Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ultimate Babywearing Giveaway!

I'm so excited to be a part of this babywearing giveaway event! "Babywearing" is a lifesaver for our family, plus it's just plain fun. I don't know what I'd do without my Boba and ring sling! You can read more about our babywearing adventures here
I'm entering, too...Good luck! 

 

Welcome to the Ultimate Babywearing Giveaway Event, hosted by Happy Mothering and Green Moms Media. As part of this event, we’re giving away 8 amazing baby carriers! That means 8 of you will win a baby carrier to help you keep your baby close to you! 

Our fabulous babywearing sponsors will be providing the following carriers to our winners:

 

Baby K’tan Breeze Carrier {$59.95 value; US entries only}


The Baby K’tan Carrier is a ready-to-wear wrap; all the same benefits without all the wrapping! The Breeze carrier features 50% cotton and 50% mesh to make babywearing cooler in the summer. Read Happy Mothering’s review here.

 

Balboa Baby Adjustable Sling {$60 value; US/CAN entries only}

 

This comfortable sling was designed in conjunction with Dr. William Sears and is designed for babies that weigh up to 25 pounds. It features a padded strap and heavy-duty nylon rings to make it comfortable and easy to adjust. Read Happy Mothering’s review here

Beco Gemini Carrier {$130 value; US/CAN entries only}

 

 The Beco Gemini Carrier is a made in the USA from organic cotton. It is very comfortably padded, and can be used in the back carry, hip carry and front carry (inward and outward facing) positions with babies and toddlers ranging from 7-35 pounds. Read Happy Mothering’s review here

Boba 3G Carrier {$120 value; US entries only}

 

The Boba 3G is a comfortable soft structured carrier made from 100% cotton. It has a removable hood and plenty of storage. It can be used with babies and toddlers ranging from 7 to 45 pounds, and requires no additional insert for infants. Read Happy Mothering’s review here

Catbird Baby Mei Tai Carrier {$89 value; US/CAN entries only}

 

The Catbird Baby Mei Tai Carrier features a beautifully simple design, with no buckles, straps or wrapping required. It has wide padded straps, a small hood and can be used with babies from 8 to 40 pounds in multiple carrying positions. Read Happy Mothering’s review here

ERGObaby Performance Carrier with Cargo Pack {$163 value; US/CAN entries only}

 

The ERGObaby Performance carrier is designed for people who love outdoors activities, but don’t want to leave the kids behind (7-45 pound weight limit). It features a mesh lining and high-performance Ripstop water-repellant polyester on the exterior. The Cargo Pack accessory ensures you have plenty of extra storage space for long hikes. Read Happy Mothering’s review here

Moby Wrap, Sponsored by Thanks Mama {$44.95 value; Worldwide entries}

 

The Moby Wrap is a versatile, 100% cotton babywearing option that uses your entire back, as well as your shoulders, to carry the weight of your baby. This carrier is being sponsored by Thanks Mama, a family owned cloth diapering and natural parenting store based in Boston, MA. Read Happy Mothering’s review here.

 

Onya Baby Carrier {$149 value; US/CAN entries only}

   
The Onya Baby Carrier is the only babywearing option that allows you to wear your baby not only on your front and back – but also allows you to convert nearly any adult chair into a safe seat for your baby! It can be used with children up to 45 pounds. Read Happy Mothering’s review here


Are you ready for your chance to win one of these awesome baby carriers? Simply complete the Rafflecopter form below. The more entries you complete, the more chances you’ll have to win! Please note: you’ll see this giveaway posted on a number of blogs. Please only enter on one blog. Thanks and good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway This contest will run through August 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm PST (August 15, 2012 at 12:01 am EST). The winners will be chosen the following day and announced on Happy Mothering and the participating blogs once winners have been confirmed (all entries will be verified). Worldwide entries welcome (each sponsor has individual country requirements). Must be 18 years or older to win. The sponsors provided me with free samples of these products to review, and I was under no obligation to review them if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. Facebook is in no way affiliated with this contest. Please note that Happy Mothering, Green Moms Media, the Ultimate Babywearing Giveaway Event and participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. We will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 4-6 weeks for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you.

baby beluga


A few weeks ago, my aunt and I were chatting about random memories from raising her three girls, and she started talking about Baby Beluga.

"Baby what?" I asked. 

Her mouth dropped. "You've never heard of Baby Beluga?"

I shook my head.

"Raffi?"

"Sounds familiar," I answered, "I think I've heard it on their Pandora station..."

"Ohhh, you have got to hear it! My girls grew up on Baby Beluga!"

"I want to hear it!" I said. "I'll look it up."

And forgot.

Then, a few weeks later at Kindermusik, Miss Shira pulled out the Baby Beluga book and started singing. It was a clever song about a sweet little white whale, and again I tried to make another mental note to look it up. And forgot.

