Sunday, January 24, 2010


No joke. This is an estimate of the number of pieces that came with the first round of birthday / Christmas toys. Accordingly, it is also the number of pieces of plastic that are strewn across our floor every single day.

No one tells you that. When you have a baby, you think your house fills up with baby gear quickly. Swing, pack and play, bouncy seat, exersaucer ... the list goes on. The toys; however, are kept to a minimum. They are containable. They come in one piece.

I actually found a "lull" in the baby-takeover of our house around 6-9 months ... our Girl wasn't old enough to strew things about, but she had outgrown a lot of the big gear. Nice.

At 12 months, though, an explosion!

Mind you, these toys are well-loved and played with every day. (Multiple times a day). I just wish we could fast forward to the part where she picks up all of the pieces (with regularity).

I have always bought books for gifts - good on so many levels. I recognize now, though, that one of the best reasons is because they are flat and come in one piece! (A basket of books, though, is just as easy to spread across the floor. At times, part of our living room looks as if the floor was tiled with books).

So ... in no particular order ... these are the most popular toys at our house with a 1-year-old.
Buyer beware! :)

Melissa and Doug Bird House Shape Sorter

Put & Peek Doghouse by Manhattan Toy

*This has been a favorite for a LONG time - was shared by family. She would shake and chew on the dogs long before she could put them in and out of the house.

Alex Jr. First Snaps Building Toy

*This was the sleeper hit of the Santa gifts. It may be because she sucks on them as they were pacifiers, but she loves these little things. And, she spontaneously emptied the bucket, spread them all over the room, and then picked them all up. There is hope!

Educo Shake'n Match Shape Sorter

Rub a Dub Big Scoop by Alex

These are extra-popular for chewing on and are now an outside-the-bath toy.

Rub a Dub Dirty Dogs by Alex

Our Girl is obsessed with dogs. These are excellent for chewing and squirting water in the tub!

Discovery Toys Measure Up! Cups

LeapFrog Fridge Farm Magnetic Animal Set
* Girly loves this, but I have a love-hate relationship with the singing farmer.

Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Counting Friends Phone

Hasbro Playskool Lullaby Gloworm

I wasn't sure if our Girl would want a "baby" yet, but she does hug and love on this one. And stomp its belly to play music.

Fisher Price Laugh & Learn My Pretty Learning Purse

We've had this one for a long time, but it is still a favorite.

There you have it. We'll see how long these remain favorites.

Also, our Parents as Teachers gal came on Friday for our 14 month visit. She said that the amount of block play that toddlers participate in is directly correlated with a child's success in middle school and high school. (Something about math and science and the words parents use to describe the things you build with blocks - sounds good to me. ) We do have some bigger soft blocks, but no small wooden blocks ... seems those are in order, too.

So, what's that? 24 more pieces or something?


Monday, January 18, 2010

Turkey isn't just for the holidays

We went cold turkey this weekend on the bottle weaning.

I've hinted at our challenge getting Girly to drink milk from a sippy cup. From a bottle? No problem! The white stuff in the cup, though, throws a wrench into the works.

Our pediatrician suggested that 16-24oz of milk/dairy per day was the goal. When she was taking all bottles, it was 4 bottles per day, about 5oz. each.

After we made the full switch from formula to cow's milk, I started to drop bottle feedings and replace them with sippy cup feedings. About a month ago I gave a sippy cup for her 3rd feeding of the day (afternoon). She wanted nothing to do with it. About a week later, she took 2-3oz. of milk at that time of day with her snack. I replaced the late morning bottle about 2 weeks after our first dropped feeding, so she was left with only a bottle first thing in the morning and before bed. She still generally refused milk during the day, and really only drank very little water (which was always her pattern). So, after a month, we had only worked up to about 4oz. of milk total during the day from a sippy cup. PLUS, I noticed she was really sucking down the first and last bottles, so we gave her a little more at that time. She was just shifting the fluids around during the day.

We clearly weren't making progress toward getting rid of those bottles. I had several friends tell me, and I read several places, that cold turkey was the most efficient way of doing things.

(*As an aside, I already kind of mentioned that we have tried several different types of sippy cups in an attempt to woo her. Nothing with a valve works, and for the longest time I couldn't get her to drink from a straw, even with all kinds of enticement. Finally, she was playing with the straw from my Sonic diet cherry limeade and took a sip. She spit it right out, but that was enough for her to learn! Not ever what I would have planned, but such is life.)

