Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Not much time to post but wanted to pop on. Despite an oddly grouchy morning (thanks to a certain 3 year old who was NOT full of Christmas cheer), we had a really nice holiday when all was said and done. Gifts were a bit more simple this year, but all were received with gratitude. Tons of rich and delicious foods were consumed... and maybe some holiday spirits as well. :)

I feel tremendously blessed today. December 2008 was a very difficult time. The whole year was one of loss for several reasons. As I reflect on how much I have been given this year, I cannot help but be thankful. God is good. And sometimes life is good too.

Today I celebrate the gifts of family, love and the Greatest Gift of All... my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

SNOW

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas....



These were taken yesterday afternoon. The storm finished up early this morning. DH is currently digging us out. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

she's crafty

Hey, but you already know that. I always hoped I'd have a kid who liked artsy fartsy stuff too. W so far is more interested in turning art supplies into projectiles. He does like to help cook/bake so I can't complain. So we recently did two crafts that were close enough to food that he was into it.

First we made cinnamon/applesauce ornaments. It's sooo easy. Basically take equal parts cinnamon (get the cheap kind from the dollar store) and applesauce. Mix well to make a dough. Roll out between two pieces of waxed paper to about 1/8" and cut out with cookie cutters. I used a straw to punch out holes at the top. W liked this part because the dough got stuck in the straw... hello projectile! So that's when I lost him and he started trying to make cinnamon spit balls. Then you let them dry at a low low oven temp or just air dry and turn them a few times. I'm not posting pics as they are gifts this year. My house smells delightfully of cinnamon everytime you walk in the front door. mmmm
Then today we made cheater gingerbread houses. I constructed the houses out of graham crackers and hot sugar syrup. I was going to use hot glue but it just peeled off the crackers. The sugar method is a bit dangerous but it really worked well.

You melt a bunch of white sugar in a small skillet until it turns liquid. Dip the edges of the cracker in the syrup and carefully stick them together. They cool almost instantly. But it is HOT. Yes I got a couple minor burns in the process.

Me: OUCH!!
W: What happened?
Me: I just burned my finger.
W: Remember what God says.
Me: What's that?
W: You always need to be careful.

hahaha

Oh yeah, back to the project. I made royal icing and we used that to glue on various candies and some animal crackers. W had SO much fun. He was way into it. We actually had some extra houses so he decorated 3 of them and wanted to do more! Unfortunately I broke his last one but we both laughed it off. I think this will definitely be a new family tradition!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

maybe

....just maybe if I write it down it will get done this week...

I am feeling a bit out of touch with the Holiday season this year. Ads are talking about "last minute gifts" and I have barely started shopping. Ack!

That's not great. (As my dear son would say.)

So this week I would like to
* make some cinnamon/applesauce ornaments with the little guy.
* order the gifts for my brothers and the grandparents
* take a "Christmas" picture of the boys and order prints
* decide what the heck to get/make for Papa K
* mail out D's birth announcements

ETA: Hey it's working! :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

where did November go?

It feels like it was just Halloween! I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week and Christmas is just around the corner. I started doing some shopping. Just a few little bits and pieces for the boys so far. Yesterday I picked up these shirts for the boys at HappyFamily on Etsy. (I got W's 2nd Bday shirt there and loved it.) They give you a free tote when you buy two shirts so W picked out a robot one. I'm planning on filling it with some toys/books to keep in the car for longer trips. And I already found a Christmas themed Veggie Tales coloring book at the thrift store! sweet.
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Thankfully the hubs has been putting some money away in our Christmas fund all year. Last year I tried to make handmade items for everyone on my list. No way that is happening again. The grandmoms LOVE when I make photo calendars so maybe I can do that at least. I usually do Shutterfly but might try a cheaper version this time.... That reminds me. I never did birth announcements for poor baby Dex! Better get on that, huh?
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I got in some great GreenToys for the store. I showed them to W and asked him if he'd like one of them for Christmas. As much as I tried to sell the dump truck, he really wants the tea set. That boy loves his kitchen set! LOL
Big sale planned so be sure to "stop by" Non-Toxic Tots this weekend. ; )

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

mom 'o 2

I think I have been doing ok with the transition to mommy of two. We've gotten past that 6 week hump and things are settling in.
I mean, I am sleep deprived, my house is a wreck and the laundry has taken over a couple pieces of furnture, but generally we are all well fed, clean and happy. We have had some rough nights of course. Nothing we can't handle or haven't done before. Honestly, we had such a hard transtion with our colicky first baby that anything seems easy in comparison. (Seriously one of the most difficult times of my entire life as I may have mentioned like a dozen times.) Papa K and I are really enjoying the baby phase this time. I'm like "Oh yeah! This is why people have babies!"

It sounds funny, but my biggest challenge is taking the kids grocery shopping. First off, I seriously dislike grocery shopping. Clipping coupons, chasing sales, planning meals... It used to be kinda fun but now it is such a hassle and takes far more brain power than it should. Due to a few recent mortifiying unpleasant experiences I've decided that I'm no longer taking W with me to the grocery store. It has become far too overstimulating for him to handle for some reason. Outings that are not so purpose driven seem to go more smoothly for me.

One unexpected joy is how sweet Big Brother W is with the little one. He is always kissing him and loving on him. Maybe because he is boy I didn't think he would be so nurturing? I know that since there is a decent age gap, he understands a little more. (Not that we planned it that way, but I'm glad it's working out.) We also talk a lot about What Baby Needs (Sears Children Library) and he seems to accept that. I'm sure they will fight with the best of them as they get older, but it is so sweet to see the bond they have right now. I'd like to think that the whole attachment parenting thing has helped this too. The other morning I found he had tucked his spare "night night" (security blanket) around his little brother and was talking to him. So cute.

My new strategy is to get out of the house at least a few mornings a week. When we are home, W's never ending energy and curiousity always leads to some sort of trouble. He is just so much work! LOL

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Boo!





I heart Halloween! I love dress up and candy. I admit I "phoned in" the costumes for the kids this year, but they still look darn cute! The weather was unseasonably warm so we got in a great photoshoot outside.

I was not feelin' the Trick or Treat action this year. I try pretty hard to avoid giving the kiddo sugary junk. So having him collect a big bag of the stuff that I'd have to ration out later didn't seem like a good idea. I think next year he would understand something like "the candy fairy" a little better. (That's where they trade in their extra candy Halloween for a toy... sorta like the Tooth Fairy.) But then there is still the dilemma of what to do with it. Toss it into the landfills? Eat it all myself? Have the hubs bring it to work? IDK. None of those appeal to me. Maybe I'll figure something out by next year.

