Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shameless Plug

Hi friends! I just wanted to take a minute to share the fact that I recently started as an independent consultant with Usborne Books & More. Books are kind of my thing, so this seemed like a natural move for me. Since I'm not working outside the home this year, I decided to pursue a home business in an attempt to contribute to our family financially. For those of you who are local I am available to do home shows and I can help you earn free books. For those a little farther away I can help you host an online show (and you can also earn free books) or you can just purchase books directly from me at any time.

I am not linking directly to my Usborne site from here, but if you are interested just email me and I'll let you know where you need to look to check out these wonderful books. (If you know me on facebook, the website link is on my profile page!)

I hosted my own show this weekend to get started, it was small but went well. If you really want to help me get my business going, you can order through my online show which goes on for the remainder of this week - until October 3rd. You'd been helping me earn some free books that I'll have on hand for demonstrating at future shows. Just email me for details.

The books are really wonderful - my children love them. Please trust that I would not sell products I don't believe in!

Okay, salesgirl pitch over. Whew!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Here Michael, Michael! (And an update about shots)

I know things have been slightly video-centric here lately, but look!

That happened last Thursday - precipitated by my luring Michael half way across the kitchen on his feet w/ a Cheez-It - I guess the kid just needed some motivation. We're still quite far from walking being his first choice, but he can do it!

I also wanted to update everyone on the shot situation - Harper's flu shot was on Tuesday, and even though she was exceedingly nervous about it, here's what worked:

1) She brought her stuffed dog, Max, to squeeze.

2) We brought a lollipop and I told her the bit about how babies think things hurt less if they taste something sweet. (Thank you Marie!) I told her she could have it as soon as we were finished (before lunch!) if the nurse said it wasn't okay to have it during the shot - and then it was okay to have during the shot - phew!

3) She was allowed to sit on my lap and asked if I could please give her a really tight squeeze. (I did!)

4) I told her I would take her to McDonald's for a Happy Meal afterward if she cooperated. (i.e. did not kick the nurse)

And it was fine, there was lots of nervous energy but no extreme freaking out, and only a few tears after the fact. No screaming OR kicking - mission accomplished!

Monday, September 21, 2009


1) Well the guessing game wasn't quite the rollicking fun I thought it would be, since the total was actually around $75 - which seemed like a great deal! The fact that people were making guesses as low as $12 makes me think I need to spend more time at garage sales, if I can get that kind of loot in that kind of shape for so little... I must admit that Ann, my mother-in-law, was there with me and subsidized a portion of the purchases, so the part that I paid wasn't too far off some of your guesses. (Thanks again Ann!)

2) Mike and Ann stayed with the kids while Matt and I attended a wedding in Chicago this past weekend. It was one of the best wedding weekends ever and I would like to write about it in better detail, but it was so overwhelmingly wonderful that it is hard to imagine putting words to the events.

3) Look what Michael learned now:

I was sitting at the computer, turned around, and in a matter of seconds he had hoisted himself onto that rocking horse. The video doesn't even come close to demonstrating how wild he got - I'm sure it is great for his balance, but maybe we need to find a rocking horse that is lower to the floor, and padded.

We are in So. Much. Trouble.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Some Things I Love

It is no secret that I love books, and reading, and reading books with my children, and watching my children enjoy books, etc., etc.

Michael has always been a book fan, in one way or another. In fact, when we were working on his mobility with the physical therapist we used the book basket to motivate him. He would crawl to it or sit propped against it or work on strength by holding himself off the floor and emptying the books at the same time. Right now he will pull books off the shelf in his room and hold them out to me while signing, "please." How awesome is that? Of course sometimes he only wants to hear the first two pages before he is asking to get down again...

I LOVE watching Michael interact with books. He can frequently be found emptying book baskets or taking books off shelves. Lately he's also been "reading" to himself. This is the best because it also involves another thing I LOVE - baby gibberish! I am fully aware that this is probably just a mother thing, but I could listen to baby babble all day long, especially once they reach the point where it sounds like that have something so important to say, but have forgotten that I don't speak Martian, and so they just go on and on in this foreign sounding language. So yeah, Michael reads to himself in Martian.

