January 30, 2009

Being more Green

So we are on our second bottle of sodium laureth sulphate free shampoo.  I am not sure if it is just that the second bottle isn't working well but my hair is NASTY!!  Here I was thinking I might try no-poo (using baking soda and vinegar), but now I am too scared.  

So I thought I would try Lush's shampoo bars, because there is no packaging.  I got them home and was all excited until I read the ingredients and saw they have SLS in them!! UGH!  I just can't win.  I don't like to be wasteful so I will use them up, and hopefully next time around I can find one that is both SLS-free and comes in a bar.

FYI why SLS is bad (without getting into details - you can do a search):
1: Can penetrate eyes and tissues and can stay in the tissues... especially children and babies
2: Strips moisture & oils away = damaged hair and skin
3: Can apparently cause damage to DNA in cells according to Japanese studies
4: Forms Nitrates - carcinogen 
5: Produces Nitrosamines - carcinogen

I have also started using the popular Dr. Bronner's soap.  I am loving it!  It smells so nice and seems to do a great job.  People use it for everything.  I am thinking we will need to go on a monthly trip to The Big Carrot (great natural product/ food store).

We have been using green versions of every cleaning product and I only use vinegar and water to clean with now.  I am a bit of a neat/ clean freak and I am very happy with all these products.   I really got into this before I started TTC because I wanted to avoid exposure to toxins as much as possible.

January 29, 2009

EC - graduation in sight?

Pookie has been doing SO well with using the potty. It has been 3 weeks and I think we have had one accident - when she had a tantrum and lost control. She is even in undies while she is with my mom!! I think the next step is for me to let her have a chance to tell me when she needs to go. To get back on track after the holidays I had to remind her a lot, but now she seems to want to tell me. She will race over to me saying "poo poo, poo poo" (her word for both #1 and 2). I am just fearful of accidents. It feels so good to go so long without one, but perhaps one step back will = more steps forward.

She is still waking up with a very wet diaper in the morning, but she nurses a lot at night. I could put her on the potty, but with sleep being so poor lately I am just not interested.


"A recent study commissioned by Reach Out and Read revealed that the majority of young children — 52 percent — are not being read to on a daily basis. That's 13 million children under 6 years old who are going to bed every night without a bedtime story — without the undivided, loving attention that comes with sharing a favorite book with their parents"
Dr. Barry Zuckerman, Reach Out and Read

I pulled this from someone's post on MDC. I read to Pookie everynight before bed. Usually for 30 minutes. I think should would like it if I read for an hour! She loves her books. I also try to read to her througout the day. She insists on being read to while on the potty as well.

We also are back to going to the library once a week for "Toddler Time", and while we are there we get out new books.

I think it is so important to foster a love of reading. I remember curling up with a book as a teenager and finishing it in one weekend. I loved being transported to another life. And as a little girl I looked forward to my mom reading to us everynight. I especially loved when she would read chapter books to us.

I try to read all kinds of books to Pooks. She still likes her "baby" books, with very simple pictures and text, but she also enjoys Dr. Seuss and books with fairly complex stories like "The Paper Bag Princess". I also like to find books with interesting art work. She likes "Where the Wild Things Are" and also one called "Tis a Gift to Be Simple" which has really complex artwork. She likes trying to find the animals in the pictures which are quite abstract. Her current favourites are nursery rhymes. She really enjoys those.

I am going to make a new goal of reading to her first thing in the morning and before or after her nap. She just enjoys it so much, and sometimes I feel guilty that I don't read to her more... even though she usually gets at least 45 minutes/ day.

January 25, 2009


Now we are back to normal after the holidays I have been making sure we do some of her Montessori activities each day.  I pulled out her mug and popsicle sticks and she did that one about 7 times in a row!  It isn't challenging for her but she really enjoyed it.  I have now set up open shelves with puzzles, etc. on them on the main floor and on the second floor.  The basement houses all the more open-ended dramatic play toys.  

I have also been making an effort to work on her ABC's.  I have stapled foam puzzle ABC's on our basement wall and each day I try to do those with her.  She can now recognize P and she knows "P is for Potty or pee pee.  E, M & N she can also recognize, but not consistently.  I try to keep it fun and when she is done with it we move to whatever she wants.   We also play "What is D for... " and she will answer by saying the D sound or saying Daddy.  She can do that for a few letters.

I tried doing shapes with her but she seems more into the ABC's for some reason, so that is why I chose them.  Even colours she isn't too into. 

