28 January 2015

baby vanilla: 6 months

This little fellow turned 6 months and is really letting his personality start to shine.

Baby Vanilla loves to smile at anyone, everyone. No really, he is oddly happy (or maybe we are just used to our slow to warm up/slightly cranky LE). He is starting to babble and army crawl around. He loves mama best, but I think that has to do with his main food source.

While he likes nursing, food seems to be Vanilla's thing. And who can blame him with his 2 new teeth! He loves trying new food and hasn't refused any flavors...Indian, Thai, Mexican all sound good to my sweet baby. If Vanilla isn't army crawling for toys or laughing at his sister, you'll probably find him ergo'd on mama or dada for cuddle or nap time. Vanilla still wakes up for nighttime cuddles and "milks", but overall is a decent sleeper.

Like his big sister, he looks like a peanut on the growth charts, but I still think he's got plenty of chubbiness and there's nothing better than a squishy naked baby :)

It's safe to say we are all crazy in love with you, Baby Vanilla. You are the perfect addition to our little family!

27 January 2015


This is so late, so delayed that I keep hesitating to even write this post, but Christmas must be acknowledged. Here's my quick and dirty Christmas photo montage...

Dressed and ready for our neighborhood Christmas party. LE does not hold back on loving her brother...

Sneaking away for brother and Jeff's Party, which involves some delicious gluhwein!

Making Christmas cookies with Mammy.

Loving presents!

Not terribly impressed by presents...

Christmas in PA. LE just couldn't figure out where Opa was when Santa came to visit ;)

Hanging with cousins at Oma and Opa's house.

We continued our tradition of spending Christmas week with the in-laws in PA and had a great time, in spite of a yucky virus that worked its way around our family. We celebrated Christmas early with my family and then spent a weekend in Yellow Springs, OH in January at a beautiful B&B. The celebrations and presents seemed to flow for several weeks and LE certainly got a little spoiled by it all...I know, I know, it's a grandparents, auntie, and uncle job to do such sort of thing. We are again grateful to have such amazing family and friends to share the holidays with!

23 January 2015

sisterhood of motherhood...or savvy marketing?

I haven't blogged in forever, because I'm in a sleep deprived, sick kids, too much holiday travel, winter rut, but this new commercial by Similac that so many are liking and sharing on Facebook got my sleep deprived brain thinking and my lactivist in action...

I'm half of why Similac could make their brilliant ad. Yes, I birthed in a pool assisted by dolphins...(I mean midwives), I cloth diapered (well at least 1 kid), I stay at home (when I'm not helping moms breastfeed), I baby wear close to (what feels like) 24 hours a day, I breastfeed for forever, and I have strong opinions on why I do these things. I have strong opinions on why I do almost everything from what we eat, to how we spend our money, the cars we drive, the houses we buy, the friends we have...the lists are endless.

I'd like to think I don't really fight anyone on any of these issues. I'm happy to discuss them all and actually enjoy most of these hot topics. But I'm guessing I do it right, because most of my friends don't birth with dolphins, most of my friends don't baby wear 24/7, and *gasp* many of my friends didn't 100% breastfeed their babies for forever!

What's wrong is Similac just played us all with their perfectly orchestrated hilarious and emotional commercial. Who wouldn't want to be part of a "sisterhood of motherhood?" Sounds as peaceful as that dolphin assisted pool birth, right? The problem? What Similac did is completely unethical. The World Health Organization/UNICEF have this little thing called a "International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes" and a formula company can't idealize moms and babies and their product or give free samples, which is exactly what just happened.

I'm not fighting moms who use similac (or any formula), I'm fighting a company that chooses to be unethical. Most lactation consultants, myself included, have opened hundreds of bottles of formula...many of them probably Similac. The battle isn't formula, the battle is making money at any cost.

This campaign's first paragraph on their website says " And, just like the sister who's got your back, we're there to help you get through the first few days and months of motherhood with confidence -- and zero judgment. The way it should be." And when the hospital sends you home with your gift bag of free formula from Similac, you can imagine the first thing you'll grab when your baby won't stop screaming at 3am... I understand, I've been there at 3am with that screaming baby, I've doubted myself. I understand how the switch from breastfeeding to formula happens. I understand how desperate and defeated you felt at that moment. It's not your fault and it shouldn't have happened. That's why there is a world standard code of ethics. Lets all come together despite our parenting differences to say this is not right. We will not be swayed by your beautifully, hilarious, tear jerking ad, we stand for what is good in this world, we will not be a part of your corruption, Similac, or any other company that follows suit.