Monday, March 30

Busy Bees

Nora and I had a busy and productive weekend. Saturday morning we woke up early and headed to Ames for dog food -- yes we drive 40 minutes for dog food -- and knocked out our grocery shopping while we were there. I always feel like such a mutant when I wear her in the moby becuase everyone stares!

It's so convenient though, and apparently comfortable because she has no trouble falling asleep in it.

Saturday evening, we went to our first Energy game with Shannon and Slim courtesy of MidAmerican. Nora stayed awake the whole time -- she was so infatuated with all the people! And, it was a very exciting game.

Nora and Shannon playing
Crazy Chinese lady -- to give her proper credit, I think she was with Red Panda Acrobats or something similar.

Sunday, we cleaned and cooked most the day, and that evening we went to a get together in Ankeny. Nora had a blast with her new friend Oli!
She was talking to him like they'd known each other for years!

How cute are they?!?

Saturday, March 28

You Know the Food is Good When...

The kid doesn't even get the bib dirty! Sweet potatoes were such a success, I decided to give regular potatoes a try yesterday. Bonus - they were so easy I made them entirely with one hand!

This was taken after she gobbled down a bowl of them...not a spot on the bib!


4 cups shredded potatoes
1/4 cup water, more if necessary

I happened to have some hashbrowns in the freezer, so that's what I used. I cooked them according to the package's fat free directions by putting 4 cups of potatoes and 1/4 cup water in the microwave for 7 minutes. When they are done, put them in the magic bullet (or food processor) and puree. These potatoes were particularly sticky, so I ended up adding about 2 ounces of milk and another 2 or 3 ounces of water until they were thinner.

The 4 cups made almost enough to fill an ice cube tray after the portion Nora ate was removed.
E-mail me alerts when thebaughchronicles updates!

Thursday, March 26

I Am an Attachment Parent

Brace yourself, this is a long one!

Ever heard that holding your baby too much can spoil her? The American Pediatrics Association, among many other parenting and pediatric groups, undisputedly agree babies younger than 6 months cannot be spoiled, and should in fact be picked up and tended to every time they cry. So every time your mom/grandma/friend tells you to let him cry, its good for him, follow your instinct and offer your little one some snuggles.

Attachment parenting takes things a step further. This organization promotes strong and healthy emotional bonding between parents and children through practice of 8 attachment principles. APers encourage parents to do what feels right for their family and to acknowledge your child's needs as you would an adults. No this does not mean you should continue to sprint to the rescue every time a peep is uttered once baby passes the 6 month mark, but it does mean that after much research and trial and error, leaving baby to cry it out or attempting to teach independence and self soothing by not responding to cues, ultimately, is outdated advice and not only doesn't work, its not healthy for development.

The more I read, the more I'm convinced this is the parenting style I most closely associate with, and the more I read, the more I feel AP encourages the values I wish to possess as a mom. I'm not ashamed to say I co-sleep, that I choose to wear my baby instead of plunk her in a swing when I have a full day of housework to do, or that 6 months and 2 weeks after her birth I still pick her up whenever she needs me, even if its not a convenient time or my hands were tied in something else. In fact, I think AP takes more patience, more time, and more commitment to making your schedule meet baby's than making baby's schedule meet yours, and that's hard -- but for me, its right.

Today, however, I'm not going to cover what attachment parenting is. Instead, I'd like to do a little myth debunking by telling you what AP is not. Below is an article derived from

Attachment parenting is not a new style of parenting. AP is one of the oldest ways of caring for babies. In fact, it's the way that parents for centuries have taken care of babies, until childcare advisers came on the scene and led parents to follow books instead of their babies. The baby B's of AP would come naturally to you as they have other cultures who have centuries more child-rearing experience and tradition than all of us have.

Attachment parenting is not indulgent parenting. You may hear or worry that being nurturing and responsive to your baby's needs might spoil your baby and set you up for being manipulated manipulated by your baby. This is why we stress that AP is responding appropriately to your baby's needs, which means knowing when to say "yes" and when to say "no." Sometimes in their zeal to give children everything they need, it's easy for parents to give their children everything they want.

