Thursday, January 31, 2013

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Doctor's Orders vs. Parents' Intuition

    We hear warning after warning concerning child safety and when baby “should be” reaching certain milestones all the time as parents. Not many years ago pacifiers were still considered to be “bad” for baby, with the possibility of future dental problems and becoming too attached or reliant on the paci, thus making it more difficult to wean him/her off down the road. Studies are now showing that pacifiers can actually help prevent SIDS if given to a baby at bedtime…But researchers are now saying there is also a link between pacifier usage and an increased occurrence of ear infections. SIDS research also seems to be constantly coming out with new warnings and suggestions for preventing it. What gets me is there is still no known cause. That’s besides my point, though. A friend recently told me that it is now recommended that you pull your child’s crib at least 6 inches away from any wall to help increase air circulation, among the many other tips listed HERE.
     I’ve been doing a bit of research lately on the whole “when to start feeding baby ‘real food’” debate. Years before I had my own baby, I used to think that even six months seemed too early to be feeding baby real food. Now that I have my daughter, I have found from my sifting through the internet that there are two main “sides” on this subject and people are very opinionated on both: before six months is ok as long as the baby seems ready vs. you should NOT feed baby anything but formula/breast milk before six months.
     This last subject is what prompted me to write this post in the first place. My daughter’s pediatrician suggested I TRY to give her cereal close to her four month check-up (to see how she does with it), which is coming up in a couple of weeks. Myka is always watching my husband and I like a hawk when we eat, so I thought I would give it a try. However, I decided to get the opinions from friends and family on Facebook about a certain aspect of it AND made the mistake of asking about it on a certain babycenter group’s forum. I’m going to be somewhat of an adult about it and not mention what group it was, but let’s just say I didn’t appreciate their comments that basically insinuated that I (and my pediatrician) were not well educated and promptly removed myself from the group. Needless to say, I had mixed reviews. None of my Facebook friends or family mentioned anything about it being too soon to start feeding her cereal…but to be careful and watch for allergies. Ok. That’s fair. The people from the lovely babycenter group practically jumped down my throat saying she was way too young to give real food to and that I should wait until she’s at least six months old, and even though don’t give her cereal, mash up fruits and veggies.
     I would say that 98 percent of the time I can see both sides of any given “story.” It’s a blessing AND a curse, let me tell you! So of course, after reading both sides of the argument, so to speak, I started second guessing myself. I especially hate when I do this because I have learned over the years that for the most part my intuition or “gut feeling” is usually correct. Yet I still have doubts sometimes and end up cursing myself after the fact when my original feeling was correct. That’s a whole other story, though. Back to my original point.
     When and where do we draw the fine line between taking heed of doctors’ suggestions or orders and listening to what our gut is telling us, or our parental intuition in this case? Am I suggesting that you completely ignore what your doctor says? Of course not! It just seems to me in today’s society that we have become far too reliant on what doctors tell us without ever questioning it and not taking the time to do our own research and acting on what WE feel is right. Most people seem to be more willing to take the advice of a stranger than to do what they think is appropriate. So, while suggestions, recommendations, second opinions, etc. etc. are always good to at least hear and take into consideration, I ask that we start taking the time to tune in to what our heart, gut, or little voice in the back of our head is telling us. We wouldn’t be here today if our long, long ago ancestors hadn’t listened to it. ;)

 (For the record, I have decided to try cereal with Myka periodically instead of every day. She did really well with it a couple of times, but other than that she was so mad she just wanted her bottle. I took that as a sign. She'll be ready when she's ready. ;)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stokke MyCarrier Twitter Follow Page

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blogger Opp Giveaway-Starts 2/1!

Love, love, LOVE toy kitchens!


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Nap Time is Your Friend!

I have a feeling this might be a touchy subject with some and positive it will hit a nerve with others. You know what they say, though. You can’t please everyone!
It has come to my attention that there are quite a few moms (and dads, I’m sure) out there who complain about not having enough time to get everything done in the day, such as cleaning, laundry, dishes, and other yucky junk that NEEDS to be done. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not claiming to be “super mom” by any means. Of course I have days where I don’t get everything accomplished on my to-do list that I would like. As we all know, with kids, some days are just better than others.
As another “disclaimer”, yes, I only have one child and I am home with her all day for the time being. Yes, she is still young enough to take more than one nap throughout the day, therefore making it easier for me than some to get chores done. The following suggestions I am making would probably suit someone with 2 or 3 children, especially if at least one still takes naps. Any more than that, god speed. You have more patience than me! As I said in the beginning, I’m sure this will hit a nerve with some people and it is not my intention necessarily to tick anyone off. I’m also not claiming to know what YOUR home life is like. Everyone is different. Some of the ideas I’m going to list may just not be feasible for you personally. I just wanted to take a moment and perhaps make some people realize that THEY are creating their own time management issues, therefore THEY are the only ones who can fix it!

