Sunday, August 31, 2008

How cute are these?!Yesterday Jason came home from the hospital with a gift from one of the people he works with. They have been so sweet to welcome Alex with all kinds of wonderful gifts. When we opened the box, I found these adorable UGG crocheted baby booties. Now I'm sort of looking forward to the Iowa winter so Alex can try these on for size...Well, okay, "looking forward to" may be an bit of an overstatement. I'm glad that when the cold weather does arrive, our son will have the cutest winter footwear around!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Goin' Back to School.

This week I started class at the Des Moines Area Community College. I figured it was high time to get back out of the house and into the halls of school - again. This time, though, my aim is purely artistic. I am taking a basic digital photography class and I am so excited about learning the in's and out's of photography. I have always wanted to be a good photographer and the class seems to promise all I'll need to get started. I have a new camera and all my school supplies...right down to the 3-ring binder. Can't say I've bought one of those since the 7th grade! That binder is going to hold all of my photo projects for the semester. If they are any good, perhaps I'll post some after a few weeks. Might be fun to see how the photos improve (or not) over the course of several months.

Since we are on the subject, I'll give a little shout out to my favorite photographers. There are so many blogs and sites I look at regularly and think "I wish my photos were half that good!", especially ones with candid family and kid photos like the Marshman's, the Schulz's, and Adriane Smith. Austinite Malita Jones has great scenery pics - my favorite is the Fenceline - it so reminds me of West Texas. I also have to mention Rebecca Mayfield, who, would be in the top 5 if she had a photography website. However, these days she's spending her time hanging out by her blow-up pool in the backyard instead of taking tons of photos. Last but not least, my all-time favorite photographer to envy online is Trever Hoehne. His photos are truly amazing. It probably doesn't hurt that he lives in California and has an endless supply of beautiful scenery and even more beautiful people to shoot...

So, my photography journey begins. Don't look for me to set up a website or anything yet... since my skills have yet to be determined. But hopefully you regular readers can track my progress and keep up with my photography as it improves in the coming months. I'll post the pictures to prove it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The two men in my life...

Monday, August 18, 2008

The 2 a.m. Crazy Talk.

You know how lots of dads will brag that their kid is sleeping through the night at two months old? Well, for Jason, I think he's going to be bragging that his wife is finally sleeping through the night - hopefully by the time Alex is two months old...

We call it the 2 a.m. Crazy Talk. Every night I wake up between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. panicked that Alex has gotten lost in our bed (which he never sleeps in because he has his own), is sleeping without his pajamas on, is ready to eat, or is crying. Last night, it was because I dreamed Alex was trapped in my pillowcase. None of these things are the reality, but at 2 a.m. and in my state of sleep deprivation they all seem larger than life. My sweet husband has to coax me back to bed and assure me that, in fact, Alex is wearing pajamas and he isn't in need of any food or attention - he's sleeping! In the mornings Jason tells me all about the crazy talk. Sometimes I remember and sometimes I don't. It certainly gives us both a good laugh!

Since Alex is sleeping in 4-5 hour stretches at night now, he's waking up on his own to eat. Hopefully soon I'll be able to enjoy the 4-5 hours of sleep too. As soon as that crazy talk subsides, perhaps I will. Till then I guess I'll just deal with the crazy talk and be grateful for my husband who bears the nightly burden of bringing me back to reality...and back to bed.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I dig cloth diapers.This is a picture of Alex in his cloth diaper bottoms. At our house, we are digging the cloth diapers and wipes! Now before you think that I am spending my days washing out dirty diapers, let me confess that we are using a cloth diaper service here in Des Moines. The service provides us with a cloth diaper bin and liner (complete with a secure lid to keep the smell in), clean cloth diapers each week, and a front door pick up of our week's worth of yucky diapers. How fabulous is that?

*Now I have to interject here - major kudos to all the moms who do their own washing of the diapers. You gals are the real deal. I readily admit that I'm easing into the cloth diaper thing comfortably by using the service. And I seriously hope there's a service wherever we live from now until the time for having babies has ended.*

Anyways, besides the fact that the cloth diaper bottom is so cute, there are so many perks to the cloth diaper:

1. I love that Alex always has soft, breathable cotton on his bottom. The diapers don't use pins, they are just folded and kept in place by a Velcro-fastened diaper cover. Changing his diaper is definitely just as easy as changing a paper one.

2. We are saving money by using cloth...and who doesn't like to save money?

3. Alex never has diaper rash. This was listed as one of the main incentives for using cloth in many articles I read before, and I'm glad to report that it's true.

4. The cloth wipes work just as good as the paper ones and it makes me feel good that I'm not throwing away something every time I change his diaper.

5. When we were researching this option before Alex was born, I saw some statistics on the amount of waste paper diapers create. I was truly shocked. Did you know that the average kid will use about 8,000-10,000 diapers before he's potty-trained? Americans throw away 570 diapers per second - about 49 million a day. And all those diapers will still be in the landfill 300 years from now. Oh my!

