Friday, September 30, 2011

Mom Jeans - part deux

I just bought these jeans:


They are the Torrid Denim - Bootleg Roxanne Pull-Up with Zipper Jean.

I love them.
They fit good.
They look good.
They feel good.
I feel good in them.

I get dressed this morning in my new jeans, twirl to check out my butt *nod approvingly* pick my cell phone up off the nightstand and quickly realize that the front pockets are FAKE!


What!?

But where am I supposed to put my cell phone, car keys, lip gloss, or parking stub?


I guess this is their quiet way of telling me that I should stop adding bulk in the front and should, instead, add it to the trunk.



Why, thank you Torrid. I appreciate the memo.
You're lucky these jeans are cute....


When I bought the two pairs of jean I discuss in this video, I earned $25 haute cash which I'd been saving in my wallet ever since. This past week was the time to redeem it, so I got $25 knocked off the price of these jeans, which basically made them half price. Sweet.

I guess for $26 I can overlook the fake pockets.

As of this morning, these jeans are on sale - $40 (I still got the better deal!) but hurry, because I'd suspect that the popular sizes sell out fast.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hannah's Birthday Cake

Every month some of my girlfriends and I get together for Baking club and we tackle a recipe we've been dying to try.  One month, when it was my turn to choose the recipe and host the evening, I selected Martha Stewart's rainbow cake as a nod to the fact that it was St. Patrick's Day.

March 2011 Baking Club

I loved the cake.  It was a beautiful batter, a tasty cake, and the bright colors looked amazing and SUPER impressive.

I knew I wanted to use this recipe for Hannah's birthday cake.

Link to the recipe!

It is a milk and egg white cake batter, and the only substitution I make is that I use Cake Flour (available at your grocery store in the baking aisle or in bulk bins) instead of All Purpose.  I think it makes the cake lighter.

I didn't want to confuse Hannah's color scheme with being a rainbow theme, so I mixed up the order in which I stacked the layers.

Beautiful batter.  Try to get each layer to have a similar level of intensity by starting with a small amount of food coloring and keep adding till you get to the desired color.  You can always add more color, but you can't really take it out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

1 Year of Breastfeeding Celebration!

We made it!

Hannah and I have had to overcome a lot to get here -
c-section, NICU, surgery on her labial frenum to improve her latch, going back to work at 9 weeks, my low supply while pumping, having to supplement with donor breastmilk, etc, etc
 - But we're here now!

We are excited to have met our goal of breastfeeding for 1 year.

In fact we're so excited that we wanted YOU to be able to celebrate to.  SO I contact some of our favorite companies and resources that offer wonderful products that facilitate breastfeeding, and asked them to be involved.

So watch the video and then check out the details below for links to the websites and products mentioned, as well as coupon codes and giveaways.


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Medela Freestyle Pump


Learn more about my pump



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Milkies Milk Saver



http://www.mymilkies.com/

The only milk saver on the market!  Using it while nursing helped me to save that leaking milk that I'd normally have lost in a breast pad.  Anything that helps me build my freezer stash AND saves me pumping time gets the Bubblelush stamp of approval.  Follow the amazon link below to get your own.  {Also a great idea for a baby shower or new baby gift.}


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Mama’s Breastfeeding Essentials Bundle includes all-natural necessities for every breastfeeding mama.Organic Milkmaid Tea is a USDA Certified 100% Organic nursing tea that helps support healthy breast milk production. Lanolin-free Natural Nipple Butter (2 fl. Oz.) is a naturally safe nipple cream that helps soothe and prevent sore, cracked nipples. Booby Tubes® are gel-free breast packs to use warm or cold to ease breasts sore from engorgement or mastitis. Safe and natural, with no toxins ever.

All bundled up in Earth Mama’s reusable, 100% Certified Organic cotton Mini Logo Tote, Mama’s Breastfeeding Essentials Bundle is a caring gift that provides extra support as a new mama adjusts to 24/7 milk-and-cuddle call!

