Category Archives: Parenting

Napless in Chicago

Today marked two weeks of Ramona not napping. I. Am. Exhausted.

During the past two months or so, the girl had been fighting her mid-day nap tooth and nail. Then, THEN, she would fight sleep for an hour (sometimes an hour and a half) at night. Ramona not falling asleep until 9:30pm meant me not going to bed until *at least* 11pm, and that just wasn’t sustainable. So, Josh and I decided to see how the wildling would do sans nap. The result? Besides me being fucking tired all time time, you mean? Well, amazingly, it worked. Ramona can make it through the day (most days) without napping (unless we’re traveling in a car-in that case, all bets are off), and only gets extra cranky starting around 6pm.¬†However, she’s also noticeably tired, which is something she hadn’t been for a long time. Bedtime takes, at most, 20 minutes, but usually it’s closer to 10 or 15. For Josh and me, this means we’re getting to bed at a (slightly) more reasonable hour, even while feeding my Doctor Who addiction.

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The transition from one child to two children has been hard for me, both physically and emotionally.

Jude has energy, and lots of it. He go, go, goes from the minute he wakes up in the morning until the second he falls asleep at night. Finding ways to meet Jude’s need for movement and exercise and one-on-one interaction has been a real struggle since Ramona’s birth. It still is today, nearly nine months later.

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Lately I’ve been wondering whether or not I should start blogging again. I haven’t stopped writing, or menu planning, or taking pictures of my sweet boy; I just haven’t felt the need to type it all up for publishing. Recently I’ve felt that pull to engage with others again-to write posts that encourage dialogue (even if that dialogue is limited to “OMG! Jude is SO CUTE!” Because, well, he is.)

Maybe the key is to just take it one day at a time.

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Today was better; not pain-wise, but parenting-wise in the least.

This morning, after a long, drawn-out breakfast of raw, keifer-soaked oatmeal, Jude and I walked a few blocks east and south to Lazarus Playlot. There we played with old and new friends, spun ’round and ’round on the tire swing, and jumped, Spiderman style, from very high platforms. Well, Jude did.

After a lunch of homemade pizza, we hopped on a red line train (forgoing a nap) and headed south to visit our friends Helen and Annabel* in Lincoln Park. From their house we walked to the Lincoln Park Zoo and rode the carousel. After that, we hopped on the 151 and traveled into downtown Chicago to pick up our friends’ CSA share. We played at Grant Park and had tea at Chipotle.

The train ride home was super packed. There were no empty seats, and my boy was tired. I picked him up and held him as I leaned waaay back and steadied us using one of the grip poles. No one offered us a seat, not even minutes later when Jude had fallen asleep leaving me to balance myself and his 40-pound/felt like 100-pound body. Eventually the train cleared a bit and I was able to sit down and just hold my sleeping boy. I even made it off the train and down half a flight of stairs at the station before he woke up.

Jude and I meandered home; alternating walking alongside one another and me carrying him. He ate dinner with his Papa and then Josh and I both ushered him off to an early-ish bedtime.

I sure do hope he sleep in tomorrow.

*Thank you so much for spending the afternoon with us, Helen. It’s always a joy to spend time with you and A.

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I think I’ve said it before, but in case I haven’t, let me come clean with all of you:

I am a shitty, shitty parent when I am in pain. And, sadly, I’ve been a lot of pain as of late. Blerg.

You remember how I landed myself in the hospital earlier this year after (finally) having been diagnosed with two herniated discs? Well, I’m still hurting, and every day that I wake up and have to spend an hour in bed slowly moving from side to side and carefully stretching just so that I can move without seriously injuring myself again is a day that I start in a pissed off frame of mind.

Being pissed off is not conducive to gentle, present, parenting or consensual living. It’s very hard to center yourself and find your breath when jesusmotherfuckingchrist your back hurts and bending elicits shooting pain down throughout your lower back and don’t even think about sitting because after a whole five minutes of that you’ll need to get up and move or just give in to the pain and go have a lie down.

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Fuzzi Bunz-FAIL

Oh Fuzzi Bunz. How I’ve wanted to be able to love you. You’ve been in our employ for more than two years now, and while you’ve served us to the best of your ability (I’m sure), you’re time with us is through. Today I ordered some Chinese prefolds and wool diaper covers (and the necessary accessories), so soon, you’re being put out to pasture.

