Category Archives: The Rattle: Everything Baby

Posts about baby stuff.

Happy 10 Month Born Day, C.C.!

Dear Baby Girl,

You’re ten months old today! I can’t believe it. It truly feels like just yesterday that you were this quiet little newborn that stole my heart the moment I laid eyes on you. Boy have things changed! You still hold my heart captive (and you always will), but that quiet part is done and over with!

You have a laugh that’s full and infectious. The way your little nose crinkles up when you’re happy…makes me happy. Beyond measure. You’re babbling and ba-ba-ing every word. I swear it feels like you’re actually talking!

You are a scootin’ pro and now with your walker, no area of our home is off limits to your curious little mind and feet! That thing is like your very own, personal bumper car.

At ten months it’s fair to say that you got a pretty heavy dose of the personality gene from me and your dad. Every time we take you out, it’s a show. You’re hamming it up for the sales people, smiling, waving, and pointing at people like a celebrity. You’re such a rock star! And I think you know it. You’re starting to push the boundaries a little bit with doing things you’re not supposed to and throwing mini tantrums…but as you know, mama ain’t havin’ it! Teaching discipline, even at this early age is a difficult transition, but it’s my and daddy’s responsibility – and we won’t shy away from it.

Wanna know what I love best about this stage you’re in? You give the BEST hugs. A hug from you is one of the few things in this world that can calm me when I’m anxious, excite me when I’m sad, and teach me about pure love. All you do is spread your tiny arms out across my chest and lay your head on my shoulder. And with that, my dear, all is well in my world.

In just a couple short months you’ll be on official big girl status! I can’t wait to celebrate your first birthday. And it’s so appropriate that December is your birth month, because your presence in my life is the gift that keeps on giving…just like God’s gift to us in His son Jesus. You have given us so much to look forward to in the coming years. But for now, I’m thankful for each day I get to see your million-dollar-eight-toothed-smile that beams brighter than the sun.

Love always,

Your Mommy

Natural Hair and My Beautiful Brown Baby Girl

So much of who we are as Brown women and how we’re seen, is tied to our hair.  As moms we have so many things we want to teach our children, such as manners, the importance of an education, and respecting others. One thing I desire to teach my daughter is how to embrace and love her natural hair.

Right now, natural hair is an exciting topic among brown women everywhere.  The term natural is defined by most as hair that has not been chemically altered, but worn in its natural state.

I’ve been relaxer free for ten years, but a press-n-curl was my primary styling choice. I recently made the decision to embrace my natural curls and back away from the hot comb! I have had so much fun getting to know my hair! I love the versatility of being able to wear a bun, a puff, or twist out. The options are endless!

What I love most about being natural is this…I’ll be able to teach my baby girl how to love all of who she is, from the top of her head to the bottom of her cute little feet. She’s eight months old now and I love having her sit in the bathroom with me while I condition and twist my tresses. I want her to grow up seeing me wear my hair in a variety of different styles while, most importantly, taking care of my hair. I hope to teach her not only to care for her hair, but to love her whole self as a natural, beautiful, brown girl!

Let’s discuss!

How does hair play a role in your relationship with your children?

*Note: This post was originally ran on the lovely e-magazine, Beautiful Brown Girls that I’m a guest blogger for, on 8/24/11. Visit the site and show them some love!

A Day in the Life of an Almost 8 Month Old

My how time has flown! My sweet, adorable baby girl is almost 8 months old. I still have moments where I stare at her in disbelief that she’s all mine. I love her so much!

Everyday she changes more and more. It’s amazing to see the world through the eyes of a child as they discover what the ‘world’ is. Here’s a list of the things she’s been up to lately.

