Okay, so they’re meant for poo… but they’re totally too cool!

This is my second to final design for my diapers. 🙂

Back

The back of the diaper

front

The front without the flaps over it.

Open

The diaper open... Aka...where the yuckies go.

front

This is the diaper with the front closed.

So, as some of you might know, my sewing machine broke. It went kaput. And I pretty much almost cried. Gah. I love my sewing machine. Heck, I just love sewing.

The worst part was that I had been trying to find time to finish sewing up my diapers for my kids for almost two weeks, and when I sit down, it won’t work. Blah. I kind of knew it was coming though because it had been having a few issues before that. We’re going to take it in for an estimate on how much it will cost to repair it, but if it’s too much, I doubt we’ll end up fixing it. We can’t afford to!

Thankfully, my grandma is letting me borrow her sewing machine. And a really nice lady I met, might have one that I can have. Which would be awesome! I’m not picky at all as long as it works, right?

Anyways, I’m off to go make up more diapers for my kiddos! Get them done!

I lost my baby Jacey on August 3rd, 2008. It was by far one of the most difficult times of my life. Honestly, I think you could combine every bad thing that’s ever happened to me, multiply it by a million and it would barely even compare to the agony and sorrow I experienced when I lost Jacey.

It’s been a long time… Almost two years now, but I still miss her. Everyday.

I wish I could have met her, even if only for a moment. I would have taken her place in a heartbeat.

I wish I could have known for sure that she really was a she, instead of having to rely on just my gut feeling.

I wish I would have gone to the doctor sooner… So there would at least be a record of her existence, other than the positive pregnancy tests, and my discharge paper from the hospital for “severe abdominal cramping and excessive hemorrhaging.” By the time I got there, my levels were barely an 8. I wish I would have gone sooner. I wish I could have gotten something, something in writing, stating she was really there.

I wish I wouldn’t have looked when they did the ultrasound. Before they did it, I kept hoping that “maybe its just a little bleeding. Maybe she’s okay. Maybe it’s nothing.” But when I looked up at that screen and saw absolutely nothing, I started sobbing harder than I ever have. Heart-wrenching, body-shaking sobs. Looking at that screen, it made reality set in. A reality I wasn’t prepared to handle.

I wish I would have wrote her one more letter. I had made a goal to write in a journal for her every day. From the time I got the journal, to the time I lost her, I wrote three letters. I wish I wouldn’t have skipped a few days.

I wish I was able to throw the pregnancy tests away… But I can’t. Those sticks dipped in pee are all I really have left of her. I can’t just let that go. I’ve thought of burning them. And putting the ashes in an urn. But I don’t think plastic will turn to ash.

I wish it didn’t hurt so much. The grief isn’t as intense as it was in the beginning, but it still hurts just as much.

I wish I could stop crying. I still cry about it. I don’t think a week goes by where I don’t think of it, and wonder what she would have been like.

I wish I could stop having these dreams about her. I don’t have them all the time, but when I do, it’s all of us. Maddi, Danny, Jacey and I… We’re all so happy. And I’m just so filled with joy… That when I wake up, and realize she isn’t here, I feel like my heart is breaking all over again. I know that if she had been born, there wouldn’t be a Danny, but still… In my dreams, we’re all there.

I wish I wouldn’t have let myself become so stressed when I was still pregnant with her. I wish that she could have spent her short life in a calm and peaceful place. I wish I could have at least given her that.

I wish I could have traded places with her. But I know that wasn’t possible.

I wish I hadn’t been so filled with hate after I lost her. It seemed like as soon as I lost her, everyone I knew, and everyone I saw was pregnant. Fate was being cruel. While waiting to get my pain medication after I lost her, I saw five pregnant women, in less than fifteen minutes. I went into a stall at Fred Meyers and cried even harder. And when one of my friends announced to me that she was pregnant, just a week or two later… I wasn’t happy for her. I was so angry. I hated her for it. I wish I hadn’t been that way. I wish I just could have been a good friend and been happy for her.

I wish I wouldn’t have hated Jane for what she did. But it was so hard for me not to hate her, when she chose to end her baby’s life… And I would have done anything to prevent my baby from dying.

I wish I would have been more prepared. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so traumatic… But at the same time, I don’t think that there is a way that anyone can prepare for something like that.

But most of all, I just wish it wouldn’t hurt so much. It’s been almost two years, and it still hurts. I still cry. I still miss her everyday.

I have made progress. Even though that progress is miniscule. I try to think of her in happy terms. That’s why I’m putting her name in the park. Somewhere happy, full of smiles, laughter and joy. Somewhere that can carry her name, and her memory in a happy way.

But it still hurts.

So, you’ll be happy to know, Deedee has settled in pretty well. She’s a complete sweetheart. She was really skittish and hid a lot at first, but now she comes out quite a bit, and she even plays with Blueberry. She comes in my room several times a night and lays with me, usually for only twenty minutes at a time. It’s funny though, because she and Blueberry are really possesive over me when I’m sleeping. They both don’t want to let the other sleep with me and they get upset at each other if the other tries to! I must be popular.

