Ava’s Bedroom Redecorated

Im sure everyone has seen the wall art that comes in tubes that you just stick on the wall to create a masterpiece in minutes.  Have you ever wondered if it’s really that easy and if it will actually look good on your walls?  Well, I found an awesome Etsy shop that has various options to create a small scene or a very large scene on your walls and I was very impressed.  I did this a few years ago before my first daughter was born.  I had an obsession with Circles so I purchesed the “Confetti Wall Graffic Set” from Michelle & Christina Art & Design on Etsy for $68.  I received 84 decals and I was able to choose up to 6 colors.  This is my creation:


So, my sweet little daughter decided she doesnt like the circles anymore and “Mommy, please take them off” so she could go to sleep in her own room.  Completely different story but she decided she wouldnt sleep in her own room after baby #2 arrived.  Now that we are slowly making the transition back into her room, she is redecorating.  I bought the new stickers from Kohls and they came in a tube with enought stickers to create a tree design over an area above my daughter’s queen size bed.  I didnt measure but it would make a nice centerpiece in a giant headboard if she had one.   I got these on sale for $9 on clearance but I believe designs around this size run between $20 and $30.  Here is the new design:









I do love Michelle & Christina’s unique designs and would highly recommend that you check their etsy store before settling for the generic patterns that are sold in almost every super store.  I was not solicited to write this article and was not compensated in any way.  I merely wanted to display the changes I made to my daughter’s room.  We kept the circles over the rocking chair where the new baby’s crib now resides and over the doorway 🙂



Make your own Washing Detergent!

My friend shared this recipe on her blog Through Hazel Eyes and I think she is a genius.  She also has handy tips for repurposing an oxyclean container to store small amounts of your new detergent.  All you need is 4 ingredients, a garbage bag, and some large container such as a garbage pail or 5 gallon bucket.  I cant wait to make this.  My husband thinks Im absolutely nuts but I am all about saving on expensive detergents especially if I can make my own for less than $17 a year.  Check it out by clicking the link above.

Study: Unvaccinated children far less prone to allergies and disease than vaccinated children

Im pretty new to this information about vaccinating vs. unvaccinating.  I was vaccinated as a child and raised to believe that it was necessary.  Now that Ive had the opportunity to learn more about vaccinations and the harm they potentially cause I would like to share this information with everyone.


Study: Unvaccinated children far less prone to allergies and disease than vaccinated children

via Study: Unvaccinated children far less prone to allergies and disease than vaccinated children.

Stop the Walgreens flu shot harassment! Employees rewarded with iPads for meeting vaccination recruitment goals?

Stop the Walgreens flu shot harassment! Employees rewarded with iPads for meeting vaccination recruitment goals?

via Stop the Walgreens flu shot harassment! Employees rewarded with iPads for meeting vaccination recruitment goals?.

Transitioning from family of three to family of four…how to help your oldest feel special

I found another great article on Babble.com.  I think it’s my favorite website right now.  Im sure that is obvious.  Ive been nervous about how my daughter will react to a new baby.  She love’s her baby dolls and seems very interested when there are babies around but I dont think she will handle sharing the attention.  She definitely shows signs of being “an oldest” child and I think she will be a great big sister but I want to make the transition as perfect as possible.  This article offered some really helpful ideas, part of it made me a little weepy.  Not sure if it’s the pregnancy horomones or not but I tend to cry more now than before…thats what kids do to you.  So here it is:

Preparing for a New Sibling

Tips to help your toddler adjust to the new baby

By Heather Turgeon | June 8, 2011

If you have a second baby on the way, you may be wondering how best to help your toddler (and yourself) adjust and welcome the newest addition to the family.

I consulted with Elyse Eberstein, MSW, LE, a mom of two, who helps expecting parents at the Pump Station in Los Angeles prepare for the arrival of a second baby. She shared some suggestions for the run-up to birth, the hospital experience, and life in the early days of second-time motherhood.

