Saturday, December 20, 2008

Beyond the boob

Today is Nora's 6-month birthday. I still can't believe that my tiny little lump of baby has turned into a solid mass of human being. She's sitting on her own (for short periods), playing with toys—and plastic bags—and getting furious when they're taken away from her, showing preferences for certain people, pushing up on her knees and trying to crawl (she even managed some forward motion this evening), and in general finding new ways every day to explore her individuality.

I don't like it.

I do know, however, that I need to accept it—even facilitate it—if I want her to grow into an independent, functional person. (That is what I want, right?) To that end I finally took the cue last night, when she plunged her fist ravenously into my mashed potatoes and tried to stuff them into her mouth, that she's maybe ready for something other than breastmilk.

It's a bittersweet step—and one I was happy to delay as long as possible. Until now, we've basically functioned as one unit: She grew as part of my body, taking her nourishment from me; she was born, and though she was no longer physically a part of me, I felt no less connected to her—she has stayed close, slept nuzzled against me, and flourished on nothing more than what my body has produced for her. Every molecule of her chunky little body has come, so far, from me. So giving her solid foods smacked me with the reality that we're taking the first of many steps in the process of detachment, of her finding sustenance (both literal and figurative) apart from me. It's normal. It's natural. It's necessary. And still it kills me.

Heavy discussion over a baby carrot, no? That was her first food: a roasted baby carrot. We're trying something called baby-led weaning, which means that instead of spoon-feeding purees, we'll present Nora with food and she can eat it or not, as she's interested and ready. (And yes, it probably also means I'll be that woman who's still nursing her 14-year-old. Sorry, but you'll get used to it.) From what I've read, babies will normally explore food with their hands and mouths for a while—maybe even months—before eventually gumming off some bites and swallowing them. Not our little overachiever. She immediately got the carrot to her mouth, bit off a piece, chewed, and swallowed. Repeat. I'd say she swallowed about half the baby carrot, and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Before I start crying (again), I'll stop dissecting this event and just let the photos, and the video at the end, tell the story.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Save handmade toys …

(and sweaters, hair clips, cute little baby booties … you get the idea). Click the button below to learn more about what's going on with safe toy regulations, how they could harm the handmade kids' stuff industry, and what you can do to help:

Save Handmade Toys

Sunday, December 14, 2008

For the therapist's couch

Lately I've been trying to offer up a little more praise (since I spend a lot of my day saying things like, "That is not where peanut butter goes."), so last night at dinner I said, "Nice job eating your dinner, Sidamo!" when he ate some food unprodded and then, "Nice job drinking your water!" when he had some water and actually swallowed it. He, without skipping a beat, said, "Nice job drinking your wine, Mommy!"

Where's the social worker when you need her?

In healthier family news, I got my first completely unsolicited "I love you," tonight. Times three, and each time accompanied by a huge, giggly hug. Melt me. He also told me I'm the sweetest little boy in the world. As flattered as I am, I know someone else who might be in the running for that title.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It's official: Our little man is a little man. Yesterday was his 3rd birthday (surreal) and we spent the day celebrating as a family. Greg took the day off so we could take Damo—and, by association, Nora—to his first movie. It went so much better than we ever could have anticipated.

It all started with some bad food court food and a ride on the carousel:

Then the big purchase:

Three tickets to paradise (or Madagascar 2):

And then the really big purchase:

Sidamo sat in his seat and acted like an old pro—eyes fixed on the screen, hand plunged in the popcorn bag, telling his dad to "shh!":

Nora actually spent much of the film in rapt attention. Just not this part:

We then came home, had nap time, and then shared pizza and delicious cupcakes (thanks again, Maia!) with grandpa. Really and truly, the perfect 3rd birthday.

I have such a hard time believing out little guy is such a grown-up already. I've been scanning the blog from the past year, and so much has happened (not sure why that's a surprise). Here are some highlights, to prevent you from having to scan the past year's blog entries:
  • Switched from calling me Mama to Mommy. Today he even experimented with Mom—to my great displeasure.
  • Had his first Christmas with us.
  • Potty trained. Hallelujah.
  • Participated in his first presidential caucus.
  • Cuddled with pretty much every player on the CU Buffaloes football team.
  • Started (and stopped) preschool.
  • Played on a soccer team.
  • Took the shortest vacation on record (23 hours in Basalt).
  • Became a big brother!
  • Celebrated his first year home with us.
  • Saw the beach for the first time.
  • Saw the DNC festivities in Denver.
  • Went to his first Rockies game.
  • Visited Amish Country.
  • Voted for Obama!
I can already tell 3 is going to be a fun year. Not that 2 wasn't fun, but man, it was hard. The tantrums, the defiance, the simultaneous but conflicting desires (did I ever tell you about the meltdown about washing his hands? "I don't want to wash my hands!" "You have to wash your hands." Meltdown. "Fine, let's just go, I'll use hand sanitizer on you." Meltdown. "I want to wash my hands!" "Fine, wash your hands." Meltdown. "Maybe later!" Ugh.).

