“Did We Play?”

Today was Monday. The first day of the week when my husband goes to work at the office space far away. On this day we have no car. The winters are long in Chicago and we are mostly shut in on Mondays. Some days I knock myself out trying to entertain the boys. Other days I laze around with them in jammies in front of movies. Most days are somewhere in between. [Read more…]

“What is that thing Jack is standing on?”

There are a ton of frequently asked questions at The Badass Breastfeeder, but one of the most common ones lately is “what is that thing Jack is standing on?”

  Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder's son on a learning tower.

I figured if that many people were asking then I should just tell you all about it! It is called a Learning Tower. [Read more…]

Hair He Comes!!

Jack running through my hair

I just wanted to dry my hair. I bent over to shake it out and Jack found a favorite toy. He ran through it over and over. I got so annoyed. But his laughter penetrated my frustrated. I started to laugh. I allowed myself to just go with the flow and let him play. I always have my hair in a pony tail, his Dad has short hair and he has barely any hair. He needed to learn about hair!

Jack running through my hair
Abby Theuring, MSW

A Day of Play at Target

Jack and I went to Target. For no reason. No reason at all. Just to piss some time away. Play. Laugh. It’s cold outside. Wet, rainy, snowy. An ugly mix. I didn’t plan to purchase anything. Just play. For free.
I strapped him on in the Ergo and made the 2 mile walk to Target. Mama has to get exercise somehow.

[Read more…]

Here Are a Few of Our Favorite Things

Yes, it is preferable to go outside and explore the world, but let’s face it, sometimes it is just too cold or too hot or too tornado warning or you just plain can’t get out of the door because your babe is having a bad day.  Or you are having a bad day! There are days when simply putting a diaper on is the most difficult task. When I want to give him and me a break here are a few of our favorite things to do.
Jack playing in oats
The number 1 favorite thing in our house is oats in a bin. Click here for our full story on that!
Jack running in baseball cards
 Baseball cards are another favorite. We have so many that we could carpet the entire house. We pour them out onto the floor and dance in them or swim in them.
Jack and I in a tunnel
Crawling through those tunnels is fun, but Jack likes it better when we get in it while standing up. Sometimes I put it over him and make him disappear and then reappear like a magician.
Jack riding in a wagon
Wagons are for outside only. Not! And what a sweet ride with stuffed friends and favorite shoes.
Jack riding in a suitcase
Here’s another sweet ride.
Jack playing stair ball
Stair ball. Jack stands at the top behind the safety gate and my husband stands at the bottom of the stairs. Jack throws the ball over, my husband throws it back and Jack chases it down to start all over again.
Jack empties the silverware drawer
Jack likes to empty the silverware drawer. We have 2 drawers. One for the sharp stuff and one for the safe stuff.
Jack looks at himself in the mirror
Get naked!
Jack plays with DVDs
Play with DVDs. If you don’t want your DVDs scratched then take them out!
babywearing dance party
Dance party! Catch it in motion!
Toys all over house
Competition to see how messy we can get the house.
Pushing Jack in a dump truck
Dump truck rides.
Jack runs on paper on the floor
Various materials on the floor that all make different sounds. Run on them or drive trucks on them!
Boat ride!
My friend and Admin, Kristin, showed us how to ride on a jet ski. Here we are going over some BIG WAVES!
Jack spinning
Spin in circles over the world.
bath time
Sometimes we just hop in the bath for no reason at all and bring half the kitchen with us.
watching construction
Have lunch at the window and watch construction.
Jack plays guitar
Let’s face it, my husband will never be in a band. Jack loves strumming the guitar or throwing things into it or standing on it.
Jack bathes in the sink
Hop in the sink when we get a bit fussy waiting for dinner!
Share your favorite indoor activities in the comments!
Abby Theuring, MSW

30 Days of Gratitude

JackA few months ago my husband and I decided to do 30 Days of Gratitude. For a couple of people who tend to whine and complain a lot it was much needed yet quite challenging. It ended up taking us about 2 months. There were some nights we forgot and some night where I was wound so tight I couldn’t bring myself to come up with something. In the end it was an exercise in allowing myself to let go of the negativity in a moment and find something about my life that should be celebrated.

1.Being healthy; as a social worker I was often involved in therapy groups or other activities where we would discuss things we are grateful for. Health is always number 1 to me.

2.Jack; my 18 month old son who change my world.

3.Beer; I really love beer.

4.Hot bubble baths; I take one every evening after my bath with Jack while my husband puts Jack’s pajamas on and plays with him in the other room.

5.An AP husband; I have too many flaws, weaknesses, short-comings, etc. to do any of this parenting thing by myself. My husband has been on board with and even led many of the changes that we have gone through as a family during our transformation to Attachment Parenting.

6.My wavering yet still intact sanity; even when I feel like I am about to completely snap and never return to the real world I find myself being able to hang on and make it through even the worst of times. Not that anything has been that bad for us, but you know those moments when life seems harder than it is.

