Monday, April 30, 2012

Z - Zoo

We have seen a lot of our zoo and we are so sad that our membership is expiring and we can't afford to renew it right now.
I went twice the week before I had Michael, and about 5-6 times the summer after starting when Michael was barely 3 weeks old.


We love the zoo!
 I pray we soon find the money to buy our membership!

Y - Yarn

My adventures in yarn actually started when I was about 7. A local homeschool coalition used to meet and one of the classes offered was crochet. I loved it!
I made a doll blanket then lost interest, I married and that Christmas crocheted my dad a scarf.
I then decided to learn to knit, and fell in love!
I've since knit, A sock, 2 hats, a scarf, I'm about 1/2 done with a purse, I've knit 3 soakers, 2 neclaces, and some slippers.
I only have pictures of 2 things.





I'm wanting to finish the bag and make M a soaker.

Knitting and Crocheting are honestly 2 of the cheapest and most rewarding crafts out there!

X - X - Rated...books?

I have always said that we should have some type of  rating system for books as we do movies. After all editors etc read them through and should be able to rate them simultaneously.

The issue is I was far above my reading level, teen books were usually about romance or magic which my mom forbade until I was around 16. So I struggled finding any books I could read that were published after 1900, and were in any way interesting.
I was so afraid to check out a new book because I would get into the story then start seeing the story take a turn my mom would frown on and I felt uncomfortable reading so I had to put down a book I enjoyed.
I wanted a rating system so I could look for a book that was at my reading level but also had content my mother would approve and I would feel comfortable reading.

 I'm not sure how it would be done, but it is a wish I've always possessed.

What about you?

W - Wool

I LOVE wool cloth diapers covers also known as wool soakers.
I knit 2 for Michael.

Michael sporting his newborn knit soaker
They have wonderful antimicrobial properties. They are wonderfully airy and help prevent rashes, esp heat rashes in the summer.
When wool is properly lanolized it can absorb up to 40% of its weight in moisture before it wicks "leaks" onto other fabrics. It lets you know sooner when baby has peed, so you can quickly change their diaper. All you have to do is lay it aside and let dry. You only have to wash and lanolize once every week or two (when it starts leaking sooner then it was, or when it smells like urine even after drying), or when poop gets on it.
In the winter you can put your little one in wool longies, basically wool pants, to keep legs warm. There are even some wool full outfits, properly cared for and gently lanolized and wool stays soft and doesn't become scratchy.
Here is a great resource on caring for and using wool soakers; go to the bottom of the page, there are links to articles and videos on wool benefits and care.
Here  is a list of shops that sell wool.

Here are a few posts on how to make your own wool for CHEEP...and no you don't need a sewing machine, just a needle and some yarn or thread.
Dream a lil' Dream
The Sewing Dork
Bright Hub
Vintage Childhood
The Byron Life

For Knitters/crocheters, though honestly any pants or shorts patterns would work if done in a tight enough stitch with wool. As some have pointed out in the past, just as you can use fleece, with a tight
Karen's Cloth Diapering Site
Tiny Birds Organic Merino Wool Longies Pattern Kit
Free Tiny Birds Shorties
Newborn Diaper Cover
Newborn Diaper Cover Onsie
Aubrey Doodle Pants
Soaker
Gabey Baby Diaper Cover
Little Fire Crochet Soaker & Skirty Pattern
Punk Knitters Soaker Pattern
Pimp My Longies
The Curly Purly Soaker Pattern

For those allergic to lambs wool there are other alternatives alpaca, merino, cashmere, angora. Or if wool isn't an option at all fleece is similar.

Katrina's soaker pattern  This pattern is amazing for wool or fleece!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

V - Vaccines

Vaccines are a hot and heavy debate topic in the mom-o-sphere.
There are great points on all sides of the topic.
What is mine?
Mine is do the research, know what is in the vaccine and exactly how they work, know the side affects.
Know the diseases, the symptoms, the progression, the treatments and the % of the likely hood of survival, the mild to severe long term problems caused by the disease.
THEN and only then decide whether or not to vaccinate.

Here is a site with a list of the vaccines and the diseases they are meant to prevent.

I also read Informed Parenting, Danielle Arnold-McKenny talks quite a bit about Vaccines...though I will warn you she is very anti-Vaccine.

Peaceful Parenting Blog has some great article and resources, including their Vaccine book list.

My personal beliefs I've yet to decide wholly, but I'm in the middle of doing my own research.

Have you researched Vaccines? if so what are your conclusions?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

U - U

U know I don't know what to write under U. So I decided to see how many words I could think of without a dictionary that start with U.

So here we go.

Undertaker
Utter
Udder
Under
Umbrella
Use
Us
Usurp
User
Understand
Underhanded
Undone
Undertake
Ukraine
United
Unit
Unite
Unhook
Unsnap
Undulate
Umber
Underestimate
Ultimate
Ultra
Upstart
Up
Upper
Usual
Usually
Unusual


T - potty Training

When I started researching cloth diapers while pregnant with Michael I found references to EC or elimination communication, also known as infant potty learning and infant hygiene.
I wasn't sure what it was and really wasn't that interested until Michael was about 3 months old. What I discovered is this, EC is NOT train your child to the potty as an infant.
EC is the understanding that babies are born knowing how to control their sphincter muscles  and can hold their pee and poop for a short time. Babies are born with the instinct to NOT pee or poop all over themselves. They try to communicate their need to pee and poop, and depend on us to take them to the appropriate place to relieve themselves.
By putting our babies in diapers we train them over months to ignore their bodies signal of the need to pee or poop and just go, then months later try to reverse the processes and retrain them to do what they were born able to do. 
In some countries this is the only way to potty and infant, only the super rich have diapers, and some of them have nannies to potty their children for them.

There are several books out there if you want to know more.
The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative By Christine Gross-Loh

Infant Potty Training: A Gentle and Primeval Method Adapted to Modern Living By Laurie Boucke

and a blog The Diaper Free baby

Monday, April 23, 2012

Q, R, S, - Quilting, Running, Sewing

Sorry I've been out, DDG was brutal. But still awesome! I'll try to catch up!

Q - Quilting
My Grandmother is a quilter, she has made all of her Grandkids a twin quilt for High School Graduation, and all of her Great Grandkids a baby quilt. I have made multiple baby quilts and am in the middle of the tedious job of Cutting out a king quilt for my aunt...I'm enjoying it but having difficulty finding time at the moment. I do have most of it cut out though. It is going to be in a pattern we came up with on our own, simple but pretty.
Here is a simple template of the design; the 'bricks' will be more random then shown. It is suppose to say "A Families Love Is Natures Masterpiece"

   I'm looking forward to digging in and getting it done!

R - Running
  I started running when Michael was 8 weeks old, and I LOVE it! I had to stop over the winter as there was hardly a day where someone wasn't sick. I started running a little here and there back during the warm snap in march, it has cooled off and my lack of cool/cold weather gear has kept me in my bed, though I should probably get out anyway. Perhaps through on a hoodie I have but I guess I've allowed myself to become lazy. I need to dig deep and pull out my determination and go RUN!

