Thursday, April 29, 2010

Goodbye, Ping

Yes, if that shiny sun-glare on top his head didn't give it away, I will affirm: we buzzed away the Ping Hair. Before the cut: he had thick patches, long patches, bald spots galore:

And he did not mind the clippers, but rather just seemed altogether pleased for the attention he was getting as daddy held his head still and mommy buzzed away...
He looks like such a different child to me!! Cute still of course, but in a more generic kind of way? His other hair lent him such character in his expression. *sigh* But I suppose all good things must come to an end. Enter the era of "normal hair" Lo.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


My little stinker of a brother has only sent home 2 (two) (TWO!!) pictures during his entire mission and he will be coming home in just a few months. So finally in his latest email, there were some photos attached and since I haven't seen his face for about a year, it blew me away. He turned all MANLY on me! Look at his jaw! His Adam's apple! *sniffle* my wittow brudder is all grown up... And he's not the only red-head missionary in his area:

With his three "sons" (the missionaries he trained):

I'm a proud sister. And I hacked into my mom's email to retrieve these photos, so let's see if she checks my blog and gets a happy surprise...;)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Experiments in Food

I had planned to wait until the 6 month mark, but that Lo was so "grabby" with our foods, and seemed just...ready. So since about 5 months old, here are the foods he has eaten/ingested: rice crackers, carrot, pear, and prune baby foods. He has tasted/licked (but not really eaten per se): slices of red peppers, lemons, and apples. He is pretty independent about the eating projects, often happier to eat if he can use his own hands rather than just be spoon-fed.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Playground with the cousins

As mentioned in the previous post, we spent time with cousins this past weekend in Ashland. After having a nice Sunday dinner at Dan & Michelle's, we all trooped to a local park. Lo got bundled like a worm most of the time because there was a frigid wind blowing, but we still forced--er, encouraged him--to try out a few of the playground amenities. Oh, and there's something else debuting in this photo: observe my recent haircut. Shoulder length seems more comfortable for summer, though it actually takes more work to style it than when it was longer ironically.
And speaking of hair: Static hair on the slide is always a classic.

We hoped he would love the swing, but the cold weather combined with him getting serious nap lackage that day resulted in a relatively dull response.

So I livened up the swinging time with some game of Peek-a-boo, and that got a couple giggles. The way his smile fades in and out in this video reminds me of that McDonald's commercial.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Lo has lately shown periodic refusal to nurse. He will hungrily latch on, but then arch his back and twist away, continuing to cry. A few of these times, we have just had Jerry give him a bottle of pumped breastmilk--validating our suspicion that the baby was indeed hungry, as he sucked one of the bottles dry in just a couple minutes. I am not sure what is going on, but have felt a bit rejected & dejected at these times. Is it me? The stress? The fact that we have all been sick around our house lately? I always imagined nursing my baby to be the never-fail method of comfort. It certainly was, during those first few months. Our baby is more complex now. I keep missing LeLeche meetings because their schedule isn't nap friendly--but I am feeling a craving to go and have my concerns addressed. Maybe I should just email the group leader. Or get advice from my lovely bloggy friends. =)

Two days ago, on this past Sunday, I had a flashback to the early infant days when Lo would nurse himself into oblivion. We had been visiting cousins (more on that visit to come in another post with pics!) and I noticed the chaos of a dozen children and half a dozen adults interacting had been wearing on our Little Tam. I trekked up four flights of stairs to a secluded alcove and nestled there, swaying my body back and forth to help Lo get focused and latched. He sucked deep, long, slow, and soon both of us seemed to bask in waves of relaxed pleasure. By the end of his nursing, Lo had fallen into a limp and glorious latency. Which promptly got broken/awoken when we went back downstairs to the din. But I have clutched at that memory since Sunday, because it is the way I want nursing to be for us--an escape, a break, a bonding time amid the crazy business of life.

