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As a new mother of an ever-changing 14-month-old, I am slowly discovering how quickly my little one changes. One minute she is crawling up on the couch and the next she is breaking down our baby gates. Even my recent trip to the pediatrician left me with a challenge that I have recently been struggling to overcome – weaning my little one off of bottles. Granted, my little one has only been on bottles for the past seven months (I was able to breastfeed the first seven months), but due to her increased amount of teeth, and the possibility of tooth decay and misalignment, we have gotten the official command to wean her off her bottles. This has led to one of our biggest parenthood struggle to date – our little one’s inability to sleep.

Our baby has never struggled to sleep in the past, sleeping 12 hours a night since the age of three months. Since we had chosen to do a mix of the Ferber method and the extinction method when we were sleep training, we would usually let our baby “cry it out.” Using these methods eventually led to our little one going to bed without a fuss (sometimes diving into the bed to go to sleep).

Now our little one has been on sippy cups since the age of six months, so, unlike a lot of families, our only problem was weaning off the nap time and nighttime bottles.

We discovered that the best way to wean our little one off of bottles was to create a new nighttime routine as well as slowly removing nap time bottles throughout the day. We began removing bottles first by taking away the morning bottle and immediately giving our little one breakfast. There our baby was able to eat breakfast and drink milk from a sippy cup instead of starting the day with a bottle. This took a few days and eventually we were able to break all pre-nap time bottles as well by giving snacks with a sippy cup right before the nap.

Our hardest struggle during this process was the nighttime bottle. We basically had to change our bedtime routine to bath, pajamas, cup of milk, brush teeth, story and then off to bed. Our little one didn’t comprehend that it was bedtime and the screams made me feel as if I was abandoning our baby, ignoring the cries for my comfort. It took a few days, and a lot of persistence, but eventually she began to understand our new routine. She was able to go to bed on her own and not fight us or cry.

My advice to new parents on this issue: keep at it. It’s going to be a struggle the first couple of days and even the first couple of weeks. The outcome solely depends on the consistency of the parents. You may feel like you aren’t meeting your child’s immediate needs for comfort and routine, but you are instead working towards the long-term goal of independence. Stick with it and your little one will be taking another big step into childhood.

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There is something about fall that just gives me goosebumps – from the smell of leaves to the feeling of the cool breeze, it is by far my favorite season. So, to commemorate the start of the season, my little one and I decided to go out and explore the park (and try out her new Peach Bertie’s from Jonah and the Girl). We had a blast! She got to play with some kids her age and officially wore me out (she’s a fast walker). Despite her feet being a tad too small for the shoes (she kept kicking them off when she was climbing the stairs to the slide), they are absolutely perfect. Check out some photos I captured of my little one exploring and go check out Jonah and the Girl for some awesome kicks for your little one.

* All photos captured with an iPhone

Sometime late last night one of our country’s satellites came hurling into our atmosphere. The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), which was deployed in 1991, was shut down in 2005 and NASA, at the time, didn’t feel it necessary to shoot it down safely and monitor it’s descent into our airspace.

No, NASA decided to just ignore the big piece of space junk for six years until it made it’s own decision to crash onto our planet.

Fine, not that big of a deal … NASA will just monitor the crash so no one gets hurt … Oh wait. They don’t know where the satellite crashed.

How can our government know that a satellite is about to smash into our planet but can’t stay awake long enough to find out where exactly the waste if space was going to land?

I’m guessing they figured it didn’t matter if Times Square was demolished by a few tons of ‘cooled metal rims and batteries’ or if the Eiffel tower was smashed to pieces. Not smart USA, not smart at all.

As a normal human being, as one in a billion of the same, … I surely wonder where the satellite found its home.

Someone recently asked me who was my favorite movie character and I had to hesitate with my answer. For quite some time.

See, for me, this is a difficult question.I have a deep love for film and it’s very hard for me to decide on just one character, or actor. But if I was forced to make a choice, I would probably choose the character Clementine from the movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Throughout the film Clementine radiates a level of eclectic energy that really strikes a spot in my heart. Her ever changing hair reminds me of myself and how I enjoy changing things about myself (although never as drastic considering the only thing I’ve done to my hair is either cut it or dye it blonde). Her attitude and demeanor, although shocking at times, is very raw and real. Even as a straight woman, I am drawn to her hypnotizing smile and easy going nature.  Clementine is a bi-polar, demanding women and I just love her. Plus, I really enjoy the Huckleberry Hound song, “Oh my darling, Oh my darling, Oh my darling Clementine .. thou art lost and gone forever. Dreadful sorry, Clementine.”

WOKE UP THIS MORNING WITH A LITTLE SNIFFLE AND REALIZED THAT THE TEMPERATURE, OVERNIGHT, HAD GONE FROM 70 DEGREES TO 48 DEGREES. BRRR. WAY TOO COLD FOR MY LIKING. I USUALLY ENJOY A STEADY 69 DEGREES YEAR ROUND SO I RUSHED TO PUT ON A SWEATER AND RETURNED TO BED.

I’m assuming that Mother Nature has decided that fall is here and man is it back with a vengeance. I know this is the ‘windy city’ and the climate here is nothing short of unpredictable, but at least some warning would be nice. Like a little card in the mail every day counting down to the horrible start of the ferocious, and long, winter. A winter I have come to love (yeah right) in my short time living in this city.I’m not looking forward to this winter. Not at all. I spent my first couple of months living in this beautiful city during the worst part of its winter, January. I did not enjoy having to wear layers of clothing and staying indoors every single minute of every single day. The lack of sunshine made me 10xs more depressed and I had to constantly clean my nice pair of suede boots I got as a present from a girl my sister met in Paris (Bought in Milan no doubt).

But the thing that bothers me the most is that I won’t have that extra layer of ‘baby’ keeping me warm this year. I was pregnant all throughout the last harsh winter and I don’t know how I will manage this year without the 15 lbs of baby blocking the freezing wind and snow. I’m now just a pile of bones with no padding and I’m going to freeze to death. FREEZE TO DEATH.

So, if you see a woman laying in an alley shivering and clutching her stomach screaming, “Why me God?” Don’t do anything, just walk away. It’s probably a crazy hobo, not me. If you want to know where I’ll be .. Just look up at any nearest building and picture me inside. Because like my daughter 7 months ago, I will be gestating inside the warmth of my apartment this winter. And what a joyous winter it will be.