Breastfeeding milestone: 2 years

Monday, December 10, 2012
Our little Turtle-Love turned two on the 5th. How on Earth did we become parents to a toddler???? Today, the 10th, now marks our 2 year anniversary of breastfeeding. Go check out the post I wrote in January recapping our first year - stuff about learning to nurse in the NICU, supply issues, supplementing, etc...

Check it out - Our Breastfeeding Journey Thus Far

We have managed to make it through that, and have continued breastfeeding through my first trimester and part of the second thus far with our second child. Last month we had a bit of trouble when the two of us came down with Thrush.  I noticed Turtle-Love wasn't nursing as much then, and has since slowed down to only 2 times a day during the week, and maybe 3 or 4 times on the weekend unless he isn't feeling well which of course means he is attached to my "boo-boos" all dang day. I'm not complaining though! He has continued to nurse and we have now reached our two year mark with success!

Now I'm facing an issue - not a terrible horrible or pressing issue, but an issue none the less.  I asked Turtle-Love yesterday while he was nursing if he was drinking milk from mama's boo-boos. He said no around my breast, and then continued nursing. I thought maybe he was thinking of the kind of milk he gets in his cereal, because he certainly knows the difference. I decided to try and hand express on the other side, but received nothing. This morning in the shower I attempted to hand express again, and again received nothing.

It would seem that at 18 weeks my supply is either non-existent, or nearly non existent. I asked him before bed if he was getting milk from mommy's boo-boos and he said yes, so who knows. I've already proven by my lack of pumping awesome that my bad just does not produce milk for anything other than my child, my hand included. So maybe I still have a very little supply left. I've never been able to feel let down - so I can't really judge that way. So he is either getting very little milk (trying to watch for swallowing on a nursing while hoping and jumping and climbing toddler is not the easiest thing in the world) or he is dry nursing. To be honest, either way I'm not going to wean him. He will still self wean, and stop nursing when he is ready. I am hoping to boost my supply (or re-lactate) in the next few days, as I'd like to keep giving him breastmilk through flu season at the least. I decided to post this on the Unlatched Facebook Page and see what suggestions were offered.

Check out the responses here (link to the post - in case more are added after this is published!)

I was encouraged to see that there were other women dry nursing during their pregnancies, and I will be checking out some lactation recipes without fenugreek for cookies and other goodies. I don't have access to a pump so that isn't and option for us and Turtle-Love as I mentioned only nurses a handful of times a day. I may try eating more oatmeal - and I already eat a fair amount of sticky rice (had some for lunch!) since my family is Asian. We will see how things go.

I don't have a ton of pictures like I did in my January story, because most of them are of him sleeping and nursing :-) So here is one that I took yesterday morning before he officially woke up ♥


Tuesday, December 4, 2012
My OB just called. Last week I had an appointment with her (16 week check up and all) and we agreed to have my progesterone levels checked, as the head OB wants me to receive Progesterone injections.  My progesterone levels are normal, but after talking with the head OB for the practice they decided that they are not really indicative of whether or not I will deliver early again, and they are recommending I begin progesterone injections. I'm not against this (as of right now), I just want to make an informed decision...

Some background...
My son is turning 2 tomorrow. (Holy freaking COW!) I delivered him at 35 weeks and a couple days, after my water broke spontaneously in the night, starting my labor. (zero contractions prior to water breaking) He was delivered 8 hours later, and spent 12 days in the NICU with breathing issues. I had no factors that indicated I would deliver early, I had a completely healthy and normal pregnancy. The only potential factors would be stress (our home foreclosed, I delivered 2 days before we were supposed to be out) and he was born with a lung infection - unknown if labor was caused by the infection or if the infection was caused by the rather quick labor.

I'm currently 17 (nearly 18) weeks pregnant with our second child. My OB is suggesting that I start progesterone injections, and mentioned there was a study conducted that clearly showed the benefits of progesterone injections, usually started at 16 weeks, in preventing preterm labor in subsequent pregnancies - I had asked for literature on the subject to help with my informed decision. I'm currently looking for this study, she could not recall the name off hand. The shot used is called 17 hydroxy progesterone. She is recommending that I choose to take the injections, and that if she had previously delivered early she would take them hands down. She says they do not hurt the baby. She is supportive and understanding of me wanting to do my own research to come to an informed decision before moving forward.

Alternatively I can choose to have my cervical length checked routinely starting at 28 weeks, and begin vaginal progesterone at that point (I believe if needed, but potentially regardless of the outcomes - it was not clear during the conversation).

Of course, there is also the option to not take the progesterone.

I'm wanting to find out if there are any side effects to the progesterone injections, and if they can harm the baby or Turtle-Love since he is still nursing. I also want to find out the pros and cons of waiting and having my cervical length routinely checked....

Let the research begin!

Being sick constantly is normal?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
I'm having a bit of trouble swallowing some information a pediatrician my son saw yesterday gave us. According to her it is "perfectly normal" for small children to have colds, fevers, and coughs at least once a month.

Umm.... What???

My husband (at my request) had specifically mentioned that our son has had a decent fever and a cough bad enough that we take him to the doctor's office after a few days and have usually given him an inhaler treatment or four because of wheezing roughly once a month since approximately his first birthday. That was her response. That it was normal.

First of all, I really don't care if you feel it is normal. I would like a further explanation of why, or what, or ideas for better prevention. Not a quick sentence thrown out there to make us feel better, or something.

A little bit of background on this issue might help you see why I am so bothered by this....

A quick version of our birth story
I delivered our son 5 weeks early.

After waking up in a puddle (my water had broken) we went to the hospital and contractions started while we were on the way. I was told we would potentially be there for weeks because I was not in active labor, but they couldn't let me go home because of the risk of infection. An hour or so later we proved that to be wrong when it was decided I was in active labor and dilated to 4 centimeters. Twenty minutes later I was 8 centimeters. As soon as my husband got there I pushed once, maybe twice, and pop! Out came our son. I attribute that last bit to fighting the urge to push for the approximate 10 minutes it took for my husband to get there, as I had sent him home to take care of things since we were told I was not in active labor. Anyhow, from waking up in my waters to the birth of our son only 8.5 hours had passed. He wasn't due til January 6th, but arrive December 5th. A full month early.

He spent his first day  of life under an oxygen hood, and then was transferred to the other hospital here locally with a spectacular NICU. There he was placed on a CPAP machine and given surfactant, as he was having trouble breathing on his own. He was also treated for an infection in his lungs, and had a pneumothorax that resolved itself. He received chest x-rays twice daily for a week, once a day for a few days, and a time or two after that within our 12 day NICU stay.

Finally we brought him home.

The first year...I worried over every hiccup, every cough, every sneeze.... I mean first time parents generally do these things. And first time parents who have a preemie?? A preemie who was born without the naturally created chemical that aids in the expansion of your lungs that enable you to breathe without exhausting your being with each breath??? (really it keeps them the tiniest bit expanded when you let all of your air out so that new air has somewhere to go - at least that is my understanding) I was super terrified. I kept myself from calling the doctor every time. I learned to wait certain things out. But I did have a few "uneventful" visits to the office over my worry. I heard an occasional wheeze they could never pick up.... etc. Overall though, his first year was spent relatively uneventful in the sickness department. Thank God(s/dess/desses/) or whatever you choose to thank in these situations, goodness, luck, karma, fate, the grand design.... etc. Thank them all.

A really scary night...

A couple months after his first birthday I rushed him to the hospital in the middle of the night because he had a rather high fever, was lethargic, not able to nurse (very unusual for my boob fiend especially after I had been away all day) and making this very odd sound. I noticed he seemed to be working really hard to breathe. After a chest x-ray a dose of tylenol, a fight with the attending doctor regarding his policy to medicate before a diagnosis which I was not allowing, and a dose of motrin we were sent home. He had a virus, the high fever caused his labored breathing. The virus was not any of the somewhat scary things the doctor was trying to medicate him for (RSV and pneumonia) and we were instructed to treat his fever and see his regular pediatrician later that day ( as it was nearly 4am).

Since then...

We have had bouts of the same thing nearly monthly, not always with a fever.  It is never RSV, but is always a virus. Bronchiolitis (not to be confused with bronchitis) is what we were told on a  few occasions. He has nearly all the risk factors for it. We have been given an inhaler to give him if he wheezes and whenever else instructed. We have asked about asthma (Toad, Turtle-Love's father, has asthma) and we were told we could call it whatever we wanted, but that asthma was a blanket term used to describe similar problems and that usually it has a trigger such as an allergen, and that it was not diagnosed in children this young.