Retail Value $46.09; buy the Bundle for just $36.87!




Booby Tubes® are natural, safe, gel-free breast packs made with a 100% organic cotton shell and filled with all-natural flax seed. Use warm or cold, depending on your nursing needs.


Store Booby Tubes® in the freezer and wear them inside your bra between feedings to help reduce the swelling and tenderness of engorgement and to comfort breasts during weaning.
When heated, Booby Tubes® safely deliver warm, moist heat to tender breasts to encourage milk flow, maintain open milk ducts to prevent clogged ducts, promote let-down and comfort the symptoms of infection or mastitis. Mama's unique gel-free construction was designed with extra care to help reduce the risk of burns.
And you'll be as pleased as Mama is to know they are made in the USA in a fair trade factory.
Two Booby Tubes per box, one for each side!








USDA Certified 100% Organic & Certified Kosher, Organic Milkmaid Tea was created for those times when the "milk of momness" needs a little encouragement. Tasty iced or hot Organic Milkmaid Tea is a fragrant and comforting blend of organic herbs traditionally used to help support healthy breast milk production.
Blended with traditional herbal galactagogues and mineral packed herbs, Organic Milkmaid Tea helps keep brea st milk flowing from healthy mama to healthy baby.
NOT FOR USE DURING PREGNANCY. Please note: many galactagogue herbs are not recommended for use during pregnancy in greater than culinary amounts.
All Earth Mama Angel Baby teas are naturally caffeine free, in biodegradable, easy to brew tea bags with compostable overwrap, and the 100% recycled and recyclable cartons were produced using wind energy. Steep, sip and enjoy!

Sore, cracked nipples? Mama’s got just the soothing balm for you! Natural Nipple Butter is lanolin free and not a bit sticky, so it smoothes on like, well, butter! 


Clinically tested, hospital recommended 
Natural Nipple Butter is safe, lanolin-free, zero toxin nipple cream for nursing mamas, and anyone with dry, cracked skin. Read the reviews! Chapped cheeks? Check! Dry elbows? Yup. And of course, healing help for nipples that are taking a beating from breastfeeding. Made with soothing organic Calendula and non-sticky natural plant butters to comfort and protect. Safe for baby too - no need to wash it off before nursing! Apply as needed, and after each feeding. 


Get these three products, plus the cute tote bag, in the Mama's Breastfeeding Essentials Bundle




Coupon Code!

And now through October 8th,
Save 15% off your order by using coupon code Bubble15 during checkout!




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Udder covers appears to be experiencing low availability and many styles are on backorder through November.  

Coupon Code!

{onefree}



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Nursing Cover Giveaway




Craft Blog - Craftaholics Anonymous

Link to Giveaway!  
(will be posted September 27, 2011)



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Breast Milk Donation Resources










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Uniting the breastfeeding community.

Connecting advocates, experts and parents. Providing the very best and most trustworthy breastfeeding information. Offering the support new moms need.
Milk for Thought is bringing together the energy from different parts of the breastfeeding community to share, support, educate and create. Whether you’re passionate, dedicated or simply curious about breastfeeding, you can join forces, find answers and meet likeminded people here at Milk for Thought.
Get your own Breastfed Onesie 

Coupon Code!
Use coupon code celebrate15 for 15% off your order through October 22nd!


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The glamourmom nursing tanks are by far my favorite.  With many longer length and full busted styles, them cater to many body types while still being functional and flattering.



The transition nursing bra tank is a wonderful thing to pack in your hospital bag for use immediately post partum.   It would also be a great choice for those that are nursing while pregnant aka tandem nursing.

Glamourmom® Transition Nursing Bra Tank
Original, patented design for full discretion and support when nursing in public.
  • Full built-in nursing bra
  • Guaranteed post-partum tummy coverage
  • Extra room and length for enhanced belly area during pregnancy
  • Discreet, a-line cut, post-partum nursing tank
  • Stylish clasps sit flush for a non-bulky look
  • Adjustable spaghetti straps
  • Designed to be worn underneath or on its own
  • Machine washable
  • 92% Cotton, 8% Elastane




Enter to win your own Transition nursing bra tank!