We had a barbecue a couple days ago because Dan’s grandma from texas was down. It was fun. It was a lot of work, but it was fun. I even got to hold Kayli (my neice) for more than five minutes… for once. We had steak, shrimp alfredo, salad, corn on the cob and strawberry shortcake. It was fun, even though it rained. The only thing that could have made it better was no rain, a bonfire and s’mores.

I’ve been working on my review blog quite a bit. I do have to say, I’m impressed with how well its doing. I didn’t think it’d take off so fast, but it has! I have reviews left and right! I’m running behind what I’d like my schedule to be, but it’s fine. It keeps me busy. I usually end up taping and writing my reviews on the weekends when I can have one of the kids, or my friend Maryah come over and help me tape them and conduct them. I love it.

I’ve finished my first manual for my childbirth educator training; communication. I can’t really say that I’ve learned a lot from it, because I just took a communication class at the college, at the same time as I was working on the manual, and I have to say, a lot of the concepts were pretty much the same. But I guess it’s a good refresher. The only thing that wasn’t really covered in my college class was the last section on miscarriage and grief.

We’re supposed to write a reflective communication paper, about something we’ve gone through that changed our lives, something we learned from, an experience that really changed us. For me, that’s the loss of my baby Jacey. I know it wouldn’t be genuine if I wrote about something else… So, I’m going to write about it. I’m really nervous about it. I started crying today just reading the section about miscarriage and grief. It was a short section, but still, it was hard to get through. I don’t know how I’ll be able to get through writing a huge paper about it.

I’ve been wanting to do something special, in remembrance of Jacey. But the problem was that I couldn’t think of what to do. It’s so hard to do something special… But then it just presented itself to me. Dan’s sister is on the committee for a new playground they’re building in Soldotna. And they are “selling” fence pickets as a way to help donate to the park’s construction. If you “buy” one for $30, they will route whatevet you want into it. I’m going to get one that says “Jacey Van Vleet.” I was only going to have it say Jacey, but after I told Dan, he told me I should put her last name too.

I really like the idea of putting her name in the park. She was a baby. And I like to think of her playing in heaven with all of the other babies and children taken too soon. A playground seems like a fitting place to remember her. And a playground is a happy place. It isn’t somewhere you go with a deep sense of sorrow, like a graveyard. It’s somewhere you can go happily, and excited.

And one day, when we go, I’ll tell Maddi and Danny about their sister in heaven.

Related article: Family Friendly Activities in Greenville

So, if you’ve been keeping up with us, you know we have a cat named Blueberry. You can read his story of how we had him, lost him, lost him again, and then got him back by clicking here.

Now, Blueberry is an AWESOME cat. He’s simply amazing. He does great with kids, he’s well behaved, he doesn’t scratch things up. The only bummer part about Mr. Blueberry, is that he pukes if he doesn’t get organic cat food, or if he gets into anything, but that’s all manageable, and I don’t mind cleaning it up if he does puke. I’m a mom. I’m used to cleaning up yucky stuff.

Anyways, when we first got Blueberry back, my mom suggested we find him a friend. It made sense. Out of his entire life, Blueberry’s never really been alone, without a cat-companion. He had his two sisters when he was little and we lived in Indiana, then he had Lily when he lived with my mom and step-dad, then he had Betty when he lived with Hannah. He hasn’t really ever been without a cat-companion.

So, I started looking a couple days after we brought Blueberry home. I wanted to let him adjust for a bit before we brought home a second cat, but I started looking. Just keeping an eye out. My mom and I decided that Blueberry would probably do better with a female companion (Don’t worry, he’s fixed) and preferably younger, because he tends to take on a big brother/mother cat kind of role with younger cats. And this way, with a younger companion, if and when Blueberry passes (a very long time from now!) the kids will still have Blueberry’s friend and won’t feel like they’re replacing him if we get another cat.

So, I looked on Craigslist. I looked on Petfinder. I looked at Clear Creek Cat Rescue. I looked a lot of places. I wanted to find a cat that was younger (2 or under) and female, and was already fixed. I wanted her already fixed partly because of cost, plus I didn’t know how good of an idea it would be to have a kitty recovering from surgery with two little babies running around. I didn’t find any cats I wanted or could afford. There were a couple I was interested in, like one at the pound, but I couldn’t afford a three hour drive and $125, as much as I would have loved to have been able to, it just wasn’t possible. And there was one at Clear Creek Cat Rescue I was interested in, but she was an itsy-bitsy baby, and I was kind of worried about how tiny she was in comparison to my kiddos! That, combined with a higher adoption fee, it just wasn’t possible, especially since I’d still have to drive up there!

