Thursday, April 30, 2009

Non-Maternal Instincts

Nonmaternal Instinct

To all the parents who have ever said, "you better like it or else."

Shortly before the birth of our son, my husband got on a bike "kick". Thank the good Lord that it wasn't a motor-bike kick; hubs simply became obsessed with buying a good old-fashioned manual bicycle. He had wanted a mountain bike for some time, and when a friend of a friend of a friend was able to score him a deal on a Trek, my husband got all goofy and started researching bikes and talkin' suspension and motion control.

To my amazement, the friend of a friend of a friend pulled through, and my husband became the proud owner of a fancy Trek mountain bike.
Side note: We live hundreds of miles away from any mountains, I'm just sayin'.

And because I feared that our now newborn baby might take a back seat to my husband's latest obsession, we started talking about literally making the baby back seat to the bike.

It must have been meant to be, because only weeks after the baby was born, I found a you-won't-believe-it deal on a bike trailer at a baby sale. It was insane - I spent $40 on a gently used bike trailer that retailed for well over $200. Ching!

But the deal-of-a-century was soon subjected to a year of collecting dust in our overstuffed garage as our little man was too tiny for his pumpkin carriage.

Until now.

Last weekend my husband strapped on the trailer, mounted the Trek, and explored the Central Ohio landscape with his mini-me in tow.

Well, not exactly.

Actually, this is what ensued when our now big-enough baby boy was placed in the $200+ mint condition you-better-like-it-or-else bike trolley:

So much for "Weeee, isn't this fun?"

But because we are horribly cruel parents, we tightened the harness and slammed the hatch gently closed the see-through plastic covering. My husband wasn't about to let a few baby wails stop him from an adventure that he'd been dreaming about since I came home with the $40 steal.

And guess what? After the initial shock and trauma subsided, our little fusspot was calmin' down. Heck, he was even starting to act as if he was enjoying it.

Could it be? Could he really have taken to the box on wheels so quickly?

Yeah right. It looks like the trauma shocked him right to sleep. Oh well. This kid's got all summer to get used to it. Or else . . .

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An August Surprise

Four weeks ago, my husband, my mom, and I piled into my obstetrician's tiny office to learn the sex of my unborn child. For anyone who has experienced the revelations of a 20-week ultrasound, you know how special this ultrasound is. Not only might you learn the sex of the baby, but the o.b. thoroughly examines the many other vital organs and components of your nearly one-pound child.

Fortunately, my 20-week ultrasound confirmed that my baby appeared healthy. Unfortunately, my baby's sex could not be confirmed. Because of the baby's position, the o.b. could not get a good look at the baby's anatomy. My o.b. stated that there was something possibly indicating a boy, but it could also have been a toe.

So this past Monday (four weeks after my 20-week ultrasound), my husband and I scooted back into my o.b.'s office with the hopes of finally seeing the baby's bits. And whatdya know? Baby was still hiding! Heck, I'll take modesty when my little one is 15-yrs-old, but now? Now I want this tiny creature to show us its stuff!

And adding to the unknown, this time my o.b. indicated that it might be a girl. Again, the "shot" was skewed, but based on what appeared to be lacking, doc said, "maybe a girl."

I couldn't help but laugh. I must be honest. I was prepared for a boy confirmation. In the past few months, I have repeatedly said, "it'd be a lot cheaper to have a boy; I already have all the stuff," and, "I wouldn't even know what to do with a girl," and, "where would I put a girl in this tiny two-bedroom condo?" So to hear that it very well might be a girl, well, I needed to digest that.

But how soon I was forgetting that sex determination is merely secondary to my baby's health. Of course I'd like to satisfy my desire to plan and prepare. Even the most laid back moms experience some degree of nesting in those final weeks of pregnancy. But as we were walking out of the doc's office, my husband stopped me to give me the most genuine hug, and he told me, "I love you." I think he figured that I would be disappointed and in need of consoling. My pregnancy hormones have been unpredictable and chaotic. To think I might have one of my pregnancy fits wasn't too far of a stretch.

