Saturday, October 30, 2010

mommy reads: book review- can you keep a secret?

i was lucky enough to participate in a book swap over at a pretty place to play.  i was eventually paired up with elsie from little sprout growing, and i anxiously and excitedly waited for my book to arrive.

the book i read for the swap was can you keep a secret? by sophie kinsella.  i hate to admit this, but i am going to start off by saying this:  i was very, very nervous when i first opened the package and saw this book.  my husband had bought me confessions of a shopaholic (also by sophie kinsella) a few years ago- and i read it and i really didn't like it.  it was supposed to be a cutesy story, but i found myself absolutely loathing the main character- i was totally unsympathetic to her plight and it ruined the entire book for me.  i dreaded i would feel the same way about this book..

about the book:  can you keep a secret centers around the main character, emma corrigan.  emma is single (but with a "perfect" boyfriend), working for a marketing company (hoping to get a promised promotion), and always living in the shadow of her cousin.  after blowing a big presentation on her first solo business trip, she boards a plane back home, feeling pretty dejected.  fate finds her bumped to business class- and when the plane experiences turbulence, feeling that she's going to die, emma shares every last secret from the funny to the serious with her handsome seatmate.  emma's world is turned upside down when that stranger turns out to be the ceo of her company.

my thoughts:  i needed this book.  i have acquired a lot of  books about babies, and my rule has been to alternate those books with books of my choice.  my last 2 personal non-baby/parenting picks have dealt with really serious subject matters, and i needed something light.  i also enjoyed that it was a quick, easy read (it took me a week instead of months to finish).  once i started, i had a hard time putting it down!  i found myself reading a couple nights after 1 am... oops.  i thought the book asked some good questions- what would you do if someone divulged every one of their secrets to you?   would you tell all your secrets to your spouse/best friend/significant other?  do you keep secrets from your spouse/bf/so?  is it safe to keep secrets like emma kept because she knew that telling the person would hurt their feelings?  is anyone without secrets?  while i can only answer these questions for myself- i do think that everyone has different answers to these questions.  i don't think that anyone can ever be "secret-free" for too long.

so to elsie, thank you for sending me this book!  i really enjoyed it...  and i learned (again) to not judge a book by its cover author! Pin It!

Friday, October 29, 2010

pumpkin farm

dave had monday off a few weeks ago so we decided to take ian to the local pumpkin farm.  i had never been before, and dave hadn't been in years.  we were also thrilled to take ian (it's safe to say that it was more fun for us, than him)...  ian was a trooper though.  we had fun munching on pork sandwiches and apple cider donuts, petting the giraffes (yes!) and picking out the perfect pumpkin!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

mommy reads. book review: babywise ii

on becoming babywise book ii is the follow up to the successful/controversial on becoming babywise.  people can say what they will about it, but it is a healthy and for me a very successful parenting method.  people hate it, but whatever.  i don't criticize your parenting, so keep your nose out of mine. although i don't find as much controversy on it now as in the past, there are still people who are very anti-babywise.  i don't agree with other people 100%, and i don't expect them to agree with me 100%, but claims that these books are "child abuse" are immature and outlandish.  i have a very happy, healthy 9 month old who sleeps and eats better than most babies i know (maybe i'm just lucky)!

with all that said, now for the book review.  this book definitely didn't have all the information that book one has, but by the time you are at the point to move onto book two, sleeping and eating habits are most likely set in stone.  the book goes back and reviews the basics, reminds you the importance of keeping your marriage a priority and not just making the baby #1 while completely neglecting your spouse.  it then gets into information that you will need to parent your "pretoddler" which it considers to be 5-15 months.  yes, 5 months old is way too early i would say to consider your baby a pretoddler, but around 5 months they are no longer considered a newborn, and considered an infant, and an infant is indeed a pretoddler.

there are 5 main chapters in the book.

1.  mealtime activities.  this chapter talks about when to introduce cereal, how to do it, and how to introduce fruits and vegetables into your child's diet.  it also talks about finger foods, juice, snacks, weaning your baby and dealing with finicky eaters.

2.  highchair manners.  this chapter covered verbal instruction, methods of correction, common highchair problems (flipping plate, hands in mouth, raspberries, etc).

3.  waketime activities.  alone playtime, starting roomtime.

