Thursday, March 31, 2011

The great toddler bed debate

When Logan was about a year and a half old, we took him out of the crib and got him a toddler bed.

He'd never been a great sleeper, gave up napping at the ripe old age of one (unless I drove him around in the car for hours, which I did frequently), and just generally crapped out in the whole sleeping department. He was hardcore refusing his crib, freaking out if we went anywhere near it, and he ended up in our bed most of the time. He's a KICKER and a bed hog, so Hubby and I weren't sleeping much.

Finally we decided to get him the little transitional bed, since he was so young. The novelty worked, and he was excited to sleep in it. Well, for all of a week anyway. Then, looking at the kind of girly decor of his room and the big rips he'd put in the wallpaper, we decided to do his room up for him, since we'd never done it before he was born (hence the girly decor). In the couple weeks it took to do his room, we pushed his little bed into our room. He wanted to be in our bed, and we were back to square one. Once the room reno was done, he still didn't want to go back into his toddler bed, so I spent a few months (not) sleeping on his floor. Hardwood, I might add. Fun times.

Eventually, we got him a real big-boy bed. A high one with drawers under it. He needed a step stool to get into it, and I cushioned the floor with pillows because he DID fall out. Even then, he tried to come to our bed, and I'd make him get back in his own, but I'd lay with him and ended up sleeping in there a lot. At least there was room, and it was soft!

Finally, around the age of three, something clicked and Logan became a great sleeper.

Now on to Jordan.

Jordan's given us sleep issues, too, but in different ways as Logan.

While nursing, Jordan held on to multiple night feedings longer than Logan did. I also did things a bit differently by working to make sure he had organized sleep and nap--IN HIS BED--routines and that has worked to my advantage in that he is now two and still takes a nap most days, and all I have to do is lay him in his crib.

He still wakes up in the night though. We go through phases. Sometimes he'll sleep through no problem for a few months and then something will throw him off and he'll start waking up and wanting me. Usually a night or two of letting him cry a little (it only generally takes a minute or two) will do the trick.

Lately, though, MAN he's been wanting me to hold him all night. He wants to sleep in the guest bedroom with me. He is starting to talk, and somehow knows that screaming "Mommy! Please!" hysterically, over and over, will wear me down, especially at 1:30 a.m. It's easier to just snuggle him and sleep.

When these things happen, I just do my best to get him back into the swing.

But here he is, about 2 years and 2 months old, and I find myself wondering if he is ready to transition into the toddler bed. Would he like it? Would it help him sleep better or would he be the kid that would just stay up and play? I know I'd have to rely on a baby gate in his doorway if I did put the toddler bed in there now, because our house is big, with stairs, and I don't want him wandering in the dark.

I know I should keep him in the crib as long as I can, for safety sake, and also because, well, he's CONFINED! For such a climber, I'm so shocked he hasn't figured out how to climb out of it, especially since he sleeps with multiple quilts AND a Pillow Pet. I bet he figures it out soon. He's seen enough babies do it on America's Funniest Videos.

So, that's it. I'm just undergoing the great toddler bed debate in my head.
Is it time?
If not, when?

Monday, March 28, 2011


Have you ever played the card game UNO?

Everyone has, right?

I love UNO. It's pretty much the only card game I've ever been able to remember how to play. The few others I've learned don't stick, and some, like euchre, I just can't grasp.

But UNO is easy.

I played UNO a lot with my mom when I was little.

Before I had kids, Hubby and I played hours of UNO in the tent on rainy backpacking trips.

After Logan was born, we'd play it at the picnic table while we were camping and he was napping in the tent.

Then, when I got pregnant with Jordan and put on bed rest with nearly 4 months to go, I taught my 3 1/2-year-old Logan how to play it, and we played it almost every day for the entire time I was sentenced to the couch.

Now when we go camping, Hubby, Logan and I all play UNO together while Jordan naps.

For Christmas, I got Jordan the UNO MOO game so he can start learning the concepts and in another year or so, he'll be playing, too. For now, Logan and I play it and Jordan just steals the pieces.

