Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekend Reading: Stuff you don't want to miss!

I'm going to try something new occasionally: linking up with other blog posts of interest.  Maybe I agree, maybe I don't, but they are worth the read and the thought.

Of interest:

Annalise shares a delicious recipe called Not-So Green Smoothie - a yummy way to use up and eat greens AND berries!

Mother-Ease giveaway on

Adventures in Solid Food shares 10 Reasons to Delay Solids until at least 6 Months

Stephanie shares a great resource for bloggers, her e-book Bloggertunity, available for free download!  Thank you Stephanie!

Nicholas Kristof shares on Family Planning Overseas and the dilemma that exists.  He continues with more thoughts on Family Planning and Midwifery: how education affects a girl and his thoughts on the necessity of allowing midwives to perform c-sections overseas.

Have a great weekend, and happy reading!

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Mother+Daughter=LOVE

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sometimes I don't love breastfeeding

I was recently in a conversation with some other moms who breastfeed, when one of the moms made the statement that she doesn't love breastfeeding.  Many other moms chimed in in agreement.

She started listing reasons why she doesn't like it and the guilt she feels because of that. 

I've had very similar feelings many times over.

I don't know, but I don't think we have to love something like breastfeeding.  There are many things that we don't like or love, but we still do them anyway.  I don't care for green beans, but I eat them because I know they are good for me.  You don't like your job, but you show up to work anyways because your income provides what your family needs.  He doesn't like his car payment, but his car serves him well. 

I think breastfeeding can be similar. 

Like, love, dislike, hate, indifferent, are all feelings that breastfeeding mothers feel at different times. 

We can have those feelings and still breastfeed without guilt.

I've made lists of the things I like and the things I don't like about breastfeeding.  Many items are on both lists.

I like breastfeeding because:
  • it nourishes my daughter
  • we bond
  • it calms her
  • of the cuddling
  • it's something that only I share with her
  • she needs me
  • of her sweet eyes as she nurses
  • I have to stop and sit and rest while she eats
  • it's a chance to regroup
  • it's a great excuse to get me out of situations I don't want to be in
  • she gets milk drunk; funniest thing ever!
  • of her gentle pats while nursing
  • watching her clap her hands while nursing cracks me up!
  • it protects her
  • her little body warms me up
  • lifting up my shirt gives me a chance to cool
  • sometimes it's the only thing she needs/wants
  • it's convenient
  • it helps her grow stronger and smarter
  • it reduces my risk of cancer
  • it's the best diet ever!
I don't like breastfeeding because:
  • it's a lot of pressure to nourish a baby
  • I would like my b00bs to myself
  • it's something only I share with her
  • she needs me
  • I have to stop and sit and rest while she eats
  • of her not so gentle demands
  • of her squirming acrobatics
  • pumping is the "b" word
  • of the biting and pinching and scratching
  • her little body is hot sometimes
  • it makes me cold to lift up my shirt
  • sometimes it's the only thing she needs/wants
  • it's inconvenient
It may really, really, really surprise you to hear those words from me, the lactivist.  But it's true.  Some days I may love that she's goofing off and clapping and the next day I might get upset because I want to get business done!

Just being honest. 

You don't have to love breastfeeding in order to keep breastfeeding.

What did/do you love about breastfeeding? 

What did/do you dislike about breastfeeding?

What part of breastfeeding would you like to skip?

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    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Wordless Wednesday: Peas!

    4.5 pounds of peas from my garden frozen for winter? Check.

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    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    Taking a baby camping at a music festival

    A music festival may be the last place you envision your little one.  If loud music, heat, dust, bugs, dirt, strangers, camping and a baby make you want to run the other way, this post may not be for you. :-) 

    However, if good music, friends, camping, laughter, camp food, your kids and summer love sound like fun, bringing a baby camping to a music festival might be a great fit!
    Enjoying the music at the mainstage
    Perhaps some people may think it's ludicrous to bring a child to an outdoor music festival, but judging from all the families I saw camping with small children, I'm guessing it's more popular than one can imagine.

