Quick Tip Tuesday: One Weird thing!


Okay, so…  the tip this Tuesday is a bit weird.  Bear with me.  I discovered this very early in my mom life.  My son was 5 or 6 months and he wouldn’t stop crying.  Nothing was right, everything was wrong.  I didn’t know what else to do so I started singing a high pitched note and made up a ridiculous song using crazy voices.  He stopped crying.  He stared at me like I was absolutely insane… but he stopped crying.   I got to the point where I would try just about anything.  The crazier I looked the better.  You really can do anything.  Balance the remote on your head, pinch your cheek while trying to yodel, vogue like Madonna while blinking 400 times.  Your kid will love it.  They will look super confused but they will stop crying and usually forget why they were crying to begin with.

I know this sounds crazy, and probably not like a real tip… but I found it to work so well that I told my husband about it …I told him it was called “one weird thing.”   When I had my second child I remembered how well it worked with Jack and tried it out again… of course, it worked.  Not only does it work, but it really opens up a very playful environment for you and your child.  Sleepless nights, no showers, poopy diapers and screaming babies can really wear you down.  Sometimes you want to zone out in the little peace you can find in a day.  Doing “one weird thing” brings some quiet, some relaxation, and some fun into the moment.  It really helps you be present with your baby.  Plus, babies love weird things.  They live for funny faces and silly noises.

I cannot say for sure what sort of lasting effects this “one weird thing” has on a child hahah… All I know is my son is almost 4 and he made his first pun at 2.  So… there you have it.  Evidence.  One weird thing will calm your baby down in a crying fit and it will make them cool for years to come.

(I was not drinking wine when I wrote this// this is just my life.)  Have a good week!

Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex (D-MER): My experience.

Tonight I’ve decided to sit down and write about an uncomfortable experience.  Breastfeeding.  I know…I sound awful right?  How can I be a mom knowing good and well that “breast is best” and be uncomfortable by the process?  This is how.  It is called D-MER. Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex.  With both of my children I suffered from this awful condition.

Nearly 5 years ago when I found out I was pregnant with my son I knew I would breastfeed.  I knew nothing about it but knew I would do it because it was supposed to be the best thing for my baby.   At 41 weeks my sweet boy was born and took quite well to the breast.  I felt so happy and accomplished that we both knew exactly what to do.  It felt so natural.  It also felt… terrible.  I was a new mother so I didn’t know what to expect.  I just know that before my milk let down, I felt inconsolable sadness.  I felt such debilitating depression.  It came and went in less than a minute, but the feeling was so intense.  It lingered with me because the sadness felt physical.  The depression physically hurt.  I’d never been so overcome with intense grief and emotion that I felt like I would vomit.   Yet, every time the milk came down… there was the feeling again.  I didn’t say anything at first because I thought maybe I was just adjusting.  I didn’t want to admit that I hated the feeling.  No one had ever told me this happens… so everyone must be able to deal with it.  Admitting it would have made me a bad mother.  I told myself all of those things.  Finally, I mentioned it briefly to the lactation consultant at my hospital.  She thought it was interesting but didn’t have any idea what was going on.  She kind of blew it off and said, “well, if you know it passes you can just tell yourself that and get through the moment.”  This was true, but it was still upsetting.  I began to dread breastfeeding.

I shared my story with fellow moms and no one knew what I was talking about.  This apparently did not happen to all of my friends.  This hadn’t happened to my mother.  I was depressed, but determined to figure out what was going on.  I googled frantically and finally stumbled upon some information about D-MER.  It was EXACTLY what was happening to me!  Finally!  I had some answers!  Just seeing that there were others out there with this same condition comforted me immensely.  Unfortunately, there is still not much known about this condition.

I made it 6 months breastfeeding my son.  I had some postpartum issues in addition to the D-MER that stood in the way of breastfeeding for me.  My son also seemed to nurse constantly.  Stopping breastfeeding was a very sad decision to make and I had several moments of feeling like a failure, but ultimately it felt like the best decision at the time.

Last year I had my second child.  An 8 lb 10 oz baby girl.  She also took to the breast extremely well and I felt that joy and accomplishment again.  Unfortunately, like last time, the D-MER was back.  My daughter nursed around the clock and the let down of my milk was so intense.  I suffered from awful postpartum anxiety/OCD after the birth of my daughter, which seemed to make the intense emotions with breastfeeding much worse.  A few weeks postpartum I suffered a minor infection and had to go on medication.  I had to stop breastfeeding for 10 days or so.  I tried to keep up with pumping but with a 2.5 year old and a newborn… it was all too much.  I was overwhelmed with day to day life and D-MER didn’t make things ANY easier.  I made it a few months and then switched to formula at the suggestion of several doctors.  It is not the decision everyone would have made, or the decision I thought I would choose, but it was the best decision at the time for myself and our family.

