Monday, April 26, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Night Soapbox

It's Friday night and Adam is on a men's retreat. I've been wanting to soapbox about this so here it goes. Get ready for a silly and ridiculous post.

I admit, I know nothing about marketing and advertising. But, why do companies advertise their products with life who will be destroyed or eaten. Okay, I know that doesn't make sense. And let me just start by saying I cannot stand commercials. I will jump from station to station (out of 10 channels) just to avoid them. Anyway, I know you've all seen these commercials. They give life to a character that isn't real AND that's going to get eaten or killed, but they never address this. Let me jog your memory.
#1 the Frosted Mini Wheats...the little squares show up while a kid is eating a bowl of their friends. Run! Get out of there! You are next...frosted, blueberry, strawberry and cinnamon.
#2 Mucinex...I'm not saying I love being sick, but how gross is the little Mucus family that gets evicted from their home in some one's nasal cavity?! Seriously? I understand getting cleared up, but do we need to give the mucus life? Does that help the product sell? I don't know.

#3 Spam...Recently Spam has had a major marketing campaign. It's not convincing me. You've seen this one with all the eggs in class who are totally bored. Then Spam comes in and the party gets started and the eggs "head butt" each other and crack. Uh, that means the little egg students are going to die.

Poor Adam has to hear me complain about these ads every time we see them. They are so weird.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

amy's favorite things

(think Oprah's favorite things, but you aren't getting any)
I know I'm not an experienced mom because I've just been doing this for 5 months. However, in these 5 months we've discovered some useful things for making this transition smooth and our baby girl happy. I love to know what things, products, resources, etc other moms use and what works for them. Why reinvent the wheel? Granted, each baby is unique, but it's safe to take the advice of other parents. There were things I did a lot of research for before Charis was born, but there are things we are discovering along the way. Here are some of our favorites:
-Cloth Diapers
By far this was the best decision we could have made. There is so much out there and I probably put most of my pre-baby research energy into this. The few people I know who use cloth diapers were extremely helpful, as well as some great sites. The cost up front can be daunting, but the fact that we never, and i mean never, have to buy diapers for Charis is so freeing. I'm not sure how we could even afford it at this point. Seriously. We chose to use cloth diapers for multiple reasons. We use a variety of types: Prefolds w/ covers, All-in-Ones and Fitted w/ covers. Some of the brands we like are Twig & Vine (fitted), bumGenius (one size AIO), Chinese Prefolds w/ Thirsties or Bummis covers.

-Car Seat Toy
When Charis began to notice things we put a little hanging toy on her car seat. Soon enough, she began to reach out for it and play with it. Now she's putting it in her mouth and you'll find it has additional links hanging from it. The one we got is from Amazing Baby. (but I don't think the brand/kind really matters)

-Alphabet Links
We got these as a gift and Charis has loved them from early on b/c we hung them by her changing table, play mat, car seat and anything else. Maybe we feel like they will help in her language development too. ha!
-Sound Machine
I'm not sure Charis needs this, but it helps us.
-Fisher Price Play Mat
This was the best 12 bucks I spent at a Consignment Sale before Charis was born. I didn't realize these things go for $70. That's insane. Charis loves the music, lights, animals, and hanging things. (she also loves the matching bouncy seat)

-Mothering & BabyCenter
These are 2 websites that I love. Mothering is also a magazine with great resources for "natural family living" for things like cloth diapering, breastfeeding and the like. BabyCenter can be overwhelming, but I enjoyed knowing what fruit/veggie Charis was in utero. And now they have fun things about development and things to do with your baby at their specific age. I steer clear of the "developmental" stuff b/c that can be dangerous. I mean--I didn't coo or talk as a baby and look at me now!!
-Consignment Sales
Forgive my bluntness, but if you have kids and don't shop at secondhand stores or consignment sales, you are crazy. I, personally, have always loved thrift shops. I like to think I made it cool in jr. high. And garage sale season, oh, don't get me started. I am willing to wake up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday to scrounge around in someone else's junk. Which brings me to the genius idea of consignment sales. They happen in the spring and fall and they are spectacular. You can get amazing deals. And at the rate kids go through things, why pay full price! Before Charis was born we got most of her clothes, baby toys, play mat, bouncer, swing and so much more from sales. Since then I've gotten more clothes and toys and a backpacking child carrier. I'm already looking forward to the fall. Oh, and this spring I consigned for the first time. I made almost $25. Pretty cool.
-Burp Cloths
I know that seems strange, but I really don't think I had ANY idea how often we'd go through these. Luckily, we got all of ours at consignment sales. I make sure I have them in her bag, in our living room, in my car, with her in the carseat, her room. Just about anywhere you go you'll see a burp cloth lying around. Of course, this doesn't always mean I have one when i really need it.

