Saturday, August 30, 2008

Trip to Minnesota... again!

Steven Jr. and I will be taking the train to Minnesota on Sept. 2nd and coming back on the train on Sept. 13th. I'll be working 5 days at my aunt's tax office. My sister's having her third baby Sept. 10th and I'll be able to spend a few days with my family and the new baby. Looking forward to visiting again!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer

I recently read "The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" by Tracy Hogg. I thought I'd give my feedback on the book, for those of you who are interested.

The book seemed to take a middle ground between what's known as "Attachment Parenting" and "BabyWise". She seems to take some ideas from each philosophy and tries to create a happy balance. AP (Attachment Parenting) is about following the baby's leading, taking advantage of every opportunity to hold your child and keep him happy, often feeding more than is necessary (according to Ezzo and Hogg). Babywise comes across as more rigid, although it tries to claim the middle ground. Babywise advocates a schedule, while although it can be flexible, the book still proclaims how important it is not to deviate from the schedule. Hogg is for a routine, but not a schedule, she's against co-sleeping (same as Ezzo) and is very clear that we should treat babies as people: with respect, something that isn't hit home as hard in either AP or Ezzo's theories.

Hogg has an acronym she uses for the parents schedule: E.A.S.Y. Eat. Activity. Sleep. You. This is very simular to Ezzo's concept, although less rigid. Eat: Feed the baby, make sure he gets full. Activity: Change his diaper, play with him, bathe him, etc., etc. Sleep: Nap time for baby. You: now take care of you: recharge. The cycle should repeat itself every 2 1/2 - 3 hours. I've found with Steven that this type of routine is beneficial for us both.

Hogg uses another acronym for how to respond to your baby's cries. Here she takes an obvious middle ground between Ezzo's cry-it-out (he says it's fine for babies to cry even up to 45 minutes when trying to fall asleep) and AP's don't-let-them-cry (often feeding the baby any time they start to cry, regardless of when they were last fed). Her acronym is S.L.O.W. S:Slow Down. L:Listen. O:Observe. W:(I think it was) Other Ways to Evaluate. Slow Down: According to Hogg, too many parents hear their baby cry and immediately start feeding him. She says to slow down for a minute. Listen: Take a minute to really listen to your baby. Hogg is very against letting them cry-it-out, but she insists upon taking a minute to listen, is this a hunger cry? a pain cry? a tired cry? because baby's cries are different. Observe: Observe your child's behavior and body language. Is he rubbing his eyes? yawning? rooting? sucking his fingers? Other Ways to Evaluate: Because you're following E.A.S.Y., you'll know how long it's been since he's eaten and about how long until he'll be hungry again, you'll know when he last napped and about when he should be ready for another one, etc. You can use this to pinpoint why your baby's crying. Then respond and meet that need.

Hogg is just as against co-sleeping as is Ezzo, and for the same stated reasons, as it creates unhealthy sleep patterns, they say. Personally, I can see that if you train a baby to sleep with you at night, then that is what he will come to expect. Same with if you train him to sleep alone: he will come to expect that. I think there is a lot to say on either side of the issue, but a lot depends upon parent's preference. And every single thing we do with our baby is just that: training. Hogg does a good job of giving parents perspective in this regard. She has a saying: Start as you plan to go on, or something to that effect.

Overall, Tracy uses common sense when it comes to dealing with babies: treat them as people. In my opinion, she takes it a little far when she says you need to ask your baby permission to enter into their "circle", but basically she has good, common-sense ideas for interacting with your baby.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Scroll down and look for "Giggles by Steven Jr." for a cute video of Steven and Joanna giggling together.

Carr Update #40

It's been busy trying to get back into life again here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Finally I'm able to sit down and give a little update:

On Growing:
Last time he was weighed, which has been a few weeks now, he weighed in at just over 15 lbs. He's about 24 inches long now, and is still very strong. He can roll over multiple times now. He can lift his upper body and shift himself to either side to change the direction he facing. When I lay him on the floor on a blanket, if he wants, within seconds he's on his stomach and no longer on the blanket, he's getting to be more and more mobile everyday. He's trying so hard to crawl! He kicks his legs and can lift up off of them. He's got the strength, he just needs the coordination of his legs and arms together.

On ECing~
The past week or so we've had more days, I think, with 3-6 wet/dirty diapers instead of 1-3 a day. I did count one day to see how many times he went in a 24-hour period, as I was getting asked that often. He went about 20 times in 24 hours. So I guess 3-6 misses per day still means 14-17 times that I got him to the potty. Lately he seems to prefer the toilet to pee in over his potty chair. He'll still go pee in his potty chair, but he'll go much quicker on the toilet. Not sure why that is...

On Working:
Sven's enjoyed the work opportunity at the Seminary library. Soon it'll be wrapping up for the summer. He's hoping to get a new job very soon.

On School:
Sven's summer class will be ending at the end of next week. At the end of August, he'll start a full load at Kuiper for the fall semester.

On Sewing:
I've enjoyed sewing a couple diapers for a friend who recently had a baby. I'm looking forward to some more projects (each day when I have time).

Friday, August 8, 2008


My mom and I had been trying to devise a way for me to go to MN for our family reunion. It had looked like we had exhausted every option, and then, very last minute, things worked out for Sven to drive us to Chicago (my parent’s paid for gas) and then Steven and I boarded the Amrak (my aunt paid for the ticket) and rode to Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable the ride was, even in spite of various delays and getting in about 1 ½ hours late.

I spent time with family and friends and enjoyed the family reunion immensely. Steven and I missed Sven, though. Steven smiled when he got to hear his daddy on the phone.

I put in some hours at my aunt’s tax office, which was enjoyable. Everyone there enjoyed Steven and I had to intervene once because they weren’t “sharing” him.

I only was able to visit briefly with my church family in Hinckley, but enjoyed the time that I had with them. Steven and I saw our good friend, Dr. Lezlie, who we refer to as “The Greatest Chiropractor in the World”. (Sven and I still haven’t figured out a good plan for kidnapping her and bringing her here to Michigan.)

Steven did great with his ECing while aboard the train and in Minnesota. We had at least one day where he was in the same diaper all day.

On Monday, July 21st, Steven and I rode back home to Michigan with Sven’s parents, Kevin & Kathy. Steven did very well during the long car ride, considering. Steven turned 4 months old during our few days home in MI.

Dad & Mom Carr stayed with us a few days and we enjoyed their company very much. Saturday, July 26th, we all (Sven included) piled in a little larger car (Dad & Mom Carr rented one) and headed out toward Buffalo, NY. Again, Steven did very well traveling, considering.

Dad & Mom Carr took us to some Carr sites: various graveyards and places Dad remembered from growing up. We enjoyed the Carr Family Reunion on Sunday, July 27th. We spent the next two days visiting with Mom Carr’s family and celebrated her nephews 40th birthday. We also took some time to see Niagara Falls. We enjoyed our time very much with all our family.

Wednesday, July 30th, we arrived back at our home. We had a wonderful time with family and friends. Steven and I have had enough traveling for a little while!