eK-3zmjBImBHOZjRJYEZVBw4ZWs Shaky Mommy: November 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

McWane Science Center, Birmingham, AL - Our Review

I love children's museums. I think they are so much fun for kids, and I must be right because my kids love to visit them as well. If you have one in your area, you should check it out. We do not have a children's museum in our area, but we do have a science museum, the McWane Science Center in Birmingham, AL, that is about an hour away from us. We are very lucky in that the McWane Center also has several features that many children's museums also have, so it is both fun and educational.

There are four levels to the McWane Center, plus an IMAX theater. Level 1 features simple machines such as pulleys and levers, as well as other physical science exhibits. There is also a bubble lab, a distortion room, an area for building and creating, and many other exhibits. There is a special area for kids under 5 called Just Mice Size that features a climbing area with slides, water and sand play areas, dress up center, pretend store with play food, reading and puzzle areas, and a special soft play area for little babies. There is also a quiet room for nursing mothers in this area.

Water play area - this was probably his favorite area!
Bubble Lab
The second level features (among other things) a simulator that produces hurricane force winds, a weather center where kids can broadcast their own reports, and a huge dinosaur exhibit, complete with a site where kids can "excavate" bones. 

Hurricane Simulator
The third level is my favorite. The exhibits here are changed out every so often. The current featured exhibit consists of several huge layouts of model trains. Jaxon surprised me by being very interested in the model trains - check out the look on his face here as he was watching them. I love that little smile :)

A recurring exhibit that my kids love is called "Itty Bitty Magic City" which features things like a supermarket for kids to shop and play cashier. The area is has lots of play food, shopping carts, a conveyor belt and pulley for moving food, a miniature golf course, and giant building materials to construct "houses" and other buildings.

I love the third level because it's very open. I can sit in the infant/toddler play area on this level (which is filled with soft foam pieces that babies and toddlers love to crawl and climb on) and still be able to see the other kids playing and running around. On this level there is also a keyboard you can walk on, a gigantic Lite Brite, and some interactive projections on the wall. 
Let a butterfly land on your shoulder! 
Catch the falling money!
We also love the lower level. This is where the aquariums are. You can pet sting rays and sharks and see all kinds of other sea life. One time when we were there, the kids were allowed to hold a shark egg! We usually spend at least 45 minutes down there petting the sharks & rays. 

Admission is $12 for adults and $9 for kids and well worth it. However, a family membership is only $90 and gives you access for a year, free parking, discounts on IMAX movies, and more. With our family size, membership paid for itself after 2 visits. There is a cafe onsite featuring a Subway, Pizza Hut, and Red Mango - you can also buy items such as hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and pasta at reasonable prices. 

Connect with the McWane Center at www.McWane.org

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

The older kids are with their other parents today, so we actually had our Thanksgiving dinner this past weekend. Jaxon slept the entire time (surprisingly) and the big kids enjoyed using the "real" glasses -the stemware I only let them use on special occasions. 

I hope you and your family are having a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Nine Years Ago

My first baby.
Nine years ago today, she was 4 days old.

Calling a Truce in the Motherhood Wars

As moms, we make a lot of choices, even before our babies are officially here. Drugs or no drugs during childbirth? Hospital or home birth? Breastfeeding or formula feeding? Cloth or disposable diapers? Will I work or stay home with the baby? Cosleeping or crib? Vaccinations or no vaccinations? The list of choices is endless. 

We read, we research, we decide what is best for our kids, our families, our lives, our unique situations, our individual babies.

But no matter what you decide, it seems like there is always someone who thinks your decision is wrong...and that someone is usually another mother who made a different decision for her child.

Why are moms so hard on each other and so prone to attacking each other in order to "defend" their lifestyles? It seems like there are so many moms out there who can't say something like "I'm breastfeeding" without also adding something like "I can't understand why anyone would ever choose to feed their baby formula", which of course starts an all out debate/war because someone out there did choose to feed their baby formula and that comment just left them feeling attacked. It's okay to state your opinion or choice. However, I think that we should learn to do so in a way that doesn't make those who chose a different option feel attacked. 

