Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blessed beyond measure!

 

Today I got a goody box in the mail! My sweet friend from Monkey's Momma sent us a box filled with baby clothes, shirts for the big girls, stuffed monkeys and monkey stickers (of course!), a pack of pencils, flashcards, photography prints, Skoy cloths, gorgeous bird votive holders, hair things, a little purse, little notepads, a bar of heavenly scented soap...

Such a blessing and I wanted to give a shout out to her because I REALLY appreciate it and am so grateful to have amazing people in my life. Not for what they give me but that they take the time and really care. I get so caught up in my own world I forget to step back and really say thank you so I wanted to take the chance, even though I wrote you earlier. I'm so glad we "met" a couple years back. 

Michaelle has been a source of friendship and has been that still, calm voice when I've had my freak outs on here since we met about 2 years ago. Thank you so much for thinking of us during your day-to-day hectic-ness! You made my day (seriously you should've seen my face- I was silently squealing as I took each thing out because the kids were napping) and you made my girls' day!

Abigail found the monkeys in the box She also found the button you push to make them screech, LOL!:
 

The really cool flashcards that she sent! You care write on them.

 I sat at the table and held up the flashcards for the girls. They loved it! Elaina got almost every picture right. She did say "Sheep" for the "L" card (it had a picture of a "Lamb"). LOL! This will be a great tool for them. She got them from an Etsy shop so I may contact them to see if they'd give a set away this summer. Stay tuned! They may, they may not.

On another note, go visit her blog! She's giving away 3 Chicken Soup books. Who doesn't love a good Chicken Soup story or two? Go enter!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And she screams

Last night was a rough one! Zoë was happy and content so long as I was playing with her but when it came time to go to sleep... she'd have none of it. Commence the crying! For almost two hours. Yeah.

At times she'd cry like something hurt. Her gums are not swollen or red. Maybe her ears? Nope. Checked her toes and undid her clothes. The moment I take her clothes off she's smiling and cooing, with red-rimmed eyes. Maybe she's hot? Nope, she wants to play! Because playing and talking to her was the only thing she'd stop crying for. Because she knew it was time for bed since the only time we go in my room is bedtime!

Ahhh, well, she did end up going to sleep. How can anyone resist this cute face? She's even cute when she cries! I just don't like not knowing what to do when she does.



I've been so unmotivated to update my blog. I feel incredibly boring and as though I don't have much to say. And I've been focusing a ton of energy on product reviews. You wouldn't think that would take very much time but writing PR reps and organizing your calendar, actually testing products, researching for the best of the best, promoting and building your website and following, etc. takes up a ton of time in the midst of cleaning, entertaining children, feeding, clothing, bathing, paying bills, writing grocery lists, etc.

But I really like being busy. I thrive on it. When I have nothing to do I get quiet and snappy. Wow, that's kind of an oxymoron but it's true. And bored and depressed and bitter. So it is fun to have this to do. I may pick up my jewelry shop again, too. I haven't decided if it is worth the $ and energy.

Giveaways coming up (and I tell you guys first because I WANT you to enter and win!)- Piggy Paint nail polish, Baby Bond Nursing Cover, jewelry (The Chunky Pearl!), teething jewelry, chocolates, etc. But you have to head on over to Girly Girl Giveaways to enter for the Girly Goodies. They'll be coming in February...


Other things I'm working on are the big girls' birthday parties. I ordered their invites from SeeHere. I got 50 photo invites for free (just paid $4.99 to ship) using code newbaby at checkout. Score! You can split it up, too. You don't have to buy 50 of one particular invite.

And I'm checking Etsy for some fun party favors. I'd really like to get tutus for all the party girls. Some sellers have bulk listings but it is still more than I probably want to spend for party favors. I haven't decided what to do for Elaina yet because I have no idea if I should invite all of the girls in her class, all the kids or have her pick some. Then again I don't want some kids to feel left out (her school is a small, family-like school). Peer pressure I tell ya! Most of their parents don't speak English so I wouldn't even know how to communicate with some of them either. And I don't want people to feel obligated to bring a gift at ALL but I know people feel pressure, even if you tell them not to. So I might just tell her to pick a few friends. It's far enough away that I can figure it out later.

