Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Everything! (Including baby rolls)

Wishing you a wonderful holiday full of love, peace and joy...

~Team Heintz~

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Eric, I am posting your Christmas Gifts so on the off chance you read this...step away from the blog

Catchy title, eh?

So Eric and I always set very strict price limits to our Christmas gifts to each other. And this year, when we an incredibly pricey 18lbs of chunk to our debt (mwah, Gus), we aren't in a position to do much for each other, let alone others.

So I've had to be crafty--literally and figuratively. Enjoy my list of gifts that are heavy on thought, but light on the wallet:
  • Dolls
  • Clothes
  • Music
I think the list totally screams "Man Gifts", no?

Please, let me break 'er down for you...

Scene: Ali trolls Etsy to find gifts she would love to purchase, but can't afford, so she attempts to create herself. If you are one of my Facebook peeps, you'll have already seen my new obsession with painting wooden peg people, but if not, here is an example of a little family I created for Eric. I mean, I think the likeness isn't too shabby!


I order the little wooden pegs from a wood shop in Maine. And I use non-toxic, made in America acrylic paint from Walmart, which I mix to create my own shades. And then I slap some non-toxic Modge Podge (whatever that is) on top to seal them. I even included our wedding rings and my late grandmother's gold wedding bands on my hands. 

I mean, what guy doesn't want what could essentially be called "dolls" for Christmas? AMIRIGHT? But in all seriousness, I think they speak to Eric's modern sensibilities.

I've also tested the waters with creating all sorts of other peg families, princesses, a nativity set, and super heros. Stay tuned. Post forthcoming...

Somebody the other day asked me if Eric had a beard right now. I literally stood there with my mouth wide open and said: "I have no idea." Sadly, that speaks to how often I have the opportunity to look at his face these days, as well as the back and forth he goes with his facial hair.

In that spirit, I had the boys get him, what else? A SHIRT OF 141 FAMOUS BEARDS. First--let's just acknowledge the tag line to the Chop Shop where I ordered the shirt is "with shirts like these, who needs pants?" Um, that is like our family motto. (Actually, ours is "PANTS OFF DANCE OFF" but perhaps we can do seasonal mottos.)

Image courtesy of: http://chopshopstore.com/index.php/teeshirts/dappermen.html
The image of Darwin alone was worth the price. And of course I scoured for coupon codes (but then also splurged for an extra few bucks to be printed on an American Apparel shirt). 

Finally, I just have to say I am totally pissed at Beyonce for stealing my idea of dropping a record out of the Blue (Blue Ivy reference intended). Sure, she has a high budget video to go along, and millions of adoring fans...

...But can she record a song on her iphone while sitting on her childhood bed with her brother playing a ukelele and sister-in-law layering mad harmonies late one night while in her pajamas? Yeah, so Eric always says he never hears me sing (it was totally a former life for me) unless I've had a few glasses of wine for the liquid courage to pull out my rendition of Chicago's "I Can't Do It Alone." So I forced my siblings to sing a little ditty with me for him:



There you have it. While the Tivoli radio system he drools over or legit Eames furniture will not be under the Christmas tree this year, I am kinda thinking he will be just as happy with these.

'Tis a gift to be simple...

Merry, Merry!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Gus's Guide: The Sequel

 

Back when Gus was a month old, and his cheeks hadn't achieved world domination, I did a little guide of the "must haves for a 3rd baby when you are short on cash, short on space, but big on love."

Okay, so I just called it "Gus's Guide," but the above was clearly implied. Now that he is--sniffle--8 months old, budding 2 bottom "teefers", and finally sleeping a solid 12 hours a night in a row (okay, that's a game I call 2 truths and a lie. I'll let you guess which one is a lie--"yawn!"), we've got a new list of simple essentials for this 2nd half of a baby's 1st year of life. (Follow?)

Teefers! Yes, brother finally got some bottom teeth the past week or so. I should have known when he started going all cannibal on me as usually, it's me "Dahmering" his thighs.

He keeps gnawing on my chin like he is trying to be cast in a remake of Alive. While I appreciate the rogue cosmetic procedure (I hate my Jay Leno chin), I wasn't sure his practice takes my insurance. But how could you not trust this mug?

Then there was that whole drool thing. Can someone please make a baby dickie out of some microfiber or Sham Wowsa or whatever miracle fabric that is, charge a king's ransom for it and save my baby's clothes from the massive amounts of drool he produces? Sure, throw a chevron bow tie on it, add another $10 to the MSRP, and then throw it up on Etsy. I'd buy.

Some may call this a bib...but we all know that it's all about reinventing an already developed product, giving it a catchy name, cute logo, and capitalizing off of overly anxious mothers.

Remember my boogie belt idea? It's like a fanny pack/holster with all the toddler essentials for childcare providers. Well, after this season and a few too many episodes of Project Runway, I am renaming it the Provider Peplum. Patent pending (in my mind).

Besides chins, Gus also eats non-human food. I don't mean like cat or dog food, I mean food that is not of the human flesh. I'm talking: cheese, sweet potato, yogurt, chicken, chia, rat-tat-too-ee (too lazy to look up how to spell that), avocado, pear, apple, banana, carrot, etcetera, etcetera. And my plan? He eats when it's convenient for me.
Oh, hey friends. I just ate an entire mango.
Yup. I said it. We are doing baby led weaning, as we did with Felix, and he's doing pretty well. But when it comes to meats, a) we eat meat very rarely in our house, and b) he doesn't do well with masticating meat products, so I opt for one of those organic meat pouches. (Ew. Just the thought of unrefrigerated meat pouches. Good thing they don't use the word "moist" to describe any of the contents.) He is still a nursing machine and drinks 3 5oz bottles at school. He honestly isn't a difficult kid. Eats with his hands, eats with a spoon, eats from a bottle, eats from a breast. I'd be hard pressed to believe he'd reject a farm animal nipple if you placed him under a lactating pig.

