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Thanks for visiting! I haven't been spending much time here because I've been focusing on my new blog, BurlapnDots.com ...please visit to find tutorials from this blog, and NEW DIY projects, and fun vintage finds for sale!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Breast Feeding in Public (without a cover)

Oh my...I never really thought this would be a topic I would write about, but it has been weighing on my heart and mind the past few days. I hope that it can encourage someone out there, and hopefully allow others to see my heart and point of view on the subject. I also hope that this comes across in a respectful way...I realize that this is a sensitive issue and everyone has their opinions and views...please know that I am not trying to come across as "in your face/kiss my booty".

I'm sure you have seen the viral YouTube video floating around on Facebook...the one where the mother of a newborn was feeding her child in public, and the employee at the rec center badgered her and pushed for her to stop feeding, cover up, or leave the premises. (Her husband happened to catch the conversation on video by chance). The mother stood her ground (in a respectful way, and responded the way I probably would have), and when the employee would not back down, the woman's husband stepped in and told the employee to stop harassing his wife. You can view the video here if you'd like. A little background: they were in Texas where, at the time, it was stifling hot, and not conducive to a blanket smothering a feeding baby. Texas has a law protecting a breast feeding mother's right to feed her child in public, with or without a cover. California also has a similar law that protects a breast feeding woman's rights.

Breast feeding. Not just breast feeding, but breast feeding in public. Without a cover. (gasp! The horror!)

Before I give my views, I'm going to share a couple of experiences that have shaped my views.

When Madalyn was born, I was always sure that I would breast feed her. My mom breast fed myself and my siblings (all 5 of us), and as the oldest I grew up observing my mom take care of my brothers and sisters and feed and nurture them, and it wasn't a big deal that I saw her bare breast on occasion as she fed the baby. I don't recall there ever being any controversy with my mom feeding her babies, in public or otherwise, and she for sure did not have the "boobie/nursing covers" that most breast feeding moms have today. She breast fed her babies in public without a cover, and nobody ever said anything to her about it. Her breast was not sexualized, and it never was an issue. She was simply feeding her baby.

Fast forward to today's socially and politically correct society.

The first few weeks that Madalyn was a newborn, I was terrified of leaving the house with her for an extended period of time...especially if that meant that I would need to feed her. To be fair here, I was partly terrified because as a new mom I was just starting to figure out the whole breast feeding thing, and while Madalyn never had an issues latching on, that baby could suck like a vacuum! And it hurt. I remember crying whenever I would have to feed her and dreading it because my nipples were so incredibly sore. Eventually the soreness went away, but whomever started the saying "it won't hurt if their latch is correct" is an idiot for saying that...maybe that was true for them, but not me.

So the first few weeks I was terrified of having to breast feed in public. For the above reasons, but also because I was terrified I would be banned from whatever public place that I was going to have to feed my baby in. Why didn't I pump and use a bottle, you ask? Well, I was able to produce plenty of milk for my baby and what her exact needs were, but not when I tried to pump. I also preferred to feed her on my breast because of the bonding, and because I didn't want to jeopardize her latch.

When Madalyn was around 2 or 3 months old, I was having lunch with a friend at a restaurant (in the middle of the day, on a weekday, and there were maybe 3 other patrons in the entire place, not anywhere near us). The inevitable happened, and Madalyn needed to eat. NOW. You know how it is...the "give me food now" screaming loud wail that just gets louder until you stick a nipple (breast or bottle) in their mouth. I put the cover on as quickly as possible, fumbled around with my shirt and bra, got everything situated and Madalyn was happily eating away (under a cover, mind you...). Everything was going smooth, and I was feeling pretty good and relaxed about it. Until a woman around my age (32 for those wondering) walked past our booth on her way to be seated with her 8-10 year old child and her husband. She saw the nursing cover, gave me a disgusted look, and loudly said to her husband,

"I can't believe she is doing that here. That is so disgusting".