Abigail's party- she wants cupcakes she picked out from the Walmart grocery. I actually like Walmart's bakery better than every other grocery store bakery. She told me she wants pink plates and cups. But no theme, at least not yet. I was thinking about doing the tutus for Abby's party as favors and going with a princess/fairytale theme.

Elaina's party- this will be her first Kid Only party. There'll be adult supervision (me!) don't worry! But it'll just be her and her friends free to play and eat pizza. It'll be more child-directed than planned I think. Ooh I just thought of a neat party favor idea for Elaina's party. I could get those plastic popcorn things and fill them with movie-themed favors. Yes, I am obsessed with party favors.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

They grow so fast!

Yesterday my sweet baby turned 3-months old! We did a little photoshoot. AND I had to pack away her 0-3 month clothes to bring out the 3-6 month stuff! She's now in size 2 diapers. Here are a few of my faves from yesterday:

 
 
 "Na na na boo boo!"




 

Big Blue Eyes


Classic- always smiling


Mmmm... always sucking on those fists! She tries to get both in at one time.

That last pic is a 3-6 month outfit! It fits her perfectly. We may not be in them much longer!!!



Keep checking my giveaway blog! Right now you can win a sterling silver bracelet for yourself or someone you love for Valentine's Day! Also enter to win Vaska laundry products and I put some of my pendants up to give away (3 winners!).

Lots of baby stuff coming up, too!

Friday, January 15, 2010

12 Weeks Old




It has been 12 weeks exactly since this beautiful life was brought into the world! Her face is changing so much, she's holding her head up so well, too. She is spending a lot of time awake now and enjoys walking around the house and being part of everything going on around her as opposed to being left in a bouncer or a swing for some downtime.

The big sisters are so incredibly sweet. At bedtime they take turns holding her as they pray. Zoë just adores them and grins at them. You can tell she recognizes her sisters' voices, too. Every night Elaina prays, "Thank you Jesus for Zoë coming out of Mommy's tummy!" They love her so much and haven't shown one smidge of jealousy or upset with her arrival.

Last night while brushing Abby's teeth before bed she asks me, "Is there a baby in your tummy, Mommy?" I laughed and told her, "Uh, no. The baby came out of Mommy's tummy. See? She's right here!" I don't want her spreading rumors. No babies, not now! We're quite content as things are for the time being.

Well we're getting ready to go out to a birthday dinner. We don't go out much anymore and so I'm excited. We've saved a lot of money by not eating out but sometimes you just have to go out and have a little fun!

Amazing

When will women start caring about the care they receive for labor and delivery? Why do we allow ourselves to become victims of the system? Why are surgeons (AKA obstetricians) taking care of the births of low-risk women? Why is America's infant mortality rate higher than almost every other nation in the world when the rest of the world is using midwifery care and we're not?

Serious questions we need to ask ourselves. I hope change is coming. But change won't come unless we speak up and start doing what we need to do as women, such as hiring midwives or refusing unnecessary interventions.

OBs are a necessary part of the labor and delivery process ONLY if there is need for them in a high risk situation. Thank God for them in necessary situations. But why must other women subject themselves to the SAME care if they do not NEED it? That is perhaps the largest question of all. 

This video, along with The Business of Being Born (view it for FREE online by clicking HERE), is a really big eye-opener. You may agree or you may not. But I can't help but feel passionate about this when babies are dying more quickly in America where we seem to be doing everything wrong when it comes to the birth of our children.

http://vimeo.com/6182741

Thursday, January 14, 2010

NIP

This is my second post today so scroll down for another.

I found this post and had to share. It's a lot more abrasive than I would personally be about this issue but good golly do I feel this same way deep down in my heart.

NIP (Nursing in Public)  Be forewarned that there are pictures that may not be appropriate for young eyes and photos of nursing mothers.

Enjoy!

Hey (*waves*)

I just realized how long it has been since I've updated! So lots going on.

-Posted my FIRST giveaway at my new blog. Go HERE to enter to win an amazing set of Seventh Generation cleaning products. I was like, "Eh, okay I won this" when I found out I won my set but when it arrived I went completely bonkers. This stuff is AMAZING! I choose a winner Jan. 20th.

-Got some tops at Old Navy's online sale. Only spent $2.99-$7.99 per item! Now that is what I call a bargain. The sale is over now, though. I really need jeans but I haven't wanted to spend money on pants until I lose more weight. Now once I get rid of this jelly belly I can don my shirts because apparently these are more form-fitting than I realized.

