Friday, June 29, 2012

Babywearing PSA

 Please make sure with any carrier that you use, that you use common sense and make sure baby is secure and follow any instructions to a T.   There have been many times I’ve seen mamas wearing carriers incorrectly.  Use the instruction manual that your carrier comes with.  If you’ve bought one that doesn’t have a manual use the internet to search and make sure you are using it properly.  Baby wearing is a completely safe practice, but like anything there can be user error.  Make sure you are knowledgeable.  There is a wonderful website, that is phenomenal for covering the how to’s of all carriers.  Even some I haven’t worn myself!   Use you tube to search for how to’s on baby wearing.  There are so many wonderful videos that other mamas have shared to help you wear your baby safely and comfortably.   Here are some quick things I have noticed many times!

* Snugli and Bjorn carriers, are not ideal because the baby is just dangly by it’s crotch.  Therefore all the babies weight is being put on it’s growing and developing spine.  These carriers are not my preferred carrier.

*Bag slings, just the name tells you that there is something wrong.  Who would put there infant in a bag?  These have been pretty much eliminated in stores like Walmart because of infant deaths.  So make sure if you are buying second hand you do not purchase this so called sling. 

*Loose straps/wrap.  Make sure you have your straps whether using a ring sling or wrap (we call them rails) tight and taught.  This will not only keep your baby safe and snug it will also be MUCH more comfortable for mama!

* Wearing babies forward facing.  Now I am not going to tell you that it’s forbidden, though many avid baby wearers discourage this.  The main reason is that this makes baby have no choice but to be stimulated.  If the baby is in a hip, back or on your front carry they are able to choose what they want to be involved with and also take comfort in mama when they are starting to get over stimulated.  There are also certain carriers you can not and should not forward face a baby.  Make sure your carrier is one that has this option, like the moby or a pouch sling.  Most SSC don’t want you doing this.  If baby is old enough to have head control you are better off doing a back carry and they can see the world but still feel safe and secure. 

*Do not do a forward facing carry if your baby doesn’t have good head control. 

*And this is one that I think every baby wearing mama is not proud to admit to doing, yet we have all done it.  Be super aware of baby being there.  Like walls, doorways, etc.  Oh you may think that this is not going to happen to you, but once that baby carrier is to the point where it’s part of your body you will forget baby is back there and turn a corner to sharp.  Believe me. 

*And my last one, if you have misplaced your child.  You have been busy and all the sudden you do not know where you child could be… not in the play pen, not in the usual guilty spots.  Look on your back…there is a very good chance that said child is still hanging out on mamas back and you have officially lost your mind! ;)  Many will wonder how you have forgotten that you are toting around a 20 lb child on your own back, but like I said it’s something that will become a part of you and you won’t know what to do without a carrier! LOL  Yes I am guilty of this, and don’t be surprised if you will be too!!! J

Happy Baby Wearing!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Potty Training

Hello all!

I'm still trying to decide what direction to go with my posts.... the lack of interaction with comments, postings on fb, and sharing of my posts has really got me down ... I know this takes time to build up but in a society where everything is now, now, now... well I want success NOW!. ha

But as many of you know I did not and am not cloth diapering (although I really wish I did and was - but that's another post).  So there's been lots of talk among my mommy friends about potty training and I thought I would share my stories with my first two children.

My daughter is almost 5 and up until a month ago was still wearing a pull-up to bed. It did not matter what we did this girl just could not stay dry during the night... and she would sleep right through peeing her bed.  Now this was the child that we got super excited about because at a year old she started pooping on the potty. She hated dirty diapers and was thrilled to poop on the potty... but hence it stopped there.  It took her till almost 4 to really get the peeing part down.  It was rough some days.  About a month ago I just got tired of buying pullups for her.  So a friend has shared what they had done with their son who was having this problem... now this is not for everyone I admit that but sometimes sacrifices must be made - for awhile.  For two straight weeks my husband and I set our alarms for midnight and 4:00 am. and got up and took her to the potty. It was awful and so tiring but her body FINALLY got the message that she's to wake up when she has to pee not sleep through it.  Yes we gave up sleep for two weeks but we are now on the road to complete and total bladder control! It was totally worth it.

Now my son who is almost 3.... absolutely no desire. none. zero.  so frustrating.  We have gotten him to sit on the potty before bed and bath time and he usually goes but could honestly care less.  He just does not want to do it.  This is where I really wish I cloth diapered... I heard it helps.  Plus he's driving me crazy because every time he does pee (maybe 3 or 4 times a day) he INSISTS he pooped and needs changed - but he hasn't pooped - he's just peed. a lot.  ugh... I know some day he'll get it but boy... I hope soon. ha!

Oh and my 8 month old.... I haven't even though about potty training her yet. ;)

And I know some people might think I'm crazy for promoting this again - but Mommy Talk Survey's is open again and I've only been a member for a couple months and recently passed the $40 mark. I am hoping by Christmas time I will have an extra $100 to spend on gifts... plus when you sign up now they will give you an automatic $5 credit! :)

An Update On Our Lives

    For over a week now I have been without internet which has been both good and frustrating.  I have been able to have a little more focus (which was MUCH needed) on things surrounding me and my family.  So many things have changed and change continues to happen here on a daily basis, both awesome and scary.