Attachment parenting is about balance – not being indulgent or permissive, yet being attentive. As you and your baby grow together, you will develop the right balance between attentive, but not indulgent. In fact, being possessive, or a "smother mother" (or father) is unfair to the child, fosters an inappropriate dependency on the parent, and hinders your child from becoming normally independent.

As your baby grows, you become more expert in reading her cries, so you can gradually delay your response. Because you and your baby are so connected, your baby can read your body language and see that you're not anxious, so you naturally give your baby the message, "No problem, baby, you can handle this." In this way, you're being a facilitator , and because of your close attachment you're actually better able to help your baby delay gratification and ease into independence.
Attachment Tip:
"It's easier for me to say 'no' to my attachment- parented child when she wants a lot of stuff, because I know I have given her so much of myself."
AP is not permissive parenting. APers become like gardeners: you can't control the color of the flower or the time of the year it blooms, but you can pick the weeds and prune the plant so that the flower blooms more beautifully. That's shaping. APers become master behavior-shapers.

Attachment mothering is not martyr mothering. Don't think that AP means baby pulls mommy's string and she jumps. Because of the mutual sensitivity that develops between attached parents and their attached children, parents' response time can gradually lengthen as mother enables the older baby to discover that he does not need instant gratification. Yes, you give a lot of yourself in those early months, but you get back a lot more in return. AP is the best investment you'll ever make -- in your child, and yourselves.

"Won't a mother feel tied down by constant baby-tending?"
Mothers do need baby breaks. This is why shared parenting by the father and other trusted caregivers is important. But with AP, instead of feeling tied down, mothers feel tied together with their babies. Remember, too, that AP, by mellowing a child's behavior, makes it easier to go places with your child. You don't have to feel tied down to your house or apartment and a lifestyle that includes only babies.

Attachment parenting is not hard. AP may sound like one big give-a-thon. Initially, there is a lot of giving. Babies are takers, and parents are givers. One of the payoffs you will soon experience of AP is one we call mutual giving – the more you give to your baby, the more baby gives back to you. This is how you grow to enjoy your child and feel more competent as a parent.

AP may sound difficult, but in the long run it's actually the easiest parenting style. What is "hard" about parenting is the feeling "I just don't know what my baby wants" or "I just can't seem to get through to her." If you feel you really know your baby and have a handle on the relationship, parenting is easier and more relaxed. There is great comfort in feeling connected to your baby. AP is the best way we know to get connected. True, this style of parenting takes a tremendous amount of patience and stamina, but it's worth it. AP early on makes later parenting easier, not only in infancy but in childhood and teenage years. The ability to read and respond to your baby, carries over into the ability to get behind the eyes of your growing child and see things from her point of view. When you truly know your child, parenting is easier at all ages.

AP is not rigid. On the contrary, it has options and is very flexible. Attachment mothers speak of a flow between themselves and their baby; a flow of thoughts and feelings that help a mother pull from her many options the right choice at the right time when confronted with the daily "what do I do now?" baby-care decisions. The connected pair mirror each other's feelings. The baby perceives himself by how the mother reflects his value. This insight is most noticeable in the mother's ability to get behind the eyes of her child and read her child's feelings during discipline decisions.

One day our two-year-old, Lauren, impulsively grabbed a carton of milk out of the refrigerator and spilled it on the floor. As Lauren was about to disintegrate, Martha mellowed out the situation and preserved the fragile feelings of a sensitive child and prevented the angry feelings of inconvenienced parents. When I asked how she managed to handle things so calmly, she said, "I asked myself if I were Lauren, how would I want my mother to respond?"

Attachment parenting is not spoiling a child. Our answer is an emphatic no. In fact, both experience and research have shown the opposite. Attachment fosters independence. AP implies responding appropriately to your baby; spoiling suggests responding inappropriately. The spoiling theory began in the early part of this century when parents turned over their intuitive childrearing to "experts"; unfortunately, the childcare thinkers at the time advocated restraint and detachment, along with scientifically produced artificial baby milk – "formula" for feeding babies. They felt that if you held your baby a lot, fed on cue, and responded to cries, you would spoil and create a clingy, dependent baby. There was no scientific basis to this spoiling theory, just unwarranted fears and opinions. We would like to put the spoiling theory on the shelf – to spoil forever.

