Sunday, April 20, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thank You Itty Bitty For Taking A Nap

It may have taken him over a year, but Itty Bitty is finally napping once, sometimes twice a day. This may seem like a small feat to many, but if you've followed along with my baby sleep posts (read this one, this post, or even this one), then you understand that sleep is pretty much the biggest deal in my life right now. I live with a cup of coffee in hand, have my own library of sleep training books, and have spoken with several sleep consultants. Needless to say, as I type this mini post right now, I'm delighted to say that my little guy is currently snuggled in his crib, chilling out with Mr. Sandman. 

Small victories my friends. 

Small victories :)

Cheers.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Basket Ideas For A Baby

One of my favorite memories from growing up was delving into my Easter basket. My parents always made it a fun mix of little toys, arts and crafts, and of course - candy. My baby is only a year old, so I'm not too keen on giving him a ton of sugar. I will, however, be giving him one super cool (and super inexpensive) Easter Basket!  Here are some ideas for an Easter Basket for a Baby!

1. Bubbles - what kid doesn't love bubbles?


2. Pacifiers - one can never have enough! Maybe get a cute spring themed Wubbanub, like the WubbaNub Lamb - Adorable!

3. Hats - your baby will most likely be outside a lot now that it's springtime. Why not cover their precious face from the sun with a cute spring hat?

4. Headbands - cute and cheap: what more could a new parent ask for?

5. Bibs - aside from his super super newborn days, my kid has lived in a bib. He drools like a Saint Bernard. Cute Easter Bibs are a must!

6. Easter outfit - or you can but your toddler an adorable Easter outfit. I'm cheap...and just am sticking to a bib. 

7. Books - springtime books are lining bookstore shelves. Farm animals, baby animals, flowers - you name it! Maybe you can even get a baby Easter themed book. I picked up this one because it's touch and feel. And it was $4

8. Stuffed Animal - my baby may not be getting a chocolate bunny, but I might get him a cute and cuddly stuffed bunny.

9. Bath toys - baby ducks are just super cute and scream springtime. Stock up on a few and sprinkle them in the basket. I'd suggest finding ones that do not squirt - because squirt bath toys often get moldy inside. Yuck. 

10. Music - buy or make your little one a new CD or mp3 mix. If you're really trying to be frugal, just throw on some different music on Pandora during the day and take some time to dance with your baby :)

11. Ball - babies LOVE balls! Plus, they come in all different sizes. Find one that fits your baskets, and watch your baby have a ball. Get it!

12. Snacks - is your little one eating solids? Maybe pack up some puffs inside Easter eggs.  If your baby is eating purées, stick a couple of their favorite flavored pouches in the basket. Colorful and useful! 

13. Egg music shakers - or purchase (or make) some musical egg shakers. They are Itty Bitty's favorite instrument besides his drum.   

14. Cars - not a real one. A toy one. 

15. Socks - any reason to buy more socks is a good reason to me. I always seem to lose them!

16. Sandals or shoes - baby shoes are expensive. I don't believe in baby shoes until the little one is standing and walking - but now that Itty Bitty is at that age, I need to get him some footwear. 

17. Lots of lovin! - above all, your baby or toddler isn't really going to remember what you gave them for Easter. So my biggest suggestion to you is to give them extra loving, take tons of pictures, and enjoy your time together. You'll all be able to look back on those photographs for years to come!

What was your favorite thing to find in your Easter Baskets when you grew up?

Monday, April 14, 2014

5 Fantastic Baby Easter Board Books

Check out one of these 5 Fantastic Baby Easter Books: The Ugly DucklingThe Tale of Peter Rabbit Story Board Book,  Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book)Bright Baby Touch and Feel Spring , and Bright Baby Touch and Feel Easter

My one year old baby absolutely loves board books.  He now knows sign language for "book" and will sign for it and ask for it out loud.  Granted, he calls a book "DAK," but we understand what he is asking for, and are more than happy to read to him.  I'm slowly phasing out our winter and snow books, and have purchased several spring books to put inside of our baby's Easter Basket.  I picked these because some are touch and feel books, whereas others are pure children's classics!

What springtime board books do you recommend?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

No Sleep After Having A Baby : I'm So Tired

Based Upon Episode 3 of ParentCast Podcast:

My favorite thing that people ask me is:
"Like a baby," I say with my fake smile. 
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Really? 

How's he sleeping?  

If you're asking me this, you are one of three things:

1. You don't actually know me, because if you did, you'd know how I am exhausted all of the time. 
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2. You're a concerned mom-to-be or you have a non-sleeping kid of your own, and you're hoping that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe if my kid suddenly has started sleeping through the night, that might mean that yours will too.
You know what I say to that?
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3.  Or, you're just mean and kinda want to see me cry.
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Hopefully you're not number 3!

But no matter what, being super tired all of the time is something that I realize 99% of parents are going through, and we are pretty much signed up for sleepless nights for the rest of our lives.  Even when Itty Bitty grows up a bit more, and *hopefully* starts to sleep, he is going to have restless nights, or I'll be up late worrying about this or that. 

