Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Suzi sprouts a tooth and dances; Jordan and I have "date night"

Suzi loves music. When we ride in the car she'll cry if we don't turn some music on and then she sings along. She learned that from mommy and daddy (the singing along, not the crying).

Jordan and I had "date night" last night. We went last-minute shopping at Ross because I've lost enough weight that my jeans were practically falling off (hallelujah!). While we were there, Jordan found a copy of the two most wholesome movies ever made, Problem Child and Problem Child 2. Jordan and I both love these silly movies. So we tucked Suzi into her crib, put a frozen pizza in the oven and cuddled on the couch. It was so much fun. Then we ate ice cream (well I had a smoothie with yogurt; I want to continue to fit into my jeans) and fell asleep watching the second movie. So we'll be continuing our date tonight when Suzi goes to bed. I love Jordan and most nights I feel like I'm having a sleepover with my best friend!

Suzi pictures:

Playing peekaboo with Daddy around me. She still loves peekaboo, in all its variations!

Reading her very first birthday card ever! It was from Aunt Laura and Uncle Calvin, who brought her gift over early. They gave her two little summer dresses. She had a great time opening them.

"Listen up! I'm teething, and I'm going to chew on whatever I want! And I don't want to hear another word about it!" (In this case she was chewing on a felt egg I sewed for her before Easter.)

She crawls around with this big teething ring in her mouth. It's cute. Her teething pains are finally paying off; she has another tooth! I'm excited because I think soon we'll be able to tell whose teeth she has. Hopefully Jordan's; his are made of rocks. It's on the top left and it's just poked through.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A somewhat pessimistic post

1) Monday morning I woke up with the 24-hour stomach bug, and it was awwwwwful. I missed two days of work. Jordan was feeling a little sick tonight and went to bed early. I am praying he doesn't wake up with it. That would make for a lovely weekend! Suzi shouldn't get it because I breastfed her (the best I could) while I had it. And I really am thankful for that.

2) I was watching Bringing Home Baby today and the mom was having zero problems breastfeeding, as far as I could tell. The baby was latching on and all. She gave him formula because he had a touch of jaundice she wanted to get rid of. Hello, have you ever heard of letting the baby get a little sunlight? I think she was only supplementing, but it didn't bode well for longevity. It doesn't bother me (much) when a mother comes up with her own reason not to breastfeed; what bothers me is when her doctor, friends, or family feed her some line about why not to do it and she is so desperate to be a good mother she believes it. Fortunately I work where I do and occasionally have the distinct pleasure of debunking a little of the bull. Playing on a mother's insecurities by telling her the baby "isn't getting enough" or "is weaning himself early" is wrong.

3) My name is Jenny Harmon and I had a Wal-Mart problem. But it's been a month since I've set foot in the place and it was easy! You should try it. There actually are other places you can get most everything, and you can even wait until daybreak to do it (Jordan and I were once in the habit of going in the middle of the night, for fun; Suzi nipped that in the bud). Now they are coming up with friendly image commercials (apparently they're helping the environment and the whole nine yards). But one of my favorite local bookstores is closing permanently and I still contend it could be partially due to area superstores, as many closings are.

Next time there will be pictures and happier topics. Good night!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Found a peanut

Another Saturday of yard-saling, and boiled peanuts at the Jockey Lot are the best thing we found. They were perfect in every way and I still have half a cup of them in the fridge waiting for me. It was weird eating them though. Made me feel like I should be watching football.

Worst sale of the day? The Junior League sale. I had a bad feeling when we pulled into the fairgrounds, and I should have listened to that inner voice saying drive away, drive away... But we went up to the door and paid a buck each just to get in. Note to self: If anyone ever tries to make you pay a cover charge for a yard sale again, run like hell. To top it all off, they stamped our hands in permanent blue ink (it won't come off, it's like a tattoo). I guess they allow pass-outs at these yard sales. These women really thought a lot of their stuff although it was picked over 30 minutes in. And, as a sign pointed out, prices were firm. We bought a couple of things but nothing to write home about.

The day got worse as we went to a yard sale and saw three matching barstools that would have been perfect for our counter, and while we were thinking it over and changing Suzi's clothes (she peed a river) a lady bought them out from under us. And they were cushioned, and a good color and everything. Boo-hoo. I have waited long enough for barstools. If we have not found a good deal on three or four of them by Suzi's birthday (May 30), we are going shopping and paying retail.

We did have a decent day at Goodwill though. Here are my favorite finds of the day:

1) A coffee press for those times when we only need one little cup of coffee (more often than one might think). Goodwill, $3.00.

2) A book of ways to use things you'd normally throw away. For instance, you can save your empty lipstick tubes to hold needles, straight pins, and other small objects. Yard sale, 50 cents.

3) Yarn, a bunch of it. Some matches, some doesn't, but I thought I'd pick it up anyway. Goodwill, $3.00.

4) Cute wooden bus for Suzi. Junior League yard sale, $1.00.

