Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Have Failed.

Since I got pregnant approximately 15 months ago, I have blabbed on and on about the benefits of breast feeding to my husband.  He read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding along with me, supported my desire to join the La Leche League, and takes up for me when people say dumb stuff like, "Atticus is six months old.  Haven't you weaned him yet?"  He's perfectly okay with me nursing into the toddler years, and he's always praised me to others for my desire and determination to not give our son anything but breastmilk. 

That being said...

He's a breastfeeding nazi. 

This past weekend, we were at a local bowling alley celebrating a few birthdays in Michael's family.  There was a small baby with her parents one lane over.  She was probably two or three months old.  We admired her cuteness from afar, and I went to take my bowling turn.  I came back from my strike (I totally beat everyone there - by 60 points), sat down, turned to Michael to gloat, and he slapped me on my leg. 

m: Look at that baby.
a: What about her?
m: <points emphatically>
a: <shruggs>
a: Okay. 
m: Do you think she knows that breastmilk is better?  I bet that baby has a snotty nose.  I can't believe this.  Do you think she even tried to breastfeed?  I bet she didn't.  I bet she just wanted to be lazy.  That baby isn't very old.  She can probably re-lactate.  Do you want to go talk to her? 
a: <sigh> Please be quiet. 

That went on for four bowlers, and then it was Michael's turn again.  Thank God.  I went after him (another strike) and returned to my seat beside him. 

m: Seriously.  That baby has been eating forever.  No wonder she's so fat. They're over-feeding her.  You know, you can't over-feed a breastfed baby. 
a: They're not over-feeding her.  I think it takes longer to feed a baby from a bottle than from the boob.  (Does it?  I have no idea.  I pulled it from my butt to get Michael to be quiet.  He bought it - hook, line, and sinker). 


Fast forward a couple of days, and we had some people at our house doing some estimates.  We were sitting through a presentation, Atticus was fussy, and I pulled out my boob (under a cover) to feed him.  

sales guy:  Oh, you're breastfeeding?  That's great.  Our son was almost nine pounds when he was born, so my wife never tried to breastfeed.  There's no way she could have kept up with him, so we just went with formula from the beginning. 
m:  Atticus was nine pounds, five ounces, and he's never had formula!  Ashley is a wonderful mother. <beams with pride>
a: Uh, well, if you'll excuse me, I have to go take a crap.  Like, right now. (Because that was less awkward than having to sit there). 


Don't misunderstand me.  Breast.  Is.  Best.   It's a proven fact, and it's not worth arguing over.  

I don't eat vegetables.  I don't eat any of them.  None.  I don't like them, and that's not likely to change.  I'm not dying because I don't eat them, and a baby is not going to die because it was fed formula instead of breast milk.  That, my blog friends, is also not worth arguing over. 

We are fortunate to live in America.  We can say what we want, carry guns, vote for the candidate of our choice, and some people even abort babies and (gasp) formula feed.  

While I am very happy that my husband is joining me in "lactivist" status, I wish he would try to educate and support, not belittle and judge.  

We should all strive to do that, myself included.  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekend Wrap-up

I finally received my Erin Condren Life Planner.  Man oh man, I love this thing.

My Erin Condren Life Planner
Unfortunately, our house is on the end of the UPS route, so Michael happened to be home when the truck delivered it.  I was out buying groceries or something, so he opened the package.  He saw the invoice (to which I had applied a 10% coupon!!!) and made numerous comments about how in the heck I could spent $53 on a planner.  I didn't go in debt to purchase it, and the money was there in the budget, but since I handle those things, Michael didn't know it.  In my head, I vowed to carry around the life planner and kiss it frequently in Michael's presence, even if I hated it.

I don't hate it.  I really do love it.  If you're looking for a planner, I recommend this one.

We usually move to the boat for at least a few weeks each year (as opposed to spending the weekends there like we've been doing this year).  We've been staying there since Thursday of last week with intentions to stay through next weekend.  It's been going great.  Atticus drove us to dinner on Saturday night. :)

Here's another shot with me just to prove that he does usually wear a life jacket.

I've had a couple people ask how we sleep on the boat.  I imagine in their head we must be sleeping on a pontoon boat in a tent or something. :)

We have a 41' Chris Craft with two state rooms (bedrooms), two heads (bathrooms), a galley (kitchen), and a saloon (living room).  Atticus' pack and play has too large of a footprint to fit in the guest stateroom, so its set up in the saloon.  We do plan to encourage him to sleep in the bed as soon as possible so we can regain use of the living area on the boat, but he's just not ready yet.  Michael and I sleep in the master stateroom as usual.

Staying on the boat is nice because I can put Atticus to bed, take a walkie talkie (noise activated on his end), and go socialize in the club house only 200 or so feet away.  Well, it's nice for now.  He can't stand up or get out of his pack and play, so there's not danger of him falling in the lake.  We'll cross the mobile bridge when we come to it.


I'm not sure if I've mentioned it on my blog yet, but we are teaching Atticus sign language.  We have a hearing impaired acquaintance, and although I know the ASL alphabet, it's time consuming to communicate with it.  Michael is bilingual (English and Japanese - he was an exchange student in Japan).  I am not.  I would like to be, and I'd like for Atticus to be able to communicate with us long before he's able to vocally do so.  So?  American Sign Language it is.

We've been watching Baby Signing Time, Vol. 1 for a couple days now. Obviously, Atticus hasn't signed anything to me yet, but he is VERY interested in watching it.  Rachel Coleman, the personality and creator of Signing Time, rides the fine line between obnoxious and entertaining.  She does a wonderful job, and Atticus eats it up with a spoon.  After watching the DVD just one time, I knew and could use:

eat, drink, water, cereal, cracker, milk, banana, juice, all done, mom, grandma, dad, grandpa, hurt, where, more, dog, cat, horse, bird, fish, diaper

The songs are incredibly easy but catchy, so it's easy to learn.