It's nice to know what's worked for those who've gone before me and what hasn't. I guess everything is worth a try. I'm sure in the next 5 months we'll discover new things that are a MUST for us, or things that Charis enjoys. There are things people bombard you with when you are about to have a baby, then there are things nobody tells you. For instance, we made it through Charis' first week home with her sleeping on my chest while I slept. I had never heard of that, until I told others I did it. People were coming out of the woodwork with the things they tried to soothe their baby and get some sleep. The best advice I got was from my pediatrician who told us "you are just surviving. you do what you need to do these first 6-8 weeks." Let me tell you that this was the most freeing thing for me. I was putting so much pressure on myself and that gave me permission to let go. I'm realizing that we as women need to do this for each other; let each other off the hook once in a while. Instead of compare, celebrate; instead of criticize, encourage. Maybe that's just me. Wow, I'm not sure how I ended up here. Sorry about that. I'm just learning so much about myself on this journey of motherhood.
Stay tuned for some more favorites.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Play Date

my little flower girl
I am loving this weather. I want to be outside all the time. So we are. We had our first official play-date the other day. I know, how does a 5 month old have a play date? Basically we met some friends at a local park and hung out.

Meet Taryn. She and I went to high school together at West Charlotte. She was funky, artsy, quiet, and oh so cool. I wanted to be her friend so bad. Then, it happened. I think it happened while we were on the swim team together, then in Biology our senior year. My influence in her life was spring break '96 and a full set of acrylic nails for prom. I mean, go big or go home. We talked about going to the same college, but that didn't work out for me. We lost touch after our sophomore year of college and only recently stumbled back into each others' lives. (at the perfect time) And for that I am so thankful. She is now married and has a beautiful daughter. Meet Nora Fern. This lovely lady is funky and smart like her mama. Charis loved her as she sang to her on the blanket at the park. Nora is 2 going on 15. She was talking about how she was going to high school. Her mama uses big words like "carcasses" with her. I hope Charis and I get to keep spending more time with these 2 amazing ladies.

Nora showing Charis her raisins

Nora kept bringing me my coffee cup

Charis loving Nora as she sang her rendition of
"Rock-a-bye Baby"

ready for high school!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

the little lady is 5 months!

I am crazy about our sweet little lady. She is pretty incredible. And these past five months have been simply amazing. One part of this is watching Adam be a dad. He was made to be her dad. I love the way he plays with her, takes care of her, is in tune with her, dreams and hopes for her, and isn't ashamed to love her with a crazy dad kind of love. We are fortunate right now b/c our life allows for him to spend a lot of time with her. I am so thankful.
There are definitely moments I kind of forget we have a baby. Like the other night I suggested we both go get a Red Box. Really? But, most of the time I can't remember or imagine what life was like without Charis Root.

We have seen a lot of change in these past few weeks and of course I want to share it with you:

here she is at 5 months!!
- Charis has really discovered her voice. Today she extremely vocal with her "aaahhhh aaahhhs." We'll be driving with the windows down and I'll hear her in the back, then when I talk to her, she quiets down. But lately she seems to be talking back (in a good way).

don't ask, but that is her on her potty
- We have noticed her scooting around while she's on her tummy. She puts her butt in the air and gets up on her knees. I'm not really ready for her to crawl, but it's fun to watch her explore.
- We had a few firsts: her first lacrosse game, her first Easter, her first walk in just her diaper.

this was after our walk in the million degree weather
- She loves loves loves to be outside. If she is crying, the moment we go outside she is quiet and looking around. It's as if it calms her. This is great b/c we love to be outside!
- She is back to her binky. I think. She's been a thumb-sucker mostly, but recently she's wanting her binky. Now she can manipulate it by putting it in mouth and pulling it out and playing with it. It's the little things.

- We recently had an appointment with a Lactation specialist and realized she hadn't gained any weight in 3 weeks. So, last week she was 13 lbs 7 oz (she was 13.8 at 4 months). She has the rolls and chins, but I guess she wasn't getting enough food. I'm on some medicine to help "production" and we have a follow-up appointment next week.

- Some of her favorite toys are her "first doll" that she sleeps with, her car seat toy, a new teether, her bouncy and play mat, her alphabet links, and really anything she can put in her mouth.
- When we pull her up she likes to stand on her strong legs.

- One thing that is so cool is how she already has preferences. She prefers to sleep on her tummy. She prefers to be held upright. She prefers to be facing out (if not, she twists her head just so). She prefers to have her hands or a toy to put on her mouth (at all times).

sometimes i think she may say something
- She is giggling more and more. Especially when her daddy smooches on her.
- She loves to read. She reaches out to the pages of the book as I read.

sweet giggles

Charis' sweet cousin Cole LOVES her

Sunday, April 4, 2010

happy EASTER

"Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said." Matthew 28:5

I absolutely love Easter. I have memories of our church's Easter service (or rather production) and it made the story of Jesus' death and resurrection so real to me. I also loved the Easter baskets my mom made for us. Whether she was working or out of town, she always made sure we had an Easter basket. So, of course, Charis was going to get an Easter basket for her first Easter, even if she doesn't remember it. (I did go a little overboard with the actual basket which I bought at a local boutique that is apparently handmade and hand painted. But, it was a total splurge and super cute.)

Enjoy some pics of our sweet little lady on her first Easter.

THE basket...with some goodies

bunny ears from pawpaw & cute

exploring the goodies in her basket

the family...on this glorious day

cuteness herself in her sweet dress