Before baby

  • If your child is younger than two, there’s no need to tell her early on about your pregnancy. Toddlers may be interested in snuggling baby dolls and pushing them in carriages, but they’re not going to understand the implications of a new baby joining the family. Before two or two-and-a-half, you don’t have to keep it secret but don’t expect the information to mean anything to your child. “Nine months is an eternity for a toddler — possibly half her life,” says Eberstein. She’s not going to wrap her head around the abstract concept of a baby’s eventual birth.
  • Be aware that your energy can change as you near the end of pregnancy, and your toddler may pick up on that. Your focus will shift to thinking about life with a newborn as your due date nears — realize that the older sibling might feel the redirection of your attention.
  • You’re allowed to mourn the loss of a certain kind of lifestyle with just your toddler. It’s important to acknowledge what the one-baby chapter of your life has meant to you, your spouse, and your toddler, and to recognize your feelings about that chapter closing. You may be thrilled about the new addition but don’t forget to stop and process the fact that life as a special threesome will be no longer.

You may have jumped at every peep from your first child, but with a toddler in the house, that will be near impossible. Let yourself off the hook.

The birth

  • Create a way to celebrate your first child. Eberstein suggests making a book of your older child’s birth before your due date: a picture of you pregnant with her, photos from the hospital of her first days and all the people who visited and held her. It’s a nice way to level the playing field, help her understand what to expect, and assure her that she had the same attention and ceremony when she was born. You can make a book with a service like Snapfish or just paste photos into a simple album for her to flip through.
  • When your toddler first comes to the hospital, remember that she’s coming to see you — the baby may be an afterthought. “She hasn’t seen you in 24 to 48 hours, so protect that,” says Eberstein. Try to limit the number of people around when your child arrives. Keep it to you, your spouse, and child.
  • Instead of having your toddler walk in to see you nursing the new baby, consider putting your baby in the nursery just before your toddler arrives. Have some special catch-up time and when it seems natural, go and get your newborn together. That way your toddler is involved in bringing baby into the family. Try not to think of it as a photo op of the new siblings; your toddler may be curious about the tiny, wriggly baby, but she probably just wants to be with her parents at this point.
  • If you like the idea of exchanging gifts between siblings, go for it. Eberstein says that her toddler “gave” her little newborn brother his first lovey. Years later she still talks about that fact, and it means a lot to her that she was the one to gift him with such an all-important item.
  • When it’s time for you and the new baby to leave the hospital, have your older child come to meet you. Dress the baby together, get her ready to leave, and then drive home as a family. Chances are it will feel better than seeing you walk through the door, new baby in tow.

Life with two

  • Remember the days of sequestering yourself to nurse for hours with the first baby? This time, when your toddler is home, instead of parking in a glider, consider feeding the new baby on the couch, where you can invite your toddler to be a part of it. Get some food for your toddler and make it special snack time for everyone.
  • Spend special time with your toddler, and make sure to label it. Let your older child hear you saying to everyone in the house, “I’m spending special time with Emma now, so I’m not available.” Even if it’s for 10 minutes, it means the world to your child.
  • Talk out loud about needing to divide your attention. When you’re helping your older child use the bathroom, say to the newborn (who doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about, but it’s okay — this is for the benefit of the toddler), “I’m helping Emma right now, so I can’t nurse you until we come back from the bathroom.” That way, when you say it in reverse — telling your toddler she has to wait while you help the newborn, it feels like equal treatment.
  • Reminisce about the threesome. It’s nice to honor the last chapter by saying things out loud to your toddler like, “Remember when it was just the three of us?” and laughing about memories or things you used to do together.
  • Try to have open arms to greet your toddler. Before you hear her coming in the door, see if you can set the baby down and have your arms free for a welcome hug and kiss.
  • Get comfortable with the idea that sometimes, your newborn will have to wait. You may have jumped at every peep from your first child, but with a toddler in the house it’s going to be near impossible. Let yourself off the hook for this and know that you can’t be in two places at once. You have two sets of competing needs — you’ll do your best, but inevitably someone will be unhappy about it. Let that be okay.
  • Remember your toddler is still a baby. She’s walking, talking, and wearing clothes that seem giant next to your newborn’s, but don’t overestimate her independence. Eberstein says that some parents get frustrated that their older child is needy or difficult, but it helps to check in and makes sure you’re not expecting more from your child than she’s developmentally capable of.

