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Cloth Diapering Tips, episode 2
Don't feel bad if you need to use disposables
Reblog: Red Eye/White Eye, Why It's Important
A simple observation could save your baby
A much needed update
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Train - 8-30-11

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 Tuesday means it's time for the Tuesday Train with My Mad Mind and With Faith, Family, And Friends, The Survival Mama, and The House on the Corner. Come join the fun and link up with our hostesses!



Last night, I went to the ER because I thought I may have had a blood clot in my leg. It was extremely sensitive and was sending shooting pains up my thigh. A few days before, the same pain was below my knee. Being pregnant and possibly having Protein S Deficiency, I wasn't taking any risks. Well, it turns out, I have shingles. It's pretty rare to get it during pregnancy. Of course, I did, cuz that's just how I roll. It's super painful (to the point where clothes hurt), but thankfully, I don't have too many blisters. Just on a small patch of my lower back and thigh. I think it may be spreading a bit...but we may have caught it soon enough for the meds to kick in. In fact, that's the only reason why I'm able to grab a few minutes here and there to write a bit here and there (and I have my phone so I can type in bed). The baby should be fine, they said. Although, I did read that there's some mild concern since shingles is from the same virus as chicken pox. I just have to worry about giving my youngest daughter chicken pox. And I feel bad for my kids and wish I could cuddle with them...or let alone, let them touch me.

I'm going to try my best to keep up with my blog, but please be understanding. It's kind of hard at times to form thoughts correctly thanks to the pain meds. If you're here from the Tuesday Train, please feel free to read around and comment. I also follow back.

Also, check out this hop!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Giveaway: Miss Mandalay lingerie

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Who doesn't want the chance to win some free lingerie? If you head on over to this sexy lingerie blog you can enter for your chance! I know I could use a new bra. With pregnancy comes a growing chest. And I don't know about you, but I'm picky when it comes to bras. What I'm loving about this company is they offer cute bras for large chested women. So head on over and enter for your chance!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Little Fish #4: 15 Week Update

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So here we are at week 15. If anyone follows either of my Twitter accounts, I posted how I was worried that I haven't felt movement yet. I feel like I should have by now. Granted, I can't quite pinpoint the exact week that I felt my other kids move, but I know I'm quickly closing in on that deadline. I know I felt my youngest move at 14 weeks. I thought I may have felt movement a few nights ago, but I sort of wrote it off as other pregnancy symptoms. Although, I did have my leg resting against my stomach and could feel it bump against my leg. So was it the baby? You'd think after having four of them, I should know this by now...Sometimes, I still feel like a first time mom.  But I know that every child, like every pregnancy, is different. 

What's bothering me the most is that up until about last week, I was confident that everything was fine, that this baby was going to make it. Suddenly, a creeping feeling crawled in and now I'm not so sure. Maybe it's because I'm stuck in Limbo right now. Most of my symptoms have retired. I'm pretty sure Morning Sickness and I have officially broken up. Food Aversions seems to be working part-time. Meat, Milk, and I have begun rekindling our friendship. I missed them... Pork still doesn't like me, though. Pfft! Whatever, I never really liked him anyway... So really, right now I'm just waiting for movement. It's an agonizing wait. I hate the worry. This baby was a surprise and if I lose it, there's a 99% chance I won't get to try again. 

Although...I did damn near cry when my husband came home with Subway and forgot the jalapenos. So that's a good sign, right? Well, maybe not for my husband.  

I don't think I'm going to be getting my waterbirth in the birthing center though (provided the baby is ok)...My heart has been giving me problems. I have always had a minor heart murmur, albeit mild. For the longest time, I didn't even know what was going on until I felt it while in labor with my youngest and the anesthesiologist picked it up. It's gotten really bad within the last week. I'm presuming that (so long as the baby keeps growing) it's because it's working harder to supply blood to the baby. Sometimes my heart acts up so bad that it starts hurting. On my way to my in-laws yesterday, within the span of 10 minutes, it skipped beats/stuck about 6 times (conservatively, as sometimes it would happen back-to-back). I don't want to tell my midwife, honestly. I have felt robbed three times over in my past labor experiences. I find myself very lucky to be pregnant and close enough to a birthing center with the option for water labor. It's what I've (and my body has) wanted for so long. I'm not going to lie; I will probably be very upset if I end up in the hospital. 

