Friday, August 16, 2013

Enter to Win a Juppy Baby Walker!

Do y'all remember when I did a review of the Juppy Baby Walker awhile back?  Sweet baby B was my baby model since Ira just looks at me like I'm nuts when I suggest such physical activity.  And it worked like a charm on her, even though we accidentally put it on her backwards (oops).  

Well, the folks at Juppy were sweet enough to offer me another to give away to you fine folks!  

All you have to do is like my page on good ol' Facebook, and you can earn extra entries by following me on Twitter and tweeting about the giveaway (every day, if you want).

Click the link below - good luck!  It ends on August 30, so get those entries in!

Win a Juppy Baby Walker!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Nursing in the Wild

World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - and The San DiegoBreastfeeding Center
Welcome to the World Breastfeeding 2013 Blog Carnival cohosted by and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center!
This post was written for inclusion in the WBW 2013 Blog Carnival. Our participants will be writing and sharing their stories about community support and normalizing breastfeeding all week long. Find more participating sites in the list at the bottom of this post or at the main carnival page.
For me, breastfeeding has never been weird.  When I was little and my mom was doing lactation consulting, we had a parade of very tired mamas and angry babies that came to our house for breastfeeding help.  I didn't have little brothers or sisters to see breastfeeding, but I saw plenty of it at our house nonetheless.  And I was walking through Walmart with my shirt hiked up, nursing the heck out of whatever poor baby doll I was dragging with me that day.

There are days when I really wish I still had the confidence that 4 year old me had as I was traipsing through the Pop-Tart aisle with a baby doll glued to my chest.  But now?  I think my old lady ways have turned me into a nursing coward.  My goal is to get more comfortable with nursing in public and to just quit worrying about it so darn much and do it!

Ever since I got pregnant, and especially since I started nursing, I've been on the lookout for other mamas nursing their babies in public.  I want to give high fives.  Or wait, maybe that's just creepy.  But I have yet to see one person to potentially high five.  I honestly could not tell you of one time that I've seen a mom nursing in public.  Not on all my trips to Target, not at the mall, not at the grocery store, not at any restaurant I've been to.  Where are they?  Are they in their cars? Are they in the bathroom?  Am I just the only person nursing?  

But what I've realized is that this lack of seeing other nursing moms makes me not want to nurse in public either.  So more times than I care to admit, I end up going to the car if I'm out in public.  Granted, it's been easier with a 4 month old who doesn't need to nurse basically every second he's awake.  But I wish I could be comfortable enough to just nurse wherever, without fooling with a cover, and not worry about what anybody thinks. I say I don't care what they think, but when it comes down to it, I still sometimes don't feel comfortable enough to nurse in public.  I think it's sort of a vicious cycle - nursing moms don't see anyone else nursing, so it adds to the feeling that what you're doing isn't normal.  

Some of my favorite outings have been the few times we've gotten together with girls from my childbirth classes, and most of us are still nursing.  It's so much easier to sit in a big group of other moms in the middle of Panera and nurse than it is to sit alone.  

I have to say, I feel like I deserve a gold star because I've now nursed outside of several restaurants on a bench or in a rocking chair when Ira has lost it.  I've also nursed in the ring sling in a few different stores (which is super convenient, might I add).  Last time I sat in the rocking chair in front of a seafood restaurant an older lady saw me and joked, "Is he having fish for dinner too?" It was so nice to know that someone else was comfortable enough with what I was doing to actually make eye contact and joke with me about it and comment on how blessed I am to have a sweet baby.  

I am just not going to sit in the hot, cramped car or in the bathroom.  I hope that I can be the person to make at least one mom feel more comfortable about nursing in front of other people.  Maybe we can start a chain reaction so that we ALL feel more at ease when we breastfeed in public.


World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center Visit and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center for more breastfeeding resources and WBW Carnival details!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants. Below are a list of links for today's participants; you can find a complete list of links (updated throughout the week) at our main carnival page:

(This list will be updated by afternoon August 3 with all the carnival links.)

