Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Thanks to

The winner of the little boy basket is...

KS - who said "SO SO CUTE BARB!!! I LOVE them. I am a fan and a follower already. PICK ME!!!"

And the little girl basket...

Christina - who said "I'm a follower and a fan on Facebook!! Those are soooo adorable, I don't have one yet for my little one!"

Congrats you two! I'll get those to you right away!

Thanks everyone else for participating in the fun and spreading the word!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quickest (Easter) Giveaway Ever!! (closed)

I meant to do this giveaway last week, but...I just barely got these cute Easter baskets done today. Hence, the quick giveaway. I need to mail them to the winners tomorrow so they can get to you in time for Easter!! So...enter to win quick!
I love them. I didn't know such a simple project could be so difficult. Maybe that's because I was making it up as I went. I still have a lot to learn about sewing...I even had a dream the other night how to best construct the girl basket...I dream in sewing now. Strange. But, the dream helped. And, sorry to the winner of the boy basket, but the girl basket turned out way better!
So here's what you need to do to enter to win...leave a comment. That's it. But, if you want to increase your chances of winning, for each of the following that you do (let me know in your comment what you've done) - your name will be entered again!

1 - Grab the button on the right sidebar and link my site up to yours

2 - Post about this giveaway on your blog

3 - Become a follower (see right sidebar)

4 - Post about this giveaway on your facebook status

5 - Become a fan of The Mom Blog on facebook

DO ALL 5, and let me know in your comment and your name will be automatically entered in 5 more times --> you'll be 5 times more likely to win!!

The giveaway will close Wednesday the 31st at 3pm - so start spreading the word! And quick!

{ Have a great business you'd like to promote through a giveaway on our site? Please contact me - barb.themomblog(at)gmail(dot)com }

Monday, March 29, 2010

Breast Is Best: My Experience with Breastfeeding

I only have one child, and have only breastfed that one child...but I nursed her for 12 1/2 months. So every 2 hours for the first 3-4 months (including nighttime, she wasn't a good sleeper), and every 3-4 hours till around 7 months I nursed.

Then we started giving her cereal once a day for about a month. Nursing started to slow down and was mixed in with solid food feedings...

The last time she latched on she was 12 1/2 months, and thankfully, toothless. So I feel like I'm somewhat of an expert, or at least quite experienced.

In the hospital, before that final push - I told the nurses and my husband, Ryan, that I DID NOT want my little one to be given a bottle in the NICU. Since she was 3 1/2 weeks early I knew she'd be headed that direction. NO BOTTLES!

The type of sucking babies use on bottles and the type they use on nipples is different and I didn't want her to start out on a bottle, since I'd heard this can sometimes make it hard for them to figure out nursing.

Before she was whisked away I was given a few precious minutes with my Little Miss. In an empty room (I can't remember where Ry was), it was me and my little princess.

Then, in walked a nurse, a manly woman who said it was time to feed her. She quickly and roughly exposed me, squeezed my nipple flat, and started shoving my daughters head into my chest.

Super awkward.

I knew Little Miss's personality before she was even born - she's stubborn, willful, and doesn't like to be forced into anything. And of course, being shoved and forced into nursing was not her thing - she resisted with her whole body, all 6 lbs of it, and started screaming. After a few minutes the nurse gave up and said she'd be back.

Alone again, I gently held Little Miss close and she found her way to food and latched on herself. No forcing necessary. It hurt like mad, but I knew I'd get over the sensitivity and I knew it'd be worth it for both of us.

Regardless of what I said about the NICU & bottles - those nurses played with her hair, cuddled her, and gave her a bottle while I waited in my room for 4 hours to hold my healthy baby. Finally I called the NICU and they brought her to me.

Nursing was hard, it was painful (at first), it was a sacrifice of time & independence. I couldn't venture too far from my little girl since I knew she'd be hungry every 2 hours. No movies, no nights away from her, and date night as a couple was limited to a one hour activity, or we'd just take her with us.

But it was worth it! Little Miss and I bonded, we still have a strong bond. I know I gave her the best start she could have. The healthiest food she could have. She was taken care of and happy. Nursing also helped her get over her jaundice faster.

