Stephanie

November 18, 2008

Spare Change

A very wise man (my husband) called me out recently on my wanting to "start new, start fresh, start over" all the time.   It's become a thing with me.   He suggested that I just fix it.

Fix whatever it is that isn't working for me instead of always starting over.

I guess in my mind I thought that starting over was fixing things. But I'm finding that lots of starting over really doesn't get you very far.

I found this picture in Carter's school notebook after the election.

 

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November 16, 2008

Babywearers Vs. Motrin 2008

StephI don't even know how it started- I was out with some friends at a Womanless Beauty Pageant and having a grand ol' time when some of us checked Twitter on our iPhones. And there was a whole lot of madness about babywearing and Motrin going on.

What?

Apparently
someone came across a new commercial on Motrin.com that was a bit condescending toward Moms who wear their babies.

I get it- I totally know that Motrin is for pain and they had a great target market with Moms carrying their babies all day and the back pain that supposedly goes with it. But, as an experienced babywearer (heck, my blog is called Adventures In Babywearing!) I will admit I felt the ad was a bit off base and misleading.

And to be honest- the "official Mom" in me feels like saying, "Motrin, don't you take that tone with me!"

Wearing your baby is a great thing and it does promote bonding. However, if you do not wear your baby, it does not mean you aren't an "official Mom." It does not mean you are doing something wrong.

But, if your back is killing you to the point you are suffering just so you can wear your baby... then you are doing something wrong!

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October 18, 2008

Watch Me!

1 Without fail, every time we go to the park Gray finds an older girl to follow around and get to play with him. Mainly he just wants their attention. He climbs to the top of the slide and yells, "Girl! Watch me!" He will repeat this loudly over and over until she notices him. And then that will encourage him even more.

He makes his way over to some bars to hang off. Girl! Girl! And if she won't look his way he'll resort to calling her the color of her clothes. "Hey, Purple! Watch me!"

It's never the same little girl, but it is always a girl and always someone older. I am entertained by his forwardness at expecting a stranger to care so much about him. My heart aches a little at his need for approval, and I pray today the little girl will be his friend and notice him.

And I feel some days that I am like Gray, as I write on my blog, saying "Girl, watch me!" Look what I can do. Look at my life. You don't know me, but read me! And come back tomorrow and read me again!

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September 26, 2008

The Luck Of The Ivy

Ivy When choosing baby names in the past we could never ever come up with a girl name. Which really worked out since we always had boys. But this time around, we could only come up with one name that we loved, and it happened to be a girl's name.

Ivy.

Both hubby and I loved it separately. I loved the nature and timelessness, and my husband- even though he said this didn't have that much to do with it- liked the tribute it would be to historic Wrigley Field's ivy covered walls.

And maybe I kinda liked that, too. A name with meaning. It was special. And it seemed so right.

The morning of our ultrasound, I stood in the shower and rubbed my belly. This baby's name was Ivy, I just knew it. So what if it is a boy?!

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September 14, 2008

Sugar High

2_3 I was watching Project Runway last night when I was caught off guard by a seemingly innocent commercial. There was a man and a woman having a picnic, and she offers him a popsicle. He questions the ingredients- how it contains high fructose corn syrup and she instead rattles off how safe it really is. How safe high fructose corn syrup is? Is this a joke?

Apparently not. There is a new website called HFCSfacts.com where we are supposed to learn the "real truth" of high fructose corn syrup and its "benefits." Most of us learned a while back about the dangers of HFCS thanks to Dr. Oz on Oprah. HFCS is not natural. It is made through a very complicated process which involves- HELLO- corn! That is not natural sugar! Whether you choose to limit your intake or not, it has been proven to increase insulin, blood pressure, and triglycerides as well as do a lot more damage than we probably even know right now. The increase in high fructose corn syrup consumption has been popularly noted to also correlate to the increase in the epidemic of obesity.

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August 30, 2008

Oh, Placenta

1 It's getting close. I'm just past 37 weeks pregnant now and patiently playing the waiting game. We're having a home birth and have everything ready- all the supplies and plans and so forth. There's just one last thing on my mind that I can't decide on. What should we do with the placenta?

If you had asked me that a few years ago I probably would have said with the WHAT? I didn't know you actually do anything with the placenta. And just what is the placenta anyway? (The placenta is considered a "life source" providing nourishment and exchanging respiratory gasses to the baby as well as eliminating waste and blocking most harmful substances.) Now that I am having this birth at home and have learned a lot about a whole mess of things that I'd never thought about before, we come to the disposal of the placenta.

In a hospital setting, the placenta is usually stored for a few days to be available for testing in the case of any complications post-pregnancy, and then it is destroyed. Some hospitals do allow women to have the placenta just as they allow patients to take home tonsils, kidney stones, or appendixes. But this brings me to the question-  what could a woman possibly want to do with a placenta?

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August 08, 2008

Confession: I Have Never Pumped

Cmbstephamyarianne Most people would assume that in the combined total of four and a half years that I've breastfed my children, I would have done some serious pumping in my day. But, I've never even once pumped. I don't even own a pump. And truthfully, those pump things kinda scare me.

I've always just kept my babies and toddlers close by, and since I stay at home, I have found that it's just easier (lazier?) to put them to the breast than offer a bottle. And bottles... we've never owned one of those either. Sometimes I've thought it would be very wise to at least keep some formula and a bottle here for an emergency, but I just have never done it. Thankfully we've never had a crisis come up. But anyway- back to this pump thing. I'm not asking for a pat on the back because I've never needed one. I am actually in awe of those of you that do pump day in and day out. Now that is devotion. And the things I hear that your pump says to you while you do it... this fascinates me.

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August 02, 2008

Boo, Lollapalooza

Cmbsteph This weekend my family had grand plans to celebrate my Mom's birthday downtown, going to our favorite spots and letting the kids run around Millennium Park and Buckingham Fountain and all that jazz. I mentioned this to someone at BlogHer last week and they gently reminded me that, um, this weekend is Lollapalooza. Ugh.

Am I officially a granny now? All thirty-one years of me? Sure- if I had tickets and no kids I'd be super excited to attend that huge music fest (hello, Radiohead!) And yeah, they do offer a great option for those with kids at Kidzapalooza. That Perry Farrell is a genius and once, many years ago, I met him and he was super nice and he also wanted to trade pants with me- but that's a story for another time.

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July 17, 2008

Wildflowers In The City

StephanieI've always considered the Chicago skyline to be our mountains, the lake to be our sea, and the Monets and Van Gohs to be our gardens. But recently a trip to Northerly Island, adjacent to the Adler Planetarium, had me in awe of the wild beauty alive and blooming right in the heart of our city. With prairie grasses and strolling paths, Lake Michigan to one side and the city at the other.

