Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Truth in blogging

There are times when I wish Mat didn't read the blog. Like when I spend $90 on newborn clothes at Carter's. And that's crazy because he sees the bags and the clothes. And he's not stupid. He knows what stuff costs. He can do the math.

And lately he's been reading the blog regularly. I know because yesterday he mentioned me calling him a wonderful husband because he took both boys outside so I could do my projects. So, knowing this, now I sometimes think I should watch what I post. Especially about what stuff costs or decisions I've made without discussing them with him...

I'm a little obsessed. You already know about my obsession with Polo baby clothes. And I've written extensively about my love for Gage's gDipes. Well, now I'm growing obsessed with cloth diapering. I think everyone who said gDiapers were a gateway to cloth was right!

Monday afternoon Gage and I went to visit Emily's lactation consultant who also sells stuff like cloth diapers, Moby wraps, nursing bras, pumps, and all-natural soaps. Linda is incredibly nice and very knowledgeable about the products she sells. I went to see her in early March so that I could buy a bumgenius! cloth diaper for Will for his baptism gift. Linda very patiently went through all the cloth diapering options for me. And I fell in love with a bamboo fitted diaper. Partly I fell in love with the name, bamboozle, and partly with how soft it was. What bugged me about it was that you had to cover up that gorgeous natural color and soft material with a waterproof cover. (Of course, online I found really cute covers so that doesn't bother me as much anymore.) The other fitted diaper I love the look and feel of is the Kissaluv. They come in colors but I really just like the unbleached look. Again, you have to cover it up but I wouldn't mind covering it up if I did it with something as cute as this bummi.


Where am I going with all of this? Well, when we were at Linda's shop I bought a few inserts to use overnight with our gDiapers-a couple of hemp stuffins and a super soaker. But all of my looking at cloth diapers and reading about them online and talking with Emily about them, I couldn't resist getting a couple for myself for overnights. I ordered a happy heiny (the dumbest name I've ever seen) with a cow print (!) and a blue Thirsties all-in-one pocket diaper. I cannot wait to snap a picture of baby Gage in his cow print diaper! And rest easy, that picture will end up on the blog.

I probably won't be able to resist getting one of the Kissaluvs and a bummi cover. And I might even get a bamboozle sometime down the road. Both will last us until Gage is out of diapers so they'll be good investments. (That part was for Mat!)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hunting for eggs

I've been looking forward to Easter for a while now...it's not like Easter has ever been a really big deal for me. My most memorable Easter was the one where dad accidentally slammed my finger in our huge, heavy front door as we were on the way out for an egg hunt at our neighbor's house. I'm pretty sure I ended up losing that nail! But I was looking forward to Easter, well really to the egg hunt, because Braeden and I had such an amazing time doing it last year.

Last year we went to the egg hunt in Gibsonville. This year we were a little late getting out the door so we had to go to the Elon one at the Schmidt Park. Now we love the Schmidt Park. Braeden has an amazing time playing there. And that turned out to be our downfall! For his age range, they hid the eggs on the playground. There were about 45 kids and their parents who rushed onto the playground when the signal was given. Braeden wouldn't go by himself, insisting I go with him. We walked around and I encouraged him to pick up the eggs. Children were running all around us diving for eggs, even knocking into me in a frenzy to get them.

Bray was really overwhelmed and thoroughly distracted by the playground. All he wanted to do was climb on the jungle gym. I put one egg in his basket and he flipped out and threw it out onto the ground. It wasn't really safe for him to play, so I told him we needed to leave if he wasn't going to look for eggs. We started towards the parking lot. And that's when we saw him...the Easter bunny. And now Braeden, who had been melting down about not wanting to leave, suddenly couldn't get out of there fast enough!

Later that day he wanted to hunt for eggs, so I promised him we would do it at our house. I had eggs from last year (my parents were here and we hid eggs for him to find). I filled some of the eggs with jelly beans, some with a few coins, and the rest with little stretchy dinosaurs I bought in the dollar section at Target. I filled the eggs up Saturday night and planned to hide them Sunday morning while our neighbor (Braeden's favorite playmate) was at church. We wanted B to have a chance to find all his eggs by himself.

Sunday morning I had B's Easter basket sitting at his place on our table. His basket was filled with cute little things (again from Target's dollar section) like an Elmo drawstring backpack, an Elmo coloring book, a small stuffed bunny, a Matchbox, and a Cadbury cream egg (my favorite Easter treat!). He couldn't wait to eat the egg but has totally refused to wear the backpack. He sometimes needs a little time to warm up to new things so I haven't given up hope yet!

