Hello From Baby D


Baby D sends spaghetti kisses to all of his friends.

Life is busy for Baby D– learning letters, trying out new words, and of course eating spaghetti. I will update more frequently now after a long hiatus. Baby D is looking forward to reconnecting!

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Again!


Baby D has entered a new stage– the stage of “again”. (Or as he says, ‘gai) We read Who Says Quack again, and again, and again. We sing Itsy Bitsy Spider again, and again, and again. The same with Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and Numbers Touch and Feel, and any number of other things. We listen to a stuffed rabbit sing Here Comes Peter Cottontail again, and again, and again. This is of course normal– and Mommy is hanging in there. The seventh time through a book or song I just think of the not-too-far-off days when I will fondly remember how  he said ‘gai! to everything and wish he were little again.

It’s a Tough Life…


 

Can we take this swing home with us?

    

Food just tastes better this way.

In Gratitude For Public Libraries


Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.  —Anne Herbert

I would like to take a moment to say thanks… for public libraries. Public libraries give all people access to the wealth of human understanding without asking anything in return. Obscure and out of print books, books too expensive for most people to own, books on any and every subject one could desire to learn about are freely lent for only a promise to bring them back. This is extraordinary! The support of a public library is one of the most important things a community can do and thankfully is a high priority. The existence of such wonderful places, though, seems to imply a responsibility for those of us blessed enough to have access to the books, music, journals, museum passes and such that the library provides. We have no excuse for not continually seeking self improvement. If we fund libraries through our taxes and then never use them we are impoverishing ourselves on a human level.

 A man who I belive to be a hero of educational philosophy, Mortimer Adler, educated himself at the New York Public Library after dropping out of school to go to work at the age of fourteen. He went on to become the only person to earn a doctorate degree from Columbia University without having the benefit of a bachelor’s degree, and then went on to dedicate his life to making a liberal education as widely possessed as possible. He founded the Great Books movement and contributed to the compilation of the Great Books of the Western World series, which put most of the most influential western books up until his time in one set– many of them accessible to the masses for the first time. None of this would have happened without the public library.

Residing quietly in our cities are repositories of the seeds of greatness. Libraries are unassuming places, never ostentatious, not resorting to flashy lights and catchy jingles to lure patrons. The library is there waiting to welcome all who desire knowledge and to share freely the wealth contained therein; jewels laid bare for the taking– jewels with the remarkable property of belonging to all who desire them and having the capacity to be possessed fully by many at once. There is great treasure available to us for the asking, the only price being the effort we put forth to acquire this treasure. Thank you, fellow citizens, for funding the public library. You are doing an immeasurable service to humanity.

 

New Pictures


 

It has been a while– about two months. Time flies, and babies grow. Here are some recent pictures of Baby D.

Beautiful boy.

 

High necked, long sleeved dark t-shirt-- check. As soon as I find my black skinny jeans I'll write existential poetry.

 

A pause during his favorite activity-- jumping.

 

I understand that it is cold outside, Mommy, but is this really necessary?

 

Can you believe my Daddy used to wear this shirt?

Corrected Post: Three Months Old


 

I posted a series of photos with captions in an earlier post, and it published as one photo with many captions. Here is what I intended:

Baby D is three months old today! To celebrate, here are photos of a few of his favorite activities:

 Hanging out with his buddy Curious George. Courtesy of Auntie K.

 

 
Reading stories with George. 

 
 
Taking a bath.
 
 
 Wearing interesting hats.
 
 
Keeping it cool.
 
 
Napping with Grandpa.
 
Happy three month birthday, love. Keep growing!

