Friday, July 31, 2009

Where I Babywear!- Blogging!

Where I Babywear Button

Can you believe I didn't post this one sooner? Yup, that's right- I blog while I wear my babe! How else would I get my posts done for the week?! I have no clue!

Post your Babywearing pics for the week then head back here and include them in the MckLinky! Make sure to include the Where I Babywear Button in your post too!

Can't wait to see where you and your babies have been!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Was Here... Breastfeeding!- Out to dinner!

I Was Here Breastfeeding button

Alright- this is a HORRIBLE photo of me, but I guess that just goes to show that this dinner was less than relaxing! None-the-less, we did get to go out to dinner and the food was delicious! Lion Cub was a little crazy (okay- a LOT crazy), but he did nestle in and nurse under our cover a few times which allowed me to eat a bit of our scrumptious fare! Eventually my husband did have to wander the restaurant with him so I could finish my meal, but like I said, it was delicious and getting out of the house was so worth it!

Have some breastfeeding pics you would like to share?! Blog about them, include the I Was Here... Breastfeeding button, then come back here and post your direct link in the MckLinky! Let's make breastfeeding the norm ladies! People don't point, whisper and stare at what is average! Go on... get to it!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Montana Mama, Mama Cloth Review & Giveaway!

Well, as many of you know from my post last week, in recent years I have become a mama cloth convert! I was the last person on the earth to ever make this switch but the differences are undeniable and I can never go back to sposies!

With that I would like to introduce you to the new company, Little Bear Bums, and their fantastic Mama Cloth! Their pads feature a stay-dry top micro-fleece layer and a PUL backing to insure that you never have a leak! I loved using these postpartum for times when I was going out of the house and wanted to make sure I had a little extra protection, and they worked like a charm! So comfy and they stay place well with their snap wings! Check out the lovely selection I was sent:
So, want to get in on some of the Mama Cloth action- try it out for the first time or add to your stash?! Enter my giveaway for a sample pack just like the one I tried- 2 of each size! 6 pads total!!

All you have to do to enter is visit Little Bear Bums then come back here and tell me what your favorite feature of their pads is! It's that easy!

Additional entries will be granted for all of the following (leave a separate comment for each)- these entries only count AFTER you complete the above challenge:
  • Visit Little Bear Bums and tell me where the company is located (the About Us section)
  • Being a follower (right sidebar)
  • Being a subscriber via e-mail (left sidebar)
  • Having the Summer of Baby Love or Mama Kenz Studio button on your blog (also in left sidebar)
  • Blogging about the giveaway (leave the link to your direct post)
  • Following on Twitter and tweeting about the giveaway (leave your screen name and the time you tweeted)
  • Participating in any meme during this giveaway (leave the direct link to your meme post)
The giveaway will end Monday, August 10, 2009 @ 9:00 PST. Winner will be posted and notified by the end of the week.

Mama Time- Tips for new mommyhood

Mama Time button

This week for Mama Time I want us all to share a few tips for new mommyhood beyond 6 weeks postpartum!

Here are mine:

1. Pray! A lot! I wouldn't make it through without prayer!

2. Shower at Night! This allows me to have my husband hold Lion Cub while I get a few minutes to relax. It also allows me to have one less thing to worry about in the morning- more time for other things!

3. Have a plan for your house! Following something like (even if you don't follow it completely) will at least make your house a little bit less of a burden! I feel better knowing that I don't have to do everything at once, and just having an empty sink to wake up up to each morning is such a weight off! Doing at least one load of laundry a day does really make a difference too! It also helps to delegate!

4. Plan lots of BBQ meals if it is summer- that way DH gets in on half the meal prep!

5. Make sure you do something to maintain your identity! Even though that identity is in the process of inevitable change, you are still you and your voice is important! I recommend blogging (surprise, surprise)!

Have some tips to share? I would love to hear them! Blog about them, include the Mama Time button, and then come back here and post the direct link to the MckLinky!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chic Cheeks- Look what I got!