Research has finally proven what mothers have long suspected: You cannot spoil a baby by attachment. Spoiling means leaving something alone, such as putting food on the shelf to spoil. The attachment style of parenting does not mean overindulgence or inappropriate dependency. The possessive parent, or "hover mother," is one who keeps an infant from doing what he needs to do because of her own insecure needs. This has a detrimental effect on both the infants and the parents. Attachment differs from prolonged dependency. Attachment enhances development; prolonged dependency will hinder development.

If you made it all the way through that, I'd love to hear your thoughts -- agree or disagree -- on this article. More information about AP can be found on the API website.

E-mail me alerts when thebaughchronicles updates!

Wednesday, March 25

Today I...

had a good day. I liked doing my up-down baby exercises, and I practiced sitting up by myself in a boppy pillow. I also played with a singing, crinkly butterfly.
E-mail me alerts when thebaughchronicles updates!

Wordless Wednesday: Tub Time

E-mail me alerts when thebaughchronicles updates!

Sunday, March 22

Never Lie, Cheat, Steal or Drink

"...but if you must lie, lie in the arms of the one you love; if you must cheat, cheat death; if you must steal, steal away from bad company; and if you must drink, drink in the moments that take your breath away."

Yes I did just steal a quote from Hitch, but I like it!

Yesterday, it was gorgeous outside (75 degrees - H-e-llo Spring!)so Nora and I put aside the to-do list and enjoyed it.

We went for a walk.

But then I got scared she was going to get a sunburn, so we headed back home, lathered her up with sunscreen and laid out on the back deck.

Nora thought her umbrella shade was pretty entertaining.

Oh and apparently (unbeknown to me) she is feeding herself bottles now. I just handed this to her and she did the rest!

Nora is sleeping on me know as I blog - I guess that's what inspired the quote - I love her age right now (and I like to think I'm going to love all stages) because she is so cuddly and happy. She actually thinks I'm funny! All the smiles and the giggles, the kisses and hugs, make each day worthwhile. It is so amazing to watch her grow and learn and drink in her surroundings; and I look forward to the new things she will take interest in each day.

E-mail me alerts when thebaughchronicles updates!

Saturday, March 21

I Feel Pain, Where's the Gain?

This is totally not Nora related, but yesterday a co-worker and I took a yoga class we found downtown near work. I first started yoga when I was pregnant with Nora, and after she was born we took a few baby n' me classes. Since then my yoga has been limited to a monthly family yoga class, which while fun, isn't that vigorous. None-the-less, the new instructor assured me I'd be fine in her class with the experience I've had.

About 3 minutes into the class, I looked at Tara and admitted I was already sure I would be aching forward to the end of the class. I said, "I take that back, I'm going to be sore today!" And I was right. By the end of the day I was waddling because it hurt to move every muscle in my body. Today is nearing unbearable.

I tell you what though - yoga made me find flexibility I never knew I had. I think it was the pose pictured above that did me in.

In other news, Nora has started reaching when she wants to be held. It is the cutest thing, but it makes me feel guilty when I'm doing something that doesn't allow me to hold her. We also just ordered a baby sign language book and are anxious to get started signing. Daddy is totally on board.

She's getting really good at pushing herself up and sometimes even goes onto her knees -- this usually results in a very angry baby though. I have some great photos and videos to post soon, but for now I've got a long to-do list I need to get started on. Have a great weekend!

E-mail me alerts when thebaughchronicles updates!

Tuesday, March 17

Little Jack Horner Sat in a Corner

Eating his Christmas pie
He put in a thumb and pulled out a plum
And said, "What a good boy am I?"

I'm not sure what exactly a Christmas pie is, but I can tell you that Nora was not quite as excited about plums as Jack.

She didn't really seem to like nor dislike them. They didn't cause a gag reflex like carrots, but she didn't smile and inhale them like she does with foods she likes either. She only had a couple bites and then she was done. We'll try them again tomorrow.

