Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

It’s a New Day. It’s a New Dawn.

Posted: January 5th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding Blog Hop | Tags: Breastfeeding, Goals | 21 Comments »

It’s the first week of 2012 and it seems like a great time to reassess our current breastfeeding goals, tis the season for resolutions. I know when I first started nursing The Tank I had a few different goals in mind. Some of the goals seemed very lofty at the time but we were able to meet them- even if we barely squeaked by. It was actually hard for me to set a shorter term goal, it seemed like defeat in a way. It was one of the best things I could have done. When I met that 6 month goal I felt like we could do anything.

Judah weaned back in August, shortly after his 1st Birthday, so I don’t have any breastfeeding goals for myself per se. My goals at this time revolve around sustaining this hop and nurturing each and every one of you so you want to come back each week and share your experiences. We all have vastly different experiences and it’s so very important to let all of our voices be heard, you never know when someone is going to speak up and tell you how much you’ve helped them just by sharing your story.

So this is my plea to you: Keep sharing. Keep supporting. Keep reaching out and opening up and doing all of the things you have been doing over the past year. If you have any ideas of things you are itching to cover, shoot me an email at admin@theslackermom.com.

We’re going to try a few different things and see if it helps facilitate conversations a little better. For those of us who have a passion for Twitter- the hashtag #BFBlogHop. I love a good hashtag and when I was breastfeeding and pumping I was on Twitter talking about breastfeeding more than I care to admit. We also have a Facebook page in the works for those of us with an addiction to that social media behemoth- I will let you know when that goes live!

So, stay connected! Link up! I am going to do my best to get the topic out each Wednesday night on Twitter (you can follow me @TheSlackrMom) and on The Slacker Mom Facebook page. You can also check out the new Breastfeeding Blog Hop page right here on my blog. It will be updated with a new button soon and each weeks linky will be archived there. The past year will still be archived at Life with Levi.

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop, hosted by The Slacker Mom and co-hosted by Happiness Redefined (formerly Diary of a Devil Dog Wife- update your subscriptions!) and The Gnome’s Mom. The linky will be open Thursday and Friday of each week, feel free to link up with any post, new or old hat pertains to this weeks topic.

So, what are your breastfeeding goals in this new year?


BFBH Week 21: Success Stories!

Posted: May 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Blogging, Breastfeeding, FTW, Goals, Mom stuff, Nursing in Public | 5 Comments »

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Life with Levi every Thursday and Friday. Each week there is a new topic pertaining to breastfeeding, please feel free to link up your post and join in the conversation!

Last week when I finished writing my post I felt a bit jaded and maybe a bit sheepish for putting it all out there. It was such a downer post. Then I started to read the other posts linked up and they were all kind of telling the same story.

Breastfeeding is hard.

But, it gets easier.

Once I resigned myself to the fact that Judah liked to nurse around the clock I realized it was working. Once I saw that he had finally gotten out of the sleepy jaundiced slump he was in and started gaining weight, it was obvious to everyone that he was thriving. I was a breastfeeding mom.

I could finally let go of a little bit of the failure I felt with the boys.

And for me, that is a huge win.

Now! Let’s see what everyone else has to say on the subject. I bet this week gets everyone excited about all out awesome experience!


Flats Challenge Kick-Off!

Posted: May 23rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cloth Diapers | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Blogging, Cloth Diapers, Day to Day, Firsts, Flats Challenge, FTW, Goals, Kids, Mom stuff | 3 Comments »

Wow!

It’s been a whirlwind weekend around here, what with moving and all.

I may not be able to find my clothes, but I made sure that my flats and covers were easily accessible and ready to go. That’s why you could find me hefting the huge box of pre-folds and flats up the stairs during our second tornado siren of the day on Sunday. On a different note- Judah can crawl up the stairs.

So for the Flats and Hand Wash Challenge I am using at max, 5 covers in rotation and 12 large birdseye flats from Diaper Junction. I’m still trying to decide which covers I’m using, Judah was in a well used Thirsties cover today and that lasted until bedtime. I’ll probably do a rotation of a Thirsties, a Flip and a Wonder Wrap. I’ve also got a Stacinator that I’ve been trying out but that might be too big for him and it might be a pain to dry….I’m obviously making this up as I go along.

