Thursday, January 31, 2013


Hi everyone!

I've joined up to an online book club for the book Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe and because so much of it is very personal I'll just be linking up here over to my personal blog for now. If you're interested in reading my thoughts on each chapter then head on over there! :)

desperate: Introduction
desperate: Ideals and Going Under


Friday, January 25, 2013

Boba Wrap Review

 Look how cozy L is! <3

I was so excited to get to do this review!  You all know how much I love to baby wear!  I was so happy to get the Boba Wrap in time to pack it inside my hospital bag.  As you know, I ended up with an emergency csection, so wasn't feeling up to wearing L in the hospital.  Big bummer. :(  I took some time to heal and get back to myself before wearing him.  I was able to get him nice and high in this carrier, so there was no issue with my incision (vertical). 

I absolutely love this wrap for a newborn!  Just look how snuggled in L is!  It's comfy for baby and for mama!  The wrap distributes the weight of baby evenly! It's so easy to wrap, anyone can do it.  It comes with a wonderful manual, and you can even go online to see how to also!  The first picture I think I had him a bit loose.  I tightened it up and was so pleased to realize how much length this wrap gives you!  I am a plus size mama, and am so happy that Boba doesn't exclude us!  All their carriers are completely usable for any size mama, just as it should be!  No worrying about whether it will fit, is a huge deal to us plus size mamas!
The material is so nice and stretchy it makes for the perfect fit every time.  It's material is what makes this such a comfy wrap for mama and baby!  And since it's so simple to use, it makes it one of the easiest carriers!  No buckles, straps or anything to deal with.

As a mama of 3 children, wearing baby is such a huge help!  My babies are always so content up next to me, and I am getting everything done that I need to.  L is my little monkey, and helps me with laundry, dishes, you name it! He couldn't be comfier in this wrap, he absolutely loves it!

The wrap comes in lots of amazing colors. I chose the brown, and it's the perfect shade!  Reminds me of chocolate. :)  It's very affordable at $38, too! You really can't go wrong with this carrier.  If you'd like to check them out here is the link. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside...

So I had another post all planned and ready to go, but decided instead to give a real-time post about this crazy and terrifically unsafe weather that many of us are having!

The wind's a COLD and SERIOUS factor!

When I saw that the wind chill in States such as North Dakota and Minnesota were reaching the -50's I was stunned!  It has been reaching -10 here in PA with the wind chill and it makes me ponder...

Do we live in the Arctic????

My goodness, it is just COLD. is {expletive here} cold!!!

So what can you do to protect yourself and your family in this CRAZY cold weather?

First of all, pay close attention to the weather and be prepared for inclement weather.  This means extreme heat, extreme cold, storms, etc.  Take appropriate measures for whatever weather you are facing!

The WHO recommends keeping your home temperature between 64-75 degrees.  With young children or elderly, they recommend keeping above 68.  During this extreme cold if your home drops below these lows, please seek shelter somewhere warm!

Now would be a good time to check out your heating system.  Change filters, do maintenance, and most of all if you are using a woodburner, fuel oil, natural gas, kerosene, coal, or gasoline either as a primary or secondary source of heat, please use caution and watch for signs of carbon monoxide!!!

Take extreme caution when going outside!  Dress warmly in multiple layers making sure to cover as much skin as possible.  Do not stay outside for long.  Bundle small kids well and keep a close eye on them.  Watch yourself and others for the signs of hypothermia.  If your body temperature is below 95, seek medical help immediately.

For children riding the school bus, keep them inside until the bus arrives or drive them to the bus stop.  Do not let your children stand outside for long periods of time!

Signs of Hypothermia in Adult
*Memory Loss
*Slurred Speech

Signs of Hypothermia in Infants
*Bright Red/Cold Skin
*Very Low Energy

If you have cardiac disease or other medical condition, please follow advisement from your doctor for cold weather precautions.

Another problem in this weather is ice.  The roads are treacherous, side walks are icy, and you never know where or when you are going to slide.  Slow down and take time to make sure you are looking where you are going!

Please Please Please be careful during this extreme weather.  Keep warm.  And be safe going outside.

*Signs of Hypothermia from the CDC
*Photo from

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Tragic End

I'm posting my ending breastfeeding story..... but it felt appropriate to be on my own personal blog so head over here if you want to read it today! :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Lovely Pocket Diapers

I was fortunate enough to be able to try out the Newborn Stuffable AIO from Lovely Pocket Diapers!  LPD provided me with an adorable red diaper with yellow snaps.  They also come in green, blue, black, white and yellow.  This diaper retails for $11.  It has a built in triple layer insert sewn in, with a pocket also so you can stuff it too! It has three rise snaps, making this diaper fit from approx. 5 to 15 lbs!  Also it features an umbilical snap down with 4 lower waist snaps.

