Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hippie Woman


My name is Randi.

I think I am a hippie...

I am not sure when it hit me, but lately it seems I am doing more "hippie - like" things than not. I don't know how my view of life and/or parenting has shifted quite so much, but I can tell you that I am very much enjoying the way I do things now.

I got really excited today when I washed my cloth diapers and it was sunny enough to hang them outside to dry. They looked lovely on my drying rack in the sun.

I adore diaper changes most of the time. How cute is it to see this soft and squishy diaper on my soft and squishy baby? Plus, I paid for this diaper about 6 months ago...and I can reuse it over and over and over again! I still love that :-)

I don't ever want to put my baby down. I am even typing one handed at the moment because he is sprawled out on my lap and in my other arm. I don't care if I am spoiling him. I can't get enough of my little man. He lives in my baby carrier when we leave the house.

And I can't help but oogle this carrier. How sweet would it be to snuggle my baby all day like this?

And this just looks awesome to me!

I think I'm a bit of a hippie because I used a midwife to deliver my last baby. And I loved it. And her.

Oh, and I breastfeed exclusively. Not necessarily "on demand" but you better believe I will feed my baby when he is hungry. I just also wake him when he hasn't eaten in over 4 hours during the day!

And I haven't shaved my legs in over a week - or two...wait, that may not be because I'm a hippie. I'm just too busy :-)

I would be more of a hippie if I cooked more and didn't love McDonald's iced coffee so much. Also, if I ate more organic foods, learned how to sew, and coslept with my kids.

Maybe one day I will do those things! For now, I will stick to babywearing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, midwife delivering, air drying...oh, and hairy legs :-)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Its a new...

If you know me at all...

or if you've read more than one of my blog entries....

you know that I love...


So, of course, I want to share my newest one with you. Its for little N. Its one of the very best car seats on the market. It will hold him until he is ready for a big boy booster seat (around 5-6 years old). Its a Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL and I got an AMAZING deal on it last week...I actually SAVED $179. Crazy!
I have been wanting to buy him his own convertible seat (so D could have his seat back in my hubby's car), so when I saw this seat's price marked down big time, I couldn't help but jump at the chance to get it for N.

One of the most exciting things about this seat is its narrow and low profile. It makes it easy for kids to climb in and out of and very easy for me to load and unload them. It also makes it very likely that we can fit three seats across the bench in our Saturn Vue if needed.

It also has WAY more leg room for a rear facing toddler than most other seats have. For instance, D's convertible car seats have about an 8 inch seat depth. This new one is 13 inches deep! Thats 5 more inches of legroom!

Now that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping kids rear facing for a minimum of 2 years, this extra leg room will be very useful!

N already fits in his new seat very nicely. Of course, he does look tiny in it :-)

I wanted to see how my 37 inch 2 1/2 year old fit in it so I could figure out how long it will comfortably last for N.

Here is how D fits in it (he isn't buckled...I was just testing for head height and leg room). He could still EASILY ride in this seat if it was for him! For size reference, he is tall enough to wear a 3T.
Thats all :-) Have a great week! I will be enjoying strapping my littlest sweetie into a seat fit for a king!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Smiles and Cute Faces

I just wanted to share some adorable pictures I took today of my growing baby. He is almost 9 weeks old.

He is still the happiest and most content baby I have ever known!

Friday, June 24, 2011


Today I nursed while walking up the stairs.

Then I came downstairs, opened a box of Bagel Bites and put them on a baking sheet - all while nursing.

I unlatched and moved N to the side when I stuck them in the oven though. Because I am not an idiot. Or even a risk-taker.

I tell you all of this because I am very proud of myself. I am not a very experienced breast-feeder. While I did nurse both my older two, I didn't do it for very long and it didn't go incredibly well with either of them. Even with N, it didn't start out well (remember the weight gain problems we had?).

That is all in the past! Little N is nursing like a champ now. He has gained over 3 lbs in 5 weeks. He is eating on a nice 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hour routine right now. We've gotten through the one-hour cluster feedings, severe engorgement (although we still battle this most mornings), leaking milk on the sheets at a hotel, weaning off a nipple shield, supplementing through pumping and syringe/tube feeding, and latching issues.

I am so proud of myself for sticking with this even though it got off to a rocky start. I love that I make enough milk to nourish my growing son. I love when he falls asleep at the breast, "pops" off the nipple, and then rolls over on the Boppy. I love it even more when milk dribbles out of his if he fell asleep before he could even swallow. I even love that yellow seedy poop that the freshly digested breastmilk creates. It doesn't stink up his room AT ALL! Its a miracle!

