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Friday, November 12, 2010

Pre-Thanksgiving sale

Ecobuns is having a Pre-Thanksgiving sale! Tue the 23rd and Wed the 24th. 15% off storewide online and in store check them out! They carry cloth diapers and more! This is a local store to me, that I visit quite often. I absolutely love this store! Check out all that they have to offer.

Click HERE to shop

Momma Bears

Mom's are strong, yet sensitive creatures.

It's the reason I got so many tips and advice from complete strangers when I was pregnant. It's the reason I continue to get tips and advice from complete strangers now that my baby is...well....a baby!

As moms, we want to believe that what we are doing is the best for our babies. We don't like to be questioned. When someone asks our opinion, we are going to give it, and we are not going to like any other opinions that differs from ours.

Take the recent uproar from the cloth diaper community when they felt attacked by the Early show. It was a little crazy how many comments this poor woman got personally attacking her.

I recently posted a link to a post that you may recognize advising guys on what do when a woman breastfeeds in front of them. The personal attacks on my facebook were totally uncalled for!

I will never judge another mother on how to raise their child. (As long as there is no abuse going on, then I will have to step in.)

There is a time and a place for formula, disposable diapers, and strollers. But like all other moms, I think I have found some great ideas, products, resources, etc. I won't look down on anyone for not seeing the same way I do.

Mom's put their whole heart and soul into raising their children. We need to stand besides each other, building each other up!

Whatever you decide, you are doing the best for your child!! Keep up the good work momma!!

Today's challenge, find one mom today to tell that you think is doing a great job! Send her an e-mail, a short letter, or better yet, a phone call. Let's spread some positive around!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Star blog on Bassigiraffe's thoughts

I was chosen as the star blog this week! Yay! Check out the link!

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Adventures in Baby Food making: Squash

Today my sister, baby A, and I made a trip down to the local Farmer's Market. It was super windy, so there weren't many vendors there, but we still got plenty of yummy food to make for baby A.




We had such a great time preparing everything!



















I love this picture! Baby A is really showing signs of being ready for food!!











When all was said and done, we had made 1/2 bag of rice for rice cereal(I had no clue that you could actually make this!), one acorn squash, two butternut squash, a pie pumpkin, and two rutabagas. (Seriously, thanks to my sister for suggesting this while at the Farmer's Market. I would have never thought of that being a baby food!)

We had a great time! I can't wait to see how baby A likes it all. We made a ton, and I'm working on freezing it all now. I'm putting into ice cube trays and then storing them in freezer bags. I hope baby A likes squash!

Up next, green veggies! (green beans? peas? Who knows. I'll just have to see what looks good at the grocery store. I should have done these this summer when they were in season. Oh well. Live and learn) :)




Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween with a baby carrier

This year is my little man's first halloween. I have a thing for themes, so I wanted hubs, baby and I to match. Baby is going to be a monkey. I thought about us going as zoo keepers. But then I thought, WAIT! I have a Moby wrap! I decided to be a tree. If only I could convince my husband to be a banana.

So I started browsing the internet, and I found tons of cute ideas for costumes and wraps! Here are my favorites!

-pretty peacock
-Totwheels
-Dad as football player, baby as football, mom as cheerleader.
-Bee on a giant flower
-Spider on a web
-Farmer with a baby chick hatching
-kangaroo


Here is a list of other costumes that are simple to make. Super great for the last minute mom. :)

I'll see how it goes tomorrow on my hunt to find things to make my tree costume. I'll have to figure out what to do with my husband. There are so super cute ideas out there?

Are you using your baby carrier as part of your costume? Or a theme for your family? I want to know!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

To line dry, or not to line dry.


I have a "co-worker" that is always negative. Let's call her Negative Nancy. No matter what you say, she will find a negative in it. I say "I love my new neighbors. They made us cookies" Nancy says, "I hate my neighbors. They are plotting against me. I baked them cookies, and no one said thank you."

*sigh*

The latest negative?

Me, "I had such a great day today! I took baby outside for a walk in the morning, I pushed him in his swing, and spent the whole day outside while diapers were drying."

