To Wean Or Not To Wean . . .

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That really has been the question on my mind for the last 2 months. Within 6 weeks I had surgery on both my kidneys to remove multiple large stones on each side. The pain has been unreal and I have a high tolerance to pain. I much prefer my last two natural childbirths over these kidney stones.

After labs came in it was discovered I have twice the amount of calcium I should have in my body, thus making the nasty-ugly-painful kidney-stones (and lack of blogging). My doctor believed it’s because my body is confused, thinking that it should be pregnant (because 2014 is the only year I HAVEN’T been pregnant since 2008) so it’s holding onto all this calcium meant for the next cute baby I’m suppose to be gestating. He recommended I stop taking my multivitamins and stop nursing and recheck levels and scan for more stones in a couple months to follow up. I agreed because the thought of having another surgery really almost gave me a panic attack right there.

I really thought that’s what was best and what needed to happen so I’ve been slowly weaning my son down to one feeding right before bed. It’s not really for nourishment but for comfort. Little man has been dealing with his own medical issues and it’s hard to watch him suffer in pain (will write about that later when we have more answers). I’ve also started a new full time job, requiring my little ones to be in daycare.  With all of the the transitions for little man all at once, I just didn’t want to take away another thing from him.

Well tonight’s the first night I haven’t nursed him before bed. It’s been a whole day since my son has let me hold him. My heart feels like it’s tearing. Am I doing the right thing? Am I being selfish? Am I throwing in the towel and handing in my lactivist badge? Is this possibly hurting him? These silly hormones have me convinced my 16 month old is going to hate me and I’ve already screwed him up from this one decision.

I use to think (and still do) that breastfeeding is one of the most amazing and natural things we can do for our children when possible. I know it’s not possible for all mothers/parents/and situations and there should be no shame or judgement on any parent on how they choose to nourish their children by breast or formula. Then why am I being so harsh on myself? Why is this so difficult? Am I really doubting my decision or my doctor? What if 3 months from now I have followed his orders and I have more stones and need more surgery? What if I give up one of the few things that connect us all for nothing?

So should I keep our one feeding until he decides he’s done with our nursing relationship or should I just keep up with the weaning?

I’m very open to opinions and suggestions just please keep it civil, nasty rude comments WILL be deleted. Respect one another.

Baby Wearing Carriers and Retailers

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I love teaching new moms (and dads) how to wear their baby! I wish I would of worn my daughter more but it was almost essential when my son came along. There are dozens and dozens of baby carrier brands that so many moms haven’t even heard of. Here is a master list I’ve been working on to expose you to more than the Bjorn. There are a few different types of carriers, wraps- woven and stretchy, ring slings, structured carriers, and mei tais. There are a few different other carriers like pods and different variations of the carriers mentioned above but these are the most used.

Abbreviations:

  • SSC- Soft Structure Carriers, these are buckled carriers
  • MT- Mei Tais
  • RS- Ring Sling
  • WC- Wrap Conversion (WCMT or WCRS Wrap conversion Mei Tais and Ring Sling)

 

Master List of Carriers Companies, Retailers and Wrap Converters:

 

Master List of Carriers Retailers:

*I’ve only linked to Facebook pages, NONE of these are affiliate links*  

 

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How To Save Money When Buying A Carrier:

  • Check out the Babywearing International website to see if there’s a local chapter near you. An annual membership is very affordable and you can check out and borrow carriers a month at a time!
  • Follow the pages mentioned above to see if they ever run promotions or giveaway. I’ve actually won a carrier or two this way!
  • Borrow carriers from other local baby wearing moms to try before you buy to avoid buyer’s remorse.
  • Check out the many Facebook B/S/T (buy/sell/trade) or swap groups you can find some amazing deals for new and gently used carriers and list the ones you might not be using or loving anymore.

 

MY TOP PICKS!