-Speaking of which, my first week of working out? I gained a few pounds. That always seems to happen to me the first week or two, though. I don't know why but it does.

-I can't keep my dental appointment now for my wisdom teeth. My insurance dropped dental care AND raised my premium as of January 1st. *HUGE EYE ROLL* Don't know what I'm going to do. Might end up having to pay out-of-pocket.

Zoë had a hard couple of days the past few days. It was really difficult for me and for her because if she was awake she was crying. I have no idea why she would cry. That has to be the hardest part about being a parent. It can make you feel inadequate to not just know what is going on. Fortunately I am able to roll with the punches and I have no problem saying "I don't know". It's just really hard to see your baby cry and not be able to fix it right away.

Some things I do when she cries like that- first I check the diaper, I offer the breast and if neither of those things help I unclothe her and check to make sure nothing is poking her or to check for a hair wrapped around a toe. Seriously- a hair can cut off the circulation to their toes! I've read stories about it. I try changing positions, showing her a toy or book to see if she is bored, etc. Sometimes she squirms with me so much I think she wants down but then she cries harder...

Daniel thinks she may be teething on and off because she'll cry when trying to nurse. She also is a drool bucket! Oh my this baby loves to blow bubbles. I am thinking it is part of a growth spurt and being overtired, even though she still sleeps all day long. She doesn't spit up very much so I don't think it is reflux. And if it is gas then rubbing her tummy usually helps.

Awhile ago I was asked if she cried a lot and I said no. Well I take it back. Ha ha! She cries more than my other two girls did. But at least she'll sleep at night, even if she still wakes to nurse a little. It isn't as though she gets up and thinks it is party time at 3 AM. So for that at least I am grateful. 

Yesterday and today, though, she has been back to her happy-go-lucky little self. She is grabbing at toys really well now. Daniel and I went on our first date since her birth and she came along. She kept grabbing a spoon on the table. Her favorite toy is Freddie the Firefly and this Crab toy. I love how intently she tries to get the toys and pull them to her mouth. I'd post a video but Blogger has changed their posting stuff and there's no longer a way to post a video!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Motivation

So I started working out last Sunday and I have to tell you- it's been rough! Not just physically but mentally as well. I'm definitely not as driven as I had been after my miscarriage over a year ago. Not to mention that I'm always tired and my poor body hasn't been worked so hard in a year. But I will press on. I just need a good mental kick!

But speaking of motivation in another sense- I just read this blog post and not only did it bring tears to my eyes but it brought much conviction. I've always been the volunteer-type. I love working even if I don't get paid. I once volunteered at a pro-life pregnancy center for a few months before I had to stop for a variety of reasons not related to the place itself. I've worked at a nursing home and a hospital as part of the nutrition staff (AKA the people that bring you the lovely tray of hospital food). I've done volunteer work as a tutor, for the Red Cross, for children with Down Syndrome, etc.

And if you haven't noticed it yet... I happen to be a bit of a birth junkie. But alas I have three children, one of which is a new baby. So I can't physically go out and volunteer at hospitals or clinics for extended periods of time. But I do love medicine and I would LOVE to one day volunteer again.

What I can do is sit [while I nurse my baby]. Sit and crochet! This blog post mentioned above really motivated me to want to make baby blankets for babies. I'd been contemplating learning new crochet techniques and was even looking through a book my sister sent me of different designs just the other day, wondering if I could make blankets to sell. But I think making blankets to give to sweet little babies fighting for their lives sounds even more amazing than doing it for money.

I don't have a lot of money myself but I hope that I can start finding yarn on sale and start making little blankets. This is exciting! I hope it inspires you, no matter what your craft or passion, to get out there and make a difference in someone's life. You don't even need to leave your house.

I think that if money became an issue I could start making blankets to sell but not for personal profit. Basically each blanket would cost double the amount in materials so that each buyer was essentially paying for their blanket and for the materials for the donated blanket. I don't know... we shall see. I don't know what the legal requirements would be for such an endeavor. If anyone has information on that aspect I'd love to hear it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Laughter!


Happy New Year from my girls!

