Thursday, February 28, 2008

Some Cool Mommy Finds!

There have been some items that have been given to me, or I've been told about that have changed the way I have seen and/or experienced motherhood. Some of these is my Moby wraps, the electric swing when she was smaller, the Excer-saucer, The Pacifier and Swaddling. Here are a few of my most recent finds though:

I was told about this book by Leah's sister, Kelty. It is truly empowring and inspiring to read about the research this lady has done on how Motherhood can make you smarter! Generations of mothers have been told—and believed—that having a baby means checking their own brains at the delivery room door. “The Mommy Brain” usually refers to a head full of feeding times, soccer schedules, and nursery rhymes, at the expense of creative or challenging ideas.

I like the book because she references hundreds of legitimate social and neurological studies that back up her conclusions that Motherhood increases your abilities in efficiency (including learning and memory), your motivation, your stress-coping mechanisms and your social skills or emotional intelligence.
Here are some of my favorite points:
"There are many surprising and fundamental ways in which, despite all the boring time you now have to spend picking up Lego bits from the floor, the experiences of having and rearing children can stimulate and enrich your brain and make you smarter."

"The definition of 'smart': [in Merriam-Webster's] is "causing a sharp stinging." What better description of children! They really tax you, push you to grow mentally. I felt smarter primarily because I could feel myself learning all kinds of new things at what seemed to me like an unprecedented rate. I was learning, and still am learning lessons every day about what we think of as "emotional intelligence"--how to understand and manage one's own and others' feelings. And I didn't get thrown so much by distractions, because there were so many, and I got used to them."

"There are concrete changes to the brain during motherhood. Having dissected rats' brains scientists found that during pregnancy there was a tremendous blossoming of what are called dendritic spines--the parts of the neurons that reach out and form synapses, necessary for new learning. (During the third trimester of pregnancy the human brain can shrink up to 7% in preparation to go into hyper drive after delivery!). Dr. Kinsley compares it to a computer acquiring extra bandwidth to help it run more than one program at a time. There has also been some intriguing recent research on the impacts of two hormones important to motherhood, oxytocin and prolactin, on mental functioning--specifically, learning and memory and the reduction of fear and anxiety.

"I would say that there is likley no better thing you can do for your brain than to have a child.

"New mothers tend to make extraordinary kinds of friendships, based on their deep need for other people. Research shows that it is great for your brain to make and keep strong social connections. It's also probably good for your children. One study on baboons in the wild found that the more social the mothers were, the better their babies' chance of survival."

"In one study, researchers found that pregnant women overwhelmingly felt they were weaker in mental strengths, such as focus and memory, whereas tests showed they weren't. The researchers speculated that this might be because of what they had internalized about others' expectations. One legacy of feminism has been this uncomfortableness about women rearing children and getting close to children. We've come to see our children taking things away from us, and we've lost the sense of how much they're adding to us, as people, as thinkers."

So, it's under a dollar on and With shipping, it's less than a dessert - so treat yourself and get empowered!

This next one is also something I got on I was impressed with the book that comes along with it and the research they've done in making these CDs. From research by linguist experts, speech pathologists, and other language professionals, they have found that babies onlyhave a short window of time to pick up specific sounds in language. For example, because you don't have to distinguish between l and r in Japanese and chinese, people that learn english later on in life have difficulty hearing such sounds. Same with english people learning the rolling r in Italina or spanish - or the tones in Chinese!
After that window of time that the brain learns such sounds in lanuage, it is difficult for people to hear the differences in certain sounds and thus, when they learn a foreign language later in life, they speak with an accent!
"Before they focus in on their native language, babies have an amazing ability to hear and absorb sounds that adults unconsciously block out, like the subtleties of a foreign language." They have the CD in several different languages like Chinese, French, Italian, and Spanish where they introduce the sounds of these languages and “lock in” a child's ability to learn these sounds.
I just play the CD for her 3-4 times a week so she can hear the different sounds of the Chinese language with the right accent. Hopefully she'll be able to speak Chinese without the funny accent that I have! Trey speaks regularly to her in Chinese too.

This is a video that my Mom sent me and Trey and I were blown away! It is truly incredible. Just watch the movie and see!
Click on the logo above, If that doesn't work, Click here

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Weekend with DDaddy and Nana

I feel bad, I haven't blogged about our good times in Ila Georgia with D-Daddy and Nana! Their hospitality was again unmatched, with unbelievable amounts of good food and love. It was a little strained because Trey and Brooklyn were sick while we were there, but it was still great to be with them and I enjoyed the true southern experience for the Cunuck in me! I am still amazed by the south when I go down to visit them. It truly is as different from what I know as Australia or any part of Europe! Their language, customs and food are totally foreign and wonderful!

We got 13lbs of pecans from these people. True small town Southerners!

We passed this food stand on our way home and I had to get a photo because it is basically D-Daddy's kitchen!

Now I know where Trey got his knack for charming the ladies! D-Daddy picked these from a bush next to their house. Can you believe it! Flowers like that in February! Now that's southern living!

She is SOOOO Cute!

