Kipper!

We were at the cabin recently and got a ton of snow. And by a ton I mean check out the picture of the car. It was level with the ground when we pulled in.

This happened overnight. No joke.

Sadly, Mouse is not a huge fan of the snow. He doesn’t like to walk in it. As in, he screams and cries when we try to make him walk in it. But we were all getting a bit of cabin fever there in the cabin. There’s a television and we did have basic cable installed, but just turning on the tv is rather hit and miss. Plus we don’t allow Mouse to watch much tv at all. Prior to this trip, he really only watched Yo Gabba Gabba.

However, luckily for us, we did bring up a new Blue-Ray DVD player that can stream from Netflix, so we set out to find something other than Yo Gabba Gabba (which Mouse calls “Go Ga Ga”) to watch. We sort of stumbled up this British cartoon about a dog named Kipper.

It’s unbelievably wonderful. We are now huge Kipper fans. Kipper is originally a series of children’s books, but those are very hard to find nowadays, sadly. But Mouse is completely enthralled with Kipper, the messages are positive, the animation is gentle (that is, not a lot of fast and flashy movement), and the stories are all very straightforward.

If you’re looking for a new series that you can tolerate in the background, we highly recommend Kipper.

Silent Sunday

Happy 2nd Birthday Mouse!

I was 34 when we decided to try to conceive. Given my age, I assumed it would take us several months, maybe longer. I bought the 10,000,000 pack of pregnancy tests at Costco in anticipation. I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility to identify when I was ovulating (I cannot recommend that book highly enough to any woman, not just those trying to conceive). And then we decided to take the plunge and have my Mirena IUD (love!) removed. TWO WEEKS later I got pregnant. First try. Go figure.

The timing was impeccable (she said, rolling her eyes). I’d just been a bridesmaid at a good friend’s wedding in Philadelphia and yes, there was  a lot a bit of drinking going on. When I got home and hadn’t recovered from my “hangover,” I decided to take a test. Positive.

All I want for Christmas is you

And since I had all of those tests sitting around, I took two more. Positive, positive, positive. Train Guy had just gone to his parents to pick up our dogs. I know some people plan an elaborate and memorable way to reveal their pregnancy to the babydaddy, but I was so shocked I pretty much just met him at the door, speechless, holding one of the sticks out. He took one look at it and said, “The line looks kind of faint. Or is it one of those any line is a positive things?”

Bingo on the second one.

And then I did the math on my fingers. Due on Christmas!!! Poor kid! If I’d known I would get pregnant right away, I would have waited a few months to give him a fighting chance at a decent birthday. Throughout the whole pregnancy I lamented his Birthday of Doom. Combination gifts, no class parties, birthday forgotten altogether. What a major bummer.

Mouse’s official due date was December 23rd. It wasn’t an easy pregnancy by any means, and I ended up being induced. As the hours ticked by on Christmas Eve, I just kept looking at my belly, saying, “Look Kiddo, you better come out soon because you do NOT want to share a birthday with Jesus. Jesus wins that contest EVERY TIME.” I think he might have heard me because I did that 4cm to 10cm in an hour thing and he was born at 6:57pm on December 24th.

A special present on a special day

I had been rather down about the whole due date thing. Christmas is my favorite holiday and it would be such a hassle to celebrate a birthday too. Mouse would get the shaft every year. But once he was born, I changed my mind. When they returned him from the nursery with a stocking draped over him, my heart just melted. Train Guy pointed out that if you’re going to have a birthday near a holiday, you might as well go all-out and have it on a very special day. Whereas before I’d been hoping for an early delivery, I felt completely different looking at the best Christmas gift I ever got.

That was even how he got his nickname. He was always a noisy little eater, making these tiny mouse noises while eating and also while sleeping. Train Guy said, “He sounds just like a little mouse,” and I chimed in with, “‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, ‘cept our new little Mouse.” And the name stuck.

Now we celebrate his half-birthday in June and Christmas Eve is extremely low-key. Just the grandparents and great-grandparents come over with one birthday present (in birthday paper, NOT Christmas paper!). Tomorrow we’re having a small brunch with a delicious strata, some roasted potatoes, and a bit of ham. The day turns into Christmas after Mouse’s nap and we all enjoy our holiday, particularly with our perfect holiday gift. I could have asked for a better present.

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Sleeping: What Worked for Us Part 1

I’ve heard it said that sleep is the Holy Grail of parenting. We were lucky in that Mouse slept through the night very early on. But naps and getting him to go to bed, let alone sleeping in his crib? Yeah, good luck with that.

There are as many ways to get a child to go to bed and stay asleep as there are individual children. But for some reason, sleep techniques are about as controversial as it gets, with many sleep adherents believing that their way is the Right Way, and others are at best, foolish, and at worst, downright harmful.

