Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by Unknown at 8:09 AM 2 comments Links to this post
Have a Save and Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sears Kidvantage Club

Posted by Unknown at 7:26 AM 1 comments Links to this post
I'm not a frequent shopper of Sears. Especially for clothing. However, my aunt purchased a few pairs of jeans for Yaya from there. They came with a tag that said "Kidvantage Club" which explains if your child wears out the pants before they grow out of them that Sears will replace them for free.

Kidvantage club is Free

What is the Sears Kidvantage Club. As explained on the website:

  1. It's easy, you can sign up at the register at the store (so buying the above jeans is not auto enrollement)
  2. For every $100 spent on kids or infant clothing or shoes you receive a %15 off coupon for infants or childrens clothing
  3. The Wear Out Warranty If your infant or child wears out the clothing or shoes before the child grows out of them Sears will replace it FREE (only available in brick and mortar locations)
So at first thought I was thinking What a great idea! I should buy more clothing at Sears! 

Robeez look a likes offered at Sears
But then, I seriously thought about it. How many items has my daughter worn out of before outgrowing it?...
I thought and thought. I don't think she has worn through any one item yet, even at three years of age. Except maybe a few pairs of socks. Even her soft Hello Kitty slippers look practically brand new. In fact, I have several bags of infant-toddler clothing in bags she outgrew that are still in almost brand new condition (some of which were handed down to me from other moms)

In all honesty, this is beginning to seem like a marketing ploy.

Unless you're talking about an age where your child is at a growing standstill or they have a favorite pair of  pajamas I don't ever see a situation where they might actually wear through something. It might be a good idea for sports-wear clothing/sneakers for your child, or other situations where they are particularly rough on items of clothing, but otherwise. 

I'd like your input, what do you think of Sears Wear Out Warranty?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How Long to Breastfeed

Posted by Unknown at 7:50 AM 7 comments Links to this post
My story on breastfeeding encompassed over 2 long years. I originally had only planned to nurse Yaya for 2 months...
Breast Mother

I do advocate breastfeeding whenever possible. However, I'm really not one of those people who will haggle anyone about it. What you choose, whatever works for you and you baby, is best. Number one importance is keeping your sanity and not feeling guilty about one decision or the other!

My story started long before Yaya was born. Originally I figured I'd "give it a try" and breast feed her. I soon realized I would have less of a choice about it then most people. Our funds became so limited, and formula is well... Expensive!

Breast feeding accessories are ALSO very expensive. Friends and family were more willing to gift physically usable items like nursing pillows, nursing covers, bottles, then say, gift tubs of formula. Which makes sense, usually once a family picks a brand of formula that works for them, they stick to it. More-so than all that my insurance was willing to gift me a top of the line Medela pump IF I breastfed the first 6 weeks. I made a promise to breastfeed for 2 months exclusively, then to do combined feeding with formula and pumped only milk.

Fast forward to after all the wonderful, sweaty, painful birth stuff.

Here she was, the most frail creature I'd ever seen still covered in birth snot. They placed the 17" long baby on me and cleaned her up after, thinking I'd like to hold this wet smelly thing (I was still quite exhausted, adrenaline still pumping, and I was kind of surprised). I shot a look around the room like are you sure this is mine? When I looked back her eyes met mine and suddenly like hitting a brick wall at 90mph I burst out crying quite loudly. I was not sad, I was overwhelmed with sudden emotions. Fear, Happiness, and most of all absolute pure undeniable LOVE. Love like I'd never felt before. 

The rest of the story  of how hard it REALLY was I shall speak of later on. It is quite long, and quite a struggle.

After she hit one year old people began asking when we were going to stop nursing. It's not like we hadn't tried over the months. She refused bottles all together. She hated formula. The lovely $300+ breast pump from my insurance company sat barely touched... It took me 12 hours to pump 4oz of milk. We saved frozen milk for emergencies only.