When I heard her, (heck, the whole restaurant heard her) I turned 50 shades of red, and could feel every eye in the restaurant baring holes in to me...and in my imagination they were mentally stripping off the nursing cover to see my bare breast. I was humiliated. I wanted to crawl under the table and hide in shame. I wanted to take my baby and run out of there. Until I had the realization of "why?"...why did I feel that way? I was doing ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong. I was feeding my baby. I was taking care of her. I had nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to be embarrassed about. And then I got angry. The kind of angry that makes you shake because you are trying very hard to control your temper but all you want to do is unleash on the person that attacked your parenting. The kind of angry that makes the inner Mama Bear come out full force.

Because of that experience, my views on public breast feeding changed. Prior to that I would have never considered not using a cover...I wouldn't want any one around me to feel uncomfortable. However, from that point on, I fed my baby un-apologetically and without shame (and continue to do so). Do I still cover up? Yes and no. I am generally more comfortable with a cover, however there have been times that I've (gasp) fed my baby in public without a cover. There have been times that I forgot to bring a cover with me and had nothing...should I have let my child starve just because we didn't have a cover? No. I fed her discreetly and no one even noticed or knew what I was doing. When it is 110* outside, I am NOT going to put on an extra layer of whatever, smoother my child, and have her swelter under it with her body heat and mine combined. Any mother that has nursed a baby in the dead of summer knows how incredibly hot that can be, and by the time your baby is done eating they look like they just took a bath because they are dripping in sweat. How is it fair to overheat your baby just to appease someone else's social stigma views on breast feeding? I am not going to do that to my daughter just because someone is uncomfortable with the fact that breasts feed babies and are not exclusively a sex object. My infant daughter's needs come before your rudeness and selfish desire to point out society's inhibitions of breast feeding. You don't have to look. Really. And if you want to look, I'll probably smile your way and start a conversation. I answer questions...I welcome them, in fact. Education is key to bringing awareness to any situation.

The point is (respectfully) this:

Breast feeding is not a sexual act. If you are squeamish with breast feeding, please ask yourself why you are. Is it because you feel it's not socially appropriate to breast feed? Why not? Because a portion of a breast is exposed? If you were to walk down the street to the public pool I guarantee you will see more of an exposed breast(s) than you will see with me feeding my child. Are you apprehensive that your child might see and ask questions? Why not answer the questions with a simple "Some mothers feed their babies with a bottle, and others choose to feed their baby with their breast". I promise, you child will not be scarred for life because they observed a baby nursing. Your child probably won't even notice. Do you not like the fact that breast feeding in your eyes is not considered "modest", and mothers in the Victorian days would never have "whipped it out" to feed a baby in public? Please see this article from Huffington Post on breast feeding in the Victorian days.

Regardless of your views and opinions, which you are allowed to have, a breast feeding mother in the State of California (and many many other States) legally has the right to feed her child in public however see sees fit. That said, 99.9% of the time, you'll never even see a mother breast feeding in public uncovered because you'll never even notice that she is feeding her baby. It's amazing how quickly and efficiently you can feed your baby without having to deal with a cumbersome cover (which by the way, screams "look at me, I'm breast feeding under here"). Most breast feeding mothers are not setting out to make a political statement, they are simply just trying to take care of their baby.

If it bothers you, don't look. No body is making you watch...you have the choice to look at something else.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Pay It Forward For Mama's Challenge

I'd like to challenge you tonight...

If you know a mother of a young child, (especially if the child is a baby/toddler) or even if you happen to see one out in public shopping at Target, or picking up a coffee at Starbucks, etc...

Do something extra special and out of the ordinary to show them that they matter...aside from being a mom...and that they are doing a good job raising and taking care of another tiny (stubborn) human.  

Maybe you can offer to help them put the 40 pound box of kitty litter in their shopping cart at Target, especially if you see they're holding a sleeping baby...

Maybe you could secretly "pay it forward" and pay for their Starbucks coffee...

Maybe you could even just offer a genuine smile and a simple "Hello" to acknowledge their presence.

I'm not going to sit here and complain about motherhood...it's something I waited a long time for...but I will say that it can be especially isolating being a full-time mom of a toddler, and living far from family and close-friends. It's also especially disheartening when the general public can be so incredibly judgmental and downright rude. In the past 7 days I have had 3 separate incidents that have made me wonder how humanity can be so self involved and so intolerant of a mother and her child.

