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Monday, May 31, 2010

The Socialite

Olivia is no stranger to the great outdoors. I don't mean camping, we haven't done that yet. I am referring to spending time out and about enjoying our great city. We have gone to art museums, outdoor park festivals, shopping, restaurants, and maybe even a daytime bar or two. Sometimes other moms were surprised when I would mention that we never had any issues going out to eat with her as a younger baby or missing a nap (she just naps in the wrap!). I am not sure if it was venturing out when she was still very young and always wearing her so she felt safe and secure. Now that she is not so tiny and becoming more aware of her surroundings I am starting to realize she is very social and really enjoys being out. It's actually getting to be quite fun and she makes a really pleasant lunch date. Today we went out to eat a deli downtown and the pea had a blast eating bits of steamed carrots, chatting with other patrons, and taking in the sights.

On Thursday we had a beach day and it was a great success! I was hesitant about sand. What if it gets in her eyes? Is it unsafe if she starts to eat it? What if she hates it? Some of my fondest childhood memories are at the beach (I've probably mentioned that before) and I was really hoping that Olivia loved it, too.

I'm very happy to report that she most certainly did love it! Most of our beach time was spent on a comfy blanket under a shady umbrella but after a while we got really tired of trying to contain her. She kept crawling toward the sand and after a quick Google search (is sand unsafe for babies?) we decided to let her go for it. There were no mishaps and the giggles and excitement went on and on. Coated in a safe sunblock and in her new bathing suit top the pea had her first real dose of fun under the sun.

And after all that beach bumming, a nap in her own personal mommy and daddy made cabana.


I am so excited that my baby pea and her friend Rowen won the Bebe Britches photo of the month contest! This photo was taken of the girls at one of the San Diego Babywearers meetups. For the month of June their photo will be featured on the site and we will receive a free diaper! The mama that makes these diapers pays so much attention to detail and her sewing is impeccable. Plus, she's awesome. I am really digging AI2 diapers lately. Essentially, an all-in-two diaper is a waterproof shell with an absorbent insert that either lays or snaps into the diaper. So, you get a trim diaper in just one step! Plus, Bebe Britches' prints are to die for :) Here is the winning shot:
Congrats to the May Photo Contest Winners!

Happy Memorial Day!

I have been so busy I haven't had a chance to catch up! I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Muse Monday

"When you're having dinner with your kids and your husband and someone says something funny or you're dying laughing because your three-year-old made a fart joke, it doesn't matter what else is going on. That's real happiness."
-Gwyneth Paltrow

image via: Google

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Sun

It's almost June and for a San Diegan, that brings many beach days. Maybe if I ever finish our laundry, we can have some fun.

Slow down!

My beautiful Olivia Simone was a tiny noob just 7 months ago. This is such a small amount of time. How is it possible that the most important person in my life is only officially 7 months old?
But then again, in five months she will be an entire year old. I am constantly reminding myself to savor every moment of this stage, I know she will not proudly sport only 2 teeth and baby talk my ear off forever. Soon her clumsy crawls will turn into confident steps and the "dada" and "maaa" will turn into real sentences. Some parents joke about only having 18 more years of "this" but the truth is that I am in no rush for my pea to grow up. None. I will sorely miss waking up to her sweet breath in my face, or the warm fluffy diapers straight out of the dryer, and the way she explores every single corner of her tiny world. I love how splashy bath time is, or how messy lunch can be. Olivia is full of joy and wonder and the teenage years can stay far into the future where they belong.
Happy 7 months Pea :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Check us out!

I'm the Boss Lady over at Mar & the Peej, one of my favorite mom blogs!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Oatmeal and milk

I am going to tell you something that may shock you.

The Pea does not like peas.
Olivia tried peas yesterday for the first time and really did not dig them. Truthfully, she only gets truly excited about oatmeal. How boring is that? We have been feeding her this one:
I am going to make it from scratch, this site is full of great homemade baby recipes. The other foods she likes are avocado and sweet potato. She also still really loves her milk. We haven't gotten on a real solids schedule yet, but maybe we should. I am not very good at strict schedules for myself so it's kind of hard to put Olivia on some sort of routine. I mean, we sort of have one, but it can vary. She is happy and thriving so I am not concerned. In this household, every day is different and there is always something going on. That is just how we flow I guess.
Sleeping is getting better. We still bring her into bed but the oatmeal for dinner idea really worked. Pea goes to bed with a full belly and doesn't wake up so hungry in the middle of the night. Sleeping through the night, however, seems to be a luxury of the past.

