Monday, September 28, 2009

Swaddle Sense

Interesting infancy tidbit for you...

Last week, I had lunch with a friend who is expecting her first baby. Very exciting! Naturally, we talked a lot about baby care and newborns. The topic of swaddling came up, and she recently heard (via her husband who is an orthopedic surgery resident) that swaddling can contribute to hip dysplasia in infants. Wah? I had never heard that before from doctors and nurses at the hospital or my pediatrician. We swaddled Monica for 8 months! Had I done some kind of hip damage unawares?

When I got home from the lunch date and put Monica down for a nap, I Googled the topic and came up with this letter to the editor from the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics and this article on the NY Times website. Basically, it says that swaddling is not harmful as long as you have the right technique. A lot of references to swaddling that causes/contributes to hip dysplasia originate in cultures that swaddle babies to hard boards. I was really curious what this would look like and I found this:

I wonder how long that little guy stayed like that?!

So, I thought this was good info to pass along. If God blesses us with another babe, I think I'll make a point to ask about swaddle technique. Gotta take care of those hips!

Look Ma! No Hands!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fabulous Fibers!

This week's featured Etsy seller is...

The Pumpkinhaus!

I found this little gnome hat ticking by on the Etsy home page Gift Guide and could not resist letting you all know about this artist's fabulous fibers.

The Pumpkinhaus also sells fun hand-dyed fibers with seasonal names like

Monster Guts

and Go Go Godzilla

To complement the hat, consider these gnome balls. Too fun!

Other places to find Pumpkinhaus:
Ravelry: also ~

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pope Benedict's Divine Mercy Mandate by David Came

In David Came’s brief but persuasive book, he shares his discovery of “a papal program” for sharing God’s Divine Mercy with the world. Mr. Came traces the theme of Divine Mercy throughout the papal writings and addresses of John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, beginning with this statement from the first World Congress on Mercy in 2008:

Yes, dear friends, the first World Congress on Divine Mercy ended this morning with the Eucharistic Celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica. I thank the organizers, especially the Vicariate of Rome, and to all the participants I address my cordial greeting which now becomes a mandate: go forth and be witnesses of God’s mercy, a source of hope for every person and for the whole world. May the Risen Lord be with you always! (Regina Caeli message, April 6, 2008).

Mr. Came took this mandate seriously and the book gives overwhelming evidence for the urgency of this mandate. There are many instances of Pope Benedict XVI mentioning and invoking Divine Mercy for a world in desperate need of God’s divine and perfect love. The reader cannot help but be overwhelmed by all of the connections between Pope Benedict, John Paul II, and the evidence for their devotion to Divine Mercy.

A very helpful feature of this book are the sections entitled “Fulfilling the Mandate" which help the reader to put the information into the context of a daily relationship with Christ and people around us. In “Fulfilling the Mandate,” Mr. Came exhorts the reader to receive Divine Mercy, to focus on Jesus’ saving work in our own life, and to leave a legacy of Divine Mercy in the world. Jesus’ command of “go and do likewise” shines through so that the reader may be inspired and filled with grace in order to love all people unconditionally and graciously.

Pope Benedict’s Divine Mercy Mandate is a book full of information and nuggets of wisdom from the Catholic Church’s most recent popes. Mr. Came fulfills his mission of sharing his discovery of the papal program of witnessing to God’s mercy, and his enthusiasm is contagious. Surely, upon reading this book and reflecting on and receiving God’s Divine Mercy, you will never be the same.

This review was written as part of the Catholic Book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company . Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Pope Benedict’s Divine Mercy Mandate.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh, Chicken Soup

I'm bringing dinner to a friend who just had a wee one, and chicken soup seemed like just the thing. I used this recipe (plus veggie bouillon, random seasonings, and egg noodles), which is by far the best because you boil the whole chicken which makes rockin' broth. Naturally, I did not have a whole roasting chicken on hand, so I had to go to the store. Monica and I braved Kroger at 8am. It was awesome. No lines, no carts to weave around. We were in and out.

As soon as we got home, I threw my whole chicken into the pot of water and put Monica down for a nap. The pot took foreva to boil, so I thought I would have time for a quick shower before any boilage would occur. When I went to check on the bird after my shower, 1/4 of the pot's water was all over the floor and the stove. Fabulous. Salmonella water all over my kitchen where my baby crawls and licks everyday. So I got some bleach water and washed everything down, in a fluffy robe with wet hair, and added more water to the emptying pot. I don't know if that floor will ever be that sanitary again. I also took another shower because I got all sweaty during the cleaning process.

The rest of the venture was uneventful, except for the grumpy baby who just wanted to be held while I pulled meat off a chicken carcass, the dog under my feet begging for scraps, and the fact that I had to go back to the store during my outing to pick this up from the library since I neglected to check my list during the previous trip and so forgot the bread and salad for my friend. Now, I'm at home with a huge pot of soup and a kitchen full of dishes. So goes another cooking excursion with Andrea. It never is a simple endeavor.

Since the baby is playing with sharpened pencils, this post is over. At least she's safe from salmonella.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cheers to Martin and Beth!

Over the weekend, I acquired a brother-in-law! My sister, Beth, married Martin, and it was a grand time, to be sure. Here are a few pics.

Congrats Martin and Beth! We wish you all the best as you begin married life together!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rock Blox Rock My World

This week's featured seller on Etsy is....

Suzanna Anna!

I happened upon Suzanna Anna's shop when I Googled some lyrics from Elton John's "Your Song", and I fell in love with her Rock Blox. This is fun and fabulous pop art. Check out her Etsy shops here and here.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Domestic Victory

I have a baby...
...who likes to make messes
...who really likes to eat blueberries.

Stains are imminent. In fact, this morning she got food processed blueberry all over her pajamas. Such a bummer because these PJs are super cute, striped with footies and a zipper. I know that a blueberry stain on PJs is really not a big deal, but still...
I stripped Monica to her diaper after breakfast and applied a paste of OxiClean and water to the stain. Fifteen minutes later, totally gone! I was super excited!

So, in honor of this small, but encouraging mommy victory, here is Willie Mays, pitching the fabulous product that made my day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Featured Etsy Seller O' The Week

Since starting to sell jewelry on Etsy, I've had the opportunity to virtually bump into a lot of really talented and industrious people. So, once a week I'm going to write up a post on a seller who has caught my eye with something unique, useful, beautiful, or just gosh-darn cute.

For gosh-darn cute and useful, check out deusprovidebit! These folks feature hand knit hats and baby cocoons and diaper covers. Their wares are just precious. They are also located in Up State, NY, my old stomping grounds.

Any baby in this little cocoon is bound to be snuggled!