  • Woven Wraps- So hard to pick because there are so many beautiful blends, colorways and prints. My top two so far are Didymos pfau (peacock prints) and Girasol’s Phoenix rainbow.
  • Stretchy Wraps- The Moby wrap seems to be a gateway carrier and you can find them gently used for an amazing price. The Baby K’tan is also a great option for those who are intimidated by wrapping.
  • Ring Slings-I really love a WCRS, a great place to look is Sleeping Baby Productions. Another great company is Sakura Bloom they have different blends of fabrics like silk and linen.
  • Mei Tais- The MT I use is discontinued but it has a wrap style shoulders similar to the  Didytai (Didymos) or Mysol (Girasol). Babyhawks are also popular mei tais.
  • SSCs- My top two are Lillebaby and Tula! Lillebaby’s are my go to suggestion because they are so versatile and easy to use. Tula’s are a little more pricey especially when you are drooling over a wrap conversion one so those are normally purchased by a more seasoned and committed baby wearer.
  • Retailers- I have purchased carriers from Zoolikins, PAXbaby, Lil’ Tulips and Mom’s Milk Boutique and they were are excellent! I’m sure this is the case with most retailers!

 

*I am sure there are some carriers and retailers I missed. If there’s one you’d like to suggest please leave a comment and I’ll add it!*

BabyKicks Swim Diaper Review and Giveaway!

This weekend I was able to use BabyKick’s limited edition print Anchor’s Away! 

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Adorable right?

When you live in Arizona like I have my whole life – – half the year is +90ºF & half of that is +100ºF. So there is a lot of swimming, splash pads and water play happening. 

Disclaimer: I am a BabyKicks Ambassador and receive products in exchange for my reviews. All my opinions are my own and honest. I only support products and companies I love and believe in. 

Price: 

     $13.95  this is a fair to low price point. Other swim diapers range from $12 to $20.

Print:

     The Anchor’s Away print is a gender neutral nautical print.

Sizing:

     Small: 11-28 lbs     Medium: 16-21 lbs     Large: 21-35 lbs     X-Large: 35-48 lbs

Fit: 

     The diaper itself is light and trim. I was torn between the medium and large because my son is 20 pounds. I chose large so it would fit all summer and maybe even next year. The elastic was soft and secure and I was never worried it was going to slip off. It did look a little puffy but that was because he’s got room to grow in there.

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Closure: 

     The side snap closure really is ideal. I’ve had velcro swim diapers that catch on other things and fall off or when the child gets old enough they pull it off themselves. I’ve also tried the elastic pull up/ down variety and those are no fun when dealing with number 2s.

Where to buy it:

     BabyKick’s website

Giveaway:

     This giveaway is open to residents within the 48 continental US states. 

     You must comment on this blog post and I will verify that the winner has done so.

     Winner has 48 hours to respond to an email from me before I draw another winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake Recipe

 

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*Sorry for the short post but both children are sick and I’m currently typing this while my youngest is in the carrier finally sleeping.*

Seriously, this is the easiest thing ever! So if you’re going to a BBQ or party this weekend try throwing these together. Top with a scoop of ice cream and everyone wins 😉 Have a fun Memorial Day, stay safe and thank you to all the military families for your endless sacrifices!

 

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*Don’t forget to Pin it, Share on Facebook and Tweet!*

This entry was posted in Recipes.

My Thoughts & Reflections After Seeing Return To Zero

So I was finally able to see Return To Zero last night! I was a little distracted by my rainbow babies here and there throughout the movie and hope and pray Lifetime re-airs it or puts it online for all to stream, but I LOVED this film. I have been waiting for this film to come out for quite some time and it has hit the nail on the head of all the emotions a mother and father feel while going through a loss and dealing with the aftermath.

When it was over and the kids were all tucked away my husband and I had a heartfelt discussion about the film and our own personal experience with pregnancy and child loss. He opened up and told me things I’ve never heard in the last 4.5 years since losing our first son and daughter. I really cherish the platform of discussion this movie  allows to break the silence on miscarriages, still births and infant loss.

I will try and be general with the similarities I draw from the movie and my own experiences so I don’t spoil the film because I really urge you all to watch it.

It points out all the tough medical decisions you have to make when you might not be in the best frame of mind to make them:

When I went into labor at 20 weeks with the twins and it was too late to stop it I had to make a bunch of decisions that I was not physically, mentally or emotionally equipped to make. There was a lot of false hope, hospital transfers, lack of medicine that could of stopped labor, possible surgeries, infection, choosing to autopsy or not, burial or cremation. It is overwhelming and you do the best you can in the moment but have to live with the guilt and “what-ifs” when all the dust has settled.

