Hazel: Five Months Old

Hazel turned five months old yesterday! No height and weight stats to report since she doesn’t need to go back to the doctor until she’s 6 months old. She’s sleeping pretty well at night; sometimes she goes all night, and sometimes she wakes once, around 4am. She’s also one of the happiest babies I’ve ever met- especially first thing in the morning. We are so blessed to have her in our lives.

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Things we’ve discovered about Hazel this month:

– She still has little to no patience for long car trips, although traveling during her bedtime seems to work out pretty well.
– She can now rotate while on the floor.
– She has also started to scoot- a sort of modified army crawl. She can actually make it across the room, though it takes a lot of time and effort!
– She hates napping at daycare
– When she’s overtired and cranky in the evening (due to the lack of nap), she loves to be held. This pretty much calms her instantly.
– She loves jumping in the bouncer.
– She LOVES her brother.

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Unplugging to really connect

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This scene from “The Big Bang Theory” is so relevant to life today

I was at the park last week with Ian and was shocked to see how many parents were glued to their phones. Faces down, brows furrowed, eyes tracking side to side. Meanwhile kids hoot happily and sprint around the playground. Until someone cries- at which point the parent reluctantly pulls him/herself off the park bench and away from the phone to attend to the child. (For the record: this is not unique to parents. I’ve seen all manner of folks exhibit this same behavior, such as folks out to dinner glued to their phones for the duration of the meal.)

I’m all for technology. I have a smart phone, and I certainly do my share of internet surfing. But when we’re out and about, and Ian wants to play with our involvement, I leave the phone stowed.

Now, to be clear, I’m not talking about the parent who is taking pictures with the phone. Or the parent who gets an important phone call or text message or email. I’m talking about this phenomenon where we can’t bare to look away from the screen. We’ve gotten so used to using the phone as a time waster and boredom solver that we don’t even think about what we’re doing. We don’t consider what this behavior might be telling our children.

And I have thought about this a lot. What does this tell our children? Maybe it tells them that our phones are more interesting and important than they are. Maybe it tells them that it’s OK to shut out the outside world. That it’s OK to not want to make eye contact or say hello to others. Maybe it tells them that we are only interested in connecting and interacting with them on our own schedule. Maybe it tells them we don’t prioritize their desires and needs.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately??), Ian is just starting to talk, so he can’t tell me the impact these things might have on him. How he perceives an almost obsessive screen time love affair. If he notices or cares.

But I do know this. I’ve been trying to be more conscious of my phone usage at home (since I’m already hyperaware when we are out) and really limit it when he’s around and actively trying to engage with me (do I need to read that stupid buzzfeed list?). And I’ve noticed a change in behavior when I put the phone down. When I look at him and ask what he’s doing or what he’s playing. When I get down on the floor and play with him. Or just watch interestedly when he shows me something. He smiles more. He is better behaved.

I don’t think that’s a coincidence. And I don’t think this is too much for me to ask of myself- for him to ask of me.

Obviously we can’t (and shouldn’t) cater to our childrens’ every wish, and independent play is definitely a good thing. But in my humble opinion, there is just something so good, so fulfilling, in putting the phone down and enjoying our kids. That crap on the internet will be there forever. These days with our kids are fleeting…let’s embrace every minute!

You’re invited to a Barefoot Books twitter party!

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I’m extremely excited to announce that I am hosting a Barefoot Books twitter party this Friday (8/8) at 8PM EST!!! We’ll be chatting about children’s books, parenting, and more. It will be a fun night of laughter, great conversation, giveaways, and shopping. I’d love it if you would join me. For more information and to RSVP (RSVPing isn’t required but is appreciated!), go to bethbfb.com/get-social!

Buy Barefoot Books with Me!

I have some really exciting news to share!  I just signed up to become an Independent Barefoot Books Ambassador.  If you haven’t heard of Barefoot Books, you HAVE to check them out.  They have a beautiful collection of children’s story books and activities (puzzles, puppets, etc).  If you’ve read my post about Ian’s favorite books (here), you might remember that there was a Barefoot Books story in that list- “Bear Takes a Trip”.  It’s because I love these books so much that I decided to sign up to sell them.  I think if you take a moment to check them out, you’ll fall in love with them, too!

To celebrate this new adventure, I am holding an official launch event to kickstart my new business. Just click on the image below to shop my store, from today through 7 July. If you have any questions about any of the books, let me know!

Here’s a peak at some of the books I got in my Barefoot Books Ambassador box, so you can see for yourself how really beautiful these books are!

Pictures of Animal Boogie Barefoot Book

We own this book already, and LOVE it

 

Pictures of Earth Tales Barefoot Book

This one would be really cool for older kids!

 

Pictures of Bear in a Square Barefoot Book

So excited for this one, since Ian loves Bear!

 

I hope that you’ll check out the awesome books available for sale from Barefoot Books!

a boy and his dog

This was just too sweet not to share.

 

Last night, as wild man was winding down for bed, he grabbed ‘blankie’ and laid down next to fatty dog.

He grinned at her and petted her head, and it was just so cute I had to sneak a picture.

 

Considering his new favorite thing is to shriek and then charge at the pets (and continue to chase them until they find a place to hide), this peaceful, loving gesture was just so wonderful to see.

 

We love our cats dearly, and we’ve always said once fatty dog passes, we probably won’t get a new dog any time soon…but moments like this make me question that and wonder. Maybe we will always need a dog in our lives afterall…

Wild man and fatty dog

Wild man and fatty dog