Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

9 months old!

Max had his 9 month check up this week- he's 22 lbs. 30.6 inches... he is soooo close to walking unassisted. We put storage bins up to block the fireplace andhe walks from each one to the next, to the couch, to the ottoman, all while just touching a bit for security. I still think he'll have his first step by Christmas! He's got 7 teeth, and puts EVERYTHING in his mouth. He's had a really bad cold the past week or so, but we seem to be on the tail end of it. He babbles more and more, like he's having a conversation in another language. Very cute! His favorite "word" is "doot!".

Here are some pics from the past few weeks.

Eating Gorrilla cereal (like Kix) this morning. He is so cute feeding himself- he pinches the piece of cereal and nibbles on it between his front teeth. He eats that tiny piece in 3 bites!

We had some serious baking to do for the neighbors. He spent a couple days on my back while we made cookies and homemade Irish Cream. Yum! Don't let the PJ's decieve you, this was about 3:00 in the afternoon. .. We went to a nearby christmas tree farm with grandma and grandpa Brooks to get our tree this year. It was a very cold morning! It was fun to pick our tree and watch them bang the loose needles and wrap it up with their string machine.
Trying to get some cute pictures for a holiday card...

I know it's blurry, but it's just so cute! He gets really excited sometimes and the energy just rushes out of him...
We went to an MDC cake party last week and met TONS of local mamas that I have only known online. Max loved crawling all around and stealing other kids' toys. Here he and Kaden were battling it out for the block...

Sunday, November 26, 2006


This is the picture that was in the LA Times and Chicago Tribune. Photographer Craig Mitchelldyer was nice enough to send me a high resolution image so we could get a good print of it. Photos of the Portland nurse-in also appeared in newspapers in China, Africa, and Hong Kong!

We had a great Thanksgiving up in Seattle with both Rons and my families.

With Auntie Pam and Uncle Gardner With Grandpa Sam and Auntie DebbieMax has a bit of a cold, so we missed Fionas first birthday. Happy Birthday, Fiona!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Little Lactivist Strikes Again!

Winning International Symbol for Breastfeeding:

You may have heard about the woman who was kicked off a Delta airplane for breastfeeding her baby. Basically she was nursing her child in the second to last row, in a window seat, next to her husband. They were the only ones in that row. The flight attendant offered her a blanket to cover up more, she declined, and the flight attendand stated that she was offended, and had them removed from the plane. Yikes! I can't imagine how much noisier flights would be if babies were not allowed to breastfeed. And Max for one is not able to nurse under a blanket, nor should he have to. Yes, the mother could have taken the blanket just to keep the peace, but how will change ever happen if all we do is placate ignorant people and cater to them being "offended" by something as simple as feeding a baby? This woman was made to feel ashamed and embarassed, as if she was doing something wrong. Ugh. Not only that, but if this attitude of breastfeeding as something gross, shameful, dirty, etc. continues, we will see young people, new moms, soon-to-be-moms making a choice not to breastfeed their baby because they are embarassed, or they think it is inconvenient, when clearly it is the healthiest thing for babies. That would be sad.

So today there was a nurse in across the country at Delta ticket counters everywhere. Not only to say "Shame on Delta!" but to call for congress to pass the Breastfeeding Promotion and Protection Act which would allow all women to nurse in public regardless of which state they live in (currently different states have different laws). At PDX (Portland Airport) there were 40 mamas with their babys! Of course Max and I were there, too. There were many reporters, photographers, and journalists. We made it on all the local news stations today, and apparently there were a few people from the Associated Press, so we could even have made it national- like USA Today, which has been covering the story closely.
Edited to add: here are some links to news reports. You can see us in some of them!
The photographers loved Max, with his "Got Breastmilk?" t-shirt on. Of course there was too much going on for him to nurse, but when we got home he quickly ate, and fell asleep. Ron took this sweet picture of him, resting his hand on my hand. No blanket this offensive???

Friday, November 17, 2006

First Word!

Max is 8 months old today... man, time flies!

