August 5, 2009

Product Review: Huggies Goodnight Diapers

When Emily was around 9 months, we tried everything with the resources we had-and she woke up wet every morning. Not just wet, but straight into the bath, stinky, soaked. I was sooo excited when I discovered that Huggies made diapers specifically for heavy nighttime wetters, I called Gabe at work in the middle of his day-just to share my exciting news. I somehow managed to contain my excitement and not call to tell everyone this happy news, much to their relief, I am sure. :)

Huggies is the only brand I am aware of that makes a diaper specifically for nighttime wetters. I wish other brands did, or I could find a cloth option, but I have so far been unsuccessful. And honestly, if this is something you need, there is not much to be said for being stubborn about it.

  1. Baby wakes up dry.
  2. Baby wakes up dry.
  3. Baby wakes up dry.
  4. See the trend? Its a wonderful thing to wake up to when you can't always choose when you wake up-at least you can control some of the circumstances. :)
  1. Occasionally Lucy poops first thing in the morning and that can leak some, but I'm pretty sure that is not a problem with the diaper-how many full, wet diapers hold poop well? This is not really a con against the diapers. . .

Bottom line: if this is something you need, it is VERY worth it. Hopefully you don't, but if you do, there it is. :) These are also available for subscription on Amazon to save 15% on a case.

July 29, 2009

Forgot the Bug Repellent? Doctor Burt's Res-Q Ointment

Well, its not so much that I forgot the bug repellent, as I just did not think I would need it to go sit by the pool with the kiddos for 15 minutes. 15 minutes later, I re-entered the house with 13 mosquito bites-quite itchy!!

I spent a bit of time reading earlier this summer on how to make your own bug repellent. It looks pretty easy, and eventually more economical, but given that I was leaving town and scrambling to pull things together with as little investment as possible, I caved and bought the California Baby Bug Repellant, which I've read several good reviews on. Next summer I am excited to try making my own, but for this year, hopefully I can stretch one bottle through the summer. Since there is one month left, my chances are good. :)

However, having forgotten to apply it before going down to the pool, I was left miserably itchy, trying to make dinner. In my earlier research, I came across Burt's Bees Doctor Burt's Res-Q Ointment (in the little green tin) as a more natural alternative to benadryl cream. As it turned out, I had Res-Q Ointment on hand, and not benadryl, making the choice easy! I have to say, I think it works better than benadryl creams ever did! Five minutes after application I was itch free, and I still am, 4 hours later. Maybe Georgia mosquitos are a weaker breed than the ones in Michigan, but I am very impressed with how well this worked and will be keeping it on hand for our new Georgia home.

June 9, 2009

Help Pave the Way

On my third time through this, I am tempted to slack off on this, especially since it feels like we just went through this. However, things went so smoothly last time, I think it would be foolish to leave the kids out of this wonderful process. I probably went a little overboard last time, but things went really well. (I have to admit, I do cheat a little bit. Both of my children love babies. Even so, loving babies and wanting to share your mommy and your house with a screaming little person can be two different things.) Here are things that we did that I thought were really helpful, a few that were less helpful, and one that is not for everyone.

