Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Wrap-Up

I hope everyone out there had a good holiday. We did, indeed.

I hope Santa was good to you...

That you had proper time to inspect and appreciate the presents...

And that everything tasted good!

Bean got some nice stuff, and enjoyed some good grandparent time. Now it's back to the grind, daycare tomorrow and work for me. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Snow Snow!

We have a rather astounding amount of snow. We're on our second snowstorm of the weekend, the second weekend of snowed-in-ness. Last weekend it was also really cold with driving snow, so we didn't get out that much. This weekend, we had a little window this morning before the next storm came in, so we got OUT a bit. My first snowshoe of the season.

Here is the "snowshoe eye view" of the house... from the crab apple orchard, a side not often viewed. Yep, huge-looking house. Not as huge inside, somehow.

Our neighbors gave us their nice tot-backpack, and we've come across other good used winter stuff with help from family and friends. So, here we are providing a good outdoor napping location for the Bean!

The rest of the weekend should include some cooking, baking, cleaning and catching up with various projects. I've been feeling more than a little overwhelmed by all the little details of life lately, but I'm hoping I'm feeling a little rebound. We can do it! The fresh air and snowshoing today helped. Onward...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Still Here and Snowy

Indeed. Still here and thoroughly snowed in. WF is snowed OUT right now; hope he can get home okay... he may be walking down the driveway. Perfect time for a blog post; my little line to the outside world!

Life has been busy, new, germy, teethy and constantly changing. Bean is still growing by leaps and bounds and now looks like he's about 14. Eeek! Where did my little baby go?

I've been wondering lately... why are there so many classes and books and preparations for BIRTH and NEWBORNS, when the more freaky stage seems to be...

THIS! Wow, we are not quite ready for mobility yet. Or rather, the house isn't. A perfect time to finally truly declutter and rearrange; much to do. The cats will be surprised. Notice Lutsen here, confident that the Bean she is tolerating won't be able to reach her. Ha.

He's not REALLY getting around yet, just reaching and pivoting on that tummy. But it can't be far off, and I need to get ready. People do tell you how fast they grow, and it's hard to fathom until it happens. Wow....

Perhaps more posts on the super abundance of snow, soon...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Kazoo for Yoo

We have a child prodigy, it seems. 7 months old and playing his first instrument.... a kazoo! Indeed. It was adorable. Grampa played for Bean, Bean laughed with delight, then tried to buzz his lips. Eventually Bean got Grandpa's harmonica for his own and started playing! Well, sort of. But still, I say he's a genius!

It was a fun weekend with lots of family visiting. Bean did well as usual; we're very lucky. And grateful!

Superbaby does his flying trick on the carpet, then shows off his push-up skills; the tummy is a good pivot still, no real movement on his knees yet. Not sure I'm ready for crawling; the house sure isn't! Books continue to be a fascination, but he learned a few card tricks, too. Good to be well rounded, eh?

It's good to remember it all while I sit here in the cold dark when I should be in bed; Bean either caught a cold on the way back home or is more allergic to our house than we realized. Snot galore and not enough sleep since our return: I'm sure a wake-up call will come soon from the bedroom. We're really hoping it's not the cats. Fingers crossed.

I am already officially tired of germs, and I suppose we're not too far into the season. Pinkeye last week, no fun. I think I need to start thinking healthy, positive thoughts to "attract abundance" instead of more germs... yes indeed. Universe, I ask for your help in staying healthy and being productive; we have lots to do before the end of this big year. Many thanks...

Saturday, November 22, 2008


So, the other night we dug out the vodka....

Nope, not in celebration or even in misery (not quite, anyway). For cleaning up some stray Gentian Violet, spilled in our second round of yeast-fighting. Sigh... The vodka actually worked quite well (I had it in the house for tincture-making), not sure if i can say that about the GV yet.

I'm better, but it's hard to know much about Bean as he's also TEETHING with a vengence, mostly at night. We've had a few discussions about HOW one uses that first new tooth, and it's NOT on Mama. Ouch! Just one tooth so far, it broke through a couple weeks ago. But there's got to be another on the way; sleep comes in very short shifts right now, with more nighttime upsets than he's ever had before.

But the new tooth is so cute... you can almost see it in this picture:

Awww. But wait! There was food on that spoon! Foul applesauce!

He's not a fan of food just yet... only a bit of cereal seems OK so far.

Yep. We'll keep at it. Lots of Ergo time, too... a favorite napping spot. Mamas need strong backs!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Adventure, Complete

Things I learned (or was reminded of) last weekend:

Even babies are required to remove their shoes at airport security checkpoints.

