Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Giveaway Crazy

I've gone a little bonkers trying to get traffic to my website, so I've decided to do massive giveaways. Crazy? Maybe. Will it work? I hope so. The first of my 3, yes 3 giveaways is hosted by my good friend on her wonderfully popular blog. If you would like to win a custom designed photo card, hop on over to Our Growing Garden and enter to win.

If you're on Twitter, you can get yet another chance to win simply by following CupOfTeaCards. I will be giving away a custom designed photo card once I reach 150 followers.

The last giveaway is on my Facebook Fan Page. Once I hit 25 fans, I'll be giving away yet another custom designed photo card.

Ok, so maybe I'm crazy. But if it gets people to visit my site, then I'm all for it.

Oh, I might have also forgotten to mention the big Twitter Party tonight for @MySmartHands. I'm donating one of the prizes!

Friday, January 14, 2011

7 Months Old!

Two days late, but meh. Mr. Man is 7 months old! He is getting bigger by the second it seems. He is sitting like a pro and reaching to get toys, even getting on his tummy to get something he really wants. He's been known to get stuck on his tummy, which he doesn't seem to mind much anymore. Crawling is still a long way off I think. He has no interest in getting on hands and knees and he doesn't stand on my lap for long without buckling at the knees. He has finally figured out how to jump in his jolly jumper and it's now one of his favourite activities.

The question everyone seems to be asking is, "how is solids going?" The answer? Not well. We had success at first with bananas and squash, but then something changed. Over
Christmas, Matthew cut 4 teeth, yes 4 TEETH, all at once! AND he got a pretty bad cold that sent us running to emerge at 1 am after a high fever and vomiting. Needless to say, the poor boy didn't feel well. He began to refuse solids, and then he started eating less and less milk. He had trouble nursing because he couldn't breath well. He even started drinking less milk from a bottle and we had to offer him 1/2 oz at a time every 15 minutes, or whenever he made a peep. It was a long and rough Christmas for us, but Matthew got better and was back to his normal self (almost) in short order.

Once he started feeling better, I started offering him solids again. This did not go so well. I would heat up some of my lovely homemade food and what would I get? A closed mouth and turned head and crying. I kept offering, and he kept refusing. I offered him bits of peas and carrots on his tray, Baby Mum Mums, and even resorted to tricking him by letting him chew on a spoon, then shoveling in some food when I saw an open mouthed opportunity. I managed to occasionally shovel in some peaches, or sweet potatoes, or squash, but it was a struggle and neither one of us was happy.

And THEN Matthew got what I thought was a teething rash. It started on his face and progressed to his chest, then his back, arms and legs. Wait a minute, this doesn't sound like just a teething rash. After talking to my sister in law, and watching Matthew rub his face like crazy and cry in pain from the itch, I decided to take him to the nearest walk in clinic. The doctor quickly agreed that it was not a teething rash. He immediately thought it is likely an allergic reaction to something he ate, or something I ate. Since I haven't changed my diet, and he's been breastfed for 7 months, we narrowed it down to something he ate. The doctor prescribed some mild cortisone cream and told me to give him some Benadryl and apply the cream and stop all food until the rash has cleared.

So that's where we are with solids. We've stopped all solids for a while and are diligently applying the cream twice a day. The rash is slowly clearing and Matthew is much happier without the constant itching. We hope to start Matthew on solids soon, from the beginning, and this time I will be keeping a journal of everything he eats, and how he reacts to it. I hope by the time we try again, he is a willing participant in the adventure.

I've read that sometimes kids with allergies refuse solids. Perhaps they instinctively know something. Perhaps this is why Matthew suddenly stopped eating. Or perhaps he stopped eating because his poor mouth hurt so much from cutting 4 teeth at once. We'll probably never know why he refused to eat solid food, but I hope he changes his mind soon. He is a growing boy after all. But you'd never know he is a 7 month old who isn't eating solids from the look of him. I mean LOOK at him! He's a big boy for sure. I love my big boy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Matthew and I went to a New Year's Resolutions playdate. We met at Second cup, and the mommies got coffee or hot chocolate, and the babies played with their toys on mommy's lap and looked and laughed at each other. The number 1 resolution? What else: lose weight. My first resolution is similar: stop eating McDonalds! Really, we stoop to McDs way too often. I'm tired, we haven't planned dinner, and on the way home, R will pick something up. It's not healthy, and it's not the way I want to raise my son. Of course, on the way home from the playdate I picked up ... McDonalds. DOH! Eating healthy would require grocery shopping and I haven't done that yet. There's always next week.

Resolution #2. CLEAN THIS HOUSE! Too often I come home and use the kitchen table as a dumping ground. Any purchases, or junk, or mail, or whatever, just get dumped on the nearest table. This means we have to clear it every evening with a big sweep of the arm before we can eat dinner, or better yet, eat dinner out of a bowl on the couch. Not exactly how I want to live my life. So I resolve to put things away as soon as I get home, or shortly thereafter. Perhaps when Mr Man goes down for a nap. It's always a much bigger chore to clean the house when you have to declutter first. Better to clean as you go, or at least that's the theory.

Resolution #3. Put more effort into Cup of Tea Photo Cards and perhaps start making some money! Maybe even get one day (read night) off a week to work on new products and promotion. I've got ideas coming out the ying yang and I'm getting distracted so I never finish one idea before moving on to the next. Currently I'm working on Alphabet cards. I'm making two versions, a regular animal alphabet, and a Canadian one. Do you have any idea how hard it is to come up with a Canadian animal that starts with X? My biggest obstacle in resolution #3 is drumming up more business. As luck would have it, one of the moms at the playdate was an internet marketer and she offered her services FREE because she wants to help out other moms. So hopefully I can get a headstart on my most important resolution of the year. I know I'll never be able to replace my income as a teacher, but I would love to have a little extra spending money.

So, here I am, on January 6, and at least I've made resolutions. I know the ladies in my Mom group are going to help me stick to them, and we meet next month to see how we're all doing. I've made my resolutions, have you made yours?