The members of the Frank Family are BIG fans of cloth diapers. We’ve been CDing since Jude was a few weeks old. Cloth diapers are not only better for the environment than disposables are, but they also cause less diaper rash and are cute, to boot. Fuzzi Bunz were suggested to us by Jude’s Godmother. She has a daughter who’s about a year older than Jude, so they had had some experience with different types of cloth by the time was born. She said FBs worked well and were easy to use. I totally agree with the “ease of use,” but find them to do a horrible job containing the copious amount of pee my boy puts out.

Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe Jude just pees a lot in a two-hour period. I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ve been double stuffing those suckers since Jude moved into the medium sized FBs, and that wasn’t even able to stop the leaking. Oh–and forget about trying to CD overnight. There’s no way I wouldn’t have to wash our sheets every. single. day. if we tried.

So, we’ve moved on. The ladies on the diapering forum at Mothering suggested prefolds and covers as the most economical way to replace our FBs. We decided to go with the (pricey) wool covers because wool is breathable, naturally antibacterial, and because wool contains natural lanolin, which makes it naturally waterproof (though you do need to treat your covers with lanolin occasionally).

The Chinese prefolds were chosen because they’re the most absorbent of the bunch. Considering how much fluid Jude takes in and puts out, absorbency is a MUST in this house.

Although I spent more money than I would have liked to this morning, I’m really looking forward to trying out our new diapering system. If everything I’ve read about these prefolds and covers is true, we might try overnight cloth diapering!

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Harnessing Evil

Well, okay, not exactly evil, but today I employed the use of the almighty DVD so that I could finish (re)reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. There. I admitted it. I used VeggieTales as a babysitter. Guilty as charged.

But back on the topic of Harry Potter, I have to say that even after this, my fourth read-through of the final installment of the HP series, I still feel unsatisfied. The Dumbledore of book seven didn’t read like the Dumbledore of the previous six. The final battle, while grand, didn’t unite the houses, though the Sorting Hat asserted that harmony between them was crucial in this, the fight against evil. We saw little of Snape and even less of Ginny, who I think we all assumed was going to be a great asset to Harry in defeating Voldemort. *sigh* The magic just wasn’t there for me this time around.

In non-HP news, Jude and I had another really nice day together. We read and cooked; napped and walked; hugged and wrestled. I’m relieved that, for the time being at least, Jude seems to be feeling good–well-rested, well-fed, and well, heard. My goal for tomorrow is, weather permitting, to get out to the park right after breakfast. We spent just a little time there this afternoon, but the number of kids there (especially older kids) overwhelmed this mama, and we abandoned the playground quickly in favor of a walk around the neighborhood.

How did you spend your Tuesday?

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Vaccine Research-Getting Started

After reading my last post on vaccinations, some of you may be considering (or reconsidering) the safeness and effectiveness of vaccines. Perhaps you want to do some research, but don’t know where to start. Well, today’s your lucky day! The lovely members of the Mothering Forums have compiled an outline of sorts to help organize each vaccine’s pertinent information.

For each VPD (vaccine preventable disease), research, research, research until you can fill in each part of the following outline:

1. Name of the disease
2. Description of the disease
3. Length of time from initial infection to end of all symptoms
4. Infectious period
5. Normal symptoms of the disease
6. Known serious consequences of the disease
7. Proportion of persons infected developing serious consequences
8. Transmission route of the disease
9. Prevalence of the disease
10. Treatments of the disease and efficacy of those treatments
11. Relevant research about the disease
12. Name of the vaccine
13. Company that makes the vaccine
14. Contents of the vaccine
14A. The significance of whether or not the vaccine is live
15. History of development of the vaccine
16. Known side-effects of the vaccine and rate of incidence of those side-effects
17. Possible side-effects not yet acknowledged by the vaccine maker
18. Relevant research into the vaccine
19. How effective is the vaccine at preventing the disease?
20. What is the vaccine meant to do? (Many vaccines are not meant to prevent infection or transmission.)
21. Number of cases reported each year
22. Number of deaths reported each year from the vaccine and natural disease

Here’s a list of resources to get you started:

Info from the CDC
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: download the current issue
CDC Pink Book
Reported Cases and Deaths from VPDs, United States, 1950-2007

Info from VAERS
Package Inserts- .pdf format

Dr. Sherri Tenpenny talking about vaccines
Are Vaccines Safe?

Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide by Aviva Jill Romm
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Children’s Vaccinations by Stephanie Cave

Excellent Blogs with References
Inside Vaccines
We don’t Buy It–specifically, Laura’s posts labeled Vaccines

I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about vaccines, but if you have a question, post it in the comments section or shoot me an e-mail. If I can’t answer it for you, I should be able to point you in the right direction.

Happy researching!

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