Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Favorite- The Moby

When I had Genny in 2008 I bought a sling (now recalled) which enabled me to be somewhat hands free while still 'holding' her. I used it when I went shopping, walking, and depending on what I was cooking or cleaning, I used it when I did those things as well. Then a neighbor let me try her Moby. Wow. I borrowed it for almost a year. During that time, I was able to do more around the house (I remember washing my floors by hand while using the Moby) and the one sportish activity we found we are able to do as a family (hiking) is a breeze when using the Moby. When I became pregnant with Glenn, my mom and sister bought me a Moby. He's almost four weeks old and I can't even count how many times I've used it.

The Moby is a super long piece of fabric which you wrap around yourself in a specific fashion as to hold the baby in securely. There are several different 'holds' in which to carry your child, and there's even a 'twin hold' for moms with two babies. Every time I wear the Moby out, I feel like I should get a commission because people who have never seen a Moby ask me about it, and I am pretty sure there have been a few sales because of me. My favorite passing-by response is, "Yah, it's nice cause I'm hands free!". That really makes people think.

As stated in previous Friday Favorites, I do not get anything for writing about my favorite things. These are just things that make my life easier and I like to share them with you in case you think using them can make your life easier.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Yes, this is a picture with a toddler fork. Genny and I switched forks!

One of the only things I wanted for my birthday was a waffle maker. And it turns out, I got two! The mistake I made in which I ended up with two waffle makers is that I told both my family and my husband (who told his family). I've avoided this mistake in the past by telling my family I want something specific for a gift-giving holiday and telling my husband to tell his family I want something completely different.

The day before my birthday I received a box (take that back, HUGE box) of baby clothes, cloth diapers, and home made gifts (wipes and burp cloths) from my sister. Included in the box was an Oster waffle maker. This meant that on my birthday I was able to make home made waffles for the first time ever. Mmmm.... They were WONDERFUL. I'm a big fan of Belgian waffles and when I'm out to breakfast it's a tough decision for me between getting a waffle (which is usually just a waffle, sometimes with fruit on top) or getting a whole meal since they are usually the same price. Now I can make waffles whenever I want! Plus a bonus is that I can get another gift since I'll be returning the second waffle maker I got. Now I just have to figure out what to get... There aren't many things I consciously think about wanting, so it will be fun to see what there is to get. I've been thinking I may want a fun summer table cloth, and I defiantly want some new rugs. Maybe that's what I'll end up getting. We'll see.

It's too bad that Thomas isn't quite as big of a fan of the starchy breakfast foods as I am. The good thing is that the waffles freeze well, so we can probably make omelets and waffles and freeze the extra.

Sorry my posts haven't been as regular, I'm still getting the hang of this two-child household. Today as soon as I put Genny down (right after I fed Glenn) I raced around getting everything done that I could before baby Glenn woke up. Then Kate from next door came over when I was partially done with my mental chore list, and thank goodness she didn't mind me running around cleaning because my house needed it! I had all of the non-cold items from the grocery store to put away still, dishes in the sink from last night's dinner (no, I'm not a flylady!*) and the living room was a MESS from all the toys that Genny got out today. Plus there was some online stuff I needed to do, so I was on a mission! And thank goodness I got all of it done! Now I'm able to post today because Glenn is again sleeping and Genny is watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

I hope you all have a great Thursday! I'm planning on posting a Friday Favorite tomorrow, so stay tuned!

* is a website which tries to help you get your house clean and keep it that way. They have you clean one thing a day, but the first day is titled, 'clean your sink!' and they encourage you to always keep your sink sparkling. Even with the helpful hints I was unable to accomplish this task. So I never got past day one. But good for you if you visit the website and are able to follow along with their cleaning regime.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mom's here!!

My mom arrived yesterday and it's wonderful to have her here. I wish she would come and live with us!! Too bad I can't convince her to move out here...

Genny's b-day party is this Saturday and I had planned on making it a water party, with a pool, slip-n-slide, and water activity center. But it's supposed to be chilly and overcast, so I went to Party City and picked up some cones (maybe we can kick a ball around them?) and a horse shoe toss game. I understand that 2 year old's don't need activities, but I can't stand the thought that there is nothing to do at a birthday party.

Now all I have to do is make thank you cards for myself and her. Let's see how long it takes for me to make those... :)

Toddler tip of the day: If you need to eat in the car, use a bib and wrap napkins around your toddlers thighs to avoid stains. Also, ask for the restaurant to cut the sandwich into quarters so you don't have to get your hands grubby tearing chunks out of the sandwich.

Have a great Thursday, it's my birthday, and I got 3 (count 'em, THREE) packages in the mail today! Plus my neighbor Kate is going to make me a b-day dessert and I'm making honey mustard chicken with potato wedges tonight.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Back from the dead [modem]

Well, I have been absent from blogging for the last week, not because of having a newborn as well as a 2 year old to care for, but because my modem gave out on me and I had to order a new one. But now I'm back, and as it turns out my modem wasn't the problem, just the power cord, so now I have an extra modem... Not something you need two of...