    Bringing a child (or perhaps several) camping at a music festival can be a wonderful time! My daughter was enthralled with all the music and loved interacting (or being a complete ham) with different faces that she's never seen before.

    Here are some pointers I learned on our most recent excursion!

    1. Plan ahead:

    (I missed this step entirely, as 40 minutes before the group was leaving to camp at a Christian music festival and my daughter and I were contentedly situated at home, I decided to go.  Oops.  Then I ran around my house throwing things into reusable grocery bags, hoping and praying that I grabbed everything necessary.) 
    • Check the weather
    • Pack for all situations (more on this in a bit)
    • Know who performs where and when to optimize shows that you want to see with your child's naptime or mealtimes
    • Is this event family friendly?  Do they have additional children's programs or play areas?
    • Plan where you will camp.  Is it close to the concert areas?  Do you want to be close to the concert areas?  Are the restrooms nearby?  Can you park close by?
    • Get familiar with a few key stores or restaurants in the city, in case your baby needs a change of scenery, or maybe you need a break!
    2. Provide additional entertainment:

    Your child may not find your favorite events all that wonderful.  We had a day and a half of rain, leaving us with a muddy disaster - something I didn't really want my daughter playing in because I didn't want to clean it up! 
    • Your child's favorite snacks are a wonderful distraction when you're both at your end
    • A portable DVD player for a rainy (or muddy or unbearably hot) day
    • A few favorite toys, for entertainment in the car as well as when your attention needs to be elsewhere (like preparing a meal)
    Muddy mess while camping!

    3. Plan on being alone and/or missing events:
    • With a child, you simply cannot be a part of every single thing that you want to be a part of.  Is it still worth it to you if you have to spend 2-3 hours of your day back at your campsite while your child naps?  Is it still worth it if you miss you favorite concert?
    • Bring something for YOU to do while your child naps or has downtime at the campsite

    4. Bring a stroller AND a baby carrier:

    I can't emphasize this point enough!  There were times when my daughter was too hot, I was too hot, and she just wanted to be in the stroller and getting fresh air.  There were times when she just wanted to be held.  There were times when I needed to nurse her, but I was going to be late for a concert if I sat down and fed her.  The carrier was perfect for killing two birds with one stone: nursing your baby, while walking to or from your destination.  She even ended up sleeping in her baby carrier during one of the concerts!  And don't forget, a stroller makes a great pack mule, far better than your husband! ;-)

    5. Pack right, not light:
    • You simply can't have too many blankets.  We ended up have very cold weather one of the days, and every single blanket I had was used in some way, shape or form on that day
    • Bring cold weather clothes.  Again, unforseen cold weather left my daughter wearing the same clothes two days in a row
    • Bring warm weather clothes
    • Swimsuit
    • A hat for baby
    • Natural bug repellent
    • Sunblock, if you use it
    • Umbrella
    • A small fan if you have a power source
    • A pack and play or playpen for your child - for sleeping and for times when you don't want them getting near dangerous items like a camp stove
    • Earplugs (although my daughter ended up spending every moment trying to get those things out of her ears, and eventually even ate one)
    • I'm a cloth diapering Mama, but in this instance, bring the disposables!
    • Wipes  
    • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Make sure your cooler is filled with cold water, and that your diaper bag has it's fair share so you don't have to keep trekking back to the campsite to get more water.
    • Bring your camera - after all, you are making great memories
    6. Make friends everywhere:

    • You need your neighbors to be your friends!  They'll love you and your loud child a lot more when 6 AM rolls around and your child is fully awake and being loud!
    • Become friends with people around you at the concerts.  They will not only lend a little more grace to you and your cutie, but they can help be a watchful eye (like notify you when your daughter eats her earplug).

    Have you gone camping or brought your child to a music festival?  What tips to you have about surviving camping or a music festival with a small child? 

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      Sunday, July 17, 2011

      ERGO Baby Giveaway Winner!


