Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Me: Are you my little Ariel?
A: No!
Me: Yes you are!
A: No!
Me: Yes you are! Your name is Ariel! Ariel _____!
A: No!
Me: Okay, who do you think you are? What's your name?
A: Me!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Banana Peels Are Gross!! ICKY!

My sweet little princess let me sleep in till 9:15 this morning! This is unheard of, and, since my only plans for today are a prenatal exam at 1:15 and a couple errands afterwards, it was definitely a good thing! I got her up, changed her diaper (well, more like removed her diaper, which was soaked through and the rest were in the washing machine... naked baby!), and took her out to the kitchen, where I had been pre-soaking some Grape Nuts for us. Does that sound gross? Dan thinks it's gross, but I just can't stand how crunchy Grape Nuts are, and how they get stuck in my teeth, so I give them a good 5 minutes. I figured I should do it for Ariel, too, since she doesn't have many teeth. This was her second day of getting her own bowl and spoon, which she absolutely loves and does a great job feeding herself with! My big girl!

So, anyway, I go in, clean off her highchair tray from last night, turn around, and she's holding her half-banana. Dan always has about 1/2 of a banana in his protein shake every morning, and he leaves the other half for her. She shouldn't be able to reach it up on the table, but lately we've been surprised at what she can reach! She toddles over to me holding the majority of the banana in one hand, and a piece of peel in the other, and, as I watch, she sticks the peel in her mouth and bits off a big chunk of it! The look on her face says that this wasn't the flavor she was expecting, but she begins to chew with determination. Everything in me screams, AHHH! POISON!!

"NO!!" I tell her, as severely as I can. My normally tough and defiant little girl instantly bursts into tears, tears that become heaving sobs when I remove the peel from her mouth and banana from her hands, trying to explain, "This is the peel! Icky!" I try to show her that I'm putting the banana itself on her tray, but she doesn't really stop crying until I put her in her highchair. When I plant a kiss on her cheek before putting her tray in front of her, I get her cold, salty tears on my lips. Oh, how hard life can be!

She ran around naked until her nap, when I put her in her one remaining gDiaper, a large that may or may not be helpful (I didn't stuff it extra full, like I usually do, so I wouldn't be surprised if she leaks). I just can't put her in a disposable again. Dan had to put her in one the night before last because we were out of G's, and her little back and bottom are still red and rough like sandpaper, and she was scratching herself even this morning. I put some cream on her, but mostly I just hate having this happen in the first place. I hope I can get a good price on some of the new, improved gDiapers coming out tomorrow! Woohoo! Are we excited, or what?

The other day, a friend of mine was talking about possibly putting together a newsletter for moms, and suggested that, out of me, her, and another of her friends who might start it up, that I would be the one most knowledgeable about Attachment Parenting. This was an odd thing to hear someone say, because I started my parenting experience dead-set against most of what Attachment Parenting is all about. As Ariel grew and I fell more and more in love with her, I loosened up on a few of the things that I was trying to push away from, but I still definitely wouldn't be considered an Attachment Parenting advocate. RaeAnn and I were talking about this, and I was explaining to her WHY I shy away from that extreme, though now I'm trying to keep away from the other extreme, too, and just hang out in the middle. She said I should blog about my concerns, and, since I generally obey her, allow me to explain myself:

First of all, let me say that I'm not necessarily against slings (I have one), co-sleeping (though I have a little kicker, myself), or anything else of that nature. What I was mainly afraid of when I had Ariel, and what I still think is important to keep in mind and guard myself from now, is the tendency of mothers to attach a significance to the bond that they feel with their child that the child does not feel and cannot reciprocate. A child's emotional bond to his/her mother is natural and starts out very strong, then, slowly, decreases. It's supposed to decrease - the bond is like a protective mechanism, and pulling away from it is a natural part of growing up. But when we as adults create, nurture, or even go so far as to obsess over a bond, we are making it STRONGER over time, while our kids need it to become weaker.

I enjoy reading some of the things that people write about on Attachment Parenting websites, because our bond with our babies IS so wonderful, and I am sometimes moved to tears (especially right now, since I'm pregnant and emotional!). What worries me for some of these moms, and for myself, is when they start to talk about how much this means/will mean TO THE CHILD, especially if the mom thinks it will be meaningful when the child is older. How many adults do you know who talk about the amazing emotional bonds that they have with their mothers? If you had a conversation like that with someone, wouldn't you be concerned?