I've seen a lot of posts lately about the recent Milwaukee cosleeping ads. We had billboards like these months ago all over Birmingham. I thought they were sad (anything about a baby dying is sad), but the message of the billboard didn't offend me, even though my baby sleeps with me. I think women who cosleep certainly have the right to discuss why the ads upset them. However, I feel like it's gone too far when they turn to attacking those who put their babies in cribs to sleep. This week, I've seen women write things on blog posts and Facebook threads like "I could never let my infant sleep all alone in a crib- that's just cruel" and "It's just not natural for a mom to give birth and then lay her baby in a bassinet, away from her." If you don't like people attacking cosleeping, please don't turn around and attack those whose babies sleep in cribs.

It makes me sad when women fight over these and other issues. I've been made to feel bad for sending my kids to daycare, for cosleeping, for not cosleeping, and more. I am my own worst critic and give myself a hard enough time over parenting issues. I think most moms are doing the best they can, making the decisions that they deem right for their children and families. Every family is not the same. Every child is not the same. What worked for you might not work for someone else. What was best for your baby might not be best for someone else's. Moms have a hard enough time as it is. We should support each other, and when necessary (such as in issues of car seat safety) look for ways to gently educate each other without being condescending and rude. 

Everyone is not going to parent the same way you do. They won't make the same choices for their baby that you do for yours, and guess what? That's okay.  

Have you ever felt attacked for a choice you made for your baby/family?   

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Strong Willed Baby - Jaxon at 9 months

Jaxon is now 9 months old. He actually was 9 months old a few days ago but I wanted to wait until I had his nine month checkup to post his official weight and height. At his doctor's appointment, he weighed 19 lbs and 8 oz and is 29 inches. He's 75th percentile for height, and 50th for weight - he's been in roughly the same percentiles since birth. 

Reading a book with Daddy while waiting at the doctor's office
He has now been outside of me for as long as he was in me. Why does time go by so very slowly while you're pregnant and so very quickly once the baby is born?

Jaxon is cruising around all of our furniture. He pulls up on everything. He is into everything. He has to be watched constantly. The bathroom doors have to stay shut because he has discovered that he can tip over the trash cans and find fun things to play with. He also discovered the toilet. Babyproofing has proved to be a challenge this time around. His three older siblings do things like remove outlet covers and forget to replace them and drop everything from beads to leaves to pencils that he later finds. I can't leave him alone in a room for more than 30 seconds. He goes with me to the bathroom, or has to be put in a pack and play or crib everytime I need to do something without him. I started using the back carry in the Ergo recently and he loved it - that has allowed me to make lunch for the older kids and do some things in the kitchen that used to be hard with him.

He has no fear. He climbs stairs very well. He thinks he can go down them as well...he certainly would try if I would let him.

But he also cries every time he gets hurt. He is not a kid who barely notices when he bumps his head. He cries with tears and a lot of drama. 

He has one tooth on the bottom and seems to be working on a second tooth on the bottom. He's been a good teether so far. He's not very fussy and it mostly just results in longer naps and restless nights for him. Thankfully, he has not yet used that tooth to bite me. He still loves breastfeeding, but he also loves eating anything else. He will put anything in his mouth, even if it's not food (he seems to have a fondness for paper). He loves yogurt melts and the Gerber Lil' Crunchies -all flavors. He also likes yogurt and frozen yogurt. As for pureed foods, he loves mango, peaches, pears with cinnamon, avocado, kiwi, and banana (but not from a jar). He loves the Happy Baby brand of pouch foods, with the spinach mango pear flavor being his favorite. He also loves pretty much anything I'm eating including grilled chicken from a Zaxby's salad, vegetable soup, pasta, or french fries.

One of my favorite parts of nursing- the little breaks he takes to smile up at me :)
He's jabbering up a storm but he only has one new word that I can think of right now. He'll say poopoo when he has a poopoo, but only after we ask him "Do you have a poopoo?". He says mama more now, though it comes out more like ma-mom and is always said in a whiny "I need you now" voice. 

