Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Keep those kiddos safe in the car

With winter well on its way ( or already there for many of us ) I just wanted to take the time to write a little bit on the importance of car seat safety in the winter.

Make sure your car seat is properly installed before you hit the road this winter. If you are unsure if you car seat is properly installed, take it to a professional. Many fire stations and police stations will do this for free.

Never leave a heavy winter coat on in the car seat. This is not safe at all. Car seat straps are suppose to be snug against your child, if you leave a coat on the straps can loosen and in the event of an accident your child can be seriously injured or even killed. Only have your child wear the same clothing they would be wearing inside the house when they are buckled into their car seats. If you are worried about your child staying warm you can put their coat on backwards once they are buckled in, give them a blanket or buy a car seat poncho.

Here is to keeping our kids safe and warm all winter long!

Tis the season for giving

In the spirit of Christmas I would like to do several give a ways for all my lovely readers.

The first one I am posting is for a free knitted hat. You pick the color, gender and I do the rest.

Here are some pictures of some of the hats I have made in the past.




To enter:

1. Post a comment. Make sure you leave your email.

1.Follow this blog and let me know if you already do.
2. Post about this on facebook, leave me a link.
3. Blog about this give away and leave a link.
4. Send your friends, every person that says you sent them is an extra entry.

Good Luck!

Contest ends Dec. 13th

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Give a way from icanonlyimagine

Jonita from http://hyenacart.com/icanonlyimagine/ has been kind enough to offer a $10 gift card to her store for a give a way to all my lovely readers.

Here is a little bit about Jonita.

Tell us a little about your self: My name is Jonita, I'm mommy to 2 crazy girls, Graceen and Mackenzie.

When did you start crocheting: I started crocheting as a kid, but haven't touched it since, till about 2 years ago.

Tell us about your business: I decided to crochet for other people when I felt the need to fund my crochet/cd addiction lol. One of my most favorite things is someone enjoying something I made for them. I think its a very personal thing. I think about the person behind the item every time I use a wahm item, and I hope others think about me when they use my products.

I am lucky enough to have this beautiful skirtie from her:

And she made these dresses for my girls:

She is offering a $10 giftcard to her store. Below are the details on how to enter.

1. Leave a comment with your email address so I can contact you.

Extra entries:
2. Become a follower of my blog and let me know ( or let me know you already are )
3. Post this blog your facebook ( let me know about it )
4. Blog about this give a way.

Give a way ends Nov. 24th.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My frugal fun has moved

This is one of my favorite blogs, I love reading her posts.

To celebrate her move she is offering a contest and you could win a $25 amazon gift card.

She is now located at http://myfrugalfunlife.com/ , go check her out and make sure to enter the give a way!

Christmas is coming!!!

It is hard to believe that is is November already and we all know this means that Christmas is going to be here before we know it! My husband and I decided to keep things fairly simple this year with buying for our children. Since they have grandparents, Aunts and Uncles they will not be lacking in the gift department at all.

A friend of mine introduced me to this saying, something you want, something you need, something to play and something to read. I gave myself a limit of $100 out of pocket per child and so far I am doing way better then I thought I would with that budget.

We did one large joint gift for all three of them and got them a puppet theater, this was paid for entirely by swagbucks ( if you have not joined yet you really should and I have a blinkie for them on the main page of my blog )

want: race track ( found brand new at a garage sale for $8 )
need: clothes ( these I have not bought yet but most likely will be spending around $20 )
play: puppets ( paid for by swag bucks )
read: book from hpb store ( we are getting this over the weekend and it will be around $10 )

I will also be stuffing his stocking but this will not cost more then $30

Total oop for Alex: $68

want: baby doll items, cloth diapers, wipes, a diaper bag and whatever else I can get my hands on ( I have a small diaper bag that I never use so I am giving her that and filling it with the other items I am looking to spend a max of $20 here.
need: dress (bought on ebay NWT $8 )
play: puppets ( paid for by swagbucks )
read: book from hpb store ( again buying this weekend for around $ 10 )

Stuffing her stocking again for $30 or under.

Total oop for Destiny:$68

want: B. Parum Pum Pum Drum ( paid for by swagbucks )
need: dress (hand made from verychicbaby $30 ) and diapers ( got free in a trade )
play: puppet ( paid for by swagbucks )
read: book from hpb store ( again buying this weekend for around $ 10 )

Stuffing her stocking again for $30 or under.

Total oop for Kair: $60

I am pretty pleased with myself so far. I have a couple other people to buy for but I have been able to find some great deals for them also and no I am not telling what they are because some of them read this blog!

Want a chance at a free Guidecraft Complete Kitchen Center?

If you want a chance at winning this fantastic toy then you need to make your way over to http://lifemoresimply.blogspot.com/ and enter!

What a great gift this would make!! If one of my readers is lucky enough to win this make sure you come back and let me know!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Be safe on halloween!!!

Just a little reminder for everyone to be safe on beggar's night! Have fun trick or treating everyone :)

Halloween Safety Tips for Trick or Treating

Kids look forward to Halloween for many reasons. They like the dressing up in costumes but the mostly they like it for the candy and treats! Who wouldn't? Even some adults still like to go our trick or treating. It makes them feel young and happy again. While this section sticks mainly to guidelines for kids, they are just as useful for adults.

Some parents like to take first dibs on some of the candy that the kids have picked up during the night. It's their reward for taking them around from house to house! We suggest that you watch the candy intake when you all get home, too much at one time can lead to stomach aches and indigestion. That includes mom and dad as well!

Make your child's Halloween a memorable holiday and they'll have good memories that last a lifetime! If you are taking your kids out for the night, dress up as well. Mom and dad should get into Halloween as much as the kids do!

Trick or Treating should be one of the great adventures of Halloween for kids! They can get dressed in scary costumes and go door to door, begging "Tricks or Treats!" from neighbors or at the local mall. Lots of small towns have a Halloween Safe Night at the community center or school so kids can Trick-or-Treat safely but going door to door is the stuff of childhood memories! It should be a fun time, without trouble and pain, so following some easy tips can keep your child safe every Halloween.

Children should always go out trick or treating accompanied by a responsible adult. If you have a group of kids going, the parents should choose two or three of them to go along and keep an eye on things.

Some towns set a curfew for trick or treating which makes it easier for townsfolk to know who's coming to their door. Make sure and stick to the curfew times and stick to subdivisions and areas with a lot of homes so your kids can get in as much trick or treating as possible in a few hours time.

Plan a safe route so parents know where their older kids will be at all times. Set a time for their return home. Make sure that your child is old enough and responsible enough to go out by themselves. Make sure that they have a cell phone.

Let your children know not to cut through back alleys and fields if they are out alone. Make sure they know to stay in populated areas and not to go off the beaten track. Let them know to stay in well lighted areas with lots of people around. Explain to them why it can be dangerous for kids not to do this. If they are going out alone, they are old enough to know what can happen to them in a bad situation and how to stop it from happening.

Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you. This way you can check for any problem candy and get the pick of the best stuff!

Instruct your child to never go into the home of a stranger or get into their car. Explain why this is not a god idea and what to do if someone approaches them and tries to talk to them.

Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars.

Let them know that they should stay together as a group if going out to Trick or Treat without an adult.


Monday, October 25, 2010

The kind of trick or treating I can get into!!!

http://www.mamaandruby.com/index.html is hosting a great halloween event! If you want a chance to win some prizes mamas you really need to get involved in this!!!!!

Rave for PrettyBittyBoo

I was introduced to this adorable set through diaperswappers. I fell in love and it was Kairi's size so I knew it needed to come live with us.


It is constructed very well, the fit is perfect and it is so adorable.

She does not have a lot of items available at the moment but she should be stocking soon!

Check her out!

She also has a facebook fan page:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Give a way from For the Love

Heather, the mom behind http://hyenacart.com/FortheLove/index.php has offered a great give away for all my lovely readers. You have the chance to win one short mama cloth pad (approximately 10" long, 3 1/2"wide not including wings) from For the Love... Heather will chose the colors but the pad will be topped in flannel and backed with PUL.

A little about Heather:
Why is mama cloth important to you?
Cloth menstrual pads are important for so many reason. First, like cloth diapering, using mama cloth is so much better for our earth and our environment. All of those disposable menstrual products really make a negative impact on our environment. Another reason is it is SO much healthier! Add to that the fact that using mama cloth has show to reduce the length and cramping of your periods and I'm a fan!

