Posted: April 29th, 2014 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Birth, C-Section | Tags: Birth, Family, Kids, Mom stuff, Silas | 1 Comment »
(Let’s pretend I didn’t just completely neglect this space for the better part of the past year and jump right into the here and now, shall we?)
This kid joined our family:
7 pounds, 11 ounces
At first he looked like this:
All nice and pink*, and
perfectly happy not impressed to be on the outside.
I got to keep him with me in the OR:
Is it bad that the only thing I could think of when I finally got to hold him was that his crying was probably distracting the doctors from doing their jobs and they were probably going to kick him out if he didn’t quiet down? Yeah, those were my loving thoughts in the moments after he was born.
Also: he looks like a blonde Wyatt!
I finally felt like a human being:
Those really crappy months of hyperemesis with the constant nausea, and the vomiting, and the IV poles, and the drugs?
Let’s cuddle cute fat baby!
And order dinner.**
And this is you now:
Well, three weeks ago this was you. You have fatter cheeks now.
And this is what a house with 4 boys looks like:
We are so happy you joined us.
*And bloated from the copious amounts of fluids they pumped into me to keep my blood pressure from tanking during my c-section.
**I will have one of everything and I will inhale it.
Posted: October 20th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Blogging | Tags: growing pains, men's rights, Mom stuff, pre-school, Protecting your kids, safety | 220 Comments »
Raise your hand if you have a daughter.
Raise your hand if she is a toddler.
Raise your hand if she is in pre-school.
Raise your hand if you are OK with some random room Dad helping her with her undies in the bathroom.
Got your attention?
I’m not OK with this.
Jenna Myers Karvunidis wasn’t either.
When she went to drop her daughter off at the pre-school co-op and saw the volunteer of the day was a Dad, it occurred to her that she had not considered that he might be in charge of bathroom duty. She asked what the policy was (there was no policy preventing a man taking a girl to the bathroom). Then she asked them to make sure her daughter was always with a woman when she was in the bathroom. She did not ask them to revisit their policies for everyone, she just wanted to make sure her daughter was never in the bathroom with a man.
Her reasoning was this: how do you teach your kids stranger danger and good touch bad touch when you blur the lines. How can so and so’s dad be OK helping in the bathroom at school but that same act not be OK at a neighborhood BBQ. Two-year-olds don’t really have a lot of reasoning capabilities- I totally get why she questioned this.
The school eventually granted her request and then went a step further and said they would investigate the policies in other pre-schools and come up with something more in line. Win-Win! Right?
Not so fast.
A Men’s Rights group on Reddit picked up her post and they were not too fond of what she had to say. They called her a bigot, they called her a bitch, they called her many other things. They took to her blog in droves.
They registered her as a Bigot on Register-Her!
They are trying to figure out where she lives.
Most of them ignored the fact that she was talking about a *volunteer* and not someone hired to be in the classroom.
They all dismissed the fact that she is just a mom, looking out for her daughter. Which is her right. Actually, it’s her JOB. Maybe if someone these guys Moms had done the same, they wouldn’t be so angry today?
She eventually took her post down but Jezebel picked up the story and the comment threads continue to grow on Reddit.
I won’t blow smoke, I’m not her biggest fan. But, I do think she’s one heluva mom.
And NO ONE deserves to be bullied for trying to keep their kid safe.
Posted: June 22nd, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Parenting | Tags: Mom stuff, Sponsored Post, Time Saving Tips, Top 10 Time Savers | 6 Comments »
Some days I really wonder why I ever called myself The Slacker Mom- most days I feel like the opposite! The daily grind of keeping everyone fed and dressed and not looking like ragamuffins can get exhausting, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that I break out on at least a weekly basis.
These are my ten favorite time-saving tips to make your life as a busy mom easier. Because whether you work at home or away from home, you are above all BUSY!
1- Have little On The Go bags packed to grab for any occasion. First-aid kit, travel games, snacks, etc….just pre-load so you can grab them on your way out the door. I know for me the biggest time-suck when going anywhere is getting the diaper bag packed and more than once I’ve been stuck with no diaper (or wipes or extra pants) because I can’t plan ahead.
2- One central clothes hamper. Every night the dirty clothes all go together and each morning I do a load of darks/ brights right away. When I have enough for the whites/ delicates I do that load. This helps me stay on top of laundry that quickly gets out of hand with 5 people.