He loves the swings and being outside at the park. He still likes being in the stroller, though he does not tolerate the sling as well these days. He seems to prefer the Ergo. He is much louder in church now and will probably have to start going in the nursery soon. Up until now, I've worn him in a sling every Sunday as I go about my tasks there.

His favorite things in our house are my husband's computer, the power cords to our computer, our phones, and the vacuum cleaner. He LOVES the vacuum cleaner. He will just sit and stare at it. When I vacuum he crawls around behind me following me, in awe of it. He has plenty of toys, but they seem to take a back seat to our gadgets and things. He clearly thinks he is older than he really is. Shopping for him for Christmas has been difficult. Jason and I both look at toys that are technically too old for him, and the things that are on the baby aisle seem to be "too babyish" for him. Then we have to remind ourselves that he is still a baby.

Jaxon is a very fun, smart boy who seems like he is going to be strong willed. He knows what he wants and what he likes and he will persist until he gets what he is after. 

Do you have a strong willed baby or toddler? What types of things do they do that demonstrate their strong will?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, November 19, 2011

All Alone

Yesterday, I did something very different: I left the house without Jaxon. Before this, I had been out twice without him. The first time, I was back within 5 minutes and he slept the entire time. The second time, he was about 7 months old. I fed him right before I left. I was gone less than an hour and he slept most of the time I was gone. To say I don't like leaving him would be an understatement. 

But I had a doctor's appointment, and he was asleep when it was time to leave. He usually wakes up from his morning nap in a great mood and then eats some baby food, so I knew he wouldn't be needing to nurse anytime soon. As long as he didn't fall over and hurt himself or get upset for some other reason, he'd be fine (when he gets upset, only mommy's milk calms him down). 

But would I?

I really didn't want to leave him. But I was seeing a new doctor and would have paperwork to fill out, plus I needed blood drawn, so I knew things would actually be easier without him. I was in a terrible mood when I was leaving. I knew it was better to leave him at home but I just didn't want to. 

I took my wallet and keys and phone from the diaper bag, since I no longer needed to take a diaper bag with me. I was looking around for something to put it all in, and that's when I realized that I don't even have a purse.

I had almost 2 hours of time to myself. I've become used to having at least 1 kid with me, and usually I have all of them. When my husband gives me "time to myself" I always take Jaxon. So I'm still talking to him or interacting with him in some way. Of course, I was at the doctor, so I wasn't really by myself, but I felt very alone. Plus I do not like going to the doctor, and I especially hate seeing new doctors. This is actually the first time I've seen a new doctor without Jason since my diagnosis. In the past he was always able to come with me while the kids were in school (this is one of the major downfalls of homeschooling for me). 

So yesterday, I had a quiet car ride that I didn't know what to do with - I kept looking into the rearview mirror to check on the baby that I hadn't even brought with me. When the nurse called me back, I stood up to walk back, then looked back thinking "I forgot something" because I wasn't carrying anything- no diaper bag, no baby. 

It was very strange being out by myself. Jaxon survived. Actually, he was perfectly fine and never even missed me. Somehow, I survived too, but I have absolutely no idea how. 

In the process of all of this, I realized that Jaxon is to an age where I can leave for short periods of time. I also realized that I had no idea where I'd want to go without him. When I think of places to go, I always think in terms of what the kids would enjoy or in terms of necessity (grocery shopping). I can't think of a single thing I want to do by myself. It made me realize that so much of who I am is tied up in being a wife and mother. 

Part of me panicked when I realized this and I thought "Oh, no, I need to find a hobby. What am I going to do when the kids are all grown up?" Then I realized that I'm a long ways away from that time and that it's probably okay to be completely wrapped up in the kids right now. 

Hopefully, I'm not the only one who doesn't know what to do when I'm all alone. When was the last time you were by yourself, without kids or husband? What did you do while you were alone? 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Little Shepherd children's book review

Our kids like to read, and my oldest loves to read. They each read at least 30-40 minutes each day. Because of this, we are always looking for new books to read. I was excited when I received a copy of The Little Shepherd by Cheryl Malandrinos for review. 