So, tonight I had 4 flats to wash and 1 cover. There was a pre-fold in there that Yogi Dad used while I was out at a networking event, but it’s the first day, so I’m going to give him a pass. Just this once!

My plan is to wash them at the end of each night and dry them overnight. I prepared a spray bottle (maybe 10oz) with water and a tablespoon of Charlie’s Soap. I am going to try and see if giving them a good rinse in hot water and then spraying them with the diluted soap solution, and then some elbow grease followed by another really good rinse under hot running water will be good enough to clean them. When I washed them tonight it took about 15 minutes from start to finish. Not too bad.

I had planned on buying some sort of drying rack but never got around to it, so right now they are draped over empty laundry baskets in my kitchen. We’ll see if they are dry in the morning. Like I said, I am making this up as I go along. During the day I am keeping my flats and covers in a pail liner in the bathroom. Normally all diapers would go right into the diaper pail in the laundry room.

For nighttime we’ve just got him in a doubled up pre-fold in a cover, just like we usually do. Yogi Dad got everyone in their nighttime diapers so I may try a flat and pre-fold combo tomorrow night, we’ll see. I am using a super easy pad-fold/ tri-fold hybrid. I’m not good with the folds and this keeps all the areas covered.

One thing I noticed today was that the diapers were not saturated at all. This may be due to some weaning we’ve got going on, we’ll see how the week goes. I’m going to up the liquid intake tomorrow.

Day 1, down! I can’t wait to see if my flats are dry in the morning.

UPDATE!!! They were NOT dry in the morning. Boo! I draped them over the back of our dining room chairs and they were dry within 2 hours. I need to get my line rigged up!

If you are participating, leave me a link to a post about your plan!




It’s almost here!

Posted: May 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cloth Diapers | Tags: Blog Hop, Blogging, Cloth Diapers, Day to Day, Goals, Kids, Mom stuff | No Comments »

I got a little reminder yesterday letting me know that I only have 6 days (5 now) left until the start of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge.  It’s nice to get reminders during this time of transition.  Moving is really the pits!  Maybe I can get reminders for everything in my life.  I suppose that would mean hiring a personal assistant and I’m guessing THAT is not in the budget.

So, the question is, what am I doing to prepare?

So far, other than a week of trial runs with folding technique and a few dry-runs with the handwashing…nothing. 

Did I mention we are moving*?

I think I’ll just dive right in on Monday after we get settled over the weekend.

I do have a nice little giveaway planned from the best little diaper shop in Minnesota.  Stay tuned for that on May 27th!

Now, back to my boxes.  And my cleaning.  And oh yea…my kids!

*I did a little inspection of our new garage the other day and found the tell-tale hooks leftover from an old clothesline- I’m totally running some clothesline wire between the garage and the fence!  Woo Hoo!  I can sun bleach to my hearts content!




Kicking Autism’s Ass Since 2010

Posted: May 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Autism | Tags: Autism, Autism Awareness Month, Birth to Three, Day to Day, EI, Family, Feelings, FTW, Goals, Kids, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Wyatt | 5 Comments »

I kind of feel like we have been doing this for years, when in reality it’s only been a few short months.

In the past 2 weeks, it’s like we have a totally different kid.

Wyatt is engaged more than not.
He’s calling things by their names (even if it’s only the first syllabel of the word).
He’s “singing” the alphabet.
He’s pointing.
He’s pretending!

It’s just so awesome to see.

Yes, we still have a long way to go. Yes, he still has autism- that isn’t going away.

It’s just *so* encouraging to see such great progress. You get so mired in all the details of your day it’s like a slap in the face to say “This is what we are working towards and it’s happening!”

Lincoln is coming out of his shell a bit too. Today when his teacher and the speech therapist came for a home visit he met them at the door with a hug and spent a good part of the visit hanging off the speech therapist’s back (he’s really into piggy-back rides) and giggling. He’s making progress too, communicating in his own way. We are learning how to meet him at his level, which is probably the biggest obstacle! He knows just how to get what he wants, we just have to read his cues a bit better.