3- Put a variety of snacks in a big bowl that is easily accessible to YOU (not the kiddos). I have my big wooden snack bowl loaded up with granola bars, cereal bars, dried fruit and crackers so they can each pick their own snack after naps. They love the novelty of choosing for themselves and I know when I’m getting low and need to replenish. No more reaching into a box of granola bars to only find one and three little guys giving me the stink-eye because I promised granola bars.
4- Fold matching outfits together in dresser drawers. I have twins so instead of hunting for two shirts that go together I just fold them together and I just have one neat little package to pull out in the morning. It really cuts down on the
atrocious mis-matched outfits Yogi Dad comes up with left to his own devices!
5- One kid at a time in the bathtub. I know it seems counter-productive, but for us having an assembly line type thing going really works. I get one kid in the tub, get him washed, Yogi Dad deposits number two in the tub, takes number one to get him in his Jim-Jams and so on and so forth. I don’t have the fighting or extra splashing or general chaos that comes with all three in the tub at once and when I get the last one out, two are ready for bed!
6- Utilize the Drive-thru. If I have the boys with me, you can bet I am not getting in and out of the car to run in for coffee or lunch. I have even heard of one enterprising Mom cruising through a Taco Bell Drive-Thru for those little pints of milk- GENIUS if you need it in a pinch!
7- The Clutter Basket! I have a laundry basket that I take from room to room each night and collect all the stray “stuff” that needs to go from room to room. It saves me about 9,000 trips over the course of the week because my boys like to drag everything they can to where it does not belong.
8- Have 3-ring binders for all the “stuff” they have. Having just gone through a super extensive application process for insurance I now know I have very limited organizational skills. With one 3-hole punch and a few color coordinated 3-ring binders I am able to keep each kids stuff filed away instead of languishing at the bottom of a pile of papers just waiting to accidentally be tossed out. Also related to this- COLOR CODING! All my boys know their color and they stick to their own plates/ sippy cup/ shirts etc. This also helps teachers at school.
9- Plan a general weekly meal plan and stick to it. By general I mean I have 5-6 meals that you will eat in that week but you can be flexible in what you eat each day. If I plan to grill on Monday and it’s a monsoon at dinnertime I’m probably not going to grill, no biggie! I also leave a day for leftovers because if I plan 7 dinners I never actually get around to making all seven dinners in a single week.
10- Keep a computer in the kitchen! When we moved we put the laptop on the kitchen counter and it’s been awesome for pulling up recipes, keeping track of the daily to-do list and shooting off emails during the day. Because I’m standing at the counter I don’t get too comfortable and linger longer than I should.
So, what is your favorite time-saving tip? I know I have a lot of Moms who read that are full of great ideas!
Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Starbucks blogging program, for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
Posted: June 16th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Breastfeeding, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Mom stuff, Nursing in Public, Wyatt | 13 Comments »
This post is a part of the weekly Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Life with Levi and co-hosted by Diary of a Devil Dog Wife and myself. The hop runs every Thursday and Friday, we’d love it if you linked up your pertinent posts!
Those first few days home from the hospital are always so crazy at our house. The first time around it was because we had two babies and well, two babies is a bit crazy. The second time around it was because we had toddler twins and a newborn…I’m still going to blame the crazy on the twins. (Seriously, people who compare having “Irish” twins to having actual twins are kidding themselves. But that’s besides the point.)
Back to my story!
The first time I pumped at home after Judah was born and actually got something that was enough to get excited about…I accidentally dumped it all over my counter when I went to pour it into my little breast milk freezer bags. Awesome. When you have supply issues you never want to waste a drop, but there I was watching it drip onto the floor.
In my mind there was a slow motion scream like you’d see in the movies (Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!) but in reality it was more like “mother effing blankity blank blank blank @##%#%^$^!!!!”. I get a little salty in real life.
As someone with low supply I vacillate between wanting to never waste a drop and feeling like it doesn’t really matter because tomorrow there might not be anything left anyways, so what’s the point. I know, it’s kind of a harsh reality, but there you go.
I suppose in the grand scheme of things, a few ounces of spilled milk is really nothing to cry over. I mean, I could have had a much bigger breastfeeding accident. Although I’m not sure what that might be…severed nipples?
What would you consider a breastfeeding “Ooops”?
