Welcome Baby D!


 

It has  been a busy couple of weeks! Baby boy D was born two weeks ago today. He was 7lbs. 8 oz., 20 inches long, and has a full head of dark hair. The birth did not go as we planned. I will post about that when I have a little more time. He is healthy and woderful, and worth every second of labor– which lasted from Friday night until Sunday morning. He is the new little light of our lives!

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Can Parents Be Trusted With Children?


Today my husband and I went to a well-known baby gear store with the intention of buying a sleep sack for the baby. These seem like a good alternative to blankets and constant swaddling– the former posing a suffocation hazard and the latter not allowing for movement of arms and legs. We found a good variety of colors and patterns, from the plain, subtle colors that I prefer to the boldest patterns to suit the most colorful taste. There was only one problem: every single one had “Back Is Best” embroidered on the material. Really? This had nothing to do with the name of the company making the sleep sacks. It was a nonremovable warning label disguised in cutesy, colorful lettering. There was one lone representative from a different maker, and it did not have the warning, but it was in a girlie print and we do not know the sex of our baby. We approached a couple of sales people and asked if there were any more options. Online yes, in store no. But we have a wide variety… Yes, I said, they look nice. I just don’t like the instructions on baby sleep position displayed on the garment. Parents aren’t clueless. One sales person agreed with me, the other looked at me like I was crazy. Oh well.

I can see providing the information. One baby saved from SIDS is worth it. I just felt that stitching the warning into the garment was over the top. Due to litigious people we now have to be informed that coffee is hot, not to use a hairdryer in the bath, and that one can suffocate if one puts a plastic bag over one’s head. If adults can’t take care of themselves, clearly we can not be trusted with helpless infants. Perhaps I am overreacting, but I do not need the baby sleep sack to tell me how to put my child to sleep. I believe that parents can be trusted with children. We all survived somehow– when there were many fewer safety regulations than there are today.

I’m on Twitter! (No Really…)


I’m on Twitter! Those of you who know me can stop laughing now. Ok keep laughing, it is pretty funny. For those who don’t know me, I am so unTwitter it’s hilarious. 🙂 But, I decided that it is the best forum for sharing daily, not blog post worthy things like my mileage for marathon training. I’ve already met some very cool people tweeting very interesting things– I’m glad I signed up. Tweet me! @experimentalmom

Yay! A Marathon Partner!


My husband just decided to train for an October marathon with me. Yay! I enjoy long solitary runs, but having him train also will definitely provide motivation– and bring out my competitive side. No, I’m not competitive… not in the least…

Anyway, I am so happy that we are doing this together. The first challenge will be waiting until I am completely healed from birth to resume running. I know I have the tendency to push things a little. I’m not stubborn, either…

There is one more person we are going to invite to sign up with us, but she doesn’t know it yet. She likes to run, but she may be a little busy with a wedding approaching. If you read this, Auntie K, we want YOU to go the distance! If it’s not for you, we understand. But wouldn’t it feel good to cross the finish line ahead of a certain someone? 🙂

The Hip Slimmer


The Hip Slimmer has arrived! I am looking forward to trying it. Baby just has to get here first.

I like the lacing protector on the inside. Although the packaging shows a woman wearing it while out and about, I think I’ll just wear it in the house. The recommendation is to wear it for a few hours a day– no need to keep it on all the time.

Holy Cow! Are You Due Any Day?


People say a lot of interesting things to pregnant women. I haven’t had many comments, and not one stranger has touched my belly. From what I hear this is a rare situation. I must give off a “leave me alone” vibe. A couple of people have said funny things to me– I haven’t been offended, just amused.

This morning I was taking a walk and a woman who had just come out of her house as I walked by said “Holy cow! Are you due any day?” I said yes, and she seemed to realize that perhaps her choice of words was not the most tactful. She tried to recover by saying “Oh, I couldn’t even tell you were pregnant until you were really close… good luck!”, and then hurrying back into the house. I got a good laugh from that one.

The only other thing someone has said was earlier in my pregnancy. A woman I had not seen in a while took one look at me and said “either you’ve gained A LOT of weight or you’re pregnant!”. A stranger who happened to be nearby got a horrified expression when she heard that. Thankfully I was pregnant and not just fat!

I think a lot of people want to say something when they see a pregnant woman because most everyone likes babies. When the baby is still in utero, though, it can be a little awkward. What is the funniest (or most upsetting) thing someone has said to you about your pregnancy?