  • We have included our kids right from the beginning. In fact, they knew about Lucy before Gabe did. I let them help me decorate his car when we told him, then the three of us hid around the corner and called to ask him to get something from his car. But we start talking right away about how the baby is growing in mommy's tummy. When the baby gets big enough, the baby will come out, but not until the baby is ready. Emily and Joe loved to sit next to my baby belly and talk to Lucy and give her kisses. And yes, they payed very close attention when Gabe showed them how to blow raspberries, too.
  • Get a baby doll. Lucy is still pretty young. I had not really thought about it. Plus, her big sister has probably 4 dolls? Thankfully, Grandma is looking out for her, and sent a little soft, baby doll in the mail. I have read a lot of moms recommending this for when the baby comes. She can change her baby while mommy changes the new baby, she can rock her baby, feed her baby, and so on. (Yes, be prepared for all of your babies and stuffed animals to start nursing if you nurse. :) Emily nursed from her belly button for the longest time-so cute!) But even now, I can start to get Lucy prepared. I show her the sign for baby, and I rock her baby. Then I help her rock the baby. And she smiles. And snuggles the baby. Then she throws it across the room. But we are getting there. It is a starting point for her, since she does not have any clue what is going on.
  • I will do a separate post on books, but showing kids pictures of what the baby looks like now, helps them to feel like part of the process even before mommy's tummy is looking big. The pregnancy books that specify what is growing this week and how big baby is are wonderful!
  • I let my kids watch children friendly birth videos. Yes. I really did. And when I say kids, I mean my almost 3 year old and my 20 month old. I really believe in preparing them. And when I asked them if they wanted to see the baby come out, they said yes. So preparation, here we come. The first time through one, I looked over at them and their eyes were about as big as they could get and they looked stunned. At first I thought, oops. I made a big error here. Then I started talking them through it: "It is hard work to get the baby out." "Some mommies make funny sounds when they are working hard." "Some mommies look grumpy when they are getting the baby out." I worked hard at just presenting it as a natural, normal thing. (And the videos we showed were postive ones!!!) We talked about how babies like to nurse when the come out, and it helps the mommy. By the second and third birth, the kids were getting excited as the baby heads crowned and would shout "here comes the baby!" and Emily would comment "he wants mommy milk." They were totally into it. It was really sweet. And completely comfortable with it. Obviously, this is probably not something for everyone. This would be too much for some kids. Others would love to be a part of the birth.
  • I let the kids pick out a present for the new baby, and baby got them LITTLE gifts too, but honestly, they were so absorbed in the baby, they really did not care about the toys.
  • TALK. TALK. TALK. Every opportunity that pops up, talk about what a new baby is like. A new baby eats mommy milk a LOT. It takes hard work to get the baby out, and mommy will need a few days to recover from that hard work. A baby only drinks mommy milk until the baby gets older (NEVER give the baby food without asking.) A baby needs lots of sleep. A baby needs lots of diaper changes. And so on. You know what this will be like. They may or may not. Let them know, let them be part of it. :) It goes without saying, be positive.

June 2, 2009

Why High Fructose Corn Syrup IS Bad

Have you seen these? Maybe not. When I saw this, I was savvy enough to know that High Fructose Corn Syrup IS bad for me and my kids. But why? That, I did not know. I should, but as with a lot of my health education, I know what to avoid, what to use, how to best use many things, and that is what I know. Most of the why's I have left up to people that I trust. Thankfully, WAPF (Weston A. Price Foundation) addressed High Fructose Corn Syrup in their Spring issue of Wise Traditions. Here is the quick version of why HFCS is bad for you. If you want to see the full article with the slightly more complicated science, or why they do not like Agave Nectar either, go visit their website. They have several articles about both. But for now :)

  1. HFCS is more likely to cuase weight gain.
  2. It is in a LOT of food, and therefor challenging to use in the advised "moderation".
  3. Almost half of tested samples of HFCS also contain mercury!!!
  4. HFCS can lead to mineral losses.
  5. It can elevate blood pressure.
  6. Reduced "cognitive function" in rats. (Seriously, I need all of the "cognitive function" I can get!)

Okay, this is a pretty brief and very basic list. For me, its enough. If you want to see the science and the studies leading up to some of the statements here, and more (I left A LOT out) go check out WAPF. They are loaded with info on bad things. :)

May 30, 2009

Kids sit still for free food-maybe?

So, I usually try to post an amazing or simple recipe on Saturdays. But, since life happens-affordable ways to eat out are good to know, too. It turns out, the more kids that come along, the less you eat out. Forget getting all of them to sit still for an entire meal, just paying for them to eat is tricky-ridiculous. We used to stuff them full of cheese and apples and then just let them eat french fries. Which sort of worked. It is clearly not the healthiest option. However, my wonderful husband came across an amazing list today. This post has a list of where kids can eat free or for $1 on different days of the week. Some are local restaurants, but others are nationwide chains, like Applebees and Red Robin! It is worth checking out!