I recall my first summer living here by myself. Walking the crowded streets and riding the crammed el. Ironically I'd never felt more alone in my entire life. But the second you look into the face of the stranger next to you, lift your head up from the ground and see the beauty of the bustling metropolis, you are no longer alone. You are an arm or a leg or an eye of this body, dancing together.

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July 01, 2008

Let The Babies Flow-

BellyI'm one of those Moms that warns others about the side effects of mixing birth control and antibiotics... it equals pregnancy. Our first child was a surprise in this way. And thankfully we had planned on having children anyway, so we just started a little earlier than we had thought. In this pregnancy, I craved breadsticks and pasta and grew as big as a house. Many of us do that with our first- hey we're pregnant! We're eating for two! And when I thought it was time for him to be born, we faced the dreadful experience of being sent home from the hospital when it truly wasn't labor. I soon learned what real contractions felt like. A few hours later my water broke at home and we were headed back to the hospital and within an hour I held my first child in my arms. I was instantly in love, instantly a mother.

When Noah was just six months old and we found ourselves pregnant again (let me dispel another myth that you can't get pregnant while exclusively breastfeeding among other things), we thought someone might be playing tricks on us. But we knew we wanted a large family someday, so bring 'em on. Another boy would make our family an even number. I'd crave celery and only celery during this pregnancy and actually lost all the weight I put on with the first baby. One day in my ninth month I thought I was having bladder control issues all day long, and hubby encouraged me to call the doctor. We headed to the hospital and were told my water had broken and I was leaking... it was time to have the baby. I knew what it was like to be in labor this time around, and didn't believe them, so I didn't even prepare things to take to the hospital. Well, he was ready to come out - all 9 lbs 12 oz of him. I was fine, but he broke his collarbone coming out. They never could figure out why Carter was so big. I still think it was the celery.

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June 24, 2008

Art Is For Your Heart

StephI'll never forget the time my brother and I watched an episode of The Muppet Babies where they made an art museum in their nursery. For the rest of the day we drew and colored and hung our artwork all over the playroom, inviting Mom & Dad to see only after we'd covered every inch of the walls.

My brother went on to attend art school many, many years later. And I went on to pursue theatre in Chicago, paying rent by working in the Art Institute's Museum Shop selling books and posters and eventually working through one of the most successful and largest Monet exhibits of all time. Possibly the longest hours I'd ever worked, but probably my favorite and most interesting place I'd ever work. I was trained by Ed Harris' dad, and my new fascinating co-workers took me to courtyard parties, dinners with hummus, and through the musty paperbacked shelves of Powell's Books. We ate cheese sandwiches on our lunch break at the School of the Art Institute's cafeteria and walked through the Hall of Armor at night, with all the lights off, chills up our spines the entire time. (I swear one time I saw blood on the floor.)

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June 19, 2008

They Look Good On You

StephBabywearing is all the rage lately- whether you're a new Mom, celeb Mom, or an old pro. Many parents wear their babies to keep them close, some wear them out of convenience, and others just need to keep track of all their kids. I tend to fall in, um, all those categories.

It's quite fashionable to wear your baby as an accessory- so many stylish slings, wraps, and carriers are available now in boutiques and online. More kids and smaller cars leave little room for bulky strollers, but a sling can be taken anywhere. And if you're breastfeeding on the go, wearing baby is the best way I've found to be discreet and get the job done. I have heard from many parents, however, that they have tried to wear their baby but they "just didn't get it." They can't figure out just how to use their carrier or haven't found one that really works for them.

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June 06, 2008

Dressing The Bumps And Bruises

StephThe hubs and I are attending the Wings Of Hope Benefit next Friday at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in honor of the American Epilepsy Outreach Foundation. The E word. Not something very popular or comfortable to talk about, but Epilepsy is real and more common than you may know. We went through the darkest of times when our son was diagnosed just over 4 years ago. Thankfully and miraculously, our son is seizure-free and medication-free now, and we are honored to wear Noah's success as a badge and share his story, one that continues to bring hope to parents wishing the same for their child. This benefit is sure to be emotional and uplifting and will not only raise awareness (with special speaker Hunter Tylo and People Magazine in attendance), but from the proceeds will also provide educational initiatives and support programs to those living with Epilepsy. And this event also has this preggy Mama wondering just what am I going to wear?

Extremely honored to be able to attend such a special night, I want to look my best. I am the face of a mother that has been through watching her child have 200 seizures a day. I saw him drift away before my very eyes and drift back and drift away again. And now I have him back for good. I want to show everyone what a survivor looks like. I didn't end up a haggardly mess rocking myself in a corner (as I seriously thought just might happen.) I made it. I'm not saying that I'm totally together, but I think I have been able to move on with life. And even if we still had the seizures as part of our everyday, we would still go on living. Life- it has this incredible ability to keep going on with or without us.

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May 28, 2008

Gone Fishing

StephUntil recently, my boys have enjoyed my fairy tale version of fishing: with a child-sized fishing pole and no hook- just a little plastic fish on the end that they can cast out and reel in. But then a few weeks ago, we were outside with family by a pond and before I knew it, they had child-sized fishing poles with real hooks and um, actually caught a real fish.

Of course they were super excited at this achievement! And I was super mortified that now my husband had to try to work that hook out of the poor fish's mouth and throw it back in the water. This is a sport? Mutilating an innocent living creature just to see sheer delight on my children's faces? No way would the people around us feel the same about poking a dog in the eye or hooking a cat in its mouth for fun (well don't quote me on that.)

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May 08, 2008

When Enough Is Enough

Steph I was watching Oprah yesterday when Barbara Walters, of all people (I can't stand her), says something that just struck me to my core. She was talking about her special needs sister and how hard it is for parents of children with autism and that, although they love their children and would do anything for them, sometimes they think "it's just too much."

It's just too much.

I tear up as I even type that right now because really, what is so difficult about saying, "it's just too much" ? Why do I feel like I can't say it out loud when that's really how I feel? And so I did. I said it out loud. And it felt good. I am not the parent of a child with autism. I have been through my share of rough times. But it's just life in general right now that is overwhelming me. Whether it be as a Mother, wife, friend, or plain ol' human being. And I feel like I should pull up my big girl panties and just get over it. Toughen up. Get through the day. But I'm wiped out. I'm exhausted. I'm barely making it through the day and I have to say that this is no way to live, just barely getting by. I've had enough.

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April 28, 2008

Even Brunch Can Be An Adventure

Chicago_moms_blogThe Chicago Moms Blog divas gathered for good food and conversation yesterday, thanks to our gracious hostess Mary Anne. Still not sure if we should come out from under the covers with where we really live, Arianne and I made the easy Sunday mid-morning drive from Indiana up to Bucktown in no time at all. 