Posted: June 5th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Living in the City | Tags: City Living, Duplex, Feelings, FTW, Kids, Mom stuff, Northeast Minneapolis, Old Houses | 2 Comments »
There is one thing I am going to miss from our old place.
The claw-foot tub.
It was everything you could want in a tub. It was deep and long and just right in so many other ways.
I probably took over 1800 soaks in that thing over the 6 years it was ours.
When I was pregnant with the twins and suffering from PUPPPs I would soak in a cool bath 3-4 times a day, just to keep the itching away. Sitting in the tub, sniffing my bottle of Burt’s Bees face wash (I craved that scent when pregnant) just waiting for those boys to be born.
My boys all loved that tub. It was one of the only places Wyatt would nurse as an infant. It was deep enough to keep even Lincoln’s vigorous splashing from hitting the floors. It was pretty much the only place Judah was ever bathed after his frantic 1st bath in the pod. I’ve got many memories tied to that tub.
It was simply lovely.
Now, the bathroom in which this tub sat was nothing to write home about. Unless you were writing about how horrific it was. Cracking plaster walls. Sketchy floor. No outlets. I remember going to clean it for the first time after we moved in and thinking there was no way we’d ever get it clean. Except for that tub. I could scrub the hell out of that tub.
Word on the street is they are tearing it out for a (much needed) remodel.
They are getting rid of the best thing about that place.
Posted: June 5th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Out and About | Tags: cars, Day to Day, Family, Feelings, Grand Caravan, minivan, Mom card, Mom stuff, Montana, road trip, Saturn Vue, Stuff You Need, Virginia | 12 Comments »
In 2004 we bought a car. The second car we’d ever purchased together. The first we purchased on our terms, when we weren’t in desperate need of a car because ours had died. We saw a sale, we had a trade-in, we went and got ourselves a new car.
It was a Saturn Vue.
We loved that car.
It took us back and forth to Minnesota when we were moving from Missouri.
It took us east to Virginia, both before and after we had kids. The worst leg of a road trip ever was spent in it when we were stopped in traffic for an hour because of an accident heading into Louisville with no more water, no more bottles and two screaming 11 month olds who wanted to eat. The first thing we did when we found an exit was stop to get water and then stop to get beer for when we got to the hotel. It was the longest 60 minutes of my life.
We drove west to Montana with three kids and although the seating was a bit more cramped than it was when it was just the two of us, we still had room to add a few more things on our trip home.
It was the family car.
But, it died. Unexpectedly. And with gusto.
It didn’t just die, it died hard. And all at once.
So, we had to bite the bullet. We had to get another car. We had to look at…minivans.
Now, I am not necessarily a minivan person. I liked the Vue. It was compact but it fit everyone and all of our stuff, even if it was tight.
But, the siren song of the minivan is hard to deny.
More space! Smoother ride! A place for all of your kids and their friends! And did we mention SPACE?!
So we went looking.
We did some research and were priced out of our top 2 choices pretty quickly (Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey) our third choice was the Chrysler Town and Country and our 4th choice was the Dodge Grand Caravan.
We found a few we wanted to look at, nailed down the dealerships we were going to, pulled our Carfax reports and went on our way.
The one we really wanted, the one that looked so perfect on paper ended up being a dud. It only had seating for 6, all captains seats and there is no way our stroller would have fit in the back. Boo. I’m not sure how this is possible, it’s a minivan…where is all the space?
We looked at a few more and then finally found one we can live with. It has a few more miles than we originally wanted, but not too many more. It has the 3rd row bench seat and 4 captains chairs. It’s got the Stow & Go seating which is pretty cool. It’s got the doors that open automatically which wasn’t on my list but I guess is a plus. And, it was lower than our price range, so huge plus.
It has more space than the T&C, but seriously….unless I drop the seats into the floor I’m not seeing the extra cargo room (and if you do that you lose that under seat space, so it’s kind of a draw). Yes, it has more space in the passenger area. It will be a lot easier to ride in on long trips for sure. I’ll give it that. But, with three kids in carseats, I kind of have to have all my seats up. So where is all of this extra space?
Do I like the minivan we got? Yes. I think it will end up being a great car for us. I’m not knocking this purchase at all. I think it was necessary and I think we made some good decisions.
But, I’m feeling really underwhelmed.
I thought I was going to have this big a-ha moment of
“OMG I can’t believe we’ve lived without this for so long!”
And I’m not.