Well, my nephews are here for a surprise visit. I'm not all that happy about it because I'm not in the best of moods right now. Oh, and please disregard the mess in the picture. I only have one full length mirror and it's in the basement. 


Friday, August 26, 2011

Raina Belts and Girlactik Beauty Giveaway

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Thrifty Nifty Mommy

If you head on over to Thrifty Nifty Mommy's blog, you can enter for your chance to win a unique belt from Raina Belts and some make-up from Girlactik Beauty!

What woman doesn't like a chance to pamper herself?

Fluff Friday Swaddlebees Giveaway

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Every week, The Cloth Diaper Whisperer has a giveaway called Fluff Friday. This week they're giving away two Swaddlebees Simplex AIO cloth diapers. Provided you have an accessible Blogger profile, you're more than welcome to enter. Don't worry though, you're not required to have a blog... Many people have Blogger profiles without a blog. It's an easy way to keep updated on recent blog posts. There are many extra options for additional entries, so give it a shot!

image from The Cloth Diaper Whisperer

Fawk you Friday - 8.25.11

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Hosted by the lovely J from Boobies, Babies, & a Blog and Christy from  My Mad Mind.  Fawwwwk yeah!

***This post contains mild language. Unless you consider "fawk" to be coarse...then I guess you're fawked (duh-dun-tssss!)***

Fawk people who think I have no life. Don't think that just because I've got three gremlins and baking another I just sit at home all the time.



...Ok. So I usually do. But not all the time. Not lately. But I'm not just gonna drop what I'm doing on a whim because you decided to wait until last minute to ask. I need a warning. In the words of Loto Ball from The Phantom Limbs, "Dammit I've got plans that I don't even know about". Call me an asshole, I guess...

Fawk you guy for buying the house next to me, fixing it up, and renting it out. It hasn't happened yet, but there were already people looking at it... Soon, I can't enter my kitchen without wearing pants. Ha-rumph!

Fawk my skin right now. Lately, my face has begun peeling. It's not a sunburn, because I don't tan. It's hormones. My nose has begun peeling/flaking so badly. Its now spreading to around my mouth. My skin has become more oily than usual (when it rarely is). And when I wash my face, it dries out...so I apply moisturizer, but then my face gets oily again. It's a vicious circle... This happened mildly when I was pregnant the last time but not this bad. I'm really at a loss of what to do right now... =[

Fawk you ants for breaking into my sugar. And fawk you for crawling up my arm and causing me a damn near heart attack. I have a phobia of too many legs attached to one, bitey mouth... While I can *somewhat* tolerate butterflies because they don't really have a mouth. I had three of those little freaks try to take my arm off this morning. I then spent the next few hours randomly slapping, brushing, and scratching myself (you should see it when I see a spider or centipede :gag!:). All I wanted was a cup of coffee...Now I have to drink it black. Even writing about it makes me itchy...

Fawk me for leaving my lotion out. I co-sleep with my youngest and this morning she woke up very quietly. I awoke to farty noises which I immediately realized was the lotion. All over the baby, all over the couch. =/

Other than that though, it's been a pretty good week, and I've been much happier now that I've gotten off my personal Facebook page. I'm starting another one, mostly so I can keep up with my blog fan pages. Blogger's reader hasn't been keeping up with your posts...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I am all, I am nothing (Pour Your Heart Out)

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I think I'm going to start participating in another meme since there's some things I want to get off my chest. This one's hosted by the mind behind Things I Can't Say. I've read her blog before, a long time ago, but apparently, am not a subscribed reader. I thought I was...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Train

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So this is my first time participating in a blog hop. I've been a long-time reader of My Mad Mind, but have never participated until now. Chalk it up to anxiety, I suppose.



This blog hop is not only hosted by My Mad Mind, but also With Faith, Family, and Friends, The Survival Mama, and The House on the Corner. Don't forget to follow the hosts, link back and up, and put the button in your post.


If you're visiting me from this hop, please feel free to leave me a comment on this or any blog post and I'll follow you back. ^_^

 I've tried adding something a bit more interesting to this post, but you get nothing this time. lol. My son's back from Cramma's and has apparently had computer withdrawal. What can I say? My kids are geeks, just like mom and dad! And I want to read me some new blogs...

