Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I always knew those sci.en.tol.ogists were crazy!

My Aunt and Uncle are Sc.ient.ologists. They moved to the US fifteen years ago or so to teach at a Sc.ient.ology school out in the northwest. I didn't really know much about the teachings of that 'religion' until we went to visit them a couple of years ago. They gave us a tour of the school, and explained some of the theory and practice of how they go about teaching the children.

It's a very self-directed method of study. Each unit has a packet that the kids work through - reading about the topic at hand, and then using various media to demonstrate understanding. For a history topic, for example, the child would read a chapter, then perhaps make a series of clay models of the seminal events. We watched some of the kids at work, they all had their dictionaries out as they were doing their reading, and had all kinds of tools at their disposal for creating their models. Once the unit is complete, the child takes a test, when they are ready for it. If they don't get 100%, they have to go back and repeat the lesson until they do.

I thought that it was an interesting method of education. I may not agree with everything they were doing, and it certainly won't work for all children (in my opinion), but I did feel that they had some worthwhile ideas.

So, when my uncle sent me a little pamphlet called "Children" from the sci.ent.ology book collection, I figured it couldn't hurt to give it a read. And truly, I do think that it had some points worth considering. For example, a lot of people will say to a child "you're fine, you're okay" when they fall down and hurt themselves. The sci method suggests instead asking the child what happened, and having them tell you a couple of times, asking questions about the incident, until they feel better and are able to move on. I can see the reason behind that - we don't actually know how the child feels, and telling them they're fine (in effect, you're silly for crying) is in some ways belittling their experience. Another example - letting the child do whatever he/she would like to with their toys, including breaking them. Why should we impose our methods of play, our strictures, on our child? If they want to play so hard with a toy that it gets broken, why not? Again, we are teaching the child, by not letting them truly own their toys, that they are not in control, not in charge.

Towards the end of the pamphlet, there's a little section on baby care. I read through this too, even though it was for babies much younger than Ant is now. I got to a part that was talking about what to do if your baby is crying. It suggests that if the baby has just been fed, so you know it's not hungry, has been changed, has had a nap so you know it's not wet or tired, that you should look for other reasons that it might be crying.

Like a pin, or a piece of coal in the crib.

Yes, you read that correctly. I was so surprised I almost fell out of the chair. I figured that it must be a really old pamphlet, published in the 1850's or something like that (yes, I know that Sci.en.tology didn't start until the mid-twentieth century or so). So I checked the copywrite date. 1994 and 2000!!!! The only thing I can think is that someone was playing a huge joke. Or trying to see how many people would actually read the pamphlet.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Feeding help?

I need some serious food help. Any and all advice is appreciated!!!

Ant is almost nine months old, and I know that I need to start moving him from the jarred baby foods to more table-food like things. This is a huge problem for me because I do not eat "well" at all, so I really am at a loss for what to do.

I have had big issues with the textures of food since I was very young, and consequently ate zero fruits or vegetables from as long ago as I can remember up until after I finished college. When I was in high school I was so averse to anything fruit/vegetable like that I wouldn't even eat tomato sauce on pizza, just plain cheese. My parents tried to get me to eat things (imagine a 12 year old throwing a 45 minute tantrum over eating ONE raw grape!!), but didn't push me too hard because my mom was relatively similar when she was growing up.

In more recent history, I've gotten a lot better. I now eat a decent selection of veggies (broccoli, green beans and asparagus are my regulars i.e. about once a week), but still don't eat any fruit. Pureed fruits or juices are fine, but the raw stuff? I really can't stomach it. Another example - I like minestrone, but the way I make it for myself is to take out the pasta and potatoes, put them into a pot, then put the rest of it through the blender.

All that means, though, that I really have no sense of where to go next for Ant. So far I've given him some low-sodium minestrone, with the veggies cut into small pieces, and he seems to quite like that. What other things should I try? Some of the baby books suggest strips of cooked fruit - they don't tell me how to cook them though!! Do I just boil them? How long?

I'm almost embarrassed to hit publish on this one, but I will, in hopes that you can give me some tips!! (Any websites or books that you'd recommend?)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Happy birthday!

I've been meaning for a while to figure out the date when Ant would be out of me for as long as he was in - just calculated it this morning, and it turns out it was this past Sunday, May 20th. Happy 2X birthday, kiddo! (I can't believe it's been that long already - I feel like he was just born yesterday!)

Monday, May 21, 2007

rats and snails and puppy dog tails

Although approximately 99% of having a baby is sugar and spice and all things nice, there are definitely a few things that are not so pleasant. I think (hope?) that all of us feel some of these things at one time or another. It has definitely had some effects on my relationship with M - not as much nooky, for one. I didn't know it was possible to have a negative libido! Oh yes, though. I have not been "in the mood" since Ant was conceived. I do my wifely duties, and I do mostly enjoy it when I do, but I'm really hoping that once I quit BFing I'll actually feel some desire again. (Please, don't disabuse me of that notion if it's not the case. Let me live in my little fantasy world!)

