Saturday, December 16, 2006

When's the last time you were THIS excited about Christmas?

As a fairly new parent, I'm discovering that having kids makes Christmas a lot of fun. Sawyer isn't old enough to really get it yet, but he definitely senses the excitement of the season. Every morning when we go downstairs he runs over to the Christmas tree and says "Tee! Tee!" and makes the sign for "tree". We're teaching him that Santa Claus says "Ho, ho, ho" and he'll repeat it in a deep voice with a serious look on his face. My parents and sisters are coming to visit from Utah on the 20th and my brother's coming up from Miami, so our whole family will be together for Christmas this year. I can't wait to see them all and to see Sawyer and Caroline on Christmas morning. I remember the first year that Christmas wasn't that exciting to me; that morning I realized that I would rather sleep in than go downstairs and open presents. Since then the season has become more spiritually significant to me and I enjoy the peace and togetherness that comes with it. But seeing it through Sawyer's eyes brings back some of that excitement it used to hold for me.


I'm behind in my blogging what with Christmas preparations and whatnot, but in November we did celebrate Thanksgiving. We went to Corolla, NC to spend the holiday weekend with Eric's family at their beach house. The day before we went there was a huge storm and all the roads were flooded. On the way there we thought we were going to have to get out of the car and kayak to the house. The picture is of their driveway and the road. When we arrived I joked with my mother-in-law that their house was probably more valuable now that it was waterfront property; that went over like a ton of bricks. I guess I wouldn't have a sense of humor about it either if it was my place that was close to being flooded. At any rate, we had a nice weekend just hanging out and eating lots of good food.

Friday, November 10, 2006


I know a lot of you have already seen these, but I thought I'd post them anyway; pictures of our Halloween. I was a cat, Sawyer was a puppy, and Eric was a guy with a mullet. I have to admit that I've never been a huge fan of Halloween, but now that we have a kid it is so much more fun. Sawyer had a blast at our church's "trunk-or-treat" party - he ran all over the place, going up to people in costumes, touching them, screaming and then running away. A couple of times he ran right into the middle of the cakewalk and we had to dash after him to extract him. Crazy kid.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

We Fockerized Him

I just re-watched "Meet the Fockers" the other day and realized two things. First, the baby on it reminds me SO much of Sawyer. He's about that age now, he has the same coloring, and he signs. (Thankfully though, Sawyer's first word was not "Ash-hooole.") Second, I hadn't noticed before that the characters in the movie have a conversation about the topic of my last post - attachment parenting vs. independence training. The Byrnes are using the Ferber method (cry it out) for baby Jack and the Fockers believe in attachment - as they put it, "We hugged and kissed our little prince like there was no tomorrow. We Fockerized him."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Independence, Shmindependence

I've been thinking about this post for a long time. And it's kind of a controversial topic, so if you are offended by it I'm sorry - but hey, it's my blog.

One of the funny things about becoming a parent is that everyone and their mom will share their parenting philosophy with you, whether or not you asked for it. I had a pretty good idea of what kind of mom I wanted to be, but no idea how different my own parenting style would be from the majority of people I know. I think the central difference hinges on the concept of independence. When it comes to babies, our culture is obsessed with encouraging independence. We wean them early, put them in cribs in their own rooms as soon as possible, and shudder at the thought of letting them use a pacifier past the age of 2. After having lots of conversations with other moms and reading many (Eric would say too many) parenting books, I've found that I believe in what the baby book writers call "attachment parenting". The basic concept is that babies should be allowed to be babies; that they come wired with the ability to tell us what they need, both physically and emotionally; and that the most important thing they learn in the first years of life is that they can trust (i.e. be attached to) their caregivers. To me this is just common sense, but it is amazing how many people believe exactly the opposite. I had a friend who was concerned that her 6 week old baby was "still" waking up at night to eat. Another of our acquaintances told her, "Wow, it sounds like she's learned how to manipulate you!" I was dumbfounded. A baby who's been out of the womb for a month and a half? Manipulative? Was she serious? Yep, she was. It turns out that she is a big believer in the idea of scheduling feedings and naptimes from an early age and showing your baby who's boss - that the family doesn't revolve around him. Babies who are "trained" in this way (that's actually what they call it) usually sleep through the night at a much earlier age than those whose parents respond to them at night.

