Friday, February 29, 2008

A Tiny Taste of Spring

Guess what? Instead of doing our normal post nap routine (Tessa watched 30min of baby einstein while I ride my stanionary bike)...we went for a walk! Yes a walk outside!

It's a beautiful day today, probably in the 50's, so we seized the opportunity. It was so nice. I know it won't stay this nice for long, but it was just enough of a taste to tide me over a couple weeks.

Below is a video of Tessa babbling to herself. She's figured out that this little space in the entertainment center makes a cool echo. We used to have vases there but now there's some books she can play with which are much more baby friendly and maybe someday educational?

I thought this was pretty cute...she will stand there and babble like this forever. As always, sorry for the poor camera operation.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Getting Close...

...To walking that is. Tessa can definitely walk with a little help and I think she's not to far off from the real thing. Below are a couple of pics from our visit to the farm yesterday. Tessa loved Mamaw's bbq chicken and potatos, and pigged out!

Trying hard to walk with help from Mom and Dad

She has no trouble pulling up to standing, and can do it very easily nowadays

A 'vintage' toy that used to be Andy and I's, cleaned up especially for Tess

Playing with Ashley

And finally so sleepy after a big day

I saw some pics today that were sent from Jeremy's sister in Seattle and they were outside playing at a park with no coats on!! I'm so jealous. Don't get me wrong, I do like winter more than most people but I think we are getting a little cabin fever around here, especially since Jeremy's been gone. I would love to go to the park!...but 5 degree weather isn't condusive to that.

We did buy some seeds at Menards on sale this weekend and are going to go ahead and start some pots of herbs inside (to be moved out in the spring) that's kinda fun. In honor of our 5 year anniversary we are going to plant a couple of grapevines outside and Jeremy's pretty happy about that. We won't get much off of it but enough to make a little wine and jelly hopefully.

The other exciting news around here is the anticipation of our new stove. You know how Bush wants to stimulate the economy by giving us money? Well even though Jeremy insists he is against the stimulus program, he is like a schoolboy waiting for his new stove. Our current one is electric but we had enough money left over to plumb it for gas, so there are a couple guys here today finishing that up. I don't really have a preference, but Jeremy couldn't be happier about finally cooking with gas again. Why not wait until May when we get the check from the prez?...15% of president's day sale at Sears!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Self Soothing, Daytime Style

Tessa is notorious for being a bad napper or anti-napper. Our problem lately has been that I rock her to sleep in the afternoon, she falls asleep and as soon as I lay her in her crib she wakes up and cries at me....and eventually I end up holding her. I KNOW she's tired. When I hold her or nap with her (like when I was sick last week), she'll sleep for 2+ hrs.

So I decided it was time to bite the bullet and let her cry. We did this at bedtime several months ago and it worked well. She is now such a great sleeper, but for whatever reason it never translated into daytime.

So I have decided that every day she will lay in her crib in the afternoon for one hour, no matter what happens. If she sleeps more than an hour, even better. Yesterday she was asleep, I laid her down and of course she woke up and I walked away.

She screamed, she yelled, she banged her head against the crib. She had an epic meltdown. BUT...after 30 mins she decided to take a nap. Yay! We did it again today and there was only 7 minutes of meltdown.

I'm so excited about having a guaranteed hour break every will be so much easier to get things done knowing that I have some arms free time. Wow! I haven't used my time very well today, I should take the opportunity to dust!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

10 Month Birthday

Can you believe we're thinking about a 1st brithday party coming up soon? Wow. Tess turned 10 months yesterday. Below are a couple of pics.

According to the weekly email I receive from babycenter, at 10 months Tessa will start understanding alot more words, even if she can't talk. So it suggests talking to her alot more during the day and using descriptive words like... would you like your blue sippy cup with water in it? I like talking to her during the day when Jer's not here, helps with the lonlieness. But I've been pretty inconsistent with the baby sign language. Oh well, I think she'll still be brilliant.

Also on our horizon is the start of weaning from nursing, which we'll do at around a year. I need to whip out my breastfeeding book so I can learn the best way it should be done. I'm not really sure. Any tips?? Right now she still nurses 4-5 times a day, and nurses to sleep at night. I assume that bedtime feeding will be the hardest to cut out since it's such a comfort thing.

I will actually be sad to give it up, even after all this time, you'd think I would be sick of it. But it's nice, it's really the only time all day she sits quietly on my lap without squirming. But alas she can't stay on tap all her life. Boo hoo my little baby is growing up.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

So THAT'S what's in that box!

Needless to say every day something new happens around here, even if it's small. I certainly didn't know Tess could do this, and judging by her excitement neither did she.

The toybox was cracked open but the rest she did herself...pulling herself up from crawling to standing, opening the lid, throwing the toys on the floor. Wow.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines!