  • Breastfeeding and NIP: A Primer — Rachel Rainbolt of Sage Parenting, featured today at, uses her informative and candid voice to share with you everything you need to know to breastfeed successfully in public, from the practical how-to's to handling the social stigma.
  • Lactivist Ryan Gosling — Breastfeeding mamas, the time is long overdue for a Lactivist Ryan Gosling. Fortunately, Dionna of Code Name: Mama has created some for your viewing pleasure.
  • In Defense of Formula — Amy of Mom2Mom KMC, guest blogging for Breastfeeding in Combat Boots, asserts that formula is a medical tool rather than a food. She examines how this perspective supports breastfeeding as normal and eliminates the negative tensions between breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding mothers.
  • World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - Breastfeeding Tips & Tricks — Throughout her breastfeeding journey (since March 2009), Jenny at I'm a full-time mummy has shared countless tips and tricks on the topic of breastfeeding.
  • Nursing in the Wild — Meredith at Thank You Ma'am posts about how seeing other moms nurse can make all of us more comfortable with nursing in public.
  • Normalizing Breastfeeding — Sara Stepford of The Stepford Sisters confronts the social stigma vs. the reality of breastfeeding and opens up about the steps she takes to make herself and others more comfortable with the process.
  • Breastfeeding Alrik at two years old — This is where Lauren at Hobo Mama and her second-born are at in their nursing relationship, two years in.
  • Perfectly Normal — Stephanie from Urban Hippie writes about the way she and her family have done their part to try and normalize breastfeeding in a society that doesn't get to see breastfeeding as often as they should.
  • Diagnosis: Excess Lipase — Learn about excess lipase and how to test if your expressed milk has it. That Mama Gretchen shares her own experience.
  • Redefining Normal — Diana at Munchkin's Mommy reflects on how we can normalize breastfeeding in our society.
  • Nursing Openly and Honestly — Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work feels that the most socially responsible thing she can do as a mother is to nurse and nurture her children openly, honestly, and with pride.
  • Wet-nursing, Cross-nursing and Milk-sharing: Outdated? — Jamie Grumet of I Am Not the Babysitter shares a response to the Wendy Williams quote about milk sharing being akin to slavery, by giving a brief history of the wet nurse.
  • Tackling Mastitis with an Older Nursling — Much of the advice available for supporting recovery from mastitis seems to be aimed at mamas with younger nurslings. Juliet of Twisting Vines, posting at Natural Parents Network shares tips for dealing with mastitis while breastfeeding a toddler.
  • Milk in the eye — Gena from Nutrition Basics discusses how breastmilk cured her 3 year old's case of pink eye.
  • Boobie Biter — Rachel Rainbolt at Sage Parenting offers guidance on how to survive and thrive a boobie biter with your breastfeeding relationship intact.
  • My take on breastfeeding advice — Diana at Munchkin's Mommy shares her insights on nursing for both new moms and new dads.
  • My Top Five Breastfeeding Tips for Delivery Day: Think "A-B-C-D-E"Mothernova shares how her continued success at breastfeeding with her second child rests on a foundation of five key things she did to prepare for baby's arrival, along with things she did when she and baby first met. Easily enough, these tips can be categorized as "A-B-C-D-E": Access to lactation consultant, Baby-friendly hospital, Communicate your plan to breastfeed exclusively, Demand, and Expect to room in.
  • Breastfeeding Buddies: Twin Brothers Nurse while Living in the NICU — Twintrospectives at How Do You Do It? shares her 5 tips for learning to breastfeed multiples while in the NICU.
  • Breastfeeding on a Dairy-Free Diet: Our Journey and Our Tips — Finding herself nursing a baby with food allergies, Jenny at Spinning Jenny embarked upon a dairy-free journey with her son for eight months. Here she relates her reasons for making the decision to give up dairy in her diet, why it was worth it, and tips for moms on the same path.
  • Normalizing Breastfeeding in my Home — Shannah at The Touch of Life shares how she plans to help keep breastfeeding normal for her own children, even when her breastfeeding years are over.
  • A Year With My Nursling — The more you see and hear, the more normal it becomes, so That Mama Gretchen is sharing her heart on the last year of breastfeeding - the ups and downs, but mostly the joy of her priceless relationship with her son.
  • From Covered to Confident — Krystyna at Sweet Pea Births shares her personal NIP evolution: she started by covering up from neck to ankle while nursing in public. Eight years later, she has gained confidence and the ability to nurse without stressing about flashing a little skin. She shares her views on normalizing breastfeeding - what influenced her and how she hopes to help others.
  • Normalizing Breastfeeding for Older Kids — Sadia at How Do You Do It? hopes that openly discussing breastfeeding with her (now weaned) daughters will help her children feel comfortable with breastfeeding and their bodies in general as they grow.
  • Nursing in Public — Listen up, mammas. Those other people around . . . they don’t matter. It’s not about them. It’s about you and that beautiful baby. Nurse on, says The Swaddled Sprout!
  • How to Nurse a Teenager — Sarah at The Touch of Life declares: the purpose is to help normalize breastfeeding a toddler.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Happy 5 Months, Ira B!

