Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm a bad mom and the Chesterfield fire department knows it!

So last night Eden and I went to the funeral home for my cousin's MIL who passed away from cancer. We went in the height of a thunder storm.  It was pouring rain and the wind was blowing me all over the place. We went to the WRONG funeral home (I had a major brain fart!). We did finally get to the correct place and even if you are only close to the ones left behind, it's so emotionally draining. I really dislike that whole ritual. 

After that, because Eden was in such a good mood, I decided to go to the Birth Circle meeting. I got there right on time (in the rain, with several of the lights on Hugeunot Rd out) and got out of the car. As I am shutting the door, I had one of those slow-motion "NOOOOOO" moments. My keys and Eden were in the car and I had just locked the door. I saw an old couple getting in to their car, so I ran over to ask if either of them had a cell phone (old couples do not have cell phones). I left the little old lady in the parking lot with Eden and went inside the church to call 911. I felt better once the fire department was en-route to me, but poor Eden was a wreck. 

Now this is the part of the story that was so horrible (and hilarious in the light of day). The little old lady must watch a lot of sensational news stories, because when I walked back out to the car she was looking at her watch saying "They better get here soon! A baby has exactly 12 minutes, once trapped inside a car, before they DIE!  She's already been in there at least 3, and look, she's gasping for air!". She was "gasping" because she was crying hysterically! Now, I was an EMT and I have taken classes in vehicle extrication, an I know that this was totally ridiculous, but I'm glad she didn't say that to someone who would have thought it was true! Perhaps she saw a news story on the heat and how long it could take to die in a car on one of those 100 degree days. I still think "exactly 12 minutes" is a bit of a stretch. I was in no shape to explain to her that she didn't know what she as talking about. A police man came to wait with us for the FD and he set her straight about the dying in 12 minutes... 

The FD arrived and went about breaking into my car. It took them a while, though, because apparently my car has an anti-theft mechanism that doesn't allow you to use the automatic lock button if the door has been pried. While I am standing there in the rain, soaking wet, waiting to hold my screaming child, the old lady patted me on the back to comfort me. She said "Oh No Darling! Your skin is all cold and clammy! You are going into Shock!"  Let me remind you, I have now been standing in the pouring rain for 15 minutes and am soaked. No, ma'am, I am not clammy, I'm wet. She ran to her car and got me a blanket and insisted that I wrap up in it! It had cooled down quite a bit, but it still wasn't cool enough to be all covered in a blanket. I just wanted that lady to leave me alone, so I wore it.  They tried multiple times to pop the lock and failed. Finally they managed to pull the lock button up and I got Eden. She was soaked in sweat and tears. 

We went inside and nursed for a while and snuggled before we went into the meeting.  The meeting was great, though I went looking like a drowned rat! 

What a traumatic night for me!  Fortunately Eden won't remember any of it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The long-awaited post.

So, after being informed that I'm not writing very faithfully (by my sweetie and his mom~ who wants to see new pics of Eden!), I decided to post!

Eden's new "tricks":
1.  A sweet snuggle- she will lay her head down on something and snuggle it (your shoulder, a toy, a pillow...)
2.  Cruising and letting go!- she will walk around all the furniture and sometimes let go for a second before gently sitting down.
3.  A funny fake laugh- think Woody Woodpecker!
4.  She now signs "milk", "light", "fan", "more", "all done", "night-night"
5.  She waves "hi" and "bye" and (sort-of) blows kisses.
At her 9 month check-up, she weighed in at a whopping 19# 10oz!

...and now, the Sweet Girl herself!

Paperback Swap

I am having so much fun with a new site I found! is a great place for all you voracious readers out there!  I have already gotten my first book, and it is so easy!  Check it out!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Child's play. A new leaf!

In light of the recent pet food recalls, fake toothpaste recalls and toy recalls I have decided to get rid of all of Eden's toys that have been made in China.