Cloth Diapering Tips, Episode 1 - Acronyms, Before You Buy, and Washing

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When first venturing into the cloth diaper world, it can become quickly confusing. There's so many different types of diapers out there, and acronyms, and washing methods... I remember feeling so overwhelmed that I'd just abandon my research and come back to it later. Hopefully, these tips will help you along the way. If there is something specific you'd like to know, please feel free to email me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Let's first start with some acronyms and abbreviations I'll be using (and ones that you may come across on your ventures).
  • PF = prefold. Do not buy Gerber Birdseye PFs - they're not absorbent. You will also see CPF for Chinese prefold and IPF for Indian prefold. CPFs tend to be a little more expensive than IPF.
  • AIO =  all in one diaper; These are the easiest to change, almost like changing a disposable but you're not throwing it away. BumGenius and Kushies are good examples.
  • AI2 = all in two diaper; These consist of a cover and a soaker. These tend to dry faster than AIOs. Think Flip and Thirsties Duo
  • OS = One size; adjustable snaps in the front to grow with your baby. These can be applied to fitted diapers, covers, AIOs, and AI2s. Here's an example of a OS pocket diaper
  • PUL = polyurethane laminate; these are what make your covers and AIOs/AI2s from leakin'
  • CD = cloth diaper
And then there's a slew of  brand name abbreviations, but DiaperSwappers.com covers it pretty well.

There's a few diapers I missed but that's because I don't think there's abbreviations for those. 
  • Fitted: Any diaper with elastic around the legs and waist. Can be waterproof or not.
  • Flat: The old school dipes. I would suggest YouTubing and Googling how to fold these (as well as prefolds). 
  • Soakers and longies (wool or polyester/fleece): I don't have much experience with wool soakers. It scares me. lol. I don't want to mess up a pricey cover...I'd Google how to care for these before you decide to buy, but I've heard great things about them. The fleece ones are cheap though...These covers are not waterproof like PUL so you may get some wicking (leaking). Wool is super absorbent when properly lanolized.
  • Pockets: a fitted diaper that you stuff with an insert. These usually tend to be OS, but I'm sure there's some out there that aren't.
  • soakers, inserts, liners and doublers. These are what will absorb your baby's pee and poop. They're all essentially the same thing, different brands call them different names or sometimes it all depends on the diapers they're used in...They can be made from hemp, fleece (which will help baby feel dry), terry, bamboo, etc. Boosters are smaller and are generally used for a "boost" for an outing or a nap. Doublers are optional, in all honesty.
Before you buy, it's important to figure out how much you want to spend. One of the pros of CDing is it's cheaper. Well, it can be, provided you don't go diaper-happy. I know, I know, but there are soooo many cute prints out there! Plus, there's some really expensive dipes out there, I've seen some brands that averaged $30 a diaper. Some I've seen go for $75 (and they need covers!! WTF?), a few have even sold for almost $300. Organic diapers and natural fibers like hemp, bamboo, and wool will be more expensive. I'm not going to go much further right now, since I'll be covering this in a later post (as well as CDing on the cheap), but I will tell you what you need.

  • Diapers - duh. lol. Choose the style(s) you want.
  • A pail - You don't have to get fancy. I just use a large bucket and spray it out when dirty.
  • Natural laundry soap - reasons why covered below
  • Something for diaper rash - Do not use store bought creams (no zinc or petroleum based creams) - they'll screw your diapers up. Use something natural. There are plenty of diaper safe balms out there, but I prefer GSE or even something with calendula in it (it's equally awesome as GSE)
  • A wet bag is nice, but not necessary. For the longest time I'd just use plastic bags. Sometimes extra large Ziploc bags, sometimes I'd post on Freecycle for grocery bags (if they're just going to be thrown out, I'd prefer to use them first)
  • If you wish to use cloth wipes (it's easier than dealing with disposable wipes), I'd suggest at least 2 dozen since they get lost easily, especially if you're using it for other things like faces, hands, etc.
  • Buying a  wipe solution isn't necessary, there are plenty of recipes you can make, or you can just use plain water.  There are sooo many different things you can add to it like lavender oil, aloe vera, calendula oil, etc.
  • My wipes recipe:
  • 2 TBSP baby wash
  • 8 oz water
  • 4-6 drops of GSE
  • I mix and store it in the peri bottle the hospital gave me after I delivered, but you can order them for super cheap...or maybe in your local drug store, I dunno, I've never had to look.




