pulling the plug

Audrey never seemed really attached to her “plug” as we call it or pacifier. I popped one into her mouth the first night in the hospital and she was a sucker for that sucker. But it continually grew into something only used during bedtime or to literally plug her when she was crying.

Wubbanub Pacifier - Yellow DuckThen we got the Wubbanub’s. I love these little critters and would highly suggest them. A friend bought Audrey her first one and it was so long Soothie’s and hello duck.

It turned more into a fixation on the animal, not the actual pacifier. She would pet it, eat it, talk to it and most recently, she would have to lay the duck over her eyes to go to sleep. I would have to leave the room laughing every time.

Chris and I (more dad than mom) have agreed on not letting her get attached to the plug. We’ve seen 2, 3 and sometimes 5-year-olds who can talk and ride bikes but have a constant pacifier in their mouth.

Again, I wasn’t too concerned about Audrey until recently. Still a bedtime user, she started walking up to her crib and grabbing her duck through the open bars when she was playing. She would start crying for it and immediately when I gave her it, she would be content. I knew she was growing quite attached to the plug.

Chris has been saying for months to pull the plug, but maybe I was attached to it too. It was the one thing that made her relax when mommy needed her to.

And I knew my husband was right, but then I read an article in Parents that pushed me just enough over the edge to say “OK, that’s it. Binky is gone.” That is what always happens. You don’t think YOU have it like other parents and that it will be easy for you or different for you. I was clearly avoiding that we had an attachment already.

However, when the sub-paragraph topic is “Reality Bites” and right under it is written, “…the downside of life with Binky surfaces. Maybe your child cries every time the pacifier falls out of her mouth and onto the floor, which means you’re bumbling around in the dark at 4 a.m., searching for the one thing that will soothe her.”

Dang it. That was us almost every night. Audrey actually started playing a game where she would throw it out of the crib to get us to go in her room and give it back to her, only for her to throw it out again.

I knew that the older a child gets, the harder it is to take anything away or introduce new things. I was thinking by age one I would take it away, but seeing that I had an already very smart daughter who plays me like a fool, I decided now would be better than later.

Yesterday was the first day and I did OK. Of course this is more about me than Audrey. I am the one who has to listen to her cry and I’m just yearning for peace and quiet. Temptation is pulling me closer and closer to just giving in.

For the first nap, she cried for about 30 minutes. The second nap, she cried for about 20 minutes. At bedtime, I gave in, but she wasn’t too interested in the plug.

We will work at it again today. Bye-bye Binky...it is kind of sad.


educate me

 There is so much to start thinking about. As soon as Audrey came into the world, we were working on her development and education. The older she gets, the more we find ourselves talking about college, homeschooling, tutors, etc…  It is mind boggling. Join in on the conversation and tell me what you think.


Educational programs to “advance” your child start as early as infancy. I’ve spoken before about Your Baby Can Read , a program claiming that your 8-month-old will start reading. Chris and I doubted that, but saw Audrey had a strong liking to the pictures, colors and songs in the videos. The program is now being sued for misleading claims. 

While my husband and I agree that Audrey probably won’t start reading extra early from watching the videos, we don’t find that having her watch a little bit at a time is harmful. She has learned waving, clapping  and singing/dancing from the videos. That isn’t a bad thing. But we do agree that television can be harmful when it is used as distraction. I am guilty of it, but trying my best to just have her watch the short 30 min. film every day or other day.

Another topic at large here in my town is homeschooling. Homeschooling wasn’t too popular when I was growing up in the suburbs, but now with the poor educational system filling way too many children in the classroom and most of the time not living up to teaching our children what needs to be taught, homeschooling is booming. I know a number of children that were or are being homeschooled. They are all very intelligent and mature for their age. But the large responsibility falls on the parent teaching. I don’t know how good I would be at that.

The only thing I argue against homeschooling is that the child is missing the social aspect (which for me, was a fundamental to the shaping of who I am today). Extra curricular activities, friendships, passing notes, watching games, makeups and breakups, the outfits and peer pressure. All those things I find vital to growing up.

