Wednesday is Developmental Tip Day: #4

Wednesday again! This week's developmental tip is for that first month of your baby's life, and is accordingly simple and easy to do. Coming to you straight from the Tiny Love Developmental Center.

Age: 0-1 months
Skill/Element: The Senses

To stimulate the baby's hearing, talk and sing to the baby often. To relax the baby, play soft music or sounds with ringing bells. Try to avoid sudden, loud noises, which upset newborn babies.

See you next Wednesday at the next Tip of the Week!

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Imperfect, but Zen(ish) about it

pregnant belly

Rebbeca (aka Girl Gone Child) writes in her babble blog about weight gain and body image during pregnancy:

Some might call this, laziness– letting myself go but I disagree. I think of it as letting go… of the self-loathing and body-hate. And embracing the fact that any body that is capable of creating such a miraculous wonder-dude is a beautiful one.

When I was pregnant I was too busy strutting my pregnant belly around and eating anything that didn't move fast enough, to have intelligent insights regarding my fabulous mental well being, but I guess I can hustle them rotting brain cells now.

Pregnancy for me was, both times, the ultimate liberation from the appearance police. In my pre-pregnancy past I was never really fat, but neither was I ever really thin. Like almost every one I know, I always felt like I could lose a few pounds. Once I got pregnant, I suddenly couldn't care less about how fat or thin I was. I was SUPPOSED to be bigger. My tummy was SUPPOSED to grow. Admittedly, I'm one of the lucky ones who really didn't gain much weight during each pregnancy, but the feeling of fabulousness was not related to that. It was related to my feeling that I'm in the process of doing something great, one of the greatest things I'll ever do.

About a gazillion words were already written about the difficulties of being a woman, having to do it all and be successful at everything while also looking great and keeping up with unreal appearance standards, and the body-hate issue is obviously a byproduct of this phenomenon. Being pregnant is a rare opportunity to get rid of, or at least take a break from, wrestling with your body image and, like Rebecca suggests, just let go. There is someone growing inside of you, this makes your body a good place.

I'm struggling here not to succumb into "your body is a temple" and "the magical magic of pregnancy" talk, but the fact is my pregnancies did make feel a bit temple-ish in the sense that there was more harmony between how I felt about myself and how I felt about my body. Magically enough, some of this Zen-like body perception stayed with me post-partum. Of course I was fast to revert to "I'm so flabby I hate myself" moments, but I did find myself more and more in peace about my imperfections.

Photo credit: Omer Ziv

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pregnancy, body image

Baby steps

baby steps

The Dandelion took his first step today, immediately followed by his second. He was trying to get from leaning on the bed to leaning on the table that was about 1.5 feet away, but he was holding a cookie in each hand, so he couldn't grab anything to help him. Obviously valuing the cookies higher than his personal safety, he had no choice but to walk 2, count them: one, two, whole steps.

I forgot how freaking exciting these milestones are. I was like "omigod, omigod, he totally WALKED", and my mom was "I know, it's so exciting, he actually walked", and we were both squealing in a way that is completely unbecoming a mom and a grandma, while the boys looked at each other with a "women, go figure" look.

And then I realized, oh dear God, soon I will have two daredevils walking running around, most likely in different directions. If anyone's looking for me, I went looking for new running-shoes and hopfully a Mojito as well.

Photo credit: Nabeel Hyatt

(By the way, Nabeel also took this picture and is obviously a man of exquisite taste in mobiles)

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walking, milestones, baby steps

Love Thursday, a sad one.

This is not a happy Love Thursday post. If you're looking for happy, try me some other week.

Someone I knew not well at all passed away two weeks ago as a result of severe preeclempsia. She was 37 weeks pregnant. The baby was delivered in good condition. The mother was in critical condition for 4 days before she passed away. Her husband was left with a days-old baby that will never know her mother and a 5 year old who has lost the most important person in her world.

I really did not know her at all. I bought some of the clothes she designed for my kids. I saw her sometimes on the street where both are kids' schools were. We would nod to each other, sometimes smile, that's it. But her death shook me almost as if she was a close friend of mine. Thinking about her little girls left without a mother who was, as her friends tell, dedicated and wonderful and loving with a passion, is bringing me to tears even as I write this.

I'm not even sure how this relates to Love Thursday, except that I found out that my Love Thursday posts are always more emotional and come from a deeper place in my soul then other posts. The loss of a mother's love is as great and terrible as the love was.

Links to preeclempsia sources:

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Wednesday is Developmental Tip Day: #3

We're back with this week's developmental tip. If you're not sure what this is – it is a little snippet from the wealth of knowledge that's the Tiny Love Developmental Center.

Age: 9-12 months
Skill/Element: Cognition

If a task appears to be too difficult for him, try to simplify it by dividing it into smaller tasks, or revising it. For example, when playing with stacking toys, you can give him just the largest and smallest cup.

See you next Wednesday at the next Tip of the Week!

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The more the merrier?

There's an interesting and scary discussion at Ask Moxie about having multiples very close to an older child. Holy cannoli people – how difficult is that? Reading all the comments over there I vowed to never again complain about my so-called hardships. Some people have it so much harder.

We have here at Tiny Love something called a Multiple Birth Program – basically it's a "buy one, get one free" deal for parents of multiples. If you are one – take adventage of it*, make life just a bit easier.

*That is, if you're in the US or Canada.

Health, sweet health.

So fluefest 2007 is thankfully done and over with, and has left in its wake a nagging cough prompting people kindergarten teachers to give us dirty go-away-you-disease-spreading-creature looks. I've been thinking of printing us all nifty little "I'm not sick I'm just coughing" t-shirts. They should do the trick.

All in all, being confined to the house for the week was not half as bad as I though it would be. We spent a lot of time in bed, all of us, watching movies. Our choice of the week – Barnyard. Now, maybe it's just me, but what's the deal with all the male cows toting an impressive set of udders? I mean, hello, they are boy-cows?? Anyways, once you get over the gender-confused cows, it's a really fun movie with some kick-butt songs in it. Which I can sing to the letter having watched it at least twice. every. single. day. for a week.

Hopefully this was the last flu for this winter (please oh please oh pretty please) and we will have the rest of the winter off…

Comforted by Love

As flufest 2007 continues full speed ahead, I am struggling to see the upsides.

One thing I was thankful for this past week is my ability to provide comfort with ease. All it takes is a hug, or simply the touch of my hand, for both Ulysses and the Dandelion to feel just a bit better. I still find it somewhat of a miracle, how they will cry miserably with fever or pain, but will calm down the minute they put their head on my shoulder.

Happy Love Thursday!

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love thursday