S - Sewing
   I started sewing when I was pregnant with Gabriel. I didn't like any nursery set that cost under $400 and I wasn't gonna spend that much. Plus I wanted a unisex (we weren't gonna find out the sex until birth) bright blue (one of my favorite colors) room, and that is nearly impossible to find without making it yourself. So that is what I did, I found the fabric I liked at Walmart for a great price, and went at it with the help of a friend.
I did poorly and ended up only using the diaper organizer. But it put my foot in the door, I've sewn cloth diapers, cloth tampons, cloth menstrual pads, clothes, I'm currently working on altering a dress of mine to be nursing friendly, I'm gonna be appliqueing some of my son's shirts, it is cheaper to buy plain T's and decorate them with scraps then buy some of the fancy T's out there. I've sewn purses though not well, I've made quilts, I plan to make much more, I have so many idea's bouncing around my head it is crazy, I'll never have time to sew them all...in fact I've thought about just posting my ideas on here hoping someone else will have the time to implement them.

T - I'm gonna combine T and U tomorrow and I'll be caught up!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P - Post Duck Duck Goose

Wow I am sooooo exhuasted!
I was up late (*cough* 3am *cough*), and Gabriel woke us up early at 7:30 am...for a grand total of 4 1/2 hours sleep.
I took William to school stopped by Starbucks and got myself a Venti Cafe Latte, a DDG tradition for me, and made it to DDG by 10:45, 15 minutes before the doors opened. The wait was short, esp since I got to meet up with a mom I worked DDG shifts with last year and we were able to catch up a bit.

I finally made it inside, and went strait for strollers and car seats, I didn't find a Gracco Nautilus but I found a double jogging stroller!

I was a bit disappointed at the CD selection, I mean it was great for anyone needing smalls or mediums but NO larges. I did find a swim diaper for Michael though.

The deals there are Amazing!!!!

I spent $299 on:

A double jogging stroller $60, Estimated Retail Value $200
Swim Diaper $3, Estimated retail Value $12
Melissa and Doug wooden Pizza set $16, Retail Value $20
Gallon Bag of crayons for crayon art $1, Estimated Retail Value, $30
25 Twisty Mini Crayons $1, Estimated Retail Value $20
All Gabriel's summer wardrobe $91 Estimated Retail Value, $225
    Best Deal: Excellent Used Condition - EUC Pixar Cars swim trunks $1, Estimated Retail Value, $20
All of Michael's summer wardrobe $63, Estimated Value, $185
Play Doh Fun Factory $4...retail price $22 - $30 depending on where you get it.
Play Doh Spaghetti Factory$4 Retail value $15 - $13
2 nursing cami's $8 together, usually $15 - $25 a piece
The Idiots Guide to Baby Sign Language $4, retail $15
Car's lunch bag $1, retail value$12
Veggie Tales party supplies, $1, retail value estimated is $15
Hot wheels plate and 2 cups, $1, Retail Value Estimated is $12
Crazy Monster plate, $2, retail value estimate is $8
Baby Bjdorn potty $5, Retail value $60!
Click Start my first computer, game cartridge, $3, Usually retails for $20
Veggie Tales Larry Boy and the Bad Apple, $3, usually retails for $20
I spy DVD, $3, Retail Value Estimated $20
2 Baby Gates $8 together, Similar ones I looked at on the internet were $32
Road Play Rug, $1, retail for a very similar rug is $15
Mini Kitchen, $4, I think it is the same one I saw at Walmart during Christmas for $30
Water ring sling for $14, When looking around the internet I didn't find any under $40

Retail - $1,081.00!
A savings of $782.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOW!!!!

This is why I shop consignment!!!!!

O - Organizing For Duck Duck Goose Shopping!

Well tomorrow, Wednesday, is Duck Duck Goose's Early Sale for consignors, workers, and first time moms.
From the first time I shopped at DDG, during the spring of 2008, I've shopped for everything my boy(s) would need to remain clothed until the next DDG sale. With just Gabriel that was about $85 for just clothes in the beginning, and as he grew every year it increased by $10 people would charge more for larger sized even though they cost the same most places. But anyway, Go hear to read my past experiences with DDG...today I'm writing about how I organize myself before a huge consignment shopping trip.
*Understand my list is geared to the fact we only use a laundry mat and can't wash more then 1x every week to 10 days because of money so our laundry has to last all that time.

A) List...
I make a huge detailed list...here is my list for tomorrow:

Gabriel:
   1) Shirts - small, 5/6
  • 2-3 button-ups
  • 2-3 nice T's
  • 10 play T's a few hooded as G loves hoods
  • 2 swim shirts
   2) Shorts - 5
  • 1-2 plaid
  • 1 nice jeans
  • 1 nice khaki
  • 10 play (mixed kinds)
  • 1 swim trunk
   3) Pajamas - small 5/6, 5-6 pairs

   4)  Shoes - 13, (This is the most flexible category, I rarely find everything I need and I'm ok if I find nothing, boys are exceedingly hard on shoes)
  • 1 nice closed toed shoes (brown loafer type)
  • 1 play closed toes shoes (tennis shoes)
  • 1 nice sandals tan
  • 1 play sandal
  • 1 water shoes
   5)  Under wear...Gabriel doesn't need any this year but I usually buy them here, he had grown out of his a month ago so we couldn't wait.

   6) Hats (Very passionate about sun protection and hats are an important part of that)
  • Sun hats
  • ball caps
Michael:
   1) Shirts - 24m/2T
  • 2 button ups
  • 2-3 nice T's
  • 10 play
  • 2 swim
   2) Shorts - 24m/2T
  • 2 Khaki
  • 1 Jean
  • 2-5 play (he will be in a diaper and t-shirt most of the summer, not concerned about him having a lot of play shorts except for outside play time to protect his diapers)
   3) Pajamas - 24/2T, 5-6 pairs

   4) Shoes - ?
  • Soft soled shoes to protect his feet while walking out side
   5) Diapers,Trainers - Consignment sales are a wonderful place to find cloth or even disposable diapers for cheep. A lot of people take what disposable diapers they have left over after their baby out grew that size and sell them at DDG. I'm looking for both diapers and trainers this year.

   6) Hats
  • 2-3 Floppy sun hat
  • 2-3 ball caps
 Gear
  • I have to decide between a double jogging stroller to get the boys out with me while I run so I don't have to run around Williams schedule, and a Gracco Nautilus that I've been wanting for Gabriel, Strollers and car seats are the quickest to go, this is the first section I go to if I need one or the other.
Potty seat, Thinking about getting a baby bjorn to help EC Michael this summer.

