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Can someone please press "STOP"...or at least "PAUSE"??

It's so easy to get stuck in one schedule and just keep on going like the "stop" or "pause" buttons are broken.  This has been my life recently.  With all of the holiday happenings: Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping, cookie parties, play group parties, work parties, decorating the house, more Christmas parties, etc. etc. etc., I've barely had a chance to have life as I know it.  Then, when you toss in a child, the fast forward button seems to be pushed.  Days fly by and before I know it, it's less than two weeks until Christmas!

I don't really have a way to stop this, but thought I'd share that this is what I'm going through right now.  While it is a blast, it is also a little bit crazy.  Hopefully you're finding ways to stop and smell the pine of the Christmas trees.  Let me know how you do it!

Bummis' Bio Soft Liners

Changes happen all the time.  I loved the change when my darling daughter went from crying all the time to smiling, giggling, and sleeping 12, long, joyous hours at night.  These are the good changes that every mother looks forward to.  I loved the excitement of teaching my baby how to say "ma ma" (even though the "D" word came first), watching her little fingers learn how to grasp objects, and eventually learning to eat solid foods and drink water.  Oh, how some changes can be wonderful!

But, even the wonderful changes have their downfalls.  The excitement of introducing solid food to babies inevitably brings with it the change of the not-so-smelly (especially if breastfed) poops to the ever-poignant aroma of digested peaches, apples, chicken, green beans, carrots, mangoes, rice cereal...you get the picture (dare I need to show you one?!).  And, when you add cloth diapers to this ever-expanding picture, things really do get a bit sticky.

Here's where Bummis'…

I am smarter than a baby...right?

I have to admit, the idea of starting my daughter off on solid foods both excited me and made me nervous.  There are so many theories about how to get your child started on his or her first foods, which foods to avoid, how to start them off, whether or not to make your own food or buy baby food, and so on and so on.  How was I ever going to manage everything and make all of the right decisions so that my daughter would continue to thrive?

Thankfully, I quickly learned that, no matter what theory I used to approach solid foods, my daughter was going to do or want the opposite.  Trying to introduce solid foods became so difficult and time-consuming for me that I finally just gave in and found the one method that my daughter would eat, with the one food she would eat:  chicken with brown rice on a gigantic wooden spoon.

Now, most manuals and baby food books say not to introduce meats as a first food.  This wasn't the first food that I tried to introduce.  We started with avocados, then…

To thine own self be true

Shakespeare was a smart man...that might be an understatement, but needless to say he knew a bit about life.  And, this is something that I - as a mother - strive to have.  The problem comes when I look at all of the other mothers around me and realize that they're doing such a better job at being a mother.  I try to do the things that they do, but I fail.  So, I'm going to take a little Shakespearean advice and be true to my own self.

I teach a lot of fitness classes and, during these, continually remind my clients that no two people have the same body.  Therefore, no two people's bodies will function exactly the same.  We have to recognize the movements and strengths within our own bodies and then realize the limitations that we have so that we don't injure ourselves.  This thought is also true with life and being a mother.  No two mothers are the same.  And, each of us has our own strengths and limitations.  Realizing and incorporating these into our lives is importa…

Out and About

When my husband and I first started using cloth diapers, we decided that we were only going to use them around the house.  It sounded way too difficult to travel with cloth diapers and, after all, that would still save us a lot of money.  Eight months later...I love cloth diapers so much that I almost exclusively use them.  The only time we don't use them is at night.  So, during the week I only use seven - maybe eight - sposies...that's approximately $2 per week spent on sposies (or 23 weeks to use one package of diapers...you'll change sizes before you run out!).

There are many misconceptions to using cloth diapers while out and about (for your day-to-day errands - we'll discuss long-term travel in a future blog).  Some people think that it's too much of a mess (or smell).  Others think that it's too difficult to change CDs on the run.  Even more think it's easier to use sposies.  Well, let's take a look at these situations:

1. MYTH: It's too much o…

Happy Heinys One-Size Pocket Diapers

So, you've decided that prefolds and diaper covers is just too much work for you and/or you don't want to deal with the mess of touching a dirty diaper.  But, the AIOs are just too expensive.  Well, a nice alternative may be Happy Heinys one-size pocket diapers. 