CC button

Well, Lion Cub is growing so darn fast I had to make an order for some small dipes last week. They came really quickly from which I was very thankful for- we were starting to have a lot of blowouts as his dipes were getting too small! Here is what I got for fluff mail:

(not all the dipes are pictured- some were in the wash! Lion Cub is sporting a Thirsties Fab Fitted and cover. On the left are some Fab Fitteds and the Stacinator, on the right are a FB and a BG)

1 Fuzzi Bunz One-Size, 2 BumGenius Fleece (but the stitching came undone on one, so I have to exchange it- I might get another Fuzzi Bunz in its place), 9 Thirsties Fab Fitteds, 1 Stacinator Fleece Cover (which is a little bulky for my taste but it will work for at home), 1 Thirsties Cover and a Batural Baby Company Pail Liner.

I hope to be able to add a diaper or two a month until I have my stash the way I want it- plus I just like try out new dipes!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blue Like Playdough- Review & Giveaway

I hardly even know where to begin to tell you all what I think of this book- it has changed me. I wish I had a copy for each and every one of you- it is that good! From the very first chapter I could hardly put it down and finished it in a mere 4 days (which is really saying something for a mama with a 3-year-old and a 4-week-old at the time I read it!).

Tricia Goyer does such an amazing job of connecting with moms through this book- whatever stage of motherhood you're in! The thing that hit me the most was that God truly meets me where I am at in the midst of my crazy mothering life- something that can be very difficult to reconcile. Many times, the little snippets of time that I am able to give Him just don't seem like enough, but Tricia emphasizes that God just wants us to want to be with Him and seek Him and He understands what we are dealing with. How refreshing- soothing to the soul!

My copy of Blue Like Playdough is dog-eared and underlined nearly beyond recognition- there were just so many things that spoke directly to my heart, I knew I didn't want to loose them! In fact, I am reading through it for a second time, just to absorb it all! Here are just a few of my favorite quotes:
Still, I struggle with feeling as if I have to clean up before I approach God. Organize my closets. Transform my kids. Rearrange my priotities. Renew my heart. I forget that God wants me just as I am. That belonging to Him is enough. Page 6
The problem isn't whether God will show up. It's all about me not being aware that God is already here... that He has been in my life all along. And that He doesn't care about my mess. Page 6
I don't have to find my way alone. Not only is God with me, but He can be trusted to provide the protection, love, and answers I need every step of this parenitng journey. Page 17

And those are just skimming the surface! You really need to read this book yourself to fully appreciate it and receive its full impact! So, head on over to Random House and snag a copy!

Better yet, why not try winning one for free right here and right now?! All you have to do to enter is visit Tricia Goyer's website, watch the Blue Like Playdough intro video at the bottom of the page, and then come back here and tell me what your favorite part was! It's that easy!

Additional entries will be granted for all of the following (leave a separate comment for each)- these entries only count AFTER you complete the above challenge:
  • Being a follower (right sidebar)
  • Being a subscriber via e-mail (left sidebar)
  • Having the Mama Kenz Studio button on your blog (also in left sidebar)
  • Blogging about the giveaway (leave the link to your direct post)
  • Following on Twitter and tweeting about the giveaway (leave your screen name and the time you tweeted)
  • Participating in any meme during this giveaway (leave the direct link to your meme post)
The giveaway will end Friday, July 31, 2009 @ 9:00 PST. Winner will be posted and notified by the next week.

Would you like to become a book reviewer for Waterbrook Press too? Just visit this site!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Where I Babywear! Down by the River!

Where I Babywear Button

The other day we headed down to a small river near our house to release a little frog R-Man's grandparents had given him. Lion Cub had been especially fussy that day, so it was the perfect opportunity to wrap him up tight and walk around to calm him down! Nice to get out of the house period, really!

Where have you been wearing your babes? Post, add the Where I Babywear
button, and link up in the MckLinky! Can't wait to see!

Please Pray- the Flu has come

Hi Everyone- I just wanted to send out a quick request for prayer. R-Man began throwing up last night at 1 am and has thrown up three times since. I am currently feeling a bit queezy (don't know if it is just my mind or the real thing) and am very scared that Lion Cub will come down with this bug. He handled a cold at such a young age but I am quite worried that he wouldn't overcome the stomach flu as easily. Please pray for our family- I so appreciate it! Thank you!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Was Here... Breastfeeding! At the park!

I Was Here Breastfeeding button

Yesterday we took R-Man to the park to run through the water features and it was the perfect chance to get a little "nursing in the park" shot! Lion Cub LOVES being outside, and since we had had a rough morning, it was a great way to relax (even though it was CRAZY hot out!).