Fast forward to Sunday, and we're visiting again, this time for my high school reunion. My aunt came to pick my mom up for a quick trip to Vegas to tour a huge home decorating expo (at least that's what they said, uh huh). She pulled a CD out of her purse and said, "I just had to order this for the girls."

Baby Beluga!

It sat on the kitchen counter for the past two days, and every time I walked by, I thought about how I should unwrap it and have a listen. And then forgot.

Now this morning, I walk by and I don't forget. It's THE morning; the time feels right and I think the girls are ready for a 7:00 a.m. dance party/distraction.

As soon as the music starts, Afton claps her hands and bounces up and down. Ruthie puts her arms out, fists clenched, and waves them like she's flying. They both start to sing.

"Ahh ahhh ahhh ahh ahhhhh!"

I clap my hands with them and sway dramatically to the music, imitating their baby dance.

This is one of those small but meaningful (and frequent) instances where I realize how fortunate it is that my girls are growing up in a tight knit family - a village - that loves my littles as their own. It may be a distant and widely spread village that covers many miles, but it's a village nonetheless, and there is always something new to learn from those who have gone before me.

There are things I don't know, no matter how much "research" I do, and the answer may come from someone right next to me. I used to pride myself on being self-sufficient and independent. Having twins will snap this spirit like a dry twig.

So I take freely advice given out of love. Sometimes it's spot on, and sometimes I tuck it away, perhaps to use later, or not at all. But I'm thankful for it. Especially when I learn about life-changing kid music that doesn't make me want to gouge my eyes out.

Like Raffi says, "All I really need is a song in my heart, food in my belly, and love in my family."

Listen to Baby Beluga: 



Sunday, July 22, 2012

sunday surf: pinning

Happy Sunday!

These are some of my favorite pins from this week. Maybe I should probably join someone's Pinterest "Make and Do" linkup just to keep myself accountable?

Naaaah. 


Recipes: 

Make Coconut Milk from Shredded Coconut - this will be a money saver, we go through a lot!

Heirloom Tomato & Cheddar Pie - our friends made this for us while we were in the NICU last summer, and I still think about it. 

Have an abundance of fresh herbs? Freeze them in olive oil!

Life and Hack Tips:

Work well without losing your mind - solid gold tips from Tsh of Simplemom.

Keep one of these in the shower? Genius!!

Parenting: 

How to care for your child's introvert/extrovert personality.

22 activities for kids under 2 - it's hard to think of things to do at this in between stage, this list helps!

And my most favorite: 
'Cuz who doesn't need a little more BACON in their life?  


What were your favorite pins or articles from this week?

Oh, and follow me on Pinterest here


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

5 snack ideas for baby.

Are you a nursing mama? I'm offering my readers a 20% discount off the price of my eBook, More Milk, Naturally! Get your copy today and keep makin' that milk! Enter BOHOMAMA at checkout

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My girls have been slow to the solids game. They much prefer to nurse, nurse, nurse, and we didn't really do much baby food, instead, chose to go what some term as the "baby-led weaning" route.  I admit that early on, I had to remind myself more than once to actually feed them in addition to nursing. But they're eating more and more, so I've had to get creative to find meals that introduce new flavors and textures.

The food is nothing fancy, I just offer them what was/is on our plates and see what they like and don't so much like (yet). I read somewhere that you should offer a food to them 3-4 times before really determining if they truly don't like it. Then, don't write off that food, wait a week or so. Their taste buds seem to change fairly quickly!

But I'm not fooling myself. They've been adventurous eaters so far, but I'm giving them as much nutrient-dense food as I can, because I know that any moment, they might decide that all they want to eat is parmesan crackers and carrots.

How do I decide what to feed them? For babies their age (one year), the focus is still on brain growth, and that means FAT. Fat, fat, fat. Not fried foods, of course, but really good fats from butter, avocado, egg yolks, coconut oil, olive oil, and wild seafood and good meats. The most helpful resource has been Nina Planck's wonderful book, Real Food for Mother and Baby. I highly recommend it. You can also download her guide to Baby's First Foods here.


These are their 5 current snack favorites - Maybe your kids might like them, too? You never know 'till you try (and try, and try...)

1. Sea Snax with 100% olive oil (Roasted seaweed sheets that are chock full of goodness like iodine, selenium, and other minerals hard to come by in the typical diet.)


2. Salmon Caviar (Ikura) from Vital Choice (These are like little "salty peas" that have been great for the girls to practice their pincer grasp. They are also an excellent source of omega-3s. They are a bit expensive up front, but I bought 2 containers almost five months ago and have not even made it through the first container, so it's worth it! I give them 1/2 - 1 tsp. full at a time, still frozen. They thaw out very quickly.)


