Monday, November 28, 2011

Angel Baby Pictures on Facebook

I'm quite tired of reading about people who are offended by Angel Moms posting their Angel Babies on Facebook. Yes, it's disturbing, but there's so little of our baby that we have. Plus, most Angel Babies don't look deformed; they look like sleeping babies. If it's really so bothersome, block the photographs. Let these parents do whatever helps them heal and shut your mouth because it's one of those situations you don't understand until you've been there.

One other thing, there's actually photographers who volunteer to come take very beautiful pictures of Angel Babies so these pictures are not just cell phone pictures. You can find more information about this at the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep website.

And just to keep this honest, we never saw Moose. We never even found out if Moose was a a boy or girl. We wanted to remember Moose as our guitar-playing, Rush (the band) loving baby who played the push back game with his/her Dad. We have pictures, feet prints, bracelets, and other things in a box in the closet, but we've never wanted to open them. It's what we wanted and what we felt comfortable with doing. It doesn't work for everyone.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

College: It's Never too Early

Every parent wonders how to pay for college because, let's face it, it's insanely expensive and keeps getting more so. To help with costs, a lot of parents start saving as soon as their kids are born, squirrelling away $5 here and $100 there. Well, that's great, but that's not really possible for us right now (husband out of work and I have major student loan debt). Instead, we're begging on the street...

Pic found here.

No, actually we're asking Wombat's grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and whoever else buys her presents to buy her a present or two and give the rest of the money they'd spend on her to her college fund.*

To do this, we're starting a 529 for her before Christmas where all the money she gets goes straight to that. After all, the majority of the presents she's going to get, she'll play with for a couple of months, maybe years, and give away (think Toy Story 3).

Pic from here.

Why not use the majority of the money for something that's going to last the rest of her life? Something no one can take away from her? And something that's a financial burden?

Plus, she's going to get a ton of presents with all the family she has anyway. One or two presents from each of them still means a whole lot of unwrapping. Seriously, I just counted and she'll get approximately 15 presents if people just buy her one present each. That's a ton of presents.

Honestly, I thought it'd be hard to convince everyone to do this, but it's been really easy. Everyone is really excited about it, wants to do it, and keeps asking us about it. Hopefully, they will keep their excitement when they're passing by the toy shop and see a cute this or that.

Have any ideas about saving for college? Please share them in the comments.**

*Before you think I'm a genius and give me a standing ovation, I totally stole this idea from an advice column. A woman wrote in telling about how this was done for her. While she hated it when she was growing up, she loved that she graduated from college with little student debt unlike her classmates.

**Anyone else having trouble with the comments?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Whole Lotta Love

One thing I truly believe that every pregnant woman needs is a Pregnancy Buddy. What is a Pregnancy Buddy? Well, a woman who's pregnant and due around the same time.

Found here and, no, neither are me.

Having a Pregnancy Buddy gives you a person who knows exactly what you're going through because she's at the same time in her pregnancy. During the first trimester, she's sick with you. The second, she's trying to hide her pregnancy from work as long as she can. And the third, well, the third, the two of you try to drag each other to the end of pregnancy because it feels never ending.

Now I realize that any woman who's been pregnant understands what it's like to be pregnant, but there's something about having someone who's going through it at the same time as you. Besides, once a woman holds a baby in her arms, it's hard to remember what all the fuss was about. (Yes, I know. I didn't believe that either, but it's annoying because it's true.) Also, husbands or partners are great at being there, but they're not pregnant (well, unless your partner is also a woman and you're pregnant at the same time...)

With Moose, I didn't have a Pregnancy Buddy; I had someone who was done having kids after having two. She knew what being pregnant was like, never liked it, and was happy to never have to deal with pregnancy again. During Moose's pregnancy, she listened to me be miserable and opened my eyes to what it's like to be a mom, but it wasn't something that we really bonded over. We were really at two different points in our lives. She already was a mom of two and I was just starting a family. It's similar, but not the same.

With Wombat, I didn't even think of having a Pregnancy Buddy. It's something that just happened.