From a book, I had also learned boat, bath, book, and nurse/breastmilk.

Anyway, we are signing to Atticus when we remember with the hope that in a few months, he'll sign back. :)

That's what we were up to this weekend.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Can Boobs Get Performance Anxiety?

Atticus turned 6 months old on the 7th.  Today, the 8th, was his 6-month well visit.

At his four-month visit, he weighed 15 lbs, 10.5 oz.  Today, he weighed 16 lbs, 6 oz.

That's a weight gain of ...  10 ounces.  In. Two.  Months.

He went from 50-75% to around 25%.

What Atticus' doctor said: Well, he's only gained 10 ounces in two months.  He's either finding a new spot on the growth curve, or something's going on that we need to be concerned about.  We're just going to watch him to make sure it's a new spot on the chart.  Why don't you bring him back 6 weeks from now for a weight check, and we'll reevaluate everything at his 9-month well visit?

What I heard: Your breast milk sucks.  You're starving your baby.  I can't believe you haven't started him on solids yet.  You're a terrible mother.  Formula!!!!! 

What I wanted to say: You bastard!  My son is perfect!  How dare you imply that something may be wrong with him or my super-awesome-wonderful milk?!?!

What I really did say: I'm not giving him formula.  He is happy, sleeps great, and is meeting all of his milestones.  


The doctor never mentioned formula.  He never mentioned that anything might be wrong, per say, but the fact that Atticus has gone from 90% at birth to 75-90% at two months, 50-75% at four months, and 25% at six months kind of sucks.   He did reiterate that he wasn't asking me to give him formula or to rush ahead with baby-led weaning.  He said to keep on keeping on, and that everything is probably fine. At Atticus' weight check in six weeks, they would like for him to weigh about 17.5 lbs to stay on his "new" spot on the growth chart.  I hope my boobs don't get performance anxiety like my brain has.

Everything is probably fine, but that doesn't mean I don't feel like a shitty mom today.



I found this excerpt on

Growth charts and breastfed baby growth

I have heard of many breastfed babies (including my own) whose doctor was disturbed at some point because the baby wasn't gaining weight quickly enough, even though the baby was well within the above parameters for weight gain. The problem is that many doctors are not familiar with the normal weight gain patterns of breastfed babies, and rely too much upon standard growth charts.
Healthy breastfed infants tend to grow more rapidly than formula-fed infants in the first 2-3 months of life and less rapidly from 3 to 12 months. All growth charts available at this time include data from infants who were not exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months (includes formula-fed infants and those starting solids before the recommended 6 months). Because many doctors are not aware of this, they see the baby dropping in percentiles on the growth chart and often come to the faulty conclusion that the baby is not growing adequately. At this point they often recommend that the mother (unnecessarily) supplement with formula or solids, and sometimes recommend that they stop breastfeeding altogether. Even if mom realizes that her baby is perfectly healthy and doesn't follow these unnecessary recommendations, she ends up worrying for no reason (and moms don't need anything extra to worry about!).

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Our "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" Experience, Part 6 - Two Months Later/After Vacation

I've been blogging about our sleep training experience.  We read the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child," by Dr. Marc Weissbluth because our son started waking up eleven times in seven hours.  Within two days, he was sleeping at night and getting two naps in during the day.

Today is Atticus' six month birthday, and we are two months into sleep training.  We also just returned from a beach trip on Monday.

It's going great.  Atticus has been going to bed each night around 7:00-7:30 (bath, lotion, boob, book, bed).  Occasionally, he will sleep all the way to 8:00 the next day, but he usually wakes between 5:00 and 6:30 am to eat.   It's a quick meal on the boob, and he goes back to sleep pretty much as soon as I put him back in his crib.  He gets up for the day between 7:45 and 8:30.

His morning nap starts around 9, if not sooner.  I swear, I never would have guessed that babies need a nap so shortly after waking for the day, but his temperament is so much better if he gets this nap.  He sleeps until about 10:30 or 11:00.

His afternoon nap starts between 12:30 and 1:30 - whenever he is starting to show signs of tiredness.  Occasionally, he'll fuss for a minute or two, but he typically goes right to sleep.  He wakes between 3:00 and 3:30.

People are always commenting that he's such a happy baby.  I 100% attribute his attitude to the fact that he's getting enough sleep.  He really only fusses when he's tired.

For Labor Day weekend, we went to the beach.  We stayed in a house with my parents, and Atticus slept in a pack and play in our bedroom.  Oh. My. Gosh.  I didn't sleep at all.  Well, I did sleep, but I woke up every time Atticus would stir.  Most nights it was 3-4 times, and he'd wake up for the day at 6 instead of around 8.  I truly don't understand how people can co-sleep or co-room.  Neither of us slept well because we were in the same room.  He was not getting his regular naps during the day, either.  He was forced to nap in the car or in the Ergo, but according to Dr. Weissbluth, babies can overcome and adapt to a change in their schedule if happens occasionally.  His mood didn't suffer, but his (and my) sleep sure did.

The ride home on Monday (Labor Day) took 12 hours instead of 8, and Atticus had to nap and go to sleep for the night in his car seat.  I felt terrible about it, but well, he has to ride in his car seat.  :(  He is a 100% belly sleeper, so it took him a few minutes (and a little bit of fussing) to fall asleep in a reclining position.

We arrived home around 9 pm, and I took Atticus from his car seat and placed him in his bed.  He woke up, but went right back to sleep.  Jackpot.  I went to bed, but Michael woke me up at 11.  Our area had gotten over 8" of rain that day, and trees were falling because of the super soggy ground.  A tree had fallen outside of Atticus' room, and there was another one was leaning and about to fall on our house.  He wanted us to go sleep on the boat for the rest of the night.

