Saturday, February 26, 2011

And the Winner is...

Congratulations to Angie, the winner of SKOY's 4-pack of all natural cloth towels!!! 

The winner has been notified and has 48 hours to respond...

Thank you to all for entering,

Mommy Bridget

The Green Mom Review™

The Green Mom Review™

Recycle your old electronics for a Target gift card? Wow! What a great incentive to keep old electronics out of our landfills!

~Curious Mommy

Friday, February 25, 2011

Peter Rabbit Organics NEW Vegetable and Fruit Pouches-Review and Giveaway-ends 3/11

Peter Rabbit Organic's Vegetable and Fruit Pouches
Review and Giveaway-ends 3/11
Peter Rabbit Organics continues to impress!  They now carry a line that's not only made with 100% organic fruit but also with 100% organic vegetables.  The all new organic fruit and veggie pouches from their puree pouch line is a fun and easy way to get your little ones to get their wholesome daily nutrition while enjoying their snack time.

Peter Rabbit Organic's new addition to their puree line comes in 3 flavors:
  • Sweet Potato, Corn and Apple
  • Pea, Spinach and Apple
  • Carrot, Squash and Apple
These fruit and veggie pouches are super tasty snacks for your children and because they don't need to be refrigerated, are quite handy to take on the go.  My toddler reviewed the Sweet Potato, Corn and Apple snack and the Carrot, Squash and Apple snack and loved both of them.  He didn't set the pouch down until he finished it in its entirety (as you can see to the right).  I also had the opportunity to sample a little taste of each one and was very impressed!  They were both quite sweet and tasty...just perfect for a healthy snack choice.  A one and a half year old reviewed the Pea, Spinach and Apple pouch and here is what her mother said:

Jules just devoured the Peter Rabbit pea spinach and apple puree thing.  It took about 60 sec flat as I was helping her squeeze it out into her mouth....not a drip was lost.
(Heidi, mother of 2)
  
I was so thrilled about doing this review for Peter Rabbit Organics.  Every time my son and I make a trip to Starbucks, we can't leave the coffee shop without picking up one of Peter Rabbit Organic's organic fruit snacks.  I usually don't like to let my son have anything he wants when we go to stores but in this case, he can have as much of this wonderful treat as wishes!

Peter Rabbit Organics is a small, privately owned company based out of London.  The company decided to establish their business and produce such products because they found it difficult to find healthy, organic products for their families to consume.  And how did they know their products would be a hit?  They had the best taste testers and reviewers possible...their own families!
Buy it:
You can purchase Peter Rabbit Organic's fruit and vegetable snacks online and through Amazon.  I also came across this new line at our REI store in Salt Lake so keep your eye out!

Win it:
Peter Rabbit Organics is giving away a 12-pack (2 of each new flavor) assorted fruit and vegetable pouches to one lucky winner on The Curious Case of Mommyhood!  Open to US residents.

To enter:
***REMEMBER: POST A COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY***
***Also, remember to leave your email address with your comments so you can be reached*** 
Subscribe to my blog (located on the left side of my home page) and tell me if your family has tried one of Peter Rabbit Organic's organic fruit and/or fruit and vegetable snacks or any of their other products.  This is MANDATORY to enter the giveaway.

You also have the opportunity for additional entries (one each) if you do any of the following:
  • follow The Curious Case of Mommyhood on Google Follower
  • tell me something about Peter Rabbit Organics
  • like The Curious Case of Mommyhood on Facebook
  • like Peter Rabbit Organics on Facebook
  • repost this giveaway on your facebook page and post the link with your entry
  • follow The Curious Mommy on Twitter
  • follow Peter Rabbit Organics on Twitter
Again, please be sure to leave your email address with each entry.
You have until March 11th at midnight to enter.
Good luck to you all,

Mommy Bridget 

Peter Rabbit Organic's fruit and vegetable snacks were provided to me by Peter Rabbit Organics for review.  (Please see my Disclosure under my "Reviews" page for more information.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Diaper Envy's Bummis Training Pant and Allens Naturally Detergent: A Review

Diaper Envy's Bummis Training Pant and Allens Naturally Detergent: A Review



Diaper Envy, an online cloth diapering store, carries everything you need to effectively cloth diaper your little ones.  Along with popular cloth diapering systems, they also carry products to ease your cloth diapering experience.  They carry cloth diapering accessories such as wet/dry bags and effective cloth diapering laundry soap and for those of you who need assistance in your laundering needs, they also offer a cloth diapering cleaning service in the state of New York.  What a great idea!  


Diaper Envy carries top name brand cloth diapering products such as Fuzzibunz, Bummis, Happy Heinys, Allens Naturally, Rockin' Green, OsoCozy, Snappi and Planet Wise.  Diaper Envy truly is a one stop shopping experience that covers all your cloth diapering needs.  What more could you ask for?!


Diaper Envy was established in 2009 by two new parents who believed that cloth diapering was a safer alternative from using disposable diapers.  They also found that cloth diapering was significantly less in overall cost and had less of an environmental impact than traditional disposable diapers.  After finding cloth diapering was a win-win situation, they wanted to share their experience with other parents.  What better way than to have an online store that helps with all cloth diapering needs!


Diaper Envy answers all of your cloth diapering questions and provides answers from those experienced in cloth diapering.  They also offer an online community of others who cloth diaper.  By becoming a "member" of Diaper Envy, you can join a social cloth diapering network of other like minded individuals.  And believe me when I say speaking to others with cloth diapering experience is a crucial part to successful cloth diapering.  In my experience I still need all the support I can get!


We had the opportunity, once again, to review more remarkable products from Diaper Envy: the Bummis Training Pant and Allens Naturally Detergent.

