Extended Family & Spring Photos

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B and I just returned from Pensacola, FL (or Pepsicola, as Kris likes to call it) where we visited our dear friends, the Turnages. Elizabeth and I met when they lived in Atlanta about 16 years ago, and I babysat their two oldest children, Kirby (now 18?!) and Jackie (now 17). Aside from the shocking fact that I'm old enough to have babysat a college-aged kid, I'm also amazed and thankful that we've remained such great friends for so many years. The teenagers (all four of them...Mary Elizabeth is 15 and Robert is nearly 13) don't seem to mind when I retell stories about when they were in diapers, and they laugh at my goofy sense of humor. Elizabeth and Kip have always looked out for me, offered love, advice, and a sunny place for me to spend my spring breaks in college:) They're my second family, and visiting them is like going home.

So it's no wonder B immediately accepted them all with open arms (and won over their hearts with her huge smiles). I'm a little nervous about what she's going to do this week without all her adoring fans around her, entertaining her every moment of every day.

Before we left, Kip shot some photos of B and I to take home to Kris (who couldn't make the trip because of work, and because he was supervising our home renovations this week...More on that soon!).

Here are a few of the photos:








Feeling crafty

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I now own a sewing machine, and I've crossed that great threshold into true domesticity by sewing things for my child :)

It started with my wanting to make cloth diapers out of recycled fabrics, but then I realized I could make lots of baby clothes out of reclaimed sweaters, t-shirts, etc. So I've been busy.

Here are just a few of my recent creations:






The cloth diapers are tricky, but I'm getting the hang of it. I should have some photo-worthy diapers to show off soon.

I'm searching for 100% wool sweaters to recycle (merino, lambswool or knit wool). So if you have any you're getting rid of, send them my way!

The Great Coffee Caper

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The sleep woes continue in the Wagner household, and Kris and I are still playing mad scientist, investigating every possible cause-and-effect related to this great mystery.

Peas still seem to induce sleep nicely, but I began to wonder what the long-term ramifications would be of only feeding your child one food for the rest of her life. It could get ugly. So we're branching out--butternut squash, mango, yogurt. B is loving the variety, but the new foods don't seem to have the same soporific effect.

So, I began looking at my diet, since she's still breastfeeding, wondering if I could make some beneficial changes. When I wrote down what I consumed during a day, one thing stood out at me: my one-latte-a-day habit. Could it be that the caffeine was making its way into my milk and keeping our little one up at night?

Side note: While I was pregnant, I researched this extensively and found that most medical sources say up to 3 cups of coffee per day is okay for nursing moms. Espresso has less caffeine than brewed coffee, and I typically drink only two shots of espresso per day in the form of a latte, which has all that good milk fat and calcium in it too (or so I rationalize). Not to mention, a happy mommy equals a happy baby, and I am WAY HAPPY when I have my lattes.

Still, I'm willing to do almost anything for a good night's sleep, and if giving up coffee is the key, then take away my mug. I decided to go 48 hours without caffeine to see what happens. Wednesday morning I sipped my last latte, and Thursday I skipped it entirely. On Wednesday afternoon, the bright sunshine was my energy drink and B and I strolled the neighborhood soaking it in. I felt great. Liberated.

The true test came Wednesday night: B slept horribly. But I figured it could take a while to get the caffeine out of my system, so I pressed on.

Thursday morning dawned cold and snowy, and I was more tired than ever. The temperature had dropped 40 degrees since Wednesday (gotta love Colorado!). And when Kris offered me a cup of brew, I just said no.

I won't lie to you. Thursday was rough. I grabbed a decaf latte that afternoon, hoping the taste would at least energize me...but my body couldn't be fooled. By 5:00 I was ticking down the minutes until bedtime. I had a headache (withdrawal?) and I even put B down 45 minutes early because I was dragging so much and she was fussy.

Thursday night: B was up again every 2-3 hours. At one point, she was screaming in pain, and I reached into her little mouth and massaged her gums and felt what I think is the beginning of a tooth breaking through.

This morning I confessed to Kris that I had been skipping coffee, and he laughed. "What would you do that for?!" He said I should continue to savor that one cup a day for my own sanity. And then he reminded me that there was a time around Christmas when I was drinking two lattes each day, and B was sleeping 9 hours in a row at night.

So much for that theory! And on to the next. Teething, incidentally, is a great catch-all excuse for any unpleasant baby behavior.

And, in a couple short months, we'll begin introducing meats, and you can bet your PJs that i'll be offering some pureed turkey. Tryptophan, here we come!

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