You're right, I am a terribly mean mother. Trust me, Ballerina reminds me of this often. I snapped this week. They pushed me off the cliff and I just couldn't do it any more. I couldn't deal with the fight of getting the girls to clean their room. Let me just say, I understand that my kids are little. I do not expect perfection at all. What I do expect though, is effort and a good attitude while doing it.
And that didn't happen this week. This week I met ugly attitudes and ungratefulness. All the while being reminded that my calling in life is to raise Godly people who have unshakable character. I heard things this week such as, "leave me alone" and "it's my room I don't have to clean it." Finally Thursday night I was tired to taking things away and practically begging them to clean up their room. So into the pit of doom I went. As I began to find the floor again, I stacked toys and books in their closet. (Yes, the mean mother I am even took the books away. Why? Because I found two ripped up on the floor.)
There I was in the middle of the mess, as Ballerina and Petunia peeked in the doorway. "Do you want me to help?" Ballerina asked. I told her no, she had her chance to do her part and she chose not to. I reminded her that we have consequences for our actions and that this time the consequences were severe. So then I packed up all of the toys and locked them in the closet.
The floor was empty, all that sat in there was the bed and dresser. I was expecting tears and gnashing of teeth. Instead, Ballerina walked in FULL OF JOY and said "Thank you Mama! Now I can keep my room clean and not be disobedient". The girls danced around their empty room and I sat there stunned. This was not the reaction I expected. I had expected a great argument with begging and pleading. Instead Ballerina was joyful.
Now don't get me wrong, she loves her toys and was upset to see them go. That wasn't the point. In her mind she was happy that she was not going to be in trouble any more. In a way I took the sin and temptation away. The consequence for her actions enabled her to start fresh and do the right thing. Almost like I hit the reset button.
Then I thought, isn't that what God does for us? Sometimes in his love, he removes the thing that is causing us to struggle. Whether it is a desire, person, or a messy heart. Sometimes because he loves us, he has to create an environment that brings our focus back to him. in our humanity we foolishly think that we know what we need. Yet God, the creator of all things truly knows what we need. Sometimes we don't understand the trial and where it is leading to. What does God call us to do in those times?
I think to my own life when God has had to set the reset button. I grumble, complain, whine, beg and plead. Hardly ever do I react with joy. I develop a bad attitude and never remember to thank God for his grace and love. James 1:2-8 says "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. ..."
I took my daughters toy's away to teach her to listen and be respectful. I think though that Mama learned more from her joyful reaction then she will ever learn from this lesson.
How do you react in trial? Do you throw a temper tantrum Or do you react in joy, thanking our Father for his unending love?
They said it couldn't be done. They said we were crazy (and we are, but that is not the point). They said that I would cry, a lot. (They didn't say that, in fact, I said all of this.) Some how though, we have survived the first two weeks with three kids. Actually, all things considered we have almostkindofsortof thrived in the past 14 days.
I'm sure you are thinking that this is simply a "honey moon" period, you're probably right. Have these two weeks been 100% perfect and flawless? Uhm. No. We have all been tired and cranky. Petunia is in full force two year old mode, Ballerina is well, Ballerina. They have endless energy and don't understand why mom can't bring them here, there and everywhere. My house is far from perfect (normal for us, I know), I wear spit up and my old glasses 24 hours a day and the little people might have a bit (or a lot) of cabin fever.
But you know what? I am here. I survived. I fed, bathed, and nurtured the kids. I have held Squish just as much as the amount that I held the girls. I even managed to keep up with the home schooling. Tonight I have been thinking about how I (we) was able to to get through the last two weeks. I came up with a list, just in case you are expecting your third (4th, 2nd, 1st) child (or kitten).
