Archives for October 2010

Our First Family Meal

imag0041Now that Evangeline is old enough to appreciate, or at least experience, the delicacies of fine cuisine, we have begun having family meals together where everyone gets to eat real food!  Instead of spoon-feeding baby food, we are using baby-led weaning with Evangeline, which basically means she gets real food that she feeds to herself when she’s ready.  For her first attempt we tried banana.  I quartered the banana and placed two pieces on her plate.  She seemed mildly interested, but not enough to actually try to grab the banana.  She did pick at it a little and then suck on her fingers, so I think she was getting little tastes of it.




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Yesterday we tried again; this time I mashed up the banana and put it on the tray in front of her.  I figured, since she wasn’t going to pick it up, this would be an easier way for her to manage it.  At first we were not sure if she was interested or not, but once she figured it out she got almost excited!  She kept swishing her hand in the banana mash and then putting her hand back in her mouth and eating whatever happened to actually make the full journey from her tray to her mouth.  Most of it ended up in her lap!  But she didn’t seem to mind.  It was so much fun watching her learn how to eat!

Physical Fitness and Femininity

Call me crazy but I love running.  Well… to be perfectly honest it’s one of those love-hate relationships that started off mostly on the hate side of things and slowly inched its way over.  I was first acquainted with running in 8th grade, real running not running away from some poor kid who got tagged “it” running.  I had played volleyball earlier in the year, and my Dad convinced me to at least try basketball (which I ended up truly enjoying) and so I thought, why not give track a shot too?

My first instinct was to go for the shortest distance possible, get it over with quickly, and be done.  The realization came quickly that I would not make it in short distance track.  I’m not that fast.  So, I decided to attempt long distance, I was in pretty good shape and I could make it an entire mile without collapsing so, why not?  Besides, it was the least popular event, so my chances were highest there, and in hurdles… but hurdles didn’t last long.  My dear mother was much to nervous about them.

So there it was, long distance track; it kinda stuck.  I wasn’t very good at it, but I did it anyway.  I didn’t particularly care for it, but it was a good way to stay in shape for volleyball and basketball.  And besides, if I wasn’t doing sports, really, what else was there in a town of 500 people?  And then I transferred schools, which also meant transferring coaches.  Guess who was my new track coach? Dad… hardened marine, marathon running, long distance loving Dad… uh oh… Let’s just say I hated hated track season.  It was horrible!  He, unlike my other coach, actually made me do real work, hard work, excruciating long distance running work! Argh!! Plus… I wasn’t getting any faster.

And then it happened… Dad gave everyone else their track assignments for the day and took me out for a run on the road.  I had done this plenty of times, but never with just me and Dad during practice.  We talked and ran and had a jolly good time.  About half way through I realized I wasn’t laboring to breathe or hurting… I was just enjoying the run!  This running stuff was actually sort of fun.  Running on that old dirt road, looking out across the sea of wheat, sprinkled with farms and cows, I felt freedom unlike any other.

I thought that the end of track season signaled the end of competitive running… not so!  That year my Dad registered us in the Bolder Boulder, a 10k race in (you guessed it) Boulder Colorado.  We ran it together (mostly because he was nice enough not to leave me in the dust).  And it was incredible!  The fresh morning air, thousands of people surrounding you about to embark on the exact same journey, bands playing along the course, the beautiful Rockies draping the landscape, the sense of accomplishment upon crossing the finish line… it was a wonderfully rewarding experience that I will never forget, and one that I hope to repeat.

We ran that race twice together and my goal this year is to run that same race again with my Dad and my Hubby.  Thusly, in order to prepare for such a feat, which previously in my prime fitness days of high school sports was easily accomplished with no extra concern, I must train for it.  And so… Jake and I began training yesterday.  I have known for months now that I’ve wanted to do this, but I had a dilemma earlier in the year of what on earth do I wear?  Now it may sound like a silly girl question but seriously!

All of my workout clothes from high school and college… really after having a baby do you think I can still wear those?  And the ones I can wear should I be wearing them?  Hmm… no probably not.  If you’ve had a baby you’ll understand, mommy clothes are simply different than pre-mommy clothes.  Also, my personality is much different than that of my highschool years.  It is not that I think shorts and pants are inherently evil, but I do believe that as a Christian woman it is important for me to dress in a way that reflects who I am, namely a Christian woman.

Modesty is important, but so is another component that we seem reluctant to mention, femininity.  As Christian women we should celebrate our feminine nature in our words, actions, vocations and even in the way we dress.  With a culture that is becoming increasingly confused as to the difference between the masculine and feminine we must first and foremost protect God’s natural order in our own hearts and homes.  Second, if we talk, look and act like the secular culture, who will know that there is anything different to live by or for?  What a disservice we are doing to the Gospel by not proclaiming it with how we dress!