5 Month Stats:
Height: Not really sure, but I'm guessing he's grown another inch...I'd guesstimate 27"
Weight: 16.2 pounds by my best estimations on the bathroom scale
Clothing Size: He can squeeze into some 6 month clothes, but usually it means the snaps will be popping.  We usually are in 9-12 month clothes now!

5 Month Milestones, Highlights, and General Happenings

I think we can say that you officially became a supported sitter at 5 months.  In the past 24 hours (so 5 months and 5 days or so), I think I can call you a real sitter!  Now, don't get me wrong, you aren't great at balancing yet and you'll flop over after a few seconds, but it's so adorable!

You love your exersaucer and you've gotten really good at standing in it with your arms just working on those little toys!

We went to get pictures made at a bubble bath mini session, and in true Ira fashion, you hated it!  You were okay for maybe ten minutes and then we were both over it.  We were being carried off by mosquitos and you were over the chilly water and bubble bath.  But at least we got a few cute ones.  You do kind of have the "Hey girl, wanna get in the hot tub?" look.

 We went to a pool party with Daddy's work friends and you got to do your first serious pool swimming.  I blew in your face and dunked you under a few times and you didn't complain a bit! All that swimming was followed by an epic stroller nap.

I haven't let you start solids yet because you know I'm the breastfeeding police, but we got your high chair out and let you sit in it with us at the table and play with your toys while we eat.

We went to my cousin's wedding at the gorgeous botanical gardens and you were just displeased with the whole thing and desperately needed to go to sleep.  That turned into Daddy's first time babywearing in the Boba! It worked out really well because you let him sit down while you slept in the carrier...and you will have no part of my sitting while wearing you.  I need a longer torso if I'm to have such long babies, I think.

Daddy worked at the Charlotte Symphony in the park in Kannapolis and we went to visit him and listen to the music.  You absolutely loved the symphony and (surprisingly enough) the fireworks.  You pretty much thought you were at Baby Einstein live.

Our adventures in cloth diapering continue....we have had to turn to wool as our nighttime solution because otherwise you wake up soaked, which we both find highly annoying.  Mimi made us your first wool soaker and has since made you a few more!

We spent your first Fourth of July at the lake, and one of my teacher friends came down to hang out with us and brought her husband and her two sweet kiddos.  We had a low key day, and you did a lot of napping! 

We finally did our first back carry, and you loved it!  We just did it around the house, and it wasn't super easy, but we'll get the hang of it.

You still aren't really such a fan of being on your tummy, even though you've gotten pretty darn good at it.  I have to beg you to roll from front to back and you will eventually just sort of transition yourself over.  Maybe one day you'll roll consistently!

As far as sleep goes, you're really on the same schedule you've been on for the past few months.  You're going to bed around 8 or 9 (though sometimes you stay up a little later), and then waking up around 2, 5, and 6:30 and getting up for the day around 8:30.   Your wakeup times might vary if you went to bed later or earlier, but your wake-up-for-the-day time is fairly consistent these days. It's hard to get you to take a nap and you won't stay asleep if I move your car seat out of the car, take you out of the carrier and strap you in the car seat, or basically do anything more than laying you down somewhere (and even that's a crapshoot).  You like to have a blanket touching your head to go to sleep, the fuzzier the better.  You spent most of your fifth month sleeping in the Rock 'n' Play, though you've spent an odd night here or there in your crib.  

You eat like you're starving every single time you wake up at night, and during the day you're usually eating every 2-3 hours.  I've been trying desperately to get you on some kind of schedule to try to help everyone else out when they start keeping you, but that's easier said than done.  Your refusal to eat if you aren't hungry and refusal to nap if the conditions aren't right make it hard to do anything besides stay home all day if we are going to adhere to any sort of schedule.  We shall see if that improves when I go back to work this month.

You're still talking and cooing a lot, and that little sideways grin you have just eats my heart up.  You like to have one of us hold you while you lock out your legs and stand up on our lap.  You will also grab onto your Daddy's sunglasses and croakies and pretend like you're waterskiing, which is hilarious.

You have such a personality, and if you aren't tired, you're generally a very happy, easygoing thing.  If you're tired though, you'll complain to us loudly about it until we help you go to sleep.  

