Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Random Recent Photos

Momma, Watch This!"Momma! Momma! Momma! Momma! Atch-iss"
She learned this from our gymnast.

Sasha in her new bed!Sasha in her new bed!

Grandpa's SprinklesGrandpa doesn't like the sprinkles, you go ahead and pick them all off one-by-one.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Drawers Drawers

How much underwear do you own? How much of it do you actually wear? That is your bite sized project this week, go through your underwear drawer. If you never wear it (because it is outgrown, stained, has holes, or is just too fancy), seriously consider tossing it.

I don't like to wear underwear anyway. I wear it for roughly one week per month (you know what I mean). I have some t-backs for special occasions. Otherwise, forget it. I'd forgotten, though, that I did this once already this year. Still, I found 3 pairs of panties, 1 bra that I hate, and 1 holey sock to toss. That talking birthday card also went into the garbage.

This didn't make a huge difference in the amount of space, but it did help a little. I'd like to move my sports bras and nursing pads from the plastic baby dresser into my own drawer since both babies will be sharing the plastic one soon.

Currently in my Drawers Drawer: panties (+ 1 top that matches a pair of panties), socks, 2 pairs of tights, my working-in-the-cold fingerless gloves, headband/earmuff thing, and some bandanas. I used to use 3 drawers, stuffed. Now I use 2 with room to spare.

I hope you're enjoying these bite-sized projects. I'm enjoying doing them. What bite sized minimizing projects have you tackled lately?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Surf: Down Syndrome

I hope you enjoyed my three-part post on my amniocentesis experience or, more specifically, learning that our son has Down Syndrome (DS). I've collected all of the links that the Genetic Counselor gave to us (and then some) and would like to share them with you here.

  • National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) - appears to be *the* major DS organization. They started...

    NDSS - Buddy Walk

  • Buddy Walk - a one-mile walk in which teams of friends / family / and people with DS raise awareness and funds to benefit local programs and services.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Amniocentesis - What is it *really* like? - Part III

In case you missed the first 2 parts in this series or arrived at this page first, here are links to find:
Amniocentesis - What is it *really* like? - Part I
Amniocentesis - What is it *really* like? - Part II

After finding out the sex of our baby, I felt energized (other than being tired from the procedure)! I felt like I was finally allowed to be excited about my pregnancy again! I knew we still had a wait, but this was something! I started looking at names again, now that we knew we were looking for a boy name. It was so wonderful to be happy about being pregnant again!

The aftercare instruction sheet said something about test results arriving "after 4pm." So as 4 o'clock approached on Sunday, I started getting antsy. Then 5 o'clock came and went.... 6 o'clock... 7 o'clock... Elmo gave up. He figured it was too late to hear anything. Despite having emailed another question to our Genetic Counselor, I hadn't received ANY email from her on Sunday. Eventually, I gave up as well. And I bawled. The stress of the wait finally caught up with me and I cried. A lot. The tears came and went and came again, but I was just so upset.

Then, at 10 minutes til 10 o'clock, I got a response from the Genetic Counselor! No news. She said she'd call the lab as soon as they opened in the morning and at least find out when they'd have the results. She would call us immediately afterward. She noted that they are an hour behind us. I actually felt better having just heard from her. Now I knew that she wasn't sitting on the results.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: New Sibling Bonding

Been thinking about how Sasha will do with a new baby brother. I already believe I know how Tyler will do...

Tyler bonding with SashaTyler bonding with baby sister, Sasha

Sasha & Samantha bonding. Again.Sasha & half-sister Samantha bonding. Again.
They only see each other at Giftmas.

Click over to Natural Parents Network to see a photo from the first time Tyler met Sasha! You can also link up your own Wordless Wednesday post there.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Guest Post on Hobo Mama today!

In the wee hours of the night after Sasha was born, I would sit at my computer and nurse her. One night I discovered Hobo Mama. I love this blog! I quickly became a regular on her comment pages. Within a few months, she was looking for guest posts to publish in December, when life gets very hectic. I half-jokingly commented that I could write something, but that it might not be wanted. I was quite the newbie to the world of parenting articles, at least writing them! On the contrary, Hobo Mama welcomed my guest post and it was the first I'd ever had published!