The painful afterbirth reminders:

The hospital I was at did not treat me like a woman who had just been through a 14 hour labor, 2 failed epidurals and 2 births and deaths. None of the medical staff showed compassion or even explained what to do afterwards. I was discharged the following day with no postpartum care and instructions. They should have told me that tampons are a big no-no it was my first pregnancy and delivery I had no prior experience or knowledge to know that this would cause a huge infection and land me back in the hospital.So a week later when we had the twins’ memorial service I was completely engorged. The dozens of hugs I received caused physical pain. There was also great emotional pain as my body was trying to nourish babies it did not know were gone.

It shows how differently a mother and father can grieve:

My husband and I grieved extremely differently. He did not open up much and kind of cocooned. I looked for resources and outlets. We both threw ourself into our school and work to keep us busy and distracted, I even came up with the Angel Memory Candle which helped. After some time of doing things separately and not doing things together it effected our relationship. We had to do some counseling to get us back on the same page before we decided to try to get pregnant again.

It gives perfect examples of thoughtless comments and remarks that might come across as insensitive or harmful:

I can’t tell you how many people in church (with good intentions) would tell me about God’s plan and to have faith and how lucky I was to have two guardian angles. Even though deep down I believed the same, at that point in time I was seriously angry with the Lord and was questioning Him and everything I believed in. I’ll never forget the first thing the doctor said to me after delivering the twins was “Don’t worry you are young and can have more.” Even if what you are saying has truth to it, it may come across as callous and hurtful.

It shows you the relationships that are helpful and toxic:

You quickly discover who you need by your side after a loss. I had family members and friends that meant well by giving me my space but in turn I felt very lonely. I wish that the pregnant friend of mine would have asked if I wanted her to distance herself from me for some time before assuming that’s what I wanted or needed. I wished more people would have felt comfortable enough to ask about my children and use their names instead of  using blanket statements such as “How are you doing/feeling/holding up?” because that just made me want to reply “Fine/OK/Good” and move on.

It beautifully captures the emotions you have in the precious minutes and hours you hold your dead child(-ren in my case):

Everyone tried to “prepare” me that they wouldn’t look “cute” or “normal” but I remember being in awe of their tiny features and proud that I had created life. My son came first I tried to remember everything I could about him scared I would forget.  For the few minutes he lived I watched his heart beat and steadily slow down until it stopped. I did this again 30 minutes later with my daughter. Yes, it was torture but it was the only time I was going to have with them on this Earth so I tried to cherish it.

The anxiety subsequent pregnancies brings:

The anxiety can be paralyzing at times. I remember being pregnant with my first rainbow baby the following year, I had the same due date just a year later.  So when the year anniversary of their birth and death came by and I was 20 week pregnant again, yeah I was a wreck. Taking birth classes and having an amazing doula was a life saver for me. She could read and understand my emotions more than I could at times.

How rainbow babies are a miracle but not a fix:

Just because I have had a son and daughter since losing the twins doesn’t mean I’m 100%. I love my son and daughter I love being their mom but that does not fix the feelings that I have of being robbed and heartbroken.

This movie is honest, raw, and beautiful. This movie has validated me. This movie will change things.

Thank you to the cast and crew!

Thank you for reading, I know this was long but it might be the most important post I type.

PeterandMacie

In honor of my Peter and Macie and the millions of other babies who spent a ” … brief moment on this Earth but forever in our hearts…”

10 Reasons Cafe Zupas is my new favorite!

I’m writing this post in honor of the grand opening of Café Zupas in Glendale, making 5 total in Arizona and 25 throughout Arizona, Nevada and Utah!

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1) Sandwiches: Sure there’s a dozen different delicious options but I always find myself ordering the BBQ Pulled Pork or Honey Bacon Club (or as I call it the “Adult Grilled Cheese”)

2) Salads: My husband is nuts for their Nuts About Berries and I like to create something with their Honey Chipotle Ranch or Asiago Caesar dressings.

