Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jules and His Friend Ryan

The first picture of Jules and Ryan was taken back in February and was posted here: 

This was 2 weeks ago: 

My how our babies grow!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Car Seat Safety

Here's a great quick read article on why keeping your car seat rear-facing until your children are 2+ years old is a good idea.  Most people think you have to turn them around at a year, but research has shown that they are safer if they are not forward facing.  We purchased a giant convertible car seat the goes up to 55lbs for just this reason, it will enable us to leave Julian rear facing comfortably for as long as we can.



Peas!



Thursday, April 24, 2008

Julians First Trip to the Beach (Since He Left the Womb)
















(especially cute if you click on it to make big)





Today after Papa got off of work, we decided to head down to the beach since it was such a beautiful day. There were tons of surfers, people soaking up the rays, and even a few swimmers even though the water was frigid! We lathered our boy in sunscreen, put on his hat and sunglasses and headed out. He freaking loved every minute of it, and was hardly able to keep his eyes off of the waves. I kind of wonder it he remembers all the noise of the ocean from last summer, since he spent quite a huge chunk of his time in utereo at the beach. Best of all he got to show of his new stomping/walking skills - something he can't stop doing once he starts!


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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tank Tops Are For Summer


Unassisted Sitting

We officially have extended unassisted sitting! The big pillow is just to break his fall if he does keel over, otherwise he is doing it all on his own. He is finally doing it for longer than just a second or two, unless he spots something super exciting though, then it all goes out the window and down to the floor he goes!



Weekend Fun with Papa

Here you can see Jules giving kisses, shrieking, laughing, and playing with Nico all in the span of a minute and a half!

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Plastics and Other Worries

Last week Canada officially labeled bisphenol A as dangerous. (Article here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080415.wtoxic15/BNStory/National/home)

And a US federal health agency followed up by acknowledging the plastics concern for the first time. (Washington Post article here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/15/AR2008041501753.html)

This is a very timely discussion for our family, as we are doing our best to make health and safety conscious decisions for our child(ren). We have limited the majority of Julian's toys to cloth and fabric items that are safe for him to chew on during his first few years, when nearly everything goes in his mouth. We use BPA-free bottles and sippy cups, as well as a Kleen Canteen for drinking water. He eats with bamboo utensils out of ceramic dishes, both found at affordable prices at our local green store and IKEA respectively. We know we can't prevent him from ever getting his hands on plastic, or putting it in his mouth, and are realistic that he will still receive exposure on some level, but we try to keep it to an absolute minimum. We also look at packaging and labels, and try to shop being conscious of what things are made of.

We also pay attention to the products we use on him. So far California Baby and Aubrey Organics are my favorite go to's for lotion, soap, and butt creams. Since we spend a lot of time in the sun during the summer months we have opted for Earths Best Sunscreen. All of these products come in low on the rating scale of this website for toxic ingredients: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/special/parentsguide/index.php?nothanks=1, where we check things before we buy them. We also are switching over to non-toxic cleaning supplies, detergent, and beauty products.

Trader Joes is where we go for the majority of our groceries, limiting the amount of transfats, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and other unneccessary extras in our food. All of the dairy we buy is RST free to avoid the exposure of hormones. As we start Jules on solids, we buy the organic fruits and vegetable that are least likely to be covered in pesticides and fertilizer. And when he starts drinking milk at 12 months it will be organic as well. Not only does it taste so much better, it's so much better for you! Too many health problems like cancers, infertility, early onset of puberty, etc are being linked to chemicals and toxins in our living environment. And I've found that making these choices and changes has actually led to smaller grocery bills, and a better awareness of how our consumerism affects the environment and our bodies.

In my attempts to be more eco-aware we've switched to cloth bags for all of our shopping, replacing old light bulbs with new CFLs, using biodegradable dog poop bags, extensive recycling to include batteries and #5 plastics. We also buy as much of our baby "gear" second hand at thrift stores or on Craigslist, hoping to add less to the landfills. I wanted to get Pete on board with cloth diapering, but we've not found a way to make it work for us both yet - maybe for #2.

Pete calls me a hippie, I like to think I'm just green:) But I have to say these changes work for us, and even if they are small changes I'm hoping they can put Jules on better footing for both his health and his future.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Adventures in Squash



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Big Day Today

This morning we headed out to Babygarten at the library, where the Azalea Queen came to participate, bringing along the channel 13 news. After a raucous morning of watching Head Start kids sing and doing our usual nursery rhymes and read-a-long, we grabbed our babies and headed to the park since it was a beautiful day. Julian got to experience swings for the first time, and they were a big hit.




There is a tennis ball in the basket of the stroller, and Nico was determined to get it before we left this morning.