All Day Without Baby D


Yesterday my husband and I went to Old Sturbridge Village for the day. Baby D stayed with his grandparents and his Auntie. He had a good time, we had a good time… but I was relieved to see him at the end of the day. Old Sturbridge Village is a re-creation of an 1830’s New England town. There are period buildings that have been relocated from various locations around New England, and costumed interpreters portraying life as it was lived in that period. There is also a working farm, and many animals. This past weekend was domestic textile weekend, and there were demonstrations of spinning, weaving, knitting, rug making, and knot work. We heard music on the 1820’s pipe organ, met a seven week old calf, visited with interpreters cooking salt pork, apple pie, and vegetables on the hearth, and learned about cider orchards. We  also attended a gallery talk about women’s domestic textile work. The examples of woven coverlets, tablecloths, “serviettes” (napkins), and garments were gorgeous. We were surprised to learn that home spun yarn from this period was as fine and even as the factory made yarn of today. The idea of “homespun” being rustic, chunky, and uneven is a modern concept. The women who produced textiles at this period were masters of their craft. Textile factories at first had to convince the public that their goods were of as good a quality as home made. Factory goods eventually became more prevalent and replaced home made, of course.

All of that was fun but… it was even better to get back to Baby D. I called a couple of times to ask how he was. My husband told me he was sure the baby was safe with his grandparents. I tried to explain that I was not concerned about his safety, just feeling anxious about not being with him. It must be a mom thing.  At any rate, Baby D had a good day with his grandparents, and we had a good day at Sturbridge– but I think it will be a little while before we spend so much time apart again.

Here are some photos from the village. I did not take them, they are from the village’s website. I was so concerned about packing for Baby D I forgot our camera.

 

    

                                                                                                                                   

Handling an EC Miss


Today we had our first soiled diaper since last Saturday. Misses are of course to be expected, and we tried to use it to reenforce the potty-elimination connection just like catches. My husband noticed that baby D was eliminating. We said “You are having a bowel movement. Let’s use the potty.” We then opened up his diaper and held him over the potty bowl, where he finished his elimination. After he finished we said “Let’s get you cleaned up, that will feel much better”, then cleaned him up and went on with the day. It was our first miss, but I think it ended up being helpful in associating eliminating with the potty.

Also– does anyone have  a better word than “potty”? I do not like it, but “toilet” is not accurate.

Belly Binder and Hip Slimmer Review


Well, I used both the Tauts abdominal binder and the Hip Slimmer post pregnancy. I found both to be beneficial. Abdominal binding provided noticeable support to my midsection that was very comfortable. The compression left me with a belly that looks the same as it did before pregnancy– no jiggles that were not pre-existing. The hip slimmer was beneficial also, although it took more planning to wear than the abdominal binder did. The hip slimmer only needs to be worn for three hours per day, but bending and sitting are somewhat difficult (though not impossible). I usually wore it over yoga pants after working out, and planned to stand for most of that time as a further means of exercise. Each time I wore the hip slimmer I could lace it a little tighter. The material is quite sturdy and does not stretch, so it is a good feeling to know that the hips are getting smaller. I was wearing pre-pregnancy clothes three weeks after delivery, and I think that the abdominal binder and the Hip Slimmer helped to accelerate the results of my exercise plan. I would use both again.

No Thank You, I’d Rather Have Thumb


Let me begin by saying… I am not in favor of fostering pacifier dependency. That said, when baby D is inconsolable giving him the pacifier helps both of us not cry. Totally hypocritical, I know. Today he was fighting sleep– very tired but not allowing himself to close his eyes. In this state he is cranky and there is nothing that will relax him. Nothing, that is, except the pacifier. Usually. Today, though, he did something different. When I offered the pacifier he pushed it away forcefully. Then he began trying to get his thumb to his mouth. He put the thumb to his eye, his nose, the side of his face, his ear. He got it to his mouth and licked it. He just couldn’t quite work out how to get it in his mouth consistently. Then he began to bring his thumb to his mouth and move it away over and over again. He became still and quiet except for the task of moving his thumb– sometimes successfully, sometimes not– to his mouth. I watched him do this for a little while, then I realized I was observing him at his work! I do not know if Montessori approved of thumb sucking, but I do know that baby D entered a serious, focused, quiet-alert state while he worked on this motor control activity. This is the first time I have observed “the child at work”. It was very exciting!