    My hubs has been off work since last August due to an eye injury at work which has left him blind in that eye.  He was recently cleared by the doctors to return to work and had been searching since that day.  He got a job, went to a week of training only to find out that his cadmium levels were too high (from a previous job) for them to allow him to continue to be employed there considering that he would be exposed to it there. Too much cadmium can be fatal, so I was grateful for their conscience effort to keep potential employees safe but scared for my family who was now, once again, left without an income.  So I did the best thing I knew to do, I prayed. Monday he started a new job that not only pays more but is closer to home! Plus, he won't be exposed to any harmful materials =)

   Jubbs is amazing!  She bit into an apple the other night and noticed that her tooth was loose.  The next day I woke up to her being so loud and excited.  Needless to say I was bothered by being woke so abruptly but interested in what was so exciting.  "Mommy, I pulled my tooth out! It was wiggly. I couldn't stand it anymore so I pulled it out! There was a little blood on my lip but I wiped it off. It's ok. THE TOOF FAIRY IS COMIN' TONIGHT!!!!" What a trooper! My daddy always pulled my wiggly teeth, I couldn't do it myself.  She is also getting ready to leave me for TWO WEEKS!  She is driving down to North Carolina with my Aunt.  This will be the longest we have ever been apart.  She seems to be okay with all of this, me not so much!  She told me that though she will miss me she knows I will be here to take care of her stuffed animals for her, LOL!

    Capt. Caveman, now he is something!  Not only is he fastly approaching his third birthday he is also that much closer to being diaper-free!!!  We have been using the "Boot Camp" method.  Basically he runs around pantless =)  We had a few accidents, of both kinds, when we first tried this so we stopped for a while as reccomended.  Then out of the blue he started asking to use the potty.  He has been successful for about 2 weeks now at going on the potty though we still diaper him at naptime, bedtime and whenever we go out.  The next step for this is to try to get him diaper-free through naptime and then take it from there.  The first time he made poopies was so exciting for him.  He stood up, started raising his fists up and down and screaming "I did it! I did it! I did it!"  I must say I was overjoyed myself.

   The Velociraptor continues to hit milestone after milestone.  She has moved on to baby food and (against my stongest efforts) formula.  She wants to crawl so badly but has only mastered "the worm".  And boy oh boy does she try to talk!  She still sounds off like a velociraptor but has now added "rasberries", cooing and purring like a kitty to her list of sounds.  Her two top teeth have now come in to match the two bottom that came in at 4 months and it seems as though she already has another one popping through.  She is nothing short of amazing.

    Pvt. K (the name I have given to my growing baby) is now approximately 13wks.  I say approximately because the doctors are only guessing at the due date because I was breastfeeding and had no cycle to go off of.  I am considering on letting this one's sex be a suprise. I found out with my others because I needed to know for room situations but at this point we are running out of room and I'd really like to be suprised but Hubs is pushing to find out ... We are still a bit away from the sonogram that will reveal the sex (if we choose to know) so I will have to do more convincing that suprised is the best ... I'd LOVE to know what you all think =)

    I myself am exhausted! I have gotten really used to Hubs being home the past 10 months helping with the children and now that I am doing it all by myself again I feel as if I am at wits end!  "Pregnacy brain" has been in full effect and I think that it is worse than it ever has been in the past.  I am blaming that on the fact the other's were 18mos old before I became pregnant and the Velociraptor was only 4mos when I found out.  I have been a giant stress ball and the "ball" seems to be growing quickly.  I know that isn't good for any pregnancy so I try to take a breather when I can, even if it is only 5 minutes in the bathroom alone with the door shut or a walk out on the front porch to hear my chimes.  I know alot of this stuff I stress about will eventually work itself out but I can't help but to stress sometimes, especially when it has to do with my family!

    I thank you all for taking the time to learn a little more about me and my family.  My main goal with posts like these is to show that life happens to everyone and that we have to take the good with the bad.  Everything will be fine as long as we get out of our own way! ~ Robin =)  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday...

Things have been absolutely crazy around here lately between Miss A turning 3 (gasp!) last weekend and having a brand new baby boy in the house!!!  And we have been having some issues with baby J (a post for another time) so it has been all the more stressful!!  So with all of that stress, emotion, fatigue, and just general craziness, I never got around to typing up my post for this you can probably imagine!  So I will share with you a preview of the newborn reviews to come!!!  Here are just a *FEW* of the photos I have taken of Baby J in his newborn diapers!!!  His cord just fell off this past weekend, so I definitely got to see what works and what does not with a cord stump!!!  Enjoy the photos!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Soft Structured Carriers (SSC)

 My old and newer style ergo!

 The Boba in Soho with my almost 3 yr old!

Soft Structured Carriers have become very popular and for a good reason.  There are many brands, Ergo, Beco, and Boba are just a few.  I have 2 Ergo's, one is an old version that I had bought used and after my daughter was born I sold off her newborn diapers and bought the pink flowery Ergo they had just come out with.  I am plus sized so I do need the extender.  I have no problem with it fitting once I have the extender, and most wouldn’t need the extender.  I loved this carrier when my children were older.  We actually kept the older Ergo for Daddy to keep as his own.  He would use it when we would go hiking and carry one of the kids in it.  A SSC is a great guy carrier and I have to think it’s so easy to use that it helps for the guys.  Men are no fuss and this is a no fuss carrier.  There is nothing to tie, only to snap together the buckles.  This can be challenging to get the top strap clipped when you are wearing baby on front and have to clip the back top strap.  This is something that you will figure out how to do and it’s not that bad.  Though it can be aggravating at times.  Many people actually prefer being able to just do buckles. Last week I went into detail about the Boba I was given to review.  It's definitely my personal favorite between the Ergo and the Boba.  They can come in pretty fabrics or more classic styles that no daddy will complain about wearing!   I personally found that SSC were my favorite when my kids were getting to heavy for a lot of my other carriers. They were still able to be worn in my other carriers, but for longer time periods or hikes, there is nothing that can compare to the comfort of a SSC.  The only reason they aren't my all time favorite for all ages, is mainly because they were so much more bulky and cumbersome than the rest of my choices.  Many people love them from birth to toddler, and I am dying to try out my Boba with the newborn adjustments and see what it's like.  Look forward to seeing more about wearing a newborn in December!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Ok before you look at the date after reading the title let me remind you that I have three kids, just finished a major renovation/addition, and just recently became a SAHM.... I am way behind on my spring cleaning. ha