Now for some selfish reasons why I breastfed...formula is expensive, formula spit-up stains, formula poo stinks (breastfed babies don't stink), I knew breastfeeding would lessen my chances of breast cancer, and...the really selfish reason - Little Miss sucked all the baby fat right out of me!

I was skinnier than I was pre-pregnancy by the end of breastfeeding. It really does help you drop the excess weight...too bad all of my weight ended up on her legs. =) Either that or she was just eating straight cream.

And even though it was hard, I will definitely do it again for the next one. feelings on breastfeeding our obvious. Of course we should breastfeed our babies! Why do you think we have breasts? They serve a purpose. It is the best food for our babies. And it's good for us too.

Having said that however - I don't want anyone to be defensive or offended. I know that breastfeeding is a family decision and you have to do what's best for your family. I also know there are some health conditions that sometimes prevent people from breastfeeding. We'll go over those in another post. So don't worry - I don't judge.

Moms - have any good or bad experiences of nursing you'd like to share? Inverted nipples? Mastitis? Please comment! Or better yet - want to be a guest blogger on the subject? Email me - barb.themomblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Other posts in this series:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Giveaway: Family Photo Shoot

One of my friends is doing her first ever giveaway on her site and it's a big one! A family photo shoot - cd with the pics and copyright to them, plus an 11X14 print...did I mention she is amazing? Her pictures are vibrant, full of life, color, and movement.

Nicole Anderson Photography

Head on over to her site to enter to win!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Date Night

Before Little Miss came along, Ry and I went on a date every Friday night. After she came along - well, it's been a different story. We still felt like it was important for us to have a date night - but I nursed her for 12 months, so we couldn't ever leave her for very long. We had to get creative...

So how do you have a date night with little ones? You either involve them on the date, or wait until they're sleeping. Some of my favorite date nights we've had since we became 3:
  1. The Train Date: we packed a picnic dinner, lots of diapers, and rode the train downtown. Little Miss was about 5 months old and loved it. We stopped at random places so I could feed her (thank heavens for nursing covers!) and had such a great time walking around and exploring. We left early so we could get home earlier to put her to bed.

  2. Hiking: we love to hike. And thanks to our Kelty Kids Pack, last summer we had a blast. This summer I'm sure will be different now that Little Miss is insistent on walking everywhere...very slow hiking in our future.

  3. Thank goodness for grandmas. Both of Little Miss's grandma's have been awesome at watching her for us when we need a break! Without them, we wouldn't be able to do much at all! Not sure what we'll do when we don't live close to family anymore...

  4. Just staying at home. After a long work week both Ry and I love to just stay home sometimes. After Little Miss is in bed we catch up on episodes of Lost and The Office while trading backrubs or playing a game of Rummikub. It's funny the little things you appreciate once you have a child - like just sitting on the couch quietly holding hands while watching TV uninterrupted...amazing. do you keep the sparks alive? Or make time for your spouse and fun now that you have a little one? Have any great ideas to share? Please do!

If you haven't checked it out yet - I am a total fan of Love, Actually. Such cute, simple ideas to keep the romance in your marriage alive.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dry or Delayed Drowning

With the weather warming up it's almost swimming time again! Which I'm way excited for. But, I am a slightly paranoid mother.

Thanks to my mom - I was raised to fear the worst...still not sure if that's a good or bad attribute. If you ask my husband, he'll say it's bad - "Life is to be enjoyed, not feared". I couldn't agree more - but what if I just want to be cautious while I enjoy?

I'm sure you all remember the story of the 10 yr old boy who died of dry drowning. He actually died of delayed drowning...confused? Me too.

Dry Drowning:

In "dry drownings," the act of trying to hold the breath for a prolonged period can cause an involuntary laryngospasm reflex and neither water nor air can be taken into the lungs. Eventually, the person loses consciousness and dies from lack of oxygen, again, a type of suffocation. This happens in 10 to 15 percent of all drowning cases. It can also be triggered, more rarely, by hitting the water forcefully.

