Missed Childhood Past-time

Apparently one of the set rules when growing us is learning how to ride a bike. I apparently was not told this rule when growing up nor was my mother ( mom I forgive you for this). That’s right I never learned how to ride a bike. I don’t know if this was due to my nose always being in a book, or the fact that when my mom would lock us out of the house he never left a bike out for the kids to play with and unlike some members in my family I wasn’t going to “borrow” the neighbors bike.

Yet it could be that I never found the activity of balancing on two wheels to get somewhere very fun. I would rather walk, which I did a lot of growing up.

I picked up rollerblading as a kid. I loved it.
I picked up rollerblading as a kid. I loved it.
Just to clarify I did not have blue hair as a child nor was I purple.
Just to clarify I did not have blue hair as a child nor was I purple.

 

 

Yet not learning has come back to hunt me. I have found myself jealous of the people who ride up and down the trail near my home. This jealousy only gets worse when those people have a baby seat on the back and baby or toddler is fast asleep with not a care in the world. Oh and the now eight year old who ride their bikes enjoy their summer vacation… yes I may envy them. I admit it I am jealous of the little kids in my neighborhood.

Yet today I have decided to do something for myself and learn how to ride a bike! I am quiet excited though I have realized learning may end up with me wishing my local hospital had a rewards card seeing my family is always there for some odd reason.

I am giving myself the summer to learn. Hopefully after that you will see me speeding away with two kids connected behind me because apparently riding a bike and babywearing your child is frowned upon. Sigh

 

Helmets on for safety!!
Helmets on for safety!!

The diaper that changed my life

If you know me You know I love cloth diapers ( more of an obsession but whatever same thing). If you don’t know me I am letting you know I love cloth diapers. Along with being very passionate about informed birth choices, babywearing, co-sleeping and gentle parenting. Yet would you believe me if I said that the passion for the topics listed would have never been if it wasn’t for my first cloth diaper? Yes cloth diapering introduced me to the world of birth, babywearing and more.

You see when Cadden was about three months we hit the point of either we pay for the car or we buy diapers for the baby. I told my husband that we could do without the diapers and just put him on the toilet ( I later learned this was elimination communication). My husband was not for that so off for answers I went. I typed in the Google search bar how to save money on diapers and up popped the world of cloth diapering!

Caddens first ever cloth diaper... yeah didn't realize a cover was needed and yes pins were used.
Caddens first ever cloth diaper… yeah didn’t realize a cover was needed and yes pins were used.

I never turned back ( OK we use a sposie here and there). At the moment my obsession is with G  diapers ( No they didn’t pay me to say that).

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Yes I proudly take pictures of my kids butts.

So how did cloth diapering make everything else roll into place?

Well when I first started cloth diapering I joined a open cloth diapering group here I met my now friend Leticia who made Cadden his first set of diapers. They were so damn cute. Well meeting her led me to the Minnesota cloth diapering group that I now admin with her and two other great ladies. Here I was introduced to the idea that you can give birth outside the hospital. I was introduced to what a doula is and their role… I actually met my doula who is also now a friend from this group. Without this knowledge I would have never had my youngest at a birthing center. I would have never met the awesome midwives who attended his birth. My husband would have never became such a huge supporter of births in birth centers and the use of doulas ( we are still working on a home-birth).

If cloth never showed up in that Google search the moms who gave donor milk to my oldest would have never existed in my life. The words yes its OK to sleep with your baby ( that baby is now two years old and still in our bed along with his 8 month old brother) would have never been read as I sat sleep deprived begging for help. My first “proper” baby carrier which was a ring sling made by a great mom wouldn’t exist well with me anyway. Maybe the fabric would have sat there waiting to be turned into the sanity saving carrier for another mom who couldn’t get anything done due to her baby wanting to be held 24/7.

As for breastfeeding… I would have never had the much-needed advice of moms who had been through the struggles I was facing trying to feed my first. Nor would they be the great support I have now with my second ( 8 months strong). I would not be completing the training I need to do to become a Certified Lactation Educator.

You see it might seem a little crazy to others for me to say this… Yet I would not be the crazy babywearing, pro breastfeeding, informed birth choicer, cloth diaper hoarder I am today if it was for the search on Google that landed my 3 month old in a cheaper gerber prefold with safety pins on the side.

yes I have a problem ... Cloth diaper rehab anyone?
yes I have a problem … Cloth diaper rehab anyone?

Remembering and Celebrating- Memorial Day

As Memorial Day comes to an end. I hope we all stopped and thought about the real meaning of today. Yes the grilling is fun as is connecting with family and friends, yet memorial day isn’t just about having a random three-day weekend.  Today was about honoring the ones who have lost their lives fighting for our country, along with thanking the ones who are still with us. So what did we do to honor today? We had a moment of silence as we listened to TAPS. So I would like to think that my children and even my husband for that matter were silent, but no they weren’t.