But his earnest hug and kind words gave me such a sense of calm and peace. I was overcome with emotion that my baby is healthy and growing. Does it really matter "what" I am having? If you had asked me only a few days ago, I would have told you ABSOLUTELY - I need to know! But now, I am beyond thrilled to experience an amazing surprise come mid-August.

And strangely, the not-knowing has allowed me to completely relax. Because this is my second child, I have all the baby necessities. And if it's a boy, well, he'll have plenty of fantastic hand-me-downs. And if it's a girl, well, something tells me she won't leave the hospital naked.

I am forever grateful to my good Lord for blessing me with another wonderful pregnancy. I'm now in week 25, and it has been a beautiful experience. Though I often joke about my looming big, fat, pregnant summer, I am so thankful to be carrying a healthy baby, and I look forward to meeting this miracle in a few short months.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Practically Green Vlog: Lovin' the Earth featuring ecostoreUSA

On Saturday I had the privilege of spreading the word about ecostoreUSA. You might remember my previous vlog about their products, and simply put, I have fallen in love with them.

In an effort to engage folks in conversation about green living and green cleaning products, I asked several Meijer patrons, "Why is green living important to you?" Their answers spoke directly to my green heart, and many of them even offered some fabulous Lovin' the Earth tips.

Thanks to those who took a moment to share their thoughts and ideas with me. And thanks to ecostoreUSA for this lovely opportunity.

You can purchase ecostoreUSA products online and at select Meijer locations.

I love the Earth, don't you?

Monday, April 27, 2009

So often I wonder . . .

. . . why did we ever bother registering for wedding gifts? Sturdy wooden rolling pin, darling green colander, stainless steel measuring cups, costly KitchenAid attachments . . . these are only a sampling of the items that find themselves overturned in my kitchen nearly everyday.

And not because I cook with them.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gentlemen's Quarterly, Juniors Edition

And that, my friends, is one cute Easter baby.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Non-Maternal Instincts

Another recycled post. This one's from November, 2008.

Nonmaternal Instinct

Hold your nose.

I promise to keep this post short because the topic ain't pretty. The more details and the more visuals I present the uglier it gets. So put down your lunch, if you managed to squeeze lunch into your crazy mom schedule today, and let me tell you about the most unfortunate part of mothering a small child: poop.

I said it: poop. And for heaven's sake, it's not a bad word. It's a perfectly normal act of human nature. But why, oh why, oh why, must it be so unpredictable and stinky and squishy and runny and ugly and smelly? And why, oh why, oh why, must I be the one to remove the remnants of it from my baby boy's butter-soft behind? And why, oh why, oh why, must I be the one who stacks "them" in a pile set aside for the "outside trash" as if I have become a collector-o-caca-doodoo?

Don't get me wrong. I'm thankful that my son poops. What goes in must come out. But certainly it didn't go in looking like that. And more importantly, it absolutely, positively did NOT go in smelling like that. So when I am peacefully and serenely (as if that ever happens) sitting near my son attempting to catch my breath, and I inhale (because that's called breathing), than why must that be the exact moment that my teeny, tiny child makes a face of I-think-I'm-gonna-blow followed by an odor that makes even my dog cower? How in the world is that possible? I've seen my child in the buff and his bottom end ain't that big. But the stench? It fills the house!

So I wonder, at what point will my sweet and precious young boy learn to do what the rest of us do when we must pass the substance accrued in our digestive tract - lock ourselves in a confined space, flip on the vent, flush the evidence down-down-down, wash up, and spray the area assuring absolute odor removal? That day cannot come soon enough.

Dear God of the flowers and the delicious scent of the seasons,

WHAT happened? You did such a superb job with nature - I am blown away every time I step outside and take in the fresh air. But my son, as natural of a being as there ever was, must simply have missed the flowery odor day of his creation. Because the air he passes is anything but fresh.

So what do you suggest? I do what I can to feed him delicious, yummy, and healthy goodies from your garden. Yet it never fails to re-enter the world in the most repulsive form.

I was thinking, as I watched a commercial for cat litter, that maybe we could work something out along those lines. If I could just train my son to go in a box full of powder fresh pellets, than I would simply scoop up the tiny flowers (because isn't it cuter to call it that), and flush the evidence away. So is he trainable? I'll let you know how it goes.