Anyway, Logan and I just got done playing many games of UNO in a row. He's off school today because some idiot(s?) vandalized most of the school buses in our town. They let the air out of the tires on 50 of the 70-some buses in the yard.

Just thought I'd post this ridiculous post to let you know, if you're not playing UNO, you should. It's fun! :)

Have a great day!

Oh, Mattel, the makers of UNO, don't know me from Eve. They didn't pay me to write this or give me anything free. I just like UNO. And I borrowed the photos from, so go there if you want to buy UNO or UNO MOO. Plus, I love shopping on amazon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

One week

What a difference one week can make! I thought we were supposed to move from winter into spring, not the other way around!

Same spot on the Flint River, on Court Street behind the courthouse

March 17

March 24

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Ever try to take photos of your kids, and they're just being so silly, you can't catch them?

My camera is one of those that seems to take forever to focus, so a lot of times I manage to miss the photo I'm going for. Life with kids in motion, I guess.

I don't really like my camera very much. I wish I'd had a chance to test-drive it before buying it. I based my purchase on reviews and convinced Hubby this was the one to buy, so I'm stuck with it. Looking back, I actually kind of liked my little Pentax Optio M40 that I dropped in the sand and broke last summer better than the camera I have now. Kind of wish I'd just got another of that one, since it's smaller and easier and WAY more portable for things like backpacking trips, etc. Maybe I can find a deal on one. I definitely don't have $350 just lying around to blow on an extra camera.

Anyway, back to the original topic. My kids were goofing around and being cute yesterday and I was trying to photograph them, but they were just too fast for me. I'd miss the looking-at-the-camera-and-smiling moments and get these half faces and closed eyes.

Still, somehow I think they managed to capture the perfect joy of my babies. My ever-moving babies. Oh, how I love them.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Glass is NOT babyproof!

I'm still on a quest to get rid of the probably-toxic plastic crap in my kitchen. I replaced most of the storage containers with glass, though I haven't found anything that works well for sandwiches or is the right size for stuff like trail mix yet.

I did get Jordan a couple glass sippy cups that have silicone grippy stuff on them. The sip tops are plastic, though. Also? He hates them. Pretty much refuses to drink from them. They were kind of expensive, too.

What he likes are the stupid Take 'n Toss sippy cups. I have to admit, they're easy, but I hate stuff like that. I don't want to "toss" it, be it in the trash or the #5 recycling bin at Whole Foods. But since they're supposed to be disposable, it probably isn't that great to wash and wash and wash them daily.

I still have been using the same old plastic plates and bowls Logan used, but they've been through the dishwasher a bunch of times (before I knew better) and make me nervous, so I've been giving him the regular glass small salad plates to use. I need to find some smaller glass bowls because our regular bowls are too big. Our drinking glasses are too big and heavy for him to hold. He's already broken one of them on accident because it slipped out of his hands.

Anyway, I'd like him to get used to eating and drinking from REAL dishes and glasses and learn that they are to be handled with care.

So, today, I stopped at the Salvation Army to see if they had a few little glasses and small glass bowls I could use for Jordan. Something not too expensive so if he broke them it wouldn't really matter. I didn't find any bowls, but I DID find the perfect glasses for him!

They hold about 4 ounces, they're small, AND (this is so cool) they have an Old English "J" etched into them!!!

Aren't they sweet?

So, I bought the entire set of 8 for him, since I figured some of them would end up broken. I was right. He was having a tantrum and chucked one of them right there in the store. CRASH! Embarrassing? Yeah. But I'm getting used to it. Jordan can be a brat if he's tired, hungry or just feeling like being a brat. He can be a challenging kid for sure.

Anyway, just thought I'd share since they're so cute.

Not a bad score for $2.32, eh?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Crunchier than the average bear?

Sometimes I wonder where I fall in the world of "crunchiness" (as in the slang term).

Here is the urban dictionary definition.

Some of those? Yeah, I fit in. I have adjusted my lifestyle for environmental reasons and I am a nature enthusiast. And I am a mom who cloth diapers. And I do enjoy spending time in the woods (But just because I do. Not for any other reason!).

