Saturday, February 27, 2010

new parents...don't be scared that eau de poop will be your new home fragrance...

i'm sure i'm riffing off of my last post here, but i just want to offer a little bit of relief to those who are about to be parents : don't be scared of poop smell.  i was REALLY scared.  i have been into a few homes that smelled of bleck [dry-heave], sour, sewage-like poopy diapers.

it was really important to me that my home be sewer-smell free (call me crazy).  i am proud to say that poop smell has not been an issue 'round here.  and believe me, there are plenty of people who would have spoken up.

i have heard that breast milk poop is not as stinky as formula poop. plus, some breast fed babies only poop like once a week in the 3-10 month range (this was a happy, happy time for us).  once solids are introduced--for us at 11months--pooping is back on the schedule approximately 1-4 times a day.

also, if you are able to get the solid-food poop, which is not runny like breastmilk poop, to drop into your toilet, than this certainly helps in the house-smell department.

check out this post for some items that may help your diaper set-up.

photo courtesy of

alternatives to turning your baby's dirty diapers into plastic sausage links

it's bad enough that we use nearly 10,000 disposable diapers per child---that's right 10,000!!!---but that most of them are put into a plastic bag (whether it be an individual bag or sausage link style diaper genie bag) that heads to the landfill is especially shameful.

here are some simple options to greening your diaper situation:

1. use biodegradable/organic diapers like nature babycare
2. try not to use plastic bags
3. try to get poop off diaper and into toilet, then put diaper into odor-proof trash can
4. use washable wipes
5. use cloth diapers

if you must use plastic (because you actually want to be invited over to your friends' houses again):

1.  use biodegradable plastic diaper bags like these
2.  buy a diaper dekor pail, and use their biodegradable bags

side note...we put our son's changing table on our bathroom countertop for easy access to toilet and sink, containing (infrequent) smells to one small room, and for easy night changes since we do bed-sharing.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

i had to laugh out loud at myself today....

....when my awesome o.b., paul crane (that's him above,  looking fresh right after my homebirth), showed up unexpectedly on a clip that i was watching online of a certain someone from a certain show birth her was kourtney kardashian from "keeping up with the kardashians".  the show i just ragged on 2 days ago---ha!

 i do not discriminate when it comes to watching births.  they pretty much all interest me.   and, shit, the girl has stellar taste in doctors, what can i say...

note to self...i still need to do a post about dr. paul crane, and my amazing midwife, and my amazing doulas (danielle and anna)....i think already did a shout out to the most amazing pediatrician ever.

a helpful item if you ever plan to leave the house again...

if we are going to be away from the house during my son's mealtime, we like to heat his food at home before we leave.  we just drop the food-filled canning jars, with the lids removed, right into a boiling pot of water for a few minutes.  then, we pack them into a handy dandy bottle tote.  i can easily stack 3 of the 4 oz size canning jars in there. if it's going to be a while before he eats, we add a flexible hot pack inside.

certainly, they can be used to keep bottles warm and regular baby food jars too.  der.

this bottle tote by diaper dude is made from recycled plastic water bottles, and a portion of proceeds are donated to global green usa.  it costs $13.95.

photo courtesy of

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

an honest post about postpartum depression

fortunately, i did not suffer from postpartum depression, although, i did have visions of accidentally careening off of 6th floor balconies in the few months after my son was born (strangely, i have had this same scenario as a re-occurring dream for years now too).   no biggie.  dad, do not alert the authorities....apparently, this sort of thing is somewhat normal for new moms.   it came and went.

i read a beautiful, honest, candid post that lindsey mead wrote about postpartum depression, and i wanted to share.  if you know anyone having a baby, you may want to educate yourself on the signs of ppd.  use this scale to identify postpartum depression.

photo courtesy of

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

thought for the day : throw out the t.v.

ok, i don't mean literally throw out your television---although, kudos if you do---assuming you don't live 5 stories above a pedestrian-heavy city block.  tv watching has come up recently a bit with fellow friends that are parents....

i have zero urge to show my 15-month-old television, and i haven't watched a show since he was 3 months old and became interested in it himself.   the up side is that it's sort of like cutting out sugar (not that i would know, but from what i've heard) don't miss it once it's gone.  plus, i mean, "keeping up with the kardashians"?....really?

as usual, i'm getting off point.  i remember seeing a father on the today show in the last few years talk about how he put some numbers together that showed how, since the 1970's, the rise in kids' television viewing was proportionate to the rise in autism.

done deal.  no t.v.

honestly, that type of info only helps me seal the deal.  plus, there is information from the american academy of pediatrics, who i admit are psycho when it comes to vaccination amounts, like "no television for babies under 2 years of age because the opportunities for adult-child interactions are limited."  babies need to interact with adults.

a 2007 study found that by 3 months of age, 40% of children regularly watched television, dvds, or videos----and by age 24 months, the proportion rose to 90%.  yikes!!

