Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Front Torso Cross Carry

Susie from Magic City Slingers recently made and posted a video JUST FOR ME ;-) to demonstrate this carry, so I had to post a photo. It is strapless, so I'll be doing it more when the weather warms. I know, it just got cold. And windy. We actually had some snow here last night. Like one or two flakes. So anyway, I don't know if you can see it in the photo, but Jules was hanging on for dear life with his right hand. Of course he is completely secure, but he is a grabber. He can be hard to put down at times. I guess he doesn't trust me. Sheesh! I've only dropped him once so far.

Our Thanksgiving

We spent this Thanksgiving with the Johnsons- Ally, Dan, Paul and Phillip. They just moved into a lovely new home (on Jules's birthday, sorry we can't help with the move, but...) and so we brought them a housewarming gift/centerpiece for the dinner table. It was all my idea, but completely executed by Isaac and Orion. Doesn't it look all Martha Stewart? All the folliage was from our yard.

One of my favorite holiday traditions is making butter. Just put some whipping cream in a jar and shake. First it makes whipped cream, but if you continue to shake then it separates into butter and milk. We added honey afterwards for some yummy honey butter to go with my homemade dinner rolls. (You know, the ones that sent me into labor.)

These photos were taken before the boys were tired out from all the shaking.

Making centerpieces, making butter.... what's left? Oh, yeah. Making trouble ;-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are thankful for Jules, 2 months old.

We are thankful for Orion, 3 years and 7 months old.

Why can't they smile at the same time?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Heads Up!

Sometimes Jules lifts his head up really high.

Orion is really good at it.

I love this outfit.

Going for the hand again. This one is always hungry.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mama's Helper

We'll be having chicken pot pie for dinner tonight. This is what it looks like. What? Your chicken pot pies don't look like this? You must not have the help of a 3-year-old.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Jules - 7 Weeks

Holy moly! Where does time go? Wasn't it just yesterday that I was catching him in the tub? Now look at him. He is getting so fat! He was at 10.5 lbs a week ago. I'll need to step on a scale with him again soon.

I need to try to get some smiley photos of Jules. He really is a happy baby, he just hasn't started preforming for the camera yet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Elimination Communication

It's also known as diaper free baby, natural infant hygiene, and infant potty training, or just EC for short. EC is a modern interpretation of handling your baby's pottying needs without (or with limited use of) diapers.

If you didn't already think I was crazy, you may start now. I thought EC was crazy when I first heard of it, but since giving it a try with Orion, I became a convert to the ideas of EC.

We started ECing Jules as soon as he was born. At first it was mostly observation. We kept a diaper on Jules for the first two weeks. The diaper came off during feedings and I held him over a potty bowl while he nursed. If I noticed him peeing I would make a pssss sound, and for poos I would grunt. Eventually we learned to understand one another. If he was squirmy he needed to go potty. If he needed to burp he would stick his tongue out. If he was hungry he would either chomp on his hand, or peck around with his mouth open in a little oval. (Sometimes we would call him chicken boy because of this.) Now at six weeks he is rarely in a diaper. If we are going out or if I am busy with dinner then he gets a diaper, otherwise he is free. Now that does not mean that we aren't using diapers. he lays on top of diapers and when we hold him there is a diaper under him, but they are not secured in place. The main reason is to make it easier to take him to potty at a moment's notice.

Since I am the main one handling Jules it has all become quite simple to me. I forget that handling a non-diapered baby is not obvious to everyone else. So, to help Isaac and other people around me, I come up with EC rules to help them.

EC rule #1: When the baby wakes up, pee him first.

Like really, who doesn't need to pee when they wake up? If you pick up a baby and don't pee him, he will pee on you, or at least wet the diaper you are holding on him. Or maybe both. Or when he starts to fuss and you hand him to mom to feed, he will pee all over her as soon as he latches on and she will look at you and ask, "so you didn't pee him?"