      Congratulations to Nicole O., aka PharmaMom, who will soon be the proud owner of the ERGO baby carrier of her choice!  Nicole (yes, I stalked you just a wee bit), has a great blog devoted to healthy living, and a very active life with a little girl and another little one on the way!  I'm sure she'll make great use out of it!

      I ended up leaving town for a few days at the last minute for a music festival, and am just getting my bearings about me, otherwise I would've posted the winner sooner!  I hope you all didn't lose too much sleep in anticipation of this big announcement!

      Thanks to all who participated, and don't forget: just because you didn't win doesn't mean you can't have your own ERGO baby carrier!  You can purchase an ERGO baby carrier at any time and see why this is my #1 baby item!

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      Thursday, July 14, 2011

      Sunshine 1st Birthday Party (pics and video)

      What a day of celebration for our little girl!  After a long time of dreaming and planning and doing, the day to celebrate India's first year of life came!

      But first, here is a picture of her last day as a technical baby!

      And here she is on her actual birthday!

      OK everyone, take me serious, because I am ONE!

      We had a Sunshine Party last weekend in honor of our girl. 

      Think: Mason jars, classy country, gentle yellow and white, fresh breeze, barbeque, lemonade, music, fresh blue water. 

      Here were the invitations to her party!

      We decorated and my Dad even turned on the fountains in the front of the house....

      The entrance to the party
      The Birthday Banner that took hours to make!

      India, month by month!

      Beautiful hydrangeas!

      The sweet birthday girl was a bit overwhelmed with all the people and was pretty sober the whole party, but was very interested in someway, somehow, getting outside!

      We not only celebrated her first birthday last weekend, but her Daddy led us all in dedicating her to the Lord.

      Of course, since we knew I was pregnant, we've dedicated her to God, but it was great to do it corporately with our closest friends and family members!

      For the dedication, everyone gathered, Dallas and I shared a little bit (and cried),and I played the piano and sang a song.

      Then we all gathered around her and whoever wanted to was welcome to pray blessings over our little India girl. 

      Her Daddy closed the prayer time.

      We then went down to the beautiful lake for Barbeque and Sunshine Party! 

      It was the perfect day for swimming!

      For the 10 days previous to the party, the weather forecast was horrible, predicting rain, which isn't a great thing considering this was to be a Sunshine Party!  Thankfully, the weather completely changed course and we all had a great (but hot) party outside. 

      We had some yummy snacks, while waiting for the Grillmaster!

      Cold drinks on a HOT day!
      Everyone had their own personalized Mason jar for drinks!

      Then we ate, and celebrated with cupcakes!

      The menu: brats, hamburger beans, chips and watermelon!

      My homemade, slightly unstable cupcake stand. :)

      Yellow cupcakes, with buttercream frosting and lemon curd filling!  YUM!
      Then it was time for India to enjoy her first bites of cake (and sugar, really)! 

       Everyone gathered around to watch her delve into her cake....

      But after one bite, she just thought it was more fun to throw pieces of fondant on the ground.  All the while, I'm going, "Child, it probably took me one hour just to roll that little piece of fondant out just right!"  Then she decided she didn't want the cake anywhere near her.  Next year, I'm not spending hours making her the perfect birthday cake.  She can just have a Twinkie.

      Well, at least Dallas and I got to eat the cake in the days following the party.  Seriously, what kid doesn't like cake?  Probably the same kid who doesn't really like to eat more than a few bites of solid food.  My kid.

      It was then time to open gifts!
      She was very happy to get more Signing Time DVDs!


      A cool money tree!  We're putting the money towards a wood play kitchen for her so she can cook with Mama!



      Ultimately though, she was more interested in treating her cousin Xiomara as her doll.
      Aren't they cute?  Her cousin Brooklynn was there as well, but I didn't get a good picture of the three of them! :(

      It was a great few days to celebrate our baby.  The Sunshine Party was a perfect fit for our family and mostly, for India.  A lot of work, but worth it.  BUT, this will be the last party I throw for her of this magnitude.  

