Bean's first haircut!

This week brought our most important milestone yet... the dreaded, yet ever-important, first haircut...

I don't have to tell you how out of control the hair had gotten, do I?

We awoke on Christmas morning to some insane baby-hair and found that nothing would fix it... no comb, water, or hat could make it any less wild, so after much consideration we decided it was time. The way I see it, the kid's got more hair than some 3 year olds, so I didn't feel terrible about cutting it before her first birthday (a no-no, I've learned) yet I worried... I mean, she's always getting compliments... her eyelashes, her overwhelming adorable-ness, but everyone loves her long hair... if I took that away would I be dooming her to mediocre-looking babydom? That would be awful. If you don't know how serious I am you evidently haven't seen how people ignore those so-so babies. Its a tragedy, really. (No offense to those of you without insanely adorable kids, of course.)

Anyhow, we cut it. Luckily, I didn't have to bribe her with salami and ice cream like Katie did with Olive, but you better believe I had some crackers on hand just in case it got ugly. I handed her a night light and a bar of soap, and asked my mom to keep them out of her mouth while I snipped! It worked well, and by the time she realized what I was doing, it was over. We were very surprised at how thick her hair looks now! Its a lot easier to keep clean too, which is a definite plus for someone who finds great joy in smooshing apricots into her ears!

Toys R Us = Hell

Man, tonight SUUUUUUCKED. Bad.

Suckage: Went to Toys'R'Us (how many apostrophes are in that? who really facking cares?) which, by the way, if you didn't know, is the equivalent of about the 9th layer of hell the week before Christmas. Went with three main purposes: a) stroller, since ours has died. b) sippy cup, since that too, died. c) Christmas present for Marti Pearl, since we're slackers.

a) No sippy cups in sight. Actually, lots of sippy cups, just not the ones I was looking for... which was why we made the special trip to TRU (apostrophe issue solved!) in the first place. *sigh*
b) Couldn't get to the presents I wanted for Bean because of 15,000 crazy people.
c) Found the stroller we wanted, for $30, put Bean in it to see if she liked it (she HATES all strollers and was already fussy) and alas! she loved it! (what what!?) so we immediately looked around and unfortunately didn't see any. We also didn't find any of the little "take this tag to the register if you want to buy this" tags, so I just took the price clip thing off and sent husband-pants to ask if we could buy the display. We found a stroller that Bean likes... I don't have any time to mess around!

Well husband-pants comes back and tells me that they do have the strollers in stock, but that they didn't get their truck unloaded properly that morning so they couldn't get to them. *sigh* but that they'd hold one for us if we'd come back tomorrow. This wouldn't be so bad, except man! We live 45 minutes away! And we'd already braved that hell for one night, why another!? *sigh* Oh, and he forgot to ask if they would sell us the display. *sigh again*

Anyhow, we'll have to go back, I suppose. I looked through the strollers at Target and couldn't find another I liked as much as that one, so I'll make ANOTHER special trip tomorrow. I'm not thrilled about this.

Nursing in public!

I ran across an online community the other day that was dedicated to pictures of moms nursing in public. I immediately thought "do I have any pictures?" and I don't. I've been nursing in public for over 9 months now, and not 1 picture to show for it. I'm not the least bit ashamed, or even embarrassed about it... I guess I just never thought it was picture worthy... Which brings me to my point... so much fuss about nursing in public- people complaining, nurse-ins, public outcry... it all seems so silly to get in such a tizzy about! Its just food. I showed more cleavage on a Friday night back in college!

As we were shopping this weekend in Oklahoma, which in my opinion, is probably one of the most conservative states in the US, Bean got hungry. We found a nice comfy chair, and I nursed her. No big deal. I'll admit, I was a tiny bit apprehensive at first, since I was nursing in a crowded store without a blanket in sight... but I didn't even get a dirty look! Maybe that makes me a lucky one, but man... breastfeeding in public has been a non-issue so far. I don't think most people even realize what's going on, and once they do, they normally just look away.

So what do you think? Breastfeeding in public: scandal or whatev?

Oh, and the closest to a nursing-in-public picture I could find... Bean, totally asleep after a very big lunch in Tahlequah, Oklahoma the weekend of Cherokee National Holiday... Yeah, nobody cared then either.

Here we go again...

This year bean girl is getting the present every kid wants...

Her two front teeth!!

She's thrilled. Really. She's got a whole 3 teeth as of today with the 4th breaking the surface as I type... my poor nipples aren't very happy.