In July we had Pertusis(Whooping Cough)

That was fun. Turtle-Love and I were both up to date on that particular vaccine (we had recently decided to stop vaccinating) and we both got it anyways. I'm sure it wasn't as bad as it could have been, then again his coughs are always terrifying. They caused some petechiae that was concerning, and he simultaneously had Hand Foot and Mouth, along with an ear infection. That was fun, having the Health Department call you and get all this information, etc. They also demanded that everyone in our household be medicated for it and supplied it for two of our members that do not have insurance. We were the only reported case in the county, as well as the ones surrounding.

Now we are dealing with Pneumonia

My husband took our son to the doctor last week for his cough. No other symptoms really but it was a bad cough, and on a couple occasions Turtle-Love had trouble catching his breath after words, which turned him purple and caused him sheer terror. The doctor said his lungs sounded perfectly clear, but to give him his inhaler three times a day for the next two days and if it didn't get better to come back. Pretty standard.

After two days the cough was virtually gone. We returned to giving him his inhaler only if he wheezed over the weekend. His cough got pretty bad at times, usually at night or after we passed a campfire. He also had a runny nose. As we were camping, I expected some allergies (I was having the same problem, so was my sister - though we had sneezes instead of coughs, poor kid had all three) but was a bit concerned at the severity of his cough. Sunday night, at home, he developed a low grade fever. Monday afternoon it was relatively high. We couldn't get in touch with anyone at his peds office so he went in yesterday morning. The doc he saw, which inspired this post, heard a severe crackle in his left lung. He was prescribed cefdinir twice daily for ten days, and his inhaler three times a day, as well as treatment for his fever.

I'm just irritated that the doctors we have been seeing aren't willing to offer any other information about this monthly occurrence. The idea that someone finds this normal is very shocking to me. Very few of my friends children that are of similar age face monthly bouts of coughing. In fact, none of them do. And I have a lot of friends with similar aged children. Surely if this was normal at least one of them would? I know that his prematurity gives him an extra risk factor. I'm most upset that no one is willing to give us ideas to the cause of these coughs. If it is a virus, where are we picking it up? Is there something we can do to limit the risk of him contracting it again and again? If there is, and I'm certain there is something we could do, none of his doctors are offering it.

I think I'm ready for a second opinion on the issue. By which I mean from a different practice entirely.

Wordless Wednesday: our BIG announcement...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wildflowers from Winter: A Book Review

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
This is my first book review - eeee! I'm a little nervous, and forgive me if the review seems vaugue, I don't want to spoil the book! I want you to go read it!

Wildflowers from Winter

Katie Ganshert

Note: I was given this book for review by Waterbrook Press through No other compensation was received, and this is my full and honest opinion of the book.

I'll be honest. I didn't do a whole heck of a lot of research when I picked this book for review. The title sounded good and I really wanted something hard copy to read. Done deal.

I was excited when the book arrived in the mail, but with moving and trying to get settled and then moving again, I had a hard time picking the book up at first. Finally I found the time. Just reading the Prologue caught me. After the first sentence I was intrigued. I wanted to read more. To know more. That sentence grabbed me and screamed my name. Just a couple chapters in and I was hooked. If I had a spare moment, I wanted to read more. I wanted to go further on this journey with Bethany, Evan, Robin, and Dan. I could imagine where the characters would end up, but I couldn't see how or when and that really gave me the motivation to plow through. Every time I had to stop reading but hadn't reached the crucial moment I was looking for, left me counting down til the time I could pick it back up! This was an amazingly dimensional story that kept my emotions right on the edge, waiting to see what would happen.

While I am a woman with faith, the part of me that still struggles with my faith tends to pull away from things that talk too much about God, or faith, or church, etc. It's an old habit I suppose. While Wildflowers from Winter was certainly focused on faith it wasn't in your face. There were many other details that kept me focused, like the message of faith was in the background. Working silently and quietly in me as I read. I really appreciated that. It really added to the character of the book and spoke volumes to me, personally.

I would recommend this to almost anyone.

If you are somewhere along your faith journey, this is a good book for you.
If you have turned away from God, whatever the reason, and no longer see him, wish to see him, or maybe you never did. This is a good book for you.
If you enjoy reading books with a healthy dose of emotional turmoil, this book is for you. If you dislike reading books that have messages of faith, but do enjoy romance, tales of hardship, and really like reading those details that transport you into the story, this is a good book for you too.


Friday, May 25, 2012
I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all. You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post. This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!

You mean there is handwashing in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge?!


There is.

And it is a ton of fun...


Well it isn't horrible.

In fact, I'm pretty confident I'll have less arm fat wiggle by the end of the week!

So, how do I, you know, do the dirty?

Oh. I do the dirty well. And by hand!

Get your mind out of the gutter. I do the dirty diaper laundry. As in wash them. Duh. Sheesh.

First I should state that I do this at night while Turtle-Love is asleep or entertained by our family that we live with.
I should also mention I'm not allowed to use hot water to wash the diapers because I wash right after/during/right before someone being in the shower for the night.

And I like in a house full of cloth diaper haters.

Yup. Haters gon' hate.

That's three adults - all of which are mothers, against me. My husband is pro-cloth but not feeling my handwashing duties at this time, because the challenge coinsides with "moving week". Which I completely understand.

Moving on...

To wash our diapers I...

•Rinse all diapers in luke warm water making sure to scrub any stains with a little soap.

Oh, I wash with blue Dawn.

•I do a preliminary wash with the soap applied to the stains and minimal aggitation effort
•Allow soaking

Usually at this time I am needed to assist with some household duty, or need to nurse Turtle-Love.

•Aggitate and then drain the water and wring out the flats and squeeze the covers
•Add a less than pea sized amount to each flat and work it in, scrubbing any stains well
•Aggitate them individually, as a group, repeat repeat repeat
•Add in a few scrubs per flat, specially addressing the stains

This part takes a while. It just does, I want to make sure they are clean. CLEAN clean.

•Drain the water, wring the flats
•Plug and add more water using teh water to rinse the flats as the sink fills
•Continue with the aggitating process

This is as much a second wash cycle as it is a cycle to remove some of the suds.


At this point almost all of the bubbles are gone.

•Fill sink one more time
•Aggitate each flat individually while dunking and swishing to ensure all suds are gone
•Rinse and wring each flat
•Hang to dry on teh rack


I know it seems like a lot. It really isn't, it is just a lot to explain.

In the morning the flats are mostly dry. They are definitely dry when I get home from work. I snap and russle each one before folding it origami style and putting it in the diaper bag or setting it out for use.

This is a picture of our flats and covers soaking. For the third time because my arms were too tired... So I decided they needed a little extra soak here and there...

Also here is a picture of Turtle-Love eating pizza in bed in his flat and Thirsties cover. Life is hard!

Check out what the other bloggers participating in the challenge think of handwashing!

Favorite way to use flats

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all. You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post. This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!

What is my favorite way to use flats?

Uhh... as diapers? LOL

No, seriously, I use our flats for various things....

•Wiping my window edges with vinegar or lemon (or both)
•Soaking up 'uh-ohs' from naked baby time
•Pulling spills out of the carpet (works like a charm!)
•Runny nose catchers
•Un-paper towels

Could also be used for...
•A tourniquet
•Impromptu clothing (no judging)
•Making fabric flowers
•Momma cloth
•A bandana to keep the hair out of my face while cleaning
•Flags for pretend play
•Splat mats to catch flying messes during meal or art time

The list really could just go on. I mean, its a flat. I single layer of fabric. You could use it for anything you use fabric for.

I'm thinking, natural birds eye cotton flats will re purpose well into fabric embellishments for a friends bohemian inspired wedding...

Anyhow - here is a set of pictures from earlier today. Nicole (my good friend and our baby sitter) took them for me. I was at her house picking Turtle-Love up after work. Of course the first thing he asks of me (which I appreciate after 8 hours...) is for milk and boobies. Which takes a long time, which I enjoy after work because we can relax and reunite peacefully. He also usually falls asleep while nursing around this time, and we were headed for a shopping trip before headed home so I wanted to get him into a fresh diaper.

Which is why these pictures are of me nursing Turtle-Love while putting him in an origami folded flat. In the interest of full disclosure, the flat was already folded and waiting for me in the diaper bag.

I have to say, it was a little tricky but I feel pretty talented after that!

PS... We usually use an origami fold, but I twist at the hips and jelly roll the thighs for a closer fit

PPS... I gave up on trying to locate any of my 3 snappis. They ran away.

Check out how the rest of the flats challenge bloggers use their flats!

Supplies for the challenge

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all. You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post. This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!

•12 DiaperRite natural flats
•4 flour sack towels from Target
•6 flannel receiving blankets
•6 Flip diaper covers
•1 Thirsties duo wrap diaper cover
•1 bottle of blue dawn
•1 wooden folding drying rack

I am able to diaper for three days on these supplies though I wash every night just in case something comes up.