Our friendship began with a simple message "hey, you're due the same time as me. Cool." And then, we just kept messaging. Back and forth throughout the work day. Every day. It was so easy to become good friends because we knew what the other was going through.

Now, I've never made a friend over the internet before since I was, like, 17 and they were more like a "friend" than a friend, but having a PB got me through on days when being pregnant was just too much for me. Whether it was the normal "being pregnant blows" or my sorrow in dealing with pregnancy after Moose, she was there for me. Plus, we could share cute baby stuff with each other without getting tired of it. And of course, we didn't always talk pregnancy and babies.

But we did become good friends.

So giant hugs and love to my Pregnancy Buddy. You helped me more than you could ever know.

Now, go find one for yourself because, along with prenatals and doctor's appointment, it's what every  pregnant woman needs.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Tried It: Lactation Cookies

So I read about these magic Lactation Cookies* on my local La Leche League Facebook page. My thoughts were as follows:
  1. I can eat cookies to make more milk?
  2. I like cookies.
  3. I wonder if they're some kind of gross, weird cookie with kookie things in them?
  4. Let's ask Chef Google.
  5. Hmm, they have chocolate chips in them.
  6. I like chocolate chips.
  7. I like chocolate chips and cookies.
  8. I'm totally making these cookies
  9. Hold on, what's brewer's yeast?
  10. I think I need to go to the organic grocery store for this.
I braved a trip to the expensive, organic store, where they were actually really helpful; picked up old fashioned oats, brewer's yeast, and some flax (not the milled flax though, which I could've gotten at the regular grocery store). It didn't even cost that much either even with the Lactation Tea I picked up.

When I got home, I really wanted to make these cookies, but like every mother knows, things happen which means other things don't get done.

For over a week, other things happened and my cookies waited until the other night. It was cookie time. Truthfully, I mixed up the batter one night and cooked half of it the next day and am saving the rest.

My cookies. See there's not any visible chocolate chips. That means they need more.

So here are some tips:
  1. Make sure your husband/partner doesn't turn off the timer.
  2. Take the cookies out when they're still really soft. Mine are dried out because I thought they needed to get a little hard.
  3. My husband wants to add molasses, so there's totally some fooling around you can do with the recipe. I read on the comments below the recipe that people had cut out a lot of the sugar.
  4. I used peanut butter instead of almond butter and mine had a slight peanut butter taste.
  5. I'm adding more chocolate chips next time.
As for the actual taste, both my husband and I like them. Plus, with all the good things in them, we can easily fool ourselves into believing that they're good for us. All in all, we'll make them again.

If you want to make them, here's the recipe.

*One important thing to know about these cookies, my husband and I call them "poopkies" because they cleaned us out. Maybe it's because I used regular flax instead of milled flax though. However, it's not like we ate Colon Blow.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Now That We Have Wombat, What About a Moose?

Now that we actually have Wombat in our arms, I think it's important to address something people may think: our loss is forgotten because we have a baby. In fact, after losing Moose, I was told to "just have another baby," to "get over it."

Did that happen?


Of course having a baby doesn't make up for our loss. A piece of my heart died. I can still feel that hole right where it's always been and will always be.

In fact, I miss Moose every day, but now I know what I missed with Moose. Before, it was unknown. I didn't know what being a mother was like and how it'd make me feel. It was losing our child, which filled me with a rage I cannot even explain, but I didn't understand being a mom. Now that I do, it's, well, it's still beyond my words.

I sometimes daydream of holding Moose. Wondering even more if Moose was a boy or girl. What Moose would've grown up to be. All those things moms wonder about their kids, I wonder about with Moose. I never did that before. I just wanted our baby.

I know I'll never "get over" Moose. Moose isn't some ex-boyfriend; Moose is my child and will always be my child. All I can do is live, love Moose and Wombat, know that sometimes people say really stupid things, and be the best mother (to both my kids) I can possibly be.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Reusable What?

I'm about to share something that makes most people think I'm insane. Honestly, I thought it was overboard when I first saw them on Etsy. Then, I read. It used things I already had in the house, so it'd be free. I mean, there'd be the initial time to make it, but, after that, free. How could I not try it?

So I tried it...and I LOVE it.

So I had my husband try it and he LOVES it.

