Thursday, September 15, 2011

Daddy goes to Preschool

Tomorrow I have to attend my college graduation rehearsal during our normal preschool hours. Since I'm a stay at home mom I had to ask my husband if he would mind taking the morning off to take care of Avin. He eagerly agreed to take off! Then when we started discussing the plans for the day I realized that his eagerness to take off was because he had planned on taking Avin and going to all his favorite video game and thrift stores while I attended rehearsal. When I pointed out that if he did that Avin would miss preschool he was bummed but readily agreed to do preschool instead. So tomorrow Daddy is off to his first day of preschool with Avin! Luckily class is being held just across the street. I've already warned the mom's that Derek will be there in my place. It will be quite an experience for him- not only participating in the lesson but keeping Avin out of all the temptations a new house brings. Say a little prayer that he survives the sea of moms and toddlers!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Preschool Field Trips

I am getting so excited about our preschool field trips! I've been looking into places and events that are preschooler friendly and have been pleasantly surprised to find several things in our local area. I always hesitated to attend "events" by myself with my son because I was afraid he would act out, be loud, or otherwise "bother" other attendee's but planning to take a group has been quite liberating. Somehow I feel if there is a group of us with kids of similar ages that my kid might not stand out as much. On Monday we will be going to our local fire station to tour the station and see a firet ruck up close and personal. If you've never done a fire station tour with your kids I highly recommend it. The kids love meeting real firefighters and getting to climb in the firetrucks. In our area the tour is free and the firefighters are great with the kids. I think it is also good for them to view the fire fighters as their "friends" so that in the case of an emergency they aren't scared of them and try to hide.

Some other events that we will be participating in are "School House Rock- Live!" and the live production of "Goodnight Moon and the Runaway Bunny". Both are being put on by local theatres. I would have never guessed they had such awesome things going on for the Pre-K crowd but a friend saw the listing and shared it with me. What are some awesome kid friendly field trip ideas that you have done with your kids?

Monday, September 12, 2011

I'm back!!!

Having a two year old makes things like blogging a distant dream most days but I'm feeling ready to try to tackle it again- from a totally different angle! I will no longer be doing product reviews (unless I fall in love with something) and will be randomly blogging about our preschool experiences.  I'm part of a really ecclectic groups of mom's known as Mindful Mothers.  Together these women practice gentle parenting of their kids.  Each mom's personal style of parenting varies and at any given meeting you might see a mom's bare breast as she nurses her baby or toddler, a mom changing a baby wearing a cloth diaper, a baby or toddler running around naked from the waist down because his family practices EC (eliminate communication), a mom wearing her baby on her body, and all types of chaos as kids run around playing and interacting with each other and the moms.  It is an amazing group!  Well these ladies inspired me to step outside the box and start a homeschool pre-school co-op.  I'm not really sure what the textbook definition might be for that but for us it means that we get together twice a week in someone's home and do "preschool" for our kids who are between 2 and 4.   Our preschool co-op group is made up of mom's and kids who's educational experiences run the gammit from traditional public school, to homeschool, to unschoolers.  Every "class" is totally different and filled with awesome ideas and projects designed to let our kids explore the world and learn something new.  We aren't traditional but we are a lot of fun and so far the kids love it!

I'll be blogging about our experiences, our projects, and our results!  I can't wait to share my excitement with you all.  If any of you have experience with this type of preschool group I'd love to hear from you about your ideas and experiences. 

Friday, November 12, 2010 has lost my support!

Yestereday it came to my attention through a post on (the St. Louis Post Dispatch newspaper online) that is selling books supporting pedophilia.  They pulled "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure" from their Kindle listings after customers expressed outrage.  However, that still leaves at least one other book supporting pedophilia "Understanding Loved Boys and Boylovers". 

This is disgusting!  To heck with the author's rights of free speech.  Every single pedophile out there is a danger to our children. They abuse children for their own sick twisted pleasure.  The rob children of their innocence and their childhood.  The do unspeakable damage to them emotionally and physically.  They don't deserve understanding or sympathy as far as I am concerned. 

