Tuesday, August 26, 2014

6 Things I Hate About Breastfeeding

What, you thought I would just tell you 5 Things I Love About Breastfeeding and go on with life without a mention of the not-so-delightful things about nursing? I tell it like it is, friends. I love breastfeeding. Like...I LOVE it. But I'd definitely be lying if I said I had never been annoyed with one thing or another about the breastfeeding journey. So here are the not-so-glorious things!


6 Things I Hate (or at least strongly dislike) About Breastfeeding

1. Nursing Hickeys. These tend to happen in the middle of the night when it feels like your eyelids are literally peeling off your face and you just don't care that the baby is hungry again. You get her latched (you think), and collapse back into your dreams of a place where bedtime is 4 o'clock in the afternoon, then wake up in the morning to find a bruise far more alarming than any actual hickey you ever got from kissing. Bright side: at least you don't have to hide this one with a turtleneck!

2. Nursing Covers. I started out loving these things. I had about four. I collected them because they were so cute. Fabric is ridiculously adorable these days, so you can find (or make) a nursing cover to match your nursery or your car seat or your clothing or anything that strikes your fancy. And that's great. But what's not great is trying to get your kid to actually eat under one of these things. This photo is me in the hospital, attempting to latch Lincoln (who didn't know how to latch) in a pile of Boppy and hospital gown and super cute green floral nursing cover. He was less than 24 hours old. Do you know what I wish I had instead? A photo of his sweet little face while he was attempting to nurse in his first day of life.

I'm a really really modest person. Honest. I nurse in public constantly, but I do not flaunt anything and I would be surprised if anyone has ever actually caught a full glimpse of skin as my kid latches. I'm not comfortable with people seeing my breasts, so I've learned that there are better ways to nurse without using a tent over your baby's head. When you're nursing a small infant, you really need two hands to do it right. That means you need three hands if you also have to hold the nursing cover out of the way to see what you are doing. Show me a mom with three hands and I'll gift her all these covers I have cluttering up my house.

If you want to nurse without a cover, just do it, mama. Let's start a revolution and actually let the newest generation of children think breastfeeding is normal because they see it happen. I don't want my kids to be shamed if they try to peek under a nursing cover to find out what the baby is doing. If they can see the baby, they'll just accept it and go on with life.

(I'm going to write another post on this subject as it seems I've been holding onto some pent-up anxiety about this....!)

3. Gymnurstics. I actually laugh at the antics of a nursing toddler most of the time. But sometimes, you really just want to be able to sit down on the couch and have a soothing moment with your child without her toe up your nose. Be considerate, little person. You certainly throw a big commotion if I try to pry anything out of your snot-crusted face. Mommy knows how to blow her own nose (point Mommy!).

Photo from my post about
Addie's Early Childhood Caries (tooth decay).
4. Tiny Teeth. When you decide to nurse past six months, you're going to encounter some of these bad boys. I've been pretty lucky - Addie has never been a biter, and Lincoln only thought it was funny for a few weeks. Some babies apparently belly laugh because their mama sounds funny when she screams after their tiny teeth have tried to take a not-so-tiny bite out of her.

A baby with sharp little teeth clamping down on your breast is seriously more painful than stepping on 1,000 LEGOs the wrong way.

Lincoln is almost weaned. At the end of nursing him, his latch became very lazy and each session was an experiment in how much can I take and tiny indentations in my skin. Not fun.

5. "Are You Stilllllllll Nursing Him/Her?" What, this kid attached to my chest right now? Yup. Still nursing that one. I thankfully don't get this one as often as I expect it. But it annoys me because - really - it doesn't matter if my child is six months or one year or two years or five years old, the decision to nurse him was mine and it was hard and I feel guilty enough about everything else I'm doing as a mom already. I don't need you to give me snarky words about how I'll ruin him for life, because it's proven I won't (at least not by breastfeeding him). This is something I am doing right and when I get nagged about it, it may just provoke me to nurse this kid until college. Take that.

6. Pumping. There is something inherently wrong with strapping a contraption to your body, then being happy as it suctions the life milk out of you. When I quit my part-time out of the home job, I was so done with pumping. And I only worked like 10-15 hours/week. Full-time working mamas and exclusive pumpers, you all have serious dedication and you win all the awesome points of the day.

Is it a bad thing that I wrote far more about the things I don't like than I did about the things that I do like? Whoops! What about you? If your kids were breastfed, what was your least favorite thing about it? No judgement!

34/52



"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."
  I'm late posting (again). Oh well.
 
