Gideon’s First: Skyline Chili Experience

Yesterday afternoon was busy in a good way. First we attend Crossroads Health Center Open House for their new pediatric office on the west side in support of my brother-in-law, Kyle. Then we went to see Gideon’s great grandpa. If there is one thing that grandpa treasures and gets teary eyed for, it’s children. He may not say or seem to notice much, but his reflexes will sure kick in if one of his great grandkids takes a tumble. A great man that I could write a book about. We had a nice visit, and then we decided it was time for a trip to Skyline. For those of you not familiar with this restaurant, you have not completely experienced Cincinnati until you have tried skyline chili. So if you’ve been to Cincinnati and didn’t eat Skyline, your trip was obsolete. Just kidding.

We’re trying to get Gideon started off right. As a born cincinnatian, that means going to Skyline Chili. He seemed to enjoy it well enough for one who can only look at the food.

getting started off right.
getting started off right.
He chose the Chilito which is his father's favorite.
He chose the Chilito which is his father’s favorite.

Next major Cincinnati experience he must have: a Reds game. Very soon.


Gideon’s First: Mommy goes back to work, Washington Park, Bumbo time, and big boy bottles

Wow, that’s a mouthful.

This Week

1. I went back to work this week. I worked 4 hours on Tuesday and 4 hours on Saturday. Both times I felt like I was abandoning my child – which I was far from doing since both times I left Gideon at home with his daddy. Mommy guilt is a whole new animal beast that I’m learning to tame, and might possibly be the topic of a whole separate blog entry at some point. The fact is, I hated leaving my baby and being away from him. Every time I would look behind my shoulder in the car and see no carseat, my heart would skip a beat. “I forgot Gideon!”

If you are a full-time working mom I’m sure you’re probably thinking “Oh puh-leez. Cry me a river”. But I never ever claim to be a strong person, and I’ll openly confess that when it comes to Gideon I will probably be over the top. On Saturday I was able to keep it together a little better and only requested a picture once, and I’m sure each time will get “easier”.

I’m blessed with a flexible work schedule that I can modify weekly according to when it’s feasible for me. Daniel’s on a constant rotating schedule, so the plan is for me to work one day a week when he is off, so he can stay with Gideon. That way we can both work, but one of us will always be with him.

The bottom line for me is that I love my job and consider myself lucky to do what I do for a living; but my primary purpose and pleasure in life is being Gideon’s mother.

2. On Thursday I met a bunch of other mommies at the new and improved Washington Park. It’s such a great park! I’m so glad Gideon will get to grow up playing there. It’s right across the street from the Music Hall, and smack dab in an area rich with Cincinnati culture and architecture. I blame mommy brain for the absence of Gideon’s sunblock and a sunhat, but we still had a great time watching his friends and cousins splash, run, and have a good old time.

Gideon is always very serious and snugly when he wakes up from naps.
Gideon is always very serious and snugly when he wakes up from naps.
My SIL and friends enjoying the beautiful park.
My SIL and friends enjoying the beautiful park.

3. Gideon seems to like his Bumbo seat!

Gideon practices sitting AND grabbing his toes
Gideon practices sitting AND grabbing his toes

Gideon being cute

Just Today

4. Gideon isn’t a big fan of tummy time, but at least he’s aligned!

"this isn't fun"
Gideon TOLERATING tummy time.

But it’s slowly growing on him, and he tolerates up to 5 minutes of it at a time. Our chiropractor is going to offer a tummy time class in July that we might just go to. Speaking of chiropractor, Gideon saw ours for the third time today and LOVED it. He was cooing and peaceful the whole time, and he was NOT happy when the chiropractor was done and handed him off to Daniel. It wasn’t 10 minutes later and he was out like a light. If you have any questions or anything about pediatric chiropractic, let me know. It wasn’t long ago I was a nonbeliever, so I’m no expert but I’ll share what I know if you are interested!