Midmorning we went outside for the egg hunt. Braeden did great! I wasn't sure how hard to make the hunt, so a couple eggs were just in the yard and some were a little more hidden (in the bushes, in the crook of our maple tree, and in the newspaper holder below our mailbox).






And yes, he wore his faux-crocs for the hunt. He puts them on to run out to the garage with Mat or out to the back deck with me to toss bread for the birds. They're a tad bit slippery, though. When he was running down our slightly-sloped front yard to pick up his first egg, he wiped out and lost a shoe!

I can't help but look forward to next Easter...Braeden will be four and Gage will be about 15 months old, old enough to look for his own eggs.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

One crafty mommy

Yesterday afternoon I was able to knock off two projects in short order. First I made Gage his first pair of legwarmers. Too cute.


When I was pregnant with Braeden my former boss gave me a dozen pairs of striped baby socks in different colors--red and white, navy and white, orange and white, etc.. They were perfectly packaged in an egg carton. (I've blogged about them before, that's how much I love them.) Braeden wore them almost every day for a year. In almost every picture from his first year he's wearing one of the pairs of socks. I can't think of him from that time without thinking of the socks. Because of my deep love for the socks, we kept them for our next baby.

What does this have to do with Gage's baby legs? Well, he and I were at TJ Maxx about two weeks ago when I saw these black and white striped socks and immediately thought of Braeden's striped socks. And then I remembered Emily posting about making legwarmers out of socks and I knew I had to buy these striped socks. She sent me the directions and I got cracking. I had to read through the directions a couple times and really study the pictures, especially the part about the cuffs, but I did it! These are too big for Gage now...he kicked them off! But I know they'll fit really well this fall.

Given how easy they were and how cute they look, I'm hooked. I'm going to be on the lookout for great argyle socks now. So preppy. The striped ones are made of bamboo and are super-soft. I'll look for more bamboo pairs too. I had no idea you could make fabric from bamboo. At Michael's I saw bamboo yarn. It was so soft. And so expensive too.

The other project I did was another dish towel tote bag using the towels I bought at Target. You can see the towels sticking out the top of the first tote I made in this picture. I gave this tote longer handles so I can put it over my shoulder. This is my third dish towel tote and I think it came out the best. I was very careful doing the stitching and yet it took the least amount of time since I've finally got the process down pat.

How did I have so much time to complete these projects? My wonderful husband took both boys outside (it was about 75 degrees!) so I could be free to be me inside. :)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ride like the wind

Today was a beautiful day. Bright sun, blue sky, slight breeze. Perfect shorts weather. After Braeden's quiet time he got to play outside with the neighbor girl, Natasha. I went outside for a little bit to watch him and couldn't resist shooting this video of him riding on Natasha's tricycle. She was riding her Disney Princesses two-wheeler. He has his two tricycles of his own, but for some reason he really prefers hers.

I love how fast his little legs are pumping to make those tiny little circles. I also love that he barely even notices I'm filming him. My kid is a ham. A big, sweet Easter ham. But when he's riding on that bike, he is 100% focused on pedaling in circles.



Cute, right?

Love for little g's!

Mat wondered if I was drinking triple espressos when I wrote the baby names post...I wasn't, but I do apologize if it was way too long or too crazy for anyone. :) Once I start typing, I tend to lose track of how much I've written or how much detail I've provided. Clearly baby names are VERY important to me and giving our boys the perfect names really mattered to both of us.

So, with that out of the way, I thought it would be a good time to give everyone an update on our experience so far with gDiapers.

I still LOVE them!

Gage wears the smalls which I now have in five colors: vanilla, chocolate, orange, blue, green, and the very manly lavender. Each g comes with two snap-in liners. You have to order the pants and liners from the official web site but you can buy the flushable inserts from a few different stores (or online). Last weekend I bought three packages of inserts from our local EarthFare. That should keep us going for a few more weeks.

We haven't tried gDipes overnight yet but I think we're almost ready. I just want to be sure Mat's really got the hang of using them before I make him try to do it in the middle of the night.

Actually, we might have some news on that front. For the past couple nights I've nursed Gage around 11:30 or so. Then he's slept until 5:30 or 6:00! Aside from the uncomfortable fullness I feel going so long between nursing, it's AMAZING for us to get that many hours of uninterrupted sleep again!

Our friend Mareike (who used to live in Ithaca and work in the lab Mat was in while he earned his Ph.D.) in CA sent Gage an incredibly wonderful gift. She gave him five medium gDipes and a big box of the flushable inserts! When he gains a few more pounds he'll be able to wear his new green (a new color for us!), chocolate, vanilla, orange, and blue little g pants. Meeting Mareike was one of the highlights of our time in Ithaca. She's a funny, generous, kind woman who values her family and friends over everything else. She loves reading the boys' blogs and I love knowing that she's all the way on the other side of the country reading the crazy things I post.