I was supposed to interrupt Atticus' sleep again? Ugh.  I did.  Obviously.  I didn't want him to wake up under a tree.  (Or worse....)  I put him in his car seat, drove the .9 of a mile to the boat, and waited on Michael to unload the pack and play from his car and set it up on the boat.  When he came walking back up the dock, I got Atticus out of the car seat and took him to the boat.  He went right back to sleep, so I grabbed the voice activated walkie talkie we use for walking the club's premises, and Michael and I went to check out the damage.  I was convinced that since we had interrupted his sleep so many times that the night's sleep would be terrible.   He didn't wake up until 6 am.  He ate, went back to sleep, and woke up at 7:30 when I got him up to come home and check on the house.  (No trees)!

His naps yesterday were regular time and length.  He went to bed at 7:45 and slept straight until 6:30 this morning.  I fed him, and he went back to sleep until 9.  At 9:30, he went down for his nap, and he's still sleeping.

Dr. Weissbluth was right.  Babies are pretty adaptable.  If you help them get regular sleep most of the time, they'll be fine when they don't get it.  When they're returned to their normal environment, they make up for lost sleep and act like nothing has changed.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Sh*t List - August 31, 2011

  • I went to Sephora the other day to pick up the gift cards for the give away winners.  I had an embarrassing amount of Beauty Insider points, and there were some Murad samples available, so I redeemed the points for the Murad goodies.  STAY AWAY FROM THE MURAD.  Of course I loved one of the products, but after looking it up online, I decided not to buy it.  It was $150.  I do believe in buying quality products, but I will have no wrinkles to repair if I'm dead because Michael killed me for spending all of our money on face cream. 
  • Elvira the beagle is on my list.  She did the second word of the title of this blog in my dining room three times this week.  Ugh.  I don't particularly love cleaning up my son's poop, and he's not potty trained.  Elvira is, so I don't really understand why she felt the need to leave big fat craps for me to pick up. 
  • Michael is on my list.  He doesn't wear blue jeans.  He doesn't own any.  He hates them.  He prefers green jeans.  I know.  He completes his signature look with a pocket t-shirt and Red Wing boots.  I hate it, but after almost seven years together, I've learned to live with it.  When it's important that he looks nice, he lets me play dress up with him, and he often willingly wears a tuxedo.  This summer, however, he decided he'd like to add shorts to his rotation.  I obviously lied and told him that they don't make green jean shorts (that would be worn with pocket t-shirts, tall white socks, and Red Wing boots).  He requested that I find some jean shorts that are not blue (ew) or khaki shorts that are not khaki colored.  I returned home with five pairs of green, dark brown, and navy blue Izod shorts and a few Ralph Lauren pocket t-shirts.  He seemed happy enough with my purchases, and between the shoulders and knees, he resembled a normal male.  (He still wears his captain's hat and Red Wing boots every. single. day).  It has been THREE weeks since he's been wearing the shorts, and he's already ripped two pairs.  Rather than put in my mending pile or toss them, he keeps wearing them.  This annoys me.  Big time.
Michael's uniform.
The captain's hat that Michael wears everywhere.
Yes, even on planes.
  • I decided that I hate nursing bras, so I raided my small bra (small as in few bras, not small size) stash for underwire-free bras.  I found one.  Right size.  Pale pink.  Lacy.  Molded cups.  Jackpot.  I wore it and wore it and wore it.  And then I washed it.  Stupid hooks.  Of course, this bra is discontinued.  I know you're supposed to hand wash and line dry bras, but does anyone really do that?
Stupid bra.
  • The trash.  I recently started meal planning.  That's worked out great for the grocery list and the amount of food that goes nasty in the fridge.  However, I had to clean out the grossness of the refrigerator before I put all of my new groceries in there.  The trash truck comes on Wednesdays.  Guess when I cleaned out the fridge?  Wednesday night.  It's 95* outside.  BAM.  My back porch smelled like the second word of the title of this post. 
Anything on your sh*t list this week?  Please tell me I'm not the only one complaining about petty stuff. :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up - Gift Card Winners

We had a great weekend.  Michael did have to go into work for a little while both days, but since his job allows me to stay home with Atticus, I try not to complain (much).

First things first:

I hate the nuts on drumsticks.  If I could have three wishes, one of them would be for no more nuts in brownies or ice cream.

I was feeding Atticus in the bed the other day, and I realized he takes after me.  He likes to touch and rub the covers.   (That's Mr. Quackles, my stuffed duck, beside him.  Michael gave Mr. Quackles to me before my first heart surgery because I was so scared.  I'm 27 years old, and I still sleep with a stuffed animal every night.  He makes a good pillow.  Don't judge me). 

I love cleaning wipes that come in a jar like this, but apparently, I'm an idiot and can't figure out how to use the dispenser without jamming it each and every time.  Are you supposed to pull wipes from the center?  Or from the outside?  I think neither because mine always get messed up. 

I paid bills on Friday, and this was the pile of trash after.  This pile of paper resulted in ..... five whole checks.  I need to be removed from some mailing lists, STAT. 

Maggie (my niece) and Atticus in Atticus' stroller. :)


Yeah, that's me.  Look at that picture again.  Isn't is so incredibly offensive?  (sigh)  A few days ago, one of the news stations in our area posted a question of the day about women nursing in restaurants.  I was appalled by some of the comments.  

At least I wasn't in the restaurant like this - 

For the record, I always always always use a cover if anyone other than my husband is there.  Michael, Atticus, and I took the ski boat to dinner on Saturday night. 

Atticus drove us to the restaurant Saturday night.  He was sitting in Michael's lap, found the throttle, and kept flooring it.  It was so funny, so I had to make a video. 

(Yes, Atticus has a life jacket.  Yes, he usually wears one).

And finally, the give away winners.

It took 17 wipes to clean up Atticus' massive crapfest, so Johanna, you really did win! :)

And gave me the number 2, so Lauren Lashlee, you win too!

Ladies, email me at ashleyhagaman @ gmail by Wednesday morning at 10 to claim your prize.  Let me know if you'd like a gift card to amazon or sephora in your email.