Until pulls ALL books supporting pedophilia from their shelves I am boycotting them.  I will no longer buy or sell through  I am also in the process of dissolving my affiliate status for the blog as well.  I encourage all of you to show your disgust at their choice to support such sick individuals.  Our kids are much to precious to be supporting a company that is selling a manual of sorts to help sick twisted people steal their innocence!

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Battle with Postpartum Depression

Many of you probably wrote me off as yet another blogger who collected lots of items for review and then "ran away" with them without holding her end of the bargain and posting reviews.  I can't blame you for making that assumption since I just stopped blogging one day with reviews left unwritten.  I apologize to everyone with a review yet to come.  I didn't stop blogging because I just wanted to collect items, I stopped blogging because I literally couldn't blog anymore.  I reached a point in my battle with postpartum depression that left me with no voice for anything that brought me joy.  I'm going to share my battle with postpartum depression with you, not because I want sympathy or understanding, but simply with the hope that even one woman who reads this will be inspired to get herself help.

This is a very difficult post to write because although I have came a long way in my battle I still feel shameful that I ever experienced postpartum depression.  Of course that is a stupid thing to feel shameful for, postpartum depression is not a sign of weakness or something a woman brings on herself.  Postpartum depression results from changing body chemistry, change in life circumstances, and a variety of other things-- all beyond any woman's control.  It took me months to realize that I was suffering from postpartum depression.  I did not make the connection until Avin was close to a year old. 

The first signs of postpartum depression I wrote off as "normal" parts of new mommyhood.  If I hid in the bathroom, crying in the shower for 15 minutes it was just a natural response to the stress of taking care of a newborn.  If I was constantly sleepy it was the normal result of waking up to nurse a baby every hour or two.  If I didn't want to leave the house to do anything with friends it was normal because leaving home with a baby is so hard.  It wasn't until Avin was almost one that I had to face the fact that he was no longer a newborn, he slept for many hours at a stretch, and leaving home with Avin required just a little packing and scheduling but I was still experiencing those feelings.  I had a real problem.  

At my lowest I was spending hours every day planning ways I could support Avin and I if my husband and I divorced.  Avin was the one constant source of happiness in my life.  Everyone else in my life seemed to cause me stress and unhappiness.  One by one I started shutting out friends and family because I just couldn't deal with them, it simply took too much energy. In my mind my life was making me miserable and if I could just change it then I could be happy again.  I thought up elaborate plans to change my life by ending my marriage.  Looking back I think of myself as being "maritally suicidal".  I don't mean I ever considered ending my physical life but I daily fantasized about ending my marriage.  I have a wonderful loving husband who supports me in every way.  He has been my best friend since long before we ever dated.  There was no reason for me to be considering divorce, my husband was still the same wonderful man he'd always been and my marriage was still good.  It was just that I was so depressed that my twisted thinking made it seem like only the drastic change of ending my marriage could possibly bring back any happiness in my life.

I never left Avin's side unless I absolutely had to.  For the first year of his life I only left him long enough to go to college a few hours a night a couple of nights a week or for a hour or two after he went to bed.  Some nights I would be so worried about him that I would leave class early (or not attend at all).  My time away from Avin was marked with phone calls every few minutes with text messages in between to check on him.  Most of those check in calls and text were met with the response that he was fine and he and his daddy were having fun playing or watching Spongebob.  Even though my husband supported and encouraged me to go out with friends and take time for myself I simply couldn't.  The enjoyment I got from going to meet friends or spend a few minutes of time alone was vastly overshadowed by my overwhelming feeling of guilt for leaving Avin.  Every time I stepped out the door without Avin I immediately felt like I horrible mother who was abandoning her poor, helpless baby. 