Nearly 1½ years after starting my own blog, I have another article published on Hobo Mama today! You can read Child-led solids: Sharing soft foods with infants over there and even see all of the other guest post stuff I've had published on my Published tab.

I can't tell you how pleased I am to be posting there along with some other sites that I respect and adore. I have discovered a love of writing, beyond my personal journal! Thank you Hobo Mama!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Digital Minimalism

How many online commitments do you have? I went through a bout where I was subscribing or "GFC'ing" (Google Friend Connect) to a bunch of blogs! I was trying to win some cloth diapers. Not to be a downer, but I didn't win anything.

I recently discovered Google Reader (I know, I know, you already use it). I really like it so far. It let me see that I had a lot of posts I hadn't read. How many is a lot?

Google Reader Tab

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Surf: Fun Stuff

I don't even remember what I did this week other than... Tyler started school and Sasha & I have had some rough nights. Oh, and I've been reading. I finished a book and then read an eBook. I have found some links for you in the last couple of weeks, though! (Last week was a special Sunday Surf: Circumcision Edition.)

  • Oh wow, I so want this shirt!
    I'll take a long sleeve T or a T-shirt, size Large. Besides, it would be novel to have an actual maternity shirt! I am so going to outgrow all my regular t-shirts. Of course I'd like to have the BOY version. lol

    The shirt is from Baby Talk Designs and is called the Skeleton Xray Maternity Top Halloween. It is just too cute! I might actually GO trick-or-treating if I had this shirt... but don't hold your breath. I'd definitely wear this shirt all through October and November and then some!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Amniocentesis - What is it *really* like? - Part II

When last we visited this topic, I left you waiting where our wait began. Our amniocentesis was scheduled for 6 weeks out.

It had to be to get us into the proper, safe window. It was a long wait! Shortly before our appointment, I received a call asking if I'd mind rescheduling for 2 more weeks out. Yes! I would mind! They said I didn't have to if I didn't want to, so I didn't. I just about flipped out in tears on the girl when she called me.

You know how your love for your unborn child grows as your pregnancy progresses? Well this time around it really seemed like the potential for problems spurred the love in me. I felt this great need for my baby to know that it was loved!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Learning in the Kitchen

If you missed it, my Carnival post last week was all about creating together in the kitchen!

Sasha sharpens her fine motor skills with spaghetti.Sasha sharpens her fine motor
skills with spaghetti.
January 2011
This photo is also featured today on Natural Parents Network!

Sasha is the chef AND the dish.Sasha is the chef AND the dish!
June 2011

Be sure to stop in at Natural Parents Network to check out other photos of families Learning in the Kitchen!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Small Appliances

My mother was the queen of having exciting small appliances that turned out to be fairly useless. Some of them would eventually get handed down to me and then eventually passed along to someone else (or Goodwill). She did get to where she found what really worked. I've really been wanting to pare back my small appliance collection. Here are the appliances that I currently own:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Surf: Circumcision Edition

As promised, I've been collecting intactivist links for my discussion with my husband and I'm sharing them all together here! They are in no particular order (except maybe the order in which I found them), but I'll try to include some sort of information about each one. I didn't actually dig through all of these sites, so some of this is just a first-glance review. Some sites just didn't interest me further than that (and so I would suggest a serious redesign!).

I did put a lot of work into compiling the list (and another list you'll find at the bottom). I also marked a few favorite links with bold, red asterisks. **

Friday, August 12, 2011

Amniocentesis - What is it *really* like? - Part I

In all my research, I got an idea of the process of the actual amniocentesis. Nothing I could find, however, could prepare me for the entire 7 week process we experienced. I'd like to share it here with you, and with the world, for anyone else that is out there researching amniocentesis - scared and anxious.

