T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Type A

Whew...it's been a rough two weeks with kids stuck in the house except to leave for health care appointments. At least the weather is getting warmer so they can venture outside.

The past couple weeks when I have not been tending to sick kids, I've been giving school presentations on natural family planning (future post about this topic), completed standardize patient exams (these are as scary as they sound), and working endlessly on baby shower preparations for a friend's shower this weekend (we have 36 guest RSVPs so far!).

However, today we were scheduled to meet the playgroup kids at a local park. Apparently, the timing of things changed last minute and I was not aware of it. Additionally, I also had no clue how to get to the park where we were meeting - also a last minute location. I don't have GPS in my car and it's kind of tough to 4-1-1 a park. 

So, the kids and I drove around for about 25 minutes looking for this place. When we finally did arrive everyone in the playgroup was leaving since they had already been there nearly an hour. I was pretty frustrated. If we had stuck to the original plan, this probably would not have happened.

I struggle with being flexible and going with the flow of things sometimes. But with the busy life I lead I have to maintain a pretty structured and disciplined schedule. It's how I get everything I need to get accomplished in a 24 hour period. And it can sometimes be frustrating to interact with people who are nonchalant or laissez faire about these kinds of things. (My last work partner, whom I adored, was this way - so laid back about deadlines whereas I would immediately start stressing out over time lines.) I wonder if I'm as frustrating to them? Hmm - probably not because of their personality type. Darn my Type A personality. It's no secret, I do struggle to find a balance in my life.

I will say I was pretty bummed that we were not going to get to see everyone and especially sad for my kids who desperately need some social interaction with kids their own age. However, it did not deter their sweet spirits from enjoying the jungle gym that was there for their entertainment. And their good time certainly did bring lots of smiles to all our faces.

As you can see, they are definitely feeling better. Bebe Sister is fully restored and T Rex is about 85% - this illness really triggered his asthma and he's been on some pretty strong stuff to get him to stop coughing. He was coughing so bad he was also vomiting. Then, of course, some of the meds would either give him the shakes or make him hyperactive or both. But things are significantly better and we are all grateful for that.

So which end of the spectrum are you on - Type A, stick with the plan sort of person or more laid back, go with the flow? Do you find it challenging to interact with those who are on the opposite end of the spectrum as you?

While you contemplate that, enjoy some photos from today's much needed outing...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Live and Learn - Blog Event Coming Soon...

Introducing my very first blog event - ever!

I am very excited for this. I have a few sponsors lined up and a whole six says of recommnedations and advice for new and expectant parents.

A little background...

We're at the stage in life where it seems many of our friends and family members are expanding their families. Lately we've received lots of solicitations for advice on everything from diapers and baby gear to childbirth and breastfeeding. And while we certainly do not claim to be experts nor assume our advice should be used in place of that of medical practitoners acting in an official capacity, we thought this would allow us to share some of our acquired wisdom in one forum so we can refer to when solicited for parental wisdom.

Additionally, I also want to ask you, my readers, to chime in during this event and also share your acquired wisdoms. This way, those reading the postings can gain knowledge not only from the T Rex Family perspective but also from other households around this world. With that being said, please share. And as added enticement, I will be having giveaways during the event. Entries will be based on constructive comments posted.

Here are the sponsors for the event:

CChapmans Gifts Etsy Shop - gift certificate to spend how you would like. This is my cousin's shop and she makes everything. Even her 100% vegan soap is completely homemade. And it's WONDERFUL!

ChubbieBums Heirlooms Etsy Shop - gift certificate to spend how you would like. I love this shop. I initially found her when I purchased some of her fitted diapers off eBay. Since then I've made a couple more purchases and am never disappointed. And in case you are not into cloth diapers, she has other homemade items in the form of children's clothing.

T Rex Mom Etsy Shop - Yes, this is my shop. I, too, will be offering an item from my shop. You can choose from a pair of toddler pants (girl or boy print - size 3 months to 4T available) or a tutu (up to size 4 T). And if you don't have a young person in your life you want me to make something for, then we will figure something else out. If you follow this blog, you know I do LOTS of different projects.

Here are the planned posting subjects:

I am really excited and really hope I can count of you to support me on this. Because, depending upon how this goes is really going to help me determine if I ever host one of these events again. Plus, I think it's just going to be really fun.

(And by the way, thank you JKMommy at A Year With Mom and Dad - she made my super cool button for this event.)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cloth Diaper Thoughts...And the Three C's

Cloth diapering has gone from a duty (pardon the pun) to a hobby. I absolutely love seeing these adorable diapers on my little bean. And just so much fun to coordinate with her clothes.

However, I think their days are numbered because she is getting better and better at elimination communication. With that being said, I need to start telling you more about why I love them before they are put into storage.

