Thursday, July 17, 2014


So first things first! Noah is now forward facing. He's maxed the height limit on his Safety First Guide 65 (40") so we had to turn him forward. I'm happy we made it rear facing to 3.5yrs! So, being the crazy car seat lady that I am, I'd like to point a few things out here. Notice the position of the chest clip. It is VERY important to keep it at armpit level. If placed over a baby or child's belly, it can cause internal bleeding; and it's meant to position the harness properly on the shoulders. If it's too low it could cause the baby to be ejected from the seat in a collision. The straps are snug - not tight enough to hurt but not loose. You can't see it in the picture, but a forward facing seat needs to be top tethered as well. As you'll notice, there are no after market products on my seat (attachable toys, seat covers, strap covers, etc.). These affect the harness placement and compromise the safety of the seat as well as voiding your warranty. If you have any car seat questions don't hesitate to ask! 
If you have a Facebook account, this is a wonderful group for car seat help that's full of CPST's and friendly members. Click here to see it!

And of course, Tiny Buddha is still breastfeeding. Nine months strong with no end in sight! Look at those beautiful eyes! He loves his boobies and still signs "milk" when he's hungry. Breastfeeding is the most beautiful bond and I cherish every nursing session, knowing that one day he'll be too old to want to nurse and after that too old to want to snuggle and get hugs and kisses when his friends are near.

Tiny Buddha took his first steps last month and is only getting better at walking. He's nine months old now!
He loves standing up by himself and when he does, he gets the biggest smile on his face. He's so proud of himself! We're very proud, too. I can't believe he's starting to walk so soon. It's so weird to see such a little person trying to walk around, especially since Noah didn't walk until he was 15 months old. Babies are so, so different! 

Noah's a master chef now. He can cook macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, soups and rice all by himself now! With supervision, of course. The only things he can't do are turn the stove on and off or strain the noodles. He even scoops the finished food onto plates and into bowls! He loves his independence.
Speaking of the BugMan, we have a new method of "punishment" that isn't quite punishment. When he's too worked up and frustrated, he takes a "chill break" - it's like a time out without the attached negative implications. He doesn't go because he's in trouble, but because he needs a break to chill out and relax - hence "chill break". He takes a bottle of water, glitter, and glitter body soap and shakes it up and watches the glitter float down while he relaxes. It works far better than everything else we've tried, and it shows him that there are better ways to deal with his frustration.

Sorry for the short post, but the kids need me. Gage wants a snack and Noah wants to play with his Yo! Gabba Gabba! dolls. :)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Pool day with the tiny spawns

I may start queuing blog entries if I can figure out how, because I don't have time every week to blog, but when I do blog, I usually have time for a few. If anyone knows how to do this - let me know!
*Side Note: I'm fully aware that my breasts are lopsided.
Breastfeeding problems, man.
Worth it, though.

Today, the munchkin kids and I went to our friend's pool. She has a farm and they were happy to see the animals as well! They both loved the goats and the turkey and the ducks. Noah loved the roosters, but Gage stared the bigger rooster down until it crowed and then made his boo-boo-lip face and started tearing up. He doesn't like not winning a staring contest! The pool was a little bit chilly, but easy to get used to quickly and Gage loved it. Noah, on the other hand... well, he's still very sensitive and does not like being pushed into things. So in hindsight, carrying him into the pool with me to "just dip your feet in because you might like it!" wasn't the best idea. He didn't want to go in after that. So he played around the pool, in his very spiffy life vest, of course. 
That's sun block smeared all over his face in the picture. He's my little pale one, the Irish, German and Polish seem to be very dominant over the Italian and Native American in him. Seriously, you would never know he was either of those by looking at him! He's wearing his new life vest that his papa bought him. This one has a piece behind his head to keep his head out of the water if he's on his back. It's pretty nifty, I like it, and he seems to like it well enough.

We're still using that amazing sun block I blogged about last summer, the Purple Prairie SunStuff. You can get it here. The smaller one has lasted us since last summer! That said, when it runs out we will be making our own. That post will come in time! But this stuff has a 1 rating on the EWG website (0 being the best, and 10 being the worst) and is 30SPF.
Don't order from Amazon because they charge you $25 +tax even though on the Purple Prairie site the larger one is only $20 +tax and ships faster than Amazon does haha. I have no idea if it's sold in stores... I order a lot of our stuff online because the stores around us never seem to have the cool stuff I'm looking for.

