Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Opulent Monsters Giveaway & Cloth Wipe Review

Hello everyone! Opulent Monsters and I have teamed up to bring you an awesome giveaway. First, I would like to do a review for a product from Opulent Monsters.

The items that come from Opulent Monsters are high quality and are reasonably priced! I recently won some cloth baby wipes from Opulent Monsters and I am completely amazed at the quality. My son's bum has been spoiled by these and I have to order more soon. I was weary of trying cloth wipes because I always thought they would be made with one layer and wouldn't be very absorbent. These wipes are made out of cotton interlock and cotton velour and are oh so soft. They feel great on a baby's bum when they have a rash! I noticed that with regular disposable wipes, my son would fuss more when I used them while he had a diaper rash. So I tried using these and he was okay with it. Included with the wipes I was given wipe solution tarts made of shea butter, lavender oil, and tea-tree oil they smell really good and they're just as amazing as the wipes. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give these a 10; definitely a 5 star product. I know that the prize is not wipes today however this is a product I would recommend to another mama in a heartbeat! I can't wait to purchase more. 

I'm confident that any product that comes from Opulent Monsters is of great quality and you will not be disappointed whether you win it or buy it. 

The review given by me is my honest opinion. I was in no way compensated. This product was won by me and I voluntarily gave a review. I am under no obligation to give a positive review. 

Opulent Monsters has been so generous to offer both of our fan bases (and new fans) a chance to win either earrings or a wetbag, winner chooses.
Giveaway Details:
1.) Please read the rules before entering.
2.) By entering you agree to the rules.
3.) Mandatory entries must be completed before other entries will count.
4.) Entries will be verified.
5.) Winner has 48 hours (2 days) to respond, otherwise an alternate will be chosen.
6.) Winner will be posted here and on both Facebook pages, so stay posted!!!
7.) Be sure to read the terms and conditions at the bottom!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Liebster Blog award puts new blog owners who have 200 or less than 200 followers.

I was given this award by Kiyomi creator of WoodworkingMomma. Thank you so much! 

In return, I would like to give this award to five of my favorite blogs! I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do!
1.) A Little Bit Of Everything

2.) Daily life through my Lens... 
3.) Mrs.Naby-Boy
4.) Preserving a Sense of Wonder
5.) Kate's Little World

Upon receipt of the Liebster Award, there are a few very simple rules:

1. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
2. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
3. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
4. Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Pump & I

I'd like to introduce you to my breast pump. My breast pump was my worst enemy after my son was born but has now become my best friend. She gets up with me in the middle of the night, travels with me when I need her to, and helps me during the day. She's not the best pump in the world but man does she get the job done. 

During the first week of my sons life, I was able to nurse him but then something happened; my milk supply was out of control. The first few days were easy! I mean despite the blisters from us learning how to nurse the correct way. Once we were home I thought to myself, "This is easy peasy, we got this!" I was wrong. That Saturday night, my three day old son was now hungry again so off I go to nurse him but I find that nursing has become harder then what it was only a few hours earlier. My boobs have become so engorged with milk it was very hard for Blake to latch on and stay latched on. Being a first time mom I had no idea what to do so I tried to express a little milk and then latch him again. Fail. Express a little more and try to latch. Fail. Try to latch one more time but without expressing beforehand, he got it! He nursed for about 30-45 minutes and then was asleep however I noticed that I continued to leak even after he just nursed from both sides. So I pumped until the flow was slow from both boobs. I pumped an additional 7 oz more or less from each boob. Later that night (Sunday morning) Blake was hungry once again so I tried to nurse him but found my boobs were once again nearly engorged!! I expressed and then tried to get him to latch but he didn't want to nurse at all despite the fact that he was hungry. So I decided I would give him the milk I expressed earlier from a bottle and he easily took to it!

This saddened me. I thought to myself, "My son hates my boobs. He doesn't want to nurse there has to be something wrong with me." When he was done eating, I burped, changed him, and put him back to bed. This is how the night continued and I found myself getting more and more discouraged. Nothing changed that day. Or the next. Both boobs already had blood blisters on them but I noticed that my left one was continuing to get milk blisters along with the blood blister. It hurt. I looked up how to help this but it seemed like no matter how much lanolin I used or how often I let the girls "air out", it just wasn't going away. 
 I didn't think I needed a new pump, granted I didn't like the pump I had and thought maybe - just maybe - the reason why this was happening was because of the pump. One afternoon, after expressing I had enough so with my hormones raging, I called a lactation consultant for some advice. I told her that no matter how hard I tried to get him to nurse, he just couldn't latch to my boobs! No matter what boob it was, what position he was in, what time it was, or where he just wouldn't latch! So I turned to exclusively pumping to protect my supply and so my son would continue to have breast milk. She praised me for this but referred me to a support group. When I contacted them I found out that I needed WIC in order for them to help me. I then tried to contact my local WIC office, no answer. I called the support group back to let them know that I'd be going to a WIC office on a Saturday. I then tried another lactation consultant, maybe she would help! She told me that I produced too much milk for my son to latch on, it wasn't comfortable for him so exclusively pumping was a good option for me but I could continue to try to express my milk and then feeding him. As if I didn't already know this. She told me to continue using lanolin and airing out, which I planned on. I sat in silence for a little bit just thinking about what to do. My boob hurt. I researched what some women have done to take care of their blood/milk blister problems. I stood in the shower with my hands cupped under my nipple with hot water. I pulled the skin that was coming off, I put lanolin on after every pumping session. A couple of days later, I DID IT. My left boob was no longer in pain!!!! I no longer hated my pump with a passion. 