Disclaimer: I promise I didn't make my baby cry so I could take a picture of her, I was clicking away as she was very pleasantly playing with her new bowl and plate when bam! tears and screams! Such is the way of teeth, I suppose...

Cry It Out - a liberating experience?

Yep, I'm one of those moms. My baby cries, in her own crib, in her very own bedroom, just about every night now... even some days. No, that doesn't make me a terrible parent, and I promise she's still a cool kid full of happiness and rainbows. So much so, we've decided, she's just not interested in sleep. You see, when you're so absolutely fascinated with everything around you, sleep just doesn't sound like much fun.

There have been a few sleepless nights where in sore-boobed desperation I've asked her why she won't just go to sleep. That's when she looks at me with those big baby eyes saying "I can crawl, eat big people food, and I have teeth! Would you want to sleep through any of that?" and I understand it, I really do... I remember college... well, some of it. So I had to make a choice.... do I let her decide when she goes to bed, even if that means we're all up until 3 a.m. or do I start getting her used to going to bed on her own... putting herself to sleep...

It seemed so wrong- I work all day to try to keep her happy, why would I want to put her in bed with the purpose of letting her cry? She's always been one of those happy breastfed babies that has always gone straight to sleep as soon as you stick a boob in her mouth. When her pediatrician (baby-god) mentioned that she needed to start "soothing herself to sleep" even if it meant she cried for a while, our only question was "but how do we keep her awake long enough!?"
Now we know.
Lately she's either resisted the whole time by kicking or flailing, or she'll wake herself up the second her little tushy hits the crib mattress. I'm sure there's got to be something in the world that's more frustrating than that, but I sure can't think of anything.

So we started putting her down, letting her cry, and eventually she goes to sleep. I go in, make sure she's comfy and dry, cover her up, and she eventually falls asleep and sleeps all night. In the morning, she's my happy little bean again. Last night brought back memories of the Mad About You episode where Paul and Jamie sat outside the baby's room for hours listening to her cry... and by the end, the baby's asleep and they decide they've broken her heart. I watched that episode the weekend before I went into labor and swore up and down I'd never let my child cry herself to sleep... but I do, and I don't feel like her little heart is breaking... mine does, but hers seems just fine.

As husband-pants and I were sitting in the bathtub (our big people retreat, after baby goes to bed) talking about matters unrelated to bean, I started thinking about how badly I've neglected my good friends... two, in particular, and how much I needed some time to myself. I've been justifying not taking a break for months now by saying that since I breastfeed bean and she refuses to take a bottle that it'd be hard for me to leave her with husband-pants at night. Now, though, I'm not solely responsible for getting her to sleep. I make sure she's fed, but the rest can be easily done by anyone else... that is awesome.

I never thought that I'd be able to share the responsibility of bedtime with anyone else in the way that I'm able to now, at least until after bean was weaned... I'm thrilled with it, really. Bedtime used to be my time... After I fed her I'd watch her sleep for a while before I laid her down. I had a certain way I covered her up every night, a routine... and that's different now, but I'm ok with it. Husband-pants feels more involved, bean gets better sleep, and I get a little time to myself. This weekend I plan to go out with my friends and recharge... every mom needs a break, and I'm well overdue. I'm excited about getting out and having no worries about bean girl for a little while, because I know she's fed, and husband-pants can handle the rest, and there's something so absolutely liberating about that.


In my other blog I asked my readers to give me their opinions on important parenting matters. It started as curiosity on my part and ended up with an overwhelming response from some very opinionated women, all sharing their parenting philosophies. This sounds like quite a recipe for disaster, I know, but really, everyone played nicely despite differing opinions.

Here are some excerpts...

Free baby nutrition? I'm all for it. At the mall, at church, at the Wal-Mart... when ever baby is hungry. Whip it out.
K, no kids yet (hopefully soon!) - Poway, CA

i really think that all mom's should give their best, most honest effort to nurse their babies. i don't think a mom should ever have to cover up and i think they should be allowed to nurse anywhere, anytime without being hassled. i honestly don't care if someone is uncomfortable with it in public. if you are out in public, you get to deal with the public. i'm uncomfortable with people cursing loudly around my kids, but sometimes you just have to deal with it.
K, mom of 2, with another on the way - Fort Bragg, NC

i had one child that did it for over a year, one that wouldnt have anything to do with it after 6 months, and another who was way too tiny, that i had to pump and give it to him that way. all babies are different, but i truly believe that all mothers should atleast attempt to breastfeed...and if the baby won't, then pumping is the next best thing. breast is why wouldn't a mom give her baby the absolute best?
A, mom of 3, Louisville, KY