Breastfeeding is a huge topic in the new mommy world.  There is almost a shame attached to not breastfeeding.  Because of this, mothers with any sort of issue feel guilty, embarrassed, less than, ashamed.   I can’t honestly put into words the hurt I felt/feel knowing that both of my children were excellent eaters that took extremely well to the breast and I was the reason they weren’t breastfed for an extended period.  I can’t go back to that place.  It was something that contributed to my extreme postpartum depression.  The guilt was unprecedented.  But because of this, I ask the mom community to come together for other moms, ALL moms.  You never know another person’s story.  You may not even know that conditions like D-MER exist.  Your experience is your own.  What a new mommy needs most is love.

I’ve linked to a few articles about Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex in this post and I encourage new mothers (or anyone) to check them out.  More research is needed for this condition as well as knowledge and support.  If you think you may be suffering from D-MER please see your doctor, and for now take comfort in the fact that I know what you’re going through, as well as many other moms.  It is TOUGH, but you will get through it.

Quick Tip Tuesday: Shower Crayon Learning!


Okay, it is 8 pm and I am posting my quick tip Tuesday!  Maybe I should just continue to call this Quick Tip Tuesday and actually post on Wednesday ha!  It is funny how often I go not realizing what day it is until halfway through.  I am tired haha.

Today’s tip is one I am so excited about sharing.  I discovered this over a year ago.  My son was 2, almost 3 and I wanted to start practicing words with him.  He is already so interested in how words are spelled, but he has a tough time sitting still!  It makes practicing a bit difficult.  I gifted him with Shower crayons the Christmas before and while bathing him one night decided to write a few words on the wall.  Before I knew it he was learning the words and we were adding more!! He was so excited to learn a new word each bath and I found that he was identifying them without error!

I posted a video to social media and friends were so impressed with how well he knew sight words.  He eventually was spelling a few 10 letter words!  This is something we have been able to keep up with and I am excited to share with my 1 year old in the next year or so.

Shower crayons are pretty cheap and lots of fun.  Your kids will think it is fun to draw all over the bathroom walls and they wipe off pretty easily.  I highly recommend this when you want to introduce sight words to your little one!

bathtub crayons
At just 3 years old my son was identifying every word you see here and spelling most of them!

An open letter to compulsive open letter writers.

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Dear people with something to say to someone but no desire to say it specifically to that someone,

Hi.  Thanks for reading my open letter.  I bet you loved reading the title of this and seeing it was an open letter.  It is just so exciting to see someone gripe about something and send the words scattering out into the world like embers from a nagging, screaming volcano.  But this open letter is slightly different.  I am here to say that I am SO TIRED of open letters.

An open letter to the teacher that hurt my child’s feelings,”  “An open letter to the parent that judged my parenting style,”  “An open letter to the doctor that didn’t believe I had a condition.”  AHHHHHHH!!! What are you DOING?  Why is this a time that you write an open letter?  If a teacher hurts your child’s feelings, SET. UP. A. CONFERENCE.  Do this for yourself and for your child.  Don’t go and spread the business around Internet land, sit back with a cup of coffee and wait for the likes to roll in.  Don’t feel justified by supporters in the comments section.  You don’t need those things.  You NEED to take your struggle to the school and talk it out with your kid’s teacher.  Settle it and move on.

These open letters are driving me insane.   Open letters are just a way to share a story complain about something with strangers without having them ask you to share your story.  It is perfect way to put your personal business on display for a hungry public to eat it up instantly.  If we as a society love one thing.,. it is getting in other people’s business.  You write your open letters because we’re all willing to sit back and read them– ready to take everything you say at 100% truth and we cannot WAIT to share our two cents.  We want to join this narrative.  Your anger is our anger, your truth is our truth.  But why?   What are we getting out of this?  What are YOU getting out of this?

If another parent judges your parenting… you’re going to go to the Internet and cuss them out for it?   The Internet?!   …But why?  Is the parent going to see it and run to you apologizing for their criticism?  Is anything going to change?  Is it going to change how you feel?  If you have something to say to another parent why not just say it.  They obviously felt they could say it to you.  Take your hurt feelings, your anger, your thoughts… channel them appropriately and address the offender, not the audience.