Bummis Training Pant
Product Description:
  • Training Pant Easy potty training!
  • Easy for little ones to put on and take off with ease by themselves! All the protection you need - but without a lot of bulk.
  • Stretchy lycra bindings around the legs and tummy for a comfortable and customized fit.
  • Soft polyester knit on the outside and an interior layer of super strong and durable waterproof laminate
  • Bummis Brand cozy flannel lining is so soft against a baby’s skin, yet does not prevent the child from feeling the moisture - so that your little one is encouraged to potty train faster!
  • 2 layers of absorbent terry padding right where it counts! Thirsty enough to absorb even a major spill.
  • Wash and dry at normal temperatures in washer and dryer. Please avoid fabric softeners, chlorine bleach, or any other whitening agents. Be sure to wash and rinse with enough hot water in order to eliminate detergent residue and wash your cloth diapers clean. Your Training Pant should not retain odors, and if it does, please check out our washing information or call us for help!
  • Available in a fun Jungle print.
Bummis Training Pant is made with careful attention to detail in the Bummis factory in Montreal, so that we are assured of good quality and fair labor practices. The fabrics and components we produce with are all sourced in North America and are guaranteed lead, phthalate and BPA free. 


As you all know, potty training can take some time and if you are using disposable training pants, can get quite costly.  We began our potty training in early January one weekend and couldn't believe how often we were having to change Park's clothing.  We had no idea that he was going potty every 15 minutes and didn't realize we would be spending so much time literally in the bathroom.  Although we felt we had a successful introduction to using the potty, we also realized potty training would take some time, some extra patience and the need for training pants.  And so I coughed up the dough and purchased 2 different brands of training pants.


Although handy, disposable training pants are VERY absorbent and tight fitted therefore much to much like regular diapers.  I also don't like that they are disposable and was having to toss them in the trash after each use...adding to our landfills.  So we were so thrilled to review the Bummis Training Pant from Diaper Envy.  Not only is the Bummis Training Pant cloth and reusable, they have worked well as a reminder for Park to use the potty instead of going in his pants.


We chose the size small for Park.  The size small says it fits 20-30 pounds but even though I'm assuming my son weighs about 30 pounds, the pant is still quite large on him.  He is very tall and thin so that might have something to do with the sizing but it also might be intentional as Park is VERY aware of what he is wearing.  It serves as a great reminder to use the potty!!!  If you are looking into purchasing the Bummis Training Pant, I recommend choosing a smaller size.


Overall, we love the Bummis Training Pant.  The diaper was much, much easier for Park to pull up and down than the disposable brands because it is made with stretchy lycra.  He was able to use the training pant like little underwear but without the worry of having an accident in them.  The pant is lightweight yet still absorbent enough for those inevitable accidents.  It's completely reusable, washes easy like any other cloth diaper and for a cost of only $12.99, you can't go wrong.  I was amazed at how pricey a package of 20 disposable training pants costs, no matter which brand you choose!  The Pampers brand was the same cost as the all natural, Seventh Generation brand at Whole Foods.  And you almost never see those price comparisons!  So since potty training can take some time, I highly recommend investing in some reusable cloth training pants such as the Bummis pant. 






Allens Naturally
Product Description:
  • Caution: Eye irritant. Avoid contact with eyes. In case of eye contact, remove contact lenses, flush eyes thoroughly and repeatedly with water. Call physician if necessary. Keep out of reach of children.
  • Another detergent that is TRULY TRUE Free & Clear making it a perfect option for your cloth diaper laundering. Cleans clothes & diapers thoroughly yet is gentle on fabrics, leaving virtually no residue or perfume that can irritate sensitive skin. Just one small scoop of the powder or one ounce of the liquid leaves clothes clean, bright and fresh smelling. An optional one ounce pump fits gallon size for easy dispensing. 
  • Biodegradable.
  • Allen's Naturally Detergents are recommended by the manufacturers of Fuzzi Bunz, Happy Heinys, and most other manufacturers for cleaning their products. But because Allen's washes completely clean, it makes a fine cleanser for all your cloth diapers and laundry needs.
  • Allen's concentrated formula ensures you are paying for actual detergent rather than water or fill. Each load costs as little as $.30 a load: About 35% less than other natural detergents available at your local grocers.
  • Use only 1/4 the recommended amount of detergent for high efficiency front-loading washers.
Ingredients: Water, Alkylarylethozylate, Trienthanolamine, Linear Alkylaryl Sulfonate, Sodium Chloride.


I sampled Allens Naturally while cleaning Park's cloth diapers.  In the past I have found that no matter what brand laundry soap I use to clean cloth diapers, I still struggle with having to include an extra rinse cycle onto the load of wash.  With Allens Naturally, I was very satisfied with its cleaning power.  I appreciated that I could tell it worked well in cleaning even the messiest of diapers and the diapers came out of the wash smelling fresh...something I've struggled with since I began cloth diapering.  There is no scent to Allens Naturally, which to some is a good thing.  I actually prefer to have a light, refreshing scent to my laundered items.  But overall, this product worked very well and I would highly recommend this liquid detergent to anyone cloth diapering or anyone who prefers hypoallergenic and all natural laundry soaps.


I want to thank Diaper Envy, once again, for the wonderful opportunity to review more of their great array of products available on their online store.  We've loved everything!!!


Buy it:
You can purchase the Bummis Training Pant, Allens Naturally or any one of their other cloth diapering products on Diaper Envy's online store here.  


Bridget James
(author of) The Curious Case of Mommyhood


The Bummis Training pant and Allens Naturally were provided to me by Diaper Envy online for review.  All opinions about this product are purely my own.  (For more information, please see my Disclosure under my "Reviews" page).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

SKOY Cloth Giveaway- ends 2/25 at midnight (LOW ENTRIES)

Just a reminder to you all, if you are interested in winning a 4-pack of SKOY cloth towels, to enter now.  Entries are still low so your chance of winning these are great.  And I guarantee you will LOVE them!  I don't know how I've lived without them all this time!!!

Click here to enter.

Good luck,

Mommy Bridget

Just the 2 of Us

Last week, my husband took off to Atlanta for work.  He has been gone for 5 nights and 6 days as of today, and we don't plan on seeing him for another day or so.  Although I was preemptively worried about this time of his absence (being so pregnant and stuck at home alone with our 2 year old for such a long period of time) my son and I have had a really good time together and it has been anything but lonely.  I truly believe that our great week together, although my inability to be too active, has been all about our attitude about the situation.

Because attitude is EVERYTHING.

And it's all the little things in life that really matter.