This week is pretty momentous- he signed his first word! We have been signing several words with him over the last few months, but when he is eating in his high chair facing us he's a captive audience, so it's no surprise that "more" was his first sign! Now, his production is a bit off (haha) but the same thing happens with baby speech, right? They don't always pronounce words correctly at first (isn't that what makes it so cute?) but the important thing is that we know what they mean. So he's been signing "more" when he eats for about a week now. Then this morning I was playing with him turning him upside down and he spontaneously signed "more"without any prompting at all. It's pretty cool that he could figure out how to use it in a different context! Here's a video of our breakfast last week. He signs it several times, it is when he brings his hands together and grabs his thumb. It's fairly long (3 min, I think)

He also babbles a TON! Here are 2 cute videos of his babbling. It sounds like "blah blah blah"... No spoken words yet, although he babbles "mamamama" as much as I'd like to think he's saying Mama, I know he's not. I'm betting that "Dada" will be his first word cause he is just so in love with his dad!

In other news, We're all getting ready for Thanksgiving up in Bonney Lake (near Seattle) with Rons family. My parents and grandma are coming along, too. Should be fun! Grandma came over on Tuesday and I taught her about email. This is an 80+ year old lady who didn't even know hoe to use a mouse... and she did great! It will be fun for her to get family photos, etc when she checks her email at our house.

Max wants to walk really badly. He pulls himself up on everything, and will stand unassisted for a few seconds- it gets longer and longer everyday. He has 4 teeth, 2 top, 2 bottom and it looks like the next two on top are on their way. He chews on EVERYTHING these days.

My parents have been great at babysitting while I work once or twice a week. Usually just a few hours while Ron is upstairs working, or once in awhile while Ron and I get a date night. It is so great having them close, and Max loves them so much.

Hey, if you read our blog regularly, post a comment once in awhile! It's really nice knowing people are reading- it makes it worth the time it takes writing them! Also, you can subscribe to receive notification when we post a new message. Just enter your email address up where it says "Blogarythm- Keep it Fresh!" on the left hand side.

Thursday, November 09, 2006



Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Max's Laugh

We bought a Storypeople print that says: "The first time his laughter unfurled its wings in the wind, we knew that the world would never be the same." and it's so true! When you realize that you have such an effect on someone- to make them so happy- it truly changes the way you think about life and parenting! He's pretty fun, and he smiles and laughs so freely.

Here's a video that we took today of Max and Ron playing. His laugh is totally infectious!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


We've been busy, but hope to post some videos soon! Today is Halloween- Max is going to wear a Jack-Jack costume (from The Incredibles) cause he looks just like him with his little spike of hair. Breana and family are coming over tonight, so I'm sure we'll have a great time with lots of pictures to share.

I have been sewing like a champ ever since we returned from California. While there, my Aunt Barbara gave me some lessons and I made him a cute sushi outfit. Since then I have borrowed my moms serger and taken a class on sewing my own diapers. I've made some pretty good ones! Now that we are washing our own I get to play with some fun designs instead of the boring (and tedious) diaper service prefolds. I have made several of them into fitted diapers so I don't have to fold anything. I've also made some pocket diapers that are like fuzzi bunz, and some fleece pants, which repel water and work like a cover. Mom and Dad (Cindy and Sam) also got us two FABULOUS snap-ez all-in-ones . These are nice- no covers, just the one diaper (hence the name... all-in-one) so you just pop them on as easily as a disposable. They are great to have in the diaper bag and not have to struggle with snapping, stuffing, wrapping, etc. a regular cloth diaper. Anyhow, enough about diapers!

Ron has been working with the shopsmith that his parents recently passed on to him. He made a beautiful planter box to cover the frame for the window AC when we remove it for the winter. Pictures of both out recent projects coming soon!

Here are some recent pictures of Max

Sushi pants and shirt I made for Max

On our trip to the pumpkin patch

Eating bananas

Naked time!

Playing with Kaden and Kylin

We've sure been having a lot of fun with him! He is very mobile and loves to explore. He's really easy going, loves people, and laughs easily.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Breastfeeding Icon

Mothering Magazine had a call out to design an international symbol for breastfeeding. This would be similar to the wheelchair symbol for accessability, or the women and men seen on a bathroom door. It would be for places where they have a mothers lounge, like an airport. You often see a picture of a bottle on these places, but since breastfeeding is the normal and healthiest way to feed our babies, shouldn't the symbol on these lounges reflect that? It feels like bottles are overwhelmingly present in our American society- at baby showers, on wrapping paper, with dolls...many kids think that this is the only way to feed a baby! But I digress...

