Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sweet Pea's Birth Story!

My sweet daughter is 1 month old today! I can't believe how fast time is flying. It was a tough adjustment for all of us at first, but things are falling into a routine now and we are all doing well. I wrote up the birth story the first week after she was born, and now I'm finally getting around to sharing it with you. Enjoy!

Friday Nov 25th I had a midwife appt at 40w3d. I had my midwife, Amy, check my cervix and I was 1-2cm dilated, and 75% effaced. After the exam, I felt crampy the rest of the evening. 

Woke up to mild contractions 6am Saturday Nov 26th. I started timing them around 8:30am, and they were very sporadic still. I was waiting for the contractions to reach the 5-1-1 rule (5 min apart, lasting 1 min, for 1 hour) before heading into the birth center. Ben & I went for a 45 min walk around 10, pulling Monster in his wagon. I was able to walk & talk through all the contractions, but they picked up frequency to about 7min apart. I continued timing them and they slowly started getting a bit more intense, and they were all lasting at least 1 min, but they never picked up frequency past 7min. At 11:30 we called my grandparents and asked them to pick up Monster. 

Then we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch with Ben’s family to celebrate my BIL’s birthday. From the time we left for the restaurant, the contractions slowed to anywhere between 10 and 14 min apart. They still got slowly more intense though. Around 2pm, we went to my MIL’s after lunch to have ice cream cake. As I was getting out of our truck, I had my first contraction that couldn’t sit or talk thru. I had to jump out of the truck and lean onto the seat until it passed. From then, the contractions picked up intensity, but no pattern emerged. They got closer together for a while, then stayed at 10min apart for a while, then picked up to about 7min, then back up to 9min, etc. During the evening I started needing to get down and rock on my hands/knees during contractions. Around 8:45, they all of a sudden started coming 4-5 min apart, and the discomfort never fully went away in between them. At 9:20 I decided to call Amy, and we arranged to meet at the birth center at 10pm. 

We arrived at the birth center a few minutes before 10. Ben’s sister Alethea, her husband, and Ben’s mom arrived a few minutes later. Amy checked me and I was 4cm dilated, but not fully effaced.  Amy gave me some herbal thing (don’t remember what it was called) to help complete effacement. My mom showed up around 10:40 (my stepdad was sick and not able to come). My BIL waited out in the living room, but everyone else was in the birth suite with us. Alethea & I played Backgammon on her Kindle Fire in between contractions. She also took lots of photos (she was the photographer/videographer for the birth). The ctx continued to pick up intensity. I continued to rock on hand/knees. During one of my contractions, I all of a sudden wanted people to sing. I asked for them to sing worship songs. They sang a different song with each contraction – whatever they could think of. In between contractions, somebody would say the name of one, and I let them know whether it was an OK one to sing. I just didn’t want fast-paced, and there were some songs that I just didn’t want the tune. So Ben, my mom, my SIL, and my MIL all sung together with each contraction, and it helped me focus on the getting through the contractions. As the contractions ended, I was able to join in and finish the song with them. The singing was the most peaceful and beautiful experience ever. I just felt so calm during everything. 

Around midnight (now Nov 27th) I decided to get in the birthing tub. I was still on my hands and knees, and Ben got in the tub with me and was sitting on the seat behind me. The warm water helped relieve some of the pain and I was able to relax a bit more. Around 12:30 I started to feel pressure with the contractions. It continued to increase, so Amy checked me, and I was “a good 8 or 9”!

I had 3 more contractions, and then the urge to push almost unbearable. However, I was scared to push too early, after my awful tearing with Monster’s birth (3rd degree tearing, in 4 places). At this point I turned around, still on my hands/knees, but leaning against Ben’s lap during contractions instead of the side of the tub. Amy told me that I didn’t have to resist the urge, but to grunt and think about just nudging baby down, not full-on pushing – but little nudges to satisfy the urges I was feeling. The two birthing assistants came in around this time. So I did that for a few contractions, and then during one, I felt a little pop - my water broke. With the next contraction, I had a full on urge to push. Amy said trust my body, and I started pushing!
I only pushed for 15 min after my water broke, and baby was born 1:34am! I was still facing Ben’s lap, so as she came out, Amy was behind me, and pushed her forward, underneath me. Ben reached down and pulled her out from under me. 

Ben had decided that the way he wanted the gender announced was with music – he had a “girl” song (Sweet Child of Mine – Guns & Roses) and a “boy” song (Arms Wide Open – Creed) loaded on his phone. At this point I was just waiting for the music to tell me the gender, so I hadn’t actually looked down and saw her yet. Everyone else in the room was still waiting to find out, too. Ben handed her to me, and I held her on my chest, and then I heard the first notes of the song – Sweet Child of Mine! I just started crying, and then looked down at her for the first time. <3 I heard my mom ask “What is it?” and somebody (maybe me? LOL) said “GIRL!” At that point, I glanced over to where MIL, SIL, and my mom were standing, and all 3 of them were just crying. It was so sweet. 