5) This last one is my favorite. Does anyone recognize it? We probably would have thought it was a broken bell, but our friends Sara and Jim had one at their wedding. It's a silver-plated German wedding cup the bride and groom can both drink from at once. We are already married, but we'll save it for Suzi. At this price, we couldn't leave it there to be misunderstood any longer. Goodwill, 60 cents.

And here's what Suzi's been doing lately... Climbing me:

And playing in the kitchen floor while I do housework. Lovely!

We went to Vicky's son Braydon's birthday party this afternoon. He was two! Suzi had a great time, because Nolan (3) kindly brought out a giant pile of toys for her to play with during her visit! Braydon was adorable. He's one of the happiest babies I've seen! No pictures, but I'm sure Vicky will have a bunch up soon anyway.

Please go vote, cloth diaperers!

This blogging daddy doesn't understand why cloth diapering is worth the time. If you cloth diaper, please take the time to go vote and explain it to him.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Parents magazine's cloth diaper slip-up

Has anyone read this? It was rated by 422 people so far and only got one star out of five, plus dozens of negative comments. I first read it when I got my copy of Parents the other day. It was written by a dad who was conducting an "experiment" in switching from disposables to cloth diapers. The article was funny, but presented no helpful information and in the end he said cloth diapers were too much trouble and wasted time he could be spending with his son. And besides, the water and electricity it takes to launder cloth diapers makes them as bad as (or worse than) the disposables!

(I'm not saying people who use disposables are bad--I used them for a long time with Suzi, and when I started with cloth it was mostly because I knew we'd save money. But it's almost like this guy made them the butt of his joke.)

His first two reasons were not true for me, but I haven't read many details on the last one. One thing I learned as a psych major is that you can't take someone's word when they say "we did a study and found that ____ is better." I want to know the details. Exactly what are they counting here? Because it looks like people imagine diapers just magically appear on the shelf in the store, and are only bad for the environment because they end up in landfills and will not decompose for hundreds of years. You have to factor in how they are manufactured, packaged, and shipped. My favorite rebuttal to this issue, which I found in the comments of the article, was that if washing cloth diapers is bad for the environment it must be bad for us to wash our clothing too. Why don't we start wearing paper clothes and throw them away every night?

I did find this from a comment on the article and I think it puts things more in perspective. Do any of you have good info on the environmental differences? I wasn't able to look at the study in question because I'd have to buy a book to see it. I'm already sold on cloth, but I want to know what to say next time I get asked the environment question.

Also, does anyone get a parenting magazine that has more helpful, constructive information rather than a bunch of common stuff? Parents has a few interesting articles each time, but I know its main moneymaker is advertising, not subscription fees. Besides, I don't agree with everything it says and I don't appreciate seeing mainstream ideas (about vaccinations, for instance) presented as gospel truth. (As a sidenote, I do sometimes look at websites for ideas and tips, but I can read magazines while I breastfeed Suzi.)

Monday, April 14, 2008

The mother lode

On Saturday Jordan and I had a lovely day yard-saling. We got 40 bucks from the bank and started driving, with no newspaper to confuse us. We picked up a few things here and there, and then saw a sign for an estate sale. "It's probably picked over now," Jordan said. It was past 9 am and professional pillagers generally line up beginning at 6:30. "Well, let's go anyway," I said. "You never know."

The place had a bunch of fabric, lace, and assorted craft notions such as yarn. Once I got past the initial estate sale weirdness (rummaging through someone's home, which still has toiletries and clothing) I began sorting through the craft stuff and making myself a pile. Jordan and Suzi anxiously waited (Suzi was beginning to whine), so I sadly asked one of the owners to come over and give me a total. I ended up with three or four bags of stuff and paid $8.50 for it. Some of it was brand new in the packaging and even had receipts (one bunch of stuff was purchased at Piece Goods, which has since shut down, in '97). I had a great time going through all my new stuff and can't wait to figure out what I'm going to make with it all! Here's what I'm doing so far with the yarn:

It's nothing fancy, but it's going to be a blanket for Suzi. She already likes to hold it in her little fingers. I mostly wanted something to practice my double crochet on, and next I'm going to work on single crochet. My mom is going to help me make some kind of a border for it.

I do love a good yard sale, or consignment sale, or estate sale. Anyone can go to a retail establishment and get what they need, but that's no fun. If you shop the yard sales you get such good deals, and you never know what you're going to find! My brother Paul started taking me to yard sales when I was in college, and I loved it. When I first took Jordan to one he thought it was gross--until he started finding computers and video games, and now he enjoys them. Do you yard sale?

Here's an update on Suzi and her milestones:

She can clap her hands! She's been doing this about two weeks and it's cute, especially when she claps along to music. It doesn't usually make much noise but when it does it's a nice surprise for her.

She loves to climb the stairs (with one of us spotting her, of course). It's been about a month. My big girl can climb all the way to the top! This morning she climbed upstairs to find her daddy.

Teething... ugh. We keep thinking she must be teething, since she's had low-grade fevers, chewing, and overall crankiness, but so far--no teeth! Just the two bottom ones she's had for months.