It’s happening!


I have an Announcement!

Posted: May 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Sponsored Posts | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blogging, Day to Day, Family, Family Photos, Free Stuff, Friday Favorites, FTW, Giveaway, Goals, Kids, Mom stuff, Review, Slacker Mom Says, Stuff You Need | 1 Comment »

I am kind of in love with Shutterfly.  (Did you hear they bought Tiny Prints?  (I kind of love Tiny Prints too.))

shutterfly logo

via google images

Is that so wrong?

Here’s the deal.
They make photo books easy.
They make sharing photos easy.
They make ordering photos easy.
And maybe my favorite of all…they have beautiful and fun and just all around lovely announcements…for any occasion. I just ordered Moving announcements last week!

Really, the only thing that could make me happier would be them addressing and mailing my Christmas cards when the time comes because I totally predicted it here. (I did NOT in fact get those Christmas Cards mailed. I still have them! I have been giving them to the appropriate people as I see them…but gosh if I just turned into a useless pile of Mom mush about a week before Christmas last year…)

Moving on!

Spring is a time of renewal…the leaves are unfurling into the breeze, flowers are popping through the ground, people are popping allergy meds like they are Tic-Tacs, baby animals are being born, maybe a few human babies are being born. They’ve got something for that. For the human babies. Or I suppose if you want to announce the birth of your pet lamb they can help you with that as well. That might be weird…

Then, of course there is Mother’s Day (it’s in two days folks…please tell me you’ve already thought about this) and then Father’s Day is right around the corner (June 19th) and then before you know it we’re headed into the 4th of July (When we should be adding a new baby to our family. A human baby. No, it’s not mine.) and then it’s almost August and I just might have to order some 1st Birthday invites for the birthday of the biggest, blondest baby boy I know. Seriously, he doesn’t have his own Twitter hashtag (#Judahthetank) for nothing!

My head is spinning just thinking about all of this. Anyone want to take over my family calendar and make sure I get everyone’s Birthday cards out on time? Achille’s Heel indeed.

If you have a blog you can registerfor a chance to get 50 free cards from Shutterfly. Not too shabby.

Who’s with me?


I must be crazy.

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cloth Diapers | Tags: Cloth Diapers, Day to Day, Firsts, Flats Challenge, Goals, Lincolnton and Wy, Mom stuff, Stuff You Need | 2 Comments »

For the past 2 years or so, we’ve been using cloth diapers in some form or another.  We started with 2 gDiapers and a dozen pre-folds when the boys were 4 months old, washing them every night until I added  8 more g’s and then a few more covers and pre-folds…isn’t this how it starts for all of us cloth diapering Moms?  Start with one or two and pretty soon you’ve got a stash that needs it’s own organizing system? I know it’s not just ME!

In the short time I’ve been cloth diapering I’ve gone from full-time CDing to part-time, to using disposables and back to part-time and now to mostly CDing with disposables for school and nighttime.  The goal when we move is to get back to CDing full-time (except for when the boys are in school) because we won’t be paying for laundry anymore.  Paying to wash cloth diapers every other day is a pain in the patoot and with 3 in cloth, it’s almost an EVERY day thing, so we *mostly* cloth diaper right now.

When I first read that some people were washing their disposable diapers and drying them with hairdryers I really couldn’t believe it.  Why would you choose to rinse out a chemical diaper and dry that when you could be washing and drying a cotton diaper instead? 

Some cloth diapers are pretty cheap.

You can wash them in your bathtub and hang them up to dry.

Disposable diapers were not made to be used more than once…

Enter the Flats and Handwashing Challenge!

From May 23rd until May 30th, I will be using flats and covers during the day and handwashing them.  No machines, no fancy fitteds or all-in-ones.  We’re talking the cheapest of the cheap way to cloth diaper.  It can be done.  If you have enough to buy a box of Pampers, you have enough to get started with cloth diapering.  If you’ve got two hands and running water, you’ve got what you need to clean them.

