Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kipper the comedian

This. This is what makes Bird laugh out loud. Of course, his daddy also gets him laughing, but this is the first and only media that gets him laughing out loud. And he does. Belly laugh. Kipper drops his hippo down the stairs, and Bird hoots in between calling out, "See that, Mama? See that?" Today, he even fell on the floor laughing so hard while Kipper and Tiger tried to do laundry.

Me? I'm not so funny when I'm doing laundry. In fact, I'm not ever as funny as Kipper. I'm apparently the comfort and care part of this equation and am leaving the belly laughs to an admittedly, adorable British dog.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

I'm posting this in between licking my fingers clean of the yummy goodness. My friend Kara brought a batch of these after Squeak was born and gave me the recipe as well.

You will want to make them right away and often after that. They are so incredibly good.

1 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup peanut butter (I have used creamy and chunky-both work well.)
1 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups uncooked oats
3/4 cup of chips (chocolate or butterscotch or you could use raisins)
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax seed
Heat oven to 350. Beat brown sugar, butter, and peanut butter till fluffy. Add honey, molasses, and vanilla- stir well. Stir in oats, chips, coconut, raisins, and wheat germ. Press into bottom of a 9x13 baking pan. Bake fifteen minutes. Put in the freezer to chill for 45 minutes or until firm. I then cut them into bars and store them in large Ziploc in the freezer.
Nothing to it, but oh so amazingly good. And from stuff I mostly have in my kitchen already.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In which I bare my penchant for long analogies

I think about birth daily. Even though I am personally done giving birth, I can't put it out of my mind.

I want to tell Squeak's birth story over and over again. He was born in the water. I find myself grinning as I almost whisper this to people. I can't help myself. It was truly the most amazing experience in my life, and I want to share it.

I want to share it without guilt. I don't want to feel guilty for being so thrilled with it, and I don't want other mamas to feel guilty if they didn't have the same experience. Guilt is based in shame and judgment, and is no way for mamas to better themselves and support each other.

Here's what I think.

From my house to my momma's house, the best and most direct route is I-40. Plain and simple. Get on I-40, drive for an eternity, and end up at Momma's house. It's the best way to get there, but the last time we went, there was a rock slide on the NC/TN state line on I-40.

We had to go around. We had to divert from the best route in order to get where we were going.

We still got to Momma's house. We were more tired, used more gas, and it took more time, but we got there. We were grateful that there were other routes to Momma's house so that we could still get there safely even though there was a rock slide.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

What if someone had just given us wrong directions? What if there was a gas station or a restaurant on the route around I-40 that printed maps without I-40 on it? Just to get us to drive by their business and become customers? What if the only directions we were given never even mentioned that we could just stay on I-40 unless there was a rock slide?

Isn't that entirely different?

If you don't need to go around the rock slide, then someone should be giving you directions that go from point A to point B without all the side roads. And by side roads, I mean interventions, in case you haven't jumped on board my analogy yet.

All of us mamas are just following our maps. We are doing the best we can for ourselves and our children with the information we are given.

The more we share our birth stories, and share them proudly - ALL of them, not just the ones who stayed on I-40 - the more we empower the mamas-to-be.

I am proud of all the mamas I know, and I want to hear every one of their stories. The ones who gave birth via c-section. The ones who gave birth via induction. The ones who gave birth at home. The ones who became mamas via adoption.

It's about becoming a mama. That's all. Yes, I do believe that the more we can help mamas-to-be stay on the interstate regardless of what their maps say, the better. But I absolutely do not believe that we should judge each other for the different paths we all took in getting to be a mama.

Let's let go of the guilt and start sharing our stories. Let's let each other feel proud of bringing our children into the world, and at the same time, let's help all the mamas-to-be find the best route for birth.

/soapbox (for today)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Kevin

I didn't think I would get to be a mother.

In my first marriage there were plans of adoption, disappointment, plans of insemination, and more disappointment. Then, there was an end to that marriage. That's the extremely short and shallow version.

Kevin is my proof of grace in this life. The reason that anyone gets to wish me, "Happy Mother's Day."

