Sunday, July 30, 2006

Community Service At NorthSide Hospital

Today I called NorthSide hospital to see if I could join the community service program there. NorthSide is not only one of the best hospitals in the country it's also one of the busiest hospitals in the country for child births. One of the biggest needs they have is for people to help with, and hold, the new born babies. It turns out that to volunteer at NorthSide you have to complete an application, and if the application is approved you have to join the NorthSide auxiliary association. The auxiliary is the members only volunteer organization that does all of the volunteering at NorthSide. The one thing I found strange is that if you want to join the auxiliary (which is required to volunteer) you have to pay annual association dues. It's a minimal fee, and certainly well worth the opportunity to help with babies - but still I thought it a little odd that a hospital would require volunteers to pay for the opportunity. I guess NorthSide doesn't have a volunteer shortage.

Anyway, they have said they will send me an application. I can't wait to get started. I've been doing community service of one kind or another since I was in high school (actually I think I may have participated in various community service projects in elementary school as well), and I look forward to being able to work with babies as well. Like Kahlil Gibran (philosopher, poet, novelist) said "it is when you give of yourself that you truly give." It's a little corny, but I think it's true.

Thanks again for reading.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Baby sign language

As I mentioned in a previous blog John and I have been reading lots of books about raising children - more specifically we've been reading a lot of books on how to successfully manage raising a baby. Now, that's not to say we don't have practical experience - both of us have spent a decent amount of time around babies... but we figure things change - and clearly they do. In telling our parents what the various baby books say both of our mom's have been known to say "it's a miracle you survived..." A perfect example: when I was a baby all the doctors in the world agreed that you absolutely had to put a baby to sleep on it's stomach. Putting a baby to sleep on it's stomach helped to ensure that the baby wouldn't die of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Today, a mere 28 years later, all the doctors in the world agree that YOU MUST PUT THE BABY TO SLEEP ON ITS BACK. That's just one example of many of how things change.

One thing that hasn't changed is that long before babies learn to speak they learn to make certain movements in attempt to communicate what they want. From what I've read the idea of baby signing has been around for a very long time. In recent years baby signing has become extremely popular. Parents can now take baby signing classes, so that they can learn the movements are easiest for a baby to learn. It's also being reported that baby signing actually helps make children better communicators. This makes sense to me, because the way I see it a baby that starts communication several months earlier then others gets lots more practice. As my mom always used to say "practice makes perfect" and in this situation I guess it's true.

So, to make a long story short I recently added a baby signing book to our collection of child raising books. My hope, is that by the time the baby is old enough to start signing I will have figured out enough signs to be able to teach the little girl / guy how to tell me it's tired and hungry. I can just imagine John and I practicing the signs now. I wonder how one says "I'd like to order the Caesar salad" in baby sign language? (Laughing)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Learning to paint

I just had to post this hilarious picture that a friend of mine sent me at the office. You know these kids had lots of fun!!!

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Well, I really didn’t think anything could top the cardboard playhouse that I found…..BUT THIS IS THE COOLEST THING I HAVE SEEN YET!!!

Graham & Brown makes this wallpaper that is filled with different picture frames of all different sizes. Our future child can just start drawing and coloring right onto the wall into the frames. When I was kid, my parents really taught me to be creative, sitting and watching TV was not really an option with two teachers for parents. They really tried to get me to do more thought provoking things like drawing, painting, putting on plays or puppet shows. I even got to try my hand at cooking when I was seven. (That did not go well by the way. haha)

My father would have lost his mind if I started drawing on the walls, but I always wanted to. A big blank white wall in your bedroom when you are a young kid…seems to scream out for a little crayola!!! William tells me that when he was 4 or 5 he took a small paint brush and painted "duck feet" all over the wall and floor in his room. Needless to say, I gather his mom was not too impressed with that particular art project.

I already know what wall I want to put this on in our child’s room. Though, William is going to have to hide the crayons, as I know I will find myself drawing away as we wait for the baby!


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Rocking babies

Is it a bad thing that I'm obsessed with babies in rockers? First, I'm amazed at how well they work. Again, this week I witnessed a crying baby be instantly soothed by being put into a baby rocker. Or maybe, they are better called baby soothers since so many of them don't really rock, but rather just vibrate or jiggle a little. The rocker I have posted here is actually a Kate Spade rocker ( John really likes it and it has a lot of functionality - it can both rock and vibrate to sooth a baby to sleep.

My mom tells me that when I was a baby the thing that got me to sleep the best was driving in the car. Evidentially, when I was really, really throwing a fit the easiest way to get me to sleep was to put me in my car seat and drive around town. I can just imagine my poor mother, tired at 2 am having had no sleep at all finally deciding to get up, get dressed and strap me into my car seat for a long drive through town. I guess that just goes to show that a little white noise and vibrations (from a car, or a rocker) does miracles for soothing a cranky baby.