You love to play with my necklace while you nurse, and when you look up and smile at me, I just can't take it!  Your whole goal in life is to blow the perfect raspberry, and you are The Master of Rude Noises.  I love kissing all over those big cheeks, and I'm so glad you seem to find that funny. It's starting to become apparent that you have such a big, sweet, mushy spirit in there!  Every age you have is my favorite, sweet love! 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Because I'm so excited about World Breastfeeding Week...

How about our very first giveaway?! I'm teaming up with The Baloney Bug, My Jordanian Nugget, and Granolaish for a $50 Amazon gift card giveaway! You have 9 chances to enter, so make 'em count! It runs for two weeks, so get in there!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

It Takes a Village...

World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center

Welcome to the World Breastfeeding 2013 Blog Carnival cohosted by and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center!

This post was written for inclusion in the WBW 2013 Blog Carnival. Our participants will be writing and sharing their stories about community support and normalizing breastfeeding all week long. Find more participating sites in the list at the bottom of this post or at the main carnival page.


I know that I've posted about how much I love breastfeeding before, but in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week this week, I felt like it deserved another post.  Actually, it deserved a few more posts.  And a giveaway.  But I'll get to that later.

What I want to talk about today is how it takes so much more than just a mama and her baby to breastfeed.  It takes every single person in her life to help her!  Breastfeeding is the only activity I know of that is simultaneously such a personal, close bond between mama and baby while also involving so many other people.  In fact, I think the people that I know who have struggled with breastfeeding have done so mainly because they were lacking the community that they needed.  

I can't say enough good things about the community in my hospital - never once did they say that I needed to think about giving formula, never once did they so much as hint at it.  I didn't get pressure about my milk coming in or worries about my supply.  I got regular check ins to make sure we were offering often enough and to make sure my nipples weren't falling off due to issues like poor latch (which we never had, thank goodness).  I know mamas who were told that their baby needed formula, that they should give their baby formula and send them to the nursery and sleep more, and mamas who have been told they aren't making enough.  I know that those things are legitimate sometimes, but most of the time, I think formula just sounds like an easy fix for a tired mama.  And when you're exhausted, probably hurting, and hormonal, it would be so easy to give in.  I'm so grateful that I had such a good experience!

I also can't say enough about having a husband and a family that are supportive.  I know mamas who haven't even tried to breastfeed because it freaks their husbands out.  Dude.  Come on.  That's what the boobs are made for.  Thank the Lord PB was never like that. This is a guy who will talk about it with anyone, go up and talk to the old ladies in the gift shop about nursing bras, pack and organize your pumping bag, and never once encouraged me to pump bottles or give formula.  Even on the days when I was tired and mean.  He might have encouraged me to shut my mouth with the whining and the irritable meanness, but formula? Never!

It also helped me tremendously to have a lactation consultant for a mom.  When my milk came in, she froze diapers into ice packs for me, told me to lay in the recliner on a beach towel and just nurse as much as I could, and brought home a head of cabbage for my bra in case I needed a little relief from all the milk (and let me tell you, there was enough milk that the neighborhood cats were all hanging out in my front yard).  Honestly, I think you get a lot of your baby-feeding attitude from your mom.  I never once heard "Just give him a bottle," from her.  I know lots of girls whose moms used formula and therefore think it's just about the only way to feed a baby because it's what they know.  When that's the direction your mama is pushing you in, and you're exhausted and feel like you don't know at all what you're doing - that's when you want to just give up.  

And finally, it was so good to know that my best friend who'd had a baby a few months before I did had been through it.  The bleeding nipples, worry about supply and weight gain, and the up-all-night, no-rest-for-the-weary routine.  I knew that if she made it through, I could too.  And now, as I'm worrying myself to death about going back to work and pumping, it's nice to know that she's done that too and knows how it goes.  In an area where I feel like there aren't that many of us who are exclusively breastfeeding, it is so important to have somebody who's been there! 

If you are (or were) a breastfeeding mama - who helped you in the hard times?  Who made it possible for you?  Who made it challenging?

Check out some of the other posts by some awesome mamas about breastfeeding.  I can't wait to see what everybody else has to say!


World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center Visit and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center for more breastfeeding resources and WBW Carnival details!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants. Below are a list of links for today's participants; you can find a complete list of links (updated throughout the week) at our main carnival page:

(This list will be updated by afternoon August 1 with all the carnival links.)