I joined a Yahoo! group for gDiaper users and one of them posted this earlier today...this was the response from gHeadquarters to her question about green little g pants:

"Alas, the Goodwill Green is sold out in size small and medium. Fashion is important to us and we promise to continually offer fun and hip colors and prints in our 'little g' pants. Keep your eyes peeled for new colors coming this spring!"

I added the emphasis above because I am dying for little g's in fun and hip colors and prints!! I cannot wait to see what they come up with!

Emily has been showing me fun cloth diapers, and I have to admit I'm starting to get a little excited about them. I've already been considering using cloth inserts at night in the gDipes, specifically I've got my eye on some inserts made of super-absorbent hemp. But now I can't help but think about getting a few pairs of cloth to use at home at night. Check out these cute patterns! And these! How cute would baby Gage be in a dalmatian diaper!?!

Friday, March 21, 2008

What a day!

Braeden's day care was closed today and Mat had classes, so I got to spend the day with my boys. And we had big plans. :)

This morning Braeden and I made granola (soooo good!) and did laundry. Back in February I found this fantastic granola recipe and haven't stopped making it (or eating it) since. No oil, just applesauce, so it's healthier. Plus oatmeal is good for breastfeeding--increases supply. Anyway, back to the granola...lately I've been enlisting Braeden as my kitchen helper. He's always loved watching cooking shows with me, so since he's gotten older and been in better control of his actions I've been giving him jobs. He helps me beat the eggs for scrambled eggs. He comes running the second he even *thinks* he hears me whisking eggs with a fork. So this morning he helped me make the granola. He held the teaspoon while I measured the cinnamon then dumped it into the bowl. Actually he added most of the ingredients to the bowls after I put the ingredients into spoons and cups. He also stirred the wet ingredients together and stirred the granola when I poured the wet into the dry cereal. He really was a big help. And I love sharing my love of cooking with him!

After lunch, Braeden went upstairs for "quiet time" which is usually anything but. Typically he reads books moving between the futon and his bedroom. He's quiet for 10-15 minutes before he starts bargaining with us to come downstairs. Today he was busy for about 45 minutes. Then I noticed it had gotten really, really quiet upstairs. I snuck up the stairs and saw him asleep on the futon.


I love that he fell asleep with his knees bent like that.

Then, as if the stars had aligned themselves, my other boy fell asleep too.


I bought this "I am huggable" outfit at the Children's Place for Braeden when he was a baby. I saved it because it was one of my favorites. The baseball socks were Braeden's too. In fact, Braeden picked them out this morning for his brother to wear.


After Braeden woke up from his nap, we went to the Children's Museum. Braeden was a nut for the first 40 minutes or so. He ran from thing to thing spending a couple minutes doing each one. He ran us around the entire place from firetruck to sandbox to trains to racecar. Even with all the running around, we still had a great time at the museum.

We came home and Braeden played outside for a little while with Natasha then we went to Monterreys for dinner. All in all, a VERY good day!

Monday, March 17, 2008

What's in a name?

Way back when, when I was still pregnant and we were searching for the perfect name, I blogged about names. I promised I would post my rules and our criteria but I never did. I figured now is as good a time as any to follow through on my word. But in addition to my rules, I thought I would tell you where the boys' names came from and what inspired Mat and me to name the boys what we did.

I already explained that I would never do anything cutesy like name my kids Bray and Gray or Braeden and Aidan. Mat and I also agreed early on that we wouldn't give our kids names that began with the letter 'M'. Mat and Melissa is bad enough. We couldn't see adding Michael and Martina to the fold. Following that logic, I knew we wouldn't use a 'B' name for the second baby...each kid gets their own unique name.

When we were thinking about Braeden's name we wanted something that was still somewhat traditional but we wanted him to have a name that he wouldn't share with every third kid in his class. No Steve or Brian for our kids. Mat decided he wasn't interested in having a Junior in the family so that took care of that issue. Just as we wanted a name that wasn't so common, we were just as certain we weren't going to name our kid Pilot Inspektor, Moses, Scout, or Apple. :) We also wanted our kids' names to fit with our families' backgrounds. Our families are basically British in genealogy so no Mario, Claude, or Hans for us.

Finally, while we were thinking about Braeden's name, Abi told me the name she was considering (first and middle) should she ever decide to have kids. And that knocked two more names out of the running!

With both boys, Mat and I went through the baby names book and made a list. Then we looked at what our lists had in common. We tried out names until we found one that stuck. Then we had to come up with a middle name that went well with our first name. And that was it. Sounds simple, right?