  • She can sit up completely unassisted.
  • No item is off limits from the non-stop flight directly into her mouth.
  • She pulls the crib liner down to either see what we’re doing or make her presence known. She will NOT be ignored. LOL
  • Her two front bottom teeth are in full effect. Her top two should be making their descent any day now.
  • She has the grip of a professional arm wrestler and is especially fond of exercising that strength on whatever mommy has dangling, be it earrings, a necklace, or my hair.
  • She’s not quite crawling yet – scooting is her preferred method of transportation. We’re bracing ourselves for the storm that will be her full mobility.
  • Baby yogurt is her FAVE item to eat. There is never any coaxing involved when it comes to her yogurt.
  • She’s doing well with solids, but is developing true preferences on what she likes and doesn’t like.
  • The bald spot at the back of her head is finally starting to grow in. Slowly.
  • She babbles and babbles and babbles until her heart is content.
  • She pants like a new puppy when she’s excited.
  • She steals a bigger piece of heart each day.

I’m sure there are a host of other things that I’m forgetting, but this is the gist of it all at the moment. Getting to know my baby is a daily, on-going process. We’re not too wrapped up in comparing her to other babies or what experts say she should and shouldn’t be doing at this stage. She’s happy and healthy, which matters most to us. I appreciate the chance to watch her develop and grow; and I’m happy to serve as her tour guide to this thing called life!

Thank you all for continuing to ride along this journey with me.




What Every Retailer can Learn from IKEA

I’ve griped before about how annoying it is when I’m out and about with C.C. and I have to wait for the disability stall in the bathroom or a fitting room. It’s like the retailers or establishments are saying that as moms (or dads) you’re at a disadvantage because you have children. Gee, thanks, guys!

Enter the fabulousness that is IKEA. If you shop at IKEA then you already know how magical of a place it is. Who knew shopping for random household items could be such fun?! They always have the perfect baskets, lamps, chairs, and rugs! There are all sorts of other little do-hickeys in that store that will cause you to loose all track of time if you go in there without a strategic plan. I had one such day there recently, but this trip elevated my ‘like’ of IKEA to a ‘love’ of IKEA.

You see friends, the folks at IKEA totally got it right when it comes to the mommy-and-me bathroom situation. I was so impressed when I walked into this bathroom that I had to whip out my camera and document the moment! I’ll let the pictures explain:

Umm, hel-lo! Can you say, me gusta?!

Something for everybody!

No, I do not, but thanks for asking!

Ok, really...you are far too kind!

Maybe you just need to take a quick break. Well, don't mind if I do!

The kiddies may need some chill time, too. There's a chair for that!

See what I mean??!! So cool, right?! The space was well stocked, clean, and didn’t smell like funk warmed over.

For someone without kids, this may be no big deal. But for me, I’m super appreciative that they thought about it. It’s the little things in life that make me happy.

The Truth About Little Girls Is…

 

Their smiles can light up even the brightest of days...

 

Their eyes represent the purest form of joy...

 

They teach their mommies about unconditional love...

 

 

Introducing the 2011 Version of Mr. Mom: The Dadgineer

According to the dictionary of my brain, a “Dadgineer” is:

(n).  1. A combination of a stay-at-home-dad and domestic engineer.

He’s a man that lovingly takes care of his child(ren) and knows how to load a dishwasher. He can change a diaper with lightning speed and wash a load of clothes without breaking a sweat. He’s cool. He’s caring. He’s my husband.

I’m married to my very own Mr. Mom (but way cuter than Micheal Keaton) and I love it. He was laid off from his job about two years ago and back then we had no idea how different our lives would be in the twenty four months that would follow.  Over the course of my pregnancy we agonized over what we were going to do about daycare once I returned to work. My husband’s plan was to continue to look for work after the baby was born, but we quickly realized that if he were to in fact find a job; a) most of that income would be going toward the extremely high cost of daycare, and b) the idea of placing our most precious gift in the hands of strangers, was…well…scary.

After looking at all possible options, we determined that  it would be best for him to focus on staying home with C.C. We’d save the money AND we both knew that no one would love her more or take better care of her than her daddy. So far it’s been working out fairly well. He’s a Dreft using, spit-up wiping machine!