This is what I wake up to in the morning. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Muse Monday

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” -Sophia Loren
image via Google
photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Finds

Instead of the usual farmer's market, we decided to go to a swapmeet instead. I had never been and I was very excited to buy Olivia a cute t-shirt, an adorable summery outfit, and soft thermal pajamas for 50 cents! Wow! They will be washed in hot water to get any possible yuckiness out.
And for $1:

Stay tuned for pictures from the pea's first zoo trip! :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Time is flying...

When I first laid my eyes on her, I saw this:

And 6.5 months later...

above photo by Urban Housewife

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wishful Wednesday

I wish I had loads of energy. TONS. Energy to go and go and go without sleep. Energy without limits so I can accomplish all that I want to do in one day.


all images minus last via: google

Cosleeping, she decided.

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that Olivia would wake up promptly at 4:30am crying. Exhausted, I would lean over and bring her into bed with us. Since the pea was brought home from the hospital she has been sleeping right next to us in her crib. We'd usually get an extra hour or two of sleep if we brought her to bed with us in the morning. It was clear that she liked being close to us as much as we loved having her there. Well, this seems to have reached a bit of an extreme. The crying now begins at 2:30am.
This waking up every hour on the hour starting at 2:30am began around Friday or Saturday night. In an effort to catch at least a small snooze we would each move to either side of the bed to leave some space for Princess Nightowl to sleep. This was the only thing that worked! Last night, she officially slept IN our bed ALL night. She woke up at her usual 2:30am, was pulled into bed, and that was all we heard from her until the morning.
The alarming part is that her cry is scared and desperate right from the start. As soon as we scoop her up she is quiet and right back to sleep. Does anyone have any ideas as to what is going on? Obviously she wants to be near us, and we have no problem with it. Cosleeping has been her choice, not ours.
The bed hog.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Muse Monday

“Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.”

Getting Started with Cloth

One of my favorite readers and her little girl, Charlotte, are considering a cloth diapering adventure. I call it that because that is what it is! The world of cloth is growing and that means the options are growing, too! This is a good things because you can really build a cloth diaper stash completely customized to your lifestyle and needs. I found this excellent chart which compares the different diapering options and even shows visual examples of them. Real diapering is a bit of an investment, but it is one that will surely pay you back in several ways. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, you can slowly build your cloth supply or you can shell out the money all at once. That is totally up to you! Luckily, sites like this one let you try out different diapering systems before choosing just one. Also, Nell's Natural Baby and Mom's Milk Boutique are personal favorites.
Online boards and forums are great tools for research and also to ask questions. That is how I learned!

Happy Diapering :)

LIES! Disposables vs. Cloth

My advocacy of cloth diapering does not just extend to this new green chic movement or the fact that cloth is free of chemicals. It also has to do with respecting the planet and making a conscious effort to reverse some of the damage that our disposable lifestyle is causing. Of course, if every baby was put in cloth diapers then companies like Huggies and Pampers would be in BIG trouble. So, what did Pampers decide to do to avoid competition? They decided to publish a completely mythical and untrue report trying to dispel the truths about real diapering. If you have a blog, please feel free to copy my post or write your own in an effort to end the litany of lies that seem to come from big companies that certainly do not have our children's best interest at heart.

This is what Pampers published, my commentary is in red.

Myth: Cloth diapers are better for my baby.
Fact: Disposable diapers like Pampers were developed to offer babies benefits that cloth diapers could not meet. That goes beyond convenience to helping keep babies' skin dryer and more comfortable by reducing leaks and locking wetness inside the diaper in a way that cloth doesn't. As a result, doctors and parents simply don't see the same level of diaper rash that used to exist before disposable diapers.
This is totally false. I have had leaks and blowouts in disposables, but NEVER in cloth. Furthermore, we have never had any serious diaper rash. In fact, her skin is so healthy because of cloth diapers, I still have 60% left of the tube of butt paste I bought before Olivia was even born. Never has a rash lasted longer than a day. Cloth diapers are made of materials that allow the skin to breathe, and are free of cancerous and irritating chemicals like disposables.