The idea of having an icon is great. Many of the designs are perfect. You can click the link below to view the 12 finalists and vote for your favorite. The rejects are also posted and many are beautiful or funny... worth a look! I liked number 7 the best (above) because it is more clear that the baby is nursing as opposed to just being held, but it might be too stylized for an airport, etc. 8 is my second pick. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

We're Back!

We're back from our trip to California. It was great to see so many friends and family members. Brittanys wedding was beautiful, and the celebration of Pauls life was incredibly moving. Below are a few pictures to hold you over until we have time for a proper post!

Dinner at Chez Reid
The cousins kiddos all together (except missing baby Wells)
Grandma Ammi and Max hangin out at Grantie Barbaras house

Uncle Larry and Max at the wedding

Father and Son

Cousin Christopher

Cousin picture! Beautiful Bride Brittany, Larry, Mandie, me, Kathie, Debbie

the gorgous Auntie Lauren and Max

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Quick Post

So our computer is broken. again. It has been sent back to be repaired, but this means no pictures or long posts for awhile. Max and I are at the library now, typing one handed with him in the sling,and he's starting to squeal (his new thing) so this is quick! We have much to catch up on. Max now is doing a funny hop/crawl thing- he looks like a frog. But it means he can now get from point A to point B on his own! We have video that we will post when we get the computer back.

Next week we head down to California for my cousin Brittany's wedding and to see friends and family. We are looking forward to it.

I hate to post such sad news, but Paul passed away on Tuesday. Even though I knew it was a strong possability, the forever optimist in me really believed that he would pull through. It is a sad time, and I don't think it has really sunk in that he won't be there greeting me with "Ellie Belly!!!" next time we visit. It really makes me think about how important it is to let our loved ones know how much we care. I know the Porter family is one that is a good example of that- they always know how much they are loved and valued, and I know Paul knew that as well.

Friday, August 25, 2006

My Second Family

You often hear people talk about their second family... the Porters are my second family.

When I was a senior in high school I started working at a before and after school program in Carmel Valley. I worked there for almost 5 years. The Porters were one of the families there, with Lauren in 2nd Grade, Reed in Kindergarten, and Robert just a little one when I first met them. At some point, I think I was around 20 years old I was looking for a place to stay, an apartment or room for rent. I mentioned this to Nettie, the mom, who said that they had an extra room, and that I could stay there in exchange for occational babysitting. It was perfect. It wasn't really a nanny job, it was more like I infiltrated their family and became one of them. :-) I lived with the Porters for almost a year, we had a blast. Tickle fights, dressing the kids up like scarecrows and singing "If I only had a Brain" for their parents after a weeknd away, sitting and talking with Paul and Nettie in the evenings with a glass of wine (ok, maybe I was 21!) and the kids doing voice warm ups with me while I got ready to audition for a community theatre show. Paul, Nettie, and the kids really did feel like a second family to me... but even better they became good friends.

Over the last 14 years we have always stayed close. Ron and I always visit when we are down in California, Lauren came and spent a week with us in Seattle, and I was so proud to attend Reeds graduation last year. Paul and Nettie have been more than friends- they have been an example to me of what a good marriage and family is like. Growing up as children of divorce, both Ron and I have said over and over again how hard it is to even see a sucessful marriage these days, and how great the Porters are. When we grow up we want to be the kind of parents/partners that they are. Robert is now a senior in High School and a great athelete. Reed is a sophomore at Sonoma State, and Lauren is getting ready to finish her last semester of college as an art history major in Rome. They have all grown into such great people. All are caring, intelligent, fun, and friendly. Paul and Nettie did a great job!

So what's this all about? Well, last week Paul had a brain aneurysm that burst. He is currently at UCSF Hospital where he is getting the best possible care available. They have stopped the bleeding from the aneurysm, and he is breathing mostly on his own- but things are still very serious as the swelling of the brain still continues to fluctuate and he is in a drug induced coma because of that. There have been additional challenges- small strokes, vasospasms, and pheumonia. They are just trying to keep him stable, and every day they do so his chances get better. But Paul is a very very sick man.