And no walking yet. She can stand with just a little support (one hand on a table), and she cruises easily along the furniture, but shows little if any interest in walking independently. I think it's because she can crawl so fast!

She still looks just like Daddy!

The other day she was whining and wanted to chew on something, so I gave her a big hunk of raw carrot. She liked it even though she was only able to eat what she could shave off with those bottom two teeth.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Our new mei tai and a jubilee of little treasures!

This past week has been a blur and I haven't had time to blog. Here's my catch-up:

1) Last Friday we went to see Aunt Laura belly dancing, and it was amazing. She's third from the left in the picture below, in the dark blue. I wish I had learned to do this before I had Suzi (and the stretch marks that ensued). Laura is a mother too though, and she looks great--so maybe one day I will just go for it! Um, never mind that I was a dance class dropout at five years old. Do you think they might offer remedial classes?

2) We went to our town's craft fair on Saturday and again on Sunday. There were loads of awesome finds, most of which we couldn't afford. But I did pick up a bread bowl and baked pumpkin bread in it Saturday. Suzi loves pumpkin bread!

I also got a bug repellent stick for Suzi and these neat wooden toys made by Grandpa John, who does excellent work at reasonable prices:

Suzi's Nana bought her this grasshopper and a classic toy: the duck on a stick. The duck flaps his feet as you push him along. Jordan and his brother had one. It's adorable but it'll be more fun when Suzi can walk.

And I bought her this because I think little girls should play with cars and trucks, too.

3) Suzi had a good time playing peekaboo in the curtains...

4) And last, but definitely not least, we got an Ellaroo Mei Tai. It's my favorite. Period. And it was worth the money. It distributes baby's weight across both shoulders and your whole back so it hardly feels like you're carrying anything! I saw Kelly from babywearing meeting carrying her son in one. He makes nearly two of Suzi, so I knew if it was comfortable for her it would be for me and my tiny little girl! Luckily Kelly sells them. Let me know if you need one and I'll get you in touch with her. This afternoon I took Suzi for our regular sunny-day walk, but instead of using the stroller I put her in the Mei Tai. I thought I'd get uncomfortable, but I didn't! There's a flip-up headrest in case baby gets tired, and the straps are padded so they don't cut your shoulders or get twisted. Here is a five-point rating of it (5 is the best, 1 is the worst):

I can safely get Suzi in without help from another adult: 5
It's versatile and can be used for different ages/sizes: 4
I could use it for a long time without getting a back/shoulder ache: 5
It looks cool: 5
I can breastfeed Suzi without removing her: 2

I haven't figured that last one out yet, but it can probably be done. We just learned to do this in the hotsling hip position! Yay! I still love my hotslings for quick runs into the store.

Daddy is such a good sport. He took Suzi shopping in Bi-Lo so I could go next door to Goodwill. Whoever put Goodwill next to the grocery store should be given a medal, because I'm always finding good deals there and I normally don't have time to make a special trip to the thrift shops.

Suzi and I are in love with our new Mei Tai!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Belly Tunes

I've had a nagging urge to blog about music I played for Suzi and me when I was pregnant. Hearing a song from a certain time takes me back to that time, and this music takes me back to the happiest chapter of my life!

First Trimester (Jordan, PULL OVER, I'm going to be sick!)
"Dixieland Delight" - Alabama
"I'm in a Hurry and Don't Know Why" - Alabama
"Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" - KT Tunstall
"Zombie Nation" - Kernkraft 400 (Clemson football)

Second Trimester (Look at that baby dance!)
"Golden Slumbers" - Happy Feet Soundtrack
"Under African Skies" - Paul Simon
"100 Years to Live" - Five for Fighting
Theme from Rocky (Jordan's pick)

Second Trimester (continued; IT'S A GIRL!)
"Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" - Paul Simon
"Daughters" - John Mayer
"In My Daughter's Eyes" - Martina McBride

Third Trimester (HUGE flip-floppin belly)
"Baby Mine" - Alison Krauss
"Hallelujah" - Rufus Wainwright

The Forty-First Week (Suzi... everyone is waiting...)
"Impossible" - TMBG
"Robot Parade" - TMBG
"Sleepwalkers" - TMBG

"Whiskey Lullaby" - Alison Krauss
(and no I didn't get drunk and sing to Suzi)
"Pump It" - Black Eyed Peas

What songs do you all remember from your pregnancies?

Six-word philosophy of life

MyCakies tagged me to give my six-word philosophy of life, so here it is:

Exit your comfort zone every day.

If you don't, you will never know how much you missed. I am trying to live by this rule by sharing ideas other people may think are stupid, talking to people I am tempted to pass by, and reaching out to help someone when the opportunity arises. (This is sometimes a struggle, because I am not very outgoing!)

Okay! Now I'm going to tag:

The 3 of Us
Adventure Dad
Jeff, Beth and Elaina
Inexplicable Ways
Knotted Apronstrings
Organic Marshmallow

You have to give your 6-word philosophy and then tag six people. I'm sure y'all will have wonderfully enriching life philosophies!