So, I stopped looking for a week or so, mostly because I sort of gave up. But today, out of curiosity when I was waiting for a video to upload for my review blog, I took a peek at craigslist. I sent an email to a woman looking to rehome her 11-month-old cat named Delilah, but nicknamed Deedee, and she responded pretty quickly. I asked a few questions about her kitty, and let her know I was in Soldotna (about 3 hours south of Anchorage where she was) and asked if, since I would be driving three hours to get her, if she would be willing to waive the rehoming fee (Craigslist encourages small rehoming fees in order to ensure your animal is going to someone who genuinely wants it). She agreed, and I gave her my phone number. Her friend (who the kitty was staying with) called me, and we talked for a little. I got the okay from Dan to go up and get the kitty, but I drove to town to grab Dan’s cell phone beforehand. I really didn’t want to drive to Anchorage without one! So, while I was getting the phone, and some snacks for us on the drive, as well as topping off my gas tank Maryah cleaned up the house a little, and got the kids ready to go.

When I got back from getting Dan’s phone, we packed up the kids, and set out for Anchorage. The drive was pretty uneventful. We talked a lot, and just enjoyed each other’s company. It was around 7:30-8:00pm when we left, so the kids fell asleep shortly after having a snack, and didn’t wake up again until we got to Anchorage.

We met up at the Dimond mall. Mandy, Deedee’s owner, was really sweet. You could tell right off the bat she really loved Deedee and she seemed really sad that she was having to give her to someone. Those situations always suck, but sometimes it’s better. I’ve been there before, so I know how it is.

She got Deedee out, and let me hold her right away! She was so fluffy, and light! She reminded me a lot of Lily, just how her body was structured, fluffy, light, and long. Very dainty. Very feminine. She let me hold her. She meowed a little bit, but she seemed okay with me holding her. She was really interested in all of the cars driving by, and all of the lights and noises in the parking lot. It was cute how she would stick her head out and look at everything!

Maryah liked her right off the bat. She thought she was “cute and soft and fluffy and sweet.” (I just asked her! Ha!)

Mandy said she felt better about it since she was able to look at my blog. I was kind of surprised she had, but she had said she saw the domain my email was from (this one) and decided to check it out, so she got to learn a little bit about me and my family. She even read about blueberry and everything that happened with him, and that made me feel good about it, because it shows she really cares about where Deedee is going.

So, we said goodbye, and I told her not to be a stranger if she’s ever in Soldotna. And not to hesitate to call me or send an email. I don’t mind at all, and would be more than happy to let her her know how Deedee is doing.

We headed South. Took us a few minutes to figure out exactly how to get back onto the highway that would take us home, but we did. Then, about ten minutes out of Anchorage, Maryah reminds me, “So…Weren’t you going to get gas?” Ha. Just like me to get so excited over everything that I forget!

So, we stopped at the Tesoro in Girdwood. I go to swipe my car at the pump, and what happens?

My card was declined.

I know I have money in my account, so it’s a little irritating, but this isn’t the first time it happened. For some reason, whenever I go to Anchorage, Wells Fargo likes to lock out my cards. I called the number on my card, and for some reason, it’s impossible to get ahold of anyone real on the line, and there wasn’t an option for the lost/stolen/locked card issue… But it gave me a number to Wachovia. I tried a bunch of the menu options on Wells Fargo’s line, but none of them were leading to real people, and they were all saying to call back during normal business hours. I was kind of confused, but I called the Wachovia line, and thankfully, someone real answered. The woman said she couldn’t help me, but could directly transfer me to someone who could. So, I waited on hold… And waited. And waited. And waited.

Finally, I get an answer. They go through the normal stuff… Asking for account numbers, security questions, last transactions, etc. So, they finally believe it’s really me, and they unlock my card. I go back to the pump, with the guy on the line (I had been inside the gas station) and I try my card.

Still declined.

The Wells Fargo guy tells me to go inside and see if they can swipe my card. So, I go back in again, and they clerk swipes it… Four times.

Still declined.

I tell the Wells Fargo guy that it’s still not working. He puts me on hold. Then when he comes back he tells me the same thing. That he unlocked my card and it should work. Then he suggests that maybe there’s something wrong with Tesoro’s card machines. Umm… I saw several other people use their cards. Then I suggested using the Wells Fargo ATM inside. I try it, and guess what.

STILL DECLINED.

The phone guy keeps telling me it’s something wrong with Tesoro’s system (it’s not), and then he asks me how far it is to the nearest gas station. Umm, an hour if I drive back to Anchorage (but I don’t want to back track!) and three hours if I go home, and I don’t have enough gas to get there. And besides, I really don’t think it was Tesoro’s system, or other people couldn’t use their cards either. The guy on the phone keeps trying to convince me to go to another gas station, and finally I say;

“Look Buddy, I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Alaska before, but everything is really, really, really far apart.”

By this point, I had been on the phone with this guy for an hour. And by that point, I was getting pretty damn angry. He kept insisting my card was unlocked, but it wasn’t working. And I know nothing was wrong with my card, because otherwise it wouldn’t have registered on his end that I even attempted to use my card.

The guy tells me that I’ll have to wait until normal business hours to speak to someone further about this issue, and that they would like me to follow up about it with them. My response?