Certainly I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Are they going to come take my Mom card now?
Posted: May 31st, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Cloth Diapers | Tags: Blogging, Cloth Diapers, Flats Challenge, FTW, Mom stuff, Stuff You Need | 2 Comments »
When I first decided I was going to take the Flats and Handwashing Challenge I contacted a little cloth diaper company *kind of* local to me, The Natural Life Store, that I had recently come across (and fallen in love with) and asked if they were interested in helping sponsor me during the week. Alicia, the owner, said Yes and I am so grateful she did.
I have never actually purchased a diaper or diaper accessory in a brick and mortar store. It’s just always easier for me to find what I like, find someone with reasonable prices or an excellent sale and order online. I think that is probably how most of us shop for cloth diapers and I think that’s why so many WAHM’s have been able to get into the cloth diapering business, either as retailers or manufacturers. They even have do-it-yourself registries now so you can let your friends and family know exactly what you want and you can get your stash going before your baby arrives. I kind of wish I had been on top of THAT before the boys were born!
What drew me to The Natural Life Store first was their great pricing which they topped off with a great sale (you can keep up to speed on the newest deals by signing up for their newsletter) and then followed up with fantastic customer service and shipping that made my head spin! Those things will keep me coming back for more.
Another great thing about The Natural Life Store is their Diaper Exchange program. How many of us have a diaper or two that never got a lot of use (those newborn Bum Genius I stocked up on come to mind) that we just haven’t gotten around to finding a new home for. You can send them to The Natural Life Store and they will give you store credit for each diaper so you can buy something that is just what you are looking for (next size, different style etc.) and the diapers you don’t want/need will be sold on their Used but Usable page. If the diapers you send do NOT meet their standards they will ship them back to you at your expense or you can donate them to someone who is in need of diapers. Either way it’s a win.
It’s everything you want in a diaper store and you can see why I love to tell people about them and was so excited they were willing to help me out this past week.
As I mentioned in my wrap-up post, my biggest challenge was keeping everything I needed to wash by hand separate from the other cloth diapers that needed to be washed.
Enter The Natural Baby Company Pail liner. (How I’ve made it 2+ years cloth diapering without a pail liner is beyond me.) For the challenge I kept it in the bathroom, either on the floor or in the tub depending on whether or not it was bath night. It’s a nice accessory that doesn’t take up a lot of space. according to The Natural Baby Company, it holds about 3 days worth of diapers. I washed every night, so I haven’t tested that out quite yet, but it is very roomy. I never came across any leaks or wicking or smell issues. It has a nice long heavy duty cord to pull it shut or hang it up with.
Now that the challenge is over, I had Yogi Dad wash out the diaper pail and we are going to see how it fares being used as an actual pail liner. I have a feeling I won’t be disappointed. Also noteworthy was the little jig I did when I realized I wasn’t going to have to wash out the diaper pail every time I did a load of diapers. That right there is totally worth getting one!
The other item I was provided with was a bag of Charlie’s Soap. I have used quite a few different detergents over the past two years, but I had never tried Charlie’s. The directions call for a tablespoon of Charlies to be added to each load of laundry. Because I was only going to be washing 6 or so diapers at a time I thought I could figure out some way to have the soap ready to spray right on each diaper when I was ready to wash.
I first started by diluting the soap powder in a 12oz spray bottle but after 2 nights found that my $.99 spray bottle was a piece of junk so I switched to a peri-bottle I had left-over from when Judah was born. If I had a soiled diaper I gave it a little squirt before it went into the pail liner, otherwise I just gave each diaper a good long squirt after they had their first rinse.
My diapers came out clean every time. Considering I was doing all of the washing, rinsing and wringing by hand, I think that’s a pretty good endorsement.
I’m sure I could have completed this challenge successfully without these items but it sure made my life easier!
I’ve got to give a big thanks to The Natural Life Store for their contributions to my successful week. If you are on the hunt for a great retailer, give them a try, they won’t disappoint!
Disclosure: I was provided two products to use and review from the Natural Life Store. All opinions on the products and The Natural Life Store are honest and my own.
Posted: May 26th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | 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!
Posted: May 23rd, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Cloth Diapers | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Blogging, Cloth Diapers, Day to Day, Firsts, Flats Challenge, FTW, Goals, Kids, Mom stuff | 3 Comments »
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!
Posted: May 19th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | 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!