Unfortunately due to our move I am unable to elaborate on today's post or really write anything at length. I apologize for this. Tomorrows post about the challenge will be more extensive for sure!

I'll leave you with a couple pictures Nicole sent me today :-)

PS... the snappi is still missing :-/

Why Am I Participating?

Monday, May 21, 2012
I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry. For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers and handwashing them in an effort to prove that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all. You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post. This year there are over 450 participants from all over the world!

Why am I participating?

Last year I explained how I found the Flats Challenge, and why I decided to hop on board. You can read about that HERE. Not much has changed. I'm still working towards starting a non profit that provides cloth diapering education and opportunities to low income families. I'm still advocating for cloth diapers. I still believe I can make a difference through using cloth diapers my self, showing them to my friends and teaching them all the little things you learn along the way.

I know for a couple of my friends things are really difficult financially right now. I'm hoping they will be able to see this is do-able and that choosing cloth diapers for their new babies or switching from disposables, especially flats, can ease things a bit in that department.

Let the Flats and Handwashing Challenge Begin!

This weekend we moved. Again. We had just moved in March. Ugh. Circumstances change, and so we make changes to accommodate. I spent all day yesterday vacuuming every square inch of the basement, then the dining room (our temporary bedroom) and cleaning the carpets in the basement. By the time I got finished Toad and Turtle-Love were fast asleep and I could barely stay standing to take a shower. I was exhausted but the shower rejuvenated me a bit, so as I lay in bed I hopped on Twitter to see what I had been missing over the weekend. I find a Tweet from Kim Rosas ( Dirty Diaper Laundry ) talking about using flats for the night because of the challenge tomorrow. Here is what my mind did...
Twitter... tweet tweet. ... oo picture... I'm surprised I have enough signal to get Twitter loaded right now... mmm Johnny Depp... oo a giveaway! Oh, I don't need that... man this is a lot to scroll through!... Kim.... flats.... .... crap what day is today? Crap I'm working tomorrow. Crap I have to pack the diaper bag. Crap I have to.. wait... flats... challenge.... Day? Sunday. Date? Date? DATE?! Crap.

And that is when I realized the challenge starts tomorrow (Today) and that allllll my flats are packed up. Insert unamused face here ---> -_-

I decided to deal with it in the morning. Insert sleep time. Insert me hitting the snooze button. Insert me turning off my alarm. Insert me waking up five minutes before I have to be at work. Insert the word Crap.

After fumbling around getting clothes on and brushing my teeth I remember my discovery from last night and begin re=packing the diaper bag so Toad wont have to. Partly because I want to be nice, but more because I'm worried he will forget even though I told him last night when he had to wake up to bring the giant curtains inside (different story). I find three covers, one that is a little too small, and all my other diapers but no flats. Eff. Then I realize the flats are still at the old house, in a fabric bin, in the living room. Then I also realize I stuck the flour sack towels I picked up at Target in the bag with some of our clean clothes. I dig those out, still in the packaging, and stuff them into the diaper bag along with the covers, wipes and a wet bag and tell Toad he MUST retrieve the box of flats on the way to drop Turtle-Love off. The flour sack towels haven't been pre-washed - but there are four of them and it is better than nothing.

And that is how I prepared for the challenge.
And recapping those events has made me realize I did not remind Toad that he needed to pack Turtle-Love a real lunch (instead of the snacky type first lunch we usually pack and then I feed him real lunch when I pick him up)because I am working late today. Eff.

Some days are more hectic than others.

And now.. drum roll please...

Nicole's first flat!
Looks like she may have used a diaper bag fold

Oops, I didn't pack a snappi! Errr.... where is the snappi....

Check out what everyone else has to say about why they are participating, and how the first day is going for them!

How I reacted to attachment parenting on the Today show

Friday, May 11, 2012
I logged in to Facebook this morning and immediately saw a status update from one of my best friends..

" Attachment parenting on the Today show now.. "

Unfortunately I'm at work, and the status was posted an hour prior to when I saw it. Though I had a feeling what they would be talking about, with the most recent cover of Time magazine that just came out, and their article on attachment parenting. I went and commented on how I missed the show, but that I hadn't heard great things about the magazine coverage and that a fellow blogger that I read was in the spread! Then I noticed a comment on my friends status...

"I'm all for breast feeding but at 3 years old?!, there are better ways to form a strong bond with your child."

Immediately, I knew I had something to say. I thought about my words, and chose them carefully. I couldn't NOT respond, because I felt there was an opportunity to share the information I've gathered as well as my own opinion. I didn't want my comment to be seen negatively so I tried my best to be factual while stating my opinion in a non-pushy way...

"I don't see a problem with extended breast feeding personally. The average weaning age internationally is actually around 4 years old, so 3 is more than acceptable. Breast milk never loses it's benefits, after all it was specifically designed to nourish the child and continues to change with their needs. As long as the breast feeding relationship is positive I don't see an issue. Sure, there are other ways to bond with your child - but I enjoy the one on one time I get with my 17 month old son while we nurse. Also, I'm personally happy knowing that if my son gets a stomach bug or if for any other reason he is unable to hold down food, by still nursing him I can ensure that he will receive enough nutrients to keep him strong, he will continue to receive the antibodies I'm building up against illness, and he will be less likely to dehydrate while sick as long as he nurses. We will continue to maintain a breastfeeding relationship for as long as it remains positive and my son decides to self wean. That could be tomorrow or two years from now and either way is okay for our family. Everyone has their own opinion of course, and different things work well for different families. To each their own :-)"

How do you think I handled it? Not bad right? At least I hope.

Soon after posting that reply it occurred to me I might be asking for trouble - or causing drama on my friends page. So I started worrying, and mentally preparing a private message or text to her apologizing for causing problems... Instead I get a notification that she (my friend) commented on her status as well. It reads...

"‎Samantha - do a blog on this TODAY!"

Haha! I should have known! Nicole is my own personal cheerleader when it comes to my blog. In fact, she just finished organizing a planner for me - complete with blog topic suggestions and reminders to actually blog. I should have known that would be her response! And so... here I am. Blogging about it.

...and still mentally preparing the apology that may be necessary for causing trouble on her page, just in case...

I located the piece on Attachment Parenting by the Today Show. You can watch it here --->

Once I started watching I had so many internal comments I had to pause, pull up my blog page, and prepare to take notes. So, lets begin this together...

Note: The quotes I provide were pulled right off the transcript provided by the video clip

I do agree that attachment parenting can seem overwhelming before you get started - or if you are an outsider looking in. However, for me most of it just seems like the natural, easy, and right thing to do. I'm still learning as I go, and I certainly am not an expert on attachment parenting. Not even close. In fact, while I was pregnant I claimed I would never put my baby in bed with me. Umm, yeah I changed my mind. At 17 months old, he has been sleeping with us since month 1.

I do not agree that attachment parenting is the new extreme in raising a baby - most likely because I do not see it as extreme at all, but I could understand how someone else might.

I do not agree that attachment parenting makes things more complicated <-- perhaps I miss understood her statement? If anything attachment parenting has made my life more simple. I wont get into that right now, this is specifically a discussion on the news coverage and how I feel about it. This particular snipit, really bugs me, they are referring to Dr. Sears

...his 1992 "the baby book" put a heavy emphasis on a mother devoting extraordinary time and energy to her baby. For some it raises a red flag.

Umm, what? I'm pretty sure nearly every mother, attachment parenting or not, puts extraordinary time and energy into her baby. That is her child. She is responsible for raising the baby. You can't just sit the baby in a corner and hope for the freaking best. You. Raise. The. Baby. You care for the baby. And raising and caring for a child is absolutely extraordinary, it absolutely takes a deep devotion of time, and energy. Regardless of the parenting style you feel you align with (or not).

The word training is mentioned in regard to 'training' the child for the real world. I just want to go on record here saying that I've come to dislike the word 'training' as it pertains to children. We teach, we encourage, we show, we suggest, we explain, we provide insight. We try to help them learn and grow, and in the process we do too.

The woman speaking at that point mentions it isn't good to let the child believe the whole world revolves around them, because the whole world doesn't revolve around anybody. And I agree. However,

you had better believe and understand just as my son does that MY whole world does revolve around him. And he can always expect that. As can any future children we may have. Can you not agree that your child(ren) are the center of your life?

I love that Dr. Sears repeatedly brings up balance. He is right - it (attachment parenting) is not extreme. If you balance your needs and your child's needs you will all be happy. All of life is about balance people!
I feel like the interviews went well. I could see how the reporter (Savannah?) was trying to stir up trouble (is that not her job? You can't fault her for it..) and that Dr. Sears, Jaime, and Jeffrey Kluger from Time Magazine handled the discussion and questions well.