How did you get started making mama cloth?
I actually started making mama cloth as a "Toddler Pee-Pee Pad". My son was potty learning (all on his own!) and I needed something as a "just in case". So I made up what is now known as my short pad. It was topped in flannel, had several absorbant layers, and was backed in PUL. I snapped them into his little underwear just like if you were using a pad. They were absorbant enough for one pee, but didn't feel like a diaper on him, so that he KNEW he had an accident. From there, I just figured if cloth was good enough for him, it was good enough for me. I expanded my cloth line from there.

How long have you been sewing?
I have actually been sewing for about 15 years. I've always been crafty, and able to make something out of nothing for as long as I can remember. In fact, one of my first sewing projects was an outfit for my dog (back before dressing your dog up was cool!). I made it out of one of my old pairs of jeans and a flannel shirt that was past it's prime. I measured him and drew out my own pattern to make that outfit.

Rules and how to enter:

1. To enter please leave a comment.

2. Extra entries:
1. Be a follower
2. Refer someone to the blog and have them leave your name in the comment
3. Post about this give a way somewhere and come back with a link.

Contest will run till Nov. 1st, a winner will be picked using a random number generator.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Why I make my own laundry soap

I have extremely sensitive skin and our last adventure with it was when my husband bought some laundry soap on sale, I figured it would not hurt to give it a try and it ended up causing me to break out from head to toe ( I am not joking ) in hives that lasted about two weeks. I had to rewash everything and needless to say I was not going to deal with it again. I had been reading on DS how mamas there were making there own laundry soap so I decided to give it a try and I was shocked how much I really liked it. It cleaned my clothes, left a clean smell and I could use it on clothes and diapers without ill effects.

This is how I make my soap:
1 bar of laundry soap ( grated )
4 cups of baking soda
4 cups of washing soda
4 cups of borax
2 cups of oxyclean ( I get the store brand since it is cheaper )

Mix it all in a large tupperware container and I add 1 full scoop ( using the scoop that came in the oxyclean tub to a large load of clothes and about half a scoop to the diapers )

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Being a mom

I always wanted to be a mom. Even when I was in high school and I did not know what I wanted to do for sure with my life one thing always stuck, I wanted children. I got married when I was eighteen years old and got pregnant on my honeymoon, I know a lot of people thought I was to young to be starting a family but I knew I was ready and my husband and I were thrilled to be starting our family together.

I knew the birth of my child would bring about changes in my life. I knew I was going to have many sleepless nights, I knew that I would worry more then I ever had before and I knew that I was going to be taking care of someone that needed me for everything in their life. The things I did not know was that I would spend many nights in tears wondering why my friends did not seem to want to be around us anymore, that poison control would become a contact number in my phone book ( in the first year of my sons life he tried to eat a Christmas Cactus, perfume, deodorant and almost a whole bottle of teething tablets )and I did not know how badly it would hurt when people judged me for the way I chose to raise my child, how badly it would hurt when they looked down on me for one reason or another or how defensive I would get over it all. I wish I could go back and tell myself to let it slid but it hurt so badly at that time.

Now that my son is four years old and I have had two other children I have learned to let the judgments go. I have learned that no matter what I do someone somewhere will have a problem with the choices I have in my parenting style. The thing is now, I do not care. I know the choices my husband and I make are the best ones for my family and I have learned that I do not have to defend them to anyone.

Being a mother seems to open you up for the whole world to tell you what you are doing wrong and honestly I have noticed that other moms are really bad about doing it to each other. I have seem moms rip each other apart on some of the message boards I am on. They will seriously go head to head over what to feed kids for breakfast and I will be the first to admit that I have been pulled into this before but I am doing my best to not let it happen. I know first hand that moms need to stick together and be there for one another.

Being a mother is very hard, there are days that I want to throw a fit right along with my kids. There are days that they test me more then I can explain but it is always worth it. Yes they test me, yes they can be very naughty sometimes but they can also be the sweetest, most lovable kids in the world. I love it when they run up to me and give me a big hug and for no reason at all tell me they love me. I love snuggle time and I love the sleepy smiles.

Being a mother has changed me in every way. I have more patience, learned to live off very little sleep, have become more selfless and I know that my kids will keep on changing me. I look forward to the changes and times to come.

The new eco friendly and fashionable trend in cloth diapers

The new eco friendly and fashionable trend in cloth diapers

Check out this video.

I have a doopsy diaper and I really love it!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Decky doodle grand opening! You must check it out!!

There is a really awesome hyena cart store opening the 30th and I am excited to share it with you all. http://hyenacart.com/DeckyDoodle/index.php?c=0&p=42665 has some adorable items coming soon. If you are shopping for some tshirts to match those new fall woolies you have been buying you really need to stop by at check her out.

If I had a newbie I would snatch this up in no time!!!


I braved the art of home made yogurt!

I kept hearing a lot of people talking about making yogurt in the crock pot. My kids eat yogurt like you would not believe and I have been looking around trying to find a whole milk yogurt since both my older kids are skinny minnies I figured the extra calories would do them both some good. Since I have not been able to find any in the stores I decided to be brave and try making some in the crock pot and I am so glad I did.

I followed the guide here http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/10/you-can-make-yogurt-in-your-crockpot.html and when it was done and I let it sit in the fridge for a while, the kids and I tried some. They wanted it vanilla so I added a dash of vanilla from watkins and a spoonful of sugar and they loved it. I personally wanted blueberries so I put some fresh ones in my food chopper, added those a spoonful of sugar to it and I do say it was the best yogurt I have ever had.

I am not buying store bought yogurt anymore, this is way better and it was really simple to make!!

Fall is coming

Which means it is longies season once again! I just wanted to share what Kairi is wearing today, I love the new fluff we have been getting for fall and winter!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yes I am THAT mom

You know the mom I am talking about. The mom that has screaming children in the grocery store, the mom that has spit up on her shoulder, the mom that is over protective about everything, the weird mom that loves cloth diapers and all things home made. Yes I am that mom and I am proud.

Being a stay at home mom and that fact that I do not always want to wait for weekends or ten o'clock at night to go to the store I do often take all three kids with me to the store and while mostly they are good we have had our fair share of grocery store melt downs. Most recently we were at Wal mart and Alexzander was walking to close to the end caps, he turned around to talk to me and scratched his shoulder on the corner of one, this added to the fact that he was over tired after playing at the park that day turned into a way over the top crying episode. The old women walking by gave me the look of death and I simply ignored her. Go ahead and judge me and my kids based on a moment of the day, I do not know you and I really do not care what you think.

It does not seem to matter how often I change, my clothes always end up dirty. Kairi is getting teeth right now, so not only is she slobbery more then the average bull dog but she spends a lot of the day on my shoulder. Since I already have laundry that seems to multiply like rabbits I do not want to change a dozen times a day so yes I have been in public more then once with drool all over my shoulder. I chalk it up to a mark of motherhood.

As for the over protective mother, yes I openly admit I am THAT mom. I watch my children like a hawk when we are in public, I have been known to parent another child ( you push my kid down at the park you better believe I will give you a mouth full ) and I spend far to much time researching everything that involves my kids. Some may think this is over the top protective behavior, that is okay with me.

I love my cloth diapers, I have openly admitted that even if they never saved me a dime I would keep using them. While I do not really do it for the saving the planet aspect ( it is just an added plus because I know God called us to care for his planet ), honestly I do it now because they are adorable, yes I am a cloth diaper addict. I also openly admit that I am that mom that would rather have all my kids clothes home made, I even have been known to have my girls wear the old time bonnets because I think they are adorable. I love home made toys, I love home made just about everything, yes I am that mom and once again, I am proud.

I have come to the point in my life where I know other people ( especially other mothers ) are judging every aspect of my parenting style and I say judge away. I will proudly wear the badge of THAT mom if it means I have happy, healthy and safe children.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Add some emotion to your soakers!

I was lucky enough to snag a tester spot to test a new soaker from EmotiBums. I love trying out new fleece soakers and I am really in love with this one. The fit is fantastic and I run into issues since Kairi is a long baby, many times her diaper stick out the top of the soaker, I am not having any issue with this soaker at all. I have used it over pre folds and fitteds and both have been great!