I found an awesome version of TAPS on YouTube and informed my husband we will be having a moment of silence to remember the fallen. He was totally on board with this seeing he grew up going to the graveyard every Memorial Day to place flowers on graves.  Yet Cadden and Lyam….. I am pretty sure conspired with each other at some point to make as much noise as possible. In fact I’m convinced it was a contest. I turned on the video and Lyam decided he needed to fill the diaper I just put on him five mins ago, then on top of that laugh about it. Oh and Cadden…. first let me start… Cadden has enough energy for about five boys his age sometimes more. He is his own kid and there have been days I have just wanted to hide from him. Well Cadden decided that the cat needed a bath… in the toilet. *Sigh* So basically I spent my time consoling a cat and telling Cadden to please be nice to the animals ( in which he laughed this evil laugh. By evil I mean there was vibration in his laugh). So basically a fail on the moment of silence.

Now on to celebrating…We have family ( My brother-in-law a veteran), and friends over. Like always we had a great time! That can only be explained in pictures.

My Ice tea.. Which after the crazy morning I seriously considered making it mommy's special juice
My Ice tea.. Which after the crazy morning I seriously considered making it mommy’s special juice

 

My awesome husband grilling

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Mommy and son and of course whats a day with out babywearing?!

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Then friends joined in…..

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Caddens Friend Luci!

 

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Jen, Tim, Leticia, Luci, Jodie and John

 

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As you can tell we had a pretty awesome day filled with plenty of laughs, food, and more laughs. Along with convincing husbands why their wives NEED more carriers, and at one point had  six kids, two dogs and, three husband running around loose.  I am thankful for moments like this. I am thankful this country has men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line for this country, so we can continue to have great moments like this. We had a great fun-filled day and hope you did too!

Happy Memorial Day!

Birthdays, Dogs, babywearing and Diapers.

Oh what a week and weekend it has been. So much has happened!!! Here are a few things:

We added another to the family!!!

No we did not have another baby nor are expecting another baby… we human baby that is. We welcomed our baby girl Akilah into our home last Sunday. 54 pounds and 22 inches tall. Yes she is a dog.

She is a Siberian Husky and she is pretty awesome. She is great around kids ( Cadden rides her) and is just soo sweet. Her only draw back… she pulls on a leash like crazy.. which means training classes. She one walks will pull me down the block though she has gotten WAY better. Though at times I think of really cutting down on our gas use and getting her a sleigh to pull the hubby in to work. Yes we still at this moment have snow on the group mid April. Only in Minnesota!! Oh by the way our two cats Bella and Olivia are still pissed at the idea of the dog. Apparently they think they should have had a say in this choice. At the current moment they are on their perch staring down at the dog. What they have been doing all week. We need a cat whisperer.

Birthday Boy

I officially have a two year old. I swear he was born just yesterday!!!!! for his birthday he received the food item of his choosing and we just spent some quality time together. I hugged him extra tight after learning of the Boston marathon Bombings which happened the same day. My prayers are with those who were all involved. Cadden at the moment is loving the new dog and they have become best buds!

Babywearing!!!!

So I did a Babywearing Demo at Morning Star Birth Center during their mothers tea. I had an awesome time!!!!!! Met some great mothers and talked babywearing. Morning Star was the Birth Center our youngest was born at!!! I have so much love towards the midwives and staff there!!!

Diapers (Cloth)

So this weekend was the Great Cloth Diaper Change!!!! Which I was super excited about! I represented Minnesota Cloth diapering Mommies and did a Babywearing Demo! Well thanks to awesome moms Christina and Amanda they took over as I dealt with a toddler melt down ( don’t you just love those?). So for my non cloth diapering people wondering what the heck is GCDC. Its where a bunch of cloth diapering parents change their child’s cloth diaper all at the same time and then hold them up in the air. This happens all over the world at the same time to hopefully break last years record. This year MCDM teamed up with All Things Diapers to host the event which went well!

Enjoying lunch with some mamas along with L enjoying lunch too
Mrs A with her adorable baby B

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I had an awesome past week. Hope you did too! Now off to prepare for Monday.

That’s a Wrap!