Like I have posted before, my birth with L was quite the rough one with an emergency csection with complications to my eye.  I just wasn't up for dealing with cloth diapers right away.  About a week ago I decided I was ready to dive in, and found that a lot of my diapers just didn't fit him well.  He is so tiny still, about 8 lbs, so not unreasonable sized for a newborn.  He would leak out of the swaddlebees and grovia newborn AIO.  I decided to try using some prefolds and covers and was so pleased with how well they kept in his pee and poop.  I had a leak every diaper change with the others.  So now was time to give the LPD diaper a try.

I was really pleased with how they had put a snap down for the umbilical cord stump.  They even have extra row of snaps underneath the snap down, so you can get a nice snug fit!  L's cord has fallen off so I was able to just use the regular first row to get it nice and snug.  It seemed like this diaper fit much better in his legs than the other AIO's I'd tried. The others seemed to all have a gap at his leg.

I was a bit nervous as he is a long sleeper.  He fell asleep and I layed him down wondering if this diaper would hold up.  Well when he woke he had pooped.  Nothing came out of this diaper!! Yay!  With the double leg gussets it all stayed in wonderfully!  And the great thing about this diaper is that it is stuffable!  So if you do find that your baby wets more than it can hold, you can add more absorbancy!  Though I didn't find that I needed to, every baby is different.

   I couldn't be more pleased with this LPD newborn AIO!  At $11 it is extremely reasonably priced!  I know my DH loves to be able to just grab a cloth diaper and be able to put it on like a sposie.  He's not really wanting to deal with prefolds and covers.  So this diaper was perfect.  It is easy peasy and didn't leak!! Easy peasy isn't much fun when you have to change outfits every diaper change!  So glad this AIO actually fit the bill!  If you'd like to check out Lovely Pocket Diapers and their amazing Newborn Stuffable AIO, here is the link.  There is nothing better than supporting a WAHM and getting an amazing product at the same time!!

Can you tell by this picture that Mr L does not like his diaper changed!! LOL <3

~Laura B

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pardon Our Dust...We are always Improving!

Over the next few weeks and months, there are going to be some changes occurring on the blog.  We have noticed a HUGE drop in readership, views, participation, etc.  We are working to improve and get back up and running, but we can of course use your input!!

So, do you have any ideas for where you would like us to head next or what we can do to improve?  Any topics that you would like to see or like to hear more on?

There are going to be personnel changes and even some topic changes, but we are still working everything out so STAY TUNED!  We will be asking for blog contributors in the near future, so stay tuned for details on that!

But please...let us know what you would like to see and any ideas on what we can do to get things back up and SINGING! :)

Wish us luck!

Monday, January 14, 2013

90 Day Challenge!

So, after Cub was born, I found he had numerous food allergies and sensitivities along with acid reflux.  Funny enough, he was and still is the happiest and most relaxed kid around--you'd never ever know he had anything like that going on.  In order to nurse, I had to cut out all top allergens plus corn.  Today, we are a corn, soy and peanut free house...I am still dairy and wheat free (and I cut out red meat.)  I'm not saying it was easy, but it became a way of life for all three of us.  Cub has no idea what candy tastes like, ice cream is made from coconut milk and sugar has been completely replaced with agave.

I'm going to put some numbers out there into the online world that have always been difficult for me to stomach.  162...the weight I was when I got pregnant with Cub.  Over 208 pounds...the weight I was when I went into the hospital to give birth (I'm sure it was at least 10 pounds more, this was just the last number my OB's office let slip.)  132...the weight I am currently, with a 2 1/2 year old.  This drastic weight change was ALL due to diet change.  I cut out dairy, soy, wheat, eggs, peanuts/tree nuts, fish/shellfish and corn.  WHAT did I eat???  All veggies, fruit (nothing that would aggravate his reflux, let me add that!) chicken, turkey and rice based pasta.  I survived!  I managed to find things even when we ate out (which wasn't that often anyway.)  Admittedly there was little to no exercising.  I am 32 (wince) and I have noticed that although I am "thin" I am somewhat "skinny fat" where I am saggy.  So... 

This brings me to my 90 Day Challenge.  I joined Daddyguy's gym.  It's not a huge chain, it's a smaller almost boutique gym with a small and amazing staff, fantastic members and a FAB child care room that Cub totally loves.  They are having a "Fit For Life" challenge.  90 days to fabulousness is what I'm looking forward to.  I want thin and strong not thin and flabby!!  There is a $10,000 prize according to all kinds of points (challenges, % body fat dropped, % muscle added, etc) but the real prize is getting fit, adding years onto my life and making the gym a habit--the food thing is way easy at this point--it's the getting off my butt after work that's the hardest part for me (I also have an underactive thyroid...makes it even harder sometimes!)