The Little Shepherd is a sweet Christmas book about Obed, a very young shepherd whose father has just given him a flock of sheep to guard. But Obed's first night guarding sheep is not an ordinary night. When angels appear in the night sky, Obed's first night of shepherding turns out a little differently than what he expected and in the end, he experiences a Christmas miracle of his very own. Obed is worried about leaving his flock unattended, but they return to find the flocks unharmed, completely safe and right where they left them. 

The book is a thin paperback, but there are a lot of words on each page. Britain's first comment about the book was that there were too many words on each page. While the main character of the book, Obed, is just 5 years old, I felt like the content of the book was geared towards a slightly older audience. It seems like the content and wording is above the attention span of the average preschooler. Each page is very colorfully illustrated.

Alex, my 9 year old, read the book on her own and liked it. She seemed especially intrigued by the miracle Obed experienced. My 7 year old, Emily, also read the book and her first comment after reading the book was "I love the baby in the manger - it's so sweet!" (obviously not original to this story, lol!). But she also picked up on some of the subtleties of the story, such as when Obed wonders how his father knew where to find the baby in the manger.

All in all, this is a great Christmas story for kids. It will be a wonderful addition to your Christmas library! The fresh telling from a young shepherd's point of view will hold the attention of children who may have already heard the Christmas story presented in its traditional form many times. 

You can purchase The Little Shepherd for $9.95 here.

I received a copy of The Little Shepherd for review. However, all opinions are my own (or that of my children) and were not influenced in any way

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Caterpillar Fun

We've been studying invertebrates in science and we've reached the insects section. Insects are gross, for the most part, but butterflies are nice, so we've paused to pay special attention to them. Yesterday the kids watched an Eyewitness: Butterfly & Moth DVD. I love the Eyewitness series -they have great pictures and lots of information in chunks that are easy for kids to understand and remember. 

Today, we focused on my very favorite butterfly, the one that was first a very hungry caterpillar.

I love The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Luckily, my kids do too.  

I saw a cute & easy caterpillar craft on Pinterest several weeks ago. I set the materials for this out for the kids. 
The caterpillars turned out very cute!
Then I decided to elaborate on it a little bit and assigned them each foods from the book to make. I let them take charge, and so we ended up with black plums when purple construction paper couldn't be found and a few of our foods don't look quite like what they are supposed to be, but they had fun. 
Once the foods were done, I punched holes in each food. Then I had the kids sequence the foods and we strung it on a piece of ribbon and hung it, along with our finished caterpillars on the wall. They loved how it looked as if the caterpillars were going to eat the food.

I thought it turned out pretty cute. B was so excited about how it turned out, he wanted his picture taken with it. Then he went off to make a butterfly & a cocoon for the display! 

Need more Very Hungry Caterpillar? Check out my Very Hungry Caterpillar obsession board on Pinterest. 

P.S. I can't explain my VHC obsession. I just like the book...it's cute, well written and beautifully illustrated. And judging from the number of repins I've had on Pinterest, I'm not the only one who is obsessed!

Monday, November 14, 2011

How to Get What You Want

Jaxon has a new thing. He squeals. He screams. It was cute the first time. Maybe the second time, too.

But now, I just do whatever I can to get him to stop.

He screams like this for tastes of my food, for my iPhone, for my computer.

I think he knows he can get what he wants when he does this.

He's right.

I tried to take a video of the squealing tonight and it's actually less squealing and more cuteness because he says mama for the camera. So, yeah, he got the French fry he was squealing for.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Sleeping Baby

This is how Jaxon sleeps best.

In my lap.

Or in my arms.

Or in the sling, strapped to me.

Or laying next to me in bed while nursing.

I don't seem to get a lot done these days, but I do get a lot of baby love.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Messy Side of Motherhood

Let's face it - I can't cover all the messes mothers deal with in just one post. And that's not really the purpose of this post anyway. 

I read a short blog tonight entitled "The Two Reasons I Would Never Switch To Cloth Diapers". 

The blog names those two reasons as "pee" and "poop." 

I almost laughed out loud.  

I was dealing with pee and poop long before I started cloth diapering. Doesn't that just come with becoming a mom? 