Nancy, "Line drying is so nasty. Why would you expose your child to that!?!"

So it got me thinking. (I find it's best just not to respond to someone who always thinks the are right.)

I sat there and thought. Are there really people who think that line drying is gross? Who are these people? What do they believe in? And really, is line drying gross.

Let's look at the pros and cons. I did some research online and took my own common sense. :) Here's what I came up with.

Pros:
1. Saving electricity. It was a rule in my house growing up that if we wanted to run the air during the summer, we had to hang our clothes out on the line to offset the cost.
2. Extra exercise. Walking the clothes out, bending and stretching. It's all good for the body. Every little bit helps to burn off that baby fat.
3. Safer. You never have to worry about the clothesline catching on fire because you forgot to empty the lint trap. (You should never leave the house while your dryer is running! Huge fire risk)
4. Disinfectant and stain remover. Ultraviolet light from the sun disinfects, and takes stains right out! I didn't really believe this one until I had a really bad stained diaper that didn't have a stain on it after being out in the sun for two hours!
5. It can help clean up the air inside of your house! See here for more info. (It's tip H)
6. Better on your clothes. The fabric holds up longer. Dryer lint is a thin layer that has been sheared from your clothes. The high heat can also create havoc on clothes. The perfect jeans can end up in the back of the closet until you lose another twenty pounds.
7. Encourages you to only have attractive delicates/undergarments.
8. Smells great! I love the smell of freshly laundered, line dried sheets!
*What other pros can you think of?*


Cons:
1. Bugs. Potential for bugs (and birds) to linger and/or leave you a reminder of their visit.
2. Takes more time to walk outside and hang the clothes up. (oh boo whoo. This should be removed as a con. Exercise is good for you)
3. There may be rules/regulations in your community.
4. If you need an item right away, you are out of luck.
*What other cons can you think of?*

I want to know your opinion. What do you think?

To line dry, or not to line dry?

That is the question.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baby needs Daddy

I am a stay at home Mom. The way I see it, the only job I have is to raise my son and take care of my house. My son had a mild case of Torticollis and Plagiocephaly. Thankfully, both were mild, and reversible with physical therapy.

I left a career as a Brain Injury Specialist working as a therapy assistant to be a stay at home mom. I worked with the therapist and followed the home program to a T. (And then some) Baby A made great advances at every session and we were able to stop therapy early, and ended up not needing a helmet.

Yay Mommy.

But then there is Daddy. My husband works 40-60 hours a week. Plus the drive to and from work. He is an amazing dad and an even better husband. He is gone most of the time that Baby A is up, so he makes the most of the time that he has.

The Rattle
I worked for weeks to get baby A to take a rattle in his hand. I even made a special trip to the store to buy some different ones that I thought he would take to. It wasn't too successful. Baby A would hold on for about three seconds before dropping it. I tried and tried and tried.

Then one evening while I was making dinner, I looked over at my husband and son playing. There was my son WAVING a rattle around. Up, down and all around! I was shocked!

"How did you do that?!?!" I yelled.
"I just gave it to him," my husband shrugged.

Sitting unsupported
Since we stopped therapy, I have been working overtime to meet baby A's goals. The current one is sitting unsupported. He has got the prop sit down, but is still working on his balance. I spent ALL DAY today working with him. I have been working with him for a while on it, but it's coming down to crunch time. Before I can get his six month pictures taken, he must be able to sit unsupported. (A selfish reason, yes. But it is the next thing we are supposed to be working on.)

Tonight, while I was cleaning up dinner, I looked over at my husband and son, there they sat. Both of them. Baby A sitting unsupported waving his arms around! I just stood there, jaw dropped!

Conclusion:
My baby is going to be a Daddy's boy. The little stinker just wants to show off for Daddy.

Grandma El's Coupon

Jon Posner from Grandma El's Diaper Rash and Remedy Prevention has graciously allowed me to post a coupon for all of my readers to use at Grandma El's.

How it works:

Check out my review of Grandma El's diaper cream here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Grandma El's review

When I began my journey in cloth diapering just over six months ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Like most of you, I had no idea that there were so many rules! (Don't wash with this detergent, only use special diaper rash cream....) But like most of you, I quickly found out how easy all of the "rules" are to follow.