I decided to try to capture this with the video camera, but the first tries were epic fails because the camera just kept distracting Michael. This is one of many takes that totally cracks me up, even if I didn't get the footage I was going for:

I was smarter the next time I tried to film him, I was sitting futher away, and up in a chair, so the video camera wasn't at his eye-level. And yes, it was on the first football Sunday of the season, and yes, both my children were in Packer clothes. :-) Please note the cushion that Michael is sitting on, it has become his reading seat. He has gotten into the habit of pulling it off the couch and plonking down on it to read his books.

His waving is pretty cute, too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

18 Months and All is Well (Plus bonus questions about shots!)

Michael had his 18-month well visit with our pediatrician today. He now weighs 25 pounds and is 32 inches tall. According to our doc that puts him at 50% for height and between 25-50% for weight - not bad for the preemie! He has been eating like a linebacker, but apparently he is using the calories; I was kind of surprised he hadn't jumped more in weight.

The doctor addressed a bunch of my concerns. As far as walking goes, after watching him stand and take a few steps toward me, she said, "Oh, he'll be walking next week!" Now I've been thinking that most of the summer, but truly he seems to be getting close. She was slightly more concerned about the lack of new words (um, none) since his 15 month visit, although I maintain that he is more communicative now than he was then. We decided that I would call her if he hadn't clearly increased his vocabulary in the next three months. She wasn't ready to recommend speech therapy yet, but doesn't want to wait until the two year appointment if things aren't progressing. Fair enough.

Then he got four shots! :-( Poor baby, as one would expect he was not quite himself this afternoon.

Speaking of shots - I have to take Harper in for a flu shot next week. And we'll be back for the H1N1 vaccine, when it is available, because both my children are considered high risk. And then she'll have the "kindergarten shots" at her birthday appointment in November. Here's the problem - last year when Harper had the flu shot she freaked out. As in, she nearly kicked the nurse in the face. I was looking back over old posts to see if I had written about that experience and I think I was probably too embarrassed to mention it.

Here are some questions for you:

1) How do I help her not freak out?

2) Is it wrong to bribe her for being even remotely cooperative? Especially given that we're going to have to do this three times in next three months? (I don't expect her not to cry, but I do expect her not to inflict bodily harm on the health care workers.)

Why have my parenting instincts totally failed me here? I thought we were prepared last year and it was a failure of epic proportions. We also had extreme difficulty when she needed blood drawn at the allergists in August this year, so frustrating as she'd done that w/ no problem the year before. What gives?

I hate the look of shock/pain/betrayal on babies' faces when they get shots, but I think this big kid anticipation is worse!

I'll share my sale totals by the end of the week - the guessing game is still on!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Let's play a little guessing game...

Saturday morning Ann and I went to a "Mom's Market" that was also a fundraiser for the local children's medical center. I had never been to one of these before, but it was basically a gigantic garage sale. It cost us a dollar a piece to get in and it was a madhouse. It reminded me of the Friends episode where they go to a huge sale to get Monica's wedding dress. I didn't know how crazy it would be but I had the foresight to make a list the night before of some specific items I wanted to look for - I'm so glad I did this or I would have been totally overwhelmed!

Here are the things we purchased:

Snowsuit and new-looking snow boots for Michael, dress and cardigan for Harper

Pajama set, two pairs of tan pans, one pair of tag-still-on Land's End cords, one pair of soft black pants, one pair of Gymboree knit pants (so cute!), and one turtleneck w/ dalmatians for Harper

Lion costume (so he can be Cowardly to Harper's Dorothy) and long-sleeve fleece romper for Michael

Three Baby Einstein DVDs and ball/hammer toy for Michael (these we'll wrap up for Christmas)

Also, not particularly pictured, two pairs of jeans, two pairs of tan pants, and one pair of gray pants for Michael.

Total: 10 pairs of pants, one sweater, one pajama set, one romper, one toy, three DVDs, one pair of boots, one snowsuit, one turtleneck, and one lion costume.

How much do you think we spent???

(Clicking on individual pictures will make them larger, if you think the quality of the items will help you guess how much of a steal this sale was.)

Edited to add: OMG you guys are killing my sale buzz! Remember that it was a sale but also a fund-raiser (i.e. I did not purchase anything for less than a dollar. Perhaps comparing it to a garage sale was a bad idea...)

P.S. Mommy Daisy - there is one in Vandalia in a couple of months, let me know if you want me to try to find some info for you - that's not too bad a drive!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

One and a HUH???

As much as I know you must be sick of seeing this first picture, I can't help but marvel that, in 18 very short months, this guy:

has become this guy:

So cool, despite the fact that he's flashing a little diaper in the shot.