4.  thoughts on discipline.  how to consistently discipline and setting boundaries.

5  naps and nighttime sleep.  basically a refresher on common sleep issues.

to me, the most helpful chapters were the chapter on highchair manners and the chapter on discipline.  meals are a time where your child just doesnt' know what to do and they need the proper instruction.  i followed some of the methods in the highchair manners chapter from the get-go and ian is very well behaved while eating.  we don't have a lot of problems that parents seem to have.  he is pretty good about eating and staying clean.  we usually only have to correct him once or twice during a meal.  the discipline chapter was beneficial because i have a very curious baby.  ian is into EVERYTHING.  now that he's crawling, he's all over the place, so we have had to really set boundaries on where he can be, what he can touch and not touch.  this book provides correction methods that are safe for young children.

the book also contained an appendix, which was probably the most helpful section of all, and made reading the book worthwhile.  the appendix contained a section on child language development and teaching your baby sign language.  there were 14 signs with written and illustrated instructions.  so helpful.  i have been working on some with ian (please, all done, more, i love you, hungry, thank you, no and stop) and slowly integrating in the rest (eat, drink, thirsty, mommy, daddy, and milk (not in the book)).  as i said before, this section alone would make the book worth the buy.

so overall, it was just a reiteration of babywise, but there were a few helpful sections in dealing with your child as they get older.  it wasn't a must read, but for any babywise moms out there, you would probably find it very beneficial!

3 out of 4 stars (just for the sign language section) 2.5 or 2 without!

**special thanks to lulu from lulu in los angeles for sending me this book!!  Pin It!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

9 months

omg- i totes have a 9 month old!

ian turned 9 months old on wednesday, october 20. 

finally, a tooth has reached the surface- as i found out the hard way.  it's yet to fully surface, but it is sticking through the gums.  so cute!!

ian is also finally sitting it- he mastered it fully while we were in atlanta- and perfected it once we returned home.  he just looks like such a big boy when he's sitting!!  i can't even imagine once he's standing.

boy, can he crawl fast.  we have been on the lookout for a "baby jail" because he just wants to be everywhere he shouldn't be!

this kid likes everything-  we've added black beans, asparagus, broccoli and mango to the menu

9 month stats from his dr's appointment:  16 lbs, 2 oz.  (below 5th percentile), and 29 1\8" (up to 75th percentile)!!  he also had a flu shot.  i also finally bit the bullet and packed away all of ian's 0-3 month, 3 month and 3-6 month clothing.  it was time.

 in my news...  so much for 9 months on, 9 months off.  i'm pretty much stuck with 10 lbs... i think i'm going to have to hold onto it until i'm finished nursing...  i also still can't wear my wedding/engagement rings.  our next cleaning is in december.  i think i'm going to have to bite the bullet and have my rings re-sized.  i guess you can't have size 4 fingers forever...  although, i can't figure out the problem.  b\c i weighed more than what i weigh now and still had my rings on this time last year...  oh well.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

crazy busy weekend

i wish we could have more relaxing weekends, but those days are gone i fear.  it's always something, and with the holiday season just around the corner, i don't foresee it stopping anytime soon!  this past weekend was no different.  we packed up everything we owned and headed just south of indianapolis to stay in a hotel for the burial of dave's grandparents.  his grandmother passed away over labor day weekend and his grandfather died the week before we got married back in '07.  they were cremated and wanted to be buried at the same time. 

first.  illinois sucks.  people always want to leave, and that's why traffic is so terrible on friday afternoon/evening.  the number of people trying to leave illinois for indiana or michigan is astounding.  our trip to plainfield should've taken about 3 hours.  it took 6.  i wish i was joking.  we rolled up to the hotel around midnight (back in the eastern time zone).  we unpacked our car and our tired baby (who was now wide awake and overly tired) hung out with the in-laws for a bit, and then tried to sleep.  tried.  first off, wyndham hotels have the WORST cribs ever.  completely metal with giant spacing in between the slats.  not only was ian constantly knocking his head against the side, he kept trying to stick his appendages out of the slats.  we ended up putting him in the bed w\ us, but he wouldn't sleep between us, he had to sleep on me.  he probably slept only an hour at a time all night.  it was pretty miserable.