Singing familiar songs out loud on a crowded plane may be a bit embarrassing, but works wonders for calming and distracting a certain Bean baby.

A 22+ lb 6 month old is MORE than a lapful, but this particular 6-month old can still manage to nap there if needed.

Bean is a shameless flirt with people on planes, subway and city busses; piercings and dubious looks make no difference.

Cousins are lots of fun!

One should make sure the camera battery is charged before heading into a beautiful fall evening in the Boston Commons.

It’s fun to say “Train to Maine”… and you can even get clam chowder while aboard!

WF is a superhero: a hilarious, helpful daddy, even while waiting for me to attend a work conference at a smarmy hotel.

Yes, indeed, we managed our first plane/train/subway/bus adventure with Bean-tot! We flew to Boston for our yearly visit, then "trained to Maine" for a work conference for me (much of the adventure financed through a work project; whoot!) The weather was great; still so many fall leaves out there.

Bean was amazing; a born traveler. We figured out that he gamely rode with us on 6 different forms of tranport. And as he's not very mobile yet, we were able to get away with wearing him in the Ergo carrier most of the time. No stroller! WF was, as always, great at making Bean laugh to distract him. Makes me want to quick fly out and travel the world! But alas, reality calls. Now we're back to regular life and some semblence of routine, with good memories of Bean's first big trip!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Remember these photos?

For 6 months, we had to add a costume:

Happy Halloween!
(and yes, the bare toes are appropriate; it's about 65 degrees and sunny today!)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

First food

We decided the Bean baby was growing and up for a new adventure this weekend (he turns 6 months this week). He's not entirely sure he's up for it, yet, though!

Spoon looks interesting so far...

Hey, wait, that's not milk!

They say it's good, but I'm not buying it just yet. I know it's local squash and all, but hmmmm....

We'll try some standard banana and rice cereal, too, but thought a local squash would be a good first "locavore" symbolic food. He's not so sure, and I'm in no hurry to stop being his main source of nutrition! Baby steps with the spoon...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sugar calls

Note to self: when encouraged to bring Halloween treats to work for visiting colleague’s kids, pick something I don’t like or something non edible! These “fun size” snickers won’t stop calling to me through the tightly closed desk drawer! Must find a lock!

Bean’s been waking up more at night lately (and deciding that naps are boring, apparently?!) so the siren calls of sugar and caffeine are sounding rather good…
Actually, the thrush thing seems to be very much better; I got some more potent probiotics and that’s helped a lot. So I’ve given in and eaten a bit of sugar; mmmm. So good, but also makes me MORE tired. Need to remember that!

I will maybe use sugar this weekend, though; we're hosting a chicken, ah, processing day. I think people who are willing to help out with that sort of chore REQUIRE sugar. (If any local readers what to help/learn, let me know...)I'm not looking forward to the day, really, but it will be nice to have some fresh healthy chicken to eat and a few less chickens around for WF to chase. Wish us luck!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New Skills

Sitting up or bouncing fairly well... especially good when there's something to grab!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cleansing Bean

Yeah, yeah...I know. Too negative. I've been chided (off-blog) for not appreciating the good things I have in life, etc. It's true, I suppose, somewhat; I get too easily caught up in the small dramas in front of us, the whining about my not-so-bad situation. But when you're stuck in something, it's hard to get perspective and make needed changes, sometimes. Just venting a bit, and this is MY blog; I do what I want. Have likely scared away most old regular readers, anyway, so.

We'll cleanse with a cute photo of a sunbathing Bean, taken a couple weeks ago by WF while I was at work... ooops, there I go again...

Anyway, been meaning to make it my desktop wallpaper; hope work doesn't mind a little baby nudity!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rising Rants

Warning: whining and TMI ahead.

I HATE yeast. Not necessarily those in baked goods, but I’m not allowed to eat baked goods, anyway, because of the wheat/sugar they contain. And I just want to eat a cookie, darnit!

We are still in the throes of thrush, and I am really frustrated. I’m not in pain much myself, but Bean’s got white patches in his mouth again, and seems to be uncomfortable with nursing. He is still happy other times, though, thank goodness. Our best way to inspect his mouth spots is to get him laughing and giving big open-mouthed smiles (I feel vaguely disingenuous being funny mostly so I can inspect his mouth, ug).

I don’t know why we’re in this mess; I have had a couple rounds of antibiotics at birth and a couple months ago, but otherwise try to be careful. But I’m realizing that for a trying-to-be-natural, (reluctantly) working mother living off the grid, kicking this stuff is HARD. Behold the various recommendations and my associated rants:

Wash bras, towels, etc in hot water daily. (haha; we’re lucky to get a couple rounds of laundry done each week; we’re entering the dark time now, not enough sun. Also no dryer, not enough room to dry everything daily).