Bebe Sister is recovering nicely from a bout of pneumonia. Because of the seriousness of her illness, I opted to have her take antibiotics. They have given her massive diarrhea - not surprising. We've been trying to balance with some more constipating foods but she is still producing some huge diapers upon waking from nap time. 

Let me tell you how grateful I am that we've had our diapers - they hold in EVERYTHING. We would have blow-out after blow-out if we were in disposables, I am certain. And - no rash. Let me say that again...NO RASH. I've never seen a child with this much diarrhea not get a rash. Again - love these diapers. I know what you're thinking - yikes, those sound like disgusting diapers to clean. Two words for you - diaper sprayer. Cleans everything off and into the toilet before they go into the wet bag for keeping until laundry time.

Additionally, we haven't been able to leave the house much. With that being said, we would have had to make a special trip to the store just to buy diapers. Yes, you know what I'm talking about - that last minute, oh my gosh I am down to one last diaper, run to the store before it's dirty. Not for us. Not since making the switch over a year ago. And let me tell you this has been nice with the kids being sick and not being able to take them to the store. I just run the wash and we have more diapers. Although, a trip to the store might have made ME feel better allowing a break from the three C's - crying, coughing, and clinging.

So, there might be yucky diarrhea from the antibiotics, but diaper changing time is still a pleasure. Sometimes just putting on a diaper with a cute print or just the right shade of pink puts a smile on my face despite the frowns I've been sporting seeing my little ones with the C's.

How do you cheer up or maintain your sanity when your loved ones are feeling ill?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Illness - Round 2

Well, we're only 3 months into 2011 and we've been hit by another really tough bug. Seriously, the bugs are getting tougher. And, of course, the babies always get hit the hardest. We were all holding steady until Bebe Sister reached day five of fever at 103 F. T Rex also had the fever but he seemed to be on the upswing.

When our little girl turned into a limp rag doll, I finally conceded and took her into pediatric clinic. After two practitioners looked her over and expressed major concern for her appearance, they concluded that she had early pneumonia. We went ahead and administered the antibiotics she was given. And within 24 hours she was back to her happy, tutu wearing self.

She must have really scared her pediatric nurse practitioner because she's called every day for the past 3 days, checking for updates and ensuring that she's recovering well. And indeed, she is. In fact, I think she is better than everyone.

T Rex started to really cough hard a few days ago. We had a not-so-pleasant moment at the dinner table involving too much coughing while eating. In fact, his coughing has been so bad he has lost his desire for eating. So back to the clinic today. This time I also had them look at me.

The conclusion - T Rex has an ear infection and sinus infection which seems to be triggering his latent asthma. Me - only a sinus infection. T Rex Dad has a sinus infection, too, I am certain (I diagnose these things all the time), but he was busy deploying a project at work so he could not leave to get an official diagnosis.

Augmentin, an antibiotic, and the same one Bebe Sister is taking, was prescribed all around. However, the practitioner did something that I also like to do - she said, "You decide if you want to fill it. If you think it's not clearing on its own, fill it. But if you do take it, know there are lots of potential side effects so let's talk about those." I don't know if this is the antibiotic I would have prescribed but I did like her approach. She also prescribed some oral steroids for T Rex. We will be waiting on the antibiotics but 'roid rages, here we come.

It was pretty darn sad - when she asked what we were being seen for, he replied, "Can you make the cough go away?" It was so sweet and sad at the same time. All morning at breakfast he kept asking me the same thing. It really breaks my heart when my kids are sick. And it's made even worse when they plead with me to "Make me feel better."

I guess I am realizing there are limits to my mom magic. Sometimes I cannot make the hurts go away. Right now my kids still think a kiss can heal all that ails, but I think those days are numbered. But why lament something I have no control over? For now, I'll just enjoy these precious remaining moments where I am still the healer and hero.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Attachment Parenting...

It seems that T Rex Dad and I practice attachment parenting. Although, it was never our intention when we began our parenting journey to be co-sleeping, baby wearing, and extended breastfeeding parents. It just sort of happened.

Before T Rex was born I declared there would be no babies sleeping in the bed. My rationale was for a variety of reasons but mostly I was terrified of SIDS and I just did not want to promote unhealthy sleeping habits. 

This declaration did not even last a night. Newborn T Rex wanted to nurse every 2 hours - probably because my milk was taking its time coming in. Thus, it was just easier to put him in the bed with us so I could nurse him on demand. We removed all pillows (neither of us uses them for our heads anyways) and blankets. We tried several times to move him to his crib but he was such a poor sleeper that it was so much easier on all of us to have him with us. 