I made this for Tiny Buddha earlier today. He's now the coolest eight month old on the block, with the coolest sippy cup on the block. My down time is more productive than I really get credit for. Anyway, Gage loves it.
Before all the "But it's glass! A baby can not use a glass sippy!" happens, let me explain.
We have plenty of these jars around the house. They're canning jars, meant to withstand very high temperatures and pressure from, well, jarring/canning hot things. Like our homemade sauce. The glass is very thick, and trust me, they fall on our tile floor in our kitchen all the time. The taller, thinner Ball brand break more easily, which is why I chose this jar instead.
It doesn't leak and he doesn't normally just crawl around and play with it, it's really only for when I'm on a birth and he needs to eat because we still breastfeed (and will be for a few years!). When he has breastmilk from a sippy, 95% of the time he is being held in daddy's arms, or whatever relative is babysitting while we work.
I've heard that those foam insulating sleeves add an incredible layer of protection as well, if you're really worried about it.
Anyway, we love it, and so does Tiny Buddha. The rest of us tend to drink from Mason jars instead of cups as well.

☮ Peace & love ☮

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Okay, so how many of my posts begin with apologies? It is SO busy around here now that the tiniest spawn is mobile.
Bugman has pretty much mastered his alphabet and is now working on reading. He can sound out many 3 letter words and I can't tell you how proud I am! He knows the name of the town he lives in, his full name (yes, even both middle names!) and takes showers now instead of baths because he's such a big kid now.
He sleeps with that foam sword in the picture so he can protect everyone because he's now sleeping in his big boy bed again - did I mention that in my last post? I can't remember. This sleep loss is killer.
His new favorite movie is Frozen and he talks about it all the time.
Oh, we got a Sit N Stand stroller! I adore that thing, man. So does he. Even Gage loves it and he is one of the pickiest children I've met when it comes to sitting in things that aren't a pair of arms or a wrap. It's so easy for quick in-and-outs, like you would expect with a three year old. He has to stop every few minutes to pick a dandelion out of the grass and make a wish. The storage space is awesome, I can fit a towel, two umbrellas, food and a diaper bag and some toys without any problems. And it's super easy to push, and folds pretty compact for its size. I'd definitely recommend it to any mama of two (or even 3 - my toddler sits on the jump seat and my 6 year old brother can stand on the... you know, the stand-y thing, while my baby sits in the front). Psst, Baby Trend, y'all should compensate me for sharing the Sit N Stand love!

Baby Led Weaning is the bees knees. A little rough, a little scary sometimes, but it's so fun and surprisingly easy. This site has a ton of information on the whole thing! Keep in mind that "weaning" is used in the UK sense of adding supplementary foods (solids), not in the sense of weaning from the breast or bottle. We're still nursing and our goal is somewhere around 3 years, whenever he decides to wean.
His favorite foods as of yet are watermelon wedges, apple slices, and sweet potato fries fried in coconut oil! He's eating an apple slice in the picture.
So one of the best things about BLW is probably that, depending on the food, it's significantly less messy than mush. It's also less preparation time and more delicious - wouldn't you prefer whole chicken and steak over chicken mush or steak mush? Blech.
I'm totally not knocking purees though. I made all of Noah's baby food by hand, and I adore making my own purees. That said, BLW is just so much more fun than purees are, and so much less work!
We're trying to avoid grains for the most part, but we've had a cheat night or two where we ordered pizza and let Gage go to town on some pizza crusts. There were zero complaints on his end! That boy loves him some crust haha.

We got some sibling photos taken a few days ago for my dad, and after those, our awesome photographer got this super rad shot of the Baby Dragon nursing. I'm so happy to have a nursing picture that's not a "selfie" on the couch! I'm considering scheduling a babywearing/nursing shoot in the near future... stay tuned :)

You can find her photography page at this link: Horizon Life Photos. I love her work, she took family photos of Curtis and I and our littles back in March. She's great at what she does and the shoots are always so fun! Lots of laughter and joking around, while keeping it professional.