6. I've read in lots of places that kids who are cloth diapered potty train up to 12 months sooner than ones who are paper diapered. Of course, it'll be a while before I know if this one is true, but the thought of it sure is appealing.

I know that everyone makes their own decision about what's best for their baby, so please don't hear me say that you should all be cloth diapering your babies. But, I think it's responsible to at least consider it in these days of thinking seriously about how much we consume and waste in America - and the cost of it all. At the very least, maybe read an article or two and see what you think.

I just thought I'd share what a positive experience we are having with the cloth and especially the diaper service. If you live in an area that has a cloth diaper service similar to what I've described I totally recommend you give it a try. And, even if you don't live in an area where there's a service, check out ways to do cloth diapering without one...

...then you will fall into that "real deal" category of pure cloth diapering moms. You're in good company there.

Housing Law Rewards Bad Behavior

In May, I posted a short rant on my frustrations with the whole housing crisis situation and the attention it was getting in the media. Well, the housing bill "bail out" was signed into law recently and I guess Barbara from Santa Barbara will now get her wish. She can move out of her SUV and back into the million dollar home she probably couldn't afford in the first place...

I thought this fox business news article (posted below) did a nice job of calling it as they see it.

Housing Law Rewards Bad Behavior

Milton Friedman once said that the most important concept in economics boils down to two words: incentives matter.

It's so simple. A child figures that out the first time he's rewarded for good behavior. On the other hand, a smart parent quickly discovers that if you reward bad behavior, it won't go away.

What's amazing is how something so simple can be so difficult for politicians to understand.

The housing bill, recently signed into law with no cameras present, proves like nothing else that they just don't get it. Never before has our government spent so much money rewarding so many different examples of bad behavior -- whether it's the folks who bought a house they couldn't afford, or folks who lent money to people they shouldn't have, all that bad behavior is about to be rewarded by taxpayers who have no say in the matter. And you can be sure, when you reward bad behavior, you'll get more of it. So the hundreds of billions of dollars that this housing law is handing out will turn into trillions of dollars, once word gets around that bad behavior is being rewarded so well.

This law epitomizes everything that is wrong with government: trying to solve a problem by throwing money at it; overriding the popular will in favor of lobbyists; politicians accepting favors from direct beneficiaries of the law (something that used to be called a bribe); creating new bureaucracies. But what's worst about the law is that it provides incentives for people to do the wrong thing, which they will continue to do as long as they're getting bailed out. It will be a huge drag on our economy for years to come. And the reason politicians don't get it is because Washington is one of those few places where incentives really don't matter, and where bad behavior is constantly rewarded.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Mommy's New Vocabulary.

Alex is 4 weeks old now and it's fun to see how he's changing every day. He awoke from his newborn slumber and has proven to have a pretty healthy set of lungs on him. Man, can that kid wail! Jason and I are figuring out how to let him "cry it out" when he needs to and when to cuddle him. Such a difficult balance. But we are learning!

In other news, I have noticed that as a mom I have some new phrases in my vocabulary. My new vocab includes a lot of words that I admit I've never thought I'd use on a daily basis. And, honestly, things that I used to hear moms say and think "she's gone nuts". Now I'm one of those nuts I guess. Here's a sample...

(to Alex) "Do you have poops?"
(to Jason) ""oh no, he's shooting tee tee everywhere!""
(to Alex) "You are the sweeeeetest baby in the whole wide world." What can I say? This kid's gonna have a healthy self image.
"I'm so tired."
"Why is he crying?"
(to Alex) "open wide for Mommy"
(to Alex) "do you have burps?"...burp..."oh, good burp, baby!"
(to Alex) "do you have hicky-ups?"
(to Jason) "He has a dirty diaper. I think he wants Daddy."
(whispering to Alex just before bedtime) "Mommy and Daddy love you sooooo much."

I'm not sure when I started pluralizing things like burps and actually can't remember a time when I thought the word "toot" was ok to use on a daily basis, but I guess you could say I'm making the slow transition to full blown silly-talking Mommy. Except for the Mommy and Daddy loving him sooooo much part...that's definitely not silly talk!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Sleep is good.

Alex gets a lot of sleep at our house. So, when he sleeps, we sleep. I'm starting to wonder if it's bad that we (meaning Jason and I) are still in our pajamas at 1:00 p.m...?

Needless to say, we are enjoying the newborn slumber for as long as it lasts.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Our First Date Night.

Jason and I are huge fans of date night. We have taken seriously the advice of friends and marriage mentors who have encouraged us to continue "dating" during marriage. This week we have taken advantage of Jason's mom being here and went on our first date night post-Alex. I fed Alex and we headed downtown, knowing we had about 2 1/2 hours before Alex had to eat again. We had no trouble handing him over to Grandma and calling, "see ya" over our shoulder as we walked out the door...

We ate sushi for the first time in 9 months, shared a cocktail (I promise this is ok for nursing moms!), and walked to a different restaurant for dessert. It was our own little new parent progressive dinner of sorts. So fun.

Hooray for date night!