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Plug it!!

18 Feb

Before I was a parent, I thought child-proofing a home meant putting child-locks on cabinets that contained dangerous chemicals and placing outlet plugs in un-used outlets.  Once I became a parent, it didn’t take me long to realize that my prior theory about child-proofing was weak.  Unless I wanted to stay on my child’s tail every second of every waking hour, child-proofing meant safety-proofing and included locking every drawer and cabinet I didn’t want my daughter to explore, anchoring unstable furniture to the wall, moving animal food/water bowls, placing gates at the top AND bottom of staircases, locking doors, only cooking on back-burners of the range, covering sharp corners, moving dangerous decorations out-of-reach, even ridding ourselves of some furniture {mean coffee tables!} altogether…and that was probably still only the tip of the iceberg.

Then my son {the future electrician?} came along.  Plugging open outlets was not enough because he loved to un-plug everything…and then try to plug it back in while his chubby little fingers gripped the electrical prongs.   We basically re-arranged our home for his safety…placing furniture in front of any used outlets and then using outlet plugs on the exposed, but otherwise unused outlets.  Even night-lights must be removed from their outlets and the outlets re-plugged the minute his feet hit the floor every morning.  If you’re wondering why I don’t just tell him “no” or re-direct his attention…don’t think I haven’t tried.  His safety comes first.  I know that I am not capable of giving him my undivided attention 24 hours a day…and that is basically what it would take to keep a very mobile one-year old boy safe day after day after day.  I have safety equipment in place so that I can have a break from the fear of my children getting hurt…at least while we are supposed to be safe in our home.

My husband and I can be pretty frugal, so when we safety-proofed for our daughter we opted for the super cheap outlet plugs seen here {12 for $2.49} and continued to use those to safety-proof for our son, but, if  another little trouble-maker like our son made his/her way into our hearts and home, I would probably spring for these {12 for $33.90} so I wouldn’t every worry about my children finding or attempting to use an uncovered outlet again.

Kids!!!  Thank goodness they are SO worth the work!


Not so “lucky number seven”…

1 Nov

AJ’s first birthday and 12 month well-child check is just a few short weeks away.  Well-child checks almost always equal immunizations and this checkup could mean my baby’s thigh will be stuck with 7 needles…for 7 immunizations and protection from greater than 7 viruses.  Included in that series will be his flu shot booster since he received his initial flu shot last month.  He was too young {under 6 months} to have any flu vaccines last year, so at least he will be protected this fall/winter.

One shot that will not be puncturing AJ’s chunky thighs is the MMR.  It is probably the most talked about of all childhood vaccines and the one that scares most parents because so many {including the author of one of my favorite pregnancy books, Jenny McCarthy} have accused it of causing autism.

I am a complete supporter of vaccinations.  In the world prior to vaccinations {and antibiotics} many children did not survive to see their first birthday and the crippling effects of polio were seen almost world-wide.  But, I am frightened by the astonishing amount of mothers who feel that the MMR vaccine changed their previously healthy-developing children.  I don’t believe that the MMR vaccine can turn a non-autistic child into an autistic child, but maybe I feel that some children are more genetically susceptible to autism and the vaccine may just be the irritant that unleashes those genetic characteristics.

I waited until my daughter was 18 months old to have her MMR vaccine administered.  We did not live in an area where a measles, mumps or rubella epidemic was occurring, or I may have re-thought my plan.   Males are about 4 times more likely to develop autism than females, so I plan to delay the MMR vaccine with my son as well…I don’t know that it would change the course of my son’s life if he were destined to be autistic, I just know that is the decision that I am most comfortable with.

Clearly, immunizations are something that should be discussed with a pediatrician on an individual child’s basis.  I am NOT making a recommendation…just sharing MY personal thoughts about vaccinations and what I feel is best for MY family…not yours.

Click here for the U.S. childhood immunization schedule and here for more information about autism.

Ballerina Girl

23 Sep

In early June I discussed my little girl’s first ballet class…her first any-class without mommy or daddy by her side.  There were tears and a little separation anxiety, but that was then and this is now…

Sometimes Olive is so excited to go “dance with Miss P” that she runs off without even looking back to say bye to mom, much less even give me a hug!  That’s okay…I get a few squishy-nosed smiles through the viewing window, so I’m reassured that she is having fun and hasn’t forgotten about me!