I worry that some of these moms are setting themselves up for a lot of pain down the road, and it's something that I really don't want to do to myself, or to my daughter. I know that there WILL be pain for me as I watch her grow and disconnect from me, but I don't want to make it a lot worse than it needs to be. We are all geared toward self-preservation, especially emotionally. I am concerned that many of the moms who spend their child's infancy and even toddler years trying to emphasize emotional closeness over everything else will be the same moms who, when school starts, encourage their children to keep taking their lovey to school, no matter what the other kids say, because there's nothing wrong with sucking your thumb with a blanket in your classroom. Or the moms who say, "Honey, if you're nervous about your first trip to summer camp, why don't you just stay home? We can play together, just the two of us!" Moms who, in their desperate emotional need for their children, encourage their child's fears and infantile behaviors instead of encouraging them to stretch themselves and grow up.

We all know about those moms, we all see them from time to time, or see the children who are so affected by them, and I doubt any of us think that what they're doing is in the children's best interests. But wouldn't it be all too easy to parent that way - especially in the little, day-to-day ways that don't seem like such a big deal but that add up over time - if our mantra for years had been "closer is better"?

The truth is, I am so in love with my little girl, and it's hard to know where to draw the line to give her a fair amount of emotional space. At first, I wasn't going to kiss her on the lips, but those sweet little rosebuds called to me and it only took a couple weeks to put an end to that plan! Then I wasn't going to kiss her if she didn't want me to, but it's so hard to just say "goodnight" when she's pushing me away and leave her without a kiss. So now I kiss her on the cheek whether she likes it or not, but I try to resist forcing the lip-kiss when she's saying "No!" I try not to take it personally, but I must admit that it always makes me a tiny bit sad. But I know that's just part of being a mom...

Anyway, I'm out of thoughts, talk to you all later!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Satisfying the Masses

You've asked for it, so here you go - me and my girls!

This is from a few weeks ago, but things haven't changed much. I weigh like 2 pounds more than I did with Ariel, but I actually don't feel quite as big. Maybe I've just gotten used to being pregnant, but it seems to me like, while I'm quite uncomfortably large, that I should be sticking out just a little bit more if I really only have 3 weeks to go. Hear that? THREE WEEKS!!! WOOHOO! According to my doctor this afternoon, I'm 1.5 centimeters dilated and 75% effaced. Now, if I recall correctly, 1.5 cm can be loosely translated as "not really dilated at all," but the effaced part is good, right? I'm all packed for the hospital (except for my hair brush and camera, but I have a note in the bag reminding me to grab those!), the sheets are on the bassinet, I'm armed with newborn sized diapers and lots of tiny little onesies, so I think I'm pretty much good to go. Maybe I should run the onesies through the wash. I don't think I've washed them since I packed them away after Ariel. Hmmm...

At the moment, my washing machine is otherwise engaged, "stripping" my cloth diapers. That is correct - we are cloth diapering. Have I mentioned Ariel's rash on this blog? A few months ago, she started developing a nasty rash on her upper rear end/lower back. It itched, and she would scratch herself until she bled, poor thing! The doctor and lactation consultant both said "try switching to cloth," but I was chicken and afraid to invest the time and money when I didn't know if it would help. Finally, on the first weekend of July, Dan and I decided to take the plunge and buy a starter kit of gDiapers. Within 24 hours, the rash was no longer red, and she wasn't scratching! Within a few days, her back was smooth. The flushable inserts are pretty spendy, but we've been using cloth prefolds at home and only using the flushables if we take her out, which actually makes this a little cheaper than disposables. And, you have to admit, they're pretty darn cute!

So, now we get to the stripping part. Cloth diapering has changed, for those of you who aren't young cloth diapering moms and don't know this. We don't boil or bleach or any of those things. Most people just wash them once or twice at the most in a regular washing machine, because washing machines are a lot better now, and bleach is a pretty nasty chemical to put against your kid's skin, plus it breaks down the fibers really fast and reduces absorbency. HOWEVER, because detergents today are so full of nasty additives that are made to leave residues (like fabric softeners and optical brighteners, which coat fabric fibers), they can be a huge problem for cloth diapers, causing odors and also reducing absorbency. My diapers started smelling like cat pee in no time, and washing them didn't do too much good. To fix this, you're supposed to "strip" them - wash them in hot water with no detergent until you no longer see suds when the washer agitates. I've been washing mine in 2 batches. The first took 6 cycles, and it looks like this second batch may end up taking more like 7 or 8. At least my washing machine is an Energy Star! I definitely don't want to do this again, though, so I've switched to a detergent that all the cloth diapering moms seem to rave about, Charlie's Soap. We'll see how things go now...

So that's pretty much up with me right now - stripping my diapers and being pregnant. Between the back pain issues and a little girl who is always up by 8am, I'm living on Tylenol and coffee. Probably not super-healthy, but my doctor's not concerned, and I gotta do what I gotta do! Okay, gotta go turn the washer back on - it just finished cycle No. 5.