To Enter: 
You need to go visit Glamourmom's website then come back here and leave a comment telling me why you want to win this tanktop and name one other product you'd be interested in. Extra Entries:

-Subscribe to my YouTube Channel (leave YouTube name)
-Like Glamourmom on Facebook  (leave Facebook name)
-Like TheBubblelush on Facebook (leave Facebook name)
-Follow TheBubblelush on Twitter (leave your @twitter name)
-Follow The Bubblelush Blog


Leave a separate comment for each entry.  
The winner will be selected on Friday October 7th, 2011.






Man has Fathered 74 Children via Sperm Donation




Premiering Tuesday, September 27 at 9 p.m. on the Style Network, the documentary “Sperm Donor” will explore the relationship between sperm donors, their offspring, and resulting siblings. The show is part of the “Style Exposed” series, which began in July.
This Tuesday’s episode will follow the story of Ben, who recently discovered that his sperm has already helped to create 74 children and is still being used. More than 10 years ago, while Ben was still in college, he donated his sperm and is now using the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) to find some of his offspring. During the documentary Ben prepares to connect with two of his daughters and grapples with telling his fiancĂ© the news.
The episode will also follow the story of two half-sisters who discover that their mothers used the same sperm donor. They too use DSR to find each other.
Previous ”Style Exposed” documentaries include “Psychic in Suburbia” and “ Born Male, Living Female.”

In college I remember reading an article about egg donation and how much money a donor could make.  For a second I actually considered it (which, considering my diagnosis of PCOS is a little funny to think about - how naive I was....).   Sperm donation is an amazing thing, and the ability to assist someone in creating the child they long for is a wonderful gift, but to the donors ever thing about what could happen if their sample became THIS popular?


Thoughts?

Are you going to watch the show tonight?

Nearly Perfect

Sunday was Hannah's 1st birthday party!

It was a long awaited event, and now that it has passed, I actually feel like I have a one year old. (I've been fighting that reality for awhile now...)

Her birthday was a week ago, but we pushed it back so my visiting aunt could attend.  It turns out it was a great choice because it also allowed some busy friends to attend as well.

However, even with the extra week, I still could have done better.

I planned a menu that featured some of Hannah's favorite foods and one menu item was supposed to feature blueberries.

I was going to make blueberry cheesecake bites like this:


but I was going to make it easy on myself and buy the Philadelphia Cheesecake filling in the tub - hey!  I'm working here! - but according to two different grocery store managers, they no longer make/carry/sell it.  Damn!

I still had the graham crackers and blueberries, and Chris brought home some cream cheese for me to make my own cheesecake, but really - who has time to make cheesecake AND ten layers of birthday cake?


Yes, you heard me right.  TEN layers of birthday cake.  Because I'm INSANE.


I admit that I also put family members to work the second they walked in the door and even made a guest hang a banner.

Oh, and I made my photographer friend take pictures while we opened gifts. 
{Basically I just thrust our nice camera into his hands and told him to go crazy with it.} 
You might think that's a little ... rude? presumptuous?  rude?  
Meh!  He didn't complain at all and, in fact, took some fabulous pictures.
He's hired!

....Well, I'll at least send him a really nice thank you card.

Like I said - I'm not perfect.


But my little ONE YEAR OLD daughter sure is close!
Stay tuned for lots of birthday photos to explode all over this blog tomorrow.
I can't wait to share the details with you!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

People I'd Hire

Chris and I have this running conversation about what we'd do if we won the lottery, and it's gotten to the point where we truly believe that we will one day WIN the lottery.

Although it's fairly diluted, I'm okay with living in this fantasy land.