Many friends, neighbors and family members have been SO kind in calling and checking in on us, making sure we are doing okay and whether we need anything.  I know my Mom has forced my little brother to make multiple visits to our house because I've officially seen his family more in the last week then I've seen of them in months (Mom and brother and wife, you are SO sweet:)  Everyone keeps asking if we are doing okay, as if I should be wallowing in my loneliness and boredom...which I could have been doing, but chose not to.  Although I miss my husband terribly, it's amazing and surprising to say that I haven't felt lonely at all.  My son has been a wonderful companion, and if anything, I've been soaking up these last precious moments of our one on one time together before Park is no longer an only child.

And I swear that Park knows, even though he is only 2, that I need his support and patience now more than ever in these last days of pregnancy.  For instance, this morning as we awoke and I began my body turn to push my very pregnant self out of bed (a definite daily challenge), little Park tried to assist me.  He was behind me trying to push my body out of bed...it was hilarious!  Who knew a 2 year old knew how to help a very pregnant and physically challenged woman get out of bed?!!

(I had to add this picture to the right of Park vacuuming.  He now enjoys helping with this chore:)

And every day at nap and bed time, Park happily got into bed and kissed me instead of putting up an occasional fuss about having to end his play time.  I too was able to nap while Park did...thank the heavens because I've really needed it at this point as sleeping during the night is becoming more and more of a challenge.  Daily, he has played outside alone, with our doggies, for an hour at a time without complaint.  It's so cute watching Park entertain himself, creating stories and talking to the dogs about them.  And everywhere we have gone, Park is right by my side, either holding my hand or helping me with our errands.  He likes to push carts, load the groceries onto the checkout stand, and carry items out to the car.  He is such a great little helper...and he does it all with pleasure.  How ever did I end up with such a sweet child I will never know.  I always thought most 2 year olds were terribly engrossed in themselves.  I didn't know they became aware of others and compassionate at such a young age...

It's not to say that we have gone all these days without any eventful moments.  The very first night with Marshall gone I awoke at 2 am to mild contractions.  I timed them while I lay in bed for 1 hour and they came every 6-7 minutes.  I thought to myself, this is just great...I go into labor the first night my husband is gone and I'm all alone.  So I got up, drank a ton of water and sat in front of the television for another hour while timing the contractions.  For another 45 minutes, they continued at every 6-7 minutes.  Then they began to get longer apart, eventually going away and I was able to go back to bed.

I've also officially had migraines EVERYDAY for 13 days now which during the period between the onset of the headache and when my meds kick in are debilitating to say the very least.  And Park has allowed for me to lie with my eyes closed until I can function again without so much as a fuss.

And every time we got out of the house for a play date or to make a trip to the library or store, my body kept telling me that if I continued the physical activity, I might be speeding up the labor process.  And so we spent the majority of our time at home.  And somehow, the days never felt long.  The best part has been going to bed with my little man, listening to his whispers to me as he fell asleep, and waking up to his smiling face every morning.  Maybe this time alone, just the two of us, has been a blessing in disguise.

The two lessons learned from this last week:
  • Never underestimate the power, strength and understanding of a 2 year old and 
  • ALWAYS remember your attitude!

~Mommy Bridget

Monday, February 21, 2011

How to Trim Your Baby's Nails

As all parents know, trimming infant nails are a necessity when caring for your baby.  Infants are typically born with long nails, and being so little they are also quite sharp.  Ignoring their nails and neglecting to trim them only results in the infant scratching their cute little faces.  But, trimming them can be a tremendous task.  When awake, infants squirm so much and the last thing we want to do is attempt to use a sharp clippers near their skin.  So how can we go about this task quickly and make it painless for everyone involved?

According to Dr. Sears,
  • Trim your baby's fingernails while baby is in a state of deep sleep, recognized by the limp-limb sign: Baby's limbs dangle limply, and the hands are wide open.
  • Use a miniature nail clipper designed especially for babies. They are much easier and safer than scissors or adult-sized clippers, and baby's paper-thin nails are so easy to cut anyway. If not using a nail clipper, use safety scissors with blunt ends in case baby startles during the cutting.
  • To avoid snipping the fingertip skin as you clip the nail, depress the finger pad away from the nail as you cut. As a beginning nail cutter, have your spouse hold baby's hand while you manipulate the finger and the nail clipper. After a while you will be able to trim baby's nails by yourself.
  • Drawing a drop of blood is part of learning nail trimming. Apply a bit of pressure and a dab of antibiotic ointment to the little nip.
  • If you're squeamish about cutting tiny nails, cover them with cotton mittens.
A baby's toenails do not seem to grow as fast, and quite often the nails are surrounded with heaped-up skin, making trimming difficult. Don't worry that the toenails may grow into this skin. Ingrown toenails are rarely a problem in infants. 

I also found an instructional video if you are interested:



~Curious Mommy

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pubic Symphysis Diastema: A Pregnancy Condition

Did or do you suffer from uncomfortable pain in your pelvic area during pregnancy?  There is a condition called Pubic Symphysis Diastema that women can suffer from that makes it mildly uncomfortable to very painful in your gait to move about while pregnant and/or following the birth of your child.

During pregnancy, the hormone relaxin causes the ligaments and joints throughout the pregnant woman's body to loosen in order to accommodate the growing baby and birth.  The loosening that affects the pubic area in the pelvis can be exaggerated in some individuals which causes the pubic bones to separate more than normal, making it uncomfortable to perform many simple activities.  During my last pregnancy, I was plagued with this condition.  In looking back, this was the only "pain" I suffered from during my pregnancy.  I didn't understand what was going on other than that I was told my pubic bone was separating, which sounded almost every time I got out of bed or stood up too quickly.  Little did I know, I could have been seeing a chiropractor during my pregnancy to correct this issue and make those final, uncomfortable days a little more enjoyable.

