Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene is both bitter sweet to me.  As she plows her way through New England, she caused my plane to delay it's flight.  In a way I'm bothered and annoyed by this.  I probably should be back home getting Allie adjusted to her mommy's new "work schedule."  I should be getting my classroom ready for the new school year.  I should be cleaning my house after month of being away.  But, deep down I'm also a little glad because now I get to spend a couple extra days with Todd here in Boston.  This seemed like a great thing!  However, I'm all packed up, my computer is broke, and I have nothing to do.  I'm bored!  That doesn't happen very often.  I don't know if I should be thankful or annoyed.  Hurricane Irene is both bitter sweet.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mom and Baby Class

When I came out to Boston during my maternity leave, I was desperate to make some friends.  Preferably some mommy friends.  Todd found out through some buddies at work, that Isis is the place to go.  Isis is a Boston thing...I really wish there was something in Michigan similar.  There are classes for mom's (dad's too) and babies to attend.  You learn about your baby at different stages of development depending on which class you sign up for.  During my maternity leave, I signed Allie and I up for a class called Great Beginnings.  It was a class for mom's with newborns that took place once a week in the morning for 7 weeks.  I was a little excited to learn some new things about being a mom or caring for my baby.  What I learned mostly came from discussions brought up by other moms, not so much the topics of each class.  I made a couple friends along the way...and that was my goal: to get out of the house and make some mom friends.

This summer I signed up again for another class called Social Butterflies.  This class was a bit different in the fact that it was more child centered as opposed to mom centered.  During each class Allie and I played with new toys, sang new songs and played with the parachute.  Allie LOVED the parachute!  A big smile and giggle every time!  We did talk about topics each class, but the time frame was very limited and I became annoyed when some moms would jeopardize the entire conversation.  Let others have a turn to talk...geeze!

This week we had our last class and to celebrate we had a pool party!  Check it out below.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A True Bostonian

The time finally came when Allie experienced the fun outdoor activities for kids in downtown Boston.  Within the Boston Common (a big park in the middle of the city) is a large swimming pool with about 12 inches on water, called Frog Pond.  I walked by Frog Pond last summer a few times and dreamed about what it would be like to bring my daughter her next summer...and probably for the next couple summers, let's be honest. 

Allie and I met Todd for lunch one day last week.  I packed a lunch and a blanket and Allie and I headed to the T.  We met Todd in the common and had our lunch.  Next we ventured over to Frog Pond. We weren't planning on putting Allie in the pool, but it was such a nice day, the weather was perfect for a mini dip.  I pulled Allie's clothes off and  stuck her in the water.  You can judge for yourself if you think she liked it or not.

After I dried Allie off with a blanket I had packed in my diaper bag, we headed over to the Boston Garden (another big park in the middle of the city, right next to the Boston Common).  In this park lives the Make Way for Ducklings statue based on the book by Robert McCloskey.  Allie does not yet own this book, but I'm sure she will one day.  Only for the fact that we have spent so much time in Boston now and Boston will always hold a place near and dear in our hearts. 

The ducks have rhyming names...Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack.  I placed Allie on one of the ducklings...we'll say was the first one behind Mrs. Mallard.  I think it would be really neat to come back each summer we are here and have Allie's photo taken on the ducks. 

Today Allie and I packed up our lunch again and headed to the T to meet Todd for a picnic lunch, again.  We had our lunch in the Boston Garden and then strolled over to the Swan Boats, another Bostonian thing to do.  The swan boats date back to the 1870's.  Many tourists ride the boats and experience the full package of the city's beauty and history.  We paid our $2.75 per ticket (Allie was free, of course) and boarded the boat. The ride was relaxing and beautiful.

This summer Allie accomplished three very Bostonian activities...Frog Pond, Make Way for Ducklings statue, and the Swan Boats.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Solid Food Update

Allie is becoming quite the good little eater.  Over the past two months she has sampled a variety of foods...fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and dairy. Some of the foods Allie loves are...