Toys
  • Lego's for Gabriel
  • Wooden toys for Michael
Nursing Clothes 
  • 1-3 Nursing shirts/cami's 
Safety Gear
  • Safety Gate
  • Cabinet locks

After I finish my list I get my gear ready.
I need a 'shopping cart' I use a rolling laundry basket similar to this one

 Only mine is short and squat, you have to bend over to pull it properly so I tie a belt to the handle:

I will wear Michael on my back in my Mei Tie...Which I STILL don't have a picture of!

I pack a small compact bag with diapers, another with snacks, apple, dried blueberries, chick peas, YUM! Hypoglycemia doesn't allow me to go long without a snack. I put my maawwvelous Lucky Duck pass in my pocket and I'm ready to go!!!

Another wonderful thing available is Duck out of line for $10, You get a basket to store your items and when you pay someone stands in line for you while you shop, the line can get up to a 3 hour wait VERY fast within the first 1/2 hour. This is a great option that I took advantage of before I could
volunteer the required 4 shifts for a Lucky Duck Pass.

Good night all!! I have a big day tomorrow!

Monday, April 16, 2012

N - adventures in Nursing wear

I skipped M, my family needed me this weekend and they come before any blog, so I'm starting anew with N.
Nursing wear...some say its vital to nursing easily and discretely in public; others say it is an unnecessary luxury.
I say they are vital...mostly because William refuses to let me nurse in public without some type of cover. I use discrete nursing wear with a prefold/flat diaper to cover the 'top' of my breast and just in case Michael pops of at an inopportune time I have a quick cover. This works as Michael doesn't fight it like he does a 'canopy' cover.
Hooter Hidders


While finding the above picture I found a cover I just might make myself...The baby bond cover. It works a lot like many nursing shirts, one panel above the nipple one below you can pull them close enough together to cover all skin except what the baby suckles. An amazing idea...if made right you could wear it as a cowl scarf until needed if you don't want to take it on and off.



However for the most part I simply LOVE nursing shirts and dresses! Here are a few favorites and a few not so much and why.



   This is one of my favorites made by MILK, It is a 2 layered shirred bust, pull up the bottom of the shirred and the second layer is a bra which you pull down, so baby has easy access to mommy milk. The have dresses that are designed just like this only the skirt below the empire waist is much longer.
   I also have regular black shirred dress that I wear a black nursing cami under that I wear all the time it works great!

Here is another dress by MILK, one that my hubby bought for me and I love, well to tell the truth it is a nursing night gown but we didn't realize that at first and I still loved it so I wear it as a dress. 


 Only mine is a pretty bright spring purple...I love this dress, it is made out of silky bamboo and is so soft!


My staples though are nursing cami's, you can wear them under other shirts and either unbutton, or pull up the top shirt and still be modestly covered. They usually come in white, black, and tan, some come in other colors as well.

If you've nursed did you use a nursing bra, cami, shirt, and/or dress. Did it make it easier to nurse or did it not make enough of a difference to break out the cash?

Friday, April 13, 2012

L - Love it or Like it...why the difference is important

I love Jesus!
I love William!
I love Gabriel!
I love Michael!
I love my extended family (far to many to name, nor do I feel comfortable listing them without their permission)!

I need Jesus!
I need Water!
I need food!
I need warmth!
I need Shelter!

I like chocolate!
I like a large living space!
I like electricity!
I like movies!
I like books!
I like cars!
I like soda!
I like video games!
I like the internet!
I like computers!
I like resturaunts!
I like gas/electric stoves!
I like climate controlled living space!
I like cell phones!
I like, I like, I like
  
There is a difference between what you like, what you love, and what you need.
What you need you will die without, without shelter the elements  can kill, without water you die, without food you die, without warmth you die...life or death proves need.
Love are things that would hurt to loose, you'll never truely get over it but it is possible to live on, a long and happy life. Family, friends.
Like are things that make your life better but you wouldn't look at twice if your house was burning over your head.

I'm so tired of kids these days thinking that like and love are interchangeable. There is a distinction for a reason!
Just like the word Aquaintance needs to be brought back into daily vocabulary. My friends I trust, my acquaintance's I enjoy, hang out with, and talk to but intimate details of my life are not a part of it. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

K - Keen

As in I'm Keen to get my Duck Duck Goose stuff tagged and hung and ready to be taken to the sale!!!!
I can't believe I've procrastinated so long...actually I can, I do this every season! Drop-off is Saturday! So I'm sorry for such a pitiful post, but I'm off to pull an almost all nighter...ugh!

Check out my favorite Christian Author Karen Kingsbury!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

J - Justice; or rather the lack of it

True justice is hard to find now days.
 We talk about having the punishment of our children fit their misdeed, yet we don't carry out that philosophy within our justice system.
Criminals are placed in prisons.

Prisons are just one grand school for criminal learning from the best. It is an excellent boarding school, with a wonderful full ride scholarship. All it takes to win the scholarship to the grand Penile System Boarding School is...commit a criminal act. Viola your in! Welcome to the best criminal school around, tuition paid in full by the wonderful people you victimized.
On top of your classes, you have climate controlled rooms, access to television and other forms of entertainment, hot meals 3 times a day with the possibilities of snacks and treats. If you wish for other forms of education those are also paid for in full*.
Anyone else think our system is a joke?


 *Disclaimer: I have no problem with giving prisoners a good education, I know many are in prison because they weren't given much in the way of options to protect them selves and families and provide needs without resorting to crime. Giving them needed education so they can earn a proper living and leave the criminal world is important. Many however cannot or will not and their multiple trips to the boarding school called prison puts hardship only on the victims of these criminals, i.e. the hard working law abiding citizen.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I - Iron

I hate ironing.

Oh...well, I guess I should make the post longer...hehe.

I remember spending hours every week ironing my dad's work shirts...I hate ironing...my mom doesn't, so I never understood why I had to do it when it is a chore she actually enjoys.

My mom spends a couple hours on laundry day ironing...I'd rather wait and Iron what I need when/if I need it. Saves me time I could better spend sewing...reading to my boys...napping...looking off in a daze, daydreaming about sewing while taking a nap and reading to the boys all at once. Oh how I wish we grew out of needing sleep in adult hood, kids sleep so we have half the day to do what we can't do while they are awake...stupid, lucky, Twilight Vampires.

Do you love ironing or hate it? Do you specifically choose NOT to buy a piece of clothing you like because you don't want to have to iron it? Or do you use my hubby's trick of throwing the article of clothing and a damp rag in the drier for a quick steam wrinkle treatment? We had to stop using that when we moved to an apartment with no washer/dryer hook-up and have to pay-per-load.

Wow, I think this is a record short post! Go me!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

H - Homeschooling

I was homeschooled by my mom since kindergarten, my brother since preschool. It was an amazing experience. I loved school most of the time, it was hard, it was exciting.
My mother was always praised as the ideal homeschool mom. I am so grateful to her! So I suppose this is dedicated to my mother...Joy...
 