There have been other comments on the Facebook status that I mentioned above, from a different person. The responses basically state that extended breastfeeding does not occur in Europe (ummm...) specifically in Poland. Also that responding to your child's every cry makes them a sissy. Also that the person 'tells the world how it is' and other people 'take things so personally'.

My responses...

The international average as in taking the average year from each country, globally, and finding the most common age that weaning occurs. Now that I have explained it this way, the word 'average' is misleading, and for that I apologize. And there are plenty of women in European countries who breastfeed past the first year of life.

There is also a difference between responding to your child's needs and cries (attachment parenting) and doting on their every whim (permissive parenting). My son, while young, understands that he does not get everything he wants if that is what you are thinking responding to their cries means. As a mother who does practice many attachment parenting principals, when my son cries I respond to his cries differently, depending on what he needs. Because of my strong bond with him, it isn't hard to figure out. He doesn't have all of the language or understanding to express how he feels yet because he is still growing and learning what these feelings are. So, for example, if he throws a fit because I told him no I'm not going to walk away from him or expect him to stop screaming just because he is told to. I'm going to talk to him, and ask him to tell me what he needs. And even at just 17 months this works really well. And if he was told he can't have the remote and he tells me that is what he wants, he still doesn't get it. Instead I will provide him with an alternative and we will go from there.

Responding to his needs has not made him a sissy. I think Nicole can vouche for that ;-) as she babysit my son during the week. I also do not believe it will make him one. Being a 'sissy' also wont make me love him any less or treat him any differently - it will only mean I have to help him cope and understand the world around him, which it is my job as his mother to do anyways, regardless of my parenting style choice. I understand you (and many others) may have a different opinion on all of this, and I respect that.

I actually found this blog post about an hour ago that helps to explain attachment parenting to someone who doesn't quite know or really understand what it is. I hope that anyone who is curious will read it."

There are so many other things I would like to point out - about how Dr. Sears specifically mentions that he has yet to meet an attachment parent with a child who is a school bully. Which is great! But does this person believe that anyone who is not a bully is a sissy? It is hard to say. I would hope not. I hope to raise my child with balance and that he will be confident enough in himself that he neither feel the need to bully others or take abuse from someone else.


I am glad that you feel that your child is growing and handling the world so well. I truly am, and I hope that your relationship with her continues to go as well as you want and that she flourishes in every way.

You are right, the numbers show that in Poland the number of women breastfeeding for the first 6 months continuing to breastfeed past 6 months is 10%. However, In other countries in Europe such as Sweden, at 53%, Norway at 50%, it is most likely more common. I realize that is just 'after 6 months' and does not specifically mention toddlers, but I can see where you are coming from as far as this 'not being the norm'. (numbers from who sites a reputable study) I know there are women I interact with on a daily basis outside of the United States that are breast feeding toddlers, so it does happen. Can I say specifically in Poland? No, but I can't say it absolutely does not happen either.

Just because something isn't the societal norm doesn't make it bad.

I have the right to make a decision on how I should best care for my child. Based on my child's needs, and the way I feel I should respond to him. Just as you have a right and the ability to raise your child differently. Does that make your child better than mine, or mine better than yours? Absolutely not. Does that make you a better parent, or me a better parent? Not in my opinion. It just means we have made different choices. I assume we are all after the same thing in raising our children. We want the to grow well, to prosper, to be caring, successful, and above all happy. However you feel is best to get your baby to that place, so be it. Different people make different choices and I'll stand behind that every time.

Because I respond to my sons every cry does not mean that he will need to hold my hand through all of life. In fact he is already quite independent for his age. He doesn't always need me. He doesn't even always want me. But every time he cries, I respond appropriately in a way that will encourage him to learn and understand him self and the world around him. I don't walk behind him constantly kissing his boo-boos, covering him in bubble wrap, or preventing him from truly experiencing the world around him. He is caring while strong. He is opinionated (already, yeesh!) and very much his own person, but loves to spend time with other people getting cuddles and hugs and kisses, or dancing like a fool. He is so happy and well rounded and generally a delightful little guy to be around, there is nothing anyone could say to me that would lead me to believe I am doing something wrong. Just as I would assume you feel the same about how you raise your child.

And so you know, I am not taking this discussion personally. I find this to be a healthy debate!

I'm sure I'll continue to have other interactions throughout the day, be on this particular post or others, regarding this issue.

Has anyone been questioning (or even attacking) your parenting principles lately?

cloth on a budget

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's day 3 of Real Diaper Week - today's focus is cloth diapering on a budget.

First let me give you a few tips for saving money when you cloth diaper...

To buy -
These are the most economical purchase options. Flats or prefolds with covers are generally much less expensive than pocket diapers, all in ones, or any other variety of modern cloth diapers.

Emergency or no-budget options -
Absorbent layer
•Receiving blankets
•Burp rags
•Old baby clothes
Wetness barrier
•Water resistant coats (like windbreakers, rain coats, and coats you can wear in the snow)
•Anything wool - a sweater, a blanket, a scarf...
•Fleece - a sweater, a blanket, a scarf...
•Shower curtain
These are 'around the house' items you can re-purpose by cutting and shaping them on to your baby, or set your baby on top of them naked. I'll admit we have a lot of naked time at our house - I generally put down a fleece blanket or shower curtain with blankets or towels on top and let him play on it, with only washable toys. If an 'accident' (can you call it that, if you know it will happen?) occurs I wash the toys by hand with dish soap, or throw them in the machine (for cloth toys) with the blankets.

Make your own -
Are you crafty or do you have a crafty friend?
•Knit or crochet covers, longies, and shorties from wool yarn
•Knit or crochet absorbent layers like a blanket, or in a traditional diaper shape, using cotton, hemp, or bamboo yarn
•Buy or re-purpose fabric and grab a free pattern online to sew your own diaper - many styles available (pocket, AIO, fitted and covers, etc)
My family is actually allergic to wool so knitting and crocheting longies and shorties or covers have previously not been an option for me. However, I've recently found polar fleece yarn that I'm attempting to crochet some shorties with... I'll keep you guys posted on that progress.

Accessories -
Many people can find things to use as a diaper in a pinch (anything absorbent really...) but it is the accessories most of us forget about
•Plastic shopping bags instead of a wet bag (I'll admit to forgetting a wet bag ALL THE TIME, but I can almost always find a plastic bag somewhere)
•Ziplock (or similar) bag instead of a wet bag, or to carry wipes in (wash it in the sink with dish soap between uses and leave it open to dry)
•Instead of snappi, boingo, or diaper pins for fastening flats and prefolds around your baby you can use a creative fold and tuck the ends in, or fold and lay the material inside your diaper cover in the 'wet zone' - no extras required
•Use small wash rags or cut up receiving blankets, burp clothes, flannel, cotton, fleece, or any other at least semi absorbent material and use it as a wipe
•Use water to wet the wipe - Carry it in a small spritz bottle, peri bottle, or just use a sink. You could also use a wipe solution (make your own to save money)

Other budget options
Maybe you are on a budget, but you feel you've got more wiggle room than re-purposing old t-shirts and sweaters, and you just can't get down with the idea of 'old school' diapers (flats and prefolds). You have other options. Pocket diapers are some of the least expensive modern cloth options. I'll shout out a few brands that I like, that I have found to be less expensive than most others. I have not been given an incentive for listing these brands - I'm just sharing information

SunBaby Diapers

Sunbabys now have a two size adjustable system, meaning Size one will last from birth to near toddler hood and Size two will pick up there and last through potty training. You can get 12 diapers with microfiber inserts (other insert options available) for $60.00 - coming to $5.00 per diaper. Shipping appears to be free.

Alva Baby Diapers

*Alva Baby appears to have several dozens of fabric options, as well as many style options for their diapers*
All of their print and minky diapers are 5.59 each, solids are 4.79 each. Diapers with color snap system and double leg gussets are 6.99 each, and bamboo diapers 9.99 each. Bamboo diapers come with 2 inserts, the rest come with one made of microfiber. Shipping is free worldwide.
Baby Steals is a deal of the day site that actually offers two 'steals' per day. The 'steals' are quality baby and maternity products and can be up to 80% off! Most of the 'steals' I've gotten were between 48% and 60% off - including several itti bitti tuttos (super awesome cloth diapers made in Australia - check them out!)! Of course, Baby Steals doesn't do cloth diapers every day - but they are a great place to keep an eye on to save you money on the products you really want - including cloth diapers.

Eco Baby Buys and Zulily function similarly and also often feature cloth diapers. (Note: The Zulily link is a referral link, meaning if you chose to sign up through that link I could potentially receive a bonus. The bonus is if you sign up you can earn bonuses for having your friends sign up too). I've gotten FuzziBunz and AppleCheeks diapers through Zulily at great prices!