The benefits of using any pocket diaper is that they are similar to an AIO, but you can easily add more or less absorbency with the inserts.  Personally, I always use at least two inserts (one longer than the other) in order to protect against leaks.  These are also great to use with babysitters or other people who may not be familiar with the intricacies of cloth diapering.  Laundering is easy because you do not need to take the inserts out.  You simply toss the entire diaper into the wash and the inserts come out during the cycle.

Happy Heinys makes a durable pocket diaper that grows with Baby.  The snaps allow for growth from about 8 pounds to over 20.  The Velcro fasteners allow for a comfortable fit around the legs…

Cloth wipes: A cloth diapering necessity

Telling people that you use cloth diapers will inevitably involve receiving the occasional glance that screams, "You're CRAZY!"  But, when you tell someone that you also use cloth wipes, they will know that you are.  However, let's think about this handy little accessory that so many people don't consider...and more should.

Whether or not you're worried about saving the environment or saving your money, cloth wipes make sense.  When you use anywhere from one wipe to the entire package just to clean Baby's bottom, you're just tossing waste and money into the garbage...not to mention putting unneeded chemicals onto Baby's bottom.  Cloth wipes are an amazing tool that most people don't even think about.  Not only are they reusable, but they cost next to nothing to either make or buy.  They are also much more efficient at cleaning that precious little bottom since they act more like a washcloth (which you can also use as wipes) than a regular wipe…

Romancing Mom

Let's face it, life after a baby completely changes the way we (moms) act, think, and look at life...and romance.  Gone are the days when I hope my husband comes home with flowers and sweeps me off my feet like is so commonly seen in romance movies.  No, the very notion of romance has completely evolved into something else in my new, crazy life as a mother.

I'm not saying that romance is gone.  Quite the opposite...romance is still very present and needed in my life.  However, it's different.  A friend of mine once showed me the book Porn for New Moms.  I didn't completely understand it at the time (I hadn't yet had children), but it made me laugh.  The very thought of a man coming home and offering to take the baby so that mom can get a bath or go out with girlfriends seemed ridiculous.  Now, I completely understand the concept!

As a mom, we want romance.  But, what really is romance?  I think that it's feeling appreciated for the person we are and feeling as th…

I may have spit up all over me, but at least I'm wearing heels

We all have things that make us feel gorgeous.  For me, it's shoes.  I have lots of "happy" shoes.  My husband has never quite understood the fact that the right pair of shoes can make me feel great!  They may be my bright pink moccasins or my Audrey Hepburn red heels with a bow on the toe, or they may be the brightly colored, fuzzy slippers that are oh-so-comfortable.  Whichever shoe I'm in the mood for, my emotion changes the second I put it on.  I go from being down-in-the-dumps to happy and excited for the day to come.

Pregnancy, both pre-natal and post-partum, is a time of emotional highs and lows.  People say stupid things to us (that's a separate blog issue), we gain weight, hair grows in odd places, we lose hair, our skin changes, and we have these lovely lines developing on our bodies.  Basically, a lot of things we didn't know would happen - or didn't think would happen - occur.  During nine months of pregnancy and many, many, many months (or ye…

Snappies

Every once in a while, I find a piece of technology that ultimately changes the way I think about life.  In the '80s, it was my crimper.  In the '90s, it was my walkman.  In the '00s, it was Frizz-Ease and hair straightners.  Now that I'm a mom, this new technology that has revolutionized my life is the Snappi.

When most people think about cloth diapering, they think about diaper pins to hold the diaper together.  Well, you no longer have to fumble around, worrying that you're going to prick either yourself or your little, squirmy bundle of joy.  In come Snappies...these are your easy-to-use, can't-live-without, diapering accessory for anyone that is using prefolds and diaper covers. 

Snappies look like a "T" with Ace bandage claws at each end.  After angel folding your diaper, you simply grip the Snappi to one side, then the opposite side, and then down the center.  It's really as easy as 1 - 2 - 3!  The Snappi allows for easy adjustment of the pre…

So, you're thinking about trying...

