Monthly Archives: February 2014

So Many Babies! So Much Advice! Pt 1: Co-Sleeping

There’s something in the water. I know exactly seven friends of mine who are pregnant right now. For most of them it’s their first baby! Yay! And of course, having a kid myself already, I know all the answers and have all the advice to give. Heh. 😉

But seriously, I think I’ve had a child under the age of three in my life since… forever. So I have learned a few things that are advantageous, and have applied them to my mothering (and nannying where applicable), and now, knowing so many mothers to be, I feel the need to share. So ladies, when you come visit this, here’s my two-cents worth: I wrote this just for you!  And now you don’t have to listen to me ramble for hours on end. It’s a win-win.

*Note: Link’s below are Amazon affiliate links, meaning if you click through then purchase that thingamabob, I can earn a little cash while your price stays the same! Thanks!*

Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper

Ok, first of all, do you have a nursery ready? One that’s all decorated up with the fancy crib and everything is just the way it is in a Babies ‘R Us catalog? So nice. Good for you. 

You’ll never get any sleep.

Picture this scenario: The newborn wakes up hungry. You now have to…
A) Get all the way up out of bed, stumble down the hall, open the door, find the light, or find the baby in the dark, find a place to sit, nurse the child who is now inconsolable since you took so long, struggle nursing, struggle to stay awake while the baby nurses, then put her back in her crib, and stumble your way back to bed.
OR
B) Roll over, pick her up before she really starts crying, nurse calmly, put her back down, go to sleep. NOTICE THAT YOU NEVER HAD TO LEAVE YOUR BED!

Ok, scenario two: The baby HASN’T woken up in a while. Oh dear! You…
A) Panic, stumble down the hall praying, stumble into the room possibly waking up poor baby, realize she’s ok, sleep in the rocking chair the rest of the night so you don’t have to panic anymore.
OR
B)Roll over before you start panicking, put your hand on her chest without waking her, realize she’s fine, go back to sleep without ever really waking up.

In both scenarios, I picked B, and never looked back. And if you think my scenarios above are just poppycock, studies have proven that co-sleeping, if done properly, is better for the family. Here’s some info that backs me up HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

But I wasn’t comfortable with a tiny squishable newborn in bed with us, so we chose the ‘sidecar’ arrangement to co-sleeping. In fact, we still use that method today. There’s plenty of bassinet sleepers that you can butt up next to the bed, but the absolute best product out there designed specifically for this sort of arrangement is the Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper. We have the smaller model, I think. Most of their models are portable as well and easy to put up and take down.

And since the word count below is already telling me that I have over 500 words, I’ll separate all this advice I have for you into bits. We’ll call this part one! That way we can discuss co-sleeping here specifically. Moms: feel free to comment below. Preggers: feel freer to ask questions below!

I’ll see you next time with more tid bits of my own… we will probably talk about all those lovely book’s I’ve read. Stay tuned!

Weekends with Chesterton: Dogma vs. Prejudice

Sorry folks, this is a long quote…

“Some people do not like the word “dogma.” Fortunately they are free, and there is an alternative for them. There are two things, and two things only for the human mind, a dogma and a prejudice. The MIddle Ages were a rational epoch, an age of doctrine. Our age is, at its best, a poetical epoch, an age of prejudice. A doctrine is a definite point; a prejudice is a direction.”

He then argues that these vague prejudices separates us even more than definite doctrines, despite those doctrines being opposite. It is easier to combat someone’s clear and defined statement or belief, than their “I’m okay, you’re okay” feelings that hide prejudiced thoughts. The devil has covered the thinking world with a mist of paralysing relativism, where you cannot even question another’s belief, right or wrong, because their thoughts are their own.

And that’s all I’m gonna say about THAT!

Care to respond?

Catholic All Year: Outside the Box: 66 Things to Give Up or Take Up for Lent (in beginner, intermediate, and advanced)

Have you thought about what you’re giving up for Lent this year? Well here’s a great place to start… and look through the comments for many many more fabulous ideas! Remember – Ash Wednesday is March 5th! So get cracking!

Catholic All Year: Outside the Box: 66 Things to Give Up or Take Up for Lent (in beginner, intermediate, and advanced).

Kefir With Me?

So in past posts I’ve alluded to making my own probiotics through fermented drinks. At least I thought I did. Didn’t I? Did I just dream that?