We had the sister missionaries over for dinner a week or two ago, and I asked them if they minded me breastfeeding in the living room (which is just off the side of our dining area). I was slightly out of view, but could still chat while nursing. One of the sisters is from Mexico. She commented that where she is from, women will just nurse anytime, anywhere. "You could be in the middle of a conversation with a woman and she would just start breastfeeding if the baby needed it."

Ah! I wish the United States had such a child-friendly culture. I have breastfed while walking down the grocery aisles, huddled in bathroom stalls, on planes & automobiles, while typing at this computer...! etc. and sometimes have felt a deep embarrassment. Not embarrassed for myself, but rather an empathy of sorts for the awkward people around me. What a troubled world in which evil and good get interchanged and puzzled between each other. A culture that revels in breasts as sex objects, but feels distaste for the woman who gives nourishment to her infant from this part of her body...These are the rambling thoughts I have today.

And then I came across this video which shows the beauty of breastfeeding. Do you feel embarrassed by any part of it? If you are embarrassed, is it the same feeling you get from glancing at the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine while in line at the grocers or is it a different type of embarrassment? If you do not feel embarrassed, what do you feel? Do you have a favorite image? My favorites:

  • the one with the priest busying himself on the side of the woman breastfeeding (does he feel the normalcy of the nursing mom? I would not be surprised if he does, depending on the country where the photo was taken).
  • the winter snow picture, because with Lo being a winter baby, I have breastfed outside in the snow and know how cold that can be! ;)

I should add that I believe strongly in modesty. Admittedly then, it is curious to me how I do not feel I am immodest to breastfeed without a blanket/cover over me & Lo in public. Nevermind the fact that my baby rips the cover off of us both. I wonder why I feel how I do, and I wonder why other people feel the way they do...? Usually I try to reserve these musing types of posts for my personal journal. Sorry to subject you all to the meandering lack of points to this writing. Anyway. I'll be done now.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mr. Chatty

Little has had a change in his type/frequency of vocalizations since about a week ago. He "talks" almost constantly all day long, especially in the morning after barely waking up or the middle of the night. =) He jabbers with more expression and has added some new consonant sounds. I don't think it is captured in this video, but one of his new favorite sounds to make is "dada" which makes Jerry happy. Little doesn't know what those sounds mean yet, but he likes the fact that we give him a lot of attention with "dada" so he repeats it often.

ps. I got that Baby Einstein exersaucer off of Craigslist, and it is NOT one of my prouder buys. I trusted what the seller said about it being "great condition." But when I got home, I realized this one has a missing toy, doggy-chewed-on parts, and pen marks scribbled on it. Should have looked it over a little closer first. :/

Boo. I also just realized Blogger video is having some issues? If anybody is not able to view the video, sorry--I'll see what I can do to fix it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

While I am confessing...

Since that last post highlighted one of my flaws, here's another: I am officially posting a nudie pic of my child on the Internet. Hmmm...does this sound familiar? "I will NEVER do that when I am a parent." Yes, even the best of us have to eat our words occasionally. This photo was just too precious to withhold from the world. Lo, if you someday are embarrassed, here is my preemptive apology.

Bully Revelation

Since a couple friends I know have had bullying issues recently, my thoughts turned to the bullies of my childhood. It should be noted that one of those childhood bullies I recall is ME. I have memories of being the gossiper--did you know that is a type of bullying?--but I've tried to overcome that tendency and mostly succeed.

A freckle-faced eleven-year-old boy asked us to buy a magazine subscription to support his school, so we now receive the cheapest one on the list, Time, in the mail every so often. The latest issue has an article discussing the difficulties of prosecuting those who bully when the cruelty gets out of hand. I think there is some kind of bully spectrum, rather than clear cut boundaries, and this gray area may be partly why it is difficult for the legal process to protect victims. At what point does bullying become not just rude, but criminal? To me, the difference between the two seems rooted in intent, but figuring intent has never been a strong point of the legal system.