7.My mom; she will do anything for me, my husband and son.

8.Water; I really get thirsty sometimes.

9.New friends; I have a Mama Tribe. I can turn to them for anything.

Dance party with mom and Jack

10.Dance parties; before Jack was even planned my husband and I had dance parties by ourselves in our apartment. When I became pregnant we used to fantasize about dancing with our child the same way. For well over a year Jack wanted to be held while we danced. Recently he has started dancing on his own. We now dance in a circle like high school girls at a dance in the gym. Dreams can come true.

11.Food; I really get hungry sometimes.

12.Parks; I never really appreciated parks until Jack came along. Now they are one of my favorite places to go.

13.Pepperoni pizza; have you ever had the pizza from the Whole Foods deli? It’s not cooked, you bring it home and put it in the oven. Sweet Pizza Gods, I thank you.

14.Chocolate; I suppose this is a love/hate relationship.

15.Wine; Pinot Grigio and I are long-time lovers.

16.Josh; my husband. He’s my biggest fan.

Josh and jack

17.Fans; yes, you.

18.Babywearing; I never knew I would enjoy such intimacy with another person.

19.Being alive; I wrote this after the Sandy Hook school shooting.

20.Bedhsaring; something I never thought I would do and now something I love so much it has become a part of who I am.

Jack's foot

21.Jack’s feet; there have never been a cuter pair of anything on the planet.

22.Mail; seriously, isn’t it amazing that you can put something in a mailbox on your corner and it ends up on the other side of the planet a few days later?

23.Sam; my sister. One cool chick.

24.Funny people; thank goodness for you!

25.My Dad; the most generous man I know.

26.Radicalism; after I wrote my post on nurse-ins people accused me of being radical. Although I find nurse-ins to be anything but radical I found this to be a great compliment (although that is not how it was intended).

27.Breastfeeding; always wanted to, almost didn’t. It taught me how strong I am. In fact, it taught me who I am.

28.Tea; Rose Hips is my current favorite, but it has been a long time since I have had a hot cup of it.

Jack and my dad

29.Trucks; anything that makes Jack smile that big is a favorite in my book.

30.Endings; I was truly grateful when this was over. It was difficult! Difficult changes in definition for me from day to day. Lately I feel like I have not even tasted how difficult life can be. And for that I am grateful too.

Abby Theuring, MSW

Warning: Serious Amounts of Fun Enclosed

Supplies: 2 large containers of Quick Oats, 1 shallow plastic tub or blanket on the floor, toys such as dump trucks or scoopers, etc, 1 or more babies
Jack playing in oats
Let the games begin!
Jack playing in oats
Won’t they put it in their hair? Yes!
Jack playing in oats
Won’t they throw it around the room? Yes!
jack playing in oats
Won’t they get in it? Yes!
Jack playing in oats
Won’t they eat it? Yes!
Jack playing in oats
Won’t they get covered in oats? Yes!
Kitchen full of oats
Won’t my kitchen be a mess? Yes!
**Sweep up, place back in bin and reuse.

Abby Theuring, MSW

A Day in the Life

Jack eating oats with underwear on his head

 

Jack stopped playing with his bucket of oats to pig out on his raisins. He demanded to have this pair of underwear on his head. Who am I to argue? He then heard my husband peeing (his favorite thing to watch) and took the container of raisins with him…

 

Jack walking to the bathroom with raisins and underwear on his head

 

 

Abby Theuring, MSW

 

 

Urban Playground

Jack in a puddle.

One of my biggest struggles as a mother is to let go of my agenda and listen to Jack’s. I set out to the park on an unseasonably warm day in Chicago. I mean how many days do we get to enjoy such a treat? On our way out the door Jack saw a puddle and squirmed to explore it. I tugged on his coat and coaxed him to the park. He resisted. I resisted back.

Jack in a puddle

I stopped myself and asked, “what’s the big deal? Why can’t he play here? Why does he have to play in any designated area just because it is what I thought of first?” I put him down and he jumped into the puddle. He was elated in a way not often seen. I lost 10 minutes on an extra load of laundry, but gained a happy and healthy exploring toddler whose self-esteem and brain developed leaps and bounds in a way it would not have if I had demanded his compliance of my arbitrary structure of the day. I also gained a snuggley warm bath with my baby boy who is growing faster than the speed of light. Splash on, Jack. Splash on!

Abby Theuring, MSW

Inside Out and Fabulous

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder's son.

When Jack was about 4 weeks old I was finally able to stand for longer periods of time without feeling like all of my internal organs were going to fall out of my vagina. I started getting dressed more and going on walks. My episiotomy had mostly healed so I could sit flat on my butt without having to tilt my ass to the side like I was about to let out a fart. We chose to celebrate one weekend by going to the grocery store for the first time as a family. [Read more…]