With Braeden, we tried out a couple other names first...Laird, Ian, and Wesley are the names I remember trying. I still love each of those, but none seemed right. Names are so subjective, so much a part of who we are at that particular moment. It's possible if I were pregnant today with our first, Laird would have been the one to stick. I can't say. But three years ago, we tried and discarded Wesley pretty quickly. We moved on to Braeden and never moved off of it. As for the middle name, Mat and I both liked Rhys and Mat really wanted to use the traditional Welsh spelling. Rhys means ardor (love, passion, eagerness, or enthusiasm). Braeden seems to mean son of Bradan and Bradan is derived from a Gaelic word for salmon. So, does that mean Braeden Rhys will be a lover of salmon?

When it came time to choose a second boy name, I found it really difficult. I put off concentrating on it for a long time. I think because I knew it would be my last chance to name a baby, so I didn't want it to be over. And I knew I wanted the name to be perfect. But whatever the reason, we followed the same process as we did with choosing Braeden's name. We considered names like Devlin, Griffin, and Wade.

For a while I was certain I wanted a two-syllable first name and a one-syllable middle name to match Braeden Rhys. But somewhere along the way we decided on Leman as a middle name. Once we had that in place, it shifted our thinking to a one-syllable first name. And that's when I was able to convince Mat to consider Gage. It had been on my list, but Mat didn't really like it. I think he just needed a little time to live with it before realizing it was perfect.

A gage is a cap or glove thrown down to challenge someone. It also means the act of pledging or binding oneself to someone or something. I didn't know that when I picked it but I really like these meanings for the name. So why did I like the name enough to keep insisting on it to Mat? I'm not sure. I can say it's a name that's stuck with me since I saw an early episode of The West Wing. (I LOVE that show. I'm rewatching it now thanks to Netflix.) Sam Seaborn worked for a law firm in NY before going to work for the Barlet campaign. The firm's name? Gage Whitney.

Leman is my dad's middle name (William Leman) and his father's first name (Leman William). I think the name goes back farther than that, but to be sure, I'll need mom and dad to weigh in (leave a note in the comments section and let me know, mom!). Either way, it seemed fitting to keep it going in the next generation.

I always tell people if I had been a boy, dad wanted to name me Harry because he liked the name. I shudder to think of that now given the popularity of that stupid wizard. (I HATE the Harry Potter books...and I really hate adults who insist that the books aren't just for kids and practically order you to read them!) Would I have been Harry Leman Potter? If I had been born earlier, I think I would have been Victoria. Luckily some friend of mom's had her baby girl first and snagged the name for her daughter. Whew! I also remember my dad saying once that mom liked the name Holly. Funny thing is Mat kind of dated a girl named Holly in college until I snatched him up from under her nose. :) I'm glad I got Melissa.

Who knew I had that much to say on the subject of names? One of my 101 things is to share more of my own thoughts on the blog. I know everyone tunes in for stories and pictures of the boys and that will always be the focus...just consider me your color commentator, the Phil Simms of Little Boy Braeden and Gage-a-licious. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Will's Baptism

This morning we went to Big Will's baptism. The last time Mat and I were in that church was for Emily and Kenny's wedding. I was seven months pregnant with Braeden at the time. I remember feeling big, tired, and a little uncomfortable. I also remember feeling happy, sentimental, and very peacefulthat these two great people had found each other and were celebrating that with this beautiful wedding. And today I felt so glad that I could be there to celebrate this next part of their lives with them.

Braeden was really good for most of the service. About two-thirds of the way through Mat took him outside and they explored the rest of the church. We sat in the way back so it was easy to get in and out without disturbing the entire congregation. I spent about half the service standing at the very back of the church with Gage since he was a little fussy and made just a little noise. We made it the baby corner because we were joined by two of Emily's sisters, Jenni with her daughter Becca and Courtney with her daughter Jillian. I wondered if Emily would notice us back there...she told us later that we looked so funny back there all together. I'm sure we did!

After the service (Will was a champ!), we went back to Emily and Kenny's for lunch. We had a great time and at the very last second, I remembered I wanted to get a picture of the four of us together. We hardly ever make the effort to do it and today was special since we were all dressed in nice clothes. So, here we are on Emily and Kenny's back deck.


Braeden played outside with the other kids after he had lunch (a slice of sandwich cheese, a hamburger roll, and a vanilla cupcake with blue frosting). He ran in at one point and gave me a flower telling me it was pretty. :) Here's a picture of the flower (a lilac, I think, judging by the pretty smell) and the burp cloths Ashley made.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Mommy, when I was a ...

I think this all started when Gage was born. And I think the first "when I was a ..." had to do with Gage's swing and a fish. How's that for a teaser?!