    She worked so hard giving us a great education! I remember her spending hours and hours researching and putting together plans and schedules. She had a lot of opposition, her whole family told her she would ruin my brother and I and we wouldn't be able to get into a collage get a job outside of the fast food industry, they were exceedingly cruel to her until dad told them to shut up or they would have no contact from us again. My dad's family were against it because they were worried about us but after a while they realized how wonderfully mom was doing, how AJ and I were able to carry on a normal conversation with adults, even debate a well thought out point at 6-7 years old (I held a conversation on the age of accountability/when a child is able to be truely saved at 8 years old with an adult, I gave him something to think about too =P). Mom persevered and we learned, a lot.
    We learned world history, geography, about different cultures, read literature, listened to music, etc all at the same time from the same location, we learned about the ancient Egyptians in all those categories (except perhaps the music) at one time, they were all coordinated, we finished up with some current history and learned about archeology.
   When I became interested in anything human body and medical, she got me a biology book that focused wholly on the human body, medical history (loved medical history), I read biographies on doctors, nurses, scientists that contributed to our medical knowledge today.
   We spent time learning about church history and the horrific crusade wars and the crimes so many crusaders committed believing they were doing right because they were told they were.
   We spent time learning about current scientific beliefs on evolution etc, and though we don't believe it we thought it important to know so we know why we believe the way we do and how to defend our beliefs to those who try the scientific route to dissuade us. 
   The joy of homeschooling is you can focus every part of homeschooling on one particular subject, and the child gets the whole knowledge of the subject at once, rather then in bits and pieces.
   It wasn't always great though...I struggled with algebra...who doesn't most say. Mom took an entire year and a good bit of money finding me an algebra curriculum that I understood, once she did I flew through it and LOVED algebra! I couldn't wait to get started most days, I sometimes did extra just because. I did struggled with it at times, but when I got it I got it!
   I took Classical Latin, we used The Latin Road To English Grammer, it was AWESOME!!! I Loved Latin! I tend to save my favorites for last and to my least favorite first so I have something for which to strive, I always saved Latin for last. Unless we had to go somewhere and I needed to save the easy to take schoolwork for last to bring with, like literature reading.
   Most of all though homeschooling gave me a love of learning, and the knowledge of how to teach myself what I need/want to know. To question everything, to never believe the first version I hear, to research all sides then come to my own conclusions. This has helped me wade the trecherous waters of Christian Legalism, and other radical or overly lax views of the bible and Christianity and come out the other side mostly whole.

I have so much to thank mom for...a love of the classics, the ability to learn, a love of writing and a continuing love of learning. An understanding of the need for consistancy, though she had strong scheduals and I'm not that kind of person, I'm more of a where the wind takes me kind of person as my irratic A-Z challenge topic choices show, some schedualling is important and I've learned how through her when I need to have some kind of schedual.
    I think what I have most to thank mom about is my wonderful relationship with my brother and her. Homeschooling, depending on my brother as a friend and play mate a large portion of the week deepened our friendship in a way I only saw in other homeschoolers, never in friends who went to public school. I mean my brother and I weren't denide socializing (I hate that word), did we spend 8 hours a day with kids our own age who were just as ignorant as we were? No, we spent our day interacting with people of all ages and learned how to spend the day playing with kids half our age, or sitting quiet and enjoying a visit with adults equally, not just kids my age. To many kids don't have this skill because they spend 90% of their time with people their own age for 12 of the most influental years of their life. And it continues even in adulthood to an extent. We may not be segregated by race anymore, but I wonder if this segragation by age isn't just as dangerous...kids learning about sex (and many, many other things just about as important) not by people who have had a wonderful and meaningful long term relationship but rather by kids just as ignorant as them, or learned in a very twisted way. To many don't even have the relationship with a parent to talk to them about it. So sad.
   Homeschooling if properly used, can give amazing opportunities to teach children to play, enjoy, cultivate relationships with people of All ages, and seasons of life, which would help so many of the problems we have with children today.

Because of mom I have the confidance to homeschool my boys, and I am looking forward to them having just as wonderful an experience as I did!

Were you homeschooled or knew anyone who was? Have you ever considered homeschooling your children? Why or why not...please be civil, any bashing will be deleted with no further acknowledgement.

Thoughts on the end of week 1 of A-Z

Well I made it through the first week of the April A to Z Challenge alive and kicking!! This has been a great experience for me! It has been helping me think of different posts I want to do, what I want to research so I can share the info and help educate others.I want to do more sewing so I can give ideas, encouragement, help, tutorials, etc to other sewers and aspiring sewers!
Share what I've learned in the bible, in my relationships with Jesus and people, of mothering my boys, of marriage particularly of being married to my husband.
There is so much bursting from me to write about I need to slow down and take it a little at a time, rather then just give up and not write, which is what I was doing for a while, and what this challenge has helped me to change.

So here is to Hoping the Challenge teaches me how to slow down and take one post and one topic at a time and not just throw in the towel because of all I wish to, need to, want to write is running over out of my mind and heart at the same time!

How has your first week of the Challenge helped you and your blogging? What do you hope is the end result of the Challenge?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

G - Gabriel's Birth Story

Don't worry, this won't be the in depth story that I'll post later for the ladies who enjoy reading the nitty and gritty details, just a general story most people should feel comfortable reading.

I was so anxious for Gabriel to be born that I was hoping he would come a little early, but I was in no way willing to induce any time before 42weeks without solid medical reasons. I believe that estimated due dates are exactly that estimated and shouldn't be considered the be all end all. Here is a good post as to why I feel this way.

Though he didn't come early he came much earlier then I thought.

September 13, 2007 Due Date
11:50 pm, head to bed a little disappointed after a day of no signs of labor. We had stayed up to watch a movie as I honestly thought I had at least another week. William had the next 3 days off after 12 days in a row of 12 hour shifts we both were ready for some quality time together. He was ready for some rest.