1. Prayer- Seems cliche right? We hear all the time about how prayer can and does change things. I used to be so bad at praying about the little things. Then I had Ballerina. Ballerina is the most strong willed child I have ever met. She challenges me daily and has taught me to pray about to most random little things. Like "please help me to find the pink blankie" or "if she would just sleep for 2 minutes I could accomplish any thing. Ballerina has taught me that God cares about the little things. He, the creator of the universe even answers those small prayers. I find that if I miss my quiet time with Jesus, that my day is off and I can't get it together.2. A super awesome support system- Over the past two weeks I have felt so loved, so overwhelmingly blessed and cared for. My mother in law took the girls for three days while we were in the hospital, our church family blessed us with delishous dinners, friends stopped by, facebook messages and posts flooded my account. Good friends are even planning to come and take the girls for a day. Sometimes as a first time mom we don't want people to help us. Now that I am on my third I gratefully cherish the love and support. I can not express to you enough how amazing my friends and family have been.
3. Food- I need to eat. I need to to eat food that is good for me. The first week home our church family brought us meals. Everything was amazing and home cooked. Honestly, we would have ordered out every day that week if they hadn't brought us the meals. If you don't have people to bring you meals, I highly suggest freezing meals ahead of time. It is so important to be well nourished to get your energy back up. The last thing your postpartum body needs is to be sluggish from fast food. This past week I have put us on 100 days of real food
. It is very similar to how we normally eat, I am just taking it to the next level.
4. Keep them busy- I swear I have the most active kids. Before Squish came I loaded up on craft supplies at the dollar store. I have kept the girls busy with crafts, books, dance parties and so much more. I've actually found that the more I have the tv off, the less bored they are. I have learned to strategically turn the tv on when I most need it. Like on Thursday nights. Thursday nights Mr. Daddy comes home for literally ten minutes and then heads straight to class. By the time I get through dinner I am a ball of nerves and ready to run away. Those nights are a guaranteed movie night. Plus, since I keep the tv of most of the time, I don't feel bad when I do have to use it.
4. Your house will be a mess- and that is okay. Give yourself small daily goals that are DOABLE. Don't plan on scrubbing the baseboards or reorganizing attic. Plan on getting half the dishes done, nursing the baby, giving the kids lunch and then finishing them. Don't be afraid to ask for help either. The first two nights we were home my mother in law washed my dishes and you know what? I let her. She is gifted in serving and this was one of the biggest ways she could help me. Your kids, husband, family and friends can pick up the slack. Delegate and let them help.
5. Have a moment- This is one that I seriously struggle with. I suffer from this illness called mom guilt. I feel guilty when the baby is sleeping in his swing. I feel guilty when toys are all over the floor and I am not picking them up. I could really feel guilty about anything. One thing I learned this week is that I NEED to be able to push that guilt out of my head and take shower for ten minutes, by myself, with out kids. Sometimes those me moments don't happen until Mr. Daddy is home. A few times this week I have lucked out to have three kids sleeping at the same time (see miracles do still happen). Normally I drink a cup of coffee and zone out for a few minutes. Thursday and Friday I even did light Pilates. When I went back to mom mode, I felt 100 times better.
6. The enemy whispers failure- Those moments when the baby is screaming, the older ones are beating on each other and the house looks like an episode of hoarders happen more often then not. When we are exhausted the enemy seizes the opportunity to tell us how much we are failing at. Knowing that he is out to destroy our relationship wit God is the first step in defeating him. When I am feeling weak, like I am not cut out to be a mother or that I am the worst wife ever, is when I need to call upon Jesus the most. Guard your heart and remember that God called YOU to be your children's mother. He has put you in this place not to fail, but to lean on him. Every.single.day you are ministering to your children. You are in the forefront of the battle, raising the next generation of believers. While scrubbing the floor or braiding your little girl's hair seems so small, it is really so big. Failures will happen. Learn from them, accept them and move on.
What is your biggest adjustment when you have a baby? Do you have anything to add to my list?
And because I have the cutest family ever... some pictures of the past two weeks.
Our sweet baby boy is here! We welcomed him early Thursday morning at 2:48 am. He was 6lbs 5oz 18 and 1/2 inches long. After much deliberation, a few tears and lots of prayer, we named him Asher Elliott. Asher is from the Bible, it means blessed and happy, Elliott means the Lord is my God. As with the girls, it was very important for us to give him a name with meaning.
This is the part where I give the nitty gritty details of his birth story. So fair warning for those of you who want to skip over it and get to the cute pictures!
