Thursday, March 25, 2010

Goodbye My Beautiful Piano

It's a sad sad day in my house. I have sold my old family heirloom piano. I hated doing it. But it was time. It is a 1918 upright player piano. Absolutely beautiful mahogany wood. My great-grandfather rebuilt it in the 1960's. And it still plays the rolls (which I have 2 boxes of that are going with it). If I had $10,000, I would keep it in a heartbeat and redo the entire thing. But, alas, I do not have that kind of money lining my mattress. I teach piano, so I really need one that can be tuned without having to replace the strings. And I can't just keep a piano lying around for looks, as I don't have my very own music room. If I had a mansion that's the first thing I would have, by the way.

So, anyway, because I teach piano lessons, and my piano is no longer tunable without serious work, I am buying a newer piano. Oh, how I am going to miss my massive beast of a piano. Every other piano will cower in fear to this thing. So, here's my goodbye.

As a young child I was fascinated by you,
sitting in my grandparent's basement on Sundays.
Each roll, each song, each note
would always carry me away.
You taught me beauty, grace, and commitment
as I learned God's gift of music.
You saw me laugh, you saw me cry,
you saw me healthy and then sick.
There were times in my life
that only you were there for me.
Because of this, I cherish you,
and I will always be
forever grateful, forever humbled
of your ability to bring joy
to even the saddest of hearts,
or the young girl or the young boy.

Ok, that's out of my system. Now, on to buying a new piano to make new memories. I only pray my children can find as much joy out of the ivories as I have!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Naked Time

No, not me. Your baby. Have you ever given your baby naked time? A time on a regular basis that you leave a diaper (disposable or cloth) off of your baby? Before you think I'm crazy, hear me out.

A couple of diaper rash & cream facts:
  1. The best medicine for diaper rash is air. Letting your baby's bum air out for a few minutes each day is more healing than any diaper rash cream.
  2. Commercial diaper rash cream and cloth diapers are not friends. Diaper rash cream will clog the pores of your cloth before you can say, "It's leaking!!" I recommend stripping your baby so you don't have to strip your diapers.
  3. Naked time is free. Diaper rash cream is not.
  4. Many cloth diaper retailers sell diaper rash cream that is safe for cloth diapers. I originally bought Northern Essence Tea Tree/Lavender Free All Natural Diaper Rash Salve when Alaina was first born, and I am maybe half way through it. She is 17 months old. I love this stuff too, and it smells soo good. By the way, they also make a cream for yeast infections, but I have yet to need it.

So how do I do naked time? Certainly not right after Alaina drinks! I found that right after bath and right before bedtime was good for Alaina because she didn't have to pee around that time. This time was well after her last feeding, so fluids weren't a big problem. And I would put her on a blanket with prefolds just in case she surprised us. When she became mobile, it got to be a bit trickier, and I will admit, I have had to clean up a couple of "piddles." I know that if she had a lot to drink for dinner, I don't do naked time.

Alaina LOVES naked time. It is absolutely hilarious! She babbles and runs around giggling. Love it!

By the way, I do use creams that are not safe for cloth every once in a while. She has had a couple of bad reactions to acidic foods, and I have used cortisone cream or Aquaphor. I put a liner in between her and her diaper to protect the diaper. The liner is usually a cut-up old receiving blanket.

I will admit, I am nervous if I have a boy, but I still plan to have naked time. I just need to prepare myself now for more peemergencies. :-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday's Munchies...Book Review

I was thinking about all the recipes I normally use for my daughter, and I realized that the majority of my inspiration comes from one book. So, I thought I would give the author props and do a book review! I do not know or have any affiliation with her, and this is only coming from my opinion.

When my daughter was born, I received a tip from some mamas at regarding making your own baby food. They said to read the book, Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. So, I checked it out, and WHOA! It blew me away.

This book is basically everything you wanted to know that your grandmother did as a young mom and never got around to telling you. It is broken into 5 sections: Feeding Your Super Baby, Preparation and Storage of Super Baby Food, Toddler Recipes, Fun Stuff, and Reference and Appendices.

The first section goes over facts and info about feeding your baby month by month, what and when and how to introduce solids, and introduces the Super Baby Food diet, a diet based on only whole and natural foods. The second section discusses all the food groups as well as how to prepare all of these foods in bulk and store them to make it very easy to manage. Ruth explains many freezing methods of single servings of food, including the infamous ice cube tray method (freezing pureed foods in ice cube trays, then popping them out and storing them in a freezer container). She also stresses the importance of whole grains and making what she calls "super porridge," which, I will admit, as much as I tried to make it and get my baby to eat it, I just couldn't get it thin and smooth enough for her not to gag (but she did have a lot of gagging problems in the first year of life). The third section consists not only of toddler recipes, but of recipes my husband will eat as well! Only if he doesn't know what is in them, of course. :-) The fourth section describes many different arts and crafts and frugal projects to do with your toddler with materials right at home. There are some pretty creative ideas in there that I would have never thought to make! The last section is a great list of references that I keep coming back to time and time again. Ruth includes a complete list of fruits and veggies, how to tell when they are fresh, the best way to prepare them, etc...This section also includes a baby nutrient table and measurement equivalents, green cleaning products, etc...

If you haven't already bought this book, and you are looking for good reference material to have handy at home, buy this book. Granted, there were some things in the book that failed for me, and there are some ideas that I just can't see myself doing (like making my own sticker glue for stickers). But the benefits of this book FAR exceed expectations.

Not only that, but there is now a Super Baby Food website. Check it out if you are interested!