Anyway, here is my personal “bully rating system,"created just now from my head. Please excuse the lack of academic language, and I think sort of it might come from what I recall learning about aggression in my BYU Moral Development class:

  • Base level—For example, the toddler who seems always to be plowing down other children who get in his path, but does it entirely out of a desire to get what he wants instead of acting in any form of malice. He is simply oblivious to the feelings of others but hurts them nonetheless in his effort to get what he wants.

  • Moderately Accountable—like the twelve year old girl who teased me in front of our peers for my acne. She said, “if we were fruits, I would be a peach, but you would be a cantaloupe.” I think she was more concerned with her own cuteness than my feelings, and while she must have known she hurt my feelings (I cried right then and there), it wasn’t her primary goal.

  • Evil—These bullies act for the sheer joy of seeing others in pain. There was one of these in my childhood, a boy from elementary school. When I heard on the nightly news a couple years back that he was wanted by the police for murder, it did not surprise me. Yesterday I googled his trial information and read the court proceedings for his appeal. His appeal was not granted, so 2nd degree murder conviction and life in prison is what he gets. I was quite certain he had, as accused, shot a person. Feeling satisfied and grateful he was now limited in the torment he could give our fellow human beings, I went on my merry way. I suppose I felt mildly pleased/avenged. Who doesn't like to see justice served?

Though I do not think my pleased feelings were a sin, they still weren't exceptionally charitable or Christlike. Heavenly Father has a way of showing me in kind and gentle ways what changes I need to make to become more Christlike. For my daily reading I have been going through 3rd Nephi, and this is one of the first verses I came across the day I was thinking ill of bullies.

So I am praying for that man who murdered--and also praying for any bullies out there whose weapon of choice is "words that wound," (Proverbs 18:8), myself included. Who says New Year's resolutions can't come in April?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Little has continued to achieve some developmental milestones.  He now SCOOTS!  Sometimes I put him on his blanket and glance back a couple minutes later to find he is off his blanket and burying his face in the (not so clean) carpet, or has discovered things to chew on that I thought he couldn't reach.  So a lot of times I put him down on his blanket facing one angle, and he quickly scoots his way to a different angle, as shown in these two photos.  Also, when I first put him down on his tummy, sometimes he keeps his belly up for a moment--in a hands/knees crawling position--before collapsing down to the prone position.  Exciting times.  Also he has been a lot more vocal lately, singing songs to himself and whatnot. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Not for the faint of heart

First, a brief aside to say thanks to the sleep helpers. I hadn't realized my plea for help was so transparent in that last blog entry. We haven't figured everything out yet about the sleep routine, but feel better anyway with a new week's perspective. It was slightly humorous to me that a couple of you commented on how cute Little was with his loads of baby chubby rolls. Ironic, really. Because this past week we have discovered a serious downside to all that rollage: Last week we noticed a stench coming from deep within one of Little's chins. When we lifted the chubby flaps of skin on his neck, a small red rash became visible. The "ask-a-nurse" phone lady told us to keep it clean and dry, and then see a doctor in 3 days if there was no improvement. Well, the very next day we made an emergency appointment to see the pediatrician because it had gotten a lot worse and was impossible to keep dry. The rash produced sweaty beads of moisture faster than we could wipe it.

The doctor said it was a fungal infection. Ack; what kind of parents are we?! Poor Little had a FUNGUS growing on him--and it was probably there for weeks, the doctor said. It just wasn't visible unless all the extra chubby chins were lifted up. When the doctor prescribed some strong anti-fungal cream, I figured Little would soon be on the mend. But he had a terrible reaction to the cream, and it left his skin raw, blistered, and bright red, with the rash area extending around his entire neck instead of just in one little spot (see photo above)...thus rendering openings in his skin for a SECONDARY BACTERIAL INFECTION to flare up. This bacteria caused a delightful yellow crustiness and oozing puss to filter all through Little's neck.

And the fungus began sending out spores, so he has spots on his shoulders, belly, back, etc. I don't even know what to say except that I FEEL HORRIBLE for letting this whole craziness happen in the first place. Let this be a warning to all parents of fatty babies.

