Thursday, December 31, 2009


I know people may judge me for this entry, but I am just going to say it anyway. This is the poorest I have ever been and I could not be happier. Having entered the work field right after college I was always making average income. Now (since May) I work on my own schedule for various sources and I am below middle income. I am happier now because I get to spend more time with my family, I don't stress about who I work with, and I get to choose when, how, and what to work on.
BUT, I am also happy because of my low income. Prior to being at this income level I never set a budget, I never thought about passing on something I wanted, I never limited when I ate out or other various things. I think it would be an insult to those with less than me to call myself poor, just as I am insulted when those with more than me think they are poor, but at this income level I am able to recognize what basic needs are and meet them. I have always been a stuff person and now I able to let things go, sell things, return things. This might be weird to say, but prior to this year I never even looked at the price tags in grocery stores or large chain department stores because I knew whatever was in the basket I could afford. Prior to this year I did not wait to save up for a piece of furniture, I just bought one when I found one I liked. I like that I am now thrifty and a great shopper. Making money is fun. I didn't realize I had to be limited to find this out. When and if I start to make more income I truly hope I don't lose my mentality that I have now. I hope I just put the extra into saving (because that is something I never did before and can't do much of now). In the end I am making more than I or my family needs to survive. Everyone reading this blog entry could say the same thing.
P.S.- I'm reading "The Life You Can Save," by Peter Singer and it may have some influence on what I just wrote.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Link at 5 months

Link at 5 months has excellent sitting and picking up and switching hands skills.
Link is as close to rolling over as he is to getting his toes in his mouth (he can stick his tongue out and touch.
Link eats a few teaspoons of these foods: apple, banana, mango, strawberry, vegetable soup, mashed potatoes and thanks to my sister, frosting.
Still only two bottom teeth. Which match the two cuts on the bottom of my nips.
His hair is coming in strong all over. His 6 months clothes are finally to small.
He loves toys.

Sicky, Sicko, and Sickish

The Durbin three have yet to shake this virus, although symptoms have lessened. To show you how extreme this cold is, Bryce got a Wii for Christmas and it hasn't even come out of the box yet.

My favorite gift, thus far, was the gps from my parents. The Durbin's also rocked with very thoughtful gifts like knitting needles and a book on socks. It was a super Christmas with great interactions with my family and Bryce's.

Linda, the notorious bad gift giver, didn't do so bad. She gave me a Hallmark Rockin Rover which I already sold on e-bay for $17. I'm sure she got it for free.

Link got SO much stuff. I took a picture, but our card reader is not working at the moment. I think with the stuff we return (just a couple of items that require batteries) we will purchase Link a small toy box. Then maybe we can have our living room back.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Crusties in Kentucky: Adventures with Lincoln

When Link sneezed two snot globs across the room at Uncle Ken's home in Kentucky, I knew we were in for a long vacation. The next morning Link's eyes were matted shut and nose crusted over. Traveling with a kid provides some challenges, traveling with a sick kid provides a few more. Here are some things I learned.

1. Contact solution breaks down proteins and thus eye boogers and nose boogers. A squirt up the nose and a finger smear on the eyes does wonders. I worked out the goo in the eyelashes as we nursed. A suction ball took care of the nose.

2. Car seats are great for upright sleep and a clearing of the sinuses. We bypassed the co-sleeping for the car seat. A lot of sleep is done for the body to recover. It seemed like Link was up only about 3 hours a day. It would have been great for travel days of rest and relaxing. Not great days for sightseeing. We bypassed any activities outside of Papa's house so Link could get all the rest he could.

3. If you were not sick before baby got sick, you will be after.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

advent calendar recap

We very much enjoyed some new traditions such as the Holiday Train, eating gingerbread men from Pedretti's, playing dreidel, etc.

Things we didn't do that we missed was singing Handel's messiah, attending a Christmas service, sledding, decorating cookies.

Things that came prior to advent, but could have been included were making a gingerbread house and putting up the Christmas tree.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Advent Calendar day 25

Spend Christmas with the family (Durbin side).

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A toast to Mary

To a women who had the pressure of going through labor and delivery of GOD! Who did a home birth without a midwife. Who did attachment with parenting with GOD. Who restrained GOD in swaddling clothes. Who fed GOD with her milk. Who co-sleep with God. You Go"ed" woman.

Advent Calendar day 24

Open book gift at Papas.

advent calendar day 23

open stockings. catch a cold. travel far.

advent calendar day 22

celebrate christmas with the dallenbachs.

memorable moments:

Vahida happy with Diana in one hand and a pistol in the other "I got gun!" (gift from Dustin)

Conversation between Bryce and Dustin. "Bryce, do you want to switch you blue snuggie for my cheetah print." "Hell yes. It will match my underwear."

Amber left out of the Christmas letter, not given a gps like everyone else, given $100 from Grandma and a note telling her to break up with Paul and get on bc. I told her to write a thank you saying "Thanks for the $100, I bought myself some birth control and now am dating 5 men."

Diana saying Pad De Cay while clapping hands.

I now know what to make for holidays. Thanksgiving I will do mashed potatoes. Christmas, oyster crackers.

Monday, December 21, 2009

advent calendar day 21

Celebrated solstice with black clothing and dark food (aka chocolate orange). (check)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

advent calendar day 20

play dreidel (the day after chanukah) with Jewish children. (check)

advent calendar day 19

cut a paper snowflake. (check)

Saturday, December 19, 2009


so far, i have been mildly dissappointed with all the toys which i have bought for link. mostly because link is not excited about them. i think almost all babies are the lovers of packaging and not the package. link's favorite thing is newspaper, but he has to be carefully watched or he will try to eat it after he has shaken it to death. he has liked other gifts that people have given him, krinkly red flower, mason's old play gym, especially the one eyed butterfly, and the toys that betsy got him, car seat swirly thing and activity ball. anyway, my heart was set on getting him this waldorf wood teether, but then i realized, he really doesn't like the circular teethers he already has, so instead i took a wood spoon out of the drawer and he loves it. i don't think link will need anymore toys from me until he is old enough to realize he is playing with kitchen bowls and cardboard boxes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

eating with a spoon

foods link has eaten: applesauce, banana puree, and vegetable noodle soup puree.
all have gotten the disgusting look. all have gotten the give me more look.
link likes to bring his own spoon into his mouth. we usually hold on for less mess.
because he has no front teeth to scrape off the spoon and has yet to figure out the upper lip, he likes to use his finger to shovel more of what is on the spoon in his mouth. because he has one hand on the spoon handle and the other hands finger on the spoon top this can sometimes create a catapult.

advent calendar day 18

fill stockings. (check)

adventures with lincoln

Bryce and I are hoping to complete our world tour this next year and we need your help. Go to and subscribe to our feed. We need 50 followers to get the wheels turning.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

three things link has done since day 1

1. sucked on his bottom lip. this gave him the nickname of turtle instantly. i never even knew what his bottom lip looked like until day 3.

2. spit up out of his nose, sometimes with sometimes without his mouth. as one friend commented. he will be a hit at the lunch table.

3. slept 6-7 hours every night. thank you Creator.

advent calendar day 17

hang a wreath. (check)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

advent calendar day 16

put up the nativity scene. (check)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

advent calendar day 15

Sip egg nog. (check, in frozen custard style).

Money Crunch Update

Due to a lot of great advice from people who saw the first post, I called the bank. Becuase I didn't have a history of overdraft they forgave 1/2 of my overdrafts. Yippee! Then, just to make myself feel even better, I took my piggy bank in and it had $80 worth of coinage. So I'm doing much better.

Monday, December 14, 2009

advent calendar day 14

take my parents to the free movie at the theater. (check)
Christmas Carol in 3D at NEIA's first digital theater. Go Elkader Cinema!!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

advent calendar number 13

Christmas cards. (check)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Advent Calendar Day 12

watch a Christmas movie. (Check)
Charlie Brown and Prep and Landing.

A word

Today we were sitting on the couch, and Link said his first word. The word was "gulp".

Okay, he didn't mean to say "gulp", but it was a funny combination of the sounds he's able to make, and that's all he said. We cracked up.