television viewing among infants and toddlers has been linked to irregular sleep schedules.   also, studies have shown that, "three-year-old children exposed to more tv, both directly and indirectly, are at increased risk for exhibiting aggressive behavior.

call me old fashioned, but i constantly look to how my grandparents were raised when it comes to raising my son....

above photo courtesy of nicobobinus on flickr
below photo courtesy of resourcesforlife on flickr

Monday, February 22, 2010

night weaning, night fourteen...

ok, today is actually day 19, but night 14 was a REALLY big night. please don't be scared by the numbers here.  we are doing gentle weaning that is not that different from bed-sharing.  you can read about our exact set up in my first night weaning post.

on evening 14, i did some doll roll playing to show my 15-month-old the old "[his name] go night night...mama go nurse nurse."  i then repeated this during the night whenever he woke up.  on a side note, he had been doing pretty well in this new set up of sleeping separate from me.  nonetheless, he was still putting up a good fight/couldn't fall back asleep sometime between 3-6 a.m. which would always end with me nursing him back to was the only way.

weeelllll, on night 14 when he woke up at 3am, i just held him and repeated "[his name] go night-night...mama go nurse nurse." he wasn't that psyched about it and ended up crying for about 20 minutes in and out of my arms.  sometimes he didn't want to be held and was just walking around the room crying.  i was gently talking to him and trying to console him.  it was hard for both of us, but i realized that night weaning just isn't going to succeed unless eventually i actually STOP nursing at night.  i felt like 14 days was gentle and gradual enough, and i knew he wasn't hungry.  i knew this because there were nights when i would nurse at 3am, then he'd be up an hour later and ready to nurse.

so after the 20 minutes of crying on night 14, my husband took him, gave him a paci, quickly busted out some tibetan monk zen chanting shit on his iphone, and rocked him back to sleep.

ever since then, my son sleeps basically through the night not only without waking but without nursing....yea!!!!!  sometimes, he wakes just for 20 seconds, and i give him a paci and a quick cuddle and say "[his name] go night-night" and he goes right back to sleep.

UPDATE : my son is now 21 months old and, for the last couple months, has been waking up about an hour or 2 earlier than "usual".  i end up getting up and nursing him, but only OUT of bed.  we sit in the rocker to nurse, and often he'll fall back asleep.  i tried nursing him in my bed in the morning when he wakes (for my sleep's sake), but very quickly he got into a pattern of waking up anytime in the middle of the night, thinking it was morning, and wanting to come into my bed to nurse.

photo courtesy of

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

awesome baby book

this may not be as mellow and cutsie as other baby books on the outside (including my binth that my bestie got me), but it looks damn cool on the inside.  it's called this is your book by ryan maconochie, and it is genius!

inside he gets really creative with maps where you circle the state your baby was born in, a clock that you draw the hands on for the time your baby was born, and the best ---- a line up of the planets where you circle the planet your baby was born on.  ha!  there are also areas where you can list the u.s. dollar's exchange rate, who the president is, and how much a bottle of water costs.

it's $50 and you can preview and buy it here.

photo courtesy of

local : attachment parenting spring meetings in santa monica

if you do not live in los angeles, check out your own local attachment parenting chapter here.

here is the los angeles spring meeting schedule:

feb 20     use nurturing touch with traci cummings
mar 20    provide consistent care with dr. isabelle fox
april 17   practice positive discipline with ruth beaglehole
may 15   strive for balance with dr. wendy walsh

reed park auditorium
1133 7th street at wilshire
santa monica


free and open to the public.  babies and children welcome.

photo courtesy of

Friday, February 12, 2010

four items you need to be a kitchen savvy mom

ok, so i never really cooked before my son was born.  i'll spare you all of the jokes and hahaha stories about it all.  now, feeding my son fresh food at every meal is something i would love to do for as long as possible.

it is important to note that i am not cooking for teenagers or even kids, but for a 15 month old.   i always heard the stories about how picky kids can be about eating their vegetables, but so far so good.  i guess as long as babies aren't exposed to unhealthy stuff, they don't know the difference.  i'm veering off point....

alright, so the four items (see right sidebar for amazon links/photos):

1.  canning jar(s) in 4 oz. size

2.  steamer

3.  awesome pairing knife : $10 each at williams sonoma or cost plus--colorful and comes with a cover!!

