Monday, March 30, 2009


I have no daycare kiddos today as Boo is sick. So I've been rearranging today, when I'm not sitting and holding Boo anyways. T and I had decided that we wanted to change around the upstairs. The arrangement had been a bedroom for Boo and a bedroom/office for me and T. That has not been working well. In our bedroom we had a computer desk, a huge bookshelf, a dresser, a printer stand, and a bed. And let me tell you, it's not a big bedroom. So, it's just been too cramped and almost impossible to keep clean because there's just too much stuff that goes into one little room. Boo is pretty much never in his bedroom. He naps in there during the day, but we still cosleep at night. So this is what we decided. We nixed Boo's bedroom as it's never used. He's at the age where he really doesn't want to go into his room to play by himself, know what I mean? That will come later. So we moved our bed into his room and we now all share a bedroom. So what used to be me and T's bedroom/office is now only going to be an office. Boo's toyshelf from his bedroom was moved into the office so that he has stuff to play with if we're spending time in there at the computer.

Now T will have room for his art desk in the newly created office. Eventually we'd like to add one of those little children's easles to the room so that Boo can create alongside daddy or mommy.

Anyways, I'm digging the new bedroom as I'm excited about being able to go to sleep at night and not see the piles of junk on the computer desk. And I think this arrangement makes way better use of the space in our upstairs. By the time Boo is actually wanting a room to play in I'm sure we'll have moved anyways. So this seems a much better arrangement for our family right now.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fun with books

I've found a line of books that is absolutely wonderful for reading with my little one. What better way to enhance attachment with your children than sitting and reading together. In fact, these are some of my favorite moments with Boo. He loves sitting on mommy's lap while I read to him. Anyways, he focus of this book company is on providing quality storytelling with quality art. I can tell you firsthand that the books are amazing. I'm working on building up my own collection. They also carry some wonderful music CDs called Putamayo Kids. I use them on a daily basis in my daycare and Boo LOVES them. The music CDs feature music from different cultures that appeal to children and they're nice because it's great music and not that jarring, abrasive sound sometimes found in children's music CDs. I've got some of their board books and love them. A paperback that I bought is "Magic Train Ride" - LOVE it, LOVE it, LOVE it. Boo, my little one, asked for it "agaim" and "agaim" and "agaim". I'm actually considering basing the theme of his second birthday party on it as there's lots of room with the book to work in crafts, activities, etc...

Anyways, I'll stop gushing now. They've got free shipping this weekend. There's a banner on the right you can click on if you'd like to browse and get free shipping this weekend. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chores - What Do You Think?

I was talking with a friend on the phone the other day and asked her out of curiosity how she handles chores, allowance, that sort of thing around her house. I really thought her approach was great so I thought I would share. And to the person that I spoke with, feel free to comment if I screw up some detail of this.

Basically, the approach is that a child has some sort of household chore that contributes to the family in a significant way. This could be dusting, dishes, cleaning the bathroom, etc...But something that contributes to the house as a whole. This is not a paid chore. This is expected as a contributing member of the family. In addition, if a child is interested in making some money, there are some extra things that a child could do around the house in order to earn money.

I LOVE this approach and am going to try it when Boo is old enough. Although, I do try to incorporate him now as he's able. Here's what I love. I love that the child is contributing to the family. To me, this seems as though it would incorporate a strong sense of family, community, helping one another, etc...It seems like it would help to instill the value of family and relying on family. I like that it's NOT paid. I think the danger in rewarding every little thing a child does is that it can lead to a sense of entitlement and/or a manipulative mindset. I do because I want this, that, or the other. Or I don't do because someone else will do it for me. Instead, I think children need to learn to give of themselves to their family because it's the right thing to do and experience that internal reward that comes from contributing and being a part of something larger than yourself. It seems that overusing extrinsic rewards robs children of the opportunity to learn the value of intrinsic rewards.

I have seen this first hand when I worked in a residential facility that used a behavioral point program. Every behavior had a consequence, good or bad. And children did learn to "behave well", especially the older ones who had been at this facility for awhile. But only when someone was looking who could award the appropriate points. In short, they learned to manipulate to get what they wanted. They did not internalize many values that I would want my child to internalize. It was quite sad actually. That's an extreme example as most parents do not have their children on a point card or some other such overly structured method. However, I have to wonder even about sticker charts and the like. Now I'm not saying that those things never have a place. Like many things, perhaps used in moderation.

There is some research out there and some books that are on my "I'd like to read" list that delve into this subject. Here's a link to one of the books that I'd like to read. I know there's another one, but I can't remember the name.

Punished by Rewards

And back to the original post of chores and my friend's approach. I do like that there are some extra things that a child can do to make money. I strongly feel that children need some way to make money from an early age so that they can learn money management skills early under the safe guidance of their parents.

