Linkity Link Link 06/29/2007

  • Embrace your inner geek with this cool physics experiment!
  • Should I have a weekly craft? Is it okay to have a weekly craft while there's no chance I would ever actually follow through and make any of them, because I um… SUCK at crafting? What the heck, my blog my rules. My blog my rules! I'm having a weekly craft! This week it's those adorable and allegedly simple popups from world-famous popup books artist Robert Saboda. (Hat tip: one of my favorite lurking places, thingamababy)
  • I know you have all seen him. But he's SO CUTE. And funny. Or is it just me?
  • Me and the prairie dog hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday is Developmental Tip Day: #25

Continuing newborn-a-rama, this week's tip is short and sweet. As usual, coming to you from the Tiny Love Developmental Center.

Age: 0-1 months
Skill/Element: Cognition

Make eye contact and speak to your baby.

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

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tip of the week

Fun at the mall! Come one and all!

scream

Remember how I said yesterday that I hate it when people try to tell me how to raise my kids? How I'm making my own choices etceteras etceteras? Well, whaddayaknow, I've been heard. God or Karma or whomever the Decision Maker might be, has heard me. And decided to teach me a swift lesson, with the zesty aid of in-your-face I-know-what's-best-for-your-baby-you-terrible-terrible-mother lady. (did I over do it with the hyphens? maybe just a smidgen?)

This smoldering afternoon the kids and I escaped to the air-conditioned bliss of the mall. After getting Ulysses the obligatory motorcycle and buying the Dandalion new sandals we commenced to go to the juice man. I heart the juice man. He has acai smoothies. Yum. With pineapple. Double Yum. But I digress. So, as we start walking toward the juice man, the Dandalion decides that his feet are no longer of any use to him, collapses gracefully on the floor and put the sirens on red alert. Have I mentioned before? Dude can SCREAM.

Veteran (and air-conditioned) mommy that I am, I take no notice. I take a few steps forward and patiently wait for him to scream it out.

Enters Annoying Lady.

AL: "Why are you crying, honey? Did someone hit you?"
The Dandelion, seeing a person he doesn't know cries "moooommmmmy"
AL: "Did mommy hit you?"

At which point I feel it's prudent to step in before someone calls social services on me. I try to reason with the Dandelion, which has exactly zero effect. (Have you ever tried to reason with an hysterical 18 monther? I don't recommend it.) I try to distract him while bravely keeping patient, and what is even more amazing, with Ulysses being as patient as I've ever seen him. So of course AL feels that she must barge in.

AL: "Maybe you are not his real mother." (I'm not making this up, she actually said that.)
Me: "I wish, than I could just walk away."
AL: "Why don't you just pick him up?"
Me: "Why don't you go and pick on someone else?"
AL: "I'm just saying, the screaming, it's unberable."
(Please keep in mind, that we are in a public place, she is free to go anywhere. No one is forcing her to stand near my screaming child. So I say…)
Me: "Please feel free to leave at any point."

Did she leave? No. Did the Dandelion stopped screaming? Yes, sweet Lord, he did, two minutes after AL and me finished our delightful conversation. Did I pay my hubris debt to Karma? Sure hope I did.

To B or to F?

breastfeeding

Could it be that this blog has been alive over six months and I have not talked about breastfeeding ONCE? How could I have overlooked this staple of existence? I am a disgrace to the mommyblogging genre. No, I'm a disgrace to mothers everywhere. Today, I will try to make amends, and, maybe, maybe I'll be allowed back in the club.

To breast or not to breast? For some it's not even a question. The growing stamina of the pro-lactation lobby is effecting to delegitimize asking it. In other words, breastfeeding – good mamma; formula feeding – bad mamma, as simple as that. Only it's not. For some women, insistence to breastfeed has too high a price.

Tricia Grissom at babble is relating her breastfeeding Via Dolorosa that led her to "give up" and convert to formula. What's the name of the section her touching piece resides in? "Bad parent". Given that the folks at babble are a tad on the sarcastic side, it's safe to assume that they are not judging her. Still, the implications are that some people deem the act of not breastfeeding as bad parenting.

If you're a regular reader, you might have caught on to the fact that I'm allergic to all kinds of parenting agendas. I don't have a problem with how anyone chooses to raise their children (assuming their methods don't include the microwave of course), I just don't like it when someone tries to sell me a babies-for-dummies all-in-one foolproof system of parenting. I'm making my own choices, based on my own instincts and my own reasoning.

Maybe it's time for a little disclosure: I breastfed both my boys for over a year, and I enjoyed doing it. It came (relatively) easy to me. I even used to look scornfully upon the formula-moms, selfishly bottle-feeding their unloved babies. (Wink wink, yeah? No taking this seriously…) The first time I had to give Ulysses formula, when I left him with my mom and didn't have enough pumped milk to leave with him, I thought the sky would fall. They didn't. I relaxed, and so did my judgment.

If one of my girlfriends would come to me seeking my advice on breastfeeding, I would recommend it enthusiastically. But, if I see said hypothetical girlfriend buckling under the pressure of unsuccessful breastfeeding I will suggest alternatives, even *gasp* formula. It's just not worth it, there are so many other ways to be a good mom.