5. Gideon got his 3 month shots (HIB and Pc), and his favorite toy for the day was one of my old measuring spoons from college.

Gideon has Tasmanian devils on his legs!
Gideon has Tasmanian devils on his legs!

6. Gideon has graduated his 5 oz bottles. Another milestone that I thought needed to be captured. He now takes big boy bottles. And in case you are curious, Gideon is now formula fed. It’s a long story, and I might write about it someday. Until then, if you have questions please feel free to ask. I’ve been through the ringer, and would love to be a support for you if you are having trouble breastfeeding.

First big boy bottles
First big boy bottles

That’s it for now, folks!

Father’s Day Weekend

This past weekend was quite eventful in the Gideon department. Every day I see him do new things, and he is constantly shocking the ‘rents with how smart and in-tune he is with the world around him. He is becoming more interested in whatever we are doing, and whatever is in our hands at the moment. If I’m eating, he reaches for my fork or my plate which he never did before. He is now reaching for his toes any chance he gets, rolling over, sleeping on his side, unswaddling himself 90% of the time, and belly laughing. We are so delighted. 

Gideon has also discovered his tongue. He realizes that he can stick it out and lift it up to the roof of his mouth, and make different sounds. He’s also found out that if he sticks his tongue out and blows, he can make all sorts of bubbles come out of his mouth! I’m ecstatic at his first attempts at raspberries, and I don’t even mind wiping slobber off his face every two minutes. The happier he is the more he vocalizes. The more he vocalizes the more slobber there is. The more slobber there is the more mommy gushes.

I’m sorry, but I’m going to be the mother who disregards how embarrassed her son is, and hug and kiss him silly when he gets dropped off at school. I’m just going to be. There’s no way around it. Maybe if he would stop being so cute and precious, I could get a grip on myself. Unfortunately for Gideon, that day will never come. 

So. As I was saying, this weekend was quite eventful. On Saturday he went shopping with me to Michaels, [almost Carters but I refrained], Bed Bath and Beyond, Bath and Body Works, and it wasn’t until the last of the “home” aisles at TJ Maxx that he started saying “mommy, don’t push it”. He’s such a good, big boy. Which reminds me that on Saturday he wore his first 3-6 month onesie, which he spat up on 3 hours later.

Gideon in his first 3-6 month onesie
Gideon in his first 3-6 month onesie

 Father’s Day was a total hit. Daniel only gets one First Father’s Day, so I wanted it to be perfect and memorable. It got off to a great start when Gideon surprised daddy in the morning with a celebratory onesie.

Happy First Father's Day!


Daniel received a baseball cap that says “Grateful Dad” which he loved, and a collage of all his favorite pictures with Gideon (pictures of them sleeping together, reading, chilling, eating) that says “Happy First Father’s Day -2013”, which I did not get a picture of. 

Also noteworthy, Gideon went to Sunday School for the first time in his life! He is blessed that his grandparents are the nursery teachers, and that his only classmate for now, is his cousin. Moriah was soo thrilled to have Gideon there. 

Gideon holds his B-I-B-L-E
Gideon holds his B-I-B-L-E
Did Gideon come to class?
Did Gideon come to class?
"Gigi! Gigi? Gigi?!" - Moriah
“Gigi! Gigi? Gigi?!” – Moriah

Dinner at the in-laws’ with the family was great. My mother-in-law made delicious herbal pasta with herbs from her own garden, delicious chicken and salad, and dessert that is out of this world. Gideon and his cousins had fun staring at each other, and Asher asked me to take a picture of them. He’s so proud of his “boy cousin”. I have a feeling Gideon is going to follow Asher around, and think he’s the coolest older boy in the world.

My two favorite little boys.
My two favorite little boys.
Daniel loves his great grandparents.
Gideon loves his great grandparents.
Proud daddy
Proud daddy
Gideon's pooped
Gideon’s pooped

Everyday Gideon and I are grateful for such a great dad and husband. We love you Daniel! How did you make your dad, husband’s Father Day special?