Post your nursing pics! Include the I Was Here... Breastfeeding button then head back here and post your direct link in the MckLinky! Get out there and feed your babies ladies- it is the only way to make nursing the American norm!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mama Time- He can relate!

Mama Time button

Lately I have been trying to make my way through the Beth Moore Bible Study, JOHN- 90 Days With the Beloved Disciple. Although it has been difficult to make the time (as I talked about last week), it is so worth it! One passage in particular jumped out at me this week and I couldn't help but laugh a bit and be completely and utterly touched by Jesus' compassion on me!

You see, the passage was Mark 1:35-39. It reads:
35Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!"

38Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." 39So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.


As I read that simple and short passage I couldn't help but think of my present circumstance! I too attempt to retreat to a solitary place for a few moments each day to spend time with my heavenly Father, and I too have people who don't realize the importance of that time, and come exclaiming, "Everyone is looking for you!" My "disciples" just happen to be 3 years old and 6 weeks old!

In many ways though, Jesus' disciples were every bit as young as my kiddos- they were young in their belief. Really, all they knew was the simplest version of our faith- that people need Jesus to heal them, and they need it now! They couldn't be blamed for not seeing the significance in Jesus' quiet time- they weren't there yet. The disciples had to mature and have Jesus help them understand why such time with the Lord is so important before they could be respectful of it.

So, I must have patience with my little interuptive men, and, most of all, take comfort in the fact that Jesus knows where I am coming from- He has been there! He too had a period of His life that was nearly consumed with taking care of other people's needs. He feels for me and He meets me where I'm at (a messy house with dirty diapers up to my eyeballs and other unknown messes left here and there by a creative three-year-old who is always on the go!). He knows that I dearly wish I could give Him more of my undivided attention, and I believe that mere fact is the heart of the issue anyway! He wants me to want Him- that's why He saved me!

This week for Mama Time is just going to be a continuation of last week's post. What is the Lord doing in your life as a mom? What are you studying? How are you finding (or not finding) time for Him?

Blog about it. Include the Mama Time Meme Button in your post. Come back here and post to the MckLinky. Let's all grow together!

Happy Mama Originals Review & Giveaway

Okay- first of all, hear me out, because I know this one will probably be pushing the envelope for a lot of you! Let me begin with my experience. After R-Man was born I had postpartum bleeding for 8 whole weeks! By the end of that time I was so raw and chafed I could hardly stand it! I couldn't wait to let my bits breathe a bit and no longer be wrapped in plastic!

It wasn't until 6 months later when I started doing research on cloth diapers, and made the switch for R-Man, that I began looking into my cloth options as well. This had always been a step that I hadn't thought I would ever make, but still being tainted by my postpartum experience I began to give it some consideration. After all, the same nasty chemicals from sposie diapers were in my feminine care products too, so why shouldn't I try to avoid them as well?!I made a few of my own pads that pretty much got me through until I got pregnant again, but they weren't great and shifted around a lot. I decided once I got pregnant again that I definitely wanted to get some good quality mama cloth for my postpartum recovery. Oh boy, do Happy Mama Originals mama cloth pads ever fit the bill!! Sabrina's pads are soooo luxurious and wonderful! Not to mention completely effective- I never had a single link and my feminine bits felt truly pampered in the days and weeks after I gave birth (quite the accomplishment if you ask me!)! She uses the highest quality fabrics- everything from adorable patterned cottons to the softest velour, and she also has a wide range of sizes to accomodate any flow. I can't recommend them enough!

Sabrina sent me one of each of the types of fabrics she offers and one of every size she makes (above pic)! My favorite were the velour and organic velour, but they were all wonderful! I was especially impressed by how trim they were- not bulky at all, and they washed so clean!

Sabrina has generously agreed to offer a velour pad sampler with a heavy pad, regular pad and panty liner! All you have to do to enter is visit Happy Mama Originals and tell me in a comment what your favorite thing is about her pads!