Even though I had a hard time with the blood blisters in the beginning and eventually milk blisters on the one boob, I wanted my son to have breast milk. I dealt with the pain and the frustration because breast milk is the best for him. The fact that we still have a hard time actually nursing still saddens me but this doesn't mean I don't have that special bond with him. When I pump, I enjoy it even if it is a hassle. I don't enjoy feeling like a dairy cow but I enjoy the thought of feeding my son breast milk. I enjoy the feeling a get feeding him my breast milk even though it's through the bottle. I believe I still have that connection with Blake that most mothers get when they nurse. The closeness.

When you're pregnant or just had your first baby, or even your second (or third) and you're trying something new, people will tell you it's not easy at first it gets easier. Believe them. Always keep an open mind especially when it comes to breast feeding! Just because you can't nurse, doesn't mean you can't give your baby breast milk. Many women choose not to pump because it is a hassle. Yeah, it is a hassle at first but it becomes part of your routine. So if you're having a hard time, don't give up! Try every option you can. Just because you can't nurse doesn't mean you won't have that nursing connection with your baby. 

You CAN do it. 

And that's the story of my pump and I.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Introducing Blake Daniel

On September 22, 2011 at 12:39am my son, Blake Daniel, was born; weighing in at 7lbs 1oz and 18 inches long. I was due October 3, 2011 but he decided it was time to go at 12:30pm September 21, 2011. I had a doctors appointment at 9:30 that morning and the doctor decided to do a second membrane strip (with my permission of course) because he was going out of town the next day for a week and would be back on my due date; just my luck. I really wanted him to deliver Blake because Orlando and I were comfortable with him and he was very supportive of our decisions. So after he checked everything and did the membrane strip, Orlando took me home and then he went to work. When I was at home I noticed that I was "leaking" but thought it was just the "aftermath" of the membrane stripping so I pushed it to the side. About two hours later I called my mom to see what she thought, she was about to bicker at me for my phone being broken but before she could really get going I cut her off with, "Mom, my water broke. What the heck do I do?" as I felt a small trickling sensation down my leg. I knew that I didn't pee myself because it was a completely different feeling. She told me to get off the phone with her, call Orlando and then call her back to help me stay clam. So I did just that, when Orlando answered the phone all he heard was, "My water broke come home now please." He hung up on me and was home in about 15 minutes.

When he got here we got our things and off to the hospital we went. The nurse put me in a triage room and took the amniotic fluid test to see if my water really broke since she couldn't tell when she checked me. As she was checking my she was trying to help break my water some more she told me since she couldn't feel the break, they may not keep me. When she was done with checking me and taking the test, as she was putting it in the plastic bag I suddenly felt a burst of water. I told her and we all laughed as she threw the test away and there we waited to be put in another room. Once we were in the other room, I called my mom to tell her that my water broke and that it was only ruptured in the beginning, she told me she was on her way.

Around 4:30 they started me on pitocin to try to speed things up, although I wanted to do natural I gave them permission to do it. I was not feeling any full on contractions, only some cramping. I told the nurse this and when she came back into the room around 6:30pm, my doctor's wife checked me and said that my water only ruptured at the top and the bottom of my water bag was still there acting as a cushion and keeping me from feel the contractions and progressing. So she broke it and here came the pain. I had been doing really well so far with the level 6 pitocin but once she finished breaking my water. I told the nurse I'd really like to have an epidural and about 30 minutes later, I got one. When it started to kick in, the pain eased, and I fell asleep. I woke up right as my doctor was walking in to check me, when he checked me I was 10 cm and ready to go at 12:00am. After 39 minutes of pushing and taking breaks in between contractions to watch Comedy Central, Blake was finally here! I only had one small tear that didn't cause me too much pain after the epidural wore off. We spent 38 hours in the hospital after Blake was born and then we were home that Friday around 12:30pm.

