Tuesday, May 24, 2011

a rash of trouble

with our little string bean eating solid foods now (string beans included), we've found that the transition has been... less than simple. for about four days we found c was quite..backed up. adding a little more to his misery is that the introduction of food also caused him some diaper rash, which we very, very rarely encounter. over the week it continued to get progressively worse until his poor bum was so red and raw that he cried in discomfort. fear not, momma to the rescue! i hopped online and began researching the better acclaimed home remedies for treating diaper rash, and after ruling out many, i narrowed it down to a few things to try:

first i began airing out the area. now, with a six month little boy who no longer lies stationary (two days ago he began rocking up onto his hands and knees in an attempt to crawl!), i at first laid a few cloth diapers on the floor and let him hang out on them, but after getting on his hands and knees and rolling around on his back a few times while playing, i knew this was a recipe for disaster. so, i strapped on a cloth diaper with a snappi and left the cover off so air could continue to flow through it.
later i steeped a bath with a few bags of chamomile tea and a cloth full of oatmeal to create a soothing soak for his poor tush. after letting him play and sit in the warm bath for a while (about twenty minutes), i took him out and let his bottom air dry again and then applied our favorite remedy, passed down from my parents, bag balm. bag balm is a lanolin based ointment and does wonders for chapped, raw, dry skin. i repeated my cloth diaper sans cover routine, snapped the ends of his long sleeve onesie around his middle to keep the ends dry,  put on his legwarmers to keep his wee legs warm, and let him play on the floor some more. when he was wet or soiled, i discarded our usual wipes and patted him down with a warm wet cloth and let air dry each time before reapplying a small amount of the bag balm. at nap times, i simply put on a diaper cover.

the rash seemed a bit better by the day's end, and thanks to e picking us up some sea salt, i made our wee wren a second bath with the salts as praised by our favorite mother of twins. again i let him soak in the bath for as long as he would happily stay in and air dried his bum before bed and applied more ointment before bed. when he awoke in the night, i changed his diaper and noticed an improvement already. so this morning i will repeat yesterday's remedies and hope to see a vast improvement by tomorrow. here's hoping for a rash free buttocks soon!

Friday, May 20, 2011

paint me happy

yesterday, little c and i made our way to the home of our dear friends for some rainy afternoon playtime. on the agenda for the day: finger painting!

we always enjoy our visits with the twins, while i partake in much enjoyed chit chat with their awesome momma, and yesterday my wee wren got his fingers (and everywhere else..) dirty with his first finger painting experience. the girls, who are finger painting professionals by this point, showed us how it was done as they skillfully dragged their little fingers across their canvases in an array of colored splendor. little c was not to be outdone as he dove in and worked his paint heavily into the canvas to create a glorious brown. by the time they were all done, finger, arms, mouths, hair, legs, tummies, and even toes were covered in good ol' crayola *washable non-toxic* paint. must admit i am thankful for these features as my sweet child reached around in his joy and grabbed a handful of my shirt, adorning it with tiny red hand prints. being that it was such fun and that e and i are both avid painters, i think that i will add finger painting to my regular activities with my bitty bean. as our entry porch is now an art gallery for e & my artwork, i shall need to make room to display c's new creations, too.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

halfway there!

today our wee wren turns six months old, and what an adventure we've been having on our way to this day!

amazing that the time can go so quickly, but the more impressive fact is the changes that are made from newborn to six month old infant. i remember holding my sweet boy in my arms for the first time and thinking 'you've belonged here all along.' the newness of him was intoxicating, and, even amid some sleepless nights, we were in awe of his darling baby magic. all babies seem to posses this magic, and we were hopelessly under his spell. with night feedings slowly becoming a thing of the past, i look back on those first weeks with little c home and remember feeding him in the early morning hours, long before the sun, and waking later to find we had dozed off together; c on the boppy pillow and me sitting upright with protective arms around him.

today our boy is motivated and ready to move. now able to roll over both ways and push himself up on his hands, he's been making attempts at crawling. though he's yet figured out how to get his arms and legs to work together and propel him forward, he's trying all sorts of new things to see what works best. his preference, however, is to stand and 'walk' (while we hold his hands or under his arms). he gets so excited when was take a stroll around the house, and squeals in delight as the dogs dance around him. i estimate he'll be moving and shaking on his own within a few months.