Additional entries will be granted for all of the following (leave a separate comment for each)- these entries only count AFTER you complete the above challenge:
  • Being a follower (right sidebar)
  • Being a subscriber via e-mail (left sidebar)
  • Having the Summer of Baby Love button on your blog (also in left sidebar)
  • Blogging about the giveaway (leave the link to your direct post)
  • Following on Twitter and tweeting about the giveaway (leave your screen name and the time you tweeted)
  • Get 3 extra entries for participating in any of the Mama Kenz Studio memes (I Was Here... Breastfeeding, Where I Babywear, Mama Time or Chic Cheeks) during this giveaway (leave the direct link to your meme post)!!! Yes, Count 'em- 3!
The giveaway will end Monday, August 3, 2009 @ 9:00 PST. Winner will be posted and notified later that week. For full details and rules about the Sumer of Baby Love Blog Party, please visit this post.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

McLinky Blog Hop- Favorite Recipe!

Okay- PLEASE don't let the fact that I don't have a picture cause you to look this recipe over- it would be a crime! This is the recipe for my FAVORITE Chewy Caramel Bars! They are beyond delicious! When I need a little cheering up these puppies and a big bowl of chocolate chip ice cream go a long way!! I hope you enjoy!

Chewy Caramel Bars

32 Caramels
2/3 cup (5 1/3 oz. can) evaporated milk
1 cup flour
3/4 cup old fashioned or quick oats (uncooked)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter
6-12 oz chocolate chips (I usually go for more!)

Combine dry ingredients; cut in margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup. Press remaining crumb mixture into bottom of greased 9x13 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Melt caramels with milk in covered double boiler or saucepan over low heat.

Sprinkle chocolate pieces over baked crust. Pour caramel mixture evenly over chocolate and then sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over the top. Continue baking another 20 minutes. Chill 2 hours and enjoy!!!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Chic Cheeks- A Day in Cloth

CC button

This week I thought I would chronicle one day in our cloth diapering life! Sun up to sun down, these were the diapers Lion Cub wore:

Thirsties Fab Fitted (size x-small, which is officially too small now! I ordered some smalls a few days ago!)

Kissaluvs Size 0 (still fit fairly well)

Same diaper as above picture, but covered with a thirsties wrap cover

One Baby, One Earth fitted (he was honestly in this for about 2 minutes before he totally pooped! This fitted did contain it well though!!)

Another Kissaluv Size 0 (doesn't he look thrilled to be my little model!? You can tell we are heading into the evening hours with the pictures from here on- he is fussy in most!)

Infant sized Indian Prefold

Knickernappies Size Small pocket dipe

Another Infant sized Indian Prefold

Another Infant sized Indian Prefold

And his night diaper- an extra-stuffed Thirsties AIO- size small (we usually use a Bum Genius for nights though right now, and will probably be incorporating some Dream-eze into the nighttime mix soon!)

Why don't you chronicle a day (or even a few hours) and post about what your cloth diapering adventure looks like?! Once you do, come back here and post it to the McLinky! Be sure to put the Chic Cheeks button on your post as well!

For full details about participating in the Chic Cheeks Meme you can go here!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Earth Mama Angel Baby Review & Giveaway!!

Earth Mama Angel Baby - Breastfeeding

A couple of months ago I was contacted by Earth Mama Angel Baby with a challenge- gather the products I use on my skin and find out my toxicity score in the Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. About three years ago I went through all my body care products, did a LOT of research, and tried to find the safest options available- so I was fairly confidant that my score would be pretty low. Luckily, it was! Although my shampoo did rank higher than I expected at a 4 (out of 10), my overall score for the products I shower with came out to an 8. I also tallied up the score for the products I use on my boys, including Shampoo/bodywash, lotion, diaper cream and sunscreen. They came out to an 8 as well, which was actually more surprising for me, as I have tried to be especially diligent in choosing safe products for them!

The good news is, Earth Mama Angel Baby just announced that the score on all of their products is.... ZERO!! Nada! Zip! Zilch! Nothing nasty in ANY of their products! I didn't even think this was possible but they have done it! As soon as we run out of our care products you better believe that I will be investing in some Earth Mama Angel baby products for sure!

In addition to their little challenge, Earth Mama Angel Baby also sent me some of their Postpartum Bath Herbs to try out- heavenly! They were so healing and soothing in those initials days after birth! I know they definitely helped me get back to my old self much quicker! Best of all- they are offering some of these herbs to one of my lucky readers as well!!

