Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Online Signing Dictionary

The signing dictionary I use most often is ASL PRO. When I first started taking baby sign classes this was the site my instructors recommended. I have been able to take advantage of the a DVD’s from the Baby Signs Program. Two more sites you can try are Life Print and Signing Savvy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Favorite Toddler Cup: Perfect Find!

It’s no secret I love foogo by Thermos. While on short trip to New York, we stopped at a Buy Buy Baby on Long Island to pick up some diapers. I went to the feeding section to browse cups because Papa had complained about how much milk we were wasting since the straws in the cups we were using did not reach to the very bottom of the cup. It was hard for Ella to empty all of the contents, although she had her ways when she really wanted to. I spotted these Plastic Leak-Proof Straw Bottles! They are great and what I always wanted. The pros, yes the straw reaches to the very bottom, they are BPA free and lightweight. Con, they are leak proof while the lid is closed. If you turn your back on Ella and she decides to turn the cup upside down which she loves to do with everything, milk will leak out of the tiny venting hole. This is not a huge deterrent since these light weight mommy friendly cups are a dream come true for me.
yours truly,
baby pistachio

Friday, February 12, 2010

13 Months Old: The Consistent, Inconsistent Sleeper Part II

Yesterday started out with a horrible headache another hour of lost sleep. Ella woke up at 1 am whimpering and again it evolved into a tumultuous earth shattering cry. I nearly damned my life until I heard about the 20th Anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison on NPR. It was time for a reality check. “I cannot deal with my 13 month old and my role as nurturer and mom. Do I really need to be this miserable?” Granted, my feelings are justified, but I needed to revaluate my feelings and find a solution. So, I turned to Tracy Hogg's,Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers. She was just sitting on my shelf. While I did not have serious sleep issues with my first daughter the chapter on Time Busters/ Chronic Sleep Problems went unscathed. I sat in the rocker and opened it up.

While Ella is not exactly Leanne: A Chronic Sleep Problem (nursing toddler in need of weening) or Cody: “Mommy... Don’t Leave Me!” Ella’s sleep issue was seriously a time buster, aka problems that steal hours from your day. What I took away from this chapter was I needed to use a little more TLC ( Talk, Listen, Clarify):

Ella was trying to tell me something. Still, I am not exactly sure what. I needed to take a step back and really look at my time with her and how I was dealing with her communication with me. More importantly I had to take a long hard look at myself. Ella’s ability to communicate has been growing exponentially, I have been really preoccupied. I have not been communicating with her as much. I have also started teaching on the weekends. For 3 weeks now I go off for 2- 3 hours and have not really explained or prepared her for my departure. That is about how long this whole disaster has been going on. Maybe just a coincidence? hmmmm... I think not.

After spending some quality time with her yesterday and responding to her needs as best as I could, she slept through the night. Today, I started to reassure her that I would be right back using a gentle voice and facial expressions to communicate with her if she even made a whimper sitting in her stroller while I got Marley ready to go outside, she immediately stopped.

When she has been cranky or on the verge of mini tantrum I took a moment to evaluate the situation to see what could have been done differently or could have made for a better outcome. Today it seems so obvious that she needed me to communicate with her more, she needed more attention. I set these expectations by teaching her to sign and talking to her about everything that happens through out the day.

Tomorrow, I am off to teach and I will try talking to her about it and using my body language to reassure her. My diagnosis for the sleepless nights, anxiety or as Papa says “Ella has a serious case of the MOMITIS!” (mom- mi -ties)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

13 Months Old: The Consistent, Inconsistent Sleeper

Where do I start? For the last week my 13 month old has been waking up in the middle of the night. It starts off with a whimper and escalates to a high pitch, screeching, ear drum quivering, repetitive scream. It used to be we could cover her with a blanket and place her favorite fluffy giraffe over her face and she would put herself back to sleep. Granted, she is getting her first 3 teeth and fighting a cold. She has been a little out of sorts lately.