She is saying more and more words now and can clearly say "mommy" instead of "mama".   I think she is starting to catch up with her language.  Although I don't think she was ever behind... just on the lower end of normal.  The other day she even said "mommy poo poo", which was a big deal since she never has put two words together like that. 

I am trying to not underestimate what she is capable of understanding and learning, but at the same time I don't want to push her or set unrealistic expectations.  I just want to create an environment were she can thrive.

Zoo Day, great EC day

Yesterday is was -18 celcius (0F) when we arrived at the Zoo to meet our friends and their 1 & 3 year old daughters.  We haven't seen this family since Pookie was a few weeks old.  They are also an AP family, so I was really looking forward to having someone to talk to that was on the same page.   I was also excited to see their youngest who we have never met.

We ended up having such a nice day.  Pooks was into some animals more than others.  I actually thought she would be more excited than she was.  Her favourite animals were definitely the Gorilla's her and the 3 year old "B" really enjoyed watching them for quite some time.   I am pretty sure Pookie had the most fun holding B's hand and walking around.  Seeing the two of them made me so excited for having another baby, and seeing our friends two little girls also did.  I think it also got Jeff more excited about baby #2.  He made a comment about wanting my sister to hurry up an decide on her wedding... so presumably we can figure out when we can start TTC.  YEAH!

During lunch Pooks asked for some "boo boo" -  what she has started calling nursing.  It was nice to be able to nurse her and not feel awkward.   The one year old also had some "boo boo" and chowed down. :P   

I put Pookie in a pullup because I didn't want to chance an accident in the freezing weather.  As it turned out she didn't need one.  After lunch I took her pee and her diaper was still dry.  And at 3pm when we were leaving she kept saying she had to go.  She was all bundled up so I didn't bother taking her.  I thought for sure she would just pee in her diaper, but when we got home her diaper was still dry!!  This is almost 2 weeks with no accidents (except at night and at my mom's).  Even at my mom's she is starting to wear her underwear and has only had accidents when waking up from naps.  I am thinking... hoping she will be potty learned by 2!

January 23, 2009

Swimming and other activities

Mon, Wed, Fri are my SAHM days, so I have been trying to do something with Pooks each day.   This week we went to an indoor playground on Mondays.  She had so much fun!!  She could climb up to the area where the big slides were and she went down all the slides.  She was so adventurous and independent.  She didn't get in any fights or get upset.  Every so often she would run over to me to check in for a hug or to take me to another section, but mostly she was happy on her own while I watched.  I felt so proud... seeing her in a different situation like that and seeing her handle it so well felt really good.   I think I might get a pass for 10 visits which should last until winter is over.  Then we can start going to the park again.

Wednesday my mom came over, but usually my plan is to take her to the government run play centre.  It is a great place, they have all sorts of toys and activities.  All the toys have a purpose... whether it is dramatic play, arts and crafts or learning, numbers etc... The focus is on early learning.  Pookie loves it there too.

On Fridays I have been taking her swimming in the morning which she LOVES.  She got so excited today and couldn't wait to get out of the house.  Today she put her face under the water a bunch of times all on her own... and she liked it!!  She HATED being dunked when we did swimming with her as a baby, so I felt glad that I trusted my instincts and knew she would do it on her own time.  The pool and it's deepest is not even over her head, so it is great for little kids.  

On Mondays there is also booktime at the library.  She loved it up to about 16 months and then she wasn't interested, but I think we will try again now she is in the older kids group.  She definitely prefers being with big kids.

January 16, 2009

ECing is back on track

Over the holidays we got really lazy with ECing.  I stopped offering the potty, I kept her in diapers and we pretty much only got her on the potty once a day.  Now I am getting more sleep and we are back to our normal routine, she is back in undies during the day.  Within a couple days of being in underwear she had her first dry day!  She still needs me to tell her when to go, but if the past predicts the future she should start taking the initiative again.  She told my mom she had to poop when she was over there, and before bed she usually tells me she has to go.  She also has woken up in the night and asked to go, and today she woke up from her nap to go.

She is 20 months now so I have changed my mentality a bit because I feel like the end could be in sight.  I want to do all I can do to get her potty learned sooner than later, without putting pressure on her.  For me that just means not being lazy about reminding her, and not using diapers at all during the day, even when we go out.  Today I took her out in underwear.  We went swimming and she peed before and after, and then we went grocery shopping and I never worried.  I am hoping tomorrow will be a dry day.