I’ve never used flats before this, but I’m pretty dependant on my pre-folds, so I’m familiar with what to expect for absorbency.  I have never used a cloth diaper sprayer, so I have no problem getting my hands dirty (we use a lot of soap in this house)!

I was lucky enough to get in on Diaper Junction’s awesome sponsorship of this challenge.  I was gifted 12 Birdseye Flats to use.  So far they have been doing great.  I’ve used them on all three boys and not had a leak yet. 

Any Cloth Diapering Moms interested in joining in?




Breastfeeding Blog Hop Week 17: Healthy Eating

Posted: April 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: Blog Hop, Blogging, Breastfeeding, Day to Day, Feelings, Goals, Kids, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Mom stuff, Wyatt | 4 Comments »

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog hop hosted by Life with Levi and co-hosted by The Slacker Mom and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife. This hop runs every Thursday and Friday and features a different topic pertaining to breastfeeding each week. Please feel free to link up a post that pertains to the weeks topic and remember to leave comments! (We all love comments!)

You’re not doing it right!

When the twins were born I was so ready to breastfeed.  I had my nursing/ pumping station set up at the end of the couch.  I had a gift bag full of snacks that fell into the energizing and supply building variety and I *really* tried to eat fairly healthy.  I remember munching on wasabi almonds and various fancy flavored granola bars and bowls of oatmeal and Mother’s teas.  Feasting on delicious meals and generally doing it right.

I lost a lot of weight after the boys were born. I weighed less two weeks after givng birth than I did before I was pregnant. I slowly krept back up to my pre-pregnancy weight over the next year, by trying to eat healthy and the use of natural supplements like Kratom, that I got from different  sites such as http://kratommasters.com/red-vein-kratom/ .

Cut to two years later and I have two toddlers running around so there is no real nursing/ pumping station set up- parts would have been strewn from one end of the house to the other!  Bag of snacks?  Forget about it!  I was lucky if I was eating anything some days moreless almonds and granola bars.  No, after Judah was born I started drinking pop.  (Chocolate Cokes to be specific) Like it was going out of style.

Add to that meals that were more out of conveneince and I quickly gained back everythign I lost after he was born…after I had lost it!

How’s THAT for a punch in the teeth?

Looking back at the two different situations I know I did much better with the twins.  It was dare I say *easy* back then.  Being able to have a bag of healthy snacks right where you are going to be nursing is a lot easier than having them in the kitchen cupboards.  It may seem like no big deal, it’s just 10 feet away…right?  Yes and no.  10 feet is a long way when you’ve got a nursing baby attached to you and after 30-45 minutes of that, well, you sometimes forget about the almonds and just start eating the mac and cheese right out of the pot it was cooked in.

I’m trying to make healthier choices, but find myself stress eating like I’ve never done before. I know I’m doing it, but it’s like I can’t help myself. Take away all the extra running around I’d do when I was working and I’m just a mess over here.

I can’t wait for Spring to finally show up in Minnesota, because the beautiful days we’ve seen have made it so easy to get outside and *want* to be outside, but the days like today, where it’s SNOWING, well…they make me want to eat my weight in pie.

So, I suppose my big tip is to keep snacks where you can reach them in the spot you normally nurse in. Make them be something you like to eat, easy, packable, quick. Don’t get into a rut where you are caught without a break and nothing close enough to reach from your chair. We all get tot he point where we can walk around balancing a baby on the Boppy, but it’s easier if you can avoid that!


Just when we think we’ve hit our stride…

Posted: April 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Autism | Tags: Autism, Autism Awareness Month, Birth to Three, Feelings, Goals, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Twins, Wyatt | 2 Comments »

Today we had an appointment with our pediatrician for an “Autism Follow-up”.  At their 2 year appointment in December he had asked that we make an appointment to  touch base with him after we got all of our ducks in a row with school and services and were done with the initial testing etc.

That’s where we are and we want to keep him in the loop, so that’s what we did.  We had everything from the school forwarded to him so he could read up beforehand.

When we got there it was like he had no idea why we were there.  He had everything from the school but hadn’t read it.  Not a page.

?????

