Saturday, September 11, 2010

CIO? No, thank you.

Let me be very clear about this: I do NOT think letting a baby/child cry it out is a good idea. Little people cry for a reason, whether it be hunger, discomfort, or a need to be cuddled, and I think we have a responsibility as parents to respond to those needs. Babies don't cry just because they feel like being contrary.

At the same time, though, I don't see any reason to go rushing in at the first peep. When I put Zeke down for a nap, occasionally he fusses for a few minutes, but usually is asleep within five. If he fusses longer than that (or does the kind of screaming that scrapes your eardrums) I try the cuddle-and-sway routine, which usually does the trick. If not, we scrap the plan and try again later. Maybe this means the laundry isn't done but, frankly, he's more important than laundry.

When we're out and won't be home for naptime, I do a front carry in the Kozy, and he'll snooze in there for a solid two hours.Finally, we usually end up cosleeping at night, which seriously cuts back on the crying and regular waking. Normally, we don't start out intending to keep him in the bed, but often I'll fall asleep when Zeke does, and then Adam just leaves him there when he comes to bed. This is made a lot easier, of course, by having a king-sized bed :)

People sometimes say, "But don't you want him to learn to fall asleep by himself? Don't you want to have a little time for yourself at the end of the day?" Of course I want both of those things -- but I'm not going to push either one of them. I didn't get into parenting to have time for myself, and anyone who does is delusional. Zeke WILL fall asleep by himself when he's developmentally ready to do so (and already does, sometimes). I'm just not that worried about it.

My basic sleep philosophy is this: I don't want Zeke to have negative associations with sleep. I know he likely wouldn't remember crying himself to sleep, and it probably wouldn't cause personality disorders when he's a teenager. That doesn't, however, mean it's the right thing to do for our family. I'll take loving cuddles over leaving him alone to cry, any day.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Summer Events of 2010 (well, most of them, anyway)

So there’s been a lot happening since my last post (in April, eek!). In lieu of lots of boring commentary, I’ll just add a sentence or two along with the slideshow of each event, and hopefully that will do the trick :)

Zeke’s first birthday was July 23, 2010. We didn’t do a huge party or anything; just soda, cake and ice cream for our families. In hindsight, blue icing was a dumb idea.

We left to visit Jeff and Linda on Topsail Island, North Carolina the very next morning. The beach was SO RELAXING. I didn’t realize how tired of the routine I was, and we had a great time. My cousin Steph met us down there after a couple of days, and we had tons of fun all week!

More pictures to come, mostly from reunion and the end of summer.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A gifted child is...

I stumbled upon this wonderful post at Unwrapping the Gifted (it was so fabulous that I'm now following the blog) during my students' resource period this afternoon. I've been hearing a lot of some of these myths lately, so at our last faculty meeting I had to stand up and talk with the other teachers about what the Spectrum program is, describe some of the elements of our curriculum, and let them know in no uncertain terms that they may NOT continue pulling students from my class to make up missed work. It wasn't the most pleasant announcement I've ever made, but it had to be said. I realize our program doesn't identify everyone it should, and sometimes it probably identifies kids it shouldn't, but we work on the assumption that identified Gifted students who are found eligible for Gifted services have a need for greater intellectual stimulation than the typical child. We DO teach, we DO have a curriculum (though it is, admittedly, much looser that your average classroom and isn't attached to any SOL requirement), and we DO assess our students (though we don't use letter grades as the measuring stick). More on all of this later :)

UPDATE 11/13/12: I started a blog specifically about gifted education not long after posting this entry.  Check it out here:  Pandora's GATEway

Thursday, March 25, 2010

googly eyeses

I've always loved the way Gollum in Lord of the Rings says eyeses. As in, "Wring his neck and pull his nosey, yank his ears and poke his eyeses!"

It reminds me of the way Dad likes to play with words, calling multiple moose meeses and multiple houses hice. Or saying something is an optical delusion and calling his office the orifice (one of my all-time favorites).