I mentioned not long ago that Michael is involved in some kind of marvelous development explosion. As evidence I offer the fact that I only managed to get one 18-month photo of him sitting in the chair. Why sit when you can stand, bounce, and attempt to fling yourself from a dangerous height? Sitting is so yesterday.

I've have continued to keep my fretting (mostly) in check regarding Michael's late blooming in the walking department. He will now walk when holding our hands. This is progress, despite the fact that when he's holding our hands he moves slower than molasses. No wonder the boy isn't interested in walking, his crawl is wicked fast. Two weeks ago in church he was halfway down the side aisle before I could catch him.

We've also been playing that back and forth game: Matt and I will sit a few feet apart and encourage him to go back and forth between us. Tonight we recorded serious progress as he took three and even four steps in a row!

Michael is taking his time learning to talk as well, and it is something I'm going to bring up at our appointment with the pediatrician next week. Yesterday he climbed up my chair while I was reading and I swear he pointed to my book and said, "Book!" clear as day. BUT I cannot get him to say it again, so it may have been coincidental babble.

Michael has just recently learned the signs for "please" and "thank you," giving up "more" in the process. Harper did the same thing, once she learned "please" she just used it in place of "more". Consequently he sits in his chair at mealtimes signing "please" over and over and over and over. You'd think he was starving over here - unlikely as he weighs just over 25.5 pounds! Seriously, I'm going to need physical therapy if he doesn't start walking soon, he's so heavy.

Harper continues to be a mostly doting big sister. I was talking to a friend on the phone tonight while getting dinner ready when I heard this insane sound behind me. I turned to look and Harper had Michael sort of pinned down on the kitchen floor; she was lifting his shirt and giving him the loudest zerberts I've ever heard. It was hilarious and all of us were laughing for a few minutes. Of course, as is the way with these things, Michael tired of the game before Harper did and the activity deteriorated into frustrated screaming. I hear the two of them should outgrow that dynamic by the time they are in their twenties.

A year and a half is looking pretty good. I love discovering the little boy Michael is becoming even as I cling to the remaining bits of his babyhood.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Hanging In...

Fortunately Michael is fine - I'm sorry it took me all day to post that update.

He just has a nasty virus that's going around, but his lungs and ears were clear and it isn't strep.

The trip to urgent care was worth it, just to know there wasn't something wrong that we were ignoring. No antibiotics necessary, but they did give him Motrin and I swear that stuff is magic. Harper was never very sick when she was as young as Michael and we never had Motrin for her until she was much older - it never occurred to me to look for infant Motrin. But Motrin helped us sleep and nap and sleep some more!

Everything looks better after a little sleep.

Of course Matt and I are now feeling the cold come our way, but I guess we won't wake the children up throughout the night as retribution. That would be pretty cruel.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

Now Michael is sick, as is the way of these things.

Harper, who is feeling significantly better, was the only one who slept more than forty minutes at a stretch last night. Our poor boy is miserable. Matt finally left with him for children's urgent care this evening.

I felt a little silly sending them off, especially when the main "symptom" he has is prolonged, inconsolable screaming. Unfortunately Michael has a knack for getting sick on holidays or on vacation. I think we would have suffered through another night if taking him to the pediatrician in the morning was a possibility, which, of course, it's not.

It never ceases to amaze me how impossible the interrupted sleep feels if I'm not dealing with a tiny baby. To be fair my tiny babies normally snuggled up with me to eat and be comforted, rather than screeching and writhing in my lap. Good times.

I don't imagine anything terribly serious is wrong with Michael, just something that is making him terribly uncomfortable. I'll try to leave an update later tonight or tomorrow, when we know what is (or isn't) wrong.

Don't you love it when I post from nervous energy?

Friday, September 04, 2009


Harper had a great first week of school, and celebrated it by coming home with a terrible cold!


She's actually quite a trooper during the day, but oh, those sick nights. She wakes up crying, worked up beyond understanding, and there is nothing to do but help her calm down and hopefully sleep for another forty-five minutes. It is worse than having a newborn (although I never had a colicky newborn).

My kingdom for safe and effective kiddie NyQuil.


It seems there is a lot of yuck going around these days - having a child with a cold is getting off pretty easily, even if no one sleeps well the next couple of nights.

I wish for some peace for everyone who is having a hard time these days. Peace and a good night's sleep. Who doesn't need that?