I am not sure when she is going to start selling them but I know I want more when she does and I will let all my readers now when they are available also!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Kids in the kitchen ( baby proofing )

I have had several people ask me, "how do you keep you kids out of the kitchen while you are cooking"? Simple answer, I don't. The only time I will not let them out with me is if I am cooking something with hot oil that could splatter them.

I really feel that introducing my kids to cooking and baking early is going to help them in the long run to become great cooks and bakers themselves. Not only am I taking that time to teach them about cooking but I also use it to teach them to count, read and other things.

Earlier today my daughter helped me make home made whipped cream, she poured the sugar in after I measured it and helped me whisk it. She loved being able to help. My kids help me with at least one meal a day when we are at home.

When it comes to safety matters in the kitchen I have baby proofed in a way that was easy, all the knives in drawers they can not reach, cleaning supplies are in one cupboard and the older two know they are not allowed to get in the cupboard, we are still teaching Kairi that she is not allowed to get in that cupboard. I found it easiest to give them a couple cupboards they can dig in, it gives them an area they can go to and then the cleaning cupboard does not seem so tempting. I let them play with my plastic storage bowls and my pots and pans. While I am out doing dishes Kairi will be happily playing drums on the pans and the older two will usually be coloring at the kitchen table. When I do not want them in the kitchen for one reason or another I simple put the gate up. My oldest can take it down but he is learning that I put it up because the kitchen is off limits.

Awhile back we had a pizza and movie night, the kids made their own little pizzas and then we watched a movie while we ate. They had a great time!

Mini pita pizzas-
pita bread
pizza sauce
Your choice of toppings

Spread the sauce and on the pita bread and then let you kids decorate their pizzas. Then bake the pizzas at 350 till cheese is melted and bread it toasted.

At my daughter's birthday I let the kids decorate their own cupcakes. I got some frosted cupcakes, set out bowls and containers of sprinkles and let them go. It was a simple activity yet the kids really enjoyed it.

I really do encourage you to find ways you can let your kids be involved in cooking and baking at a young age, it is a great way to spend time with them, a great learning tool and it will help to encourage them to cook when they get older.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Kids in the kitchen ( why hamburger is a staple )

Being a stay at home mom I do a lot of cooking and since I have a picky husband and a picky four year old son it can make dinner time tricky. One thing I know for sure is the number one kitchen staple in this house is hamburger. It is such a versatile ingredient and I can make some many different things from it.

My kids love pasta, we eat a lot of different pasta dishes in this house. Tonight we had a pasta dish that they ate really well. Very simple and easy to make also!

You need:
wheat elbow noodles
1 pound hamburger
1 small bag of frozen corn
tomato sauce
garlic powder
Italian seasoning

Cook your noodles like normal. While noodles are cooking start frying the hamburger, I add the garlic and Italian seasoning right to the hamburger while it cooks. Drain noodles when done, add hamburger and corn to noodles. Pour in enough v8 so you can start to see it coming up the sides, do not add to much or it will make your pasta soupy. Add 1 can of tomato sauce and a small squirt of catsup. Stir and heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

It only takes about 20 minuets to make and it was a huge hit in my house.

Later this week I plan on making meatloaf cupcakes again. They are really tasty, the cup cakes makes for a perfect portion and the kids really liked them. All you need to do is make the meat loaf the way you normally do.

Here is my recipe:

1lb hamburger
1 sleeve crushed ritz crackers
3 large eggs
Italian seasoning
meatloaf seasoning ( I get it from watkins and it is really yummy )

Then I line my cupcake pan with cupcake liners, fill the liners almost to the top and bake at 350 for around 30 mins or until baked through.

While those are baking I make garlic mashed potatoes to frost the meatloaf cup cakes with. After frosting them with the potatoes I add shredded cheddar cheese for sprinkles and serve with a side of corn.

It is a really simple way to make a meal fun, the kids love it and always clean there plates.

A great give a away for all my readers

Sweetpeaboutique has been kind enough to offer a custom shirt for a give away for all my readers. I love her shirts, she is such a sweet mama and does a great good on her items.

Here is Kairi in one of her shirts:

How to enter:

To enter you simply have to comment on this blog entry. A winner will be picked 9/17.

Extra entries:

Become a follwer ( or tell me you already are a follower ) of this blog and get one extra entry.

Post this give away on your facebook, blog or another forum and post the link here to get one extra entry.

Send a friend, if they say you sent them you get one entry per person.

Go visit http://hyenacart.com/sweetpeaboutique/ to see all her adorable items!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Diaper give a away!

Have you ever checked out http://www.ragababe.com/Home_Page.html? I recently found out about them on facebook and while they are not selling yet I have already been admiring the prints of their diapers. I am hoping to get a newspaper print and a heart print, they are so adorable!

They are hosting a give a way on their facebook fan page, check it out and enter for your change at a free diaper!!!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Breast feeding beyond 12 months- why I do it

When I was pregnant with my first child I knew I wanted to breast feed but I had no idea how long I planned on doing it for. My goal was until he was 12 months, I figured when he was old enough for cows milk that he was old enough to be weaned.

Time went on and when he was six months old I got pregnant with our second child, I had a lot of people telling me I should wean him but I kept nursing him. My plan was still to wean him at 12 months, that way he was weaned before his sister was born. Before I knew it his first birthday was here, I had been doing a lot of reading on breast feeding beyond a year but I was just not sure what I wanted to do. I loved breastfeeding him, I knew it was the best thing for him but I really was not wanted to nurse a toddler and a newborn, so I started to wean him. I started with night weaning, Chris would get him to sleep each night with a sippy cup. It was going well until a couple weeks later he walked right off the end of my moms bed and broke his leg. He wanted the comfort of nursing and there was no way I was going to deny it to him. At that point in time I just decided it was not time to wean and if he was not weaned before his sister was born so be it.

Our second child was born when he was fifteen months old and he was still nursing. I really thought nursing a toddler and a newborn was going to be a major pain but it really was not. Alexzander kept nursing till he was 18 months old and he self weaned.
Since I nursed Alexzander for 18 months I decided that was how long I was going to nurse Destiny. Destiny was a very difficult baby, she did not sleep through the night until well after a year old, did nothing but nurse for about the first six months of her life and I am pretty sure if I would have weaned her at a year it would have been very difficult, she really did not like milk at all. I got pregnant with our third child when Destiny was about fourteen months old, she continued to nurse until she was 18 months old and again she self weaned.

My youngest is now thirteen months old and still nursing. There are times that I really want to wean her. She bites a lot and as any mom that has been bit by a nursing baby knows it hurts a lot! For a couple months now she has been waking up more then an average newborn and unless my husband goes into the other room with her she will not go back to sleep without nursing but I just can not bring myself to do it yet. Yes she is over a year so she can have a cup of milk but to me she is still a baby and I love the connection we have. As of now the plan is to nurse her for eighteen months also.

If you are a nursing mom and you are not sure how long you plan to nurse I highly recommend these sites to you. There is a lot of very good information. What ever you decide to do, best of luck on your breast feeding journey.



Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The daily life of a stay at home mom

If you are a stay at home mom I am sure you have had at least one person ask, " what do you do all day?" Well this post is my answer to that question.