I can see why this strategy might be attractive to some. Waking up at night to feed a baby is tough, especially in those early weeks when you are already exhausted. The solution according to my friend (and the book she bases her ideas on) is to let the baby "cry it out" in order to learn that night is for sleeping. This becomes a very emotional issue for me, because the thought of leaving my baby to cry by himself makes me physically ill. And a lot of women I know who have used this method of sleep training say they felt the same way initially, but that they eventually got over that feeling and learned to ignore the crying. They say that it's OK that the baby is left crying for long periods of time because they know "he's fine" - meaning they know he has eaten, has a dry diaper, and is safe. My problem with this is, the baby clearly doesn't know he's "fine". And is it really a good thing to distance yourself from your child to the point where their crying doesn't really bother you anymore? I don't think so.

Eric and I have taken a totally different approach, and at first glance, a harder one. From day one Sawyer has slept in our room and often in our bed. I've breastfed him whenever he asked to at night, and never let him cry for longer than it took me to wake up. The bad news? He woke up A LOT and he didn't start sleeping through the night until he was almost a year old. But the good news - it didn't bother us one bit. Co-sleeping makes handling night wakings so painless, especially while breastfeeding. By the time he was a couple of months old and I was getting the hang of nursing while lying down, I wouldn't even wake up all the way to feed him, I'd just roll over and whip it out and we'd both fall back asleep. Sleeping next to our baby has been one of the most wonderful parenting experiences we've shared. The same went for the daytime: if he cried, I picked him up; if he wanted to eat, I fed him. Until he learned to sit up on his own he spent most of every day in my arms or in a sling. (By the way, babywearing is the single greatest thing I discovered in the early months of being a new mom. It totally saved my arms, back and sanity.) As a sidenote, around the age of 7 months we discovered that Sawyer had an allergy to the cow's milk I was drinking - the protein passes into breastmilk and it was giving him stomach pains. If I had let him "cry it out," I would have been leaving him in pain. He had no way to tell me this other than crying. I am so glad I didn't ignore his cries. Once I cut milk out of my diet he slept peacefully all night.

Eric and I don't go around broadcasting the fact that we co-sleep. I think it goes back to the whole independence thing. In our culture we think that if we don't push babies into being independent, they will never learn to do things on their own. To me that's really silly. If you've ever been around a 2 year old you know that they don't need much encouragement to be independent; it is hardwired into their brains. ("I can do it MYSELF!") It's just that the stage where they develop this on their own is later than a lot of Americans are comfortable with.

Take breastfeeding. Toddlers will naturally lose interest in nursing and wean themselves, but not usually until sometime between the ages of 3 and 5. Women in our society who breastfeed their babies that long are basically seen as freaks of nature. One year seems to be the maximum age that is considered acceptable when it comes to nursing. (I'm pretty sure this is only the case in the US - I remember when I lived in France seeing many women nursing older toddlers, and in public at that. Of course, they go to the beach topless too, so I guess you could argue that they are a bit freer with their bodies that we are. Maybe it's all in our Puritanical roots and seeing breasts primarily as sexual objects.) At 17 months, I'm still breastfeeding Sawyer a few times a day, and I don't plan to stop for a while. I enjoy it, he enjoys it, it's healthy for him physically and emotionally, so I don't see why, just because he's past the arbitrary 1 year milestone, he shouldn't be allowed to breastfeed anymore. Even my doctor seems to think I am really weird to keep nursing him. So obviously I don't go around telling everyone I meet that I'm still breastfeeding. Once in a while I'll meet someone who breastfeeds her babies past one year and I always feel like embracing her and never letting go!

The irony of our culture's obsession with teaching babies independence is that so many young adults seem to have problems with being on their own. They even have a name: "Boomerang Kids", those who live with their parents after college and into their mid to late twenties. They say that needs that aren't met early on will need to be met later, so it makes me wonder if part of the problem is that kids are not allowed to be dependent on their parents at a young age, and so they stretch out their dependence into adulthood in order to feel safe and secure.