If you think you may be suffering from this condition or other pubic bone pain, there are a few things you can do to relieve your pain:
  • make regular visits to your chiropractor (I have done this throughout my second pregnancy and have YET to have any discomfort:)
  • Stabilize what you can via a pregnancy/maternity binder like the Prenatal Cradle.
  • Avoid situation that cause pain. For example, sit down to put pants on, sit on the side of the tub and swing both legs together.
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time.
  • Use a rice sock to help provide moist heat.
  • Occasionally, pain medication is appropriate and your practitioner can help you decide when and what.
The good news is that shortly after delivery you should be feeling much better as the production of relaxin stops.
(Source: http://pregnancy.about.com/od/symptomsofpregnancy/a/pubicbonepain.htm)

~Curious Mommy

Friday, February 18, 2011

Birth Plan

For those of you pregnant and planning your birth, or for those of you not pregnant but interested for future reference, it is always a good idea to have a "birth plan" with you to give to those involved in assisting you birth your child.  You can find standard birth plans all over the internet, but below is my favorite.  You have the option to fill in your wishes with concerns to your birthing preference, what to do in case of scenario a or b, whether you want to vaccinate, circumcise, etc.

A birth plan is a communication tool that may include the following items so everyone understands your preferences for labor and delivery.
  • How would you like to manage your labor?
  • How do you feel about monitoring devices?
  • Will you need to be induced?
  • How do you feel about pain medication?
  • What if a Cesarean becomes necessary?
  • Would you like to avoid an episiotomy?
  • Do you want cameras/video cameras? Music?
  • How should Baby be handled immediately after birth?
Although we should all be aware that birth plans are difficult to maintain when faced with the obstacles of birthing, there is no reason why your preferences need to be all or none.  I was so glad I had (not one but 3 copies:) with me when I birthed Park.  Although there was a slight change to my "plan", everything else on my list was honored.  It was also convenient when asked multiple times whether I was planning to circumcise him....you can just let them know your wishes are all on your birth plan.  There was a copy of my birth plan next to me, one on the hospital room door and one with the attending nurse.

For a great source to fill out your birth plan, go to www.birthplan.com and after registered (which is completely free) you can begin to fill it out at any time.  You can save your plan, make changes when needed and print it out when the time is necessary.

Just a little tip from the Curious Mommy...with birth plan ready in hand!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Will standard light bulbs be replaced in America? - ksl.com

Will standard light bulbs be replaced in America? - ksl.com

This is going to be fantastic! One step ahead in the right direction...

~Mommy Bridget

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Food Allergy and Intolerance

It seems as though I hear more and more often about food allergies and food intolerance in children.  In the past, I've known little about either of them other than that there are some individuals who absolutely cannot have food items such as nuts, shellfish, or dairy and in doing so, they could go into some sort of a shock where they are rushed to the hospital needing immediate care.  A food allergy is when a person's body produces a substance called immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to a particular food because it believes it is harmful.  When presented with this particular food, the body will react immediately to or within a few hours to that food.  It can better be explained here. So what is a food intolerance?

A food intolerance (when the body produces IgG, not IgE antibodies) is a digestive response to a particular food rather than an immune system response.  The way I understand it is when the digestive system has a problem digesting a particular substance, it sends messages to other parts of the body including but not limited to the brain, the intestinal tract, and the nervous system.  This in turn can cause behavioral changes in the individual.  According to WEBmd.com, there are many factors that may contribute to food intolerance. In some cases, as with lactose intolerance, the person lacks the chemicals, called enzymes, necessary to properly digest certain proteins found in food. Also common are intolerances to some chemical ingredients added to food to provide color, enhance taste, and protect against the growth of bacteria. These ingredients include various dyes and monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer.

Another really common food ingredient that continues to cause intolerance in individuals is Red Dye #40, a common ingredient in many food items on our supermarket shelves, which can include "fruit" drinks, candy, and snacks. After learning more about this common additive, it's no wonder why it's causing harm to individuals all across the globe.  It's a by-product of coal tar!

Some behaviors caused by food intolerances are:

According to the American College of Allergy and Immunology, they include upset stomach, gastroenteritis, runny nose, dark circles under the eyes, shock, edema or swelling, anxiety, ulcers, joint pain, asthma, addictions, and rashes.  In children they can cause seizures, red ear lobes, red cheeks, excessive talking or aggressive behavior, bedwetting and attention deficit.

A few months back, my chiropractor noted similar behavioral traits in my son that she once experienced in her own son.  The glazed look, the inability to concentrate when being spoken to, the dark eye circles, the high energy then the immediate low energy (just to name a few).  She explained to me that these behaviors can all be associated to allergies and intolerances to specific food items.  She was so helpful in passing along information to us about these conditions, how to test for them and food choices to move forward with.  Although we still have yet to do the lab tests with Park as we are waiting for them to come in the mail, I went ahead and took him off dairy, a HUGE staple in his daily diet, to see if there was a difference in his behavior.

And low and behold, there was.  In the past, Park has been a picky eater.  I was lucky to get one meal in him a day, despite removing all snacks from his diet.  He always reached for his milk before eating the rest of his meals, then rarely touched anything else on his plate.  Now for the time being, I am placing the majority of his change in behavior due to the fact that because he isn't filling up on milk products, he is more open to other choices.  BUT, choosing to remove dairy has been the best thing we've done for him in a long time and the possibility of an intolerance to it is high.  So we will wait and see the test results but continue the no dairy diet.

I should also mention that I myself am lactose intolerant.  I have not been able to drink a glass of milk or eat ice cream in many years (as is my own mother)...and food allergies and intolerance can be passed down through generations.

Just last night, Park ate chicken breast and a half cupful of peas...that's HUGE!  We are very pleased.  And since you are what you eat, his behavior has been very different.  He looks at us while we speak to him, he enjoys reading books again and listens well, I can take him places and he holds my hand...it's great.  I am really looking forward to testing him for a dairy, nut and gluten intolerance.  It's nice that I have this option and when presented with the results, I can rule things in or out with regards to the struggling behavior we have had with him in the past.  ( I should also note that food intolerance behaviors in children are much like autistic behaviors in young children.  As you may remember, we were presented with this suggestion with Park last summer.  Luckily, and for the time being, autism has been ruled out for Park.  However, his behaviors have not completely disappeared...which is why we are still working diligently on figuring out a cause for them.)

There is an excellent link that can better explain how a person can behave with a food intolerance.  You can view that here.  I highly recommend reading this...it is a great source of information!