Picture Braeden standing next to the swing in our living room. He's looking at the back of the swing where there's a scene of fish swimming with a seahorse and a starfish. Then he looks at me.

"Mommy, when I was a fish, I used to swim and swim (using a wavy hand motion to mimic swimming)!"

That was the first time. Since then he's been any number of things...

a cat (even though he's now terrified of cats!)
a crab
a baby (okay, that one I get)
a truck

And most recently it was, "Mommy, when I was water ..." said while we were washing his hands tonight after he peed in the toilet standing up!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Yea for gDipes!

I LOVE that you can track packages through FedEx! It's one of my favorite parts about online ordering. Mat gets tired of my reports...at 1:50 AM my shuffle departed Lewisbury, Pa or at 8:37 AM my gDiapers were on the truck for delivery. So cool! I only wish they updated more frequently. When mom flew down here, I learned I could go online and track her flight's path including altitude. It would make me ecstatic to be able to track my packages in that kind of detail too. I'm a geek. There's nothing else to say on that subject.

Anyway, Gage's gDiapers were delivered at 11:47 AM Wednesday. I popped them right in the washing machine so Gage could start wearing them ASAP.

As you can see, he already likes his new gDipes! Just look at his smile.


I LOVE the orange pants. They're so sweet.


So far we've been doing great with the gDipes. Mat didn't get a chance to learn how to use them yesterday, so last night we used the Pampers. But he spent most of the day and all of today in his gDipes. He had a messy, messy poop this afternoon that got out of the liner and onto his vanilla pant which means we're down to just one gDipe until we do laundry again. This is why they recommend on their site that you buy 4-6 pairs of the little g pants. Since I love them as much as I do, I ordered two more pairs of little g pants last night. When they arrive on Monday we'll have chocolate brown and blue pants to go with our orange and vanilla pairs. I'm really excited about the chocolate ones!

And here's one of my favorite parts of gDipes...


It's like they were meant for Gage with that little g on the back!

Flushing the inserts has been going well too. When you rip apart the insert, the inside is made of tree pulp fluff (say that three times fast!) that basically disintegrates when it hits the water. I only have a couple inserts left so I need to call the local EarthFare store and find out if they sell the bigger packs of inserts. If so, we'll drive over tomorrow to buy more. If not, I'll have to order them online and we'll be stuck using Pampers over the weekend. Blah.

The size small pants we've got should fit him until he's about 14 pounds then we move up to the mediums. Since it probably won't be too long before he weighs more than that, I want to see if we can get by with just four pairs of the small pants. I'm sure I'll want to buy more of the mediums since they will fit up to 28 pounds. By the time Braeden weighed 28 pounds he was almost three years old! And I'm hoping by the time I need mediums, gDiapers will have added patterns to their stock. I would love pants with polka-dots and stripes. I would really love paisley pants! I have a major thing for paisley.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Clothes

I promise this blog won't become a tribute to my many creative endeavors...mostly because I don't foresee having so very many of them. :) I promise not to forget that this blog is about Gage so when I do post about my own creations I'll be sure to include something about the baby in the post. Sound good?

I made another tote bag from dish towels today. All told, it took me a couple hours. I used the towels I bought before my mom came down. I love stripes. And I guess I have a thing for spring green. I say I guess because I don't think I ever consciously thought about it. I don't wear the color but I do love it for things like towels and for Braeden's room. So it makes sense that I bought these towels from Bed Bath & Beyond to make the tote bags. Plus I got to use a chocolate brown towel for the other side of the bag.


And just to round out the craftiness of this post, I decided to use my new tote for my knitting stuff. Right now all I have in there is my set of circular needles and the two hats I've knit for baby Gage. Using spring green yarn no less! The second hat ended up being too big around to fit him now so I've hopefully made it big enough in full to fit him this fall. Fingers crossed.

See? That part was about Gage. :)

You know what else is about Gage? I went through his clothes tonight and packed up a bunch of his newborn things. Ouch. My baby has outgrown those cute, cute newborn things I bought last August in anticipation of his arrival. Most of the things went into a box to donate, but I'm keeping certain things that meant the most to me. My ultimate goal is to make these clothes (and the ones I saved from Braeden's babyhood) into a blanket so I can have them with me for always. That's the plan anyway. It's on my 101 list. And since I just added "donate $5 for every unfinished thing" to my list, I had better follow through on the blanket making.

After I sorted out the newborn clothes, I went through the four rubbermaid bins of clothes we had saved from Braeden. For some reason, the bins weren't sorted nicely by age range rather there was a hodge-podge of stuff in each bin. But now, now everything is sorted and stacked very nicely. And since I pulled out all the three month stuff and hung it in his closet, Gage now has just two bins of clothes. A lot of it is six month stuff, then we've got progressively less stuff the further out you go (9 months, 12 months, and just a few things for 18 months).