You can also follow blogs and enter giveaways and contest, join Twitter Parties and more - the cloth diapering community always has something fun and entertaining going on, many with ways to save. In fact, this week in particular many cloth diaper retailers are offering special discounts! Most of them have incentive programs that allow you to earn free diapers as well.

Saving in other areas
You can also save money while using cloth diapers even more by...
•Using cloth diapers - while the initial cost of getting a cloth diaper stash going can seem overwhelming you can save sooo much money. Check out some of these calculators to see how much you can save Padded Tush Stat's Calculator Cloth Diaper Geek's Calculator
•Dry your diapers (and your clothes) on a line or rack outside (sun gets out stains!) or inside, instead of in the drier. If you suffer from stiff items, you can pop them in the drier on a fluff setting for a couple minutes, or rough them up by hand
•Make your own detergent, or buy in bulk - you are going to use it anyways and it is good for clothes not just diapers
Get creative!

Cloth Diapers: How I can help right now

Monday, April 16, 2012

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you most likely know that we cloth diaper our son. I made the decision I wanted to cloth diaper our baby while I was pregnant. My husband came on board after our son was born, and our cloth journey began. Once we made the decision to switch to cloth I attended a Cloth Diapering class at a local consignment shop. That shop is no longer open, but the connections I made through that class have proven to be long lasting. The other mom's and babies I've met through that connection all stay in touch. A handful of us still try to meet up every weekend, we are all friends on Facebook, and it is through my interactions with these wonderful women that I have learned so much, and have become so passionate about cloth diapering.

I have dreams of starting a non profit organization that teaches our local families about cloth diapering. Right now that cannot become a reality. Life at this moment is already so full and busy, I don't know where to begin with my dream project. So for now, I do what I can.

This year I am helping one of these lovely women to organize the Great Cloth Diaper Change event here locally. Last week we even strutted around a high traffic area in town asking local businesses to help support our event - with my son as our walking and talking advertisement. Well, I actually carried him most of the time and the most he said was "Hi" "Bye" and "Bites!". He was very excited to see fruit among the food options at a local coffee house. I had him appropriately decked out wearing his "Cloth is Cool" diaper from the FuzziBunz Elite Diaper Talk series, with baby legs and a shirt, which definitely caught the attention of many people we passed by.

Today begins Real Diaper Week, and as a cloth diaper enthusiast and host-assistant for our local event, it's my job to get the word out! I'll be sending the following message to all of our local news stations today...

Did you know there will be an attempt to break a Guinness Book World Record, right here in _____ on Saturday the 21st at noon? We are going to attempt to break the record for most number of cloth diapers changed simultaneously, AROUND THE WORLD. Last year over 127 locations around the globe participated, including us! We set the record then and we want to shatter it this year! So far there are 305 locations registered to host an event in 16 countries! Please contact me or ________ for more information. We would love to hear from you!

I'll also link them to this great video created by Kim over at Dirty Diaper Laundry

I will also be bringing two babies (and their mommas) who are normally in disposables to the Great Cloth Diaper Change, and letting them borrow a diaper for the event. It makes a great addition to your baby books and scrap books! How many kids do you know can say the helped break a world record before they were even out of diapers? Your kid could be able to say that you know.... feel free to contact me if you have any questions, either here in the comments or on my Facebook Page Facebook: Little Tiny Love!


Friday, April 13, 2012
In my personal world, a lot of words are flying around from many people - myself included - about feeling judged.

I'm not perfect. I mess up ALL the time. I pretty much do nothing the way I should, and even though *I* feel my choices are right for us, other people think I'm doing things all wrong and judged me.

Now I'd like to point out the difference between having an opinion, and judging. If you have an opinion generally you choose to share it or not, and generally you have a logical discussion and express your reason for having your opinion. Sometimes this also expresses emotions. If you are judging someone you are taking your own opinion, holding it above others' opinions, and declaring it better than theirs while in your mind deciding this person is not your equal.

Judge me if you are the type of person who does such a thing. Share your opinion, same or different, if you care to. Most of these are related to parenting.

• I chose to supplement with formula when our son was younger because trying to up my supply via pumping was too exhausting. Or I was lazy, you can see that which ever way you like.
• I still nurse our 16 month old son and will continue to nurse him until he stops asking to nurse and self weans. That's right, I might end up nursing a 4 year old.
• I nurse in public, uncovered. I will continue to nurse, in public, uncovered, until our son self weans. No, I don't want to show off my breasts - but if my kid is hungry he will be fed and if he wants milk he will receive it, regardless of where we are.
• Our son sleeps in the bed with us. Our future babies will sleep in the bed with us. They will each transition into their own sleeping space, in our room, when they are ready and will transition to their own room when they are ready for that - even if that is many many years from now.
• We are choosing to delay some, if not most, of our son's vaccines. Some vaccines he will not receive.
• We use cloth diapers. Apparently this is a topic to be judged on, that I wasn't aware of.
• I use cloth menstrual products. Yep. I put that on my blog, and I'm slapping it on Facebook. If I can talk about what my kid poops in, I can talk about how I care for myself too. Oh wait... someone just judged me on that.
• We go out to eat A LOT because I still haven't mastered being a mother and a wife and how to keep house all at the same time.
• We have a lot of stuff in our house, and even after living here for a little more than a month it still isn't put away. It's a lot of clutter.
• I wont give our son sauces and I monitor his salt and refined sugar intake.
• Our son only drinks juice that has no extra sugar and is severely diluted, and only once or twice a week.
• I don't medicate fevers unless our son is obviously uncomfortable, has a very high temperature, or there are other complications. I believe fevers have a purpose for the body and they need to do their job.
• If our son is sick we look for natural alternatives to medications that haven't had long term studies done, or have side effects we are uncomfortable with.
• I research nearly everything. Yes, usually on the internet. I take the information I can find from *credible* sources, as well as the opinions and experiences of other people in to consideration before making many decisions. I like to stay informed and educated.
• I allow my self to be influenced by society. Now, I don't go around all sheep like and following (thanks for that reference, friend!) but there is something to be said for the reason many things come to light and become 'popular'. Please, do not confuse this with me wanting to be 'cool'.
• I don't use harsh cleaners. If it has a fume, or I can smell it and it smells 'chemy' to me, I'm not using it. (I've been this way since WAY before pregnancy, just to clear up THAT judgment)
• I don't think I'm better than anyone as a person, but I do recognize that my situation is more favorable than many others. I try to use my situation, and sometimes take advantage of it I'm sure, to help other people when I can.

I'm certain I have many other 'faults' and decisions and opinions you can use to judge me. Place me in that category of people who obviously don't get it, or whatever. Or maybe you think that I'm judging you. I'm not, but I can't make someone see that. I'm hoping, though, that instead of judging we can discuss. Tell me how your opinions and practices differ. Tell me why. I'd love to know! Have questions about why I do something? Ask! I'm happy to share. Feel that I've judged you? Please point it out - I strive daily to be a better person and if I'm lacking somewhere, I'd like attention to be brought to it so that I can evaluate and better myself if need be.

when I grow up

Monday, March 26, 2012

What do you want to be when you grow up?

We've all been asked this probably a thousand times through our school years.

The first answers I remember giving someone were that I wanted to be a scientist (a chemist, to be exact. I was 6.) and a teacher.

Well, I'm neither of those things specifically today.

Over the years I have wanted to be many, many things. I won't trouble you with the listing, just know that I tend to be a decently indecisive person.

Since becoming an 'adult' I've tried hard to figure this out. In high school even I had a hard time choosing a college because I had a hard time choosing a career. I finally settled on Graphic Design - combining my love of art with my seemingly inherited abilities with computer programming language and self taught knowledge of HTML. I spent two and a half years working on a graphic design degree from The Art Institute Online, and then I quit.

It was a year round school, and while I was doing significantly better in college than I was in high school (because, you know, I actually did the work this time) but it was year round schooling. 2 classes at a time eery six weeks, no holiday breaks or anything, and I was burnt out. What started as a session off turned into a semester and when I tried to go back my grades were crap, and my commitment was lacking. I dropped out rather than waste more money. Err, rack up more student loan debt. *sigh* Oh, the debt.

Eventually I hooked up with my local community college and took a few classes I was interested in, without choosing a path or degree program. I had narrowed it down to 6 degrees that I wanted to get (What? No one else does that?)and chose classes that I liked and that those programs shared, so that no matter what I took I could apply it to whatever I decided to get first. After a couple semesters I dropped out. I had started slacking off again.