4.  non-plastic small cutting board

once a week, we make a large batch of mixed split peas, lentils, flax seeds, and barley that we dip into for lunch and dinner.  you can fill one of the jars with a serving of the mix and drop it right into an inch of boiling water to reheat.  put the lid on the pot and food will reheat quickly.  while you're at it, chuck a few fresh veggies (pea shoots, mushrooms, broccoli) into the boiling water to cook.  you can also do all of this using a mesh steamer in the pot, but it takes a little longer.

pull all of the boiled/steamed veggies out and dice with your pairing knife on your non-plastic small cutting board.   get ready for some breaking news can also dice fruit on your cutting board too!!

i am like cordon bleu trained now as far as my son knows!

photo courtesy of

Thursday, February 11, 2010

night weaning, night seven...zzz...

and by zzz...i don't mean that i'm boring myself....just merely drooling on myself.  ok, not really, but this is the first time, since my son was born 15 months ago, that i have had to deal with heavy-duty sleep deprivation.  oye!  more on that below.  we have always done bed-sharing, so sleep has usually been pretty good.  and i'm so happy that i am going through this now instead of when my son was a newborn when so many new experiences are constantly unfolding.

in my experience, there isn't a lot of attachment parenting info out there, so i will continue to share my first hand adventures in case anyone cares and may perhaps find it helpful...

ok, back to night weaning.....

we have been so torn about fully removing him from our room at night, because we LOVE waking up with him and cuddling in the morning.  i cannot even put into words how wonderful it is!

after many months of resisting putting our son in a crib to start to night wean him, we have decided to try a different, more gradual, method. you know, the kind of method that turns your bedroom into one giant mattress.   we brought his twin mattress into our room, and it is next to our already frameless/lowered bed now.   his is about 6" lower than ours which has worked out to be a nice delineation.

it's gone pretty well actually.  here's what i've learned:

1.  i immediately realized that his nighttime soothing methods had everything to do with being on me as opposed to my breast.  so his mattress has a couple of pillows and my usual night shirt on it....perhaps i should have just dressed a body pillow as me...hmmm. also, HE NEEDED WARMTH.  very important.  once he was bundled well in a footed onesie, he slept better.   we don't run the heat at night, and a blanket wouldn't stay on for long.

2.  when he wakes every few hours, i quickly grab one of the queued pacifiers next to my pillow and put it into his mouth while verbally soothing him and cuddling up next to him in his bed.  then, in stealth mode, after he has "dead arm", i slither back into my bed.  i have proudly mastered the art of nearly silent non-sheet rustling.

3.  i nurse him to sleep in his bed, and otherwise once a night around 4am (he sleeps 9pm-8am).  i can tell he's actually hungry at 4am, because he doesn't settle like the other times throughout the night. otherwise, i keep my henley sleep shirt buttoned up completely to keep my breasts on lockdown.

4.  we give him a little snack 30 minutes before bedtime to be sure his belly is full.  the food is high in fiber and low in sugar like avocado, rapini, or mushrooms.  UPDATE : we stopped this after the first few nights...once we felt secure that hunger wasn't the issue.

i'm pretty happy with how things are going.  certainly, the end goal is getting him to sleep through the night, so i'll let you know how that goes.

the only deeply twisted thing that happened once i got him out of our bed is that i had HORRIBLE insomnia for the first several nights---it must have been either separation anxiety or the hormonal change of not releasing relaxing oxytocin all night while nursing.  hence the zzz's in my post title!

UPDATE : please see my second night weaning post for the next installment....

photo courtesy of liza banfield at

Monday, February 8, 2010

want to make sure you're eating healthy?

forgive me, as i have mentioned this site before, but i realized that maybe it was buried too deep in a long former post of mine, and didn't get the attention it deserves!  the site is nutrition data.  ok, not the kicky-est name, but freakin' awesome, nonetheless.

on nutrition data, you can search for nutritional info in a few different ways:

1.  select a nutrient from their thorough list (eg. zinc, iron, vit d) and up pops all foods that include that nutrient listed in descending order.

2.  type any food into the search box and up pops its nutritional info (eq all nutrients, calories, etc).

dare i tell you that you can check out fast food info on here too?  i told you it's thorough!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

remember how your school looked nothing like this?

how can i not share the most beautiful (in every way) school in the whole world with you?  well, it's a close tie with the awesome local charter school my son will be attending, but the setting's a little different....just a little.  see that photo above?  it's not travel and leisure's number one on their annual top hotels list.  it's an amazing new school in bali called green school.

it is the stunning creation of former canadian jeweler john hardy and his american wife who have been in bali for 30 years...and have raised their family there.  i can personally vouch for bali being THE most incredibly beautiful place in the universe, and i am not surprised that this heavenly school exists there.

the couple opened the school in the fall of 2008, and it is a place that they built "to create a new paradigm for learning.  we want children to cultivate physical sensibilities that will enable them to adapt and be capable in the world.  we want children to develop spiritual awareness and emotional intuition, and to encourage them to be in awe of life's possibilities."

one of the reasons it's called green school is because it is built entirely out of local materials....mostly bamboo.

and, yes, that's a balinese bamboo yurt below!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a quick laugh....

well, i don't have time to post much today, but i did get 2 good forwarded emails today that i would like to share.  one was from my father that enlightened me on how to put out a grease fire (caused by water to oil)...use a damp, not dripping wet, dishtowel to smother it. thanks dad!

and the other was full of photos and from my baby daddy, entitled "why boys need parents," which i had received before.  although, the past one did not have the photo below that made me laugh out loud for quite some time....i am even snickering again now....