And what was Gage doing while I messed around in his closet? Why sleeping in his crib, of course. That's the first time he's done that. It only lasted 30 minutes but still.

It's confession time now. I'm in love. I am in love with Ralph Lauren baby clothes. I bought my first Polo baby outfit a few weeks ago at TJ Maxx. I had $15 leftover in TJ Maxx dollars so I didn't feel guilty buying a $15 Polo outfit for a baby.


But that's when the trouble began. I fell in love with Gage in this outfit. I love stripes. Have I already said that? I love how long he looks in this. And I love how crisp navy and white look together. And those tiny stripes? Perfect. I firmly believe that Ralph Lauren makes the best baby clothes. Lots of stripes, great colors, preppy styles. So, last week I bought two more outfits from Marshall's. I felt a little guilty spending $25 on two outfits but I just couldn't resist. And now I've decided not to bother with guilt because Gage is too cute to wear just any baby clothes.

So, if you're considering buying clothes for Gage and you really want to make my day (because it should be all about me after all), think Polo. :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cheeks


I admit, I'm a sucker. I've probably taken a hundred close-up shots of Gage (and at least that many of Braeden when he was a baby) and I don't see myself stopping any time soon. He's got the sweetest face especially when he's asleep.

And the fattest cheeks!


Daylight savings time really messes with my mind...especially when it comes to nursing. Saturday night before he went to bed Mat set most of our clocks ahead. He didn't do the two in the living room though. I have a hard enough time remembering when I last nursed. Did I really need to worry if I had noted the time on the clock in the living room or the one in the bedroom? This afternoon Gage and I ran to Target for a couple things then to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner tonight (trying my hand at sausage and peppers). I'd nursed Gage about 15 minutes before I left the house so I knew I had plenty of time to run these errands. When I checked the clock in my car after I left Target I was impressed by how early in the day it was. I congratulated myself for getting up at 8:15 this morning instead of snoozing until 10:00. Then I realized I'd never set the clock in my car ahead and I felt pretty foolish. Checked my watch and saw that was an hour behind as well. Stupid daylight savings time!

Speaking of Target...one of the things I've promised to do (part of my 101 things in 1,0001 days) to be a better friend to the environment is to bring a bag to Target instead of coming home with one item in a plastic bag that I always throw away. So, I brought the bag mom and I made with me.

I had found a fun (and easy) project online to make tote bags out of dish towels. We made two while mom was here and I've got more towels at home to try my hand at a solo attempt. I threw my bag in the trunk with the stroller so I would have no excuse not to use it. I was able to pack all of my purchases into the bag. No waste. I am so proud. Plus it's the cutest bag.


Sticking up out of the bag is a new Spongebob hooded towel for Braeden and a set of new dish towels to make another bag. :)

Proud, proud parents

I hardly know what to say...the day Mat and I have been dreaming about for so long has finally arrived. After nearly a year of cajoling, bribing, begging, and pleading, Braeden is potty trained!

In August we finally got Braeden to sit on his potty. Nothing happened but just sitting on the potty was a HUGE accomplishment at the time!

At the end of that month he peed on the potty for the first time! And then we had weeks of nothing. No potty action, nothing to report.

We tried bribing him with m&ms, spending the day naked (him, not us!), applying peer pressure...be like Tristan, pee on the potty, bribing him with pull-ups and later big-boy underpants. Nothing really worked.

But like everyone always said, one day it just happened. Suddenly he was peeing on the potty regularly. No more wet pull-ups. He would just announce he needed to go and he would go. He doesn't need our help to pee; well, sometimes he needs our help to snap his pants again. :) But, bottom line, he was doing great!

Then we had to face the next hurdle...pooping on the potty. Before children I never would have imagined blogging about poop. And truly, there's a big part of me that would like never to have to talk about it here, but it's really a huge part of parenting and an even bigger milestone for Braeden. This really felt like an insurmountable hurdle. If we thought getting him to pee on the potty was tough, well this was in a whole new league of tough.

Nothing we did seemed to get through to him. We tried to reason with him by saying he couldn't move up at daycare until he was pooping on the potty and moving up means being with Alex and Tristan. Meant nothing to him. We offered him bigger rewards like more m&ms, chocolate chips, a special present, and even a party. No dice. We resorted to watching him for cues, then yanking his pull-up when we thought he needed to go. I guess some combination of these things was ultimately successful; it's hard to say for sure because I'm sure it had something to do with his own internal sense of readiness. Probably some group dynamic at daycare made a difference too.