I am very fortunate that I have two great cloth diaper stores in my area. If it wasn't for EcoBuns I probably would have never come as far as I have with CD'ing. My first trip in EcoBuns, Kellie explained to me that I needed to use special diaper rash cream. (no zinc oxide that most creams have) Thankfully, she introduced me to Grandma El's.

Grandma El's Diaper Rash Remedy and Prevention Ointment:

(This information in this section in italics is taken from the Grandma El's Website. Check out the Grandma El's website, where you can learn more and purchase Grandma El's, here!)

How It Works

Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Remedy & Prevention is a Patented Skin Soothing, and Healing Ointment. This unique Pediatrician Tested product has been used by Grandma El since 1974 to successfully treat and heal diaper rash.

Grandma El’s creates a skin softening, protective barrier which prevents wetness and stool enzymes from coming into contact with your baby’s bottom, while allowing the skin to breathe; something no other product offers. Grandma El’s promotes the growth of new skin collagen, which helps the healing process.

Grandma El has put an end to the white, messy paste, lotions, and creams. Grandma El’s knows that for the skin to heal, it needs to breathe. Other products coat the skin, and stop the skin from breathing, thereby slowing the healing process. Grandma El’s patented formula lets your baby’s skin breathe as it protects.

Recent studies have shown Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Remedy & Prevention to help in the following:

· Preventing skin breakdown

· Healing irritation and chapping· Promoting the growth of new skin collagen

· Soothing and softens baby’s skin making for a comforting experience

· Allowing skin to ‘breathe’ while protecting the skin from wetness and bacterial contamination Stopping redness, itching, pain, and soreness

Ingredients

Grandma El’s is manufactured by an FDA and cGMP compliant skin care product manufacturer. The formulation of Grandma El’s is comprised of ingredients which are derived from natural and organic origin, and contains no preservatives. Grandma El's only contains ingredients on the FDA GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) List and is Hypo-Allergenic so you can be assured your baby is getting the safest therapy.
Our ingredients:

  • Anti-oxidant Natural Vitamin E , derived from Wheat Germ Oil (D alpha tocopherol acetate)
  • Natural active derivatives of the plant Balsam of Peru, a known healing agent
  • Salicylic Acid, derived from Willow bark and Wintergreen; this ingredient acting with Vitamin E can promote the growth of new skin
  • Yellow Petrolatum, derived from naturally occurring mineral oil
  • Insecticide-free Anhydrous Lanolin, a naturally occurring, allergy-free protecting and healing agent


Yellow Petrolatum and Insecticide-free Anhydrous Lanolin are FDA approved healing agents and protectants, while Vitamin E, Derivatives of Balsam of Peru, and Salicylic Acid heal and stimulate production of new cells.

Many other well known diaper rash products contain ingredients which are not on the FDA GRAS List. Some of these unproven and possibly unsafe ingredients are sodium borate, benzalkonium chloride, boric acid, calcium undecylenate, hexachlorophene, p-chloromercuriphenol, phenol, resorcinol, and triclosan. Please refer to the product you currently use to see if these ingredients are used.

DOES NOT CONTAIN BORIC ACID (Boric Acid has been removed from the FDA Safe List, yet many products today still contain it). Please visit the FDA website at www.fda.gov for further information.


What do I think?!


Pros

  • Smells great! Even my husband loves it!
  • Works great at prevention as well as healing diaper rash
  • Perfect for cloth diapers
  • Organic and natural ingredients, none of the ingredients recommended to stay away from
  • Preservative free
  • The tubes are just the right size! Perfect for home and travel. I have two tubes. One for diaper bag, and one for home. We have been using it about five months, and it is just now time to get new tubes.
  • Has many other uses, like clearing up cradle cap and stretch-mark reduction. (See complete list here)
Cons

  • This ointment does not work on rashes due to fungal or bacteria infection, or that occur when baby is sick and has the 'runs.'
  • The small tube does make it easy to misplace when searching through a crammed diaper bag.