Allie eating a picnic lunch with Mom and Dad in the Boston Garden

peanut butter

The method we are using to feed Allie is called "Baby Led Weaning" (BLW).  This is not the traditional way you would normally feed an infant.  Most parents start with boring, bland rice cereal.  Then go to single fruit and vegetable purees in jars.  They use these foods because they causes the least allergic reactions. If you start solids at six months you don't really need to worry about allergic reactions as much though.  Allie, however, does not eat baby food.  She eats whole, real, table food.  It allows her to control her solid food intake by self-feeding.  ALL my friends that have babies thought I absolutely CRAZY for doing this.  They thought she wouldn't get enough food, wouldn't develop normally.  I did my research.  I wouldn't just do something without knowing a lot about it.  This has been the norm in many other countries and back in the old days when there were no blenders.  It why not?

BLW places the emphasis on exploring taste, texture, color and smell.   Allie chooses which foods she wants to eat. would think this is a great thing.  Allie does not always choose the foods on her tray...or any food on her tray for that matter.  Sometimes she doesn't want anything at all.  Sometimes I don't want to eat either.  This happens every once in a while...but for the most part, Allie will try all new foods we give her and most of the time will eat (suck on, gum, swallow) the new food.  Self-feeding supports Allie's motor development, her hand-eye coordination and chewing. It encourages Allie towards independence and often provides a stress-free alternative for meal times, for both her and I.  With our lifestyle, this method sounded like a perfect fit for our family.  I did not want to be that parent that plays the airplane game or shovels food into her mouth as she screams and cries. 

In the beginning, Todd and I were worried about her choking...but we got over that real fast.  She manages just fine.  She will gag every now and then (she even threw up a couple times) but she will chew her food with her gums and swallow.  Going out to eat is a breeze.  We don't have to pack jars of food.  We just give her what we are eating. 

There is one negative IS messy.  Our floor will have lots of bits and pieces of whatever Allie ate for that meal.  It's a chore to clean up.  She has gotten in the habit of dropping or throwing food.  Right now we feed her in the Bumbo chair.  It sits on our counter.  So, when food's an easy cleanup.  I fear the day we go to the big girl high chair. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pine Banks Park

Across the street from our apartment complex is Pine Banks Park.  Hidden within the forest of trees is a playground.  Last summer when I pregnant with Allie I would often walk through the park.  There were a few different trails and plenty of shade.  This summer I do the same thing, except I push Allie in the stroller and I don't do many of the trails because they are not paved. 

Today Todd and I took Allie to the big kid playground for the first time.  We knew there was a "baby swing" but we were skeptical that Allie would fit in it, or like it for that matter.  Boy, were we wrong!  She absolutely loved it!  She sat in there for 15 minutes, smiled and giggled the majority of the time, kicking her feet through the air.  I'm glad Pine Banks Park is right across the street, because the baby swing will give us something to do on those days we need something to do.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

So Talkative

I love to hear Allie's voice...except when she's crying.  Allie seems to be very social. She likes to "talk" or babble. I often wonder what she is "saying" or thinking.  Is she trying to communicate or is she just making happy baby sounds?  I talk to Allie often.  I hope she doesn't get tired of hearing me talk to her.  I think Allie will be a sociable girl when she's in school.  She'll probably have a lot of friends and I'm hoping that she'll make friends easily.  On the other hand, Allie might be too when the teacher is talking to the class.  I just hope she doesn't get into trouble in school for talking too much!

Here is a short video of Allie talking to herself...

Monday, August 1, 2011

8 Months Old

Allie had a great start to summer.  She went in the pool for the first time.  Todd bought Allie a floaty and she loved to sit in it under the canopy.  Allie would splash in the water with her hands and she even tried to drink it a few times.  Allie started to sit up this month without support.  She also began to pick up her Cheerios (Allie's favorite food now) and eat them all on her own.  She also really enjoyed eating yogurt, applesauce and plums.  Allie went on her first roadtrip to Vermont to see the green mountains.  She was a very good girl in the car.  Allie got really good at making the "d" sound and practiced a lot.  She also razzed a ton!  She was very entertaining to watch.