Dry things in the sun for UV (ha; see weather turning, above. I can’t use the sun that does show up 3 days week when I’m at work). I do the best I can.

Use Gentian Violet in baby’s mouth and on nipples (This is a coal-tar derived dye that also kills yeast; it is usually more effective than other antifungals that the yeast are now resistant to.). It stains mouth and clothes, and can cause mouth ulcers and in long exposure, cancer. Mmm! But it’s doctor/LLL recommended! We actually tried it for 6 days, maybe in a too-diluted strength, and we still have yeast. Bean doesn’t like it, and I just have a visceral reaction against staining his face and mouth purple. I’m also getting lots of conflicting information about how exactly to use it, and at what concentration, etc. Got a call back from the doctor’s nurse yesterday and he just said to use GV, but had “no idea” what concentration should be used. You can only buy it in 2%, but most references say to use it in .5% or even .25%. But I think that’s what I’ll try again for a few days, to see if we can knock it back again. Blah.

Boil toys, nipples and pump parts for 20 minutes every day (Grr. We’ve tried to stay away from plastic toys and have lots of cloth/wood toys; hard to wash, let alone boil. Even the plastic teethers, etc we do have say don’t boil. ???). We’re dealing with this at an older age, when he loves toys and puts everything in his mouth… I can’t boil everything. Plus, when I boil nipples and pump parts in our hard water, they get skuzzy. Need to remember to buy distilled water. I also need to address the bottles/nipples he uses at daycare, probably just buy new ones (which also have to be boiled before use). I have been trying to use the sun on toys when I can. Unrelated note: spellcheck approves of the word “skuzzy” but doesn’t approve of the word “spellcheck.” Hmm.

Don’t freeze expressed milk; use later could reintroduce yeast. (Argh. This one gets me the most. How am I supposed to get milk to feed him when I’m at work, especially on Mondays when I have to use the milk from Thursday? I envision this endless cycle of re-infection and depleting my small frozen supply from long ago). ???

Take acidophilus, grapefruit seed extract, garlic, Echinacea, avoid dairy, wheat and sugar. Yep, doing all that, not too bad (other than that the grapefruit seed extract tastes HORRIBLE and is also a pretty potent substance). But darnit, sometimes I just want to eat a cookie or put real milk on my cereal! Maybe someday….

I can’t help but think of all the things that would be avoided if I was not back at work and away from him 3 days a week; at least then I wouldn’t have bottles/ pump parts to worry about. He may have even “caught” this at daycare; there’s another younger baby there who had bad thrush (he’s bottlefed, though, so it was easier to cure; no reinfection from momma). I know it’s not supposed to be contagious, but if you can give it back to youself-??? Daycare provider has said Bean should bring his own toys, but I’m sure it’s hard to keep everything separate with 9 little ones around (a whole ‘nother story). I don’t know. I’ve read entirely too much on the topic, have advice from plenty of people, but everyone’s got a slightly different idea on what’s right. And I hate to think of us as being “infected” and “contagious”. Yuck.

OK, lunch hour is over, now I’m back to writing grant reports about totally unrelated topics. Wheeeeeeeeeee. Maybe more cheeriness for y’all later. I know we are lucky in many many ways, I just want to get rid of the yeasty beasties!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


We finally got out onto the trail on Sunday to enjoy the leaves and views before the real Fall weather hit!

This weekend is historically beautiful up here, but now! Rain, cold... I think the leaves have already peaked and are starting to fall...

Friday, October 03, 2008

Mt. Diaper

Wow, mom! We've really got a great supply of these prefolds, don't we?

I'll be sure to put these to good use!

I will now bow to this great stack of diapers, doing a little celebratory yoga.

What? You don't usually pay homage to such things?

You're missing out! Try appreciating the small things, like reaching your own toes!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

4 years

In some ways it’s hard to believe it was already 4-years-ago that WF and I said our vows on a beautiful October day. In other ways it seems rather long ago (we’ve come a ways from worrying about locally-grown reception food and flowers to considering our son’s health and education!). This is our first anniversary as parents, and it’s a whole new, sometimes rocky world…

I love you, WF, and may we celebrate many, many more of these days, as a family!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

5 months

We're celebrating 5 months with some resting to recover from germs and yeast, but there was a little time for a photo shoot. Compare to this!

Now at 5 months, there is a new skill that makes these comparison photos a bit more difficult to stage:

And the other critters around the place thought they should also be a part of the photo shoot...