Since this is one of my favorite holidays I wanted to do something fun. So we had a family movie instead. W and I baked some cookies, dragged his fluffy comforter to the living room, lit candles and shut off all the lights. We watched It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown while snacking on cookies and popcorn. W had a great time handing out Yummy Earth lollies to the "Trick or Treats" as he called them. In the end, we did wind up running across the street to say Hi and get some candy from a couple neighbors who were out on their porch.... a few pieces of chocolate to round out the night. :)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

sale alert

For anyone interested, Buttknits is having a sale right now on knit/crochet patterns. She has longies (pants), soakers and some amigurimi (animals) as well. Here's the linkies:
http://aperrypatterns.etsy.com/
or
http://www.ravelry.com/stores/butt-knits-amber-perry-designs

I've made the basic longies pattern a few times and it's my fav of the longies patterns I've tried. I'm actually working on another pair right now. :)

Hurry sale ends tonight I think!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

multitasking

I have been itching to start a new knitting project for awhile now and finally got the motivation to cast on. I am making D a new pair of longies (wool pants that serve as a cloth diaper cover) with Malabrigo Merino yarn in "Citrus." This is some seriously yummy, squishy yarn.

I had planned this pair of pants to be gender neutral but there is a bit of pinky peach in the colorway so we'll see how they turn out. I also wanted to try making cables for the first time. So far I have had to rip back to the waistband twice but I think I might have it down now. Oh and I'm using the Butt Knits basic pattern and making up the cabling part.
So who thinks I'll actually finish these before he outgrows them? :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

mommy brain

I have a really bad case. My head is pretty foggy. When I woke up this morning my power was out. So I spent the better part of the morning explaining to W why nothing in the house worked over and over. This morning was my church mom's group. I had intended to go but completely forgot that it's Wednesday. When my power came back on, I sat down to check my email and realized it was Wednesday and that I had missed group. I then forgot about it again. I called the leader of the group later in the day to ask her a completely unrelated question. She was all "Where where you?" I was like, "Oh this morning? I forgot." Of course the irony is that I completely forgot about the power being out which was the real reason I forgot about group. So I had a valid excuse, but instead sounded like a complete flake. I am still laughing about that one. Like I said, foggy.

This afternoon I started feeling a bit dizzy. Then I realized that all I had to drink all day was a cup of coffee. Dehydrated much? So NOT a good idea when you are nursing a baby a million times a day! I will be keeping my Klean Kanteen by my side from here on out.

BUT I have been working on the snacks thing. I made up a bunch of breakfast burritos (scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese, whole wheat tortilla) and froze them for a quick meal. I stocked up on some granola and other snacks. I still want to make some muffins. Maybe tomorrow!
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At least I haven't misplaced any of the children. :)
Well I should go get some shuteye while I have a chance... Peace out

Saturday, October 24, 2009

taking care of me

Being an AHM (that's At Home Mom) the majority of my life is spent meeting everyone else's needs, desires and even whims. Of course I love it most of the time. But I almost forgot how demanding it is to care for a newborn. I am literally nursing and burping and changing outfits (his and mine) and changing diapers and soothing around the clock. Lather rinse and repeat. And that doesn't include the tantrum taming, snack/meal prep, entertaining and other stuff that the older kiddo needs from me.

Seriously how do people do this with big families?

Anywho I am trying not to feel guilty about living on egg mcmuffins, coffee, Halloween candy and almonds. However, I am starting to feel (physically) pretty crappy. The sleep deprivation is kicking in and a steady diet of caffeine and sugar are not exactly helping to keep me balanced. The hubs has suggested that I go back to yoga, but that would actually require pumping and getting the little one on a bottle. (Sounds an awful lot like work to me.) I know one preemptive strike would be to stock up on some nutritious snacks.

I guess I am rambling a bit. I haven't been having too many coherent thoughts these days.

Anyone else have some suggestions? Or know of any easy snacky recipies I could try? :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15 ~ A day to Remember

Somewhere between 15% to 25% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. It is something most people don't think about until it touches them personally. The truth is, it is a shockingly common experience. This painful loss is usually mourned in silence. October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in the US and Canada. At 7pm on the 15th women all across the country will be lighting candles for an hour to remember babies lost to miscarriage or still birth.


Life moves on. There are new joys to celebrate. Still, I will never forget the babies I never got to meet. I will be lighting two candles tonight and saying a prayer for my "sisters" who are remembering their losses as well.


http://october15th.com/

http://www.babylosscomfort.com/

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Review: Ecostore USA

The folks at Ecostore USA were nice enough to send me a couple products to review. All of their products are made from plant or mineral based ingredients and are free from toxic chemicals. They carry household products, bath & body, baby products and pet wash too.

I chose the Dishwash Liquid and Toilet Cleaner. While I sometimes mix my own natural cleaners, these are two items I prefer to purchase premade. As a result I've tried various "green" brands. Some are better than others.

The Dishwash Liquid bubbled up nicely and did a great job on my pots and pans. Now in the effort of full disclosure, I don't usually have any super greasy pans. I really liked the subtle citrus scent. I don't like heavily perfumed dishwashing soap. There is something odd about my pans smelling like flowers when they are clean. I give it a thumbs up!

The Toilet Cleaner also had a subtle scent, but I wish it was a little stronger. Maybe something with essential oils? Anyway it did a nice job cleaning. The formula was nice and thick and slightly colored so you could see it in the bowl.
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My verdict: Nice to find non-toxic products that WORK. I think the simple labels are kinda pretty too. Free shipping on orders over $25!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Linky Love: I Heart Fall Edition

I love fall! PUMPKIN mania is all over the web. And the recipes are plentiful.


Anyone not love Pumpkin Spiced Lattes? I made this Starbucks knockoff version. It was yummy but a bit more work than I'm willing to invest in a cup of coffee. If I ever had a crowd to serve, this crockpot version would be awesome for a party.

I'd also like to try this Harvest Pumpkin Brownies recipe from Everyday Food Storage and these Pumpkin Pancakes from The Mother Load.

Meatloaf The Nourishing Traditions Way - mmmm comfort food!

12 Weeks till Christmas: Prepare your Holiday Budget Now (at Simple Mom)
yikes! I know for sure I will not be handmaking the majority of gifts as I did last year. Time to figure out plan B.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9

This is where I'm at this week. Life is up in the air at the moment. Trusting God that things will settle down again soon. As much as I'd like to run away with my sweet baby that is not currently an option. :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

baby update and other randomness...

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Baby Dex is over 1 week old! I am SO in love. I always found it a little annoying to hear moms wax poetic about how they loved their babies, but here I am! A lot of things are different this time. I think a big change is that I am more relaxed and confident. I have much more realistic expectations for myself and for the little one. I wasn't sure I would ever have another baby and yet here he is... healthy and whole and beautiful!

(Can you believe that I never really was a "baby person" before I had kids. I mean, they don't DO anything, you know?)

Anyway, we've been to the pediatrician and took him to the hospital to get the newborn blood work and hearing screen done. I thought we'd get some comments due to the homebirth thing which is uncommon to begin with but VERY uncommon in our area. At the Drs they said this was the second baby recently that they've had that was born at home and they seemed completely cool about the whole thing. I did get the "He was born at home? On purpose?" :)
So no need to whip out my reasearch on the safety of homebirth... heh.