Our adventure really began as we entered Mary Anne's apartment for the first time and I thought I heard her call us on up to the 6th floor. When we entered the elevator we soon realized it only went up to four. So, we thought maybe we should go to the 4th floor and walk up the rest of the way. (Or actually I think this is what I thought and Arianne just thought I was crazy.) We find the stairs- pitch black as the light was out- and proceed to what should be the 5th floor. Turns out it was the roof. Right about then we hear a small voice calling for us from far away. Hello?

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April 22, 2008

School Bus Chaser

Stephcmbpost I've heard of lawyers chasing ambulances, but today I experienced my first school bus chaser: the ice cream man. No sooner had my sons' school bus turned the corner to drop off at their stop when I hear the familiar Pop Goes The Weasel melodic horn approaching. The yellow ice cream truck turns the corner, too.

As the kids bound down the bus steps they immediately beg for a treat. Backpacks are thrown in the grass, dollars are dug from my purse, and the ice cream man makes his stop. I give in. Bomb Pops for everyone! And a Blue Bunny bubble gum snow cone for me. And possibly an extra whiff of something not so ice-creamy coming from the ice cream man. I swear I smelled beer.

$7 feeds four from the Summer Song ice cream truck. I'd pay $100 if he could just get summer here already!

Original Chicago Moms Blog post. Stephanie also blogs at Adventures In Babywearing.

April 15, 2008

Sent From My iPhone

IphoneYou know the emails. Your snazzy friends with their high tech gadgets send you an email and the signature at the bottom is just enough to rub it in some more: Sent from my iPhone. You can remove that signature, you know. You don't have to keep it on there.

I was happy with my beat up Motorola flip phone that doesn't even text and, if it did, I didn't know how to anyway. Maybe in some ways I remained loyal to that darn cell phone that sometimes worked just to prove I didn't need to upgrade to something, um, "smart."

As much as I love blogging and networking, I was rebelling against the need to constantly be connected every minute of every day. Twitter was about to send me over the edge. And then I just read this scary piece in the New York Times about the stress of keeping up with the 24/7 life in the Internet world. Bloggers falling over dead just because they wanted to be the first to blog about the latest "it" thing to talk about even though it would just be old news tomorrow anyway?

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April 09, 2008

It's Just So... Public

Stephanie I never thought I'd send my children to public school. I grew up in the public school system and did just fine- benefiting from advanced programs and classes- but when I became a parent, it just seemed the right thing to do would be private school. When my first son was only 6 months old I visited a private Christian school near our home. I was so sure that's where he'd go someday. I know no school is perfect, maybe even especially church schools. I attended one for a short time and kids are kids no matter if their parents are pastors or "Christians" or not. At the time I just thought this was what we were supposed to do.

As we had more children and the years went by and I continued to be a stay at home Mom, the reality of the financial aspects of sending two little ones to private school became more apparent. Well then, if we couldn't do private then for certain I'd just have to home school. Several families in our neighborhood home schooled and the homeschooling and "un" schooling community is quite large in our area. I grew up with home schooled friends and knew enough about it. Up until a month or so before Kindergarten registration I had my home school plan in place, complete with A Beka curriculum.

But it just didn't feel right. I had this feeling that, although homeschooling is very right for some families, I wasn't so sure it was right for mine. Hubby had a high opinion of our city's public schools and really wanted me to at least consider giving it a try. Just for this Kindergarten year- which was only half-day anyway- we'd try it out.

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April 05, 2008

Not So Sound?

Grayultrasound I was approached by one of those 3D ultrasound places to come in for a little "look see" of the new babe. I admit that at first I was a little hesitant about it- would I want to promote something like an ultrasound for entertainment purposes? Surely if it could replace the medical ultrasound, I'd consider, but no- it's just for a family keepsake. And so, I'm just not so sure.

I have had the heebie jeebies about it ever since Tom & Katie bought their own home ultrasound machine. How much ultrasound exposure is truly okay?

I started to dig around on the Internet about it, and I know that you can probably come up with anything to support your conspiracies online, but some things I am finding are making me think twice or thrice about it all.

You see, when I was pregnant with my first child, we had an ultrasound around 8 weeks to determine his due date. Then we had the standard 20 week ultrasound and during this one they couldn't get a good

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April 03, 2008

I Feel Like Going Home

Stephhomecmb_2 I was all of eighteen years old the first time I moved out of my house, headed for the big city and an apartment of my own. I held three jobs and went to school. Many mornings I'd get an iced cappuccino from the diner by the el and many nights I'd have a pb&j sandwich with day old bread from the bakery around the corner. The same posters hung on my walls, same thrift shop clothes hung in my closet. But it never was home.

By the next year my dad was parked behind that apartment, with the sticky balcony rails to ward off pigeons. We loaded up my belongings and that little girl bundled inside my big-girl-self. I was going home, headed down Lake Shore Drive, back to Indiana. On our way- with as much love as sternness in his eyes- he said Next time I move your things, it's for good.

And the next time was. A few years later I was coming home from my honeymoon to a brand new house, shingles and carpet color chosen by me. Years later this house had those same shingles but new carpet. And

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April 01, 2008

I Can't Turn Down The Volume

StephanieToday has been a day. One of those days. It's a given that life with three small boys is going to be boisterous. But it seems that the volume is at an all new high around here. I am not sure how much more I can take it.

Inside voices and whispers don't seem to apply. Apparently their vocal chords are just not capable. It's not only the door slamming and the foot stomping. It's mainly the yelling (but to them it's talking) and the playing (did you know you can play Legos loudly?) They even blink too loud.

For a brief moment I had two sons gone for the day and one taking a nap. I found myself sitting, staring off into space, in shock by the silence. Unsure what to do. Not wanting to make a sound. No TV. No music. And definitely no volume on my computer. If I could have stopped the ticking of my kitchen clock I would have. I was this-close to rocking myself, fetal position, in the corner.

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March 13, 2008

Nothing Like A Good Concert To Make You Feel Old

StephanieLast night I got out of the house! And it wasn't to the grocery store. I went to see A Fine Frenzy at Schuba's on a week night. If you can't tell, it's been a while since a) I've left the house and b) I've been to a concert. 10 years ago that's all I ever did.

Of course, my first concern was about what to wear. I played it safe with the standard jeans, black shirt, and heels attire and I ended up fitting right in. The fact that my amazing sandwich at the adjoining Harmony Grill was the highlight of the night was probably my first clue I was closer to a senior citizen than young college babe. I decided to let it slide that, even though this was a 21 and over show, I wasn't asked to show ID.

My friend Arianne was so kind to put up with my geriatric self and invite me along. The concert started at 9:15 (my usual bedtime lately). I had never heard the band before- even with the world of Myspace, YouTube, and iTunes- I wanted the first time I heard her to be live. And lead singer Alison Sudol, only 22, had me mesmerized with her deep, soulful, ethereal voice. I found myself amazed that at such a young age she is already so talented and successful. I had dreams of that many years ago, too.