To catch you all up, Saturday was Genevieve's 2 year birthday. We started the day off with some french toast with fresh blackberries and sausage. Then we let Genny open a present that Thomas picked out (a stuffed puppet duck). Then we got ready for the day and left to feed the ducks at Guajome National Park where the geese seemed a little too bold in obtaining their bread, forcing Thomas to gently push one back with his foot. After he realized that they weren't getting the clue, he put Genny on his shoulders (which did not please her as she wanted to be in the action even if the geese were, in fact, as tall as she was). After changing locations to a more suitable sized flock of ducks, Genny felt the need to take off running. Thank goodness for Thomas because I had baby Glenn in the Moby and as secure as that thing is, I'm not sure how fast I could have run to get her.

For lunch we had KFC (nothing like fast food for a toddler) and that was pretty much the extent of our day. Genny had no idea that it was her birthday, so it will be interesting how she reacts next year when she's more aware. The real celebration will be this Saturday (the date chosen because my mom will be here) and after a day playing in the water I'm sure we'll have a crabby tired little girl who will sleep like a champ.

I hope you all had a good week, I'm still trying to get the hang of having two children (not to mention two children in diapers...) But I'm planning a trip out sometime this week, so we'll see how that goes. Although I will have my mom with me, so again, it won't be as big of a deal as getting the kids out and about by myself. I guess the good thing about having two small children is that you don't have the energy or time to go out and spend money. All the errands that you did before can wait because you don't want to have to wrangle two small needy children in public. Suddenly you notice that you can have PB and J for lunch every day because you are NOT going to the grocery store again until you are out of milk, cheese, eggs and peanut butter.

Well I'm off to a night filled with diapers, nursing and hopefully 3 straight hours of sleep at one point.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


When I sat down to blog today I ran a blank as to what to blog about. After thinking about what I did today, I decided to blog about cleaning today. And not just any cleaning, green cleaning. (of course)

Since about 2004 I've been conscious of what I use to clean my house. I researched different environmentally safe ways to clean and found that vinegar is a wonderful cleaning agent. In fact, when I lived in Iwakuni, I rarely used anything besides vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice to clean. Still today I prefer the clean scent of vinegar to the chemical scent of most cleaning products. I still use vinegar when washing my kid's diapers, or cleaning the toilet bowl. And I'll try out baking soda with the diapers in the next wash.

Now that I'm back in the states, I have more choices of environmentally friendly cleaning agents than I did in Japan. I currently have Seventh Generation all purpose cleaner that I use on my tile, and from their website they claim that they are not only Kosher-certified, but do not test on animals, non-toxic and biodegradable. These seem like good things to me, so I'm happy using this product. Another product that I am fond of is Melaluca. My sister stumbled upon this product line which features the melaluca plant as a cleaning agent. Even though I tried to find this slogan but didn't, I can only quote my sister that you can drink a whole bottle of the cleaner and the worst that will happen is some diarrhea. This was the feature that she liked most about it, and rightly so. She sends me Sol-u-mel sometimes which is a concentrated cleaning agent used for stains (in the concentrate form) or normal cleaning (diluted). I love the clean un-harsh smell that this product leaves behind.

As you go to grab your cleaner, think about what you're putting into the air in your home as well as down the drain. There are plenty of eco-friendly options out there that you can choose from, just do a little bit of research. Who knows, you may end up spending less on cleaning products once you do a little bit of research and choose the right products for you and your family.

*Tip- Put some ice down your disposal drain, then squirt some lemon juice (or cut up lemon) and turn on. It will clean your disposal!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Routine, what routine??

Well, baby Glenn is 8 days old today and we have yet to establish a routine for the kids... Genny's normal wake up (between 6 and 7am) is pushed back because we put her down later (closer to 8pm than her normal 7pm) because her nap is later (1 or 2pm instead of 12pm) because her lunch is later because I can't seem to get us out of the house before 10am... This will all have to stop when Thomas goes back to work next week (well, Friday actually, but I doubt any progress will be made in one day).

But to celebrate baby Glenn's 8 days of life, we did a baby photo shoot after Genny went down for her nap today. I aspire to be a photographer that takes breathtaking pictures, but as you may notice, I have a way to go. But enjoy the beautiful baby (whom I'm convinced more each day looks like my brother Brian).

Saturday, May 8, 2010

To Have But Not To Hold?

Made up in my head studies show that first time parents (ie: moms) will hold their child more than not, will allow co-sleeping longer, will pick up their child if he/she makes any sort of whimper, causing the child to be more dependent on being held during the day and needing more affection in the early years. This can cause some waves on the marital sea as well as keep mom from sleeping, cleaning, or just taking time for herself.

So where is the line? It's hard to tell when you first bring your baby home, not knowing the personality of the child, as well as not knowing the cues he/she gives you for what he/she needs. Some children only cry when hungry. Others cry for a wet diaper, gas, hunger, and affection. You can also subconsciously condition your child to cry for these things, not knowing his/her cues for each need and in turn the child going so long with the need not met that he/she cries for it. This would not be a positive thing to do for you or your child.

