Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Since you were dying to know.........

Laura, what exactly do you do all day????

5:30am - Taylor goes to work. Henry thinks it's time to wake up.
5:30-7:00-I do whatever is necessary to just get a few more minutes sleep --rock, nurse, sing, read books, play on the ground. I like to think of his musical thingy that hangs in his crib as my snooze button. Anything in an attempt to make that baby sleepy...
7:00-Henry and I get ready for the day. He plays in his doorway bouncer and I check my email and listen to NPR.
8:00-I bundle Henry up and we walk down to Taylor's workplace to say hi, drink coffee, and eat a bagel. Henry plays in his stroller and watches the ceiling fans while I read a magazine or book. It is guaranteed that I will see a friend, chit chat and receive compliments on my pretty baby. This is my favorite part of the day!
9:00-Usually we walk back home for Henry's morning nap but if it's nice outside, I like to walk downtown and windowshop. Last week, I even walked to Fred's.....just try getting to their restroom in the back of the store, maneuvering a huge stroller around huge boxes, after you drank 5 cups of coffee and a big glass of water......all the while, worrying that I will sneeze and pee on myself. But, that's just a secret worry. shhhh.
10:00-2:00-This is my time to make my rounds at Dirt Cheap and the thrift store run errands and just hang around the house playing with Henry...lot of books, rolling on the floor, practicing sitting up all by himself, chewing on anything he can get his hands on, listening to animal sounds on the see 'n say, etc. Sometimes there is a short nap wedged in between all my entertaining of the baby...sometimes not.
2:00-I pack up Henry, again, and get in the carpool lane at the elementary school to pick up my girls that I keep until their parents get off work. Henry has finally figured out that he is supposed to sleep in his carseat while we wait in line, so I enjoy my NPR classical music and a book all by myself. I'm almost finished rereading "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" a biopic on the life and times of Warren Zevon. Last week I finished a very enlightening piece of non-fiction on the nature vs. nurture debate, "The Boy Who Was Raised a Girl"...can you believe that when they accidentally burned off baby Bruce's penis during a routine circumcision they thought it was a good idea to castrate him and call him Brenda?? It's nice to roll down the windows, read, listen to the kids playing on the playground, and be glad that I am sitting in my car with Henry and not teaching small children all day long.
3:00-5:30-After the girls finish their homework, they like to walk to campus and hang out in the Barnes and Noble Bookstore, visit my friend Carmen, go to the park, or reminisce about fun times from the summer. I told the little one that I am going to find my old piano books and teach her everything I know about playing the piano -- this is pretty funny, so I know so very little about playing piano.
6:00-Bedtime for Henry....bath, rub down with lotion, clean pajamas and maybe, just maybe, a full night's sleep. But, probably not.
6:30-I finish cooking dinner, watch TV (have you noticed that TV is not mentioned at all during Henry's waking hours? I like it like that!) and maybe, drink a good beer or two.....
But, Laura, surely you left out some details of your day???

Well, yes, there is alot of nursing, rocking, and trying to coax one more nap out of Henry throughout the day.
There you have it.....a day in the life of me! It's a pretty good life, if I do say so....

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Boy and a Bird

"Oooh , I like the bird.... "

"I am going to get that bird...."

"Mama, I need hhhhheeeellllllpppppp...."

"I got it, now I'm going to eat it!"

Not Making Lemonade....

Yes, my daddy loves me so much that he even helps me, in a non-obtrusive sort of way, find my own foot.......thanks, daddy!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Henry loves his baby legs.

Thanks, Lizbeth!

Yes, as a matter of fact, I did dig through all of Henry's clothes to figure out what matches his new baby legs. Turns out, there was quite an abundance of matching apparel. Super cute!!!!
Too bad he is Henry and not Polly....these baby legs had me dreaming visions of skirts, dresses, and pink polkadotted baby leggings. Yes, I am just a tad bit ashamed of wishing my boy was a girl. That's why this print is so tiny. Shhhhh....


We had a very nice visit from my dad Thursday night/Friday morning. It had been a month since he had last seen Henry and he appropriately oohed and aahed over his first grandchild.

Daddy: By, the way....I've decided to start referring to you as "Granddaddy." I think it's the perfect match to Mama's "Grandmother." And yes, this is a unilateral decision.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Who turns 5 months tomorrow?

Click to make me bigger.
Hallelujah to my child finally taking naps again and sleeping at night!!!