Cribs to fall in love with…


WOW. 10 most outrageous baby cribs: http://ow.ly/5rCTK just posted Outrageous Cribs and they are definately outrageous in style and in price.  Some of these cribs go up to $20,000 and I’m guessing that is minus the bedding…not sure on the details.  I saved a few of my favorites but check out the link above to view them all.  They range from a crazy acrylic bed which looks like the mattress is floating, to a crib that is marked fragile and looks similar to a box, to the fancy pantsy carriage cribs.  I chose to post the more victorian style cribs.  Oh, how much fun I could have with a bunch of money that had no purpose.  Unfortunately for style sake I have a very strict sense of budgeting and practicality.    It’s fun to dream though, right?

C-Sections on the rise: some of the reasons behind those stats

 I actually thought the elective c-sections rate would have been higher.  I do think many of the doctor recommended c-sections could be preventable depending on many aspects of pregnancy including diet, exercize, your practitioner, and lifestyle choices.  I do think women who want a natural birth should advocate for themselves and know they can ask questions and seek second opinions…and third opinions.  It’s okay to think the doctor might be wrong.  However, with all that said, some births are safer with medical intervention such as a c-section so I do not want to discredit them entirely.  I tend to believe that doctors prefer c-sections because they are timely and efficient.  I also think that women today are so fearful of childbirth pain that they are scared into thinking a c-section will eliminate those pains.   I am more fearful of my body being cut open and put back together…that makes me feel to vulnerable.  To each there own.  Knowledge is power so I say read as much as you can about all your options and choose what is best for you and your family. 

Why More Moms are Having C-Sections

Posted by heatherturgeon on June 22nd, 2011 at 2:18 pm
4070989885 fde37297c6 300x225 Why More Moms are Having C SectionsThe reasons for more c sections

In an early release article in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, Yale researchers report the results of a new, large study examining the rise in c-section rates in the U.S.

After examining records from over 32,000 births, the researchers found that the c-section rate went from 26% in 2003 to 36.5% in 2009. The lowest rates are in Utah, highest in New Jersey.

Half of the rise was attributable to a rise in second-time cesarean births, since most doctors and hospitals encourage moms who have had a c-section before to use the method in subsequent births.

But the other 50% resulted from a rise in first-time cesareans. When the researchers looked into the reasons doctors do c-sections, they found that 32% were due to “nonreassuring fetal status,” for example, an abnormal heart rate during labor.

Elective c-sections have been blamed for the increase before, so in this study, what percentage of c-sections were at the request of the mom?


Maternal request accounted for 8% of the increase in c-sections since 2001. Other reasons included labor arrest disorders (18%), multiple babies (16%), suspected macrosomia (10%), preeclampsia (10%), and maternal-fetal conditions (5%).

The study found that objective reasons for c-sections, like placenta previa and breech babies stayed stable over time, but c-sections for more subjective reasons, like fetal distress, or slow labor have gone up over the years.

Also interesting is that more doctors do c-sections now because they suspect big babies, or because of multiple births, when the researchers say these conditions have been “relatively stable” in the population over recent years.

So doctors are more often making the call to do a c-section on their subjective opinion when things start to slow down, baby goes into distress, or the baby is judged to be too big.

Is that a good thing? Consider the fact that the infant mortality rate hasn’t gone down since 2001.

Reason #482 Why You Should Throw “What To Expect When You’re Expecting” Out The Window

Posted by ceridwen on June 8th, 2011 at 12:41 pm
wte Reason #482 Why You Should Throw What To Expect When Youre Expecting Out The WindowWhat To Freak Out About When You’re Expecting

I’ve long resigned myself to the fact that What To Expect When You’re Expecting is basically a sh*t sandwich we all have to take a bite of, but every now and then I want to stand up and say, THROW THIS BOOK OUT THE WINDOW!

Yesterday, per chance, I opened the bestseller for the first time in years. And I was thrown right back by the very first page. If you scan it quickly these are the words and phrases you might catch, as they’re all in bold:


Diagnosing pregnancy

The Blood Test

The Medical Exam…

There’s the Vitamin Reminder where you’re told to “be sure” to take your vitamins. Yikes! Hope it’s not too late.