3. Parmesan Crisps (SO EASY! They're just baked shredded parmigiano-reggiano cheese, you can find a recipe here)

 (source)

4. Bubbies Pickles (Ruthie's particular favorite, these are made without vinegar, naturally fermented and full of probiotics!)


5. Eggs (scrambled with a little heavy cream, homemade chicken stock, and sea salt)


Oh, and one more, just to make it an even six:

6. HappyTot Organic Superfood Pouches with Chia Seeds (I love these and found them completely by accident, but I always keep a few in my pantry for road trips or longer afternoons out, they're perfect!)



Want more creative ideas? The Mommypotamus wrote a great list of 21 easy "real food" snack ideas for kids!

What's your favorite creative or surprising baby or toddler snack food?





Friday, July 13, 2012

twin birth story: the pregnancy

Part two of our birth story. You can read part one here

Ahh, one year later. It is surreal to look back and reflect on where I was last year. 

In the beginning of November 2010, Andy and I came home from a two-month European adventure to no home, no jobs, re-vamped life plans, and...a positive pregnancy test. 

When we went in to hear the heartbeat, the midwife couldn't get a reading. She told us we could either go get an ultrasound or wait for another week or two and try again. The suspense was killing us, and after talking it through we decided to take a peek and see if our little baby was OK. Sitting on the ultrasound table, the tech said, "there's the heartbeat, all is well...and there's the second heartbeat!"

We were in shock. "Oh, crap," I said. The tech responded with a "oh, please don't," and Andy was just staring in silence. Then the laughter started, and continued for a few days after as we broke the news to family and friends.

After a long and sick first trimester, I finally started writing in my pregnancy journal, the italics below are snippets of a few entries. 

I'm 23 weeks along with Ruthie and Afton; I can't believe time is going by so quickly. Yet I feel as though I've been pregnant for a long time...the most interesting aversions have been salad (romaine lettuce, especially) and garlic, and the smell of coffee. I remember asking my midwife at Andaluz if it was OK that I had not eaten a vegetable for about a month, barring tomato sauce on pizza, which always sounded good - usually.


I joked that I had two jobs - a part-time position at the naturopathic medical school and a part-time job sleeping. It was like my body could not get enough. I dragged myself to work for four hours and came home and slept another handful. I'd wake up in time for dinner, try and force something down, then head back to bed. I remember so many times being on the verge of tears and desperate because I was so hungry but nothing sounded good to eat, except pizza.

I checked out, borrowed, or bought every book on twin pregnancy and birth available (there actually aren't many) and read them front to back, back to front. I read about how trying to gain 30 pounds before 30 weeks is the goal, because when there isn't any more room, you won't be eating nearly as much, and if you have heartburn (oh the agony!) you won't be eating then, either. The calorie counts were daunting, and I printed off the list from Dr. Brewer's twin eating plan to keep track of my meals. A Tillamook Cheeseburger and a small chocolate shake from Burgerville became a twice or thrice-weekly event and always hit the spot.

In addition to the daunting task of physically growing the babies, there's the psychological game you play with yourself, as you grow larger than the average pregnant woman and the weight of the babies start to get you down. I looked to others who had gone before me for advice:  

A friend at NCNM, who I had known throughout her pregnancy and birth of twin boys, gave me very good advice: you can't get emotionally psyched out, because the last months of the 3rd trimester are going to be very challenging. If you think it's bad now, and give up and give in, then you're totally screwed.


Soon after I wrote that, I had my first early labor scare. It was completely my fault, and I felt like a dummy. Being pregnant for the first time is so nerve-wracking, you think every twinge or pain is something going wrong. I'm also accident-prone, and it made Andy very nervous, especially on this day: 


Yesterday was a really weird day that didn't end until midnight - and we came home from the hospital! I fell getting on the bus and had the wind knocked out of me, I felt like a big idiot with my dirty knees and hands, stumbling out of the planter box after tripping over a huge tree root trying to escape from a guy smoking pot in the bus shelter! I felt sick-ish and crampy with pains radiating near my ribs and below my pelvis...I called the doctor on call and went in to L&D, they hooked me up to a monitor and recorded the contractions, and later, gave me a shot of terbutaline to relax the uterus. I wish I had refused it...I took the next day off work and have made it my goal to drink 2x the water, and I'm not allowed to to run to the bus anymore or play in any planters, ha ha.

I do wish I had refused the terbutaline, I feel like if I would have focused on rest and hydration, it would have been fine. And maybe even some Rescue Remedy. Hindsight is 20/20.