A source to order lab tests to test for food allergies and intolerance can be found here.  The lab tests are a bit pricey but so worth it if you have a child with any of the above behaviors!  And if you hang on to those receipts, you can write them off as a medical (lab) deduction on your tax return.

I should thank my wonderfully smart and giving chiropractor, Dr. Christine, for encouraging me to move forward with Park's diet and the culprit of his behaviors.  Many people wouldn't waste their time telling another about their experience with it all, sending me links to more information and giving me fantastic recipes and food tips for Park's new diet.  Like she has said, so many people ask her if it is a huge pain to buy dairy-nut-gluten free food items for her family with which she replies, it is a much larger pain having a child that behaves the way they once did.  And I totally get it!

~Mommy Bridget

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My First Birth Story: A Reflection

With the upcoming birth of our second child and Park's new baby brother fast approaching, I can't help but to reflect upon the hours and the days that led up to the birth of Park almost 3 years ago.  I had a beautiful birthing experience, despite the pain...yes I said it, there was pain...but it was a wonderful experience and I wouldn't change anything about our happy day (well maybe a few things but not about the birth itself:)

I was "due" with Park on May 19th of 2008.  For 2 months preceding that date, I was so sure I was going to deliver early as I had timed practice contractions for hours on end many many days.  Since this was my first baby, I didn't know at times whether or not what I was feeling were actually Braxton Hicks contractions.  For those of you who know, they can sometimes get uncomfortable and tiring.  Since they would sometimes occur every 4-5 minutes for 3 hours a night, I kept thinking to myself that maybe I was going into labor.  But I wasn't.  And every day that I went past my "due date" was challenging.  I felt I was more than ready.  I was uncomfortable and tired from the lack of sleep.  In addition, my pubic bone caused me a lot of pain, a condition called Pubic Symphysis Diastasis which added to the long, sleepless and restless days.  Thinking back, I forgot how difficult that last month of pregnancy can be.  You feel ready to have the baby, but you still have a month to go (something I am more than experiencing at this moment).  Patience during this time truly is a virtue...

I went in to see my midwife on Thursday May 29th.  She told me that although the baby and I looked good, if I didn't go into labor by the 42 week mark, they would want to induce me.  I told her I was not okay with induction but she reminded me that the longer babies remain inside past their due date, the increased chance of complications.  I then reminded her that no one knew EXACTLY when I conceived and that I would do everything I could to naturally start my labor (as if i hadn't tried everything already).  Oh and by the way, the attempts at a natural induction included:
  • Red Rasberry Leaf Tea
  • sex
  • spicy food
  • walks
  • lots of activity
  • Castor Oil (twice)  
By the way, the Castor oil was not a good idea.  I did feel like I was in labor for a few hours each night after I took it.  The contractions were fast and very uncomfortable...but then they went away.  So I basically put myself through unnecessary pain for nothing.  However, I have heard that it has worked successfully for others.

I very much wanted a natural birth with Park.  I read up on Hypnobirthing, practiced it daily and learned all about the natural process of a real birth.  The thought of a needle in my spine scared me 10 times more than pushing a baby out without a pain reliever.  The thought of a C-section scared and still scares the HELL out of me.  I did everything possible to avoid that and since my pregnancy was healthy, I did not need to worry about any problems.  With that being said, I also went into my pregnancy trusting my instincts and knowing that if the situation shown itself during labor and I felt I needed to make a change to my birth plan, that I wouldn't beat myself up over it.  I was in good hands with my midwife, and I trusted her to aid me in my decisions.  If she felt that either baby or I were in trouble and a change in our course was important, I would be okay with that.

So, I wasn't going into labor because, besides that baby wasn't ready to come out, Park was not putting any pressure on my cervix.  He was high in my uterus, and I was never going to begin labor is he wasn't in position.  So I thought to myself, let's get him down and in the right position! 

That afternoon and evening I hopped up and down our stairs inside our home.  I hopped, or bounced, not too vigorously but enough to make an impact. I must have looked like a goofball, but I was determined to not be induced.  The next day, May 30th, my true labor began at noon.  I like to think it was my bouncing around the house that began the onset of my labor but I will never really know.

It was interesting how I realized my labor had arrived.  I was having the usual Braxton Hicks that I so often had, but they turned into longer and stronger contractions.  The process took some time, the beginning of labor is so NOT what you see in the movies.  Not typically anyways.  My water didn't break, I didn't clutch my stomach and scream in agony.  I was going about my daily routine and followed my body's lead. I remember my mother telling me to stay home for as long as I could, vacuum, clean, do whatever to avoid going to the hospital too early. So I relaxed.  I breathed deep and meditated on the long road ahead.  I made my phone calls to family, to those coming to pick up our doggies, and to my husband of course.  I told Marshall to finish his work and come home once he was in a good place.  I knew it would be a long day.  I spent the first 4 hours alone, rocking in my chair and making last minute preparations.  I cleaned too.  My house was spotless!  No one wants to come home to a messy home with a new baby in hand.

By about 5:30, my contractions were about 4 minutes apart and lasting longer and longer.  They were also getting quite uncomfortable.  It was necessary to breathe through each one and rest and relax my body on my husband or in another comfortable position.  I began moaning through the pain, and cried a little at the shock of it all.  By 6:30, the contractions were 3.5 minutes apart so we decided it was time to head to the hospital.  I was so sure that it was time to go, that I had made a lot of progress and that I was going to deliver soon.

Boy was I wrong!

When we arrived, the nurse had to check me to be sure I was in labor and dilated far enough to be allowed to stay.  Apparently, if you aren't dilated to at least 3 centimeters and don't want any drugs, they send you back home.  And I wasn't.  I hadn't even made any progress since weeks before.  I was still barely dilated 1 centimeter.  BUT, when hooked up to the monitor (which by the way is so painful having to lie there for 30 minutes during labor and I think completely unnecessary for that amount of time) it showed my contractions were very close and lasting very long.  With 25 minutes remaining on the nurse's shift, she looked at me with annoyance and without sympathy and said well if you aren't wanting any pitocin or an epidural then you can't stay here.  I was scared.  And I disappointed with the way I was being treated for not wanting drugs.