Book Review Series: #1 “The Vaccine Book” by Dr. Sears

Life with Gideon in it is exhausting, fun, and has caused me to re-evaluate my priorities. While writing on this blog is one of the last things I feel the need to check off my daily to-do list, when I do find the time it is so special and fun to me.

That being said, I love writing about my son. It’s one of my favorite things to do when I find time for myself in my busy days. But there are multiple things I want to use this blog for. I want to express my experiences as a mother, my views on things I believe are important and useful in life, my excitement over things I enjoy, and encourage others along the way. I owe so much of what I’ve learned and now use in my life as a person and parent to people around me. This blog is me paying it forward.

I can be really wordy and longwinded, so I’m going to cut to the chase. I love books. I love looking at them, smelling them, and yes, reading them. When I’m done with a book, I often find myself pondering on it. Was it “good”? What did I get from it? Was it convincing? Would I recommend it? You get the idea. So I’ve decided I’m going to start a book review series. Most of the books I’ll be reviewing for now are geared toward those who are expecting child, or are with child because that is the bulk of what I’ve been reading this last year. I am, however, really enjoying “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo. I read one chapter at a time when I find the time.

The first book I’ll be reviewing is a book that came highly recommended to me by my Bradley Method instructor Tracy Kemper. The book is called “The Vaccine Book” by Dr. Sears, a.k.a., Dr. Bob.
The Vaccine Book

Because most people interested in reading this entry are most likely mothers who don’t have time to read drawn out, formal book reviews, I’m going to keep these reviews short and sweet. Click here to get the intention, purpose, and theory from the author himself.

My opinion on:

1. His intentions, purpose, and theory:

  • Legit. The man is very wise and upfront. His popularity also speaks volumes. Thousands of parents trust his knowledge, and their children are perfectly healthy and thriving.
  • Empowering to parents. Physicians educate, parents decide. I love that about this book. He gives all the information he discovered after years and years of research, and it isn’t until the 18th chapter that he finally provides the vaccine schedule he recommends at his practice. He believes that parents have different [legitimate] reasons for feeling and doing what they do when it comes to vaccinating their children, and that parents know and will do what is best for their families. I’m all about physicians and authors who empower us as parents to follow our gut instincts.

2. Contents:

  • Thorough. On the link above is the book index of contents. It speaks for itself. There is a chapter for each vaccination, and each chapter is 6-8 pages long. That is 6-8 pages of information on one single vaccine. If you think you are well informed from the pamphlets given to you at your child’s vaccination appointments, you are partially correct. Dr. Sears breaks each chapter down into a description of the disease, its commonality, how the vaccine is made, ingredients of the vaccine by brand, controversial ingredients, and side effects of the vaccine. Most importantly, he gives a [seemingly] unbiased list of reasons why people decide their child should get their vaccine, and why others decide not to. Dr. Sears ends each chapter with a to-the-point section on “The way I see it”.
  • Organized. Manual-like. Practical. For those of us who don’t have time or desire to read these books cover to cover, he gives page numbers that allow you to skip around as you need to. For instance, if you are confused about how to follow Dr. Sears’ recommended vaccine schedule because your physician only carries combination vaccines, he tells you where to turn for information on this.

3. Research behind his alternative vaccine schedule.

  • Honest. Dr. Sears claims he spent many years investigating vaccines prior to writing the book. He is open and blunt about his frustration regarding the lack of evidence and quality studies done on the topic of things like toxicity in children given small doses of aluminum intravenously.
  • He says he spent 14 years researching. I believe him!