I am still not very good at holding him in the typical "cradle" position that most moms master easily. But we're still learning as we're going. I am just relived that I can now nurse while I am laying in bed - it makes that 6am feeding much better :-)

At 8 weeks old, doesn't he look well-fed and content?
I thought I'd take some pictures while I multitasked this afternoon. I don't normally cover up with a burp cloth - just thought I would for modesty purposes for the pictures I was taking, haha! I know I will cherish these memories when my baby is no longer a nursing baby.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Anatomy of my Mom-Mobile

As I loaded the kids up in my van to run to the library, I realized it took me 3 separate trips out the door until everything and everyone was loaded and ready to go. This is what made me decide to do a blog post about my van - my mode of transportation. My second home.

Here it is.
My 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan. Its not fancy in any way. It doesn't have bells and whistles. It doesn't "do" anything cool. But it is functional. Its roomy. And most importantly, it is safe for my family.

My most important cargo in my van is, you guessed it, my kiddos. All three happily strapped into their car seats - which you know I love :-)
I feel it is important to note since I am posting this picture, that I DO NOT like the fit of this car seat for N. It seems so huge and it doesn't seem to cradle him with plushness like I'd like. He hates his infant carrier though. He cries less now that I switched him to D's convertible seat, but he does still cry. I want to get him his own convertible seat that fits little babies better (and I want D's seat back in my husband's car so that he can take him out when he runs errands!), but I don't have the extra $150 at the moment.

In the front seat, I have the library books and the diaper bag.
On the floorboard under N's seat is my baby carrier. This is also where I put him in the carrier and where I change diapers. Also notice the extra outfit for him in case we have a poop-splosion and need a different shirt. Oh, and a toy that D must have dropped.
Next up is the view from the back. It houses the stroller and all other cargo. At the moment, I have our bag full of pool stuff and towels...and oddly, I also have a sled I bought at a yard sale. There is still plenty of room for groceries, and anything else I need to throw in there. The seats next to C are stowed away at the moment. I don't always keep them like this, but we just haven't flipped them back up since our trip to Atlanta.

So, thats the tour of my second home. I love having a van. I don't think I could get from point A to point B without losing my mind if I didn't have a van.

I know PLENTY of people who hate vans and are adamantly against getting one. My advise to those people is to try doing all this with an SUV. It may work for a while, but in time, you too will realize that in parenthood, practicality and function almost always beat out style and "coolness." In fact, both my BFF and my sister both drive drool-worthy minivans...yet they each only have one child. And very young children at that! Haha. Can I make you laugh and tell you that my sister even bought her van before she was even "showing" in her pregnancy.

But, as with everything in parenthood, if driving a gas guzzling SUV works for you and your kids, then go for it :-) I, too, was once against getting a van. My dad was the one who convinced me to go test drive one when C was just 19 months old. It was love at first sight! My hubby now drives our Saturn SUV to work every day. Our whole family doesn't even fit in it anymore...

Saturday, June 18, 2011


These may be the cutest underwear ever...
They are from The Children's Place and they fit beautifully. So, if you have a toddler boy who is potty trained/training, I highly recommend these adorable undies! They go down to size xxs which is a 2/3. So adorable!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Round Two

Today marks the start of Round Two of Chalean Extreme for me.

I am both extremely excited and nervous all at the same time. I am SO READY to get this baby weight off and get back in shape, but I am nervous about how much work I know it is and how I am going to find the time 5 days a week.

I gained about 35lbs during pregnancy and I have only lost about 13-15lbs. Breastfeeding doesn't seem to be doing anything for weight loss as I suspected it would. Fortunately, I know what will take the weight off - diet and exercise!

I started my evening with a Shakeology drink and as soon as I get the kids to bed, I'll kick off my 90 day Chalean Extreme journey!

As if my measurements, body fat, and weight were not enough motivation, I decided to take "before" pics too...I am posting them as motivation and accountability. This will be the last day I will ever look like this.
I will probably do weekly workout updates like I did last year. It helps keep me accountable and keeps me motivated. I need both :-)

These pics of me last June are my motivation too...I can do it!

Best Baby Products (for us)

Little N is just about 7 weeks old. By now, we're in a decent groove spending our days nursing, diaper changing, rocking, napping, and staring at each other. I thought I'd do a brief post about the baby products that have been the most helpful over these first two months.