I forgot to mention on my last post that Zoë laughed on Monday. We were waiting in the pediatrician office and good golly it took forever. The older girls started running around the room, jumping, dancing and I was so annoyed with waiting that I let them make a little noise. I figured the doc would hurry up to come see us so we'd get out fast. Note to all of you- that does NOT work. Ha ha! After our appointment I nursed the baby in the room and a little boy in the room next to us started making his noise and it made me giggle. Perhaps his mom was trying the same tactic.

Anyway, while the girls jumped and danced around the room Zoë watched them, grinning and kicking her little legs in excitement. And then................ she laughed! She giggled at her sisters! It was so sweet. She did it a few times. She hasn't giggled since Monday but oh it made us all swell up with joy and pride. My daughters were so happy she laughed for them first, too.

When I mentioned she was giggling to her doctor her doctor was shocked. She said most babies start laughing closer to 4 months?! Really? I'll have to look in my baby books (I have a dozen of them!) and see what they have down for that milestone. I think Zoë is going to be one intelligent child anyway just from watching her and studying her.


She has already done so much so quickly. She tries really hard to control her hands and arms to reach for toys. But she hasn't even tried to roll over, which isn't a big deal to me. Abigail didn't either! Perhaps because they're bigger babies.

Well I am off to watch Stargate with the husband. We're re-watching all of SG-1!





 

More New Year's Eve pics:







 











Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Big Baby Girl

Well Zoë did awesome at her 2 month appt. We ended up not getting the vaccines. Her doctor is not a fan of delaying vaccines and gave me her spiel. Every vaccine she insisted Zoë get as soon as possible are the very ones other doctors say they can wait on or not get at all. Ugh, so frustrating! I don't want to over-tax her immune system or pump her with possible toxic ingredients (did you know formaldehyde is a common ingredient in vaccines?). I, of course, have every right to do what I need to do for her. There's no pressure but yet there is, know what I mean? I'm going to go with my gut but I'm still trying to figure my gut out.

She weighed 9 lbs 5 ounces at her last appointment when she was about 3-4 weeks old. In just a month's time she has gained............... over 3 lbs!

She is now 12 lbs 15 ounces. No wonder my arms ache!!!

I began my workout regimen and eating better again. I made myself do it to the end. The problem with me is that I can't follow the person on the video who is doing the lower-impact moves so you can ease into a routine. Oh no... I end up following the person doing everything full-out. Thankfully I didn't hurt myself.

There was more I was going to write about but I'm pooped and going to bed.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Doctor, Doctor and Vaccines

Zoë has a pediatric appointment tomorrow! I cannot wait to see how much she weighs. I have decided to delay vaccines. I don't exactly have a plan but I do know I don't feel comfortable with her getting vaccinated at this time. I've read a few articles from medical professionals stating that their immune systems are still immature and introducing vaccinations at such an early age is counter-productive. She will be vaccinated but I may wait until her 1st or 2nd birthday.

What are your thoughts on vaccinations? I know it can be pretty controversial and some mommas can really get riled up about it. I know that vaccinations are important. Since people have stopped vaccinating altogether (not delaying but downright refusing vaccines) many diseases that have been dormant have cropped back up. I can't help but see a connection there. 

I also know that the diseases that vaccines can provide protection against can be very deadly and very scary. It's so hard to know what to do when you feel like the medical community isn't 100% upfront and honest with us, the consumers. So for now we delay.

My sister delayed her third daughter's vaccines and when she was telling me about her daughter's first shot, as a toddler, she was delighted to see how much better her daughter took it compared to her sister who had been getting shots since she was an infant. 

I'd love any resources or information you may have, or even your thoughts and opinions.



I also want to point out that I've started two new blogs! One is in collaboration with a childhood friend of mine. It is currently called Fit & Fabulous but may change (the URL won't change). We're keeping each other accountable for weight loss. So if you need encouragement or have a weight loss blog you can recommend for our blogroll, send it my way!

The second one is a review and giveaway blog. I've been approached by a few companies to review products in the past. I turned down a couple and others fell through with their communication. But I've been entering many giveaways recently and I really like the whole aspect of reviewing and giving away product. So you can check it out. It is Girly Girl Giveaways! Aptly named for the fact that I have three girls. I will start off with just reviewing products and will hopefully have some awesome giveaways lining up soon!