Being a mom is, hands down, the HARDEST thing I have EVER done, or will ever do. And I am NOT talking about labor (although that might be the hardest thing I'll ever physically do...unless I ever decide to run a full marathon...but I think I'd rather give birth again than run for 26.2 miles though). But motherhood as I'm finding out, is seriously HARD. And trust me, I am extremly hard on myself when it comes to parenting...am I doing this right, did I research this enough, did I remember to do that, oh no I let her watch 3 hours of Sesame Street today just so I could stay sane and I wasn't even going to let her watch TV until she was 2...I've ruined her already...and the list goes on. I'm pretty sure they call that "mommy guilt".

So yes, being a mom is tough work. And when you add on random strangers judging your every move, well, it just adds to the guilt. I should say here that I am not usually one to really give a rat's backside what anyone thinks, I am a confident person and confident in my parenting choices and decisions. BUT, I am human and have my weak moments like anyone else.

Incident #1 - Madalyn and I were out all day shopping at Costco and Trader Joe's. We were on our way home after our 4 hour marathon shopping trip when I remembered we were almost our of diapers and kitty litter...2 very different but very similar and very important things! Of course Madalyn fell asleep in the car...so while I swung into Target's parking lot I decided I would just carry her and hope for a quick trip and that she would stay asleep while I carried her (and of course the Ergo was NOT in the car that day...why would it have been?). I was able to surprisingly go from one side of Target to the other side fairly quickly, and Madalyn was miraculously still asleep. although my arms were literally shaking at this point from carrying her and pushing a cart around. (25 pounds is heavy! And no, I haven't been working out like I should lately). So there I am, in the kitty litter section, holding a heavy sleeping baby, trying to figure out how I'm going to lift a 40 pound box of kitty litter in to the cart while holding Madalyn. I maneuvered the cart to an angle that would allow me to literally almost drop the box in to the cart, it was perfectly set up. And I couldn't have had my back turned for more than 3 seconds to grab the box...and there I am, holding my sleeping child in one arm, and a 40 pound box of kitty litter in the other...so if you're doing the math...65 pounds total...and some rude lady that I can only assume was NOT blind...MOVED MY PERFECTLY PLACED CART and told ME that I was being rude for blocking the aisle!!! Mind you, my cart was only positioned like that for possibly 60 seconds at the most, and when I arranged it, there was NO ONE even remotely close to the kitty litter section except me. Ya...I pretty much wanted to sucker punch that woman. Thanks lady.

Incident #2 - Let me preface this by stating that I am fully aware that the sun, does not in fact, shine from the backside of my daughter. She is just shy of 19 months old, and had DEFINITELY entered the "terrible twos" a little early. She is testing me, and is at the stage of defining and discovering her boundaries. Am I tough on her and not let her get away with things? Absolutely. It's called P-A-R-E-N-T-I-N-G. So, there we are in the dairy section at Raley's (a grocery store, for those not in CA). I always bring a couple of toys for Madalyn to play with to (hopefully) keep her entertained. Madalyn has discovered a new "game"...throw her dolly on the ground and see how many times Mom will pick it up. Ya, I caught on to THAT pretty quick...and after the 5th time of "dropping" her dolly ("uh oh" as Madalyn says...and it's kinda cute when she does it but I don't think she quite understands that uh-oh is an oops.....) Mean Mommy took dolly and put her in my purse and said, "No more dolly Madalyn, mommy asked you to not throw dolly on the ground anymore and you disobeyed, so now dolly has to stay with me". Well, let's just say that when Madalyn realized her little game was over and the jig was up, she was NOT happy about it. She screamed. Loud. And unfortunately an older woman happened to be walking past us at that exact moment. Of course I told Madalyn that she was not allowed to yell in the grocery store, but c'mon...she's 1.5 years old and in many ways still a baby and learning. Apparently the older woman didn't take that in to consideration when she loudly asked me "Why can't you control your child". Nice. Way to encourage me. And I don't know why I can't control her...SHE'S one and a half lady...THAT's why...I'm doing my best, but clearly I should just keep her at home 24/7 and never take her out in to public to teach her how to behave appropriately in public.