I called my midwife and waited to hear back from her.  I told the nurse that there was no way I could get back into my car.  Within a few minutes, I got my midwife on the phone and she told me to stay put.  I waited and luckily, my midwife appeared quickly.  She watched me and told me I need not worry, I didn't need to go anywhere.  So I remained and tried to get comfortable.

I labored in the hospital for another 7 hours.  I spent a lot of time in their tub, on the toilet, and walking around the room.  It's interesting in looking back how quickly 7 hours were spent.  I must have been in the tub for 5 of them!  But no matter how long I labored, no matter how long and close together my contractions were during all those hours, my cervix had not dilated.  Not at all.  And so at 1:00 am, I gave up on part of my birth plan.  I told my husband and my midwife that I simply couldn't labor any further.  I wanted the epidural.  I DEMANDED it...which is probably quite common:)

By 1:30 in the morning, I was administered the epidural and felt immediate relief.  I was able to relax, and knew that it was only a matter of time that I would be united with Park.  Although I felt a little saddened that I gave up on myself, I knew I had reached my limit and with the opportunity to change the situation...I took it.

My midwife checked me one last time before she was going to let me rest.  When she did, she looked at me inquisitively and asked me if I had ever had a procedure done on my cervix.  I told her that many years ago, I had a biopsy done on the end of my cervix which resulted in what I was told was the tip of my cervix literally being cut off.  I told her that I bled from this procedure for an entire month.  And she shook her head, saying that I had a lot of scar tissue on my cervix.  So she "broke" up the scar tissue and told me that she has seen this before on other patients, that now after she broke up the tissue, I shouldn't have any more problems dilating in the future.  At this point, I was shocked but very relieved that she discovered the cause for my failure to dilate.  I knew during all those hours of laboring that something wasn't right.  I kept feeling like my contractions were hitting a brick wall instead of causing progress.  Nothing during my labor helped me relax...not the hypnobirthing techniques I practiced months in advance for, not the bath tub, the yoga/birthing ball and especially not anyone touching me.  It was not as I had imagined and it was frustrating to say the least.

So in thinking that I had some time to dilate from a 1 to a 10, the nurses tucked me and my husband in for some rest.  I remember the lights being dim (as asked for in my birth plan), people were quiet as they entered the room and the environment was very serene.  I watched my exhausted husband fall fast asleep on the couch next to me as I lie there in excitement to meet Park.  About 30 minutes later, I felt a strong pressure.  I was just about to call the nurse when she brought in something in preparation for our birth.  I told her that I thought it was time to have my baby and so she checked me.  Low and behold, Park was there.  He was ready to emerge from me and my excitement ensued.  I couldn't believe the events that led up to that moment but the feeling of relief and peace with all of my decisions leading up to then was overwhelming.  I knew my body and my baby were more than ready to birth.  It was just that my cervix was having trouble catching up.

And so after 30 minutes of first receiving the epidural, I dilated from a 1 to a 10 and was beginning to push out my son.  Park was born just a few short hours later, brought immediately to my chest and began breastfeeding like a champ.  He was a strong baby, long and lean and without wrinkles.  He was very alert and calm and completely satisfied as long as he was in my arms.  I didn't put him down for more than a couple of minutes to get a bath, diaper change and let others hold him for days following.  He was by far the most amazing thing that I had ever done in my life at that point.  He was a product of the love my husband and I had for one another and the unconditional love that I felt for my son and my family was more than fathomable.  I was in awe.  Despite the lack of sleep and the exhaustion from laboring and all the company and everything that comes with having a baby for the first time, I couldn't put Park down and would barely allow myself to sleep.  Those mothering instincts are truly amazing!

And I cannot believe that I am going to be in this place again for the second time in only a few short weeks...or sooner.  I feel so blessed to be here, at this point in my life.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a mother to my two sons.  To have them and to be able to hold them.  To love them and be loved by them.  Children and motherhood are truly a blessing...

The best lessons I learned from my birthing experience with Park can be summed up by two quotes:

Prepare for a no-fault birth...
If you confidently participate in all the 
decisions made during your labor and delivery---
even those that were not in your birth plan---
you are likely to look upon your birth
with no blame and no regrets.
(William Sears and Martha Sears, "The Birth Book")

Leave it to a baby to turn your world upside down,
take your breath away and make you fall in love again.
With his toothless grin, your baby sets your heart on fire.
(Jan Blaustone, "The Joy of Parenthood") 

~Mommy Bridget

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines's Day: A Celebration of Love

Happy Valentine's Day!  How much fun is it to celebrate this day and what it means to love?  Whether it be with your significant other, your loved family and friends, your loved little ones or all the above...Valentine's Day is a day to reserve for the importance of caring for one another and remind your loved ones how much they mean to you.

In looking back at where Valentine's Day actually originated, I found SO many different possible legends based on Valentine himself as well as the other Valentine's character we so often see, Cupid.  I really enjoyed reading a breakdown of them from the historychannel.com web site.  If you are interested, click here to view it.  But my personal favorite, the one I want to share with you all and remember and share with my children, is below:

Cupid has long played a role in the celebrations of love and lovers. He is known as a mischievous, winged child, whose arrows would pierce the hearts of his victims causing them to fall deeply in love. In ancient Greece he was known as Eros the young son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. To the Roman's he was Cupid, and his mother Venus...  
Happy Valentine's Day to you all, 

Mommy Bridget

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New Baby Progress

As of last week's 36 week appointment to see my midwife, I am 90% effaced and dilated to a 1.

Any guesses as to when I'm going to go into labor?

LOVE IT!!!!

~Mommy Bridget

SKOY Cloth Review and Giveaway- ends 2/25

SKOY Cloth Review and Giveaway- ends 2/25 at midnight
Are you one of the millions of consumers that cannot seem to live without paper towels in your household?  Although our household uses very little, I am guilty of this unearthly consumption.  According to Sam Greyhawk's "Paper Towels: 3,000 Tons of Landfill Waste Each Day", ...over 90% of US households... are taking advantage of the convenience of paper towels that reaches over 3,000 tons of extra landfill on any given day.  That is HUGE!  Not to mention that it also costs the lives of thousands of trees in paper towel production.  This is unacceptable.  However, the problem is not insurmountable.