I'm Gonna Get You

A new game:
Taylor walks up saying "I'm gonna get you" in a funny voice.
Henry eats it up -- kicking his legs, lauging, and squealing.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cloth Diapers 101: General Care

Caring for your cloth diapers:
1. Always turn your load size to the largest possible setting, regardless of how small your cloth diaper load may seem.
2. Rinse Cycle One: COLD, without detergent.
3. Wash Cycle: I use the whites setting on HOT, since it has the longest wash cycle on my machine. Use only half of your normal amount of Free and Clear detergent.
4. Rinse Cycle Two: COLD, without detergent.
5. Dry on the lowest heat setting.
*Do not use fabric softener, bleach, stain removers, or diaper rash creams like Desitin. These products compromise the absorbency of the cotton.
*If a stain occurs, try drying the diapers outside. Sunshine has a bleaching effect on white cotton. I have read that rubbing half a lemon on the stain is another natural stain remover.
It is important to frequently wash your cloth diapers. The ammonia in the urine will eventually break down the cotton, compromising its absorbency.
Let me know if you intersted in this topic. I always have more to say!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cloth Diaper Q&A

My friend, Laurin, asked the following questions.

Why did you choose the pre-fold type? At first, I really really wanted the BumGenius3.0 diapers. These are "all-in-ones" that also are adjustable (aka "one-size) that are designed to fit babies newborn to 30 pounds. However, they are very expensive ($17/each) and I was worried about bulkiness on small babies. So, I chose prefolds because they are the most traditional type and also the most economical.

Do they leak very often? Rarely. Once Henry started sleeping longer stretches during the night, we had some issues leaking up high on his back. Now, we just bundle him up with two prefolds at night and have not had a nighttime leak since! However, there is a bit of a learning curve. It took the first week to learn to shove all bits of the prefold into the cover. Otherwise, you will have a leak where the cloth is exposed.

How expensive was it to get started? I started with a newborn prefold starter kit from My thinking was that I would try the different covers (all newborn sized) and decide which cover I like the best for when I need to order bigger sizes. I am still using the same prefolds but I am anticipating buying a bigger size prefold when we upgrade to size large covers. As previously posted, my favorite covers are Prowraps Classics. These are the cheapest covers available and extremely durable. I like that they have a shiny plasticy inside so you can wipe out teetee with a wipe rather than washing the cover after every use. They have velcro tabs and look so cute when they peek out from under a onesie.
**Newborn starter kit with 6 covers and 24 prefolds -- $110
**6 size small covers-$40
**6 size medium covers-$40
**TOTAL: $190
Don't forget that this is a onetime investment. And, cloth diapers have great resale value on Ebay.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cloth Diapers 101: Anatomy of a Cloth Diaper

This is what's known in the cloth diapering world as a Chinese Prefold Diaper. There are basically 4 different types of cloth diapers (prefolds, all in ones, pockets, fitteds) but this is the kind that I use on my baby. Most moms use prefolds as burp cloths but trust me, you don't want to use those Gerber prefolds from Wal-Mart on your baby's bottom. My Chinese Prefolds are made from extremely high quality 100% cotton. Gerber's diapers definitely are not. They are only good for wiping up spit up. Trust me. When you get your package of prefolds in the mail, they are very very rough to the touch. Initially, you wash them about 5 times to get them to a satisfactory softness for your baby's bottom but they continue to get softer and softer with each wash. You know what? I do believe that my new camera might be so good that you can actually see the softness.
Here the prefold is folded, laying in the cover and ready to cover my boy's bottom. The brand of covers (aka wraps) that I use is Prowraps Classics. Actually, they are the cheapest covers I could find on the internet and they do such a great job that I don't even try the other options that are out there. I prefer a plain white cover but every color and pattern under the rainbow are available through the internet.

I keep my diapers and covers organized on my changing table in this handy little basket. Typically, this basket is stuffed to the brim with diapers but I was washing a load of diapers as I took this picture.
***This picture wouldn't upload. It it had, you would see a small table with Henry's noise maker and a Wal-Mart bag sitting on top. You would also notice the trash can, changing table, and dirty clothes basket.***
Notice the Wal-Mart type bag on the table. That's where I place dirty diapers. I began placing the dirty diapers in Wal-Mart bags for the simple reason that I have a million of them at home but soon, I realized that the size of the Wal-Mart bag is ideal. The bag begins bulging and getting too full when exactly (give or take a few) half of the diapers are soiled. So, a full dirty diaper bag is my cue to begin a load of diapers.
Have a cloth diaper question? Contact me. I probably know the answer.
Keep your blogging ears open for my next cloth diapers post about cloth diaper general care.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Never too late

I intended on posting my Christmas card for the past month. It became one of those things that I would think about laying in bed, taking a shower, and cooking supper but never while I was actually on the computer. So...............