Delayed Drowning:

Asphyxiation due to inhaling water - water on the lungs. Things to watch for: choking or gagging that lasts for more than a minute or two, any blue tinge to the lips that's not from cold, if the child seems very sleepy or lethargic out of proportion to the activity, to the point that it's not easy to wake him or rouse him to talk to you, any loss of bowel or bladder control in an older child, any loss of consciousness.

These symptoms, in conjunction with any incident in which a child chokes on, swallows or aspirates water, may indicate there's some respiratory distress from water damage that needs immediate attention.

Just something to think about with swimming season coming our way. The more you know the better off! But beyond that - should we worry about baths for our little ones?

I have always given Little Miss her tubby right before bed. It's part of her bedtime routine. She frequently tries to drink the water or gets a little crazy pretending to be a fish and inhales water. Should I start giving her a tubby earlier in the day so I will know if something is wrong?

Is that crossing the line into too paranoid? Or is it just being safe and cautious? Any opinions?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Potty Training: Are We Ready?

I think we are. I know I am! We had a play date with a little friend last Friday and Little Miss saw her use the big potty a couple of times. Then Little Miss asked to sit on the big potty, something she's been scared of, and successfully went tinkles!!

It is so important for both you and your child to be ready - if they're not ready, it's not going to happen.

That same day while tucking her in for a nap she said "Mommy. Potty train. (Little Miss) potty train." I asked her if she wanted to be potty trained and she said I told her after her nap we would start. And we've been working on it since. She has been successful quite a few times with tinkling - only two times with poop. But doing pretty good.

I love that she wants to use the big potty - so much easier than cleaning out her little one!

She gets a little (very little) treat after sitting on the potty, even if nothing happens, and I usually try to keep her on it for at least 15-20 min by reading books and playing with puppets.

We also like to do the Potty Dance. Any positive reinforcement is good!

Although I have not made the brave jump to underwear - she is in pull-up's now and spends most of the day pant-less so we can get to the potty faster.

One set back - church yesterday. We used the small potty for little kids and she loved it. She even tinkled. Then I flushed it...and it overflowed!! Water was everywhere. She didn't get wet, but I think she was concerned. I had to plunge, mess with the stuff in the tank, and then mop up the floor in my dress while she watched.

So, since then she's been more reluctant to sit on the potty, but not necessarily scared. I think she just doesn't want the potty to "act funny" again.

Other posts in this series:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Worst 45 Minutes Ever

I was going to post about something else today...but this story is just too good to pass by. My husband and I went on a 3 day vacation without Little Miss (left her with grandma) and got back late Wednesday night. She did pretty well with us being gone and with us getting back. Or so we thought...

She's been throwing a lot of temper tantrums. A lot. I know she's nearing 2, but she's always been so good when I tell her no, or not now, later. Or whatever. When she doesn't get her way she knows it's okay. Not anymore.

Last night after shopping with my sis, Little Miss and I got to the car and she instantly started freaking out. I mean panicking. She was clawing at me, trying not to get put in her car-seat. So I stopped and asked her what was wrong. Checked her diaper. Told her we were going to go home and see daddy. Talked nicely. Did everything I could think of that was nice - all the usual tricks that get her in the car. None of them worked.

I. Tried. Everything. So, I told her for not listening like a nice girl she had to go to timeout. So we did that. Usually right after timeout she says sorry and complies. No dice. She freaked again when I tried to put her in the car-seat. Screaming. I'm pretty sure passerby's thought I was kidnapping her. She was that out of control.

Since it was bedtime I didn't have time to waste. So I tried holding her down with one hand and getting her buckled with the other. Yeah right. She's way too strong.

I seriously did not know what to do. Any of you with toddlers feel that way sometimes? Most of the time?

So after 20 minutes of trying, I called up her daddy so he could talk to her on the phone. She wouldn't stop crying long enough to listen. She was a mess and the more time that went by the worse it got.

What happened to my sweet little baby? Gone for 3 days and I come back to a crazy-get-my-way-all-the-time girl? Not fun.