Fact: In October 2008, the United Kingdom's Environment Agency published an update to its 2005 Life Cycle Assessment study on cloth versus disposable diapers. The update confirmed the earlier study's findings that there is no clear winner in terms of environmental impacts between disposable and cloth diapers in the U.K., once all factors such as water, energy, detergent, and disposal are considered.
Myth: Developing countries prove that cloth diapers are better than disposable diapers.
There is no way that cloth diapering impacts the environment in a more negative way than disposable diapers. When considering disposables, you have to think of all the waste that is involved with factories producing millions of these diapers a year around the world. Cloth diapers can be washed in cold water if necessary and hung to dry. Especially now with the prevalence of high-efficiency washers less water is used. Also, homemade laundry detergents can be used to clean diapers so no harmful pollutants are dumped into the water systems. Millions of garbage diapers sit in landfills for years and years. Reusable diapers can be recycled and used as burp rags, wash cloths, and more. They can also be used for several children. Can Pampers do that? I do not think so.

Fact: Our product provides key benefits in terms of skin health, dryness, and even sleep. In China, for example, we've learned that babies and parents are frequently awakened during the night each time the baby soaks the bed, because the baby has no diaper or a very thin piece of cloth. As a result, studies have shown that a disposable diaper can help a baby there get a better night's sleep. In another test, we have also seen less fecal contamination spread around the home using disposables versus cloth or nothing.
Clearly, we have a lot to learn about how to help with basic hygiene needs in countries that have very different access to clean water to wash with, and how to best dispose of products after use. We've also learned about hygiene for older children through our Always feminine care business – where in many parts of the world girls are forced to miss school one week each month during their period because they don't have enough pads or fresh water.
We are working in those regions to better understand what they do with products after use, and how to work with local agencies and other businesses to ensure the best long-term system to manage it.
This logic is so erroneous and nonsensical I do not know even know how to start dissecting it. What in the world are they talking about? See how they tied in another one of their products into this so-called "informative" article? They are using China as an example of why disposable diapers are better, but China is a country that implements elimination communication more often than any Western country (although it is coming into the American natural baby mainstream more often in the recent years). Why in the world are they using China to prove this point??

Myth: Disposable diapers are harmful to the environment.
Fact: All of the component materials in Pampers diapers are gentle to consumers and safe for the environment. Pampers diapers are made of materials that are also frequently used in a wide range of other consumer products. We are committed to continuing to reduce our environmental impact. For example, Pampers has decreased its diaper weight by one-third and packaging weight by two-thirds. And innovative technologies, raw materials, and product design improvements have led to significant reductions in energy, water use, emissions, and waste at our plants. We are working so that our diapers in the future will have less impact on the environment than even today's diapers.
This is not true. Pampers are still made with chemicals and bleach which are worn close to baby's skin but also dumped into our water systems and in landfills. Not only do we have to consider the diapers themselves, but also the packaging of the diapers and production of the different materials used to make them.

Myth: The materials that make up Pampers diapers are depleting our forests.
Fact: The pulp used in our diapers comes from well-managed forests in North America. In some cases, we source our pulp from scrap wood chips from lumber and saw mills. Our pulp suppliers are required to be certified by an independent third party as practicing sustainable forestry. Certification includes standards and criteria for replanting trees, protecting biodiversity, water, air and soil, and for obtaining broad stakeholder input into the forest management plan.
Nothing is more sustainable than something that is reusable. Even if they do come from "well-managed" forests, they are still removing natural resources to create something that is not renewable and will simple wind up being trash several times a day for months and months.

*Stay tuned for more Cloth Diapering 411 posts. I have received a couple of e-mails from readers asking me to do so and I gladly will. Please e-mail me or post a comment with any questions you may have. And if I do not know the answer, I will find it!


First Baseball Game

How do you brave a baseball game with an (almost) 7 month old? Easy. Just make sure you babywear, pack snacks, and go with a grandpa that loves to spoil his little princess.
I do wish we had thought of earplugs but we improvised
Petco Park
Stopped at a bar in the East Village before heading home
Adorable Padres hat bought by Grandpa Greg
We had a lot of fun. Olivia napped, snacked, and enjoyed the game. What a great Sunday. GO PADRES!

Friday, May 14, 2010

About Me

Another mom blogger posted this on her page and I figure, why not? Read on to learn a thing or two about your narrator here at A Little Pea Along...

