need it.

And it occurred to me, maybe Nathan doesn’t know any of that. I mean, I thought I’ve talked to him about it but maybe I haven’t. Silly me! So here, for him and anyone else who wants to know, are just a few reasons to continue to breastfeed past a year.

1.       It is still a huge part of Shane’s life.  He wants it, needs it, and signs for it regularly. Although he eats regular meals and snacks, he still wants, and needs, nursies. He wants it for thirst, hunger, comfort, snuggles; any reason that he needed it before he turned a year old. It provides a higher level of comfort and reconnection than just snuggles or kisses can.  In fact, our nursing periods are the only time Shane sits and cuddles. Extended nursing also contribues to more secure independence, because they are learning independence on their own time table rather than being forced into it. Nursing fixes everything. At Shane’s age he is learning so quickly that it’s easy for him to become over whelmed, overstimulated, overtired, hurt, frustrated, or any number of new and overwhelming emotions. Nursing fixes it. Nursing is a safe and secure place for him, a great way for him and I to reconnect and relax and for him to realize that I’m still here. Why would I want to deprive either of us of such a great coping tool? 

2.       It is good for Shane’s health. For all the same reasons for as long as we breastfeed. Fewer illnesses, ear infections, allergies, lowered risk of asthma, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, digestive diseases, multiple sclerosis, sleep apnea, and better eyesight and increased cognitive development.

3.       It is good for Shane nutritionally.  Although Shane is eating a lot more solids now, breast milk continues to be perfectly formatted nutritionally for him, for as long as he nurses. He is still getting all of the vitamins and minerals and antibodies he needs, from me. My milk is perfect for him, especially since toddlers are notorious for going through picky stages. Breastmilk fills in all the gaps, and will continue to for as long as he nurses.

4.       It is good for Shane’s teeth. Breastfeeding uses facial muscles bottles and pacifiers do not, and the use of those muscles results in better jaw alignment and less chance of future orthodontic work. And since every person in my family has needed braces, Shane’s going to need all the help there he can get. Breasmilk also contains lactoferrin, which kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay, as well as milk proteins that coat and protect tooth enamel.  

5.       It is good for Shane when he is sick. Toddlers are on-the-go-into-everything, which means they encounter a lot of germs. Should Shane get sick, my body will immediately make antibodies for him and pass them back on the spot.  Breastmilk is very gentle on the stomach and provides a protective lining on the intestines. Sick  babies don’t typically eat food, but it doesn’t matter because he’s still getting complete nutrition by nursing. Breastmilk also hydrates a feverish baby—no need for pedialyte or pediasure or an of those electrolyte drinks.

6.       It is good for my health.  Not only did nursing delay my period coming back until Shane was 7 or 8 months old, it also continues to provide me protection against breast, uterine, endometrial, and ovarian cancer as well as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

7.       The experts think it best. The World Health Organization (WHO), The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), The Surgeon General, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all recommend and encourage extended breastfeeding. Shane's pediatrician and the hospital system in which I gave birth also support breastfeeding past a year. I agree.

Here are a few questions I’ve been asked:

If you breastfeed him, no one else will be able to comfort him.  This is SO untrue. Anyone he trusts can comfort him.  I saw it happen just today, actually; he fell and bumped his head and Aunt Heather picked him up and had him calmed down in no time. If you take the time to play and love and connect with him, he will accept comfort from you. I see it happen regularly.

Wouldn’t it be better for him to have cow’s milk or juice? Nope. Cow’s milk is great, but it’s not full of all the great stuff mine is, nor is it individually formatted just for my baby. See #3 above. He does get milk occasionally, and he likes it, but mine is still best for him. He does NOT NEED cow milk.  And juice? I don’t give him juice. He eats a lot of fruit, and why would I want to teach him to drink something that really isn’t good for you. He loves water and drinks a lot of that. I think water and Mama milk are all he needs right now.

Will he wean when you get pregnant again? I don’t know. I know it is possible. I am willing (at this point!) for him to continue to nurse through pregnancy and then to tandem nurse with the new baby. . But the fact is that some mother’s milk dries up during pregnancy and others have milk all the way through. Some babies will nurse whether there is milk or not. I don’t know what will happen, but I will let Shane decide what he wants to do.

I realize that seeing an older baby nurse make some people uncomfortable but I hope this will explain a little. I hope that people will understand that this is a conscious, informed, well-researched decision, one that I think is best for both my health and Shane’s.  I plan to nurse my babie(s) until they or I decide we’re done. I don’t know if that will be 2 or beyond. I’m not putting a timeline on it. I’m just going to do what comes naturally. 

Here are a few links if you're interested:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Trying for a second baby

I'm very excited--we're going to start trying for Baby #2 when I get home! Well, we actually stopped using protection when Shane turned a year, but I haven't been home really since then. I'm very excited to be pregnant again and to give my little man a sibling. My ideal would be to get pregnant as soon as I get home so that I don't have to be pregnant for much of the summer but obviously that's up to God. (you could put in a good word for me if you wanted while you're praying ;) I figure He blessed us unexpectedly with Shane so he knows the perfect timing for #2 as well.

I actually thought that I might be pregnant in June, I even took a couple tests but they all came up negative and I eventually got my period at 32 days, which is very long for me. I was disappointed, but I really didn't "feel" pregnant so I wasn't surprised. Before I got pregnant with Shane I could set a clock by my cycle. 27 (or was it 28, I can't remember now) days and even about the same time of day, good ole Aunt Flo would show up. Then after Shane was born I didn't see her return until about eight months and since then she hasn't visited regularly. I've gone as little as 14 days and now as much as 32 days! So I don't know how easy it will be to get pregnant again. But, I'll be happy when it does!