Great for those who can do it. I wish everyone could. I think the goal should be to make sure that women who choose to do it get all the support they need learning, and that women who choose not to are not made to feel guilty. I started out breastfeeding, but because of a condition my child had, it turned out anything with lactose was basically poison. Not just lactose intolerance, but very very bad. But you can't walk around wearing a t shirt that says "My child has galactosemia." I didn't get any crap from anyone for not breastfeeding, but I know a lot of people do. At least she got the first two weeks, and got all those lovely antibodies.
A, mom of 1 - Lanesboro, MN

I didn't do it because I had infected milk ducts and couldn't, but if you can and you want to then go ahead with your bad self. I do hate all the breastfeeding nazis out there who try to shame women who choose not to or just plain can't. Sometimes you just can't, and I don't think giving people shit about it or saying "oh you didn't try hard enough" ultimately helps anyone.
E, mom of 1 - Fort Smith, AR

This just sounds like a bad idea to me. I can't stand that our pets sleep with us, so I can't imagine I'd feel good about my baby sleeping with us. I don't mind having a bassinet in the room up to 4 or 5 months old, but not in a bed with me. No thanks.
R, no kids (yet!) - South Carolina

co-sleeping meaning sleeping within close proximity but may or may not be on the same surface- not a problem with that. it's great for when they are really little and still waking up at night. if you mean bed-sharing, then i think where ever EVERYONE in the family gets the best rest then that's where they should sleep. if having a family bed works for a family, that's great, but if it doesn't work for everyone then i don't think it should be pursued. i will never be one of those moms who kicks my husband out of our bed cause he isn't on-board with having a family bed. i'd just move the baby to a bassinet or crib next to our bed (which is what we did with the boys.)
K, mom of 2, with another on the way - Fort Bragg, NC

I FULLY support co sleeping. I mean, think about and your baby are LITERALLY attached for 9 months and all of the sudden, one day, you rip her from the only world she's known and force her to be isolated and feel alone in a world where she can't communicate? No no no. If people don't want to do it, that's ok, I think it's kind of wrong though. If you don't want your baby in your bed, I think a co-sleeper is a good alternative. I am TOTALLY against putting newborns in their own rooms.
C, mom of 2 with another on the way - California

As with all other areas of parenting, pragmatism is king in this issue. I think it's a bit foolhardy to say that spanking is never OK, because you may encounter a situation where spanking is appropriate. My general notion is that spanking is best as a last resort, and only a swat or two to get the point across, not to cause anything beyond momentary physical discomfort. I've met some lame people who were never spanked as children and I've met some excellent people who got the tar beat out of them on a regular basis. This just means that every child is different, every possible disciplinary situation is different, and the thing to do is use your best judgment and aim for keeping your temper in check.
A, mom of 1 - Arizona (I don't know your real name either! ugh! Sorry!)

I've read various schools of thought on this. The one that sticks with me and makes the most sense (to me as a hoping-to-be-a-mom-someday) is: Only use spanking/corporal punishment when the child has done something to endanger themselves or others rather than for just disobeying.
K, no kids yet (hopefully soon!) - Poway, CA

spanking is a no no in our house, as it was in my house growing up. we dicipline with time outs and we have grounded our older ones before (it takes ALOT for us to do that). we can usually talk out our problems.
A, mom of 3 - Louisville, KY

...hasn't really been an issue yet; S is pretty good. I think it will be soon as she is getting more defiant every day. My parents spanked us if we really deserved it for doing something dangerous, ferinstance, if we ran out into traffic without waiting for them. If you don't spank often, when you HAVE to it makes more of an impression.
R, mom of 1 - Faulkner County, AR

I do not believe spanking is an effective method of dicipline. I was hit as a child and it did nothing but frighten me and I don't think a child benefits from being frightened. I give my son a warning and explain to him why he cannot do whatever he may be doing wrong and tell him if he does it again he will get a time out. This usually works but sometimes he needs the time out. He goes right to time out without fussing everytime and when he has sat for 2 mins I come and explain what he has done wrong and why he can't do that and he will repeat me, apologise, give me a hug and kiss and it's done. I believe it's more beneficial for him to understand why not to do something then just be too afraid to do it so he won't be hit.
F, mom of 2 - Peterborough, Canada

I am on the fence about this one. I think that the bottom line is that we shouldn't discipline our children out of anger. And I think the punishment should fit the crime, so to speak.
C, mom of 2 with another on the way - California

To read the full discussion, click here.

What do you think?