IMG_0775

Well anyways, I’m making my own probiotics through fermented drinks. And so far, I’ve had pretty good success. As in, it’s palatable! Most fermented things are… questionable. Or, shall we say, requires one to ‘develop a taste’ for it. And because we’ve been able to drink it (for the most part) I’ve saved money already on probiotic pills. I’m not sure I’m going back either, since this magical drink makes me feel so much better than the pills ever did. What is this magical brew?

It’s Kefir Water!

And now for a song…

Kefir Kefir! It’s good for your heart!
It’s easy to make – you really should start!
The more you drink, the better you feel!
So drink some kefir for every meal!

Kefir Kefir! The magical drink!
Recipes are easy to find, I think.
The more you think, the more you learn!
Kefir will give your health a good turn!

Once more! With feeling! Sing along!

No? Ok, well how about this- through my research on the internet, I’ve realized that recipes for kefir water are as broad as they are long, and aren’t really what I’m looking for or expect, flavor-wise. Some of this is because kefir is a living organism, and its behavior changes with environmental fluctuations can be hard to control. Another reason is because there’s different ways to introduce flavors (1st ferment? 2nd ferment?) and different proportions of ingredients, not to mention different tastes of the recipe-makers.

Over the next few weeks here at home I’m going to be developing water kefir recipes for Sheridanigans, with the end goal being a sort of brew-along with all of us together. I’ll teach you how to get your kefir grains going, and how to make each of these recipes I intend to create, hopefully giving you greater success than I’ve had in the past couple of weeks. Fortunately, even when I have a bad batch that I need to dump, I’m only out a few tablespoons of sugar! So experimenting ain’t no thang.

But this is my question for you: would you care to kefir along with me? I know I don’t have any recipes up yet, but just visit the sites I have listed below, and you can get started on your own experiments, then be a bit more prepared when we actually have our brew-along! And here’s the bonus – you can get your kefir grains from me for FREE!* As you’ll learn, they can multiply pretty quickly. I already have an overabundance resting in my fridge. Just email me at Sheridanigans (AT) gmail.com!

And now for the links, so you can look and see if you want to go it alone…

Cultures for Health – 10 ways to flavor water kefir

Delicious Obsessions – Let’s Get Fizzy With it!

The Creamer Chronicles – Water Kefir

That should be enough to get you started, plus there’s a TON more info if google is your friend. Be sure to email me as soon as you can, and I’ll get those grains to you!

*You may have to pay postage, depending on where you are… We can hash that out.

Women! *Eyeroll* – Weekends with Chesterton

OK, so, this quote just made me laugh. I only just started reading “What’s Wrong With the World” so I haven’t gotten to this part yet, but…

“In all legends men have thought of women as sublime separately but horrible in a herd.”
― G.K. ChestertonWhat’s Wrong with the World

We can be formidable, can’t we? 😉

Speaking of, have you noticed that the past month I’ve featured only women saints on KNOWYOURSAINTS! ? Granted, it’s because you readers voted for them, but still. Be sure to visit there tomorrow when I break that trend with St. Conrad.

Till next week…

Blogs I Read (And Why You Should Too) – The Survival Mom

Anyone here live down south where they had the freak blizzard and all those poor people got stranded along the highway, and generally mass chaos broke out? Last week I noticed that all the news broadcasts were featuring stories on how you can prepare, what you should have in your car should you ever get stranded, etc etc etc.

Well, instead of listening to those stories for about ten minutes then forgetting everything you heard, maybe putting an extra bottle of water and de-icer in your trunk, just to be on the safe side, I want you to take a look at this website…

Ready for anything.
Ready for anything.

I first read her book (by the same name) while on maternity leave, and it’s inspiring, practical, straightforward, easy to read, and it just makes sense. She helps you get down what you need to have for ‘Everyday Disasters’ (not unlike what you saw in the south earlier this month) and gives you the basics for ‘Worse Case Scenarios.’ She saw that most of the ‘prepper’ material out there is geared toward the men, and has a tendency to lean toward preparing you for ONLY worse case scenarios, instead of simple things like long-term power outages, water supply issues, severe weather, and the like. That is, things that are MUCH more likely to go, and things that we’ve seen HAVE gone wrong. (E.g. Hurricane Katrina, the ‘Polar Vortex’, the WV water contamination, and the list goes on).