the next day we prepared for our drive to bicknell.  public service announcement: never drive through southern indiana.  what should've been a 2 hour drive was a 4 hour drive.  we went through every dumpy small town in indiana and we were late for the burial...  luckily, so was everyone else.  public service annoucement 2: never trust a detour in indiana.  the road we were taking was closed for about 5 miles, yet we were forced into taking a 30 mile detour.  wtf.  we can laugh at it now, thank goodness. 

we headed to a church in town afterward for dinner- it was nice to be together w\ the entire family- and we got a little surprise while there- we're going to have another niece or nephew!!  dave's sister is due on his birthday!  we're very very excited! 

monday, dave had time off, and we took ian to the pumpkin farm- but that is way too much cute- it needs an entry for itself!

some photos from the weekend...

 our youngest nephew, J.  they came out wearing these shirts, and when we saw he was wearing one, we knew something was up!

 ian and his cousin, annie.  she's going to be a big sister in about 4 weeks!  ian won't be the youngest grandchild anymore!

 i'm not sure this is completely true

i'm not sure this is completely p.c.
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Friday, October 15, 2010

bathroom remod

there isn't much you can do when living in a rental house as far as remodeling goes.  we've been very lucky so far though- despite previous issues- we've decided to stay put for another year- so we will be here at least 13 more months.  we didn't do much the first year- painting ian's room and taking down hideous curtains is about as far as we've gotten.  believe me, there's a lot more we'd love to do- but we don't own the place- and even though it's been offered for us to buy the place- it's a space we'd be outgrowing in only a few years.

we do have plans for the next year- the first is waiting for the plants in the jungle backyard to die.  when that happens - we plan on digging everything in that space up, and waiting for spring.  this past spring lots of hideous was growing within the pretty- and as far as plants go- hideous usually wins.  i don't know what they were, but luckily, the neighborhood landscapers offered to chop them down- they probably thought they were about to attack, but that still didn't solve the entire problem.

our biggest plans are for the 2 upstairs bathrooms.  they both have (broken) sliding shower doors, and they're both, well, ugly.  sliding doors pose a couple big problems for us- 1.  they're disgusting.  there are about 1,000,000 places for grody germs to hide.  i took an old toothbrush to ours a few weeks ago, and was dry heaving all over the place.  just, gross.  2.  it's not going to be convenient for bathing a child.  leaning over that metal track- ouch.  plus, i just  have nightmares of falling on that thing.  we're hoping to get approval to remove them- and get to work.  we'd like to just take them down and put in a rod & curtain.  i just need to figure out what i like.

here are our current curtain options from our former home in atl.

master bathroom:

i love this curtain.  it's a pale green w\ brown- and we had our bathroom painted this delicious chocolaty color.  we have the towels hanging in our bathroom currently, but our landlord redid this entire place in black & white- so we have white tile floors and black tile walls.  it just won't work.

guest bathroom
i love the floral on this curtain (and i'm not big on floral).  we currently have all the pieces to this in ian's bathroom right now.  this will probably stay in the guest bath, but eventually, I want ian to have a bathroom of his own.

here's what i'm looking at.

master bath:

i like that it's so simple, and would take simple accessories to match it.  from bed bath & beyond.  you could go with black and white, or choose any color for a nice pop.


how cute is this?!  about a year or so ago, lenox came out with their chirp collection, and i fell in love with the china- i even devoted a post on my old blog to it, (4 pc set- $100- boo).  i think this would be so cute in the bathroom.  i'd like to see it in person though, because i'm afraid that it just won't go with the black/white.  from bed bath and beyond.

guest/ian's bathroom

i think this whale curtain is too cute for a little boy's bathroom.  plus how cute would it be with this?!  from target

this little forest-y curtain is really cute.  i really like the little squirrel.  also from target

and finally

i saw another blogger mention this curtain, and it is just too cute!  i think the red would be perfect in the all white bathroom, and unlike the whale curtain, it won't be too baby-ish after a while.  i like it with navy blue accessories- so cape cod!  also from target

as you can tell, i can't wait to get in and start decorating!!  hoping for permission.  i definitely think it would be easier maintenance for any renter or owner in the long run. Pin It!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

mommy cooks (bakes) - oatmeal chocolate chip lactation cookies

yes, you heard it right here.  there is such thing as "lactation cookies."  not only are these cookies good for helping to boost your milk production, they're also delicious!!  they taste just like oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!  need a little boost?  give these a try!  don't need a boost?  remove the brewers yeast.  they aren't the healthiest cookies, but I am definitely planning on tweaking the recipe next time around

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons flax seed meal
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
2-4 tablespoons brewer's yeast

preheat oven to 350°.
mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.
add eggs and mix well.
add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.
sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.
add dry ingredients to butter mix.
stir in oats and chips.
scoop onto baking sheet.
bake for 12 minutes.