I also wonder how the concept of independence applies to our spiritual wellbeing. Being a Christian hinges on the idea that you need to rely on someone else. Our drive to do it all on our own can be very damaging when it comes to a relationship with God and with others in our families and our community of faith. Healthy interdependence is something that is difficult to achieve when we are so bombarded with the ideals of a do-it-yourself mentality.

This may just be a lot of fancy footwork to convince myself that it's OK to hug and nurse and cuddle my little boy. And if that's the case, oh well. We all get screwed over by our parents in some way. I guess I'll be OK with that if my mistake is loving my baby too much.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Celebrity Look-alikes

This is one of those things that is going around on myspace right now - you upload a picture of your face and it tells you what celebrities you look like. It's pretty fun, although sometimes it is way off - I had a couple say I looked like Evangeline Lilly and I pretty much look like the opposite of Evangeline Lilly. The funniest though was the one that said I look like Frankie Muniz! (Is that why Eric likes "Malcolm in the Middle"? ... Creepy.) You have to do several different pictures to get an accurate result. The one celebrity that came up for every one of the pictures I tried was Jenna Elfman. Anyway, here are my results.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Oh My Gosh....I Think I'm Crafty!

Since becoming a stay at home mom I have undergone a radical personality transformation. I realized it the other day when I was browsing the aisles at Michaels: I am crafty. I have never thought of myself as crafty before, in fact I was anti-crafty for many years. I've always been creative though, and I think that maybe running a household 24/7 plus creativity naturally leads to craftiness. Not that I'm into all crafts - I don't think I will ever like sewing or needlepoint. Mostly I like paper crafts; scrapbooking, card making, etc. And I love soap and candle making. I didn't really think of those individual pass times as "crafts", but when I consider them all together there is no denying it: I am crafty, and I need to accept that.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

No Accounting for Taste

I took these a few weeks ago when Sawyer fished a lime wedge out of his dad's drink. (He also dumped out the ice cubes, as you can tell from the puddle on the coffee table.) We eagerly awaited a funny face when he tasted how sour it was, but he loved it! Now that I think about it I remember my mom telling me I used to like sucking on lemons and pickles when I was a toddler, so maybe he gets it from me.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Hot Fun in the Summertime

It has been a hot summer, so we've spent a lot of time huddled inside with the air conditioning on full blast. A few times though we've broken out the baby pool to let Sawyer splash around. He absolutely loves the water as you can tell by the pictures. He will play in it until his lips are turning blue and his fingers are shriveled like prunes and he'll still protest when it's time to take him out.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

First Haircut

After a frustrated attempt to trim his hair in the front, I finally took Sawyer to the salon to get his first haircut. He didn't like it one bit, especially when she used the electric trimmer around his ears. He still has his little curls in the back; I couldn't bear to let her cut them off! I'll keep them for as long as Eric will let me. Here are some pictures.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Welcome Baby Benjamin!

Congratulations to my good friends Becky and Matt, who just had their first baby! Benjamin Matthew was born on August 8 and is such a cutie. Check out their blog.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

It's a Jungle Out There

A few weeks ago we had torrential rains like nothing I've ever seen before. In one night it rained 8 inches, which is more than the state of Utah gets in an entire year. As a result the plants in my garden seemed to double in size in just a couple of days. If you don't believe me, here's a picture.

We've been eating green beans and tomatoes for a couple of weeks now. It is such a good feeling to have grown them myself. I've always thought self-sufficiency was overrated, but now I'm starting to understand why people at church harp on about it all the time. Maybe I'll even start storing wheat in plastic buckets in our basement.

My husband remarked that this blog has evolved from an infertility/pregnancy blog into a gardening one. I wonder what that says about me: Do I have an innate desire to make things germinate and grow and bear fruit? And more importantly, once we get into cold weather again and I can't garden anymore, does that mean I have to get pregnant again? Geez, I hope not. I'm going to need at least another year before I start poking myself with needles again. Not to mention the nausea, fatigue, sciatica, and did I mention the nausea? I'll have to find another means of creation.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Answer's in the Music

Ha ha, this was fun. I copied this from Michelle. Some don't make any sense but a few are really funny. It also shows the lack of variety of artists I have on my iPod. I need to do some serious ripping from my CDs!