That's it for today.  Hope you all have a wonderful Monday!

Friday, August 19, 2011


It seems that I'm asked the same questions over and over again.  :)  I decided it would be easier to just add answers to these questions under a "FAQ Page" at the top of the blog.

If you have a question in addition to these, leave it in the comments, and I'll either answer it there.

I'm so impressed that you use cloth diapers!  Isn't that hard/gross/unnecessary?
No need to be impressed, folks.  I'm quite lazy.

I don't use flats, prefolds, or safety pins.  All of the diapers we have function much like disposables except we I throw them in the washer instead of the trash.  I was a little scared before we started using them.  I had bought all of this cloth diapering stuff, and I was afraid that I'd have to eat crow if I ended up hating them.  It's been a bunch of months now, and I don't hate them.  Instead, I love them and can't imagine using anything else.  In fact, cloth diapers are so loved in this house that we used them exclusively when we flew to NYC for a vacation.

I know they're not for everyone, but if you have one iota of a thought that you might like to try them, please do.  Buy one or two diapers, and work them into your rotation.  Worse case scenario, you can sell them used for about half of what you paid for them.  Best case scenario, you will fall in love with them like pretty much everyone else who has tried them, save lots of money, possibly potty train sooner, and deal with much less diaper rash.

I've done two posts on cloth diapers so far (Cloth Diapers - The Hagaboater Way and Cloth Diaper Update), but if you have any other questions, please leave a comment or ask anyone else who CDs.  I promise, we all love to talk about them.  :)

Do you label yourself an "attachment parent?" Why or why not?  You seem to follow a lot of AP ideas.
No, I don't.  I label our parenting style, "We Do What We Feel is Best for Us and Our Child(ren) Based on Research and Intuition." Although I agree with some of what Dr. Sears says to do, I don't necessarily agree with why he says to do it.

I am a SAHM.  We waited to have kids until we could afford for me to be home with them.  I know that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a parent at home, but it was something that was important to us, so we made it happen.

We don't co-sleep.  Never have.  Never will.  I never, not once ever, slept in the bed with my parents.  My dad was on a business trip once, and it was storming.  My mom assumed I'd be scared, so she picked me up out of my bed and put me in bed with her.  I promptly screamed and demanded that I be put back in my own bed.  I was three.  I like my space to sleep.  I've never really felt super tired or worn out since Atticus was born except for the couple of days before we started sleep training.  I attribute this to getting good quality sleep when I can.  I'm in our room, he's in his, and we no longer use a monitor (at home - we do on the boat).  Also, Michael has to get up in the mornings and go to work so that I can stay home.  Keeping Atticus in our room/our bed would be detrimental to his sleep, and it was important to us and our marriage that we sleep in the same bed.

I do breast feed, and we're introducing solids by Baby-Led Weaning.  I do believe that breast is best, so as long as my breastaurant serves milk, my babies will eat there.  I plan to nurse until sometime between 18 and 24 months, but I'm trying not to get ahead of myself.  I'm not there yet, and I don't know what my/Atticus' feelings will be by then.  Baby-Led Weaning is happening for a few reasons.  I initially planned to make baby food because I think the stuff in the jars looks nasty, but I decided I'm too lazy to do that.  After a bit of research on the way a baby's digestive system develops and the way their tongue and gag reflexes work, purees and "baby food" didn't seem necessary to me.  Cereal is being skipped because I feel like Atticus' stomach is prime real estate, and I don't want to put cereal in it when breast milk is more nutritionally beneficial to him.  So, baby-led weaning it is.  We haven't started yet, but I'll be sure to post when we do.

I also baby-wear a lot.  A lot of our life happens away from home, and it's not very easy to put Atticus down in all of these places.  Plus, I figured out super quickly that I can get more done in the house if I carry him around with me sometimes.  I do not subscribe to the theory that babies need to be held all of the time, and except for when he was very young, Atticus hasn't been allowed to nap on me.

The discipline issues have not come up yet, so I don't necessarily know how we will handle them.  However, Michael and I were both spanked as children, and I do believe that spanking is an effective form of punishment.

Did I miss any AP stuff?

Oh.  We do vaccinate.  He is circumcised.  I don't give him vitamin supplements.  We're teaching him sign language.  I think that's all....

What kind of camera do you have?  Your pictures are really good.
Thank you.  I have a Nikon D60.  I don't know how to use it.  I try to use as much natural light as possible, and I turn off the light.  Other than that, I take tons of pictures in hopes that some of them will turn out.

Is that your natural hair color?
Yes, I'm a natural redhead.  I've never dyed my hair.

If you have other questions, please leave them in the comments.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How Many Wipes Does It Take AND The First Give Away

Yesterday, Atticus pooped for the first time in 9 days.

I know, I know.  NINE days.  (!!!!!!!!!)

But I had googled it, and all of the internets I read told me that it's fine since he's still exclusively on the boob.  Breastmilk is so incredibly efficient (magic potion-like, if you will) that there's not a lot of waste, so there's not really a lot of poop once his digestive system figures out what it's supposed to do.  I don't really LOVE cleaning up poop, so I didn't medicate Atticus with prune juice or whatever to get things moving on their way.  He seemed to be fine, and I figured he'd go when he needed to go.

Eh.  Um.  Well.  He went.

He was sleeping so peacefully in his crib during his morning nap.  I was reading about Lizzy McGuire Hillary Duff's pregnancy online, and he started screaming bloody freaking murder.  I thought for a second my super masculine little boy, dressed up in a smocked Anavini outfit and red saddle shoes that I may or may not have purchased off the little girls' sale shelf, had been replaced with a pansy or a little girl, but I quickly realized that something was probably wrong.  It took about .00000092373 seconds to realize, upon entering his room, that he had indeed shat himself.

(This is one of those times that I'd like to thank the inventors of modern day cloth diapers.  I know, KNOW, beyond the shadow of doubt, that one of those disposable diapers would not have held in the lava explosion from Atticus' volcanic exit-only hole.  I KNOW it.   His sheet, cute outfit, and socks were spared.  I only wish the same could be said for my hands).