Let's face it, staying in shape can seem like an impossible task.  Then, you add the thought of growing another human being inside you - plus all the hormones involved with that - and staying in shape is one of the last things we think about.

Thankfully, there are other people out there who are able to help us!  This is where my friend, and health counselor, Michelle comes in.  Michelle has been counseling men and women around the country about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Now, Michelle is bringing her knowledge and experience to any woman who is thinking about pregnancy, is pregnant, or wants to get pregnant again. Be sure to sign up for Michelle's latest e-course, Building a Baby Ready Body.  This course is sure to provide you with information about how to properly care for your body as you begin to consider pregnancy. 

While you're on Michelle's site, be sure to check out some of her phenomenal recipes.  She's got some amazing foods that are sure to cure any …

Breastfeeding: Top 10

I've had several requests for another post about breastfeeding.  So, here it is!

Before having a baby, I thought that breastfeeding was going to be easy.  After all, it's an innate practice of all mammals.  How hard can it really be?  Now, after seven months of breastfeeding, I can tell you that it is not easy.  BUT, the good news is, it gets easier!  


As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I had a horrible time beginning with breastfeeding.  It was extremely painful and I dreaded nursing times.  I felt like a horrible mom.  I didn't want to feed my child because I knew the pain that I was going to have to endure.  There are moments - through pure exhaustion - when I couldn't control myself and screamed.  Thankfully, I had a husband who was supportive and continued to encourage me and provide all of the support that he could in the form of talking to me, rubbing my back and shoulders, and assuring me that things would get better.

We all know that breastmilk is the abso…

From Pumping Iron to Pumping...Baby?

Exercise can either be a good or bad thing depending on your personality, past experiences, and lifestyle.  But, there's no doubt that exercise, whether you like it or not, is a fact of life once you become a parent.

The first few weeks after we brought Baby home, the only way to calm her was to walk up and down the stairs in our house.  We did this over and over and over - all through the day and the night.  My husband and I would take turns and our calves turned into rock solid muscle.  As Baby began to get bored with the stairs, I had to develop some creativity.  We would bounce on the ball (a core balancing exercise), do sit ups on the ball (an ab/oblique workout), and even do squats against the wall with the ball (a quad/hamstring/glute workout).  As Baby grew and gained more weight, my biceps and triceps developed into a sculpted phenomenon of which I had only previously dreamed.  I even managed to work in some deltoid/rhomboid/trap (shoulder and upper back) action while ente…

The Challenge of Old McDonald

I am someone who loves to be challenged.  I have to continually be learning new things in order to feel as though I'm being used to my fullest potential.  In my career, I search for innovations that need to be made, problems that need to be solved, and ways that I can continue to climb the corporate ladder in order to feel valued by my colleagues and clients.  Maybe you're the same way?

When I first became a mom, I was faced with many challenges; however, I didn't recognize them as challenges.  I thought that these were mistakes within my own abilities at being a mom.  I thought that I was doing the wrong things.  I thought that I was a failure.  But, I was wrong.

Learning how to recognize the challenges of motherhood is important in order to properly face each challenge.  The challenges begin with the simple task of recognizing the basic needs of Baby.  When is he/she hungry, sleepy, gassy, dirty, bored, cold, etc.?  These are the small challenges and, if you pay attention,…

Establishing a Potty Routine

None of us really remember how we learned to go to the bathroom.  To us, it's simpler than almost any other function we do.  But, when you have a child all of that changes.
Now, most of you probably think that this blog is going to be about potty training your child.  Well, it's not.  Let's face it; there's a lot that needs to be learned about "going potty" even before you get to potty training.  I won't get into the details of going to the bathroom after delivery...I don't want to scare away any blog readers who haven't yet had children.  No, let's talk about going to the bathroom when you have nowhere to put Baby.  The obvious decision is then to retrain yourself in how to go to the bathroom with Baby.

As women, we know how to effectively use public restrooms.  We can hover, squat, and maneuver our bodies into positions so that we never have to touch the toilet seat.  But, you add a child to this equation and things become a little bit more di…

Rocket Scientist, Brain Surgeon...Mom

There are a lot of professions that take years upon years to develop the skills, intelligence, intuition, and abilities in order to properly function in the profession.  People take thousands of hours of classes and practicums.  They spend decades developing and advancing their technologies and furthering their professions.  These professions are truly amazing.  They're not meant for the average person.