Wear or Stroll

Now that the sidewalks and pathways are icy on these hilly streets I am facing a dilema. Despite the fact that I wear grips on my shoes I almost always slip at least twice. So, do I carry Lincoln with the possibility of falling forward on him or having a bone breaking experience in trying to protect him instead of myself or do I travel with him in the stroller. If I slip he would be fine. That is of course if I wasn't on a hill. Our stroller has no hand breaks, just a foot break. There is no way I can manipulate a foot brake while my feet are flying in the air. And I would not like seeing my son fly down a hill and possibly into traffic or into an ice cold river. Just as worse case scenerios play out in my head every time I fasten the seat belt in my car, so to am I now concerned about walking.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Advent Calendar Day 11

Wrap christmas presents. (check)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Advent Calendar Day 10

Visit the Canadian Pacific holiday train when it rolls into town. (check)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Advent Calendar Day 9

First Snowfall, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

Play in the snow. (check)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Advent Calendar Day 8

Drink hot chocolate with a peppermint stick in it. (check)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Advent Calendar Day 7

Drive by homes with Christmas lights. (check)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Advent Calendar Day 6

Give to the giving tree. (check)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Advent Calendar Day 5

Wrap a Secret Santa gift (check).

Our little expirement

Linka Durbin, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

So I am trying to be non gender specific in dressing Link, but the other day I decided to just dress him up like a girl since I have some clothes. Here is what I found out:

1. It is not just pink, it is the cut of the clothing that makes gender specific. Even when he just had on the green dress and brown flower in his hair he was totally girl.

2. As soon as a baby is dressed like a girl it is very hard to not call the baby a she. Even if you are the parent.

3. If we took Link out like this we assume people would be a little up in arms and be mad at us for making him cross dress, but of course Link didn't care one bit. He rather liked the dress. His first piece of clothing he could easily lift and put in his mouth.

4. Besides suits, most male clothing is pretty gender free. Women could wear the same thing if they wanted, but in the end I think most women prefer to wear cuts and colors that express their femininity more.

5. Like Manny on Modern Family (TV) we could just tell Link this is a twin sister of his that died.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Advent Calendar Day 4

Hang Christmas Stockings. (Check)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Advent Calendar Day 3

Watch the first snow fall. (Check)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advent Calendar Day 2

Listen to Christmas songs on the radio. (check)

Social Justice for all, and to all a good night

My parents are a little too young to have taken me on bus rides for civil rights with Martin Luther King, but my spirit would have loved it if they did. Link has been to several social justice meetings in his young life. Last night was our second One Iowa meeting to help keep homosexual marriage in Iowa. There wa great panel with our pastor, Andrea Mericle, our friend and employeer Brian Bruening of Schera's, a lawyer who I was unaware of before, Kathy Neilan (I think) and then married couple Raymond and Julian, who were finally able to have a civil marriage after 42 years of a committed relationship.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Advent Calendar Day 1

Eat a gingerbread man from Pedrettis (check)

Money Crunching

So, I stupidly lost almost $200 the other day when I forgot to make a transfer and then used my debit card 6 times without anything in my account. Even though I made small purchases, every swipe was $30 down the hole in overdraft fees. I've been kicking myself about it like crazy, but Bryce reminds me we all make a few money mistakes in our lives. So to make myself feel better I have been paying attention to my savings and extra earnings. For example I won $50 in the gingerbread house contest, so that is taking me to $150. I recycled cans and bottles for redemption money and pulled out $5. So now $145. I realize there is a cost spent in purchasing materials for these things, but I could have received nothing and still spent so thus a savings. Yesterday I wanted to purchase a cool plaid shirt at Hot Topic for $44. I had it in my cart and everything and then realized I shouldn't because of my stupidity beforehand. So I decided to make a a quick trip to Goodwill to see if they had anything and I found an almost identical shirt for $3, plus two other shirts from brands I like that were also $3. So now I am at $101 loss. I will keep playing this game in my head till I reach 0, but doing this I am realizing it is not such a bad way to go. Saving money is almost as fun as shopping in general. Hopefully I don't turn into my mother who buys all this not needed stuff on sale because it is on sale and in the end can spend the same amount at the check out line with me, but I don't have extra garbage in my cart and I have bought a longer lasting product.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Tao of Link

My friend Richard use to write about his son being like a little Buddha and I had no idea what he meant. Even though I did know Sam and he is a great kid. Now that I have a son, I do. They live totally in the moment. We can all learn so much by doing this. Not that we all act 100% like a baby, but 75% would not be bad. No anxiety about the future. Allowing oneself to feel each emotion entirely. Not caring how he looks as long as he is warm. Allowing all things natural to just be. I mean, my son even accepts the worst smelling farts as a natural part of life. What an awesome way to be.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

First meals

We gave Link some more apple sauce tonight. Kid likes his apple sauce. He ate it up like he'd never had it before. Of course, it's only the second thing he's eaten, so it was understandably exciting.

Shannon took photos of kids with Santa Claus downtown, including Link. Look for that photo later, I'm sure.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Productive Night

With the emergence of Link's tooth, I thought I should look at solid foods in The Baby Book. Dr. Sears says the right time is when they show interest, which Link has for a while and around 6 months when they can sit up in a high chair and start teething. Well he is already doing those 6 month things so I decided to give it a try. Starter foods included liquefied bananas and applesauce so I chose the latter. I feed Link using my finger and he ate about 2 tablespoons. Needless to say he liked it. I looked for signs of disinterest but they never came so I just decided to stop when I felt like it. This kid is going to be wrestling heavyweight like the Dallenbach boys. No on and off switch. The book says the intestines are not fully ready until 6 months, but I wonder if he may already be there.

Like a 6 month old he really enjoys his jumper and could play in it all day. He is starting to dislike his play gym. Which slightly bothers me because he still has not figured out how to roll over completely (which is the skill most 4 month olds are working on.

In other news. We tried EC tonight and it was successfull. It would probably cut down on laundry a lot if we did it more. You just have to dress more apropriately. Easy access to the bum rather than pants to yank off, a cover to unfasten and then a diaper. Link did all his duties in the toilet though.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Trial by Fire

Bryce and I have realized over these last four months that a lot of "bad" parenting can be great parenting for a newborn. Besides restraining your child, aka swadelling, to help baby sleep all night. We have also learned that shaking the seat, stroller, etc when he is crying uncontrollably can release gas and stop crying. Although you can probably do without the mumbled "Shut up child!" Bryce discovered that a big growl of frustration can throw Link into fits of laughter. In fact all scary growling does. I found out that blaring the music in the car to overpower a screaming can actually eliminate the problem as Link does not care to compete.

Today Link and I did some minor shopping, later in the afternoon after all the black friday stuff is already picked through. He screamed every time he was in his car seat. I was caring the chunk around reminding him softly that he owed me one, but then I realized he has been working on sitting, so I sat him in the actual cart area and he loved it. As well as picking up and putting everything I put in the cart in his mouth, helping get that second tooth to poke through I suppose.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey and Teeth

First Thanksgiving and Link's first tooth popped through. Bottom right.
We traveled down to Carroll to Dustin and Vahida's house, starting at 5 am for the 5 hour drive.
We stuffed ourselves with Thanksgiving goodies (prepared by my mom so almost all from a can, but perfect).
It is a nice day so we walked around main street a bit. They have a great toy store and a good try at art galleries. Closed of course, but mom will be in line at 5 am to stampeed the others.
Yesterday we put up the Christmas tree and built the foundation for our first gingerbread house. Saw a tip for saving Halloween candy for gingerbread (but we didn't go trick or treating this year).
We are doing some rearranging and I have almost all of Link's clothes for the next year in drawers. I think he will stay this size for a while, which makes me happy, because we received the most and the cutest clothes from our boxes in the 6-12 month range. Also, got to pull those bibs out now. He is drooling a lot from the tooth and his shirts are wet. Also will probably pull out those hats. Still see no need for shoes yet though. That will probably change later. Hopefully those big feet will fit in them when he is ready.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Like most of my earthy crunchy friends I am not a fan of plastic. However, my dislike did not come from my peers but from an excellent documentary on the effects of the hormones in plastic. They do not directly effect us, but the reproductive organs of our children on down the line are at risk. So Bryce and I are fans of non-plastic diapers, non-plastic bottles, and non-plastic toys. For Christmas this year we have purchased for Link a felt yoyo doll, a wood push puppet, a knit ball, etc. If anyone has any cool ideas for toys to make please let us know.
Usually plastic and electronics go together too, so we are not planning on electronic toys.
Lindsey, whose home we went to on Halloween, has a 1 year old son. Her sister, who is not as natural decided to give Lindsey's son an electronic Elmo who sits in a chair and reads. Despite the fact that the Elmo is full of plastic parts, her sister looked past this and only saw the plastic chair. SOO, she threw away the chair and mailed them the Elmo. Lindsey, not being so strict as to throw away everything electronic and plastic gave the doll to her son. However, the point of the Elmo is that he sits in a chair and reads. When they put batteries in they found this out as Elmo without his chair only can say one thing "Opps, I fell down."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spilled juicne

I spilled juicne o my comnputer ad now the "n" key will ot type whe I hit it but will radomly isert itself whe evner it feels like it.n I had to cnopy ad paste the oe i the quotes.n

Toight we wet to see Where the Wild Thigs Are. Lik was so happy durig it.