I'd recommend her to anyone in my area. To my knowledge she does business head shots, family photos, maternity photos, children's photos, graduation photos, wedding photos, engagement photos, pet photos, senior photos - pretty much if you need photos for any occasion, she's your girl!

I'm very excited to say that my business is doing well. I am now offering car seat safety education in addition to babywearing education, cloth diapering education, and my standard doula services. I have two car seat safety courses to teach in the next week and it fills me with so much joy to be empowering other parents with even more safety knowledge, and potentially helping to keep even more littles safe and sound!

If you want to check them out, my business page on Facebook is located here, and my website is located here.

I'll be back to update soon (hopefully!)

☮ Peace & love ☮

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I *will* get back into blogging again.

Starting today. And every Wednesday from here on out, just like old times. :P

This is a picture of the boys now :)

I did fix Noah's strap after the picture; it's loose on his shoulder in the picture. He's now 3 years and 4 months old, and still happily rearfacing with his brother. :) And I know I used the wrong watermark, that's my business name. I'm too exhausted to go back and fix it.

We've gotten, somehow, even more into babywearing. We now have our trusty Maya Wrap ring sling and a DIY Osnaburg wrap that the three of us are absolutely in love with! I've learned 3 carries - the FWCC, rucksack carry and the double hammock carry - all have instructions on YouTube. For those of you who prefer pictures, Wrap Your Baby has excellent photo tutorials for these carries and more. The ruck is a favorite here by far - Gage can see over my shoulder, and for Noah it's like a hands free piggy back ride. It's easy to learn, easy to do by myself (after a week or so of practice with a spotter, followed by a few days of practice over a bed, and now I can do it without either!), easy on my back and shoulders and allows me to get so much done. The FWCC is good for snuggles and sleepy babies, though they can sleep comfortably in a ruck as well. 

In the picture, I have Noah in a double hammock. The pass is not over my chest because I was engorged and it hurt! Gage is in a ruck on our Easter hike. :)

Gage is now nearly seven months old. Can you believe that? Goodness. We do Baby Led Weaning but he has only had solids a handful of times. They are absolutely not necessary in the first year, "food before one is just for fun!" - and it is fun! He just usually prefers the boob, and hey, it's easier, so I'm not gonna fight that! His favorite food so far is watermelon. Avocado was NOT a hit, and Noah doesn't like it either. When he has breastmilk not from the tap, he takes a sippy cup. He's not crawling yet but we're in no rush. We're still in cloth and still breastfeeding. 

He's such a cute chunky monkey, ain't he?

Noah is doing really well with school. He knows all of his letters and most of their sounds, and recognizes them all by sight. He can even read a few words at 3 years old! He's doing incredible with his ASL as well. 
Some of my favorite resources if you're interested are Starfall and Baby Sign Language. We also LOVE Signing Time on Netflix! Storybots on YouTube have wonderful letter songs that Noah absolutely adores.
Now that we're past the alphabet, I plan on reviewing our numbers and then moving onto reading. Since I'll be back at least weekly, you'll all be able to follow his progress!

I've booked a few clients so I'm pleasantly occupied aside from the boys.

☮ Peace & love ☮

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I haven't blogged in over a month...

Well, it's good this blog is not one of my children because I've been super neglectful to it!

Gage is now 5 months old. Can you believe that? It's like I was pregnant yesterday! His six month well baby check up is scheduled for April 18th. He grabs toys, assaults my food with his face despite not eating solids yet (still EBF over here - yay!), rolls both ways, and absolutely adores Noah. Here's a picture of the littles together!

Noah has a new baby cousin, born shortly after his third birthday. He loves him to pieces! I won't be posting a picture of him on the blog as he is not my child and I do not have the right to be plastering photos of him around the internet, so you'll have to take my word for it when I say he is soooo stinking adorable!
Noah is currently learning his alphabet at home with me, so it's school every day. This week we're reviewing letters A-E that we've done and next week we'll be moving onto letter F. He's really getting this whole letters and sounds thing down and I'm super proud!