-Does your child(ren) still take naps? Great! Nap time is your friend! Utilize this time to do something PRODUCTIVE! I am not unfamiliar with the temptations of Facebook, or Pinterest, or whatever it is that you like doing in your spare time. Those can wait until after the kids are in bed. Think of it this way. Wouldn’t you feel so much better, while you’re lying in bed at night trying to fall asleep, knowing that you got everything (or even ALMOST everything) accomplished in the day that you had intended to do? What a weight off of your shoulders and one less thing to worry about! Heck, if you get a LOT done, that’s more free time for you the next day while the kids are sleeping. Bonus! So I ask you, put the computer (or other hobby you have) in time out during naptime. They will still be there later. I promise. ;)

Here is a just a short list of things you can accomplish during nap time:
-catch up on bills
-wash dishes
-do laundry
-pre-prep meals
-clean the house
-pluck your eyebrows (Yes, I’ve actually done this.)
-take a bath and shave those hairy legs!
-catch up on baby books/scrapbooks (I’m guilty of needing to do this.)
-write a blog post (I’m actually writing this as Myka takes her morning nap. I TRY to practice what I preach. ;)
-catch up on work if you are lucky enough to work from home
The list goes on and on.

Have a child (or children) who doesn’t take naps? That’s not a problem either! Most young children enjoy being included in adult activities with mommy and daddy. Give them simple tasks to help you out. Even if they’re not actually helping you and you’re just keeping them occupied, they will enjoy spending time with you and think they are helping. Doing activities like this should boost their self-esteem and self-worth.

Here is another short list of things you can have your children do with you to help (or at least keep them occupied):

-Give him/her a dust rag and have her help you dust tables, furniture, etc. etc. off.
-If old enough, let him/her stand on a stool and help you rinse or dry dishes off.
-Maybe it was just me, but I always wanted to help my grandma when she baked cookies. If you’re kids are the same way, have him/her do something simple like help you get the measuring utensils out that you need, or let them pour the ingredients into the mixture.
-Want to work out, but think it’s impossible to do with rambunctious kids? Have them work out with you! Even if they’re just dancing around being silly, they will have fun and burn off extra energy, which is always a good thing, right? Maybe they’ll even go to bed early. Again, extra time for YOU! Even though my daughter still takes naps, I sometimes sit her in her swing or bouncer close by and make faces at her while I’m working out. She seems to be entertained by me sweating my butt off.
-If you have lots of rocks and twigs in your yard like we do, have him/her help you pick them up before you mow.

        How do you manage your time? (Or do you? Ha!) I’d especially love to hear from those of you who have more than 2 children and/or work also.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hempies and Real Food, Oh My!

    It has been an exciting day for a 3 ½ month old in the Owen house! Okay, so it’s been exciting for me and Myka could probably care less. I think I’ve finally found the solution (at least temporarily until she gets bigger :/) to her super nighttime wetting.  For several weeks I have been using one of the small BestBottom inserts with a folded up flat diaper at night. It was the only thing that worked with what I had available at the time. The only problem was the bulkiness. All of us cloth diapering moms know that some diapers are just bulkier than others. There’s so many different types and that’s just the way it is. Myka’s were already kind of bulky to begin with (in my opinion), so the extra “padding” did not help. Sure, it’s all nice and soft, but I can’t imagine it could have been too comfortable for her with all the extra “fluff” down there. If she could walk she would probably look like she had a corn cob stuck up her bum with her nighttime nonsense on. Anyways, I tried out the Hemp Babies doubler with a prefold last night and there were no leaks! Any mom with a baby in diapers can appreciate that, right? As much fun as changing fitted crib sheets is. Pff! I can finally put all of her diapers back on the setting they should be for her size instead of having to mess around with them at night and putting them on the largest setting just to fit all of the padding! I’m sure baby is much more comfortable too. J
    I also have some BestBottom hemp inserts I need to try with her, but I’m already irritated with how long they are! I ordered the large ones but still, the cover should be against baby’s skin, right? Well, I snapped one in to see how it looked inside of the diaper because it looked so long outside of it and I have a feeling I’m going to have the same problem as I did with the other large stay-dry ones I have. They’re so long that I can’t even get the diaper closed properly. And yes, I have the diaper on the largest setting. :/ This is why I have resorted to prefolds and flats for now. The smalls aren’t cutting it any more, the larges are too big, and I refuse to buy mediums. Maybe I just complain too much about problems that I'm probably creating for myself. Bah humbug!
    On a lighter note, I had Myka try cereal for the first time today. J I was happy to see that she didn’t stick her tongue out much, like I hear that most babies do the first time. I’m taking that as a good sign and hopefully she will do well next time we try it too. I can’t wait to start experimenting with homemade baby food, even though that won’t be for a few more months. ;)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blogger Opp: Toddler-Preschooler Prize Pack Giveaway 2/15-3/15