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March 07, 2008

My Business Of Giving Birth

StephLast October I posted about how the controversial birth documentary The Business of Being Born had touched my (not pregnant at the time) heart. Now that I am pregnant with my fourth child, the first call I made was to a home birth midwife- I had grand plans for a home birth. But, after hubby and I discussed our finances and the fact that I've had three peaceful hospital births including the last one that was completely natural, quiet, with my birth plan followed to every last letter, I think we might be going the hospital route again. (We have nice insurance.) Among other budget strains, our son Noah needs glasses (not covered by insurance) and a pricey eye surgery. So it seems my tune has dramatically changed. 

I think it's important for women to know you can have a natural, gentle, and peaceful hospital birth.
If money weren't an option, YES!, I would definitely be preparing for a home birth. It is something I would like. I have very easy pregnancies, labors, & delivery. I love birthing naturally and without medication or intervention. But, since I have such quick deliveries and an easy time, when I really think about things,  it doesn't make much difference to me under which roof this baby comes out.

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March 06, 2008

When The Mama Cat Comes Out

StephanieI'm a non-confrontational type of gal. More likely to give in to someone rather than assert my own opinion if the situation isn't that important. But when it comes to my kids, watch out. The Mama Cat will get you.

This warning is mainly for doctors, and in my seven years as a Mother, I've had to claw and gobble up a few. And then spit them right back out. When my first son was very young, he went from being a normal, happy little toddler to having seizures constantly day & night. What was almost more frightening was the feeling that we were all alone to come up with our own treatment and diagnosis since our doctors didn't know what to do. Their only suggestion was meds and more meds. In some cases this might help, but in our case it only made him worse. Oh, and his neurologist told us that he may end up in an institution!

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February 28, 2008

I'd Like To Thank My Mom

80aapk_01_oscar_stat Watching the Academy Awards this past Sunday, I couldn't help but be a little emotional (never mind that I'm pregnant on top of that) when the winners would get up on stage and thank their Moms- of course including Javier Bardem's Spanish message to his sweet mother. I love it when grown adult men, big sports stars and the like have so much love and gratitude for their Mommies. I look at my own sons and only hope they feel the same way about me. Whatever they do, wherever they are I plan to be that proud Mama in the bleachers.

I began to think about my life and who I would thank. The top of that list would be my Mom. As much as I'd like to say I can get by with just my hubby, three kids and one on the way- all on my own- I don't know what I'd do without my Mom.

This past weekend, in the throes of morning-noon-and-night sickness myself, my hubby bed-ridden with his back out, and three little ones with stomach bugs, Mom came to the rescue. Times two. My Mommy and Mother-in-law both took over and swooped in like Ghostbusters. Rubber gloves, buckets, groceries, pots of soup and all. One Mom took the bathrooms while the other took care of the kids. I took a nap. And if you know me well, you'd know I was mortified to

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February 23, 2008

The Old Woman Who Lived In A Designer Shoe

ShoeThere are definitely moments when fear briefly flashes through my mind at the thought of having four children. Mostly this happens when I am utterly overwhelmed with the three I have here now. Also not being able to leave the house in, like, weeks (with or without the kids) probably has something to do with it. I’ve diagnosed myself with cabin fever as probably everyone else in this area have done. A foot of snow the other day was pretty, but all the more confining. I forgot what month it was, longing for Christmas again. Even watched a Christmas episode of 90210 on the Soap Network. And it didn’t seem strange to me (the fact I was watching 90210 and/or the Soap Network and admitting it here- yes. The fact that it was a Christmas episode in February- just made sense at the time.) Which brings me to the next issue with being stuck in the house. It might not be so bad if there were something decent to watch on TV during the day. There is not one E! True Hollywood Story I haven’t seen twice now. I am not bragging.

I’ve tried reading a book here & there, but it’s not the same with constant interruptions- trips to the kitchen for snacks, water, scooping Teddy Grahams out of the fish bowl- you know, the usual. At least with TV you can pause it or fix a Star Wars Lego piece for the seventeenth time during the commercial break. But even books and TV aren’t replacements for the outside world. I miss it.

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January 21, 2008

The Follow Up

Nesting So, last week I wrote about my chronic multi-tasking and a new hope to single-task it for a while and see how it goes. Well, a week later I must say that my house is cleaner. I am more rested. And I feel happier, more centered- whatever that means.

And oh yeah... all that was apparently nesting. I'm pregnant!

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January 14, 2008

Lament Of A Multi-Tasker

Bd19911_ I used to find it an attribute that I was such a die-hard multi-tasker. Probably could hang with the best, as I am never doing just one thing at a time. Not even in my sleep- even then I'm consoling or nursing a child. Or dreaming of what I'll do as soon as I wake up. I thought it was genius to make use of all the spare time floating around out there. Clean the bathroom while the kids are in the tub. Scrub the shower while, um, I'm taking a shower. Write Thank Yous, fold laundry, and straighten up the living room while the boys do their homework. I can successfully blog (and I've lost track at how many blogs I even have now), answer emails, talk on the phone, & watch TV all at once. Something I should be proud of? It seemed to make sense.

I realized that as much as I am able to accomplish, what I did get done didn't have much heart in it. It's that whole quantity vs. quality thing. It can get ya every time.

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January 03, 2008

The Day I Ran Away From Home

House1 Or not really. But kinda.

I don’t remember ever wanting to run away from home when I was little. I honestly don’t understand why I would have wanted to anyway. Oh to be a kid again. Trust me- I’d live it up. No responsibilities. I’d have dinner whether Mom feels like it or not. I’d have clean clothes and all my needs met without much thought most likely. It’s all right there.

I’m actually surprised that my parents never tried to run away from me. Or maybe they did but always came back. Or they at least wanted to but never really went through with it? Maybe something- most likely having nothing to do with me but more to do with their own selves- always brought them back to reality. Oh, and I’m sure it might be against the law or something, too?

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December 10, 2007

I'm Dreaming Of A Green Christmas

02This year we aren't putting up any Christmas lights outside and we're claiming it's to do our part to fight global warming. It's the green thing to do, you know. Use less energy and so forth. Not to mention it's freaking cold outside and we don't feel like decorating, alright? So we might be the only house on the block without lights and animated polar bears, but we can at least feel like the bigger man because we are "so very Eco-conscious."

And this Christmas it's been GREAT economically to go green- as we're limiting as much "excess" as possible and not even exchanging gifts with some of our families. Instead we'll spend time doing something fun like the Star Wars Exhibit at the Museum of Science & Industry and then a day at an activity jump center for the kids. This means a lot less presents to buy and wrap and then hunt for the gift receipt so it can be returned. No malls. No lines. Ah, this going green is the easy way out. Why don't more lazy people do it?