Plums are another food that were super easy to make. The most time consuming part was getting the skins off, but that was mostly because they were just too hot to touch. The skin comes off easier after they're stewed, but maybe next time I'll try skinning and pitting them first.

Bring 1 inch of water to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Cut an X in the side of 3-4 washed ripe plums. Place the plums in the water, cover, and boil for 4-5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Skin and pit the plums, reserving the excess water. Puree plums in food processor and add water to thin.

Make sure the plums aren't too hot before serving, but by the time I finally got the skins off, that wasn't really an issue. I used 3 plums and it filled about 2/3 of an ice cube tray plus what I reserved for Nora to eat right away. I think 4 plums would be perfect to fill the tray.

Food aside, Charlie was getting Nora pumped up for opening day while I was at work -- Have a look.

E-mail me alerts when thebaughchronicles updates!

Monday, March 16

Six Months and Swinging High

OK, so she was actually swinging pretty low, but seemed to enjoy it none-the-less.

We went to the park yesterday and tried out the playground. Nora had fun and she was SO CUTE in her new outfit I got her!

We went down the slide:

And swung on the swings:

And played with the puppies:

Then we came in and played dress up! Pretty sure I've got America's next baby model on my hands.

In addition to Nora being half a year old, we've reached another milestone; I've been breastfeeding for 6 full months, and I'm kind of proud of myself (and Nora of course). I'm a pretty modest girl, so I don't talk about it much, but I know it can be really tough -- especially working full time -- and when I made the decision to breastfeed I set a personal goal that I'd try my best to make it to 6 months.

Well here we are and I'm definitely not going to quit just because we hit this mark. I've been doing a lot of research about baby-led weaning and the benefits of extended breastfeeding, I'm not going to put a time or date on it, rather I'd like to just plan to keep it up as long as we're both comfortable. I can honestly say that in Nora's 6 months so far, I feel strongly this is the best thing I have done for her as a mother. It is a good feeling.

E-mail me alerts when thebaughchronicles updates!

Sunday, March 15

On Sunday We Rest

I'm trying to get motivated to clean the carpets today and finish up the painting we have left from the laundry redo (which I still need to post pictures of BTW), but the devil on my shoulder is saying Sundays are for, Nora looks so comfy sleeping on me that I don't want to wake her.

In honor of our last post with a 5 month old, here are some photos from the past month.

E-mail me alerts when thebaughchronicles updates!

Saturday, March 14

Photo Shoot!

Today, Nora and I went shopping with Shannon. We started at 11 and didn't get home til 6. It was a long day, but nice to get out.

In the last store, Nora and I did a photo shoot while Shannon was trying on dresses.

By the time we were nearly done, Nora was beat.

It was a good day, but she missed her daddy!

E-mail me alerts when thebaughchronicles updates!

Wednesday, March 11

Eat and Be Merry

Sweet potatoes were another success despite the fact that it looks like we just rubbed them all over her face and shirt.

They were a little more time consuming than peas, but still pretty simple and one sweet potato made enough to fill an ice cube tray and a half, plus what she ate.

Sweet Potatoes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash sweet potato, poke with a fork several times, and wrap in aluminum foil (skin still on), and place on baking sheet. Bake 30-60 minutes until soft. This is where I messed up - I had a really big potato so it didn't get soft all the way through. I should have cooked it longer. Scoop potato out of skin and place in food processor -- alternatively, you can just mash with a potato masher -- and puree. Serve.

If it is too thick, you can add milk or water until you reach the desired consistency. You can also peel, cube and boil sweet potatoes, but they don't hold as many nutrients that way. It is quicker, but I just popped them in the oven while preparing dinner, so it was really no hassle.

Here's what Nora thought:

It's good!

Nora has also started to learn how to use a sippy. I thought we would go straight for the big kid cup first, then learn to use a cup with a lid, but that resulted in a very angry baby when I wouldn't let her tip it all the way upside down. This sippy pours, instead of having to be sucked, so hopefully, it is a good alternative. She seems to really enjoy drinking water even though most of it just dribbles down the front of her shirt!

E-mail me alerts when thebaughchronicles updates!