“Well, tell you what. If me, and my two kids in the car with my teenage friend, aren’t still stranded three hours from home at a freaking gas station by the time ‘normal business hours’ roll around, then sure. I’ll call. And let them know how unhelpful you were.”

He pretty much told me to have a nice day, goodbye, and “Thank you for choosing Wells Fargo.” Grr. Yeah right. I’m seriously thinking of switching banks. This kind of stuff is ridiculous!

I call Dan and tell him everything that’s going on. I don’t have any cash on me, or any other cards. I asked him if he could get on priceline and book me a room in Anchorage, but when he looked, the rooms would have been for the following night… Not right then. And then, he remembered that they have to swipe your actual card when they check in, so that wouldn’t work either. I talked to him on the phone for a bit, trying to figure everything out. By this point, I’m really stressed. Maryah, Maddi, Danny and Deedee have been in the car for over an hour waiting for me, and I had no clue what to do.

Dan suggests I ask the clerk if he can type in card numbers instead, and thankfully he can. Dan gives him his card number, he runs it, and I get my gas and head home.

Then I get stuck behind a truck going 35-45mph in a 65mph zone almost half the way to the Sterling Highway turnoff. Fate had it in for me, I tell you.

But, Deedee was good the entire way home. She meowed a little bit, but she did good. We didn’t make her stay in the kennel. She went back and forth from Maryah’s lap, to sitting on the back of the backseat. She fell asleep for a while, but did good.

When we got home, we set up her litter box right away. We left her in her kennel and let Blueberry sniff around it for 20-30 minutes. Then we put Blueberry in the other room, and let Deedee explore by herself a bit. She wanted to stay in the laundry room for quite a while, but we made her come out and look around.

She was really nervous and growling a lot at first, but she started getting more comfortable. Once she seemed decently comfortable, we brought Blueberry back out.

I was really surprised! Blueberry didn’t hiss at her at all. Normally, you would think he would, since this is his house, and she’s the one intruding on him. But, nope. He was mostly curious. He really wanted to get close to her, but she kept hissing at him and he’d back off.

She’s been letting him get closer and closer, but she still hasn’t let him get too close.

I’m impressed with how patient he is. He keeps following her around, even though she keeps growling and hissing at him. She’s not growling as much, or hissing as much, but she still is a little. He’s a patient guy though. I’m sure she’ll come around to him eventually. He seems to be okay with her, but she’s leery of him. But, I expect that will change sometime within the week, they just have to adjust to each other.

Anyways, here’s some photos! And I’m off to bed. I had a VERY long night!

Just got into Anchorag, close to midnight.

Deedee looking out the car window on the way home.

Getting used to where her things are.

She camped out in the laundry room for a bit.

Deedee and Maryah in the laundry room

Danny watching Deedee

Deedee sniffing and investiagating the baby.

Deedee and Blueberry. He keeps following her and bowing his head down. I think he's trying to show submission...

I don’t know how many people I’ve actually told about my back issues, but if I haven’t, then I am now.

I haven’t had back pain for a long time. I mean, I had the occasional back ache here and there just like anyone does, but I never had true back pain until I was pregnant with my son. It wasn’t too terrible until the end, but I mostly attributed it to part of being pregnant. I was carrying my son much differently than I had carried my daughter. My daughter widened me side to side, while my son widened me front to back. I figured this difference in positioning was to blame for the pain.

The pain was especially bad right after my sons birth. I had labored for 11 hours before having a cesarean. Honestly, I think I could have delivered him vaginally had I had more support, but I was tired, and in pain, and I gave in and gave up. Next time, I will have a doula. No ifs ands or buts. But like I said, I labored for 11 hours, then delivered via cesarean.

I don’t think the cesarean is to blame for my back pain. The pain isn’t located near the epidural site. The pain is actually lower, near the lumbar vertebrae, starting with the part of my spine level with the illiac crests of my hips.

When he was first born, it just ached. It would feel better if I put my hands on my lower back, and leaned back and popped it. I tried not to, but my back would hurt so bad, and it would “lock up,” where I couldn’t move and falling asleep became painful. I usually only popped my back once a day. Then, it would be fine for a while. But it progressively got worse. It got to where I couldn’t pop it how I normally did, and I discovered if I laid down on my stomach and bent my knees and moved my legs slowly (so that my feet touched my bum) and then kind of arched my back, that it would pop, and I could have some kind of temporary relief. However, just like before, it got to the point it hurt too much.

It got to the point that whole area of my spine just hurt. It was tender, it ached, and any kind of movement that directly or indirectly affected that area of my back was uncomfortable and I tried to avoid it. When my back locked up, I couldn’t really pop it anymore because it hurt too much. If I tried, I would end up almost crying.

To top it off, I slipped on our amazing Alaskan ice a couple weeks ago, and ever since, the pain has been almost ten times worse, a lot of people have recommended me to use the products from https://www.ukmeds.co.uk/treatments/pain-relief/co-codamol-capsules/, they say they are very good and efficient.