Things are finally moving into place around here. I have an income now. I'm reaching clients. We just switched everything around with insurance and the boys' new coverage begins next month. We have the new pediatrician set up and tomorrow I'm calling the new dentist to arrange an appointment for Noah.
We got new baby chicks that will be ready to go into the coop in a few weeks! I chose one to name Hendrix, and Noah chose one and named it Muno...
Which brings me to the next update. I should get an episode on True Life called True Life: My Child is Addicted to Yo Gabba Gabba
Yes. It's that bad. He just got the beanie baby versions of Brobee, Foofa, Muno, and Toodee for $8 a piece. Insanity at it's finest, but it makes him happy. Unfortunately for Curtis and I, that means we have to watch a lot of Yo Gabba Gabba. Even worse, the On Demand section only had three episodes for weeks and is now down to one single episode that we watch over and over.
This is how big and grown up my Bugman looks now that he's three:

It might be kind of a crappy, quick update, but I'm hoping to start blogging at least once a week now!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Straying from normal topics

I want to talk about why this picture pisses me off.

I get it. The intent was likely not malevolent, but rather to show pride in being "bigger" or even just of average size.
But here's the thing. We seem to be missing a key component in this "love your body" campaign. It is not "love your body because you're not skinny". It's not "love your body but bash other people's bodies".
We should all love our bodies but that does not mean that it is okay or acceptable to negate other body types. Love your body. Take pride in it and take care of it. But you are not better or worse than anybody else. And the whole "real men like curves, only dogs go for bones" meme? It's complete crap. A real man goes for whatever he wants, first off. Secondly, a real man will look past any body type and be happy with the woman he is with for who she is, not what she looks like. And hey, if she looks incredible - it's just a bonus. Your body, your weight does not define you. YOU define you. Who you are, your personality - that it what defines you. Not theses bullshit memes circulating the internet.

Simply put:
If you're big, rock it.
If you're small, rock it.
I don't care if you're thin, overweight, tall, average, short, black, white, red, pear shaped, apple shaped, hourglass shaped, board shaped, or if you're a damn polygon.

You just rock whatever you've got, because no one can be you like you can.
But keep in mind when you do, that it is never okay to put down another human being, or to make fun or poke jokes at someone else's body type.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Busy, busy, busy.

That's what I've been.
Super busy doing what seems like three million things.
I mean, here's my average day:

8:30-9:00AM: "Mommmmm. Mommy. Mommy. Mom. Mom it's morning. Time to get up. Mom I wanna go upstairs. Mom. Mooooooom!" I ask for five minutes of sleep. "Mommy I wanna go upstairs!" I ask him if he'd like to watch cartoons so I can get five more minutes of sleep. He agrees and I turn on Paw Patrol.

9:15AM: Noah reminds me that he REALLY wants to go upstairs now. I get up out of bed, change Gage's diaper, dress him in today's outfit, put on his teething necklace, and we all go upstairs.

9:20AM: We discuss 40 different options for breakfast. Despite the choices, Noah always chooses scrambled eggs with diced peppers and "jelly bread" (toast with jelly) or scrambled eggs with pineapple on the side and "jelly bread". 

9:30AM: After the ten minute debate I cook one of the two options above and start making coffee.

9:45AM: Serve breakfast. I eat while I nurse Gage and start getting Noah's school stuff ready, being periodically interrupted by your average three year old questions. Like, "Mommy do my boobies have milk too?" or "Can I feed Gage with my boobies now?" or "Can I eat with my nose?" Eventually I convince him to finish at least 3/4 of his breakfast before he runs off to brush his teeth.

10:00AM: It's time for school. Right now we're learning our letters and today is our last day of C week. School lasts about an hour, and consists of the letter of the week, theme words beginning with that letter, a poem and song and book about that letter, and learning about various things starting with that letter. For science this week we learned about cougars and crocodiles, for social studies we learned about castles, and for art we made a C-shaped caterpillar with glue and crayons and a marker.

11:30AM: We're usually done with school. I get Noah dressed and he has free time for about an hour while I start cleaning up from breakfast and straightening up the house.

12:30PM: Time to figure out something for lunch. Sandwich, soup, chicken nuggets, whatever. It's always different. He considers his choices for ten minutes as if it is the only meal he will ever eat again. When he ultimately decides what he wants to eat, we cook it and sit down to eat. You know, after changing the third diaper of the day and cleaning whatever spit up has accumulated because no one wants to eat with that.