Motherhood is similar to these professions - except that you're not given years to prepare or thousands of hours to perfect your skills and enhance your knowledge.  It's a "learn by fire" career.  And, yes, it is a career.  If lucky, you're given nine short (although they may seem long at the time) months to prepare.

Some may say that a girl prepares all her life to be a mother.  But, is this really true?  From a young age we "play" mom, and we may even babysit or work as a childcare provider.  But, is this truly learning how to be a mom??  I would arg…

Thirsties Duo Wraps

I just visited a local baby store this week.  It's a half consignment - half local mothers' sewing club store.  I fell in love with it!  Granted, my husband may not have fully appreciated my purchase...I didn't make it much past the front counter with all of the beautiful handmade hair bows, clips, and hats.  But, my baby girl is now the proud owner of a hair accessory to match every possible outfit!

While in the store, another customer was asking questions about cloth diapering.  I couldn't keep my mouth shut.  She and the owner of the store had never tried cloth diapering.  The owner had tried selling cloth diapers previously, but said they weren't that successful.  Then, she showed me the diapers she had tried to sell and no wonder!  These weren't the pull-on pants, but they were close.  I could see leaks happening within minutes of diapering my baby.

Thankfully, Thirsties knows how to prevent leaks!  As with my favorite diaper, the Thirsties V2, the Duo Wra…

Through the eyes of a baby

Mondays are a difficult day for me.  Not only is that the first day of the week that I need an alarm clock, but it's also the day that I have the most errands to run with the least amount of energy.  Mondays seem to drag on and on and on.  Well, in the Pacific Northwest, come September, Mondays become even longer...the rainy season has started, the days are getting shorter, and my "Happy Light" returns to my office desk.  I don't look forward to Mondays in the fall.

If you add being a mom to my September Mondays, then things get even stickier.  I can no longer take my time running errands because my time is taken up with each errand and the fact that I now have someone else to care for besides myself.  I remember when it used to take me five minutes to run into the bank.  Now, it takes me five minutes to get Baby out of her car seat, five minutes to go into the bank, five minutes for everyone to talk about Baby, and five more minutes to get Baby back into the car seat…

Feeling Sexy: Before and After Baby

Every woman wants to feel sexy.  The definition for each of us may be slightly different.  For some, it's wearing stilettos while doing dishes or taking an hour to fix your hair that way you love to fix it, but never have time.  Others may feel sexy while dancing to that favorite song that you and your college roommate danced to while getting ready for a night on the town.  For me, it's what's underneath that counts.  Yes, I'm talking about the undergarments.

Let's face it, during pregnancy and afterward, it's hard to find nice bras and panties.  The nursing bras feel more like sports bras or the kind that your grandmother would wear.  You can't wear any Wonderbra, Very Sexy, or other bras that keep things in place.  No, you're relegated to the no underwire, no push up bras that don't cause clogged ducts and are padded - not for the sake of enhancing, but for the purpose of absorbing milk should you decide not to wear nursing pads.  The panties aren&…

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

Ever since becoming a mom, I've realized just how great it is to be a child - especially a baby.  Think about it...you have someone else taking care of your every waking need.  You're fed, changed, warmed, loved, burped...it's one gigantic party!  Well, since it is Baby's party, I guess that explains why sometimes she just wants to cry.  This week has been no exception!

We've had a busy week. Not only was it time to get more shots, but we're also getting ready for more family to visit, a possible move, trying to finish up end of the fiscal year work, and started eating solid foods.  All of these things have truly affected Baby's sleep schedule and Momma's sanity.


We've also learned a new thing this week...Mom is going to have to let Baby cry a little longer sometimes!  Now, I am probably not going to be the mom that does the whole Ferber method.  Fifteen minutes is about as long as I can go before I'm in tears too.  But, I did come to realize that…

Would you like pain or no pain with that delivery?