The one benign headline on the page is “The Home Pregnancy Test” but this segment includes lines like this: “The major drawback with the home pregnancy tests is that if a test produces a false negative and you actually are pregnant, you may postpone seeing a practitioner and taking appropriate care of yourself.” (My italics).

Welcome to pregnancy.

Do not trust yourself. Do not trust your body, manage it. You need exams, tests and diagnosis. You are sick and in need of immediate MEDICAL ATTENTION.

(Meanwhile, you go to the doctor on Day One and she’s like, What are you doing here? Call me in six weeks.)

The catatonic mom on the quilted cover of this pregnancy guide has been ushering us through an over-medicalized birth culture for decades now. I believe an earlier edition equated eating cake with smoking crack. This may have been a part of the famous “best odds” diet, a nutrition program that made expectant mothers feel like they were rotting fetal brains if they couldn’t stomach 5 servings of leafy greens a day. I once wound up in the hospital, strapped to monitors, after reading the section on counting fetal kicks. Holy cow, don’t even look at that page. My doctor thought I’d lost my mind when I showed up thinking the baby was dead. And then I told her I had been reading What To Expect and she sighed. Even doctors– who are so blatantly worshiped by this nerve-wracking best-seller– often find the book to be completely counterproductive for their patients. The message of the (crucial!) importance of getting prenatal care does not have to be delivered with the message that disaster is imminent.

OK. Vent over. But seriously, throw the book out the window. (The movie version is coming out soon. I’m assuming it will be of the horror genre.)

Any reasons you’d like to throw this book out the window? I’m all ears.

And PS, here’s a previous rant: What To Expect When You’re Expecting AKA Call The Doctor You’re Whole Family Is Dying.

What To Expect When You’re Expecting AKA Call The Doctor, Your Whole Family Is Dying

Retrieved from: babble.com

This is pretty extreme but makes some good points.


What To Expect When You’re Expecting AKA Call The Doctor, Your Whole Family Is Dying

Posted by ceridwen on October 29th, 2010 at 10:03 am

WTE 199x300 What To Expect When Youre Expecting AKA Call The Doctor, Your Whole Family Is DyingMira Jacobs writes, in her hilarious piece about the adaptation of best-selling pregnancy bible, What To Expect When You’re Expecting for the big screen, that the concept seems more appropriate for the “horror” genre than the romantic comedy. She and her husband (and many others) found the book utterly frightening:

“Maybe it was the tone—dry and authoritative, with a hint of the-worst-is-yet-to-come. Maybe it was the connection of what seemed like mild symptoms to horrible your-fetus-is-melting scenarios. Maybe it was the scary picture of the sexless pregnant woman on the front cover, wearing the cardigan of “I’ve given up entirely.” Whatever the reason, WTEWYE made us more agitated, and paralyzed, and useless than any other new parent book on the block. Late in my pregnancy, my husband even renamed it Call the Doctor, You’re Whole Family is Dying.”

Now that’s a movie I’d like to see. Can they get the authors of the Scream franchise on board? Skeet Ulrich as the obstetrician? Neve Campbell as the now 40-odd “mature age mother” expecting her first baby and experiencing EVERY SINGLE nightmare scenario outlined in What To Expect? Or maybe it could be darker and spookier, a kind of Rosemary’s Baby where a woman is haunted not by her neighbors and devil spawn but by the contents of a book. Maybe that catatonic cardigan-wearing mommy on the rocking chair comes to life! OMG, the mind reels.

Let’s hope Tina Fey, Samantha Bee or some other clever mother gets a go at the script. There’s so much in this book that could make for great drama, but please, make the Halloween release that it was meant to be.

And PS, thanks for the shout-out Mira. She writes that she prefers From The Hips, the pregnancy and birth book I co-authored. This is quite heartwarming as one of the big reasons Rebecca and I wrote this book was to provide what we hoped would be a much needed antidote to What To Expect.