My marriage and friendships began to suffer from neglect.  I found myself unable to care about anything (friends, hobbies, school, bills, etc) except for Avin.  Through every horrible moment of my battle my love for Avin was constant.  He was the one bright spot in my otherwise gray life.  That is what made it so hard for me to accept that I had postpartum depression.  I had always had the impression that postpartum depression was something that classified crazy women who couldn't handle being a mother.  I thought that if you had postpartum depression you wanted to hurt or kill yourself or your baby.  I didn't feel like any of those things applied to me.  I just knew that I lived in a constant state of sadness and walked around feeling overwhelmed by everything. 

I finally researched my symptoms online and found that the things I felt were consistent with postpartum depression.  When I finally realized that the things I had been feeling since Avin's birth weren't "normal" but they did have a reasonable explanation it was like tearing down a curtain and letting sunshine stream into my life.  I called my doctor and made an appointment.  When I went in I felt no judgement from him, just understanding.  We talked about what I had been feeling, sorted out the things that were linked to the postpartum depression, and he helped me to see what "normal" really looked like.  He also prescribed me Zoloft because it is considered safe for nursing mothers.  Now a few months later I feel like a new woman.  I've renewed and made lots of new mom friends.  My husband and I have a thriving marriage again.  I can finally leave Avin with his dad for some much needed "mommy" time without being wracked with worry and guilty.  Avin and I are active in multiple playgroups and are on the go all the time.  My dark cloud has lifted and I am basking in the sun once again.

I hope that if you could identify with anything I've shared that you will look into postpartum depression.  It can occur anytime between pregnancy and your child's first birthday (or even a bit later).  Do not let fear or shame hold you back from seeking help.  It is not something you have brought on yourself, nor is it a sign of failure.  But it is a joy-stealing illness and I hope you find the strength to fight it!  If you ever need to talk feel free to send me an email.  You can even just send me a quick note to let me know you could use some prayer support.  Whatever you chose to do, I wish you the best of luck and hope that you find your ultimate joy once again.

Thank you for reading my story and standing by me as a loyal reader through my long and unexpected absence.  I love blogging and am finally at a place where I can blog with joy and not anxiety.  Look for several upcoming blog reviews on great products like Ergobaby Products, Looster Booster, and more!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Delay in posting

I apologize for the delay in finishing my "Mommy Makeover Event".  I had to unexpectedly go out of town for the weekend and I am still not caught up at home.  I hope to get in some blogging tomorrow but the event may get extended to the end of the month because my son is turning one on Thursday and we have his birthday party out of town (3 hours away!) this weekend. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

MadreGear Nursing Top Review

I have no idea how I made it without owning a nursing top! When you have "girls" the size of mine nursing discreetly is incredibly hard in a conventional top.  I am a clearance rack shopper so for me the biggest deterrent in purchasing "nursing" tops was that you seldom find them in plus size on clearance.  I struggled for months with what to wear when I knew I would have to nurse in public.  In the winter I could wear a tank top under my regular shirt and still stay pretty well covered but that solution was too hot for Spring and Summer.  I was so lucky to receive this Annee Matthew Shirred Tunic for review. 

This top is made of a very breathable material that keeps me cool even though the front has two layers.  The "nursing" top feature works by just lifting up to reveal to openings for your breasts.  The under layer covers your belly and sides while the top layer provides top of breast coverage during nursing.  I especially like that the top layer floats loosely over your belly- very forgiving for a still flabby post-baby belly.  No one realizes that I am wearing a nursing top until I get ready to feed Avin (and then many people don't even realize that is what I am doing!). 

MadreGear carries a variety of nursing and maternity tops, bras, dresses, and nightgowns.  They have some very sophisticated styles that are a far cry from the shapeless blobs you can get at Wal-Mart!  MadreGear also carries a variety of necessities for trendy mom's and babies!

The customer service I received from MadreGear was amazing! Laurie was super friendly and provided me with tons of great options for a plus size mom.  I found her store to be a fresh, classy, trendy switch from classic maternity and nursing stores.  Stop by MadreGear and look around, I'm sure you'll fall in love too!