As I've mentioned before, this pregnancy was pretty complicated. From the start of the complications my midwives told me that they wanted to induce me by 39 weeks. I really struggled with this. My goal this time was to go into labor on my own. While I had two very successful inductions with the girls, everything in me wanted my body to do it on its own this time. I'm control freak. I control I try to control everything, from what we eat, to the lotion we put on. God really wrecked me past few weeks. He gently had me give up control and truly trust this birth to him.
A quick back story, I was induced with both girls. Ballerina because she was over two weeks late and Petunia because my fluid was dangerously low. Both times I walked in that day at 5cm dilated. All they had to do was break my water and I had Ballerina in four hours, Petunia in two.
Ballerina and Petunia
During the last few weeks of the pregnancy I begged my midwives to let me go to forty weeks. However, at the end of 38 weeks, my weekly ultrasound showed that my fluid was very high. We made the decision that it was best for Squish to come at 39 weeks. I cried, prayed and threw a little fit. Ultimately, I had peace. The kind of peace that can only come from God. That peace that I know that no matter how hard I would try, I wouldn't get on my own. He comforted me and like a river peace flowed through me.
Even with the induction, I was determined to still have the birth that I felt was best for me. A natural unmedicated birth. Wednesday 10/2 Mr. Daddy and I woke up early to prepare for the day. First thing I did was call the birthing center to see if they had an opening for me. The midwife told me to call back at around 9 and that hopefully they would be able to get me in. We packed the girls up and sent them with my mother in law. It was one of those emotional "this is the last time" moments. We had some coffee, did some last minute packing and spent the last few hours together. At 9 they told us to come up.
We arrived at the birthing center at 10:30. Met our nurse and settled into our room. The midwife came up shortly after to go over the plan with us. Her plan was to start with cytotec and go from there. The cytotec didn't thrill me, but it was a better choice then the pitocin. The midwife checked me, I was so hoping to walking in at 5cm again this time, sadly though I was only at a 11/2 to 2. After the cytotec I had to be monitored for two hours. When the two hours were over I was told to walk walk walk. Laying down in pretty much one position for two hours is NO fun when you are so pregnant. I welcomed the walking after and also bounced on the labor ball.
The midwife came back after about four and a half hours to check my progress. I literally made none. So we repeated the process. By 8pm something funny happened (warning tmi), the cytotec came out! At that point it should have been dissolved and yet there it was. I told my nurse, who promptly got my midwife. Literally every employee had never heard of cytotec not dissolving. No wonder my labor was not progressing... or starting.
They then started cervidil at around 10:30. The nurse and midwife wanted me to take ambien to sleep. I refused, thinking that if I did by some slim chance go into labor I would want to be alert. We settled into bed, watched full house (yay cable!) and Mr. Daddy fell asleep very shortly. His ability to sleep anywhere, at any time makes me stabby. I tossed and turned, having a contraction here and there. At around 1am I started to have consistent contractions. The nurse was convinced that I was just in early labor and had me try and go back to sleep. I dozed in and out of contractions. Not knowing if I was dreaming that I was having them, or if I indeed was having them.
Mid restless sleep, a contraction woke me up. This one was different, this one hurt. I got up and like a snail made my way to the bath room. That is when I saw the lovely bloody show. I woke Mr. Daddy up at that point and called the nurse. The contractions started coming one after another and were very uncomfortable. I asked the nurse if I could go in the shower. She found the baby's heart beat and I wobbled into the shower. Where basically I felt like I was going to die. The contractions were one on top of another and I knew that the time was coming. Ten minutes passed and I began to feel the urge to push. My nurse called the midwife and it felt like hours before she came. Really though, it was only a few minutes. The midwife checked me, I was fully dilated. At 2:40 I began pushing. With the first few pushes the midwife and nurse saw my water bulging. She took out scissors to break it, when that couldn't be done she took the dreaded hook out. However, I had to push before she could get there. My water came out like a waterfall and went everywhere! I quickly apologized and they just laughed. I then needed to push again, I felt him begin to come out and with hulk like strength I got him out with ONE push. At 2:48 I got to meet my beautiful squish.
They placed him on my chest, his cord was short and had a knot in it. He barely cried and with wide eyes looked around the room. Mr. Daddy and I were instantly in love.