1. Stockholm, Sweden
2. Paris, France
3. Rome, Italy
4. San Francisco, CA
5. Catalina Island, CA
6. Washington DC
7. Williamsburg, VA
8. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
9. Montreal, Quebec
10. Las Vegas, NV
11. Dallas, TX
12. Steamboat Springs, CO

1. I could probably eat sweets for every meal.
2. I have the best parents I know.
3. I am completely, 100% a lefty. (So is Todd)
4. I have never wanted a big, white wedding.
5. When I was little I wanted to be a pediatric oncologist.
6. I would move to France right now if I could.
7. One of my poems was published when I was 13.
8. My grandpa personally knew Che Guevara and Fidel Castro (!!!!)
9. I am not truly scared of anything.
10. I bite my nails and am trying really hard to stop.
11. I knew how to read before I turned 4.

1. The Smiths
2. New Order
3. Radiohead
4. Of Montreal
5. Portishead
6. The Beatles
7. Belle & Sebastian
8. Yann Tiersen
9. Elliott Smith
10. Beach House

1. Red Wine (Australian Syrah)
2. Stella Artois
3. Coffee
4. Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
5. Vodka
6. Water
7. Truffle fries
8. Goat cheese
9. Shrimp tempura roll

EIGHT THINGS YOU LOVE: (you said things, not people)
1. Music
2. My books
3. Target
4. Cloth diapers
5. Fashion
6. My daughter's face
7. Fuzzy socks
8. Dark French films

1. A home in San Francisco, completely paid off
2. A signed 1st edition copy of The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir.
3. A trip for the 3 of us somewhere far away (first-class plane tickets, a different baby carrier for every day of the trip)
4. A trip to Paris with my mom and sister
5. A book deal
6. An original Warhol
7. To keep my family as sweet and happy as it is now forever.

1. Read something
2. Check e-mail
3. Listen to music
4. Drink coffee
5. Brush my teeth
6. Daydream

1. Drama
2. Bad mainstream music
3. Hateful politicians
4. Ignorance
5. The fact that as I type this millions of children are starving in this world.

FOUR MOVIES YOU LOVE: (four is far too few)
1. Un Homme et Une Femme
2. Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette
3. The Breakfast Club
4. The Royal Tenenbaums

1. Breaking Bad
2. Intervention
3. Sex and the City (when it's on and I happen to be watching TV, which is rare)

1. I say a lot of things.

1. The man I created my beautiful baby girl with <3
I'd like to add that this is the song that got Olivia motivated enough to "crawl".

Our week so far...

For some reason I feel like this week has been a busy blur. I have not enjoyed my ritualistic morning of coffee and some internet surfing for a while it seems. Monday came around and I hit the ground running! Olivia is still waking up at 4:30am every morning crying. Todd and I are stunned by how punctual she is. As soon as I hear her cry I peek at my cell phone to see the time. Usually I cannot see very well at this hour but I do know that the clock never says 4:29am or 4:31am. Always 4:30am on the dot. I feed her and then she falls asleep until about 7:00am. Yippee. I hope this is some sort of a phase but I will admit my body is so used to crazy sleep patterns.

Sometimes I wonder if perhaps the fact that Olivia is a free soul and does what she pleases is now causing this new sleep habit. We really have no routine. She eats when she wants, I bathe her when I get a chance, and she naps whenever she gets tired. If I notice her getting tired I help her fall asleep and I have noticed an increase in naps throughout the day. We are doing solids but not at the same time every day and not even every day. Maybe once a day, sometimes twice. She still prefers milk and I know that is what her body really needs now so that is fine with me. Around 8:30pm she gets tired and is out by 9:15pm (but this can vary).

The pea's antics are getting more and more fun but also more tiring. She is practically crawling, but she is very sloppy. She gets to where she wants to go but she still needs practice. My favorite thing is when she gets on all fours and starts rocking back and forth. After a minute, she gets momentum and goes faster and faster. I am not sure what it is she is doing but it sure looks funny.

Because of my daughter's newfound neediness I having been wearing her a lot more. I wear her to do laundry, fix myself lunch, or just have a chance to sit and read my e-mail. When I got my first woven wraps I was very intimidated. The first time I tried wearing her on my back, I ended up sweaty and with vomit in my hair. Now, I am pretty good at the whole wrapping thing and can truly say there is no way of wearing her that is more comfortable. Yesterday we went out with one of my best friends and Olivia hung out in the wrap. We went to lunch in Pacific Beach and I wore Olivia in a rucksack carry. I wanted a beer (yes!) so we decided to go to a restaurant/bar with a good happy hour. I loved the stares I got when I walked in with a 6 month old on my back. The pea happily sat next to me in the booth and was in a great mood. Who says you can't have fun when you're a mom?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Rachel Feinstein in American Vogue, May 2010