Continue reading "I'm Dreaming Of A Green Christmas" »

December 06, 2007

I'm His Boo

123Ever since my youngest could talk, he's called nursing "boo." I have no idea where he came up with this because I honestly tried to call it the lame "num nums" or some baby-talk like that. But he still calls it boo, and now so does everyone in the family. My mom even jokes that, "when he's 'off the boo' maybe he can come stay the night" and so forth.

Gray turned two in October and still nurses like a newborn (or so it seems) sometimes. My original plan was to nurse him past one year if possible. For some reason I thought he might have trouble nursing this long. This child was made to breastfeed. I think that's all he lives for. He's a boob man, that's for sure. So, now we're past the two year mark.

Continue reading "I'm His Boo " »

November 27, 2007

A Project X-Style Christmas

Steph2My best friend Ashlee and I met through blogging (of course!) and both of us had an instant unspoken bond due to struggles with our firstborn sons. My challenge, having a child with epilepsy, and hers was having a child almost not even born alive, period. A true Christmas miracle, our sweet best buddy Xavier. He was born in December 2005, 12 weeks too early. Today he is a healthy, active toddler and just pure sweetness.

Having spent 6 weeks in the NICU, among other later struggles, Ashlee and her husband David know all too well how it feels to spend Christmas in the hospital. And not just the hospital, but the NICU. A place that you are glad is there for the "just-in-case," but where you hope you never have to go.

Ashlee formed Project X to provide support and assistance to preemies and their families in Northwest Indiana. While the NICU is the best place for tiny babies, it is often a foreign and frightening experience.

Continue reading "A Project X-Style Christmas " »

November 13, 2007

Late In The Game

Videogames This Christmas I might actually give in and let the boys have their first video game. To some parents, we are looked at with crazy-eyes because our 5- and 6-year old sons don't know how to play Xbox or Wii. And others are appalled that we'd even consider letting the kids watch television, let alone play a video game.

In our family, we feel this might be the right time to let the games begin. (Or finally Daddy is willing to share his Xbox.) And finally I am willing to "go down this road." But, now I find myself not even knowing where to start. From what I've seen, there is no going back. So many gaming kids that I see are like addicts. How do I make sure that this is not the only thing they want to do, like, ever? I am not ready for them to stop playing imaginatively with their toys and sticks and strings and whatever else boys think up. Will this be progress or regression?

I am already armed with ESRB ratings info and know not to ever allow them to get into the online gamer

Continue reading "Late In The Game" »

November 02, 2007

Check Your Freezer!

Freezer There's recalls in the freezer, too! Millions of Totino's and Jeno's frozen pizzas are being recalled due to possible E. coli contamination. Eight types of Totino's brand frozen pizza and three types of Jeno's brand frozen pizza with pepperoni topping, or pepperoni in combination with other toppings are included in the recall.

According to the CDC, E. coli is one of hundreds of  strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli.  Although most strains are harmless, this strain produces a powerful toxin that  can cause severe illness, especially dangerous for the very young or elderly. Infection with E. coli often leads to bloody diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure.

So, take a break from checking the toy box for lead and Halloween candy for razors (and lead) and be sure to check the freezer, too. It's probably a good time to clean it out anyway, at least it was for me, because I found some scary stuff in there that I think used to be Veggie Burgers... but I'm still not so sure.

October 25, 2007

This Business Of Being Born

StephanieLast night I had the privilege of viewing a private screening of the new documentary film The Business Of Being Born, directed by Abby Epstein and executive produced by Ricki Lake.

I had just finished reading Tina Cassidy's book Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born and was even more convinced that my next baby will be born at home. So, going to this movie had me excited and eager to learn even more about birth in American hospitals, birth centers, and homes.

It's shocking, the misconceptions and misinformation that Americans (especially women) have about the labor and birth of a child. Many people view childbirth as a life-threatening medical emergency when really it was intended to be natural and beautiful with little need for any interventions.

Continue reading "This Business Of Being Born" »

October 22, 2007

Spin That Wheel!

Wheeloffortune_2 I'm a Wheel Watcher. It's true. Sometimes hubby and I look at each other as we eat dinner by the light of Wheel Of Fortune on the tube and say, "We're old." And also, "I gotta be on that show someday."

I pride myself in being able to guess the puzzle when it's blank. I've gotten it quite a few times. I've watched Wheel Of Fortune since Vanna had to actually turn each letter around, and you had to "shop" from the prize room. Now all Vanna has to do is point. And the prizes and dollars are much, much better now.

Well, the Wheel is coming to town this weekend! And I'll be there. Auditions are being held this Saturday, Sunday, & Monday at the Rosemont Theatre for future tapings of three weeks of shows in March 2008 at Navy Pier. Find out all the details here. And please let me know if you'll be there, too!

I already know how Pat will introduce me- "Meet Stephanie, a blogging stay-at-home Mom to three boys. Uh, please tell us, what's a blawg?"

October 16, 2007

Sally Foster, My Kids Will Not Be Working For You!

Fall07_homemain_pic1r1 It's fall and fundraisers are in full-swing. We've already had Entertainment Books to sell (I bought one because, really, they do pay for themselves) but we did not try to pawn them off on any of our family and friends. And this weekend the dreaded Sally Foster Fundraiser packet was in the backpacks.

I don't want to squash school spirit- I am all for supporting the school and such, but come on. How can I, in good conscience, have my kids peddling hideous foil gift wrap at ridiculously high prices? Or 6 oz. of stale peanut clusters for $8. Not including tax and shipping. Really?

And the prizes for the top sellers (read: kid who has a Mom & Dad with the most co-workers) - oh, the prizes! Such incentive! The Top Selling Student in each class will win a darling, walking, grunting Pig! And in small print: The soft, furry, battery operated kind! AND for every $75 in sales, your name is entered to win a $25 Wal-Mart Gift Card! Don't even get me started.

Cross-posted at Adventures In Babywearing.

October 02, 2007

Sleeping Is So Overrated

Steph_2I type with heavy fingers that are more like thick thumbs attempting to translate my hazy mind into a comprehendable blog post. The last time I had a decent night's sleep (my definition being at least four hours in a row during the night, in my own bed, like normal people sleep) was last Thursday, I think. Or it might be the Thursday before that. Thursday just sounds familiar right now.

Last night looked promising, with a quiet house and the last kid bedded at 10 pm. My eyes were wide open and I did laundry, read a book, then finally became sleepy by 2 am. Just as I cozy up to my pillow, there are sounds of a sick child in the other room (Mom radar says: Carter. Top Bunk. Vomit.)

Continue reading "Sleeping Is So Overrated" »

September 26, 2007

When Blogging Bites The Hand That Feeds It

GoodbyeI've never felt more like hanging up the towel in blogland than I do right now. What once was a creative outlet and great community is now starting to turn against me. I thought I had a good grip on the balance of blogging, life, friendships, being a mother, but lately I just don't know anymore. I feel like I'm contemplating blog suicide. Last night I envisioned completely deleting my blog. The adrenaline rushed through me at the thought, that maybe it would be the answer I need right now.