BFing is another thing that has to my surprise become somewhat unpleasant. I have not been one of those people who loves breastfeeding, and feels closer to their child when doing it. As Jenn has said, I do it because I think it's the best source of nutrition for him, and because I had a relatively easy time of it. I always wanted to nurse for at least six months, and when I got there I saw no reason to stop. All of a sudden though, in the last few weeks, I'm ready to be done.

Our routine now is that I feed Ant first thing when he wakes up in the morning, usually around 6:30, at 10-11, 3-4, and then one last time at bedtime. He's mostly eating for 10 min or less during the day, and around 10 min/ side in the early am or last feed of the day. Which, in comparison to the 40 min + marathons of the early days, is really nothing.

Which is why my reaction to his feeding recently somewhat surprises me. I've been feeling quite claustrophobic when he nurses for any length of time. I'm good for the 10 min, 12, but anything over 15 and I start getting antsy. I've found myself thinking, sometimes, "get off get off get off". And then I feel bad for feeling that way. He's woken up at midnight the last three nights and won't go back to sleep without nursing, and then it's been particularly bad. I think because I'm really tired and just want to sleep, and he's keeping me from it. Intellectually I know that it is nothing that he is doing on purpose (I'm hoping it's just a growth spurt - no disabusing me of that idea either ;-), but emotionally I'm finding it quite difficult to calm myself and be okay with it.

A little while ago I had posted that I might even go longer than a year, but the way I'm feeling right now, there's just no way. I don't really see the point in switching to formula now, only to go to cows milk in three months, so I will likely stick it out until that point. But I really don't see us going any longer than that. Of course things can always change again - we'll see.

I still have more rats and snails to go (more relationship stuff), but I think I'll save that for another time.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Bad Mommy, part deux.

Yesterday I took Ant down to the park. First we walked to the construction site two houses down - it was relatively shady near our house, but when we got to the construction site it was quite sunny so I put his sunglasses on. He gave a little squawk, but seemed pretty okay with them. Then his hat, so his little fair head didn't get burned. After he seemed bored with the concrete truck, we walked down to the park. Went the long way so we could watch the dogs first. When we got to the area where the dogs hang out, we stopped to look at them for a while. The place we stopped was shady, so I took the glasses off because they're a bit tight and leave a mark, so if not for the sun I prefer to have them off. I noticed when I looked at them that they were a bit dirty. Held them up to my eyes, and once again, the poor kid couldn't see ANYTHING. They were so filthy with sunscreen, everything was a blur. Argh!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


My in-laws just got back from FL. Came over today to see Ant, as they've been missing him terribly. I've sent lots of pictures and videos, but it's just not the same.

They're going to be looking after him two days a week through the summer, while I'm at work. Which will be really nice, it's getting tougher and tougher to complete my 8 hours while I'm at home.

I invited them to come up for lunch today, to start showing them a bit of Ant's new routine, as things are quite different now than they were when they left three months ago. I started feeding him lunch, then Nana took over. We got to the second course of prunes, and Nana said "Prunes - Yeuch!". Great. The kid loves his prunes - I realy don't need someone putting their food likes and dislikes onto him. I immediately chimed in with "we don't say Yuck - prunes are yummy!" (In fact, I will finish off the last little bits sometimes, and they really aren't bad at all). A little while later a friend of hers called and she was describing the lunch, and said "prunes, yuck" again, and once again I responded that we don't say Yuck. I *hope* she got the hint!!!

I do not eat any fruits, and my repertoire of vegetables is also quite limited, so it's going to be tough enough as it is to get him to eat well when I really don't. I hope that I don't end up regretting this child care scenario.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Funny Food Day

I got up this morning at 5:15 to get ready for hockey. Nursed Ant from 5:30-5:50, then off to hockey. Got home at around 8, at which point Mark headed off to work. About half an hour later I figured I should feed Ant his solids, he had gotten up at 6:45 so we were close to his two hour window for naptime. I fed him 3 tbsp of oatmeal, he noshed on some apples in the mesh bag, and ate an ounce of pears. I also made him a hard-boiled egg, becuase the sheet the doctor gave us about what foods to start when said we coujld start egg yolks at 8 months. Well, this was the first thing that I've offered him to eat that he *clearly* did not like. You should have seen the look on his face when I put the spoon with a little bit of egg yolk on it into his mouth. I think it was more the feel of it in his mouth than the taste, because he basically just spit it all out without tasting it at all. Then, when I went to write dow n what he had had later on, I found out that M had already fed him almost exactly the same thing an hour earlier (except the egg). OOOPs!

For lunch I was eating my sandwich (turkey, cheese and ranch dressing on a roll) at the same time I was feeding him, because I was starving too. According to the sheet from the doc, 'ground chicken' was another thing we could start, so I figured deli turkey fit in that category and tore off a little piece for Antony. He kind of mushed it with his fingers for a bit, so I thought he wasn't going to do anything with it. But very shortly after he picked it right up and stuck it in his mouth. Unlike the egg, he didn't make any faces, and didn't even spit it out. So I pulled off a few more pieces, and he ate another three or four!

Dinner was another laugh - after his normal cereal and yoghurt/jam, I went to the butternut squash. He was chowing down on it, after having sucked down the cereal and yog, but he was trying very hard to get his hands in the bowl. He did manage a bit... and then started patting his head, which has been his thing recently. So he ended up with squash all over his head!