I am a stay at home mom, my usual day starts with one or more children jumping on me to wake me up way to early, especially since they had me up way to late. If the usual saying mommy in my ear about thirty times does not get me up fast enough for their liking they will start opening my eyes and announcing " wake up mommy, it is morning time". I then drag myself out of bed, get the already rowdy kids some breakfast ( did I mention I am not a morning person ) and turn on a cartoon, hoping for a few more minuets of peace before the day goes on, this rarely happens.
After they have eaten their breakfast and I have chased them around the living room or kitchen several times trying to wipe them off the older two usually will go into their playroom for awhile and the baby spends some time playing with her toys in the nursery. On a good day I only have to break up a couple fights on a bad day I am breaking up more fights the average bar bouncer.
If they are playing nicely I usually take this time to wash some dishes, do some laundry or vacuum. The thing about having three young kids and a dog in the house is that their is never a lack of something to clean and there really is never enough time to clean everything.
Soon it is time for lunch, we sit at the kitchen table, eat our lunch and then usually make something for dessert, on a lazy day I grab a popsicle, on a more ambitious day I have two very helpful little chefs that love to make cookies, cakes brownies and more. By the time we are done baking my kitchen would be enough to give the British ladies from that one house cleaning shows a night mare but listening to my little chefs giggle with excitement while helping me is well worth the clean up afterward.
In the afternoon we do many different things depending on the day. Our usual activities include, coloring, preK homeschooling, playing together, watching cartoons together ( I know every song in Kai-lan, mickey mouse and dora by heart ), outside activities and so much more. While the oldest kids are coloring or doing something else fairly quiet I get the youngest to nap and pray the house stays quiet enough for her to sleep for a good amount of time.
My evenings include cooking dinner, more cleaning, bath time, story time and trying to wrangle the kids into bed.
That is a brief over view of an average day in my house. While some days are calmer then others and I do have time to sit around doing nothing that is a pretty rare thing. On average I do a million things a day.
I am a cook and believe me when I say toddlers can be worse then food critics.
I am a nurse and doctor. A kiss from mommy is a miracle potion for bumps and bruises.
I am a professional entertainer and multi talented at that. Some days I am a singer, other days a dancer and always a story teller.
I am a teacher and councilor. I have to teach them not only manners, morals and education but I also have to to remember they are watching me and learning from how I act.
I am a coach and a team mate. Sometimes I am the one teaching about the sport or game and other times I am learning new rules that did not exists a few moments prior.
I am a stay at home mom, I work long hours, get no vacation or sick days, spend most of my time discussing board books and singing along to cartoons and while my days are long and at times my nerves get fried I know I have the best job in the world. My breaks are filled with cuddle time with the best kids in the world, my bonus' are finger paintings and color pages and no other job will pay you in the best slobbery kisses and sticky hugs.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The oldest cloth diaper system- prefolds

I have been cloth diapering my kids for almost three years now and I was never brave enough to try a prefold. I was happy with my pockets and aios but after I started using fitteds I really wanted to try out some prefolds.

My husband and I went to a local cloth diaper shop and I decided to take the plunge. I bought a six pack of prefolds, two snapis ( there was no way I was trying pins ) and a brown cover. When we got home that night I started the prepping process and a couple days later I used the prefolds.

Here is a picture of her first time in a prefold:

and with the cover:

I can not believe how much I love my prefold diapers, the are really easy to use, really easy to clean and I love shopping for cute covers. This is one of the newest covers I have:

If you are a cloth diapering mama and have not yet tried using prefold diapers I highly recommend getting them, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The death of a pet

So we had to have the death talk with our kids today. Last night we had to put down our almost three year old kitty Toby. He was acting very ill and my husband took him to the ER vet and it was soon discovered that he had feline leukemia.

My husband decided he wanted to be the one to talk to the kids so he sat them both down and explained that Toby had died. Since they are only almost three and four years old I really do not think they understand. Destiny was upset and just asked if he was coming home. My husband explained he got very sick and that he was in heaven now. He would not be coming home. Alexzander seemed to grasp it a little bit better then Destiny did but I do not think he really understands completely, he has been asking us to get another cat.

We have been taking care of a stray that wandered into our yard, we are going to take her in for testings and shots and then try bringing her into the house. She is a really sweet, good with the kids and really friendly. I am just praying for a clean bill of health for her.

RIP Toby, you are greatly missed!


Monday, July 5, 2010

Cutest smile photo contest for Whitney's bowtique

Due to the new rules on face book, I have moved the photo contest over to my blog.

Please send your picture to whitneywalters@live.com and I will post them to a new blog post.

How this is done:

You have until Friday to get me the photo you would like entered. Voting will begin right away and will continue until next Monday.
Voting is done by posting a comment on this blog with the number assigned to the picture of the child you would like to vote for.

Join the fun, it should only be a couple more days until the big grand opening!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

A contest on my face book fan page

I am opening a bowtique very soon and currently I am hosting a face book fan contest. All the details are here:


Come check it out!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Calling all fleece lovers

I want to draw your attention to a shop on etsy, http://www.etsy.com/shop/cottontailbabies

I recently received a soaker from her and I really love it. Kairi has entered the stage of taking off any diaper she can so I have been using a cover over all her diapers. I love the print I got from her and it is made excellently. I know I will be back for more!

Here is Kairi lounging on the couch in her new soaker:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I have found it - the best rash cream of all time

I am a sucker for WAHM cd safe products and I love trying something new but I have now found my rash cream, I have become loyal to rump rub from http://www.liloutlaws.net/

The rub not only works amazingly well but it smells so good. Never in my life have I been more tempted to eat something that is designed to rub on my babies bottom!

Last winter my whole family was suffering from a horrible stomach bug and middle child seemed to have it the worst. Not only was she sick but because of how sick she was she got a horrible rash. She has very sensitive skin and nothing seemed to be helping, I tried two other creams first, all she did is scream until I wiped it off. Finally I tried rump rub, she did not scream and it helped immensely.

The owner, Jacklen Taylor is a very sweet mama, easy to work with and has excellent customer service. I highly recommend her product!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Battle of the breast: normalizing nursing in public

breast (plural breasts)

1. Either of the two fleshy organs on the front of a woman's chest, which contain the mammary glands; also the analogous organs in men.

mammary gland (plural mammary glands)

1. (anatomy) A gland that secretes milk for suckling an infant or offspring.

Seems pretty cut and dry right? To bad it could not be further from the truth. The land we live in today sees breasts in a totally different manner.

I have been a breast feeding mother for over four years now, I have three children and I have nursed all of them. Since I did not want to be a hermit I have also nursed in public ( shocking I know ). You would not think some one sitting down to feed their child was be such a hot topic but it is.

You see it on the news often, women kicked out of one place or another for nursing. Just a quick google search will pull up way more articles then I care to list on the amount of women that have been asked to leave or harassed because of this. What many people do not know is that this is a right protected by 45 states, 28 states have laws exempting it from public indecency and 24 states have laws when it comes to breastfeeding and the work place.

Recently I was reading a post on a local news website about a women being asked to leave a mall because of breast feeding. While the news article did a good job of being non - biased ( like any good news article should be ) the comments left by other readers were pretty shocking to me. I could not believe the amount of people that thought she should not be feeding her baby in front of them. Comments like " breastfeeding is not even the healthiest way to feed your child anymore" , " that is disgusting, go do it in the bathroom " and " I do not want to see your hooters" were very prevalent in their posting. Yet after looking at another article posted by the same site about a lingerie football game some of these same people thought that was perfectly okay. I was pretty shocked by this.

Not only is it in the news but I have also seen nursing in public come under attack in parenting magazines, woman's magazines and other places.

When it comes to nursing photographs, myspace and facebook have been deleting them and comparing them to porn. I have only had one photo removed but I did recently have facebook take down a picture a friend posted on my wall, that I had asked for to post in this very blog. Not only did they remove the picture but they warned her for posting something of a sexually nature. I have contacted facebook about it and basically was given the excuse of " some employees do not see the difference "

While I know that breasts are way over sexuality in this country, I never imagined that something like nursing in public would come under attack the way it has.

I have personally experienced a pretty horrible event when it comes to nursing photographs and nursing in public. I was attacked by people I trusted, called horrible names, said nursing in church was ungodly and they went as far as to tell me that by posting a picture of my son nursing I was causing my christian brother to stumble. This was very hurtful and damaging to me. I could not believe I was attacked in this manner for something like nursing my child.

Women that nurse need to be held up and praised, not put down and demeaned. I honestly think that all nursing mothers need to nursing in public more. The more that women nurse in public the more we will normalize it. Ladies, keep nursing in public, keep your head held high and never let someone put you down for doing what is best for your child!

Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure.





And last of not least a couple great videos:

*** for a complete list of all laws mentioned and other laws not mentioned please visit:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

WWYD NIP on 20/20

I watched What would you do on 20/20 last Friday, this episode they had a situation were a nursing mom was being harassed by a manager of the cafe. I just wanted to take some time to write my thoughts on what happened.

While I am glad they took the time to do a show on this real life issue over all I was very disappointed in the show.

1. They used an actor and a doll instead of taking the time to find a real nursing mother that would be willing to do the show.

2. I found the acting of the manager to be very unbelievable, most times the harassment is not that over the top.

3. I thought the last scene, which was a women NIP while drinking was very distasteful, that is a whole other issue in itself.