If I spend too much time reading other blogs and commenting, then I tend to neglect more important things surrounding me. And when I am so wrapped up on the Internet and not living life, what is there to blog about? 

Continue reading "When Blogging Bites The Hand That Feeds It" »

September 18, 2007

I Just Might Watch TV This Week

Tv New fall shows are starting finally. I hardly turn the TV on anymore unless it's to watch the news, and even that I can get online. I didn't even watch the Emmy's. Why bother if you can catch all the highlights on the news and in blogs the next day?

Oprah, you're boring me. Maybe if you'd give us Chicago Moms a chance we'd freshen you up a bit. And I used to watch The View last season, but with Rosie gone, it's lost all flavor. I've tried to watch it with the new co-hosts and Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Anyway, I actually set my DVR to record this week. And I am excited. I am not ashamed to admit that I love

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September 11, 2007

I Remember

Stephanie_911Noah was just a baby, almost 7 months old. I remember nursing him in our TV room, then putting him in his bouncy seat. Hubby was getting ready for work and I was in my pajamas. I had the Fox Morning News on.

I watched as they announced the first plane hit. I didn’t realize- nobody realized- what was really happening. It seemed to be a small plane. It seemed to be an accident. I casually called to hubby, “Oh, a plane hit the World Trade Center.” Said more like “weird” than what we’d know it to really be.

I remember calling to hubby again as he was about to step out the door… “Another plane!”

Continue reading "I Remember" »

September 09, 2007

Is It Worth The Rush?-

Slow_downIt's a chronic condition. Americans are on fast-forward and it seems the pace is speeding up even more every day. We cram our already busy schedules causing us to eat, talk, work, love, & socialize on the run... but what's with the rush? Is it really worth it?

The recent tragedy in Northwest Indiana involving a Mom and her minivan full of kids being hit by two trains, throwing her from the car and killing two of her four children inside has tugged my heart and filled my mind all week. Video surveillance shows that she raced to beat the train and maybe thought she could make it in time, but another train was coming from the opposite direction that she must not have seen- her van was hit by both trains... with a horrific outcome.

Continue reading "Is It Worth The Rush?-" »

September 03, 2007

Labor Day BBQs Are So Overrated

StephMy Labor Day was spent lounging poolside in the sun, hanging out with my hot pool boy. Ok- I'll keep it real here. You could find me in a lawn chair in my backyard, feet in the kiddie pool, chilling out with my runny-nosed toddler. Add a fever, balls of tissue stuffed in the cup-holder of my folding chair, and desperate wishes to be able to hear, smell, and taste again.

We had plans to attend a BBQ, but due a rapid spreading cold throughout our home we stayed in and ordered pizza delivery two days in a row. I never even did that back in my college days.

   

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August 28, 2007

I'm Hungry For Some Dancing Meatballs

Dancing_meatballs_2Ok, I may be vegan (sometimes) but I can go for a good meatball. Especially a dancing one & all. Dancing Meatballs is a new free activity resource for Chicago parents.  Their e-newsletter is an especially useful resource for us parents with young children. We are often very limited in time, but in great need of knowing where to find the fun things to do with the family.

One affordable event is highlighted per day, chosen based on research and word of mouth from other local parents. From new parent support groups to museums to festivals, check out DancingMeatballs.com.  If you're still wondering just where your Labor Day party will be next week, they recommend the Bash on Wabash promising great food, rides, activities, and New Orleans jazz. Cost is only a $5 donation. That should get your family dancing.

August 27, 2007

Confessions Of A Really Bad Housekeeper

DusterWith school starting this past week I am hoping to finally fall into some sort of routine. Lately, the following has been my current schedule for housecleaning:

-My flip-flop is officially stuck to the kitchen floor: I guess I need to mop.

-Kids have to drink their morning OJ out of fine goblets: maybe I should do the dishes.

-Kids wear Christmas PJ's to bed (it's August): time to do some laundry.

Continue reading "Confessions Of A Really Bad Housekeeper" »

August 14, 2007

He'll Be The Kid With The Home-Made Gift

The Chicago Tribune called the other day to ask my opinion about the lead paint findings in some of our most trusted toys. I am a mom of three boys, hello! I live in Thomas-land... how could you do this to me you cheeky engine?!

Although I wasn't quoted in the article, parts of what I said are mentioned. I was asked what I'd buy for a child's gift if we were going to a birthday party and the first thought I had was maybe something by Melissa & Doug- you know- good, trustworthy, wooden toys and then as I was talking to the reporter on the phone I looked and saw that they are made in Taiwan. Hmmm. Right now books sound safe or maybe a gift card so that the parents can decide what the child gets?

Just as we read the labels on our food and our sunscreen, we have to be reading the labels on our toys. Really, anything that has a label needs to be read. Of course, the toys that have been recalled were not labeled as "covered in lead!" but I am going to be extra careful about which toys I'll allow into our home from now on.

So just what exactly is safe to buy? I personally think home-made gifts are the most thoughtful sometimes, and I love to receive them, but not everyone feels that way. I can hear the whispers now- that weird kid whose family makes all their gifts.

Marcie, who blogs at My Two Boys and also the Chicago Moms Blog, has listed some safe, lead-free toy options here. I am still tempted to try an all homemade-gift Christmas this year. It's sounding better by the minute.

Stephanie blogs at Adventures In Babywearing.

August 07, 2007

Rx For Starbucks

CoffeeSpending time in long lines and dropping $4 everyday at Starbucks just might pay off over time for some women, as a study suggests that coffee may slow memory decline. Caffeine just might block the buildup of proteins that lead to mental decline, according to Karen Ritchie at the French National Institute of Medical Research.

I must agree, as I've found that often my iced venti soy vanilla latte is the only cure for Mommy brain.

The article states, "She said people should weigh any brain gains derived from caffeine against other effects of the stimulant, including raised blood pressure" (And I might add debt and empty pockets from $4-a-day habits.)

Of course, I guess you could just brew your own. But that's no fun.

(And hubby, in case you're reading this, I do not really go to Starbucks everyday. But I'd sure like to...)

August 02, 2007

Calling The Shots

Shots We were in Target the other day and someone else with a new Kindergartener stopped to talk and said in a hushed voice "Did you take him for his shots yet?" I just responded back, matter-of-factly, "Oh, we don't do shots."

She was quite surprised and didn't even know we had a choice. Parents, if you are in the U.S.A. (with some exceptions in West Virginia & Missouri), you have a choice.
You have a choice in how many vaccines, if any, that your child receives.