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It's Raining Money Blogger Opp

Raining Money

It's Raining Money Event

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I have a confession to make. My child is spoiled. In more ways than one. Despite my best efforts, she has turned me into her minion. I was hoping she wouldn’t be one of those kids that sometimes fusses unless she’s picked up and the person holding her is not only standing up, but has to walk around aimlessly. But she has me trained. (I’m also starting to think that this is just a baby thing in general and not child specific, unfortunately.) Whenever she does this my husband and I are mean (jokingly, of course) and tell her she needs to learn how to crawl or walk if she wants to see the rest of the house so bad.

She is also spoiled when it comes to having way too much “stuff.” I knew my mom would spoil her, despite living 12 hours away, but she has gone ape shit. In all fairness, it is her first grandchild and we can always use the help since I’m still not working. I know kids grow out of clothes quickly, but it’s kind of ridiculous when you have so many that baby only gets to wear some things once or twice before it doesn’t fit! I’ve tried to tell her (and other family members) “NO MORE CLOTHES!” but I’m starting to just give up and give in when they ask, “What size is she wearing now?” But my mom does send useful stuff too, which brings me to today’s post.

The poor mail and FedEx people are probably sick of me after this week, and let’s not even mention Christmas time yet! I used my birthday money from my parents and hubby’s to, of course, buy Myka things instead of myself. I also finally let my mom talk me into letting her buy a baby swing for Myka as well last week…And some Baby Einstein videos I’ve been wanting for her.  So happy birthday to me, more baby junk! :D

I have the bad habit leftover from my poor days (I don’t really consider it a BAD habit) or trying to make my money go farther and buy things we actually NEED when we do have extra money. The majority of my birthday money went towards buying and trying out hemp diaper inserts, a new bottle brush, and hemp cloth to try and make my own inserts. (Too bad I don’t have a sewing machine yet. :/ ) If/when I do get around to it and all goes well, I might have to post how to do it on here if it’s easy enough. J I’m excited to try out the hemp inserts because as I may have mentioned, I have a little betsy wetsy at night. It’s funny the things you get excited about when you’re a mom that you never in your wildest dreams thought you would give a second thought to. So we will see how the first batch of those work out tonight! Maybe if I give them a good review the diaper fairy will send some free ones? ;) Ha! Yah right!

The swing is a bit of a sore subject. I used to swear up and down that I didn’t want one and would never use it. I felt (and still feel like) people rely on it as a “babysitter” too much, and I didn’t want to be one of those people. I finally cracked last week at the height of teething fussiness (she’s only 3 months old, lame, huh?). My mom brought the whole swing business up again while we were skyping and it wasn’t a day later that I had one picked out for her to order. She did offer to buy it, after all. I sure as hell didn’t ask and wouldn’t have bought one myself, to be perfectly honest.  You’ll do just about anything you can think of when you’re stressed out and baby is stressed out from teething, though. Day 1 of swing and she has already taken two naps in it. Yay!

What are your opinions on the Baby Einstein videos? I know there was a big fuss a few years ago about some study that was done stating that babies don’t actually learn any faster or sooner by watching them and that the opposite is actually possible in some cases. I don’t really care. Mommy has to take a shower and eat some time and I’ll admit, this is MY “babysitter”. I only had one until now so I’m thrilled to have more. I’ve got all music ones because she seems to love music. I figure there are worse things she could be watching, right? 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Great Weight Loss Battle

This post is going to be a little different. If you read my welcome post, you might remember that I mentioned something about trying to do better about caring about myself. First thing on that agenda is exercising, which I started last Thursday. Now I know what you might be thinking. “Oh, it’s the beginning of the year. Typical New Year’s resolution. You’ll be over it in a month, if not sooner.” Negatory. I actually try NOT to make New Year’s resolutions because yes, they usually are the same b.s. from everyone and I try my hardest to stay away from what’s “popular” or “trendy.” Anywho, that’s a whole different story. :D I thought I would periodically post about my work out endeavors and weight loss progress to hopefully inspire others. Maybe if I get some followers interested we can hold each other accountable too. ;)

Like most new moms, I am wanting to lose that extra “baby weight.” Well, I’ve got a little, ok, a LOT, more than baby weight to lose. I was already overweight before I got pregnant, even though I had been losing some for a year or two before. I have been struggling with weight my entire life, as I’m sure many of you can relate. The term I like to use when it comes to my lifelong weight fluctuation is I “Oprah” a lot. I know. Not necessarily very nice, but you have to admit she has had the same problem over the years. Many women do for whatever reasons: stress eating, boredom, laziness, gland problems, depression, the list goes on.