Ry could tell I'd had it, so he opted to hop in the car and drive down to save us both.

I am against spanking. I don't think it works. But I won't go into that in this post (I'll touch on that later) - just know that I'm against it and it never even crosses my mind to spank Little Miss. Well, last night I wanted to swat her little bum so hard. I resisted.

Ry came and saved us. He had a chat with her, took her on a walk while I sat in the car and cried - feeling like a bad mom and wondering where my little girl had gone.

They came back a few minutes later and he got her right in, no fight. We then switched cars and he drove her home. I cried my way home. Pathetic. I just was so upset I couldn't "fix" the situation. I didn't know what to do.

I drove very slowly and when I got home found out Little Miss had been crying for me the whole way home. Then when she saw me crying she got very concerned. Started crying harder. Giving me hugs and frantically telling daddy that "Mommy needs a band-aid!!" Because we all know band-aids fix everything!

It's going to be a long few days trying to get things back to normal and establish rules again...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

One Thing Teachers Wish They Could Say To Parents...

My best friend, who's a teacher, posted this on her blog awhile ago and I had to share it - she's just too funny...

Hey you! YES, I'm talking to YOU!

Why in the world would you SEND YOUR KID TO SCHOOL WHEN THEY ARE CLEARLY* SICK AND MISERABLE!?!?!??! What is so important that you have no choice but to send your kid to school to contaminate everyone else?!?! (including your child's TEACHER aka... ME!)

This is my mean teacher stink eye. . . . feel the anger?

Seriously folks, don't be those parents.. you know... "those parents!" Keep your child HOME if s/he is sick!!!! Give them the rest, love and attention they deserve... and spare the rest of us the germs!

A message on behalf of Kindergarten Teachers everywhere.

*I know sometimes kids come to school feeling fine and then get sick during the day. I'm not talking about this. I'm talking about the "oops you have a fever but I have to go to work... just take some tylenol and be a trooper" situations.

I've been thinking about parents and their inability to not infect everyone else with their kids germs lately. When your child is sick and your stuck at home it stinks! I get super antsy and just need to get out of the house. But, do I? Nope.

When Little Miss had croup a few weeks ago we stayed home for a good solid week and a half...boring, but respectful of other moms and their kids who we could have passed it on to.

Why can't all moms be respectful? Grr. I took Little Miss to the library last week and I overheard a mom on her cell phone telling the pediatrician all of the symptoms her daughter had and setting up an appointment...the daughter that was right there next to my Little Miss. What!? If she's that sick why is she at the public library touching everything!? People...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green Eggs - the healthy way!

Obviously I'm on a green kick (St. Patrick's Day) and a healthy kick (as noted by the last few recipes) - so why not throw the two together!

I got a little creative and made green scrambled eggs for Little Miss the other night. Why use food coloring when I can sneak in some veggies?

So, out came the frozen spinach once more. And to my surprise (since they looked weird and smelled a little too spinach-y while cooking) they actually turned out good! Both Little Miss & I liked them.

Little Miss particularly gobbled them up and thought it was way fun to pile them on her toast and take bites just like mommy. But sadly, no ham...maybe next time.

Green Eggs (serves 2)
  • 3/4 cup frozen spinach
  • hot water
  • milk
  • 3 eggs
  • salt
  1. Place frozen spinach in food processor - pour just enough hot water over top to thaw a little. Start pureeing. Then I added a few Tbsp milk to make it creamier and more smooth.
  2. Mix spinach with eggs in bowl - whisk. Add a little salt.
  3. Then cook like normal eggs on the stove top. They do take awhile to cook since they're full of liquid. I also added a little more salt and pepper at the end.
Yum! Looking for a dessert - check out my Lucky Lime Pie from last year - delicious!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Fun & Food

Let's start with the food. I want to eat one of these right now...

...there is just something about it that looks so ridiculously good! You can find the recipe for Rainbow Cupcakes here.

This Pot of Gold just looks fun...

...that recipe is here.

Little Miss loves to color and we did the following...

You can print out your own Green Things Book here.