Now first let me make this clear. Gen X Moms is a No Judgment Zone. All of us moms have different parenting styles and techniques, all of which are equally valid. What we all have in common is that we love our kids. There’s nothing like a vibrant conversation, and it’s only by listening to other voices that we all can understand each other. So if you’re looking for the One Right Way to do anything, you’ve come to the wrong blog, but if you’re looking to read and share ideas and support one-another, welcome! This entry and its soon to be posted companion are what worked for us to get Mouse to sleep, and I hope you find some helpful tips and share your own.

Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I traveled to visit some friends in Northern California. One friend, whose daughter was 6 months old at the time, pressed a book into my hands and emphatically stated, “This book saved my life. I. Am. Not. Exaggerating.” The book was Dr. Harvey Karp’s The Happiest Baby On The Block, and once Mouse arrived I knew just what my friend was talking about. It saved our lives too. And I’m not exaggerating either.

You can read some excerpts here, but as a quick overview, Dr. Karp’s premise is that babies have 5 different ways of calming themselves in our wombs, and if we re-create those 5 ways, we can help our babies calm themselves after they’re born. I know, my first reaction was “re-create the womb? Puh-lease!” but the more I read, the more sense it made to me. His approach is summed up in the “5S’s.”

S #1: Swaddling. Babies are curled up very tightly in our wombs and to set the stage for the other calming approaches, you swaddle them so they don’t jerk their arms, feel like they’re falling, or wake themselves up. I cannot tell you how well swaddling worked for Mouse. It was a true “off-switch” for him, and he couldn’t sleep without it. We swaddled him until about (a pediatrician-approved) 8-9 months. When he outgrew commercial swaddlers, I invented my own. The key to swaddling we found was swaddling tight. Mouse’s arms needed to be right by his side and the more tightly he was bundled, the calmer he got.

S #2: Side or Stomach-laying. Babies don’t sleep on their backs in the womb, and even though that’s the safest position for SIDS, it’s difficult for many babies (like ours) to fall and stay asleep flat on their backs. Rocking or holding the baby in a side or stomach position is another off-switch. Mouse ended up sleeping in his bouncy chair, but when he’d get really fussy, it was all about holding him in a side-lying position in our arms.

Binky Fail

S #3: Shhhhhh. It’s really noisy in the womb, what with all of that liquid sloshing around and noises from the outside coming in. In fact, Dr. Karp posits that this is why babies in the womb are so active at night–once it’s quiet, that’s when they wake up. Dr. Karp emphasizes that it’s okay to be really loud, since it’s really loud in the womb. Again, we got all up in Mouse’s grill and Shhhh’d at the top of our lungs (so to speak) and the louder we did it, the calmer he got.

S #4: Swinging. Pretty self-explanatory. Unfortunately for us, this didn’t work for Mouse no matter how hard we tried, but it works really well for a lot of babies.

S #5: Sucking, as in a finger or pacifier. Again, Mouse never went for this. He couldn’t keep the binky in his mouth but eventually didn’t seem to care much anyway. But it does work for lots of babies.

In short, read the book, and buy it for any new parents or parents-to-be. They will thank you profusely!

The Scrivener

The Randomosity that Happens on Tuesday

It’s Random Thoughts Tuesday.

So how do you like our new digs? I think this whole move to our own url is a bigger excitement behind the scenes than it is for you, dear readers. Our old blog was hosted on the free WordPress site and it served us well, lo these many months, but the free part of the free WordPress site was limiting for what we want to do and the vision we have of the future. A vision that includes world domination, eradication of hunger, and flying cars for everyone. Everyone! But also a vision that includes a lot of fun stuff we want to do with the blog starting with our own swanky url. Do you like it? Set your bookmarks! Still, this switch has not been without some pain.
————————————-
I think the biggest thing that bums me out is that our Giveaway got lost in the flurry of activity this past week. I mean, take a look at these beautiful hair pins. These can be yours, and entry is simple. Go to the bottom of this post and leave some comments to enter. The contest is still ongoing and the field is wide open! Even if you don’t have long hair, I bet you have a friend or relative who does. Imagine the delight on her (or his–we don’t judge at Gen X Moms) face when you present a handcrafted gift that looks like you paid a lot of money for that in fact you got for free by leaving a comment on this blog you like to read. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving! This is the post you want.