So anyway, Abuela was visiting and she thought the EC lingo of "peeing the baby" was really funny. On her first day visiting we had our worst EC day. I was peed on twice and pooped on once. I also got covered in spit up. I went through three outfits. My mom said, "wouldn't it be easier to just put a diaper on him?" The ECing went better for the rest of her stay. She even peed Jules a few times and I really think she got a kick out of it.

Isn't it messy? It can be. I mentioned my three outfit bad day. Most days are not like that. Actually, so far I think things have been less messy than they were diapering Orion. With Orion he would pee all over us during every diaper change. Every one. Without fail. I tried so many things to keep it from making a mess, but he would always wait for me to lower my guard before letting go. Once he pooped during a change and it sprayed the wall, curtains and a plant. And he would fill up a diaper with pee and we wouldn't have a clue until the diaper started leaking on us. His poos could explode out of a diaper getting all over his clothing, my clothing, furniture. Babies are messy whether or not you use diapers, especially with your first child in the early months when you are still figuring everything out.

Now, eventually Jules is going to start crawling, and that is going to bring with it some EC challenges. EC is not about avoiding these challenges. It is not about potty training your baby before everyone else. It is simply about handling the baby's elimination in another way. A way that is gentle and environmental. People who EC say that it is about the journey, not the destination. There will be bumps along the way. We may end up putting him in diapers much more often. Who knows where the road will lead us?

A Winner!

Jules got second place in the Halloween costume contest. I don't know how judges can award a prize to a sleeping newborn and not the excited 3 year old, but that is what happened. Luckily, Orion didn't seem to notice that Jules was the winner and not all of us. We all went home happy.

Southern belle was first place and OU cheerleader was third place. It sure is hard to beat a cute little girl in these contests.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Pirate Booty (i.e. Jules is Jewels)

Congratulations to my sister, Melissa, who figured it out just yesterday. Here is an excerpt from her email: I'm trying to figure out what you are in that photo- a treasure chest? Jules is jewels! I get it!

We still don't have a winner in the Only you, only I contest. Mel, Carly, Gpa Todd? Anyone?

We trick-or-treated with Brittany, Kasilof and Gwennie.

I Love My Mummy

After trick-or-treating we played Wii.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

So as you can see, we have a pirate theme this year. Last night we went for some kiddie trick-or-treating at our town park. Then we went for our third (yes, third!) hayride of the season. There actually wasn't any hay in the trailer. Anyway, we forgot Jules's costume, so you can still try to guess what he is going to be. I can't believe no one has guessed so far.

Tonight we will be trick-or-treating in Brittany's neighborhood. Then tomorrow night is the costume contest at the town park. Then Halloween season closes :-(

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

Isaac carved our pumpkin this year.

Doesn't it look just like Orion?

It's a pirate!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Only you, only I

Far from day, far from night,
Out of time, out of sight,
In between earth and sea,
We shall fly; follow me.
Dry the rain, warm the snow;
Where the winds never go
Follow me, follow me, follow me
To a cave by a sapphire shore
Where we'll walk through an emerald door,
And for thousands of breathless evermores my life you shall be.
Only you, only I,
World farewell, world goodbye.
To our home 'neath the sea
We shall fly; follow me.
Follow me, follow me, follow me.

Can you believe Jules is one month old already?! Time just seems to fly by. Not long after Jules was born, this song got stuck in my head. I sang the last verse to him over and over while we nursed all by ourselves during the night. Finally I had to look up the words online and found that I was not butchering the song all that much. Anyway, the song is from one of Isaac's least favorite musicals. Anyone know what musical? No cheating by searching online.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Photo Shoot

Jules had his first photo shoot:

Yup, that's a naked baby on my couch.

Look how high he holds his head up!

Uh, oh! He's hungry!

Sweet baby :-)

Clothes make him grumpy :-/

Big brother had to join the shoot, too.