If we replaced our paper towel usage with a better environmentally safe choice such as recycled paper towels or reusable, earth friendly cloths, the difference we could make would be astounding.  According to Greyhawk, if each home simply replaced one roll of their traditional paper towels with paper towels made from recycled paper, we could avoid wasting 3.4 million cubic feet of landfill space and prevent 864,000 trees from being cut down.  Are you interested in making this simple change?  I have just the answer for you:  SKOY Cloth's reusable cloth towels.

I had the opportunity to review SKOY Cloth's cleaning cloths and I am so happy I did.  SKOY Cloth's earth friendly, reusable cloths are 100% biodegradeable, absorbs 15 times its own weight, are made from natural ingredients and can be reused.  Just one SKOY cloth saves up to 15 rolls of paper towels!  After using them, simply drop them in the washing machine or the dishwasher to be reused again.  It's as simple as that!

Other SKOY cloth details:
  • perfect for use anywhere in your home
  • can be used in place of a paper towel, sponge or wash cloth
  • European made
  • made from natural cotton and wood-based cellulose pulp
  • chlorine free using water based colors and inks
  • highly durable and can last for months
  • washer/dryer/dishwasher safe and extremely lightweight
Buy it:
And the cost savings alone when replacing your paper towels with a SKOY cloth is tremendous.  With the cost of paper towels being up to $2 per roll, you can replace up to 15 rolls with just one cloth.  And a 4-pack of SKOY cloths costs a mere $6.99 on Amazon!  Your savings per year would be great.


Win it:
That's not all.  SKOY cloth was kind enough to supply a 4-pack of their reusable earth friendly cloths for giveaway to one lucky winner on The Curious Case of Mommyhood!  
Open to US only.

To Enter:
***REMEMBER: POST A COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY***
***Also, remember to leave your email address with your comments so you can be reached*** 
Subscribe to my blog (located on the left side of my home page) and tell me if you too are a paper towel consumer.  This is MANDATORY to enter the giveaway.

You also have the opportunity for additional entries (one each) if you do any of the following:
  • follow The Curious Case of Mommyhood on Google Follower
  • follow SKOY cloth on Facebook and tell them I sent you on their wall
  • like The Curious Case of Mommyhood on Facebook
  • repost this giveaway on your facebook page and post the link with your entry
  • follow The Curious Mommy on Twitter
  • follow SKOY cloth on Twitter
Again, please be sure to leave your email address with each entry.
You have until February 25th at midnight to enter.
Good luck to you all,

Mommy Bridget


SKOY cloth's products were provided to me by SKOY cloth for review.  (Please see my Disclosure under my "Reviews" page for more information.)











Thursday, February 10, 2011

Coming April: New Baby Event

I will be hosting a New Baby Event following the birth of Baby James #2.  There are so many wonderful sponsors involved, and I know you are really going to love the products I'll be reviewing and the fun giveaways!

Stay tuned for more information on the event to come,

Mommy Bridget

Monday, February 7, 2011

Erbaorganic's "Mommy-to-be" Products From Organic Baby Gift Boutique: A Review

Welcome to the world of organic baby and mommy-to-be products!  Organic Baby Gift Boutique carries everything from organic baby clothes with impeccable design to safe feeding supplies for your wee ones to bath and body products for even the most sensitive of skin.  They are committed to providing a secure online source with which to buy products safe for you, your families and the environment.

Organic Baby Gift Boutique's "for mamma" line carries many must have products to care for your skin during pregnancy.  One of their wonderful organic lines comes from Erbaorganics.  I had the pleasure to review this product line during my pregnancy, and reviewed (and am still using) their "stretch mark oil" and "stretch mark cream".


Skin smoothing certified USDA organic formula for growing bellies. Highly moisturizing and nurturing organic oils help skin in expanding with pregnancy versus fighting against it. Promotes healthy skin while locking in moisture and keeping it soft and supple. Use stretch mark cream in the morning and stretch mark oil at night.

Made in USA by Erbaorganics

This light yet extremely moisturizing oil helps relax even the most "stretched" of bellies...and I can state this claim because my belly is just that!  At the end of the day, my belly skin feels very taut.  As soon as I apply this oil around my belly, especially near my belly button area, my skin feels more relaxed.  And I still remain without any new "marks" on my skin!  I apply this throughout the day whenever it feels necessary, and I absolutely love it!  Not only does it physically feel relaxing to my tight, itchy skin, the essential oils help my mind and my body feel a sense of relaxation...something difficult to come by during the final month of pregnancy.





Erbaorganic's Mommy-to-be Stretch Mark Cream ($19) details:

Skin smoothing formula for growing bellies. Organic shea butter and organic sea buckthorn embrace your body with moisturizing nutrients, helping it to grow with pregnancy versus fighting against it. Promotes healthy skin while locking in moisture and keeping it soft and supple. Use stretch mark cream in the morning and stretch mark oil at night. 85% organic.

Made in USA by Erbaorganics

I also really enjoyed using this moisturizing cream for my ever growing belly.  Although it appears to be thick, it applies on lightweightThis makes it easier to apply where needed, which in my case most often the area surrounding my belly button.  The shea butter creates a strong moisturizing sealant for my stretching skin and the fragrance of shea butter is calming.

Buy it:
You can purchase Erbaorganics and many other organic items from the Organic Baby Gift Boutique web site.  In addition to bath and body products, Organic Baby Gift Boutique carries baby clothes, eco-baby gear, nursery items, baby bath and body products, feeding accessories, cloth diapers, other "for mamma" items and gift sets for those looking to make a purchase of a mommy-to-be.  They even provide a gift registry option!
Click here for their available sale items.

Free shipping when you spend over $75!!!

Find them:
In addition to their web site, you can find Organic Baby Gift Boutique on Facebook and Twitter.
Or check out their cute blog here.
And you can sign up for their e-newsletter, receive discounts and be automatically entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate!