Other ew thigs is Lik's life iclude:

1. Drikig the bath water durig each bath
2. Suckig his thumb while breast feedig, at the same time.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Things I love about about my family


1. The way he rubs his eyes when he is tired
2. The way he hugs my breast when he eats
3. The way he flirts by smiling with his head tilted down but his eyes up
4. The streaks of red in his hair
3. The sounds he makes when his is blowing raspberries

NEWS FLASH: Link's amazing strength.
At a retreat this weekend he impressed all the girls and us by rolling from tummy to back. He also can sit by himself (with cushions around him in case he topples) and although he hasn't figured out how to pull himself up, if you stand him up and let him grip onto something he will stay standing for several minutes.


1. How every time people complain about their husbands or "men", I can't relate
2. How he is so comfortable in himself, he is not afraid of the feminine
3. How he gets Link to laugh
4. How beautiful he is when he cries in life's most amazing moments
5. How each kiss still feels new.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Today is the first day I really felt like I wanted a break from being a mom and I think Link felt it. He has been fussy all day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Link likes

Link likes the William Tell Overture and the roller derby scenes in Whip It.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Things I loved that I didn't post about

Jason and Stella, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

1. Visit from Jasmine when she came home from California
2. Visiting Sadie, Jason, and Stella's house for homemade apple sauce and Apples to Apples
3. Traveling up and down Northeast Iowa and Southwest Wisconsin doing food photography at restaurants. (Check out the new and see my photos in the photo tours of starred members.)
4. Pub Quiz at Schera's with an awesome team (Katie, Mari, Chris, and Bryce). We got second, but should have gotten 1st on a technicality.
5. Monday nights at La Rana and Koreana in Decorah with Frederique and Brian (and finding out Decorah has a goodwill.)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Birthgroup Reunion

Brenda with Zayin, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

Our camera died shortly after arriving, but birth group reunion was fabulous. So much laughter (as always). Peter told Bryce he made all the dads look bad at the Halloween party because of the knitted costume. We had a great one on one with Brenda and Moira and they gave me the best pap smear I have ever had. Besides lying on a comfy bed, I also got to be in control and say when to do what after getting instructions. When Sadie was done with hers Jason said "That was fast, you all papped?" Her response "And smeared."
Link (just like at the Halloween party) was a little overstimulated but was his smiley, laughing self most of the time. Again, AMAZING FOOD. We met Zayin (Moira's son) for the first time. He seems to be on the same track with Link, same weight, skill sets, sounds, etc.
I miss everyone so much, I hope we continue to stay close. Brenda said she was not going to offer anyone any advice on natural family planning so that we can all continue to get together for our next round of kids. LOL.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My son thinks I'm great

Voting for Mom, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

The results are in for City Council elections and I did not win. Bryce says "You ran a good campaign, though," which is a joke because there was no campaigning. I turned in my papers when I saw there were three spots running and thought that the incumbents were not re-running. So it would be one of those situation were you vote for three and there were only three candidates. Unfortunately they all ran again, as did Curtis Ruhser, who is probably the most well known person in Elkader because he is the biggest social butterfly and knows everyone. He got the most votes (200+). So who did he bump out of a seat? Betty Landis, the only other women on the board. So now we have an all white male in their 50s council, which is sad.
I didn't really think I was going to win and I was more disappointed when I lost the pumpkin decorating contest than I am about the election. (The artist in me.) However, I am walking about this election feeling really good about myself. I received the same number of votes as Betty and she has been on the council for years. I have only lived here one year. We received only 20 or so votes less than the person who came in third on the council. So I think I might run again another time, maybe campaign. Jakie O's strategy in Strawberry Point was to group up with a few other candidates and sell yourself as a team. It was nice that 5 ran so I wasn't the only loser. I also was a loser at my first attempt at making fudge this week. It has been sitting out three days and it is still runny.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Link at 3 months

Windy Halloween Day, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

Halloween was when we found out when we were pregnant and it is about the time Link turned three months. Our awesome son is very sturdy on his legs and sitting up, but is still working on balance. He is weighing in at 21 lbs. He very accurately grabs at things and can pull, pick up and resist pulling. He is a thumb sucker, but not very often. He loves to smile, laugh and flirt. He likes to yell and coo at his toys and can almost roll over (those shoulders get in the way). He has become a very vocal pooper which has made us aware of how much he poops which is all the time.
He is almost out of his cloth diapers so you know what is on our Christmas list. He has become a distracted nurser and can barely eat when there is a lot of commotion which makes him hungry and angry. The thrush/yeast is almost completely gone. We are not giving up until it is gone for a good few weeks.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Baby Party, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

So you saw the costume, but you probably don't know much about our day. Halloween was super exciting. My favorite holiday. I usually throw a holiday party with wherever I am working, but didn't this year since I am not working in the public spectrum. So we went to a baby party in Decorah, hosted by one of the doulas of our group. It was fun to see old friends from the group and meet new friends and their kids. Some of the people I had briefly met from visiting their art studios, passing them while they stocked fruit at the co-op, or taking my order at their restaurants. It was nice to talk with all of them. The food was amazing (as any Decorah potluck is). I made deviled eggs but dressed them up with olives and avacado. I used my wedding dress, a scarf, and a purple t-shirt and made a Zelda costume and Bryce went as the tri-force (we had a hard time thinking of another character). I think next year we are going to go as Mount Rushmore. Or maybe we will wait until we are a family of four.
After this party we went to Independence to party with Liz and Dani at Pat's Bar. It was fun to chat and see all the adult costumes. Mom watched Link.
The next day we added even more miles to the car when we went to see Mama Mia at the Gallegher Bluedorn in Cedar Falls/Waterloo. I have not seen any version of the show before and I loved it. Great acting. A funny thing happened on the way to the car. Three teen girls were walking in front of us and two were making fun of the other because she thought in the last song they were singing "Waterloo." They other two were not sure what they had sung, but it sure wasn't a song with the name of their town in it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

And the winner is

Link as Link, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

We finished it just in time. The pants had to be held together with a safety pin, but we are still proud. See what can be accomplished with just one month of knowing how to knit. Link loved it. Mom went as Zelda and Bryce as the Triforce. We went to a baby party in Decorah, which was a lot of fun and meeting a lot of new families.

Grandma watched Link after the party while Bryce and I dressed up in the 80/90s and went to a party with Liz and Dani.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Minor Snaffu and Big Roar

Ok, it's a yawn, not a roar, but who can tell. We hit a minor snafu in our countdown to costume. Our knitting coach came by today to show us how to bind off, fix dropped stitches, and attach the legs and such with a cast from her shoulder to finger tips. She has to have it on for three weeks. It is up to use to do the work by word instructions now and not watch and learn. One more day. Here is Link as a tiger with his Link belt. This costume is cute but has one negative thing with it. I heard someone say Tigger. No thank you.

Enjoyed pumpkin donuts from Pedretti's today.

Knitting vrs. the elephant

Knitting vrs. the elephant, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

Link's green hat is being sniffed by Linconephant. We acquired this elephant costume from Mason Durbin. I saw him last year in the outfit and I do not remember him swimming in it the way Link is here, but maybe I am wrong. Anyway, it is absolutely adorable.

Link is sleeping away today. Growing those big brain cells. Check out flickr for his latest new skill set. Imitating hand motions.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Knitting vrs. Purchased

We are kitting Link's costume for Halloween. Nonetheless people have boughten us costumes because they don't think we are going to make the deadline or we have simply acquired them. I will post daily to show our progression on the costume and Link's other costumes and we will find out this Saturday what we go with.