newest to our baby experiences are cloth diapers. having purchased them nearly two months ago based on our wee wren's weight, i found that he was just too skinny to wear them. even with several different folds of the cloth, i was unable to get them small enough to allow him to continue with his sitting and rolling over; all he could do was lie on his back! so, as patiently as i could, i waited until he grew a bit bigger and yesterday i strapped one on him to see where we were with the size. thankfully, despite still being quite bulky on his lean frame, he is able to sit and roll over in them now. the diaper covers are still far too big, but, using the 'twist fold' on his prefolds and folding a little extra down in front while securing the sides with pins, i am finding that we can make it work. i am already discovering ways to improve our experience with them (snappies instead of diaper pins will help keep this fold in place with less hassle, and the ingenius diaper sprayer for easy-off poo cleaning!). so i have a few things to order, but even without the added accessories i am pleased that we are at last in cloth!

with solid foods on the menu (last night c was delighted over the introduction of carrots mixed into his rice cereal) and cloth on his behind, our growing boy has arrived at six months in style. the journey here has been both wonderful with it's fair share of challenges, but even that mixture can't spoil the batter. i still find our wee wren's personal quirks to be quite tasty! i am so looking forward to the next six months as we make our way toward his first birthday.

Monday, May 16, 2011

yummy nummy, happy mummy

last night was our wee wren's introduction to food now that he will be turning six months old in two days. i was anxious to try it, as was e, because for the past month he has been waking up to three times a night and acting as though we've been starving him. so with multiple night feedings draining me of precious sleep, i was hopeful that a full belly of rice cereal would help him return to peaceful, night-long slumber (as would i!). i made up a combination of natural rice cereal and breast milk, thinning it quit substantially for the first try. while sitting on e's lap, we strapped on the extra large handmade quilted bib my cousin made little c, and i scooped up a small helping on a wee spoon and held it up for him to examine. e asked 'what does it taste like? did you try it?' i simply put a dab on my tongue to confirm it was not bad at all. after a second of staring at the spoon before him, c reached eagerly for it. once we convinced him to let me wield the spoon, he opened up for his first bite without hesitation. his eyes a little wider, he swallowed happily and waited for his next spoonful. next i knew, the entire tablespoon of cereal was gone and c was looking around for more. instead he got a bath and jammies before settling in to breastfeed and snooze in his crib by 7:30 p.m.

all was well until 11:00 p.m., when i awoke to him crying. as this is one of the usual times he's been waking to eat again, we thought that maybe he had woken out of habit and decided to see if perhaps he would just fall back to sleep. after about fifteen minutes, he lost all patience with my absence from his room and began screaming very angrily at the top of his lungs. finally, knowing we would only progress into hysteria, i went into his room and scooped him up. calming him down, i sought to 'reset' his mood and then i placed him back in his crib after my five-point-inspection (diaper, gas, fever, teeth, hunger). once back in the crib he began crying again, but was less infuriated. i headed back to bed, determined to break the cycle. after a while his crying quieted and we both must have dozed off to sleep, because at 2:00 a.m. i woke with great confusion. tiptoeing to check on him, i found my wee wren snoozing soundly. with a shrug, i made my way sleepily back to bed and was not roused until 6:00 a.m. when c woke for a morning meal and promptly fell back asleep until 8:30 a.m.

i think that the introduction of solid foods may just have been the help we needed in getting our baby boy back to sweet all night sleeping. thank goodness for that!

Friday, May 13, 2011

words for thought

i recently bumped into a wonderfully lovely lady, who works with my beloved, while i was shopping in the grocery store with my dear henrietta and little c and she mentioned something to me that has been tucked away in my mind since before my wee wren was born. she told me how she had been reading my blog (blush! i have readers!?) and that i should consider writing children's books. not the first to mention that i should do this, she sparked my long-yearning passion to do so and i sit here on this sunny day, while my little one naps in his sunny room, contemplating the avenues i might take in pursuing such a dream.

i suppose my biggest stall before i have even put pen to paper is... well... what to write about?? it seems that everyone has written a children's book by now and the story lines have all been explored... but there must be something i can write about that would be both original and inventive enough to be worth publishing (or at the very least writing). looks like i have my work and research cut out for me!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

something to work for

it's been decided, very recently, that i should return to work full time (if possible to find such a schedule in our little town) to fill our pockets with more dollar bills to aid in our finances and some summer fun. the thought is not a scary one, despite my leave of work two years ago and my return to school to explore my passion for art, photography, and business. when my wee wren came along, however, i won't say schooling was abandoned, but back-burnered for a time so that i could focus on our sweet boy without stretching myself thinner than necessary. why not return to school at this time? more reasons that i can count, but the dream is not off that table. for now, our best choice in furthering our finances comes from my return to the working world. the reality is set in my mind and my intentions are true and ready for the challenge. i have been feeling good about this decision, though as i began filling out an application, i felt my stomach begin to clench and my heart started cartwheeling in my chest...