I've been peed on. Diaper changes with boys are fun, aren't they? 

I've been pooped on. Ever had a toddler with a stomach virus? Disposable diapers were not made for that. They leak...and if your toddler is on your lap (as toddlers like to be when they are sick), then that diaper leaks onto your leg. 

The author goes on to state "There is no price tag on the satisfaction of permanently disposing of the memory of one’s urine and bowel movements." My first two kids (who were in disposables) had blowout diapers that went up their backs and down their legs. The clothes they were wearing when those diapers leaked had pee AND poop on them. 

And I washed them. The children AND the clothes. Should I have disposed of their clothes? I guess the author would have, but I couldn't afford new clothes every time that happened.  

When my daughter was one, she pooped in the bathtub. Each of my kids since has followed her lead and done the same thing at some point (side note: 3 week old baby poop in the tub isn't nearly as disgusting as 4 year old poop in the tub). Should I have disposed of the tub? 

All of my kids diapers have leaked pee at some point while they were sleeping (cloth and disposable). After they were potty trained, they randomly wet their beds in the middle of the night. I'm really glad I didn't throw our sheets and mattresses away each time that happened. And car seats...I can't count how many times the car seats were peed on by my first two when their diapers leaked.  

And when they are out of diapers, it doesn't stop. When I started potty training my son, it seemed like almost every surface in our home received a sprinkling. If I had disposed of the things he peed on, so that I could be rid of the "memory of one's urine and bowel movements", then, well, we wouldn't have any mattresses or floors, or walls or...well, you get the point. He took a long time to potty train, didn't always make it to the toilet in time, and he had terrible aim. Most 3 year old boys do, right? I'm sad to say his aim hasn't improved much...

But I digress. The point is, pee and poop are facts of motherhood. Like snot. Or vomit (which I personally find more disgusting than poop). But I'll deal with all of those things because in return I get smiles and giggles, kisses and hugs. I also know that one day, I won't have any more poopy diapers to change.

And that kind of makes me sad. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Slice Safety Cutter - Great for Couponers!

Several months ago I began using coupons after hearing from my mother-in-law and a close friend how much money they were saving on groceries. While I'm not an extreme coupon user by any stretch, I have found that using coupons helps with our grocery budget. Combined with some great buy one, get one sales at Publix, I have been able to get things to help stock our community food pantry as well. 

I like the thrill of finding a good deal and scouring the various couponing websites to find what I can get for free or almost free each week by using my coupons. What I don't like is clipping coupons. We get one paper each week, and my in-laws bring me two more each Sunday. That usually equals to 6 inserts each week, and sometimes as many as 12. With Jaxon moving so quickly on the floor and involved in EVERYTHING I do, it can be hard to find time to clip the coupons before I go shopping. It's become too dangerous to be in the floor with scissors when Jaxon is awake. 

So when I received a chance to review the Slice Safety Cutter, I was excited! The Slice Safety Cutter has a ceramic blade that stays sharp, but won't cut fingers. The blade on the Slice is tiny. I ran my finger over it several times, and only felt a tiny point that I was positive would not be able to cut my inserts. So I slid it over the first coupon insert, on my glass topped desk, and it cut the inserts...and scratched my desk. Oops. So yeah, it will cut. But be careful where you slice. A piece of cardboard or a notebook underneath where you are slicing will keep your workspace safe. 

The Slice will cut through several layers of coupons. I had three copies of each insert and it easily sliced through those layers. I think you could safely slice through 4 inserts without issue. Using the Slice was much easier on my wrist than using scissors is. This would be a great tool for those who have trouble with scissors because of carpel tunnel or arthritis. 
Stacks of coupons neatly sliced and ready for use!
Additionally, because the Slice is small, it's portable and easy to store. You can keep one on your keychain for clipping coupons on the go and keep the other on your fridge (it's magnetic!) for your other cutting needs around the house. It can also be used to cut other types of paper, like wrapping paper, or to open mail, and CD's/DVD's. I can see it being very handy for scrapbooking! It can also open those annoying plastic packages that electronics come packaged in. 