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In other news, fall is upon us! I am really looking fwd to the fall festivities this year. It's time for apples and pumpkins and Halloween! I was looking to get the boys matching Halloween skeleton PJs, but everywhere online is sold out of the 4t size. I know W would get a kick out of the glow-in-the-dark aspect. Maybe I'll have to go to an actual store? hmm I think I want to skip the trick or treating this year and just stay home and hand out candy. I'm not keen on the gobs of junk. We did go last year, but I easily left the goods at pop-pops after giving W a couple chocolate minibars. Pretty sure I can't get away with that again!

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I made this Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe yesterday! Quite yummy, but I made a complete mess. I don't know if it was because the mix was so hot but it blew the top off my blender a bit. I had my hand over it so it wasn't a complete disaster, but I did have to wipe pumpkin spice goodness off my counters. Oh and my coffee was not strong enough so I'll have to improve that next time.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Birth of our second Dear Son

TMI warning, this IS a birth story. :)

Here is the birth as I remember it.
The midwives never checked my dilation and I wasn’t watching a clock. So I don’t really have a clear timeline for it all. I am sitting here amazed at how our bodies are Created to bring new life into this world. My home, water birth with D was very different but yet very similar to my unmedicated, hospital delivery with W. Both amazing and empowering experiences! I’m sure I’ll be writing about that more later.

I woke up early in the morning of Sept 21st with strong rushes (contractions). I stayed up a bit, but then fell asleep on the couch. I had been having strong “practice” contractions off and on for about a week so I didn’t think much of it. They slowed down during the day and were not regular at all. I think my body knew Papa K had to work and I had to care for Wes during the day so it put everything on hold.

About 6pm that night I noticed that the rushes started coming in a regular pattern of about 7 minutes apart. I took Wes on a walk around the block a couple times. Then I called the midwife and she said to keep her posted. I wasn’t sure that this was the real thing yet, but since I was a couple days past my due date I figured it would be sooner or later. I called my doula and she was more convinced than I was, but I told her to stay put for now. When K got home from work we tidied up the house and got a few things ready just in case.

I went to bed around 11pm to try and get some sleep. At 2am the rushes were strong enough to wake me up. I got up and called my midwife and doula. I still was thinking that maybe this was a false alarm, but they were steadily getting more intense. I wasn’t really timing them anymore, but they seemed to be coming at about 5 minutes apart. I knew my doula and the second midwife had to drive an hour so I figured better safe than sorry.

J, my main midwife was the first to show up since she only lives about 10 minutes away. She listened to the baby’s heartbeat on the Doppler and all was well. (She checked his heartbeat regularly throughout the labor as well.) A little bit later Kristi, my dear friend and doula, arrived. I took a couple walks and watched a few episodes of Flight Of The Conchords. (Thanks to my bro for getting me that DVD. heh.) Nothing better than comedy, right? I sat on an exercise ball while watching TV. I know I got at least part of the way through “The Tough Brets.” As the intensity increased Kristi started doing some hip squeezes and counter pressure on my lower back. They asked if I wanted to get in the tub. I remember saying “I keep waiting for it to get worse before I get in.”

Meanwhile, Papa K filled up the birth tub and fought with the hot water heater a bit. Thankfully there was only one casualty, the faucet in our guest bathroom. :)

I tried to take another walk with Papa K but didn’t get too far. I remember that the sky was clear and I could see the constellations. I leaned on K during the rushes. They started coming faster so I wanted to go back in the house.

At some point W woke up and walked into the living room. I think it was around 4am. He was a little surprised to see all the people and would only go back to bed if daddy took him. He went back to sleep fine after that. We called my mom to come down to watch Wes in case he got up again.

After a few more really strong rushes, I decided it was time to get in the tub. Things were getting serious now and there was no doubt the baby was coming. I focused on breathing through the rushes and staying as relaxed as possible. The hot water helped me stay calm, but I also felt really hot. They put cold washcloths on my face and neck to cool me down. K and Kristi stayed by my side rubbing my back and encouraging me. The midwives did a wonderful job of staying unobtrusive yet making sure all was progressing normally and safely. After I was in the tub awhile they had me get out of the tub and walk to the bathroom to keep things moving along. I had a few more rushes out of the tub. It was nice to cool down a bit but I still wanted to get back in the water after that.

I remember at some point thinking that I might be in “transition” because I was having a hard time staying relaxed and started to get scared at the intensity of the contractions. I briefly thought to myself, “What the hell was I thinking doing this again?! I don’t want to do this.” Oh yeah, a classic emotion for transition! I knew that meant we were nearing the end.

I tried to focus on thinking/saying “open open open” and “peace peace peace” with each rush. (Both were Hypnobabies key words which I quickly ran through the last couple months.) I could literally feel my cervix pulling and opening up! I felt keenly aware of what was going on in my body. (Even though my first birth was unmedicated, I don’t remember feeling things so clearly. Probably because I was much more fatigued.) This was an amazing and scary sensation.

I don’t know what time it was, but I know that when I got in the tub it was dark, but it started to get light out before I hit transition. I could hear mom talking with W in his room. At some point she got him dressed and took him out of the house for a few hours.


With my first labor, “transition” lasted a couple hours. So I was surprised to find myself pushing all of a sudden. I told my midwives that I felt like I started to push on that last contraction. I think they were a little surprised too, but they reassured me that it was good and that the baby would be here soon. Pushing was so intense this time! It only lasted about a half an hour but it was hard work. Some women describe this part as a “relief” but I didn’t think so. I knew I was at the end and I just wanted him out. I had my eyes closed and I remember hearing everyone telling me what a great job I was doing. I felt my water break at some point during this stage.

I was tired and hurting and ready to meet the baby already! It was very primal. I think they described me as roaring. LOL My throat was sore afterwards so I definitely was loud. I kept checking to see if I could feel him, but could only feel and inch or so when he was just crowning. This was frustrating and motivating at the same time. All fear was gone. Kristi told me later that she never saw such a look of determination in anyone's eyes before. I wanted him out NOW! I wasn’t counting, but I think they said it was about 6 good pushes. It was such a relief when I felt his body come out.

His cord was wrapped around a couple times. I was on all fours in the water and the midwife unlooped the cord and caught him. She passed him to me under the water. She noticed one more loop as I grabbed him and said something. So I pulled it off of him before picking him up out of the water.

Amazing! He was finally here! Papa K was crying and I was just so elated to meet him. Keith kept saying, “Is he ok?” I guess because D wasn’t crying right away. But I knew that babies born in the water don’t always cry so I knew he was fine. He was moving and frowning. Then he took his first breaths while I held him and the midwives checked him out. I looked between the legs. It’s a boy! For some reason I wasn’t surprised at all. He reminded me of W when I first laid eyes on him.

I just sat back and enjoyed my new little guy for a few minutes. He was perfect! We hadn’t been 100% decided on a name, but D----- was a front runner. Papa K said, “It’s up to Kaiya.” So I said, “How about D?”

Daddy held him while I stood up to deliver the placenta. I got out of the tub and held him skin to skin under a warm towel to warm him up. Meanwhile J checked us out and everyone else took care of cleaning up the kitchen. I got Dex to latch on and nurse a little bit. He seemed to know right what he was doing.