September 14, 2007
1:58 am I get up for the first of many nightly trips to the bathroom, panties were a little wet but as my bladder was overfull I didn't think anything of it. I tended to my business, changed and lay back down to sleep.
2:04 My eye pop open, that was a contraction, I had had very few Braxton hick (practice contractions that can start as early as 25 weeks) but I could tell this one was different. Not painful, but almost had a purposeful feeling unlike the Braxton hicks.
I was suddenly very excited, I was positive I was in labor, but I was so afraid to be disappointed I barely let myself think it before pushing it aside, 2 minutes later another, and I got up knowing I wouldn't sleep until I was certain that it wasn't labor. I finished packing the last few things just in case so I wouldn't have to later when I was working through contractions, turns out I forgot extra underwear and socks. i had one barely noticeable contraction when I was almost done. Afterwards I read my bible for about 25 minutes no contractions.
I remember while reading my bible thinking about how I was feeling possibly being in labor, I was excited, anxious, but afraid. millions even billions of women have given birth over the centuries, that is all great and good, but I wasn't millions or billions of women, this was me, about to deliver either in the next few hours or weeks if this was false labor. Fear is normal. But I refused to let the fear rule, I could do this, what ever happened the Lord was in control and it was for the good of all. So I relaxed and waited for baby.
2:40 I go back to bed tired and a little disappointed.
2:55 another contraction much harder then the last one nearly an hour before, 6 minutes later another, even harder and more painful. I was surprised at how quickly it was escalating. I decided to get in the bath and soak. I shook William and told him I thought I was in labor and I was going to bath, he murmured but didn't really wake up.
3:10 the bath is finally full enough for me to get in, after only one contraction in the water, I knew that being in my small bathtub wasn't helping I needed more room in spite of how much I wanted the water.
3:15 I got out and laid down again, after 2 contractions only 4 minutes apart I woke William, they were getting painful and I had to vocalize through that last one a little bit. It took a minute for him to wake up enough to hear what I was saying. When he did he jumped up and dressed barely able to see or hold his eyes open. He went to get a Mountain Dew to help wake him up and I got back into the bath, I really wanted that water even though my tub was a bit cramped. I was vocalizing through them and William came in worried that I was already vocalizing. After a few more contractions William called.
3:40 It took the midwife about 10 minutes to call back but when she did she talked to me only a moment listened while I went through a contraction and told us to come.
4:20 It took William a while to get the car loaded because he had to stop and help me through each contraction so we finally got started. He had called my parents after he got off the phone with the Midwife and they were gonna head out in an hour after stopping for breakfast.
5:35 The nearly 40 minute drive took an hour because I kept telling him to slow down...as the bumps and deep curves made the contractions worse. I was excited to find out I was already 6cm's going along fast.
When we got to the room I laid down on the queen sized bed and didn't move except to use the restroom a few times over the next few hours.
9:00 I felt the need to push.
9:40 Gabriel was born, 9lbs, 15oz, 20", 14" head and chest.

I love birth stories. Your welcome to post your own or link to your birth story if you wish!

Friday, April 6, 2012

F - I love Fantasy!!!!! Oh and Scifi too!

I love fantasy and scifi books and movies! So I figured F would be all about fantasy, I was thinking of making S all about scifi, but I love sewing too much so I squeezed it in here!

I have an imagination, I love to read, watch movies and shows, come up with stories in my head, etc. I would love to one day write a fantasy or scifi novel, in fact that is one reason I started this blog, to get into the habit of writing, and give my self a chance to practice. So here is a list of my favorite Fantasy books/movies/tv shows.

Fantasy:
Stand alone books:
Warbreaker By Brandon Sanderson
Elantris By Brandon Sanderson
Host By Stephanie Meyer 
Dinotopia


Book Series:
Wheel of Time by Robert Jordon, with help of Brandon Sanderson on the last few books, Robert Jordon Died before the series was finished, but he had everything planned and written in a time line, with the help of his wife and some friends he spent his last days making sure whoever was chosen to finish the series had everything needed. The last book in the series comes out January 2013.
Howl's Moving Castle By Diane Wynn Jones
Dune Chronicles By Frank Herbert
Twilight Series By Stephanie Meyer
Sword of Truth By Terry Goodkind
Harry Potter By J.K. Rowling
Abhorsen By Garth Nix
Narnia By C.S. Louise
Redwall By Brian Jaques
Mistborn By Brandon Sanderson
Alcatraz By Brandon Sanderson
The Lord of the Ring By J.R.R. Tolkien 
Artemis Fowl By Eion Colfer
Maximum Ride By James Patterson


Stand alone movies:
Howl's Moving Castle
Spirited Away
Dune
Planet of the Apes
Fall of the Planet of the Apes
Dinotopia

Movie Series:
Twilight
The Lord of the Rings


TV Series:
Planet of the Apes
Bewitched
I Dream of Jeannie


SciFi:
Stand alone Books:
Anything Edgar Rice Burrows
     But especially:
         Tunnel in the Sky
         The Land that Time forgot


Anything Robert Heinlein
     But especially:
         Starship Troopers
         Have Spacesuit, Will Travel


Book Series:
Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi        Yup I'm that much of a nerd


Stand alone movies:
Alien vs Preditor...I honestly really enjoyed this one. 
Appleseed & Appleseed Xmachina
Independence Day 
The Sphere
Paycheck
Minority Report


Movie Series:
Star wars

Taken 


TV Series:
Roswell
Dr Who
X-Files
Star Trek Voyager
Stargate:SG1
Stargate: Atlantis


What are your favorite Fantasy and Scifi books, movies, etc?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E - is for Easter

WARNING: This is a deep and hard post. I consider it for general audience but many may not. It is primarily about the Crucifixion of Christ. 

Easter is for me and other Christians the celebration of the resurrection of Christ from his horrific execution on the Roman cross.
To understand the joy of Easter, we must understand the horror that preceded it.

   Christ was born to a single virgin mother who was blessed with a husband who was willing to endure the ridicule of marrying a woman who was considered an adulteress, and raise and love a child that wasn't his. If he hadn't stepped up to protect and marry Mary then she would have been stoned to death at her fathers doorstep for adultery, betrothal was legally considered married without the physical relationship which happened once the husband to be had provided the bride price and a home for his bride to be.
   Christ grew up and probably knew as early as it was possible for his human mind to comprehend the truth that he was also God, and why he was on earth. He stayed home and worked and learned and grew, at a young age shocking the elders and priests with his wisdom and knowledge of the scriptures. When he was around 30 he left home and started his 3 +/- years of ministry.
   During that time he collected probably hundreds if not thousands of followers. The faces were always changing, and the numbers fluctuated, but there were 12 who never left.

*Andrew - Originally a disciple of John the Baptist. (He led his brother Simon to Christ)
*Simon Peter (Andrew’s brother) - Rock of the church. (A fisherman, denied Jesus after the crucifixion.)
*James (son of Zebedee) - Also a fisherman. A strong person who insisted that Christ’s followers “walk the talk.”
*John (son of Zebedee) - Also a fisherman. A strong person who cared for Jesus’ mother and stressed grace.
*Phillip - Andrew’s close friend, also a fisherman. He led Bartholomew to Christ.
*Bartholomew (Nathanael) - Questioning at first, but accepted Jesus of Nazareth. Loyal.
*Matthew (Levi)- Once a despised tax collector, he changed his profession and followed Jesus. Wrote the Gospel of Matthew.
*Thomas - Doubted the resurrection. Was willing to risk his own life for Jesus.
*James (Alpheus’ son) - Mentioned in Gospel accounts.
*Thaddeus (James’ son) - A real follower and preacher of Christ.
*Simon - Known as a zealot or patriot. He saw the vision.
*Judas Iscariot - Ultimate betrayer of Jesus, who kept the money for the group.
http://www.worldsundayschool.com/handouts/disciples.htm

  For years he preached, taught, guided, begged, pleaded, hoped, prayed, laughed, joked, cried, hurt, became angry, hungry, tired, lonely, heart sick, longing, disgusted, joyful, happy, depressed, loving, truthful, sympathetic,  unyielding, focused, striving, succeeding, rescuing, encouraging, peacemaking, convicting, disturbing the status quo, rebel, radical, enlightening, freeing, liberating.
   Christ is nothing like we are shown in mainstream churches. He is a radical. He hung out with the 'wrong' crowds. Broke tradition, but never law.
  He is awe inspiring to me...especially what he sacrificed so I could know him.