When Zeke was first born, Adam said he looked just like Gollum, kind of grayish and wrinkly, so I already had the Lord of the Rings connection. The moment I saw how this picture came out, I thought of Gollum and his eyeses; Zeke had just stopped coughing, too, so the metaphor was complete and my Lord of the Rings moment is preserved forever. **smiles**

See more of A Moment at Beth's site.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Zeke started earnestly reaching for things about two and a half months ago, but lately he wants ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that appears to be even remotely within his grasp. It's actually even more of a laugh when the thing he wants isn't anywhere near him, because he streeeee...eeeeetches his arms as far as he can and makes a hysterically funny furrowed-brow-of-surprise face when he can't grab it.

I tried to take some new pictures of him last week while he was sitting on our bed, and he kept going for the camera (it was close to his face so I guess he figured he had a shot at getting it into his hot little hands).

At first I thought the pictures were ruined, but then I realized:

THIS is what motherhood is!
THIS is what I prayed for, and
THIS is what makes me thank God every day for my beautiful baby boy.

He wouldn't be HIM if he didn't make my pictures go all crazy, and
I don't want him to BE anyone else.

See more of this week's "Reaching" You Capture assignment here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shhh....they'll be back soon

I love to read. And when I say that, I really mean




But everything is totally crazy right now with a seven-month-old (who wouldn't go to sleep last night until 11, ugh), so I don't get to spend much time with books anymore.

This week's You Capture challenge is "quiet", and this morning I really SAW the books in my classroom. I LOOK at things all the time, but very rarely do I truly SEE them.

Yes, the books represent a quiet that I've lost at this point in my life (and I miss it!), but the time of day struck a nerve, too. I took this photo right before my eighth-grade students came to class and, less than three minutes after the shutter clicked, the room was completely full and alive with preteen drama and character.

And I realized that the crazy is what makes me appreciate the quiet.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My husband wore our son and I wish I had pictures to prove it!

I've missed posting here! It's been quite awhile, but it seems everytime I sit down to type, something comes up/dinner timer rings/Zeke needs to nurse/the dryer buzzes/students come back from lunch/internet stops working/onandonandonandon...

Something I've been itching to post about, though, is a major breakthrough -- Adam wore Zeke the other day! He wanted to wash dishes (a breakthrough in itself!) but didn't want to just plop Zeke in his highchair by himself, so he made an announcement: "Son, I'm going to wear you now".

**insert crickets chirping**

And I, in my infinite tact, said ".............Really?!"

Adam needed a little help putting Zeke in the Kozy since he's only ever done it once before, so I helped him get situated and tied up in front.

That went well for about two minutes until Adam realized Zeke was in the way while he was trying to use the sink (risking getting the Kozy soaking wet, of course).

So he then announced he wanted to move Zeke to his back, and I helped him get situated and tied up there, too.

Unfortunately, Zeke was not in the mood to be worn so I had to take him after about ten minutes, but it was SSOOOOOO cute while it lasted! My husband is the most handsome man in the world, anyway, but my heart just melted when he had our son on his back.

I think I need to tell him what a good father he is a little more often.

And next time, I think I'll get the camera.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Time for num-nums...

Zeke experienced his first solid food last week. We started him on some rice cereal (and then I read that experts now suggest starting with meat of all things; go figure), which lasted only one day before Frank ate the whole box, leaving just enough to coat the kitchen floor and make every step extra crunchy. After that incident, we gave up the rice cereal as a bad job and skipped straight to sweet potatoes. These pictures show him eating the rice cereal (Gerber's organic brown rice), but he's really into sweet potatos, apples, and bananas at the moment.

Currently we're feeding him Earth's Best organic baby food, but I started cooking some things last night which will eventually have an encounter with the food processor and freezer. Not only can we control what's in his food if we make it ourselves, but we can also encourage [really it's more like de facto forcing :)] him to eat foods that we'll actually cook later when he can eat more solid pieces. There won't be a weird transition from baby food to grown-up food because the food items themselves will be exactly the same; only the level of puree will be different. Plus it's way cheaper this way.