I had been thinking about how I would keep the toy situation under control and keep the junky, kid's meal quality toys out of our home. I had a conversation with a friend the other day about how less is more where toys are concerned. Thanks Alana for the encouragement in this area! Fortunately, Eden hasn't had a birthday yet, so we still have only a very few toys. She actually only has a small basket-full. She now has even fewer after the purge!

I looked around the house, and I am not sure we can completely eliminate cheap plastics from our home, but toys are a start. In looking for good quality toys, I ran across this article that I thought was worth sharing.

About Natural Toys

Many children today are accustomed to detailed toys that "do" something in an attempt to entertain them or teach them a specific skill - press a button and it talks, walks, or lights up. I believe that children have a natural desire to experience, explore, and discover things for themselves. Toys should provide children with the opportunity to create a complete play experience that actively involves the child in play, not one where the child is a passive participant who watches play happen. Among the best toys for children are those that are open-ended and multi-purpose, toys that encourage the child to use his/her imagination to define the play activity and creatively use a single toy for lots of different purposes. These unstructured toys not only nurture creativity, but research has shown that they help our children to become problem solvers by encouraging "out-of-the-box" thinking.1
I would also like to suggest that we take this a step further and think about the materials the toys are made with and the image these toys present before our children. I personally am committed to offering toys made of natural materials. Babies and young children are just beginning to learn about the world around them and I feel it is important to provide them with toys that give them a beautiful image of their world. A wooden rattle comes from nature, from a living thing, and it has a depth to it that synthetic counterparts cannot match. It is warmer, has more texture, and each piece is unique. Children can sense this difference as they touch and manipulate the toy.
I also adhere to the belief that we should try to present children with images that are representative of their true appearance in the world. That is, if we are to show our child a dog, whether in a book or a stuffed animal, the dog should be made in the image of a real dog instead of a cartoon-type characterization. In her book, You Are Your Child's First Teacher, author Rahima Baldwin Dancy states, "…the young child is trying to get to know the world as it is and lacks the sophistication and humor that most characterizations involve." This made a lot of sense to me. I would much prefer to have my daughters read a book about rabbits that show a real rabbit, a representation of what this beautiful creature looks like in nature as opposed to a caricature of a rabbit with big googly eyes and buck teeth!
Lastly, I believe that plastic single-purpose toys contribute to children's over consumption. Not only does the advertising for those types of toys leave children wanting more and feeling increasingly dissatisfied, the toys simply seem more disposable. When the child has played with it a few times, it is more likely to become "boring" and literally gets thrown away. After it is played with awhile, it gets added to the ever-growing pile of useless toys. I have seen this so many times at garage sales! Children's toys in big piles of plastic parts and pieces. I am concerned about what this teaches our children and think that we would be far less likely to do this with well-crafted, multi-purpose wooden toys.
This is why I am committed to offering Waldorf toys - they are unstructured, multi-purpose, made of natural materials, and they do not promote commercialism.

But Natural Toys are More Expensive!

Providing the types of toys that I am talking about can sometimes be more costly, yes, but I ask you to think about a couple of things when considering this. Toys that are creative, meaning toys that allow the child to use his imagination to create different things, have much more play value than a high-tech, single-use plastic toy. The creative toy will be used in all types of play, not for one simple task that the child sits and "does" for a few minutes and then moves on to the next thing. Creative toys capture the child's imagination and engage the child in continuous play over and over again.
Waldorf toys also have a much longer play life. The wooden nesting bowls you purchase for your toddler will still be played with at age six when they are turned into a bowl for cooking in pretend kitchen play. The play silks your baby plays peek-a-boo with will be turned into a blanket for a baby doll at age four. The wooden play kitchen or wooden doll cradle your child loves can be passed down for generations.
Also, you don't have to buy a ton of toys. In fact, it is discouraged! A few, high quality playthings are all a child needs to get the creative juices flowing.

1 Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, PhD and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD Einstein Never Used Flash Cards (Rodale, 2003)
© Dana Johnson, MSWOwner of Three Sisters Toys
Thanks to Dana at for letting me put this article here on my blog!