How cool is that?
With a retail price of only $5.99, it's easy to keep the Slice safety cutter handy in a few rooms. They also make great gifts!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon When You Take the North "Poll"

Melissa & Doug want you to tell them which of their educational toys you think is the best! Just click on the image below to place your vote in the North "Poll!" You'll Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon** to use at MelissaAndDoug.com just for voting!

Wordless Wednesday - Park Day

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why We Use Cloth Diapers

I have been asked several times lately about Jaxon's cloth diapers. Most people think they are neat, but the question I get most often is "Why?" People recognize that the diapers are cute, but most want to know if there is some sort of benefit to using cloth diapers. Are they cheaper? Healthier? Why did you pick them? 

Before I was ever pregnant with Jaxon, Jason and I had become increasingly aware of all the chemicals around us and had been slowly eliminating them from our lives. So as soon as we began talking about having a baby, we also discussed things like making our own baby food or buying organic baby food and using chlorine free diapers. 

Up until a couple of years ago, I had never really stopped to think about how disposable diapers were made, but a little research showed many chemicals were being used in the processing of disposable diapers. We were also on a quest to be a little more green, so using a diaper that was processed in a more eco-friendly way seemed like the responsible thing to do.   

Then one day a friend on Facebook posted a picture of her baby wearing cloth. Not just a cloth diaper, but a "modern cloth diaper", as I later found out it was called. I had never seen a cloth diaper like that before...and it was so cute! I didn't feel like we were close enough for me to bombard her with questions about cloth diapering - she's technically my little sister's friend, lol. But I checked out all her adorable pictures of her daughter in cloth, and then checked out her blog where she had some cloth diaper reviews and information. I mentioned the concept to Jason and showed him a picture and he was all for using them. 
Our first cloth diaper purchase
One great thing about this modern cloth is that it looked so much easier to use than what I had known of cloth. My mom cloth diapered me and most of my siblings (there are 11 of us). The cloth diapers I was familiar with involved pins and Gerber prefolds and "rubber pants", as we called them. I hated cloth diapering when I was younger. We had to layer 2-3 prefolds to get enough absorbency, which made pinning very difficult through those multiple layers of fabric. I remember sticking my fingers with pins so many times. 

With my shaky hands, diapering with pins was not even an option! I was happy to see that these diapers had Velcro and snaps, both of which looked like something I could easily handle. When I found out these diapers came in a rainbow of colors and with options like organic cotton, I was excited. 

While the up front cost of cloth is definitely higher than that of disposables, the long term expenditures work out in favor of cloth diapers. 

There are natural resources (water, trees, energy) used in both production of cloth and disposable diapers. However, disposable diapers, like any other consumable product, need to continually be manufactured. While cloth needs to be laundered, which uses water and energy, the amount of water and energy used is not as much as would be used to produce additional disposable diapers for use. 

Disposables end up in landfills and take years to decompose. Cloth can be reused again and again, and when you're done, you can sell your diapers to someone else or use (parts of them, at least) as rags to clean your house. 

Cloth diapers are also fun to play with!
For us, the cost was not much of a factor, since we had already planned to use the more expensive chlorine-free diapers (I'll examine how the cost has worked out for us in a future post). When it comes down to it, we went with cloth for the health benefits for Jaxon, with a secondary reason being the green factor. The fact that cloth diapers are adorable was also a huge plus for me and made me more than willing to deal with the extra laundry of cloth (more on that in a later post). 
Cute little fluffy butt!
Do you use cloth diapers? If so, what made you choose to use cloth? If not, is there anything about cloth diapers that appeals to you?

For more information on cloth versus disposable, visit Healty Child, Healthy World, where they have some great information on the health and environmental impact of both cloth and disposable diapers.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Frisbee Golf & Roller Skating

We are very lucky in that we have several great parks near our house to play at during the week, including a park within walking distance of our house. The kids play outside and ride scooters and bikes at our house every day that the weather allows, but it's nice to have somewhere different to play sometimes.  