Chris and I have talked about charter schools. We both love the idea. Basically a private school without the tuition. That is our favorite choice.

Other topic is tutoring. A number of private tutoring, test preparation and college planning companies have come about since my high school years. I took part in a program which assisted with those things, as well as assistance in getting scholarships. An example would be StudyPoint, which provides in-home, one-on-one tutoring  for grades K-12, as well as test prep, free college information, etc… StudyPoint has been growing immensely with clients and all over the news including being one of Inc.’s 5000 fastest growing companies for the last four years.

I didn’t have the best luck with the program that I did, but they were new then and it seems now parents are doing whatever they can to ensure a good education for their children (again, because they don’t feel like their children are getting the one-on-one education they need).

That is what is in the topic hole for education. So many things to think about. We’re not obsessing about having a genius child (OK, maybe just a little), but we want to provide the best education for her.

He is risen and so did my cake!

He is risen. What a wonderful day! And my lemon-ginger bundt cake turned out fabulous (first cake from scratch!)

The ABC family was blessed to have both families and close friends join in for an Easter celebration in our little cottage. We’ve got the smallest house and I’m always the one wanting to throw the biggest parties.

Typical spring weather had the sun popping in and out, but mostly spring showers which kept us all inside. Eh, we’re all family pretty much, so the closer the better =)

Audrey was adorned in her Janie & Jack navy dress and headband made my friend, Terra. She loved Easter. She ate a whole bunch of deviled eggs and bundt cake, got a ton of books and movies, and then settled down for her second long nap. Audrey especially loves spending time with her family. She stole the show.

Although I am exhausted and have way too many high calorie, yummy leftovers, I’ve still got champagne in my glass and a smile on my face. How blessed are we? Not only that He is risen, completely taken care of us and knows us so well (even if we don’t know Him). Furthermore, to have such wonderful family and friends! It is special when you can get pretty much everyone you care about the most in one room.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter.

 Love, ABC
Strawberry Crepes
Eggs Benedict Casserole
Watch out Martha…but thanks for the recipe! Lemon-Ginger Bundt Cake

life with lemons

I absolutely love lemons. Maybe it correlates to the fact that yellow is my favorite color. Real lemons or fake ones. They bring zest to life! I say, “When life gives you lemons, there is a lot more you can do than just lemonade!” I get the Costco bag and go crazy.

Here are a few ways to put some zest in your life. In this dreary spring weather, it will keep you sunny. 

[eat um up]

Yep, these little suckers are good for you! Loaded with Vitamin C, they have strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers and have been known to assist in weight loss working as a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Lemon is also a diuretic. This means it is good for people with urinary tract infections and high uric acid problems, such as those with arthritis or rheumatism because it helps flush out all the toxins and bad bacteria. Even nausea, fevers, constipation and hiccups are said to get better with a little lemon. 

I always take a fresh one out for the day and put it on the cutting board. Throughout the day, I take little slices and add them to my water, tea or coffee, get to smell the fragrance and have a little taste once in awhile.

Skip the dressing (and calories) and use lemon juice for a sure sign in weight loss if you are dressing hog like me.

Read more: http://health.learninginfo.org/health-benefits-lemons.htm

[center of your life]

Lemon table centerpiece adds a pop of bright color. You can get authentic lemons at a number of craft or decor stores such as Michael’s or Pier One. 

[just a squirt]

Lemons as a garnish are just perfect. It allows for a gorgeous touch of color to any food, fruit platter or dessert…or drink! I can adorn almost any food spread with lemons. 

[the basics]

lemon zest added to cooking…add it to everything for a topper and a zing for your taste buds  
This was an obsession of my MIL & SIL and now has carried onto me
Just another way to have fun with lemons  
Blondes already have more fun and now we get to add lemon juice to our hair for a natural highlighter! I’ve been doing this since I was little and it adds a perfect amount of summer shine to your hair

 Read here: http://www.lhj.com/style/hair/advice/do-it-yourself-summer-highlights/

and for fun, I’m making this for Easter. Lemon dessert is so much better.

Lemon-Ginger Bundt Cake by Martha

More lemon ideas? let me know below!