Today is Day 1. Who's with me?
<3 jen

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Some awesome giveaways!

Hello all!!!

I am so excited about this new book out - I have been secretly stalking Miss Sarah Mae for awhile now and she puts together this really awesome conference that so far just hasn't worked out for me to attend.  But Lord willing some day I might get to go.

But her new book.... oh I am giddy waiting for it to arrive in the mail. I can not wait to read it. And right now with three little ones who take an extreme amount of my time every single day.... I need this. I want this.  I am so excited to have this!  :)

This book is now #70 on Amazon - how cool is that!!  And the price keeps getting lower and lower - it's under $10 now. 

I am also REALLY excited about all the awesome giveaways she has going on right now -

FREE Coffee for a Year
Personal Spiritual Retreat for two
FREE Massages fora Year (I would love this one!)
Spa/Mentoring weekend with Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson (writers of the book)
FREE Housecleaning for a Year

Um how amazing are those giveaways.... if you enter and win be sure to come back and let us know.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Breastfeeding Tips to Success!

So with the dawn of a new year and so many people either in the midst of or looking forward to nursing their little baby, I decided today to dedicate a post solely to breastfeeding tips and my recommendations/ favorite items.  Please feel free to comment and add your own tips for Breastfeeding success!

For those of you with medical concerns, who are Fostering/Adopting, chose not to breastfeed, or have other issues impeding your ability to actually put baby to can always use donated milk or formula and still enjoy the snuggling and bonding with your baby.  But for the purposes of this post, I am going to give tips  for the mamas putting baby to breast.

What you need...

#1. Baby obviously!

Followed closely by...

#2.  BOOBS!  Um, hello!  This is a must!  So for the male half of the population...SORRY!

#3. A comfy spot to nurse.  One of my number one recommendations for all new moms is to be comfy.  If you are not comfy and relaxed, baby will not be comfy and relaxed, and will not latch/suck/nurse.  So find the perfect place for you and baby...a nice, quiet, peaceful, relaxing, and most importantly comfy place to nurse.  There are tons of positions to nurse you need to find the position that works and a comfy place (couch, chair, bed, etc) to nurse in that perfect position.

#4. A nursing pillow.  Some people do no use one...but the vast majority of people will recommend the pillow.  I have tried a few and by far my favorite is the Boppy.  Even bigger recommendation...spring for the jersey knit covers for your Boppy pillow!  They are so nice, comfy, and stretchy...they actually give your Boppy more room to move and adapt to your form.  LOVE them!

#5. Nursing pads.  With my first baby, I really only leaked when my boobs were the morning or after a long shift at work with no pumping.  So I didn't need quite as many nursing pads.  This time around the boobs are much leakier!  I guess like most things...they don't work quite as well the second time around! LOL!  Either way...nursing pads are a MUST!  Disposables are there for your convenience but reusable nursing pads are FABULOUS!  They are so nice against sore nipples and hand washing is a cinch!  Plus you never run out!  My faves are Bamboobies.  Yeah, they are a little pricey but totally worth it!!!

#6. Nipple Cream.  New mamas, make sure this item is in your hospital bag!  Most hospitals do have samples...but make sure you have some!  Those first few days of nursing are brutal on your nipples!  These little outposts of flesh are not used to forceful sucking, gumming, and saliva being on them!  They can get ouchy in a hurry so make sure to keep ointment (or colostrum) on them so they don't get cracked/bruised/bloody/etc.  Colostrum is a WONDERFUL for sore nipples but in those first few days, ointments are actually a much better barrier and keep nipples healthier!  There are tons of creams from brands such as Lansinoh and Medela and natural ones too!

#7.  Breastfeeding attire.  There are tons of PRICEY items out there for breastfeeding attire.  Not sure why they are so dang expensive, but if you want the convenience, I guess you have to pay up!

First...Bras!  You need good bras!  If you are going to splurge...splurge HERE!  Nursing bras are a must and there are a TON of crappy ones out there.  With Miss A, I just used cheapie brand nursing bras...they were ok but not really comfortable.  This time around I treated myself and bought Bravado Body Silk Seamless nursing bras and they are to DIE FOR!!!  Honestly, they are worth every penny!!!

Nursing Tank Tops.  Ok, so these are optional.  With my first and my second, a large part of my wardrobe around the house is capris, a tank top, and a long sleeve t-shirt over.  This is my day to day outfit.  So nursing tank tops are a MUST for me!  They are so convenient and so comfy.  You can wear them all day, sleep in them, wear them under shirts, whatever you want!  You can wear them with a bra or in place of a bra (YES!).  They are just about the perfect thing!  My favorite nursing tank tops are Glamourmom tank tops!