Sometimes I think about what I'd do if I had an unlimited income, and today I'm thinking of the people I'd hire.
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1) Alice.
Wouldn't everyone?  While cleaning can be theraputic, I'd gladly let someone else do the vast majority of the 'therapy' while I play with Hannah on my weekends.  Can you imagine not having to scrub toilets or put away laundry? 

If you have an Alice, you probably can. 
I'm Jealous.
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2) Gardener.
Chris likes to water the garden... 
But I think that's where his 'love' of all things yard related ends. 
If someone would regularly mow the yard and prune the trees I'd be happy. 
If someone would weed the garden and treat any issues like leaf mold or low nutrients or .... whatever maintenance gardens need, I'd be blissfully happy. 
But if someone would come in and completely overhaul our entire back AND front yard's landscaping, I'd be over the moon excited.

source - New York Times
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3) Chef. 
I like the 'idea' of cooking, but once I start doing it I realize how low my aptitude for cooking really is.  I appreciate yummy food, but I don't care about all the spice and cooking nuance that it takes to GET food to taste yummy.  Jamie Oliver would be hired in a second.  or at least a reasonably handsome and talented knock off.

source- TLC.com

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4) Personal Assistant.
I have a million well intentioned thoughts every day.  Here's the first five thoughts that come to my mind:
  • a) send a thank you note to SIL for the giant box of 18m and 24m hand me downs she sent to us (along with the picnic basket toy - too cute!)
  • b) that reminds me that Chris still needs to actually SEND his niece's birthday gift.  utter failure this year...
  • c) I have to bake Hannah's birthday cake and her little personal cake.  How am I going to frost them?  I should probably practice.
  • d) I need to finish REfinishing that dresser.  It would have been the perfect cake table but not half stripped like it currently is.  I bought the paint (do I have primer?) and some stripper to finish the job, I just need some Hannah free time to do it.
  • e) I need to make the stand for the french fries.  And apparently find a new cake table....

See - those are 5 rapid fire, real time thoughts.   Random to-do's that could easily be completed by a personal assistant.  Now that I'm back to working full time (the week before her party - what WAS I thinking?) I almost feel like I deserve it.

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5) Webmaster.
It would be great if there was someone that would run this blog and optimize the heck out of it.  Not WRITE the content, just stay on me to keep it fresh.  I'd also have him organize messages, comments and letters into those are need a quick questions answers, those that need a thoughtful response, and those to reread on days where I feel defeated. 
I suppose I could do this one myself using gmail folders.....  hmmm.
__________________________________________________________
I take pride in my accomplishments and like being fairly independent, but if I can delegate some of the less-than-stellar jobs to someone OTHER than Chris, I'd do it in an instant.

Who would YOU hire?


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hannah's Quiet Corner

While searching on pinterest, I came across the idea of a playhouse canopy like this:

I even found a few tutorials:


So I put it on my TO DO list and figured it was the perfect idea for SubfertileFrugalista's Pinterest challenge.

Yesterday Hannah & I attended a consignment event with Jessica & Ethan and while shopping between the toy and book sections, I found this round gauzy THING shoved under the table.  It was wrapped up pretty tight, but appeared to be a bed canopy.  It only cost $3 so I took a chance.

After some investigation online, I discovered that it is IKEA's Fabler bed canopy and retails for $20.

Score.

This afternoon, I gathered up the canopy, Hannah's stuffed animal collection, a wicker-ish laundry basket I bought at Goodwill ($3) months ago, a cushion I made for the dogs that was never actually USED by the dogs, and some blankets.  The resulting transformation:


Isn't is CUTE?!?!

Here's Hannah's reaction:







I think we have a winner, folks.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's That Time of Year!

Can you smell it?
The leaves are changing, the school buses are driving 10 miles under the speed limit right in front of you and then stopping at all the train tracks... it was a long commute this morning... and, most importantly:
your kids just finished a growth spurt and nothing fits anymore.

No Clothes?!  oh NO!!


Have no fear!  It's fall consignment event season!!