Overall, I love it! I highly recommend this to everyone! Ready to try some samples before you buy? Try here. *Note, at time of review, the site was out of free samples, but advises to keep checking back*


Monday, October 4, 2010

What's a guy to do?

I nurse in public like it's my job. Then again, it kind of is. It is my job to keep my baby fed. I still remember the first time I cleared a room. Baby A was about a month old, and my old roommate from Denver had come home for a visit with her boyfriend. I bundled up baby A and took him over to her parent's house to visit. Of course he was cluster feeding, so of course I had to feed him.

I'm a professional nurser. (Like I said, it's my job) I wear two shirts. I use a burp cloth to cover any thing that may be seen while baby A is trying to latch. I don't mess around.

But the look of horror on the boyfriend's face still surprised me. I have never seen a person jump up so quickly. His face turned red and he went to head (I mean run) out of the room. Followed by roommate's sister and other friend. (He mumbled something about not being able to look at another woman's breast in front of his girlfriend.)

There I sat with my long time friend while I fed my baby. The friend that I had spent many late nights at the bar with. The friend I had left in Denver (along with the party lifestyle) to return home to Michigan to get married and have children. The three of us were all alone. I give my friend props for staying with me. We could hear everyone laughing; having a good time in the other room. It forced her to chose between her old roomate that she hadn't seen in a year, and everyone else. (I'm not going to lie, I'm glad she picked me.)

So what's a guy to do?

I'm a huge lactivist. But I understand not everyone else is. I appreciate that not everyone has seen a woman nurse her baby. Men especially, can feel a lot of stress in this situation. Let me offer some advice.

1. To stay or go?

Stay were you are. If Mom starts to nurse in front of you, it's because she thinks its normal. If she wanted to be cast off from the group, she would leave. Let her enjoy your company. She's surrounded by baby talk all day. Don't take grown up time away from her!

2. To talk, or not to talk?

Follow her lead on conversation. Some babies are easily distracted. Others could nurse through a tornado. Men have no way of knowing this, and to be honest, moms don't either. It can change from day to day. If mom wants to talk, talk to her. If not, keep checking your Facebook on your phone.

3. Where to look?

Babies are cute. And for the most part, so are the containers their milk come from. Stare if you must. The same rules apply to bottle fed babies as breast fed babies. If you would look at a baby eating from a bottle, feel free to look at the nursing baby. If you shy away from babies in general, check your Twitter on your phone. These containers are often cuter than a bottle, but just as you wouldn't take a bottle out of a baby's mouth to suck on it yourself, don't ask the baby to unlatch so you can admire them up close.

In summary:

If a mom wants to nurse in front of you, take it as a compliment. She thinks you can handle it. Go with the flow. And if you're going to look, just make sure it's at the baby. Never, never ever look at a nursing mother's stomach!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

When to start solids?

Baby A turned five months old Sunday. He is still exclusivly breastfed. Expect for the doses of Tylenol after the vacinations (one was oral) and the gentian violet, he has never had anything other than milk in his mouth.

Well, there was that one time when he was two months old, and his Aunt thought that he wanted watermelon. She put watermelon juice on her finger and stuck it in his mouth. Twice.

I was not happy.

This is the aunt that has a child. The aunt that flipped out when her baby (who was already eating solids) was given an oreo cookie. Now, I understand, watermelon is the lesser of two evils. But baby A is not eating solids of any kind.

Then there is my mother.

My sisters and I were started on rice cereal around 3 months old. So she is less than pleased that baby A hasn't started solids yet. She keeps pushing it. She was pretty sure we would come home from his four month checkup and announce that his pediatrician recommended us starting him on solids. But no such luck.

So that brings us to this weekend. My mom gave baby A frosting. I'm not sure how much. But it really got to me. To the point that I teared up a bit.

Did I overreact? Maybe.

I know she means well. I know that she is excited because this is her first Grandbaby. And she does so much for us. She watches him whenever we need her to. She spoils him like crazy. She loves him silly. I know she does everything out of love.