Just in the past few weeks, as though he knew his birthday was on the horizon, Sidamo has started displaying all the typical 3-year-old characteristics. His imagination is starting to expand, and he tells stories (which could sometimes be interpreted as lies). It's pretty cool to see the mind changing, even when I'm frustrated by the stretched truths. Until now we've loved the fact that he has always acted like he's on truth serum, confessing to his every crime with just teensiest bit of prodding. Now we're realizing that when we aske what he's doing behind a closed door, we can't take, "Nothing!" at face value.

These milestones just remind us how blessed we are that this fantastic person is our son. We continue to fall deeper in love with him as his funny (and brilliant) personality emerges. We're so, so lucky to be your family, Sidamo!

Monday, December 8, 2008


We've done a decent job so far of sheltering our kids (and more importantly, our ears) from electronic toys, but with birthdays, holidays, and personal tastes emerging, it's becoming less and less possible. Really, though, I'm starting to admit that my avoidance is more about my own personal distaste for beeps and buzzes than it is about parenting principles. And I'm also realizing that there's no way to deny the pure joy that this, courtesy of Aunt Lisa, Uncle Chris, and Scarlett, has brought to Sidamo:

Really, it's as though this product was designed for specifically for him—computers and Cars in one package? Couldn't be better. This morning, Greg left for work and tried to buy me and Nora a little sleep-in time by planting Sidamo in his room with the laptop. It worked in a way a pile of books does not. When I went in, about 15 minutes after Greg left, I found Sidamo punching random keys and staring at the screen rather intently. I said, "Morning, sweetie, are you playing with your new computer?" He looked up at me and, very seriously, said, "I'm working, Mommy."

Okay, technology, you win.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

20 flavors, 10 toddlers

Yesterday we had Sidamo's birthday party at a neighborhood ice cream shop, where kids were invited to make their own sundaes. I think the first photo sums up the results.

Doesn't he look like he's laying down rhymes with the help of his lovely back-up singers?

We forgot to put candles in his ice cream before he started devouring it (or was it that we were afraid to get our fingers between him and his sundae?), so I put the candles in what was left of my cone.

Wishing for a sugar-high.

Max's famous stink-eye.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Another quick peek

We had professional photos taken this weekend, and the photographer sent us a few of her favorites. Can't wait to see the rest!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Quick peek

In one of Sidamo's books, there's mention of a "quick peek." He has somehow interpreted this to mean, well, this:

You'll also notice his interesting use of timeframes: Tomorrow means anything in the future. As in, "Sidamo, please use the bathroom before we go in the car."

"No, I don't have to. I do it tomorrow."

Same principle applies to the past. "Sidamo, please use the bathroom before we go in the car."

"No, I don't have to. I did it yesterday."

Now here's what he did today: As Greg was watching CU give up a heartbreaking loss to Nebraska, he let Sidamo watch Dora on his laptop. Sidamo asked for water, and I gave it to him in his leak-free sippy cup and warned him not to put it anywhere near the computer. You see where this is going. I could see the back of him, and I could see that he was keeping the sippy cup away from the computer. But somehow, after Greg settled in with the reality of the CU defeat and got up to check his computer, he found a sopping, non-functioning mess.

Throughout the evening (most of which was spent in time-out), Sidamo spilled about the spill. He drank the water from the sippy cup, spit it into the snack bowl, and poured it from the bowl onto the computer.

So yeah. Bye-bye, computer; adios, Dora.

No batteries required

Nora is entirely self-propelled in this video. The batteries on the swing died, and I haven't been organized enough to replace them. Maybe there's no need.

P.S. Doesn't HG have the same hat?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

5 months (and change)

Blogger's being funky, so I'll just do a photo post, with a quick note to say that the kids are as delightful as ever. In Nora's 5th month, she found all sorts of reasons to giggle, mastered rolling in both directions, started scooting backwards and holding herself up on her arms, figured out that her hands are capable of doing more than scratching her poor mama, and decided that sleep's for babies—and she's no baby. We're more deeply in love with her every day, and I think the feeling may be mutual.

Sidamo's sense of humor and charm continued to develop, and he's becoming such a wonderful little person. He's started singing some new songs (and correcting me when I don't dance quite right during his performances—"No, Mommy, move your feet like this!"). He's sweet and lovey and cuddly and kind. And again, we're more in love every day.

