Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Crib Sleeping Hack

I'm a big fan of Parent Hacks. I've found some wonderful advice there and after being a regular reader for several months. I now see hacks everywhere, and like many of the people who write to Asha, the editor of Parent Hacks, I often assume everyone already knows about these hacks. Then I end up surprised when I pass it on to a friend who had never thought of it. So in the spirit of sharing even if everyone already knows it, here's a hack I just implemented.

C is 12 weeks old today and rapidly outgrowing her bassinet. She sleeps well in it and I'm concerned that the transition to the crib will be rocky. Here's the plan I implemented. First I started putting the removal top of her bassinet in the crib. She's been sleeping like that for about two weeks. Now, I've started keeping the bassinet hood down and getting her used to seeing what is in the room around her. Next I will stop using the vibration on the bassinet which I rarely use now but still occasionally turn on when she's having a hard time settling herself. A few days after that, I'll remove the bassinet completely.

C takes her afternoon naps in my room since she shares a room with M who has a very noisy "quiet" time in the afternoon. To help C get used to sleeping elsewhere without the bassinet, I'm going to start putting the bassinet top inside the pack-n-play today.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Diaper Bag List

I've been reading a lot of posts about organization on my various feeds lately, and they've inspired me to try to get back to some of the routines and organizational strategies I've used in the past. When I was packing my diaper bag/purse to go to our local Nature Center today, I decided to revise the list I used to keep detailing what needed to be in the bag and share it here:

Changing pad
Plastic bags for dirty diapers or clothes
Burp rag
Small blanket
Change of clothes for the baby
Pony-tail bands for me and my 3yo
Water bottles (one for me, one for my 3yo)
A baby toy or two
Crayons and a small notebook
Small can of playdough
Small first aid kit (band-aids, alcohol wipes)
Sunhat for the baby
Cell phone

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sarah's Reading

I'm longing for more reading time right now, but I have manged to finish a few books since C was born along with re-reads of the relevant sections of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, which saved my sanity with my first daughter. I'm a fairly ecclectic reader, I typically turn to romance or chick lit for fun reading but I also enjoy sci fi and fantasy and I've found myself doing more non-ficiton reading lately. Some of what I've read in the last few months:

The Shia Revival by Vali Nasr - This one nearly took too much concentration for my post-partum mind, but I found it fascinating when I could focus on it. Seeing the interplay between religion and politics in the Middle East that most of our leaders have ignored was both disturbing and enlightening.

Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran - After reading The Shia Revivial, I was inspired to read more about the situation in Iraq, and I chose this book based on my dh's recommendation. I found it insightful and well-written. It gives a very revealing look at life inside the Green Zone where the Coalition Provisional Authority was stationed from May 2003-June 2004.

The Baker's Apprentice by Judith Ryan Hendricks - This book is the sequel to Bread Alone which I thoroughly enjoyed. I wanted to become a bread baker myself after reading it. I didn't like this volume quite as much. The shift in narrators (back and forth from the main character to her love interest) didn't work well in my opinion, but I would still recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the first book.

The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber - I sought out more books that celebrate food after reading The Baker's Apprentice and this turned out to be as good as the blurb I read about it sounded. I loved Abu-Jaber's descriptions of the food of her childhood and how it shaped her vision of her Jordanian/American heritiage. The essays also got me thinking more about the experience of immigrants in America.

The Bargain by Mary Jo Putney - A great Regency romance read. Mary Jo Putney is one of my favorite romance writers. Several of her books have remained on my keeper shelf for over a decade, and it was nice to re-visit some characters from other stories I'd read.

I'm currently re-reading Charlotte Mason's A Philosophy of Education. I first read her 6 volume homeschooling series several years ago when I was teaching high school and doing a lot of thinking about what is wrong with our educational system.

What We've Been Doing This Week

It's been hard to enjoy all the summer activities I'd like to be doing with my family since we have a 3 month old. I'd expected lots of things to be difficult in the first months with a new baby, but I hadn't anticipated how difficult it would be to take a tiny baby who can't have sunscreen on to the pool or even out to a park. We have managed to do some of what we'd planned though and we're still hoping to go berry picking some time in the next few weeks and I'm figuring out the logistics of the pool party one of M's friends is having next week.

This week we went to the farm at the Biltmore Estate and M was able to hold a 1 week old baby chick which was very exciting for her. We saw lambs and horses and goats as well. Then we went up to the restored horse barn where M got to climb on some antique tractors and farm wagons. We wrapped up the morning with a picnic and some ice cream. C spent most of the time asleep in the Moby Wrap (the one piece of baby equipment I could not do without).

M has summer preschool for the next few weeks and on Wednesday they had water play day which she thought was a blast. We also got to have several friends over to play and on Thursday we went to one of the summer reading program activities at the library. A woman make some very intricate balloon art and did magic tricks. It was loud and cheesy but M adored it. C got squirmy and fussy so we didn't get to check out too many books but we did find a few that M is really enjoying - Hot Hippo by Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway, a fable about why the hippos lives in the water during the day and comes out at night to eat grass and Fabian Escapes by Peter McCarty , a very simple story about a dog and a cat and how they spend the day.

M has also been begging for chapter after chapter of books 5 and 6 in the Pony-Crazed Princess series by Diana Kimpton. The books arrived in the mail mid week and we're already on the second one. We've also been having fun with our other book purchase - Charlie and Lola's Picnic Sticker Stories.

M loves to help me bake, something I'm looking forward to doing more and more as the girls get older. On Friday, we made raisin scones before some friends came over. It's been a long time since we've decorated cookies. I'm hoping we can make some gingerbread men next week.

re-introducing myself

It's been quite a while since I posted. I now have a second dd who is almost 3 months old. I'm generally on leave from my writing job though I'm starting to work a little bit again. I want to start posting again, particularly about the activities I'm doing this summer with M and C.