Here is Link as a no neck giraffe. Sitting by the pants Bryce is knitting. This costume had a velcro tail which he is very much enjoying to suck on.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


We have yet to patch the whole in the screen, or weed the landscaping, power wash the siding, or rip up the rugged green turf material on the porch, but we did do some front of the house changes that I think make the house go from a D to B+. We painted our ugly blue pillar black, found another flag pole (this time on sale for $5 so it is ok if the school kids steal it), put in a seasonal flag, painted our door red, and set up a display for my photography in the big picture window of our living room. It is a perfect location being next to the school. Hopefully it will bring in some traffic.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Down to zero

We sold the malfunctioning Honda (bottom rusting off) to pay our midwife bill. We borrowed the van from my parents until it broke down (unknown, while they were driving it). We borrowed the Lumina until it broke down in Shell Rock (alternator, we were driving it). We came close to a break down in Wisconsin with it previously. Yesterday on my way to Cedar Rapids, I had to pull the blazer over and quickly get my son out of the back seat as smoke came billowing out from under the hood. The man behind me called the local fire department. The second person behind me put Link and the car seat in the backseat with her two occupied car seats and brought us to the neighboring house where we sat for a while why my car was towed and Amber came to pick me up. We are now down to zero. It sort of makes you feel like a bad a bad car caretaker, but I remind myself that I bought a used 1993 Tempo in 1996 and I had no problems with the car until 2004. (Minus the broken electronic seat belt from when a deer came plowing into the side of my car.)
We are thinking of either buying a conversion van or a truck with a extended cab (and later an rv insert for the back). We are itching to travel again and the timing feels right. But our vehicles are letting us know they are not the right cars for the job.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

World's Cutest Baby Winner

World's Cutest Baby Winner, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

This was such a funny photo I had to post it. As you can see we are going through a gentian violet treatment. Used the cream, the olive and oregano oil, acidopholis, still nothing is working.

Link is really enjoying his oral fixations right now. He is making new noises, deep squaks and high yelps. He loves putting anything soft (skin and cloth) in his mouth. He loves watching people eat, drink, and talk on the phone. He is a thumb sucker, which I adore because I have seen very few babies actually do a real thumb suck. Sometimes he gets the pointer in there too and can't figure out what is gagging him.

Monday, October 19, 2009

there was a young lady

There was a young lady who saw so many animals in one day. I don't know why she saw all those animals in one day. Perhaps they'll go away.

1. Entryway ceiling is bearing the insects of harvest. Asian Beetles.
2. A gigantic spider with "wolf" like print (but not a wolf spider) on my rear view mirror. That was an unexpected fright while driving.
3. A dancing little snake, black with yellow stripes crossed our path
4. A member of the large cat family. That was a dosey.
While walking on Pony Hallow Trail we went to sit down at the bench at a mile marker. All of the sudden this large animal jumps from behind the bench and makes its way up the large limestone cliff. At first Bryce said "Cyote?" because of its size. Next I said "Fox?" because its tail was fluffed out and its coloring was turning while from a warm tone. Finally we both said "Large cat" by the way it moved with its big shoulder movements and jumps, but we were not sure what it was.
Made the walk home fairly interesting, looking over our shoulders often.
Bryce said "There are many scenarios I ave thought about what to do if Link was with me, but escaping from being attacked by a large cat was not one of them"

P.S.- We decided not to take our camera on this walk since the leaves have dropped. Big bummer.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Erin from Harmony

At the Vintage we ran into Erin from Harmony, MN. We do not know this girl whatsoever, but Link has seen her once a month since he has been born. At the Green Expo we talked as we both nursed our babes under a tree. At the tomato tasting event at Seed Savers we stood behind her and her little girl for over an hour. Then at our dinner in Lanesboro she is seated right beside us with her date. We talk each time and probably should do something together sometime, but like I said we don't even know each other.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

parenting today

The other day I was changing Link's diaper at a gas station. The changing table was out in the open, not in a stall. A guy drying his hands said to me, "Parenting today, huh?" which I thought was one of the weirdest things you could say in that situation. All I could think to reply was, "Yep, every day."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Diana and Link stutter alike, but eat differently

Last night Dustin and I took my mom out for her birthday, with everyone except Amber who had class and Paul and Vahida, who were at work. We went to Leo's in Oelwein. While we were there Lincoln and Diana noticed each other across the table without us realizing it. Soon they were gabby up a storm to each other, shreiks and laughs, it was fantastic.

Afterwards we went to Grandma Koch's house so she could see the kids. My grandma is the queen of old wives tales and bad advice. Last night I learned that besides not picking up my child when he cries, not letting his suck on anything, and not letting him sleep with us I should also not tickle him because it will make him stutter. Where do people come up with this stuff.

I have been really good about keeping my tongue held though and not letting things bother me so that I get all heated underneath. Instead I just blog about them. I am also proud of myself for not saying anything when Dustin was talking about jars of baby food and how they are probably better for the baby than real sweet potatoes, for example, because they probably stick good stuff for babies in them.

Anyway, besides those two little points to bitch about, everyone had a really good time.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Crawling through Art

The Northeast Iowa Art Crawl is also always during our anniversary weekend. Since we were North, we decided to visit Northern artists on the map. (It is impossible to do them all.) Before we left Lanesboro we did the search of community iron circles done in 2001. This is link at the Community piece. There were 5 throughout the town. (Lunch was at the pastry shop.)
We then went to the rural New Ablin artists, both artists. We didn't have to, but decided to go into New Albin (the town) since we never have and Bryce's Godmother is from there. After taking a few photos by New Albin landmarks we went to Lansing and visited those artists. We ate at Milty's, thinking we might do a dishntunes review but Link decided we needed to leave early. (AKA- fit.) We went to Lansing and Decorah for our second anniversary, when we didn't have much time since we just took over the newspaper. We went on a Monday then, so I thought the town wasn't that great because nothing way open. In reality, the town is really just not that great. I'm not sure what the appeal is or if they are just not there yet.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Vintage and The Rainmaker

The Calling of St. Lincoln, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

Our lifestyle gets us out the door at about 11 am each day. Vacation is no different. Therefore we end up getting early lunches and end the day with a late night snack. We started our day at Pedal Pushers, a 50's type diner. It was quaint. The nice thing about the green movement is almost all restaurants in Lanesboro use local produce and livestock. I had a BLT, which I mostly enjoyed alone because Link had a blow out pretty early on. We went home to change him and then got out again at about 1. We walked around town visiting the little shops.
We got local rhubarb wine at the winery, a great shell rattle for my practice at a Native American store, and went to several great galleries. The Cornucopia was by far my favorite. We were greeted by an artist I have been wanting to own for a long time, Kelly Jean Ohl. We loved so many different pieces of all the artists but we ended up buying a Ohl wall piece for our yearly art piece.
We also popped into Slant Avenue which was my favorite store. It is like the Patina of Lanesboro. We got a skybar and looked at a lot of tin toys and great books. Lincoln got a great fall jacket. It is knitted with a hood, a wolf and numbers on it. We also found his a great knitted brim hat with a train on it.
That night was a planned evening. Reservations at the vintage produced another amazing meal. This restaurant has experimental food and the menu changes daily. This photo is of Link in front of one of the murals.
We followed up the evening with walking next door to the Commonweal Theater. We had tickets for The Rainmaker, which is similar to the Music Man only set in the dust bowl and with one family. The Music Man is replaced by the Rainmaker. Link was pretty good throughout, but we had to go out several times because of too loud of babbling. We took turns. It wasn't too bad going outside the theater as you could still hear the actors in the lobby and the art in the lobby was fantastic!!! The show was great, I loved the dad in the show and the stage set work. When I opened the program the first two names I saw I knew. The Assistant Producer was a kid I worked with at EWALU (Andy Bakehouse) and the costume designer was Lisa Lantz (a member of my baby group).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Carmel Apple and Chai

Carmel Apple and Chai, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

After biking we went to dinner at Riverside on the Root. We sat on the patio with the outdoor furnaces a blazing. The food was amazing, the venue very dive looking from the outside. It was immediately across from our hotel, but I had to check the online directions 5 times before I could believe it was the place. Outside there are bikes, kayaks, and firewood and a huge Budwiser sign saying check out our martini bar.
Well in the end we did and we did not regret it. Several great martinis, baked brie, take a trip on our flickr set to see all the delicious food. (We are obsessed with the macro feature on our camera.) We should have stopped at the meal though because our creme brulee was cold on the bottom and had a massive glob of whip cream on it. Not a way to end a great meal. The photos loaded kind of funny so there are some in weird places.
A late night ended with Bryce working on the laptop, me watching hgtv, and Link talking non-stop to the fan.

Biking the Root River

Biking the Root River, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

This week we went on a 4th anniversary / Link's conception birthday vacation. We took off Wednesday and went to Lanesboro, MN which was only about 2 hours away. Our first day consisted of getting into our hotel. Brewster's Red. The hotel was odd, but great for anti-social people like me. There was a sign on the door reminding you of what room you paid for and telling you the key was in the door. To check out you just leave the key in the door and no small talk need be made.
Since Lanesboro is known for its Root River Bike Trail, we immediately went and rented bikes from one of the several locations. See my life as a cyclist for more information on this adventure.