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy Birthday, Taylor!

On the occasion of Taylor's 29th birthday, I developed a list of 29 reasons about what makes my husband such a special person. Here we go.....

1.Taylor loves to read and learn new things more than anyone else I know.
2. He finds pleasure in extremely hard work. Just this morning, he called and said he was a having a great morning digging a ditch at a friend's house. And he meant it.
3. Even though I was rather rude in my insistence on sleeping a little later yesterday morning, he brought me a cup of coffee in bed and had breakfast ready when I woke up. How sweet is that?
4. He has beautiful long eyelashes
5. Last night, I thought his groans were directed at his unhappiness about not being able to sleep through Henry's coughing and crying bouts. But, no. He was groaning "in empathy for our sick baby." Too sweet.
6.He looks so cute driving his little red scooter around town.
7.His students would stop us while walking on campus to tell me what a great teacher he is.
8.He is passionate about so many topics -- astrology, Norse mythology, Mayan culture, linguistics, German, carpentry, growing peppers, Hinduism, etc.
9.I laughed at him when he was a freshman at Ole Miss for saying that he was going to learn German. He now has two degrees in the language and is completely fluent. Amazing.
10.The same year, I also laughed when he bought an electric guitar and said he was going to teach himself how to play. Now he is the best guitarist I know!
11.He always felt guilty if our dogs didn't go on a walk every single day. He really is a nicer person than I am.
12. He keeps all of our plants alive and thriving.
13. How many people do you know that can give a legitimate tarot card reading?
14.As our friend, Nikki, told me..."he really is a jack of all trades." In fact, he gave me my last two haircuts.
15.He is wonderful little brother to his two big brothers.
16.He calls his grandfather every week, always makes sure we go by his house for a visit, and reminds his brothers and cousin to give Big Daddy a call when they have the time.
17.One summer we ended up in a tiny French town where no one spoke English. Taylor ordered us lunch in French. And they understood him.
18. His Dutch got so good while living in Holland one summer, he was mistaken for a Dane. I do believe that was one of his proudest moments.
19.He really is carpenter and has all the tools to show it. Need carpentry work? Let me know.
20.His ancestors have a castle in Switzerland and he has visited it!
21.He falls more in love with our baby every single day!
22.Our cat has the best cat house in the world because Taylor was so worried about him being cold at night.
23. Our Greek friend, Maria, said that Taylor knows more about Greek mythology than most people in Greece.
24.He is still eating cayenne peppers that he grew in our garden this summer.
25.He is a good son. And his parents know it!
26.As mentioned in a previous post, he is a great skier. I am talking about the kind of skiing where you have to hike to the top of the peak because they didn't build any lift lines that high up.
27.He has a very particular way of holding a sandwich between his fingers. Oddly enough, it's the same way my sister holds a sandwich.
28.He knows all of my family's inside jokes and my parents love him like a son.
29. He is TAYLOR and I love him!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Maybe, Maybe Not

"Ok, Mama. You've been talking to me all day long about how we are going to try rice cereal before my bath time. We talked about how this cereal is suppose to help me sleep more at nighttime. I know you are tired so I am going to give this cereal a try for you because I love you and Daddy so much."

"It smells familiar but...."

"I like the way the spoon feels but..."

"I love you and Daddy but I do NOT like this cereal."

> "Well, maybe the problem was my cute new highchair. This cereal isn't so bad in my bathtub."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Family Time

The day after Christmas all 14 Dearmans flew out to Breckenridge, Colorado for a week of skiing. I recently learned that this tradition of the Christmas ski vacation began when my mother-in-law, Carla, was a teenager. Actually, the tradition began as "let's get in the car and drive until we find snow and then spend our Christmas week there" which eventually evolved into an annual trip skiing out west. Taylor loves reminiscing about Christmas trips and bragging about what an incredibly good skier he is for just skiing a week at Christmastime each year. He proved that yes, he is an expert double black diamond skier and yes, I am content with feeling extremely challenged looking down the face of a wide groomed blue run.

Ted and Carla: Thanks for such a great trip. Many memories were made. I can't wait to go back in a few years when Henry is old enough to give skiing a try!