Directions: Put your music player on shuffle.Press forward for each question.Use the song title as the answer to the question. No cheating.

How am I feeling today? Tori Amos "A Sorta Fairytale"

Will I get far in life? David Brent "Free Love Freeway" (from The Office! hee hee)

How do my friends see me? Beth Orton "Carmella" "Ain't nothing very funny 'bout a man making money off a blond haired blue-eyed girl" - apparently they all think I'm a whore.

When will I get Married? Tori Amos "Wednesday" Actually I got married on a Saturday.

What's my theme song? Oasis "Roll With It" good one!

What is the story of my life? David Gray "Freedom"

How can I get ahead in life? Beth Orton "Central Reservation" The most enigmatic song ever.

What is my best feature? MXPX "Chick Magnet" Apparently women are attracted to me! Cool.

How is today going to be? The Sundays "I Can't Wait"

What is in store for this weekend? Rob Thomas "Now Comes the Night" Oh no, I'm going to die!!!

What is my life like at the moment? Ryan Adams "The Shadowlands" Now that's depressing.

What song describes my secrets? Death Cab For Cutie "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" - doesn't really make sense, but a great song nonetheless.

What is my current lover like? Jack Johnson "3 R's" from Curious George - "Reduce, reuse recycle!" (I swear Eric, I didn't plan that!)

What song will they play at my funeral? Indigo Girls "Ghost" That's appropriate, because I definitely plan to be there to see what everyone says about me.

How does the world see me? Ryan Adams "Jesus (Don't Touch My Baby)" Hmm, an overprotective mother?

Will I have a happy life? Tracy Chapman "The Promise" Oh, that is a happy song.

What do my friends really think of me? Ryan Adams "Carolina Rain" It's about a murderer. Nice!

Do people secretly lust after me? Beth Orton "Worms". "Now I'm your apple eating heathen, the original sin." I guess that's a yes.

Will I accomplish my goals in life? Duncan Sheik "Mister Chess" So I have to work on my strategy maybe.

Will I find true love? The Sundays "Joy"

How do I treat others? Puddle of Mud "Control" Ha!

Still Growing

The garden continues to grow. Since the last picture I've put in three types of tomatoes, basil, more beans, thyme, and summer squash. The flowers I planted aren't doing too well thanks to some negligence on my part - we had a dry, hot spell and I forgot to water for a few days. The green leaf lettuce bolted a week ago and the romaine is almost done too since it's been so warm. We'll miss having fresh lettuce from the garden - back to buying it in bags. My next project is to construct a trellis for the tomatoes and squash. I can't wait for that harvest! I'm also planning on putting some mint plants in the planters where the strawberries were supposed to be since I've been unsuccessful at getting two different batches of them to grow. Here are some more pics.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Standing Man

Right around his first birthday, Sawyer started cruising. He's been pulling up since he started crawling (about 7 months) but has just now figured out that he can get from place to place by holding onto things. It's just a matter of time now until he's walking solo.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Signs of Life

Here are the latest pictures of my veggie garden. So far I have two kinds of lettuce, carrots, bush beans, marigolds and a geranium.

It's going really well so far, this square foot method is so easy! I just water every couple of days, which takes about 2 minutes since it's such a small amount of space. I've pulled exactly 3 weeds - the seeds blew in from our maple tree.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Happy Birthday Sawyer!

Sawyer turned one today! I can't believe he is a year old. It sounds so cliché, but it really has gone by so fast. My dad was in town so he and Grandy came over for cake. Sawyer had a great time mashing his piece into a paste and then throwing it on the floor. I'm not sure if any made it into his mouth, but it was definitely on his face!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Congratulations Mom and Erin!

Last week Sawyer and I went out to Utah to celebrate the graduation of my mom and my sister Erin from BYU. Erin graduated in English and is planning to move to the DC area soon, so you know what that means - instant babysitter! My mom had to drop out when she got pregnant with me, and so now almost 30 years later she finally had the chance to go back and finish. She is now a college grad with a degree in Family History. I am so proud of her! Here are some pictures from our stay.