K called my mom to bring Wes back. He was more interested in them deflating the pool than his new little brother. He was pretty interested in the umbilical cord. (He tells all visitors that Dex has a “uterus cord” and shows his cord stump to them. Heh.) We let the cord pulse for quite awhile. Then daddy cut it before I moved to my bedroom.

I grabbed a quick rinse in the shower and got into bed. I was really hungry and thirsty all of a sudden so I sent K out to get me a bagel sandwich and drank some sports drink stuff. They did the newborn exam in my room. Wes and my mom came in to watch. Kristi took pictures. They weighed and measured… 9lbs even and 22” long. Head measured 13 3/4 cm. D was alert and perfect! They stitched me up a bit at some point. Only one 2nd degree tear and some other minor ones. Nothing worse than what I had with Wes.

Recovery has gone well so far. I am feeling that adrenaline that comes after a natural birth. The best part! The only trick is to NOT over do it because I feel so good. I am following the “in bed for a week” advice and not lifting anything heavier than the baby. With W I admit I spent too much time entertaining and being up and around because I was surprised at how great I felt. I now know that at 2 weeks most babies get fussier, your hormones drop and most of your help leaves. So I am taking it easy, resting up and just enjoying my snuggly new baby boy!

Life is a precious gift. I praise God for I am fearfully and wonderfully made! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

IT'S A BOY!

Baby D entered the world at 8:32am this morning. He is 9lbs and 22" long.
Another little man to join our family! I am feeling so blessed after an amazing, intense birth. Best shot I could get on my camera phone. He's about 5 hours old here. More photos and birth story to follow... :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

chop chop

This isn't news if you are my friend on Facebook, but last weekend I chopped my hair. I had about 20 inches taken off. I donated it and hopefully it will go to good use. I had been growing it out since I got pregnant with W. I started at chin length and after 3 years it was to my lower back.

Before (June 09):

After (Sept 09):

I had wanted to go a little shorter but the hairdresser said this would be easier for the days I can't blow dry. Now that I've lived with it for a week I will definitely go shorter next time. It is all crazy when I don't blow dry. My hair has gotten wavier as I've gotten older apparently. I have to say the short hair makes me look younger. :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

fall!

It feels like fall around here. I was really hoping to enjoy a few more beach days this month, but I guess summer is over now. A very short summer at that.

I am enjoying having the windows open and am looking forward to some fall treats... pumpkin baked goods, caramel apples, hot spiced cider...mmmm!

We will be ordering some more wood to keep our woodstove going this winter. I love a cozy fire! Hopefully that will cut down on some heating costs as well. The woodstove is in the main part of the house and is quite efficient at heating up the living room and play room.

In baby news, nothing major is happening yet. The baby "dropped" 2 weeks ago and I'm having tons of "practice" contractions. All good things but nothing to predict the big day!

The well meaning, but annoying, phone calls are pouring in daily. If we make it into next week I will be seriously screening my calls. So feel free to call, but don't be offended if I don't pick up or call back right away.
Really, asking me if anything is going on DAILY does not make the baby come any faster and does not help me to be calm and patient either! Sheesh.
I finally said to my dad today, "You know it could be another 2 weeks yet! It's up to the baby when he/she wants to come out."

I'm considering skipping church Sunday just so I don't have to have the same conversations as I have had the past 2 weeks. "Have that baby yet?" "Um nope" "Any day now!" "Yeah, hope so." Everytime I go to the grocery store it's like open season for weirdos. They all come up and start a conversation with me. So many odd comments. You do begin to feel like a bit of a freak show. At least people have enough sense not to touch me. I might get ugly if that happened. :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

So when are you due?

At my appointment Friday, my midwife said that otherwise healthy white women usually go into their 41st week. (aka past their EDD). I thought that was pretty interesting.

A due date is just a GUESS of about when the baby will come. A guess with a margin of error of about 2 weeks either way. What I don't understand is why doctors cause such a fuss over a date that is based on info that the patient gave them in the first place. Women are routinely induced based on this arbitrary number which often leads to cascade of more unnecessary interventions.

I was googling around and found this article quite interesting:
http://parenting.ivillage.com/pregnancy/0,,jb56,00.html

It says that some German OB in the 1800's came up with the 40 week gestation period and that it has been proven that it's not all that accurate, but it is still the standard used by Drs today. It confirmed what the midwife told me:

When researchers in the late 1980s followed a group of healthy, white women with regular menstrual cycles, they discovered that pregnancy in first-time mothers averaged eight days longer than this, or forty-one weeks plus one day. The average was three days longer than forty weeks in women with prior births. The researchers also refer to other studies suggesting that other races may have average pregnancy lengths that are shorter than white women.

And that is given that you are sure of your dates and have a "regular" 28 day cycle, which many women do not. W came a few days after his EDD but I think that my membranes were stripped without my consent. So that would have kicked things into gear. I know that the worst part is the mental stress that you feel when you pass that date. On top of your physical discomfort, you begin to doubt that your body will ever go into labor on it's own and the Drs seem to confirm that.

As much as I wish I knew when this baby is coming, you can't predict these things exactly.

True for you?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Update

39 weeks!

Baby "dropped" a couple weeks ago and the head is engaged. I have the feeling that we are getting close.

Other than some non-essential sewing projects everything is pretty much ready.

W-man has been a bit easier on me this week. I've been making a real effort to take a walk with him each day or get him to the park to burn off some energy. He's all about practicing writing his letters and learning to read right now. So I'm taking advantage of it, abet in a completely unorganized fashion. I think I remember reading somewhere that this a natural age of "readiness" for reading for lots of kids. He's always been very verbal and ahead on the language skills so it makes sense. Once everything settles down after the baby is a few months old I'll get back on some more planned preschool learning stuff.

Thinking of doing a big chop... my hair that is. I always liked it either pretty short or really long. Loved the bangs but couldn't keep them trimmed enough to rock the look. I guess I better decide soon as my apt is in the morning. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Boycott Fisher Price

It has just been announced that Mattel/Fisher Price, the company at the center of the recent lead toy recalls, have been given a pass out of the new 3rd party safety testing required by Congress. They are the whole reason this new legislation got started and now they are not required to participate?!?!

I definitely will NOT be purchasing any of their products in the future and urge you to do the same. I cannot believe that they even asked for an exemption. This law, which was intended to protect our children from toxic toys, has caused much stress and extra work for the smaller, cottage industries as they scramble to meet the new requirements. So in essence this law has "punished" those who have always been ethical and the big company who broke the public's trust by allowing lead laced toys to enter our homes gets a free pass.

Nature Moms Blog has a more in depth article with more of the facts.

Check out Non-Toxic Tots for eco-friendly and ethically made toys!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Blessed

Last weekend my friends threw me a Blessingway.

What may you ask is a Blessingway? For one, it's an alternative to a traditional baby shower. While "showers" focus on material gifts for the baby, a Blessingway has a spiritual focus and is more about the mother. It's meant to be a celebration of new life and a time of encouragement and support for the expecting mom.