Ultrasound at 1st NT Scan attempt - Head and shouldersUltrasound at 1st NT Scan attempt - Head and shoulders

Our story starts on June 23, 2011.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Summer Helper

With record high temperatures (think Dust Bowl) and being pregnant, we haven't been getting out for any "Summer Fun" this year. We did, however, have a helper around a lot. Krystal is a 17yo gymnast that came to stay with us and help with Sasha (and then some!). We were able to help her with daily transportation to the gym. She definitely made Sasha's Summer fun!

Krys, Sasha, and a laptop

Krys, Sasha, and an iTouch

Gymnast Krystal, icing her ankle and snuggling with Sasha

Check out the Summer Fun themed Wordless Wednesday post at Natural Parents Network and link up your own Wordless Wednesday, too!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Creating Together in the Kitchen

Welcome to the August Carnival of Natural Parenting: Creating With Kids

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how they make messes and masterpieces with children. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I do not consider myself to be an especially crafty person. Once I'm in the middle of a craft, I enjoy it. I just don't ever make the time to do it these days. I scrapbooked years ago, but I didn't do much of it with my daughter. I'm such a perfectionist that I didn't have the patience for it. I think I'm more patient now... but I don't guess I make the time for doing things that I would consider "crafts."

I totally think that we underestimate what kids can do, too. I know I have! I actually got inspired a while back by this post on Natural Parents Network.

So now we go into the kitchen. Sasha will just not accept no for an answer when I'm cooking. Mommy MUST hold her! So I started setting her on the counter pretty young. She is happy there, too, most of the time. And I discovered a few ways that Sasha could help cook, even at a young 16 months old.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Pantry

Alright, folks. This is the project I kept putting off last week. A friend had passed some extra canned goods along to me and we've eaten what we'll eat. I've been wanting to clear out the items that we know we're not going to eat, before their expiration date draws near! Why wait until the holidays?

And anytime you DO donate, please check the expiration dates. I was once given two paper grocery sacks full of donated groceries... most of which had already expired. That means at Step 1, people donated expired food. Then at Step 2, the organizer of said food drive distributed expired food. Wow. Double Fail.

Pantry - BeforePantry ~ Before

Out came the remaining tiny cans of things. We did eat several of them, but this is what we are (apparently) not going to eat. The cracker boxes on the right could probably be thinned down. They each have a sleeve or two of crackers in them.

Pantry - AfterPantry ~ After

Did you catch that? It took me all of about 10 minutes to go through the shelf of groceries, check dates, and bag up the food. I even threw an open item away. I probably could have done a more thorough job, but I know how long my stuff has been here and am reasonably comfortable with how soon I might use it. There is a large jar of tomatoes and 2 jars of tomato paste in the back... that is more for emergency supply than anything else.

However, then I had a little over a bag of groceries to give to my friend that runs a little Food Pantry. What to do with it? Well, I've put it right back on the pantry shelf! It is in my way, so that should serve as a constant reminder. I've already contacted her and asked her to stop by when she is on my side of town. It will be gone soon enough.

Pantry - With DonationsPantry ~ With Donations

When was the last time you went through your pantry? Do you donate food very often? At least once per year?

This is another nice, small project that little ones could even do with you! If you have multiple shelves in your pantry, you could even do one shelf each time you tackled it. This makes the job short enough that you (and/or any kids helping) won't lose your attention span or patience with the task.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Surf: More than the Usual

I believe it was just last week that I said I noticed a trend - I only post a few links each weekend, so I said I was going to stop putting "Light List" or whatever in the subject line. Well go figure, I have more links than usual this week! Ready to get started?

  • There is so much more your children can learn through homeschooling than they can learn in a "traditional" school environment. (I think homeschooling IS the most traditional, personally!) Of course, you could teach a lot of these things to your children even if they went to school, but where would you find the time? Check out Extra credit: 25 non-traditional subjects to teach in your homeschool.

  • Ever heard of a Walking Taco?? I hadn't! It sounds delish, although I'm not actually a big fan of Fritos. It looks kinda fun, actually! And talk about a meal on the go!

