Sunday, August 31, 2008

chick flick

I'm still torn about the Presidential election. I don't like McCain, and I don't like the Iraq war. I like Obama and I think he'd be a great ambassador to the rest of the world who hate Bush, but I'm not sure about some of his ideas for the economy and health care (which is another post... I'm a little more left than right on this one, but I'm not sure I like his take on it). So I've been waiting to see who the candidates would pick to be their running mates to see if that would influence my decision at all.

When Sen. John McCain announced his running mate choice of Gov. Sarah Palin on Friday, I'll admit it made me re-think my image of McCain. I had expected him to choose a "safe" candidate like Romney or Pawlenty, while secretly wanting to choose Lieberman. Instead, he chose Palin, the self-proclaimed "hockey mom."

I can see why: a woman might pick up some Hillary independents, Palin is evangelical and pro-life, and young and hip like Obama.

Only, she's not hip like Obama. NO ONE is hip like Obama.

And, I know McCain's only 72, but still... Here's how Sam put it as we talked about it in the car. "The first thing everyone thought when Palin was announced was 'Really? Cool- she's a woman.' And the next thing they thought was, 'What if McCain dies? Do we really want her to be President?'"

It's easy to poke fun at the choice. And, for better or for worse, Maureen Dowd did a really good job of doing just that. Enjoy.

*By the way-- the magazine cover is a fake

Saturday, August 30, 2008

sleep and anna

Those must be pretty important to me because they show up nice and big on this wordle.net representation of my blog:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

wandering waif

giveaway

Anna would look so cute in pumpkin with her little brown locks

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

mother craft

I never considered myself a crafty person, but with lots of time on my hands at the house while Anna sleeps, and all the inspiring pictures and tutorials in the mom-blogosphere, I couldn't help but find my inner crafter. It all started with some wooden letters of Anna's name. I found some paint to match her bedroom and looked at some idea examples at Hobby Lobby and whipped them out one Saturday. Then, after feeling something was missing and with an extra mirror from Ikea in my possession, I painted the mirror over the course of MANY coats of paint and several episodes of the last season of Gilmore Girls.




Once that craft was finished so successfully, I already had 10 different ideas for more. Here are the results:


I made the headband while I was in Ohio from baby tights and a flower from the $1 store

A tutu


Not as easy as I'd hoped-- and my machine went crazy, so you can see the stitching coming undone already. I'm anxious to try it with fusible interfacing and a different fabric


SOOOO cute and sewing machine free! I learned how to blanket stitch to make this and I have some more embelleshments planned on it like a jingle bell at the toe so Anna can make noise when she kicks.

I have the materials ready for another tutu, several more bows, a wooden flower with a knob (on which to hang Anna's princess towel), a pair of felt Mary Janes, and I'm considering making a strip quilt like the beautiful pink and black quilt Amber made for Anna's baby shower. And I'm starting to get the baby clothes bug after seeing so many cute clothes in online boutiques with ridiculous prices.

I'm having lots of fun doing it, and I like to watch Anna inspect the things that I make. She pulls on the flower on her hairbow and admires the letters and mirror above her crib. She ponders her colorful feet and sucks on the little bows.

Anna is starting to love to play as evidenced by this video.

video

Those are all her very favorite toys at once. She loves to talk to the little bugs that hang above her and she's getting really good at grasping the rings and pulling them to her mouth. I think she's figured out that if she pulls on them it makes the bugs shake and jingle. I tried letting her kick a pie pan about a week ago to make some noise and she really liked it, but it's turned into one of her favorites since we started putting shoes on her while she does it. It makes so much more noise that way!

Anna's becoming a much better behaved baby than she used to be. She can play on her own now and has a generally happy disposition with periods of fussiness rather than the other way around. She's getting better at letting strangers hold her... for short periods of time. She loves to talk and will have a nice conversation with you if she deems you interesting enough.

One thing Anna is not doing well is sleeping. She goes to sleep just great and falls back asleep easily, but getting her to sleep longer than 4 or 5 hours is a challenge which means I'm up feeding her twice a night. She goes to sleep around 9:00, wakes up between 1:00 and 2:00, eats on one side and goes right back to sleep, and then wakes up between 4:30 and 5:30, eats, and sleeps till 7:00 or 8:00. I tried (just once...) letting her cry when she woke up at 1:00 and she just cried until she was frantically screaming. I gave her her pacifier to calm her down and get her to sleep. She calmed down, but she didn't go to sleep for over an hour. I'm sure she was starving by then.

Up from a nap

She has occasionally slept better. Usually on Sunday nights when she's exhausted from our 2-5 PM church schedule, she'll sleep for 7 or 8 hours. But I don't think it's healthy to push her to the point of exhaustion just so she can crash for a long time.

Bedtime routine

Bath
Massage and PJs
Swaddled and fed

Around the time Anna was 6 weeks old, I read a lot. I read The Baby Whisperer, Happiest Baby on the Block, Baby Wise, and -- according to many of my friends-- the sleep Bible, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I took advice from each of them, though the last one mostly frustrated me and I had a hard time understanding what exactly I was supposed to do. I've tried moving Anna's bed time up by 20 min to push it forward like Weisbluth suggests, but when I do that, she just whines for a longer time and falls asleep at exactly the same time as when we started her bedtime routine later. So, I'm tired and frustrated and wondering what I'm doing wrong. I've decided to just stick it out till Anna's 4 month check-up which is less than a week away.