I went back! This time I paid out of pocket, because of academic probation from the dropping out previously, and it really kept me in there and got things done. I took some courses online, I got really good grades, and got my work done, I was extremely happy with my progress - all while I had just had a baby, was working from home 30 hours a week, and struggling to pump and breastfeed( more on that journey here). However, with things at work getting busier and having to return to the office in a couple months, on top of the struggle we were having with breastfeeding, and adding wedding planning time crunch to the mix, I decided to hold off on taking more classes until the next year.

That would be this year.

Last year I was still floundering a bit on the degrees (yes, plural) I wanted. I had four, and had decided I would just get them all, dang it! Since I couldn't make a decision on which would be best.

This year, I've made a few real decisions regarding my degrees. This fall I'll begin (or, restart rather) classes to achieve an associates degree to become an American Sign Language Interpreter. It is one of the careers I've always had in mind. I've decided to pursue this one over the others because I feel so strongly about it and because I can really help our community with the knowledge I'll be gaining.

Additionally, I'll be obtaining a career certificate for web page design. This will only take a semester or so and will *hopefully* allow me to at least obtain some extra income with a minimal impact on our home lives.

Lately though, I've been interested and strongly considering pursuing an education in the birth field. I feel strongly about wanting to help women succeed in their goals to birth naturally. I truly do. I had a hard time trying to find someone to teach me how I could be successful, because of my lack of funds. I couldn't afford the natural birthing classes that I was able to find, a few cities away at that. However, I was lucky enough that the hospital we would be attending for our birth did offer a class. I wasn't sure what it would include, but the hospital is reputed to be the more 'natural birth friendly' hospital in our area (we are lucky enough to have two major hospitals in the same county). The class went over the basics, the term we would need to know, what our bodies would go through, and more. It gave our partners ideas of what to expect, and information about what we were going through growing our children. The course also gave great tips for working through labor including music, meditation, stretches, positions, movements, general advice and more. I was so thankful for this class, and all the things it covered. Many of the other women who attended were so focused on "How long will labor last?" and "How long will I have to push for?" and many also wanted to know "How soon can I get an epidural?". I wasn't any of these women. I only wanted to know "How can I make it through labor without giving up?" I was beyond thankful for the woman teaching the class, who had birthed more than once naturally without pain medication, and who was beyond amazing at providing us with well rounded information AND labor coping guides - since the class was not tailored to natural birth.

I was even more thankful I was able to complete the class! Since I gave birth about a week after our last session.

Any how, I've gone off topic a bit.

I'm considering taking classes and learning more about becoming a birth teacher, or a labor coach. Or even just wanting to volunteer my story and my experience to others locally.

Note: I was inspired to write this post after serious thinking and then reading Mama Birth's post Something New In Birth Education- Birth Boot Camp

In part of her post Mama Birth says...
Have you ever gone for years just wondering what you were supposed to do and hoping that you would figure it out?

I have.
...I have too.

Guiding care

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Please forgive the lack of talent I'm using to write this post, not from my phone because I lost it in last nights chaos but, from my tablet.

Sure, it sucks to have to buy a new phone. I'm more mad at myself though for losing it because of the pictures and videos of my son I can't recover. *sigh*

Moving right along...

Saturday my husband and I were planning to paint our bedroom at the new place our family is renting. Of course it would be ill advised to paint while trying to wrangle an infant-toddler hybrid (what do you call the phase between infancy and toddler-hood? I mean... technically he IS toddling right?). So Turtle-Love went off to spend the day at Grandpa and Grandma's house. He had a blast! They played outside, they played peek-a-boo, they played with toys, he got to run around to his hearts content and he got to eat some of his favorite foods - tomato soup, peaches, and puffs. Not necessarily together or separate...

The past couple days Turtle-Love has been congested. He also has two teeth coming in. Just before his Grandma picked him up for their day together I noticed his eye was a little pink. I thought he or I had poked it, and I pointed it out to her and asked her to keep an eye on it. (hah) I also let her know he was a little congested, and that he had a small cough.

The day went by fairly well. My husband and I were able to get the walls of our bedroom painted, even though it took us much longer than anticipated. We finished up around 8:30 and I left to go pick up Turtle-Love. Toad stayed home to clean the (old) house up a bit. When I got to my dad's house Turtle-Love was sleeping peacefully in a pack n play they have. I was shocked! We bed share with Turtle-Love so the only time he sleeps alone is if I nurse him to sleep on the floor so that I can get a few things done while he naps. Getting him in to a pack n play is a huge accomplishment for anyone! My step mom had managed to get him to nap in it earlier in the day as well for about an hour. I spent some time with them while Turtle-Love slept, as I wasn't in a particular hurry to get home. I was just about to go move the car seat back to my car when Turtle-Love woke up. Within moments of him waking up he spiked a very noticeable fever and began to shiver. I decided I wanted to take him to the hospital. (Not the doctor's office because it was too late in the day) His temperature was 102.4, which it self isn't scary but I knew something was wrong.

I had wanted to take Turtle-Love to the hospital where we live. There are actually two, the one he was born at and the one he spent his days in the NICU in. I wasn't sure yet which I wanted to take him to, but I did want to get him 'home' for our hospital trip. I quickly packed our things into my car and moved his car seat over. In the short amount of time it took me to do that Turtle-Love got significantly worse. When I came back in it sounded like he was struggling, though I couldn't quite tell with what. Before he had been making sounds of discomfort which I chalked up to the fever. This grunting sound was similar to the sound he makes to eliminate but was much shorter and repeated. I noticed his breaths were short. At their suggestion, my dad followed in their car while my step mom drove my car so I could sit in the back seat with Turtle-Love to keep him calm.

We were going to drive back to my town, but almost immediately after getting in the car I changed my mind and asked them to take us to the hospital where they live. When I was taking his temperature earlier I attempted to nurse Turtle-Love, since he hadn't nursed since he left me that afternoon around 1. It was odd for him not to want to nurse immediately after waking up, especially if he hadn't been around me for a couple hours, so when he didn't ask I was concerned. He tried to latch and wanted to nurse while taking his temperature but it seemed like he was unable to. I tried again to nurse him in the car* to calm him down, since he seemed uncomfortable and very tired. He was not able to stay latched again. Something had to be really wrong for my baby to not nurse.

*NOTE: I regularly nurse my son in our car. He remains properly belted into his car seat and I lean over the side of the seat to nurse him.

When we got to the hospital Turtle-Love was fussing, still grunting and struggling, and you could tell his fever had gone up. Triage took our name and what we were in for and we began the waiting game. My father held Turtle-Love while we waited. If anyone in the world other than my boobies has the power to settle Turtle-Love almost immediately it is him. They must have some kind of Zen connection or something that I cannot explain. Turtle-Love went to sleep, and I use that term loosely because I'm not really sure that he was asleep. He could have just been that exhausted he kept his eyes shut because he didn't really seem to be resting. He was having trouble keeping them open before we left the house.

Eventually we got called back so they could take his vitals. His temp was up to 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), his heart rate was up in the 200's and his oxygen level was on the low side of normal at 91%. If you are new around here, I should mention Turtle-Love was born 5 weeks early with RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and spent 12 days in the NICU battling his prematurity to over come his young lungs. To see his oxygen levels were down was scary. The Triage nurse gave him a dose of Tylenol and said they hoped to have a room for him quickly.

It wasn't too long after we got back to the waiting room that we were called back with a room for Turtle-Love in the Emergency Department. The nurse asked us a series of questions and the doctor was in sooner than I had expected. He listened to Turtle-Love's lungs and heard crackling and wheezing on both sides. He wanted to do swabs for RSV and influenza, as well as get chest x-rays to check for Pneumonia and RSV. I agreed to the tests and the x-rays, they seemed to be the proper courses of action to get Turtle-Love diagnosed quickly. The doctor wanted to give him Tylenol or Motrin, and wanted to start him on fluids. I told him I'd like to try to get him to nurse before giving him an IV, to which he agreed, and I replied he had already received some Tylenol at Triage, 140 mg as it stated on his chart. The doctor then wanted to give him Motrin. I was a little puzzled since he had just received the Tylenol maybe not even an hour before. Obviously this must be a standard practice, but I hadn't heard of it nor did I know Tylenol and Motrin were able to be given simultaneously but I learn new things everyday. I told the doctor I would like to have his temperature taken before he was given a second dose of fever reducers. (According to my step mother I hadn't said this in the best tone of voice and sounded confrontational.)

The doctor went off on me. He raised his voice with a statement about how if I continued to 'Guide' my son's care he wouldn't be able to do his job and get Turtle-Love taken care of, and it would create problems.


I was shocked and put on the defensive and could not get my thoughts out clearly. I tried to explain to him that I was concerned about Turtle-Love receiving double the necessary medicine, and that he doesn't normally receive any Tylenol. Only once has he had it, and he had never received Motrin. The doctor retorted that he probably never had low oxygen levels and a high heart rate either and then stormed out of the room.