Baby Shower In Absentia


I got a happy surprise today: my family, who live out of state, are having a baby shower for me in my absence! Since I am not there, they all brought gifts for the baby and are wrapping them together. They have decorations and a cake, too. Next week some family members are coming to visit and bringing everything with them. What a lucky baby! I think having a “wrap your gifts” shower when the mom is far away is a clever idea– everyone loves to see everyone else’s gifts at a shower. Thank you, lovely family! 🙂

A Multi-Generational Cradle


 

This is a cradle that my father made for me when I was born. Now my baby gets to use it! It has been newly cleaned and is waiting for the arrival of the little one.

A Word A Day


Those familiar with Glenn Doman know he insists that the easiest time to teach a child to read is in the years before he or she is school age. He says it is easier to teach a child to read at four than at five, at three than at four, at two than at three, and at one than at two. He says that once a child is five or six years old, the window for ease of learning has passed, and while it is possible to teach reading once a child is of an age to be in school, it will not be done as quickly or as painlessly as it could have been done earlier. My parents were not familiar with Doman or his work, but they did teach me to read early. They just saw it as part of a natural progression, and not something unusual or mysterious. I believe that their approach gave reading consistently positive associations for me, and avoided the stress that is often part of learning to read in school.

Interestingly, they say that they did not actively teach me letters. They just happened to watch Wheel of Fortune in the evenings, and they say that I was fascinated by it and learned the letters by seeing Vanna turn them. I do not remember this. My father points out that Wheel of Fortune uses an almost ideal teaching method– someone clearly says the letter, then the letter is shown. Eventually someone reads what the letters spell. They did not realize that I was making connections between written letters, their sounds, and words until one day I looked at the cover of a baby book and said “B-A-B-Y. Baby!” My mother was shocked, because no one had gone over letter sounds or making words with me. Thanks, Pat and Vanna.

This falls right in with Doman’s theory. He says that when very young children are shown written words, and when those words are pronounced clearly, the child will begin to figure out the sounds associated with letters on his or her own. This is why he advocates using the whole word method with babies and moving to phonics when children are older. Phonics are essential– he just contends that older children are more suited to phonetic learning, and that children who were introduced to words as young babies will have much of it figured out and have an easier time learning phonics when they are older.

The next thing my parents did, and something common to many parents, was to label things in the house so that I could see the words. So at one time a visitor to our house would have been greeted with helpful signs: “chair”, “table”, “wall”, “cabinet” etc. There was even a label on the ceiling.

Once the household words were old hat, my father began doing something that I think helped me tremendously in building vocabulary and learning how to spell. Every day he brought me a new word written on an index card. My job was to learn the meaning of the word and how to spell it by the next day. Upon demonstrating that I knew the word and its spelling I was given a new one. This was a delightfully fun game, and I waited eagerly each day for my new word. This ‘word a day’ game laid a broad vocabulary foundation for me which gave me much more confidence once I got to school. My father says that he could have started bringing me words earlier, he just didn’t think of it until I was almost four years old.

Doman would agree– children can learn written words from the time they are babies! And new words don’t have to be introduced one at a time. The younger a child is, Doman contends, the faster the child learns and the more– and more quickly– words can be introduced. A child who reads early is not more gifted than a child who does not read early. The early reader has just been given the tools to be able to do so. I am really grateful to my parents for providing an environment that was conducive to learning to read naturally and painlessly. I am excited about providing the same opportunity for my child from infancy.

The Infant Potty Bowl Is Here


Today the infant potty bowl arrived in the mail. It is not fancy, just a plastic bowl with a wide, smooth rim to accommodate a tiny bum.

I am excited about beginning elimination communication with my child from birth. After reading about how common it is for infants to eliminate while nursing, I felt a little nervous about getting a good nursing position while holding the baby comfortably over the bowl. Some moms lay a pre-fold under the baby while nursing rather than using a container. I might try that as well, but I was glad to find a photo on this bog of a mom nursing while holding a bowl under her son. After clicking the link scroll down the page to see the photo. Of all of the parenting choices we are making, EC is the one I am most nervous about. Will it work? Is it worth it? After reading a couple of books and numerous blogs on the topic, the answer to both questions appears to be ‘yes’. I just haven’t flexed my momma muscles yet and feel a little insecure. Anyone who has used EC, especially with a newborn, do you have any advice? Help a new mom out!