My last couple of posts haven't been that popular it seems... so I'm not sure the money saving/making is the direction you all want me to go on here... I've been praying about it and will hopefully see a clear answer soon!

So in the meantime... this past week has been spent cleaning my closet. After three pregnancies, three babies, and three different weight loss rates I had acquired quite a collection of sizes of clothes.  So I started sorting... EVERYTHING that I owned.... our bedroom and closet looked like a store exploded.... there were clothes in every nook and cranny... and piles on every surface... too big, too small, never wore, wear all the time, really want to wear sometime, never going to get back in to no matter how hard I try, etc. 

I was able to make a pretty substantial pile for selling, a bin of winter/slightly too small clothes that hopefully fit me in the fall, a bin of too big (hopefully won't need them again unless we do the baby thing again), and slimmed down my closet a bit.  It was so wonderful and refreshing to finish this job.

I also took some pictures to prove to myself that it does make a difference to be accountable (knowing I was going to do a post on this!).  Here they are!

Before closet

After closet

And a couple closer shots - before and after! (I have no idea why that picture won't rotate! sorry)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

PottyCover Review and Giveaway

We can all agree that taking our potty training or potty learned small children into a public restroom can be completely daunting.  Unless it is a public restroom that you go to frequently and feel comfortable in it's cleanliness, you just never know what the conditions may be.  It might be pretty clean, or it might be downright awful, but telling your potty training child to hold it may not be possible!

PottyCover has come along to save you!  Seriously...what will people think of next???  PottyCover is an individually wrapped disposable toilet seat cover that is small enough to tuck in your purse or diaper bag and can make those daunting trips into the unknown world of the public restroom a little less scary for you and for your child!

The PottyCover has a soft non-woven fabric top that is comfy against the tushie, and a plastic coating on the bottom to keep wetness, germs, etc away from your precious child's skin!  It is also designed to perfectly cover most toilets with complete coverage to maximize protection.  You simply put the PottyCover on the seat and then tuck the sides behind the front flap and PRESTO!  Complete coverage!  Easy as pie!  The PottyCover even stay in place quite well without needing sticky strips or other additional steps!  When your done, simply toss it in the trash!  Great addition to any mom's purse or diaper bag!!

My only recommendation for an improvement to this item would be to make it biodegradable!  This would be amazing!!!

I love that these are individually wrapped in a small pouch making them small enough for any purse or diaper bag.  They are also a cute dot print that makes them fun for kids and might make that trip to the unfamiliar bathroom a little less scary for your little one!  Even better, this potty cover has the largest amount of coverage of any potty cover on the you know that you are getting the most protection from germs.

Total Stars: ★★★★★ 

The PottyCover is available at online and many in-store locations.  Available at Amazon, Ebay, Bed Bath and Beyond, and BuyBuyBaby!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Here I Go Again...

Hello all you TMG-ers!  I am here at the table watching my Cub play with Mack (from Cars : ) instead of eating his breakfast!  I hope you all had an amazing Daddy's Day with your guys.  We just hung out since daddyguy had to work last night and we are visiting Papa (my dad) today!

So, here I am, an out of work teacher.  There are a lot of us around nowadays.  Searching for a teaching job is no fun, let me tell you!  Luckily 80% of my experience has been in a private, religious school & those are the only ones hiring.  The stress of needing a job and not having one weighs heavily on me these days, let me tell you!  I am in essence starting over.  At this point, I'm looking for a teaching position but searching for more untraditional things too, possibly starting a little business.  We will see!

How does this relate to TMG and being a mama?  Well, it has everything to do with it!  I know I'm not the only one out there...and the stress of another person counting on you is astronomical.  The deep-seated desire and pull to give and do everything for you child mixed with the lack of funds is pretty frustrating.  I'm used to doing whatever I wanted with my to a craft store and start a project?  Sure!  You want that new Cars car?  Ok!  These are not things I can do at the moment.  (Ok, I admit, I have started a few things for Cub's big boy room..)

Is it life and death?  No, not at this point (let's ask that again in August if I don't have anything lined up...)  but it is life changing.  The little extras have given way to "gotta save save save!" and this is ok.  Just stressful.  It also calls into question things like my self worth, who I am and other more complicated things that I don't think people realize.

Time to go for a run (if it isn't too hot already) and then take Cub to the pool---all while leaving my phone so I can't obsessively check my email for interview offers!!!

