Nurse-ins, Baby-Wearing, & Granola Types

Since I hang out with the crunchy granola gang these days, I had heard about the Target nurse-in that occurred Wednesday late last week. I debated going with the Monster but decided against it for two reasons: (1) Monster would probably be way too distracted to nurse and (2) I personally have yet to have a bad “nursing in public” (NIP) experience. Which is not to say that I don’t want to support fellow breastfeeding mamas who have had bad NIP experiences. I just think that maybe Pittsburghers are more accepting of the practice – so attending a Target nurse-in here might not have as big of an impact as it would in Texas, for example.

Which has me wondering – is Pittsburgh a far more crunchy granola city than I give it credit for? It is home to the fabulous Midwife Center for Birth and Women’s Health and it has an actual cloth diapering store , where you can see and feel the diapers before purchasing them! The fact that both these institutions are around lends credence to this theory. Many of the mothers in my local La Leche League group also practice some combination of Attachment Parenting (AP), baby-led weaning, and/ or cloth diapering. Or maybe I’ve just managed to find a lot of like minded mamas in the area and my sample size is skewed. Hmm…. Either way, It makes me happy to know so many crunchy granola mamas!

While I’ve managed to NIP successfully without attracting any comments or attention, baby-wearing has been a whole different story! Almost every time I’ve worn Monster in public I’ve received comments from passer-bys. Most have just been comments of surprise or curiousity – apparently public baby-wearing isn’t that common around here (living in the ‘burbs probably has something to do with it). I can only recall two negative comments thus far – one was from a six year old boy (he told me it was “so weird”) and the other was from an Apple employee – so I didn’t pay much attention to either. And to be honest they both gave me a good laugh. πŸ˜‰

While I’ve been fortunate thus far with my NIP and baby-wearing experiences, I must confess I am a little disappointed by that fact as well. Prior to Monster’s birth, I spent a lot of time studying up on breastfeeding and collected a nice little collection of information
to share with anyone who had the nerve to tell me to not feed my baby in public. Not that I like confrontation, but should I ever experience it, it would add a little spice to my day. πŸ˜›

What about you. Have you ever had a negative NIP experience?


New Year’s Resolutions

I know there’s still a few more days left until 2012, but I’ve been thinking a lot about my New Year’s resolutions lately. I’ve decided on twelve resolutions, largely in part because of this great idea I read on Since I didn’t get a chance to do this before the end of the year, 12 in 2012 seems like the next best thing!

So, without further ado, here are my New Year’s resolutions (in no particular order):

  1. Exercise 20 minutes a day
  2. Eat less sweets
  3. Read “The Art of Happiness”
  4. Start and finish Monster’s Christmas stocking
  5. Get organized
  6. Sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
  7. Do a better job of keeping in touch with friends and family
  8. Surprise a stranger by doing something kind
  9. Knit a pair of socks
  10. Cook/bake a new recipe once a week
  11. Learn to hem
  12. Potty train Monster

These sweets taste disgusting!

That’s my list. Here’s hoping I can accomplish everything on it in the upcoming 365 days. πŸ™‚ What are your New Year’s resolutions?

The Lion Roars

Some days, I think monster is a genius. Other days, not so much. Case in point:

There is a lion decal on the wall next to his changing table. Often, while changing his diaper, I will point to the lion and say “What does the lion say? The lion says ‘ROAR!'” as a means of trying to distract him during the whole diapering process. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Recently however, when I start the game, Monster has begun rolling to that side of the changing table and touching the lion.

The lion says 'ROAR!'

The first time he did it, I thought it might have just been coincidence. The second time it happened however, I promptly decided Monster was a genius. Word/image association at 9 months – that’s pretty good, right?

Other days though, I don’t think he is. I recently read that some babies can blow their own nose before the age of one. So I’ve been trying to get Monster to blow his own nose. He’s seen both me and P blow our nose. He thinks it’s hysterical. He doesn’t want to blow his nose. He also doesn’t want his nose wiped – every time I do he screams like a banshee. You’d think I’m pinching the kid or something.

Mine boogers

I guess what it all boils down to is that Monster is learning and growing at his own pace. He’ll learn to blow his nose when he’s good and ready. And that’s a good thing. πŸ™‚

Monster’s First Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Monster’s first Christmas was quite a success! Even though he’s too young to understand the meaning of Christmas – he had a great time celebrating. The day started around 7 am. Once Monster was awake for the day, we opened presents – he was much more interested in playing with the bows rather than the gifts themselves. Santa brought him wooden blocks, nesting cups, and socks (because it isn’t really Christmas unless you get at least one pair of socks;)). He loved them all! Between the grandparents, aunts, and uncles he also go a brand new wardrobe and some really cool toys. I’m not sure who’s going to have more fun playing with all his toys, Monster or me and P. πŸ™‚

Monster opening presents


I had high hopes to start lots of Christmas traditions this year with Monster, unfortunately my ambition outpaced my actual ability to get everything done in time (as usual). I’m consoling myself with the fact that he won’t remember this year anyway. So instead of milk and cookies for Santa, we left he a plate of fresh baked banana bread and a glass of red wine.