While all the women ( except the one that was drinking ) did have someone intervene I was shocked at the reaction when they used a actress that looked young. It took a longer time for someone to step in and most people thought she should not be nursing in public at all. The nursing rates of teen age and young moms are low enough without having people respond to them this way. They should be getting the encouragement they need, not being looked down on for it.

I had my first child at 19, I was married but I still was young and I looked young. I can not believe people would react differently to a mother feeding her child in a natural and normal way simply because she is young.

I have nursed in public many times, most of the time people simply leave me alone. I have gotten a few comments and dirty looks but mostly I was able to brush them off. I have not been asked to leave, yet and if I ever was I would raise a stink about it. I think more women need to nurse in public to make it more normal. If people saw this happening every day then no one would even bat an eye.

I did have one negative experience that had to do with nursing but it was more on the issue of having a photograph of my son nursing on a public page and nursing in the church that I was at the time attending. It was a horrifying and embarrassing situation. I had never been angrier of more mortified in my life. I was told that my picture was like porn, I was causing my fellow christian to stumble and hurting my parents business. Being talked to like this made me angry, mostly because it came from a pastor whom I trusted. Since then I have found a new church but this experience left its scars. I have become very edgy when it comes to this subject which is sad. No women should ever have to go through something like that or be made to leave simply because of the way she is choosing to feed her child.

When I nurse in public I do not use a blanket, simply because it just makes my kid mad, she would rip it off and yell. You would be able to see a heck of a lot more with me trying to wrestle the blanket, her and trying to pull my shirt down then if I sit down and simply life my shirt from the bottom or ware a nursing shirt. Most women I know do not over expose them selves and most are very discrete.

Ladies I encourage you to keep nursing in public, do not be ashamed of feeding your baby the way nature and God intended. You are doing nothing wrong and do not let anyone tell you that you are.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Kairi's new sunsuit

I contacted kannondicarpo from diaperswappers wanting to know if she could make me a fleece sunsuit for Kairi. She runs flaokers, http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=319677 and I have gotten fleece bodysuits from her in the past. I love what she came up with for me. I know I will be getting more!!



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Want a free skirtie?

I love wool and I have entered this contest for a free skirtie from http://hyenacart.com/underthewillowtree/index.php

It is easy to enter to win one for yourself, all you need to do is join diaperswappers if you have not already then post on this thread:

If you win please come back to this post and show me an action shot!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Beyond the money

When I first started to cloth diaper it was because my middle child has very sensitive skin, we were battling diaper rashes daily and I knew we need to do something to make her better.

We looked into cloth because we knew it was a way to not only possibly stop the rashes but save money.

I had no idea how much I would grow to love my cloth diapers, it has become so much more to me then saving money.

Even if it did not save me a dime I would keep using my cloth diapers. I love how cute they are, that they are gentle on my babies skin and chemical free.

In my two years old using cloth now I have been able to use a lot of different cloth diapers, some I have loved, some not so much but it is nice to be able to find what we love and sell what we do not.

Here are some of the adorable cloth diaper pictures I have taken over the last couple years.











Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Skirties, skirties and more skirties ( part one )

As we all know by now I have found my fitted diaper love. Now that is getting warmer I have been buying more skirties for Kairi. In a previous post I showed you the cherry set that my mom bought for her. Since then I have gotten two more and I have more in the works.

Both of these I have gotten from the everything swap on diaperswappers.



Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rotarix rotavirus vaccine contaminated, officials say

(CNN) -- Federal health authorities recommended Monday that doctors suspend using Rotarix, one of two vaccines licensed in the United States against rotavirus, saying the vaccine is contaminated with material from a pig virus.

"There is no evidence at this time that this material poses a safety risk," Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told reporters in a conference call.

Rotarix, made by GlaxoSmithKline, was approved by the FDA in 2008. The contaminant material is DNA from porcine circovirus 1, a virus from pigs that is not known to cause disease in humans or animals, Hamburg said.

About 1 million children in the United States and about 30 million worldwide have gotten Rotarix vaccine, she said.

Rotavirus disease kills more than 500,000 infants around the world each year, primarily in low- and middle-income countries, she said. Before rotavirus vaccine became available, the disease was blamed for more than 50,000 hospitalizations and several dozen deaths per year in the United States, she said.

The FDA learned about the contamination after an academic research team using a novel technique to look for viruses in a range of vaccines found the material in GlaxoSmithKline's product and told the company, Hamburg said. The drug maker confirmed its presence in both the cell bank and the seed from which the vaccine is derived, suggesting its presence from the early stages of vaccine development, she said. The FDA then confirmed the drug maker's findings.

GlaxoSmithKline emphasized Monday that the pig virus is not known to cause illness in humans, saying "it is found in everyday meat products and is frequently eaten with no resulting disease or illness."

"No safety issue has been identified by external agencies or GSK," Thomas Breuer, the drug maker's chief medical officer, said in a written statement. "GSK is committed to patient safety and to the highest manufacturing standards for all our vaccines and medicines. We are already working closely and discussing this finding with regulatory agencies around the world."

Another vaccine, RotaTeq, is made by Merck and was approved in 2006. There is no evidence that the Merck product is affected, Hamburg said. Both vaccines are given by mouth to infants to prevent rotavirus disease, which is marked by severe diarrhea and dehydration.

Asked whether Merck would be able to meet the nation's demand, Merck spokeswoman Pam Eisele said, "Obviously, we will work with the ... FDA to evaluate supply needs."

In the next four to six weeks, the drug agency will convene an advisory committee to make recommendations and seek input on the use of new techniques for identifying viruses in vaccine, Hamburg said.

"We're not pulling it from the market, we're just suspending its use during this period while we're collecting more information," she said. "It should not be in this vaccine product and we want to understand how it got there. It's not an easy call and we spent many long hours debating the pros and cons but, because we have an alternative product and because the background rates of this disease are not so severe in this country, we felt that the judicious thing to do was to take a pause, to really ask the critical questions about what this material was doing in the vaccine, how it got there."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said "a substantial amount" of the DNA was found in the vaccine. But, he stressed, "there is no evidence that it causes any disease. ... There is no evidence that it ever does anything."

The research group that discovered the contamination has asked not to be identified pending its paper's publication in a scientific journal, Hamburg said.

Anyone who has already received a dose of Rotarix should switch to the Merck product for the next two doses, Hamburg said. Preliminary testing of the Merck product has found no evidence of the porcine circovirus 1 DNA, she said. Doctors should be able to tell parents which of the two products their children received, she said.

Hamburg stressed that the suspension applies only to the United States. Public health officials in countries where the incidence of rotavirus is more severe may decide that the benefits of continuing to use the vaccine outweigh any concerns raised by the contamination, she said. "Such a decision would be very understandable," she added.

A similar virus, porcine circovirus 2, also does not cause disease in humans, but it does cause disease in its pig host, Hamburg said.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Entering the world of fitteds ( part three )

I take part in the everything swap every month on diaperswappers.com, I got a bunch of fleece longies from Heather8183. Here is one of my favorites:


I won another auction on hyena cart, Tessa's Bumwear made this adorable pair:


I did another trade on diaperswappers with slingmama4, here is one of the pairs I got:


I have started collecting wool and fleece for summer so more to come!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Entering the world of fitteds ( part two )

My mom bought Kairi her first skirtie set, from http://www.etsy.com/shop/Stitchenmama. I love it, so adorable.


I bought some fleece soakers from http://www.etsy.com/shop/londonware to be part of Kairi's Christmas present, this is one of my favorites.


I bought a pair of recycled wool longies from TerraMade Products on hyena cart, she made me a pair with an owl on the bottom, I love owls!


I traded with BigSamsMom on diaperswappers for a pair of cupcake recycled longies, she even sent a cupcake to sew on a shirt to match, ( which I still need to make )


More to come!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Entering the world of fitteds ( part one )

I have been cloth diapering for the last two years now but only now have I entered the world of fitteds. Before I was strictly a pocket or AIO gal. I just did not want to get into a diaper that was going to require a cover, my thinking was it just meant more laundry for me but after months of browsing the extra fluffy forum on diaper swappers and seeing all the adorable fleece and wool longies I decided to give it a try.