3) Soups: When I was pregnant with Baby Boy last year I probably consumed gallons of Café Zupas’ soups. Top two favorites are Wisconsin Cauliflower or Chicken Enchilada Chili.

4) Deserts: The assortment of desserts can be exciting and overwhelming but no mater what you choose you will not be disappointed. Cakes, brownies and créme brûlées OH MY!

5) Drinks: I love the free Italian Soda flavor options, it’s so fun to create berry lemonades and root beer floats. This is a big crowd pleaser with kids!

6) Combos: Sure you can buy individual entreés but Café Zupas offers a Try 2 Combo that lets you choose from a whole sandwich, half soup or half salad and of course their signature chocolate dipped strawberry!

7) House Made: The reason why things at Café Zupas taste so fresh and delicious is because of quality ingredients and their house made dressings, spreads and soups.

8) Catering: Have you been to a meeting that had soggy subs and salads or super greasy food? Gross. That will not happen with Café Zupas, so if you need to cater a party, meeting or event go check them out!

9) School Nights: Need to help raise funds for your school and want it to be at a place where both adults and children will enjoy themselves? Tuesday nights are School Nights at Café Zupas!

10) Closed On Sundays: My family and I choose to not go out on Sunday to honor our Sabbath. It makes me happy when companies choose to take a day off each week and let their employees be with their families.

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Are you a #czsouperfan? What are your favorites?

If  you haven’t been take a look at their online menu and tell me what looks drool worthy to you!

 

This entry was posted in Reviews.

Why You Should Think Twice Before Writing This Facebook Status

AprilFools

April First is tomorrow and there is always that woman who thinks it’s funny to announce that she is pregnant when she really is not. This use to offend me when I was struggling to get pregnant or after I gave birth to twins at 20 weeks and shortly passed away. It doesn’t so much any more but there are millions of women out there who struggle with infertility, miscarriages and stillbirths. Being pregnant holds this sacred awesomeness to it and is even more miraculous when you’ve beaten all the odds.

Imagine reading some one’s status “I have ______ cancer.” only to find out later it was a cruel april fool’s joke just to get a little attention. What a mockery and slap in the face to those who are battling cancer or those who have lost loved ones to cancer.

So tomorrow I might stay signed out of Facebook because I probably can’t believe anything I read. What happened to good fun old fashioned pranks? Below are a few links for pranks for the stay at home moms to play on their kids and the working moms to play on their co-workers.

Kid Friendly Pranks

List of The Office Pranks

 

P.S. If you are pregnant CONGRATS but maybe wait a day or two to make it “Facebook Official”

P.P.S. If you do pull a prank on your kids or co workers feel free to share on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (@ohsomom #ohsomom)

Quick Sticky Buns

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Just thinking about making these makes me spontaneously drool. I normally make a bunch of batches for Christmas morning and to giveaway and people beg me for the recipe and thank me for it being so painless. Enjoy!

QuickStickyBuns

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Step by Step Directions:

1. Knead the dough by hand, food processor, or your dough setting on your bread machine. If you’re having a rough day kneading by hand can help you get your frustrations out and can be a little therapeutic : )

2. Roll out your dough onto a clean countertop or surface. Then using a knife (or in my case a silicone basting brush) liberally spread the desired amount of melted butter across the entire dough surface. Make sure the dough is rolled into the closest resembling shape of a rectangle as you can get it to.

3. Then by hand crumble brown sugar across the dough’s surface. I use light or dark brown sugar, it just depends on what I have in my pantry or what mood I’m in.

4. Now lightly sprinkle cinnamon across the dough’s surface. This is the third layer (butter, brown sugar, then cinnamon). You can add sliced or crumbled nuts if you want to. I’m allergic, but I can imagine walnuts or pecans would be great with this recipe.

5. Roll dough tightly into jelly roll.

6. Now use a knife, floss, or as pictured above a pastry scraper to cut out your sticky buns!

7. Grease your pan and also preheat your oven if you haven’t already done so.

8. Place rolls next to each other and using your thumb press the center down (so they wont pop up while baking). When pan is full place into preheated oven and follow the directions above.

9. Take out and let them cool slightly.

10. FROST and ENJOY!

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This entry was posted in Recipes.