  • If You're Worried About Your Kid Seeing Me Breastfeeding, You're Doing It Wrong — Dionna at Code Name: Mama is living the breastfeeding-as-a-cultural-norm dream. She has first-hand experience that kids, teens & adults who see breastfeeding accept breastfeeding.
  • Supporting Breastfeeding Online — Wendy at Breastfeeding Utah reaches out to birth and breastfeeding support professionals who are interested in knowing more about supporting their clients online.
  • Breast Friends — Mama Bree, guest posting at San Diego Breastfeeding Center, shares a baby's journey to blissful breastfeeding with a little help.
  • World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - Online Breastfeeding Support — Other than buying and reading up on books, Jenny at I'm a full-time mummy finds that it is useful to read up on other mums’ breastfeeding experiences and how they deal with their obstacles.
  • It Takes a Village... — Meredith at Thank You Ma'am talks about the support she got from her family, especially from her own mom, who is a lactation consultant.
  • Community Support — Ashley at ModerationMama tells about her supportive community surrounding her breastfeeding journey, and she talks about the importance of the breastfeeding class she took while still pregnant.
  • Finding a Nanny to Be Part of My Village — Before returning to work, Gretchen of That Mama Gretchen, posting at Natural Parents Network, needed to find a trusted caregiver for her daughter. Someone who supported her parenting goals and was ready to become part of a family.
  • A Nursey Love Letter — When asked about her nursing support group, KassK of Get Born Tribe surprised herself with the answer: her husband!
  • We are mammals. — To be a mammal . . . what does that mean? Practicing Mammal educates us.
  • Building a Solid Foundation for a Successful Breastfeeding Journey — Tia at Tia's Sweeps Go 'Round shares how she built a strong support network to help her successfully breastfeed her newborn daughter.
  • Stubbornness and Support: My Breastfeeding Journey — Diana at Munchkin's Mommy shares her breastfeeding journey, from unhelpful nurses to a gentle guide, and her sheer stubbornness.
  • Looking online for breastfeeding support — The author at "Just" A Mom has found many ways to use the internet to support her mothering and breastfeeding journey, and she has learned how to keep her online experiences positive.
  • The Village that didn't feed — Nona's Nipples at The Touch of Life explains how our communities influence our choices. She explains how she came to breastfeed and how it was taken away.
  • Nursing By Example — Krystyna at Sweet Pea Births decided to nurse through a pregnancy and to try tandem nursing thanks to the support from her La Leche League leader and another mother in her community. Read about the resources that were helpful and the lessons she learned on her journey into tandem nursing.
  • A Burden Shared: How my IBCLC Lightened my Load — My IBCLC rocks!! smscott at In All Things...One Step at a Time's journey would not be possible without a huge contribution of time and energy from her IBCLC. Her difficult times were measured in weeks and months instead of moments.
  • Fathers Need Breastfeeding Support Too — Destany at They Are All of Me recalls that the biggest detriment to her breastfeeding success was her husband's strong disapproval.
  • Breastfeeding Support Over the Years — Valerie at Momma in Progress discusses the range of support she received over her seven-year breastfeeding journey.
  • Uncharted Territory: Breastfeeding — Michelle at Oh, The Simple Joys describes her change of heart regarding breastfeeding and the kind souls who helped along the way. From thinking formula was the norm to extended ecological breastfeeding, this is her story. Her story also includes breastfeeding after a hospital birth, dealing with inverted nipples, and the lactation consultant who helped to name her daughter.
  • Online Breastfeeding Support: Finding Success, Acceptance and Friendships — Author and CLEC Lara Audelo of Virtual Breastfeeding Culture shares how online breastfeeding support changed her entire life, and why so many mothers are drawn to it, rely upon it, and place such value on their virtual mother-to-mother connections.
  • Staying Connected---Online Breastfeeding Support for AD Military MomsBreastfeeding in Combat Boots shares how important online support is to the success of breastfeeding for mothers serving in the military.
  • Breastfeeding and Community — Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work discusses ways in which community affects breastfeeding dyads and makes suggestions for accepting and supporting nursing as normal and necessary.
  • World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - Community Support — Jenny at I'm a full-time mummy has been breastfeeding NON-STOP since 4th March 2009, the day her first child Benjamin was born. Jenny shares who has been in her community of breastfeeding supporters.
  • Oversupply as a Blessing in Disguise: Milk Sharing and Wet Nursing — Tooele Birth and Breastfeeding, guest posting at Code Name: Mama, tells how she ended up donating breastmilk and wet nursing several babies. She shares the benefits from both a recipient and a donor.