Contrary to what reality TV likes us to believe, everyone’s life is not a drama.  We do not need to know every detail.  We don’t need to know that Cindy in Utah had anxiety that her doctor refused to acknowledge and therefore she went 2 years untreated.  Yes, that is sad.  It is.  I am not completely unfeeling– but that is Cindy in Utah’s business… right?  That is something to work out with her doctor.  I understand the need to get the word out about certain issues, but jeez.  Our brains are overloaded with information.  There is a suggested number of social relationships people should limit themselves to and even though this is debatable, it feels so true.  I cannot take hearing so many individual stories from 328917 different people.  Especially from those that aren’t willing to do anything more than write an open letter.

Now that that is out in the open, I will say this.  I get the open letter appeal.  I get that it is fun to rant.  (After all, I am doing it in this post).  I get that you feel empowered to write your feelings and share them with the world and you SHOULD.   BUT— when I read these open letters I can’t help but feel that it is just a journal entry that you are submissively trying to expose the offender to (or maybe you aren’t at all.  You just love to rant).  I think that is why these open letters need to stop.  Don’t write an open letter– take your thoughts and stand up for yourself.  Stand up for your kid.  Go out and change your world, don’t just write about it for us.  We can’t help you.

Sincerely,

Someone who thinks we should get over this open letter fad.

Quick Tip Tuesday: EWG.org 


Okay so- Quick Tip Tuesday is actually Wednesday this week. Let me tell you why…

I sat down to my computer last night to blog and I just couldn’t. I was exhausted. (The title from this blog didn’t come out of nowhere lol.)  I’ve been dealing with some emotional stuff lately and perhaps I’ll blog about that when I’m ready. Just know that it is hard to be a mommy. It is the most rewarding thing in life I believe, but it comes with its challenges.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything…but I have my moments like everyone.  Thankfully I had a good therapy session this morning and felt rejuvenated. So here we go…

The tip today is really a recommendation for a really great website! I mentioned it in my previous post.  Environmental Working Group: Skin Deep  This website is fantastic, especially right before sunscreen season! (Well, every season should be sunscreen season, but you know what I mean).

This website allows you to research all of your cosmetic products to see the environmental impact and health risks associated with them! It gives each item a rating and breaks down each ingredient. It tells you how dangerous the ingredient is and how it could affect you and/or the environment. Every year they release their list of recommended sunscreens for children and I consult it every year before buying more.

There is so much to learn from this website.  I have referenced it for years and it has made me a more educated consumer. I feel so much better knowing exactly what I’m putting on my body and what I’m exposing my babies to!  The truth is…there are so many harmful products and exposures for ourselves and our kids. Their little systems are still developing and I want to do the best I can to expose them to as few chemicals as possible (within reason!).  Check it out!

6 Popular Diaper Rash Creams Reviewed!

 

I decided to do a review of diaper rash creams in the blog when my husband and I had a lengthy discussion about the pros and cons of several different brands recently.  Yes… we are that exciting.  Over the years we have used many different brands.  Currently, my daughter is teething so she is getting the lovely diaper rash that goes along with that.  Her poor hiney is so red and chapped.  Luckily, I’ve figured out what works for us and would love to share my thoughts with you! I wish I’d read more about this when registering for my first baby’s baby showers!  Also in the posts you’ll notice a link to the Environmental Working Group: Skin Deep website.  This is a great tool for researching the environmental and health impact of common products.  It is amazing which products you think would be fairly safe that aren’t at all.  I recommend this website for any product you use fairly often.  A great resource!

 

Vaseline

Okay, the first on the list is just your standard Vaseline.  When I had my first child one of my best friend’s told me that her mother used Vaseline on her younger sister all the time to prevent diaper rash.  I found that this was a cheap option that seemed to work well! I think Vaseline serves as a great diaper rash preventative.  It is also nice to have Vaseline around the house to use for taking rectal temperatures or to put around the mouth for a chapped face.  I purchased 3 big tubs of it on Amazon and it lasted for a while!  More recently I bought a store brand from Walmart or Target and it works just as well!

EWG rating: 1

Aquaphor Baby Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment

Second on the list is Aquaphor.  The Aquaphor I have tried is the Aquaphor Baby Advanced Therapy Healing ointment.  I really like Aquaphor as it is very similar to Vaseline.  It has Petrolatum (petroleum) as the active ingredient.  Unlike Vaseline, which is pure petroleum, Aquaphor has other ingredients (Panethenol, Lanolin, etc.) that help with the consistency and healing of the skin.  It comes highly recommended by dermatologists.  I have also bought Aquaphor for my children’s cheeks.  My son and daughter are both very faired skinned and their cheeks chap easily.  I cover their cheeks in the winter with Aquaphor before playing out in the cold wind and at night when they’re sleeping.  I like Aquaphor for a rash that isn’t terrible.  I feel like it can help a rash that is starting to resolve quickly without getting worse.  For more intense rashes, I look to other ointments.