Bebe Sister co-slept with us exclusively until she was about 3 months old. Then she was pretty much sleeping through the night and actually she would not fall asleep unless she was in her play-n-pack next to our bed. If she'd wake up, I'd put her in with me and she would usually go back to sleep for a couple more hours. This is how we still do things. She's not a really snugly kid at night - she really prefers her bed unless she's restless. T Rex - total opposite. We prefer co-sleeping but I think the kids will tell you when they are ready for their bed - some sooner than others. However, everyone still sleeps in our room - just not necessarily in our bed at the same time.

And am I worried that they'll be a teenager and still sleeping in our room. Nope. Kind of the same rationale as being worried about potty training. How many teenagers do you know that are not potty trained? But potty training is a whole other topic because we're into elimination communication and cloth diapering. I don't know if that's also an aspect of attachment parenting or not. Probably.

Bebe Sister carrying her bear piggy back style.
Baby wearing...again, a lot to do with a very fussy T Rex baby. He was a very touchy, sensitive baby. Those first few weeks were so tough. Eating and sleeping became a privilege. Think waterless shampoo to wash one's hair.  I had purchased a used baby carrier/chest pack at a local thrift store. I was not sure I even wanted one but I thought since it was $2 I could at least give it a try. T Rex LOVED it. And I actually could get some household chores done while wearing him snuggled on my chest with my hands free. 

Then I attended a new moms class on infant massage and learned about the benefits of baby wearing. The pediatric physical therapist told us about the many infants she treats for flat heads because they were "car seat babies". Her recommendation is that car seats should be for the car - period. But for those shopping trips or times when you need your hands free she recommended a sling or baby carrier with the baby facing toward the carrier's chest (or after age one riding on the back, too). 

I took her suggestions to heart. In fact, I think our infant car seat only ever came out of the car a total of 8 times in its two child lifetime (about 20 months total use). Yes - sometimes a pain when the baby is sleeping but I enjoyed the closeness of having the babies close to me and knowing the carrier would not fall off the grocery cart or the baby would not get a flat head. Again - this is very much in the style of attachment parenting but we just did not know it. It just felt right.

Breastfeeding. That's a post in and of itself. I was very skeptical about breastfeeding. I really did not have many women in my life who had had a positive breastfeeding experience. However, I felt very strongly that it was the best option for our child. I kept setting small goals and before I knew it I had hit the year mark and T Rex was still wanting to drink mom's milk. It was only at 19 months that I was forced to wean him due to some dehydration issues related to being pregnant. But for a couple months there I was pregnant and breastfeeding - boy, did I feel maternal - tired as I was! 

Bebe Sister is still interested at 14 months and I plan to allow her to nurse as long as we're both enjoying the experience which is about what the World Health Organization's recommendation for breastfeeding is. I know most people would consider this "extended breastfeeding". Honestly, I don't. However, I guess this is just another aspect of attachment parenting that we did not realize we were practicing.

In a nut shell, we're not in a hurry to rush through various stages of childhood development as our society seems to be pushing for these days. We hold our children close - literally. Our kids gain independence in due time. And when they do, I find them to be full of confidence because we've been at their side - again, literally - through all these stages. We embrace and enjoy every aspect of their growth because we know some day we will be sitting in our rocking chairs remembering what it was like to hold those tiny babes in our arms while we rocked.

Are you an attachment parenting family? Do you practice any or all of these - co-sleeping, baby-wearing, or extended breastfeeding? Was it a conscious decision or were you like us and just fell into the practice?

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I took the kids to the local Discovery Center where they had special effects green screen set up. T Rex swam with sharks and I thought it looked fun. So here we are...

Walking on Water...

Packing through Egypt...

I think one of the best parts of hanging out with kids is that sometimes you get to do fun stuff that you otherwise would not get to do. What fun things have you been able to do just because you were hanging out with kids?
P.S. T Rex Mom now on Etsy - see left side bar for link to my shop. I also have a giveaway item going at A Year With Mom and Dad

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Just Kidn' Around...

From a recent trip to an indoor play gym (or just a lot of photos of the kids playing).

There was some sliding...

And gaming...

And dress up...

And train conducting...

And child tending...

And lots and lots of cooking...

But there is always time to stop and smell the pretend flowers at the pretend market...

Where do you go for indoor fun?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Super Hero Pants...

A recent project for a dear friend and her sweet boys...

These are for the Super Hero obsessed - feeding the addiction or easing the burden of non-stop costume wearing?

These are for her youngest - he's just a few weeks younger than this little lady trying to help with my photos.


My kids have always been my little helpers. It's wonderful but I've found that it takes at least twice as long to get just myself ready when they are "helping" their mama out. Even these photos took about 15 minutes - yes, four photos taking 15 minutes.

