Sunday, March 25, 2012

Creating Creativity

I have started to get interested in encouraging Liam's creativity now that he is showing some more interest in doing and making things. He seems to take pride when he colors, so I wanted to see what would happen if he got to try some new forms of art.

It started with giving him a whole box of brand new crayons and watching what he did with them. He helped me line them up and seemed to carefully consider the colors, though each one was still "Lellow!" to him. I draw some shapes each time and he likes to color over my shapes and then head off into his own drawings. He is hesitant to start drawing sometimes until I do it first.

I also got some washable markers for him, though I kept this limited and only gave him three. He gets a bit too interested in taking all the caps off and then I lose them. This turned into an art session of finger prints and hand prints as he used the markers to draw all over himself.

And most recently, I got him a big box of sidewalk chalk. He was thrilled to be drawing on something other than paper and was excited to be outside doing art. I also had fun drawing on the driveway!

The next project I have in mind if it doesn't rain outside is painting with water on the dry sidewalk. Seeing the water change the color of the stone, and it would be his first time playing with paintbrushes. I might consider tinting the water with the finger paints and seeing if that does anything. I figure they will wash off the sidewalk pretty easily.

I am having fun thinking of neat art projects that he can try out and stretch that creative little mind.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Oh the Insanity

There is a level of Absurd and Insane that seems to come with baby teething. They get stuck with this never ending pain that we can do very little about and would do anything to stop. But it is pain with a purpose, but they don't understand that.

And for us parents, it comes with a never ending headache, strings of drool, and crying that we can do very little to stop.

Teething is when I stop caring about the little things. All that matters is trying to make it through the worst of the days. It's when I give Liam cookies just because he is sad. Indulge his every whim, like putting shoes on over his pajama feet. Do preemptive strikes with the Tylenol and Orajel. It's when I miss my sweet good natured little man.

It's when we watch cat videos on YouTube and don't plan on doing things that can not be dropped at a moments notice to go try and comfort the sad ouchie baby. It's when I finally have to stop at a certain point and just put myself on a time out because I feel like I am the worst mama ever because I can't make my baby feel better.

So we had an Oreo time out. The good happy part gave me a few minutes of Happy Liam, and that was worth it. 

shoes with pajamas?

getting Oreo

tasting oreo

ok about oreo

mad that cookie part broke

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Food, Cookies and Childhood Obesity

I read an article this morning that led to this link. While some of it is stuff I did not know, a lot of it I did know.

The concept of childhood obesity is terrifying. Liam already has some odds stacked against him, both sides of his family have obese people in them. No way to sugar coat that. Obesity is linked to genetic factors as well as environmental ones.

I try to feed him well. Fruits and veggies, whole grains and not much processed food. But I confess, I don't always cook. I don't have the energy or the time with him running underfoot. I sometimes just can not fathom the thought of going to the store to buy fresh ingredients and we have a day of fruit leather, frozen veggies (which I have no issue with) and maybe a preservative free frozen dinner that includes a starch, a veggie and a dairy element or I add those on. Or we just have a good old peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Most days we eat fresh fruit, beautiful bread full of whole grains and seeds and goodness, he eats his veggies and is a lover of broccoli and cauliflower. He eats tofu and chicken and carrots, he eats apple slices and whole grain crackers and yummy cheese. But....I have given my son french fries from a fast food place. I also have fed him chicken strips from Burgerville, which I at least know are antibiotic free and local. Not that that makes a deep fried chunk of breaded chicken much healthier. But these are rare treats.

But I have at times given in. Once in a while we get a bag on candy and I have to say between me and Liam it does not last long. The limit is one piece a day for him, three for me and I get the mini sized pieces. Up until I was re-diagnosed with gestational diabetes I was baking a lot. Home made cookies... full of sugar and butter. I tried to pretend they were healthy. I used whole wheat white flour, local butter (Yay Tillamook!) and usually I made oatmeal raisin cookies so you got oatmeal and raisins.We have all natural cheetos in the car. But all natural does not make them healthy. It just means you are putting all natural oils and fats and corn meal covered in cheese powder into your body.

I worry that my love for baking and sweets will affect him. I worry that on the days I am too damn tired to cook I am setting a bad example just popping something from the freezer into the microwave and calling it dinner. At the time I don't feel bad, I just feel tired. It's when I sit here and think about it that I worry. I hope that as he grows and can help in the kitchen more I will be less inclined to just give in to my own tiredness. Or that we can at least prepare PART of a meal together. Right now all he can do is "wash" hard veggies like potatoes and carrots, and that requires me lugging the Learning Tower into the kitchen which is not high on my list of fun things to do at the moment while I have the energy level of a flattened frog.