It was the biggest pile of crap I've ever seen, and I've seen lots of piles of crap.  My brother doesn't flush the toilet, like, ever.

While I was standing over the changing table obsessively counting wipe after wipe, I thought to myself: Self, this would be a great time for your first blog contest and give away! 

The Prize: Do two (2) $10 gift cards to Sephora (or Amazon, if you'd rather have Amazon) sound good to you?  I like Sephora a lot.  I like Amazon too.  I guess you can pick if you win. ;)

How to Enter:  You can enter twice (2 times, for those of you who don't know what twice means).

1 - Leave a comment with your guess as to how many wipes it took to clean up the mess.

2 - Leave a comment telling me how you read this blog.  Do you subscribe via google reader?  Email subscription?  Or do you type in each and every single time you want to see what I'm up to (stalker)?

The Fine Print:  The first person who guesses the correct number (and I've already texted my mom the answer, so I can't lie) of wipes wins a gift card.  If no one gets it correct, I'll spend the gift card on myself.  :)  I'll use or some other random number generator to get the winner of the other gift card.  You have until this Sunday, the 21st, to enter.  I'll post the winner in a blog entry next week, and you'll have 48 hours to contact me with your contact information to get your prize.  10-4?  Over and out.

Good luck.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Once Upon a Bra - A True Story

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Ashley.

She had red hair and freckles.

When Ashley was in elementary school, she grew boobies before all of her friends.  As Ashley was a tomboy, complete with chili bowl haircut,  and a softball player (pitcher), she did not feel the need to greet her new friends with the welcome wagon.

Instead, she covered them up with sweatshirts.

In 90 degree weather, at softball games, and at the pool, Ashley wore sweatshirts exclusively for two years.  The purpose of the sweatshirts was threefold: 1) to get out of wearing a bra; 2) to hide the boobies, and 3) to get out of wearing a bra.

Ashley's mom begged her to wear a bra, and eventually got her to wear one when she went to 6th grade, but Ashley took them off and hid them under her bed as soon as she got home from school.  Bras were closely related to boogie men and monsters, and all things evil and scary belonged with the dust bunnies.

Soon Ashley's boobies grew so much that she had to wear a bra like, all the time.  Ashley did so, but only sports bras because they helped decrease the bounciness of her enemies.  That continued for a few years until Ashley discovered Vicki's, like every other 9th grade girl.  Ashley + Pretty bras with underwire + $35 price tag = BF4E&E.

Ashley's boobies eventually grew to DDs at Vicki's, and everyone still got along great.

Ashley got pregnant.  Ashley gained an amount of weight that can be most accurately described as a "shit ton."  She had the baby.  She started breastfeeding.  Her boobies went back down to their normal size, but in an effort to take better care of "Chocolate Milk" and "Whole Milk," she got measured for an accurate bra size.


32E?  Where does Ashley buy those bras? She has to order them.  Oh, and they cost eleventy billion dollars (Or $69) each.

Until one day, Ashley died and went to a store that must resemble smocked clothing and maternity clothes heaven, and she stumbled upon some Bravado nursing bras, 50% off.

32E.  For $19.

The thought crossed Ashley's mind that she really might have died because she truly was in well-fitting, OMGTheyHaveMYSize, bra heaven.

The end.

PS Ashley didn't die.  Her son peed on her later that evening while she was wearing the new bra.  Babies don't pee on their mommies in heaven.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Atticus - Five Months


Height: I *think* he's about 27" long.

Weight: 16.5 lbs wearing a diaper and clothes on the high-dollar scale at Michael's work


Diapers:  Still exclusively in cloth.  I still love them. :)

Sleep: Our Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child recap can be read here.  For the past few days, Atticus has been going to bed about 7, waking about 5 am to eat, and then going back to sleep until 8-8:30.  I plan to night wean him at 6 months.


Food:  Still exclusively on breast milk (from the tap).  We plan to introduce solid foods around 6-7 months with Baby Led Weaning.  We are skipping cereal completely.  Atticus' pediatrician gave the 100% okay on BLW and skipping cereal.  He actually said he wished more parents weren't so eager to start their babies' little bellies on solid foods so early.  :)


Clothes:  Atticus' clothing sizes are all over the place.  He has a couple 0-3 month outfits from Petit Ami that fit.  Most of his actual clothes are 3-6 months, but they are beginning to see their last wears, I believe.  Some clothes are 6-9 months.  Sleepers are 9 months, and onesies are 3-6 months.


Atticus loves to jabber, play in his jumparoo, and chew on Sophie the Giraffe.  He has not started crawling yet, but he will roll and roll to get to wherever it is he wants to go.

We got rid of the pacifier about three weeks ago.  I think we got rid of it before he really figured out it was there, because he doesn't seem to notice that it's not available for him anymore.

He can sit up for a few seconds at a time, but not long enough to sit in a high chair at a restaurant yet.  I'm looking forward to that day so I can finally eat with both hands. :)


Monday, August 15, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up / To-Do List Update

This weekend, I think I got a lot accomplished.  I think. 

Shop with my mom and Maggie - No, because they were unable to come, but I did shop by myself. :)
Buy Atticus shoes that fit - CHECK - I got them at Stride Rite.  They were having a Buy One, Get One 50% off sale.  I'm a big fan of traditional clothing and shoes for babies.  Can you tell? 

Fold and stuff diapers - CHECK
Cook dinner - CHECK - We had steak, mushrooms, and baked potatoes.  It was wonderful. :) 
Relax with Michael - CHECK 

Hang new curtains in master bedroom - FAIL.  Dang. 
Deep clean master bedroom - FAIL (Side note:  I can't believe I'm putting this picture on the internet.  This is my bedroom floor as of 20 minutes ago.  Well, it's my bedroom floor as of right now.  I haven't touched it in the last 20 minutes.  Sigh). 