I was thinking today of the small things I have done over the past couple years to be more, well, crunchy I guess.

I started using cloth diapers and wipes. I do still use disposables at certain times, like when all the cloth is in the wash or when I need to use some rash cream or when we travel. I'm not snooty about it, but I'd prefer to keep as many disposables as possible out of the landfills. Plus cloth diapers are adorable, and they save money.

I switched from paper napkins to cloth ones.

I (finally) always remember to take my reusable grocery bags.

I have eliminated a lot--but not all--plastic from my kitchen. No more Glad Ware, etc. What plastic is left is hand-washed (by Logan, I might add) instead of putting it in the dishwasher, so it doesn't break down/leach chemicals (at least any more than it already does).

All four members of my family have stainless steel water bottles we use every day. I got some stainless-steel drinking straws, too. LOVE them!

I stopped using paper towels for most things. I use regular towels and cloths for cleaning now. Paper towels are reserved for certain messes, basically poop and puke. That kind of stuff. I even have reusable cloth pads for my Swiffer Wetjet, and I refill the bottle with my own cleaner instead of buying refills.

I started using greener cleaning products. Either stuff from ecoStore or homemade goodies like vinegar and water or homemade laundry detergent (Fels Naptha, borax and soda ash. Can't beat 2 cents per load!!!).

I switched first to more eco-friendly feminine products, like cloth, but then I tried the Diva Cup and was hooked. It took a couple months to get accustomed to it, but now? LOVE IT! Zero garbage. Very little hassle. I shower in the morning after the gym and at night before bed, so that's when I take care of cleaning it. No problemo.

I scout the local consignment and thrift shops and donate things to them. I also signed up for the local Freecycle emails. I've given things away and taken a couple things too.

I used to sun-dry laundry on the line during the warm months. Our new neighborhood has a "no clothesline" policy. I still sun the diapers on a rack outside, and am looking into a retractable clothesline that I can still use out back, at least occasionally.

I recycle whatever I can, even though now I have to pay to do it. Some stuff (like the plastics and colored glass that aren't accepted by the county program) I actually have to drive an hour to Whole Foods to recycle. I still do it. I just save up a lot before I go, and run other errands while I'm there, to make the drive worth it.

All our fruit and veggie food scraps, plus dryer lint, coffee grounds, eggshells, etc. go out back in the compost pile.

I have a brownish thumb, but I do try to grow a few things in the warm months, like lettuces and spinach on my salad table.

I hit up the local farm markets for as much produce as I can. I do buy local meat sometimes. Now that I have a small chest freezer for storing meat, I'd like to do it more.

I've tried to eliminate fake foods like artificial sweeteners, trans fats, etc. from our diet, and I try not to buy too many individually-packaged snacks for Logan and Hubby's lunches. I get the big bag and divide it out instead.

I try to teach my kids about the things I'm doing and why, so they'll carry it on throughout their lives.

I guess my whole mindset has changed, because now I tend to feel guilty about things like using a paper towel or napkin, or heaven forbid a paper plate. I am appalled when I see people throw plastic water bottles or other recyclables in the garbage.

I also feel really guilty about one vice I have. Magazines. I subscribe to a number of magazines, and I LOVE them:

Clean Eating
Whole Living
Women's Health
Mary Jane's Farm

Also, Logan uses WAY too much paper with all his drawing and book-making! I've tried to get him to use dry-erase, but he loves having the drawing or book to carry around, look at and share afterward. I just keep recycling it, keeping only very special pieces.

I don't know. I guess I've been taking such small steps over time that I am completely used to the changes I made to be "greener" and healthier, and I get a little weirded out when I come across people (most people) that don't do the same things.

I wonder if I'm becoming an eco-snob. I don't necessarily look down on people who don't do the things I do, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me. That I wish I could make them do it too. That it makes me sad that they don't.

In reality, I don't really have any idea if the changes I have made are doing any real good for my family's health and the planet's well-being. I like to think theyI am taking steps to make for a better future for my children.

What about you. Do you think I'm crunchy? An eco-snob? Just normal? What steps have you taken to green up your life?

The "green team!" (St. Patty's Day last year)