Anyways, thoughts anyone? And, to the friend who uses this approach, if I've left anything important out or you'd like to expound on your approach, feel free!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Conference

Well, the conference was pretty great. It was long and exhausting, but in a good way. It was a bit of a challenge being at sessions with a toddler, but lots of other moms had young children with them also. I think Boo enjoyed seeing and playing with the other children. I found myself juggling attending to Boo and listening to the speakers, but I think I came away with some great information. An unintended result is that I came away with increased confidence in my ability to mother my child in a manner that is appropriate and loving.

Some of my favorite sessions were Nursing Fashionably in Public, Babywearing why and how, and The Science Behind Attachment Parenting.

I won a sling too! That was pretty exciting. I entered a raffle and won a sling. Boo seems to like it. It allows him to be on the side of me - where I'd be carrying him with my arms if I was carting him around somewhere. The babycarrier that I brought with us to the conference was my Ergo carrier. I LOVE this carrier - it's so comfortable for my back and it's my carrier of choice when I know he's going to be in there awhile. He really enjoys being on my back too. I have my homemade wrap that I never use. I figured out why at my Babywearing session. I need to cut the width of my fabric in half. It's just way too wide, which makes it incredibly cumbersome to use.

Anyways, it was a good time. It was so great to see so many other mothers wearing their children around and nursing their toddlers. Sometimes I feel a bit like the "lone ranger" because of my parenting choices. But that's a result of the culture I live in. I would fit right in other places in the world. So it was nice to feel like I "fit" for an entire weekend!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Off To My La Leche League Conference Today

As I posted previously, I'm going to a local LLL conference. I'm commuting with the local LLL leader. I'm super-excited. It will be like "mommy school", "lactation school" and some other things all rolled into one. I'm really looking forward to expanding my knowledge in the field of breastfeeding and attachment parenting. One of the sessions I signed up for is Attachment Parenting focused and it's taught by Dr. Bob Sears - Dr. William Sears' son. I'm super excited for that one. I think this will be a nice weekend to spend with Boo and to focus on my continuing education. It's something positive that I can throw my thoughts and energy into while feeling the loss of my pregnancy.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Quality of Midwifery Care

Many of you know that for my pregnancy with Elfie I went to a midwife instead of an OB. I had an OB for my pregnancy with Boo. I have to say that even though things ended badly (I miscarried), I loved the midwife that I was working with. The quality of care that I received was amazing. Early on, when I was having some issues, I called her late at night and we talked about what was going on with my body and what could possibly be happening. She explained some options to me as far as how to proceed and I went from there. What I really loved is that she explained my options to me and left the decision with me. Sometimes medical professionals have a way of telling clients what to do, rather than empowering clients to make their own decisions. Granted, there are some emergency situations where their wouldn't be time for something like that and that's when it's important to have a provider that you trust. But most medical decisions are not immediate crisis situations, even if some medical professionals try to make us feel that way!

After I miscarried my midwife gave me a big hug and gave me her condolences. She was very supportive and encouraged me to call her if I need anything. A few days later she called to see how I was doing. Her voice shook as she explained her sorrow over what had happened and how she wishes she could've done something, but knows that she couldn't have. To me that's what makes her a truly great provider - she cares. I like to think many in the medical profession care, and perhaps they do and aren't great at showing it.

Anyways, while the whole experience of having a miscarriage sucked, I have to say that the care I received was truly amazing. It was holistic, natural, and nurturing.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Poem for Elfie

Peek-a-boo Angel Baby

Peek-a-boo baby
Oh where did you go?
Peek-a-boo baby
I long to hold you so

Tiny one, did you fly
To Heaven?
Mommy can't hold you there
But God can

Peek-a-boo baby
I'll find you someday
On a cloud, on a star
Beyond the Milky Way

Dear precious one
Until that time
Bask in God's love
Which is truly divine

Replaced Blog

I replaced Sexyby30 with Sexy-duck. Given recent events, I'm restarting my weight loss journey and I don't have as much time before 30 now, so I want to be realistic. And now I can stick with my duck theme. So feel free to check out the new blog.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

La Leche League Conference!!!

Woohoo...I'm officially signed up for the La Leche League conference this month. YAY! Three days of breastfeeding/parenting/La Leche League education! Dr. Jack Newman is going to be there for the first day. I'm super excited to hear him in person. I watched some videos on his website to help me through some breastfeeding issues I had when Boo was younger. This will be a great weekend. I'm going to be commuting with the local LLL leader, so I'm excited to get to know her better also.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Playful Parenting

I've been working on the book Playful Parenting for some time. It's a really good book, but I can only read a bit at a time because there is so much to absorb. Normally I read stuff at breakneck speed, but I'm restraining myself with this book because I really want to soak it all in.

It's a very good resource and I think it would be helpful to a parent of any age child. I imagine this will be a book that I will reread a few times as Boo ages. And I will probably pick up on something new every time I read it. There's just that much good information in it.