He's now eating in his high chair with us at the table for dinner. It seems to work out well with his daycare/Momcare eating schedule since he usually has a bottle right before Adam picks him up. Then, he's ready to eat again about two hours later, just when dinner is finished cooking and we're sitting down to eat our grown-up food. I've always heard that starting solid foods helps babies sleep better at night. Maybe they're supposed to feel fuller longer? I don't know. Regardless, it doesn't work. He's been up every few hours the last two nights. Teething, I think. Boo.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fluffy Fundraiser!

Today I was reminded yet again of why I like Kelly's Closet so much. Not only have I bought almost all of Zeke's cloth diapers and accoutrements from KC (and customer service has always been stellar!), but its owner is now running a raffle event to raise money for earthquake-devastated Haiti. Purchase tickets for $10 each, and you'll be entered to win a diaper package worth over $250 (runner-up prizes are $100 credits at any of the DiaperShops online stores).

In the spirit of green-ness, I try to patronize local businesses whenever possible. In the case of cloth diapers, though, where the nearest store is over an hour away, I've never felt guilty about ordering from a larger, online company. This fundraising event simply underscores my appreciation for Kelly's Closet, not just for providing a reliable and professional service, but also for its dedication to humanitarian causes.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


A little late, perhaps, but I'm finally getting around to posting about Christmas 2009! It was, of course, Zeke's first Christmas, and as such it was the most meaningful holiday either of us have ever experienced. We attended First United Methodist Church's 5pm child-friendly service, not that we expected Zeke to understand the message, but we figured no one would be too bothered by a baby learning to use his voice in the middle of worship. We like to think he was praising the Lord on his own :)

We went over to Lyda and Andy's house afterward where we got to hang out and hobnob with my side of the family, including my aunt Emily who is now engaged to Rushi! I don't know details yet, and I'm sure they'll let us know as things are finalized, but I do know that they'll be having a wedding celebration (though probably not the legal ceremony itself) in India with Rushi's family.

On Christmas morning we got up early and opened presents at our house. Zeke had several VERY cool toys in his stocking, including a rubber (yes, real rubber) giraffe which he loves because he can jam its legs really far back in his mouth for chomping. I gave Adam a log carrier and a Gorillapod for the camera (I went very practical this year), as well as the first season of 24 and some computer gadgets, and he gave me several small things and a massage! BEST HUSBAND EVER!!! I haven't called the massage therapist yet, but I'm shooting for an MLK Day morning appointment :)

After our own stuff, we went to my parents' house so we could exchange gifts and spend time with Sam and Daniel before they went to Sterling for other Christmas shenanigans. There were several mad bomber hats in the group, Adam now has a fab new overcoat, and I ended up with a stand mixer (hallelujah!) and 12 matching drinking glasses. No more putting out bizarre mismatched pint glasses when we have company!

After Mom and Dad's we went to Adam's parents' house for more Christmas fun. By this point Zeke was starting to get tired and we were getting hungry, too, so we ended up eating a lot of the candy from the stockings. Bad idea; stomachaches ensued. I felt much better, though, when I opened a Kindle and nearly fell off the couch!

We ended up having dinner back at Mom and Dad's house with everyone; the three of us, Ethan, Mom and Dad, Adam's parents, brothers, and grandmother, and a whole bunch of my dad's family. The extended family attendance was a surprise and became a little overwhelming for Zeke after a while, but it was also really nice to spend time with everyone.

The next day (Saturday) we went to Adam's grandparents' house in Pennsylvania to spend time with them and Adam's aunts, uncles, and cousins on his mom's side. Bob and Tina were there from Iowa with their boys, and Jim and Laurie's family was there, too. Zeke LOVED the Christmas bells hanging over one of the doorways and was totally fascinated by watching them ring.

We finally finished the Christmas thing on Monday night at my grandmother's house with all of my dad's sisters and their families. Zeke got lots of fun toys, of course, and we ended up with new dishes (the ones we got as wedding presents have been steadily breaking over the last few months and we don't even have one unbroken set of four anymore).

We are so incredibly blessed on so many levels, not least of which being the beautiful little boy who is currently asleep on the floor wearing an unsnapped onesie and no diaper. I just cannot believe how much I love him and his father; Christmas this year was, without a doubt, a love smorgasbord.
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