Dads seem to be more in tune to when to pick the baby up, ie: when he/she has been crying for 10 minutes. Don't get me wrong, if it weren't for my husband, my 2 year old daughter would still need someone to rock her to sleep and hold her while she slept. But when my 3 day old son was whimpering and I picked him up, my husband looked at me with raised eyebrows, chin down and said, "Are you going to pick him up every time he cries?" to which my response was, "He's 3 days old. You can't spoil a 3 day old" But what happens when he's 6 months old and I'm still picking him up? When will I know to make the transition from every-noise-means-he-needs-me to let-him-wait-and-he'll-learn?

And how will having a 2 year old affect this? Just this morning I let my husband sleep in and therefore had baby Glenn and Genny to care for at the same time. It wasn't that bad, but it was only a few hours and she had a melt down when I changed his diaper because for some reason she thinks it's only her changing table instead of every ones.

I already find myself interacting with Genny at times when Glenn is fussing; trying to hold his pacie in his mouth to keep him pacified while I respond to Genny or read her a book. Does this mean that I'll bypass the mistakes I made with Genny where she was so dependent on me that even my husband couldn't satisfy most of her needs? Or will I make an even bigger mistake by pacifying him in order to do other things only to make him more dependent and me less likely to know what it is he wants, just what will make him happy?

Comments welcomed...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Friday Favorite: Rechargeable Batteries

As with any 'green' product, it's an investment in the beginning, but worth it in the long run. I started using rechargeable batteries when I came home from the Navy and saw that my mom was using them. I started thinking about how many batteries I buy and use and that they all end up in the land fill because I, like most Americans would throw my batteries into the garbage, knowing in the recesses of my brain that I'm supposed to dispose of them in a different manor, but knowing in the more frontal portion that to do so would be too much of an inconvenience.

With all of the green choices I make, it crept into my thoughts frequently, until one day I bought the starter kit that came with a charger (which took 12 hours) and 4 AA batteries. I've since upgraded to a 15 minute charger and have over 30 AA and 30 AAA batteries. The smoke detector is about the only thing that we don't use rechargeable batteries for. Of course the toys we get have the regular batteries in them until they run out, and then we buy more rechargeable batteries to replace those. The cost of a package of 4 AA batteries is around $7. But they last for years which ends up paying for itself over time.

Duracell has rechargeable batteries, but I find that Energizer has more of a selection and are in almost every store.

Like stated in my last Friday Favorites blog, I don't get any sort of endorsement for these products, they are just ones that I love. You may feel different, but they work for me.

A Collect Call From, "Wehadababyit'saboy"

Well, Glenn Samuel Alford decided to make his way into this world Saturday evening. I had contractions all day Saturday, and at about 11:30pm my water broke as I was waiting for a friend to come stay the night with my daughter. So we left the monitor with the neighbors (way to go 21st century!) and went to the hospital. After I got there, the nurse explained what would happen in case of an emergency such as the baby's heart rate dropping. About 5 minutes later I was surrounded by people who were shouting orders to me and each other, I was on my hands and knees getting a shot to speed up my heart (and hoping in turn to speed up the baby's heart) and the doctor was placing a monitor on the top of the baby's head to more accurately keep track of his heart rate.

When I first arrived, the nurse said, "Ok, we're going to get you started on some Pitosin to get your labor going a little faster," and I interrupted her saying, "No thank you. I won't be getting any Pit." (I got a look that said 'oh, you think you know more than me?') Then the nurse asked which pain medication I would like. I told her that I wouldn't be taking any, but closer to delivery I may consider an epidural. I got another look.

So after the baby's heart rate dropped, the doctor (who had also expressed surprise as well as gave me a look when I said no epidural) told me that if the baby had another drop in heart rate, we would have to go in to have an emergency c-section. He also told me that if I still didn't have an epidural in place, they would have to put me under general anesthesia because there would be no time to wait. After discussing it with my husband, I decided to get the epidural. Thank goodness I did because about 10 minutes later his heart rate dropped again and we had to go into emergency c-section.

Glenn Samuel Alford was born on May 2nd at 5:02am, 7lbs 13oz, 19 inches. Although it wasn't what I wanted or expected, the anesthesiologist told me after that the cord was wrapped around his neck, which made sense that he heart rate was dropping. So it looks like I wouldn't have had him vaginally anyway. So I'm glad I got the epidural because I was able to recover quicker.

We arrived home two days ago and have been loving him every minute. Genny is enthralled with her new eat and sleep baby doll as well as the ducks, lady bug and other little sibling gifts she got. She points to him and says, "baby" all day and is curious when I nurse.

I decided that I'd make cookies today. I've never been a die-hard fan of cookie dough, but something about it was too appealing to me today. So I made cookies for the sole reason of licking the batter off the mixer. YUM!

Happy Thursday to everyone. Blogs may not be every day for a little while until I get the hang of this two-child household.