Incident #3 - Our wedding anniversary is on the 6th. We had planned on going to the Bay Area today to celebrate, but last minute decided to keep it local instead.  We stopped at a couple of our favorite antique shops without incident. Then we decided to venture out to another one of our favorite shops. Madalyn, of course, fell asleep in the car. And once again, I forgot the Ergo. Luckily we brought the stroller and were able to successfully transfer Madalyn from the car seat to the stroller without waking her up. Perfect, we thought...she'll sleep while we get to browse! We walked inside and were immediately greeted by the owner who questioned if we had noticed the "No Strollers" sign on the door. Obviously we had not... She then proceeded to tell us strollers were NOT allowed. OK, so, um, why not? I of course assumed it was because of shoplifting prevention...I know there are some disgusting people in this world that use their children to help them steal. So when I asked why not, I expected to get that as an answer, in which I would have responded with, I have no problems letting you check my stroller when I leave, but my baby is asleep (yay!) and I didn't have anything in the stroller anyway. Apparently that is not why they have the "no strollers" law. Reason given, a bunch of yadda yadda, and a mother walked away from her son in the stroller and he pulled on a table cloth or something and broke a vase, and the mother was rude to them because her son could have been hurt... OK, I am a reasonable person. I completely see their side and point of view on this. However, MY DAUGHTER WAS SLEEPING. (And aside from that I NEVER even take my hand off the stroller because I keep my purse strapped on it AND hello, I don't walk away from my child in public...but of course I don't expect this woman to know that...). So when I explained that she was asleep, and clearly the woman could see that she was asleep and realized she was being ridiculous and being rude to us for no reason at all, she then offered to "allow" us to leave Madalyn in the stroller, parked in the front of the store where SHE would watch her...or we could risk waking her up and carry her. Um, NO, I will not be leaving my daughter parked at the front of the store while we (Mike and I) walk around looking at your stuffy, over priced antiques. And too bad too, because we were planning on dropping some money since we were celebrating our anniversary...and there's a Pyrex dealer that I was dying to look over their stuff to pick out an anniversary present. Ugghhh...so...when I turned the stroller around to leave, the woman started getting kind of aggressive demanding that we "just leave her here, she'll be fine"...and I (hopefully politely, but maybe not since I was fuming) said, "No thanks, I wouldn't have a good time looking at your old junk without my daughter with me"...and then we walked out...never to set foot in that stuffy place again. And I fully support that any business and shop is allowed to make their rules and have their patrons abide by them...but hopefully they can understand that I won't be able to give them any money or support, nor recommend them to my friends.

All that to say, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make a Mama's day tomorrow...trust me, even a smile can completely change the outlook of the day when you feel like everyone is staring at you, and judging your every move and parenting choice. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Mary Kay Look VoxBox {Review}

Have you heard of http://www.influenster.com/??? Well if you haven't you are missing out!!! Go, sign up now! I'll wait for you...

I recently was given a "Glam VoxBox" of some pretty awesome Mary Kay products to use. I was given a fresh, pretty pink "True Dimensions Lip Stick in Pink Cherie" lipstick, a "Cream Eye Color in Violet Storm", a "Cream Eye Color Application Brush", a "Lash Primer" clear mascara, and a "Lash Love Lengthening" mascara.

The Good
My initial thoughts on the lipstick and the eye color were that they were not the usual colors I would choose. I was actually pretty hesitant to use them because I felt they were on the bright side. However, I LOVE them! (And I'm not just saying that...promise!) The pink, while definitely a true pink, is not as bright as I was expecting. It feels so nice on! It's very smooth and moisturizing, and the color lasted for quite a few hours. I'm not really used to wearing a cream eye shadow, and I didn't really think I would like it. Especially because it looked so purple. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to apply it with the application brush (which I LOVE) and on it isn't as purple as in the jar.