So, when I was at the doctor for my monthly check up (I’m on Ritalin, so I have to have a monthly check up) I told them about it. I had been on a small dose of pain medication for it beforehand (I usually only took it one or two times a week when the back pain was worse than normal), but it wasn’t bringing any kind of relief, so I made the decision to ask about it. I asked about being referred to a chiropractor at the Pravo chiropractor in Menomonee Falls, WI, because I’ve heard a lot of good about them, but they wanted to order an x-ray first to make sure it wasn’t something to do with a fracture or bone placement. So, I had the x-ray done, and I’m waiting for them to call me and tell me what the results are. They did talk about doing an MRI to see if it’s something to do with the muscles, but I really don’t think it’s muscular. I mean, it could be, but I really feel like it’s a bone thing.

They prescribed me a higher dose of the pain medication, and combined it with a muscle relaxant, and gave me these pain patch things in the meantime. The combination works and it does help alleviate the pain, but I don’t want to be taking/using them forever. I’m really hoping the x-ray will give them a better idea of what’s wrong with it, and hopefully, whatever it is, is treatable and repairable. I really don’t like the idea of having to depend on these medications just fir my back not to hurt. It makes me nervous. My mom has really bad back problems, so I can’t help but worry that I’m going to as well. I’m 21. If it’s bad now, what’s it going to be like when I’m 40?

On top of that, I plan on trying for another baby in the next year or two, and I really don’t want to be in horrible back pain when I’m pregnant. Being pregnant is hard enough, you know? I don’t want to have back problems when I’m pregnant. So, getting all of this cleared up and figured out before I get pregnant is probably a good idea.

Wish me luck, and pray that the doctors are able to help me.

Sources-
http://sideeffectsofxarelto.org/current-xarelto-lawsuits/

Danny has been a non-stop fuss bucket for the last three days, and at first we couldn’t figure out why. I checked his mouth last night, and lo-and-behold, he’s got a tooth popped through on his top gum. Then, this morning, Dan tells me that he has THREE teeth coming through. I didn’t believe him, so I check, and he doesn’t have three teeth coming in, he has FOUR teeth coming in on top! No wonder my poor baby is miserable! He’s been really clingy, and just wanting to nurse all the time. He’ll nurse long enough, and hard enough, that I end up getting let-down three times in one nursing! He usually never nurses that strong! My poor little guy.

Blueberry is adjusting well. He does really great with the kids, although sometimes I wish he WOULD turn around and claw Maddi when she’s mean to him. Maybe then she’d understand he dosen’t like it, and she’d stop. But no, he’s too sweet. He lets her get away with it. He really likes Danny though, and curls up with him a lot. And Dan is his favorite. He curls up with Dan a lot, which is funny because Dan tries to tell me he dosen’t like cats, yet he plays with blueberry just as much, if not more than the rest of us!

School is going okay. I’m kind of losing my motivation. I just don’t enjoy my classes because they aren’t what I’m interested in, you know?

I got all of my coursework to begin my childbirth educator certification. Which, I am super excited about. I also got my breastfeeding counselor coursework, and birth and post partum doula coursework as well. I’m so excited for it!

Anways, just a short update!

Be sure to check out my review blog. I’ve got a few giveaways going on over there! We’re giving away a Medela freestyle breast pump, a woombie, a juppy baby walker, and a surprise giveaway for nursing moms!