And our favorite activity - getting messy with the paint. Half way through our rainbow she decided she wanted footprints instead of handprints...I love how it turned out!

Next year when Little Miss is a little older we'll do a scavengar hunt for a pot of gold. You can make this hard/easy depending on your child's age.

Use paper shamrocks to write your clues on and at the end of the hunt - a black pot filled with chocolate gold coins of course! I would probably start with our first clue in the mailbox - since Little Miss loves to check the mail with me everyday. I think she'd get a kick out of getting her own mail!

Some books to read on St. Patrick's Day (list courtesy of :
Billy Beg and His Bull - An Irish Tale Billy Beg and His Bull: An Irish Tale
by Ellin Greene
Caitlin, The Irish Dancer, Sticker Paper Doll Caitlin, The Irish Dancer, Sticker Paper Doll
by Barbara Steadman
Children's Irish-English Dictionary Children's Irish-English Dictionary
Clever Tom and the Leprechaun: An Old Irish Story Clever Tom and the Leprechaun: An Old Irish Story
by Linda Shute
Fair, Brown & Trembling : An Irish Cinderella Story Fair, Brown & Trembling : An Irish Cinderella Story
by Jude Daly (Illustrator)
Hooray, for St. Patrick's Day! Hooray, for St. Patrick's Day!
by Joan Holub
Irish Dance Recital Sticker Activity Book Irish Dance Recital Sticker Activity Book
by Barbara Steadman
St. Patrick's Day Books for kids - Jack and the Leprechaun Jack and the Leprechaun
by Ivan Robertson, Katy Bratun (Illustrator)
Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato
by Tomie dePaola
Leprechaun Luck: A Wee Book of Irish Wisdom Leprechaun Luck: A Wee Book of Irish Wisdom
by Erin Gobragh
St. Patrick's Day Books for kids - Look What Came from Ireland Look What Came from Ireland
by Miles Harvey
St. Patrick's Day Books for kids - O'Sullivan Stew O'Sullivan's Stew
by Hudson Talbott
St. Patrick's Day Books for kids - Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland
by Tomie De Paola
Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs: The Story of the St. Patrick's Day Symbols Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs: The Story of the St. Patrick's Day Symbols
by Edna Barth
St. Patrick's Day Books for kids - St. Patrick's Day Alphabet St. Patrick's Day Alphabet
by Beverly Barras Vidrine, Patrick Soper (Illustrator)
St. Patrick's Day in the Morning St. Patrick's Day in the Morning
by Eve Bunting
St. Patrick's Day Parades, Shamrocks, and Leprechauns St. Patrick's Day Parades, Shamrocks, and Leprechauns
by Elaine Landau
St. Patrick's Day Books for kids - St. Patrick's Day St. Patrick's Day
by Gail Gibbons
That's What Leprechauns Do That's What Leprechauns Do
by Eve Bunting
The Ancient Celtic Festivals: And How We Celebrate Them Today The Ancient Celtic Festivals: And How We Celebrate Them Today
by Clare Walker Leslie
The King of Ireland's Son The King of Ireland's Son
by Brendan Behan
The Last Snake in Ireland: A Story About St. Patrick The Last Snake in Ireland: A Story About St. Patrick
by Sheila Macgill-Callahan
The Luckiest Leprechaun: A Tail-Wagging Tale of Friendship The Luckiest Leprechaun: A Tail-Wagging Tale of Friendship
by Justine Korman
St. Patrick's Day Books for kids - The Saint Patrick's Day Shillelagh The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh
by Janet Nolan, Ben Stahl (Illustrator)
The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh This Is Ireland
by M. Sasek
St. Patrick's Day Books for kids - Tim O'Toole and the Wee Folk Tim O'Toole and the Wee Folk
by Gerald McDermott

And a fun movie or two...

Finian's Rainbow with Fred Astaire - Rated G

Or after the kids are in bed...

Far and Away with Nicole Kidman & Tom Cruise...although I'm not a fan of Tom Cruise, I do love this movie. Don't judge me.

Have fun this St. Patrick's Day!!
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