More and more we see how natural and man made disasters have caught people off guard. The Survival Mom book and website helps you to NOT be one of those people. I still have a long way to go myself, but at least now I know where to start. And if you’re a fool and think you live in a place that is ‘relatively safe,’ remember that ANYONE can lose power for 2 days or 2 weeks or more. I know of people who have lost their septic system, their heating and cooling, or their ability to leave the house suddenly in the worst weather possible.

The reason disasters catch people ‘off guard’ is exactly because they were off guard! There is no way you can be prepared for a disaster, because if you are prepared, it won’t become a disaster! Ok, it may still be a disaster, but it’s far less likely that you will become a victim of it. I’ll stop talking now, so you can visit this awesome resource of preparedness, THE SURVIVAL MOM!

 

What do you think of these blog reviews? Want to hear more? Got a blog to recommend to me? Let me know in the comments! 

Settle Down, Brain…

So, do you remember when I mentioned in my posts about my new years resolutions that I intend on reading more? Well it looks like I’m going to have to start doing that soon or else I will simply go bonkers.

You see, I have a very active imagination. My imagination was SO active and I was SO into books as a child that I needed few friends, and the only reason that I even had friends was because I went to school, and books got all dirty at recess. And thanks to our elementary school librarian, who was also a nun, I had a great fear of harming a book. Well, not fear, really. Respect is a better word. I took great care of any and all books I laid my hands on. They fed me. They took me to different universes and gave me new ideas and friends and emotions. I held and cared for one like the treasure it was, from the first book I really feel in love with (A Wrinkle in Time, read in 2nd grade athankyouverymuch) to now.

But of course my reading time now a days is cut short. Between blogging, and diaper changing, and cooking, and volunteering, and cleaning, and… well you get the idea. My time for reading has taken a back seat.

And my brain is revolting. At night. IN MY DREAMS!

Let’s see, last night I was in an underground bunker full of terrorists, whose underground bunkers look surprisingly like a hospital/school, and apparently I didn’t make it to the nuke in time because it went off. I think I died at this point, or my brain got very metaphorical because we were all floating away on balloons, while skulls and bones popped up out of the ground. Also Finn and Mike were there… but Finn was maybe grown up? Weird.

The night before that I was trying to go undercover at a company that was making plastic people (androids maybe?) and replacing the real people with those plastic ones, under the pretense that they could make you look young forever, then pressing the real humans into service. I was making my way up the ranks, no one the wiser, till I met the president of the company, who KNEW I WAS COMING ALL ALONG! *gasp* Then I woke up.

That’s the gist of all I can remember right now, but long story short, these dreams are so vivid they haunt me a bit when I wake up. Oy. I know all I need to do to remedy this is READ!

So hopefully I’ll start reading some Chesterton today, not to mention finally editing that darn novel I wrote nearly ten years ago.

What about you? Do you have crazy dreams if you do/don’t do something? How on earth do you get rid of these things? Maybe I need to switch vitamins…

Found Wanting: Weekends with Chesterton

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” – Chapter 5, What’s Wrong With The World, 1910

 

See that right up there? That’s a pretty famous phrase said by the pretty famous G.K. Chesterton, whom I love. I highly encourage you to pick up some of his works and begin reading them. I’ve got my hands on a few, and plan to start ASAP.

Think about that quote for a minute. Do you wonder why we have so very many sects of Christianity? Some are so watered down I want to sayChristianity.” It is difficult, Christianity as Christ intended, and so we try to hack it down to fit into our little brains, instead of allowing the greatness of it to magnify our thoughts.

There are those, however, who have not been ‘found wanting.’ Remember the saints. They followed the Christian ideal, difficult though it may be, and became holy.

Every week I try to remember a saint I’m not familiar with on my other blog KNOW YOUR SAINTS! Join me every Sunday as I introduce you to a saint you may not know, and vote for the next saint you want to know about. Be sure to follow me there and share this blog here, and I’ll continue doing what I do best okay.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Experiments of a 10 Month Old

Eoa10mo-DogFood&WaterQuestion: What is this pool of water that is laying here in the kitchen? Why is it beside the bowl of brown stuff? Also, what is the brown stuff? My 16-Month-Old peer “Birdie” and I investigate.

Background Research: Not much available. Mommy keeps hollering and pulling us away at crucial times, despite constructing alternating distractions. We notice big fluffy black rug with legs occasionally eating and drinking from these bowls. Obviously more experimentation is required.

Experiment 1

Hypothesis: This wet stuff is splashy.

Test: Birdie and I take turns smacking the water.