Finish unfinished sewing projects - CHECK.   I pinned a onesie like this on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and I finally finished one for Atticus.  I also finished monogramming a few bibs.  I didn't get done all of what I planned, but I did make a large dent. 

Make dessert for pool party - CHECK  - I made these Oatmeal Butterscotch cookies.  They were very good. 
Pool party - CHECK.  We had a great time.

Strip diapers - kind of CHECK.  They are in the washing machine right now.  I didn't run low yesterday, so I didn't wash them. 
Line dry diapers - will happen later today on the hood of my car ;)
Attack mountain of laundry - CHECK.  I DID do laundry.  I did a LOT of laundry. 
Put away laundry :( - This is where I failed.  Again, I can't believe I'm posting this on the internet. 

Meal plan/make grocery list for the week - CHECK.  We're having beef roast, steak, pork chops, and baby back ribs this week.  
Bathe Elvira the beagle - Didn't happen.  She was with Michael at the boat when I was at home. 

In other news....

I saw this onesie at Target the other day.  It's a little girl's onesie, so obviously I didn't buy it for Atticus, but I love it. Well, I'd love it if it wasn't screen printed.  I don't care for screen printed clothing for little kids.  I'd rather spend a couple extra bucks and get embroidered.  (Just my opinion - not a diss on you if you like to dress your children that way.)

Elvira the beagle discovered the Boppy. She won't leave it alone now.  I don't really use it to nurse anymore, so it's just been laying around the den waiting on Elvira to make it her newest doggy bed. 

I went to see The Help last week.  I absolutely loved the book, and I thought the movie was excellent as well.  I think it holds its own as a movie, but it still follows the book closely.  If you've seen it, what did you think?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weekend Planning

I will get stuff done this weekend.  I have to.  That's all there is to it.

Shop with my mom and Maggie
Buy Atticus shoes that fit
Fold and stuff diapers
Cook dinner
Relax with Michael

Hang new curtains in master bedroom
Deep clean master bedroom
Finish unfinished sewing projects
Make dessert for pool party
Pool party

Strip diapers
Line dry diapers
Attack mountain of laundry
Put away laundry :(
Meal plan/make grocery list for the week
Bathe Elvira the beagle

There.  I said it.  All like, 11 of of you need to keep me accountable.  I'll check in on Monday.

PS I'm linking up with My Happy House.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Adventures in Baby Wearing

Before Atticus was born, I decided that I wanted to baby wear.  I bought a Moby Wrap and practiced with a Cabbage Patch Doll.  We don't subscribe to Attachment Parenting ideas, but a lot of our life revolves around being active in places that a stroller won't work (the boat), and I liked the idea of being able to clean house or cook dinner while being able to tote Atticus with me. 

We tried out the Moby wrap the first time when Atticus was five days old.  Michael had gone to work, Atticus was fussy, and I needed to get some stuff done.  He loved it!  I was sold, and I was really glad I'd practiced with a doll.  
Seriously.  I look like a whale here.  Postpartum swelling sucks!

Since my Moby was black, I decided to pick up another one in a lighter color for the summer months.  I broke it out for the All Boat Review.  It was the first time I'd wore Atticus in a wrap in front of a lot of people.  Most were amazed that this long length of fabric could actually (and comfortably) tie a baby to me. 

As Atticus got older and gained more head control, I decided to branch out, position-wise.  I'm almost embarrassed by this picture.  When I was wearing Atticus like this, I had no idea it was bad for his little body to "crotch dangle."  It never seemed to bother him, but I have since stopped.


Michael and I went to NYC for a few days for a bar mitzvah.  We knew we were going sightseeing in NYC, and I didn't want to take a stroller on the airplane.  It was supposed to be 100 degrees while we were there, and I knew the Moby and all of its fabric would be too hot for both of us.  I began looking into other baby wearing options online and came across the Ergo.


I wore him in NYC and New Jersey for three days straight, only taking him off when we got to the hotel to sleep at night.  Both of us were comfortable and not too hot.

In the last two months, I've branched out even more in the Moby.  I've tried (and mastered) two holds - the Sling:

Excuse my messy bathroom

And the Lotus:


I love baby wearing.  I usually do it in some capacity each day.  The Ergo is quickest, coolest, and most comfortable for me if I need to wear him for an extended period of time.  The Moby does take a minute to tie, but he appears to be more comfortable in it, and the variety of positions I can hold him make it easy to change things up if he gets fussy. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

You Have GOT to Buy This - Barely There Convertible Bra

Note: model is wearing two bras at once

I was walking through JCPenney with my mom a couple of days ago, and I saw a package of bras.  I don't usually shop at JCPenney, but a 2 pack of these Barely There Custom Flex Fit Bandini bras was on sale for $14.  I was intrigued, and after I checked the return policy with the sales associate, I bought them. 

I LOVE this bra! 

It's made of sports bra material. It can be worn as a bandeau, with both straps up, or with one strap.  It's super comfortable all ways.  I feel like most bandeau bras make my body look funky, but this one doesn't make my body look that way at all.   

My regular strapless bra is very, very snug, and, as a nursing mother, that's not really good for the girls.  I purchased the black and nude set, and I am so flipping happy I did.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

Atticus' Nursery - Lots of Heirlooms

Now that Atticus is five months old, don't you think it's time I shared some pictures of his nursery?

When it came time to decorate his room, I took the lazy approach. 

Michael chose this color for the room before I moved in with him (even before we met).  It was being used as a storage room, so I hadn't really gotten tired of decorating with a greenish-brown color.  I decided it suited a little boy, and went off to find some matching curtains. 

The ones I picked actually do match perfectly, although they don't appear to in the pictures.  I found them at World Market.  


The crib (Delta Glenwood) and changing table came from Target.  The painting above the crib was painted by a friend for our wedding gift.  The rocking chair was stained by my father and given to my mother when I was born.  