Where's the milk and cookies?

Next year when Monster is a little older we’re hoping to do more. He’ll also be able to be more involved, which should hopefully makes things easier, although I’m sure he’ll still need plenty of supervision.

All in all it was a wonderful day! We got to Skype with P’s parents and sisters in the early afternoon, then had dinner at my parents with my sister, brother , and sister-in-law. Tomorrow we’ll get to visit with P’s older brother. πŸ™‚

Wishing you and yours a most holy and blessed Christmas!


So, Monster is pretty stubborn (wonder who he gets that from…). We tried feeding him mashed up baby food periodically, but he would always refuse it and make some pretty wonderful terrible faces during the process. So we decided to do baby-led weaning instead. Basically, you let the baby take the lead in decided when he’s ready for food and don’t try to force it. What this means is that I got to skip feeding him puree foods (which disgust me) and move straight to table food – hooray! It also means he learns to feed himself with less assistance from the get-go, which is also a plus.

We give him bite sized pieces of what we’re having (carrots, beans, peas, etc) and he’ll pick them up and eat them. We also give him a spoon as well, which he can use if wants to or ignore. He uses it about 50% of the time, although I think he just likes to bite the rubber spoon. Most of the time he prefers to pick up the food and put it in his mouth.

The other day we gave him Cheerios for the first time. While more ended up on the floor and in his seat than what he ate, it was quite enjoyable watching him with them!


Is there something on my face?

Periodically, I also give him bananas to try. So far he hasn’t taken to them. Yesterday I gave him a bunch of bite-sized pieces to eat. He mashed one piece up, put it in his mouth and swallowed. I swear he said “YUCK” right after swallowing it!! I tried to get him to eat more so I could try to capture his reaction on video, but he was having none of it – he knocked the remainder of the banana on the floor then threw his arms up and looked at me – is signal that he was finished eating and wanted to be picked-up.

9 Months!

Monster is 9 months old today!

We celebrated the day by gettingΒ  family pictures taken at Target, paying our respects at a funeral home (another “first” milestone Monster has reached before many of his peers – we’re totally going to win “parents of the year” this year ;)), and getting a Christmas tree.

Tonight was P’s company Christmas dinner, so Auntie B watched him, while holding an “Ugly Sweater Party” at the same time. Needless to say, we had to leave early to come pick Monster up – he missed his Daddy and Mommy! πŸ™‚ We’re told he serenaded Auntie B for an hour straight. So for all your cry it out advocates….it doesn’t work for every baby, haha. Monster’s got a lot of stamina and is very persistent. Hopefully these traits will pay dividends when he is older. But for now, it can be rather frustrating. It’s okay, we love him anyway.

I had my camera with me the whole day, but somehow didn’t manage to take a single photo (again). Here’s the only photo we got from all of our excursions today.

Auntie B and Monster paryting it up - bad sweater style

Look Mom – No Hands!

Thursday evening Monster surprised us by showing us he can stand on his own now. He was standing up at the coffee table, playing with some toys when he decided to let go of the table and pass his toys from hand to hand. He did it for quite some time too! We were able to get some of it on video – which I’ll hopefully upload sometime this weekend. It was pretty awesome to see!

Now that he’s realized he can stand on his own, he’s started getting more adventurous and is testing out the waters by “cruising” along the coffee table.

He hasn’t crawled yet, so it’ll be interesting to see whether he walks first. At the rate he’s going, it’s looking like he will. Maybe Monster will be mobile by Christmas! πŸ™‚


Apples – Om nom nom

The UPS guy just delivered a package. It was obviously food, so we decided to open it now, instead of waiting for Christmas (in case it needed to be refrigerated). Turns out it was chocolate-covered apples – yum!

Here’s a couple photos of Monster “enjoying” the apples – we’re not letting him eat candy yet (he doesn’t like solid food much yet anyway), which is why the apples are still wrapped.

For me?

This apple is delicious!

Om nom nom nom

Thanks for the apples, Gran-ma & Gran-pa! They’re delicious!

Introducing Monster

This is Monster:

It's the Monster!!

He’s almost 9 months old. Yes, he does have a lot of hair. And yes, he is big for his age. Why no, he’s not sleeping through the night yet. Figured it best to get the standard questions out of the way first. πŸ˜‰

This is Monster’s dad (and my husband), P:

Daddy and Monster

Monster loves his daddy

And this is me:

So happy to be outside!

First Post!

Hello and welcome! We’re glad you found us!

Since this is the first post, it seems fitting I start by telling you a bit about me/the blog. I’ve started this blog as a sort of virtual baby book of our son, Monster. I plan on chronicling his milestones, as well as capturing our everyday life. I’m sure sometimes my opinions on current news, politics, and religion will also occassionally make it’s way into this blog as well. πŸ™‚

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to check in frequently to stay up-to-date with all of Monster’s adventures.