Or check out this site which allows you to search according to your zipcode and the day of the week. :)

So, once you make it to the restaurant, you are still stuck with keeping children still. A great way to do this-keep a magna doodle or two in the diaper bag! Go to family friendly restaurants where they have coloring books and crayons. After those run out, here are a few other ideas from Parenting Magazine's Melody Warnick:

  • Something's Missing: Dump out a few objects from your purse and let your kids study them for a a minute or two. Ask him to close his eyes, then remove on the the objects. See if he can figure out what disappeared. Then let him have a turn stumping you.
  • Food Mystery: Play "What did I eat today?" by giving your child one clue at a time: "I ate something green. I at something round. I at something that comes in a bunch." Once you guesses that you noshed on grapes, its his turn.
  • Rock the Vote: Have your kid give a thumbs-up or -down as you name different food, TV shows, or activities. You may be surprised to learn what he loves (and hates).

Of course, if you are really brave, you could pull out phonics flash cards or something educational. Or bring that chapter book you keep trying to get through with the kiddos. (We just got Charlotte's Web from Paperbackswap! I am soo excited to read it.)

May 28, 2009

Product Review: Bella Band

About an hour after the truck left our home in Vancouver, WA to take our things to storage, I realized that all of my maternity clothes had been packed in the truck as well. Okay, no big deal, I was only going to take a few anyway, just in case. As with all of the baby stuff, I was not going to take up precious space with things that I may or may not need. However, it turns out a few things would have come in handy. (I also found a few maternity shirts that snuck along anyway-phew!) I am currently finding that even though my clothes still fit, pants are definitely much more comfortable unbuttoned. If only they would stay up when they are unbuttoned. Enter the Bella Band. This has got to be one of the most amazing, multi-use tools for pregnant and new moms!! I got it when I was pregnant with Lucy and trying to keep it a secret until 14 weeks, and it has been in my closet ever since. Even after the baby comes, it is great for a simple prevention for showing off some postpartum belly while nursing. While pregnant it does everything from prolong the use of non-maternity clothing to help keep up maternity pants when baby is just too big. This is so versatile and useful that I found it worth the $26 (off brands run around $20.)

May 26, 2009

First Trimester Survival Tips

Now on my fourth pregnancy, I almost feel like this is old hat. If only it were a wonderful feeling old hat. :) But at least I have figured out some okay ways and some great ways to cope. It has varied for me each pregnancy, just like each pregnancy is different. But here are some starting tips "from the trenches":

  1. Snack: little frequent, protein rich snacks can go a long way to managing and preventing nausea. (I love the Mrs. Mays nut and fruit snacks available at Costco-they have a natural, healthy source of protein-nuts, and about 6g/serving.)
  2. Gum! I am really loving chewing on mint gum right now. In past pregnancies, there have been times where the thought of having something just sitting in my mouth sounds like a really bad idea. This time, a piece of mint gum has done wonders for taking off the edge so I can make dinner.
  3. Preggie Pops: similar to the gum, having something in my mouth is not always a good idea, but when I was on the edge, these seemed to help a bit. And they were a yummy treat. :) Honestly, the drops seemed better than the pops. I had to be doing really well to handle a lollipop.
  4. Minty goodness: Burt's Bees has a clay face mask with a very minty smell to it. Aura Cacia has a wonderful ginger/mint aromatherapy bubble bath. One of my favorite things to do when I was pregnant with Lucy, was to take a nice bath after the kids were in bed. It was worse in the mornings and at night, so this was a good time to just enjoy nice minty goodness with a good book.
  5. Lemon in water: I have read that lemon can help with morning sickness. I am not sure how much it helps, but it sure makes that unappetizing 7th and 8th glass of water look a little more appealing. Much healthier than juice, but tastier than plain water.
  6. Juice: speaking of juice, getting down those prenatals can be tricky at the best of times. One way I would get them down is to get a glass (of a healthier option) juice. If I used the juice to swallow the pills, and knew I had a cup of juice left to drink after the pills were down, it helped. Bribe yourself.
  7. Make dinner count: I know there are amazing women out there who cook their way through pregnancy. I am not one of them. I am realizing that the pregnancy/new baby season is one where cooking ends up low on my priority list. One trick I am learning is to make a meal count for two or three. Whenever possible, I try to double the meal and freeze the other half. When I am having a really rough day, I can pull it out of the freezer and know that I do not have to work very hard to make dinner that night. :)
  8. It is okay: It is okay to take a break. It is okay to nap on the couch while the kids are watching Blue's Clues. It is okay to ask for help. :) At least, I hope it is okay. My kids are all doing fine so far. And I get a nap to get through the morning!