We started seeing real, regular success two weeks ago. Braeden would announce he needed to poop and he would go do it. He was so proud of himself and at first insisted on m&ms. Mostly now he forgets he's owed anything. It's kind of like using the potty and getting to use toilet paper is reward enough. Who would have thought?

So for a couple weeks now we've had almost 100% success with the potty. At home. Away from home has been a completely different story. Since he's been peeing, we've tried taking him to the bathroom places but it's always ended the same way. Bray gets scared of the big potty and leaves the bathroom in a slight panic. After all of our other efforts, I guess we thought this would change in time. And it has.

Saturday night we went to Sidetracks for dinner (I love their french fries!). Before our food came, B announced he needed to pee. I asked him if he wanted daddy to take him to the bathroom and he agreed. We've been here before so I didn't think much of it. Mat asked Braeden if he wanted to try peeing standing up and off they went. I expected them to come right back, so when they didn't I started getting hopeful. Cautiously optimistic in fact. And a couple minutes later Braeden ran back to the table with a huge smile on his face. He announced very proudly (and very loudly) that he had peed standing up! I'm sure everyone else eating at Sidetracks was just as excited for him as we were.

He went TWICE while we were at dinner!

And as if that weren't enough...at home he's decided he wants to use the real toilet instead of his little potty on the floor. So we finally get to use the little Elmo seat I bought to make the seat more kid-sized. We didn't have to clean the little potty at all yesterday. And that's huge! And what's even better is that Braeden is so proud of himself. Plus, this means we can plan a day trip and have one less thing to worry about! Mat has spring break in two weeks so we're going somewhere for the day, maybe Fearrington Village to see the belted cows and goats. But I'm open to other suggestions...

As a reminder of how far we've come or what we have to look forward to in a couple years or just nature's way of yanking me back to reality, Gage just pooped and I need to go change his diaper. The universe is funny like that.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Impact

One of my favorite things about reading blogs I like is also reading the blogs those bloggers like to read. Make sense? Somewhere, I can't remember where, I stumbled upon this: 101 things in 1,001 days.

Now I suck at New Year's resolutions. I stopped making them because I never end up keeping them. This project gives you almost three years to complete your 101 things which means you can set bigger goals for yourself. I liked the idea of it right off, so I made my own list. Actually I'm in the process of making my list. I've got 62 of 101 things laid out. Some of them will be easy to knock off like printing photos to update the boys' baby books (I'm an entire year behind on Braeden's book!) or use fresh herbs more in my cooking (I used parsley last week!). And some are supposed to be a real stretch for you...one that comes to mind is to teach Braeden to swim.

Another "thing" I added that will be a stretch for me (for us, really) is to find at least five ways to become more environmentally-friendly. First, I contacted our garbage service to be sure we're recycling all the materials we can. Then I bought a tumbler from Starbucks so I wouldn't need to keep throwing away their cups, lids, and sleeves every time I get a mocha. Longer range, Mat and I are committed to decreasing our water consumption by 10% (to that end, I'm researching rain water collection).

My friend Emily has made the switch to cloth diapers. Near the end of this post she talks about her experience with the diapers. I'm really very proud of her for making the switch. I don't think anyone will with the point that they're better for your baby. I'm not sure if they're that much better for the environment though. I like that by using cloth you're no longer contributing 3,500 to 4,000 diapers to our landfills but there's a trade-off here. From what I've read, to wash the diapers you start with a cold rinse, then wash in hot water and rinse in cold before capping it off with one more cold rinse. If your diapers are still stained, wash them again. And of course, you're just washing the diapers by themselves. And that's a lot of water. Plus heating the water. Mat made another couple points to me (something about manufacturing cotton being a really dirty process) but the bottom line is that I do believe cloth diapering is better for the environment than disposables. But I don't believe it's the only road to take (or that I can't find other ways to be environmentally conscious). I'm also convinced (because he told me flat-out) that Mat would never, NEVER go for it.

For me, I'm more swayed to look for alternatives by the sheer volume of material we're contributing to the landfill by having two kids in disposable diapers. I don't want Braeden and Gage (and their children) to have to live, play, and work on top of trash. I hate the idea that we'll just keep digging up our planet to throw away our trash. This is just too weird, too sad, and too depressing a reality for me.

With all this in mind, and I'm sure you're wondering when I'll be getting to my point, I came across some middle ground. gDiapers are like a combination of cloth diapering and disposables. There's the outer diaper (that stays clean and dry) and then there's an inner, flushable layer. So, nothing to fill up your diaper pail. No human waste going into the landfill. No worry about your baby's sensitive skin coming into contact with a chemical-laden diaper. Nice, right? There's an initial investment to purchase the outer covers, but after that the flushable inserts cost a few cents more per insert than our Pampers. Mat was smart enough to point out that we spend a great deal of money on refill bags for our diaper dekor which should negate the extra $6 we'll spend buying 150 flushable inserts.