For now, I am investing in clothes hangers. I have them positioned around my home near the diaper changing stations, and you better believe that is the first thing I put on when it's time to change the diaper - a clip around my nose. Unfortunately my son thinks that funny, making him laugh, and causing him to squeeze out yet another foul-scented passing of air.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

As you can see, someone is VERY excited about keeping the Earth green. He makes his momma's green heart smile.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Practically Green Vlog: Earth Day & Baby the Planet Expo

What you NEED to know about Earth Day:
  • Every year on April 22nd
  • A day to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment
  • "Make Everyday Earth Day"
  • How will you celebrate Earth Day?
What you NEED to know about the Baby the Planet Expo:
  • Saturday, May 2nd & Sunday, May 3rd: 11am-5pm
  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (Powell, Ohio)
  • A feature of the Columbus Parent Magazine Expo (buy tickets online!)
  • Green shopping for parents, parents-to-be, families, and home
  • Activities, demonstrations, education, crafts, and more - For all ages

Monday, April 20, 2009

If you expect me to sit here and look cute . . .

. . . you better give me some food.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Enjoying Easter

Has Easter ever looked so cute?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Non-Maternal Instincts

Nonmaternal Instinct

A picture's worth a thousand screams.

Recently my lil' dude and I gathered with seven of my girlfriends and their equally small children (12 collectively; the oldest three; the youngest three weeks) to permanently dye babies and destroy boiled eggs decorate Easter eggs.

Have you ever been in a room with 12 children ages three and under?

I'm not talking about in a calm and controlled daycare setting. No, I'm talking about mommy-is-having-adult-conversation-and-interaction-for-the-first-time-in-days-so-leave-me-alone-and-go-play as we shamelessly turn our heads when we glimpse our 12 small children picking each other's noses and cramming each other's heads through the stairway rails.

If you've been there, then you know what it's like to be trapped in a cage with feral monkeys, flying feces and all.

So when someone announced, "Let's get a picture of all the kids together," I immediately thought, five-months-pregnant or not, where's the booze?

Not to mention, said photo session was to take place AFTER we dyed our children orange, fed them sugar-stuffed sugar cups, and let them rip each other's hair out. Oh, and did I mention it was naptime?

So a shot of Easter juice later, I placed my darling-beyond-belief 12-month old on the couch among the 11 others.

Have you heard the phrase, shoot hit the fan (or something like that)? Well, shoot hit the fan. But the instigator wasn't the colicky newborn or the feisty diva, it wasn't the fussy two-year old or vomiting infant, it was:

Go figure.

So as I scooped up Mister Nightmare, all I could do was shrug my shoulders and say, "more Easter juice, please!"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The boys and the bunny

Though not clear from these pictures, the bunny is whack. It dances, hops, and drives parents crazy. Naturally, the little dudes loved it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Practically Green Vlog: Child's Nursery

What you NEED to know about this nursery:
  • Buy used! All of the pieces in this nursery can easily be found at garage sales, used furniture stores, thrift stores, craigslist, etc.
  • Check your own storage or basement to find uses for items that you have retired.
  • Find second uses for things - dresser as changing table, media center as armoire.
  • Reusing items can bring history and sentiment into the space.
  • With items that are frequently recalled (such as a crib) do your research before buying used.
  • Oops - I called the "rocking horse" a "rocking chair." Pregnancy brain.
  • Don't fall into the you need everything to match trap. An eclectic mix of furniture can be aesthetically pleasing when matched with the right accessories.
  • Design a room that your child can grow into so you are not pressured to redesign when your child gets older. For instance, the crib we purchased converts to a headboard so our son can use it later in life.
How have you used green design in your child's room?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Henry and the Egg

Last week Henry dyed Easter eggs with friends. Actually, I attempted to dye Easter eggs while Henry put them in his mouth, dropped them, threw them, and covered his face in blue dye.
Thank God for whispering in my ear, "take off his mostly white shirt before beginning project that is inappropriate for his age."

Friday, April 10, 2009

A boy's favorite place on earth:


Regardless of the weather, this lil' fella LOVES to be outdoors. He truly is his happiest when he is among the elements.

And thanks, Oma & Opa (aka: The Easter Bunny) for the sandbox.