Don’t be me wrong, my Dadgineer would love to have a full time job, but we’re simply trying to making the best of our circumstance. He won’t be a stay at home dad forever, but for now, he’s a rock star at it. I’m so thankful for a husband that’s not just able, but willing to take care of his family in this way.

We’ll see what future twists and turns life brings us, but until then, I salute my and all the other Dadgineers out there!

Is your husband a Dadgineer? Were you raised by one? Share your stories!!!

What’s Gonna Work? Team Work:10 Tips for Stay-at-home Moms and Dads

For many two parent households, the decision to have both parents work outside the home, and/or have one stay home to care the for the kids is never an easy one (even moreso in these tough economic times we’re facing). In either circumstance, it takes a strong team to create a balanced household and ensure that things run smoothly on the financial and domestic fronts.

For those families that opt to have a parent stay home, it’s quite common that the mom takes on that role, while the dad goes out and works. In my case, however, I’m the primary wage earner and my husband stays home with our daughter. We had very few examples of what this family dynamic would look like, as it’s such an uncommon scenario – at least in our social circles. So, we’ve set out to define for ourselves what our roles are as husband, wife, mommy, and daddy.

Before I went back to work from maternity leave, I took some ‘reflection notes’ to refer back to when I wanted to remember how it felt for me on those days I cared for the baby by myself. I hoped doing this would increase my level of sensitivity for my husband when the tables were turned. It’s been a few months now and after recently re-reading the notes, I thought they might be helpful reminders to other families out there!

For the parent that works outside the home, try to remember these things:

  • After you get settled in, offer to spend time with the kid(s) for a few hours (feeding, play time, bath time, etc.) to give your spouse a break.
  • Don’t be judgmental if the house isn’t clean or in order. You don’t know what kind of day your spouse might have had that kept them from busting out the Pine-Sol before you walked through the door.
  • Do your best to be supportive in whatever way you can, however you’re most needed.

Conversely, for the parent that stays home, try to remember:

  • Working an 8+ hour day can be long and hard, too. Just because your spouse wasn’t chasing after a child all day, that doesn’t mean they’ll come home with untold amounts of energy.
  • Coming home can essentially be a second shift of work with a whole new set of tasks. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but be clear about the things you need help with for the evening, such as dinner, helping with homework, etc. (unless your spouse is a professional mind reader…which, isn’t likely).
  • While it shouldn’t be an expectation or mandate by your spouse – making the home a calm and welcoming environment can do wonders for de-stressing from the day and switching gears. Doing things like having the television turned off for a little while during the evening can go a long way!

Ultimately, what I’ve learned so far is this: the key to running a well balanced household requires a collaborative effort from both parents. It helps when you both try to consider the other person’s day and meet them at their point of need. The more things you do together as a team, the quicker they’ll get done and you both will feel better because the workload will be distributed evenly.

Some other ways to do that are:

  • Whoever cooks, the other one can help clean up the kitchen and wash dishes.
  • Offer to do a couple of loads of laundry if you’re not the one who regularly does it. One can wash and fold, and the other can put the clothes away.
  • Take turns going to the grocery store.
  • Give each other free days. A few times I’ve come home and kicked my husband out the house! Whether it’s for him to see a movie, grab a burger, or make a coffee run…I have forced him to have his own ‘me time,’ that didn’t involve me or the baby in any way. Likewise, I’ve had dinner dates with my girlfriends, trips to the nail salon, a visit to the mall, etc. to do the same.

Lastly, if you’re a single parent but have a solid support system around you – don’t be afraid to ask for help! Call on those grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends that promised to be there for you and hold them to their word!

Good luck and don’t forget: team work makes the dream work!

Note:  This post is featured today on The Young Mommy Life  🙂

More Peas, Please!