http://www.reviews.anotherteenmom.com

As some of you may know, I love babywearing, but it wasn’t always that way. I was first introduced to babywearing when I had my daughter in 2007, however, due to my lack of experience, and perhaps my lack of guidance, I hated doing it. I really think it was due to not having a good, comfortable baby carrier. The only carriers I had used with my daughter were a pouch, which worked GREAT until she hit about 15 pounds, and then in killed my back… And then one of those front-pack crotch-dangler carrier, which was a pain to set up, and was even more painful to wear. My daughter wasn’t heavy, weighing in at only 17 pounds on her first birthday, but wearing her in the carriers that I had at the time just killed my back, and due to a lack of knowledge about babywearing, I gave up on it. I didn’t really think about babywearing again until I had my son. I knew I planned on using a pouch sling until he was too big, just because I really enjoyed it. But then he started hurting my back, just like my daughter had. My main challenge was going grocery shopping, I use apotea rabattkod – kupongerna.se coupons but I didn’t really know how to use them back then. It was nearly impossible for me to do. I’d sit my daughter in the cart’s seat, and then put my son in his carseat in the basket of the cart, or I’d have to carry him and manage to push the cart at the same time. If I carried him, then I had to steer the cart one-handed, which made it difficult and frustrating to shop. If I put him in the cart in his carseat, then I barely had any room for groceries and couldn’t get much of anything at once. That’s when I decided I needed to do something. I couldn’t handle any more of these horrible shopping trips, I’d rather stay home and use promo codes online. I researched into a few different baby carriers, but unfortunately, the carriers I liked, I couldn’t afford. And the carriers I could afford, I didn’t like. One of my friends I met online, Bri, offered to mail me a carrier that she loved, but just didn’t like the pattern on the fabric. I figured it was worth a shot, and was very excited to try it when she sent it. It worked pretty well, and it didn’t hurt my back nearly as much as the crotch-danglers did. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “crotch-dangler,” here’s a photo depiction… Crotch Dangler Anyways, I really liked the carrier Bri sent me, but I felt there were some things that could be better. I asked my grandma if she would be willing to help me make one if I figured out a pattern. She didn’t seem like she wanted to, but that was probably because everything I ever tried to sew in the apst turned out horribly. But, she said if I came up with a pattern, she’ll help me… Although she didn’t sound like she had much faith in me. I spent nearly two weeks inspecting and disassembling the carrier in my mind. I drew it out. I re-drew it. I made a million sketches, and peiced it together, peice by peice in my mind. I looked at patterns of similarly structured carriers to figure out the assembly. When I figured out how it was assembled, I set to drawing it out. I got some brown paper on a roll, like the stuff you use for mailing packages, and I drew it out. I figured out my dimensions, my shapes, my seam allowances. And I spent a few days, just drawing, tracing, measuring and remeasuring. I can honestly say, that is the ONLY time I have ever used the skills I learned in my geometry classes in high school. My first carrier didn’t turn out bad. It turned out decently, but I didn’t like the dimensions, and I didn’t like the shape. It worked, but it could have worked much better than it did. Buckle-Tai Baby Carrier Like I said, it didn’t turn out bad, but it wasn’t going to work very well for a larger baby. So, I made several adjustments to my pattern, and tried again. I got it perfect on the second try, and my carriers looked like this; Buckle Tai Baby Carriers And, the best part of all, when I tested them out, they were comfortable! I was able to wear my son, as well as my daughter, snugly, comfortably, cozily, and safely! Buckle Tai Baby Carriers I pretty much fell in love with my carrier. I felt kind of sad in one way, wishing I would have figured this out when my daughter was still small because I think she would have benefited from being worn, but I was happy I found something that worked for me. I also couldn’t help but be proud that my design turned out so well! Sewing wasn’t exactly my best talent before, but my carriers turned out amazingly well, and even my grandma was impressed with them. Buckle Tai Baby Carrier My mom especially liked the carriers. She even commented that she wished she had one when she had her kids! And my little sister’s friends even liked them! Buckle Tai Baby Carrier Babywearing can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but like a lot of things, if you aren’t well educated and you don’t have the right carrier to suit your needs, then babywearing can be a complete nightmare, not to mention, pain in the back! I hated wearing my daughter once she was too big for my pouch, but my son is 21+ pounds now, and I’m still wearing him when we go out! Occasionally, I wear my daughter too, when she asks, which generally isn’t unless she’s tired, feeling jealous of her brother, or hurt/sick. Most people know that babywearing is great for bonding, but did you know there’s a ton of other benefits too? * Babywearing is convienant. Like I demonstrated with my grocery shopping dilemma, babywearing can make life easier! It’s also much easier to wear your baby than it is to lug a carseat around, or pack and unpack a stroller all the time, except for when you have the click stroller which makes handling strollers much easier. * Babies who are worn are happier, and less stressed. Babies who are worn by their mothers and caregivers, according to several studies, are happier, and cry less, which leads to lower stress levels in not only the baby, but in the mother and caregivers as well. * Wearing baby helps promote their physical development. Babies who are worn are more in tune with their mother’s breathing, movement, stretching and other body functions. This helps the baby to regulate and develop their own movements and functions. * Wearing your toddler can help ease their anxiety. Toddlers and older babies can become overstimulated and this can be very frightening for them. By offering to wearing your older baby or toddler in these situations, you can help ease their anxieties and quell their fears, providing security and comfort to them in uncertain or frightening situations. * Babywearing is great exercise! If you’re a new mom, it can be hard to work in time to exercise and get back into shape. Wearing your baby is great exercise, and is great for gradual strengthening because as your baby gets bigger, you get gradually stronger from supporting their gradually increasing weight. * Baby carriers can help other caregivers and family members bond with baby. Mother’s tend to be very close to their babies, but using a baby carrier can help other family members, such as dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, older siblings and other caregivers feel close to baby as well. * Babywearing aids in communicating with baby. When you wear your baby, you’re in a very close proximity to your baby’s face, and become more in tune with their gestures and facial expressions making communication with baby easier. * Wearing your baby keeps your baby safe. In a crowded public place, or unfamiliar setting, wearing your baby ensures they are close to you, and with you at all times. There’s no way for them to wander off if you look away for a second! * Wearing your baby is economical. Baby carriers, although upon first glance may seem expensive, but paying $20-$80 for a product you may use daily for two or more years isn’t bad at all! Especially when you consider, if you plan on having more children, you can save it to use for them as well! * Wearing your baby is FUN! It’s much more fun to wear your baby than it is to lug aroung heavy, awkward carseats, or try to navigate a bulky stroller through an unforgiving terrain! Babywearing is fun! There’s so many benefits! It’s my sincere wish that more mothers wear their babies, and its really up to us to help encourage other moms to wear their babies! Babywearing can be intimidating, and may even seem imposisble, like it did for me when my daughter was a newborn, but with a little education, time, and patience, babywearing can be an incredibly pleasurable and rewarding experience, I also made sure to take my daughter to the spanish immersion in austin where she was able to learn many things! Click here to see the best diaper bags. Stay tuned and be on the lookout, as I plan on reviewing some baby carriers on my blog over the next couple of months. We’ve got a couple reviews lined up, and even a giveaway coming up soon! So here’s my prompt for you. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. How do you feel about babywearing, and have you always felt that way? Was your introduction to the world of babywearing an easy one, or did you struggle like I did? How has babywearing affected your life? What does it mean to you?