On Saturday Max and I flew down to San Francisco for the weeend. I wanted to visit Paul, as well and just to be there for the family. I was unsure about it because it meant bringing Max along- but really I had no choice and in the end I was so glad that we went. Nettie and the kids (as well as other family members) all said that Max was the best medicine they could've had during such a rough time. His laugh made everyone smile and take a break from the sorrow and anxiety that everyone was feeling. It was Max's first time meeting the Porters, and he loved spending time with his Aunties Nettie and Lauren, and especially being "flown" around by Uncle Wobert. I wish Reed had been around to meet him, but he had to leave to get ready for the first day of classes. And, of course, I know how much Paul would've loved to meet him and watch Robert and Lauren play with him. We hope that he will get to do so soon.

In the midst of hanging around the hospital cafeteria, my mom and brother came up to visit Max. It was just too close to not see him! We took a nice walk to Golden Gate Park. Also, Max and I stayed at my old friend Kimmy's house and got to meet her daughter Penelope, who is just adorable. It was rough travelling with Max on my own at times, but he was a trooper and did great on the plane. I managed to snap a few pictures with my cell phone throughout the weekend and have posted them below.

Paul is such a loved person. He is not only a great dad to his kids, but is also a good friend to so many people. He has always made me feel valuable, like he is genuinely interested in my life- I know he is. He has so much to see and do still... please keep him and the whole Porter family in your thoughts and prayers, send energy, whatever you do... it can only help.

Nettie and Max

Uncle Robert and MaxAuntie Lauren, Uncle Robert, and Max

Uncle Larry andMax, walking in the park

Friday, August 18, 2006

Max's First Teeth!

But seriously, his two bottom teeth are popping through! We'll post some pictures when we can get a good shot of them.

Max has been rolling onto his belly and lifting his upper body way off the ground. He wants to crawl so badly! He also has found his feet and loves to stick them in his mouth. He'll grab for things, and wil even reach out and grab his binkie and put it back in his mouth the right way! And this morning he reached out for my spoon while I was eating breafast and was very upset when I wouldn't feed him. Not long before he starts trying some solids! Guess we'd better get a high chair and food mill. Here are some cute pictures we took recently. The "Hee Haw" overalls were Rons when he was a tot!

Friday, August 11, 2006

What's Up?

It has been a busy last few weeks... but then again, when isn't it busy???

We had a great visit with Grandma and Grandpa Blaker a few weekends ago. They spoiled us rotten! Max has already ougrown his infant car seat so a trip to the baby store was in order. A car seat, excersaucer, and baby tent later, Max was one happy baby. Now keep in mind that Ron and I really didn't want a lot of toys for Max. No need for overstimulation with every plastic gizmo on the block, might cause him ADD! Maybe just a swing or bouncer to give us 10 minutes to cook dinner or something. Well, Max really hasn't liked any of the things we have bought, but we keep trying- looking for that elusive "time relief toy". We've now got a bouncer, swing, boppy gym, floor gym, and excersaucer. Ugh! We have all but one thing put away at a time, and he seems to like the toy that he hasn't seen in awhile best. He does really like the excersaucer although he has become obsessed with one toy on it and tries to teeth on it but can't get it into his mouth so he cries and cries. Then when we take him out of it, he still glances back at that blasted toy and will start to cry again. Poor little guy. I'll have to post a video clip of him playing in it.

Last weekend Max and I went to the Babywearing Conference to check out the gorgous slings and carriers at the exhibit hall and to take a workshop on breastfeeding while babywearing. There were some fabulous carriers for sale, it was so hard to restrain myself from buying another one. I know, I have 4 different carriers now, but I use them all differently! Slings are like shoes. I mean, you wouldn't wear the same pair of shoes to the beach, or a wedding, or hiking, right? Yeah, Ron didn't buy it either. The two biggest temptations for me were a Nori Babywearing Jacket and a Mei Tai Asian style carrier. These you wear on both shoulders, and can nurse in,too. Like my Ergo, but more stylish. They have some GORGOUS ones! But they are fairly expensive. When I got home later that evening I got a call that I won a raffle from Along for the Ride and won a beautiful velveteen Hotsling! Well, as thrilled as I was, I also knew that the other carrier that Along for the Ride specializes in are BabyHawk Mei Tais... just the ones I was looking at! So I asked Kristen, the owner, if it was possible to swap and get a Mei Tai instead. She said sure! They would even make one with custom fabric if I want! YIPPEE!!! So Ron and I each picked a fabric- one for each side of a reversable mei tai. I'll have to post some pictures when it arrives.