Now she was old enough for cow's milk and I was beginning to feel like a cow. I didn't realize this wasn't the end of it. She, of course, was not a fan of actual cow's milk...

Warning: Boobs are for food.
Another year passed. I definitely was a cow now, only a skinny cow. I lost most of my pregnancy weight. My breasts went from a C cup pre pregnancy, to over a DD-DDD after 5-6 months of nursing, to maybe a B-C cup.

My daughter was on mostly solids and finally willing to drink cow's milk during the daytime. She only breast fed for comfort, especially before bed. It still ruined any intimacy my fiancé might have with my chest. I was still producing breastmilk, obviously. 

Most of the family was not supportive, but they had long given up. They instead made jabs at me and my daughter. Which only hurt both of us emotionally. I did have supporters, I knew many people who breastfed until their children were 4 or 5, but this was getting out of hand for me. I didn't WANT to breastfeed that long, I already felt it had gone too far.

We tried a lot of things. Eventually using bitter items on my nipples to avert her tastes. I told her Mommy's breast milk had gone sour. It worked quite well, along with wearing many layers of clothing to bed to make it hard for her to sneak on while I slept. It was an easy break for me, not so for her. 

Eventually, after several weeks she got the picture. Not that she didn't still attempt occasionally for months. However, now my breasts were dry and tiny. Barely filling in an A cup (this changed again  several months later). It took time, but I began feeling like I missed it. Our special time together. I knew, that despite missing breastfeeding, I did the right thing for us.

I won't lie, it still took a long long time before I'd let my fiancé even think about touching my breasts again. It felt too weird for a long time. He was sort of upset I didn't feel the disconnect from food source to sexiness right away. However, he still gave me the time I needed to feel less like a cow and more like a "wife" again.

So how long is too long? Really... only you can answer that for yourself. If you decide to do extended breastfeeding, more power to you! I'd highly suggest being prepared for the ups and downs. Also, the fact that everyone has input, you can't make everyone happy. Some will think you've done it too long, others too short. If you're pregnant, don't set a timeline in stone either. Things never work out as planned with motherhood!

 Just listen to your heart.

Only you know what is best for you, and your baby.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Too Stressed To Clean

Posted by Unknown at 10:57 AM 6 comments Links to this post
So begins my self destruction circle. It usually happens when the weather gets crummy like this. I get stressed and put off motherly duties like cleaning, and cooking. Then because I've slacked off I feel overwhelmed... So I continue to not do normal human being stuff like cleaning the bathroom, or cleaning off old paperwork off my dresser.

Oh so true!
Everything begins to pile up... Now I feel unable to do them. The stress mounts on more. I break, finally do one or two "chores" and then I feel like I deserve a few days off. The cycle repeats.

I can't be the only one out there.

It's not that I'm irresponsible. I swear! 

Being at home with my toddler it's expected of me to do like %99 of household duties, and then also misc. stuff for the extended family. If you've ever had a three year old, you know how impossible completing even one task can be some days. Things back up, stuff gets in the way. It's more important for me to make sure Yaya doesn't decide to paint the bathroom in lipstick and baby lotion instead of preparing a casserole.

At some point someone lays serious, or maybe even slight, pressure on me and I break down. This usually ends in me being very angry, or very sad. Usually a combination of both. When I explain why I'm so discombobulated the general response is;

"You stay home, and can sleep in till 11, why on earth can you not even...(insert usually easy task here)".

Of course, without actually experiencing it you cannot truly understand that being a 24/7 stay at home mommy is not surrounded by sunshine, unicorns, and rainbows (on most days). I never sleep in till 11am, and I never fall asleep before midnight.

Then again, I get to enjoy all the wonderful parts. Reading to my daughter when she wants to read. Playing games with her. Cuddling her when she naps. Chasing after her after she grabs my phone and runs away laughing.