Lincoln - He filled up the pool with the hose and splashed his little heart out. I love this smile.. 
Addie - She never sat down in the water. "Too cold!" 
 
Linking up at Practising Simplicity.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Octonauts at SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium

Disclosure: I received press tickets for my family to tour the attraction highlighted below. No other compensation has been received and all opinions are my own.


It's a grand day for an adventure here in Kansas City, and I know just the place to have a pretty unique experience: SEA LIFE Kansas City, the beautiful aquarium at Crown Center. SEA LIFE is pretty amazing on a normal day, but now through August 31 you will find some extra special sea-faring guests waiting to greet you: The Octonauts!

We're big fans of these loveable animals who have a knack for rescuing creatures under the sea. Lincoln and Addie would literally watch this show all day long if I let them. We have two DVDs featuring their stories and I have both sets of episodes almost memorized. For the upcoming birthday season, I am happily welcoming additional Octonauts collections so my brain can have a little break from the cookie cutter shark, the narwhal, and the others.

So, you get it that we love the Octonauts. Let's move on to our own adventure! We were able to stop by SEA LIFE last week to get a peek at this super fun exhibit. The kids were really excited to go see the Octonauts and fish (or "Noctonauts and fishies" if you ask Addie). We have been to SEA LIFE a couple times this year - once at Lincoln's birthday and then again earlier this summer, but this time was definitely our best experience as far as the kids' attention span.


We brought my mom along (the kids call her Bun), because I'm not brave enough to tackle a character meet and greet with two toddlers alone. I'm crazy - but not that crazy. Lincoln and Addie were quite excited to show all of the fish and sea creatures to their grandma.



The highlight of the experience, of course, was seeing the Octonauts, so we headed there first. We stopped by when Captain Barnacles was out to say hello! Lincoln nearly passed out from excitement. It was really adorable - he covered his mouth with his hands, opened his eyes as wide as saucers, and bounced his way over toward Barnacles.


And...then he stopped, a couple feet in front of him, fell on the floor, and generally freaked out about having had a super cool experience. He wouldn't give a high five or hug, but he did whisper hi.


Addie, although feigning indifference here, was pretty excited about this whole experience too and spent much of the time waving and saying "hi Captain," gaining smiles from people all around us. She's a charmer.


Trying to give Lincoln another opportunity to have a fun meet and greet experience, we came back for the next meet and greet segment, this time with Kwazii. It went pretty much exactly the same, but we did manage to get him (sort of) in a photo, at least.

Both kids were very content to just sit on the floor and color the Octonauts coloring sheets with provided crayons, and play with the Octopod play set. I was informed after the adventure that "Mommy, we need a Octonaut toy too!"

The meet and greet is designed well to keep any potential line moving quickly, and with the kid-friendly atmosphere, it's no wonder the event is a success. This is the second time the Octonauts have visited SEA LIFE this year, and they'll hopefully be back for more fun later, too!

You can catch Captain Barnacles and Kwazii (alternating hours) daily now through August 31. They meet and greet every hour (on the hour) between 11:00am - 6:00pm. Since this is a popular event - especially with the preschool crowd - it is recommended that you purchase your tickets online before you visit. Check out SEA LIFE's website for more info and to purchase your tickets!


The Octonauts were just part of the fun for us on this trip! Both of my kids were really interested in all of the fish and other creatures (way more attentive than they have been in the past). I partially credit their love for Octonauts and their fascination with the show for this - they love learning about new creatures now! The touch pool was an especially big hit for Lincoln.


We easily spent close to two hours touring the aquarium and no one was grumpy or bored when we left. This makes me so happy! I think they would go back every day just to visit the fish - whether the Octonauts are there or not.


My mom had never seen the aquarium, and she said over and over that it was such a neat experience for the kids! I can't wait to use SEA LIFE to supplement our homeschool studies on ocean life in a few years.


We had a blast, SEA LIFE Kansas City! Thanks for being so awesome - and we hope to come back soon!


Disclosure: I received press tickets for my family to tour SEA LIFE. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I'm Kissing Kitchen Clutter Goodbye - For Good!

Disclosure: Thanks to Viva® Vantage and Walmart for sponsoring today's discussion. All opinions expressed are my own.

Today, I want to talk about something that affects all of us as moms.

At least, I hope it does. If I'm the only one...then heaven help us all.

What, you ask, is this irritating topic?

KITCHEN CLUTTER.

http://ooh.li/c1f926b

Piles of dishes. Piles of towels. Scant pickings of produce that got buried under the piles of dishes and towels and may have gone slightly rotten. Oh, that's just me? Awesome.