I need to get him more involved in the making of food, but he just isn't there developmentally yet. I keep trying, but right now it makes more work for me, a huge mess in a room I can barely keep clean to begin with and usually ends with me banishing him from the kitchen before he either floods the place or smears something slimy inside all the cupboards. I just do not have the energy or the help to clean up after him all the time.This kitchen gets dirty if you even look at it funny. The floor always looks a mess and even the minute after I mop its a wreck again. Liam is a pro at emptying the cupboards of their contents and feeding Tupperware to the dog.

I hope I can keep the food aspect of obesity in check for him. I guess it shows something that I am even TRYING to get him involved. I know it will come in time. And realistically, I know I can't beat myself up for the days when its 5:00 and I realize there is nothing fresh to make into dinner. He still gets veggies and grains and dairy at his dinner, he gets fruit for breakfast and lunch. He gets healthy snacks and the cookies are kept to a minimum for now and probably will be after the new little one gets here and once more I have no time or energy to bake for a while.

And once it dries up outside some more we will go back to being outside every day, just like last summer. And back to the farmers market, back to walking around in the sunshine. Back to playing in the yard in the baby pool and picking berries and going OUT somewhere. The more we are out, the more likely I am to swing by the store and get something to cook for dinner when I have nothing at home to make.

I hope I can instill in him the value of exercise and eating well. I know that we will be keeping TV to a minimum, but I don't know about computers or video games... we are terrible about those ourselves.....

Being a parent is a LOT of pressure!!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

You mean I'm doing this....again?

On December 25th Dan and I found out that I was pregnant. It was such a faint line on that little stick and Dan almost didn't even believe that it was there. So we agreed to wait for a while to tell people. We had decided that it was getting close to the time to try for another one, but we did not expect it to happen this quickly.

Then, just as we were almost ready to share the news, I started bleeding and of course we thought the worst. After an early ultrasound I was diagnosed with a subchorionic hemorrhage, which is bleeding  between the amniotic sac and the uterine wall. We held our breath and hoped and prayed and I didn't do anything more stressful than play with Liam for a few weeks. The bleeding stopped. But it was still too early to hear a heartbeat on the Doppler. I told some close family then, because I needed to tell SOMEONE. I needed someone to share the joy and the hope that we had and to think some happy thoughts for this little baby.

On our most recent prenatal appointment on February 20th we got to hear that heartbeat. It was just about the sweetest sound you could imagine. Even Liam, who came with us, stopped babbling to listen. We both teared up and the midwife was touched by our concern and love for this little life. It was the same midwife who delivered Liam, so that was really special to me to have her be the one to find the heartbeat for this baby.

We held off telling people then, because I decided to have the first trimester screening, which checks for abnormalities and signs of chromosomal defects such as Downs Syndrome. Thankfully, that all came back clean and clear, there are NO signs of anything wrong with our little one. I just didn't want to have to re-announce it if there was something wrong. And the subchorionic hemorrhage has shrunk down to being so small that if this was the first time seeing it, they would not even mention it as it is SO TINY.

But now, knowing that as far as medicine and science can tell, this is a perfectly healthy and normal little baby, I am ready to share this with everyone. We are due on September 7th! We do not yet know the gender but we find that out in 6-8 weeks and will share it when we do.

The only challenge left is that because I had gestational diabetes with Liam, they checked early for it on this pregnancy and sure enough, my sugars were right at the cut off level on the glucose test, as well as my A1C test.  Which means that I am back to counting carbs, trying not to eat too much sugar, and poking my poor fingers 4-6 times a day to check my blood sugar. But with the help of diet and a small dose of medication it is being well managed and my sugar levels are staying in the correct range. Because of the diabetes, the baby might grow a bit larger and need to be induced early (one to two weeks early) but that is one of those take it as it comes things and is not worth worrying about at this stage in the game.

Dan and I are thrilled to be having another baby, and I think the age difference will be just perfect for Liam. We are happy that this little one is all healthy so far and we are both doing all we can to insure that it stays that way.

So now that we are not so scared and that everything is all ok as far as we can tell, YIPPEE HURRAY!  We are having another baby!!!!!

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