Guess he wasn't listening to the part where I told him Turtle-Love spent nearly 2 weeks in the NICU with RDS then. Not the point though.

I took a couple deep breaths and sat on the cot with Turtle-Love to nurse him. We were just getting situated when the doctor busted back into the room and with his voice raised with an obvious irritation, asked me if given my son's heart rate and oxygen levels they could administer a breathing treatment.

Had he walked in the door calmly, I would have asked a couple questions:
1. Like oxygen? Or a steroid?
2. Is there a reason you think we should give him a breathing treatment prior to his chest x-ray? Is he in immediate danger?
However, I didn't get the chance to ask those questions. I was so shocked by his tone and incivility that the only response I squeaked out was an honest "Wait, what? ...I... don't understand". He huffed and stormed right back out without another word.

The nurse was frank, in a nice way, with me. She agreed with me about taking his temperature at least out of curiosity for how the Tylenol did. He was still up, at 102.9, so I agreed to the Motrin.

That wasn't so difficult, now was it, doc.

She suggested hooking him up to the pulse ox monitor since there was talk of possible breathing treatments. That way we could see how he was doing and keep an eye on his heart rate and oxygen levels. If you don't know what a pulse ox monitor is, I can describe it as a band aid with a red light attached to a cord. I consider that to be relatively invasive, and while it can be a pain-in-the-butt, it is not actually painful in the slightest. Even the sticky stuff doesn't hurt to peel off. The nurse administered both swab tests after my expressed agreement to them, and set up Turtle-Love's x-ray appointment. The x-ray tech came quickly, and was very sweet. He requested two adults come to help position Turtle-Love for the x-rays and escorted us down the hall. Turtle-Love had two x-rays done pretty quickly. We had to help extend his arms away from his chest for a clear picture from the front, and then from the side. The x-ray tech even asked if I remembered to grab Turtle-Love's amber necklace, which we had to remove for the x-ray.

I nursed Turtle-Love when we got back to the room and after just a few minutes he was a completely different baby. He was giggling and playing and amazing the nurses that could see in our room with his ability to do the hands for pat-a-cake and itsy bitsy spider by himself while I sang the tunes. His color returned to his normal pink tint rather than the hot red he had been wearing for a couple hours.

The doctor came in then with a completely different attitude. All of a sudden he was Mary-Freaking-Sunshine. No RSV or Pneumonia for Turtle-Love. His heart rate was in the 160s and his oxygen level was up to 95%. He provided a diagnosis of Bronchiolitis/Restricted Airways and possible pink eye. He explained it was similar to Asthma and probably flared do to an infection which the fever was fighting. By the way, he mentioned how some people believe that fevers are the body's way of naturally fighting infection so while we wanted to bring it down since it was high and causing his shortness of breath, we didn't want to eliminate it completely.

Well, yeah. So why were you fighting me on wanting his temperature taken?

He said that he could write us a prescription for a nebulizer for home and arrange to have it delivered in the morning to administer steroid breathing treatments if we wanted. I asked him if that was what he was recommending. He said no, that it was an option if I was worried about him, but that he thought he would be fine as long as we kept his fever down and knew what to look for if his breathing became labored again.

*eye roll*

We were discharged and headed home. At some point between leaving the hospital and getting back to my dad's house I lost my phone. I either dropped it on the way out, or left it on top of my car while searching for my keys.

*sad face* All those pictures and videos, including the only picture we took while we were at the hospital. Which I thought to snap, since it was his first trip to the hospital since being born. You know, for the baby book.

Turtle-Love is still coughing, congested/runny nose, has discharge from his eyes, and a fever. Well, the fever is on and off. I took him to his regular pediatrician on Monday for a follow up. He said his lungs were clear but to come back today if he wasn't better. I'll be calling to see what they recommend. He also prescribed some eye drops in case the eye thing is bacterial, however I'm not comfortable wit the possible side effects so we are treating it with breast milk several times a day to see if it improves. If not then we will begin the prescribed eye drops tomorrow. So far his eyes are producing much less discharge, and are only slightly tinted pink. I'll re-asses when I get home from work, prior to calling the doctor's office.

I mainly wanted to write this blog post because of the statement from the ER doctor about guiding care.

As Turtle-Love's mother, is it not my job to guide his care? Am I not responsible for asking all the questions, providing all the information, and assessing the possible outcomes and causes with the doctors and nurses caring for my son? It is certainly my job to make decisions about what care he receives. Is that not guiding his care?

I believe it is our job as parents, and care givers, to gain as much knowledge as possible regarding the illness affecting and treatment for our children. We must make educated decisions based on the information provided to us. If you don't ask questions, the right questions, you will not receive knowledge lending answers to aid you. Of course, you should also keep in mind that one source does not provide well rounded knowledge. Just as there are three sides to a story (yours, mine, and the outside perception) there should be as many resources you go to for knowledge on any topic.

We avoided a round of steroid breathing treatments that we can certainly say were unnecessary to that particular situation, because we asked questions and did not immediately agree to treatment. That is not to say that you should not immediately agree to treatment - what I am saying is you should absolutely seek the knowledge to make informed decisions, so that you can aid in guiding care for your child(ren).

Note: I want to add these are what I recall to be the incident we faced at the hospital. These are also my own opinions. I am NOT a doctor. I've never taken a medical course in my life. (Well, I did get CPR certified in high school, and to get discharged from the NICU we had to take a class on infant, toddler, and child CPR and choking procedure.) I do, however, enjoy gaining knowledge on almost any topic - especially those that concern the well being of my child.

March For Babies 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012
It's that time of year again!

As you all know, my son who I refer to here on my blog as Turtle-Love was born 5 weeks premature, and spent almost 2 weeks in the NICU receiving treatments. I touched on this briefly in my post about breastfeeding - Our breast feeding journey thus far.

Last year I started a team, in my son's honor, to March for Babies. We are team Little Tiny Love. The March of Dimes hosts the March for Babies each year, in multiple locations nation wide. The March for Babies raises funds and awareness for issues surrounding and causing premature birth, infant death, and birth defects.

Click here for a closer view

Last year our walking team included myself, my younger sister, and both of our best friends. My best friend even brought her son to keep Turtle-Love company! Together we raised over $500! This year - we are hoping to raise even more.

Between now and our walk on April 29th, I'll be campaigning to raise money to donate in our teams name for this years walk. I'll be posting Turtle-Love's birth story, NICU story, and more during this time. Use the neat little badge I added off to the right(up top) to donate or sign up to join our walking team.

Thank you all in advance!

Crazy busy

Sunday, February 26, 2012

This week has been crazy busy and I'd like to apologize for my last minute post for this week. Yes, I do realize it is already Sunday and thus the new week has already started. However, I like to live by my inner child's rules in these moments - It is still today until you go to sleep,  even if its already tomorrow.

I don't recall if I shared this, but we are moving. Oh, we aren't going far - just across the street almost. I'm excited we finally found a place and look forward to signing the lease and getting the keys next week. This place has a yard with separate space where I can start a vegetable garden. :-)

On top of house hunting, I 've been caring for a wee sickie. Yep, Turtle-Love appears to have gotten some kind of cold. Poor boy. The first day was the worst but he is much better now. He has a nasty cough but it sure doesn't slow him down!

I'm sorry this post is all over the place. It's nearly 3am and I've been going to bed at this time nearly every night since Valentine's day. *sigh* It seems I'm a glutton for punishment and have had project after project to complete once hubby gets home. Which has been late.

Sleep, one day I'll catch up with you....

Anyhow - here is a picture of Toad wearing Turtle-Love. I love a man who baby wears :-) I recently learned how to tie a wrap kangaroo/front rucksack style and tried it on hubs while we were shopping with the wee sickie. I'm posting this from my phone so I'm interested in seeing how this will work...

I love our babysitter

Friday, February 17, 2012

I have the best babysitter, EVER.

It's just a fact.

Why? You say. What makes her the best?

Oh. I'll tell you!

She loves my son.
Point blank. Unconditionally, as if he were her own child, loves my son.

Her family loves my son. All of them! Her mother, her sister, her grandmother... They swoon over him and give him hugs and kisses and her male counter-part even has a 'secret hand shake' (the baby fist bump) with my son.

Her daughter love my son. She is about a month younger than my little Turtle-Love (though you wouldn't know it looking at them!). They play all day long and conspire against her together, creating mischief at such a young age! The have lengthy conversations, share hugs and kisses, and food, and love.

Oh - this is not one sided! My whole family loves all of them too! But this is not that entry.

She cares for and about him. Genuinely.

She cloth diapers! Her daughter is in cloth, so of course my son is in cloth with her too!

She doesn't mind handling breast milk. Not that I'm providing it anymore, because I don't have a pump. But when I did, it was never an issue. You wouldn't believe how many people do have an issue with this.