But in order to keep him stationary in his high chair, sometimes we have to throw some appetizers to him before a real meal starts. And that's where I like to sing the praises of Plum Organics Little Yums. I break each one in half (long ways) and he is happy as a lark. Nutritionally not dense, and from my perspective, it's an air biscuit with some smidge of dried organic product, it is quite a bit less messy than other food like avocado and I feel slightly more comfortable dividing my attention between getting dinner out (or refereeing a big kid MMA fight in the octagon that our kitchen transforms into), and having him eating at the table by himself.

Speaking of high chair, I would marry Stokke Tripp Trapp high chairs if I could. I am in love with them. Seriously. Both the older boys were gifted them and Gus was a thankful recipient as well. I tried to convince Eric to get some for us so we could have a Stokke family--and even tempted him with the new bright orange version, but he declined. Sure, there is not a tray to put food on, but I love that the chair grows with the baby, doesn't take up much real estate, is made well, and a breeze to clean.
Notice Felix's bottom photo bombing?!?

Also, did you know they are great for playing pirate beauty parlor? Worth the price of admission...


Lord knows where research is these days in regards to vitamin D and nursing, I certainly don't have time for much evidence based parenting anymore. Le sigh. Although I can tolerate feeding my child warm meat from a pouch, I cannot stand the smell of vitamin D/iron drops. You know the kind and brand. So, yeah...I rarely if ever gave them to Felix. Maybe that's why he has a hairy back for a 3 year old. I dunno. But my friend told me about the Carlson's vitamin D drops. 1 tiny bottle. 1 drop a day. 1 year. Like 10 bucks. No nasty smell.
image courtesy of vitasoul.com
I put the drop on my nipple before nursing in the beginning, but now I put it on a tiny spoon along with...

Biogaia probiotc drops. Well, now they are called Gerber Soothe drops.

photo courtesy of gerber.com
I really don't like Gerber as a company, so this was a hard transition when I heard about the take over. But I did my research and the product itself hasn't changed. They are called colic drops, but really they are just probiotics. The research is pretty compelling about this particular strain, too. But you know--throw the word "teething" or "colic" on it, and parents FLOCK. I still think people aren't up in probiotic's grill as much as they should be.

Anyway, I've been giving Gus these since birth. Since I haven't not given them to him, I can't say if they aren't working, but I can say that his gut health seems to be stellar. (You know all moms minor in poop). And all that money I am saving with that 1 bottle of vitamin D drops I am making up for in the cost of these drops. I limit myself to 3 instead of the 5 recommended drops, but good gravy they are expensive! That's when I get all coupon crazy at CVS and figure out how to get a good deal.

I am hoping the probiotics are generally helping his tummy for all the non-food substances he will ingest over his lifetime, too. Like cast off hairs in my bristle brush. Who needs chew toys? I'm telling you, a good bristle brush is like turning my 8 month old into a one man band a la dick van dyke in Mary Poppins. It's also fun to play hairdresser with a 3 year old boy who has no idea how to use a round brush, too.
In the morning I sit Gus on the bed with my brush, a random matchbox car "case" (I call it his brief case), a banana teether courtesy of the amazing Kate, and a book called Global Babies. Then I just wait for the concert. He bangs the brush, he double fists the brush and banana and smacks together, he chews on the brush and makes a squeak sound, he rubs it against the book and makes another sound. Carnegie Hall, I got someone for you...

Finally, my love for Stokke can only be challenged by 1 other product Ava Anderson diaper cream.

This is the holy grail of all products. It's so good you can only purchase through a consultant. And don't we all feel special when we make products through consultants? (Okay, it's a direct to market/sort of pyramid dealio, but the company is great and the consultant I use wonderful.) It's like a tub of heaven. It's made with organic oils and herbs, shea butter, minerals, essential fatty acids, unicorns, and umami (whatever that is). But seriously, it's da bomb. I use it on my own skin every day. I use it on the boys for our regular mani/pedi/hot foot towel/massage son spa nights (or as Felix calls it, Mom, can we do Medicare?). But don't worry, I'm not all George Costanza and double dip after applying to Gus's bottom every night. We don't need no fecal facials to add to the spa menu.

Make sure the kid has a fresh diaper (we are battling between Seventh Generation and Nurture by Nature right now. Sorry Nature Baby Care...you can't compete with thunder thighs), clothing that isn't soiled with his saliva, throw him in a laundry basket while cleaning up the house...and he's good to go.

Images courtesy of my phone and instagram feed. If you aren't on it, get out from under your rock and join. All the cool kids are doing it.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Kids Say the Darndest Things

This past week, Felix has contributed to his "KSTDT" book quite a bit. And good thing, because he's also driven me batty more than once.

"When I grow up, I want to be a talking elephant!"

***

Felix: "Daddy, it smells like cold out here."
Eric: "What does that smell like?"
Felix: "Ice."
Eric: "What does that smell like?"
Felix: "Water."
Eric: "What does that smell like?"
Felix: " Penguins; because they are SO chilly!

***

Ali notices Felix comes home from school in a completely different outfit--that is not his.

Ali: "Felix, what happened?"
Felix: "Mommy, I spilled."
Ali: "Felix, what did you spill? During art?"
Felix: "No, mommy, I spilled from my penis during nap."

***

Ali shows the boys a book that has a picture of a cow's udders

Ali: "What are those called under the cow?"
Felix: "Udders! And some udders swim in the lakes."
Ali: "huh?"
Felix: "udders. They swim and build damns."
Ali: "Oh, OTTERS!"