The one thing I must not let myself do is get angry if she does have an accident.  I am never mad at her, but I do get mad at myself, and it does no good to show that.  I just have to remember that if she does have an accident she is still learning and gaining understanding of how it all works.

5 nights in a row of no "booba"

Everly has now gone 5 nights without nursing to sleep.  Wednesday night she did fuss, and I had to sing her A LOT of songs and nursery rhymes but she never cried.  Thursday I just sang for a couple minutes, and tonight she fell asleep on her way to bed.  She barely napped today and we went swimming which I think really tired her out.

Bedtime is so much better now.  I really like not getting stuck lying beside her forever.  She is still nursing the entire time I read, and I probably read to her for at least 15 minutes.  

I am thinking that next Friday I might try to not nurse her on her first waking of the night.  Whch reminds me she seems to be going back to her more normal sleeping schedule.  Last night I think she woke twice and it wasn't very eventful.  The night before she tossed and turned (a molar came through) but stayed in bed and didn't try to get out.  I think keeping her in the room even when she wanted out the prior nights helped get us back on track.

I feel hopeful that by the time I get pregnant (6+ months from now) she might be nightweaned.  I still love nursing her throughout the day and never feel like I want to stop that.  

January 14, 2009

Night #2

Our second night started out so well.  Pooks had her bath, we got her ready for bed, and I read her 10 books again.  She was so tired by the time I finished the last book.  Once again I told her that the "booba's were going night night".  She was upset, for maybe 5 seconds.  The she put her head on the pillow and passed out in under 5 minutes!!  I felt so great.

Then she woke up in the middle of the night and would not go back to sleep.  She fussed, then cried, and then tantrumed.   It probably took us an hour to get her to go back to sleep.  DH was good though and told me to stay in the room even though he had to get up for work.  He wanted to hold her while she tantrumed but I told him to let her go.  He left while she let it out by the bedroom door.  It only took maybe 5-10 minutes before she decided to go back in bed.  She tried to fall asleep but just couldn't.  It took so long, she was so restless.  I noticed this morning that her bottom molar is through so perhaps it was making it's way up last night?

I wish DH would go sleep in the basement.  I get so stressed knowing he is stressed about being tired for work.  We actually have a spare room but the noise would carry right into it, so it is pointless for him to sleep there.

I hope tonight goes better.  She still has one more molar left in this set.

January 13, 2009

First Night a Success

Well I had prepared for the worst last night and it went shockingly well. We did our normal bedtime routine. I read Pookie 10 books, which is more than usual and after each book I reminded her that after we finished reading the "booba's would go to sleep." She kept saying "yeah". When we read the last book I unlatched her and she reached out and made her smacking noises she makes when she wants to nurse. I told her to go get her pillow and she did. She put her head on the pillow and I offered her some water. I turned off the lights and she just lay there. I held my breath.
Then she got a bit restless and I asked if she wanted to cuddle and she said yes. She snuggled up to me and passed out in under 5 minutes!!

Holy smokes that was EASY! She definitely remembered the routine from before when we did this. I think reading her lots of books also helped her unwine. Who knows what tonight will bring... but at least we have one very successful night under our belts.

She woke up at 11:30 and wanted out of bed. SHe didn't want to nurse, she wanted "UP!!!". Jeff was in bed at this point and together we kept her in bed. She settled down when I offered to sing Jingle Bells. I sang until she fell asleep and the rest of the night was uneventful. I felt like she remembered the night before when I wouldn't let her out because while she defintely wanted out she didn't try as hard as before.

January 12, 2009

Nightweaning Plan

Pookie has been sleeping better this past week.  She has still had her moments but I feel more clear in the head.  For the record we do try to live as consensually as possible but I have come to realize we will never be fully consensual.  It just doesn't feel right to me.  Because I am aware of CL I have found the idea of any type of mother-led weaning hard.  The thing is after much thought I do know what we are doing right now isn't working and is definitely not going to work with another baby.  I want to give Pookie lots or lead time to the changes I would like to make before we have another baby.

I am sure after observing Pooks last night that the reason she is now getting up in the middle of the night is simply because it is fun.  At first it may of been because of her teeth, but now I am very certain she is doing it because she wakes up and wants to go hang out in the basement.  She woke up last night shortly after I put her to bed and threw a fit wanting to go downstairs.  I just had to put my foot down.  I kept the bedroom door shut and was beside her as she tantrumed.  Eventually she mellowed out and came and cuddled with me until finally she fell asleep.  She slept really well.  So part of my new nighttime plan is that if she does wake up we don't leave the room.  If DH doesn't like it he can leave!