Postpartum Bath Herbs

Would you like to win some of these wonderful bath herbs to try for yourself and help promote healing after birth? Just take the same challenge that I did from Earth Mama Angel Baby:
  • Gather some of the most common personal care products you use regularly on yourself or on your baby. Personal care products include shampoo, lotions, soaps, diaper cream, stretch mark oil, etc.
  • Go to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ Skin Deep database and enter a product name in the search field. Add up the Skin Deep toxicity rating for all the personal care products that you use on a daily basis on your pregnant or nursing body, or on your baby, to find out what your score is.
  • When you have your score, post your answer to three quick questions (below) in the comments area. Your post in the comments section with your three answers is one entry into the contest. Don’t worry – there are no right or wrong answers, but we think you’ll be surprised at how high the toxin score is for those products you are using that are labeled natural or even organic.
  • 1. What was your Skin Deep toxicity rating score?
  • 2. Were you surprised with the score and/or ingredients?
  • 3. What would you like your score to be?
Additional entries will be granted for all of the following (leave a separate comment for each)- these entries only count AFTER you complete the above challenge:
  • Being a follower (right sidebar)
  • Being a subscriber via e-mail (left sidebar)
  • Having the Summer of Baby Love button on your blog (also in left sidebar)
  • Blogging about the giveaway (leave the link to your direct post)
  • Following on Twitter and tweeting about the giveaway (leave your screen name and the time you tweeted)
  • Participating in any meme during this giveaway (leave the direct link to your meme post)
The giveaway will end Friday, July 31, 2009 @ 9:00 PST. Winner will be posted and notified later that week. For full details and rules about the Sumer of Baby Love Blog Party, please visit this post.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Winner and notes to my readers!

First of all, the winner of the Belly Bandit Giveaway is:
Congrats! E-mail me ASAP to claim your prize!

Second, it was brought to my attention that my Mr. Linkys have not been showing up. If you didn't know, Mr. Linky has been having lots of problems (that started the week after I bought my subscription- grrrr!), and have only been working off and on. The format of linky I was using was supposed to be the one that was still fine, but apparently that isn't the case! So, this week I will be switching to McLinky instead so that everyone who wants to participate in the memes can with ease! Sorry for the confusion and hassle!

Third, I want to re-emphasize that when you enter the giveaways you need to make sure to leave a separate comment for each additional entry you have in order for them to count! I would hate for people to go through the effort to enter but not get all of their entries because they left them in one comment!

And lastly, there will be 2 giveaways this week and 3 next week!! So be sure to stay tuned for the great stuff coming, starting tomorrow morning!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tiny Bubbles!

Have you heard of Tiny Bubbles yet? It is the newest product out by The Natural Baby Co and it is made especially for cloth diapers and baby clothes (but hey- if it's that good, why not use it on everything?!)! Tiny Bubbles has the following great features:
  • Dye & Fragrance Free
  • Completely Biodegradable
  • Completely Phosphate-Free
  • No Optical Brighteners or Fillers
  • Gentle for Sensitive Skin
  • Low Residue Formula
  • Ultra-Concentrated
  • Low Cost-Per-Wash
  • Recyclable
How awesome is that?! Safe for my family and works like a charm- sounds exactly like what I have been looking for (especially since my toddler's night diapers are so stinkin' hard to get clean!)! Sang some with me at The Natural Baby Co and let me know what you think- I will, of course, be reporting on our experience soon!

Where I Babywear!- Daddy-wear!

Where I Babywear Button

Jer wore Lion Cub for the first time this last week! He decided to put him in the Mei Tai and it was fun to see Dad and baby snuggle!

Do you have any pics of your hubby wearing your babe? Post them (and include the Where I Babywear button) then come back here and place the direct link in the Mr. Linky! Can't wait to see those babywearin' daddies!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mama Time- "Quiet" Time

Mama Time button<>

This week for the Mama Time Meme I want to know:
How do you fit in your "quiet" time with the Lord? Where do you read & pray? Are you on a specific reading plan or Bible Study and how do you manage to get it done?

For me, this has been a new challenge over the last few weeks but one I desperately want to conquer since having time with the Lord is so vital to my everyday existence! I had gotten away from my reading and spending time with the Lord for a while and once you get away from it, it becomes really hard to get back into. I have really buckled down lately though and have tried to manage to get at least a little bit of time with Jesus each day- it just makes such a difference when I get my perspective right and meditate on His word. Plus, it is something that I want to instill in my children and I can't do that if I am not practicing it myself!