I haven't seen much support among the conservative community about not vaccinating. Maybe conservative parents don't want to buck "authority" or maybe it's lumped in with being too controversial- I am not sure- but, I was very pleased to see the Christian Broadcasting Network bringing this sensitive issue to the forefront, in a news piece asking Are Vaccinations Safe For Your Kids?

We see a regular pediatrician and have never had an issue with not vaccinating at their practice. I think you might be surprised if you just talk honestly and openly with your doctor about your concerns regarding vaccinations. You should be able to talk honestly and openly to your doctor about everything anyway. Be informed and responsible, whatever you decide.


My boys go to public school and we just hand over our signed exemption letter that we write ourselves. I don't care for the way the school's exemption form is worded. I am following the law, and contrary to popular belief, there are no questions asked, no debate, no hassle.

What if my boys naturally get one of the "vaccinated for" diseases? Then we'll naturally deal with it, and be just fine. We've done our research. All those "vaccinated for" diseases are way more treatable and less life threatening than what could be caused from the vaccines themselves. A
nd not one of those vaccinations is 100% effective and guaranteed to do it's "job" (this is fact)- a vaccinated child can still get one of the "vaccinated for" diseases anyway. 

I am so thankful there is a choice. Someone can choose to vaccinate, and I can choose not to. I hope that scientific studies continue to be performed to maximize the safety for those that are vaccinated. 

Most importantly, no matter what I or your doctor or school suggests,
you are the parent, you know your child, and you get the final say.

Stephanie blogs at Adventures In Babywearing.

July 16, 2007

Mommy Bloggers: Please Remember To Feed Your Children!

I know that blogging is addicting- I've seen it happen to me, where all I want to do is read blogs all day and comment, post, check comments on my own blog... and the cycle never ends! But all things in moderation, right? You have got to put things in priority order and I don't think checking Bloglines like a fiend should come before, say, your kids' needs or your job!

I'm quite appalled by the recent news story about a couple that horrifically neglected their children because of their Internet addiction. But, I can't say it surprises me. Sometimes you need to step away from the computer! I find it quite ironic that there must be Mommy Bloggers that spend more time blogging about their children than actually experiencing real life moments with them!

So please excuse me while I go make my kids some lunch and give them a few extra kissses today...

Stephanie blogs at Adventures In Babywearing

July 13, 2007

Been Caught Stealing

Not my child. Yes, my child. Stealing Mentos and Trident from the grocery store. I didn't find out until discovering wrappers in the couch later on. Mentos and gum? They are up kinda high on the shelf when all the chocolate bars and mini M&Ms are below. My kid is weird. And ohmygosh he's a shoplifter at 6 years old!

I know I can appear to have my hands full with three little ones trucking around the store, but like all moms, I have eyes in the back of my head. Or so I thought. I totally missed this and he made it home hiding two packages of candy. He didn't even have pockets that day!

I didn't know how to discipline in this situation. Why didn't he just ask me if he could have Mentos? I would have said "No" but he could have at least asked first. Did anyone else see and not say anything? Would the store think I put my kid up to stealing for me? What kid eats Mint Mentos and Trident anyway?

The next day we were back to the store and I explained what had happened to customer service. They were more than kind, "all kids do that," and I paid for the contraband. I made sure my son knew that you can not take anything from the store without paying for it, that Mommy could get in trouble, etc. But I am not sure I really know the best way to handle this. And I thought I was doing pretty good. This Motherhood thing doesn't get easier as we go along?

Stephanie blogs at Adventures In Babywearing.

July 02, 2007

Mommy Envy?

I was watching the Today show this morning and saw a piece called Do You Have Mommy Envy? Of course we all have it a little - that mom you see with a newborn and she's already back in her pre-pregnancy jeans. I am still not back in my pre-pregnancy jeans (from any of my pregnancies!) and I might not ever be that tiny again. That is something I'm totally fine with now. Doesn't mean I don't still have a little envy about it, though. And you see the Mom that "has it all and does it all and knows it all"... well, you know as well as I do that at the end of the day, we're all wiping counters, noses, and butts just like the next Mom.

If you have mistaken me for one of those Moms that "has it all and does it all and knows it all", you should stop by my house unannounced on any given day and your image of me will be something completely different, I am sure. I am just speaking figuratively here, please don't stop by my house unannounced. It's a mess!

I think that our own insecurities can highlight other Moms' so-called "perfect qualities" when really those same Moms are feeling just as insecure or incapable. If I see something I like in another mom, like the way she talks gently to her children or remembers to actually bring snacks to the park, I don't let it make me feel "less-than." Instead I allow my heart to apply the good things I see in other Moms to my own life. We make the choice to feel Mommy envy. And we also have a choice to make a change in our own lives, and also to be content just the way we are.

Cross-posted from Adventures In Babywearing.

June 21, 2007

For Reals?

Apparently in New Zealand you can't name your child a name with numerals in it! Who'd a thought...?

New Zealand authorities have blocked a couple's bid to officially name their new son "4real," saying numerals are not allowed. It's a very special meaning to the parents, so I'm wondering if they'll just change it to Fourreal? Not the same effect, I guess. You can read the article here.

A friend recently mentioned about going to her child's preschool graduation where someone had really named their son Braxton Hicks. I can imagine the sentiment there! I've heard some crazy names, but I am not sure I'd want someone to tell me what I could or couldn't name our baby.

The rules in New Zealand are designed to prevent names that are "likely to cause offense to a reasonable person." Like Satan and Adolf Hitler. Ah, makes sense. Obviously this is not a rule that is followed among celebrity parents lately. Poor Audio Science and Moxie Crimefighter. The more I think about them, though, they kinda grow on me. Eh, maybe.

Stephanie blogs at Adventures In Babywearing.

June 14, 2007

Monitor On A Mission

One time our baby monitor just about gave me a heart attack when I heard what I thought was my baby crying, and then another voice comforting the child... when I was home alone. Turns out I had picked up someone else's monitor- I am sure this has happened before. Maybe even getting a trucker's "10-4 Good Buddy" once in a while. Nothing all that exciting.

But, a mother in Palatine has an out-of-this-world (so to speak) story to tell. Since Sunday, Natalie Meilinger's baby monitor has been picking up black-and-white video from inside the space shuttle Atlantis! You can read the article here.

I only wonder what else can be seen and heard on baby monitors around the world... and if she can see inside the space shuttle, who is viewing her baby?

Stephanie blogs at Adventures In Babywearing.

June 08, 2007

The 5-Second Rule

Stephanie_kissing_boo_booSomeone really has conducted a scientific study of the five-second rule. Next they'll be testing if Mommy's kisses really make boo-boos feel better. And if you cross your eyes they'll stick like that. If you eat your spinach you'll really have muscles like Popeye.

I only hope that restaurants and people with hairy cats having me over for dinner don't practice this 5-second rule.