Well Tessa and I are having a low key Valentines day, which is okay cause we don't really celebrate it around here. Jeremy is in Switzerland right now and I am recovering from a cold, so I was just happy to get out of the house for the first time all week and go to WW and walmart (yes Jeremy has lifted his walmart boycott by the way, don't ask me why).

I just have a little cold but just like when I was pregnant it is impossible to shake because I can't take very many drugs while breastfeeding. I can't wait for the day I can take a decongestant- woohoo!

One good thing I can say about being sick and alone with a baby is that Tessa is a good sleeper so I can go to bed early! Lately she's been going to bed at about 7:15ish and waking up at 5-6 to nurse, snoozing some more until 7:30 or so when she really wakes up. I really can't complain about that!

Tessa and I did pick up a Valentine's feast while we were out, the boneless buffalo chicken salad from Chili's. Well Tessa just at the blue cheese crumbles, I ate the rest. Mmmm.... We got a break in the cabin fever yesterday when Mom spent the day with us. They had an early flight this morning to FL for a conference so stayed at my house, but Mom also had a snow day so she started her vacation early by spending the day with us!
And we are also dogsitting Maggie and Moose. It didn't take them very long to figure out who drops the cheerios around here

And lastly I thought I'd share this little video. Moosie is, well, special and he likes to howl at himself alot. Tessa and Hayden were apparently stumped by this behavior

Sunday, February 10, 2008

He's Live!

Jeremy has finally started his food blog with his first post today! Check it out at:

Yes I know the title is corny but I set it up for him and went through about 100 options, all of which were already taken. So "Eat Again with Bennington" it is. Enjoy!

Playing with the Pups on a Sunday Afternoon

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Cruisin the Kitchen

It's been a while since I captured some good video, so here ya go. This is what Tessa does every day while I'm cooking or cleaning in the kitchen. Don't worry, we are now fully baby proofed!

ps- please excuse the poor camera work, hope I don't make you sick

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Food For Thought

Yesterday my Father in Law sent me this article, which you may have also heard all over the news, about babies being harmed by the chemicals in baby soaps and shampoos: This came on the same day that Jeremy told me about the dangers of drinking hot liquids out of plastic containers and that Canada is considering outlawing plastic baby bottles, to replace them with the old fashioned glass ones.

I guess this all serves as evidence of the theory I've been cooking up for some time now, that the dangers posed by the mass produced conveinence items purchased by our generation of mothers may ultimately lead us to renew the more natural parenting lifestyles of our grandmothers. Meaning maybe they had it right all along? I guess there's no way to guage which is better (and our grandmothers might certainly say that we have it better, shearly for conveinence products like disposable diapers if nothing else)....but I'm tempted to ask the question, what would Mamaw have done?

I try and use that perspective when shopping for both food and cleaning products nowadays. You may know that Jeremy and I consider ourselves wannabe green hippies, meaning we are trying very hard to make our home 'green' but we aren't perfect on all counts (like my overuse of hairspray for example). We adopted this attitude a couple of years ago and it's been a slow process. Mostly I have just always wondered about the overuse of household chemicals like bleach and what the long term affects are.

Regarding groceries, Michael Pollan has a new book out called "In Defense of Food" which basically utilizes the theory I used above.....if your grandmother would not have recognized at your age, don't eat it. I haven't read this book yet but like the idea of it. With the start of this year and joining the 'core' program in WW Jeremy and I have been trying to adopt that attitude and abandon our former dependence on processed foods.

On both counts, eating and cleaning/toiletry supplies, purchasing earth friendly and chemically 'safe' items is not easy. It involves scoping out the more abandoned aisles of the grocery store and sometimes simply being creative, but maybe this newly released article about baby shampoos proves it's worth it after all??

You could say that these kind of articles are just people being paranoid, which it very well may be. But I guess I'd rather play on the safe side. Chemicals just seem a little scary to me (except for me a good 'green' alternative that will keep my hair looking good and I'll try it! :)

Like I said before I'm not a perfect environmentalist or anything but here are some of my fave products: kiss my face brand soaps, 365 shampoos and soaps (purchased at whole foods and cheap!), Body Shop lotions (mostly organic and fair trade), Trader Joe's dishwasher detergent OR a mix of Borax and Baking Soda, Ecos, Method or Meijer brand natural laundry detergents, Alan's Naturals laundry detergent (strong enough for cloth dipes!), Apple cider vinegar in place of liquid fabric softener, Borax and Simple Green for kitchen and bathroom cleaning (simple green is also great for mopping!), Earth's Friend furniture polish (olive oil and orange oil, amazing shine!)

And I cannot say enough awesome things about the cost saving and shining ability of my favorite household cleaner....white vinegar! If you doubt me, mix a spray bottle with half white vinegar and half water and do your windows. It's amazing and SO cheap!

Don't get me wrong here...not saying there is anything wrong with folks choosing traditional cleaners. I'm just offering a perspective on some alternatives. Food for thought.