Nursing Pajamas.  Also optional but oh so helpful for those middle of the night feedings!  I generally sleep in the nursing tank top (above) but there are so many nice nursing pajamas out there with nice roomy openings for nursing in the wee hours!  Nursing Pajamas are also a wonderful item for the hospital bag.  They are roomy and comfy for post-partum soreness and easy to nurse in!

Shirts.  Any shirt can be a nursing shirt, just lift from the bottom or pull down the top.  But if you are looking for something a little more modest or nursing friendly, there are tops made with an array of different openings to aid in the nursing process!

#8. A Nursing Cover.  Inevitably, you will have to nurse in public (NIP).  Maybe it is at your mom's house, or the mall, or somewhere else.  But you will find a time when you need to nurse and cannot get away to do so privately.  (I am vehemently against nursing in a restroom)  So a good nursing cover is a great thing to have in your diaper bag!  There are tons of great ones out there...Hooter Hiders, Bebe Au Lait, etc!!

#9. Pumping.

I recommend ALL nursing moms have a manual hand breast pump from day ONE!  You never know when/why you might need it!  With the guidance of a medical professional, a breast pump can be used to stimulate labor.  (always consult your doctor/midwife/etc before attempting this)  The manual pump can also be used after delivery to stimulate milk production, relieve engorgement, and store milk!  I recommend the Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump.

If you plan to go back to work or plan on serious pumping, a double electric pump may be a wise investment!  The double pump can increase how much milk you pump while cutting your time spent pumping down!  I recommend the Ameda Purely Yours Double Electric Breast Pump.

Milk Bags/Bottles/Etc for storage.  You need a way to store all of that prized liquid gold!!!  My personal favorite are Lasinoh Milk Storage bags and my #1 tip it to freeze them laying down and then transfer to a standing position so you can read the labels easier!

Along with pumping, you will need bottles...this is a trial and error with your baby.  Some babies will take any bottle and some will only take a certain kind.

If you are going to do serious pumping, a hands-free pumping bra also might be a great investment!  This is great if you are pumping a lot and/or have things to do or other kids to care for.  Your hands can be free to do whatever and you are still pumping! :)  I recommend the PumpEase hands-free nursing bra!

Hmmm....what am I forgetting?  Ladies?  Those are my tips!  If you need any help or have questions, please email or comment below!  Fellow nursing mamas, feel free to leave tips and experiences below! :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A quick update

So I have been missing in action for quite awhile.  I decided to take a bit of a break from blogging and just enjoy and savor the last days of my last pregnancy.  I am now savoring my newborn, and plan to be MIA a bit more.  I will eventually have a review for a wonderful Boba wrap and a newborn diaper I was given to try!  Until then you will probably not hear from me.  See on Dec 24th, my blood pressure went hay wire and I ended up with an emergency c section.  We are so blessed that myself and baby are fine.  I had some damage to my left eye though, and am seeing double.  Therefore I have to wear a patch on my eye and give it time to heal.  We are praying that it heals quickly and I am back 100%.  I am healing up well from my vertical c section incision.  Since it was an emergency I got lucky and now will have a lovely zipper down my belly! ;)  The best part of the whole horrible whirl wind of that day was that I was able to be awake and hear my baby's first cry.  My husband was allowed to be by my side, and I got to hear the moment the baby was out "BOY"!!! We were blessed with another son.  So our family is now complete!  I intend to stay offline as much as possible to savor these precious days.  God blessed me beyond belief and I plan on savoring all my blessings this year and the years to come.  I hope you all had a blessed holiday season and the new year finds you all in good health and fortune. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Need some help?

It's a new year - which normally means new years resolutions for everyone right?

I have just the book to help you tackle those large projects you're now convinced you need to get done.

And I'm serious - this book will help you.

21 Days To A More Disciplined Life - Kindle Version
21 Days To A More Disciplined Life - PDF Version

It is such a simple and straight forward design to help you tackle getting more disciplined in your life. In 21 easy days she'll help you reach your goals. She helps you to break them down into small pieces and spread them out all while giving you amazing pieces of advice and encouragement.

This is the quote that got me -

"Instead of addressing the root issue - my own, personal lack of self-discipline - I convince myself that a fancy new system or a change in circumstances will fix the problem."

Bingo... I have so many printables, filing systems, binders, books that I was convinced were going to help me but when I never follow through on them because the task is just too big and overwhelming well they don't do me any good except to help me go over budget :(   Well this book will not make you go over budget - starting today (Thursday) until Saturday the book is on sale for only 99cents!!!!

A complete worthwhile investment in my opinion.  :)  I've already started my 21 day journey and I'm loving it so far.