While it took me longer to actually go into labor this time, when I did it was short and fast. Just like I wanted it to be. Every time I felt like the pain was to bad, I prayed and was able to get through the pain. Asking for medicine wasn't an option, and naturally I brought him into this world. Asher Elliott was born to Hillsong's "Christ is Enough". Which was really the perfect song for him to be born to.
Despite all of my complications, Squish is healthy and thriving. The girls adore him and he has just melted into our family. I feel like he has been apart of me my entire life, how did I live with out him before?
Just like his name, we are truly blessed to parent this little boy. I can't wait to watch him grow and to see the plan that God has for his life.
Last January I post this
story about a mom who was persecuted at a mall for breast feeding her young child. Since then I have seen countless similar stories on facebook floating around.
While I wasn't planning to post another story, this one has hit way to close to home.
Today 9/29/2013 an unnamed nursing mother was asked at the local Manchester restaurant Baked Downtown Cafe & Bakery, to go into the bathroom to nurse her child. Another patron, Cheryl Debelis witnessed the incident and proceeded to write the company about the horrendous and illegal actions of their manager.
I have been a customer of your restaurant ever since you came to Manchester. I loved patronizing your establishment and enjoyed often a good sandwich, bowl of soup, or even a treat from the bakery. As of tonight, however, my feelings about Baked have completely changed.
I came into the shop at 5:40 to grab a sandwich. When I sat down at the table to eat, there was only a mother and father with their 1-2 month old child, myself, and the employees of the store present. The mother was in the corner of the restaurant, sitting with her back turned. I sat perhaps 10-15 feet from her, not paying any attention. Then, a few minutes later, the manager on duty says very loudly "Umm ma'am, wouldn't you rather do that in the restroom? You can have privacy there."
Only then did I realize that the woman was breastfeeding. She was covered and not drawing any attention at all to herself. She replied calmly, "would you eat in the bathroom?"
The manager then made several snarky and rude comments to her, including, "I don't want my customers to feel uncomfortable with you exposing yourself in the restaurant", "I ask all breastfeeding mothers to use the restroom", and "(pointing to her breasts)These are mine. If I were you, I wouldn't want to show these to the public like that".
At this point, I was uncomfortable. I spoke up, saying "Ma'am, she has the legal right to breastfeed anywhere she is allowed to be. If she doesn't want to use the bathroom, she doesn't have to."
The manager then proceeded to argue with both of us, tossing in phrases like, "I'm not saying she CAN'T, but I just thought that it would be better if she used the restroom", to try to make it seem somehow less offensive... but however still not backing down from her "point". She was antagonistic, and I calmly told her, "I understand you gave her the option of using the restroom. It sounds like she'd prefer not to use it.". Even then, she kept going. She even went and gossiped loudly (so everyone could hear) to the other members of the staff about how the woman should be in the bathroom instead of out in public.
The breastfeeding mother started to cry. The only reason I knew this is because her husband came to console her (since she was turned to the wall, it was tough to tell). I told her that she should be proud that she stood up for herself and was doing what was best for her child, and how sad it was that places like Baked make it a policy apparently to shame new mothers. As if becoming a new mother, or if not a new mother then having several children to tend to at once, was an easy task. I'm ashamed that so much of our society does not support mothers, and I'm disappointed that Baked is aligned with this part of society.
The clock struck 6pm, closing time. The manager loudly told her employees to lock all of the doors. "All of the doors, except for the exit, right?", the employee replied. "No, all of them. If they want to get out, they'll have to ask." the manager responded.
How is this customer service? How is this kind behavior? How is this legal?
Answer: It isn't.
When your manager tried to shame the breastfeeding mom, not only did she succeed in causing her shame, but she caused me to have shame too. Except that I'm only ashamed of you.
She then received this message back from the company.
Baked Downtown Cafe' & Bakery -Thank you for bringing this to our attention! Baked does not condone the actions of this employee and it will be dealt with. We fully support a woman's right to breast feed in public and have never given direction to any of our employees to say or do anything to the contrary. We apologize not only to this mother but anyone who was or may be offended by the actions of our employee. I have 3 children whom I breastfed proudly. I will address this immediately. Thank you again.