Right now in my fitted collection I have:
ewe baby
nanas bottoms
sugar peas

I am still looking to buy a few more fitteds. I love trying new diapers.

I won my first pair of woolies on hyena cart, from Born Again Baby $15 and I quickly fell in love.


I tested some fleece longies from littlemunchkie09 on diaperswappers, I really love these, the built in soaker is great!


I tested two fleece snapless body suit from kannondicarpo on diaper swappers, which are adorable, soft and warm.



There is a start of my new collection, more to come!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Meatball soup

Lately I have been trying to find new things to make, which normally is not that hard but I do have a picky three year old son and a picky 26 year old husband.

Tonight's soup was a great hit.

Meatball soup:
Beef base
v8 juice
italian season
rotini noodles
frozen meatballs
shredded italian blend cheese

Start with making your base, which is the water, beef base, v8 juice and other spices, after letting that simmer add your noodles, let those cook for about 10 minuets and then add your meatballs and corn. Cook until meatballs are fully cooked and noodles are soft, top with cheese and enjoy!

Our new carseats

Recently I posted about the great trade in event that was going on at babies r us. My husband and I took advantage of this great deal and we got Alexzander and Destiny new car seats. We ended up getting Destiny an Alpha Omega Elite and Alexzander got a nautilus.

We really love our new seats! Alexzander is loving having his own little cup holder and both the seats were easy to install.

If you are looking for new seats I recommend looking into these more.

Here are some links for more information:



Friday, February 5, 2010

Chilli beef and noodles

My three year old son has entered the picky stage of eating so it has been interesting to find new things that he will eat. Tonight was a success and I thought I would share with you all.

Chilli Beef and Noodles

Egg noodles
canned chili ( with beans )
tomatoe paste

shredded cheese

Cook the noodles like you normally would. Brown your hamburger, then add the rest of the ingredients, pour over noodles and top with shredded cheese.

It tastes great and only takes about 20 mins to make!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Great trade in event

If you are in need some some new baby gear make sure you check out the great trade in event at babies r us, bring in your old gear and get 25% off your new item!!

Get information here!!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why goodwill rocks

Until recently I had not done much shopping at goodwill, I love thrift stores but for some reason just never really did much looking at good will.

Recently I went there and I was very happy with the out come. I was out shopping with my mom, looking for shelves and other items to upcycle.

I found a white shelf with glass doors that I am in the middle of painting, a like new sweater for Destiny, a pair of thick winter tights for Destiny and four like new hard back Dr Sues books for Alexzander, I walked out spending about twelve dollars.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Study: Hepatitis B Vaccine Triples the Risk of Autism in Infant Boys

The science is largely complete. Ten epidemiological studies have shown MMR vaccine doesn't cause autism; six have shown thimerosal doesn't cause autism."-- Dr. Paul Offit, "Autism's False Prophets"

"16 studies have shown no causal association between vaccines and autism, and these studies carry weight in the scientific industry."-- Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC Today Show Medical Editor

Conventional wisdom holds that the autism-vaccine question has been "asked and answered," and that at least 16 large, well-constructed epidemiological studies have thoroughly addressed and debunked any hypothesis that childhood vaccination is in any way associated with an increased risk for autism spectrum disorders.

But there are several critical flaws in such an oversimplified generalization, and they are rarely given close examination by public health experts or members of the media.

To begin with, it is unscientific and perilously misleading for anyone to assert that "vaccines and autism" have been studied and that no link has been found. That's because the 16 or so studies constantly cited by critics of the hypothesis have examined just one vaccine and one vaccine ingredient.

And, the population studies themselves have had critical design flaws and limitations.

The current US childhood immunization schedule calls for 28 injections with 11 different vaccines against 15 different diseases by two years of age. Of those 11 vaccines, only the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) shot has been studied in association with autism, (although a CDC study of an MMR-plus-chickenpox vaccine did show that the risk for febrile seizures in infants was doubled.) Meanwhile, those 11 vaccines contain scores of ingredients, only one of which, thimerosal, has ever been tested in association with autism.

It is illogical to exonerate all vaccines, all vaccine ingredients, and the total US vaccine program as a whole, based solely on a handful of epidemiological studies of just one vaccine and one vaccine ingredient. It is akin to claiming that every form of animal protein is beneficial to people, when all you have studied is fish.

Now, a new study has shown that giving Hepatitis B vaccine to newborn baby boys may triple the risk of developing an autism spectrum disorder.

An abstract of the study was published in the September, 2009 issue of the respected journal Annals of Epidemiology. In it, Carolyn Gallagher and Melody Goodman of the Graduate Program in Public Health at Stony Brook University Medical Center, NY, wrote that, "Boys who received the hepatitis B vaccine during the first month of life had 2.94 greater odds for ASD compared to later- or unvaccinated boys."

The conclusion states that: "Findings suggest that U.S. male neonates vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine had a 3-fold greater risk of ASD; risk was greatest for non-white boys." The authors used U.S. probability samples obtained from National Health Interview Survey 1997-2002 datasets.

Critics will point out that this sample was limited to boys born before 1999, so the results are only applicable to that U.S. male birth cohort, and that the study's cross-sectional design limits inferences on causality. Another weakness is that the autism diagnoses were parent reported.

On the other hand, these results are generalizable to US boys age 3-17 born prior to 1999; vaccination status was confirmed through medical records; and there was controlling for confounders that may be associated with care seeking behaviors. (The P-value equaled 0.032) The full manuscript is currently under review by another journal.

Assuming that the full manuscript is published in a peer-reviewed journal, it will be among the first university-based population studies to suggest an association between a vaccine and an increased risk for autism. And that would be in direct contradiction to all those MMR and thimerosal studies that purportedly found no such link.

Does that mean that Hepatitis B vaccine causes autism? Of course not (though any relative risk above 2.0 is generally considered to prove causation in a US court of law).

But there are other studies, both published and greatly anticipated, which might support a hypothesized causal association between HepB vaccine and ASD, at least in boys.

Any day now, data culled from CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring network (ADDM), is expected to be published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, and the numbers are expected to put the rate of autism at around 1 in 100, or higher.

ADDM researchers examine the education and (when possible) medical records of all eight-year-old children in selected US cities and states. They look only at eight-year-old cohorts to allow time for all diagnoses to be made, reported and counted.

So far, ADDM has published data from just two birth cohorts: children born in 1992 (eight-year-olds in 2000) and those born in 1994 (eight-year-olds in 2002). The 1992 cohort revealed an estimated ASD rate of one in 166, or 60-per-10,000. (This has since been revised to 67-per-10,000, or one in 150).
For the 1994 cohort, the estimate was virtually unchanged, at 66-per-10,000.

But now that number is expected to exceed 100-per-10,000 for the 1996 birth cohort, born just two years later. The overarching question, of course, will be, "why?"

There are many possible explanations, though a 50% increase in just two years is astonishing, no matter what its cause.

One possible answer is the Hepatitis B vaccine, (which also contained 25 micrograms of mercury containing thimerosal up until 2002). Introduced in 1991, it was the first vaccine ever given on a population basis to newborn babies (within the first three hours after delivery) in human history.
But according to the CDC's National Immunization Survey, only 8% of infant children received the Hep B vaccine in 1992, when that birth cohort showed an ASD rate of 1-in-150.

By 1994, the number of children receiving Hep B vaccine had reached just 27% -- and the cohort showed a similar ASD rate, though it did go up by as much as 10% in some locations between the two cohorts.

But by 1996, Hep B coverage rate had risen to 82%. And that is the cohort whose ASD rate rose to around 100-per-10,000 or more.

Correlation, obviously, does not equal causation. But the uptake rate of that particular immunization is at least one environmental factor that did demonstrably change during the period in question.

In addition, some recent studies and Vaccine Court decisions have supported the contention that Hepatitis B vaccine can damage myelin -- the nervous system's main insulating component -- at least in certain genetically susceptible adults and infants.

A study published last October in the journal Neurology found that children who received the Hepatitis B vaccine series were 50% more likely to develop "central nervous system inflammatory demyelination" than children who did not receive the vaccine.

Most of this increase was due to the Engerix B brand of the vaccine, manufactured by the UK's GlaxoSmithKline. That brand increased the risk of demyelination by 74%, and patients with confirmed multiple sclerosis were nearly three times more likely to develop the disorder.