  He was betrayed by one of his closest friends, arrested in the middle of the night against the laws of the land. He was shuffled back and forth from official to official all night, not trying to find the truth and justice but to find someone willing and able to execute him. They KNEW he was the messiah they had been waiting for, but they were terrified that if they acknowledged him it would bring the wrath of Rome down on them again and they were comfortable with the system they had. So they betrayed and turned in their messiah for political and physical pseudo 'peace' and 'security'.
   Christ was sentenced to the traitors death on the cross, the most horrific execution known in history. He was scourged, if you've seen Passion of the Christ realize that the scourging was watered down...they couldn't recognize Christ as human when they were done with him. Scourging not only stripped the skin off the back, but was known to strip muscle and even rip ribs out of the torso. Though we know that didn't happen to Christ as it was prophesied that his bones were unbroken. Many many simply died from the scourging and didn't even make it to the cross. Christ did.
   When they finished the scourging, they hammered a crown on his head made of thorns long enough to slice his scalp to the bone and lodge there. They put a robe on him...not a kind act as you'll see later. Then they put a 100lb slab of rough wood on his raw shoulders and forced him to walk. He tried, he tried so hard to keep his dignity, to hold his head up, but he is not just fully God, he is fully human and his body couldn't take the abuse any longer and he collapsed.
   It has been speculated that his collapse and the 'log' falling on top of him as it surely must have, bruised his heart, causing it to swell and burst over the next few hours which would explain why he died so quickly compared to so many who lived days on the cross.
   The guards picked a man at random out of the crowds and forced him to carry the cross, his name was Simon, a man who came to love and follow Jesus.
   When they reached Golgotha, no one forced Jesus, no one dragged him kicking and screaming to the cross. The soldiers ripped the robe from his bloody back reopening the wounds that had dried, and Jesus walked over to the cross and willingly laid down on his bleeding raw back giving them his hands and feet. They guards drove thick nails through the most sensitive nerve centers in the body, and roughly hoisted the cross up and dropped it into the hole to stand up right.
   Death on the cross is a slow, painful suffocation. It uses our strongest instinct the survival mode against us to bring out the longest most torturous death known to man. It was originally invented as a human sacrifice to the sun god, as the person slowly died by exposure and suffocation. It is shockingly still used in parts of the world as a form of execution though rarely now, usually in religiously radical nations to make a point.
   Christ, prayed for those who stood before him. Just as in Greek times when the gladiator fights and games were considered entertainment, so many people would come to executions for much the same purpose. They would mock, jeer, taunt, laugh, spit, tease, and basically did anything they could to add to their physical torment through emotional and mental abuses. The crosses weren't made tall like we see in the movies, where the criminals were above the crowds almost to high to even touch their feet, they were generally eye to eye with the mocking, cheering crowds. There of course were also loved ones there grieving, but most weren't.
   All of this is so horrific, so graphic, but we gloss over what happened all too often because it is so horrific and raw, we don't want to think of it. But this is the truth, unpalatable but whole. But in spite of the horror that Christ endured to this point at the hands of the people he came to save, he prayed for them, begged the Father to over look what they had done to him. You see all this torment wasn't what Christ feared so much that he sweat blood, no this was a drop in the bucket compared to what comes next.
   Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The divine trinity. Whole. Never needing anything beyond each other. Perfect. Perfect community. Never lonely, they had never been apart. They had always been connected, even Christ becoming human didn't break the connection, just changed it a little, minutely. But that was about to change for the first and last time.
   Christ was nailed and raised up, and he became sin. My worst sin, your worst sin, he became the worst of the worst. The worst of the murderers, the worst of the wife beaters, the worst of the rapists, the worst of the pedophiles, the worst of the dictators, the worst of the thieves, the worst of the liars. We talk about Jesus taking on our sins, almost flippantly like he put on my shirt and pants and shoes, what ever. No. When that pedophile touched that child, Jesus, in essence, stepped forward moved that person over and committed the act himself. That is how fully Christ took on our sins. The Father Cannot be in the presence of sin in the same way a human cannot breath water like air and live. So the true punishment fell on Jesus, God turned his back and completely severed himself from Jesus. The perfect community, comfort, and companionship that had always been there was wholly gone.
   Jesus, more then likely died from a heart attack and split heart, literally dying from a broken heart.

  Some believe that Jesus then went hell for the days between his death and resurrection. I don't hold this belief. Jesus' last words before death were 'it is finished.' Why would he say that if he had to go to hell to finish the process? Salvation was whole and complete the moment he breathed his last breath.

  What does this have to do with a post on Easter? Simply this, without the above, Easter wouldn't be. There is no new life, no salvation, no change, no hope, without death. That will never change. For the joy of Easter to be real and resounding, we MUST know the fullness of the death that made it possible.
Celebrate Easter, have fun, rejoice, dance, eat, love and laugh, but never forget the death that brought the life.

I know this was deep and hard, I hope your persevered through. As always I'm open to honest questions from anyone, Christian or not and will answer to the fullest extent I can. However, I will delete any and all bashing without any further acknowledgement of the comment.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

D - 'Dis Damsel's Discussing Disgusting Disposable Diapers

Giggle...yeah I know the title is silly...but I couldn't resist.

So today's topic is disposable diapers. The truth I've discovered about the dangers to health and the eco system, and why I won't ever look back from cloth!

Health:
Unless you practice Elimination Communication (the link brings you to an engaging post about EC and a moms, reluctant, but successful journey int ECing her daughter) your child will be in a diaper 24/7 minus a few minutes for baths and naked booty time if you allow it, for as long as 2 1/2 - 3 years, longer for special needs children and often longer for night time struggles.

So have you given any thought on what that diaper you wrap around your baby's sensitive bottom is made of? How in the world it soaks up so much urine when it is so thin when taken out of the package? What those gel beads are that cover your baby's privates? Are they Toxic? Harmful? Surely not!

I didn't even consider it to be a problem until after I had already started looking into cloth for financial reasons! But when I began to notice articles everywhere on the environmental and health reasons to cloth diaper, my decision to cloth diaper was set in concrete, no one could budge me, in spite of the financial obstacles I faced getting started!

Here is a one of the first articles I ran into Autumn Becks post "Are Disposable Diapers Really That Bad?"
 