On a day where we honor our moms, I find myself wanting to shower my husband with adoration. He saw me for who I am, where I was, and loves me still even with all of my flaws. He trusted me to have his sons and provides for us so that I can stay home with them. He sees us as partners in parenting, making it only my "job" for the time that he is at his "job."

So thanks, Kevin. Thanks for knocking me up a few times. Thanks for being my support in pregnancy, birth, labor, and postpartum. Thanks for being the daddy-half. Thanks for loving me and loving your children like you do.

Happy Mother's Day to us.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Mama is pretty

Bird's vocabulary has really taken off this spring. I think that his friend Carter inspired him when he visited. The things Bird comes up with now are great. He keeps me laughing most of the day - except when he's telling me to "go away." Or "sit down." That part isn't so cute.

Tonight, he was sitting on his sister's lap while she did her Algebra homework. Squeak was sitting in the Bumbo (on the table - OH MY!) and I was sitting next to him making silly faces. Bird smiled sweetly and said, "Awww, baby. SO cute." He often announces that Squeak is "SO cute." It melts my heart.

Mal asked him if he was cute too. He said no. She asked him if Daddy was cute. No. She asked him if Mama was cute. No.

But wait -

He said, "No. Mama's pretty."

Oh, help. My heart. My poor heart. It is no longer mine in any way shape or form.

Now, if I can just get him to stop saying "shit" whenever he drops something.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Pampers Dry Max and other evils on the shelf

Bird is at school and Squeak is sleeping in his bouncy seat. He slept on my chest for 90 minutes, but then want to move, so he's vibrating and snoozing, and I have two free hands. Two free hands which should be cleaning something, writing thank you notes, doing laundry, or organizing the boys' clothes for storage - but I'm actually trying to put writing back into my list of priorities, so here I sit.

I have a copy of Healthy Child, Healthy World that I have been putting off reading because I'm scared of all the things I could be doing better for my children. That's so lame. After this week of recalls and dangerous products, I'm thinking it's time to dive into it.

Squeak had almost finished his trial size bottle of Infant's Tylenol that has been recalled. It could have tiny particles - of what, they didn't say - in it or it could contain too much of the active ingredient. Either way, it's not good for him.

Bird had on a Pamper with their new "Dry Max technology" the other day. When I went to change it, he started grabbing the inside of his thigh and telling me that it hurt. I lay him on the changing table, and he began to scream before I could even get his shorts off of him. The blisters on his legs and bottom were unbelievable. I immediately began trying to calculate when the last time I changed him was and starting cursing myself for letting him have a wet and dirty diaper - even though I hadn't done anything different that day than from any other day. I changed him right when I noticed, and it wasn't that long from the last change.

I was mortified and cried right along with him. I stopped trying to clean him up at the changing table and put him straight into the tub. I wanted to make sure he was 100% clean, and rubbing the blisters wasn't an option.

After I put him to bed that night, I noticed a buzz online about Pampers and their new Dry Max diapers. A friend from my LLL group had posted a news story, and after watching it, I started searching for more information. What I found was unbelievable.

Thousands of reports of chemical burns and unusually bad blistering and rashes have been reported with these diapers. I couldn't believe it. The pictures I saw of those poor babies look just like Bird. The bigger than a quarter raised blisters - they were on all of these babies.

No more Pampers for us. I don't care how much that box cost me. I'm not using another Pamper ever again.

So begins my foray into cloth diapering. I tried it with the gCloth inserts for our gDiapers and hated them. They were terrible. But I've got some friends who are willing to give me lessons in all of the other ways to cloth diaper, so we are getting ready to make the switch. And for the times we need a disposable one, I'll be using a Huggies natural or a Seventh Generation diaper.

I feel so strongly right now, that as a mama and a consumer, I have got to start making better choices for my family. Choices based on their well being instead of cost and convenience. I did that for Squeak's birth, and now I need to continue that throughout their lives. I owe it to them to keep them safe and healthy.

It's frustrating to not be able to trust as a consumer.