Sound asleep

And between crafting and worrying about Anna's sleeping, I wonder if I'm doing other things right in my life. Am I using my free time to learn new skills, to keep my mind sharp, to continue my education? Am I growing enough spiritually? Could I be doing more to strengthen my relationship with my husband? Am I reading to Anna enough? When do I start baby sign? How? Are we getting enough variety and nutrition in our meals? How do I decide who to vote for? Which issues are the most important?

As you can probably tell, it's been kind of a hard week. Yet another reason to lose myself in ribbon and glue guns.

PS-- This is my 100th post. Horray for me and my blog! Check out my picasa page (link to the right) to see pictures and video from Anna's 4th month.

Friday, August 22, 2008

giveaways


I'm on a giveaway kick this morning. I just entered at MomDot to win this duffle bag for Anna at Simply Suzzan. I also like her paisley bags.

And I really really want one of these shirt extenders from Blush:

The crazy
mommy bloggers over at MomDot blog, are hosting a contest to make the world a better place and to fight muffintop. Please come over and enter to win an amazing giveaway from Blush, where you can keep or pass along an awesome topless undershirt. They need 200 entries to get more shirts to give away, so come enter this worthwhile fashion cause. And while you are there, dont forget about the other awesome giveaways and new chat room. Oh, and Toni is crazy. Really, really crazy.

And finally, at notes from my nest I'm hoping for one of these head wraps (or anything else I can win... it's all so adorable!) from Oopsoe Dazie. And I just saw they have FREE SHIPPING on EVERYTHING to US residents. My life is SOOOO good.

Monday, August 18, 2008

a bouquet of sharpened pencils

I love school supplies. They're so fresh and full of promise. Who knows what profound thoughts (or cute boys names) will end up on their pages? What artwork will be created with those new glitter crayons? Even with no reason to buy them, I still peruse the goods at Target. And then I saw these notebooks at Little Birdie Secrets. I can't wait for Anna to need school supplies like these.

Monday, August 11, 2008

milk shaking

With me breastfeeding Anna six to eight times a day, there's a lot of breast baring going on in our house and the "feed machines," as they are often called now, have become a regular topic of conversation. And so, this blog post was born.

I love breastfeeding. Thankfully, Anna was good at it from the start, so aside from a few sore weeks, it's been a pleasure. Anna gets so excited when she's about to eat and smiles and giggles as she latches on. I love snuggling with her and time just disappears as she gazes up into my eyes... *sigh*

I also love that it's so convenient. I've nursed at the Houston Fine Arts Museum, the Space Center, McDonalds, in the Target, Walmart, and Gap dressing rooms, at airports, in airplanes, at friends' houses, at church, in the movie theater, etc. I cover up while I'm nursing, but that's mostly for other people's comfort than for my own. The more I nurse, the less worried I am about strangers seeing my breast.

About a week ago, I read an article by a self-proclaimed "lactivist". (Alas, I could not remember where I read it, so there's no link to it.) A Christian, stay-at-home-mom, who had never considered herself a radical, she had participated in her La Leche League, nurse-in's, and touted the benefits of breastfeeding to all her friends. Oh how I identified with her. I would LOVE to attend a nurse-in, to show my solidarity. It's the kind of protest I could really get into.

Yet, I understand when women don't feel as comfortable as I do baring it all. Between conventions of modesty and these women, the market for nursing covers has boomed. With their clever names-- Hooter Hiders, Peek-A-BooBs, Moo Moo Mama--and trendy fabrics, nearly every nursing mother I know owns one. They range in cost from $18- $70. I recently found instructions for how to make my own and did. The whole project cost about $6, and I've been toying with the idea of selling them ever since.

Sam and I brainstormed business ideas at the dinner table. I could sell them online, or at a craft fair. They could have matching burp cloths, or little pockets. The real gem of an idea though was the name. And so, in honor of solidarity and World Breastfeeding Week, I share with you...

Boob Noob!TM
"For the breastfeeding noob to cover her boobs"

Does your blanket keep falling off while you nurse in public, sharing more than you care to bare?
Try the Boob Noob!
TM for nursing privacy wherever you go

doing good

In the First Presidency message of the Ensign this month, President Monson quoted the hymn "Have I Done Any Good?"

"Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not I have failed indeed.

Has anyone's burden been lighter today because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
...
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love."

As I read President Monson's comments and pondered the words of the hymn, I knew I could say, "Yes." Every day I help Anna. I cheer her when she's crying. I soothe her when she's weary. I share my husband, my home, my time, my body, and my love with her. She needs me and I am there.

My brother Doug once pointed out that in caring for our children, we are keeping God's commandment to "clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, ... and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted" (Jacob 2:19, Mosiah 4:26, Mathew 25: 34-40).

I want to serve those outside my family, but at this time in my life, the majority of my service is done within my home. However, in serving Anna and Sam, I learn how to serve. I feel joy in service and become other-centered rather than self-centered. Someday, I will be like my own mother and have created an extended family of good friends who I have loved and served. It will have been a pleasure, a great blessing of duty and love.

Monday, August 04, 2008

scrapblog

This is my new favorite thing. I love their pre-made layouts. Their website says they're adding print capability soon. I hope they'll have a photobook option as well. I feel like this website is what I've been waiting for in terms of scrapbooking. Here's one I whipped up today:

Sunday, August 03, 2008

game face

watch out Kournikova-- there's a new Anna on the tennis scene