The breastfeeding while babywearing workshop was very helpful, too. One of the women leading it was Darien from ZoloWear. They are the ones who make the gorgous black silk brokade sling that I have. She is also a friend of my cousin Kathie, so it was fun to say "Hi" to her. She said her son was even wearing a Ramonster shirt that day! I got some tips on nursing Max upright in a sling, and also saw how to nurse in the Mei Tai. I tell ya, it makes life so much easier to be able to nurse while wearing your baby! And with a sling like the Zolowear one that has a tail, you can easily cover up if you want to.

I saw Breana,Rich and the kids there (DID YOU KNOW THEY ARE PREGNANT AGAIN??? YIPPEE AND CONGRATULATIONS!) -they were all going to be in the fashion show on Saturday night. I also met a few people from that I hadn't met in real life before. I wish I had really looked into some of the workshops they offered on Thursday and Friday because there were some pretty cool ones like how to make your own sling or mei tai where you actually made one there and left with a finished product. Or how best to carry a refluxy baby. That one would've been good!

We were pretty concerned about Max having bad reflux, but the most recent homeopathic remedy that his doctor gave us has really helped. His whole demeanor is much better! I also cut out even more foods from my diet- that has helped, too. So now I am not eating: dairy, eggs, wheat, nuts, tomato, soy, garlic, caffiene, carbonation... I think that's it. I will start adding things back in one at a time, but I am pretty sure that Dairy, Caffiene, Wheat, and Tomato will still be out for awhile. I'm getting used to eating rice and corn products!

But all is well here with us all. It is great having Ron working from home, althought I am sure he wishes he had other adults to interact with throughout the day. It is really nice to have him hang out for lunch, pop in to grab coffee, etc. and Max is so lucky to get to see both parents throughout the day. I have still been interpreting a few nights a week, and will hopefully start teaching parents how to sign with their babies pretty soon. More on that later! This month is busy with picnics and home projects. Next month we will be in California for a week or so... a week in Sacramento while Ron works out of Rocklin, and a weekend in Carmel for my cousin Brittany's wedding. We are looking forward to seeing friends and family then!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Breastfeeding Awareness Week

In honor of BreastfeedingAwareness Week, here is a poem inspired by Dr. Seuss. I wish I knew who wrote it so I could give credit!
Would you nurse him in the park?
Would you nurse him in the dark?
Would you nurse him with a Boppy?
And when your boobs are feeling floppy?

I would nurse him in the park,
I would nurse him in the dark.
I’d nurse with or without a Boppy.
Floppy boobs will never stop me.

Can you nurse with your seat belt on?
Can you nurse from dusk till dawn?
Though she may pinch me, bite me, pull,
I will nurse him `till she’s full!

Can you nurse and make some soup?
Can you nurse and feed the group?
It makes him healthy strong and smart,
Mommy’s milk is the best start!

Would you nurse him at the game?
Would you nurse him in the rain?
In front of those who dare complain?
I would nurse him at the game.
I would nurse him in the rain.

As for those who protest lactation,
I have the perfect explanation.
Mommy’s milk is tailor made
It’s the perfect food, you need no aid.

Some may scoff and some may wriggle,
Avert their eyes or even giggle.
To those who can be cruel and rude,
Remind them breast’s the perfect food!

I would never scoff or giggle,
Roll my eyes or even wiggle!
I would not be so crass or crude,
I KNOW that this milk’s the perfect food!

We make the amount we need
The perfect temp for every feed.
There’s no compare to milk from breast-
The perfect food, above the rest.

Those sweet nursing smiles are oh so sweet,
Mommy’s milk is such a treat.
Human milk just can’t be beat.

I will nurse, in any case,
On the street or in your face.
I will not let my baby cry,
I’ll meet his needs, I’ll always try.
It’s not about what’s good for you,
It’s best for babies, through and through.

I will nurse him in my home,
I will nurse him when I roam.
Leave me be lads and ma’am.
I will nurse him, Mom I am.