1. Hands down, the best baby product this time around has been the Beco Butterfly II baby carrier. N has decided that he hates his infant car seat, so I can't tote him around in it to stores and restaurants like I have done in the past (or as you would see every other mom in the world doing). The baby carrier has been a life saver! He loves it. I love it. If you're having a baby any time soon or have an infant already, I would highly suggest getting one!

2. Gas Drops. That pretty much sums it up. Oh, and I don't buy official Mylicon. I buy Target generic drops. They work wonders for an upset tummy full of gas pressure.

3. Mam Pacifiers - I have always been a fan of using a paci. C loved her Mam paci, but D refused to take one. He ended up finding his thumb and now at 2 1/2 years old, I have yet to be able to get him to quit sucking it. So....I would say the Mam paci is a way better option :-)

4. Huggies Little Snugglers diapers. Yes, I had intended to cloth diaper my newborn. I do still intend on using all my cloth diapers from D's diaper days, but it turns out, disposables are a bit easier for us at this stage of life. N goes through a billion diapers a day. I do enjoy using a handful of cloth diapers here and there, but until he fits in my "All-in-One" style diapers from D (probably in the next month), Huggies Little Snugglers have worked wonderfully! They hold in breast-fed poop and they fit him perfectly.

5. My Camera. Its a Nikon D-50 and I have taken more pictures than I care to admit since N has arrived. I love capturing his every moment. I have gotten so many beautiful pictures. I am just thankful to have such a wonderful camera.
6. Fisher Price Baby Papasan seat - After N falls asleep when I'm holding him, he loves to continue napping in this seat. It doesn't bounce like a bouncy seat, but it vibrates and snuggles him just perfectly. He clearly loves it :-)

7. The Boppy. Up until now, I have used the Boppy for nearly every single nursing session. N is just now getting big enough for me to hold him cradled without a pillow or with just a regular couch pillow. Now I just use the Boppy about half the time. But still, its a huge help to have around!

8. The Woombie. N sleeps so well safely swaddled up in his Woombie. I would recommend this to anyone with a newborn. It swaddles differently than regular swaddling blankets because it allows the baby to move and wiggle. It stretches gently to allow little arms to move and legs to stretch. I believe it helps N sleep longer than he would if he wasn't in it, and I don't have to keep checking on him to see if any part of a typical swaddling blanket has crept up around his face. At 7 weeks old, he already sleeps for 7 hours at night. I think thats pretty good for a 10 pounder! I will be buying the next size up in the next few days. He is about to outgrow the "newborn" size...

I am so thankful for these AWESOME products! I will probably do another one of these posts as N gets a little bigger and our needs change :-)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dear Baby

Sweet Baby Boy,

You turned 6 weeks old yesterday. When I look at you, I can't believe you've only been here for 6 weeks because it seems like you've always been here. Maybe its just that you've always been a part of my heart. I knew I wanted you long before you began to grow in my belly.

Your sweet face has a way of instantly brightening my mood no matter what the day has thrown my way. You are such an amazing little baby. You just started to smile 2 days ago and each time I see those corners of your mouth began to turn upwards, I react like a child whose just been given a prize. I get giddy and eager for more!

You are nursing well, sleeping well, pooping well, and only crying when you have some sort of need. I find joy in meeting those needs these days. Most days, you are easily settled. I love to hold you and rock you. I love to wear you in the baby carrier as much as you love to be worn. That thing is pretty magical for both of us. You snuggle in to my chest and I can't seem to keep from kissing the top of your head and rubbing your back. You have a way of melting me each time you look up at me with your chin resting on your little hands. I love the way it feels when you get sleepy. Your little body softens and I feel your head gently lay down. Then I can feel your breath on my skin. It is a beautiful mommy-baby moment every time!

Your sister adores you more than I can say - more than you'll ever remember. She sings to you, kisses you, sits by you, and holds your tiny hands. She can't seem to stay away from you. Its as if there is some sort of magnetic force that draws her right to you all day long. She is the best big sister in the whole world! I know you must love her and all her attention. I hope that never changes.

Your big brother loves you as best as he knows how. For him, that means he kisses you a million times a day. He loves to talk sweetly to you and bounce you in the bouncy seat. Sometimes he can get a little rough and careless so I still have to hold him back from you a lot, but I know as you and he both get older, that will change. I think you two will grow up to be best buddies.

I am going to wrap this up for now. Your Daddy has you upstairs at the moment. He is doing some school work on the computer and holding you all at the same time. He can't get enough of you. Nobody can.

I love you more than you will ever know. You complete our family in a way better than I could ever have imagined. I'm going to go run upstairs and stare at you with Daddy now. I love you!

Love Forever,