Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday summary (and photos!)

The holidays were a rather peaceful affair this year, as we were snowed in. The Beastly household was not without cheer, though, because we still had a good meal (courtesy of my sister-outlaw) and family and conversation.

I know its traditional to do a rundown of all the swag that was received, but I dislike promoting consumerism in general, and plan to eventually wean right off of holiday gifts. Why do we need a day to give one another nice things? Can't we do that just because we enjoy someone and want to make them feel happy?

Oh, I've migrated onto my soapbox again. Let me step down and continue.

We're all slowly getting over the illness the BabyBeast was kind enough to share with us (isn't it fun that his first holiday gift to anyone was a raging headcold?) and the 14" of snow are slowly beginning to melt (which may not sound like much to you, but in Oklahoma, it's unheard of). So, things in the Beastly household are slowly returning to normal, or at least as normal as they get here.

We're working on getting the BabyBeast back into his floor bed for naps; he's been so miserably ill that we've been keeping him in the family bed, propped up on multiple prefold diapers (clean ones, of course) to help him breathe. And since I've been ill, too, I've been taking the opportunity to nap with him every time he goes down. That translates into his floor bed not getting much attention from anyone (except the dogs, who will get on it even when they've been told multiple times to stay off).

So, here's to the up-coming year. To health, happiness, and more adventures in natural parenting.

BabyBeast and Husbeast trying to figure out a large present

The BabyBeast and his stash

The trench dug to allow the dogs access to the yard

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy holidays

Best wishes to everyone, and to all a good night.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Montessori child bed

We've been working on transitioning the BabyBeast into his own floor bed now that he's wandering around our bed during his naps. While a 1.5ft drop isn't huge, it's a pretty big fall for someone who's only 2ft (and some change) tall.

As I've said before, I am not comfortable with cribs and dislike the ideas behind them (caging an infant in a time when their brains are developing and they need exploration and the ability to look around and take in their surroundings? no, thank you). Since we're leaning toward more Montessori ideals, introducing a Montessori floor bed just made sense.

A floor bed allows your infant to get in and out of bed under their own power, giving them autonomy. To quote from the Michael Olaf catalogue (a wonderful Montessori resource), "If we provide a floor bed or mattress on the floor in a completely safe room—rather than a crib or playpen with bars—the child has a clear view of the surroundings and freedom to explore."

Here is a little information from another Montessori mommy, not only on floor beds but on many other Montessori-infant-related things.

Currently, the BabyBeast's bed is in the same bedroom he's slept in since he came home from hospital: ours. It is about three feet away from our own bed, partly because that's how much room there is in there and partly because that distance makes it possible for me to get to him quickly if I'm dozing on the big bed while he's in his floor bed.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reading recommendations

I'm a reader. This does well for me when I have a new subject to research, because taking in and digesting large amounts of information doesn't phase me. I have noticed that my free-time for reading seems to have been replaced with chasing a speed-crawling baby around the house, but I'm working on a new system. I call it 'Carrying a Book With Me.' It eliminates the situation where I find myself sitting in the middle of the living room floor wondering about the condition of my feet (note to self: lotion) while the baby tries to beaver through his Melissa&Doug blocks.

Most of what I read these days seems to fall into one of two categories:
  • Raising a baby/child
  • Pure pulp fiction

    So today I'm going to give you a recommendation from each category, on the off-chance that you, too, are an avid reader.

  • Raising a baby/child
    The Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland: This is a book about a baby's brain. Unlike most child-rearing books that tell you what you should do to avoid spoiling/ruining your child, this book lays out what happens to your baby/child's developing brain when you, for instance, let them cry for an extended period of time, or force them to sleep separate from you in another room. Full of photos and sidebars to help break up the large chunks of information, TSoP is divided into chapters like "Crying and Separations" and "Behaving badly."
    If you have only one parenting book in your library, this is the one you should invest in.

  • Pulp fiction
    Moon Called: Mercy Thompson Book 1 by Patricia Briggs: In Mercy Thompson's world, fae have 'come out' to the general public, but there are plenty of things that still go bump in the night, including Mercy herself, a Native American skinwalker with the ability to change into a coyote. The local werewolf pack seems to be having troubles, and Mercy gets drawn into the fray somewhat against her will.
    A strong female character, a believably written fantasy world, and a quick pace makes this book well worth the time it will take to read. The fact that it's book one in a series only makes it better.

    Looks like that's all the free time for today. A tiny Beast has just crawled up to me and is tugging hopefully at my leg and making his 'I want to nurse!' noise.