Do you have no idea what a consignment event is?
It's a bunch of parents that, instead of donating to Goodwill or selling at a consignment STORE, have all gotten together to sell their kid gear at one big blowout weekend event.  They clear out their garage and get paid quickly and YOU get to buy fabulous clothing, strollers, toys, cloth diapers, maternity clothes, at a fraction of the price.

Too good for 2nd hand clothes?  
Well if you're shopping for size Newborn-12 months, many clothes might still have the tags on them because the baby simply outgrew it before they could wear it.

Still too good for 2nd hand clothes?  
... then we probably wouldn't be friends in real life.

Moving on.

If you're still confused, here are some of my previous hauls:








The #1 questions I get is "How can I find consignment events in my area?"

Any sale worth its salt should be searchable on this website:  http://consignmentmommies.com/index.html

You can also google "consignment event {your city/big city near you}"
Check out craigslist.org!  Quality search terms include "consignment event sale second hand, etc" and you can always just scan through the baby/kids section.

Community papers, bulletin boards at your pediatrician office, gymboree, little gym might have fliers.  Sometimes walking into a baby boutique and just asking the clerk if they now of any events near you.  If you still can't find any you could always ask the sales person at your local consignment store.  Keep in mind that the event is probably in direct competition with them (unless they are the ones hosting it) so they might 'have no idea'.... riiight.


Always start by getting a lay of the land.

When going to a sale, do a quick sweep of the sale's layout.  Sometimes there is a little nook filled with gold.  Sometimes the ergo carriers are with the strollers, sometimes they are with the maternity clothes.  Sometimes the (ridiculously expensive when purchased brand new) shoes are in plain sight, sometimes they are at the end of a row of clothing or hidden in a back corner.


Make sure you come to the sale with a wish list.

Do you want to by cloth diapers, a lamp for the nursery, robeez shoes, wooden toys and winter hats?
Scan those sections and shop the one with the lowest inventory first.

Know about the 'Secret' sale hours.

Most times there are special presale shopping hours for those that are selling items, those that volunteer for shifts and first time moms/teen moms/ foster parents/ teachers.  If these time are not easily visible on the sale's website,  see if the sale has a facebook page.  Most likely there will be many consigner talking on the facebook wall about tagging their items, when to drop off and when the presale is.   If you're available to shop on that day and either (1) are expecting or have a baby under a year old or (2) can volunteer at the sale, contact the person running the event (look on the facebook info tab if the email is not visible on the webpage) and ASK.  It never hurts to ASK.

Give a little to get a LOT.

Volunteering to work a shift or two will let you beat out hundreds of shoppers and buy the quality items.  I've volunteered multiple times.  Sometimes I help the cashier by counting and bagging items (which is a good job if you're pregnant because you don't have to walk/waddle anywhere and sometimes they have stools for you to sit down), sometimes I am a greeter (which is a good job if you have a baby and own a carrier - just wear the baby during the sale and if you need a nursing break, they'll understand and accommodate you.  PLUS, all you do is just say HI!  Even if you're shy - it's worth it to shop early - but if you are painfully shy, ask to work at the HOLD area.  All you do is take people's full bags, write their name down and HOLD it for them until they're ready to check out.  Easy peasy.   There are plenty of other positions, but those are the three I'm most familiar with.

Follow the Rules.

Every sale has their own rules.  Realize that the rules exist for a reason and respect them.  If they ask for 'no strollers at the presale' then leave the baby with daddy or strap on your sling/wrap/carrier.  If they ask you to bring your own bags - do so.  Otherwise they'll probably have some thin ghetto bags to carry your stuff in and they'll rip as you're walking to the car, and you'll have to pick up all your - now dirty - items while managing a baby, or belly, or people pointing at you.

And you'll deserve it because YOU FORGOT YOUR BAG.

:)

I think that's about it.
Does anyone else have any tips, tricks or suggestions for consignment event newbies?