So, where do you draw the line? What battles do you fight and what do you let slide?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nursing at Graduation

I was recently asked to be a guest blogger for cloth diaper addiction. She is doing a series on nursing. I thought a long time about what to write, and finally settled on a blog about nursing support. It was a toss up between that and nursing in public.

I don't think enough people talk about nursing in public. It is a huge milestone for a breastfeeding mom. A lot of my breastfeeding friends will pump to go out so they don't have to lift their shirt in front of strangers.

I'll admit, the first time I did I wasn't very prepared. My son was less than two weeks old and we were out watching my sister Dutch Dance at the Tulip Time Festival. We had just gotten done getting my son's newborn pictures done and he was hungry. So I just sat down on the sidewalk and prepared to nurse.

My sister saw what I was about to do and gawked in horror. "You are NOT going to just whip them out for the whole world to see are you?!?!!?!" Her comment really got to me. I wore two shirts like most other women will advise. One to pull up, one to keep my tummy covered. I even put my stroller directly behind me to block the view of anyone standing in the grass behind me. What my sister didn't realize is that her comment made me so frazzled, that I couldn't relax enough to get my son to latch on.

That's when my mother stepped in.

It was the beginning of May and still chilly, so I had brought a couple of blankets. So she grabbed a blanket to help me cover up. I felt so embarrassed to have my mom standing there holding a blanket over me. My face was red, my son was hungry and fussy, and I just couldn't get things right. I ended up mostly giving up and nursing in the car. (Not as easy as I thought. A Ford Focus was not meant for a car seat AND a mom nursing in the back seat. I may have covered the window with milk)

After that, I refused to leave my house for more than an hour and a half. I was not going to feed baby A anywhere other than the privacy of my own house. (The only exception to that was at my mom's house. I could nurse perfectly fine in front of my family.)

Then came my aforementioned sister's graduation from high school. Almost a month to the day since my last NIP attempt, I was going to be in a stadium surrounded by hundreds of people for at least two hours. I knew this was my best chance to get over my fear. First, my sister would not be around to make comments. Second, it was my sister's graduation. I wasn't going to miss it!

This time, I set myself up for success. I practiced at home and worked on coving up with my shirt. Baby A never liked a blanket or cover. Even at home, he would wiggle and try to get out from underneath it. I gave up trying and worked with what I had. I also attended a nursing support group once a week, and saw how other mom's didn't use blankets, but that I really couldn't see any of them at all once baby was latched on. And latching on only took a second or two. I practiced undoing my nursing tank and sliding it down only when baby A was at my breast ready to open his mouth and latch on. I even found the best place to put my nursing pad was to tuck it just inside the cup of the tank on the side I wasn't nursing on.

When my son began showing signs of hunger, I realized I had missed on minor (ok major) detail. Graduation was held at the football stadium. We were in the stadium seats. That means that people were be sitting behind/above me looking down at the field...and my boobs.

I took a deep breath, and proceeded to go through all the steps I had practiced. Elbowing the 20-something guy sitting behind me. Oops. I took another deep breath and continued. I got my son latched on. YAY! I nursed him through the opening speeches. I laughed at the great stories told. (The valedictorian made life comparisons to Sponge Bob Square Pants. I won't be forgetting that speech any time soon)

When my sister's name was called to receive her diploma, I was holding a sleeping, content baby, who slept right through my cheers for her.

I've been nursing in public without fear ever since.




Sunday, September 12, 2010

First time Thrush Part 2

The verdict:

Gentian Violet is worth the wild goose chase. One "dose" did the trick!

I diluted the Gentian Violet by mixing one teaspoon GV and one teaspoon water. (The internet said that 2% is too strong and can leave ulcers in baby's mouth). I used a Q-tip and "painted" the inside of A's mouth and tongue. Poor guy has never had anything other than breastmilk (and one dose of Tylenol at his last round of shots) and this weekend he has had Tylenol, a oral vaccination, and now Gentian Violet. He was not too pleased with the taste of it. He gave me the most pathetic look I have ever seen!!!!

Anyways, right after I painted his mouth I fed him. The intention was to pass on some of the GV to me. But when I took him off, I didn't see any one me. But I wasn't having any symptoms myself, so I didn't bother to go get another Q-tip and paint myself.