Grandma Sue and her grandbabies after the ceremony.

The graduates with me, Sawyer, Tanne, Caroline and Megan.

The two water babies. Sawyer and Caroline both love their baths!

On this trip we discovered that Sawyer loves dogs - even 75 lb. Jack, who has huge teeth! Luckily there isn't a sweeter dog in the world and he put up with Sawyer's abuse without complaint.

On the swing at Grandma's house. The house my parents are renting while they build their new one has a fantastic back yard.

The two cousins with Erin and Megan. Sawyer better grow, Caroline is catching him up!

Sawyer's favorite greeting for Grandpa - the Head Butt.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Here's a picture of my garden before planting. So far I've put in lettuce, carrots and parsley and when I get back from my trip to Utah I'll plant everything but the tomatoes and basil. Stay tuned for pictures once things start growing! Assuming of course, that I can actually get things to grow...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Funny Boy

Sawyer has picked up some funny habits in the past few weeks. One is rolling his tongue, like he's trying to pronounce "R" in Spanish. He is amazingly adept at this and can do it in any pitch or tone of voice. He has also started babbling all the time - before he made lots of noises, but now you can tell that he's imitating speech sounds. He makes "sentences" and obviously knows exactly what he's saying, even if Eric and I don't. We're still signing with him, but so far he still only signs back to us when he wants to go to bed. The other night I was nursing him to sleep and as he was drifting off he signed to himself "bed" over and over again, like he was saying "ahhh, I get to go to bed." He understands when we sign "bath", "Daddy", "eat", "bird", "light", "fan", "up", "more", "book" and "kiss."

My favorite funny thing he does is head-butting whoever is holding him. It seems to be his way of saying "I like you" (maybe he's part goat?)

We went to the beach with Eric's family for Easter and had a great weekend - the weather was fabulous. Sawyer had his first taste of sand. He was unimpressed. He then rubbed some all over his face and cried to be picked up.

This is how he's learned what "up" means. Eric will say "want to go up?" and he'll throw his head back in the air and clench his fists to get ready. There's nothing that makes him laugh harder.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Now that I'm sleeping at night and actually have energy during the day, I've picked up a new venture: gardening. My mom is an extremely gifted gardener, but sadly I was never interested enough as a kid to learn from her. My project this year is a square foot garden. I learned about this technique from a friend of mine in college who had just returned from a trip to Haiti where he taught people how to grow their own vegetables more efficiently. The standard method of vegetable gardening is to plant in long parallel rows, which takes up a lot of space and usually produces much more than a typical family can use. A square foot garden is arranged as the name implies, in squares. The idea is to plant one crop per square foot - then when that crop is harvested you plant a new one in that square and you can continuously have vegetables growing. I'm doing a 4'x4' one this year and I'm planting: tomatoes, cantaloupe, cucumber, carrots, romaine lettuce, green leaf lettuce, parsley, rosemary, basil, strawberries, green beans, and some flowers (nasturtium, sweet peas, and marigolds). I have planted a few of the cool crop seeds (the lettuce and carrots) and they are growing beautifully. I am really enjoying this so far. Who knows? Maybe some of my mom's talent is genetic.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ahhh, Sleep!

Sad that I've gone back to once a month posting...

BUT that may change soon since my life is completely different now! After lots of trial and error, I discovered that Sawyer has an allergy to cow's milk. That's why he was waking up screaming several times every night - the milk proteins from foods I consume pass into my breastmilk and he can't handle them. So I've been off dairy for a month and oh my goodness! What a difference. He is a changed baby. The dietary restrictions have been hard as I'm something of a dairy freak - I used to have milk on my cereal for breakfast, yogurt with lunch, cheese with almost everything, and ice cream for dessert. All that's changed now! I substitute rice milk with cereal in the mornings (which is kind of gross, but I'm getting used to it.) And it's totally worth whatever I have to do to be able to sleep at night - I can't believe how much energy I have!