My life as a cycalist

I received my first bike for Christmas when I was 5. It had a long purple banana seat, basket, and training wheels. It spent the first years of its life being ridden in the basement. Then we moved and no basement was available.
My next milestone was teaching myself to ride without training wheels. It took a while. I think I was in maybe 3rd grade. I took my brothers smaller dirt bike and kept riding it down the driveway until I got it.
The rest of my life was random bike rides on old bikes (I never got another bike) on the gravel roads. A couple of spills on the corner between my house and my grandmas. All in all not much riding. One tandem bike ride on Mackinac Island and a few yellow bike rentals at college.
After college I came back to Iowa and rode about 5 min with my sister when my legs stiffened up and I could hardly even walk the bike back.
That leads to today. We are in Lanesboro, MN for our anniversary/Link's conception birthday. Lanesboro is known for bed and breakfasts and biking. We rented bicylces and a kiddie cart. I was hoping to do a tandem with a connection, but that was not doable so I flew solo why Bryce took the cart. After 10 minutes of hysterical screaming by Link in the kiddie cart we finally realized he needed more neck support. We got his car seat and put it in and he fell right asleep. Then we biked for another hour.
I love the ride. It is amazing what a good, well-maintained bike can do for a ride. Not driving on gravel was great. The whole path is paved and very nice. The bike I had was a Fuji crossroad. It was a little shorter than the man wanted to give me, but I wasn't comfortable on anything where just my tippy toes touched. It was my first bike with hand breaks, which wasn't to hard to adjust to. It also had speeds and gears, which I had no idea how to work. I noticed the difference in looseness when slipping into a lower gear but I couldn't tell if that was making it easier or harder to bike.
If the weather is nice maybe we will go again. Oh, also if we are not in pain from the stiffness.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Weather Predicitons

I can always compare the coming of fall from year to year based on our anniversary. This year it is very early. It has been rainy and cold for over two weeks now. The trees have all turned and they usually are just starting around now. This is one of my favorite times to live in Iowa because it is visual ecstacy. Besides the trees changing colors the ditches are filler with pillowy white weeds and when the sun hits the hills it is like being surrounded in pure gold from the corn and soybeans.

Halloween is going to be so cold this year. I keep thinking if I even knew how to get my ideas made I could make a good profit. My idea of snowsuit Halloween costumes is going strong this year. I don't remember how many times I shivered up and down the streets trick or treating.

We had the same kind of weather last year when we went to Clear Lake. It was mostly rainy and cold. Tomorrow we are taking off for Lanesburo, MN. They have great bike trails. Looks like we might not be spending much time on them if this persists. I was originally thinking of just Bryce and I going, but with Link breastfeeding it doesn't seem possible. My consultant says I would have to be able to pump as much as I feed him and there is still a chance he would have to have a formula supplement when returning. Anyway, it doesn't matter anymore because I only have one bottle in the freezer. I did end up purchasing an electric pump and have mastered that pretty well. It does cut down a lot on time but being a multi-tasker and having to hold both bottles I get a little anxious looking around at what I could be doing if I was hands free.

Monday, October 5, 2009


This morning as I was getting ready to go to "work" Bryce and Link were still sleeping in bed. Link had his eyes open and was looking at the fan. When I would enter the room he would not move his head, just his eyes toward me and give me the smallest little smirk. It made my day.

Link is also starting to laugh when tickled. You have to say "Bzzzz" like you are electrocuting him.

My dad loves Link's smile. He was shocked the first time he saw it and said "Holy cow, his whole face just lights up!"

All these things are so precious and beautiful.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

up and down the financial rollercoaster

So I haven't been wanting to pay this hospital bill, because of the bad feelings I have in going, because my midwifes still did almost all the work, and because paying it all at once would take all we have and max out our credit cards. So since we qualify for Medicade and Charity Care we applied. Charity Care turned us down. I think our last years taxes is what throws everyone for a loop, since we would have not qualified last year. Medicade denied us because Bryce forgot to send something important, but we appealed, sent it back in and got accepted. Yippee! I am not one of those people yelling at health care reform and first in line for Medicade. I am for health care reform and last in line for Medicade, but still needing it.

I also am moving forward with my own occupations. I am getting locations for my art/spiritual direction and getting my home studio cleaned out so I can make products too. I had an idea for an etsy shop that I would really like to do. Despite all these things going well for me I keep looking in the help wanted section. I guess the imidiate need for money sometimes overrides the patience I have in watching my own businesses grow. Yet I am totally a person who should be working for myself. I have good ideas, a good work ethic (despite the last wasting time post) and I need a flexible schedule to be with Link. If I did go back to work full time Bryce would get hardly any work done and be way stressed and I would not see him at all Thursday and Friday. Or we would have to do day care and with paying for that and disposable diapers (since they don't allow cloth here) it would just be about the same as me staying home and taking these big once in a while jobs. Bryce and I love being able to work from home and spend so much time with Link. I have become a big supporter of government assistance for stay at home moms. It is almost like the government paying you to be a mom. I can't remember if it was the feminine mystic or something else we read in Feminism Honors Class, but something we read laid out how women could get paid for being stay at home moms and the country would improve. WIC and Medicade is about as close as they come right now.

Time Wasters

I like it when I used to get paid to waste time like I do at night, but at least I did for a little while. At the current time I am following funny amazon product comments. There is a new craze to write really funny reviews. I also love that most of these items also have funny things in the "customers who looked at this also recently viewed this." I was taken from a wolf t-shirt to a gallon of milk to a book called "How to Live with a Huge Penis" to inflatable toast. Boy this world is crazy.

I also am following blogs called "Not Always Right" which is funny customer saying reported by the people they say them too and "Awful Library Books." I think Debbie started me on both of these. She must waste a lot of time as a librarian. However she is getting paid. I need to find me a librarian job. Maybe even school librarian since they have the summers free.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

10 weeks

Link at 10 weeks weighs 17.2 lbs and comfortably fits in 6 month clothing. He likes mirrors, shinny objects, Dancing with the Stars, the cat and swinging. He no longer dislikes his stroller but he has changed his mind about getting his diaper changed and does not like it at all. He is still a great sleeper but is having a harder time getting to sleep at night (I think it is because he dislikes the wedge thing we bought so he doesn't scoot around and kick at us. However mom and dad love it so it stays.) WHen he is really tired he likes to be held and bang his head into your shoulder until he falls asleep, curling himself into a ball.

I love mirror play with Link, he is very reactive. The best part is when the cats are in the basement meowing. The mirror is on the basement door so it seems like the baby is meowing at him.

On Tuesday he visited for the first time Paper Moon in McGregor and The Irish Shanti (Gunder Burgers) in Gunder. It was our first time out again with Frederique and Brian and it went pretty well.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

brains and brawn

the week 9 growth spurt went well. but i think most of it went to his head. my smart boy went from yesterday being placed on the floor gym and smiling at the dangling animals to today feeling each one and playing with them. no missed swatting was ever witnessed. tomorrow we suspect he will be using them like percussion instruments, paying along with the music.

it is getting really cold outside now. we are getting ready for halloween traditions with link.

i don't really capitalize anymore because i type everything with one hand while i am nursing. link will nurse after getting out of bed like he never nursed right before getting out of bed. he is turning into my father who says "Man, I'm hungry, I haven't eaten all day." I say "Didn't I see you eat a hamburger." He says "I ate 5 of them, but that was just snaking." and he wonders where he belly came from.

strange package in the mail today. a beautiful photo of elephants and blocks from s jennifer potter of nyc. i think it might be a gift since it says thank you for your etsy purchase and i know i didn't purchase anything from etsy recently. despite the fact that it matches Link's things perfectly and I LOVE it. but the weird thing is she wrote "Hope to see you again." I am pretty sure I don't know her.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Things I didn't post about but wanted too:

1. Last Sunday went to Shell Rock to Lee and Randy's house for a homemade McDonald's meal. Broke down just outside of town on the way home. Spent the hour waiting for my mom to come get us at Patches house with her two kids.

2. Spent the evening with Sadie and Stella at our house while Jason and Bryce went to Inglorious Bastards. Now Bryce has a mustache. He always likes to match Brad Pitt in style.