"Hepatitis B vaccination does not generally increase the risk of CNS inflammatory demyelination in childhood," the authors concluded. "However, the Engerix B vaccine appears to increase this risk, particularly for confirmed multiple sclerosis, in the longer term. Our results require confirmation in future studies."

Let's hope that future studies of neonatal HebB administration, demyelinating disorders, and ASD are completed as quickly as possible.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

26 Ways to Change Birth Globally

Some of things are meant for midwives to do but many of them are things we all can do!!

26 Ways to Change Birth Globally
by Sara Wickham, RM

© 2000 Midwifery Today, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in Midwifery Today Issue 53 (Spring 2000), page 28.]

This action list of small things all midwives can do to change societal attitudes toward birth and to promote midwifery and the midwifery model was derived from some research I carried out a few years ago. All the suggestions are either free or very low cost, and none will take too much time or effort. Some things on the list won't be new ideas to you, but they might act as a gentle reminder that simple, everyday things might have a positive impact on the way our society sees birth and midwifery. No. 26 wasn't on my original list but was a suggestion that Judy Edmunds offered and is something she does herself. Thanks, Judy!

If you are interested in why they work, here is a brief lowdown of some of the main factors involved:

* The more people are exposed to hearing about midwifery and gentle birth, the more it will become a norm for them.
* Attitudes are formed in childhood; therefore, we need to ensure that children are exposed to these ideas at an early stage.
* Experience is an important part in attitude change—if you can encourage people to experience something for themselves, it is much more powerful than telling them about it.
* People are more likely to listen to those who appear to understand and sympathise with the other side of the argument. Appearing to be unbiased means you will appear more credible than if you come across as feeling very passionate about your cause (even though the majority of us do feel this way).
* Talking to people who support birthing women (partners, grandparents) is just as important as talking to women themselves, because these are the people who influence women's decisions.
* Reflecting on past decisions and their outcomes helps us think more logically about why a situation might have happened and discourages us from making (possibly incorrect) assumptions.

Action List

1. Get a bumper sticker that supports midwifery and gentle birth.
2. Wear a T-shirt that does the same!
3. Talk to everybody you meet about what you do and why you do it.
4. Be able to cite the evidence for midwifery care, homebirth and so on.
5. Offer women free/low-cost experiences of midwifery services (free tours, short talks or pregnancy testing). This can enable women to meet midwives for themselves or bring potential clients into a birth center to see what they could be experiencing.
6. Talk to people in an unbiased way.
7. Talk to children/school audiences.
8. Offer workshops/talks to the public.
9. Breastfeed in public.
10. Offer to go on local TV/radio.
11. Write short articles for local newspapers.
12. Write to TV shows that misrepresent birth.
13. Create and distribute information leaflets about midwifery/gentle birth.
14. Target partners and grandparents as well as women themselves.
15. Arrange to have your births listed in the local papers—offer photos on special occasions (e.g., first baby of the new year).
16. Enable women to reflect on their experiences.
17. Encourage others to reflect on their practice.
18. Encourage people to visit your place of work.
19. Develop a team of birth change agents in your area, to work together and support each other.
20. Ensure that women you know understand the enormity of the decisions they need to make.
21. Seek opportunities to speak to teenage girls.
22. Be able to lend books/videos.
23. Know your enemy and practice his argument!
24. Foster a dialogue with women's groups.
25. Ask everybody you midwife to tell a friend about their experience of midwifery and about their birth.
26. Sponsor a couple of miles of highway—in return for clearing up the rubbish, you can have the name of your practice or group displayed for all to see!

Sara Wickham, MA, BA (Hons), RM, is a direct-entry midwife who has practised in both the United Kingdom and the United States. She is currently a lecturer in midwifery at Anglia Polytechnic University, England, and is the UK country contact and a contributing editor for Midwifery Today. She can be reached at withwomanuk@yahoo.co.uk


Monday, January 11, 2010

Doctor Sears Sleeping safely with your baby


There has been a lot of media claiming that sleeping with your baby in an adult bed is unsafe and can result in accidental smothering of an infant. One popular research study came out in 1999 from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission that showed 515 cases of accidental infant deaths occurred in an adult bed over an 8-year period between 1990 and 1997. That's about 65 deaths per year. These deaths were not classified as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), where the cause of death is undetermined. There were actual causes that were verified upon review of the scene and autopsy. Such causes included accidental smothering by an adult, getting trapped between the mattress and headboard or other furniture, and suffocation on a soft waterbed mattress.

The conclusion that the researchers drew from this study was that sleeping with an infant in an adult bed is dangerous and should never be done. This sounds like a reasonable conclusion, until you consider the epidemic of SIDS as a whole. During the 8-year period of this study, about 34,000 total cases of SIDS occurred in the U.S. (around 4250 per year). If 65 cases of non-SIDS accidental death occurred each year in a bed, and about 4250 cases of actual SIDS occurred overall each year, then the number of accidental deaths in an adult bed is only 1.5% of the total cases of SIDS.

There are two pieces of critical data that are missing that would allow us to determine the risk of SIDS or any cause of death in a bed versus a crib.

* How many cases of actual SIDS occur in an adult bed versus in a crib?
* How many babies sleep with their parents in the U.S., and how many sleep in cribs?

The data on the first question is available, but has anyone examined it? In fact, one independent researcher examined the CPSC's data and came to the opposite conclusion than did the CPSC - this data supports the conclusion that sleeping with your baby is actually SAFER than not sleeping with your baby (see Mothering Magazine Sept/Oct 2002). As for the second question, many people may think that very few babies sleep with their parents, but we shouldn't be too quick to assume this. The number of parents that bring their babies into their bed at 4 am is probably quite high. Some studies have shown that over half of parents bring their baby into bed with them at least part of the night. And the number that sleep with their infants the whole night is probably considerable as well. In fact, in most countries around the world sleeping with your baby is the norm, not the exception. And what is the incidence of SIDS in these countries? During the 1990s, in Japan the rate was only one tenth of the U.S. rate, and in Hong Kong, it was only 3% of the U.S. rate. These are just two examples. Some countries do have a higher rate of SIDS, depending on how SIDS is defined.

Until a legitimate survey is done to determine how many babies sleep with their parents, and this is factored into the rate of SIDS in a bed versus a crib, it is unwarranted to state that sleeping in a crib is safer than a bed.

If the incidence of SIDS is dramatically higher in crib versus a parent's bed, and because the cases of accidental smothering and entrapment are only 1.5% of the total SIDS cases, then sleeping with a baby in your bed would be far safer than putting baby in a crib.

The answer is not to tell parents they shouldn't sleep with their baby, but rather to educate them on how to sleep with their infants safely.

Now the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Juvenile Products Manufacturer's Association are launching a campaign based on research data from 1999, 2000, and 2001. During these three years, there have been 180 cases of non-SIDS accidental deaths occurring in an adult bed. Again, that's around 60 per year, similar to statistics from 1990 to 1997. How many total cases of SIDS have occurred during these 3 years? Around 2600 per year. This decline from the previous decade is thought to be due to the "back to sleep" campaign - educating parents to place their babies on their back to sleep. So looking at the past three years, the number of non-SIDS accidental deaths is only 2% of the total cases of SIDS.

A conflict of interest? Who is behind this new national campaign to warn parents not to sleep with their babies? In addition to the USCPSC, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) is co-sponsoring this campaign. The JPMA? An association of crib manufacturers. This is a huge conflict of interest. Actually, this campaign is exactly in the interest of the JPMA.

What does the research say? The September/October 2002 issue of Mothering Magazine presents research done throughout the whole world on the issue of safe sleep. Numerous studies are presented by experts of excellent reputation. And what is the magazine's conclusion based on all this research? That not only is sleeping with your baby safe, but it is actually much safer than having your baby sleep in a crib. Research shows that infants who sleep in a crib are twice as likely to suffer a sleep related fatality (including SIDS) than infants who sleep in bed with their parents.

Education on safe sleep. I do support the USCPSC's efforts to research sleep safety and to decrease the incidence of SIDS, but I feel they should go about it differently. Instead of launching a national campaign to discourage parents from sleeping with their infants, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission should educate parents on how to sleep safely with their infants if they choose to do so.