It really opened my eyes to the health risk wrapping my baby's sensitive bottom in a disposable diaper 24/7 for about 2-3years with all its chemicals (Dioxin and Sodium Polyacrylate +) some of which are know to be a carcinogen. Another article by Autumn Beck that goes in a little more detail on these Chemicals. Here are a few other articles that also helped...a, b, c. An important article for all parents who are planning on circumcising their son.

Ecological reasons:
It is estimated that 1 disposable diaper takes up to 500 YEARS to fully decompose...and their not even sure that it will ever fully decompose.
If that wasn't bad enough, we are throwing away human waste! Even a babies poop is full of germs, and if your baby is taking meds for any reason those will seep into the ground (once the diaper is decomposed enough for the poo to escape). It could seep into untreated aquifers and well systems. It could be picked up by plants, that are then eaten by wild life, or even us!
Gross!
Here are a few articles I've found about the environmental impact disposable diaper have!
Living Strong, and again, and yet again.
Fox News (not sure how I feel about some of the conclusions but it is another view to consider)


Fact: Americans throw away enough disposable diaper each year to stretch from the moon and back at least seven times. -Julia Butterfly Hill

So what do you think? Do/did you use disposables or cloth? If you use(d) disposables, has this made you rethink that decision?


P.S. So sorry this was posted so late getting out...the kids were especially difficult today, and I struggled cutting this post down to a manageable size. I hope it is understandable...as always I'm happy to clear up anything that is illegible and answer any questions! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

C - Consignment Sales

So we have a GREAT local consignment sale around here called Duck Duck Goose it is AMAZING!
We have bought about 98% of the boys cloths from DDG for about half the price we would spend in stores, often less, for stuff in great shape!

I started buying Gabriel's cloths at DDG the spring of 08 when he was about 6mo, I gave birth 3 weeks before the fall sale so mom bought some stuff their but I wasn't able to go. I was astounded when I saw what was available at DDG, maternity and nursing items, furniture, about 2 hundred strollers in different styles and conditions for different prices, car seats, TONS of toys and books and homeschooling helps, some game systems and games movies, infant gear, blankets, socks, shoes, hats, carriers, decor, baby safety gates and other equipment, breast pumps, high chairs, diapers cloth and disposable (I always wondered what to do with Gabriel's left over sposies when he out grew them in the middle of a package), diaper pails, potty seats, pool toys and safety gear, bumbo's, and so much more all available at amazing prices! The clothes go from preemie through teens!

Last year I bought cloth diapers, a sit and stand tandem stroller, and all the winter clothes both boys would need, nursing tops for me, and a few other small items for $210 total! So with all that here is my pros and cons list...

Pros:
  • Amazing deals!
  • lots of options (if you have a large enough sale)
  • I can sale all the boys clothes from last summer so I'm rarely spending more then $30 as I make it all back with what I sold!
  • Buy nearly everything I need at one place all at once! I won't have to go shopping again for cloths this summer!
  • I can find shirts with favorite pixar caricatures without spending $25!
  • I can consign and work to shop earlier and find better items!
  • The more you volunteer the more perks you get
  • You can volunteer your husband, mother, child (14yrs+) to volunteer for you so you don't have to volunteer as much and get the great perks
Con's:
  • As a consignor I have to either invest hours in washing, hanging, pinning, and tagging clothes and other items I want to sale, or money to have someone else do it.
  • I have to have a bulk of money to spend all at once, rather then 10 or 20 at a time, that can be hard if your struggling financially, living paycheck to paycheck.
  • Consignment sales are only 2x a year so you need to anticipate your child's growing, what you'll need, if you get it wrong then you just waisted a ton of money (Gabriel skipped size 2t a month after ddg after I bought his entire winter wardrobe in mostly 2t and some 3t, had to buy a whole new wardrobe)
  • If your starting to need something before the sale it can be hard to decide whether you can wait for the sale or if you need to go ahead and pay a little more and get it now
  • Lines are LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG. average waiting time? 3 1/2 hours. I get around it by working 4 shifts and getting my Lucky Duck Pass, I'm always next in line!
  •  
But please don't let the cons intimidate you! They are totally worth the money saved!!!!!!
I hope you find an awesome consignment sale in your area and take full advantage! Good luck and Happy consigning!

Monday, April 2, 2012

B - Babywearing

Knit wraps:
Babywearing has been a life saver as a mom of 2 boys (so far =P). When Michael was a newborn and had colic it helped me get things done while still being able to comfort him and relieve his achy belly. For that I used a knit wrap. 
Boba Wrap
 Michael grew out of it so fast I have only one picture of me wearing him and it is dark and I'm half turned away from the camera, so I used this picture directly from the Boba web site, this is the carrier I have, though when I bought it a different company owned it and it was called the Sleepy Wrap.

Knit wraps are made of either tshirt type knit fabric or sweatshirt fabric great for newborns and babies who aren't too squirmy and under 15lbs though it can work up to 20 lbs it starts sagging pretty quick and doesn't support well at all. In the knit wrap you can carry baby similar to a sling, or belly to belly like above, you could face outward but that is uncomfortable for mama and baby click here for a post on why.

If you go to here there are some great tips on different knit carries. Also You Tube has a multitude of videos on different carries and how to nurse baby in your carrier.

Pro's:
  • Great for newborn
  • easy to nurse in
  • can get baby in and out without having to retie (until baby is about 15lbs)
  • warm in winter,
  • soft and comfortable, spreading weight across back and shoulders evenly for long wear comfort.
  • multiple ways to wear
  • most are very affordable
Con's:
  • only good for a few weeks to months, depending on how fast your baby grows, Michael was out of his in about 6-8 weeks because he grew so fast.
  • hot in summer
  • putting on is a bit of a learning curve 
  • be very careful buying used as they can over stretch and loose their support, One way to prevent this if you have a sewing machine is find some pretty 100% cotton woven fabric and sew a square piece to the very middle of the wrap, that is the same width as the wrap. this can help your knit wrap last through many children.
Buying:
Moby


Woven Wrap:
The woven wrap was my next carrier. The woven wrap has many, many benefits, the only down fall? Major learning curve! I bought 7.5 yards of Osnaburg from Fabric.com for a steal! Cut it in half lengthwise and hemmed all around, it was quick and easy and for just under $40 I had 2 wonderful wraps!
I really like this wrap, it is soft but firm and supportive, very breathable, once I started wearing it I didn't sweat nearly so much as with the knit. But it took so long to put it on and take it off it wasn't great for days with lots of errands or when Michael couldn't decide whether he wanted in or out. I could get Michael out without untying, I had to pretty much take the whole thing off to get him back in.
I always got great complements whenever anyone watched me put it on, or just saw me wearing Michael, I even got call Sacajawea one time by a bunch of guys at a park.