As a kid I was always a little chubby, but it’s ok when you’re younger, right? Then I got to middle school and gained quite a bit of weight in 7th grade. The summer before I began high school I decided to roller-blade (you’re allowed to laugh, but I used to LOVE roller-blading!) and swim my booty off. Literally. I stayed in decent shape in high school due to tennis, working out at home, and, you guessed it, roller-blading and riding my bike like a fiend. My first semester of college I started gaining it back, the “freshman 15”…and then some. My hatred of cooking any “real food” and love of hard liquor did not help. (Just being honest.) So I gained, gained, gained again until I started a job at a factory a couple of years later. I didn’t even have to TRY to lose weight there. It was like getting paid to work out 4 days a week, 10 hours a day. So I got back into better shape, not high school great, but much better. Several months later I met my husband at work and you all know what happens when you get into a relationship. You’ve already got the guy, so who cares what you look like? I’ve been steadily gaining ever since then, except for the small, temporary relapse right before I got pregnant. Now I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been except for when I was pregnant and let’s face it. That doesn’t count!

With all of that said, something has to change! I am sick of being overweight! What is even more ridiculous on my part is that I’ve actually gained 15 pounds since I had my daughter 3 months ago. Yikes! I will say, as I told my husband the other day, it’s kind of cruel how easy it is to gain weight, but how hard it is to lose it! No one ever said life was easy, though. My goal is to get back to either a size 8/10 or 140 pounds. I’ll leave it at that. I’d rather not say how much weight that requires me to lose. ;)

So, as I said earlier, this is not a New Year’s resolution…I actually waited until after my birthday earlier this month to get started. hee hee But I more motivated than I have been in a long time and I hope I can keep myself motivated! That is by far my biggest problem. I am starting out slow so I don’t burn myself out too soon (or injure myself for that matter!) Like I said, I started last Thursday with my Biggest Loser Boot Camp dvd. It’s pretty good since it is tailored for “bigger folks” shall we say. It definitely gets your heart rate up, but I don’t think it over works you as long as you follow their recommendations. (i.e. Do the first segment for this many weeks, then add on the second segment, etc. etc.) The only beef I have with it is that there is not enough focus on abs, which is one of my biggest problems. So I’ve been doing crunches beforehand. Oh well. Not the end of the world. I made the mistake of trying to mix it up and give a second chance to a step workout video (Don’t laugh. It’s great cardio.) that I knew I hadn’t liked in the past. I will have to research step videos on youtube or make up my own routine because that sadistic woman can torture someone else! :D (Shouldn’t be too hard to make my own up. I used to come home from tennis practice in high school and do step workouts all the time. Ah, the good ole days of being younger and in shape!)

Sorry this ended up being so long and thanks for sticking around if you made it to this point. This is the beginning of my weight loss journey and trying to care about myself more. Working out isn’t really the difficult part, sadly, as hard a time as I have getting motivated to do it. Eating better will be a REAL challenge. ;) 

Tell me what kind of workouts you like doing in the comments section and how you try to stay motivated and find time!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Homemade Baby Wipes: Just the Beginning


Wanted to start today off by saying how happy I am that I finally had NO LEAKS with Myka’s cloth diapers AT ALL last night! The downside is that I had to use so much “padding” that the diaper was ridiculously bulky and probably not all that comfortable for her either. :/

Starting about a month, maybe a little less, ago, my now 3 month old daughter’s diapers starting leaking at night. Since then, I have been having a trial and error battle in trying to find something that works at night. As I mentioned previously, we don’t exactly have all the money in the world right now, so I had been trying to use inserts and pre-folds I already had to try and fix the problem. (Also I HATE spending money on something if I don’t know for absolute sure that it’s going to work!) So anyways, last night was the first night we had no leaks at the “middle of the night” change and late morning change when she seems to pee the most. Yay! (Just to clarify, I haven’t been changing and washing jammies and crib sheets every day. There were several nights when I said, “screw it” and just stuck disposables on her. You will find out I am a person of little patience most of the time and messing around with diaper inserts in the middle of the night and changing crib sheets 4 times in a week gets old quickly. Those things are evil!) I did give in last night and ordered some hemp inserts and doublers to try after reading how awesome they are supposed to be with heavy wetters and overnight protection. Can’t hurt, right?