WASHING

It's important to use a detergent that is cloth diaper safe. You cannot just use any regular detergent as it will mess up your absorbency among causing other problems (scroll to bottom). My personal favorite is Charlie's Soap. For me, it's worked the best and you use very little. However, there are plenty of great brands out there that you may wish to check out such as Rockin' Green, bumGenius detergent, and GroVia Tiny Bubbles, just to name a few. There are some "mainstream" detergents you can use like All Free and Clear, I personally wouldn't recommend it, but I'd use it in a pinch...

I won't go into washing instructions since there's quite a few ways you can do it. I will give some tips and tell you how I wash. My washer only half works, so I get an extra long first wash.

1. Hot or warm wash with soap.
2. I rinse 3 times. Many people do two, but I've been noticing an odor build up. I have hard water and hard water doesn't clean as well.
3. I then tumble dry on a delicate heat cycle. I check to see if they need to be dried further...

Some tips...
You need to have a lot of water to fully clean diapers, so try to do it on the highest setting. When using an energy efficient (HE) washer, use your soak feature to trick your machine into adding more water.
Line drying is best if you want to preserve your diapers. But if you can't, tumble dry on a low heat setting and don't pull on your waterproof diapers or the elastic. The heat can make the plastic brittle, so wait until it cools first.
Natural fibers stain easier than fleece, etc. The sun is great at removing stains and killing microbes!
If your baby is exclusively breastfed, you don't need to spray off the poo before you wash. If your baby's started solids or is on formula, make sure you do since it isn't water soluble like EBF poop.
A diaper sprayer is really, really nice, but not necessary... I don't have one, not yet anyway. I do have a shower head, and after dunking, I spray the remaining down the tub (hot first, then cold). Ew, I know. But I sanitize it after. Whatever, it's what works.
Velcro (also known as Applix) will chain together with all the other diapers in your load. To prevent this you can use the laundry tabs, but I've found sometimes these fail. So, I just attach it as if I were putting the diaper on the baby.
I'm not going to get into stripping diapers just yet, however, I want to say this do not ever use Dawn or dish soap in your washing machine. It can clog up your lines and void any warranties you may have on it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Idiot Control

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Something to make you laugh, hopefully. I know it always does it for me.

Fawk You Friday

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Yayy for Fawk You Fridays! While things had been pretty decent in my absence, there's also been some times when I've really needed it. Especially lately...If you wish to jump in on the fawking action, it's hosted by the lovely ladies behind My Mad Mind and Boobies, Babies, and a Blog. All you gotta do is grab the button and link up, but don't forget to link back to our hostesses...

This is the Pregnancy edition...I'm sure there'll be more over the next several months.

Fawk Facebook. I think I need to take a break. There are some people I don't want to say a temporary goodbye to...and there's a lot of "fan" pages that I definitely don't want to stop reading...But I can't take the passive-aggressive posts and virtual penis measuring contests. I understand people need to vent, but I cannot stand ignorant comments. At least not right now. Usually, it wouldn't bother me, but pregnancy hormones can turn me into someone completely different and I have little control over it. Think of it as a virus, and the only way to cure it is if I squeeze out the baby...and even then it's not a guarantee that shit's gonna change quickly. So, I think it's healthier (for everyone) if I stay away. I don't want to lose contact with anyone either, though...

Fawk hormones. This ain't right. Not only am I cranky for the most part, I can't eat the shit I want to. I've developed lactose intolerance. I can't even have a bowl of cereal (without drinking the milk) without feeling sick for a day. I miss milk. I've also had major aversions to meat...

Fawk my husband for bringing Tastycakes, brownies, and chips into the house. I'm trying to avoid gestational diabetes! lol. I am seriously about to take his card away so he can only do shopping with me around.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mom Cave

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In the seven plus years since having kids, I've never once gone off and had a "girls' getaway". My husband has never been without me and in sole charge of the kids. There's been a few times when I've gone off with my aunt when she was visiting and I went off on an evening with her...but that's really been it. I guess it would help if I was any good at maintaining friendships.