<3 Jen

Friday, June 15, 2012

Boba Review

 I was so thrilled to get the opportunity to review this great soft structured carrier!  Boba was so generous to let me test out this carrier, since I have only used an Ergo so far.  I was so excited for many reasons!  I had a friend who absolutely LOVES her Boba and she leads a babywearing group in her area.  So of course when given the opportunity to do this review I was about beside myself with joy! So the tough part came to be choosing which amazing pattern!  I ended up with their beautiful Soho design, but had a REALLY hard time not getting the cute Kangaroo one they have! And just a FYI, they have just recently put out a line for Dad's!  Calling all camo lovers!!!  That was truly the hardest thing about this carrier, choosing the design!  I haven't yet gone over the Soft Structured Carriers on a blog post, so look forward to that post next week!  For just a general idea in case any of you don't know a SSC has buckles on the straps, to take away the tying of long straps like on a mei tai.

 As you can see both my kids were really curious about this new carrier.  One of the coolest features that is not on any other carriers are these foot straps. It's like a stirrup for your older child to put their foot in.  It helps with heavier/taller kids to keep that knee above bum rule of thumb.  And as you can see with some of the other pictures, Miss A thought these were the bees knees!  They are snapped onto this ingenuous plastic runner, so that the foot strap can be in the right position whether child is on your front or back. Miss A thought it was fun to keep sliding her foot straps back and forth! ;)  It's such a simple feature that just makes so much sense!  I think it really made her feel more secure also. 

She was super comfy in it and seemed to really enjoy herself when being worn.  She's 31 lbs and turning 3 next month.  Not many carriers are going to be comfy for her at this point.  Yet she was very comfy and I was too.  It's amazing how great the weight is distributed!  She definitely didn't feel like she weighed that much. And also this carrier has the tallest carrier back for child.  So even though she is tall, there was plenty of support for her back, unlike many carriers not made specifically for toddlers only. 

Now as you all know I am a plus sized mama.  Now when I am looking for a carrier as a plus sized mama, I am always worried about fit.  With the Ergo I can't just wear it, I need an extender. This is fine, as I can add it on and make it work, but you know it stinks when you are reminded that you aren't able to just buy it and it fit.  Well Boba, THANK YOU!!! You made this plus sized mama, who is also 12+ weeks pregnant with #3 feel wonderful.  Not only does the Boba fit it had extra room!!!  So this is monumental for a woman who after saying she'd love to review this product had a panic attack about whether it was big enough to fit me! So two thumbs up for being so versatile with your sizing.  This means a mama and daddy can share the carrier no matter how much their sizes differ!

 This is a close up picture of the chest strap.  It's on a runner so that the whole strap VERY effortlessly goes up and down to adjust for optimum comfort! It's the little things people.  This company has thought of everything to make your baby wearing experience an effortless one.  It was so easy to buckle and adjust all the straps to fit me perfectly.  I was just super impressed with how much more fluid everything worked than the Ergo. 

 Look how cute the pattern is!  It's 100% cotton and so comfy!  It feels already broken in, not stiff and cumbersome.  I found that the straps were padded enough for super support yet it wasn't so puffy that it was uncomfortable.

12+ week pregnant mama with an almost 3 yr old on her back!  That's impressive! I'm seriously amazed at how well it fit and felt!  So comfy and supportive!

As you can see this carrier did an awesome job for my daughter and I, it was super comfy, easy to use, and super stylish.  There was not one thing that I was disappointed about.  It over exceeded all of my expectations.  I really thought this was going to be just like any other SSC and how could they make an impact.  I was so wrong, they have so many simple but super useful features that the Ergo and other SSC just don't have.   There are features I didn't use since my daughter is almost 3, but it also has a pocket with a hidden sleep hood.  We all know how great it is to put the hood up once baby has fallen asleep on your back!  It has 3 actual pockets to hold small items!  And my favorite feature that makes it super versatile is it has snaps that you can make this carrier into an infant carrier.  With just 2 simple snaps and re-threading the buckles you now have a carrier you can use from BIRTH to 45 lbs!!  I so look forward to doing a follow up review when baby #3 arrives in December.  If you buy an Ergo you aren't supposed to put an infant in it without the infant insert.  So the Boba has made it so you buy the carrier and you don't need to add on anything to it to make it fully functional for all sizes of mamas and all sizes of babies!  I couldn't be happier with this carrier and it will be for sure a carrier I recommend to all baby wearing mamas who are looking into purchasing a SSC or just want one carrier that is good from birth to beyond! 

If you would like to purchase your own Boba carrier go to

For more information you can check them out at:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Easy Savings

I had quite an interesting scare this week - my son had a very quick allergic reaction to Nutella (so sad!). Read about it over here at my other blog!

But this week I wanted to share with you one of the easiest way to save a couple extra bucks - no cutting coupons, no organizing, no remembering to take the coupons with you.

Super simple program - join here. Add your shopper cards from all the stores you shop at.  'Clip' coupons and purchase the items. Once the stores send the data to SavingStar you'll receive an email that your account has been credited.  The wonderful thing about these is you can stack them with store sales, and manufacturers coupons.  As an example - Giant Eagle has the Dole Fruit Crisps on sale for $2. There is a .75cent coupon in the 3/25 SmartSource insert. They will double the coupon to $1.50 and there is a SavingStar coupon for .50.... making it FREE!

Buy 1 DOLE Fruit Crisp, Save 50¢

There are four ways to collect your rewards - direct deposit into your checking account, PayPal deposit, gift card, or donation to American Forests (for each $1 donated a new tree is planted).

Do this all year and by the holidays you'll have a nice chunk of change to put towards shopping!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Baby J's Pregnancy, Labor, and Delivery Story!

Baby J was a week old yesterday!  So hard to believe that he is here and that he is one week old!  Many people have asked for me to share my labor story, so here it is!  Please no judgement for the labor decisions that I made.