Last night was a huge milestone for the baby because she had peas for the first time! She’s been doing really well with her formula, oatmeal cereal in the mornings, and rice cereal at night. But now that she’s hit the 6 month mark, we’ve decided to give her a little more variety. Check out the pics of her first taste of baby food!

In other C.C. news, she’s got two teeth! Her bottom two teeth have sprouted up out of nowhere and she’s making good use of them…biting, tasting, sucking, and drooling on anything within her grasp. Awww, my little baby girl is growing up! She’s 15 lbs now and 26 inches. Where has the time gone?

I’m so grateful to be blessed with a healthy and happy child. I do not take one minute of my time with her for granted.

Ok, mommy...what is this you got me eatin'?

 

I don't know if I like this stuff!

 

Yeah...I don't appreciate you shoving this spoon in my mouth!

 

No me gusta! (This picture makes me laugh so hard everytime!)

 

Whew! Glad that's over...now gimme my milk!

The tale of my first major mama-bear moment

On Sunday while we were out with our friends we stopped at a restaurant for lunch. The restaurant was kind of small and it was packed! As we looked around for a free table, one family signaled to us that they were leaving and we could take their table. We do so, get settled in and waited for our food to arrive.

Lunch was pleasant…the food was great! As we were preparing to leave, I remembered that the baby hadn’t been changed in a while, so I picked her up and headed to the bathroom. I walked in, did my usual scan of the room only to find that there was not a changing station in sight! What was I gonna do now? Sit on the floor? I think not.

Since she didn’t have a poopy diaper I took her back to the table to change her in my lap. I try not to do that because, after all, we were in a restaurant. But again, what was I supposed to do? I wasn’t going to let her sit in a warm, heavy, mushy diaper until we 1) walked allll the way back to the car or 2) got back to my friend’s house. It would only take me a couple of minutes anyway.

I commence the changing process, only to hear some young, teenaged girl at the table next to us loudly proclaim, “Eew, that is so gross!”

My mommy-radar was fully activated in that very moment. My eyes turned red like the Terminator and my neck drove straight up with razor sharp precision like a robot. Oh. No. She. Didn’t! I looked that girl straight in her eyes and she looked away from me as if she didn’t say it. No, no, boo-boo…I heard you! If looks could kill she would have been dead.

I calmly and simply stated (while still staring at her in her face): “There was no changing table in the bathroom.” *shrugs*

I wanted to go over to her table and tell her and her texting teenage friends, “One day, this will be you. And one day some one will sneer at you as you do what you can in an inconvenient situation to care for your child. One day, miss missy. One day.”

Let’s discuss!

Do you find it difficult to walk the line of doing what’s appropriate in the sight of others in public places? Or do you go into straight mama-bear mode when it comes to “doing what you have to do” for your little one(s)?

This is a lion, not a bear...but it still conveys the same message: Don't mess with me or my baby!

How Mark Twain, a gold nugget, and s’mores made for a perfect weekend

Happy Memorial Day, Friends!

Please take a moment to remember the men and women that serve this country and say a prayer for them and their families.

We just got home from a fantastic weekend trip to Northern California ( a six hour drive). We went to visit some friends in a small town so quaint and off the map…even Mark Twain was compelled to write about it. No, I’m not kidding. THE Mark Twain. 

We witnessed some for real-for real small town livin’ in the California country! There were wild turkeys, cows, and donkeys posted on the road at any given time. It was definitely a site to see. LOL It was definitely a change of pace for this city girl, but a welcomed and much needed change.

Our friends’ home was so warm and inviting – it was like staying at a bed and breakfast! Delicious home cooked meals, a cozy fireplace, laughter, and most importantly…LOVE!  Tiff, I can’t thank you enough for being such a gracious host.

My little C.C. did so great on her first road trip! I’m so happy to have crossed this first milestone as a family and look forward to many more family trips.

Enjoy this photo summary of  our first family getaway:

 

How was your holiday weekend?