Brooklyn is still feeling sick and isn't as smiley as she was prior to last Friday. It makes me so sad! The following pictures are from right before we left on our trip and they just capture our gorgeous ball of smiles that we love so much! She is slowly coming back. She smiled a lot more today than yesterday.
Our Friends Melanie and Zach gave us this Onsie. How did they know it would
be so perfect for her!


I know there are a lot of bath photos on this blog but she is just sooo Cute!!!

P.S. anyone know any secrets for getting rid of diaper rash? The drugs at the hospital must have done something funky to her poop because she has open sores on her bum and it's so sad!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Brooklyn's first visit to the ER );

We felt like this picture summed it all up:

Last Friday afternoon, Brooklyn started to come down with a fever. We were in Ila, Georgia visiting D-Daddy and Nana for winter break. I called our doctor and my good friend Leah who has two little girls. I was nearly in tears when I got a hold of her and luckily her husband who is a doctor was home and he gave me some great advice that helped us nurse her through the night, but in the morning there was more mucus in her lungs and her fever was at 102 degrees, so we decided to take her into the clinic to make sure she didn't have RSV or any other dangerous bug. The clinic sent us straight to the ER when they saw her condition though and we ended up having to stay the night. it was basically 24 hours that felt like the picture above: a blur full of tears (both baby and Mommy), worry and confusion.

As you can tell, Brooklyn was pretty miserable. They couldn't find any veins in her arms or lets to put the IV and draw blood, so they had to put it in her head! It was so sad! She wasn't our usual smiley, happy baby girl and it was scary! Since she had a 104.9 degree fever when we came in and cold barely breath when she tried to cry, they took a lot of tests and kept her overnight, but after her fever broke at about 8:30pm Saturday, she was fine except for a mucussy cough that continues still.

We stayed at D-Daddy and Nana's one more night after we got home from the hospital and got home last night. She was still recuperating as you can tell! Nana was a great help, so it was really a blessing we were with them through this trauma!
When we got home, Judy had set up a brand new humidifier in Brooklyn's room and she loved it! She has happier than I had seen her in days so that made me happy. It hurt my heart to see our baby so miserable!
Today she is feeling a lot better and smiles when I go in to find her awake in her crib and as she plays in her exer-saucer and when we look at her.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Garth Brookes at the Grand Ole Oprey!

Trey's good friend, Graham got us tickets to a charity event that his Dad organized where Garth Brooke's played at the Grand Ole Oprey, probably the most famous country venue in the world! It was incredible and great to see our good friend Graham!

Smiles for Life is an awesome charity where Dentists donate all proceeds of teeth whitening to a charity for children. It is linked with Garth Brookes' charity, Teammates for Kids.

We had second row seats, but decided to sit nearer the back so it wasn't too loud for Brooklyn. We still kept her ears covered the whole time and eventually she fell asleep in her sling on me!

Junior High Basketball - Team BYU by Coach Clark!

Trey and his "Bro" The boy in the hat was sick the day they lost
(As you can see, his height really helped in getting those rebounds!)

Logan, Trey's little brother got a group of kids together to play in a little basketball tournament the junior high had. The rule was you had to get one faculty member to sponsor the team and that faculty member could play. The adult could only score 10 points and get 10 rebounds though. Well, Logan is in 6th grade and strategically compiled a team of the shortest kids he could find, so when they went up against 8th grade teams, they could out-maneuver them like Rocky against Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV .

Team BYU was in the white T-shirts

They ended up getting to the Final 4, which was a total miracle because they were half the size of all of their opponents. Trey was an Awesome (added by Paige) coach but his strategy of "run around for 20 minutes and not let anyone else touch the ball" worked over the course of a 3 game winning streak, until they went up against a team of 8th graders that had been held back for 2 years for excessive use of HGH. Missing one of their only two players that eclipsed the 5 foot mark to a horrific bout of dining- hall- induced diarrhea, BYU fell to Georgetown losing by 10; ending their assault on the record books (fewest points scored ever). (as you can tell, Trey has helped with some of these entries!)

A few Firsts!

First Tooth, First Snowfall, and First time Mommy has had a few minutes to get things done while Brooklyn is awake!

First snowfall Good Handle of her fingers and spit bubbles

Brooklyn experienced her first Tennesse Snowfall and Cold weather this January. It was 30 degrees at it's coldest I think, so we got to use her winter clothes, like the adorable bunting sack from Judy and her cute Hat D-Daddy got embroidered for her and matching sweater. She is also very good at picking things up and grabbing things with her little fingers!

Brooklyn demonstrating a move taught to her by her daddy to be used whenever a boy tries to get too fresh with her (see left picture, right hand)

One of the biggest changes to our routine since returning from Canada is Brooklyn has a new toy and we Love it! This is the newest "Baby Find" I've realized Mom's really shouldn't go without! The Exer-saucer! I received one at the Sip n' See that we had in December from Gail, Sissy and Linda and it is a life-saver! It's the first thing that I've found that I can put her in and she can play on her own for over half an hour! As you can tell, she loves it as much as I do!