The Not As Good
I was really hoping to love the Lash Primer and the mascara, especially since I'm almost out of mine. I was really disappointed to find I didn't really care for either of them. The Lash Primer can be worn alone "for the natural look" or under the mascara for volume, but I didn't find that the Lash Primer made a difference either way for me. I could hardly tell that the Primer was on my lashes, and it was just an added step in my make up routine for under my mascara. As a busy mom I hardly even have 5 minutes for a shower let alone applying an extra step to my mascara. I need it to be quick! (Maybe I didn't apply it correctly?) I did however discover that the Lash Primer makes a really good "brow gel" to hold the fly away eyebrows in place! The mascara seems like it would be a great mascara, but to be honest I hated the skinny, tiny brush. I prefer my mascara brushes to be a little more full...I guess I prefer an overall "volume/lengthening" mascara.

Will I buy It?
Yes to the lipstick, the eye color, and the application brush. No to the mascara, and a maybe to the primer (but would be used as a brow gel). If the mascara had a better brush, I would consider buying it.

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. These are my true and honest views and opinions. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Ever have a case of writer's block? Well I've had mine for about a year now. I just can't seem to write on a consistent basis anymore! Yikes. And forget about crafting and writing tutorials. HA!

So recently I opened an Instagram shop. Don't know what an Instagram shop is? Basically it's a way to sell your items. I specifically sell vintage items, (just a modge podge of things), and am considering listing some baby clothes too. (We have a lot of girl items laying around!) I am LOVING how accessible it is to talk and build a relationship with people. I think Instagram might be my favorite social media thus far! Aside from the wonderful community aspect, and being able to interact with others throughout the day, it's been great to sell some things and make a little cash! I'm hitting a learning curve on the shipping aspect though...but I think I'm getting the hang of it.

If you'd like, you can check it out, IG: @BurlapAndPolkadots

In other news...

We are currently preparing to jump into the real estate market again...we've been waiting for the right time to sell, and thankfully the market is heading back UP in our city. We have a little chore list of tasks that we need to do around the house, including clearing out the "clutter" for a garage sale. (Also why I'm selling stuff on Instagram). On the one hand it's sad to let some of my "treasures" go, but it's actually a good feeling. Mike and I enjoy scouting out flea markets and antique faires and antique shops, so I know I'll eventually (hopefully) come across it again.

Speaking of garage sales...we're getting ready to have one in a couple of weeks. Yikes! I think I'm worn out from last one still! ha! They are fun though...I love to watch all the people that come to shop.

I've been working out on a fairly consistent basis (although this past week has been hit or miss). I'm doing the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution dvds. I completed the 30 Day Shred before I started Body Revolution...and WOW...I was not in shape at ALL when I did the 30 Day Shred. I am amazed at how much stronger my body has become. I haven't lost an amazingly significant amount of weight yet, but I'm happy with the 10 pounds I have lost. Hoping to lose about 40 more, but I'm starting to realize how hard I'm going to have to work to lose it.

And in case you're sitting on the edge of your seats in anticipation of this news because of the last post about the car seat saga...we got Madalyn a new Britax Boulovard 70-G3 car seat. (In the zebra print!) We researched the heck out of them, and we found this seat to be the best fit for our car, daughter, and our budget. So far I am very pleased with our choice!

That's all for now...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Car Seat Safety and Mommy Guilt

I wasn't going to post this, however after thinking about it I thought I would post in case anyone needs some helpful advice or support. (links at bottom of post...highly recommend the Peaceful Parenting group...they're also on Facebook)

If you follow on Instagram, you know that I've had a "fun" few days with Madalyn's car seat saga. She has been in her infant seat because:

1) She is still a tiny girl and I feel safer having her in the infant seat since she is still under the weight limit that our infant seat allows.

2) It's a lot easier to run errands when she is in the infant seat because it can be pulled off the base and put on the stroller!

The other day we forgot to put the seat back in my car, and M left for work. Since I had somewhere that I needed to go that day, I decided to pull out the car seat we had registered for and received as a shower gift before Madalyn was born. I read the manual, and installed it in our car rear facing, because I firmly believe extended rear facing is the safest for a baby/toddler.