Conclusion: SPLASHY! Much wetness occurs. This appears to be a pool of water set out for our enjoyment. Also, gentle splashing sounds like tapping, which affords us more time for experimentation while Mommy thinks we are playing with my toy hammers.
Note Bene: Much wetness causes Mommy upset and makes us get new clothes. More research is needed.

Experiment 2

Hypothesis: Birdie’s already damp pants will be much fun in tiny kiddie pool.

Test:  Steal Birdie’s pants from dirty clothes bucket and dunk in water.

Conclusion: Pants are quite absorbent!  Water and splashing everywhere! Much fun!
NB: This seems to cause Mommy much consternation and hollering. Also new clothes again. More research is needed.

Experiment 3

Hypothesis: This brown stuff in the bowl is food.

Test: Eat food (must occur when Mommy is distracted) 

Conclusion: It IS food! Crunchy! And meaty. Not bad, not as good as graham crackers. Must be a source of food provided when one is hungry and Mommy is with the big kids. That’s nice of her.
NB: Mommy takes extra food out of my mouth and then gives me graham cracker. She gets the message.

Experiment 4

Hypothesis: New diaper will be fun in kiddie pool.

Test: Steal diaper from box and dunk in water.

Conclusion: FUN! Diaper gets big and heavy fast. Interesting.
NB: New clothes again.

Experiment 5

Hypothesis: Black cord chewy thing will be fun in kiddie pool.

Test: Steal black cord chewy thing from living room and dunk in kiddie pool.

Conclusion: Not as much fun as diaper or pants. Becomes wet (maybe use like a straw?).  Experiment cut short. More research is needed.
NB: Causes Mommy great hollering and frustration. Mentions Daddy and “playstation charge cord”? Puts black cord chewy thing back by the black box that goes “BEEP!” when I push it. Interesting.

RESULTS
Clearly more research is needed, because research is FUN! Possible new experiments may include dunking brown food, Mommy’s phone, the remote control, tissues, and other toys. I will have to be sure to let Mommy know I fervently dislike new clothes, as I will simply get wet again as experimentation continues.  Though some objects for experimentation may be hard to come by (i.e. Mommy’s phone), opportunities will arise, and I will be undaunted. After all, I’m just a baby.

 

And yes, folks, all of this has happened, and no, I don’t know what to do about it without starving and dehydrating our poor dog, because if he can get to it, so can Finn. And DANG is that kid fast! Lord help me! 

So Many Ideas, So Little Brain…

Good Monday morning everyone!

I started thinking about what I was going to blog today, and my brain got super excited, thought of a bunch of ideas, and then went around flipping tables and spraying silly string everywhere.

Mentally anyways.

I have SO many ideas for posts today, and it drives me crazy because I just KNOW that next week I’ll have zero, zip, nada. And you may say, “Sheri, just write these ideas down, and you’ll have them for later.” And I will agree with you, and do just that. Then I’ll go back and look at those ideas I wrote down and find that the note may be there but the inspiration will be completely gone. GONE I SAY! But perhaps I’ll just make a note of the things you can look forward to here, and the inspiration just may stay. Or I’ll write a whole heckofa lot while I’m inspired and just schedule out my posts. You won’t know any different, right? 😉

Ok, get ready for the runaway train of thought. Consider yourself warned. I have recipes to post (YES! Finally!) but really one involves refilling your foaming soap containers (SPOILER ALERT – it involves soap and water), and the other is that beet and squash recipe I promised before Thanksgiving. Though it may need some tweaking still.

I want to update you all on our healthy endeavors, which include our …adventures? and attempts to cure my husband’s colitis as well as our thus far successful use of essential oils. Very exciting. OH! And I want to tell you about how we are starting to make our own probiotic foodstuffs… but … I actually need to make that stuff first. It’s just in it’s beginning stages now, but like I said, I’m excited.

I’m hoping to start doing some link-ups with other blogs, one involving G. K. Chesterton, which also places an emphasis on short and sweet, and if anyone needs practice with the short and sweet, it’s me, amIright? And at the end of every (or every other) month, I want to tell you about the books I’ve read, which will hopefully keep me on track for reading, not to mention spice up my reading list, since I don’t want to review just non-fictions books for you. That’s booooorinnnnnng…..

So hopefully you’ll get more than just one update this week. I tell you what, you pray for me and I’ll pray for you! Deal? Deal.

Till next time… whatever next time might offer!

-Sheri 🙂