Then he will be old enough where he will be out with friends, and I'll be pacing the floor, eager for the moment he walks through the door.

So I'm giving myself a break for always being tired and for never having sleep. I'm a parent, and this is what parents do.  

If you're a new parent and we are getting together, I'll most likely be coming with coffee for both of us. Lord knows we need it.

If you're not a new parent, and have no idea the exhaustion that we all go through, save yourself the trouble.  I'd like a medium iced french vanilla, skim and one splenda.

Thanks!

Anyone else exhausted? How do you combat it?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Rhode Island Philharmonic Link Up Music Education Concerts

Sorry that I've been a bit quiet on the blogging front. I've been busy with a sick baby, a sick Tall Dad, but mostly this -- I've been performing in the Rhode Island Philharmonic Link Up Music Education Concerts. Over 11,000 kids came to Veterans Memorial Auditorium this week to ROCK with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra.  I was one of the vocalists, and also led the students in a piece titled "In C."  Check out this short video created by my good friend, Jamie Coelho from Rhode Island Monthly!

I had so much fun hanging out with the other two vocalists, Martha and Katie.
These two ladies have killer pipes!
Joe Wilson Jr. was the emcee and Fransisco Noya conducted the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra.  This photo below is one of my favorite moments of our time together - we took a "selfie" with the children in the background - including some of the Cranston High School East Drumline!
I'm so happy and thankful that I was able to be a part of such an amazing performance.  

Here's some information from the RI Philharmonic's website:

Since 2012, the Philharmonic has partnered with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute to produce interactive concerts based on Carnegie Hall’s highly successful Link Up series. These concerts have included The Orchestra Sings (2012), teaching students about melody; and The Orchestra Moves (2013), teaching students about movement in music. This year is The Orchestra Rocks.
Link Up is a music education program conceived to connect classroom with concert hall. It is designed for students in grades 3-5, but may also be appropriate for older or younger audiences, depending on musical interest. No prior music experience required. Each participating student receives a quality soprano recorder and workbook, as part of a 12-unit curriculum that teaches basic music literacy through performance and creative work. The curriculum culminates in a lively interactive concert at The VETS.
What do you think? Do you know any students who attended a performance?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Comparing Baby Sleep Methods To Heartbreaking Movies

Dr. Pantley, Dr. Ferber, and Dr Weissbluth. Sometimes called No Cry, Ferberizing, and Cry It Out or Extinction Method.  If you're a parent of a tiny baby who fights sleep, you've probably heard about these different sleep methods. Maybe you've talked about them with friends. Well this Tall Mom has tried them all. I'm going to compare these sleep methods on their heart breaking scale - and relate it to movie scenes.  It goes like this:
Pantley - The Notebook

Ferber - Twilight New Moon

Weissbluth - Titanic

In The Notebook, you know the two love each other, and she had to make a choice - to be away from her love - or be with him. It's a tough choice for a good 10 minutes, but you and I both knew she would decide to be with her love. Yup, through thick and thin - right there by his side.  Omg, do you remember when Noah says to Ellie:

"So it's not gonna be easy. It's going to be really hard; we're gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me... everyday." 

::swoon::

Pantley encourages you to be by your baby, to go to their side, create happy memories and associations with sleep, and never leave them. 

Twilight, New Moon - Remember when Edward left Bella in the woods? I admit, I was totally broken up over it.  Seriously. Anyway, initially she crumples into a little ball in the woods, and is then depressed in her room for a few months. 

(I still can't get that awful song out of my head..."There's a possibility..."  Ugh.)  

She sees him on-and-off in her dreams, and has visions of that sparkly vampire throughout her day. It's kinda like Edward was checking up on her in a way that only sparkly vampires can check up on you. But, you know that Edward is coming back - and, of course, he does - and, of course, they live happily ever after. Forever. As sparkly freakin' vampires. 

Oops, spoiler alert. 

Ferber believes that you leave the baby, but you check up on them every so often. It's important to make them feel like they have to be able to be alone - but not really BE alone.

Titanic - "I'll never let go Jack." Then they live happily ever after...wait...what? 
She lets go?  
The wench just...lets go?! 

Yup, Jack floats away never to be seen again. 

(Ok, quick aside, if Jack is the love of your life, my dear Rose, here's an idea for the ages - make some room for your paramour on the door your hogging up!  God, she's so dumb.  Even when she was old at the end of the movie and throws that diamond in the ocean - who the heck throws a diamond worth millions of dollars, nevermind a historical artifact of unparalleled importance, to the bottom of the freakin' Atlantic?  Ok, rant over.  Sorry.)  

But, basically this is Weissbluth's premise - 

Just how Rose ditches Jack and the diamond, you leave your baby in the bed at night, and no matter what sound comes out of that room in the mean time,  you do not see that little kid until morning. 

So there ya have it folks - everything, even baby sleep training methods can be likened to movies.

Did you have success with any of these methods?