First of all, we’re moving forward with a lot of things at this moment.  A medical evaluation in a month, we are on wait lists for speech and OT evals, the boys are in school.  We live and breath their IFSP’s.

At the beginning of the meeting he seemed to be questioning whether they had autism or not.  “Language delays aren’t always autism….”  This is more than a language delay.  This is a LOSS of language combined with pretty much every other marker you can think of minus the scary tantrums.  I’m fairly certain that we’re not going to get a different answer at this point.

Now, I know we went ahead with evaluations before he gave the go ahead and I understand that he hadn’t had a chance to read the novella that had been sent over from the boys school, but you’ve got to trust that we’re not making this up.  Who would put themselves through this ringer if it weren’t real?

Anyone?

There were some good things, he has seen great things with ABA and also thinks our school district does a terrific job compared to some others he’s worked with.  We’ve got referrals for MRI’s but don’t need to be in a rush- he said we could wait until they can lay still on their own.  We may be waiting for years for that.  We know that an MRI isn’t going to change much so I’m not sure why we would do it now anyways.

We talked about their sleep habits and possible medications with the pros and cons and when they would be needed.  We’re thinking about adding a little Melatonin to the bedtime routine just to see if it makes a difference.  I know the 2-3 hours it takes them to wind down after they go to bed would be better spent sleeping. 

I think the worst part about today’s meeting was that it kind of put one more person in our path that made us question everything up to this point.  We moved out of the denial phase pretty quickly so it’s difficult to have people pull us back to that place. 

This is happening.  This is real.  We just keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other.

I’m not ready to switch docs just yet.  We won’t see him again until November and by then he should be fully aware of what’s going on so he’ll be able to see for himself.  He is a great pediatrician.  If we switched we’d just switch to Judah’s ped who is in the same practice.  Right now I’m just trying to not make any rash decisions.  Right now he’s kind of the smallest player in this whole *thing* compared to the teachers and therapists and social workers…I don’t see the point in switching  just yet.


Autism Awareness Month: Day number AWESOME!

Posted: April 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Autism | Tags: #Judahthetank, Autism, Autism Awareness Month, Birth to Three, FTW, Goals, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, SAHM, Wyatt | 7 Comments »

Yesterday everyone woke up at 6am.

That might not sound early, but trust me, it’s early.

On school days I slowly roll out of bed trying not to disturb His Royal Highness Judah the Tank so I can get the coffee going before I wake up Lincoln and Wyatt at 7:00.

Yesterday it was three boys, all screaming and crying and whining and Yogidad running out the door as I tried to open my eyes and assess the situation, sans coffee.

Oh, and did I mention I was up until 1:30am nursing HRHJTT?

Yeah.

So we stumbled through the morning milk routine and slowly got breakfast going and then slowly got everyone dressed and then things started to happen.

Good things. Things that we don’t usually see in this house.

Exhibit A: Playing with a toy. Like actually taking a toy off of the toy shelf and bringing it over tot he coffee table and playing with it in the way it was intended. In this case it was the Leap Frog Cook and Play Potsy and they took the different foods out of the pot, put them back in, stirred the pot with the spoon and then put on the lid! I almost passed out from the awesomeness.

Not impressed? What about this?

Exhibit B: Lincoln dragging me by the hand to the door and putting my hand on the doorknob after I put on his coat. This might be no big thing to everyone else, but for Lincoln to drag me, to another room, to get me to do something? That’s communication folks! He knew it was almost time to go and he knew the next step was to go out the door and he knew we do that by using the doorknob. Brilliant.

Cloud. Nine.

Yesterday was a good day and today has kind of gone the same way. More playing with Potsy, this morning included Wyatt naming the veggies as he pulled them out of the pot, sure the Tomato was called “A” (he thinks it’s an apple) and the cheese is just “ch” but he’s getting it. Lincoln pulled me by the hand into the bedroom to read the alphabet to him off of a toy…this is progress!

And Judah? Well his new thing is to put his head on a pillow and “pretend” to go to sleep. Then he pops up and laughs. It’s cute, even after 10 or so times. Note to Judah: go to sleep!