Even though none of us had ever attended such a gathering, my two good friends went out on a limb and planned a lovely event for me. The guest list was small. Just good friends and some family. In lieu of traditional baby gifts, everyone brought a freezer meal for us for after the baby is born.

One essential element of a Blessingway is for the guests to convey their "blessings." After we enjoyed some yummy food, we sat in my livingroom and each guest presented me with a bead they were instructed to bring. As they handed me the bead, they said a blessing/prayer for me and/or the new baby. It was a very intimate and encouraging time. I strung the beads up into a necklace I'll have with me at the birth. Something special to remind me of all the women who are supporting me. Then I took some shell beads and tied one on to each of the guests so that they would think of and pray for me. Some wanted long necklaces some did bracelets. It all came together quite smoothly I must say!

I had fun playing with the beads and it took a couple attempts to come up with the arrangement. The big pendant in the middle was from my mom. Sorta fitting, right? I'll probably rework some of the beads into a nursing necklace later on as it is super heavy right now. (Was going to post a pic, but can't find my camera ATM.)

I definitely think this is a great tradition. I have the feeling we will be holding more of these gatherings from here on out. It's a fabulous alternative to a traditional shower for baby 2 or 3, etc. It would also be a great late pregnancy distraction for the first time moms who may have already had the big traditional shower. I'm all about mothering the new mother. With so much focus on the baby, mom and dad are often forgotten in the mix. Since mom is the primary caregiver in the beginning, if we take good care of mom we are enabling her to take good care of the baby and supporting her in her new lifetime role.
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And can I just say I am so stoked about my full freezer right now? We have over a week's worth of dinners ready to go.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Links

* Battling Mommy Brain: 6 Strategies to Boost Brain Health - who couldn't use this one?

* Baking Shortcut: Make your own baking mixes - I have thought about this several times, but never actually put it in motion. I think this might have inspired me to give it a go. Baking from scratch is much cheaper and usually healthier but takes a bit more planning. I make pizza crust, bread and corn bread enough that it makes sense to do this ahead of time.

* Xagave Recipes - I love agave, a low-glycemic natural sweetener, and have been experimenting with using it in baking. So excited to find some proven recipes!

* Limeaid Recipe from Planet Smoothie mmmm

* Me and my Girl Quilt Tutorial - I have never made a quilt but I think I could swing this. It's made from colorful bandannas!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Theatrical Threes

In talking to some more experienced mothers, apparently there is a little secret that no one shares. The "terrible 2's" are nothing compared to the 3's. I guess we use that label because 2 is when most of the drama gets started? IDK. But let me be the first to say it, "Two is just the warm up!" Here I was thinking we've survived the worst of it. Ha!

Now W has had his share of messes... squirting lotion or creams all over was/is a big favorite. As is unrolling the toilet paper all over the house. And lets not forget the time I left a permanent marker out. (Good one, mom.) Shaking his water bottle all over his room, books, etc has happened more than once. He's also gone through the "no's" as he's learning his boundaries.

Thank God he has stayed away from the food for the most part. I have heard stories of a dozen broken eggs or children thoroughly coated in vaseline... or worse of all, poo!

Now my darling boy is suddenly taken a turn towards the violent. All of his previous attempts at mischief were largely motivated by curiosity and having fun. Now his little temper is in full force and he is lacking the emotional maturity to act in appropriate ways. The highlight of last week was when he pushed the TV over because I told him he had watched enough Caillou. (This is after an HOUR of Caillou while I cleaned the house.) I'll spare you the rest lest you think my little guy is evil or something. He has always had strong emotions, even as a baby. But all of a sudden it's like I have a little teenager on my hands. The back talking and tears and screaming and THROWING stuff... oh my!

There are several thing going on that are not helping... all the change going on in the house as we get ready for the baby, daddy working LOTS more hours, me being too tired to give him all my attention, etc etc. I also realize that as he's gotten older I've gotten more lax on keeping him in a predictable routine. The weekends have been a crapshoot, naps are abandoned, grandparents coming and going. I think he does better when things are more structured. (Too bad for him I'm his mom. heh. Structure is not exactly my strong suit.) I'm guessing with the new baby I will probably want to get back into more of a routine.

For now, I am focusing on ME. Meaning my reaction to the misbehavior. I cannot fly off the handle and be an emotional basketcase all the time. I need to be the adult... why is that so hard? I have accepted that this is normal for this stage in his life and I am going to teach him how to behave more appropriately... and pray that some of it sticks!

Mothers of toddlers, you have been warned. Pace yourself. The antics of 2 will seem darn cute in comparison to this drama!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Nursery Virtual Tour

I am so happy to have the nursery DONE! Big thanks to Dirkey for helping me get that last 10% finished this weekend. Baby will probably be in our room for awhile, but I still wanted to get all the stuff organized and ready since I know I will not be up to it later. The dressers in there were all refinished by me at one time or another. I guess I like those colors because the baby bedding matches perfectly. It also flows with the beachy theme I already had going in there. I left one bed in there so it could still function as a guest room. I couldn't find my camera so the "after" is a virtual tour. Ignore my corny voice over! :)

Before - Hot Mess:




After - Ahh!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

shoppping and other randomness

Hey peeps. Just checkin in.

I'm trying to stay zen and not think about how much time I have left. My feelings on the matter alternate between, "Oh crap! I still have a lot to do." and "I am done being pregnant thank-you-very-much." That nesting energy has not come back and I am just tired. All the typical 3rd trimester complaints apply, but I was expecting them and have a much better attitude this time.

My darling boy has been really trying to torture me lately. Yesterday I think I cried about 4x's. Loosing it!

In other news I did some shopping. I bought a new pair of shoes for the fall with some Bday $$:

You all know how I love new shoes. I am a Birki's convert after this summer. I bought my first pair in the spring and have worn them about 6 days a week since.


I also snagged the diaper bag I had my eye on:

I searched out a coupon code and saved 10% + Free Shipping. Then I realized you can stack codes and used a referral code to save $10 if you add diapers to your order. So I got a $2 pack of pullups too. Sweet! They also sell the California Baby wash that we use on my sensitive skinned boy.

BTW, if you are a new customer at Diapers.com you can use my code "MAMAKNJ" to save $10 off your purchase of diapers. $49 min purchase, but that doesn't have to be all dipes. You just have to have some dipes in your order.


And picked up my favorite post-birth essential:

Earth Mama Angel Baby "New Mama Bottom Spray" Not glamorous but what can I say? I got a couple more of their Mama products to try out too. It's a safe bet. I've loved anything I've tried of theirs.

Anyway, this was a pretty random post. Hope everyone is enjoying what is left of the summer!

Monday, August 17, 2009

one month


This picture was taken last weekend. I think I'm much bigger in the belly this time. I'll have to look up some old pictures to compare. Feelin' kinda huge!

Can't believe I only have a month left, give or take. I know that our family is going to change completely with this new addition. It's exciting and a bit scary too.