Apparently women were more likely to invoke the 5-second rule, and overall, people are inclined to eat dropped cookies and candy more often than dropped broccoli and cauliflower. Well sheesh, forget a scientific study- I could've told you that!

Stephanie blogs at Adventures In Babywearing

May 26, 2007

I Feed My Fish, People

The other day my little one had a fever and I desperately needed to run some errands, had a pile of dishes like you wouldn't believe (or hopefully you would), and I also had 17 eBay items to get ready for mailing. I asked my mom if she could come by and hold the baby while I got some things done. She's the only other person that can hold him like that besides me.

I ran my errands after she came and was just about to start on the dishes when she said something that has been eating away at me ever since.

She said, "I cleaned off your counter." To which I said, "Oh thanks- I needed to do that."

Then she said that my middle son Carter asked her, "What are you doing?" The way she mimicked this was to imply that I never clean my counter and so the sight of someone cleaning my counter would be quite confusing to my child.

Then she said that she asked him if our fish needed to be fed and he said that we never feed it. All right- that's enough. As if I don't feel under-appreciated already. I feed the fish everyday, people. I do it at night or sometimes when no one happens to be around. Or at least every few days...

I am a mother to 3 and they have survived. I am capable of taking care of a fish- it's still alive, isn't it? And I do clean my house! I just might not flaunt it in front of the kids or my mother- but what's the point in cleaning the house with the kids running around anyway? I mopped the floor yesterday and would you be able to tell right now? NO. Same with the clean counters. And everything else, darn it!

Please tell me that I am not the only one with a mother life like this?

Stephanie also blogs at Adventures In Babywearing.

May 20, 2007

Bag Lady

Grocery shopping today, I brought my own bags as usual. I am all about helping the environment, but must admit that I love how colorful my cloth bags are- it's all about the accessories, right? And by the way, I had my Ecobags before Oprah's Green episode, but that's OK- it's a trend I am glad to see catch on.

The person bagging my groceries was a bit confused by these things- these alien bags that seemed to be impersonating a bag, in the same shape as the plastic store bags, but they were made of cloth... crazy! He literally held it up and looked at it quizzically.

The cashier encouraged me to "help him out" and explain to him how to use it. I laughed and then realized she was not joking. I gladly bagged my own groceries instead.

May 16, 2007

Wears The Baby?

A friend of mine once said, "Babywearing? Steph, isn't that cruel?" He was only half-kidding.

Well, when I was pregnant with my youngest child Gray, I was thinking about how this third baby was going to fit in. I joked that I was going to have to probably "wear him" in order to keep him safe from his big brothers and to keep track of all my kids. How would I ever get anything done? I was picturing the old woman in the shoe. And I only have three kids.

So I wear my baby in a sling and do all sorts of things. Like mini golfing - yes, I did a whole round of mini golf, including two hole-in-ones, while wearing the baby. Even beating the men, including my hubby. And I've even tried on jeans at the Gap with my little guy in the sling. I think it just shows that a mom will make anything work, especially if it involves shopping for new clothes.

What is the craziest thing you've done while wearing your baby?

Adapted from a post at Adventures In Babywearing.

May 13, 2007

If All Else Fails, Compliment The Shoes

My_shoesThe other night hubby and I took the kids to dinner at House of Kobe. Another family with a little one also sat at our teppanyaki table. We all made small talk and they asked if our three boys were "all ours."  I smiled and said yes, but thought who in their right mind brings extra kids along to a $20 per person restaurant. Who in their right mind brings extra kids along anywhere?

She asked me if I was a stay at home mom. I nodded yes and laughed, mumbled something about the three boys keeping me busy, the same old response. She smiled and at first I couldn't read her... so I said "is it that obvious?" I kinda meant it jokingly but it kinda came out annoyed. Which wasn't my intention. I think it took her aback and it turns out she was a stay at home mom, too. It felt awkward at that moment and so I did the one thing that will save any conversation... I said, "I was really admiring your shoes."

And soon we were best friends and were this close to braiding each other's hair and sharing our deepest darkest secrets. We were both wearing Crocs- she in her new gold Mary Janes and I in my Prima ballerina flats that she had never seen and oh where can she get them?

Meanwhile I notice our husbands giving each other blank looks between bites of their salads. Soon she is telling me she likes how I dress our children and that they are so well behaved. I literally did a double take to make sure that it was, in fact, my own children next to me and they hadn't been switched with quiet and mannerly pretend-children. They were still mine and wow she must really want to be my friend if she thinks they are well behaved. I learned she was a hair stylist and now have tips to keep my boys' hair long and stylish (detangler immediately after bath...it's all about the product, people.)

I realize now that we never said our names, but we did share our kids' names, and I did tell her my blog address. I hope she emails me. We could be great friends. She had nice hair and cute shoes, afterall.

May 10, 2007

They Beckon Me

Maternity_2There is a huge open box of maternity clothes staring at me as I type. They are taunting me, begging to be worn again- or given away for good? Will I ever know the answer to this?

We think we are done with having kids, but it's not official. Having these clothes in my possession makes me nervous. I had given my whole pregnancy wardrobe away, but like a Ouija Board, they keep coming back.

About a year ago we tried to get pregnant with a fourth child. For the first time in our lives, we were unable to make a baby. Our older boys were "surprises" and only 17 months apart. Our youngest son was our "planned" baby that we conceived on the first night. After a few months of trying we became unsure if we were really ready for a fourth. We agreed that we were quite content as a party of five.

I worry that the moment I give these clothes away, I'll suddenly need them. But I also think that if I keep them here, I'll need them. And I'm not so sure I want to need them. Does this make sense? No matter that they'll most likely be out of style anyway. They represent something deeper than just fabric with more give in the middle. They are asking me if another life will inhabit my body, nurse at my chest, take hold of my heart. They stare me down... and I close the box.


Stephanie blogs at Adventures In Babywearing 


Cross Posted on Silicon Valley Moms Blog (sister site of Chicago Moms Blog)

Blogging Turn Offs

Bloggingteeshirt_3 I admit, I've said it aloud once or twice. "I am so blogging this." But after a while, once you are a seasoned blogger, it should just be assumed that pretty much anything in your life (and sometimes your family's life) is subject to becoming blog material.

But the one thing that can ruin 'the mood' is when someone tells me "Oh, you gotta blog that." Or when hubby asks me (ladies, am I right?) "Are you going to blog this?"

Maybe I was going to blog about it. But now that you've asked me specifically, it's taken away the bloggy goodness of it all. It's like being told what to write, and I hate being told what to write. Blogging is my anti-assignment. And anyway, I already had the idea before you mentioned it, but now it won't seem original. I'm not in the mood anymore, thankyouverymuch. Hmmph.

Stephanie blogs at Adventures In Babywearing.

Cross Posted on Silicon Valley Moms Blog (sister site of Chicago Moms Blog)