My favorite part of pregnancy was the quiet moments when the girls were moving around. It was magic. It is unreal. And with two, it was fun to try and guess who was where, especially earlier on when they had more room to move around. I felt the first little flutters around 16 or 17 weeks, and soon it was a nonstop party:   

Ruthie and Afton are so active. They punch and jab and roll and kick, and they are just THERE and all up in everything - pelvis, ribs, groin area; it's a tad bit uncomfortable. OK, VERY uncomfortable! And the heartburn! Oh man. It is so bad. Cal-Mag helps a little. And then there is the recurring nausea. I thought I was done with that?! My feelings at this point are - If I can get through 9 months of this twin pregnancy, I can surely get through 12, 24, 36 hours of labor. A drop in the bucket!    

It's funny, I write in bed and this journal is propped up a little below my belly, and the girls keep kicking it - they also do that if some low pants cut into them too much, like a specific pair of Gap maternity work pants that I am growing out of - they let me know! It almost feels like Ruthie (she's below) is pushing it out of the way. Need my space, mom!


By the end of the second trimester I felt huge and so heavy, but I was carrying low and apparently didn't look that ginormous to people. I kept my belly measurements out of fascination and compared them to my cousin, who came to visit me at the beginning of my third trimester. I also relied heavily on my chiropractor to keep putting my ribs back and helping with the discomfort.  

Measured my waist circumference with Britt - at 26 weeks I'm 42". Britt was 44" at full term! This is going to be a looong 3 months! Went to the chiropractor yesterday and was in uncomfortable pain, mainly in the ribs. She said my pelvis is still well-aligned (yay!) but my right rib cage was splayed out like open fingers, which explains the rib pain! She put the ribs back and I'm icing the area every day and doing some exercise that will hopefully help.


I gave my notice at work near the end of May and planned to stay through the beginning of July. I loved my job and was sad to give it up, but after doing the math, it was in no way conducive for me to keep working. We don't have family here, and childcare is so expensive. But near the end, I was ready to be done, and my doctor soon agreed. 

One more month of work left! I can do it! I can make it! All I want is to be home but we really could use the money and I am just resolving to finish. I'll be 32 weeks when done, and hopefully I'll have most of July to rest and prepare for our little daughters - I catch glimpses of my nesting instinct but it hasn't hit strongly yet. I'm ready and waiting!

I'm slowing down, and from what I hear and have read, it will just get slower and slower. Then the girls will be here and it will be an entirely different type of slow. As for our little ladies, they are super strong and very busy. I read the perfect description: like two active puppies. So true. Two roly-poly puppies. Ruthie gets the hiccups and Afton kicks anything that pushes on my stomach. We are SO EXCITED for them to come and to see them and find out who they are. 10 more weeks and they will be here! 


Up until then it had been a by-the-book healthy pregnancy, with no signs of trouble. But at the beginning of June, right after my beautiful baby shower in Southern Oregon, I was put on bed rest, went into pre-term labor, and was banished to bed rest until they came in early July.

Bed rest and labor story coming up next!

Did you keep a pregnancy journal? What is your favorite pregnancy memory?


Monday, July 9, 2012

we're ONE!

Oh heavens, these two. They're ONE!

They are absolutely hilarious. They had us in stitches the last few weeks as their personalities bloom and we see their differences more clearly. Afton is my little busy bee, always into something somewhere, and Ruthie is my drama queen, always wanting to be the center of attention.

You can see for yourselves in these pictures from their ice cream-themed birthday party. Ruthie, usually my more outgoing girl, was a bit traumatized the whole time. I don't think she ever quite got over the fact that I woke her from her morning nap.

And I did not know how hard it would be to get their picture together, both looking, and smiling. There is way too much other fun distractions happening, so why would they look at mom's camera?

As for the party itself, it was as perfect as I could ask for. My mom, sister, and I worked little by little the week before, making little placecards on my aunt's Cricut machine and baking experimental cupcake cones (third time was the charm), and making batches of homemade ice cream to serve in lieu of cake.

I still can't believe my sweet little preemies are one. They explode my heart then melt the pieces with their sweetness.  

The first year is under our belts. What can't we handle now?

On to the 2's! 

(*crosses self*)


 




Thursday, July 5, 2012

guest post & featured: Redeeming the Table & That Mama Gretchen

Hey friends!

I may not be posting a ton at the moment, but I'm definitely still around...

Today I'm in TWO places: 

Writing about the beauty of food, faith, and community over at Redeeming The Table

AND

Featured in That Mama Gretchen's totally awesome Support Small Business series!

You can also still enter to win a copy of my eBook at (she always loved) larking, giveaway ends Monday 7/9. 

Take a few minutes and visit these ladies' blogs; they're some of my most favorite women! Authentic, friendly, inspiring, creative...they're just plain wonderful.

And I can't leave you without showing you some adorable pictures from our 4th of July party: 



Pretty cute, right? 

Hope you all had a happy 4th!


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