Shortly after Miss A turned one, my husband and I talked about trying for number two.  About this same time DH changed jobs, was driving almost 2 hours to and from work, and we put our house on the market.  So baby plans were put on hold.  About six months later, after an awful time at his job, it was mutually agreed that it would be best for him to leave and we found ourselves in a horrible as a SAHM and him without a job.  Again, baby go!  Lucky for us, his old job was jumping at the gun to get him back and his time unemployed was quite short. plans GO!

With Miss A, we got pregnant the first month we tried...that was not the case with baby number two.  We tried month after month with no success.  It was a kick in the pants to wait so long to start trying, doing the responsible thing and getting jobs and finances in order, and then not get pregnant when we finally could.  Months and months went by, many friends and family members announced pregnancies, and I still was not pregnant.  It was extremely rough and emotional for me.  I watched as Miss A just got older and the gap between my kids spaced further and further and wondered if baby number two was ever going to come.

As late September came, I woke one morning after having extremely vivid dreams.  I had the same dream three times...I got up, peed on the stick, and it said pregnant.  The dreams had me almost shaking with excitement, but after seven months of trying and countless negative pregnancy tests, I was most definitely cautiously reserved.  So just like in my dream, I got up and went into the bathroom to pee on the stick.  I only had one left and I had promised myself that I was going to wait to use it as I was not buying any more that cycle.  Almost instantaneously, the digital stick read "pregnant" and if I had not just peed, there might have been a puddle on the floor...I was so excited!  I had to contain myself a little bit though...Miss A was still sleeping right across the hall!

Since my husband was already gone for work that morning, the first person I told was Miss A.  She had no clue what mommy was talking about and just kept asking to go downstairs for her breakfast! LOL!  I talked to my husband a few times throughout the day and it was CRAZY hard not to tell him.  He was coming home early that day and I knew that Miss A would be waking about the time he got home, so I put her down for her nap in her "Big Sister" shirt that we had bought months earlier for the time when she could wear it!  My plan worked perfectly...Miss A was waking just as DH pulled in the driveway.  So I told him to go get her up and I followed with the camera.  It took him a minute to see it, but when he read her shirt he just lit up and asked if I was pregnant...YES!!! :)

Pregnancy was smooth sailing, just like my pregnancy with Miss A.  No morning sickness, no problems, no complaints.  The only trouble I had was being pregnant tired and chasing Miss A!  But other than that, I had absolutely no issues!

As my third trimester approached, I started to get a little anxious.  At 32 weeks with Miss A, my blood pressure started to go up.  So not surprisingly, my 32 week appointment this time was very stressful for me.  Thankfully, my blood pressure and everything else checked out just fine and remained perfect until 39 weeks.  At my 39 week appointment, my blood pressure was up a tiny bit which bought me a Non-Stress Test and some blood work, all of which came back perfect, so there was no need to induce or do other crazy stuff.

On monday June 4th just two days before my due date, I had an appointment with my midwife and good friend Jill.  We talked over my Non-Stress Test and the lab work and decided that there was no need to induce.  She checked me and I was still 1-2 cm dilated.  So she stripped my membranes and stretched me to 2 cm.  Neither of us knew that this was going to do the trick as well as it did!

My appointment was at 4:30 so it was a little after 5:00 before we were headed home.  The whole drive home I was amazed at how crampy I was.  But nothing surprised me more than when we got home and I went into the bathroom to pee and was excited to see TONS of blood show!  I had a feeling right then that we were in for a long and wonderful night!!

We ate dinner and something told me that I should go take a nice relaxing bubble bath.  Yes!  This mama at 39 almost 40 weeks pregnant got into the bathtub for a GLORIOUS bubble bath and I even shaved my legs!  My husband took Miss A to the playground, so I just sat in the tub and soaked all of my aches away!  It was after my bubble bath that the cramping started to get more regular!

Around 9:00 that evening, the cramping still felt very period-like but it was definitely coming more regularly and I knew that it would either intensify or stop.  So I laid on the couch and watched some TV with my husband and just tried to relax.  But 10:00 the cramping was coming closer together, but still not incredibly strong.  So I decided to go to bed and try to sleep.  I was still having a ton of bloody show and was getting pretty sure that this was the real deal.

After laying in bed for an hour, unable to get comfortable and sleep, my husband and I started to discuss if we should call my mom.  My mom lives an hour and a half away and is our babysitter.  So we had to get her mobilized with plenty of time to spare as she is an hour and a half away and the hospital is 45 minutes away.  That means from the time I called my mom, it would be more than 2 hours until I got to the hospital.  This fact made me nervous the entire pregnancy.

He thought that it was too soon to call her, so I again tried to lay down and rest.  By 11:30 I just knew, and I  called my mom and got her moving.  I told my husband to go to bed and get some sleep and I also tried to sleep.  But it was not happening.  Eventually, I got up and started pacing in the living room.  The cramping was no longer cramping, they were full blown contractions.  After every contraction I would check the clock counting down the time until my mom got there.  An hour and a half is an ETERNITY when you are in labor!!!  At 12:45, I woke my husband so that he could get a shower and get dressed and I got myself dressed and ready.  I had it perfectly timed that my mom pulled in the driveway just as we were all ready to go!  I have never been so happy to see her face as I was at that moment!

The drive to the hospital was difficult!  Being strapped in a seat belt in the car when in labor is just evil!  One more reason why I wish home birth was more of an option in Pennsylvania!!  I was contracting every 2-3 minutes, breathing through my contractions, and clutching the arm rest.  We just could not get there soon enough!