The Midwives of London: the Waterbirth of Baby Diana

Retrieved from: http://mothering.com/all-things-mothering/pregnancy-birth/the-midwives-of-london-the-waterbirth-of-baby-diana
This is very similar to what I hope I can do with my second pregnancy/birth.  I would love to have a water birth.

The Midwives of London: the Waterbirth of Baby Diana

Posted on June 9th, 2011 by Melanie, Web Editor | Mothering.com | Find Out More About Melanie, Web Editor | Mothering.com

Thank you to Jennifer Barton for this guest post.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was incredibly excited. And absolutely petrified. In addition to the big, scary questions – Is labor as painful as they say? Am I going to be a capable parent? – I had another worry.

Even though I’m from New York, I live in the United Kingdom. I would be having my baby in London, under a health system I didn’t know or understand.

This meant free healthcare throughout pregnancy (score!) and also midwife-led care, unless I developed complications or had a problematic labor. I was definitely worried about this non-interventionist approach in the beginning. I had always assumed I’d spend my pregnancy surrounded by doctors, ready to administer a shot of anything I needed – just in case.

I look back at that scared person who felt insecure and incapable of delivering a child and I can’t help but smile at the way things ended up. I never had to see a doctor during pregnancy and I never wanted or needed to. I ended up having a water birth with no intervention other than Entonox (gas and air). It was without a doubt the most intense and empowering experience of my life, and I have never felt happier or more fulfilled.

How did I go from natural birth skeptic to Spiritual Midwifery-convert? It was all thanks to my midwives. I registered with a caseload midwife team which meant that a group of midwives in my area were responsible for my prenatal, delivery and postnatal care. Two midwives were assigned to me and they were calming, gentle, confidence-inspiring and stern (when necessary!). I always had the utmost confidence that my baby and I were in the best of hands.

One of the brilliant aspects of the UK healthcare system is that many hospitals are equipped with birthing centers with pools. It was the ideal scenario for someone like me, who was determined to have a water birth but didn’t want to give birth at home. I understood that complications of any kind would mean that my dreams of water birth would sink, but as soon as I conquered my fear of laboring naturally (thanks in part to pregnancy yoga and prenatal childbirth classes), I felt I could cope with any given scenario.

As my due date approached, I frantically devoured pineapples in an attempt to get things moving (I was terrified of having to be induced since it seemed that often led to unnecessary intervention – how things change!) and I was rewarded for my efforts when my water broke at exactly midnight on my due date.

I labored through the night and when my midwife arrived in the morning and examined me I was told that I was 9 cm dilated and would only make it to the hospital in time if I took an ambulance. When I arrived, things had slowed down enough so that there was time to fill up the pool.

I felt almost relaxed as I sunk into the warm water and my midwife pressed cold compresses to my forehead and used lavender oil to help soothe me during contractions. Even when I shrieked and moaned and thought I wasn’t capable of going through with it, she helped me stay focused and positive.

After 12 hours of labor, my precious baby girl, Diana, was born, weighing 8 lbs, 8 oz. I got to hold her straightaway (even as I delivered the placenta, out of the pool) and because there hadn’t been any tearing or complications, I was never separated from her for a moment.

We went home later that night, completely euphoric. And after a sleepless (and scary) first night with my newborn, the next day, my other midwife was back to check in on me. They both came back to examine me and baby for the next several weeks, until I was confident with breastfeeding and Diana had regained her birth weight. And they were a phone call away when I had my first bout of mastitis at 8 weeks.

We’re still in touch. Last month – nine months after giving birth – I saw them at a reunion party they had for all of the mothers whose babies they delivered.

The IVs and injections and doctors I had once expected to be part and parcel of my birthing process turned out to be unnecessary, and I couldn’t have asked for a better birthing experience. And if I am lucky enough to get pregnant a second time, there’s no question that I’ll be turning to my midwives once again.

Jennifer Barton is a freelance writer based in London who writes on pregnancy and birth for Parents.com. She also blogs on the (mis)adventures of life with a baby, The Newborn Diaries, on ParentDish UK. Follow her musings on motherhood on Twitter @JenBNYC.

Previous Older Entries

Twitter Updates