Here's a link to the author's website. There's a picture of the book and a description of it there:

Playful Parenting

Friday, March 6, 2009

Struggling to be gentle and positive

I don't know why but I'm really struggling with being gentle and positive today. I just want the kiddos to behave like angels and make my day easy for me...LOL! Honestly, they're doing nothing fuse is short today. I think I'm just feeling stressed over some financial things coming up this month. We have a lot going on all in the same month and I'm struggling to wrap my mind around where we're going to come up with all of the money that we need. :(

I think that's where being a parent can really stretch a person. Gentle, considerate, respectful when I'm feeling problem. Gentle, considerate, respectful when I'm stressed and feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. MUCH harder. Deep breaths help!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The new banner on the right side of the screen

I found this company that is doing amazing things when it comes to children's literature. It's called Barefoot Books. If you click on the banner your browser will go there. Anywhoo, their focus is on quality storytelling combined with quality art. They have books for a wide variety of ages. I read an article about a woman who works for their company in my latest issue of Mothering magazine. After looking up the company and looking through their materials, I thought that this is something I'm comfortable promoting. I look forward to stocking up on their books, which really are beautiful. Also, they have some great music. The interesting thing is that I've fallen in love with this musical CD series called "Putamayo Kids" that has a multicultural music focus. I have several of them - African Playground, World Playground, Animal Playground, Dreamland something or other. Anyways, Barefoot Books also sells these! They even sell some plush animals, puppets, floor puzzles, etc..They also have a Books for Africa program that sends children's books to children in Africa.

Right now I just plan to build up my library and get to know their books and music. Should you decide to place an order, I'd love it if you'd go through my link as I'll get credit for it! I'd love to hear back on what people think of the books.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Return to Wool and a Possible Return to Nighttime Cloth Diapering

Well, you may or may not remember that we gave up nighttime diapering awhile back due to Boo waking up smelling like ammonia every morning. Ugh - gross! I tried stripping the dipes countless times to no avail.

However, today I was reading some information from Green Mountain Diapers that I got after ordering some prefolds from them for new baby. And I think I've now got some good ideas for tweaking the wash routine. So I'm going to give nighttime diapering a try over the weekend and see what happens. I can't really try it through the week as I don't have time to bathe Boo in the morning before daycare if he smells of ammonia.

Also, I had previously decided to give up wool because it's so high maintenance. However, I was looking on the bottle of my wool wash and saw that there were instructions for a washing machine. I have only ever handwashed my wool as that's pretty much what I've read/ been told. And I thought, what the hell...why not? So, I threw in some things that needed to be washed with wool wash. I put them on low in the dryer until they were damp and then I laid them out to dry. So much easier and they smelled great - no shrinkage either. I never felt like I got my wool very clean with handwashing and it took days to dry.

So, now that I've decided I like wool again I've found a pattern for shorties. I'm going to make Boo some for spring/summer. For those unaware, shorties are knit shorts. Basically you can put knit wool over a fitted or a prefold diaper and it acts as a diaper cover. Wool is known for being extremely absorbent. It can be reused several times before needing to be washed.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

So NOT earth-friendly

So about a year and a half ago I bought a bunch of cloth bags for grocery shopping and such. I am the WORST about actually using them. Here's what goes through my head EVERY time I'm in the checkout line at the grocery store:
"Damn...forgot my bags again." EVERY time!!! Granted, they've gotten a lot of use around the home. Mostly to hold junk that needs to be sorted through - papers and such. Ugh - I need to find a way to round them all up and remember to use them. On a positive note I've found a great use for paper sacks that come from the grocery store. Paper for art projects! I used them for daycare the other day for the kids to paint on. I actually had a little paper bag with a handle that I cut in two. They each got half a bag and got to paint on it. The great thing? Built in handle for hanging and drying and for them to carry their artwork! So I probably will get paper bags from time to time even after I find a way to remember my cloth bags. This way the bags are getting more than one use and I'm not going out and buying brand new paper for painting and such for daycare.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Albert Einstein on modern education

"Modern education is competitive, nationalistic and separative. It has trained the child to regard material values as of major importance, to believe that his nation is also of major importance and superior to other nations and peoples. The general level of world information is high but usually biased, influenced by national prejudices, serving to make us citizens of our nation but not of the world."

- Albert Einstein

Wow. I was just talking about this to someone the other day and then I came across this quote. I really believe that the educational system in America suffers because it is so infused with ethnocentric ideas. I think we could learn a lot from other countries and their way of doing things if we could be more humble as a nation.

I also agree that material values are held in high regard. Granted, I don't think this is just education. I think this is our culture at large. Materialism is rampant in American culture. It's hard to not get caught up in it. As much as I try to be less materialistic, I find myself wanting, wanting, wanting all the time. Well, I'll keep trying anyways...that's the best I can do!