1:30PM: Finish cleaning the house and set Gage down for tummy time and set Noah up with his coloring stuff or some trains or some other toy.

3:30PM: Done cleaning the house. My brother feeds the animals and Noah and I go out to check the chicken coop for eggs.

4:00PM: If the weather is nice, go for a walk and teach Noah about whatever he finds that he wants to know more about, usually with Gage in the ring sling and his baby (named New One Baby) wrapped on him in a scarf.

5:00PM: I have about an hour where all I have to do is a diaper change if necessary, nurse Gage, help Noah get a snack. I check Facebook, try to check my blog, my e-mail, see if there's anything new I can do with my own schooling.

6:00PM: We usually try to start dinner around now. By that I mean it's like a 30-60 minute discussion about what everyone wants, what we have, and what we feel like cooking. Dinner is usually done being made and consumed around 7:00.

7:15-7:30PM: Start laundry or diapers to be washed depending on the day.

8:00PM: Give Noah and Gage baths. Try not to think about how I haven't been able to take a shower in two days, due to uncooperative children, haha

8:45PM: Brush teeth and change into jammies. Settle down to watch some tv or a movie. Bedtime stories if he decides he wants one that night.

10:00PM Usually both kiddos are out by now. I clean up from after dinner and try to straighten up a bit. If I haven't squeezed it in during the day, this is when I shower, work out, do yoga, prepare school stuff, fold clothes stuff diapers, blog, play World of Warcraft, and just generally have "me" time.

So yeah. I just feel busy and overwhelmed on days that even more needs to be added.
Sorry for not keeping up on the blog! I think about it a lot, there's just a lot to be balanced out.
Will update soon!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How we beat the really awful cold going around

We're just getting over a pretty nasty cold, Noah and I. Lots of coughing, head and chest pain, shakiness, dizziness, sneezing and sniffles and nausea. I mean, I was so dizzy I couldn't stand up.
But we're both almost 100% better in less than 48 hours!

What we've been doing:

One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar a few times a day. 
It's awful tasting, but there are lots of ways to do it. 
  • Dilute in 8oz water
  • Dilute in 8oz fruit juice (I hear orange, cranberry, apple and grape are best)
  • Make in a tea with some honey
  • Do ACV "shots" followed by an 8oz glass of water
  • Make a salad dressing
  • Make a smoothie
It does help a lot. I didn't use any of these but rather, made a "super tea" which I'll put toward the end.

One tablespoon of organic coconut oil a few times a day.
Coconut oil is actually pretty plain. 
We just melted a spoonful in tea a couple times a day.

One tablespoon of cinnamon a few times a day.
Cinnamon has natural healing properties, and it even tastes great! We put ours in tea or for me, in coffee.

Vitamin C to bowel tolerance.
Self explanatory.

Daily dose of Echinacea.
Also great for immune support!

Lots of rest.
Not easy as a mom, but luckily my kids were up for lots of snuggling and movie time.

Cool mist humidifier with EO.
We ran our cool mist humidifier with eucalyptus essential oil to help us breathe better (10 drops) and chamomile essential oil to help us relax and promote restful sleep (15 drops).

Lots of fluids.
Especially if you have vomiting or diarrhea. Water, fruit juices watered down, electrolyte drinks (Wellness Mama has a great recipe for a homemade one!).

"Super tea" a few times a day.
Decaffeinated is best during a cold. 
I brewed a cup of black Lipton tea 3-4 times a day and added 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp coconut oil and 1 tbsp ACV (apple cider vinegar) and 1 tsp of sugar. It covered the taste pretty well! I do think a fruity tea would mask the ACV better, though. Find what works for you!

All we have left are a couple sniffles and I have a bit of a cough left.
Other things you can add are bee propolis, elderberry syrup, and pure organic honey.
Remember - hot liquids stimulate the immune response, so lots of soup broth and decaffeinated teas will help!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I haven't forgotten about you guys! Life is busy with two kiddos, a lot busier than it was with just one.
And Bugman is going to be three in two days. Today, three years ago, was my due date with Noah. Today, three years ago, I was putting away the last of his clean clothes, readying my homebirth basket, and playing games on the Wii.
At 2am, tomorrow, the 26th, (three years ago) I was woken by contractions.
It's so bittersweet.