Seriously, though, I love it. Especially now - they still think I'm so cool and I get the best greetings when I walk into a room. So as far as I'm concerned, they can help as much as they like. I just need to be more disciplined about starting the "get ready" cycle much, much earlier.

Do you have little helpers in your life and how do you manage with their helping efforts?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hitting the Road...

We've been contemplating purchasing a trailer for our bikes for years now. When T Rex turned one we thought we'd take the plunge and then opted to pass when we decided to add Bebe Sister to the mix. Then we wanted to wait last year since she was too tiny to ride in it. Well, now both kids are of bike trailer age.

I have been watching Craigslist for several months and even if a trailer of my specifications was listed it needed some kind of repair that I did not want to have to perform. Last week I decided to just find a good deal online, bite the bullet and buy new - something that often makes me cringe. I left the trailer in my inbox over night so that I could sleep on it and make sure I was dedicated to the purchase.

The next day, I saw the exact one that was in my inbox show up on the Craigslistings. I contacted the seller immediately and we arranged pick up. It was perfect. And only about one-third of the price if purchased new. T Rex was SO excited and talked about picking up the trailer all day. When we finally brought it home he insisted we push him around the garage while he road in it with the bike not yet attached.

Now we have the bikes tuned up, the trailer attached, and new helmets purchased. Here we go...

Working out the kinks in the new helmets.

After our ride, which was filled with lots of giggles of glee, I asked T Rex what his favorite part of the ride was. His response, "Riding with Bebe Sister". Always warms my heart how much these two love each other.

Is there something you've been wanting to purchase? Did you find the deal you wanted?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New Year's Resolution...Where We're At with T Rex

Earlier this year I posted our family resolutions for 2011. To recap, here were T Rex's resolutions from that posting:

1. Try new foods.
2. Keep growing.
3. Take vitamin drops and allergy meds every day.
4. Brush teeth 2-3 times/day.

Turning in his stickers for a new RC Lightning McQueen car.
T Rex has number 2-4 down - no questions asked, particularly since he is off nearly all his allergy/asthma medications (yeah!). However, trying new foods was a huge challenge but recently has become much easier with a newly instituted reward policy. And let me tell you, life has been so nice since it's implementation.

Basically, we started with T Rex earning a sticker or two for each new food he tried. First on the list was milk. He has never drunk cow's milk. He never liked it. I breastfed him until he was 19 months and then no matter how hard I tried he would not drink non-mom's milk. In fact, he would not drink anything except water, not even juice which is fine - kids don't need juice. I did start giving vitamin D drops but other than cheese I was not sure how to get him sufficient levels of calcium, especially with his limited intake of food variety. 

For the milk, I started giving about 2 ounces with each meal and he would earn a sticker every time he drank it. No pressure but just friendly reminders that he would earn his sticker. After a few days he started to drink his milk. Now, he actually asks for milk. It's wonderful. I still award a sticker for each glass he drinks.

He has also started eating other veggies by introducing them in a similar manner. Recently he tried eggplant - something I don't like but since I'm trying to set an example for my son, we purchased it. He really wanted to get one when we went shopping and later before dinner he helped me to prepare it. Then he ate it. I could barely finish my portion and T Rex Dad would not even eat it. But our picky eater ate all of his! I have noticed that if he chooses the food at the market and aids in the preparation, he is significantly more likely to try and eat it than if I just put something in front of him and ask him to eat it.

We've been focusing on veggies as of late. He went from eating none to eating raw and cooked carrots, peas, and broccoli. He will also now eat pasta of all shapes and colors when previously he would shun pasta if it was the wrong color or shape. He's also started eating beans (black and pinto) - so glad about this one (beans and tortillas are a main stable). He will also voluntarily eat rice but it makes him gag and at times vomit. I don't know what's going on there - maybe a texture thing. I just find it interesting that he will voluntarily eat it - maybe the reward system is working too good.

In addition, I've also been awarding stickers for random acts of manners and sharing as well as using the restroom without prompting. Then the awarded stickers go onto a chart I've make. When the chart is filled he gets to turn them in for his special prize. Lately, though, he's been determining the prize ahead of time which is good so then we can remind him he is one sticker closer to earning his new prize. He usually has to earn between 56 and 88 stickers before he gets his prize. Generally, it takes 2 or more weeks to fill the chart. The kid really does work hard for his prizes. I think if we were to restart this again I'd probably start with having him need fewer stickers - say 20 - and then work upward to 56 or 88.

I actually really like this technique because he is also learning the concept of earning and saving for something. Differed gratification is something really tough to teach especially to a child three years old. We are just so glad we've found something that works for him.

 How do you get your kids to try new foods? How do you teach the concept of deferred gratification?