I couldn’t be any more pleased with my daughter’s ballet experience.  It is SO much more than just standing at the barre doing countless pliés and passés.  I thought ballet would be great way for Olive to have fun and burn some energy while secretly working on her gross motor skills, coordination, balance, and rhythm development.  It didn’t even cross my mind that it would be all that AND more!  Her little class does songs and activities that exercise her memory, reinforce taking turns and following  instructions,  increase flexibility, enhance core strength and most importantly…build CONFIDENCE…all while having fun, moving to music, and making friends!

By no means do I hope that my Olive becomes a professional ballerina, but I do hope that she carries some of her ballerina grace with her throughout life.  A girl’s life can be hard enough without adding clumsy to the list!



Yum Yum…Mum Mum!

28 Jul

A few weeks ago I bragged about my baby boy’s first word.  Now I’m asking myself…was that Mama or Mum Mum?!?!

My little guy absolutely loves Baby Mum-Mums!  We started these rice rusks not long after we introduced AJ to his first solid food {plain rice cereal, of course}.  Since vegetables are now a regular part of AJ’s daily diet, we have moved to the vegetable Baby Mum-Mums and AJ can’t get enough of them!  He usually downs an entire package before I can even get his real meal prepared.

The best thing about these Mum-Mums is they don’t make a huge mess {and nutritionally, they appear to be very healthy}.  When I was experimenting with solid foods with my firstborn, I made the mistake of purchasing “teething biscuits.”  Babies + food = messy, but those teething biscuits were the absolute worst…it seriously looked like my daughter was chewing on a poop…a poop that had smeared all over her face, hands, arms, and high chair.  They were disgusting and I never bought them again.

Lucky for me, Mum-Mums don’t require a trip to a specialty store {with two kids in tow, I’m a one-stop shopper}, they can conveniently be purchased at both very well-know grocery stores near my home and many other places {even online!}.

My little guy really is still saying mama {at least, I think so}, but he may have also added a new word to his vocabulary…another word that means food.  You think my little guy likes to eat?!?!

I am special…

13 Jul

I’m a stay-at-home mom.  I choose to stay home with my children so I can raise them, enjoy life with them, watch them grow, and be present for all the important things in their lives thus far…basically just eat up all the baby fun they have to offer.  My stay-at-home mom plan worked out marvelously with my daughter…I haven’t missed a thing.  My son…well, that is a different story.

AJ rolled over for the first time while my husband was watching him {I was folding laundry nearby}.  He smiled for his Daddy first. He even laughed for his Daddy first.  He crawled for the first time while I was at work {yes, on one of the TWO days a month I work}, but who was there to watch…his Daddy.  AJ even pulled-up to stand without an audience…I found him clinging to our armoire trying to touch the television.  So far, I have missed every milestone.

But, my little guy has made it all up to me.  He says MAMA!!!

I have held off on making an announcement {even to my husband} because babies make lots of cute little noises…and sometimes those noises sound like words, but they really aren’t.

Well, “mama” keeps getting babbled when AJ wants his mama…when he sees me, when he wants me, when he’s hungry, and when he is crying in his car seat from the backseat of the car {as my daughter has pointed out to me numerous times this week, “He wants you…he said MAMA!!”}

So, Mama it is…his first word!  It’s going down in history…forever inscribed in his baby book!


5 Jul

AJ celebrated his first Independence Day yesterday… he  slept right through his first parade!

I mentioned last week that my little guy started crawling.  Five days later he is not only crawling, but pulling up to stand {and he sprouted another tooth, for a total of 6 little teeth now!!}.  Independence!!

He’s on the move…

28 Jun

Another milestone accomplished!!  Our little boy is crawling…officially crawling!!  No more rolling across the floor, no more squirming to inch along, no more army crawl.  Where did the time go??  I can’t believe he is already 7 months old.  Does time always fly by this much faster with baby #2?  I thought baby #1 was fast enough!

Going for the remote...his AND daddy's favorite!

So, now it is time for mommy to start crawling too…crawling along the floor to find all those tiny crumbs and Barbie shoes that I know my little AJ just can’t wait to grab with his chubby little hand and put in his mouth. Time to install the baby gates at the top AND bottom of the stairs in our home.   Our outlets are already covered, our cabinets and drawers are already locked.  Now, if only I could find an infant helmet/headgear….we have A LOT of tile in this house.  I’m worried about another head injury!