That being said (and also with the understanding that I too fail constantly in this area, which is why I am so thankful Jesus died for that sin!) when I knew I wanted to begin running again, I was looking for something a little more modest and feminine than what I had collecting dust in my closet.  So I began my search for distinctly feminine running clothes, and what I found got me very excited!  Running skirts.  Yes.  Skirts that you run in.  How cool is that?!?  Plus, they were having a sale :)  And oh do I love sales!  So I bought a couple, even though I am a little uncomfortable ordering clothes online, I feel that more and more I am having to do just that, as what I’m looking for simply isn’t in the stores!

Honestly, I could not possibly be happier with my running skirts.  They look feminine and cute.  They are terribly comfortable, and just altogether wonderful.  Not to mention, if and when the Good Lord happens to bless us with #2 they also have maternity running skirts!  How neat is that?  Alright, so I’ll stop the commercial now, but seriously they rock!  I love running, but I love running even more when I get to do it in a skirt. :)



Elimination Communication

Elimini-what-a-ma-bob?  Isn’t there an easier way to say whatever you’re saying?  Well, yes, there is infant potty training, or ECing for short.  But I think it’s important to define terms, especially when charting unfamiliar territories.  Elimination communication is a mouthful, and no it does not mean eliminating communication, just the opposite! (Sorry that was my token lame joke attempt for the day…)

Infant potty training is probably the easiest way to describe what ECing is; I am teaching my baby how to use the potty instead of training her to go potty in her diaper.  However, although infant potty training is a convenient term, I don’t particularly like using it, and here’s why: The main purpose and goal of having Evangeline use the potty is not so that I won’t have to change diapers anymore.  Yes, yes… that is a very  nice perk… but it’s not the main goal!  The goal is communicating with my baby and strengthening those bonds.  And what Evie and I are learning to communicate to one another about is elimination.

How does it work?  Well, there are many different ways to do elimination communication, and really you tailor it to what works best for you and your family.  Some families prefer to use a timing or schedule based method, offering the potty at specific intervals (this is working well for us), where others simply just don’t introduce diapers at all!  If you would like to learn more this is a great place to start.  For today I will just tell you a little about how I was introduced to ECing, and what our journey has looked like thus far.

When I was still pregnant with Evangeline, my good friend and I, were talking about all kinds of natural, crunchy, sorts of things.  She mentioned elimination communication off-hand; I had never heard about it, and it was crunchy so, naturally I wanted to learn more!  I went online and started my research.  You mean babies don’t need diapers?! *Gasp!* And, of course, my next thought was… You mean I don’t have to change diapers? Yes!  Haha… just kidding… but really, it is a nice perk.

Evie 5 monthsIt seemed logical to me that I would not like sitting in my poopiness all day… so my baby probably would not enjoy it either.  I also recalled my poor husband’s stories of changing his nephew’s diapers when diaper rash reared its ugly head and I was hoping to avoid that as much as possible.  Plus, getting potty training out of the way instead of battling toddlers, who are usually much too busy to be concerned with such things?  It didn’t sound like a half-bad idea.  So, we went out and got a little mini baby potty (as you can see Evangeline so graciously modeling on the right) and decided to give it a go!

My first few weeks postpartum I was not at all interested in trying something new.  I was exhausted and overwhelmed and really… just not interested.  So I stuck with the familiarity of changing diapers, and that worked for us.  (Which is what’s beautiful about ECing; it is so easily tailored to you!  There are no hard and fast rules about when to start or how much time you have to spend on it!)

Then when Evie was about a month old, I decided to give ECing a try.  Every time I noticed her eliminating I would make a “ssssssss” sound, so that she would start connecting that sound with elimination.  Then, after a few days of observation, I realized that she almost always eliminated while nursing.  So, whenever we nursed I would hold her over the little potty bowl without a diaper and voila!  She would go in the potty!  I tried getting her to go in the potty at other times, but it just frustrated her.  And I also began working during the week, which made it more difficult, so I put EC on the back burner for a few months.

After my summer job was over, and we were home together all day again, I decided to try it out.  We started out the same way, making the “ssssssss” sound, and observing her elimination cues.  Evangeline was no longer eliminating while nursing, but normally right after nursing and upon waking up.  For a couple of days I offered her the potty after waking up.  I was able to catch her off and on, but not very consistently.  I hadn’t had any luck catching her pooping, which is what I was trying for, as I had heard that once babies learn they don’t have to poop in their diapers, they won’t anymore!  I figured that was my key to motivating her, but I simply was not fast enough to catch her.

The third day I decided to put towels all over the living room and let her be naked.  I watched her intently; (I was so determined to catch her going!) it was actually quite exhausting.  But I finally caught her, that evening, going #2 and put her over the potty making the sound.  She went in the potty!  And, honestly, I think I saw a light bulb go off in her head!  She figured out that she did not have to sit in her poopiness!  After that, she would poop in her potty on command when I made the “sssssssss” sound.  I was so proud of my little girl :)

The only times we miss #2 now is usually when she has looser stools, like the week she was sick.  She will pee on command, but I have not been offering her the potty frequently enough to catch most of those.  And, I think because the disposable diapers pull moisture away from her bottom, she doesn’t mind going in her diaper as much.  I am hoping that next week I will have a better schedule set up to try and catch all of her eliminations.

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