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Monday, October 11, 2010

8 months

ian turned 8 months old on monday, september 20.  crazy.  here are the haps for month 8.

still no sign of teeth breaking through.  lots of drool, lots of biting, lots of crying.  no teeth.

still not sitting up.  he will sit really good in front of you, and can sit for a few seconds unassisted if he wants to, but other than that, if you sit him up, he's going to flop over.

however, he is CRAWLING!  about 3 weeks ago, after a feeding, we put him on the bed, and he just started scooting across the bed.  now he's everywhere.  it's more of the army crawl, but it's still a crawl!  i can't believe that he's mobile! 

he's still eating really well!  we've added carrots, green beans, nectarines, and pumpkin to the menu, and adding more every few days!

he's still a little guy- we took him to the dr. because he had been acting kinda weird (they chalked it up to teething) and he weighed in at 15 lbs, 14oz.  only in the 3rd percentile for weight, but growing steadily, so no cause for concern.  he's wearing anything from 3 month clothes to 6-9 month clothes.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

fall wish list- coats/outerwear

because as my husband says, "you only have 7 coats, do you really need another?"  what do you think?

i could only fit into 3 of those coats while pregnant, and i'm guessing the same outcome for this winter.  so it may be time to part ways with some of those coats, and make way for some new ones... and it's now really appropriate for me to have so many coats seeing that illinois is like the arctic.  i may have made it through my pregnancy last winter with only wearing gloves and a hat most days- but i had body heat for 2.  not so much this time around.  i'm going to be cold.

here's what made my wish list!

i have to say i have really been looking for coats in gray or navy because i pretty much have them in all the other colors that i've spotted online, but didn't find a gray or navy that i just have to have.  the delias coat is closest to gray, but i'm not sure i love it.  the clifton coat is close to navy, but maybe not as deep of a blue as i desire.  i also just realized that the clifton coat and the big city blues coat are the same coat...  the orange old navy coat- i just love the color- it just makes me dream of pumpkin bars and pumpkin spice lattes and changing leaves- and i got my first peacoat from old navy over 10 years ago- and it is still going strong!  the wear the heart is jacket is more cute than warmth.  (btw, modcloth has a coat warmth scale- how awesome is that)?!  the white coats are probably my favorite- i just see them with a peek of skirt and colorful tights sticking out.

dreaming of coats... but not the weather that would necessitate one...
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

mommy reads- say you're one of them


i finally finished reading say you're one of them (it took me forever).  i thought i was going to just breeze through this book, partially b\c i read it to be 5 short stories- and i just thought, "i'll read one a day."  riiiight.  when one of the short stories is 100+ pages, and took me 2 months alone to read... well.

this book had rave reviews- it was part of oprah's bookclub (which doesn't make a lick of difference to me, b\c i couldn't care less about her).  i wish i could also give it a rave review- but it left me so depressed, i'm not sure i'll ever read again.

syoot is 5 short stories set in 5 different african nations.  each story is told from the point of view of a child- and although the stories are fictional in and of themselves, the horrors of what happened in the stories are real in africa.  uwem akpan is a wonderful writer- and he told the stories from a child's advantage so well- but i don't know if i cracked a smile once while reading the book.  in fact, it just kept getting more and more depressing the deeper into it i got.  while i understand why the book got such wonderful reviews, as it was very well written.  it was just a giant depress-fest to me though.  i definitely need something more uplifting the next 10 books i read to make up for this one.

i definitely recommend this book if you would like a worldview into what's going on in africa's war-torn nations- and what children in africa are going through on a daily basis.  if you like happy books though- stay away.

3 stars out of 5 (only for the writing)

next up- it's back to a parenting/baby book. Pin It!