I've actually been considering leaving my husband for the weekend and staying with my mom, just so he can have an idea of how hard it really is. I will ask him for help with the kids and you'd almost think I asked him to cut of his arm. Naturally, this pisses me off to no extent. I could really turn this into a separate post of its own, so I won't go into details. He's not a complete douche, just so you know (you're only hearing what I put out there...), but he does whine like little baby.

I do, however, have a "Mom Cave" which I've only created recently. It isn't much, but it beats the bathroom, which was my hidey-spot before. It's down in the basement. I've got my little desk, ashtray, nail stuff if I feel like doing my nails, carpet remnants, my makeup, and colored lights. Unfortunately, it is prone to mildew, so right now, it's quite cave-like. But I'm hoping to get some mildew-resistant curtains, furniture, and pillows.

I like this one...I know it's a shower curtain, but I was looking at outdoor curtains and didn't like most of them. Too plain, which just isn't me. I think it'd look good with some light grey curtains as well... Although, if I can find me some nice burgundy and chocolate curtains, I'd totally go for that. That's one of my favorite interior design color combinations.

I know the basement isn't, uh, glamorous...at all. But it works. Since we have hardwood floors, I can hear virtually everything. I'm not down there for long, unless I'm babysitting the washing machine, and even then I wait until my husband's home. I think it's important for us stay-at-home parents to have someplace we can go to catch a break, even if it's only for a few minutes.

Do you have your own in-home retreat? Or do you catch micro-vacations in some other way?

And just for some added fun, here's some Louis C.K. (content warning: language and some may not get his sense of humor. Towards the end (after he talks about not judging other parents) is one of my more favorites)




Monday, August 15, 2011

The Impending School Year

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Summer break is almost over. In a few weeks, both my eldest and my son will be attending school. This year, however, Bucket will not be attending e-school. As nice as it was to not have to worry about waking up as ass o'clock, doing her hair, making sure her uniform (blech!) is kept clean, etc., it just wasn't working out for us. It became a fight to get her to do anything, and that's not how I want her early school experience to be. Plus, with the new baby coming, there's no way I could juggle it all. Hell, I'm still struggling to find some balance in my life. Every time I think I've got it down, something changes.

She'll instead be going to a school specifically for children with ADD, Asperger's, and such. She seems excited, mostly over karate, which I'm hoping will help calm her rebelliousness. Not that I want to squash it out completely, it just needs to be harnessed in some and channeled in a more positive direction. She is quite strong willed, challenges authority, and will speak out when she feels wronged. Not necessarily a bad thing, she's just become so angry. It will be nice to for her to play with kids again though. She's been so lonely the last year.

My son will be attending preschool. I admit I'm a bit worried...He's begun emulating his older sister in not listening and talking back. I'm hoping he'll be able to focus and sit still enough to where I'm not getting calls from the teacher. And if they think I'm just going to medicate him, they're sorely wrong. I'm pretty sure they provide buses for preschoolers, but I know that all the other schools here will only provide them if you're two miles away. And we're right on the two mile mark (according to the Googles).

I'm not going to lie...I'm really looking forward to getting some quieter times in the house. I love my kids more than anything, but a year of having three kids straight up my ass is grounds for a freaking break. Sure, it's taught me a lot as a parent - especially in terms of patience - but I'm not Supermom. No one is. No one should be expected to, either. I'm a human too, and I have needs dammit! Ooh, and!...and I should have more time for :gasp!: blogging! Yay! I know I've been talking about getting back into it for months, but maybe this time I will actually get the chance!

Not too keen on physicals being required. I understand why, don't get me wrong, but it's still a pain in the ass. And I still have to make appointments for my ultrasound and I need to see a hematologist to get my Protein S Deficiency checked into. Which, by the way, my pregnancy has been going great. Had some hardcore morning sickness, major food aversions and intolerances, all the typical early complaints. But no bleeding, no ER trips, and the heartbeat is going strong at 168 bpm. I'm 13 weeks now! Oh and my husband needs to be screened for HOCM since there's a family history of it (which is what the student athletes you read about die from).

I really am not looking forward to having four kids in school...If I think it's chaotic now, how's it going to be then?? So my question to veteran parents, how do you manage the August Crazies? The enrollment process, school supply lists, wardrobe, etc?

How have I not gone completely crazy, yet?

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