Recently, one of the local parks installed a Frisbee golf course. I'd never heard of Frisbee golf, but the concept seemed simple enough. The kids had all received new Frisbees at the beach during our last trip, so we headed out earlier this week to try out the new course. I was happy to have something new to do for PE. 

We didn't play the course in order, because there were some serious Frisbee golfers out there playing, so we tried to stay out of their way. We also didn't play right, since none of my kids can throw a Frisbee 300 + feet, which seemed to be the average distance from the tee (do you call it that in Frisbee golf) to the basket. I did teach the kids how to read the par, and what that meant. Emily seemed to be delighted when she would get the Frisbee in the basket in less than par...the fact that she was throwing from 20 feet away instead of the usual 323 feet was lost on her! They had a great time and they have already asked to go back. 

The funniest part of this little excursion came at the end. Britain and Alex had tied and Britain insisted on a tiebreaker. They threw from about 15 feet away and Alex nailed the basket on her first throw. Britain took 2 throws and was furious that Alex had beat him.

It seems our kids cannot stand to lose...as we found out at the skating rink this week as well. Our homeschool group went skating this week. Britain entered the skate races and almost cried coming off the rink after his loss. Emily entered the foot races and also lost, and ran straight off the rink and literally fell into Jason, bawling her eyes out. Thankfully, they had a great time skating with friends so the losses didn't ruin our fun. I think some 
discussions on how to be a good loser are definitely needed around here!

Jaxon really wanted to skate...he loved watching the kids & all the lights!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Invisible Umbilical Cord

Sometimes I think that someone forgot to cut the umbilical cord that connected Jaxon to me. Jason assures me that he did, indeed, cut it. However, even he has to admit that there is still something that connects Jaxon to me. It's almost like some sort of sixth sense that Jaxon has. It allows him to know when I'm about to eat or go to sleep so he can react appropriately. 

Jaxon has a rather erratic sleeping schedule, so knowing when he is going to wake up is always a guess anyway. I can usually count on a morning nap around 10:30-11. That morning nap may be 40 minutes or 2 1/2 hours. It typically ends when I sit down to lunch. Before I can even take a bite, I hear him cry out. He also takes an afternoon nap. The length of the afternoon nap depends on how long the morning nap was and what time he lays down for the afternoon nap. The afternoon nap will usually end if I try to take a nap. Or if I say anything like "I'm going to try to do <insert activity here> while Jaxon is asleep." It doesn't matter if I'm going to clean toilets or eat ice cream - he'll wake up for it.

I'm awake!
At night, he goes to sleep anywhere between 8:30-10. Here again, the length of time he sleeps is very much determined by what I do. If I haven't had supper, and lay him down at 8:30, then start to eat at 8:45, it doesn't matter how exhausted he is, he will wake up and want to share my food. 

He also wakes up when I go to bed. He will take 3 hour naps in his crib during the day. He will sleep for 4-5 hours in the crib in the evenings. But as soon as I go to bed, whether that's at 9:30 or 1:30, he wakes up. He cries out, wanting to come in the bed with me. I'm not making noise as I get ready for bed that tips him off- his room is on the opposite side of the house, down a long hallway away from our bedroom. So there's something else that alerts him. 

He can actually sleep through a lot - he has three older and louder siblings. He often sleeps in his pack and play in our bedroom while we watch movies, do laundry, shower, etc...all without stirring. I'll come to bed after a shower and he's still sound asleep. I read a few chapters in my book. Still asleep. Awesome. I think to myself, "I better go to sleep so I can get a couple of hours of sleep without him sucking on me." So I turn over and pull the covers up around me and start trying to go to sleep. If I'm really sleepy (most of the time) this happens quickly and right as sleep overtakes me, Jaxon wakes up. If I'm not as tired or my mind is racing and I'm having trouble calming down, sleep takes longer to come. It doesn't matter if it takes me 5 minutes or 55 minutes to fall asleep, right as sleep comes, Jaxon wakes. 

That boy really loves me. Isn't it so sweet how he doesn't want me to have to do anything without him? 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Jaxon - In Pictures

Because I don't already post enough pictures of him, right?
But these were too beautiful not to share...

Photo Credit: All photos by Photography by Alecia - used with permission