Brigitte Bardot said it well when she said, "I am not finding pregnancy much of a joy.  I am afraid of childbirth, but I am afraid I can't find a way of avoiding it."  There are a lot of fears that come with childbirth.  One of the biggest fears that faces many women is the amount of pain during labor and delivery and whether or not to get pain management - either in the form of narcotics, an epidural, or simple pain coping techniques.

During one of our childbirth classes, my husband and I were asked to separately answer a simple question about our idea of how to manage pain during labor and delivery.  We were given a piece of paper which had a scale of 1 - 10: 1 being "I want no pain at all.  Give me the epidural as soon as I enter the hospital" and10 being "Under no circumstances do I want any type of pain medication."  For me, I chose # 3, "I'll go a little bit with pain, but I want an epidural!" and my husband answered # 7, "I…

Imse Vimse Organic Cover

I'm a huge fan of purchasing all things organic.  It's nice to know that it's still possible to purchase items without synthetic materials or chemicals.  But, I'm also a big fan of function and guaranteed performance.  Sometimes, it's possible to have all of these things in one item and sometimes it's not.

In the case of the Imse Vimse Organic covers, I have a mixture of opinions.  The design, durability, and feel of the covers is excellent.  The leg gussets guarantee that no mess will squeeze through the cover as my baby is moving all over the place, plus the soft texture of the organic materials allows for movement of Baby's legs and torso without restriction.

But, because there is no plastic layer within this diaper cover, wetness can - and does - occasionally seep through to Baby's outfit.  I also have found that it's best to switch to the next size earlier than the weight chart says.  My baby outgrows these covers about two pounds earlier than th…

A Mother's Schedule

I look at my daughter every day and think, "Life would be great if I could just return to being a baby!"  Think about it.  People want you to sleep.  They fix your food for you and even feed it to you. They're happy when you burp, fart, poop, or pee.  You get praise for simply saying "ma ma" or "da da", smiling, laughing, sitting up, standing up, crawling, walking, or even just doing nothing at all.  Plus, you've done a full day's work after simply playing with toys all day.  Oh, this is definitely the life!

A mother's day, on the other hand, is never finished.  We spend all day taking care of our loved ones, making sure they have everything they need, fixing broken toys or mending torn clothes, reading stories that rhyme, singing songs about farm animals or the wheels on a bus, and then try to find time to sleep to have the energy to do it all over again the next day.  This is not to mention that some of us also have "day jobs" t…

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times; it was pregnancy...

We often think of pregnancy the way that we see it in the movies: happy, cheerful, and finished within two hours.  But, the reality is - just as Dickens wrote - that pregnancy is both the best and worst of times.  Pregnancy is filled with excitement, curiosity, worries, fears, weight gain, and more. 

I'll never forget the second that I knew I was pregnant.  It was not due to a positive pregnancy test...that came later.  It was due to my becoming absolutely furious with my husband because of some trivial thing that I cannot recollect.  My hormones were raging, and I knew that something was different.  So, I took the test, found out my suspicions were indeed correct, and immediately was ecstatic - did I mention those hormones???

My husband and I decided to wait to tell people that we were expecting.  That's easier said than done.  I managed to do this (after only telling a few people that I knew wouldn't let the secret slip), but it became harder and harder as the morning sic…

Bummis Super Brite

It's been seven long years since I started this blog as a place to look for cloth diaper reviews.  In that time, my family has grown to a party of five.  For a variety of reasons, we didn't do a lot of cloth diapering with our middle child, but now #3 is here and the cloth diapers have come back out!  With so many new options for cloth diapering, I thought I'd take a look back at my original reviews and update as needed.

So, let's start with the Bummis Super Brite!  I am still a big fan of this diaper cover.  Not only does it provide excellent coverage to minimize blowouts and leaks, but it is also easy to use and stylish in it's super brite colors and new designs in Cactus, Tampa and Circus.