Admittedly we did not do much extensive research on the car seats other than the infant seat...ya know...what with being first time parents and overwhelmed with all that, preparing for our natural birth, and still having the fear of a possible miscarriage and losing the pregnancy in the back of our minds (after it happens once, it puts a damper on the 9 months that you are pregnant...not until Madalyn was born and in my arms did I stop worrying about miscarriage or something happening...although I now worry about everything else!)...well, with all of that going on researching a seat she wouldn't be using until she was beyond the infant stage was too much for me to deal with at the time. All that to say, we registered for a seat that *gasp* had a nice look, and seemed like it would fit in our car.

So there I am tugging and pulling and reading directions getting the car seat installed the way the manual directed. It's been pointed out by some people that the "car seat manuals are easy to read", however I disagree. The particular manual I read was not clear on a couple of points, and the diagram was only shown for 2 steps. I still had it installed to the best of my ability, it was securely tightened with the seat belt install, which is how the manual recommended for rear facing...it also stated to only use the latch system for forward facing.

As we drove down the road, I looked over my shoulder to check on my girl and noticed the car seat was askew and tipping over to one side. Not cool. I drove to the fire station that I was close to, and some of the firemen said they could help me, but also that they were not certified...apparently only CHP (highway patrol) is certified. Considering I was not close to a CHP office, I decided to accept the assistance of the firemen that were willing to help me out.

They tried EVERY way they could to get the car seat to be secure rear facing. Even tried connecting with the seat belt and the latch system. Nothing would work to keep the seat from tipping over while rear facing. The very back of the seat was loose and the seat was very top heavy. I'm guessing that the way the seat of my car sits has something to do with the angle. Even tried putting a blanket rolled up under the front end and the back...nothing we did kept it secure. They suggested that the seat would be more secure while in the forward facing position, for temporary use until we could sort out the situation. They informed that the law for forward facing is 1 year old and 20 pounds. (I've since discovered that the law is in fact actually 2 years old. Big fat oops on my part). ***EDIT*** 5/8/13 I called the CHP office and spoke with an officer because it was very unclear on the website and when doing website searches...the law in California is that for forward facing a child must be 1 year old and a minimum of 20 pounds. SO, while it is strongly recommended to have a child rear-facing for as long as possible, the LAW in CA is 1 year and 20 pounds. 

All this to say, I posted another Instagram photo of Madalyn in her seat today. We were parked in the garage, I had loosened her straps because I was going to take her out of the seat, but I changed my mind and wanted to take a photo because I wanted advice from friends on a good safe car seat that also has good head support since she was all flopped over having fallen asleep.

I posted it on my Instagram feed with a couple of hashtags hoping to get some helpful advice, and while I did have several random nice people comment with great advice, I had one comment in particular that really got under my skin. Basically this person was trying to be "helpful" by pointing out that I was essentially going to kill my child by having loose straps. Yes, I already knew this bit of information because I also feel strongly about car seat safety and have tried to educate myself on the subject, and yes the thought did cross my mind that I might get a couple of comments on the fact that her straps were loose and low (which, as I stated above was because I was getting her out of the car) but I really wanted and needed advice from friends on which car seat would be the best since it's an expensive and important purchase...and I feel word of mouth experience is the best.

I didn't expect, and quite frankly was disappointed to get a rude, arrogant and condescending comment from a fellow blogger, a blogger that has built her blogging community and appears to be quite successful at what she does. And good for her...I wish I had the time to devote to blogging the way that she has. I always think it's amazing and powerful when women, especially moms, are able to keep a blogging business going while being a Mama. I was just very taken aback, and to be honest, offended by her approach. I'm not a blogging expert by any means, but it seems to me that you catch people's genuine attention and their listening ears by being nice, and keeping it professional.

Which brings me to the next topic...Mommy Guilt. WHY why WHY do mothers continue to guilt and judge each other?! I mean really, don't we have enough to deal with, without adding more to it? I haven't dealt with post-partum depression, thank goodness, but if I had or if I was, a comment in the tone that hers was would have been devastating.

I understand wanting to educate parents on car seat safety. It is extremely important! I also understand having a passion for something, especially something that can effect children and their well being, such as breast feeding, natural med-free birth, organic food, vaccinations or no vaccinations, baby wearing, co-sleeping, circumcision or not, etc... I get it. I truly do.