Here are some ways to educate parents on how to sleep safely with their baby:

* Use an Arm's Reach® Co-Sleeper® Bassinet. An alternative to sleeping with baby in your bed is the Arm's Reach® Co-Sleeper®. This crib-like bed fits safely and snuggly adjacent to parent's bed. The co-sleeper® arrangement gives parents and baby their own separate sleeping spaces yet, keeps baby within arm's reach for easy nighttime care. To learn more about the Arm's Reach® Co-Sleeper® Bassinet visit www.armsreach.com.

* Take precautions to prevent baby from rolling out of bed, even though it is unlikely when baby is sleeping next to mother. Like heat-seeking missiles, babies automatically gravitate toward a warm body. Yet, to be safe, place baby between mother and a guardrail or push the mattress flush against the wall and position baby between mother and the wall. Guardrails enclosed with plastic mesh are safer than those with slats, which can entrap baby's limbs or head. Be sure the guardrail is flush against the mattress so there is no crevice that baby could sink into.

* Place baby adjacent to mother, rather than between mother and father. Mothers we have interviewed on the subject of sharing sleep feel they are so physically and mentally aware of their baby's presence even while sleeping, that it's extremely unlikely they would roll over onto their baby. Some fathers, on the other hand, may not enjoy the same sensitivity of baby's presence while asleep; so it is possible they might roll over on or throw out an arm onto baby. After a few months of sleep-sharing, most dads seem to develop a keen awareness of their baby's presence.

* Place baby to sleep on his back.

* Use a large bed, preferably a queen-size or king-size. A king-size bed may wind up being your most useful piece of "baby furniture." If you only have a cozy double bed, use the money that you would ordinarily spend on a fancy crib and other less necessary baby furniture and treat yourselves to a safe and comfortable king-size bed.

* Some parents and babies sleep better if baby is still in touching and hearing distance, but not in the same bed. For them, a bedside co-sleeper is a safe option.

Here are some things to avoid:

* Do not sleep with your baby if:

1. You are under the influence of any drug (such as alcohol or tranquilizing medications) that diminishes your sensitivity to your baby's presence. If you are drunk or drugged, these chemicals lessen your arousability from sleep.

2. You are extremely obese. Obesity itself may cause sleep apnea in the mother, in addition to the smothering danger of pendulous breasts and large fat rolls.

3. You are exhausted from sleep deprivation. This lessens your awareness of your baby and your arousability from sleep.

4. You are breastfeeding a baby on a cushiony surface, such as a waterbed or couch. An exhausted mother could fall asleep breastfeeding and roll over on the baby.

5. You are the child's baby-sitter. A baby-sitter's awareness and arousability is unlikely to be as acute as a mother's.

* Don't allow older siblings to sleep with a baby under nine months. Sleeping children do not have the same awareness of tiny babies as do parents, and too small or too crowded a bed space is an unsafe sleeping arrangement for a tiny baby.

* Don't fall asleep with baby on a couch. Baby may get wedged between the back of the couch and the larger person's body, or baby's head may become buried in cushion crevices or soft cushions.

* Do not sleep with baby on a free-floating, wavy waterbed or similar "sinky" surface in which baby could suffocate.

* Don't overheat or overbundle baby. Be particularly aware of overbundling if baby is sleeping with a parent. Other warm bodies are an added heat source.

* Don't wear lingerie with string ties longer than eight inches. Ditto for dangling jewelry. Baby may get caught in these entrapments.

* Avoid pungent hair sprays, deodorants, and perfumes. Not only will these camouflage the natural maternal smells that baby is used to and attracted to, but foreign odors may irritate and clog baby's tiny nasal passages. Reserve these enticements for sleeping alone with your spouse.

Parents should use common sense when sharing sleep. Anything that could cause you to sleep more soundly than usual or that alters your sleep patterns can affect your baby's safety. Nearly all the highly suspected (but seldom proven) cases of fatal "overlying" I could find in the literature could have been avoided if parents had observed common sense sleeping practices.

The bottom line is that many parents share sleep with their babies. It can be done safely if the proper precautions are observed. The question shouldn't be "is it safe to sleep with my baby?", but rather "how can I sleep with my baby safely." The data on the incidence of SIDS in a bed versus a crib must be examined before the medical community can make a judgment on sleep safety in a bed.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Looking for free diapers!

Become a fan of http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#/pages/Sacramento-CA/Sew-Crafty-Baby-Cloth-Diapers/178538736528?ref=nf. They are hosting a contest in the discussion tab.

Come check it out!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Benefits of making your own baby food

This is a really good article:

Benefits of Making your Own Homemade Baby Food
by Bridget Mwape

Making your own homemade baby food will ensure that what your child is eating is fresh, nutritious and free of additives. By making your own baby food, you'll be saving money. Also, you will have total control over what is put into your baby's food. You can therefore take the extra steps to ensure that only high quality foods are selected and used. You will be able to feed your baby according to his or her needs because you will know what foods are best suited for your baby from experience.

Making your own baby food also ensures that your baby is exposed to a greater variety of tastes and textures. This will help your baby when making the transition to table foods and also help him or her
develop healthy eating habits.

Baby Food Preparation Tips

1. As babies are susceptible to digestive upsets, always work with clean hands and use clean cooking utensils, preparation surfaces, pots and pans etc., when making home made baby food. Prepare foods
immediately upon removing them from the refrigerator and freeze immediately after cooking any foods you want to store.

2. Steaming vegetables is the best method of preparation. This softens them, makes them easier to chew, and preserves more of the vitamins and minerals than boiling. A steamer basket is cheap and by
cooking fruits and vegetables in it, you'll be sure of keeping the nutrients in the food, instead of in the cooking water.

Kidco Food Mill3. To puree your foods, you can use a fork, a food mill or blender. A blender quickly purees almost anything into the finest consistency. When your baby first starts on solids, you'll be pureeing things to a very fine consistency and, as baby gets a little older, you will make foods a little coarser. You may wish to buy a food mill which comes in large and small sizes. It is very handy and inexpensive. The food mill strains most cooked foods to a very smooth consistency, although meats can be a problem as they will have a coarser texture. Remember all the tools you need to make baby food are probably already in your kitchen.

4. You can prepare large amounts of foods at once and freeze them.
Take your prepared foods and plop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Freeze the plops right away and then take them off the sheet when they are frozen and put them into plastic bags. You can also freeze the food in plastic "pop out" ice cube trays. Small tupperware jars with lids serve the same purpose and stack easily. Special Baby Food CubesBaby Food Cubes are also available. Label and date the packages rotate them putting the most recently frozen foods behind the previously frozen ones. Frozen baby foods can be stored for up to two months.

5. When you take frozen foods out for baby, warm the food in a cup placed in a saucepan of boiling water with a lid on. If you use a microwave to thaw or warm baby food, be sure to stir the food well to avoid hot pockets.

6. Cereals are typically the first foods given to a baby because they contain lots of iron. You can prepare your own, by running oatmeal through your blender. Fruits are generally given next. Except for raw, mashed banana, you will need to cook all other
fruits till they are soft.

7. Try making your own apple sauce and pear sauce; don't add any sugar, as these fruits are sweet enough on their own. You can also peel peaches, plums and apricots and boil or steam them.

8. Buy and use organic fruits and vegetables. Use fresh and organic vegetables whenever possible in order to provide the best nutrition and flavor for your baby. Your baby deserves pesticide-free foods. Frozen vegetables are better to use than canned.

9. Yogurt, mashed cottage cheese, mashed pumpkin, baked potato, avocado and tofu (oriental soy bean curd) are all popular with babies. One good idea is to blend together cottage cheese, banana and fresh orange juice - delicious!

10. Meats should be added slowly. They can be boiled or broiled, then put in the blender with a little milk and perhaps banana or cream of rice to get the right consistency. Chicken is generally the first meat baby is introduced to and usually goes down fairly well.

11. There is no rush to start your baby on solid foods. Milk is his most important food. Your doctor's recommendations and your own intuition will help you to know when to begin introducing solids to your baby's diet. Introducing solids prepares the baby for the transition to adult food and offers further vitamins and minerals as the baby grows. Always remember to be patient with your baby and allow at least a few days between newly added foods to make sure the baby doesn't suffer any reactions.


Giving up meal planning ( this time for good )

After several months of taking a lot of time to make it, and still not following the meal plan I made,  I have decided to give up on meal pl...