I'm what a lot of people would consider a granola or "crunchy" mom. I cloth diaper. I try to reuse as much as possible. I haven't been purchasing paper towels lately because I figure...I have all of these perfectly good washcloths. Why can't I just be responsible and use those and wash them daily and never have a smelly pile of towels fermenting on my counter?

Hello! I'm the mom of a toddler and a preschooler. That's just not going to happen. So when I was given the chance to try out Viva® Vantage Paper Towels and thought...okay. We'll give it a shot and see if some time can be saved.

http://ooh.li/c1f926b

Sometimes, it's okay to just admit that as a mom, I cannot do it all. I can't keep up with a house, a blog, a couple of side businesses, the needs of my family, and do excessive laundry because I won't ever get to sleep. And sleep, my friends, is quite important.

Cleaning messes with Viva® Vantage has become my new normal. Do you know how much easier it is to wipe up a disgusting mess and then just throw it away? Yes, please. I'll take that as my new normal.

http://ooh.li/c1f926b

Viva® Vantage Towels are not your average paper towel. They are stretchy and allow for maximum cleaning in all the little crevices where grimy things like to hide. They are designed uniquely with V-Flex Weave - which is what gives them that extra stretchy scrubbing power.

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I am sold on Viva® Vantage and have on desire to encounter a pile of smelly washcloths on my counter ever again! Have you tried these paper towels? What messes would you clean with them?

Thanks to Viva® Vantage and Walmart for sponsoring today's discussion. All opinions expressed are my own. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy.

Baby Jogger Summit X3 2014 Stroller Giveaway

I didn't have a "fancy" stroller until I had two kids and my baby was over a year old. It wasn't in our budget to buy an expensive model and it seemed unnecessary. However - once I took my City Mini Double for a spin around the block, I was hooked. I highly recommend the entire Baby Jogger brand, and if I ever actually went running, I'd be saving up my pennies for one of these pretty models!



Welcome to the Baby Jogger Summit X3 Giveaway!
hosted by Viva Veltoro & Thrifty Nifty Mommy, and generously sponsored by PishPoshBaby!
If you're a parent or caregiver, then PishPoshBaby is the online baby shop for you. The brands they offer are some of the best, and you'll find their customer service top notch! PishPoshBaby's goal is to make your important, significant purchases for your new one clear and comfortable. One of those important purchases is bound to be a stroller, and it's a big investment. To help guide you through the many options, PishPoshBaby has a team of "Mom Reps" ready to offer help and give you feedback about the strollers you're interested in to help you find the best one to match your needs.

Ruth from Viva Veltoro recently had the opportunity to review the Baby Jogger Summit X3 2014 from PishPoshBaby and she couldn't be more pleased with this fabulous jogging stroller. Make sure you check out the full review to see all of the great features of this high-quality stroller!


Here is a little bit of info about the Baby Jogger Summit X3 2014 from the PishPoshBaby website:

Go anywhere with this highly maneuverable hybrid jogger/stroller. With its all-wheel suspension, the Summit X3 provides exceptional performance on any terrain. A remote wheel lock on the handlebar allows you to easily shift between jogging and strolling.

Features:
  • Patented Quick-Fold Technology--allows you to fold your stroller in one step
  • Universal Accessory Mounting Bracket: accessorize your stroller with ease
  • Remote action swivel lock to lock the front wheel for jogging exercise
  • All-wheel independent suspension
  • Hand-operated rear drum brakes for increased control on hilly terrain
  • 16" rear and 12" front quick-release pneumatic wheels with sealed ball bearings
  • Padded seat with additional support reclines to a near flat position
  • Vented seat recline with retractable weather cover
  • Ergonomic handlebar with wipe-clean grip
  • Multi-position sun canopy with peek-a-boo windows and side ventilation panels
  • Seat back storage compartment and large under seat storage basket
  • Adjustable 5-point safety harness with shoulder pads
  • Rear parking brake
  • Removable auto-lock to keep stroller folded for transportation or storage
PishPoshbaby is going to give one lucky reader a
Baby Jogger Summit X3 2014 in their choice of color (valued at $429)!
Open to residents of the United States, ages 18 and up. Ends on 9/7/14 at 11:59 PM EDT.
Enter using the Giveaway Tools entry form below. Good luck!

Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for hosting this giveaway. Viva Veltoro, Thrifty Nifty Mommy, and the participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Please contact vivaveltoro(at)gmail.com with questions about this giveaway.
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