More, Please!

This video is a little over a month old, but I thought it was fitting for Thanksgiving... and it's just really cute!


Crack the Door

When Lea was about 6 months old a couple of friends tried to talk us into getting a video monitor. At the time, all we had was a cheap little Fisher Price monitor that wasn't even wireless. We live in a fairly small house so it worked fine.

About that time, though, was also when we began trying to do a little "sleep training" with Lea. I've never been comfortable with letting her "cry it out"... but I was ok with letting her fuss and cry gently for a little bit before showing my face to her. At least... I thought I was ok. My limit was 20 minutes... if she was still upset after 20 minutes, I had to go in there! Those 20 minutes seemed like an eternity. So, after a couple nights, we decided to look into video monitors.

Holy cow! Those things are not cheap! There was no way we were going to fork over a couple hundred dollars for a video monitor in our small house... seemed like a luxury we could do without.

Until.... one day when we were checking out the deals at the local children's consignment store... there was a video monitor for $40!!! We tested it out in the store and took it home a few minutes later.

How did we ever live without a video monitor before? It was like reality tv at it's best. Kevin and I sat in front of that thing for hours (ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration) just watching little Lea sleep. It really did help us with the "sleep training" transition.

Needless to say, I am so glad we got it. I love being able to check out Lea any time I hear a little noise. Recently she's had some trouble sleeping again. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. My mother (who helps watch Lea while I am at work) suggested leaving her bedroom door cracked when she's sleeping. So, recently, we've tried that and it worked! Tonight, after a book and a little rocking, I put Lea in her crib, wide awake, gave her a kiss and said good night as I walked out... leaving the door cracked about two inches. I came downstairs to check her out on the video monitor. She didn't make a peep... just sat up to see if the door was cracked and then laid down for the night. :)

So, if you're considering a video monitor, I highly recommend it... if, of course, you can find a good deal!


Gender Roles

As Lea gets older, I have really been thinking about gender roles. Yes, Lea is a girl... she has lots of pink things and almost always wears something pink every day. However, I do try to incorporate "boy things" in her life, too. Such as books about trucks and toy cars. I don't really care if she is a "girlie-girl" or a "tom-boy"... I'll be happy either way... honestly. But, I want her to decide which way she wants to be.

Sometimes I wonder if she has too many "girl toys". The child loves to play with jewelry and prances around the house with her pearls on... but where did she get that from? Perhaps she watches Mommy and Gramma put jewelry on and wants to copy us. Lea recently received a gift of an adorable play purse. It has things in it like play money, a mirror, bracelet, keys and pretend lipstick.... yes, lipstick. To top it off, it sings a song about going out that says, "Look into the mirror, put my lipstick on. It's time to say bye-bye. I won't be gone too long." Um... something about that just doesn't sit right with me. I do not want my beautiful little girl to think she needs to put on make up before she goes somewhere!

Ok, ok... I totally understand that I am being a hypocrite... I mean, I put on make up before I leave the house (and yes, Lea sometimes watches me). But, how am I supposed to raise a little girl to think know that she is beautiful the way she is when her own mommy doesn't always represent that in herself?

So, what do you think? Is this important to you or do you think I am over analyzing the subject (like I usually tend to do!)?




I've been hearing some talk about parabens recently and wanted to do a little research to find out what all the hoopla was about. This is what I have found in a nutshell...

What the heck are parabens?

Parabens are synthetic preservatives used in lots of products; most commonly cosmetics such as moisturizers, shampoos and deodorants. Several types of parabens exist: butylparaben, ethylparaben and methylparaben, to name a few. If some type of preservative wasn't used in a any given product that contains water, then it would mold and grow bacteria over time. Typically, the amount of preservative used in a product is very low. There are natural preservatives, such as some essential oils, that have anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties, however they often require high concentrations, don't last as long and are only useful against some bacteria/molds/etc. Parabens have been used for over 50 years, only require minimal amounts to be effective and are cheap.

So, what's the problem with using parabens?

Studies have shown that parabens have weak estrogen-like properties. Since this female hormone is  known to cause breast cells to grow and divide, the concern is that parabens may be linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Unfortunately, only one small study on this was conducted back in 2004 and the findings were basically inconclusive because of several factors that were overlooked. Larger studies must be done to find out if parabens really have any effect on breast cancer risks.

You want my personal opinion? I'll wait to see some solid study results before jumping to conclusions. It seems like there is always something new that people are worried about and I would just rather not live my life worrying about things unless I have to! You decide for yourself, do what you want, and we'll all be happy. :)


Big Changes

When Kevin and I were dating, I told him that I wasn't so sure I wanted children... yup, I didn't think I wanted any kids. He in turn said that he knew he wanted kids one day. We left it at that and didn't talk much more about it until after we got married. Then, the tables turned... my biological clock started ticking like crazy and I wanted babies! However, Kevin wasn't so sure.

Fast forward a few years (including a really hard year of struggling with infertility issues) and little Lea joined our family. :)

I always knew that I wanted to be a "stay-at-home mommy" but I didn't know if it would ever be possible. I was fortunate enough to have my mom stay at home with me and I always knew that I wanted my children to have the same experiences. Obviously, there are pros and cons for every situation... one of which being finances, so when little Lea was just over three months old, I returned to work part-time.

On the outside, it seemed as though I had the best of both worlds. I was home with Lea all day Friday through Sunday and worked about five to six hours a day Monday through Thursday. But, on the inside I was not happy. Every morning was a huge internal struggle for me...I felt so incredibly guilty leaving my baby (even though I was leaving her with my own mother and mother-in-law... that helped lots!), something inside me just didn't feel right.

After almost eleven months of long, procrastinating breakfasts with Lea, we have decided that it's time for me to stay home!!! I am beyond excited about this new adventure. It's been a long time coming and something I have always dreamed about. My last day working will be November 23rd, the day before Thanksgiving. Now, I won't lie... I am a little nervous, too. It will be strange not having somewhere to go each day, no deadlines and no time sheets. I know it will take some time to get used to it. I have no doubts that Lea and I will make a great team, though.

I've already started to get play dates and activities on the calendar for us. I think it will be important to keep a little busy. Luckily, we live in a great area with lots of children around. There's fun things to do at the local cultural center and even a nice play ground two blocks down from our house. I'm determined not to let the cold weather keep us in... we'll just have to bundle up!

Here's some adorable pictures of Lea testing out her winter wear...

I just got Lea some new hats and dug out some more of her winter clothes so I'll have plenty more "bundled up" pictures to come. :)