However, there is one point to note.  My baby #3 is not a tiny baby as my previous two children were.  He likes to eat and his size shows it.  So, as we've re-begun using cloth diapers, I've noticed that they don't all fit like they did on his siblings.  The Bummis…

Establishing Night Time Sleep

Since I assume that most of you reading this are either mothers or women who want to eventually be mothers, then we each know that our child (or child-to-be) is the brightest and most well-developed child out there (who wouldn't agree?!).  Our prodigy child wants to see and do everything - especially at night.  And, as mothers, we all know who gets to wake up during the middle of the night to teach Baby that, when the moon is out, we sleep...us!  A mother's physical need for sleep seems to diminish during the first months after Baby arrives.  But, our mental need for sleep is still ever present reminding us - day after day - that we are exhausted. Well, establishing night time sleep isn't impossible, and this blog will tell you how I did it and had my baby sleeping through the night by nine weeks old (which, for her age, was six hours of blessed, uninterrupted sleep).

I read many books prior to Baby's arrival about establishing a good sleep habit.  On Becoming Baby Wise…

SposoEasy AIO Diaper

So, you've decided that you want to try out cloth diapers, but you don't want to deal with the multiple steps of using cloth diapers with covers.  You want something that is just as easy as a disposable diaper.  The SposoEasy All-In-One (AIO) diaper may be just the diaper for you. 

SposoEasy's AIO has an exterior that is waterproof and an interior that is 100% cotton - which means that Baby stays dry and so does his/her clothes.  This AIO comes in either snaps or Velcro and sells in sizes X-Small to Large (4 - 50 pounds), making it easy to find a size that fits your baby.  The best part of this AIO is that, unlike pocket diapers, there is nothing to stuff prior to diapering Baby.  Also, it has a flap sewn in to the diaper that adds absorbency without bulk.  This flap also allows the diaper to wash - and dry - more easily.

The one downside that I found with the SposoEasy AIO is the area around the legs.  This area, when not properly fitted to Baby, allows for leakage.  I am a…

I'm a Mommy...Really?

A lot of people will tell you that the first time you glance into that bundle of joy's little eyes, you'll be hooked.  And, for many people this may be true.  For me; however, this "bundle of joy" that was handed to me felt more like an alien.  It took me a lot longer than the first glance to realize that this was my child and that I was, in fact, a mother.

Now, I don't want you to think that I despised my baby or didn't want to be a mother.  It was quite the opposite.  I had been hoping and praying for a baby for a long time.  And, upon learning the news of my pregnancy, I was elated!  But, throughout my pregnancy, it never truly hit me what it would feel like to be a mother.  And, it took several weeks after the birth of Baby to actually feel like I was a mother. 

When Baby was born, she didn't look like me, she didn't seem to recognize me or my voice, and I didn't have an instant connection with her.  After several days, my husband and I finally …

Pampers Swaddler Diapers

You're probably wondering why I would write a review about a disposable diaper considering that I am such a huge fan of cloth diapers.  Well, the fact that I'm writing a review about these should also tell you that these disposables really had to impress me in order to get any type of nod.

The Pampers Swaddler diapers are a wonderful relief for nighttime sleep in my house.  With the Newborn and Size One diapers, not only could I immediately tell if the diaper is wet without having to change the diaper and wake up my sleeping baby (they have a yellow line down the center that turns green when wet), but they have a different absorbent layer that really keeps the wetness away from my baby's skin - allowing her to get a longer night's sleep (and Mommy to maintain her sanity).

We've tried the Pamper's Baby Dry diapers too, but I am generally not impressed with these.  They are smaller in size and we've had more blowouts with them. 

So, if you are going to use nigh…

What Mother Won't Tell You...Take 2!

So, the first "episode" of "What Mother Won't Tell You" got such a huge response that I decided to write some more.  This seems to be such a huge area that we don't talk about, so let's get it ALL out in the open!  For those friends who requested it, here you go!  Since the warning was already included on the first part, I'll just add a gentle reminder...tread lightly!

Let's get straight into details.  During the last post I included my "New Momma" gift: overnight pads (without wings), Medela nursing pads, Medela nipple cream, cheap underwear, and a bottle of KY.  Now, here are the specific details for the reason behind these items:

1.  Overnight pads (without wings) and cheap underwear:  When I first went into labor and went to the hospital, even though I had taken all the preparatory courses, I still had very little idea of what to expect.  So, when I saw the gigantic "get everything", looks-like-a-puppy-potty-training pad on…