Pro's:
  • can be worn from birth till too big for mama or dad to carry comfortably
  • breathable
  • very comfortable
  • unlimited variety of ways to carry baby
  • easy to nurse in
  • Same carrier can be easily worn by many people of many sizes.
  • Great for double wearing (wearing 2 babies at once)
  • easy to make your own
  • great resale value
  • many uses once the babies are too big to carry, including home made childrens hammock or hammock chair/swing
  • can be VERY pricy
Con's:
  • large learning curve
  • takes time to put on and take off
  • not good for running into the post office, or the bank to deposit a check etc.
  • can be very pricey if you don't make your own 
Places to buy:
PAXbaby
Didymos
Girasol

Soft Structured Carriers:
I went from the woven wrap to an Ergo and fell in love with its ease. It could put it on or take it off in about 20 seconds, back or front. Though I will say hip carry in the ergo is extremely uncomfortable as the strap is against my neck not the outside of my shoulder.
I've become slightly dissatisfied with the ergo, it doesn't fit William at all, and though it is supposed to fit up to 40lbs the panel is so short that it doesn't give proper support to the child esp if the child falls asleep. So I've been looking into other brands, so far Kanga XT SSC is my favorite...currently saving up money to get one!
Pro's:
  • Quick on and off
  • can do front back and hip carry will little adjustment.
  • multiple people can wear it without a whole lot of adjustments
  • Easy to adjust
  • hood great for nursing cover or to support a sleeping child.
  •  great for quick trips into the store
  • easy to back wear for beginners
  • great resale value
  • Easy to nurse in
Con's:
  • Not as comfortable for long wears, at about 1.5 to 2 hours my back starts aching a bit
  • Some (like my ergo) don't support older children as well as the wrap
  • Very difficult to make your own if your so inclined
  • Can be pricy 
  • Not good for newborns or young babies who can't support their heads without buying an extra newborn insert.
Other SSC to look into are:
Beco
Boba
Olives and Applesauce
Angle Pack
Wrap Conversion Mei Tie:
This is my latest acquisition, I cut up my second wrap that I made and made it into a wrap conversion mei tie. I LOVE it! It is not as quick to put on as the Ergo, but quicker and easier (esp back carries) then the wrap. It is much more comfortable for long carries then the ergo and cooler for baby.
It fits my husband easily and requires no adjusting straps, just tie it on. 
 I don't have a picture yet but I will have William take one tonight and I'll add it to this post.

Pro's:
  • as comfortable as the wrap for long carries
  • easier then the wrap to put on and take off
  • just as easy as ssc for back carries

Con's:
  • Takes longer then a ssc to put on
  •  Not good for newborns
  • A bit of a learning curve though not as much as a wrap.
 Ring Sling:
Though this isn't mine a friend has let me borrow it for a babywearing class I'm teaching later this month, I like to have a little personal experience with carriers I talk about. It would be great for a newborn and younger baby! Though I don't like it much for Michael, he is to squirmy and since the support is on one shoulder and across back it isn't so comfortable as he is 25 lbs.

Gabriel babydoll wearing in the ring sling


Pro's :
  • most are a great price
  • Great for newborns and young babies
  • COOOOOOOOL in the summer!
  • Wonderful for nursing!!!
  • Little adjustment for different wearers
  • Easy to double wear (2 carriers)
  • Great as a way to keep older child confined to lap when working on computer (hehe) 
Con's:
  • Can be Dangerous when child gets older and squirmy wanting down
  • not as comfortable once child is older
  •  As I don't have a lot of experience with this carrier I can't think of other con's. 
Buying:
Sakura bloom
Sweet pea
Maya wrap
Rocking baby
Of course our local carry me close
Taylormade
Sleepy Baby Products
Zanytoes

Feel free to ask any questions! I hope this was clear, if not please let me know so I can fix the problem!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is for Apartment living

The launch of the April 2012 A-Z Blogging Challenge, nope this post isn't about antibiotics like I posted in the list, I thought that might be a bit too involved and controversial for my first post in the blogging challenge.

So we have now lived in an apartment for a year and a half. It is the first time I've lived in an apartment since I was about 5-6 years old. It isn't too bad, but it could be better.
I enjoyed it at first and I don't mind it too much now, it has been an enjoyable chapter in our lives but I'm ready to go to at least a different complex, if not to a house. So here are the pros and cons of apartment living in general and my personal apartment in particular.

Pro's:
  • Soda Machine...my addiction
  • On site management (free coffee!!!!!!! must get my fix!) The girl in the office is so sweet, she always has a smile and can take a moment to chat.
  • and maintenance (Back when I was pregnant I seriously considered asking them for help getting duck duck goose boxes out of Gabriel's closet while William was at school!)! These guys know their job well, and do it efficiently!
  • Pool...'nuf said
  • Outdoor charcoal grill and picnic area
  • smaller place, lower cooling and heating bill (I really enjoyed this in the beginning not so much now with 2 kids, one just beginning to walk)
  • We are close to everything! 5 miles from the mall, 1.5 miles from Earth Fare and Kroger's, 2 miles from one of the local cloth diaper store, there is a green way just down the hill, great for walking, running, and biking.
  • Maintenance is quick to respond to issues and deal with them
  • Management is pleasant and willing to work with you as much as possible.
  • Monthly community events.
  • Great club house available upon request
  • Cable Internet pre installed
  • free wifi, courtesy of our great management! Major down fall is it is insecure. Don't type any passwords.
  • Parking lot security.
  • Lots of concrete for drawing on with sidewalk chalk!
 Con's:
  • Soda Machine...my addiction
  • The laundry mat is on top of the hill, more then a 2 flight walk up for me to do laundry...not fun while pregnant let along 2 days after giving birth to wash diapers!
  • No units with W/D hook-ups
  • No safe area for my boys to play outside within walking distance.
  • People take their dogs to the picnic area at the top of the hill to poop and rarely clean up after them...the management actually had to start charging all dog owners 25 extra a month to pay the maintenance men who have to pick up the poop 2x a day. If you are caught not cleaning up after your animal then you are fined but they have yet to catch anyone, and I have only seen 1 person clean up after their animal.
  • Roaches, no matter how clean I keep my kitchen there are always cock roaches.
  • Mold, the master bathroom has had mold since we moved in and I've struggled keeping it under control.
  • Our king size water bed frame (w/normal mattress) takes up over half our bedroom...we are trying to get rid of it. 
  • EVERY time we renew our lease the price has gone up between $10 and $30 a month.
  • buildings are settling cracks on ceiling and corners getting bigger.
  • wooden bridges that compensate for weird landscaping are getting old and need replacing, they are dangerous and slippery in the rain, snow and ice. Fell down the steps when Michael was 3 weeks old, huge bruises on my butt and arm. Maintenance put no skid strips on the steps and bridges, they will be rebuilding them this summer!
  • Noisy upstairs neighbors
  • No on site recycling (I don't have a safe place away from baby to place sorting buckets to recycle) if we had on site I could use small bags or very small buckets and empty them daily or every other day.
I think that about sums it up! So that wraps up the first blog in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge! Hope you enjoyed!
Edited for spelling and aweful grammer...I think I caught it all!