I'll be completely honest and admit I like the look of them too. :) For now, I ordered the starter kit (two of the pants, four snap-in liners, and 10 flushable inserts). If we like them and have success with them, we'll make the switch.

Stay tuned for pictures and my review. And in the meantime, I encourage you to think of ways you can go green. Here's some inspiration:

http://lighterfootstep.com/ten-first-steps-toward-lighter-living.html

http://lifestyle.msn.com/green/greenarticlegh.aspx?cp-documentid=656438

http://www.ajc.com/living/content/living/food/stories/2008/01/02/green_0103.html

Oh, and if you decide to play along with me and create your own list of 101 things please share some of yours with me. I might need some inspiration to finish off my list! Actually, just posting that I'm doing this means I can cross one thing off my list. So, thanks!

As promised...

So. I promised you cute beyond words. I'm living up to my end of the deal and all I want from you is confirmation. Post a comment and tell me you agree that no kid has ever been cuter!



Everyone know what he's singing?? The doom-doom-chu sound is my most favorite part. I can't watch it without smiling and most times I have to stop myself from laughing out loud.

Mat swears Braeden can sing more of the song. Near the end of the video you can hear me ask him to sing more of the song. He said he didn't know it, but I'm pretty sure he really does. I'll keep working on him.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Watch this space!

I hope tomorrow to capture what is, I'm certain, the cutest thing Braeden has ever done. I don't want to give it away, but I will say this has been a work in progress.

It all started a couple weeks ago when Braeden started saying, "Wee why wocky rump!" Mat and I could not figure it out. We asked him if it was a song they sang at school and he nodded. We asked him to sing more of it, but he never would.

At the end of last week, Braeden added some music to the song and that's when Mat was finally able to decipher just what song Braeden had been singing. And tonight during his bath, Braeden sang most of the song for Mat getting almost all the words right!

It kills us, it really does. You HAVE to hear it to really understand...and I have to get it on video because I'm certain I will want to watch him sing this song forever. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'll be showing the video to future girlfriends, college admissions people, and to his future children and their friends!

So, I hope I've piqued your interest with this build-up. My mission for tomorrow is to capture this cuteness on video for the world to see!

Stay tuned.

Whew...an update at last!

Sorry for not posting for a while...MeMa flew down to spend a long weekend with us, so we were out and about a lot. And now I have a lot to catch up on...without further ado...

Braeden, Gage, and I drove to pick MeMa up at the airport. B was so excited to see the airplanes. We saw her plane taxi down the runway, then a few minutes later it appeared again as it moved into position so that the passengers could disembark. That was a special treat...I figured we would be stuck in some boring waiting room, but instead we were able to stand at huge windows and see all the action. Braeden LOVED it! I could even see my mom come down the ramp from the plane and walk across the tarmac.

We took MeMa to Monterreys for lunch...actually, the trip could probably be summed up in two words: eat/shop. We ate out three times and bought something each day she was here. And in between, there were bottles to give, babies to burp, games to play, walks to take, bags to sew, hats to knit, granola to make...

MeMa gave Gage a bottle one afternoon.


Apparently that wiped them both out!


If you read closely above you know that we were sewing and knitting this weekend in addition to taking care of two beautiful boys. I'm not really an artsy-craftsy person. I've never really sat down to learn and I'm no good at teaching myself. I need to see something done then do it myself to really learn. Years ago mom taught me to crochet and I made an afghan for my sister for Christmas. The thing I don't like about crochet is that the stitches usually look really loose and the finished product ends up looking old-fashioned like your grandma's shawl. Mom's been knitting for years and this weekend she taught me to knit a baby hat using circular needles. She had made a beautiful blue hat for Gage which he wears all the time when we go out. I bought some green yarn (the brand name is cupcake...I think I bought it more for the name than anything else) and mom took care of casting on the yarn. She did enough stitches so that the hat would fit his head and then it was up to me. As you can see from this picture, I needed to do another inch or so of stitches to make it fit right. It kind of looks like he's wearing a beanie! You can also see the needle at the top...I needed one more lesson from mom to finish it up. I think I'll try again since I have more yarn.


Finally, I took these pictures this morning when I put Gage in his crib for the first time! After his diaper change this morning I took him upstairs to pick out something for him to wear today.


Gage liked his brief time in his crib under the blanket MeMa knit for him.


Or at least he did until he kicked it off! This kid has happy feet. We can't keep socks on him or a blanket over him. Blankets end up on the floor or covering his face. All I can do is laugh sometimes. :)