Fabíola Medeiros

Linkity Link Link 06/22/2007

Let's see what my goodie bag has been filled with this week:

zen

  • For you crafter types (I envy you, you know that, don't you?), Craft Magazine has the cutest muppet hoodies
  • Alice at finslippy proves (yet again) that she can put into brilliant words what most of us are thinking and experiencing with our child.
  • Talking about zen, this is so addictive our entire office started an unofficial contest to see who can last longest. (What's zen gotta go [gotta do] with it? The best way to win is to be zen about it.)
  • Last for today a good idea to start your weekend with.
Photo credit: Tim Notari

I think there are a few more under there

skirt

Hiding under my sk*rt are at least six of my past selves:

The little girl who used to fall and scratch her knees so often, she was told she could never wear a skirt.

The nine year old who scornfully disdained looks and clothes and opted instead for shaggy baggy outfits and weird hairdos. (Not weird in the good punk-alternative way. Weird in the geek sideways ponytail way.) (Just like Eden!)

The frightfully shy preadolescent who spent too much energy trying to go unnoticed and wore whatever her mom bought her.

The coming of age teenager, growing more confident and flaunting showing it with miraculously shrinking tops and skirts.

The young adult, secure and comfortable in her body, developing a dangerous addiction to fine clothes.

The new mom, with the breast-milk-stained shirts and made-to-get-dirty pants, so deliriously happy and tired, often wearing the same clothes three two days in a row.

Photo credit: Ali J of Aussie Patches


Written for the Parent Bloggers Network and Sk*rt "What's under your sk*rt?" blog blast.

Wednesday is Developmental Tip Day: #24

I had lunch with a friend of mine who gave birth three weeks ago to her second son (welcome to the club, sister!), and you know something? Newborns? They are so awesome! Their scent! And their tiny little hands! And their scent! Although she's a veteran mom, I know she would appreciate the occasional tip here and there, especially if it comes from the Tiny Love Developmental Center.

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

During the first month, the baby's head tilts toward the side. In order to stimulate his vision, place toys and objects on the side he is facing.

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

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tip of the week

Um… dads?

holding daddy's hand

We kinda ignored your day here, on the Tiny Love blog. Well, let's be honest I kinda ignored it. Not on purpose, mind you, I love dads. Dads are Da Bomb.

So, to make up for it, why don't you share your Father's Day stories here in the comments: let me know how it went, what did you do, what cool stuff you got, or any other dad-related story you feel like sharing. You have a week to post your comment, and next Tuesday (06/26) I'll choose a random comment and the commentor will win some goodies – I'm thinking, gift certificates.

Moms, feel free to participate!

I'll start with a dad story of my own, just to get you going.

One afternoon, when I was three years old, I went with my dad to the swings. My brother was a baby then – about 6 month old – so I'm guessing my mom was home with him and it was just me and my dad. My daddy was, and still is, a big man: 6'10", heavy built, could probably still pick me up and twirl me around, if he was so inclined. (Not an easy task, I assure you…) So, my dad is pushing me in those rickety swings, and I'm all for speed and height, so he obliges me with more of both, until the part of the swing that keeps the swinging child within the swing's seat gives out and I continue the trajectory of the swing, face first, into a tree trunk.

My dad says that when he got to where I landed I was unconscious with my eyes rolled back in their sockets. He picked me up and ran to the doctor, who (luckily) was just a ten minutes walk away. He says that the few minutes it took him to cover that distance were the worst minutes of his life, bar none. By the time he got to the doctor I woke up, and was later diagnosed with a mild concussion.

For many years, I used to tell this story as a cute anecdote, but only when I became a parent myself I realized how truly horrifying an experience it was for him, and how much cool and control he had to muster in order to act quickly and efficiently. I want to hope that, God forbid, if anything like that ever happened to one of my kids, I'll have the same clarity and not become too hysterical to act. I think that I would know what to do, because I learned it from my dad.

Happy belated Father's Day!

Now your turn – what's your dad story?

Photo credit: The Anti-ZIM

Hatch

baby box

Have you ever been so overwhelmed by taking care of your baby that you felt like you can't do it anymore? Ever felt that someone, possibly you, has made a huge mistake, and that you are just not the right (wo)man for the job? That your poor baby would be so much better off with someone else?

I'm guessing – yes. Even if for the shortest of moments, for a fleeting second around those sleepless first weeks, dazedly wandering around with a screaming baby in your arms, you have entertained these thoughts. I know I did. Taking care of babies is not for the faint of heart: The hours suck and the learning curve is brutal. Still, most of us do it, and for the large part, we do it well. Then there are those who don't do so well.

Enter the Japanese baby hatch. If you didn't caught its news appearances lately, the recently opened baby hatch is an incubator-like box at a Japanese hospital where parents who feel they cannot take care of their babies can drop them safely and anonymously.

Not surprisingly, baby hatches (the Japanese one, and its German predecessors) strike some major controversy. Japanese prime minister, for example, thinks it's just wrong. Parents should raise their own kids, he says.

I disagree. If a parent has come to that point where they feel they have no other option but to give their child away, they must really be in an impossible position. When a parent can no longer take care of her or his baby, it is better to provide them with an alternative to say, leaving him in a trash can or throwing him out of the window (WARNING: the linked articles are not easy to read.)

I know there's a debate on whether Safe Haven laws should be advertised, not wanting to encourage parents to abandon their children. Hey, it's not like you see babies get dropped in those hatches left and right. (Cue: "it's a raining babies… hallelujah." Okay, maybe just in my sick head.) IMO having a baby hatch or Safe Havens is better than having babies left to the care of people like these. (Don't click this link. Please don't. You don't want to know. Trust me.)

Photo credit: Wbs 70