I have been siting at my computer for an hour trying to think of what to say. I honestly can not express what I am feeling. First, I am thrilled by the quick response from the company. It pleases me that they are dealing with the situation and that the attitude of the employee does not reflect on the entire establishment.
I am though, deeply saddened and absolutely outraged at the actions of this manager. I wonder how many other moms she has bullied. Once again, I come back to the fact that this mother has a LEGAL right to nurse wherever she is allowed to be.
As I sit here timing contractions, I wonder what more we can do to educate the public? Social media is full of stories just like this, nurse-ins are publicized, nursing mothers standing up for their rights. Yet, I'm left feeling defeated. Really, what can we do? How can we prevent this from happening again?
So what do we need? We need more people like the Cheryl D. to stand with us. People to jump in and defend the rights of nursing mothers. We need companies to train their employees in their state laws. They need to train employees to embrace the nursing mother, not shame her for feeding her child. We need grandparents, husbands, sisters, friends, co-workers, and business owners to stand up for what right. We need the media to help us normalize what is so natural and so normal. Our children need to be taught that breast feeding is a natural and necessary part of life. The formula vs. breast feeding mommy wars need to be put aside. ALL mothers need to stand together to defeat this discrimination.
What will you do? What would you do if you witnessed a nursing mother being shamed? Would you just sit there or would you step in and help?
I applaud Cheryl D. I thank her for following her convictions and offering support to this new mother. I also applaud this mom, for having the guts to give her child what she needed and to not let the bullying stop her.
We need everyday heroes like you to spread the word. We need you to stand with us to normalize breast feeding in public.
Will you join us?
It's been almost 10 weeks since I have bumpdated. First things first, the pregnancy. This pregnancy has been long and hard. Very different experience then my last. Every time I turn around, I have another complication. For the girl who wont even take Tylenol, getting a butt load of prescriptions and test after test is extremely taxing. So I apologize for my lack of communication and presence. Having a very high risk pregnancy with two kids is VERY hard. Thankfully the end is near! (Or is it the beginning?!?)
You'll notice that our facebook page and shop are currently shut down. I am taking a maternity leave, and hope to relaunch the entire store in November . Just in time for Christmas shopping,. Everything will be new and updated with some big, exciting, awesome changes! Thank you for your patience and for all of the support.
Squish is continuing to grow very well. I am currently 36 and a half weeks along. At this point they would not stop labor if he came. He is by far my most active pregnancy to date. I so look forward to meeting him and see his little personality! My Midwives project his current weight to be around 6lbs, and he is in the 49th percentile. Although, I have learned that ultrasound size projections are almost never accurate. Ballerina was 7lbs 3oz at 42 weeks, and Petunia was 6lbs 1oz at 38 weeks. I would honestly be surprised if he was bigger than Ballerina.
If you know me (or feel like you know me from this blog), you'll know what a huge supporter and advocate I am of natural child birth. I am about as low intervention as you get. Unfortunately, due to some of my complications, squish will have an eviction date. I was originally told that we will be induced by 39 weeks. However, with much buttering up and a bit of tears, I was able to have them agree to let me go to my due date! (As long as he is still doing well of course!) In the gestation world, even a week can make a huge difference for baby. This is another week that his lungs can develop, and another week to tell my body do its thing to bring him out on his own! My only concern is that my first labor was four hours and my second was two! I am a bit nervous being that we are forty minutes from the hospital! However, I truly trust that whatever happens my squish will get here safely! And hey... I really wanted a home birth anyway!
Finally almost ready now that we have the car seat!
His profile reminds me of Ballerina.
I've also done a ton of sewing for Squish. I still have a lot more to do but here some of what I have so far!
Now to make six more newborn covers...
A nice fuzzy swaddle blanket.
Burpie from left over muslin.
Hand stamped muslin swaddle blanket!
We have also recently started our school year again. Ballerina has started K4/Kindergarten. I'm not giving this year a formal title yet. If she is ready for first grade next year, then that is great! If not, I am ok with that too. Petunia started "tot school," she loves participating in our Bible class and being able to do her own lessons. When I come back from my "maternity leave" I hope to do weekly school updates.