She encourages his growth and development. They play games, sing songs, read books, walk, talk, scream, squeal, play follow the babies, use American Sign Language to assist in communication, and much much MUCH more.

We communicate often. If he bumps his fingers, or isn't feeling well, or for whatever reason throws a tantrum to shame most well versed three year olds - she lets me know.

He does something cute, or funny, or if she knows I'm having a rough day - I get a video of my lovely little =)

She takes dozens of pictures. I miss nothing.

My son absolutely adores her, and her daughter. Well, and the rest of her family too. But especially her and her daughter!

Starting this summer they will be doing art projects, and field trips, and more, since they (my son and her daughter) are now reaching the super discovery age. They even did a little practice recently - she 'helped' my son make Valentines for my husband and I. =)

She holds him, hugs him, kisses him, and loves and cuddles him as much as he wants. He wants to sleep in her arms? Fine. He wants to nap in her lap? That's okay too. I envision the three of them cuddling at nap time - which doesn't actually happen that often. More often than not Turtle-Love is too excited to nap while at her house, and instead promptly falls asleep while nursing after I get there.

And what prompted this post? I've got a picture for you...

She babywears my kid =)

In the picture she has my son strapped on her back and her daughter in her stroller, and they are walking trough her neighborhood to a friend's house to play with another baby their age. =)

Side note... our area experienced an earthquake a few months back. Which is out of the ordinary... Anyhow, in the event of an emergency situation the plan is for her to double babywear and get the heck to safety. LOL.
Hey, it's a dang good plan! She has a couple carriers on hand at her house, as I do at mine. (SEE honey... totally legit reason to have more than one carrier right there!)

She does many many fantastic things, all while struggling threw her own daily pain. She is an amazing women, an amazing mother, an amazing babysitter, and an amazing friend. She is definitely a part of our village.

Shout out to her blog, btw... Whispered Words Forever Captured Her button is over there ---> on the edge of my blog.
Actually... She made my button ---^ too. Grab them both =)

Too bad this was taken a couple hours ago, and a little late for the Wordless Wednesday: Alternative Caregivers on the Natural Parents Network. Oh well, I love this picture all the same - so of course I asked her permission to share it here with all of you!

the Bestie is gettin' married!

Friday, February 10, 2012
This is going to be a REALLY quick post, but I just have to share with the world...

My Bestie is gettin' married!


And she asked me to be a bridesmaid =)

So excited!

I'm also really excited for a legitimate reason to look at wedding gowns, and venues, and cakes, and invitations now that our wedding has gone by, nearly four months ago. I know lame, right?

I love wedding details!

Gasp! I've been married for almost 4 months?!.

Her boyfriend now fiance proposed to her with the help of their 16 month old son =) They are engaged to be married next year on their three year anniversary of becoming a couple. Such a great day to choose! And only one day for him to remember ;) They will be tying the knot in sunny Florida!

I'm so excited for them!

Congrats, Bestie!

Re-learning to coupon

Friday, February 3, 2012
Oh how couponing has turned out to be so popular!

It wasn't always that way. I remember feeling like my family was being judged for using coupons at our grocery store. I would try my best not to let it bother me but I was a kid, you know?

My mom tried to make it fun for us. I mean, she let us play with scissors, err, I mean cut out the coupons for her. She would also hand us a stack in the store and send us off to match up the items and bring them back to the cart. I realize now that my mother is a genius. Teach us to save money using coupons, teach us to read and understand the fine print instead of just matching the pictures (tricksy little pictures, those are!), and keep us entertained and out of her hair?! Genius! We played along, helped do the shopping that always took hours usually once a month, and our reward was delicious fast food on the way home. No seriously, we got really excited about our fast food on the way home! Think about it. Us kids got junk food that was oh-so-yummy, plus soda, plus a toy! And a mini milkshake/ice cream hybrid?! Sweet deal! Some of you may be wondering why the heck you would pick up fast food after getting groceries. Because after four hours of shopping with two (or more, we always had friends over) energy filled and inevitably whiny, needy, kids after a 12+ hour day on your feet at the local Post Office, who the heck wants to cook dinner?? I wouldn't.

Speaking of learning to coupon - my mom set a great example. She planned her trips for triple coupon days That's right. Triple. Coupons. Does anyone even do that anymore? We would go in the store with a massive pile of coupons. Walk every single isle searching for in-store deals, and matching coupons and products. Add more coupons from "tearpads" and "blinkies". If my mom knew about a sale that had a limit per person, our friends were absolutely coming over that night, because we would all be pawns in her check out game. Oh that was the best part! Acting like grown ups, walking through our very own check out line, cash and coupons in hand. Sometimes my friends and I, and even my little sister once in a while, would use a made up funny accent. Because of course if you use an accent you must be an adult. No matter if you can't actually see over the register... After hours of shopping we would come to the check out with two, sometimes three carts full of groceries. We always got stares. And it always took forever. If I recall correctly, my mother had her receipt pinned up on the wall behind the Customer Service Desk once. To serve as a reminder to the cashiers they needed to draw straws for who was going to take us next month, I'd bet. It was taller than all of us combined, and I can't even imagine how much we saved. Every single thing we bought would either be on sale, or have a coupon, and often both. My mother was the original extreme couponer, ladies. Props to you Mom, mad props.

Over the years we laxed on our couponing. As I grew in to teen-terror-dom (to put it nicely) I became less willing to help (understatement of the year) and my sister was incredibly stubborn (you know it's true!). Once I was able to drive I started taking over some of the shopping trips with Mom's credit card. It wasn't my money, what did I care if we used coupons or not? Teen-terror-dom was strong, and had a long and tumultuous reign.

Now that I'm growing up (yes, growing. As in currently.) with a family of my own, it's time for me to start behaving accordingly. I'm a bit of my hippie - just putting it out there. My husband is growing to love his inner Eco-friendly person. We are trying to evolve into better consumers, learning how we can respect our Mother-Earth as much as we love and feel thanks for her. Our son was the wonderful beginning of this transformation. After all, we want him to respect his planet, his home, and to care for her. Up to that point we had been all talk. Our journey started with the decision and execution to cloth diaper. The rest of this story is perhaps for another time though. Right now we are working on expanding our nutritive horizons, with an effort to eat more organic, GMO free, and locally made products whenever we can. These things are expensive compared to the crap I buy on sale regularly. Oh yes, teen-terror-dom may have dropped the couponing, but I've been conditioned to love a good sale from within the depths of my being! Okay, maybe that is a bit extreme. You get the point, right? So - with our desireneed to consume more consciously, conscientiously, and healthfully also comes the reality of our finances and the realization that we need to make a better effort to be kind to our financial well being as well.

Ladies and Gentlemen. It's time to get serious about coupons.

Normally I'm a Kroger shopper. My mother always shops at Kroger, I've spent all of my life shopping in that one particular store. I even had my first job at that one particular store. Let's face the facts though, The "organic foods" section in Kroger takes up approx 1/8 of the store's space. The options are limited and I'm pretty familiar with the prices and selection. We decided we wanted to give Whole Foods a try.

Yesterday I took the time to go over the ad, and print coupons off for things I wanted. Of course I left my coupons at home while we were out and about, but we decided to head to the store anyways. We picked up lunch first because I was starving. The bar area they have, while organic and delicious, was a bit more expensive than I was hoping for. Well worth it though, and since we missed our three month wedding anniversary a couple weeks ago, we agreed to justify the unusual expense as a celebration of our union together - with a tribute to our commitment not only to ourselves as a couple, and our family, but as a commitment to eating better, and providing a better example for nutrition to Turtle-Love. (I don't care if that makes sense or not). We then spent about an hour just walking through the store. We only purchased a hand full of items, all on sale. It was more of a recognizance mission to compare the prices of our regularly purchased items, to see what we were up against.

I ♥ shopping with my boys =)

I have to admit I had sticker shock at some of the things I saw, and was forced to remind myself not only was this a completely different store but that the product was organic, and that I generally buy said item at Kroger non-organic on sale, etc. I was also pleasantly surprised at the very little price difference between some things. An example? Whole Foods' brand of organic spaghetti sauce was the same everyday price as some of the big brands Kroger carries, while on sale. We bought the spaghetti sauce, as well as a couple cans of natural soda that were on sale (note: the only time I drink soda is when I'm sick or enjoying a root beer float on occasion. Our house has been battling a super nasty stomach bug, so I'm in the market for some decent ginger ale), two boxes of Bell & Evans Chicken Tenders (one of which was gluten free, we want to see if there is a taste difference) that were buy one get one free, and some organic avocados that were on sale for a dollar for Toad's mom.

Any one have good resources for coupons, or tips to pass along to me as I re-learn to coupon?