3. Got a new car seat for Link thanks to a couple of gift cards at the shower.

4. Spent this weekend taking senior pictures. This year is my year of boys.

5. Went out to dinner with parents, Dustin and Diana, and Linda at Scheras. Diana can now making farting noises with her tongue. I have a great video of her and aunt Linda doing it, unfortunately I taped most of it on vertical. Dustin was super nice.

6. After taking Trent's photos today we ate Stromboli with the family. Saw great interaction with Amy and her kids. Little Izabell wanted to know why I let my baby bite on my boobs. Link really likes Amy and Lee.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

[Untitled Track]

Sometimes I feel like there's music I can't listen to very much anymore, because it just doesn't fit the context of being with Shannon and Link. Interpol, for example, just doesn't work. But there's an ambient album (Pop) I've liked for years by a band called Gas that I'm playing right this moment, and it is perfect for giving sleepy Link that extra push into Dreamland.

Creative Soul

I have a basic website up for my spiritual direction. Take a look at it and let me know what you think. Is the font to hard to read on the home page?

I am excited to launch the new site and hopefully attain some clients over this next year. Thus far my internship has not been very fulfilling in "in-person" sessions, although I am loving my phone sessions. I am gathering some ideas on how to grow the face to face aspect. Hopefully this added creativity work will be a draw.

One thing that bothers me about finding clients is the same thing that bothers me about most of my life I guess, I am always in the middle. Christians think it is too New Age, Spiritualists think it is too Christian. I know a Morman girl in town who would be awesome and is going through some hard times. She was a student of mine and she actually did this type of work with me in class, but because it is a different context she thinks it is something different. I think she assumes I will try to get her to change religions or doubt her faith. I think people with often criticized faiths are super protective of them. They can try to convert, but they can't explore their own faith out of fear.

One great thing about being a Spiritual Companion is that it doesn't matter what I believe, I just have to be a great listener and supportive of whatever is helpful to the soul of the individual. I guess psychiatrists are the same way. So I can really help anyone on their spiritual journey.

This is good because I see a Spiritual Director myself and my own beliefs are not set in stone. While some think that is not good, I think it is a part of the spiritual journey, which never ends. I read somewhere that religion is belief, spirituality is experience. I like that.

I was reading through some more shaman stuff tonight. That is what has me up at 2 am (not my child) and I was thinking about the belief in ancestors and reincarnation. I am not sure I am a believer in past lives, but I do believe in our connection to our ancestors. As our dna is passed down so may pieces of our soul weave and create anew in a way that is beautiful and possibly brings up strong ancestral connections. I do believe in Creator-based evaluation so far back that pieces of us are part of the star that blew up to create earth. (The Creator of course creating everything before it which created star that we are not even aware of.)
What I am contemplating tonight is my love for the age of the hippies. It wasn't too long ago. If I wasn't a hippie in a past life than the dna I have from the 1960s and 70s was that of my parents or grandparents and they were not the same hippies that I feel so connected to. Can I be living with a piece of their souls that did not manifest itself or was ignored? Or maybe it is just there in other form. My parents may not have joined a commune but they did stay within a radius of their family, they didn't grow self-sustaining food, but they did farm.
I don't have to complete this thought tonight (or this morning), but I do want to contemplate it a while. The shaman book has a lot to do with connecting to past ancestors and learning as well as experiencing healing and healing their unhealed wounds.
I also wonder what Link's soul is like.

Friday, September 25, 2009

It takes a Village

I have so many friends going through awful times, a break up, a job loss and denied medical insurance, a husband arrested and put into jail and being refused his stroke preventative medication while watching his blood pressure increase dramatically (and he a very Christian dude).
So I was thinking about my own life and wishing I could take some of their pain on, because even though I don't feel like I really have any friends who would drop everything and come pick me up if my car stalled on the side of the road (my own parents didn't even want to come get us this weekend when it actually happened) I do have amazing family and friends who love us and support us in their own ways.
Thus far, raising Link has been so easy, mostly because of being so well cared for. So I would like to take a moment to thank you all. In particular those of you who are parents. I would not be able to stop if I mentioned everyone (Debbie, Jazz, Amber, Etc) so this is for the moms and dads.

Betsy and Jim- cloth diapers galore, inspiration for home birth, support in nursing and diapering and attachment parenting

Ted, Lorri- the best clothing a little boy could want all at the right size and season, AND for being the best secret holder and support during the first months. Many don't know Lorri was the first to know of Lincoln's appearance.

Phil, Teresa- diapers and wipes, great books, vaccine info, first hand experience with a newborn and thus their equipment (from our experience with Naomi we are big fans of baby wearing, dr. sears, and don't fear taking our newborn to the movies)

Rozann and Bill- after birth support, free babysitting, great compliments about our little guy and our parenting skills

Dustin and Vahida- lots of girls clothing (maybe next time), the opportunity to see a replica of myself as a child in my niece, sweet garage sale finds (swing, bouncer, car seat) and breast pump

Trish and Richard- being not afraid to say "I am ok with just one child," being there for me to cry about my birth and not saying "at least he is healthy," being inspiration for home birth, for coming to our house several times with food and cleaning up, FOR FINDING US OUR MIDWIVES, for borrowed books

Leslie and Adam- food, food, food (all iron rich vegetarian dishes from the garden), the best breastfeeding advice in the world, co-sleeping support, the best stroller and diaper bag, slings, borrowed books, knitted sweaters and knitting help, willing to drop in any day we call

Marge and John- being ok with having just one child, support during conception time "Wait for the right soul to choose you", being the Third person to know about Link and keep it a secret despite seeing my mom on a regular basis, cookies during a baby visit

Larry and Andrea- $50 spending spree for baby goods, a massage that brought me back to life, freezer food, a baby shower (add Dani and Todd, Liz and Lewis, and Amanda and Chuck to this)

Baby group (Brenda and Muawi, Moira and Jamie, Sadie and Jason, Scott and Lisa, Melissa and Peter, Ben and Katia, Aaron and Jenna)- friendship, support in home birth, great food, support after birth, lots of babies for Link to grow up with

I guess I could go even further with just parents (Trisha and Tim- photos, Michelle and Tom- photos, Amy and John- clothes, Jen and TJ-blog, etc) but I need to stop before this gets too long. So thank you to all the parents out there who helped as well, even if you didn't know you did.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The biggest kid on the block

So I think Link is the biggest kid on the block, but at his age it is perfect because that equals the happiest kid. His extra layers let him sleep all night, keep him smiling, etc. He is a joy.

In other news he has found the joy of sucking his hand, sometimes just the thumb. He also has become a slobbery baby who drools and blows little bubbles. This doesn't mean teeth does it?

Monday, September 21, 2009

baby clothes

As you know our house has enough baby clothes that I could have had quadruplet boys and been fine (and more is coming tomorrow). I have trouble saying no, but I really don't want to. When you have that much clothing coming in you get to be picky. Link will use about 3 outfits at the max per day. There is no way he could wear everything that came in and the outfits I really like I want to have him wear more than once. So, I have a big box to give away. Hopefully there will be a swap or jubilee sometime and I can bring the box.

The things in my toss box are usually these things-
items with commercial characters on them (Pooh and Mickey, with one exception- Suess)
hats- Link's hair is too beautiful to cover up (and he sweats)
shoes- I didn't realize until after I had a child how no baby really ever uses these
bibs- I am assuming they come in handy when you get to solids, but no use yet.
items that are short and wide- Either some clothing companies have never seen a baby or I am blind to all the short torso / extra fat babies.
items that are too male- heavy on the sports and transportation. I think baby companies think all little baby boys want to grow up to be sailors or construction workers.
items that are blue- I think I keep about the same number of blue clothes as other colors which leave a large remainder of blue.
items that are too cutesy- Right away I thought Link looked off in his nightgown with little tiny ducks all over it. As he gets bigger I must be thinking he is turning into an adult because almost all the 12 month old outfits with teddy bears on them went in the box.

Besides receiving blankets, hats, and shoes (all of which I have deemed practically useless) I also am wondering why diapers have characters on them. Bryce says advertising. I think too waste ink. Would anyone mind changing a plain white disposable diaper? Or even the tan like color before they are bleached?


