Friday, November 30, 2007

The Importance Of Rituals

My sister thinks I am stuck on routine; that I force it on my child. She isn't judging, just observing. She has a child 1 year younger than Weapon X, so she often takes notes on the way we handle situations. I see how it can seem that way. The reality is Weapon X forces a routine on us.

Occasionally we try to depart from the ritual. We put X to bed late, or push his nap back an hour for special occasions. Sometimes we even skip bath time (and he ends up with sand in his crib :) We always pay a price for these indiscretions, usually in the form of a full day of a screaming, needy child.

So the reality is, X put US on a schedule. Not the other way around. For a 16 month old toddler, it helps him feel secure when he knows what is happening next. What happens between meals/naps is freeform, but naps and meals serve as landmarks that he can expect at the same time everyday. This is what our schedule looks like:

Between 6 and 7:30 am - Wake up, lounge if it is early, change diaper, wake up Daddy, take vitamins, make breakfast, eat with Daddy while Mommy gets dressed, brush teeth, moisturize (X has Eczema), get dressed, pack lunch, and walk to school.

Between 7:30 and 8 am - Get to school and play. On the weekends, we go to the park.
10:00 am on Saturdays - Go to the grocery store. X usually snacks while we shop.
11:00 am - Eat lunch.
11:30 am - Nap
1:00 pm - Wake up and play
2:30 pm - Snack
5:00 pm - Mommy or Daddy picks up X and we play on the school playground with friends
5:30 pm - Cook Dinner
6:00 pm - Eat Dinner
6:30 pm - Bath time, moisturize, brush teeth, jammies, story, kiss Daddy, pick stuffed animal to sleep with, lights off
7:00 pm - Nurse to sleep.

X is an erratic sleeper, and I do not subscribe to the Cry It Out method, so I usually go sleep with him on the futon in the nursery between 10:30 and 11 pm.

In the end, we try to be flexible to X's needs everyday. The schedule is really just a reflection of those needs. If X is tired, hungry, sick or hurt we respond no matter what time it is.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Does my Son Need To Be Trained?

We are at a cross-road.  It is time to do shopping for the first Christmas Weapon X will appreciate (he will be 1.5 years old).  Our big plan was to buy a train table and train. <<train-table.jpg>> <<grandcentralstation.jpg>>

To make room, we need to sell the futon in the nursery.  Whaa?  Hold on a second!  I'm getting a little nervous about that.

We won't be able to have overnight guests if we sell the futon.  It also means Weapon X needs to sleep in his crib, which he most definitely does not do now.  The other option is to also sell the crib and replace it with a twin matress.  Then Mommy can still sleep with Weapon X.

The other option is for Weapon X to play with his train on the floor.  I found this nifty train play mat that zips up into a box.

Should we make space for the table (which he will surely use for years to come) or should we go with the Zipbin?

Reduce Waste - Wrap With Fabric This Year!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Links for November 9th

Food Borne Germs

Professional Organizer in Austin, Texas

Printable items to make parenthood easier

Nitrate-free is the key: What to look for in lunch meat

Weapon X is a picky eater. What toddler isn't?

Moss, also a picky eater, wants to offer him hotdogs. I'm not sure where this new fixation comes from. I don't think we have had hotdogs in our house more than a couple times in the 5 years we have been married. I guess he has fond memories of eating hotdogs as a kid and bachelor. Does he long for the college days when he didn't have a nutrition-freak preparing his meals? Maybe he is just giving in to the instinct to give your kid anything he wants, as long as he eats.

Now, the idea of hotdogs makes me cringe for 3 main reasons:
1) I have been a vegetarian for 12 years. If I was going to eat meat, I would want it to be as natural and chemical/hormone free as possible.

2) The few memories I have of throwing up as a youngster were following the consumption of hotdogs. I'm talking projectile vomit… like my stomach was just rejecting the idea entirely.

3) Preservatives and additives in foods have been linked to ADHD.

4) Feeding a child foods laden with preservatives and vague meaty "parts" instinctually just does not feel right.

Not wanting to deprive my husband of the joy of feeding his child nostalgic foods (within reason). I did my best to research good hotdog choices, and this is what I found:

Nitrates are the main no-no in hotdogs and other lunch meats. Nitrates convert to nitrites, known carcinogens, when ingested. Some of the cancer-causing effects can be negated by eating vitamin C (slice of tomato on your sandwich or an orange) with your nitrates. Cancer-causing effects are increased when nitrates are combined with sodium. I say just avoid the nitrates altogether.

Nitrate-free hotdogs and other lunch meats are the best option. Applegate Farms sells organic, nitrate-free lunch meats. Their website says we can buy their products at Whole Foods and Central Market.

In fact, I just realized that my husband has been eating Boar's Head meats on the assumption that they are nitrate free. Unfortunately, most varieties of their ham are not nitrate-free. Most varieties of their chicken and turkey are.

What are the negatives to avoiding nitrates? The shelf life of your nitrate-free lunch meat will be considerably shorter than lunch meat preserved with nitrates.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The New Look!

I am taking the 80's out of Saucy Designs! The Miami Vice look was just a place holder. I'm surprised nobody gave me a hard time about it... except my sister! I can always count on her for an honest answer.

I still have major work to do on my catalog. I need to take photos of all my printed cards instead of just posting screen shots.

Also coming soon... Holiday Cards! While you are waiting for something kinder from me, you can send some fabulously horrible Hate Mail.

Comfy Easy PC Giveaway

Contest For Moms is giving away a cool PC for toddlers!  I am sure Weapon X would love to have one.  He LOVES ours, and that is dangerous… very dangerous!

To see how to win, go here!

Thoughts On Marketing To Kids

I know not everyone is as concerned about this as I am, but I thought I would pass this article on.

I prefer that Weapon X watch commercial-free programming when he does watch TV.  Mostly I don't want to deal with begging for cocoa puffs at the grocery store because he saw the commercial 70 times during a 30 minute program.  In the grand scheme, I would like him to make decisions for himself and not feel like he needs everything he sees on TV or online.

We are very wasteful in this country.  I hope we can help him feel content even when he is conserving.

It is ok if you disagree.  Every parent has their own style!