It wasn't as messy as what I thought it was going to be. I had no staining of A's clothes. But he is a spitter, so I am working on getting a few purple stains out of some burp cloths. :)

After about 24 hours, he didn't look like he ate a grape Popsicle anymore and the white had vanished along with the purple!

I did run all of the binkies and toys that he chews on through the dishwasher twice.

Looks like we made it through!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First time thrush

I've heard all about it. But it has usually just gone in one ear and out the other. Right along with everything about sore and cracked nipples. It just didn't apply to me. And if it didn't apply to me, I didn't really care that much. But now I'm regretting it a bit. Ok, a lot.

That's right. My poor baby has thrush.

I attend a weekly breastfeeding support group at a local hospital. They talk about thrush at least twice a month. I have only missed two sessions sense my son was born. So I have heard a lot about it. But I never really worried about it. I am past the sore and cracked nipples, so I didn't think I had anything to worry about.

And then Andrew got some white patches on his tongue. On a day that his pediatrician has off. So I went to KellyMom to find out everything that I could about it. There was a lot off good advice there, but sometimes, you can have too much information. So while I was waiting to the doctor's office to figure out which on call to call, my mom called. Apparently, my youngest sister got thrush all the time. As she was telling me all about failing with Nysatin and finally using the "old fashion" treatment that the doctor told her about as a last resort I remembered my sister having purple lips all the time.

Thus began the "wild goose chase" for Gentian Violet. My doctor told the nurse to tell me to use Lotrmin. When I asked her about Gentian Violet, she told me that my doctor said it was an option, but that it is very hard to find in this area.

He was right. I spent two hours on the phone. I started with every health food store in the area. After I called everyone, I moved on to pharmacies. I was working my way down my list when my husband called. He picked up a prescription at a pharmacy by his work, and they didn't have any in stock. He was going to try stopping by one more on his way home. On his way to the one he was going to try, he saw a Rite Aid on the same side of the road that he was on. So he pulled in there randomly. And they had it!!!

We will see how it works tomorrow!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another trip with cloth diapers

I am back! My computer was unavailable for a while. But now I'm back!

A and I went on our first out of state trip with cloth diapers last month. We are about to do it again tomorrow. This time we are bringing my husband! :) We are headed up to see my side of the family. Most of whom have not met A yet. I'm super excited. I'm much more confident in this trip than the last one.

1. I know I'm not going to be away from A this trip. Last time was a business trip. My sister came along to watch A while I was in seminars all weekend. I'm so excited I don't have to bring any milk or my pump with me. It's so much less stress not having to figure out how much milk to pack!

2. My husband is coming with me this time. This means that I don't have to drive this time! I can sleep while he drives! Maybe my first nap in quite a LONG time. :)

3. This trip is more for relaxation. Baby A is going to get to meet my extended family for the first time. I get to see my family for the first time in a long time. The last time my husband and I went up was last January for my Grandparent's 50 year anniversary.

4. I know that cloth diapers on a road trip is not that bad. The last trip, A had two explosions on the way down to Cincinnati. The van did not stink at all. :) I had read a lot about people complaining their car stunk on a road trip with cloth diaper. But we road for 7 hours with at least one dirty diaper, and neither of us noticed a stink.

5. I've done it before, so I know what to expect. Doesn't it always seem that it's more scary to do something you have never done before? This time, I've done it before. I know babies can change and are unpredictable, but I have high hopes for this trip. So I'm much more relaxed.

It feels good to be back! Expect much more great posts soon!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

First blog!

It seems that everyone has a blog these days. Stay at home Mom's, working Mom's, Single ladies, married ladies, people who travel, people who cook, people who don't ever leave their house, people that live in the city, people that live in the country.....the list goes on and on. Not wanting to be left out of the cyber trend, I have decided to start a blog.

I am a stay at home Mom. At least that is my title. I don't really like to "stay at home." We go out quite a bit. :) I have one son. He is a month old. I am not one to share all sorts of personal details, so I will leave it out for now.

I'm not sure where this blog is going. Any suggestions for new bloggers???
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