So, what are my tricks? I try to carry my Bible around with me to wherever I end up parking myself with Lion Cub throughout the day. Generally he is a crazy nurser so I can't really read while I am breastfeeding, but sometimes I am able to squeeze in a little reading when he falls asleep on me.

My other typical reading spot is in the bathroom right before I get in the shower! I know this sounds weird, but usually my husband is holding Lion Cub when I go down to shower, so if I sneak my Bible in with me I can usually get away with taking a few extra moments for myself with no questions asked. I cherish those few minutes! Then I can get in some nice time of prayer and contemplation while I am showering- it works great!

My last trick is to read in bed. The book light my husband bought me a few years ago for Christmas was one of the best gifts he has ever gotten me! After I have nursed Lion Cub to sleep in bed at night I can usually flip on my book light while we snuggle and read a little that way too!

I can always use more ideas for "quiet" time with little ones so I can't wait to hear what you all have to say! Once you have posted (and included the Mama Time button), just head back here and plug your direct post link into the Mr. Linky!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday- Favorite Things!

This week for Friend Makin' Monday you are supposed to share 5-10 of your favorite things, and here are mine:

  1. My Bible- keeps me sane!
  2. My Computer- let's me accomplish my favorite hobby- blogging!
  3. My Bed- not so much because it is a great bed, but because it represents sleep!
  4. Snapple White Raspberry Tea- slightly sweet and oh so refreshing!!
  5. My stretchy blue Abercrombie sweats- just so comfy!
  6. Chewy Caramel Bars- I have an AMAZING recipe- sadly, Judah isn't reacting well to them so they are off limits for now- :-(
  7. Baskin Robbins Chocolate Chip Ice Cream!! Enough said (although it is also off limits right now)
  8. My Camera- it lets me capture all my family's priceless little moments!

So, what do you love?!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Where I Babywear- at the Lake!

Where I Babywear Button

Surprise, surprise! This week's babywearing photos are at the lake!

Yup, Lion Cub is getting worn more and more in an effort to keep him less fussy- the lake was no exception! Gotta love that Sleepy Wrap!!!

Where did you babywear over the 4th? Post your pics, include the Where I Babywear button, then come back and put your direct-post link in the Mr. Linky! This one should be a lot of fun! I don't know about you, but I don't think that anything makes kiddos more "independent" than attachment parenting!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lion Cub's Blog!!

Well, in an effort to keep an up-to-date chronicle of my kiddo's lives I have decided to give each of them their own blog. Many of you have probably already seen R-Man's blog that I started for his 3rd birthday. Now I am introducing Lion Cub's blog:

The Lion Cub Button

Much of it is inspired by my bloggy friend Carisa's blog for her daughter Lady Bug. To start out with it will just cover milestones and such, and then I will see where it takes us! I hope you enjoy seeing Lion Cub grow and change as much as we do!

It's just different the second time

Mama Time button

Let me be candid- postpartum has been a very different beast this time around. This time I don't have the same feelings as I did the first time. Don't get me wrong- I love Lion Cub dearly! I take care of him and nurture him, but it is just... well, different. Sometimes I feel like all I do is get screamed at all day by this little person who really doesn't do anything- he is just (for lack of a better term) a blob at this stage- especially in comparison to his vibrant and personality-filled big brother.

R-Man posed many challenges and I was facing many other stressors following his birth, but he was my first- I knew no different and was deeply entrenched in loving motherhood. With R-Man there was no older sibling to snap up my attention and remind me just how helpless he was- he was all there was, and as difficult as it was, I revelled in mothering him.

Starting all over again with Lion Cub has felt much more difficult than I ever expected it would. I kept thinking that I had learned so much the first time around that I wouldn't have to figure out this time, that things would obviously be simpler- and in many ways they have. Sleep has come much easier since we have co-slept from day one with no hesitancy or questioning. Diapering is a breeze- I know what I like and the system is down pat. All that I have learned about breastfeeding has helped me deal with the small challenges that have come up and resolve them before they turned into huge problems. I have done my research- I know my stuff and don't have to worry about reading up to figure out all of our major decisions this time.

