Friday, January 23, 2015

A surprising parenting moment.

I promised, and I don't even know why I did so, that we could go to Jungle Java this afternoon.  It's not that I dislike the place, but it's pretty stressful. There are a lot of triggers for kids there, between food, overestimation, crowds, noise.  It's a love-hate relationship with the place.

Normally we try to go early in the morning to avoid some of the chaos, but today we saw a dear friend in the morning so it was in the afternoon. I tried to prep him to eat and drink before we go (he always wants to buy food there, which is pretty pricey and not very healthy) but he refused. Some days we last two or three hours there, but today within a few minutes Griffin was clearly tired, hungry, and thirsty. TROUBLE. 

In the midst of the chaos, a younger boy of maybe one and a half, max two, came up to Griffin to try to get him to play. He didn't talk much but smiled kindly at Griffin. At first he didn't see the little boy, but then when I pointed out to him that the boy was trying to get his attention, Griffin did something super cool for a kid: he knelt down so that he'd be at eye level with the little guy and said hi to him. I watched the way the little guy's eyes lite up, and he was instantly attached to Griffin. He tried to lead him away from me to the little kid area, and Griffin kept telling him that he wasn't allowed to play there because he was older than three. The little boy didn't mind, of course, and didn't quite understand. He hugged Griffin to get him to follow him, and Griffin was so so patient.

Griffin went back to playing for awhile, then came back, clearly still very tired, hungry, and thirsty. He began to whine and complain, being pretty unkind. We eventually left without too much of an issue, and started on our drive home (the long way, also known as the nap way in my book). A few minutes into the drive (and before he noticed that we were going the long way) he apologized, completely out of the blue. He told me he loved me and was sorry for how he had treated me early. He made no excuses, he just stated it.

Something, somewhere, is going right for us.  Gotta keep going in this direction.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bullet point update!

For a lack of a better format, here are some things new with us:

  • Barrett is on the verge of sitting up. He can get a couple seconds in before a tumble right now - by six months I'd expect he's sitting up unassisted. 
  • B has his first tooth, too, and his second one working it's way through! I thought we had months - Griffin didn't get his first tooth until he was 9 months old. Bear made it to 5 weeks, 12 days. Poor guy.
  • Griffin has amazing penmanship. He's so close to reading! 
  • I feel like time is flying by. I don't even know how or when, but it's amazing.
  • I have really enjoyed being outside this winter.  The cold doesn't bother me much, and we seem to have found the magical combination of layers to keep Bear warm. It is so lovely out with a fresh coat of snow! 
  • I was hoping to upload photos of Ryan's tattoo for Barrett, but it's not done yet after FOUR sessions! These are four hour a piece sessions, too. He's got one last appointment (supposedly) for touch up stuff at the beginning of next month. I'm still not sure what/where I want my tattoo for him, so I'm mulling things over still.
  • Crafting has been keeping me sane most days. 
  • My goal for reading this year is 35 books. Right now that feels extra daunting, and I read 30 last year while working full time.

Friday, January 2, 2015

To My Second Child.

Dear second son:

I promised myself it would be different. I wouldn't let those second child horror stories get to me - I would take just as many photos, be just as engaged, keep the baby book up to date.

The reality is that we're not there. My second son, you're never second in my heart. It's just so hard to find the time to do the things we did with your brother because we have both of you. So no, your monthly pictures aren't taken on the right dates. I haven't written you monthly letters like I wrote your brother. Days go by without pictures, sometimes it's probably been weeks. I'm sorry.

IMG_8010But there are things you get that your older brother didn't, and these are important things. You get his love, which is amazing. He is built in inspiration and entertainment, all rolled into one! I can tell you're already learning from him. My second son, you have someone to wear matching PJs with! And someone to share your childhood with long after I'm gone. You also get a mommy and a daddy who have done thing thing once already, so I think you're waiting less for us silly adults to figure things out. There are some super awesome toys we know about because of your brother. You also get tons of extra time with me, since I was ready now to stay home with you for a whole year. I'm always going to cherish that time with you and the extra snuggles this first year.