Finally we arrived at the hospital (where I worked as an L&D nurse, so it is more like going home).  Since it was almost 2:00 in the morning, we had to go in through the ER where they quickly got me in a wheelchair and up to L&D.

My dear friend Ang was working that night and decided to be my nurse!  She got me back to the birthing room and checked me, I was only 2-3 cm.  Really?  As hard as I was laboring, I thought for sure I would have made more progress than that!  So I walked the halls, sat in the rocking chair, anything to try and be comfortable.  Around 4 am I knew something had changed.  The contractions were coming even closer and they were much more intense.  So I asked Ang to check me again and I was 4 cm!  Woohoo!  This IS the real deal!

I had thought about going completely natural, but I was extremely tired and I wanted something for pain.  So after Ang started my IV, I got some Stadol (IV pain medicine) and got some much needed rest.  Around 5 am, Ang came back to check me again and I was 6 cm.  I had an epidural with Miss A, and by this point I was ready for my epidural.  So we called and got anesthesia to come in.  Best decision I ever made!!  After my epidural was placed, Jill (the midwife) came in and checked me and I was 7 cm.  My epidural had me pain free, so they turned off the lights and let me get some much needed sleep!

The next thing I knew, Jill was back to check me again.  I was completely numb from my epidural.  She checked me...I was complete and his head was basically coming out.  The only thing holding him in was the fact that my water wasn't broken yet.  I was shocked, I couldn't feel a thing and yet there was a baby coming out of me.  I couldn't do anything but laugh!  So they got everything ready for delivery and we were cracking jokes and laughing's so fun to deliver where you work; among friends!  Jill broke my water and he crowned, so she told me to push.  I couldn't feel anything, but I did my best to push.  I stopped and asked if I was even moving him.  They all laughed at me and said his head was half out! LOL!  Ok I pushed two more times and he was out and on my belly!  It was the most peaceful and amazing birth I could have ever imagined! <3

Laying there, with my little boy on my was just amazing.  A completely pain-free and almost effortless birth...I could not have imagined it!  It was absolutely beautiful!  And he is even more beautiful!

He was 7 pounds 12 ounces and 20 inches long!  And the perfect addition to our little family!

It's hard to believe that he is even here, let alone a week old!  Miss A is an amazing and very protective big sister and we are all doing fabulously!  More to come from Baby J in the coming months!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Little Wool Talk and Giveaway!

    Hello TMGers, I first want to say sorry for not posting last Tuesday.  I was awfully sick and hardly had the energy to be sick let alone move!  Let's just say pregnancy REALLY takes a toll on my body and my "morning" sickness is never just in the morning, mine is more of an ALL DAY sickness and on top of that I believe one of my children gave me a bug!  I am feeling fantastic now so let's get this party started ... And what better way to do so then with a review and giveaway!

    This week I want to talk a little about wool.  I must say that at the begining of my cloth journey I had no idea what the point of wool was, how it worked or if I ever wanted to venture down the wool road.  I thought it was just too expensive and too much work!  Eventually I did some research, asked some questions and decided to give it a try.  Being that Cpt. Caveman is a super soaker wool seemed as thought it just may be the solution to our problem ... and it was!  From the very first night of a fitted covered with a woolie I was in LOVE!  I was amazed at how awesome it was and kind of mad at myself for not trying it sooner.  Then I went wool crazy!  I bought several covers and longies for Cpt. Caveman and the Velociraptor (eventhough she didn't "need" it I loved it too much not to).

    I currently own several different woolies.  I have covers, longies, skirtys, and soakers made by both big name companies and Wahmies ... I love them all!  They all work amazingly and are each unique.  I have recently recieved a soaker from a Wahmie, who's stuff I had LONG admired in the wool b/s/t group that I'm in.  The soaker I recieve took over a year for her to create!  She really wanted to combine a woolie with her love of crochet and pondered over just how she was going to make it work.  I am honored to say that I own the very first of this creation and boy oh boy was the pondering worth it!  When all is said and done her idea of combination was brought to life and not only is it functional it is REALLY cute!

Ladies (and gentlemen) .... Meet the MONSTER!
(See! I told you it was cute!)

    Aside from being cute and functional the fit is fantastic!  This soaker is an 18 inch rise, 20 inch hips, and 10 inch tighs.  The Velociraptor is just about 18 pounds now and she still has tons of growing room yet it is not gappy on her at all!  We have used this soaker for a few weeks now in every scenerio possible and it has withstood everything she could throw at it!  All around this is my favorite woolie right now.  It fits well, is absorbant, is well-made, super cute and still smells AMAZING!  This arrived washed and lanolized with a wool wash bar handmade by the very same talented mama who made the soaker!  I also recieved one of her handmade wool wash bars with this soaker so the package smelled glorious.  It made me smile just to hold it in my hands un-opened =)

    In addition to it's glorious aroma, this handmade bar works magic!  I had only ever used a liquid wool wash so the bar was all new to me and I was overjoyed with the results.  I have a couple wool covers that had some staining on the leg area due to the fact that not only is Cpt. Caveman a super soaker he is also a super pooper!  Using the bar made it very easy to remove the stains, to see them now you would never even know they had been stained!  Also,  this bar it made concentrating on the "wet zones" very easy.  We who use wool all know that sometimes a soak in a wool wash bath just isn't enough to cut the urine!  Oh, and did I mention how glorious this bar smells?! =)

   As you all know I like to share a little backstory of the creator behind the wahm products ... This mama of many talents is Rebekah and here is what she had to say:

    "How I started my work on woolies: My oldest, Greg, would get heat rash when he used diapers or covers with PUL. Other cloth diapering mamas suggested that I try wool. I couldn't imagine putting scratchy, hot wool on my sweet baby boy. When the mamas learned I could knit and crochet, they convinced me to take a trip to the yarn store to 'feel-up' some soft wool yarn. I decided to give it a try. The crochet shorties that I made him worked great! I started to make more and more. Other mamas asked me to make some wool for their little ones and the rest is history ;-)
     How I started my work on body care: I have eczema. I've learned that dyes and fragrances seem to trigger flare-up's. I was spending quite a lot on super sensitive skin care products. Since I was a Chemistry teacher before I became a SAHM, I felt confident in making my own soap. I soon found it that it's just as easy to make a dozen bars of soap as it is to make one."

    You can find these creations and many more at the following:

Rebekah's Email:

Also, if you are a Witchita, KS local you can pick up some of Rebekah's wool wash bars, dryer balls and occasionally some wool at Sweet Cheeks:

   Rebekah has so graciously offered one of her Original Wool Wash Bars to one lucky TMG followers... Enter for your chances below.  Good Luck and Thank You for reading! ~Robin =)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Pinterest List!

I've decided to make a "Summer 2012" Pinterest Board.  Since I have 11 glorious weeks to be with Cub, I want to pack in as many fun and crafty things as possible!!

I will be making felt letters...since Cub has been into his ABC magnets and his alpha puzzle, I figured this was a really good time to inundate him with teachermama things!

I recently found a recipe for "cloud dough" on Play At Home Mom through Pinterest.  You mix 8 cups of flour with 1 cup of baby oil or canola oil and let the kids have at it.  I am SO EXCITED to try this--hitting Walmart later today.  The plan is to put it in a large tupperware bin and let Cub go to town with his new sand trucks from Target!

Another thing on my list is ice paint.  I found that on The Outlaw Mom.  Ice cube trays, teaspoons of acrylic paint, fill with water and freeze.  Voila!  You have ice paint!!!!  I have that all ready & will post pictures next week :)

I am so super excited to be home with my son this summer.  It was a very long and challenging school year--this summer was hard earned.  What are your summer plans?  Anything on your crafty to-do?

<3 Jen

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ring Slings and Rebozo

 My homemade rebozo

 Silk Ring Sling in action at wedding
 (for the record my fabric should be fanned out more over my shoulder)

Ring Slings are a great option and many people have seen or used a ring sling.  These are nice because they can be used in many carries and many years.  I found that a black silk ring sling I had, was a nice dressy option.  It was the carrier I’d use when going to a wedding or somewhere fancy.  There are lots of choices in pricing.  You can buy really expensive ones, or WAHM, or even sew your own.  My only thing about sewing your own is to make sure you get the right rings.  They need to be ring sling rings, so there is no sauder and they are continuous metal the whole way around.  Sling Rings is a great place to buy these from.  They need to be strong and reliable to hold your precious infant!  I found that I liked the ring sling for short period of time, but for a long hike or baby’s nap time I’d rather have something that had straps on both shoulders.  So the weight of baby was more evenly distributed than a one shoulder carrier.  These carriers are one of my favorite for hip carries though. 

The robozo is a Mexican carrier.  They are a long scarf like piece of fabric that you tie into a slip knot. So the knot is essentially the ring on a ring sling.  This allows you to adjust the sling just like a ring sling and it’s so easy to make your own.  You can find sheets, table clothes and even just linen fabric you can buy and hem that work wonderfully.  A lot of times these are called a shorty in wrap terms, so a really short woven wrap can be used like a rebozo. So really this overlaps the wrap post! It can be worn in a few carries, but I always used mine like a ring sling, so I posted it here. :)  I made my own out of fabric, that for my first child I never even hemmed it, I just let it fray.  Then when I had my second child I hemmed up the edges.  It worked beautifully!  I would use it a lot to nurse in.  I could throw the ends up over myself and discreetly latch on my child and nurse at the zoo or mall.  I loved being able to carry them in a hip carry and nurse and they’d fall asleep and I could go about my shopping!  The fabric I got I have is so soft and my son used to pull it out of my carrier basket and wrap himself up in it and just play with it.  He really loved that carrier! <3

Thursday, June 7, 2012

MaxPerks = Free Office Supplies

Unfortunately this week is not a great week for MaxPerks but if you have all of this legwork done ahead of time then the week that they do have great deals you won't be wasting your time in creating all your accounts.  Many of the MaxPerks offers sell out very quickly so 1st thing you want to do on Monday morning (or Sunday afternoon) is check to see if there is anything you need or want.

Here's my step by step instruction for hopefully getting some free office/teaching supplies (after your initial investment/purchase):

1. Sign up for MaxPerks here. You do not need to be a business to participate - they also have a teacher program.

2. Create an account on Office Max.

2. Sign up for either Ebates (Free $10 gift card after your 1st $25 purchase) and/or ShopatHome ($5 credit). I could recommend these programs until I'm blue in the face. They are truly wonderful and the easiest way to earn extra money if you shop online. 
*A tip - stick a post-it note on whatever credit card you use when you purchase online to remind you to go through one of these sites. 

3. After signing up for your cash back program.  Search for Office Max and 'shop' through your program. Always check both reward programs to see if there are any specials rates happening.