Okay…. Long story, but bear with me.

We got blueberry (our orange tabby cat) after he was abandoned on someone’s porch in Indiana as a kitten. He’s the sweetest guy ever. We even brought him back to Alaska when we moved up here.

Anyways, when my mom and step-dad split, things got really ugly. I mean, REALLY ugly. Curt didn’t want to keep the cats (blueberry and lily) and he told me that if I couldn’t find a home for them by 3:30 they’d be gone. I couldn’t take them, because I was living with Curt at the time. I found a friend of Dan’s to take them, and I called Curt. It was too late for lily. He already offed her. But blueberry was still alive. I drove home so fast and got him! I almost cried when I gave him to Hannah, but she’s a really nice girl and she loves animals.

Anyways, Hannah and her boyfriend broke up in August, and her boyfriend (also named Dan) was keeping the cats. Anyways, Hannah moved to Hawaii two months ago, and when her ex, Dan found out she had a new boyfriend, I guess he started getting really mad and telling Hannah that he didn’t want to keep the cats, even though Hannah was giving him money for them. She told him to call me and Dan and have us take Blueberry because she knew we would take good care of him.

Dan B. (her ex) called my Dan a week ago, and Dan forgot to tell me. Anyways, i got ahold of Dan B, asking when i could come get blueberry and whatnot and he told me he already got rid of him. I practically begged him to ask whoever he gave him to let me have him back. I offered to give him/them twenty bucks and reimburse them for any food or litter they bought. Dan B seemed like he didn’t want to ask for him back and said it was weird to ask for them back, but he said he would. Hannah even tried pleading with him to get him to tell use who he gave blueberry to.

The next night I texted and asked if there was any word on blueberry. He said “Nope.” Blueberry was a special dog that he got from the standard poodles for sale phoenix store and since then he’s always been by her side.

Anyways, i decided to post something on craigslist looking for blueberry, and then on Dog Gone news (a program our radio station has to help people find their pets). I saw a link to the animal shelter and on a whim I thought I should call. I almost didn’t call because Dan B had said he gave them to someone, so why bother with the pound?!?

Anyways, i call, and the people at the pound tell me that they DO have a cat matching blueberry’s description at the pound and that he had been left there with another cat in a rubbermaid container. And the other cat matched the description of the other cat Hannah had. The f***ed up part was that he put the food on top of the hole in the tub and they couldn’t breathe and the other cat (not blueberry) died!!!! But blueberry managed to move the food away through the hole so he could breathe!

So, my mom and I went in the next morning. We would have gone in the same day, but I hadn’t called them until 15 minutes before they closed, so there was no way I would have made it to town before they closed. Anyways, I was so nervous. My heart was racing and my head was pounding. I almost feel silly being so worked up over a cat, but I was just so worried about him! And he’s part of our family! When we went into the shelter, the worker at the desk was actually looking at the craigslist ad I had posted for blueberry when I still believed that Dan B. had given them away to someone. She told me she’s almost positive that the cat they had was ours. I held my breath and when we walked into the cat room….

It was blueberry!!!!

I was so elated I almost cried! He didn’t see us at first, and he just looked so dejected and scared…. but as soon as he looked up, he saw my mom and he just lit up! He practically attacked the cage door and meowed at us until he was let out and then he just wanted us to hold him! It was just awesome! I can’t even describe how good I felt about it all.

Anyways, the lady at the shelter was awesome, and didn’t even charge us to take him home, which really helped, because we needed the money to get Blueberry a box, and some food and litter.

Blueberry had to fight to live for almost ten hours before the workers got there and freed him from the rubbermaid tote that became a deathbox for his friend, who died next to him. Can you imagine how he must have felt? Struggling frantically for almost ten hours, all the while, his best friend dying right next to him, and when she did die, the tote being so small, that he was forced to stand on top of her until the workers arrived at the pound and were able to rescue him?! I can’t imagine the fear, the panic, the adrenaline rush he must have been feeling.

And you have no idea how enraged I am that someone did this to Blueberry. I don’t care who you are or what your problem is, you NEVER take out your anger at another person out on an innocent animal who has done nothing to you! It’s completely messed up, and I’m sorry… But no decent person… Animal lover or not…. Does that to an animal. And why would he lie to me and tell me he had already given them away…when really, he still had them and took them to the pound an hour or two after I got ahold of him.