EWG rating: 2

Desitin Rapid Relief Cream

Desitin is the diaper cream that my mom used with my little brother when he was little.  After having kids she would say, “You need to go get some Desitin… Desitin works so well!”  When I registered for gifts for my baby showers I included a ton of Desitin per my mother’s request and I have to say I was a little disappointed –Maybe because my mother built it up to be a cure all.   When I used Desitin it was just okay.  It didn’t dramatically fix my kid’s diaper rash.  It didn’t last very long and seemed to go on pretty thin.  I personally prefer a diaper rash cream that is thick and will still be there when I go to change my baby’s diaper.  My final thoughts on this cream… if someone gave it to me I’d use it, but I most likely wouldn’t buy it.

EWG rating: 5

A+D Zinc Oxide Cream

A+D was the diaper rash cream we used often with my son.  I think A+D is very similar to Desitin.  We tried the kind that was for the treatment of diaper rash that is made with Dimethicone and Zinc Oxide.  I think that A+D works fine, but like Desitin Rapid Relief, I feel that you have to put it on constantly.  It seems to go on thin and wipe off easily.  I felt like this didn’t help my son and daughter’s rashes.  I personally wanted something much thicker.  Again, like Desitin, I would definitely use A+D but I don’t buy it myself anymore.  I prefer other creams over this one.

EWG rating: 5

Boudreaux Butt Paste Original Diaper Rash Ointment – 2 oz

I have a love/hate relationship with Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.  I think it works pretty well.  The color is a bit weird.  There is no unpleasant scent.  I definitely have a tube of it at my house and use it fairly often.  One thing about this diaper rash cream is that it will stain furniture if you have an accident.   We found this out the hard way when my son sat on it on my mother in-law’s couch.  It took a lot of elbow grease but it finally *mostly* came out.  It is an oil-based product, like other creams, so it WILL stain clothing and furniture.  This is just something to keep in mind.  Honestly, keep this in mind with ALL diaper rash creams.  We’ve had a few too many accidents with diaper cream.  I’ve stepped on it, sat on it, etc.    I prefer this over Desitin or A+D, mainly because it is thicker and stays on a bit longer.

EWG rating: 1

Burt’s Bees Baby Bee 100% Natural Diaper Rash Ointment, 3 Ounces

Okay, I saved the best for last.  Burt’s Bees Baby Diaper Rash ointment with Zinc Oxide.  I absolutely LOVE this diaper rash cream.   The smell is amazing.  It has a good amount of Zinc Oxide (a product most of these diaper rash creams include) which really helps the toughest diaper rash.  I think the best thing about this diaper rash ointment though is that it is really thick.  It is very well made and goes on thicker than any other cream on this list.  You don’t need very much of it to cover most of the diaper area.  It is a little pricier than other creams on this list but not by much and because it is thicker it lasts longer.  Sometimes I buy the gift set that comes with Baby Wash, a small bar of soap and Baby lotion.  I’ve found the gift set on Amazon for as low as 15 dollars before, so it is a great deal.  (Prices fluctuate from day to day.)  I highly recommend this cream, and most other products from Burt’s Bees honestly.  Their products are gentle on the skin, smell great and have a pretty good Environmental Working Group: Skin Deep rating.  We always keep this in the house and reserve it for the worst of diaper rashes!  It is very effective!

EWG Rating: 1

I hope you found this helpful!  These were the most common creams I received at baby showers before my first child was born.  Like most baby products, it takes some trial and error to figure out which products works best for you and your baby.   Do you have a diaper rash cream recommendation?  What works best for you?  Leave suggestions or thoughts in the comments.

Quick Tip Tuesday: Finger painting!


Recently I bought some of the Alex Jr. finger painting paints so my son and I could be creative and messy on days we have to stay inside.  This paint was a little runny, so if we were planning on painting for real I wouldn’t recommend it– but for finger painting it was nice! Very easy to wipe off and very vibrant colors.  My daughter who just turned 1 was really wanting to join the party. Against my better judgment I sat her down and let her play. Of course, it instantly went toward her mouth! I cleaned her up and had to get creative. I felt bad not letting her play too but she is just too young for finger painting with these paints. Although they’re non-toxic and recommended for 18+ months, I knew my sweet girl would try to make a meal out of them.  I thought for a second and realized that a 1 year old can “paint” with anything!  I took some apple + broccoli + avocado purée and dropped it right onto her high chair tray. Her eyes lit up! She immediately started “painting” like her brother had with his real paint.  She also got to sample hers 😉   It was a win-win!

You can make a lot of fun projects/art with ingredients right in your pantry! This one is a favorite so far :). Enjoy!