Our first day was so-so .... she drank a total of 5oz of milk throughout the day. I offered it in both the straw cup and the Tilty cup, and she still appears to prefer the Tilty cup (the first cup we ever introduced). I offered her milk at all her 'normal' feeding times, as well as other times during the day. I also offered water. I bet she drank no more than 9oz. of fluid all day long. I did give her a few ounces of juice/water at dinner, to 1) try to get some fluids in, and 2) try to avert the anticipated constipation from lack of fluids. She sucked it right down from the sippy cup. Surprise, surprise.

I made sure to offer her bigger meals and snacks than usual, which she ate most of, along with dairy at most meals (especially 4oz of yogurt for breakfast). I usually try to limit her fruit (to make sure she gets the veggies in), but gave fruit at all meals, again to help with some anticipated constipation.

By the second day, she had a new tooth and a terrible cold. So, about the worst timing ever for our project, but again, such is life. Plus, if she was going to be crabby, I guess we got it all over with at the same time! She took 6 oz. of milk total on the second day, and a little bit of other liquids. She never seemed to whine for the bottle and didn't act like she missed it, but just refused the milk.

By the 3rd day, she drank 12-13oz. of milk throughout the day. So, in addition to yogurt for breakfast, we were back to the minimum on milk/dairy for the day.

A pretty painless transition, all in all, and I'm SO happy to be done chasing all those little bottle parts all over the dishwasher!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Something fun

I've been contemplating some upgrades to the decor in our house ... kind of a combination of living with these things for 6+ years and spending A LOT more time at home looking at it all. And getting tired of it.

In my search for inspiration, I've come across a couple of fun ideas for displaying kid art and family keepsakes. Maybe you'll be inspired, too?

From the February issue of Martha Stewart Living - there is a great article about Darcy Miller's "scrapboxing". It is a stylish way of displaying your child's special treasures. The pictures are best in the magazine, but you can find a lot of them here on the website if you click through. Here are a couple of fun examples:
And, here is another fun idea for family vacation keepsakes from Young House Love.

I also really like Blurb for making books of your vacation pictures. You know, so they don't live in your computer. (Also, these ideas obviously require a vacation to begin with. I need to work on that).

And, here is an idea I like for displaying your child's art. My mom says it makes your house look like a craft project, but I kind of like it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What is your thing?

I was trying to think of something to blog about today.

The cold and cabin fever have sucked all original thoughts out of my head. I was going to post about which toys from the recent birthday and Christmas are most loved at this point (which I will still do, because maybe you are looking for ideas), then I came across this post on Clover Lane. It really resonated with me, as I find that I am probably the Mom who has not one 'thing', but many 'things'.

I've come to the conclusion about mothers and safety issues.
Every mother has their 'thing'.
What I mean is that every mother has their one thing that they are incredibly cautious, anxiety-ridden and guideline consulting, rule-book-following-to-a-tee about.
(My safety issue? I cannot for the life of me relax around water. I hate pools and oceans and lakes. I love them really, but I hate them if I have a kid who cannot swim like a fish. When I leave a body of water after an hour or two, I am completely wasted and drained of the mental (and sometimes physical) energy it takes to make sure everyone stays afloat.)
For some mom's it's choking. They cut all food into miniscule pieces for years.
For other's it's carseats. These mother's can recite the ever-changing guidelines verbatim.
For other's it's the whole stranger-danger thing. No monogrammed backpacks for their kids.
If I told a carseat mom that I have taken screaming infants out of carseats to breastfeed in the backseat on a long trip, I'd be in for it.
But if I heard that mom talk about her sitter took the kids to the pool, I'd be thinking the same thoughts in my head she just thought about me.

Remember when we were young and we ran around the neighborhood all day, ice skated on untested waters, learned to swim with no lessons, bounced around in the backseat like fools? I can attest that my mother NEVER cut a grape into quarters.

What did they worry about back then? I'll have to ask.
(original post here)

How do you get over that? Should you get over that? This TIME article on Overparenting has also got me thinking .... I don't want to be a 'helicopter' parent, and I hope that I choose sanity and sense over hysteria. (The fact that I have a mom-blog probably speaks to the contrary). Regardless, I feel like there are things I did as a child that I would never let my child(ren) do. I grew up, and still live, in one of the wealthiest counties in America with some of the best public schools.

What am I so scared about?