Ryan (above) and Cate (below) passed out after all the excitement of Babygarten.











Stella digs mulch.

And slides give her awesome hair.

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(sorry this one is sideways - I have no idea how to get it to flip!)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Peek-a-boo With Papa

We like it when Papa doesn't have to work on the weekend. Jules gets lots of Q-time with Pete, and they have a lot of fun together.

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Learning a Back Carry

We had our monthly BabyWearing meeting yesterday morning, there were lots and lots of moms and babies there, and we were able to try out a Shortie wrap for a back carry. Now we have something new to practice for the summer!




Oldie But Goodie


After one of our morning walks, back when it was colder, we stopped Ryans house to warm up before heading home. Make note of the tiny thumb that made it's way out for easy access for the duration of the walk.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Top Ten Best Things About Julian

10. Playing airplane, it's a guaranteed giggle.

9. How he watches his Papa play ball with Nico with fascination.

8. He's a water baby, and loves it just like us. Bath or pool, doesn't matter, it always makes him kick with excitement.

7. Mean-Muggin. This kid has some serious stare-down skills.

6. He'll never deny a friend or stranger one of his goofy grins.

5. How he shrieks and hollars back when you talk to him.

4. Big sloppy kisses on my face.

3. How his head swivels quick to find his Papa when he hears his voice once he comes home from work.

2. His love of a good snuggle morning, noon, or night.

1. How he lights up big grin style after searching and then finding me in the room. Melts my heart every single time.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

My Chunk-a-Munk

This kid likes to eat! Tonite he had frozen banana in the mesh feeder, and managed to demolish nearly half of one in his frenzy. By the end it was everywhere! It's so much fun to watch him gain more control over his motor skills, and be able to get what he wants and do what he wants with his hands. We still have a lot of misses when he grabs for things, but it's getting better and better.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

A Few Cool Things

Tonite we had some really cool firsts. The big one being that Uncle Kenny came over at 7:30 to watch Jules while Pete and I went out on our first date alone post baby. Kenny is really good with Jules and we knew he would be in good hands. Before we left Jules was hanging out with him in the living room while Pete and I were running around getting ready when Kenny said that Jules was doing the coolest thing he'd ever seen. We came rushing out to the living room to see Jules deliberately playing peek-a-boo with Kenny, his first real game.

Since he was born we have used the cloth diapers as loveys, burp rags, blankets, and things to play peek-a-boo with or hide under. I didn't think he was really getting it until tonite. The video doesn't do him justice, we were so shocked that it was happening that I didn't think to get the camera until he had already done it nearly 15 times. He would bring the cloth up over his face, and jerk it down again really fast - and Kenny would say Boo, he did this over and over and over again. Coolest thing ever.

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When we got home he was sound asleep, and perfectly content to have gotten a bottle I had pumped before we left from Kenny. We never even called to check on him, I knew they were going to be just fine. It was heavenly to sit out and eat a nice dinner and talk just the two of us. We can't wait to do it again, and feel so lucky that we have someone who we trust so much to take care of our little guy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sweet Potatoes

Today I made roasted butternut squash, pears, peas, and baked sweet potatoes with the cooking water from the pears. Since it's all cycling through the freezer in ice cube trays, I kept some of the sweet potato out to try with Jules this evening.

Here is a trio of videos to show you how it went.

Things get off to a good start, there are no grossed out faces, and he seems to be enjoying it:

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Disaster Strikes, camera has to be turned off so crisis could be averted, much screaming ensued:

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The Grand Finale: After a major hissy about not getting the spoon, I moved him to the Bumbo and let him go wild.

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This little guy has really been making his opinions known lately, as well as showing frustration when he can't do something himself, like pick up a toy or manipulate it the way he wants. Every day he seems to be advancing. Now when he lays on his belly he can reach out and grab toys, and roll back and forth in his crib to get to things he wants. Usually his alligator. It's wild, he's becoming such a little boy, and leaving the blob stage behind.

First Thing This Morning









Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Silly Boy

Who knew practice sitting and pants could be so exciting?



We have begun!

For the last two mornings Julian has had brown rice with breastmilk after his morning nurse. He immediately took to swallowing, and by the end of each meal was grabbing for the spoon and trying to attack my hand. A huge success. The goal for this weekend is to get some cubes of squash and yams roasted for him to gum on, and to process some broccoli and peas with spinach into cubes to keep in the freezer for easy defrosting. We are also going to try some avocado spears rolled in wheat germ and frozen mango in a mesh feeder. (Can you tell I hit up Trader Joes today!?!)


What is this junk?


Hmm, do I get more?


I'm not so sure about this.


I think I like it.


It was good.