She LOVED color sorting
Early apple picking. They got to see a fire truck up close!
And for the heck of it, here are two more bump pictures!
That would be baby wearing at 33 weeks!
(photo courtesy of Fawn French) This is me and two other moms from my moms group, all due in October! I'm the short huge one. ;)
I warned you in the title that this would be picture heavy! I have no clue whether or not if this will be my last update until Squish is here! It's all a big mystery!
We have been crazy busy this summer. We have done so much this already but I thought you would be interested to see the girl's room makeover, or at least what I have done so far! It took us some time and is not even close to being finished. But I LOVE how it is coming out.
First a recap. I decorated their room when Lilah was an infant. I bought wall decals on target clearance. The pictures below are from when I first did their room. A year later and decals have been torn off the walls, and beds have been out grown.
The room was cute and tiny, we made it work for that time. However, Ballerina pretty much destroyed her mattress (jumping bean!) and the crib literally began to fall apart. We had to come up with something fast!
I began to research beds and found children's sized beds at Ikea. I really liked the white wrought iron look. I had my heart set on them but then Mr. Daddy suggested we do bunk beds. I settled, as long as they could be exactly what I wanted ;).
Soon enough I found bunk beds that I liked. Unfortunately, they were way out of our budget. I simplified my wants and found some for a better price. That is when I told my friend that I had found beds that we wanted. We were at a barbecue and her father heard us talking about them. He then offered us a set of bunk beds that were his daughter's growing up.
I love free things. I REALLY love solid wood beds that are sturdy and would normally be way out of our budget that are free!
(Please excuse the mess on our porch.)
I forced Mr. Daddy and his minions, The Guncle and The Gunsmith, to sand down the beds. Mean while I painted the room, with the help of Mrs. Gunsmith. After the beds were sanded. we painted them white. We did two coats and left them at that. We really wanted a rustic type look.
Pictures below are of the room semi put back together. I am really going for a shabby chic look. Paint was still on the floor and nothing is really in it's place yet. It is a work in progress.
The quilts were made by my aunt. I hope to find floral pink sheets at some point. I then picked up two down comforters, they are sooo comfortable.
Can you guess what my next project is? Yeah it is that dresser.
I need to get a better picture of the rug. I scored it for a buck at a yard sale! That bitty baby crib was also a dollar.
eh-hm another messy closet. As I said, it is a work in progress!
Happy girl LOVES being on the top bunk!
We kept Petunia in the crib mattress to help with transition. When she gets a bit bigger we get her a twin one.
As you can see, we still have a lot to do. I need to make new curtains, redo the dresser, and actually decorate it. I hope to have it finished before Squish gets here!
P.S. Thank you to all who helped us make this room make over possible!
I realize it has been a super long time since I have bumpdated. I am not one of those stupidly talented photographers who can take pictures of herself. No, I have to wait for Mr. Daddy to be around, set up the camera and look remotely good. This weekend was the fourth of July and while Mr. Daddy worked 50 something hours this week, we finally had a partial family day on Saturday (after he got home from work, of course). We decided to take the kids to a local harbor to watch their firework show.
We made it to the harbor and parked on top of a very long hill. My pregnant self was not thrilled with the prospect of the hike back... We found a great spot to sit, a rock wall over looking the water. It was beautiful, even with the sea of people. Ballerina loved getting her feet wet. Petunia on the other hand refused to put her feet in the sand.
Since we had to wait for the sun to go down, I figured it would be a great time to have my bump shot taken. This is what Mr. Daddy shot. He claimed that it was "pretty good."
Clearly he got a shot of the wrong "bump."
So there I am at 26 weeks. I have already had comments about how I am ready to "pop" and people wondering if I am sure that I am not having twins.
Please take it from me, pregnant women every where are tired of hearing comments like that. At this point in my pregnancy I have had three ultra sounds, my belly is measuring exactly where it should be. I am 100% sure that I am not due tomorrow and that I only have one alien inside of me. Give a mama a break!
(Can you tell by my third pregnancy that I am tired of hearing the usual comments?!?)