Anyway, both kids are getting big and growing too fast. Gage is three months old now.
We've moved to New York and I'm trying to get my doula business going again down here. Curtis is working in a cabinet shop and deciding whether he's joining the Army Reserves or the Army National Guard, and he plans to go active duty in a few years (roughly three years from now).
As proud a career as that is, I hope he changes his mind. Losing him is a terrifying thought.

Amidst the move, the stress of starting my business again and of planning for Noah's party, and moving our entire life, I haven't had much time to blog. I'll post on the 27th or 28th about Noah's birthday, but for now, laundry is calling my name (and I have to stuff diapers).

I'll update y'all soon. :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What are your New Year resolutions?

This year my resolutions are just what I've been working on all year, really.

Be more patient.
Be more kind.
Judge less.
Understand more.
Eat healthier.
Work out daily.
Do more yoga.
Spend more time outside.
Make more memories.
Drink more water.
No more soda!
(I'm struggling with that one)

I have a work out group that I made on Facebook, that mainly consists of 30 day challenges that change every month. If anyone is interested, click here to join. :)
I've actually made quite a bit of progress. It was unexpected to say the least! But hard work and perseverance go a long way.

I also found a healthier alternative to soda, which is basically just making your own flavored syrup (from berries and sugar, or some people like maple syrup on its own, or you can even buy your own all natural syrup) and adding it to seltzer water to taste. I suppose you could do the same with Mio or something similar, but all that fake sugar just isn't for us. It's horrible for you, and it makes me and my two year old sick.
So anyway, there's that. I also want to drink more water to be healthier.
I've cut out dyes as much as possible for my son, as well as high fructose corn syrup, but I've decided it's time to do the same for myself. The best way to get healthy is to start from the inside out!

I know this is a short post, but my resolutions are mainly to keep up what I'm already working on.
Happy (late) New Year!

You Might be a Crunchy Mama if...

  • You use cloth diapers
  • You have a slight obsession with essential oils
  • You know that raw garlic is a potent antibiotic
  • You're totally cool with breastfeeding for longer than a year
  • You're very proud of your 4 year old who is still rear facing
  • You're all for home births
  • You prefer midwives to OBs
  • You make your own baby food
  • (or practice Baby Led Weaning)
  • Your baby wears an amber necklace for teething
  • You wear an amber necklace/bracelet for various aches and pains
  • Instead of reflux meds you successfully use hazelwood necklaces for you &/or your baby
  • You know what mama cloth is
  • You delay or skip vaccinations
  • You call yourself a lactivist
  • You call yourself an intactivist
  • You know what unassisted childbirth is
  • You encapsulated your placenta
  • (or made a smoothie or just flat out ate it)
  • You've watched The Business Of Being Born repeatedly
  • You know who Ina May Gaskin is
  • You love your doula
  • You love everything organic
  • You still buy wooden toys for your kiddos
  • You have a nice stash of vitamins
  • You love babywearing
  • You made your own cloth baby wipes and wipe solution
  • You know what Sophie the Giraffe is for
  • You made or bought reusable nursing pads
  • You put your essential oils in everything
  • You know coconut oil is great for literally everything
  • You have Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap in your bathroom right now
  • You make your own toothpaste
  • You regard artificial dyes as the plague
  • You have your placenta in the freezer so you can plant it in the spring
  • You grow your own veggies and fruits
  • You homeschool
  • You gave birth in your living room (on purpose)

My boss at CVS actually used to refer to me as his "hippy employee" because I told people about natural alternatives (like Hyland's Teething Tablets instead of Motrin, because Hyland's is homeopathic and not loaded with crap) and because I refused to push vaccines and because I'm a birth doula and because I frequently wore my son in a ring sling when I shopped there. Everyone I know sort of views me as the "hippy mom" but, I'm pretty okay with this.

And, a final note, this is not to bash anyone's parenting, and this is not intended to say that crunchy moms do ALL of this. It's a post made in fun and good humor. :)