Lately, I've come to the belief that I need more "ME" time to relieve the stress so the cycle can not complete. Let me sit back alone and enjoy a coffee. I will fold the laundry when I finish my cup and won't be aggravated when Yaya unfolds the whole pile.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Halloween costume shopping

Posted by Unknown at 10:38 AM 4 comments Links to this post
We were browsing through Target the other night, doing some light craft shopping. The fiancé decided he wanted to to spend more quality time with Aurelia. We passed the Halloween section.

Really? Is summer over ALREADY?!

Aurelia saw a boys ninja costume and bursts out "MOMMY!!! I want to be mini ninja!". She's so in love with that video game. As are the fiancé and I, we originally purchased it for ourselves. So we purchased the costume (a whopping $7), a couple of other random moms asked us why we were purchasing her a boy's costume. Why not?

The next day we hit the mall to do some browsing. We passed the Disney store and of course all their princess costumes are in the window. Something beautiful caught my eye... I stopped. Aurelia noticed at this point and said "I want to be that princess!". I also wanted her to be that princess. It was beautiful - so beautiful even her daddy was like "lets get it!".

Belle Beauty & The Beast Costume

Please excuse the grainy photo, I only brought my iPhone with me. However, there's a quality image below.

I grabbed her size off the rack and begin walking to checkout. As I was doing so I checked the tags..

All costumes were $10 off and the quality was slightly nicer than the other costumes available. I assumed it wouldn't be too much more.

Here I am in the middle of the store looking at the tag closely... Rubbing my eyes... Looking again. Then I burst out laughing. I then turned out and placed the costume back. I wasn't the only one who did this, I saw at least two other moms do the same.

You see. This costume was So beautiful... So elegant... SO EXPENSIVE. A whopping $140 AFTER the $10 off discount. For a halloween costume... No accessories included.

Image from Disney

I did some research when I got home. It is apparently a limited deluxe edition. Only 2,000 were made.
I'm assuming that the limited edition Disney factor may make this a hot item. However, I will be patiently waiting until after Halloween to see if I can catch this on clearance. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Potty training my toddler

Posted by Unknown at 7:51 AM 17 comments Links to this post

We had begun potty training Aurelia before she hit 2 years old. See, she was doing amazing at this younger age with potty training. At the time she wanted to be a big girl and was ready to GO! It was going so well, I couldn't imagine all these mommies and daddies complaining about having issues. I had ideas running through my mind of my baby genius and her eventual journey to  Dean's list at M.I.T.

It was going so smooth... until we moved.

Suddenly, she refused the potty. She was afraid of anything potty-like. I did some research and found out that moving at such an important time was just about the worst thing we could do. However, I had hope it would pass quickly once she felt like this new home was her home

All the younger kids in the family began to pass her by and rid themselves of diapers. She would get motivated by seeing a cousin using the potty, for a day or two. Then her smaller infant cousins would visit and she'd immediately revert. "No mommy, I'm a BABY, not a big girl!". It wasn't two steps forward, one step backwards. It was 2 steps forward, 10 steps backward then a tumble down the stairs in my mind.

Stubborn like her dad!

We tried numerous training diapers for motivation, new training potty's, potty training videos, massive amounts of encouragement and no complaining. Nothing worked. Eventually I sat back and enjoyed the ride. Family would ask why we hadn't potty trained her yet. It was followed by that look that rivals the looks given to child abusers and mass murderers. In there minds we were awful parents. I shrugged and told them to back off.

She'd let me know when she was ready.

Fast forward till after her third birthday (way after). One morning she says to me "Mommy, I have to go to potty". She was no longer comfortable using her diaper for two-sies. This went on for a few weeks, although she still wore diapers and had NO intention of peeing on the potty right away. I knew she was ready, and I also knew that pushing her could blow up in our faces.

My aunt-in-law and I went out and purchased her TONS of cute(read: expensive) underwear. Ones with special characters she likes, or designs and bows. We, as a family, made a HUGE deal about how cute they were. Aurelia got so excited about them, so excited she wanted to wear them right away.

