Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nothing to see here

Gah! Summer is exploding in my face. Packing up our house, dealing with real estate closing drama, getting ready for vacation, taking two graduate classes, chasing after my increasingly mobile child... BOOM! There goes my spare time (along with my sanity).

Something has to give, and unfortunately that has to be the blog. So things might be a wee bit quiet around here for the next few weeks. I need some time to get a few things off of my plate.

I don't want to completely leave you hanging, so I will try and post more pictures. Pictures are good. And easy. They require little thought on my part, which is important since all my original and compelling thoughts are being siphoned off to my graduate program. And pictures will certainly brighten your day since my child is freakin' adorable.

So my apologies for my impending absence. Please hang in there with me. And thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Will and I are visiting Nana and Grandpa (my parents) for a few days while Ben is on a business trip in Florida. The weather here is beautiful. We've walked the dogs on the trails behind their house, swam in the pool, shopped in downtown La Crosse and enjoyed many good meals.

I wish I had some pictures to share, but we've been having way too much fun to stop and smile for the camera. It's so good to be home.

Friday, June 10, 2011


I have very few parenting regrets thus far. But there are some.

I regret not being able to breastfeed longer.

I regret not seeking treatment for my postpartum depression sooner.

And I regret circumcising my son.

After we found out we were having a boy, I left the circumcision decision up to Ben. After all, he has the boy parts, and he's the boy's father. I told Ben I wasn't crazy about circumcision, but it was ultimately his decision. And Ben wanted his son to "look like" his father. So circumcision it was.

Since Ben elected to do the circumcision, I made him go with Will to have the procedure done. Ben said it was a little gnarly, but that Will did great. He cried when they strapped him on the procedure board, but not at all when they actually made the cut. Will had no complications with his circumcision, and he healed nicely. But in retrospect, I wish we would have left our son intact.

The reasons I used to rationalize the decision seem so foolish now. It's more hygienic. He should look like his dad. Most men are circumcised. It wasn't until months later that I took time to discover the truth. Boys can be shown how to clean under their foreskin, just as girls are shown how to clean their labia. Most boys won't even notice or care that they look different from their father. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not indorse routine circumcision. And the national circumcision rate continues to drop. Only 33 percent of boys were circumcised in 2009 (though this percentage is higher when you isolate the midwest).

The truth is, as they wheeled my baby away to be circumcised, every ounce of me wanted to scream "stop!" But on day two of his life, I didn't yet know to trust my motherly intuition. So I stayed silent, and tried not to think about what was happening to him.

I never actual saw my son's uncircumcised penis. Isn't that crazy? But I didn't change his diaper until after we left the hospital, after the procedure had been done. I still remember opening up his diaper for the first time at home and being horrified at how red and swollen his little penis looked. I knew in that instant we had made the wrong decision.

But as parents, when we know better we do better. So despite Ben's objections, if we have another boy, I will not consent to having him circumcised. I don't presume to know what's best for other families, and I respect whatever course other parents choose for their sons. But it's not something I will elect to do again. I regret having to make that decision at Will's expense.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

5 A Day Books: Week 6

5 a day books

This is our last week of the 5 A Day Books Challenge over at the Imagination Tree. We'll definitely keep up with it in a more informal capacity, but with the impending move and vacation, we just have a lot on our plate right now!

The Challenge has been a ton of fun, and encouraged me to get to our local library with Will every week. Introducing new books into our reading rotation has been great for both of us, and Will loves our weekly library outings. While I peruse for new titles, Will sits on the floor and pulls all the board books off the shelf!

Here's what we're reading in our final week...

We adore the Begin Smart series! This book has flaps to lift, and reinforces
many of the baby sign language "signs" we're using with Will.

Will loves trucks of all kinds! Bright, bold illustrations and simple text.

We took Will to his first farmer's market on Saturday, so I wanted to do another book
about planting and farming. I love the "paper" illustrations and progressive counting.

Cute book about opposites. Very sweet illustrations.

This is a rhyming "peek-a-boo" book from Barefoot Books. The illustrations
are bright and colorful, and Will loves all the animals.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

First Birthday Planning

Will's first birthday is just a few months away, and guess what Mama is in full-on party planning mode?

Yeah, that'd be me.

I decided several months ago that Will was going to have a Very Hungry Caterpillar themed birthday party. It has long been his favorite book, and I love the idea of incorporating his interests (yes, even at age one) into his birthday celebration.

If you're not familiar with The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the little caterpillar eats his way through a bunch of food until he becomes a big, fat caterpillar and turns into a butterfly. So I thought it would be fun to serve many of the foods featured in the book (apples, strawberries, pickles, sausage, cheese, cupcakes, watermelon, etc).

The food is about as literal as I'm going to get though. In my humble opinion, themes should influence design, not be an excuse to purchase tons of commercially licensed products. So while we're going with a Very Hungry Caterpillar theme, you won't find a bunch of theme-y plates, napkins or table clothes. I'm merely using the book as inspiration.

I love the artwork of Eric Carle. For Will's party, I want to capture the colors he uses in the book, as well as some of the whimsy of his illustrations. Enter: buntings.

Aren't they darling? These are from Blue Moon Studios on Etsy, but my mom is going to make the ones for Will's party. I think they'll add a very sweet, youthful element to the decor.

And because I'm obsessed with Etsy, I recently purchased this customized first birthday shirt. Swoon. I can't even stand how darling it is.

Will's birthday party will be a small, family-only affair, but I'm super excited to put something spectacular together for him.

Friday, June 3, 2011

More New Stickers!

We're in our last few weeks of the helmet, but I wanted to get Will in one more set of stickers...

My sweet boy

Will loves airplanes

The side reads: I do my own stunts

Thursday, June 2, 2011

5 A Day Books: Week 5

5 a day books

We love the 5 A Day Books Challenge at the Imagination Tree! Posting a few days late, but here's what we're reading this week...

What can I say? We live in Wisconsin, where polka is king. But this book is
also really sweet and silly, with fun flaps to lift as you tell the story.

We own this book, but it's never been very heavy in our rotation.
However, I love the message about unconditional love.

We love all things Eric Carle! In this book, Will especially enjoys the
text repetition and the beautiful animal illustrations.

Sweet story about friendship with darling illustrations. Isn't the cow cute?
She reminds me of Stella (our dog).

Our local farmer's market opens on Saturday, so I wanted something about planting
to share with Will! This also does a nice job with colors and types of flowers.