This past week I have turned into crazy-nesting-organizing woman. My house is covered in clutter and it is driving me freaking nuts. I have just been tossing stuff in. the. trash. I never do that! (Landfill guilt.) I did get some more boxes off to Goodwill too. I still feel like I have so much to do and little time to get it done. Maybe I think having an organized home will make the transition easier somehow?

Thankfully this child has been a bit less energetic than W. (He used to violently kick me in the ribs and lungs all the time.) This little one squirms and moves around a lot, but without the violent jabs. Even though the 3rd trimester has me feeling better than I expected... and way better than the 1st and 2nd... I am done! One weird thing about this pregnancy is that I'm getting new stretch marks on the left side only. Baby's butt is frequently sticking out on that side and making my belly lopsided.

I have made significant progress on "the list" and have started collecting stuff from the wish list. This month I plan to stock my freezer with easy meals, continue with the house cleaning and set up the last of the baby equipment. If I'm feeling up to it, I'd like to plan a few fun outings for me and my little man. I am going to miss all the days when it was just us. I have really enjoyed our time together and I'm thankful for our three years together. He has been so sweet and funny lately. This a really fun age. Part of me doesn't want to share him, you know? I'm guessing that's a common feeling when you go from one to two.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Stocking the Freezer

Add some more to my to-do list! I want to get as many freezer meals together as possible to get us through the last month of pregnancy and the "babymoon" to follow. I have heard a rumor that my friends might be helping me out with this task. :)

Oh and I'm trying to avoid dairy because I have read a lot about that causing fussiness in babies. If I can in anyway minimize the colic that I experienced with W, I am going to try it. I'm also avoiding soy if I can due to hormonal reasons. Yeah, good luck, right?


Here's some of the recipes I've collected:

Shepherd's Pie

Crock Pot Chicken w/ Black Beans

Just Like Thanksgiving Chicken

Ham Rolls

Breakfast Burritos


Lactation Cookies - who knows if they do anything, but they sound yummy and there might be some truth to the ingredients being helpful for postpartum moms

Any other suggestions?

Citrus-ade!

What's that saying? When life gives you lemons make lemonade?

The hubs way overbought on the limes for the corona this past weekend. So I had a bunch of limes on the verge of going bad , several lemons and a half an orange left over from the sangria. Use what you have, right? I juiced them and got about a 1 & 1/4 cups of juice. Mixed it up with about 1/2 cup agave and a little bit more honey. Filled up the pitcher with water. The boy helped stir and taste. What a fun and simple activity!

You could also dissolve some sugar in hot water and use that to sweeten instead. mmmm!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

i might be loosing it

or maybe it's just nesting?

I have been freaking out about misplacing some items. Then this morning W lost a piece to the brand new sorting toy that I got for him YESTERDAY. I looked all over the living room and that darn piece is no where to be found. He told me he put it in the washing machine, but I couldn't find it. Maybe he was just messing with me? Though he has been known to toss stuff in the wash when it's going. If it did make it into the wash it will be ruined. It's painted wood.

Here is the rest of my list:

*a stack of about 5 tie dye newborn t-shirts
*the twin sized duvet cover for W's bed
*pieces to another one of W's puzzles

Really. How does one loose a duvet cover???

I'm also in the midst of a major toy reorganization and destashing. We got lots of great new toys for W's birthday and it's time to weed out the old stuff. Of course I'd like to find all the pieces to everything before I post the stuff on Freecycle.

Blood sugar crashing and I desperately need to go grocery shopping... The insanity continues!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

FOTC!

Have you heard of Flight of the Conchords? Love those guys. Season 2 DVD was released this week. (I love Netflix!)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Away We Go

The hubs and I rarely go out to the movies these days.

Hello expensive. Netflix or a Redbox is much more budget friendly.

Anywho, last week we were granted the rare opportunity of DH getting home before 8pm and W was with grandmom so we decided to splurge on a trip to the movies.

We saw Away We Go. It was pretty much what I expected... quirky, subtly humorous and a little artsy. I really loved how it looked at parenting and families from different angles. I had to laugh at the super hippie Maggie Gillenhall character wearing her baby in a wrap and shunning strollers. There was also a scene that dealt with reoccurring miscarriage. It was very moving and unexpected. Both DH and I thought it was done so well. Whoever wrote it must have had some personal experience.
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Oh and we Netflixed Knocked Up a couple weeks ago. Very vulgar and crude as expected but oh so funny to watch while you are pregnant.

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We got to see Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince too. It was just ok. Definitely not one of my favorite movies from the series. The whole thing was a set up for the final chapter, but I guess that was to be expected. Also, they are waiting so long between releasing the films that I keep forgetting what happened in the previous movie. The hubs kept making fun of how old the actors are looking. IDK, they still looked like high schoolers to me, but maybe that's just me getting old. :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

quote of the day

"Remember: When your child cries, whines, makes mistakes, or fails to behave, it is not a reflection of your lack of commitment, love or skill. It is not an indication that your child is lacking in any way, either. It is simply a facet of humanness. If children were wise and perfect they wouldn't need parents. . ."

From The No-Cry Discipline Solutionby Elizabeth Pantley


So true. Same goes with our Heavenly Father. We are clearly not perfect creatures at any stage of life. :)

the big 3-0

Today is my 30th bday.

I guess I should feel some great sadness at the death of my 2o's or something. Maybe I am supposed to lie and say I'm 29 from here on out?

It is a little weird to think I'm no longer 20-something. Afterall, I have been 20-something my entire adult life.

I like that I have no big regrets. I love my life and my family. I'm proud of what I've accomplished, eventhough it's nothing overly impressive. I guess I've always felt that I'm a little older than my years.

So bring it on, 30's!

Here's to a decade of raising my kids, focusing on my family and going wherever the Lord leads us!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pink or Blue?


Right after people ask, "When are you due?"
They follow up with something about the gender... did you find out yet? are you going to find out? what do you want?
Oh and my biggest pet-peeve, "Were you trying for a girl?"
Huh? How exactly would one do that? It's basically a 50/50 shot, people.

So yes, blog-o-sphere, we had planned to find out. I was really excited about the big ultrasound, but long story short we decided against it due to factors beyond our control.

I can honestly say, all I want is a healthy baby. My main motivation for finding out was so we could continue fighting pick out a name and make some gender specific stuff. You all know I'm a planner at heart. I wanted to know! Now that we are nearing the end, I can say I've accepted the surprise aspect and am kinda looking forward to finding out the old fashioned way.

The first time, I really had my heart set on a girl. I'm not a "girly-girl" at all, but I do wear make-up and skirts and enjoy being a woman if that makes sense. I have 4 younger brothers and no sisters. No female cousins my age either. The hubs only has a brother as well. So there are a lack of females in the family. I was disappointed after the u/s showed that we were expecting a boy. I was glad I had some time to bond with the idea of a son before he was born.