My brown splotches are almost all gone. Link breaks out of his swaddle now like a butterfly from a cucoon. We went to visit Lee and Randy yesterday and the Lumina broke down again (it does every time we travel more than 1 hour away). My Dad says it is from just sitting and never being driven far by my grandma. Cars display adaptation too.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

baby shower by land

Jasmine threw me an awesome baby shower by mail before Link was born. Liz threw me a land shower today. It was a great little get together but not really a party for Link. It not very well attended (invites were a little late going out) including the host. Poor Liz has a son with Swine Flu, so we all were sad but were glad she decided to stay home with her little guy. A few of my old neighbors in their 70s and 80s came and that was about it. Amanda was there with her latest, Olivia, who was born in August. Dani and her kids were there too. We didn't end up playing any of the games. (I think they were hoping for a bit of a younger crowd.) I had been waiting on getting some things from the baby registry so there would be items of all price range. I even went to Walmart to register because my mom complained that Target is too expensive and that most of the stuff is online only. Unfortunately, I don't think anyone even opened either registry because Link got a bunch of clothes he can't wear and disposable diapers. I think people were all thinking the same thing when they met Link "Crap, my outfit is too small," because they all said the same thing, "Wow, he's a big boy, what size is he wearing now?" My favorite gift was from Amanda which were something I never thoughts of buying but are awesome, glass baby bottles. We also had cute invites, great decorations (Lincoln Logs and Green balloons with marker to look like Olives, but looked like Witches boobs tapped all over) and the food was phenominal as always. They didn't know how many to expect so they made a bunch, but that means good eating for us all week. We all had a nice time, now I just need to find some storage space or meet someone having a baby boy.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Vaccines and Lullabyes

Yesterday was Link's 8 week appointment. We decided to get the pertussis shot, which only comes as a combo so he also is tetanus and diphtheria protected. Link was so happy until the needle went in, then he screamed louder than he ever has. I nursed him right away after that. Dr. Schwartz said he is in the 98% for weight, height, and head circumference. He is still 14 lbs so three weeks ago when he reached this I bet he was nearly 100%. Beforehand we had used one of our coupons from the hospital for a mom's eat free meal. I split a Monte Christos with Bryce. He had never had one and even though he liked it he said that may be all he needed for life. The heaviness of it all gets to you.

Today I went and got the recommended meds for our conditions. Link got selson blue, which I just used and his cradle cap practically melted away. I ended up with a yeast cream used for vaginal yeast that i am suppose to apply in my breasts. It is working pretty well but it is a little scary since I have to wash it off before nursing. The box says don't take orally, the doc says it will do no harm. The only thing would be a taste problem for Link, but he also thought that wouldn't be a problem for this little "freight train." He was right. Link doesn't care one bit.

Also this week I started singing to Link to help him settle around a nap time. I didn't know what to sing so I sang Do-Re-Mi, which my mom used to sing to me. I wanted something more personal for Link and I so today I was randomly listening to the Beattles and picked out a great one. Golden Slumbers. My favorite line being "Smiles await you when you rise." I love it and it is in a key that works well for me, except "Homeward" is a little low.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Line Dry

Bryce and I are now about 89% cloth diapering it. We use disposables overnight and in the diaper bag for outings. We line dry all our diapers which got us thinking about line drying our clothes. So now we are making sure to line dry at least one load of laundry every laundry day. I can not believe how amazing the sun is at getting out stains. We also have been using soap nuts instead of detergent and they are amazing too. Wow, who knew that nature could provide.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meeting Stella

Today the fam went to visit two week old Stella, who was half as much as Link and is adorable beyond words. We also catered to them with sushi, seaweed salad, brownies and ice cream. They were very pleased. It was great to talk about all sorts of new parent things. Jason and Sadie are one of my favorite couples.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Shannon, Emmaly, Amy and spawn

Between my last post and now I

Between my last post and now I rode to Des Moines (actually Caroll, IA) with my parents, sister, and Link. Photographed my brother's marriage. Saved a cake from being smashed and melting with my sister. Helped my husband play DJ and watched him be a groomsmen. Rode with my parents back to their place. Slept almost an entire day. Had a massage with Larry. Set up a new window display at the Art Center. Talked with visiting friends Emmaly Fenton and Amy Yelden, both bringing their boys who are one day older than Link and a couple weeks older than Link. And went to Julie and Julia which I had been patiently waiting for to come to the Elkader theater. Link was awesome the whole way through. And listened to two collect calls on my answering machine from an inmate who obviously did not remember his girlfriend's phone number. Pictures of the wedding will be on Flickr soon. As the photographer I don't like to release everything before I give them their prints.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Repeat after me

I think some people are aware that if you stick your tongue out at a baby they will stick their tongue back out at you. Link loves doing this, especially with Grammy, whose tongue is much longer than moms. He also loves playing "O" with me. When I say "O" to him and make my mouth in the shape of an O he smiles and repeats me after thinking about how to do it a little bit. He especially likes it when I go really deep with my "o."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Primitive Souls

As part of my spiritual direction plan I would like to incorporate create methods like art, music, dance, etc. So, as a first step I decided to visit an art therapist. Most art therapy that I know of is in major cities but I found one only a couple hours away in Monroe, WI called Primitive Soul with therapist Jennifer Edge. The family headed out yesterday for an appointment I had with her. It was a great session. I learned a lot about her practice and put emotions into art rather than words as I created a house (A project I definitely want to incorporate) and a heart thingy. The appointment was 2.5 hours and a hungry little Lincoln awaited me when I was done as well as a worn out baby daddy.

On our way home we stopped at Sinsanawa so Bryce could see the facility where I had been having retreats prior to the last one. I showed him my favorite spots, the giant auditorium and stage, the round church with beautiful stain glass, the hallway of art, the hallway of windows, and the labyrinth. I had walked this labyrinth every trimester with Lincoln and so I walked it again with him. He loved it and remembered it. Since we will not be having anymore retreats at the center he will have to return other times to walk it again.

On the way there we stopped by Sadie and Jason's in Guttenberg with a load of food. The last full moon had brought Stella into the world. They had a beautiful birth in their new tub.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Old Soul

One of the first things our midwife said was "Look at those old soul eyes, he has been places before." Not everyone is attuned but several people can see that old soul in Lincoln, which is very present. I am so glad he came to join us and I can not wait for what he has to teach us.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Flickr Account

Go to my flickr account by clicking on the photos to see cute videos like this one.

Carrot Top in a Sweet Pea Top eating Tomatoes

red, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

Today Link, Bryce and I went to Seed Savers to the heirloom tomato tasting event (which was free). We ran into Jenna and Lindsey, the last two of our baby group who had yet to meet Link. Link was pretty good but the hour wait in the hot sun got a little much for him and we spent most of the time inside while dad battled the heat and kept our spot in line. Needless to say we did not do the salsa tasting line. Link starting crying while outside and when I brought him in he was a siren. I walked straight back tot he bathrooms and everyone cleared the way for us. Later while sleeping no one would move out of the crowded shop. I met the person who got the job I applied for at Seed Savers Editor position. I like when I meet people who have my position and I say to myself "I would have hired them first too." It makes me feel better about not getting it. This guy owned newspapers and has tons of experience. I still would love to work there someday, maybe.
Yesterday we all went to Schera's when Bryce started work and I gathered signatures to run for City Council. I got the Harstads, the Gibneys, Kevin Lau, all the people who work at Scheras, and everyone in my knitting group. So I am good to go. I stayed extra as I was invited to peoples tables to join them in conversation. It was so gorgeous out it was hard not to leave the patio. I stayed during The Gibbons meal and part of Carolyn Corbin's. Carolyn's little ones Asha and Victor and their friend Rex all loved Link. They petted him, asked to hold him, loved him up and then went to play hide and seek around the billiard table. They are very cute.
All these great adventures failed to be captures on camera because when you are flying solo with a little one you have no extra hands. (And we just forgot it in the car at Seed Savers).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blog Updates

I have put to bed my other blog because I am rarely using it. I'll still rant on this one about personal issues for anyone who likes to listen, but everything is mostly family related now. So I brought over the flickr photos as well and made a new 101 to do in 1001.

hungry like a lion

i need low rise jeans, originally uploaded by Shannon Marye.

I didn't think that I was really craving anything while I was pregnant, but I notice now things I ate more of or enjoyed more while I was pregnant compared to now. Now that I am breastfeeding I have more cravings and more hunger than while I was pregnant. Even pickles. I have been loving ham and cream cheese rolled around pickles. YUM YUM. The best part is, I am losing weight at the same time I am feasting. When Link was born I immediately dropped to my before pregnancy weight and now I am 10+ lbs lighter. I can't believe my lucky stars. Being pregnant was the diet I needed all along.
I purchased a bunch of nursing shirts from Old Navy (a new online only apparel line) for $5-$10. If I don't loose too much weight (which I probably wont) I should be set for the next few years. I bought a bunch of pregnancy shirts from Old Navy all at the same time at the beginning of my pregnancy and I still love them. I want to continue wearing them but they are shaped to make me look more pregnant which is not what I want now. It is a little odd shopping with another person in my mind. I have worn three already and they work great. I am going to keep wearing my lower cut shirts as I can easily pull them down, but the maternity shirts hide a little more. So far I have nursed at the Opera House, in the park, in the car, at the fair, etc. If someone in the county does not know what my breasts look like, they do not get out much.
Lincoln also has too big pants, but we are hoping he will grow into them. Why don't they make baby low rise?

elmer's glue

Ever since Link was 2 days old he came up with this ingenious way of mixing milk and snot in his nose to make elmer's glue. If only I knew how to bottle it he would have enough for his first day of school.