the fear and mild panic is not about the work itself. not about the hours, the dedication, the learning and mastering of new skills in a new position... the worry comes from the separation from little c. letting go of my 'full time mom' status is nearly crippling to bring to mind. someone else teaching my child, caring for him for a portion of the work week while i am not present and he is still so young, i must admit it feels wrong. B.C. (before child), i would have been more than happy to work full time at a desk, on the computer, my ear to the phone for forty hours a week. my years as an insurance agent and rater were not unpleasant, though hard work and fast paced. i happen to thrive in that atmosphere, but it will be a much bigger transition to go from housewife to any sort of professional position than it ever would have been to go from insurance agent or college student to one. overwhelming as it feels, necessity beats out fear every time.

now back to my mother's standpoint in life: six months old in one week, baby c has been amazing me with his growth and learning abilities. he never disappoints as he takes each new stage in stride. this week the newest of the new is that he is sitting on his own quite well (though still topples in his excitement for things), standing while holding on to something, and doing his 'push ups,' which entails attempting to move forward while on his hands and knees/toes. we have also encountered his six month growth spurt a bit early and along with it seems to be some potential teeth. early to cut his two bottom teeth at almost four months old, why should i be surprised that his top teeth may be interested in making an early appearance, also? i am unsure yet if this is the true cause of mild crabbiness, chewing, drooling, off and on low-grade fevers, and a runny nose.. but it seems the best explanation.

last weekend was my birthday and mother's day all rolled into one. with my birthday only two days before mother's day, our weekend was full of celebration and love. minus a few setbacks (as our new jeep died while making our mother's day visits), it was a wonderful weekend and the sunshine only added to the loveliness of it all. e & c gave me a lovely necklace displaying a small orchid and bird (two of our passions), and custom iron-on transfers of owls (my favorite animal to adorn our shirts as a type of family crest). the morning of mother's day, e cooked me a breakfast of heart shaped eggs, bagel, and pancakes. after breakfast, i was surprised with e carrying in little c from outside, his wee little fists clenched tightly around the stem of the only tulip bloom from our tulip bed in the backyard. after much coaxing, my little boy handed the tulip over to me, where it was cherished and now sits brightly in a recycled glass jar. still yellow and brilliant, i watch it close for sleep each night and open wide each morning and it reminds me greatly of my darling son who also lends such color to my world each day. what perfection in such a simple gesture.

i guess to wrap this up, the reminder of the sweetness and pure wonder that is my child is the reason i will press on with my return to work. though i adore each and every moment i am able to spend with him, i want to be able to contribute to providing for him in other ways. i feel the pressure on e to pay all of our bills may only be creating stress where it should not be, so if my assistance via earning a wage is helpful then i cannot be so selfish as to refuse it. besides, i can look at it as a way to cherish even further the moments spent with our wee wren, as the time away will provide a different kind of longing to be near him when i am home. positive things are in store for us, no matter what is written in the newest chapters of our book. my beautiful son, my beloved e, and our beautiful family is something worth working for.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

back to belly basics

i never thought i would witness the day my sweet son would choose to play on his belly without my direction. but today, as i have placed him on his large quilt in the middle of our living room, surrounded by his favorite 'floor toys,' i am witnessing a little boy playing happily on his belly. the more he understands that being on his wee tummy will open the doors on motion and travel, the more he's content being on it. i began this tummy time routine with placing him in the middle of his quilt, where he promptly rolls to his back. tummy time looses it's effectiveness here because he is aware that he can get out of it so easily now. a clever momma i have become, though, as i place he most coveted toys just out of his reach to entice him to roll back over. sure enough, over he goes in search of these items and now i am watching as he's made his way to the edge of the quilt with his felted bucket of goodies. crawling is not underway, yet, but i hold hope that he's beginning to figure it out, as he's rolling and pushing himself up on his hands, that putting the concepts of these into forward motion will quickly gain access to all of the things that are still out of his reach.

hard to believe that the 18th of this month will bring us to the half-year point of our wee wren's life. seems nearly impossible that time has gone so quickly by.