What is this magical discovery?...reusable wipes.

Yes, we reuse wipes in my house. Now, I know what you're thinking: GROSS, you use those to clean pooey, baby butts!

Yes, they clean pooey, baby butts, but seriously, they're awesome.
  1. The solution uses things most parents already have: baby wash, baby oil, water, and a spray bottle (you know, your best friend if you had a vaginal birth?)
  2. The wipes are two pieces of 8" flannel sewn together or you can buy them
  3. They clean even the biggest pooey messes with one wipe
  4. Less or no chemicals depending on what you use
  5. No running out of wipes
  6. Cost savings
  7. If you're already using cloth diapers, why not wash wipes? However, you could do wipes even using disposables. It's very easy.
Want to try them out? Well, there's different solution recipes here. We use one tablespoon baby oil, one tablespoon soap, one drop tea tree oil, and one cup water. From making it, the best way to do it is oil, water, and soap last. Make sure to shake it up each time before you squirt it out just to mix up the oil.

As for how to apply the solution to the wipe, there's different ways of doing that too. Some people put the solution and wipes in an old disposal wipe box or some other box and pull them out like regular wipes. We use the squirter and my husband and I squirt the wipe differently too. I go for a little all over; he squirts a lot in the middle with the edges for drying.

The wipes we use are old flannel sheets that didn't fit any beds. To make them, I folded the sheet in two, measured 8" from the edge and pinned at the 8" mark all across the sheet, and cut under the pins.
Imagine this is a decent picture of a sheet, folded in half, and the red marks are stick pins.

Once I had a really long 8" piece of flannel, I measured 8" from the side and pinned, again cutting after the pins.

You're going to end up with 8" squares of flannel that's double-sided.

Now, you sew. I used this time to practice my sewing and use the different settings on my sewing machine. Remember, they don't have to be pretty; they're cleaning poo. Mine are dark blue, striped flannel with hot pink thread. I didn't flip the seem inside, so there was a lot of threads for a while when we did laundry. I made some more with the seem on the inside, but I don't like them as much. However, I like them more than disposable wipes.

As for cleaning, they clean the messiest poos with one wipe. Since we started using them 2 months ago, I can count on one hand the times I've used two wipes. Really, I can only think of one time. It's so nice not fighting with the wipe box when I trying to get Wombat clean.

The other benefits pretty much speak for themselves: less or no chemicals, no running out of wipes, cost savings, and ease of washing them. You can read up about chemicals in wipes. Honestly, I didn't even think about it when deciding to do reusable wipes. I did it for the cost savings, which I read is about $440 a year. Washing them is so simple. They're never so dirty that we have to rinse them out. We just throw them into the wash and they come out perfectly clean.

Oh, and if you're wondering about how we pack them in the diaper bag, it's super easy. We have a diaper pad that has a pockets. I fold each wipe into fours so I can pull out one wipe at a time. Our diaper bag also has a bottle holder which I use to hold the squirt bottle. Simple.

If you have any questions, post them in the comments.

Friday, November 4, 2011

First Words

When I was pregnant with Wombat, I often thought about what my first words to my new baby would be. I wanted them to be special, something written by one of those famous, dead poets. Shakespeare, Wordsworth, you know, those magical word smiths.

From here

Those first words to my child would go on to stand the test of time so that Wombat could always think back to those words for strength. Yeah, it was that important to me. Maybe it was one of those times that the English Major in me really spoke out; maybe every mother does this; I don't know. What I do know is I spent a lot of time thinking about it. Think, think,

From here

Well, one would think I would've learned my lesson from the wedding vows fiasco (I never wrote them and ended up improvising with "I promise to clean more. I promise to fold laundry even at bedtime.") Nope!

When Wombat was born, I never finalized anything. Granted, I don't think I would've remembered it anyway. So what came out?

"You will never doubt that I love you."

Better than my wedding vows. It's a truth that will stand the test of time. Words Wombat can use for strength. And most importantly, words that I think about every day because I must live up to them.

What were your first words to your child? Did you agonize over what you'd say?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Why the Break?

I want to let you know why there's a long break in my blog posts, especially in that I started this to be open about my pregnancy.