4. Dr. Bob’s Complete Alternative Vaccine Schedule.

  • It is not drastically different than the AAP vaccine schedule. Actually, I learned that no schedule can be drastically different than the next.
  • The main difference is that he spaces out the vaccines a little more. As Dr. Bob puts it “If some of the theoretical problems with the vaccines are real, this schedule circumvents most of them. If the problems aren’t real, then the only drawback is the extra time, effort, and cost for the additional doctor’s office visits.” Lucky for me, convenience is not a priority when it comes to Gideon’s health.
  • I believe this schedule takes all the facts, and does the best job at preventing any issues that may arise from toxicity (which has not been researched to Dr. Bob’s liking) or overloading a child with vaccines at one time. He also is very adamant about giving children their vaccines in order of importance or need based on age and risk factors in the child’s life.
  • I don’t believe that this vaccine schedule is the be all end all of vaccine schedules. God has the tiny little babies in His hands, whether they get their shots or not. Parents love their children and know what is best for them. Personally, I’m grateful God gave me a discerning mind, and a desire to be very involved in my son’s health care. In terms of  vaccine schedules for Gideon  I trust what Dr. Bob’s schedule is based on, and I follow it as much as possible. Gideon’s pediatrician offers some combination vaccines, so we will adapt the schedule as we go and space the vaccines out as much as possible.


Enough of that!

It broke my heart when Gideon got his first shot. He got this spooked look on his face, his eyes grew twice their size (it’s possible!), and he let out a heartbroken wail like saying “why did she just hurt my leeeeg?!” Two seconds later he was fine. I had him curled up in my arms, and he was looking up at me whimpering, with his adorable signature pouty lower lip. “why did she do that, mommy?” You’d have thought his feelings were hurt, not his little leg.

How did you child react to his/her first shots? What do you think about vaccines? Lots? Nothing? I want to know! 🙂

Gideon’s First: Trip to Ikea and Bass Pro Shop

Two very important stores in our little family of three. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera with me. Daniel has “given me permission” to purchase a small camera that is little and portable, so that I can document moments with Gideon that either cute, firsts, or both while we’re out of the house. I’m so excited!

As I was saying, Gideon got to go to two of our favorite stores today for the first time. Our first stop was at Ikea where we purchased an owl rack from the kids’ section and a  picture frame that is going to be part of a special gift for someone [note the secrecy]. I’d had my eye on the owl hanger for a while, and just didn’t see anything I liked better. I am going to place it behind the door in the nursery to hang the Moby, Seven Slings, and the Ergo. Till now they’ve sat in a messy pile in the corner, and now they’ll have a home! I think I might re-paint the owls though. Too pastel for my taste. We’ll see. I may decide my time is better spent on other projects.

We ate an early dinner at Logan’s Roadhouse, and it was delicious. Everyone who walked by our table asked us how old Gideon is, and commented on how cute he is and how big his eyes are. He is quite the little charmer. On the way home, we stopped by my in-laws and Gideon got to chat with his grandparents for a while. He loves them! To wrap up a fun day, he drank every last drop of 7 oz and went to sleep at 8:00 PM, which is the earliest he’s went down for the night. Such a great baby!

At any rate, I’m for sure going to write a blog entry specifically about the nursery, and all the special details. A lot of love and hard work went into it, and I want to make sure it all gets documented, and credit is given to everyone who helped make Gideon’s room as neat as it is. I realize I’m running super behind on blog entries. The list of things I want to write about keeps getting longer, and nothing gets marked off. It’s part of being a mom, I suppose. The intent is always there, but follow through is a little weak these days. I’ll work on that.

So this entry isn’t 100% disappointing, a few pictures of Gideon wearing some of my favorite socks of his. High tops straight from Bolivia.

Gideon is daddy's little guy
Gideon is daddy’s little guy
Gideon is a dude
Gideon is a dude

Gideon’s First: Trip to the Zoo

Daniel was itching to take Gideon to the Zoo. So yesterday morning we went online and purchased a family pass to the fantastic Cincinnati Zoo. We thought everything would go smoothly. We had our passes, it was a week day, temps were in the 70’s, and there was not a cloud in the sky. We were completely wrong. Both zoo parking lots were completely full. Lines of cars were stopped and blocking traffic to get a word with the people guarding the lot entrances.