4. Find the MaxPerks section on Office Max.  Purchase items that qualify for Max Perks.
*A tip - Free shipping when you spend $50 so I make sure I am earning at least $50 in Max Perks on each order so in the following orders I won't have to pay shipping and maybe just a little OOP (Out of Pocket) in tax. 

5. When you check out make sure you enter your MaxPerks ID in the correct spot (or you will not receive credit).

6. Your MaxPerks will appear on the next cycle statement (normally a month).  After they do the next time you order you will enter your MaxPerks rewards in the payment section while checking out.  You will sign in to MaxPerks and write down the card number and pin number for payment.

7. I keep a simple spreadsheet to keep track of what I have earned, spent, OOP costs, and expiration dates (90 days from issuance) so I don't lose credits.

8. Be sure to go through Ebates or ShopatHome each time you make a purchase (on anything online) this is a wonderful way to stash some extra cash. :) I just received another check in the mail yesterday $34.65! Love it.

I will be checking the comments often - if you have any questions please leave them there and I will respond accordingly. Thanks!

*The above links are my referral links... I receive a very small amount when you sign up - sort of like a virtual tip :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday

He's here!  Baby J arrived early yesterday Morning!  He decided to come just one day before his due date!  Mama and Baby are doing fabulously!  More delivery details to come later! :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

End of the Year! & Musings from a Mom Who Works..

This might sound strange, but it is the end of the year for me!  I teach second grade and this is the last week of school. While I will miss the kiddos, I am SO looking forward to staying home with Cub.  This has brought up the whole Moms Who Work or Moms Who Stay Home thing....

I am blessed to have a career that I LOVE and that gives me amazing vacation time plus when Cub is in school, he will come with me.  My sister stays at home with her daughter and I had recently given her A LOT of grief for "complaining" about being home.  I would love to stay home!!  But our kids are very different...and so are our situations.  My son is--for the most part--super low maintenance.  My niece is not...I call her my Princess for a reason!  I know my sister loves her daughter but I also know she wouldn't mind a break.  Me, I don't necessarily want one from Cub. 

I am proud of myself for going to college, for getting into teaching.  I have met so many kids who touched my life--I have met so many families I am still close with today.  I am personally fulfilled doing what I do.  But it ain't all roses, trust me!!  I love what I do.  I love my son more.  It's a constant struggle.

There shouldn't be judgement on either side, however there is and we are human.  We can't help it!  I don't like "Working Mom" or "Stay at Home Mom" because guess what--we are all moms!!  I am a mama who works.  The job doesn't define me.  The fact I have a career doesn't define what kind of mother I am. Plus, FYI people, I have to do everything moms who stay home d--

I have had someone at work tell me recently "just rearrange our priorities and stay home."  In a perfect world, maybe.  But I was pretty insulted.  The insinuation was that I should do one or the other.  Why not both?  Why CAN'T I work AND be a mama and do BOTH well? 

Do you stay home?  Do you work?  What are the misconceptions and struggles you face?

<3 Jen

Friday, June 1, 2012


Snuggled in sweetly sleeping away!

These come in a stretchy fabric, like a cotton tshirt material (Moby, Sleepy Wrap, etc) and also a woven fabric (Didymos, Girasol, etc).  The stretchy wrap is widely available now at many brick and mortar stores, which is wonderful because it is a GREAT carrier!  It’s so nice to see wonderful carriers readily available for mamas to purchase easily!  These will come with a manual and you can do many different carries.  I personally found that I absolutely loved it for newborns.  There wasn’t a better carrier for that squishy newborn.  I loved that the fabric was so soft and that my baby was just cradled in so perfectly.  There is no carrier that lets baby be in that curled up newborn position better and is very user friendly.

I was a bit intimidated by the look of a wrap, but really I haven’t found a person who couldn’t get the stretchy wrap to work for them.  They are very forgiving. They are good because they fit many sizes.  I myself am a plus sized mama and I have no problem fitting me and my baby in the stretchy style wrap.  You can even buy fabric at the fabric store and cut it in half length wise and get 2 wraps.  There is a tutorial for how to here.  The nice thing about this tutorial is it’s no sew since the fabric doesn’t fray!  How great is that for all of us! 

There is one issue with the stretchy wrap, as your child gets heavier the fabric will stretch out as baby is being worn, making it need adjusted while you wear baby.  It’s not hard to readjust and tighten baby back up, but it is something to consider if you are starting baby wearing with an older infant.  I found that when the stretchy wrap started to really stretch to much, I’d just start using my other carriers more.  There really is nothing that I like more than the stretchy wrap for newborns though!  This is an affordable option and can be even more affordable if you choose to make your own.

The woven wraps are much more expensive.  You also have to take into consideration that these aren’t stretchy. There is more of a learning curve on wrapping them.  They will give you pressure spots if your fabric isn’t just so.  I personally found that with my plus size the size 7, which was the biggest I could find used, was just not versatile enough for me.  I enjoyed trying it out, but it wasn’t practical for me.  I ended up trading it for another mei tai.  I do think if you are a pro baby wearer and enjoy wrapping, you should go for it.  Once a woven wrap is broken in it can be so soft and comfy.  It’s just not something I’d advise someone who’s a first time baby wearer to jump into.  They can be a bit more challenging than the stretchy wrap.  I do know many who absolutely love a woven wrap and you may too.  Just me personally I never found that love for them.  The nice thing about them, is they are nice for the newborns, but also more supportive for even up to toddler if you get the wrap right.  It can be super comfy for child and mama, it just takes some practice.  There are tons of tutorials to watch on you tube and has many ladies who love the woven wraps!