.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Age Appropriate

Earlier this week someone mentioned that Hannah's actions I had described sounded very 'age appropriate' and it's stuck with me ever since.

Age appropriate.

How, as a mom, am I supposed to know what is age appropriate as far as Hannah's behavior and development is concerned?

Do I take her to playgroups and compare her to other children her age?

I tried that.
They made me out to be the freak with the crawling/walking baby and even went so far as to accuse me of lying about her age.
Not the best experience...

It would seem to me that a pediatrician would be a good person to ask about 'Age Appropriate' skills and behaviors, but we only see her every 3 months and I think the visits are going to begin to spread out to every 6 months.

...  so who do you ask?

Perhaps a book.

A book can tell me the stages of development and what is common in each stage.  But it seems a little dry and, frankly, the time I have to read is minimal at best.  The advice also isn't catered to Hannah, but to the masses.

I would expect that children in quality day care centers would receive periodic feedback on how their child behaves while in their care, and how 'normal' it is for their age.

But what if they're not in a daycare?

It seems like there should be a baby whisperer that I can go to and let them observe Hannah exploring a room full of toys.  I'd like feedback as they watch her grab every stuffed animal/ball/random item she can possibly hold on to with her little hands.  I'd like to know if I should apologize to the child's mom when Hannah steals another kid's toy.  And what about this slapping thing she's gotten in to?  Is it just a matter of frustration and is giving her a stern "no ma'am" the best way to handle it?

Don't you think that parents should get more help in raising their children WELL?
I'm all for mom's groups and playdates, but with all the misinformation and throw back advice from older generations, I think more parents would benefit from periodic one on one discussion with a real professional.
I feel that it is my job to make sure Hannah grows into the bright, sweet little girl she has the potential to be, and because it's such a monumental task - I'm not above asking for input.   EDUCATED input.

You'd think that a preschool teacher or long term nanny would become a sort of baby consultant.

So I did some googling.
(I love Google.)

Search "Baby Development Consultant"


  • One of the top responses is the website of Sara Shaw M.S. MFT.  She is a social emotional develoment consultant, but it states right on her main page that the population she serves is children that are facing changes in their home life such as divorce or difficulty at school.  She does have a page of links to helpful articles that I'll be looking through:  http://www.sarashaw.com/articles.html
Since most of my results seem to be geared towards treatment and evaluation AFTER a problem is apparent, I switched my search to:

"Encouraging Healthy Baby Development Consultant" and this caught my eye:
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DayOne || Parent Classes & Workshops


dayonecenter.com/classes/parent_classes_workshops/ 
Taught by an experienced sleep consultant, the workshop covers a baby's ... massage helpsbabies to sleep better, reduces fussiness, promotes healthy ... “How can I help my child'slanguage development, motor skills and social development? ... Promote eye coordination, muscle tone and strength; Encourage spontaneity ...
_____________________

It seems that the DayOne center in California has parenting classes that cover INTERESTING topics such as Finding a Presechool, Writing a Will or Trust, Photography Tips, Introducing Solids, Pumping and my favorite - DEVELOPMENTAL PLAY.

THIS is the type of interaction I'm {kindof} looking for.
I'd prefer more one-on-one, but mainly I'm looking for classes for parents that want to be proactive in teaching & raising their children instead of court mandated programs that are focused on treatment instead of prevention.

DayOne is not local so I'll have to search for something similar in the Portland, Oregon area, but it's a start.

I took all these classes before Hannah was born - breastfeeding basics, WEEKS of childbirth classes, CPR and first aid, etc etc etc.  Most were geared towards preparing for that ONE day of labor (or days and days in my case), But once Hannah actually GOT HERE I'm just expected to know it all.

We read and prepare so much to understand the 9+ months that we're pregant, and focus so much energy on the delivery, but shouldn't it be the next 18 years that we really prepare for?

Having a beautiful labor and delivery is a wonderful goal,
but if I had to choose
I'd rather have a csection and be a fabulous parent.


Thoughts?

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