In between reminding Ballerina not to get wet 788943 times and waiting forever in a bathroom line, we (by we I mean I) got some more shots.
Earlier I explained Mr. Daddy's lack of enthusiasm for taking pictures, he is even worse when is comes to taking a picture that he actually has to smile in. But alas I got a rare picture of us together.
Please take a break from my pregnant looking face to look at this mama duck and her sweet ducklings. They let us get real close, we probably could have touched them. Petunia even braved to sand to come over and see them. A lady sitting in the crowed then took it upon herself to shoo everyone away. Ya know, because clearly the mama duck was uncomfortable around hundreds of people... ::insert eye role here::
Some nice ladies gave the girls glow stick sun glasses. They had fun taking them apart and making them into wands. Some how fairies end up in every moment of our lives. Mr daddy first made Ballerina into a bunny, though she was not impressed until she became a bug.
He then tried to impress Petunia with the glasses... it took a while.
The sun went down, we saw a beautiful fire work show at the harbor. I made it half way up the hill before making Mr. Daddy run up and get the car. :)
It's hard to believe that just two years ago my sweet little Petunia came into our lives. She was such an easy going baby and preferred to be snuggled up to mama all of the time. Now she is two and is full of energy. She is my little comedian, with an exceptional vocabulary. I love watching her grow and learn everyday, the bond that she has with her sister, and how she "nuggles" daddy every night in bed. I am so very thankful for this sweet baby.
Today we celebrated her birthday. I wanted to keep it simple with just our family and close friends. I have a tendency to over do it with birthdays, so this time I challenged myself to keep my budget under $50. That is right, I threw a party for UNDER $50. I'll explain below how I did it.
Water bottle labels! I made these from scrap book paper that I already had.
Confetti made by Two Little Monsters Shop! I loved it so much that I saved it.
Pin Wheels made by Two Little Monsters Shop! I stuffed plastic bags into the vase, then topped it with air drying clay. This held the pin wheels in.
Another AMAZING cake by my sister in-law Tracey. Traceycakes taste wonderful too!
Banner made my Two Little Monsters Shop! My favorite part of the decor.
Gift boxes by Two Little Monsters Shop.
More pin wheels!
I bought three of these butterfly hangers at the dollar tree.
Ballerina dipping into the veggie tray. This was her 8th outfit of the day. The bathing suit came on shortly after.
The whole thing put together. Very simple and quaint. Just the way I wanted it.
Her older cousins brought balloons!
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By this point she was freezing!
An awkward belly shot of the mama.
She was NOT impressed with the happy birthday singing.
Mr. Daddy <3
My sweet Ballerina.
So here is how I did it. I started the party planning with a trade with another WAHM. I traded her a sling and got the pin wheels, confetti, girt boxes and banner. I had the sling already made and shipped it for about $3.
I then began to scavenge my house to see what I already had. I found a bolt of sheer fabric that became my table cloth. I have been hoarding this fabric for years and have never used it. I believe I paid $4 for the fabric.
I used vases and dishes from previous parties. I also covered the water bottles with scrap book paper that I have had for years.
All of the plates/flat wear/napkins/rest of the decor came from the dollar tree. It cost me a total of $16.
My awesome sister in-law made the cake. While the food cost me about $18. Inside the favor boxes were bubbles and water balloons that bought with the decor from the dollar tree. Also, each box had a flower/butterfly cookie cutter (I hateeee candy goodie bags). The cookie cutters cost $8 in total.
I pulled it off! I threw a party for $49! Also, it is not pictured but for her birthday (which is tomorrow) I bought her an American Girl Bitty Baby crib. This crib was in perfect condition and I bought it for a DOLLAR at a yard sale. So for Petunia's birthday we spent a total of $50. I am pretty proud of myself!
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Our friend "D" modeling for us!
Our friend "A" looking great!
I am in a WAHM group where shops can post their products and people can post "ISO." A mother posted that she was in search of a car seat cover in a certain pattern. I and several others responded to the poster, asking her to reconsider, since car seat covers are not safe. (Unless the manufacturer makes them.)
The original poster didn't realize that these were not safe and left it at that. That is until another poster got her panties in a bunch, claiming that we were attacking and judging her.