I'm amazing

Today I found out I have yeast in my nipples and probably have for a month. Why am I amazing? Because it has hurt like hell for the last month and I am still breastfeeding. I guess I didn't make my point loud enough for my breast feeding helpers to know what was going on. I kept telling them I was really sore, but I should have said "My nipples are fucking on fire every second of the day, even the bras I wear rub against them and I want to cut my breasts off (three cheers for St. Agatha)." However help is on the way.

I am also amazing because I taught myself how to hand express my milk and not only am I faster at doing it this way, I can get more in one sitting. I filled a whole (4 oz) bottle on my first try. This is awesome as it also is saving my nipples from more pain with the hand or electric pump.

Links been a star today. The early morning walk might be just the right thing. He has slept a lot today and played so nicely. Unfortunately he and I both feel asleep so nicely at 2:30 that we slept through the first showing of "16 to Life," the first, possibly only, movie preview we will get in our little town because the film was shot nearby and includes some locals in the background. The only famous people I know in it are Carson from Queer Eye and the main actress is the red headed syphilis nurse from Grey's Anatomy. I may go to the Opera House showing of it later tonight, but I was hoping for the theater because I could be less conspicuous leaving or trying to hush a crying baby. Plus the first one is free and the Opera House costs money because the actors are going to be there talking, which I probably won't stay for anyway.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

bad taste in my mouth

If we decide to have another kid I was trying to think of a way to not make my mom unhappy by not wanting her to be there again. Behold! The answer is Link. I will need someone to care for him. She would be great at that.

I think I should rename this blog Shannon and her breasts, because I feel like everything I talk about is breastfeeding, but it is so life consuming. I have been noticing something this week. I am tasting a funny taste in my mouth whenever I am feeding Link. I am wondering if anyone else gets this or know of anyone. Probably not with my limited amount of readers. I also can taste blood in my mouth and often get a bloody nose the day before I menstrate and I have only found one other person that does that (oddly enough another Shannon).

Monday, August 31, 2009

Spirit Filled Weekend

This weekend we went to Griswold, IA for a Spirations retreat. I think it was our first overnight except the hospital. Link did great on the 4 hour drive. Only cried at the gas station when we changed him. We stayed the first night at Dustin's so we could travel leisurely and not rushed. He had a break at 6 pm so he let us in the house, went and got Diana (6 months old now) and then took off. It was strange having two kids to look after. When Diana cried, Link did and my head exploded. However it only happened once. We got Diana to sleep and it wasn't until Bryce left me alone for a quick errand that she woke up (or course). IT was a small challenge juggling a 14 pounder and a 24 pounder. We mostly watched the home and garden network and then went to bed.
On Friday-Sunday I partook in several sessions on modern shamanism, made a rattle, explored a cave, etc. ducking in and out to breastfeed. Bryce was awesome at taking care of Link almost all week. He even got him to drink a couple of bottles. For me the experience was a lot about breastfeeding. Link has just ended a growth spurt and was sleeping a lot so I was becoming engorged often. At one point in the night I woke up leaking so I just held a couple of bottles up to me and got over an ounce (free flowing). Another lesson learned, when meditating in a warm room do check your breast pads now and then. Fortunately everyone'e eyes were still closed when I slipped out for a change. I also got the sling hold down. I had to realize it doesn't make you handsfree, but it does make you able to walk.
Bryce and I rarely talk about sleep deprivation because we know so many parents with kids not sleeping 5+ hours, but we are feeling the effects, mostly while sleeping. I have to walk Bryce through the steps of turning on the light when I am trying to nurse and he handed me a hand grasping nothing but air when I asked for water, but I do the same. Link slept on the floor in the middle of our single beds at the retreat. I would just bring him in bed with me when nursing. At one point I told Bryce to get the blankets ready so I could put Link down. Bryce said he was already down there so I thought he was doing his sleeping thing, "No he is not, he is just finishing nursing," I argued back, then I looked down at my arm cradling nothing.
On our way home we stopped by the Hindu Temple and Cultural center in the middle of a cornfield. It seems to be still under some construction, but was very beautiful. We missed any celebrations because it was late Sunday night.
We also stopped in Cedar Falls to go to SoHo but it was closed so we tried the Mexican restaurant across the street. It was delicious but I am not sure if it was wise as today Link had been crying A LOT and looks very uncomfortable. However, he did figure out thumb sucking today, even tough he still prefers his whole hand.
Two awesome grandparent surprises came in the way hme when Grandpa Will called asking us to stop by because he missed his little one and when arriving home we got a big box of cloth diapers and accessories from Grandmother Durbin. I didn't realize I liked wool covers but this one kicks butt.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

i know a lot more than i think

it is amazing how much is revealed that you know about your child when you prepare a list for a caretaker.

here is my list

Eating- Maybe 2 oz every 2 hours or so from 5 am to 10 pm. Will indicate hunger with sucky mouth (also used sometimes while pooping) or crying (usually with the yelp "ma" in it)

Sleeping- Between feedings sometimes immediately, sometimes after play. Anywhere from 15 min to 3 hours. Usually light (will wake up if change positions except in afternoon). No need to wake up if think he is sleeping too much, he isn't.

Night time- Swaddle in blue swaddler with disposable diaper and no other clothing on. He gets very hot at night, puddle of head sweat in morning. Place in center of bed near heads, keep pillows far away. Likes to suck to go to sleep (finger or pacifier).

Play- Likes to go for walks in Moby and be carried in it when doing errands. Likes to lie down in bassinet after diaper change and look out window. Likes bouncy chair and swing with lots of movement (add some if necessary). Likes to stand and push up on legs while being held or over your shoulder. Likes to sit up in corner of couch. Sometimes likes being on belly with hands by head and head on one side. Sometimes like swaddle during the day.

Diapers- Cloth all day. Disposable at night. All cloth diapers need plastic cover. All cloth diapers go in laundry bin. Use flannel wipes wet with warm water. Change diaper every two hours or so.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Some more on our 1 month old

We weighed Link on or scale and he is 14 lbs!!!! We did it a few times because we couldn't believe it, but it is the truth. I guess a pound a week is right. He is going to be a chubmeister.
Links favorite thing is lint. I find it everyday in his hands, not sure where he gets it. He won't let it go without a fight either and he hides it in the folds of his fingers. ;)
We started to make horse lips at Link and he is utterly amused. He can not figure out where the sounds is coming from even when we do it directly in front of his face, he looks around us is a startled gaze.
Today Link and I went on a couple of walks in the kangaroo hold. It is not recommended until 3-4 months, but we have 3-4 month size baby so what the hay. He LOVED it. He has great neck support and loved looking around the street as we walked. He also slept very well on each return. He meet Christy and David (the cool earthy-crunchy ministers who just got back from a dig in Israel). Everyone comments on Links red hair which is coming in pretty strong now. If we cut off his birth hair he would be a full red head. His hair is so cute. It is very full on the top of his head and and in the back in mohawk fashion. He also has a great duck tail in the back which covers his stork bite.
My mom and Linda came on Saturday for Linda to meet Link. We went to Schera's for dinner and sat on the patio. Link slept the whole time in his moby. When Linda saw Link's stork bite she remembered that my mom had one. I told her that Bryce still had his and we checked to see if mom did too. She does!!! I can't believe I have known my mother for 28 years and I don't ever remember seeing the back of her neck.
I tried pumping in the morning (having been given excellent advice from Teresa) and it worked well. For lunch Bryce tried to cup feed Link, which did not go very well. Then he switched to the bottle which went better. Bryce was sad to put him on the bottle because he wants him to be all breast fed (even if it was breast milk), but he was really enjoying the smiles and coos I get, which made me happy. We will not have to pump much as I will be working at home for as long as I know, but we of course want to go out without Link sometimes and so we figure it is time to try to get him warmed up to the idea of feeding without me.