Mommy Monday: What's in a Birth?

Before you have your baby everyone will tell you that everything you go through, the discomforts of pregnancy, the pain of labor, will all be worth it when you see your babies face. 

And they are right. But they will also lie to you and tell you that you forget the pain of labor. Um... no. That's a big 'ol lie. It's called labor for a reason. If it didn't hurt it would be called a spa day. 

Today's Mommy Monday Topic is- Giving birth: What you really should know about having a c-section or a natural delivery.

Well, I wouldn't know about either one of those. And frankly, I don't want to go into all the "gory" details of my first son's birth. 

That's me about 12 hours into labor. Don't I just look fantastic?!?! (Sarcasm.) 

I will tell you this, I remember enough to be a little afraid of my impending due date (in just 8 weeks). 

I was in labor for 19.5 hours. It felt like 100 years. It was painful and frustrating. And I am sure it was made longer and more painful by the amount of medical intervention I had. 

Here is my opinion on child birth. Do what you want to do and what you feel is best for BOTH you and your baby.

If you want to have a natural child birth in a medical setting. Go for it.

If you are interested in a water birth at home. Do it!

If you are using a midwife or doula. That is fantastic! 

If you want them to back you out of the elevator with an x on your back so they know your ready for an epidural. Do it. 

Don't let other's opinions scare you, intimidate you or make you feel guilty. Just stop listening to people now because people will try to give you parenting/nursing/medical/baby advice for the rest of your child's life. 

But do your research. Know the pros and cons of all your options. Ask a lot of questions. And be ready to stand your ground at the hospital. 



Check out Erin, the other Erin and Iris to see what they have to say on this, Mommy Monday. 

Mommy Monday: Save Cash on Kid's Clothes

It's Mommy Monday and today's topic is saving money on kid's clothes. 

Kid's clothes can be pricey. But only if you let them. In my house we observe the 90/10 rule. That means 90 perent of our son's clothes are used. They are either hand-me-downs I got for free or things I purchased at Waterfront Rescue Mission and other thrift stores. 

The other 10 percent are things I get on sale at Target or Kohl's. These are items that I want special for my little boy. 

I wrote a whole series on saving cash on kid's items, including clothes. You can get a free Ebook of that series here

When children are as young as my son they outgrow clothes in the blink of an eye. I am not going to shell out cash I could be saving for college on tiny little shirts and pants. But that doesn't mean my son looks like a ragamuffin. 

Here are some suggestions I have gotten from readers. 

  • Thred Up - This is a great website where you can get clothes, shoes, books and toys. The clothes are always in great condition and are 70 percent off of retail. They also have this great service where you can sell your kids clothes. They send you a bag, you fill it up with name brand, gently used clothing and they pay you.

Thread Up used to have a flat rate, but as Kristen from Trial and Error Homemaking (a terrific blog) points out "Thred Up changed the way they do things. It's more like a consignment store now - where you purchase individual items. For instance, when I went to their site just now, the first item was a plaid shirt in size 4 for $14.49. They list "retail values" to try to justify their prices (this shirt was apparently 72% off). In my opinion, it's not nearly as great of a deal."

Consignment sales- Last January my husband and I went to a HUGE consignment sale in Mobile. It happens twice a year and we made off like bandits. Plus the sale was running a Living Social special so that made it even sweeter. But, a little warning, when dealing with boy clothes, consignment sales aren't always a good deal- I think boys, even as babies, are hard on their clothes. Want to find a consignment sale in your area? Check

Here is what reader Sara J. had to say about finding kid's clothes on Cragislist: I wish someone had told me not to spend so much money on clothes! Granted I did get everything on sale when JcPenny still used coupons but they hardly look good after a couple washes and spit ups anyways! I am a military wife so i do not have the benefit of getting second hand from friends and family as we live far away from them but I have used several places for great deals. Goodwill has turned out some great bargains, sometimes getting brand new items that are donated from target. Secondly I have noticed many people selling bags of clothes for cheap on craigslist along with every other gadget you would ever need. Last but not least are garage sales! With a two month old i cannot get up on Saturday morning and grab up these good deals but I do send my hubby occasionally and clothing for .25 cant be beat!!

How have you saved big bucks on little clothes? 

Check out Erin, the other Erin and Iris to see what they have to say on this, Mommy Monday. 

Mommy MONDAY: Five Tips for New Mamas

Every mom is an expert after her baby reaches a certain age. Just ask her! But for some reason I seem overwhelming under qualified to share any advice on being a new mom. 

So here are five things I've learned in my first 16 months (today) that might help you. 