Aurelia made it through the first week with only one or two accidents. She'd ask for a diaper sometimes and I'd offer her options. I'd bring down the most undesigned-lame looking diaper and a super designed pair of undies. "You pick" I'd say to her. Usually the underwear won, but not always. However, she was so happy about using the potty she'd rip off the diaper herself and use it. A week or so after that she was wearing underwear from wakeup until bedtime with no problems.

My father offered up some advice. He said to me soon she'll be asking to wear underwear to bed, let her. Let her take the reigns and run with them - so to speak. He was right, she was ready! That night she asked to wear undies to bed, and so I let her. We woke up nice and dry in the morning. I was so happy, I went to high-five her and she gave me a weird look, and kept walking.

At that moment, I knew she was thinking 'are you crazy mom, it's what I'm supposed to be doing'.

We have been diaper free and accident free 24/7 for a week now.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yellow jackets almost ruined our beach trip.

Posted by Unknown at 9:36 AM 5 comments Links to this post
This past weekend was a lot of fun, but included some tears. We went fishing in Newport RI for Scup and Stripers. It was so beautiful out but we were being swarmed by yellow jackets. I warned Yaya about not messing with them.

As the day went on the two of us went looking for baby crabs as the men fished. Suddenly my little girl is screeching "MOMMY MOMMY". I picked her up, her eyes welling with tears."Mom, the crab BIT me!" and she showed me her ring finger. It had what looked like a pinch mark so at the time I assumed it was a crab. I held her close and calmed her tears. After she calmed down she began complaining it hurt more. Her finger was swelling 3-4x the normal size.

At this time I assumed it was no crab that pinched her, but a yellow jacket sting. I had her place her hand in the cool ocean as we packed up to head to the closest store for ice and cold water. The swelling continued.

I'm usually quite prepared, but I never expected her to be mildly allgeric to a sting as no one in either side of the family tree has an issue. The rest of her fingers swelled, as did her upper palm. The swelling went down before it became a concern, however.

In retrospect I should have had a more equiped first aid kit in the car containing Children's Benadryl(Dosing Chart). It is the first thing I'm going to purchase this week.

Also, I plan on talking to her pediatrician about possibility of a worse reaction if she gets stung again.

After the swelling went down we felt confident to continue our day... At another fishing spot. She was extremely happy afterwards. All in all, it worked out well.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Boon Squirt Spoon makes mealtime easy

Posted by Unknown at 6:47 AM 4 comments Links to this post

Boon Squirt Spoon

So I was at my cousin's house last week, and they all began speaking about this new baby spoon that squirts food. I thought "Ha! What's so hard about feeding a baby". Well, It was a fleeting thought as I remembered all the feeding issues I had with Yaya.

My cousin bought the spoon and I got to watch her feed her baby girl with the Boon Squirt Spoon. You fill the handle with any mushy baby food (jarred, home-made, whatever) and squeeze it to release the food into the spoon. Baby eats, no mess, everyone is happy. For the most part food didn't get on the bottom of the spoon. Since Mommy-Cousin only had to hold the special spoon she had another hand free to wipe up any mini messes fast. Although there wasn't much of a mess until her baby girl decided it would be hilarious to do raspberries into the baby food. I think I agree with her, it was pretty funny watching squash fly onto my cousin.

When I used to feed my daughter from a baby food jar or a home made cup I used to separate it out into a smaller bowl. This was great for at home feeding, but on the go? She never finished a whole serving in one sitting. What would happen when we were out is she'd eat half a jar, IF I was lucky. Then the rest would get thrown out due to possible cross contamination of baby drool juices.

The spoon costs about $8 USD and is available on amazon in Pink, Blue, and Orange. The squirt spoon definitely would've saved me a few headaches on the go.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mommy To Mommy Mommy

Posted by Unknown at 9:01 AM 0 comments Links to this post
I began blogging earlier this year about my beauty items. Sometimes, I just want to talk about my daughter and family life. It wasn't the "right" place to do it. So I'm creating another space, just to talk about my crazy mommy life.

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