Well, for as it got closer to the time in Wombat's pregnancy when I lost Moose, I distanced myself from the fact I was pregnant. This doesn't mean that I was doing things that a pregnant woman shouldn't do; it just means that I didn't talk about it. I tried not to think about the baby I was carrying and I certainly couldn't write about it. My desire to meet this baby was so great that the only way for me to deal with pregnancy was to not recognize my need to have a living baby. Not to acknowledge how much my heart was hurting. Add on top of that the agony of a pregnancy for any pregnant woman (we all get emotional and cry pretty easy or is that just me?)

Every week, I went in for my ultrasound and twice a week I went for a non-stress test or electronic fetal monitoring. Wombat consistently measured perfectly at every appointment, but it didn't help. I was scared.

Then, something my husband and I didn't see coming happened. It was week 34 in Wombat's pregnancy. We had birth class that night, but I wasn't feeling well and neither was my husband, so I called in sick. When I got home, my husband was feeling even worse, so I cooked dinner. At first, I thought it was an allergic reaction to the prescription meds to help with his poison ivy because aspirin wasn't helping. When he said he wanted to go to the hospital, I thought he was overreacting, yet we went anyway.

He checked in. Told the clerk he was having chest pains. We went back within 10 minutes of getting there. I was more concerned with getting my pregnant self food than him.

Yes, you read that right. I wasn't worried about him simply because he's always healthy. He wasn't.

Blood was drawn, blood pressure taken, the nines. The doctor came in, relaxed and calm. He said that there were five and a half things which he was worried about; the half being the least likely. If it wasn't one of those, we'd go home and meet with a cardiologist another day. They rolled in an EKG, then a giant machine, which we turned down because my husband thought it was overboard. It wasn't.

Well, it was that half thing. The least likely thing. My thirty-something husband had a heart attack. Nitro pills, admission to the hospital, my husband getting pain meds, and "oh, this is the least likely thing to happen, but just in case..." Every time they said least likely, it's what happened. We were transferred to a larger hospital.

My husband in an ambulance, me following behind. We didn't have a big goodbye when they put him in the ambulance. I thought I'd see him at the next hospital before they cathed his heart, but I didn't. My husband demanded I eat before I came to the hospital.

I waited. I called his family. My dearest friend brought me food.

I waited.


waited...tried not to look at the clock.

Told an hour, maybe two.

It was two and half hours later. I began to think something was seriously wrong when a doctor came rushing in. He started explaining things. He drew me a picture that looked like a heart a five-year-old would draw. I don't know what he said really. There was a sound at the door.

there was my husband.

Thinking about it, I can't describe it. It's too much for words. Not even a year into our marriage, I almost lost my husband, the love of my life.

We spent a couple days in the hospital. Him so grumpy that I laugh about it now. The nurses took care of us both, bringing me the most comfortable bed they could find and extra pillows.

So there you go. I needed a break from everything. I needed to wait for our positive, which we got when our beautiful daughter was born at the end of July. With her birth, she brought us a happiness that we needed on so many levels.

Eagle Ton

Yes, I know what you're thinking: what is an eagle ton? It's okay. I'm going to tell you, but first, some background. My sister, Pickles, recently moved to Vancouver; we're also super close sisters who talk about everything and just understand each other in that sister kind of way. Obviously, that means I miss her more passionately than just "I miss you, Pickles." I miss her so much that my missing her must be conveyed with emphasis, emphasis only conveyed with

Picture from here.

Yes, conveyed with adult language.

But I'm a mom now and I can't always use that language. Yes, it's going to slip out, but I need to watch my language in order to keep my daughter from running around saying "G-- D---- Mother F---er" like I may have done. Thanks Dad.

Anyway, back to my sister. In Skyping with her while holding Wombat, I can't just come out and say "I miss you a (insert adult word here) ton," so I've decided to just use the word "eagle" for all adult words. Therefor, I miss my sister an eagle ton. If I bang my toe, it's "mother eagle!" When I inevitably get milk in my tubes while pumping, it's "eagle it!"

Picture from here
So there you go. My new favorite word, besides Wombat, is eagle.