The blanket on the back of the rocking chair was (made by and) a wedding gift from my mom.  The white blanket on the crib was made by my Aunt Sue when I was a baby.  The yellow rocking horse on the crib rail was also mine when I was a baby.  My great-grandparents gave it to my mom.  It still plays a lullaby, and I play it for Atticus each night before I leave his room.


The baskets on the changing table came from Ikea. 


The outfit on the left was the one I wore home from the hospital.  It says "Life Begins at Erlanger."  Atticus was also born at Erlanger.  The outfit on the right was made for me by my Aunt Sue when I was a baby.  I have always intended to put Atticus' coming home outfit up there, but I can't bring myself to do it.  I refuse to believe that he's grown up so much that he can't wear it anymore!


The full-size bed in Atticus' room belonged to Michael's grandparents.  It is about 150 years old (seriously).  We hesitated to go on and give the bed to Atticus, but eventually decided that if the bed frame has made it 150 years, it will probably make it through any abuse he can put it through.  The chenille bedspread is the bedspread Michael's grandmother always kept this bed made with.

This is where I take Atticus' monthly pictures.  I have added a green, brown, and cream leafy pillow to tie things in a little better.  


This dresser also belonged to Michael's grandparents. The snow globe was a gift to Atticus from my niece Maggie.  The three frames contain quotes from Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird.  


Yes, I know I have a baby boy.  That Cabbage Patch Doll was my great-grandmother's.  If I ever have a daughter, it will be hers, but if not, I hope Atticus will appreciate it enough to pass it down to his daughter. 


This dresser also belonged to Michael's grandparents.  (I'm thinking of ORBing the handles... what do you think?)  I made the eye chart with Atticus' full name.  He's five months old, and the picture frames are still blank.  I've been busy. :)

(all of the other bedding, pillows, etc in the room came from Marshalls or TJMaxx).

So that's the nursery - full of heirlooms and family history.  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Cloth Diaper Update

So many people are amazed that we cloth diaper.  I don't really understand it.  Oh my goodness, we tie stuff around our son's butt so that poop and pee don't go everywhere!  We have to wash that stuff, though, instead of throwing it away.  I don't understand what's the big deal. 

I also don't understand the sun.  The sun = a miracle. 

Seriously.  Look:


That's a clean diaper.  It's stained from poop.  (All together now - ewwwwww).   I change Atticus' diaper in front of people sometimes, and even though the stained diapers don't bother me, I don't want people to think that I'm putting dirty diapers back on my baby's butt.  

That's gross. 

Just so we're clear: washing poopy diapers = not gross.  Clean diapers that still look poopy = disgusting. 

So, I totally dry the diaper shells on the hood of my car to remove the stains:


See?  Gone.  GONE.  The poop is GONE. 

(Ding, dong, the poop is gone, the poop is gone, the poop is gone.  Ding, dong, the wicked poop is gone!)  <-- You sang along with me, didn't you?


And yes, that is the exact same diaper.  Atticus only pooped once in 5 days, so it was the only diaper in the load of laundry that had one iota of poop residue on it. 

You can also put your clothes out in the sun to remove some stains.  If your husband won't make a laundry line for you, I recommend towels on the hood of your car for a laundry rack.  It works beautifully. 

Here's my diaper stash (part of it):


I seriously love diaper laundry day.  I like to stuff the inserts, organize the diapers by color, by my order of preference, and by their purpose.  Some diapers are thinner.  Some are better for night time.  I love them all. :)

Here's a breakdown of my current stash, but you should know that I'm considering selling some of my bumgenius 4.0s to buy some more fuzzibunz. 

4 bumGenius Organic Elementals
14 bumGenius 4.0s
6 Rumparoos OS 
2 Fuzzibunz OS

So, I have 26 diapers, and I usually do diaper laundry every four days or so.  

And yes, I still LOVE them. :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Painted a Lamp & What Color Sheets Should I Get?

This lamp in our den was given to me years ago by a girl I worked with at the time.  It was one of those lamps that came with the living room set at Rooms To Go, and she didn't have room for it.  


I've never really liked it, but it's a big lamp, and they're expensive to replace, so I kept it.

I decided the other day to buy some Oil-Rubbed Bronze spray paint.  I had no agenda for it, but I had been seeing lots of it being used on blogs and on Pinterest, so I spent my $5 and went on my merrily little way.

Atticus was napping the other day, and the lamp was the first casualty to the ORB spray paint.

Yes, I know you can't really tell a difference in this picture, but I was too lazy to get up and take a proper one.  It really does look so much better!  I'm either going to get a new lampshade or buy some trim to dress this one up.  I'll update when I do. 

I bought these Ikea Stockholm Blad curtains a couple months ago for our master bedroom.  I'm not a fan of the curtains that are currently hanging in there, but they apparently do not bother me so badly that I'm putting forth effort to change them out.  :/  I'm going to have Michael rehang our curtain rods this weekend so that I can hang the curtains high and wide (to make the windows look larger).  Ikea is great about not hemming their curtains but including hem tape so you can make them the length you want.  Love them for that!


Our bedroom walls are exactly the blue that is in these curtains, but our bedding is all white (white sheets, white chenille bedspread).  It works with our current curtains, but these are a little more off white.  I think I definitely need colored sheets, and maybe a different bedspread too. What color do you think? 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Our "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" Experience, Part 5 - One Month Later

Here we are, one month since we started sleep training Atticus using the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child," by Dr. Marc Weissbluth.

Atticus is a few days shy of five months old, and he's sleeping like a champ.

Before we started sleep training, he was going to sleep with a pacifier, waking often, and not napping regularly.  He was a happy baby, but he was very fussy sometimes when he was tired.  He would often fight sleep.