————————————-

Here’s another painful thing–I can’t preview this post. I either get an error that says the post cannot be found–which dude, I can tell you where to find the post: the draft file, or that I don’t have access to previewing posts and okay seriously? SERIOUSLY? I’m the ADMINISTRATOR!!! If I don’t have permission, who the hell does??? Growing pains…growing pains…digging into the technical files tomorrow…

————————————-

And more pain is this intractable heartburn I’ve been having that I finally got around to doing something about. I was diagnosed with reflux (GERD) like a gazillion years ago and have been taking a purple pill which worked fine until recently, when it stopped working. Why? I don’t know. My doctor suspects it might be an ulcer. Apparently ulcers are caused by a bacteria and the test for an ulcer no longer involves sticking a camera down your throat, thank god. It was a breathing test, so I had to breathe into a special plastic bag, then drink something that tasted suspiciously like the orange drink they give you for your glucose tolerance test while pregnant, and after waiting 15 minutes, breathe into another plastic bag. I kind of find this test a bit disconcerting because blowing into plastic bags for heartburn doesn’t quite seem right. But at least it didn’t involve blood or sedatives. Follow-up appointment is Thursday–I know you’ll be on the edges of your seat waiting for the results. You’ll have to become a friend on Facebook, which conveniently earns you an entry into the hair pin giveaway! Yes, that’s right–come for the ulcer test results, stay for the hair pins!

————————————-

On a better note, Mouse has spontaneously started using sign language. I attempted to teach him a few simple signs several months ago, but after repeating “More? More? Would you like More? More?” I felt like an idiot for talking to myself and dropped the whole project two months ago. Then last week after I thought he was done eating, I took off his highchair tray and reached for his bib when I realized he was totally signing “More.” After I collected my jaw from the floor, I gave him a couple of Kix, which he ate. He then signed More again and I gave him individual Kix just to see if he would continue to do it. He did, but then I started feeling like I was training a dog, so I gave him a handful and let him go to town. After most were gone, I asked him if he wanted more (“More? More? Would you like More? More?”) and he stopped doing the sign, so I took it all away and he was perfectly happy.

I’m kind of afraid to find out what else he’s been harboring in his brain for months.

————————————-

Oh, an addition after I posted! Burning question–WHAT DO I WANT FOR MY BIRTHDAY??? Yes, my birthday is coming up, and I have no idea what I want for it. Going out to dinner sounds nice but it’s falling a little flat in my brain for some reason. Jewelry is out because Mr. Grabby McGrabster won’t leave anything alone. What do I want? Leave your suggestions in the comments by clicking on the comment bubble up top.

The Scrivener

Silent Sunday

Gen X Moms has moved to www.GenXMomsBlog.com. Don’t forget to update your bookmark!

Conveniently Green–Reusable Swim Diapers

Gen X Moms has moved to www.GenXMomsBlog.com. Don’t forget to update your bookmark!

Swim season is upon us (or nearly upon us if you aren’t lucky enough to live in a sunny locale), and for moms of babies, that means it’s time to think of swim diapers. Yay.

When I first saw disposable swim diapers, my thought was, “Wait, how does that hold anything in?” Even as a first-time mom I knew that “S/M” size is not going to fit everyone in the range of small to medium. The disposable diapers don’t absorb anything, and are ostensibly just to hold in poop, should that occur. Except have you ever seen a bunch of toddlers walking around in disposable swim diapers? You see more buttcracks than a plumbing convention. And an exposed baby buttcrack is just a ticking time bomb.

When we enrolled Mouse in his first swimming lessons at 4 months, I saw the disposables and saw that you can buy another cute swimsuit to go over the disposable. But I thought, “Surely someone makes a swim diaper that’s reusable.” Guess what? They do! In fact, reusable swim diapers are required in public pools in 27 states (but not California).

Mouse at 4 months in his iPlay swim diaper

What makes them different? Well, the resuable diapers have a soft layer against the baby’s skin, an inner absorbent layer, a waterproof outer layer, and then a cute swimsuit-pattern layer on top of that. But do they work? We bought an iPlay Ultimate Swim Diaper, and let me tell you–they work.

The iPlay diaper is tight-fitting which can make it a little difficult to tug on and off, but once in the water it’s practically bomb-proof. In fact, when we first get Mouse into the water, the air in the suit expands and he’s got a bubble-butt because the suit is so snug, the air can’t escape. And if air can’t escape, you know what else can’t escape? Exactly!

We love our iPlay swim diapers, and my only complaint is that if you leave them in the sun too long, they do fade. But other than that, I give the iPlay diaper 5 stars!

And guess what? Reusable swim diapers are Coveniently Green! Sure, you may end up washing the occasional poop (hasn’t happened to us yet and we swim once a week), but think of all of the disposable swim diapers you’re not buying and not throwing away, and if you wore a swim suit over the disposable in the first place, then you’re already washing.

You can purchase iPlay swim diapers and other brands of swim diapers many places. I recommend My Swim Baby and have had many great transactions there.

The reusable swim diaper–it’s cute, it’s better than the disposables, and it saves the planet. Works for me!

The Scrivener

Works-For-Me Wednesday