When we took him back to the doctor she prescribed a different cream and an antibiotic, and now almost a week after initial diagnosis we are finally seeing signs of improvement. But it will likely be another week still until he is healed. *sniffle*

The treatments have included thorough bathing three times a day, with drying his neck folds and then applying cream after every bath. He is happy enough to have baths, but screams the most wretched dying dinosaur/crashing plane/nightmare sounds every time we get to the dry & apply portion. I was sobbing after the first few times because I couldn't stand to see him so sad.
So he got a priesthood blessing from Jerry with our neighbor/fellow church member assisting. Little Tam was blessed to be able to cooperate with our efforts, and God gave me the idea to use a toy to distract him while we dried/applied. Also, we try to keep the whole process as "fun" as possible for him, which takes twice as long unfortunately. But it is worth it for me to not have to hear him cry as bad.

The cherry on top of all this sicky business:

  • all three of us are on antibiotics now actually, because Jerry had a sinus infection, ear infection, and had to also start new allergy meds
  • I had something akin to strep?
  • We did not go to the doctor for ourselves right away of course, so we felt so exhausted and sick for days before getting the medication. All in the middle of trying to take care of that Little. Honestly one of the hardest weeks of my life.

But we have had a few amazing growing moments, like when I had a little lightbulb pop on that gave answer to the question, "why God lets bad things happen to good people." (because we had to treat Little's infection even though he couldn't understand and he was probably so bewildered at the thought that we were hurting him--forcing him to stretch his neck, sticking dry-cloth through his rolls under his chin, making him cry, drying the cracked skin, and worse still applying the ointment that stings him). Hard to explain, but it just suddenly became so clear to me in my heart and that is a valuable knowlege to have.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Weekend

So is it just me, or was General Conference this past weekend ALL about parenting the wee ones?? Good thing we included a child's reader Book of Mormon in Lo's Easter basket. I have started reading him a chapter each morning, and he does pretty well at refraining from ripping the pages. The Easter basket this year also included a few other books, stuffed animals, teething toy, eggs, etc...and before I get accused of spoiling this baby, I'll admit that most of the items had been given to us over the past year as hand-me-downs or baby shower gifts. I had squirreled it all away and even recycled into the basket a toy that he played with a couple months ago (hid for long enough ago that it was "new" to him again). I figure he doesn't need "real" gifts until maybe age five or so?

Our Little Bunny. He put up with a lot this past weekend as we also journied to Columbus on Friday morning (Jerry had the day off of work). We attended the temple there in Columbus and then drove back home on Saturday. Thank you wonderful J. fam who let us stay with you!!  On Sunday we went to a special dinner with a few other couples and their children. The food was a spectacular feasting for the eyes and tummy, but we had to leave early since that Little was having some sleep deprivation issues that needed addressed.
Honestly I am having some sort of crisis about how to handle his sleeping. But I am feeling too sensitive to post anything more about it on the blog just yet. I have read So. Many. BOOKS. And it seems like I just get tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. Feeling rather like Joseph Smith. Only I don't think God will come to me in vision about how to fix this challenge. Hope that wasn't too blasephemous. But I am being prayerful anyway.

Ta-da. The Friends' table. (hope you don't mind me pilfering your photo, Kristen). =) It really was a nice dinner. I've been enjoying ham and turkey leftovers ever since.

Friday, April 2, 2010

hee hee

I have always wanted to do one of those tricky April Fool's meals in which dessert looks like the main course, and the main course resembles dessert, etc.

So I sort of pulled it off yesterday. It helped that lately I have been leaving random Easter dessert projects on the kitchen table, so this batch of cupcakes did not look too out-of-the ordinary. Jerry came home from work and said something like, "We're having cupcakes for dinner?" Then he went and started rummaging through the refrigerator to see what his other options were. He insists he actually believed they were cupcakes for a moment. But the scent of meatloaf and mashed potatos in the air must have triggered his realization of my foolery.
And for the dessert/veggie trick, I found that green Sixlets candies look somewhat like fresh peas--at least, until they get placed side-by-side.