What I don't understand is how being accusing, condescending  arrogant, brash, and just down right rude will inspire me to seek out further education from said person? (Because after all, "however we word it, it will cause you guilt" because you are going to kill your baby with loose car seat straps while they are parked in the garage??? wow. )

Perhaps a better approach would be to gently educate parents...a more friendly and helpful tone DOES matter if you want people to hear you, especially with the written word over the internet. A successful blogger should already know this. Hopefully this post, if its read by her, will help her to change her approach. Because I do believe that she is genuinely concerned for babies and kids that aren't properly restrained.

***EDIT 5/9/13*** I found these Instagram terms of service...the above mentioned user might want to read them and perhaps re-think her approach even further so as to comply with the TOS, and additionally stop posting pictures she has copied from other users to make her point...I'm sure she has not received permission to post them...and it's against the TOS.

And PS, we will be purchasing another seat very, very soon...we are leaning towards the Diono Radian, or one of the Britax models...preferably one that will grow with Madalyn in to a booster seat eventually...but most importantly keep her safe and rear facing for as long as possible!

If you're not sure if your seat is properly installed, please have it checked by a certified professional. Obviously every parent wants their child to be safe and protected in the event of the unthinkable happening. Prevention and preparation is key! As is education...so here are some helpful links.




Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Things Remembered

Most of you know that my mom passed away from cancer almost 15 years ago. A year after she passed away my dad got remarried, sold my childhood home, and packed a lot of my mom's things to put away for the future when myself and my 2 brothers and 2 sisters would be grown and appreciate the items. Well, fast forward to today and we have finally gone through everything. My brother and I organized a huge garage sale to get rid of the items we no longer needed/wanted.

On the one hand it's been very nostalgic to see old toys and books and nick-nacks from my past life, but on the other hand it's been very overwhelming. Cancer doesn't just happen to one person, it happens to the entire family, especially when the person with the cancer curse is your mother. Silly little meaningless and insignificant items have the strangest way of reminding you of something that you never would have remembered unless you saw that item again. Like a cheap toll-painted wood napkin holder that always sat on the kitchen counter, or a note pad with Suzi-Zoo animals on it that your mom wrote phone messages on, or a small wooden box with Chuck-E-Cheese coins and tokens that was left over from your baby brother's birthday party that he used to play "pirate treasure" with.

Sifting and sorting through a childhood of memories, most of the memories good, some bad, and several sad...it's a lot of work to go through it all! (Emotionally and physically). We found a box of cancer books, information pamphlets, a Day Runner with doctor appointments and doctor business cards in, and hospice care "encouragement/support for the caregiver". It was definitely overwhelming...and in a way very symbolic when we were able to THROW it all in the trash can! Not sure why it took so long to throw that box away, but I have to admit it was one of the best feelings to dump it all and walk away. God is so much bigger than that box! My childhood and my experiences were not normal. But it was my childhood and my history.
As evidenced by the boxes of memories my mom tried to create for her children, she and my dad tried to make it as much of a normal situation as it could be. I am thankful for the memories she gave us, and even more thankful for the life lessons that my parents taught us.

Garage sales are a stinking pain in the booty to organize and then have...and garage sale shoppers can be very (...how shall I  put it...) unique? But it was an amazing feeling to be able to help one particular gentleman get back on his feet...bless his heart...he just entered an Independent Living program, and was looking for furniture and dishes and anything for his new apartment. He was proud that he could purchase the items he needed, and was grateful for the "extra" things we gave him. At the end of the day, we did make a little bit of junk change, but the experience of cleansing our memories and letting the clutter of the past make it's way to a new home and new life was very much worth the work and effort put in to the garage sale. I am thankful that I had a mother that worked so hard to give us a childhood as free from cancer as was possible. Now that the items we wanted to keep are on display in their new homes, and everything else is gone, the past can finally be put to rest. It's over. There are no more boxes of cancer books, no more boxes of bad memories, only good memories are left now.

The cutest little Garage Sale Mascot ever!

As difficult as it was to part with many of the items, having such strong ties and memory of my mom attached, it was therapeutic and healing to go through the items and see them and hold them and then open my hand and my heart and let them go.