      I think. ;)


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      Wednesday, July 13, 2011

      Wordless Wednesday: 1 year old at a music festival


      Thursday, July 7, 2011

      Rerun: Things you should never say to a pregnant woman

      *I'm reposting this today because I've been busy getting ready for my daughter's first birthday party and haven't had much time to write.  At this point I was so OVER being pregnant.*

      I wrote this two days before I had India after some very emotional days, filled with comments from people that clearly frustrated me. I decided to post this because I know there are many pregnant women who want this information distributed to the masses like communist propaganda. I thought about trying to tame and clean this up, but decided against that, and will let you all have it nice and raw!

      For those of you who are lacking some tact; listen up. For those of you who can empathize; nod your head.

      Some pregnant woman may be more gracious than me, at least to your face, but I can pretty much guarantee you will be dubbed a complete a-hole by talking about any of these things. :)

      1. WEIGHT -
      We all know that it's never OK to make a comment about a woman's weight, right? The only time it's kosher is if a woman has recently lost weight, and then it's OK to say something along the lines of "You look great" and end the sentence before you insert foot in mouth babbling about how big she was before. Most men shouldn't ever trample on this sacred ground. Men and women alike, generally have enough sense about them not to talk about weight gain.

      Except for when you're pregnant.

      For some reason, being pregnant, some people feel as if they have a license to immediately make a comment about your weight. "You're really filling out", "Are you sure it's not twins?!?!", "Eating for two", "You look like you're ready to pop!", "You are so huge/big/ginormous (insert any adjective for large)" are all things you should NEVER SAY. EVER. NEVER! In fact, don't mention weight or size at all. We already feel like blimps, fumbling around, unable to touch our toes, or sit properly in a restaurant booth, we don't need any reminders.

      And don't ask me how much weight I've gained. If you volunteer your weight gain statistics to me, it doesn't mean I'm obligated to volunteer mine to you.


      Believe it or not, I'm a very private person, especially in regards to the intimate details of my body. The more I feel pushed into giving information, the more I retreat and submit vague information, or retort with a hormone-induced snarky response. So, it should be no surprise to you, when you come to me at 36 weeks pregnant and ask me if my cervix is dilated if I punch you in the face. :) No, I won't punch you, but I may ask you about your cervix, if that's OK. And if you don't have a cervix, you definitely should not be asking that question!

      Don't ask me about stretch marks, nipple secretions, mucus plug, and the like. Again, I will gladly ask you the question right back, and I doubt you want to talk about any of those things either. True? 

      And stop telling me to have sex to induce labor, geesh.

      "I was ripped from end to end"
       "You're planning on going natural?  Haha, good luck with that"

      Save the horrow stories, please.  Yes, I've been told, watched videos, and read lots of books on what is about to happen to me. I don't need anymore negative reinforcements, I just want to be encouraged. It's one thing to share the reality of your birth story with me, and I'll be happy to hear it. It's another thing to go around fearmongering and leave me begging for a c-section.


      No. That's a basketball I shoved up my shirt because I want YOUR attention. Seriously? If you see me, and I still look like I've got a baby in there, and I'm not holding a baby in arms, it's safe to assume that, yes, I'm still pregnant.

      Do you really think I have that much control over the situation? Do you think your comment will maybe you will magically induce labor?   Probably not.

      Most likely, I feel hot, fat, hormonal, miserable and achy and I'm completely uncomfortable with even more attention being drawn to me. Recently, someone made this comment to me, and before I could think about my response, I replied with "And you still have a big mouth?". If you are OK with getting a response like this, go ahead and ask this question.

      What we want to hear instead:

      • You're doing a great job
      • I can't wait to see you with your beautiful baby.  I can tell that you are going to be a great mom
      • Labor?  You CAN do it!
      • You look beautiful
      • You're glowing
      Hot, swollen, 38 weeks pregnant, ready to meet my baby

      Did you get any weird comments when you were pregnant? 

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      Wednesday, July 6, 2011

      Wordless Wednesday: Happy 1st Birthday to my beautiful niece!

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