Here I am looking pretty rough after a morning of skiing. Taking care of your small child and maximizing your skiing time can be a difficult thing to balance. This particular morning, I was dressed and ready to ski by myself at 8:30. Can you imagine my thoughts when a guy on the ski lift asked me what grade I was in!?!?! I pulled off my goggles and hat (so he could see all my gray hair) and replied that I have a husband and a baby back in our condo!
Back to the picture -- we were eating lunch at Eric's Downstairs. 27 beers on draft.
num yummy...good Colorado microbrewery beer.....num yummy. My hair was crazy straight (not dirty, as it might look to some) with the total lack of humidity in Colorado.

This is my attempt at a rather artistic framing of the Breckenridge ski resort.

Baby Henry all bundled up on a stroll through town. I hate that I didn't get a good picture of his super cute red wagon snow suit, but I know that he was definitely warm and cozy under entirely too many layers of clothing.

This hat tricks you into thinking that Taylor has dreadlocks hidden under his cap. But, no....this hand-knitted by Russian peasants hat was a gift from my parents. Too bad that the big sweater robe was too bulky to fit into a suitcase or he would have been modeling his total Russian outfit on the ski slopes.

My father-in-law and I are having a serious (or so it looks) discourse on the best sunblock to use while skiing.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Story of Juhu

Juhu was a very special little dog. However, his story doesn't begin with my picking him up from the animal shelter. His story begins in February 2006 when we got our first dog, Lola. Lola was a sweet tri-colored chihuahua dachshund mix. She came to us as a grown dog (all 11 pounds of her) from a coworker of my mother. This coworker had several small dogs and Lola just wouldn't be sweet to the other small dogs. Would I be interested in this dog? Of course! I immediately fell in love with Lola -- she had beautiful markings, she wasn't too big but she wasn't too little, and most of all, she needed me.

Lola was a good dog but she was quirky. She had an odd limp that switched from leg to leg. She was very meek and mild and anxious around new people.

We lived in Clinton when we acquired Lola. Our street was very quiet with very little traffic. We would walk Lola, without a leash, to the campus of Mississippi College for her to chase squirrels and run around in big open spaces. We continued this trend of letting Lola walk without a leash after we moved to Starkville. After all, she was our little shadow. Always walking next to our feet, never leaving our side....until the day she ran for a squirrel across the street. Lola was hit by a utility truck and Taylor buried her in our backyard. I mourned for that little dog like she was my child.

However, I learned my lesson. Dogs are not people. Dogs chase squirrels. Dogs don't know to look both ways before they cross the street. Dogs must be protected by their owner. Yes, yes, yes, I learned these lessons the hard way and still feel guilty about not protecting that little dog from manmade dangers.

About 6 months later, Maggie came into our lives. Another throw away dog that needed a home. She wasn't the perfect dog for me....too big, too much young dog energy, sheds too much. But, she needed a home and we have gave her all the love in the world.

After a year of just Maggie, I visited the animal shelter in search of a fully grown small dog. There was a Chihuahua growling viciously at every person who walked by and there was a little black dog who looked like a dachshund with Jack Russell ears. Juhu. It took a few days to realize why I immediately loved this dog when I saw him at the vet. I truly believe that he was an incarnate of Lola -- as Taylor would say he was 'Lola improved.' Juhu looked almost identical to Lola but he was robust, he never met a stranger, and he was never meek or mild.

Maggie and Juhu loved each other immediately. They were best friends -- chasing each other, biting face over the right to get the favored dog bed of the moment, taking turns eating. He was an escape artist -- one day he escaped 7 times in a matter of hours. Every time, employing a different escape route. We learned that he might find a new way to exit our backyard but he always came home when he got hungry.

Why am I referring to my sweet little dog in the past tense? Juhu was put to sleep on December 27, 2008. While we were skiing in Breckinridge, a friend was coming by daily to feed and check on Juhu and Maggie. That morning we got a phone call saying that she found Juhu laying on the top step outside unable to walk. She thought his legs were broken. After a visit to the emergency clinic at the vet school, we received word that Juhu was paralyzed from the waist down, with no ability to control urination, but thankfully, no pain sensation. The vet explained over the phone that he could press on and give Juhu more diagnostic testing and possibly perform surgery to further diagnose him. We asked if he would ever be the same dog. The answer was no. I passed the phone to Taylor. He explained that we had a 4 month old baby and were not in a position to care for a paralyzed dog. The difficult decision to euthanize our sweet little dog was made over the phone.

It was a sad day but unlike with Lola's death, I feel no guilt. Now we are just waiting for the next incarnation of Lola to come into our lives.