Blake is now 10 days old and is doing SO well. We are slowly but surely getting a routine down, it has been slightly stressful but I know I wouldn't change it for the world!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

August 21st, 2011 Achievement Unlocked

This weekend, on Sunday was Orlando and I’s one year anniversary. To make a very long story short Orlando and I had to make a quick trip to Houston, the reason he told me was to just be with family – the real reason.. Well you’re just going to have to read.
We celebrated early Saturday night at The Rainforest Cafe  at the Galleria in Houston, while his mom was at home moving the rings from one spot to another. Sunday morning he picked one out while I was distracted by The Sims Social on the computer and waiting on the queue to eat. However, the time to eat never came because two of our family members never showed up. We waited until 11:30 AM when we were going to eat around 8:30am, we couldn’t just go home because the car was at the family shop getting a tune up and oil change, making sure it was ready for inspection!! My almost father in law took us to get the car where we spend another hour or so talking about getting a second, family-friendly car and then we finally left.
We were SO hungry we stopped at the halfway mark Giddings, Texas, which is a small town, at this little hole in the wall place, best chicken fried steak ever. I insisted that I had the large when I should have gotten regular but I did eat most of it, so I give myself props even though I felt like I was going to explode! When we left, Orlando saw a little train station and since we love to take adventures, he said we should go check it out- so we did. It was really neat to look at, I wish it had been open so we could go inside and check it out but instead we just looked through the windows, next to it was a little gazebo and he walked (more like raced) over there, I slowly followed – or should I say waddled after him. When I got there he hugged me and said “I love you.” I was jokingly patting around his shorts and asked, “Alright, where’s the ring?” He busted out laughing, got down on one knee, for some reason I laughed but then I was speechless and he started tearing up, which made me all teary. He asked me to marry him and I just stood there for 30 seconds and hugged him and said “Of course, yes! You know I won’t say no!!” Then went back to laughing and  just kept asking him and myself, “Did this really just happen?!?” As we walked back to the car…

I later called my mom to tell her (almost home at this point) and starting laughing/crying hysterically… She couldn’t understand what I was saying. Eventually she got it but I told her I’d have to call her later because all the mixed emotions/hormones were just overwhelming and I made myself sick.
He said to me me, “That’s why we went to Houston this weekend because I have always wanted to do it on our anniversary and I wanted to pick a ring out that made you feel like a princess.” I would have taken a string around the finger with a little bead on it and have no complaints. The fact that I am wearing one of his mother’s rings is absolutely amazing. There will be no major wedding plans going on because right now we’re just focused on getting our little one here, safe and sound!!! But once he is born, which isn’t too far away just another month, it’s so on!!!

Achievement Unlocked – Make Amanda Feel Like A Princess

I wanted to share the great news! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and has a wonderful week!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Just some facts!

Disposable diapers are harmful to the environment. These diapers take between 250 - 500 years to break down. No one ones for sure because no one has ever lived to tell the tale. Not only do disposable diapers last forever but even though all disposable diaper packages state that solid waste should be flushed and not thrown out, people just throw it out anyway. Feces is hazardous waste, and bacteria from these diapers is making it's way into our water supply and air and spreading disease. 

Cloth diapers are better for the environment than disposables. Some will say you're wasting water, but compared to the previous fact about how long it takes a disposable diaper to break down, the amount of water you use to wash your diapers doesn't even come close to that amount of waste.Cloth diapers can be used for more than one baby and then be passed on to another mama in need of diapers. So you tell me which is better!! 

Diaper rash, the most common cause of rash is extended exposure to a hot soiled diaper.
A disposable diaper hides evidence that the diaper needs to be changed, often resulting in bacteria-caused rashes. Disposable diapers contain trace amounts of the carcinogen dioxin, as well as large amounts of chemicals for absorbency and perfumes. On the other hand, cloth diapers are natural fibers, if washed correctly, they will have no chemical residues. 
You can still get diaper rashes with cloth diapers, however they are more common with disposables.

Just a few things I thought I'd rant about!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Little TLC for Your Washing Machine!

We went over how to prep and wash your cloth diapers but what about how to clean your washing machine? Some know how to do this and some don't even know to do this but it is very important to keep up with your machine, especially if you are laundering cloth diapers. The inside of your washing machine is constantly being subjected to dirty water, mineral and detergent deposits. The mineral build up can really do damage to your clothes and your cloth diapers which can cause them to wear faster. So what can we do to get most of this out and get our washers back to the good old days? 

Here is what you will need:
Vinegar or Lemon Juice (2 cups of one or the other)
Q-Tips, quite a few of them
Spray Cleaner (Multi-Purpose)
Paper Towels

1.) Run your washer on hot with two cups of vinegar or lemon juice to knock loose all of that nasty grime. 
2.) Remove the fabric softener dispenser and soak it in hot water with a little bit of detergent/soap, if you need to get in there to remove some grime, use your q-tips!
3.) Clean the bleach dispenser with your cleaner, paper towels and q-tips.
4.) Wipe around the top rim of the wash bucket, there's usually a lot of build up there.
5.) Run one last cycle on hot while the washer is empty.
6.) Don't forget to put the fabric softener dispenser back when it is done soaking!
If you haven't replaced your hoses in a while, it may be a good idea to check your hoses and make sure they are not leaking because this can also cause a problem. If they are five years or older, it would be a good idea to replace them anyways!

If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to talk email me at Birdsnestsdiapers@yahoo.com.