Phase one of my nightweaning plan is to go back to not nursing her to sleep, and not nursing her until about 10pm.  After 10pm I will nurse her as much as she likes.  Once that goes smoothly I will extend the time by an hour or two, so we gradually go longer and longer without nursing at night.  I will let her nurse all she wants while we read books, but after that I am going to put a tight shirt on she can't get into.  I will sing to her, rock her, cuddle her as much as she needs.

Tonight will be the first night.  I hope it goes OK!

Baby Making Plans

So I had a wonderful X-mas present.  On Dec 26, I finally got my first postpartum period!!  Everly was 19.5 months.  It felt so good to know we could start TTC.  I had thought we might start in Feb or March, after a month or two of really eating well and doing the very gentle detox my naturopath suggested.

Well a few days later my younger sister got engaged!  I am so happy for her, but they are planning to get married next January... in the Carribean.  So... I am putting TTC plans on hold.  From what I read it should be safe to travel as long as I am less than 36 weeks.  That means the earliest we can start trying in June.  It is a bit of a bummer, but it does give us more time to get Pookie ready... and hopefully nightweaned to some extent.

I was planning on temping right away to track my cycles, but with Pookies terrible sleep habits lately it just wasn't happening.  The good news is it was SO clear to me when I ovulated this month.  It was pretty amazing.  My nipples got really sore, and all the other signs were there.  

About 6 weeks before my period came I was starting to feel more moody.  I talked to the naturopath about it.  My intuition told me my cycles were going to start.  It feels good to know your body that well.

January 10, 2009

Who needs a $450 kitchen when you have a husband like mine!

DH really outdid himself with Pookie's Kitchen.  He finished just after Christmas which actually worked out well because we were given all the accessories for it.  We set it all up for her and did an unveiling.  The LOVES it!  We now have a little table for her where the potty is and DH is going to build her a little fridge as well.  This is in one end of our dining room, but I thought it was perfect to have it there so she could work in her kitchen, while I worked in ours.  She plays with it everyday.

I love that DH did the burners out of wood and made them darker just like the one I coveted.  The knobs for the burners click when you turn them.  I am not sure how he did that but he figured something out while he was at Home Depot.  We put two RAST ikea tables together and stood them the wrong way up.  The other one that we based this idea off would of been two short and way too tiny.  We wanted something that would last her.  Then DH put another piece of wood ontop as the counter and he worked from there.  All he had was a jigsaw, and some nice guys at the depot who cut some of the wood for him.

January 8, 2009

Why I haven't been posting much

I have been too tired to post. I have been having a real rough time right now with Pookie at night. This is a post I made on MDC.. I am too lazy to rewrite it for my blog.

Two months ago my DD was getting up once or twice to nurse, and many times I could barely remember nursing her as it was so uneventful.Then she started getting 6 teeth at once. Since then it has been horrible. I keep blaming it on the teething but now I am wondering if it is something else. She just has one more tooth to finish coming through and other than the nightwaking it doesn't seem to be bothering her.

Some nights I have been up with her from 1-4am. She cries and cries until I take her down to the basement, and then she will just quietly doing a puzzle, watch TV with me and then fall back asleep eventually. Last night she woke up screaming and would absolutely not stay in our room. So today we have been up since 4am. I work two days a week (today being one of them) and leave at 6am.

In the last week she is also wanting to keep my nipple in her mouth while she sleeps, which has made a back/ shoulder injury I have (from co-sleeping with her), even worse. I am a ballet teacher so it is making teaching very difficult.Last night I thought I was going to lose it. I had all these horrible thoughts and just had no patience left.

We can't keep going like this. I have no energy during the day to be a good mom, my back is getting worse which makes teaching and carrying her harder and harder. Before this all started I had begun trying to get her to stop nursing to sleep (which could be another thread). It was going OK before all this started. I feel angry that perhaps I wouldn't be in this situation if I hadn't chosen to co-sleep. No one I know has these types of problems with their toddlers. Has anyone else been through something like this?

Do you think it really is teething or something else? A year ago I posted about some sleep problems we were having and of couse I go the "this too shall pass"... but it hasn't! It has only gotten worse. Before all this I has hoping to TTC in the spring and now I can't imagine being pregnant in the near future... which makes me really depressed.