Children’s Seating Roundup

Lately Roman has taken to planting his cute little butt on stuff… stuff like baskets full of toys, or his giant stuffed bear, or us. He squats down and sits and looks around like he’s trying to make himself a little seat. So we thought, “Aw, how cute, he needs his own little chair!” At the moment we have not a single free space in which to place any adorable miniature seating, but that hasn’t stopped me from scouring the internet for the perfect choice! (I’ll be prepared when we move November 1st!)

Land of Nod and Pottery Barn Kids both have lovely selections of little armchairs, but I’m really loving these options:

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Do I want another unmedicated birth?

This has been a question I’ve been asking myself since for quite some time now. And here I am—38 weeks pregnant and still without an answer. It seems like most people I know who have had a natural birth definitely want another, but I’m not so sure that I feel the same way.

I blogged about Little Deer’s birth and our hospital stay, and to be honest, while I’m very grateful for how well everything turned out, the whole experience was a little traumatic. With every contraction I felt as though I was going to be sick. The pain during pushing was so much more intense than I could have ever imagined. And once she was born, I couldn’t stop bleeding. I had lost my IV during labor, so multiple people tried to get a new one in as they gave me Pitocin intramuscularly in my thigh. Meanwhile, during those eight IV attempts, I was having my second degree tear sewn up but wasn’t quite numb enough and could feel everything. And then they needed to put me on oxygen because I started to lose consciousness. All in all it was a little intense to say the least. I think in that moment, and even the months afterwards, I was still on a bit of  a high with having a new baby to truly process it all. Now, as I approach labor again though, it’s all coming back to me.

Do I want to feel all of that pain again? Are my reasons for avoiding an epidural still applicable?

 Holding Little Deer for the first time

There were several reasons why I initially wanted to avoid an epidural when having Little Deer. They are as follows:

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D’s Journey, part 7 – home again!

We left off with D getting discharged, the day before his 5 month birthday! My mantra is that the next time he is allowed to stay overnight in a hospital is when his wife is having a baby.

Brotherly choke-hold…

Mr. Tiger and I were over the moon, and K was very happy to have him home again too, although we did have to have some more discussions about “don’t touch D’s wires!” especially since now there were more of them. I was especially happy about not hiking to the hospital every day (at one point K told me that my job was going to the hospital to visit D – it sure felt that way!) and being able to check on him at night, seeing the boys play together… it was awesome! Thankfully I was able to prolong going back to work for three more months, and when I did go back I transitioned to part time (2 days a week).

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Small(er) space living with a baby

One of the most common questions we got after announcing that we were pregnant was “are you going to buy a house?” Even though we live in a fairly metropolitan area, it seemed to be a common theme that baby = house. When we said no, we had no plans to give up our condo, we got a lot of raised eyebrows and questions about how we were going to fit in such a small space.

When we originally decided to buy a home, having kids wasn’t anywhere near our radar. We had a limited budget in a very high cost-of-living area, and our priorities were keeping our commute reasonable and to buy a space that wasn’t high maintenance. Neither Mr. Carrot nor I had any experience with home ownership, and our busy work lives, travel schedules and limited finances didn’t jibe with spending much time on figuring out how to do major renovations. Within these parameters, our best option was to buy a condo.

We bought a two bedroom unit in an older building rather than new construction, because the square footage was actually comparable to many houses in our area, whereas most new construction units were half the space. We assumed that if anything ever changed on the subject of kids, we at least had an extra bedroom to work with, and we’d figure out everything else. Now that Baby Carrot is a toddler and we are in full throes of being overrun by baby “stuff,” we’ve found some tactics to make our smaller space work for our needs, and discovered some benefits we hadn’t considered to condo living over owning a house.

1) Walls and corners are amazing organization (and baby proofing!) tools. I admit, I can be a bit neurotic about keeping our living space organized, so when Baby C started getting mobile and her activity needs increased beyond just a play mat, I was really nervous about tripping over toys and having no space to house her stuff. However, putting her toys around our wall spaces and corners ended up being a two-fold benefit – nothing was in the middle of the room AND we could hide some of the things that aren’t so baby safe but are hard to do without.

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House Hunting: 3 Kids Under 3

When Mr. H and I found out we were having twins, we immediately went into action to get out of the house we were in and into a home with a better set up for our (quickly!) growing family. Our space just did not lend itself to having three children under the age of three, and because we knew we’d have to move sooner rather than later, we didn’t want to try and move while our small house was cluttered with too much baby gear.

What we were dealing with in our current space was: no parking, no yard, and three bedrooms split between three levels of the home. Not exactly ideal for a lot of young children. The upside was that we were in a very desirable area of the city, near an awesome park with a great neighborhood full of family-friendly activities, in a good public school district.

 Miss H walking down the stairs at our old house. I thought we’d have pictures of her standing there for her first day of kindergarten!

But space for us trumped everything. So, right after we learned we were having twins, we got in touch with our real estate agent and shared with her our very aggressive time frame. Fortunately she is also very fast acting and aggressive so she got to work quickly.

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How I Learned to Stop Raising My Voice and Get to School On Time

The other morning, Charlie was late for school and as usual, he wasn’t listening to anything we said. I was growing increasingly exasperated but trying to hold it together and get out the door.

“Charlie, put your shorts on! We’re gonna be late for school!!”

“Ok, ok!” he said back to me in the exact same tone of voice, while doing nothing. After watching him dawdle for 10 more seconds, I felt I had to repeat myself.

“Charlie, did you hear me?? You have to get dressed for school right now!! We’re late!”

He disappeared into his room and didn’t come back for a few minutes. We peeked in there and he was looking for his stuffed animals. He wanted to bring them with him on the way to school. I could feel all the patience leaving my body. If I was Bruce Banner, I probably would have turned into the Hulk right then and there. Instead I did what I had been doing way too much lately: I raised my voice.

“Charlie, get dressed right now!!!  We’re late!!!”

He was finally moved into action, but not nearly fast enough. So I grabbed his shorts and started helping him get dressed.  We finally made it out the door, and started running to school.  It’s an 11 minute walk, but we can make it in half the time if we run.

As we ran, I thought to myself: there has to be a better way.  This isn’t the way I want to parent my kids.  I wasn’t at the point yet where I was yelling at the kids, but I was raising my voice and getting exasperated far too often.

So when I got home, I sat down and made a plan… and since then, things have gotten so much better!  Here’s what been working:

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The Grocery Shopping List for Kids

I loved Mrs. Chipmunk’s perpetual shopping list and decided to make one for myself because I’ve tried various apps, but good old-fashioned paper lists just work better for me. I shop at a bunch of different places, so customizing a list according to what I buy where makes the most sense. I plan to laminate it, stick it to the fridge, check off what I need as I run out, and take a picture of the list with my phone before I head out to the market.

I thought I would share the portion of my list that specifically pertains to breakfast and packing the kids’ lunches because that’s what makes up the bulk of our purchases (plus I love seeing what other people are buying!). Charlie and Olive get most of their daily calories at lunch so I always pack big lunches consisting of a protein, vegetable, fruit, cheese, olives or pickles (Charlie’s favorite food), and a small treat. I’ve shared some of our lunch ideas and favorite brands below!


breakfast sausage (from butcher)
ground turkey (meatballs)
ground beef (meatballs or pasta)
beef stew meat (seaweed soup)
rotisserie chicken
cornish game hens (chicken porridge)
eggs (boiled or fried)
Applegate Farms Organic Bacon
Applegate Farms Organic beef hot dogs
Applegate Farms Pepperoni
Applegate Farms Organic Ham  (DIY lunchables)

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