1. Things might not go the way you envision them. And that's okay. 

You might have this lovely idea that bringing home a new baby will be like your first few days of wedded bliss when you and dead husband still saw nothing but bright rays of a blissful future in each others eye.

Chances are... it won't be like that. Yes, your new baby is beautiful, perfect, stunning and everything you thought he would be. But, you will be pooped on in the first 48 hours. If you're nursing it might be hard the first few days or weeks (it took me six full weeks to get the hang of it) and you might be struggling with a lot of hormones and emotions. 

Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

2. This is life, not a beauty pageant. 

I have a friend from college who had triplets just a few weeks after I had my little boy. Yep, you read that correctly. Triplets. She said the first few weeks she walked around in her pajamas without brushing her teeth. (You can read her adventures here.)

If you have a new baby in the house your focus is the new baby. So if you get the chance to take a shower and you don't style your hair of put on something other than really stretchy pants. Who cares? 

In fact here is a bonus tip. Invest in cropped yoga pants with pockets. You will love them! 

3. Newborns sleep... a lot... but not when you want them to. So sleep when you can. 

You know that annoying thing people say: sleep when the baby sleeps? Well, there is some validity to that. I had a friend once say that was ridiculous advice because she would never do laundry or eat or go to the bathroom again. 

Okay, the eating and going to the bathroom I will give you, but the laundry will be there later. If the baby is having a snooze, lay down for a minute and g some sleep time also. And if you have to stick her in the bed with you, go for it. She will be fine!

(We hair, after a shower, week three.)

4. Take care of yourself. 

I know this contradicts what I said about life not being a beauty pageant, but take 10 minutes a day to take care of yourself. Get a shower and put on some chapstick. Even if you have to put the baby in his bouncy chair in the bathroom with you just try to take a few minutes to remember you are still a person. 

5. Don't listen to others. 

You will get a lot of advice. Most of it's trash. Just don't listen. Smile politely and walk away. If it doesn't feel right for your baby, don't do it. If it does feel right for your family, then do! 

And do not, under any circumstance let another misguided mother make you feel guilty! You are doing great. 

Check out Erin, the other Erin and Iris to see what they have to say on this, Mommy Monday. 



Mommy Monday: My four favorite baby items, and one I would NOT buy again

I am so excited to be blogging as a part of Mommy Monday.

Let's face it, while babies are tiny and don't take up much space, their stuff does. I remember when my son was just two weeks old, looking at the living room and thinking "where did all of this come from." 

There was a pack-in-play, a bassinet, a baby swing, and a baby gym in the middle of our tiny living room. But for some reason, even though all the stuff was "new" it felt like it had always been there. 

A lot of people will tell you you need a lot of things you don't when you have a baby. 

I thought I would share the top four things I LOVED and one thing I did not. 

1. Snugabunny cradle swing. "We need a swing," my husband said when sweet boy was just four days old. "I think he likes to be rocked to sleep."

So he went to Target to procure said swing. Oh. My. Goodness. That swing has saved my life, daily. My boy is 15 months, and pushing the weight limit and he it is still the only place he would nap. (There he is sleeping in it at a month old in that photo above.)

It was spendy, but in retrospect worth every dime and Fisher-Price even replaced the motor in it for free. 

2. Swaddle Me Blanket. I call this the "baby burrito." I figured out during week two that my son needed to be swaddled in tight and it worked. He conked out in just a few seconds. 

My dad called it the baby straight jacket. I called it genius. 

Sweet boy, four days old, loving his bouncy chair.3. Bouncy Chair. My sister told me to register for a bouncy chair. Man, I'm glad I did. There were a few nights in the beginning when that was the only place our boy would sleep. 

And he continued to love it when he got a little older, too. Between the soothing vibrations, the colorful fabric and the toys that hung from it, it was his favorite place to be. 

4. Baby Gym.  This could very well fall under the category of things you could live with out, but my baby boy loved it. I used it for tummy time and when he wasn't on his tummy be loved the lights, music and colors. Even though he is WAY to big for it now, he still wants to play with the hanging toys. 

And one thing I hated. 

I decided very early on to make my own baby food. I could control what went in it. I knew there were no preservatives and I could buy a lot of fresh, local produce at our farmers market. 

But one item I hated was the Babies-R-Us baby food storage containers. You can see from the pictures that the plastic containers were flimsy and the lids would not stay shut on them, so much of the food became freezer burned. 

I just started using glass baby food jars I got from the few times we traveled and needed to use store bought baby food. 

Were there any baby products you couldn't live without? 

Check out Erin, the other Erin and Iris to see what they have to say on this, Mommy Monday. 

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