Blog Posts by Shannon Hoehnen

  • 10 Books Perfect for One-Year-Olds

    One of my wishes for Sawyer is that he develops a true love for reading. It seems like kids these days so quickly become glued to the latest device - iPads, touches, TVs (read my view on that here)! Sure, there is likely a time and places for games and gadgetry, but I want the real fun and joy to come from live play and getting lost in a book. I look forward to the day that "one more" bedtime story becomes 15. I look forward to when Sawyer grads some of his favorites and runs over to me, wanting to read together.

    And he certainly has enough to choose from! And while we constantly rotate the books we're reading, he has glommed on to a few favorites that he does actually point to or bring to me to read him (melts me heart every time).

    While I wish I could list 25-30 books we are loving at the moment, I'll try and keep it to 10.

    Sawyer's Reading list - 10 Books perfect for 1 year olds


    fuzzy yellow ducklings bookfuzzy yellow ducklings book

    Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings

    This book is a charming introduction to

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  • Sleeping Through the Night -- Motherhood Confessions

    Sleeping through the night.

    we. are. not.

    Negative. Not happening. Failure.

    My awesome sleep training? Oh, it's workin' alright - on ME. Boy has got me wrapped around his little finger.

    We had made so much progress, too! The little man had become a crib-napping champion and was going down with ease only waking once or twice. But after being sick and sleeping on mommy (and her crumbling bones) for three nights straight, we went back to square one.

    Bottom line - and I know this is controversial, and I know that it's the tried and true "way to do it." - I do not believe in traditional cry-it-out methods and I will not do them. Ever.

    What I hate so much about the whole "sleeping though the night concept" is that it makes moms feel like crap. Like I'm doing something wrong. Like I'm incapable. Like I'm letting my baby develop poor sleeping habits. Like I'm enabling him. Like I haven't tried 2875 methods. Like I don't stick to the same bedtime routine - we do!

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  • User Post: Why I'm not making my own baby food

    I tend to get a little ahead of myself. It's a tragic downfall actually. If the Mister and I make plans, I get SO excited about said plans that I start to play it out in my mind - what I'll wear, what I'll order to eat, etc. If for whatever reason these plans don't pan out, expect chaos. Seriously.

    I'm getting better, but it's still a struggle.

    Same goes with my plans for my little man. I've shared our experience and preconceived notions on the swing , remember?

    Ever since I got pregnant, I would smile with pride when explaining to others that I was going to make my son's baby food. OF COURSE I wanted to provide the highest quality, organic ingredients for my little one. OF COURSE I wanted to know where the food had come from. OF COURSE I wanted to be the perfect supermommy.

    When I shared my plans with my pediatrician, he didn't look at me with wonder and awe. What's wrong with him, I thought?! Isn't he impressed I'm willing to go the extra mile for my son?


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  • User Post: Mommy Guilt - how do you deal?

    I'd been looking forward to last night all week long. I had plans to grab dinner after work with some of my favorite ladies. We were planning on heading to Tratorria - one of my favorite spots from my Little Italy days. To say I'd been dreaming about the meat sauce is an understatement.

    But as 5:00 neared, the pit in my stomach grew heavier and heavier and heavier.

    What about the Mister and Bean (don't worry, Bean is a nickname)? Would Bean coopperate for the Mister? Would he get cleaned and in his jammies? Would he go to bed upset? Would he think I abandoned him? Would the Mister feel like I "dumped" bedtime duty on him? Maybe I should pull-out. I'm sure I could think of an excuse. Then I could get home by 5:30 and have the whole night with Bean and the Mister.

    I shared these strings of consciousness with the Mister and he quickly whipped me back into shape and reminded me how much I'd been looking forward the meat sauce hanging out with my friends. He made me

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  • Sh*t Happens

    So poop now consumes 43% of my daily thoughts, conversations and musings.

    Green poop. Orange poop. Squishy poop. Runny poop. Coiled poop. Mud-like poop. Floating poop. Seedy poop. Must I go on? Because I can…

    I'll spare you - no sense dragging all of you down with me.

    I'll also spare you from the photo I captured and immediately sent to the Mister featuring one of my son's largest logs to date. I figured if I had to experience it in person, the Mister, at the very least, could be repulsed for a few seconds via picture-text. If only I could capture the smell so that he too, could experience the burning sensation starting in the retinas, we'd really be in business.