This actually, in a way, brings me to today’s topic. Homemade items. As I mentioned last time, my husband and I (Ok, so my husband does more of the actual work than I do, but I’m working on it. ;) are getting really into just making every day items at home. It started out with baby stuff, like her wipes and detergent to clean her cloth diaper inserts with before actually washing in the machine. Now we are starting to get into “big people” things as well, like laundry detergent, hand soap, and my husband is wanting to try deodorant and shampoo in the near future as well. (To be honest, I’m a little leery about the shampoo because I am VERY, uh, overprotective, I guess is the word I’m looking for, of my hair. But when you get down to it, there are less chemicals in homemade shampoo than the store bought kind, so shouldn’t I be more worried about that ginormous bottle of Suave in the shower?)

I am loving the homemade baby wipes! We had decided before Myka was even born that we were going to try to make our own wipes because again, less chemicals, less money! Gotta love win/win situations! Well, we never got around to trying them before she arrived, so we went ahead and tried using the buttload of Walmart brand wipes that I received at my baby shower. Lo and behold, her poor little booty did NOT take well to those, so we tried the Pampers Sensitive, I believe. She was still getting diaper rash, just not nearly as bad as with the off brand wipes. I actually had to call the pediatrician at one point and get prescription cream. L Well, the store bought wipes finally ran out, we made our own, and I think I’ve used diaper cream on her MAYBE three times in the last 2 ½ months. And the times I did use it she really didn’t have a bad rash, it was just kind of red and I was trying to prevent it from getting any worse. Anyways, I feel like I’m rambling. :D The wipes are SO easy to make on top of not hurting her booty! If interested in trying these for yourselves you can find our recipe here:
And while you’re there and happen to have a Facebook account, I would greatly appreciate it if you liked my page! It’s new too, but there are a lot of helpful things for parents there!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Hello and welcome! This is my first blog, so please bear with me as this is a learning process too. Speaking of learning process, that is what this page is all about and I hope that you will join me on my journey!

Let me start off by telling you a little about myself. My name is Alicia and I just had my 26th birthday on the 14th. (Age is relative, right? :D) My husband and I are from Indiana, but have been living in Arkansas since early 2010. It is definitely a different world down here and takes some getting used to! As of last fall, we have also been getting used to living with 3 people in our house instead of 2. We welcomed our baby girl Myka into the world on October 11th, 2012. (Good thing she has an easy birthday to remember because I'm terrible at remembering dates!) We are pretty laid back, boring, normal people just trying to make it by in today's world.

I am currently a stay at home mom, which is a blessing and a curse for several reasons. While my husband still makes enough from his job to pay the bills, just barely. I was working at a coffee shop before and during my pregnancy, but the physical work and stress were too much for me, so I decided to quit when I was about 7 months pregnant. (You would be surprised how hectic working at a coffee shop can be that also sells full meals and bakes their own cakes and makes their own gelato and does catering and and and....You get the picture.) So, while I am super glad to be spending the extra time with and actually being the person who is raising our daughter, I also feel bad that I am not able to help out monetarily at this time...Though not for a lack of trying!

So to get on with the purpose of this blog, that is what perhaps started this whole escapade into living more "naturally" or "green" or whatever term you prefer: money. My husband and I knew fairly early on that we wanted to try cloth diapers with our baby. We both agreed that disposables seemed like a giant waste of money. That's thousands of dollars you're throwing away. Literally. And we are all about saving money, especially my husband. He is the Bargain King. lol

With that being said, I must admit to something. I am not getting into the whole "green" thing because it is good for the environment. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to CAUSE harm to the environment. But the truth is cloth diapering and keeping landfills that much less empty from disposable diapers is just an added bonus for me. My main goals are to save money and do what's best for my child. And let me tell you, I am a lot more worried about my child's well-being than mine. Not that that is a bad thing, but I am working on caring more about myself too, and we'll get to that eventually. ;)

Well, with all of that being said, I hope you can handle my being candid, and if not, then perhaps you are in the wrong place. Maybe I should have put that as a warning at the beginning of the post. :D Honestly, though, I hope you'll join me on my journey into living more naturally. I'm just starting out, of course, and feedback is always welcome. :)

Next time I will be posting about what kind of things I am getting into, like homemade baby food, wipes, laundry detergent and more!