I am becoming more and more aware of our lack of car seat safety knowledge. In fact, more often then not, car seats are not installed or being used correctly. When people point out that the seat is being misused, we are accused of "judging" them. We are asked to mind our own business and told to let the parents make the choice for their child. The thing is though, car seat safety is not a parenting style. Unlike other issues in parenting, it is not a grey issue. Actually, it is pretty black and white. Either your child is safe, or she is not.
Car seat safety is not about who is better then who. You child can be safe in an expensive seat or a cheap seat from walmart. It is all about how you use it. If you are unknowingly or knowingly ignoring safety instructions and recommendations, then you are putting your child in severe danger. I am tired of seeing facebook pictures of kids in unsafe car seat situations. Whether it is an after market product, winter coat, twisted straps, or a child who should be rear facing, parents need to be diligent in making sure that their child is the absolute safest.
And before you say it, just because our parents didn't have the seats we have now or your older children were fine, does not make it ok. Remember, we used to think smoking during pregnancy was harmless. Think of all the children who could still be living today if they had been properly secured in a seat.
In short, their are plenty of parenting issues that are "to each their own," car seat safety is not one of them.
When I had my first daughter I knew I wanted a natural birth. At the time I was working at a pregnancy center and was literally able to research pregnancy and birth everyday. With the support of my coworkers I made the choice to choose a midwife and have a natural delivery.
However, in all my research, delayed cord clamping never came up. My midwife never spoke of it, nor did the hospital nurses. All the books I read never had anything about it (that I remember). It wasn't until my second pregnancy and spending time on a popular baby forum that the subject came up. I admit that I didn't do as much research as I should have. I wanted to do it because it was the "crunchy" thing to do. During an appointment I asked my Midwife to do it and she agreed. The problem is, I didn't bring a birth plan with me and we didn't discuss it the day of. I have no idea if we delayed the cord or not. Mr. Daddy is not useful at all and does not remember if we did or not. We do remember waiting a bit to actually cut the cord though. It breaks my heart not knowing if we gave our sweet Petunia the best or not. This baby I will make sure that the cord is not clamped until it stops pulsating. Lesson learned, always bring a birth plan! Even if you know your provider well.
What is it?
In a typical American birth a clamp is automatically put on the baby's umbilical cord after birth. It has been done this way for the past 50 years or so to "help control" the third stage of labor (afterbirth). While it is unclear how this process started, it can be assumed that it started as America moved into its birth intervention happy self.
Delayed cord clamping is the process of waiting until the cord stops pulsating before it is clamped and cut. It can range from 1 to 10 minutes. Their is no set time, it depends solely on the birth. The cord turns white and becomes flat when it is finished.
While you are waiting to clamp the cord, blood is flowing from the placenta to baby. Giving baby important iron and blood that will help in the long run. Iron can prevent anemia and other issues. It will create red blood cells and help build muscle. It will also deliver oxygen, which will help build brain cells. Low iron can cause anemia and risk of cognitive, motor, and behavioral defects.
It is rumored that delayed cord clamping can put baby at a higher risk for jaundice. However, this is currently being disproved.
"The idea that delayed clamping causes jaundice has gained disproportionate support with the publishing of the 2008 systematic (Cochrane) review by McDonald and Middleton. This review reported a significantly higher rate of jaundice requiring phototherapy in infants that received delayed cord clamping. However this result was only found with the inclusion of one of the review author’s unpublished thesis, which does not report a predefined level of bilirubin for treatment, masking of paediatricians and has not been peer reviewed (Hutchon, 2012; Mercer et al, 2012).
A 2007 systematic review by Hassan and Hutton, including only published trials, found no difference in rates of clinical jaundice or jaundice requiring treatment (Mercer et al, 2012).
Additionally, a recent large RCT by Andersson and colleagues found there were fewer babies requiring phototherapy with delayed clamping (Andersson, Hellström-Westas, Andersson & Domellöf, 2011). "
I will say that Ballerina was very jaundice and Lady Petunia was not. Clearly I am just one case, but to me it is worth what ever risk may be there.
Did you delay cord clamping? Will this change your mind?
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