One thing I know for sure is that I don't want to get so excited about a second pregnancy that it pushes Shane aside. I don't want to be just focused on the future happiness of a positive pregnancy test, I want to focus on my current happiness with the child I have. I loved being preggers (99% of the time anyway lol) so of course I'm eager to do it again but I never want my desire to trump my reality, if that makes sense. Because my reality includes a darling, joyful, entertaining little urchin that I love immeasurably! I want to stay focused on the here and now, and not the future.

So come on, baby #2; I'll be patient until whenever God blesses us with you. Your mommy loves you already!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cloth Diaper Update

I thought I'd give an update on my CD stash. I have a few more now than when I originally posted here. 

I'm missing one orange one from this picture because it was on Shane's bum. So all told I have 22 diapers, and I wash about every third day. 

Now, I don't know if I have any blog readers any more but if I still do and if any of you are cloth diapering veterans, I have a question. Shane's bum has been getting red a lot lately, and even chafing really badly on parts of his legs where I think the diaper is rubbing. The redness and irritation and chafing didn't start until after I'd been in Ohio for a couple weeks. I don't know if it's related to teething, if I'm using a bad detergent or not a proper amount of detergent, or what. Any suggestions?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

First boat ride

One of the professors Mom used to work for invited us out on his boat! Everyone else was busy with this or that so it ended up just being Mom and Shane and I.

I couldn't believe they had such a small life jacket. Poor Shane, it was like a backboard--he couldn't move at all!
Me before I started getting crazy on the tube. My arms are so sore! They whipped me around and I held on too tightly. It was super fun though!
 Mom, going less crazy but still having fun.
 Shane was SO chilled out. He really seemed to enjoy himself.
After we had fun on the boat we went swimming in the lake. It was lovely. And little fish kept nibbling on my toes!

I'll always remember warmth, a breeze, laughter and happiness, sunshine and cool water.

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July

This fourth of July we celebrated by having a picnic in the park with Erika and her husband Nate.  They brought Cadet, a black lab that we got when I was still in high school.  I was surprised to see how much she looked out for Shane, and of course he had a ball with her! It's the first time in a few years I haven't seen fireworks on the fourth but it was a nice evening anyway.

Carrying around an ice cube

 Dumping out the dog's water and walking in the bowl. His foot fits just right!
Loving on Cadet
 Sharing some of Bopbop's water.
 All tuckered out!

13 Months

You are at such a fun age, Shane. You are such a character, and very expressive in your face! We all really enjoy watching you, and you love to entertain us.

You point at everything, and tell us about it very conversationally.

You sign for nursies, more, water, food, please, and all done. We’re working on thank you.

You like most food, as long as you’re hungry. Meat seems to be a little difficult texture for you now and fruit is certainly your favorite!

You say dog, duck, bird, mom, mama, dad, dada, hi, bye, down, and some version of:  up (mup), all done, and grandma (momomom) and grandpa (abopbop). You are also imitating a lot. You imitate when we say I love you and diaper among other things.  I’ve also heard you quack at a picture of a duck, meow, woof, and click your tongue at the horse picture, which is what grandma taught you to do to get the horse to come to the fence last weekend.

You do a lot of imitation for other things too; facial expressions, hand movements, silly games.

You are crazy expressive in your face:
This is bashful
This is a funny one you do and you also curl up your top lip at the same time and make snuffle noises. You also have a real scowl when you're angry.
 And this is telling me a sermon. GGrandpa Hall says you are going to be a preacher some day. You can also see in this picture that Shane has huge hands.

You love to chase and be chased, and have an especially fun time playing with Uncle Jer and Grappa Du. You love to be played with but you are also very good at playing by yourself. You also love to climb on everything and anything.

You’ve learned to stack all your stacking rings and can get a few shapes into the shape sorter. You give high fives, kisses, and do “so big”!

You are generally easygoing but do have your little moments of anger, usually because something got taken away from you or you have been ignored too long, during which you scowl and occasionally bite. Mommy knows it's hard to be frustrated and unable to express it so I am trying to teach you to clap instead of bite. 

You have always enjoyed books but lately you actually pull specific ones, bring them to us, and want to sit on our lap to look at them. You also have more patience with actually reading them rather than just turning pages or chewing on them.

Your favorite toy this month is a little people airplane with a nose that opens and closes. You spend a lot of time opening and closing the nose and hiding things inside. When you go to bed sometimes I hide things there for you to find in the morning!

You seem to have gone to one nap, and you sleep one to two hours. I don’t feel like it’s enough because you seem tired so I’ve been trying to get you to bed earlier. It hasn’t worked well.  I think we’re back in the stage we were in before your  first birthday but not quite as bad. I think it might have to do with your molars, because you’ve got two broken through (top left and bottom right) with two more about to break through. At the same time you're teething all four molars you are also teething all four incisors; I can see the points just about to break through. We just can't catch a break little man! We got you a Baltic amber necklace last month and it really seems to help you.

I love you, my little joy-bringer!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lake trip

We took Shane to the lake for the second time today. The first time we took him was last summer when I visited and he enjoyed it, but was only three or four months old. He really seemed to enjoy it this trip though!

"I'll help you put the umbrella up, Mama!"
"I'll help blow the float up, Mama!"
 "I'll help put the sunscreen on, Mama!"
 "Nevermind, I'm'a gonna go 'splore the sand, Mama!"
 "Can we PLEEEEEEASE go in the water now?" (There are no pictures of us in the water because my camera isn't waterproof. But after the first few moments when he was nervous he really enjoyed it. We actually thought he might fall asleep in the water, that's how relaxed he was.

We have to go back soon!