My mom's pretty wedding china is now on display in my home...I love having it out to look at...it makes me so happy to have this reminder of her!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

14 months

Life has been super crazy-busy lately. Madalyn started WALKING at 10mo 3weeks...and life has only been busier and crazier and hasn't slowed down since! As such, I haven't had much time to sit at a computer to journal everything, and I DEFINITELY have not had time to craft much. (You can follow me on Instagram if you want to keep up with my day-to-day adventures in mothering). My days pretty much consist of chasing after Madalyn and keeping her out of trouble, making sure she has food (the girl can eat!), and of course changing multiple diapers throughout the day. (I can't wait for potty training and no more diapers!!!)

14 Months 

Madalyn's favorite foods right now are: oatmeal, any kind of fruit, chicken, pasta, whole grain waffles, toast, eggs, kidney beans, gold fishy crackers, "cookies" (she knows the ASL sign for cookie and will do the cookie sign and more and please...too cute!), and "cookies" are actually graham crackers...she likes to sip my morning almond milk/banana/blueberry/protein smoothie, kidney bean/cheese quesadilla, cheese sticks, sweet potatoes and avocados are still favorites, she pretty much will eat anything! Madalyn also likes the Organic Earth's Best baby food pouches and prefers to "suck" the purees out of the pouch on her own as opposed to me feeding it to her with a spoon. Can we say independent? She loves food! I try to feed her as healthy as possible with as little processed foods as possible...however...she might have recently had her first taste of a McDonald's Happy Meal. I know. Shameful....but it's not something that happens often, and of course she loved every bite of the chicken nuggets and the few French fries she had. I am still breastfeeding her mostly in the morning, for nap time, and evening. I guess you could say we are practicing "extended breastfeeding". It has been going very smoothly, and my goal is to keep it up until she is 2 years old. But overall I am just happy that we made it for a year, so anything extra is just a bonus.

Madalyn LOVES to play outside! In fact, she doesn't even need to be playing...just to be outside doing whatever is good enough for her. Every time the sliding glass door is opened she comes running so she can go in the backyard. Now that the weather is beautiful and warm we have been spending a lot of time hanging out back there. We have also been to the park several times and she loves to swing! I'm thinking about getting a toddler swing to hang on our back patio for her. Last week while we were at the park we met a little boy and his grandma. They were very nice, and Madalyn was in awe watching the little boy play...she pretty much copied everything he did, including stomping her feet and throwing sand up in the air. Nice.

Madalyn also loves stairs...even if its just one step...she recently mastered going up and down a step. Whenever I open the garage door to go out to the laundry she always stops whatever she is doing and comes running so she can step down, and step back up, and do it all over again 39 times. (The only "stair" in our house). She also likes to help me do laundry! It's really too cute to watch her gather up stuff in the basket, and then scatter it everywhere again.

Teething hasn't been too bad the past couple of weeks. So far Madalyn has her two front bottom teeth, and 4 front top teeth. I purchased a Baltic Amber Teething necklace for her to wear, and I really do feel that it had helped with her teething pain and the inflammation.

Madalyn loves shoes just like her mama! I got her some new sandals and when I put them on her she "stomped" around the house to make a nice loud stomping noise. I think they might be her favorite shoes. She likes to try and stand in my shoes or Dada's shoes too. The other day she tried to walk around in mine!

Purses are also another love...Madalyn loves to carry anything around that resembles a purse or bag, and she puts her toys in it. She likes to take things out of MY purse, so my purse has a new resting spot on a stool out of reach. And speaking of that stool...she is such a strong little thing! Madalyn pushed the stool all the way from the kitchen, down the hallway, and almost in to the guest bathroom.

Madalyn is quite the stubborn and strong willed little girl. I am not surprised by this at all! I strongly believe that her stubborn little personality and strong willed nature is part of why she survived and thrived in my womb when she was still just a little teensy tiny "bubble" with a heartbeat on the 6 weeks ultrasound. I am THANKFUL for her strong will...although at times I do find it somewhat exhausting (if I'm going to be truthful and real). It's super exhausting to think about the teen years and the stubbornness! But I welcome them and actually look forward to helping guide my girl into the young woman she will someday become.


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