Orion's Corner

Well, Orion says he wants to tell everybody nothing. He says he is waiting for Halloween. Here are some photos of Orion being paternal:

Here he joins Mommy and Jules at the couch. He didn't nurse the baby doll, but he did carry it while supporting the head.

He wanted to take a walk and when I told him yes he immediately got his stroller. He didn't want to bring his doll, though. He opted instead for a flamingo.

The main reason he wanted to take a walk was to see the caterpillars that are all around a tree down the street. He likes to poke them with a stick.

Here he is teaching Jules how to play peekaboo. Cute, huh?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Gram Cam

Grandma Y just visited the StarShine family and while she was here we barely touched our camera. Good thing she brought hers along! Here are some of the better shots from her camera:

She bought some binoculars for Orion and took photos of him all around the house. In every photo he looks exactly like this, only the backgrounds are different. It's kinda spooky.

Orion got to go to Pumpkin Fest, just down the road, with Daddy and Grandma. They were out of pumpkins :-( but Orion got this season's candy stash started and Daddy won a door prize.

Mommy and Jules try out a new wrap. We like the colors, but think the non-stretchy wrap may get put away until Jules develops some more head control.

Here is a little Halloween preview. Mommy came up with the theme, but the costumes have been entirely created (and bought) by Daddy. Any guess as to what Jules will be? (No fair guessing Gma Y.)

Another Halloween means another trip to the Maize Maze. The first order of business when we got there was a barrel ride.

Then a hay ride.

Then we got lost in the maize.

Aah, Mommy and Jules.

Then, after playing in a big mound of dirt and petting some farm animals, it was time to pick out a pumpkin.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Daddy Duty

In this house, Daddy changes diapers at least twice a week.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Orion's Corner

This is the first post to Orion's Corner. Orion gets to pick out the photo and I'll write what he wants. Here goes...

"I want to write my ABCs and my numbers."

"I listen to John Deere tractors and Thomas." (He is referring to watching John Deere and Thomas the Tank Engine movies on You Tube, which he hasn't actually done in quite a while.)

Well, that's all he wants to share for now. Oh, wait. Now he wants me to tell everyone that he can walk like a crab. And I got this photo of him demonstrating.

Monday, October 6, 2008

He's a Keeper!

A picture of health

Jules had his first pediatrician's appointment today. The doc declared him a keeper! He said that he might have a white tongue, but it is not thrush. Yeah! His gunky eye is not gunky today. Yeah! They did a blood test for jaundice. No jaundice. Yeah! His cord stump had been bleeding. The doc put some stuff on it to help it along. Yeah! He is heavier than his birth weight. Yeah! He is half an inch shorter? Hmm... Not to worry, just due to different measuring techniques.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Jules without the Slime

Here he is all cleaned up.

Details about Jules...

He is a quiet baby. He communicates in a few different ways. One is a pig-like squeal when he is about to pee. If he grunts then he is trying to poop, unless he is sticking his tongue out, then the is trying to burp. If he is crying then I've missed his signal, or I'm changing a diaper. Mostly, though, he is asleep.

He was born knowing how to get his hand into his mouth. Latching him on for the first few days was hard because anytime his mouth was open, his hands were trying to get in. Now he seems to have mastered nursing and it could be my mommy eyes, but he already seems to be beefing up.

When he was born his left ear was curled up inside itself, as if he had be laying on it for the last few months. It is mostly uncurled now. It no longer looks weird, but is not quite as flat as the other ear.

Jules also seems so aware. He is content to just look around even though I don't think he should be able to see very far yet. His neck has great control and if he is laying on his belly he will lift up his head and look around for a few seconds.

He was looking a little jaundiced for a few days, but that has almost cleared. I think he has thrush because his tongue is white, but it doesn't seem to bother him or me yet. His right eye gets gunky, so I'm thinking he's got a clogged tear duct, but I have been keeping it clean so he can always open his eye. We see the pediatrician on Monday and we'll see what he says about all that (and more).