But now, I love my little boy so much that I know once I meet the babe it won't be a thought in my mind. Boys are so fun and crazy and are still very lovey-dovey. It would be fun for DS to have a brother to play with. And of course it would be cheaper. I do have a sneaking suspicion that boys are more work when they are toddlers due to their sheer energy level and natural curiosity, but my mom did say my little brother was the easy one, not me. No guarantees there.

Everyone keeps asking if I have a prediction. I initially had a feeling it might be a girl this time because the pregnancy has been so different. W keeps saying it's a girl too. I'm not sure how many chances I'm going to get at motherhood so I would like to experience having a daughter if I can.

On the other hand, I had a very vivid dream that it was a boy. And since I already have a boy, it's easy to say "he" when referring to the baby. So really, I don't know what to think!

I know that my relationships with each of my children will be unique and different regardless of gender. What's meant to be will be! One thing is for sure, the anticipation is killing me. I can't wait to find out.
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

and my list gets longer...

Oh how wonderful is the internet? There are tutorials for pretty much anything you'd want to make. I'll post if I get around to any of it. :)

93+ Maternity, Baby, Nursing, Toddler Tutorials

Make Baby Stuff!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The homestretch...

I have felt pretty crappy most of this pregnancy. The all-day-sickness was worse and lasted longer than my first. I never got that 2nd trimester bounce back this time either. Add in the anxiety of expecting after two losses. Yeah.

I try my hardest not to complain too much. I am thankful that this baby is healthy and and that I have been able to carry him/her this far. But I'm definitely not one of those "oh I love being pregnant" ladies. They generally make me want to punch them in the face.

Ah hormones.

However, now that I'm in the homestretch I'm feeling the best I have the whole time. What is up with that? I'm sure the Floradix is helping. Some days are still better than others. Yesterday I was exhausted, but last week I was feeling great. This morning things seem promising.

I'm sure it won't last until the end, but I am trying to take advantage of it while it lasts.

This weekend I put in some more time on the baby's room. DH set up the crib and things are starting to come together. The hubs is throwing me a big birthday bash so I want the room basically done before that.

I am getting excited for the birth and those precious early weeks!

Only 49 days until EDD! Wow.

Friday, July 24, 2009

links for the week

* 24 ways to amuse a toddler ... great list of ideas to keep those littles entertained!

* The Gentle Art of Homemaking ... an older post, but so encouraging. A must read for the other homemakers/housewives/SAHMs.

* Lemony Blueberry Muffin recipe at The Motherload

* Buttery Soft Pretzel recipe over at Adventures of a Breastfeeding Mother

* Batch Cooking Info (a part of Simple Mom's Back to the Basics series)... bookmarked 'cause I want to do some freezer meals before the new baby arrives!

* 9 Unique Ideas for Frugal Date Nights at The Motherload

* Considering Baby Names... click through to see how a potential baby name might be made fun of! LOL

And this just makes me happy! :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

MI Pictures


Proof that even this crunchy mama allows some unhealthy treats on occasion. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Home Again!

First off, my hubby rocks! He cleaned most of the house while I was gone. It looks great. I was getting really overwhelmed with the housework and I admit I had let things get pretty bad. Now if I can just take good care of myself so that I have enough energy to maintain things...

Oh and he also reorganized our attic. So I have the room to put up my yarn stash thus making room in the nursery/guest room for all the baby stuff. I am getting excited now that the end is in site! Less than 2 months left and we have tons going on in August. I can't wait to meet my new son or daughter!

Overall the trip was good. It was great to see Gram and I wish I had stayed with her the whole time and skipped the second half of the trip at the lake house. But W had a blast there and had lots of new experiences... his first s'mores, first ride on a jet ski (very slow of course), first ride in a tube, fun playing with his second cousins. Now I just hope he doesn't expect that level of entertainment at home! ;)

Much to do this week! Let the nesting begin.
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Friday, July 17, 2009

5 Ways to Save Money on Baby Stuff

When I was expecting W, I read an article in The Tightwad Gazette about saving money on baby supplies. I did put some of that into practice and plan to do the same this go round.

1) Save on Baby Food

Probably one of the simplest things you can do is making your own babyfood. You can steam, mash and freeze veggies and other ingredients in ice cube trays. Pop the cubes in some freezer bags for later use. Easy peasy. It's healthy, fresh and way cheaper than those little jars. Super Baby Food is a great book. And there are many great free websites too, such as Nuture Baby and Wholesome Baby Food.


Buy the big jar of unsweetened applesauce instead of the smaller containers. Buy the big plain, whole milk yogurt instead of the little cups. When you baby is ready for cereal, get the plain oats in the cereal isle instead of the little boxes in the babyfood isle. You get the idea. I was laughing at myself once I started reading labels and comparing prices. I could buy all organic products for a fraction of the price of the regular stuff if I just got the full sized containers.

Also, you can do child-led introduction to solids and skip most of the spoon fed stuff. We did a combo of the two methods (make your own purees and child-led). My little guy is healthy and a good eater now. So it worked for us.

2) Save on Diapers

You can blow through about $1500 by the time your baby is potty trained. Even cloth diapering part time will cut down on that expense. I know we have saved so much from using cloth and laundering them ourselves. Not to mention, you can reuse the dipes for any subsequent children and/or resell if they are still in usable condition.

If cloth diapering is not for you, be sure to join the coupon mailing lists of the diaper companies and stock up when you find good sales. Compare prices. Don't forget to try generic brands too. Nothing says that more money = a better poop catcher. ;)

3) Breastfeed!

It's free! And if you are home with baby, you don't even need to buy a big supply of bottles, an expensive electric pump and all that other stuff. Of course we know there are other benefits. (Here are 101 more.) But my point is formula is expensive. I've never had to buy it, but from what I've read you can plan on spending $40 a week on formula. That adds up to 1,000-$2,300 for the first year depending on what kind you use. If you need to buy a hypoallergenic formula, it can run you even more. I've heard numbers up to $500 a month.

Breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, will save you a significant amount of money. Breastfeeding up to a year (or even longer) will save you more.

Breastfeeding can be a challenge for many moms, but with the right information you can avoid many common problems. There is a fix for almost any problem that comes up. (Yes, I said almost.) Many moms unknowingly encourage early weaning due to bad advice they were given.
Having a good, knowledgeable support system is key.

Of course you know my fav resource for breastfeeding help is La Leche League mother-to-mother support. And KellyMom is a great site I've used often.

4) Stick to the Basics

Much of the baby "equipment" is redundant. Yet most of us, myself included, get all caught up on trying everything the first time around.

I'd recommend picking up ONE baby machine before baby is born. In addition, get yourself a baby carrier of some sort. (Something adjustable like a ring sling or a baby wrap is great for the beginning.) Most babies just want to be close to mom or dad to feel safe and secure.

If you feel the need for more stuff later, borrow a friend's to try it out. Or even take the babe to the store to see what they like in person. Many babies hate the swing or bouncer or whatever. Which means you can usually pick up an almost new one second hand. No point dropping money on something the kid might like.

One thing that is NOT recommended to buy used is a carseat. Safety first!