How did I get so lucky?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Widget issues

Not sure why the widget isn't working for some of you, but here's a workaround: Go to and click on "Join" in the upper right-hand corner.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This could be yours

I promised to tell you about the new publication I've been working on, called Mindful Mama. It's a very cool new online resource for thoughtful parents—parents who try to incorporate the greater good (their communities, the environment, the world) into their parenting decisions. Who strive to help their children develop into thoughtful, competent, and confident human beings. I suspect that describes a great many of you.

We’re getting ready to launch our free e-newsletter, and I’d love it if you’d sign up and encourage to do the same. The first edition, which will go out 11/18, will feature:
  • A guide to this year’s coolest, most socially responsible holiday gifts,
  • 5 ways to infuse your kids’ Thanksgiving with mindfulness,
  • Mouth-watering recipes, and
  • More mindful parenting tips and suggestions.
That line-up—and the fact that you’d be doing me a solid—is probably enough reason for you to sign up and help spread the word, but in case you need a little more motivation, Mindful Mama is offering more incentive. Here’s a message from Sarah Kraft, the founder of Mindful Mama:

Dear Mindful Mama, We’re just one week away from launching our FREE e-newsletter — complete with our guide to this year’s coolest eco-conscious gifts — and we want to make sure it gets into the inboxes of all those mindful moms out there. Post our widget on your blog and be entered into a drawing to WIN a Svan Convertible High Chair ($259 value). Don't have a blog? Forward this message to 50 friends and family and cc us, and we'll treat it like a blog posting. Be sure to create your Mindful Mama account first. You must be a member of our community to qualify for the drawing. This is a really cool prize, if I do say so myself! To view product details for the highchair, click here. If you are already a member of the Mindful Mama community, you have an advantage: Post our subscription widget on your blog, or forward this message to friends and family, and you’ll be entered into our drawing FIVE TIMES, not just once.

Deadline: November 18.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

To sleep, perchance to be awakened every 20 minutes

Sorry for the blog silence, but we're battling some sleep issues here, and I'm drowning. Apparently a 4-month sleep regression is totally normal. Nora clearly got the memo; I didn't. Here's one of our fun nights of late:

8–11 on and off sleep
11 asleep
11:45 awake, nurses to sleep
12:30 awake, nurses to sleep
1:15 awake, nurses to sleep
2 awake, fussing, wanting to be rocked. For four hours.
6 finally falls asleep again
7 awake, nurses to sleep
8 up for the day


I'm getting through it by reminding myself that she'll only be this young once, and her smile is magical, even at 3 a.m. The tough thing is that I took on more work—including a new publication I'm very excited about and will post about soon—to make up for a project that I lost. That means that in my (barely) awake hours, I've actually been expected to function. Who knows how well I've been doing, but at least the work is getting done. Blogging and housework, on the other hand …

Despite the terrible sleep, we're having lots of fun around here. Sidamo is in a really, really delightful stage right now. I think (hope?) we're at the tail end of a difficult few months, with lots of tantrums, defiance, and so forth. But we pulled him out of what turned out to be a really bad school situation, and since then things have been looking up. I'm having so much fun hanging out with him during the day. Nora is a dream as well. She's giggly, cuddly, and perfect in every way but one (see the schedule above). And she's mobile beyond her months (see previous post).

Oh well, I know you don't come here to read my gripes, so here's the eye candy you've so earned.


Here's where I left her:

Here's where I found her:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Slowest day on record

Is anyone else itching for this day to be over? Like, now? I started the day by getting four cavities filled, and I suppose that didn't speed things along any. Now I'm standing here listening to NPR, with Nora in the Ergo, Sidamo asleep upstairs, willing Virginia to realize all its citizens has voted already and release its results.

Maybe we should go out to have dinner and watch the poll results—it seems like the type of history-making event that should be enjoyed with community, and most of our neighborhood is hoping for the same outcome we're hoping for. Greg, if you're reading this, what do you say?

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Grossy=Hybrid of gross and yucky
Piss=Pants (so we hear "Piss off!" a lot when he's undressing)
Miss Anya=Lasagna
Dammit=You guessed it—Mama needs to watch her mouth
Sara-lou=Scooby-doo (we have a good friend named Sara-lou. I think she's honored.)
Pasta luego=Hasta luego
Lightning P. Queen=Lightning McQueen (from the Cars movie)
Old MacDoughnut=Old MacDonald
What because=Why

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Not an addict

The other night as we were sitting down to dinner, Nora starting clawing at me and rooting, making it perfectly clear that I wasn't going to eat before her. This maybe 30 minutes after her last feeding. I resigned myself to a(nother) cold dinner, pulled up my shirt and said, "You're a junkie, girl!"

Sidamo shook his head: "No, him's not a junkie. Him's a baby. Him just want milk."

What would I do without him?