We spent about 20 minutes driving through the narrow streets of Avondale, until we finally found a spot about a quarter of a mile up the [steep] hill from the zoo. So our legs got a little more of a workout than we expected. The weather was great, so we didn’t mind one bit. We were determined to have a good time.

Our determination to make the zoo visit memorable really payed off. We had a great time, and got to see a lot of the baby animals that made their debuts this spring. We enjoyed a yummy lunch in one of the outdoor dining areas, and then Gideon fell asleep in the Moby while we were in the nocturnal animal building. He slept through the wrap – carseat transition, and didn’t wake up until a few minutes after we got home.

Gideon and the camels
Gideon and the camels
Gideon and Papi and the Andean Condor
My almost 3 month old holding his own bottle!
Papi and Gideon monkey butt getting burped.
Mami and Gideon see Gladys the Gorilla!

It was a great day that I never want to forget. The first of many trips to the zoo with my son!

A Day With Gideon at 2 Months

Consists of waking up to the sound of Gideon’s whimpering/calling me to feed him over the baby monitor, followed by two to three hours of snoozing and snuggling in bed together. After his 2nd or 3rd breakfast, we get the day started by opening the curtains and blinds, and having a little morning chat with Mr. [Ceiling] Fan. Then Gideon will recline on his Boppy and watch a little Baby Einstein while I get ready and pick up the bedroom.

Baby Einstein in the morning
Baby Einstein in the morning

After a chatty diaper change we move to the downstairs of the house where Gideon watches me have a quick breakfast before his world starts falling apart from boredom. Weather permitting, I’ll stick him in the Moby and we’ll take a mile-long walk down our street, and learn about trees, and birds, and deer, and rabbits, and … Gideon will conk out and take his morning nap.

My puppy sleeps in the Moby
My puppy sleeps in the Moby


After that, we might get in the car and go run some errands. Gideon loves being in his carseat. If we don’t put him in the car fast enough, he lets us know we need to hurry it up. Gideon especially loves the speed of the interstates, which as a mother causes me to wonder whether I will allow him to drive. Ever.

Gideon likes his carseat

I’m glad I’m writing this, because it reminds me that I need to get out-and-about pictures. It just gets complicated when one does not own a smartphone, and carrying a T2i around is just not practical. But try, I will.

Once we get home, he’ll eat and crash.

Gideon Naps in his Rock N' Play

Unless we have other plans, the rest of the day is pretty much spent playing and eating and napping and repeating. Daniel and I get so excited whenever Gideon starts doing something new. Whether he makes a new sound, manipulates a new toy, or engages socially with us in a new way, we find ourselves wasting enjoying the hours away watching him – mystified.

Gideon Plays Hard
Gideon plays so hard, I can’t get a clear image.

We love to end the day on a good, peaceful note. One of Daniel’s favorite things to do with Gideon is read books. They read a LOT of books together.

Gideon loves this book. My parents recorded their voices reading him the story in spanish. He listens so intently.
Gideon loves this book. My parents recorded their voices reading him the story in spanish. He listens so intently.

And then it’s  time for bed.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t do a good enough job journaling life with Gideon as an infant. Among other purposes, this blog really serves as a journal for me. It’s a place that can’t be burned, ruined by a spilled water, or forgotten in some trunk in the basement. This blog is always here, just a click away. And something tells me that years from now, I’ll be super glad I blogged about things like what we did during the day when he was tiny. Information that might be silly to some, is going to be of great value to me. Just like those little receiving blankets and baby socks you put in a memory box.

If you have/had a little one around 3 months old, I welcome ideas of creative ways to teach him about the world, and engage him. I find myself going online to look up games and things. But I would appreciate some knowledge from actual mommies even more!