I’m just so glad Blueberry is okay. His claws are messed up and a couple of them are falling out, mostly likely from when he was struggling and forcing his paw through the hole in the box.

He’s bounced back to normal though. He was skittish at first… But he’s doing much better.

So, I was talking to one of the mamas I donate milk to, and her little girl got sick and was in the hospital with RSV. I know it sounds silly, but when I saw she was in the hospital, my heart jumped in my throat and I just about started crying! I know it sounds silly, but I feel like she’s my baby too! I think I feel that way about all of my milk babies, but especially Lexi. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I feel like I’ve gotten to know her and her mom really well. But, I was so worried about her! And luck has it, I had milk leftover from when Danny was recovering from RSV, so it might be able to better help her little girl fight it all off! Especially considering it should have the right antibodies to help combat it, since it was pumped right around the time Danny was getting over his RSV. Only problem was, I had it all in bottles, and not bags, and the bottles aren’t good for shipping.

Normally, I wouldn’t do this, because technically, you shouldn’t thaw and then refreeze breast milk, however, I’ve refrozen milk that was slushy before, and it was just fine, so I got the milk to that point, and then my sister and I started bagging it all! It took us about an hour just to bag it all! We had 78 bottles to bag. We ended up giving Danny three of the bottles, because he saw us bagging it and got these jealous puppy eyes. He was probably thinking, “What? What is she doing with MY milk?! That’s mine! I could be drinking that! Wait! What are you doing?! Give it back!!!” So, we warmed a couple bottles of it up for him and he was happy.

But, like I said, normally, I wouldn’t thaw and refreeze, but I was super careful about it, making sure the milk stayed cold/slushy the entire time. And since I’ve refrozen a couple bottles here and there that were at that point, I feel comfortable doing it. So, now we just need it to all refreeze completely by morning so I can ship it off to her.

It was definitely a task! I had to drive out to my step-dad’s to get the milk out of his freezer (he had been storing it for me), so I bet he’s glad that it’s gone and he has room! He was (jokingly) threatening that he was going to use it in his coffee if I didn’t come get it soon! But then we had to let it thaw out, and bag it. Tori helped me. We used the breast shields for my breast pump like a funnel and poured all the milk into the bags.

It’s mostly an economy issue. The bottles won’t fit in the cooler very well, and they take up a lot of extra weight. So, when you’re shipping 2nd day, and you’re paying a pretty penny for it, you want to be able to get the most out of it you can. If I had sent it in the bottle, I probably could have only fit 12-15 bottles in the cooler (30-37.5 ounces) but in the bags, I can fit around 18-22 bags in the cooler (108-132 ounces). So when you’re paying $50-100 just to ship it, you definitely want to get the most out of it that you can! Especially since you can’t be shipping it all the time!

But yeah. Miss Lexi is going to get some nummy-yummy good-for-her-tummy milk very soon! And I’m sure she’ll enjoy it! Last time, Courtney (her mom) told me that Lexi downed the bottle of breast milk faster than she ever downed a bottle of formula, so she must have enjoyed it! Can’t say I blame her! I’d rather a glass of drink breast milk over formula any day!

Anyways, I just had to share. This kind of stuff just gives me the happy-warm-fuzzy-feelings all over. Just makes me feel really good about being able to help such an amazing little girl in such an amazing way.

Tori and I had an assembly-line thing going on for the milk-bagging process!

Getting ready to set it all out flat in the freezer!

Organizing the milk so it freezes flat (it packs better that way).

Milky Goodness for Lexi-Mae!

Heh... Just another to add to the photos of my milk!

So maybe Dan isn't wrong when he says my breastmilk is taking over the freezer? The bags are milk, and so are the tubes with the yellow caps... lol! Breastmilk, Ice Cream, Burgers, Salmon and more breastmilk! What an awesome freezer!

Wowza! So, I haven’t updated in quite a bit. I’ve just been SOOOO busy lately. It’s been chaotic. I can’t even begin to describe everything going on…

First, we were all sick. Maddi ended up in the ER with croup, and Danny ended up in the hospital overnight for a respiratory infection in his left lung. Definitely not any fun! Thankfully that’s all over and everyone is starting to feel much better than before! I feel kind of run down, but I think it’s just a byproduct of being sick added to chasing kids around all the time.

I’ve been going to church a lot more lately. I’ve been enjoying it. I’m still investigating it, but I’m enjoying it for the most part. 🙂

School is… well… school. I could be doing better. I think the problem is, I’m not interested in it. They’re all subjects that I really have no genuine interest in. It’s not really something I enjoy at all. I’m getting impatient waiting to do my childbirth education and breastfeeding education certifications. I wish I was rich. Ha ha ha!

I might start vollunteering at the WIC office as a peer breastfeeding counselor. That will at least get me some experience, right? I would definitely enjoy it! After all, who dosen’t love talking about boobs? Just kidding. 😉

I entered Maddi and Danny in a photo contest. You should vote for them! They’re number 10 and number 11! It ends tomorrow, so hurry up and vote!

-Sammi

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