My second son, we love you in new and familiar ways. We love you as a little brother and as another amazing son. It may not be perfect, but we're giving it our all.


Your parents

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dressing baby for winter walks - wrapper's edition

Sometime during September or October I heard about Hike It Baby. It sounded like exactly what I needed - an excuse to babywear, being outdoors, meeting new mamas, exercise. In November Barrett and went on our first walk with the group and were hooked.

But, we live in Michigan. Barrett is four months old. It is COLD and will only get colder. So here's what we've come up with to be outside for a few hours at a time.

Let me start by saying there are two really important things to consider before getting baby ready, and I only mention them because I didn't realize how important they were in the beginning. First, baby must have a full belly. Second, the diaper has to be dry. Change this moments before you walk out the door. Bear doesn't complain much about diapers but will grumble during walks if he's wet; I can't imagine that it would be at all comfortable to be cold wet.

  Here's a sample of our typical gear. The onesie we used this day is cotton, which is not preferred.  My favorite base layer is a halo onesie that is made out of a wicking fabric (think athletic fabric). In a pinch, we do cotton.  So here's where we start:

1) Onesie as a base layer. None cotton, again, is better.
2) Fleece footed sleeper (the footed part is important).
3) Two pairs of socks, preferably wool (SmartWool is awesome and totally washable). One for feet, one for hands.
4) Balaclava. This is a double layer wool fleece one by Lana Nelson, purchased at Palumba. You can find these really affordable in fleece, too - the point is to cover as much skin as possible, and the  balaclava really helps.
5) Booties (or another foot covering). You could do fleece, or another pair of socks or two. These are wool padraig booties, also from Palumba.  I adore these, winter or not. They are fabulous and in normal conditions we often wear just these without socks.


These are some alternates we sometimes use. The wool sweater is super thick, and we use it like a jacket. It could be added over the fleece if necessary, or sometimes we'll use the pants and sweater instead of fleece. That way you have to be extra careful with the foot area, though. The baby legs we add as needed.

Here's Barrett, four months old. We're starting with a clean, dry diaper (and yummy fingers).


First layer - socks on hand (stay on better than mittens), base layer, and socks. Hands are still enticing even underneath the socks.

Put fleece sleeper over it all. I love putting the hand socks on first - it just seems extra cozy to me.


Last layer: balaclava and wool booties.

Happy gnome-like baby!

I adore these booties.


Here is us on a walk with the above items. 
Today's walk. #wearallthebabies #wovenwings #wovenwraps #wrapper

We're wrappers, so when it's cold out I go for at least a 2 layer  carry so he has an additional two layers on his back and my body head on the front. I usually just wear a fleece underneath, but sometimes will zip up a hoodie around us both or use my boba babywearing fleece

So far, so good. We've managed happily in hikes as low at 19 degrees. It will probably get colder this winter, so we'll see how we do. Off to a good start though.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

What I would do if I won the lottery: December 2014 edition

I keep this running list of things I'd like to do if we hit it REALLY big in the lottery. We don't play often - Ryan's rule is only if the mega millions is over $100,000,000 (that's a LOT of zeros). But every few months I text him with something I'd like to add to our list if we win. Here are this month's latest desires:

  • A house in Alaska, to vacation in for the summer. I so miss Alaska!
  • An everyday house in Ann Arbor or Plymouth with lots of treed land. A spacious ranch would be great. Even in Canton, a spacious ranch on a nice plot of land would make me happy.
  • Some (ok, a lot) land to create a public park. I'd like it to be treed, lots of hiking areas for a variety of needs, educational, and accessible.
  • A car to just give away to someone who needs it. 
  • Money to start up a cloth diapering, babywearing, and natural parenting store in Canton or Plymouth since Ann Arbor already has two.
  • Money for Ryan to start a woodworking store. Our stores could be side by side and share childcare! 
What would you do with a mega millions win?