  • Natural Parents Network has a lot of giveaways going these days! In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, check out this Giveaway: The Nursing Mother’s Companion. There will be 5 winners!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thrush - Pretty Common After All

Everything about pregnancy, birthing, and breastfeeding my first child was pretty much a breeze. So I was totally unprepared when, a few weeks in, my second child's latch and nursing caused me excruciating pain! One afternoon at my mother's she latched on and I nearly vomited instantaneously from the pain! And as I mentioned earlier this week, I do not vomit.

Probably after a little urging from my mother, I called the lactation consultant. She seemed to have a pretty good idea right away as to the problem: Thrush. I'd never heard of it. Admittedly, I've never done much research on breastfeeding. I checked Tyler's mouth and sure enough, she had little white bumps in there. We both had Thrush. Now what?

The lactation consultant actually seemed pretty personally invested in our nursing relationship. She urged me, desperately, to not give up on nursing! I thought the idea of giving up was honestly ridiculous. If latching on nearly made me vomit and I hadn't quit yet, nothing was going to make me quit!

Gran gives Tyler BreastmilkGran gives Tyler Breastmilk
Circa 1998

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Breastfeeding in the face of Opposition

With my first, I was a teenager and decided quietly on my own that I would breastfeed. I didn't announce it to my parents until I was being admitted into the hospital. They asked me as my step-mom came into the room.

Once I brought my baby home, I caught a bit of flack for nursing in front of everyone in the living room. I started taking her up to my room to nurse. Then my father explained that I just needed to cover myself. I started using receiving blankets to cover when I nursed.

Several years later I had Tyler. Her father was supportive of breastfeeding. He was not, however, comfortable with my nursing her as long as I did. I don't recall when the pressure started, but he tried to convince me to stop. She nursed until she was 3½ and weaned on her own. I'm quite proud of making it to that point. I recently found out that he told her she nursed until she was 5! I guess he had a different perception of it.

No one can really force you to stop nursing. He suggested it to me several times, but without taking our daughter and leaving for a while, there was just no way to do it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: World Breastfeeding Week


Nursing at local Rec CenterNursing @ Local Rec Center
Isn't NIP soooo rude? :-P
October 2009 - 1 month old

4 months breastfeeding4 months old - January 2010
I love when babies hold on to the bra!

Sasha ghost nursingOctober 2010 - 13 months
My little nursing ghost.
better than candy, right?!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Formula Broke my Heart

When Tyler was very little, I was home alone with her when I got this terribly horrid pain in my chest. It was making my salivate. You know, in that way that says "you're about to vomit." (Note: I do not vomit!)

I felt I couldn't care for my baby in this condition, aside from being absolutely terrified! I honestly thought I might be having a heart attack. I called my mother, I called my husband, and I waited. My mother arrived just before my husband. Tyler was loaded in with her Poppa while I got into my mother's van. We headed for the clinic, fast.

Once there, I answered a slew of questions and was given a "GI Cocktail" (something like Mylanta or containing it). It didn't help. I was told that my problem was either heartburn... or food poisoning. I was given a prescription for Tagamet and told to "pump & dump" my breastmilk for 24 hours, just in case.

Tyler's First SwingTyler's First Swing

World Breastfeeding Week is Here!



I’m celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with Natural Parents Network!

You can, too — link up your breastfeeding posts from August 1-7 in the linky below, and enjoy reading, commenting on, and sharing the posts collected here and on Natural Parents Network.

(Visit NPN for the code to place on your blog.)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Minimalist: Less Teeth??

That's right. I spent the weekend with a major toothache. I had a post on minimalism all planned out for you. A small project... I was even going to take my own photos for this one! <gasp!> But alas, I spent much of Sunday on the brink of tears! And Monday wasn't much better, except that I did get a same-day appointment with the dentist!

Tooth-extraction instruments at the British Dental Association MuseumTooth-extraction instruments at the
British Dental Association Museum
Photo Credit

And so, my mouth has now been minimized by 2 more teeth. I've also minimized my pain! So, my project is just going to have to wait until next Monday. I'm so sorry folks, I feel I've really let you down. Or let myself down. Or something. I do plan to return to our normally scheduled programming next week!
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