Thank you to Organic Baby Gift Boutique for the opportunity to review one of their great product lines available,
Bridget James
(author of) The Curious Case of Mommyhood 

The above Erbaorganic's products were given to me by The Organic Baby Gift Boutique for review (please see my disclosure statement under my "Reviews" page for more information).

 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

NRG Winner

Congratulations to Lovely Domestic Diva, the winner of NRG's Kitchen and Bathroom Water Saving Eco-Kit!!!
The winner has been notified and has 48 hours to respond.

Thank you to all for entering and happy water/energy saving,

Mommy Bridget

Update: Our Winter Happenings

I figured since I've officially surpassed my 35 week gestation mark and my enthusiam for writing is seriously deteriorating at rapid speed, now would be a good time to update you all on my pregnancy and the James family happenings.

This morning was just like any other morning.  Park slept with us for the second half of the night...leaving Marshall and I sleepy from all the kicks we received as our tot slept soundly and continued to take over our very large bed.  (groggy, groggy but what's knew?)  I'm still getting over a furious chest cold, so I decided not to make any plans today, stay home, tend to the house and play with Park.  Park and I were able to color pictures together and test mommy's art skills while drawing items on his paper board and talking about them.  I've never claimed to be artistic, and it was no surprise as I attempted to draw fruit...but it was cute when Park pretended to eat the fruit on the paper and giggled as we talked about them.  So the drawing was worth every second of effort.  Silly Mom, silly boy...

We had an appointment for some painters to give us an estimate on repainting our exterior house at 10.  Therefore and oh so efficiently, at 9 am, my son had what my mom so cleverly labeled as a "poonami" in his pants.

It was a disaster zone and I had very little time to take care of the situation.

Up and down and all around the poo went...until I realized the only way to clean my son from the poonami that overtook his body was to first rinse, then bath.  Sounds simple right?  Wrong.  Removing the clothes was interesting.  The poo fell to the bathroom rugs.  Great.  So I stood him in the tub and did a head to toe rinse of his little body all the while he cried because of the poo that surrounded him.  Next, I had to clean the tub of the poo before Park could bathe.  THEN, I was able to let my sweet little man take a hot soapy bath while I dismantled my bathroom and began the hot washes in the washing machine.  After everything was said and done, I had successfully removed any poonami evidence from my son and the house.  (Not to mention a check mark off the item "deep clean bathroom" from my To-do List Before Baby Arrives).  With a few minutes remaining, I had to get myself appropriately dressed in time for the painters to arrive.  Whew!

Just another day in the life of a Mom right?!!!  And I learned a new word from it:  "Poonami".  Thanks Mom!

I had my 35 week appointment with my lovely midwife Danielle yesterday and was able to go alone for the first time in months.  It felt like a vacation, despite the fact that I am HUGE right now and yucky sick.  My spirits were up, and even more so after I got to hear my son's heartbeat again.  All is well in new baby land!  I'm just so excited to meet this little guy.  I feel so blessed right now to know we get to meet him very soon and that Park gets to be a big brother.  Park loves to check in with my belly, he tries to hug it although I don't think his arms are able to reach very far around.  He kisses it and sometimes waves hello (he is just barely starting to say "hello" verbally...and usually only while he is pretending to talk to someone on his cell phone). 

Park is going to be in the shock of his life with a new baby around.  I'm so used to calling him my baby all the time, I still hold him quite a bit and jeez, he is still in diapers!  I'm trying to remember to call him a "big boy" as often as possible since we will have a new baby coming into the family soon (although he will always be a baby to me:)  Since Park loves to help, loves to clean up and loves to cuddle, I know he will prove to be a big help to all of us when baby arrives.  I just hope he doesn't get too jealous of the attention and doesn't try to hurt baby.  He already shows signs of jealousy when I give other children attention over him not to mention that he gets really nervous around smaller kids and crying kids.  I guess this will be the best way he gets used to babies!

After being busy for the entire month of January, my husband is officially done with the craziness at work and we get to spend time with him again.  I cannot even tell you how hard it is to be alone to tend to your child all day all night for days at a time.  I give so much credit to single parents and others who like I, have hard working husbands.  Your sanity definitely gets tested...let me tell ya!  I think the hardest part is seeing your son looking out the window waiting for his "Dada" to come home from work only to be told that he has to work late yet again.  The disappointment in Park's little face is heart wrenching.  My son and his father have such a special bond...it's like looking at mirror images of the same person young and old.  When they are not together, it's like a spark is gone.  I am so blessed to have such a doting father to my children.  (Pictured here is one special day Park got to go with his Daddy to work for a bit and "help".)

As for me, I am moving along with everything...motherhood, pregnancy, my responsibilities, my blog, MY LIFE.  Not a day goes by that I don't feel grateful for everything I have surrounding me, for every beautiful person in my life, for the health of my family and for the opportunities constantly knocking at my door.  Thank you to all of you again for your support on my blog.  I hope that all of you feel the same happiness as I.  I look forward to future work and connections with all of you through The Curious Case of Mommyhood...

Truly yours,

Mommy Bridget

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Recipe: Roasted Chicken

I came across some great recipes in the recent Sunset magazine and had to give this one a try.  My husband has been begging for canned cranberries...I know...so I thought I would make a chicken with greens and his cranberries for dinner last night.

The chicken recipe turned out phenomenal.  It roasted just the way we like...crispy on the outside, the meat literally fell off the bone and loads of flavor.  So for you meat eaters out there, I thought I should share:)

You can find the exact recipe by clicking here.  In short terms, I first mixed sea salt and pepper and rubbed it under the skin and all over the skin.  Next, I set it in the refrigerator for 2 days covered loosely.  Then, I pulled it out, seasoned it with chicken seasoning and some rosemary we have on hand in our kitchen, rubbed olive oil all over it and let it set at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Finally, I baked it at 475 for an hour and voila!  Perfection!

Enjoy,

Mommy Bridget

Just 2 Days Left to Enter the Water Saving Giveaway!!!-Low Entries


The NRG Bathroom and Kitchen Water Saving Eco-Kit Giveaway ends this Friday 2/4 at midnight.  Click here to enter this great giveaway.  Last I looked, entries are low so your chances are great!

Good luck,

Mommy Bridget