5) Think Long-Term

A booster seat that straps to an existing chair is a perfectly acceptable substitute for a high chair. It's also cheaper and takes up less space. Same goes for the "travel" sized swing vs the full sized one.

Consider the lifespan of the items you are purchasing. Some items have a very limited lifespan, while others can go the distance. For many people a travel system is overkill. They get along fine with a convertible carseat from the start and purchase a nice umbrella stroller once baby can sit up on their own. It all depends on your lifestyle.

The bottom line is that there is HUGE money in baby products. It is easy to get sucked in and think that you need everything those R Us stores are pushing. It is fun to shop for all those itty bitties, but spending your money wisely will benefit your family most in the long run.

How about you? Have you tried these or found other ways to save?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

waxing nostalgic

So far the trip is going well. It's a little odd being here. It's like time stands still for awhile. Gram's house is almost the same as it was when I was a kid. W is playing with some of the same toys I did when I was little. The town has changed a bit, but the variety store (aka dime store) is still filled with bins of candy and toys just like I remembered. I still miss the trailer next door where my Great Grandma used to live. It's been gone for at least 10 (or is it 20?) years now, but in my mind it should be there smelling of old people and pies baking.
My mom is telling the same stories about her childhood that I have heard over and over each time we visit.

And then there is the thought this might be our last visit. When someone is 88 and I don't get out here but once every couple years, you can't help but wonder.

W-man has been doing great. Yesterday he really got on my nerves as his 2-year-old-ness was kicking in... spraying down the laundry room with Shout and stuff like that... but overall it's been fine. I think my Gram is enjoying having him around for the most part. He is darn cute sometimes.

My brother and stepdad are joining us today and we will be heading to our Uncle's lake house for the weekend. It should be a bit more eventful from here on out.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Garden Update and other News

I took this picture of my garden a few weeks ago. It has since gotten even bigger! The tomatoes and green beans have out grown their respective cages and are falling all over each other. I have only harvested some sugar snap peas and baby lettuce when I thinned the beds. There are green tomatoes, cucs and zucchini that will be ready soon.

As promised, the Square Foot Method does cut down on the upkeep. Though you still have to do some weeding. I didn't get most of my herbs planted this year, but that's ok. I haven't felt like cooking anything fancy anyway. I do have a buttload of basil and I was going to attempt pesto for the first time. Guess that means I need to go to the grocery store for parm and pine nuts.
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In other news, the little man and I are going on a trip this week. I need to start packing today. We will be flying out with my mom to visit my gram who I haven't seen in over a year. She has ongoing health issues and had a bad hospital stay not too long ago. She is mostly recovered, but as she is getting older and I am going to have a new baby soon, the time to visit is now. We will be celebrating her Bday while we are out there. I am just praying my "spirited" child behaves ok at her not-at-all-childproofed house. Hopefully we will have nice weather and I can keep him busy outside a lot.
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Nothing going on with the pregnancy, which is a good thing, right? Still trying to watch my sugar intake and get some exercise. Still not feeling great, but definitely better once I started taking Floradix. Can't complain! Everything seems to be right on track. I feel the baby moving, but this kid is definitely not as active as W was. Maybe that's a sign.

pregnancy

Friday, July 3, 2009

Popcicle Season

It's popcicle season! mmmm

The little guy just loves them up and I have fun mixing up new creations in my blender. I've been trying for a more pureed consistancy since they seem to melt slower and are a little less drippy. We do "green smoothies" many days. If there are leftovers they go in the molds. It's a great way to get some extra veggies in. And they are just fruits and veggies so W can eat as many as he wants.

If this seems like too much work to you, you can always just pour juice, iced tea or whatever beverage you enjoy into molds as well.

Here are some of our favorite combos this year. I eyeball the ingredients and add just enough liquid to let my blender work. If the fruit is a little tart I add some honey. If it needs some zip, add lemon or lime juice. For an adult palate you want the mix to be a little sweet/tart as the cold tones down those tastes. The little guy doesn't care so much.

GreeƱa Colada
Pineapple + Coconut Milk + Banana + handful of baby Spinach

Mango
Mango + Banana + Apple Juice + squeeze of lemon for some tartness (+you could add some shredded carrot to make it a brighter color)

Kiwi Strawberry
Strawberries + Kiwis + Honey + enough water to blend

Berry Blend
Blueberries + Strawberries + Banana + handful of baby Spinach + Juice to blend


I think I need some more molds since we've been going through these so fast... BTW, I use the Tovolo Green Shooting Star Pop Molds. They are BPA-free plastic and are a great design. I love how you can fill up each one individually. It makes for easy un-molding too.

(I was waiting for some good pictures before I posted this, but um not going to happen. LOL)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I heart Floradix.


It's expensive. It doesn't taste too great. But man has it ever helped.

Instead of feeling pooped all day, I am now just exhausted in the morning. If it's really bad, a cup of half-caf does the trick. I've been watching my sugar for the most part too. Still eating fruit and whole grains. Cheated with some bday cake this weekend, but other than that it's all good.

So woohoo! Thanks to the midwife for suggesting it.

PS If you too need an iron supplement that doesn't *ahem* bind you up and is gentle on your system I suggest purchasing some from iherb.com.
Good prices and if you use my referral code / coupon code "MAM340" you can save $5 off your first order. They sell lots of other vitamins and supplements too. I get fish oil for the kiddo and me there.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blueberries!

It's blueberry season here in NJ!


The bountiful rain we are having is creating a bumper crop of the little blue gems. W and I checked out a "you-pick" blueberry farm yesterday. They use "organic methods" but are not certified organic. The weather was perfect. It was overcast and not too hot. It's so cheap to pick your own! I wanted to stay longer and pick more, but the little one was only into it for so long. I'm going to try again next week and bring a friend. I'm hoping W and the other kid(s) can entertain eachother while the mamas pick.

I came home and whipped up a blueberry cobbler. It was yummy, but since I subbed out the sugar for agave and the flour for whole wheat and oats it was not quite the sugary goodness of the regular stuff. (I'm watching my sugar intake due to the pregnancy.)

Gotta get more to freeze! And I think I need to add some blueberry muffins to my post-baby freezer stash.

PS I always think of my friend *shell* when I pick blueberries. She used to have a job doing it when she was a kid. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

keepin' busy aka random post

My last post was a little whiny. Those that know me, know that I'm not so great at enjoying this pregnancy thing. I'm just plain grumpy when I'm uncomfortable and hormonal.
Oh well. We all have our flaws! : P

On the plus side, I'm now in the 3rd trimester! Yay! I have been forcing myself to take a nap (no matter how hard W goes down for his) and it really is helping me feel a little better in the evenings.

My new fav book is Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic
Just reading through the description of "spirted" to Papa K last night was one of those ah-ha moments. More on that once I finish it. :)

I've been really trying to get the little guy out of the house and as busy as possible. Monday we had a nice trip to the playground. Today my bro is coming down to watch W while I run some errands. Last night was La Leche Legue Meeting. This morning is story time at the library. And weather permitting, Friday is our first "beach day" of the season.