We usually do the same night time routine, (bath, lotion, boob, book, bed), but he doesn't always get a bath before bed.  Atticus usually goes to bed between 7 and 8, with no pacifier, whenever I start to notice that he is tired.  Occasionally he'll fuss for five minutes or so, but I usually don't hear a peep out of him after I put him down for the night.  The first couple of weeks we were sleep training, I would offer the boob if he woke up after four hours.  I'm now offering if only if he wakes and it's been 5.5 hours since his last meal.  He usually wakes up around 2-3 to eat, and sometimes he wakes between 5 and 6:30 to eat again.  I'm chalking that up to not getting a full meal at his 2-3 am feeding.  That's my fault, as I allow him to fall asleep at the breast instead of keeping him awake to finish eating.  Anyhow, if he wakes again at 5-6, I do feed him.  He goes back to sleep and wakes up for the day between 7:30 and 8:30.

Even if he wakes up at 8:30, he is tired and needs a nap no later than 9:30.  Sometimes he fusses for about 5 minutes, but he's pretty quick to fall asleep.  The morning nap is usually about 1.5 - 2 hours.

The afternoon nap starts around 1 and goes to 3 - 4, depending on how tired he is.  Again, sometimes he fusses for a couple of minutes, but he usually falls right to sleep as soon as I put him in his crib (at home) or pack and play (on the boat).

I am amazed at how much sleep little babies need!  I mean, I knew he needed more sleep than an adult, but I would never have guessed that his sour mood 6 weeks ago was caused by overtiredness.  He was sleeping 12-14 hours a day, and I thought that was enough.  He is now sleeping about 16 or 17 hours a day, and he is generally only fussy when he is getting very, very tired.  I try to avoid letting it get that far because I can now recognize the signs that he's ready for a nap or ready for bed.

I really hate to use the phrase "sleep training," because I don't really feel like that's what we did.  He was already on the path to establishing a morning nap, an afternoon nap, and an earlier bedtime, but we did give him a little more structure and regularity.  I, as a 27 year old adult, typically go to bed between 10:30 and 11:30.  It screws me up to go to bed at 8 pm, and it also messes with me to stay up until 2 am.  I would not take a nap at 8 pm if I was planning to go to bed at 10 - why should a baby?

I feel like this experience was more about giving Atticus what HE needs rather than accommodating a desired schedule of mine.  Truth be told, I'd rather he stay up later so he could spend more time with Michael in the evenings, but that's not what his little body needs right now.  He needs sleep.

Yes, it was selfish of me to not want to wake up eleven times in one night to sooth my baby; however, a baby that wakes up eleven times in seven hours is not exactly getting good, restorative sleep himself.

Atticus did cry when we first started this experience.  In fact, he cried a good bit.  I don't think he loves me any less.  I don't believe he is psychologically damaged or that I've scarred him for life.  He is quite happy when he wakes up.  He is usually playing in his crib waiting for me to come check on him rather than crying for me to come get him.  That is a nice adjustment.

We completely weaned him from the pacifier as of a little over a week ago.  He hasn't been sleeping with it for a month, but I was still using it as a crutch when we were out and about or in restaurants.  Now that I don't even carry it anymore, I have to find other ways to calm him down should he start to get tired or fussy.  I've honestly become so much more aware of what his cries mean now that he's well rested and not using a pacifier.  The "I want my diaper changed" cry sounds so much different than the "I'm bored of this.  Please pick me up and play with me" cry.  While I don't believe the fact that I'm more in tune with his wants/needs is 100% of sleep training, I do believe they are correlated.

Should you use "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" for your baby?  Well, I think that depends.

Have you read the book?  Please don't just follow what we did and expect results.  The book is wonderful, and it's encouraging.  You will get a lot out of it.  Please go spend the $15 on it.

Are you willing to, after you've met your baby's needs, to listen to him or her cry?  The book says you don't have to, and it says you can go check on them repeatedly if you want to, however, you'll experience progress much more slowly than we did.  The first night, he cried 49 minutes.  There have been a couple more nights that I made the mistake of letting him get overtired, and he cried for around 20.

Do you have a week or so that you can dedicate to making sure you're home and in a position to help your baby get in a regular sleeping schedule?  If YOUR schedule is all over the place, you can't expect your baby's sleep to be regular.  We do have a very active, away from home, lifestyle, and Atticus has adapted his naps to that, but for the first week or so, we were at home or on the boat (his two regular sleeping places).

Overall, I'm incredibly happy with Dr. Weissbluth's book.  I'm glad we "sleep trained" Atticus.  He's happier.  I'm happier.  We're all one well-rested, happy family.  :)

Any questions?  Leave them in the comments, and I'll be happy to answer them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New product reviews - Laura Mercier and TRESemme

I bought a few new products in the last couple of weeks, so I thought I'd share how they're working out for me.

I got this TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo:


At first, I hated it.  I was using it like the Suave dry shampoo I reviewed a couple of weeks ago.  I sprayed it on my roots and rubbed it in.  Well, the instructions say to spray it throughout your hair, wait 1-2 minutes, and brush it through.  The first attempt resulted in tons of white goop at my roots, but the second (and third, fourth, etc) attempts have been okay.  I'm currently rocking fourth day hair.  I like the Suave dry shampoo better.  I feel like it sops up oil rather than just refreshes my hair like the Tressemme does.  Suave is $3, and Tressemme is $5.  


I *finally* ran out of Smashbox foundation.  I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it.  I went to Sephora to return a couple of things I didn't quite love (LOVE their return policy) and got new powder and tinted moisturizer (below). It's only been a week or so, but I love this setting powder and the Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20.  I bought it in Porcelain.  I'm always the lightest color - no matter what. I've never, ever purchased a foundation or makeup that wasn't the lightest of the bunch. 


I also picked up a sample of Ole Henriksen's Ultimate Eye Lift while I was there.  Last night was the first night I used it, and holy moly, it does work.  It doesn't have any anti-aging goodies in it, but it does make you look well rested.  I might have to splurge for the whole pot when I get more "allowance."  :)

Have you tried any new products lately?  Should I test them out too?