However, other things I had expected, like having a more easy-going baby the second time around- have not come true. Far from it actually! Dealing with sickness, colic and general moodiness these past four weeks have nearly been unbearable at times. That immediate connection that I had with R-Man has felt a little more distant with Lion Cub. More than once over the last weeks I have uttered the words, "My baby hates me," as I have been unable to figure out what he needed or why he was screaming so.

Much in contrast, my husband actually feels more loved by and connected with Lion Cub. He is often the only person who can calm his crying jags and ease his distress. I am glad that Jer feels more bonded with Lion Cub and in turn, I believe, more attentive to his needs, but it also leaves a mama feeling a little inadequate at times.

Of course, there are always those moments that make things a little better- when one of his sweet and rare smiles spreads across his face just because I said his name. Or when he finally gives in after crying, for what seems like forever, and lays his sweet head on my shoulder. Or at night when he snuggles in and uses my breast as a pillow after he finishes nursing. And his coos are enough to even melt a heart of stone!

I know things will get better in time. Things will get easier when he looks at me as more than just a place to eat and begins to interact more and more. Until then I will just keep caring for him and loving him, and remembering that this is what I signed up for! There are many seasons of motherhood- this is just one of them!

If anyone posts about their own postpartum feelings and would like me to add a Mr. Linky this week, please let me know and I will get it up right away! If not, then I think I will just leave it at that for this week.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I Was Here... Breastfeeding- at the Lake!

I Was Here Breastfeeding button

Well, as most of you know, we spent our 4th of July at my in-law's lake cabin. It was so nice to get away and relax! Here is a pic of me nursing Lion Cub on the shore- watching R-Man make a sand castle and go crazy in the water!

Do you have pics of your 4th of July nursing adventures? I would love for you to share! Post them, include the I Was Here... Breastfeeding button, then hop back over and put your direct post link in the Mr. Linky!

Belly Bandit Review and Giveaway

One thing I had heard over and over about having a second babe is that your belly doesn't go down as quickly as with the first. Like any woman, I wasn't particularly keen on this thought, but figured there was nothing I could do about it! Well, as I began doing some reading I discovered that there is something that can be done about it and women in native cultures have been practicing it for years- it's called belly binding (or wrapping)!

I know the phrase sounds a little barbaric, but hear me out! Basically, belly binding involves tightly wrapping the abdomen in the days, weeks and even months after birth to help the body's organs and tissues return to their proper place. In particular, it helps the uterus to contract and shrink back down to size more quickly, aiding in the overall healing of the mother.

Belly binding can be done in a variety of ways, including wrapping a long piece of cloth tightly around yourself numerous times, but in my searching I found the perfect and most easy way to achieve a good bind- it is called The Belly Bandit!

Belly Bandit is a wide stretchable band that connects with velcro and is designed specifically to help the postpartum body achieve it's pre-pregnant state! In addition to helping your uterus shrink more quickly, the belly bandit also provides wonderful support for tired mamas' backs (especially helpful if you have a lot of stairs in your home), and helps you maintain a better posture while nursing.

Belly Bandit comes in three styles- Original, Couture and Bamboo. The folks at Belly Bandit were kind enough to send me a Bamboo Belly Bandit to try out postpartum and I can honestlty say it has made a huge difference- much greater than I expected! In fact, I think I could go so far as to say that my stomach has shrunk faster than it did after my first pregnancy! I have been very happy with the results I have gotten using Belly Bandit and plan to continue using it in the months to come!

Would you like to win a Couture Belly Bandit to help recapture your hot body after baby? Just visit the Belly Bandit site and then come back here and tell me which style Bandit you like the best and why!

Additional entries will be granted for all of the following (leave a separate comment for each):
  • Being a follower (right sidebar)
  • Being a subscriber via e-mail (left sidebar)
  • Having the Summer of Baby Love button on your blog (also in left sidebar)
  • Blogging about the giveaway (leave the link to your direct post)
  • Following on Twitter and tweeting about the giveaway (leave your screen name and the time you tweeted)
  • Participating in any meme during this giveaway (leave the direct link to your meme post)
The giveaway will end Wednesday, July 15, 2009 @ 9:00 PST. Winner will be posted and notified that weekend. For full details and rules about the Sumer of Baby Love Blog Party, please visit this post.