My Guest blogger Amber…… She is pretty awesome we met through our cloth diapering group and since then I feel in a way that she is my long lost sister with her personality. Except we would have different parents completely but still.  She is my wrap go to lady. I love babywearing but have limited experience with wraps. Here is her journey with babywearing and wraps that started 7 years ago………

I started baby wearing a whopping 7 years ago, when I had an itty bitty newborn baby boy. Back then, Facebook was still just for college students, so no cool baby wearing groups, and online forums weren’t well known about, at least not to me. So choices were limited. I started off with a hand-me-down Baby Bjorn, when my son was just a couple days old. I thought it was awesome! And it was, because at the time I didn‘t know any better. It was almost winter time (that means there was already a foot of snow on the ground), here in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, and what better way to keep baby warm and snuggly than to wear him? Our first experience wearing in public was to the Dayton’s 8th? Floor. The theme that year was Cinderella. I remember it like it was yesterday! My little guy was a whole five days old! I didn’t want people touching him, and getting either of us sick, so this was the best way to avoid that. I could karate chop them with my free hands if they so much as looked like they were going to touch him J It was a win-win!
The Baby Bjorn worked well, for a while, until he got to 15 pounds. Maybe not even that big. Then, it hurt my poor back so bad because there wasn’t enough support for me, and it wasn’t comfy for him either, because it was not ergonomically correct. So that ended our baby wearing days. How sad.

Fast forward about 2 years, when number 2 was born. Same thing, loved wearing her when she was a small wee one, but quit with the Bjorn at about 15 pounds because nothing had changed, it still hurt my back! This time, though, I had another option. A Playtex Hip Hammock. If you’ve never seen or heard of one of these, it basically is supposed to function like a ring sling for an older baby or toddler, but way uglier. Still wasn’t very comfortable, so once again, our baby wearing days were cut short, because there was just a lack of knowledge and resources. And let’s face it. I was one of the first of my friends to have kids, so I couldn’t ask any of them for help or advice!

Now that I have written a little mini novel already, we actually get to the good stuff. Pregnant now with number 3, I am on all these awesome online forums like Babycenter and Facebook groups. I am learning about being a more natural mama, or crunchy. Hey, what I had been doing for the last 5 years now had a name! And it was “in”. I started researching cloth diapers, and that lead to baby wearing, because as many of you know, the two often go hand in hand. #2 was often my guinea pig. And she has been such a good sport about it! I started cloth diapering with her, when she was almost 3, to see if I liked it before I started with my soon to be 3rd. LOVED it! The wonderful ladies of the cloth diapering world led me to safe and comfortable baby wearing. Oh so many options! So when #3 was born, I packed up all 3 kids, and headed to Peapods, a natural toys and baby care store near my home. I was demo’ed some nice carriers, and got to try them on even! Since my little guy was SUPER small still, I decided on a Moby Wrap. I instantly fell in love! A Moby Wrap is a long piece of stretchy fabric you wrap around your body and baby gets nestled safely inside. If I felt like the Baby Bjorn had done a good job, I was fully mistaken! Nothing felt better than that Moby Wrap! My son felt weightless on me, all 7 pounds of him. Even as he grew, and reached that 15 pound mark, he still felt weightless, and I could hold him in that wrap for hours! And thank goodness I could! He suffered from reflux and had to be upright a lot. The Moby allowed me to take care of his needs, while still being able to be available to my other children. I was hooked! I branched out and tried many different carriers. I love each type of carrier for different reasons, but the Moby Wrap, often the gateway into the baby wearing world, will always hold a special place in my heart because it did so much for my son and I.

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Alas, he did grow, A LOT. And slowly wearing him in the Moby, he began to sag in it. It IS a stretchy wrap, and the more weight you have in it, the more it will stretch. So I decided to get a woven wrap. If you haven’t had the luxury of a woven wrap, you are missing out! At least try one, feel one, rub it on your cheek because they are so soft and snuggly. Another added bonus of a woven wrap is that you can wear baby on your back! It takes some practice, and you should be very comfortable wrapping baby on your front before you attempt putting a little one on your back. Also have a spotter or do it next to your bed, so no one gets hurt.
I fell, HARD, for the Girasol rainbows. I HAD to have one. A great friend of mine had one, and sold it to me. That thing is another member of our family! All three kids love it. And I will tell you why. Not only is it a wrap, to wrap baby with, but it doubles as a blanket to snuggle up with, can be a tent to play under, but the best perk is that it can become a hammock, as long as you have a kitchen table! Seriously! I wish I had one that I could fit into. My kids ask me all the time to make a hammock for them. Even my 7 year old has fallen for the hammock. It’s such a great resting place no matter how it is used!


Now wrapping looks intimidating. That’s a lot of fabric right?! Yes, it is, but it allows you to do all sorts of different carries that can be tailored to your needs. Just a simple you tube search will come up with tons of videos on how to wrap your baby. Take advantage of those videos. Use them. Practice right along with them. But don’t be so intimidated that you won’t try. Most people who try a wrap, love them. Some don’t, but I would say more do than don’t. Find a group near you, these baby wearing groups are everywhere! Do it sooner than later. Seriously, baby wearing has made my life so much easier. And when you have a pretty wrap to do it with, it will brighten your day a little bit more, seeing your precious babe so close to you, knowing you are doing something great for your child.

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Check more of Amber out at http://fluffybutts-aclothdiaperaddictsblog.blogspot.com/