Reluctant to bring her into our bed another night or rock her to sleep in my arms, I let her cry and tried to comfort her with soft rubs on her back. I even had to cover my ears a few times. I prepared myself to sooth her, rub her back, inhale and exhale and reassure her trying every now and then to lay her down. She would start kicking and screaming like a mule. After 45 minutes she sat down on her own and screamed. Then after another 10 minutes she fell over and screamed and after another 10 minutes she sobbed and resumed normal breathing. I covered with her blanket and left the room. I have been robbed an 1hour of sleep. I feel sorry for my neighbors and Marley who shares a room with her baby sister and slept through the entire episode. Remarkable.
Anxiety, night terrors, teething? Not sure yet. I turned to the internet for answers. I found a few interesting articles and posts on babycenter.com. Papa read, What to Expect:The Toddler Years.

baby pistachio

Monday, February 1, 2010

First Day Back to Work after Maternity Leave

Mom Corps - This is a great resource for moms or any family member who needs a flexible working arrangement.

My big sister aka Jersey Mom(JM) works for a Fortune 500 company and returned to work after 4 months of maternity leave. On her first day back I received this text. She was gracious enough to share her first day of jitters and joys with me.

This mornings text read:
Here we go. Up @ 4, fed jax, got ready, on train at 5:57. I luv u. wish me luck.call u later.

BP: What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
JM: First thing I thought, was I hope I don't forget anything ( had to have my pump, breast pads, bags, lunch, laptop, id, train pass, etc... etc... etc...) and I reminded myself that I was not going to get involved with work, that my family was my priority not the work.

BP: What is best thing about returning to the office? The worst thing?
JM: The best thing about returning to work was... having to get up and get out, and feeling good about myself all dressed up with somewhere to go. 

The worst, was returning to work--- a job that's just a job - grateful to have it, but not my ideal job --no the commute, that was the worst thing about returning to work, the commute.

BP:What is your daily schedule?
JM:Daily Schedule: up at 4 am, feed, talk to / hang out with and change Jax(4months), 5 am out of the bed- kiss Conner(6yrs), get ready for work, on the train at 5:57 arrive at office 7:00 am, get coffee and oatmeal, work on to do's, work day starts at 7:30 with a meeting and it's meeting after meeting all day, at 10:45 I remind myself not to forget that I have the lactation room reserved --get this --because they want a schedule as to when you plan to pump-- ok so at 11:15 I'm in a planning session and remember that I have to pump from 11-11:30. Back to meetings, training sessions, some email time--if I remember lunch, I eat, but not normally. oh... 3 pm, lactation room reserved again, back to meetings, 5:30 remind myself not to forget my milk in the freezer, 6:11 train to NJ, walk in the door at 7:30, DH has dinner on the table, I kiss the kids, inhale dinner, read to Conner whose bedtime is 8 pm, feed jax, take shower,set out Conner’s school clothes, set out my clothes for work, steam clean pumping accessories, pack for work 10:00 in bed trying to get Jax to sleep, he sleeps by 12:00am. I sleep until 4am.

BP:What would you do if you did not have to work?
JM:If I did not have to work -I shouldn't answer with alternative work since the question is if I did not have to work, so I would be the ultimate stay at home mom, volunteer, lady who lunches --except all my friends work so I'd have no one to lunch with. 

Alternate work - consulting or party planning

BP:What was the one thing you could not wait to do once you returned to work?

JM:Upon returning to work--couldn’t wait to have sushi for lunch. Couldn’t have it while I was pregnant and DH doesn’t like it.

BP:What advice do you have for moms returning to work?
JM: Advice: Take your time, prioritize and be positive. 

BP:How has your relationship handled the transition?
JM: which relationship --my 6 year old son and myself, my husband and I or the baby and myself. --They all hate me.

BP:What is the last thing you think about when you go to bed?
JM: Last thing I do, --thank God I have a job in this economy--appreciate it for what it is, the opportunity and challenges it provides and then pass out.


JM - Director of Sales Training