    If someone would have told me six months ago that a large part of my day would be devoted to my son's meal planning (by "meal planning", I'm of course referring to selecting the perfect ratio of constipation and non-constipation causing fruits and veggies), I would have sh*t my own pants.

    But so goes the

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  • Beer, golf and setting your priorities

    My dad sent me a chain email yesterday.

    My dad is NOT the type of guy to send an email chain, so I knew there were really two things that could have happened:

    1.) He was the newest victim of a ShoppyBag-like virus

    2.) It was actually something worth sharing

    Luckily for all involved, it was the later. And it resonated so much with me and where I'm at in my life right now, that I've made the executive decision to share it with all of you.

    You're welcome.

    When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember this story:

    A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls…

    He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly. The

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  • Tips for traveling with a baby

    DSC03635 (Medium)DSC03635 (Medium)

    Now that we have two successful trips with our 4 1/2 month son under our belts, I thought it might be helpful to share some of our learnings and experiences with those who are just thinking about taking their first vacation with their little ones.

    Be flexible

    Traveling with children can be a wonderful experience - if you go with the flow. Try and keep your expectations low and you'll likely be pleasantly surprised. If you are a planner - LET IT GO! Your little one may get fussy in the long car ride or hot heat and improvisation may be required. That really cool activity you had planned might last 5 minutes before you realize it really wasn't a great idea, so keep your itinerary simple. I suggest putting a limit on the amount of "scheduled" activities a day. Keep it to one planned outing and you'll find it's much easier to make last-minute adjustments.

    Destination is key

    Now's not the time to try out a swanky hotel. Choose a relaxing destination that's

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  • Everything you ever wanted to know about breastfeeding

    Warning: This post contains words like "boob," "nipple," and "suck." If any of those words make you uncomfortable, skip this post and come back another day. For those of you brave enough to continue, don't say I didn't warn you.

    BREASTFEEDING "SUCKS" - ha! I crack myself up!

    The truth is, for some women it does prove to be quite difficult and for others it works just as nature intended. As for me, I think I started off somewhere in-between and have gotten to a place where it works really well for both me and Bean (note, Bean is my son's nickname).

    For those of you who are interested, you can read about the benefits of breastfeeding here . Please remember that breastfeeding vs. formula feeding is a personal choice. As an infant, I was formula-fed, as was the Mister, and we turned out a-ok. But after hearing all the benefits (and knowing we'd save mucho mulah not buying formula), it was a simple choice for us - I would give breastfeeding 110% and then re-evaluate if for

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  • Do some sunscreens actually accelerate cancer? Make sure yours is safe!

    Last year I wrote about my distaste for tanning. Of course, Shannon, of course. You are ghastly pale, of course you are going to advocate that being pale rocks.

    This may be true, my friends, but I'm also kind of scared of…oh, I dunno…CANCER. Sure, being tan makes us feel sexy, but some unsightly melanoma would quickly change that. Anyway, I digress. We all know cancer sucks. We all know sun causes damage to our skin . So we do the right thing and lather up with sunblock, right?


    The Mister recently sent me an article announcing a new study that claiming that Many Sunscreens May Be Accelerating Cancer

    Um, what?

    You mean that white stuff I've been slathering on my body to protect myself is actually harming me? You've got to be kidding me.

    According to the article, almost half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer. This is because they contain vitamin A or its

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  • Happy Father's Day to the First-Time Dads!

    Father's Day is coming up and my 4-month son and I have been putting our heads together on how to make the day special for the Mister. In doing so, my son wanted me to share some of his thoughts that he doesn't quite have the skills yet to say himself. Luckily, I'm a mind-reader - one of my many newly discovered talents as a mother. In certain that for many of you first-time Daddys out there, the message rings true for you, too!

    Dear Daddy,

    If I could talk, I'd tell you just how thankful I am that God picked you to be mine.

    I'd tell you that even though you think I'm small and not paying attention, I see the way you look at me with unconditional love.

    I see the way you take care of Mommy, further allowing her to be the woman we both need. When you don't think I'm looking, I see you peek in on me at night to make sure I'm snug as a bug. And I hear you positioning the fans, nightlights and humidifier so I have optimal sleeping conditions.

    I hear the curses under

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