I am also feeling totally vindicated in my parenting choices. I was getting a lot of pressure to let him "cry it out" to get him to sleep through the night. I am so glad I didn't give in! My poor baby was in pain and leaving him to cope by himself wouldn't have accomplished anything positive. Yay for parental instinct!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

If I Was a Superhero...

Sara posted this neato quiz on her blog so I thought I'd try it too.

Your results:

You are Supergirl
Lean, muscular and feminine.
Honest and a defender of the innocent.

Wonder Woman

Green Lantern






The Flash


Iron Man

Click here to take the What Superhero Are You? Quiz

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pictures for Grandma Sue

For my mom's birthday (which is the same day as mine) I took a bunch of pictures of Sawyer and put them together in a little scrapbook. He is turning into such a ham and smiles as soon as he sees the camera pointing at him. Here are a few of my favorites.

Monday, February 20, 2006


As I think I've mentioned before, we are teaching Sawyer sign language. We're using the book Signing Smart With Babies and Toddlers. This is his first sign: "bed". It's an approximation (he should have his hand flat against his head) but he definitely knows what he's trying to say. Every night after Eric gives him his bath he starts signing "bed," "bed" until I put him down and sometimes he signs it as he's falling asleep. Some of the other signs we are working on are "Daddy", "bath", "dog", "music", "hurt", "wake up", "more", and "kiss". He understands several of these, so it's a matter now of getting him to sign back to us. It is really cool to see him putting things together in his mind and for him to know he can communicate with us.

Monday, February 13, 2006

"Yes, I'll have the Big Wong Special, please."

Please, oh please, let this place be for real! Big Wong

Edited to add: Even better. Fat Wong


So a lot's happened in the past several weeks. I had a birthday and turned 28. Sara and Michelle came over to celebrate with us by having a BBC The Office marathon. We ordered takeout from Maggiano's, ate yummy Lindt chocolates provided by Michelle, decadent chocolate birthday cake which Eric made from scratch, and did pedicures while we lounged on the sofa and laughed ourselves silly at the antics of David Brent. Eric took care of Sawyer and didn't let me lift a finger all day. He gave me a docking station with speakers for my video iPod and a coffee table I've had my eye on for a while. I feel pretty indifferent about turning 28 (it's just one of those "in between" ages where I forget how old I am sometimes) but it was a good birthday.

The really big news is that Sawyer is now crawling. It's amazing how much this has changed my life. Gone are the days when I can set him on a blanket on the floor and let him play quietly with his toys. He's on the move and into everything as soon as his knees hit the floor.

A little while ago, Sawyer said his first word, "Dada." He seems to know what it means sometimes, and other times he seems to say it indiscriminately (he'll say it to me, his sippy cup, or his giant Nemo stuffed animal.) The other word he likes to practice unfortunately sounds a lot like "ass." This has caused some amusing situations in public places; shoppers at Target don't quite know how to respond to a chubby-cheeked 9 month old waving his arms in the air and yelling "Ass! Ass! Ass!"

Thursday, January 19, 2006


It's been a crazy few weeks since Christmas. Sawyer is teething, so our wonderfully predictable routine of naptimes is totally shot because he has trouble staying asleep. He's also learning to crawl, so he doesn't want to go to sleep in the first place because he's so busy trying to figure out how to get around and rip our house to shreds. It's like we have a newborn again and we are both exhausted.

It's amazing how sleep becomes the most important thing in your life when you're not getting any. (It's similar in that way to sex; no one thinks more about sex than someone who can't have it.) All day long I think about when I'll get to lie down for a nap. I fantasize about it. And when the magic moment comes when I see Sawyer's eyes finally go out of focus and close I have to restrain myself from screaming "Hallelujah!"

Since I've been up so much in the night I've been able to listen to Eric talk in his sleep, which is always fun (although not as fun as sleeping.) The other night I believe he topped the cowboy comment. He looked at me and said "Point that thing somewhere else!" I asked him "What thing?" and he smiled and said "Your ding-a-ling-a-ling!" and giggled hysterically. I pointed out to him that I don't have a "ding-a-ling-a-ling" as such, and he said "In this picture you do" and kept laughing. I don't even want to know where that came from!

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