We sat in tub just holding her for a while until the cord stopped pulsing, then Ben cut the cord. We stayed in the tub a while longer until time to push out the placenta, which came out easily. Then Ben got out & dried off, and I handed Sweet Pea to him. Then I was helped out & laid on the bed to be checked over. I only had a 1st degree tear internally. I just needed 2 stitches, which took only 5 minutes to do. (And the numbing shots actually worked, unlike with Monster!) I then had my blood pressure/temp/etc taken multiple times over the next half hour or so, while Ben and family were holding Sweet Pea.

Then they handed Sweet Pea back to me to nurse. I nursed her laying down, and I kept dozing off to sleep while she was eating. I guess it had been a long night! Ben laid in bed with us (it’s actually a queen sized bed – no nasty hospital table, lol). About 3:30am she was done nursing and we called Amy into the room to do the full newborn check. Everything was perfect, but her temperature was just a little on the cold side. Oh, and her APGAR scores were 9 and 10. So we got her bundled up well and then laid a heating pad over her to help warm her up. After that, Amy left the center, but the two birth assistants stayed at the center with us. Ben & I decided to take a nap before going home (since it was 4am and we hadn’t slept all night!)

Around 7am, I woke up to use the bathroom, and that was when we went over all the paperwork with the assistants, had the final blood pressure/temperature checks, got her dressed in her going home outfit, and at 7:40 we were in the truck headed home! We got home and crawled into bed, where we slept until 11am, when Sweet Pea woke up to nurse again. I felt absolutely fantastic. After Monster’s birth I could only lay in bed for the first 2 days we were at home, because of the pain from my stitches. This time, I was doing laundry in the afternoon! Around 3, Ben’s family came over and started preparing a big turkey dinner. My parents, aunt, grandparents, and Monster all arrived by 5. We all had a big dinner together and everybody got to meet Sweet Pea. People hung out until about 8:30, and then we all headed to bed. 
 
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sorry.. I'm Still Alive!

Wow, apparently I haven't posted for over a month... I'm so sorry! And quite a lot has happened in that time.
I guess the biggest update for you is that baby #2 was born! Monster is now the proud big brother of a baby....

SISTER!!

Now I guess I need to come up with a nickname for her on this blog, huh? How about we call her... Sweet Pea? Since that seems to be what I end up calling her most of the time anyway. :)



Sweet Pea was born at 1:34 am on November 27, 2011. She weighed 7lb 14 oz (a full half pound heavier than Monster was!) and was 19 inches long (short just like her brother, haha).
I had an AMAZING water birth at my local birth center, and may share my birth story on here later if anyone's interested. Just let me know in the comments if it's something you'd like to read or not. :)


I'll update her page on here with more photos of her, so feel free to check it out!  


Monster has been... adjusting. I can't really say that he's been adjusting well, but I know that it is a big change for him to deal with, and he's doing the best he can I suppose. My patience is being tried as he gets really whiny and clingy on me every time she needs to nurse or needs any attention, really. I know that it will just take some more time for him to get used to having her around. He is a great big brother, though, and loves to help us take care of her and give her kisses. <3



In other news... we had a nice Thanksgiving, and I hope you did too! Now we're just gearing up for our first Christmas with 2 little ones! Monster is still too young to fully understand anything that's going on, but at least he will be able to unwrap his own presents this year.




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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Puppies v. Babies - Which is Cuter?!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puppies vs. Babies for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Which do you think is cuter... puppies or babies? Animal Planet is on a mission to discover once and for all what people think.

PvB-CuteDar-Green-300x250-Backup.jpg

It may shock you, but I think PUPPIES are actually cuter than babies, in a general sense! But, both sides already have a huge following. You can see the current standings at the Puppies vs. Babies online contest.

Here's my argument on why puppies are cuter than babies: they don't wake you multiple times in the middle of the night, they don't spit up or vomit on you, you only have to feed them twice a day (as opposed to every 2 hours for infants), you never need to wipe their boogers, house-training only takes a few weeks - as opposed to changing diaper for 2+ years and then taking months to potty train!

As much as I think Monster may be the cutest baby in the world, and I've also seen lots of other cute babies before... we've all seen those babies. You know the ones I'm talking about. People who say every baby is cute are lying. I've seen ugly babies, and you know that you've seen ugly babies. Thankfully, most ugly babies outgrow their ugly stage. But the fact remains, there are many babies out there who are just not that cute.

However, I've never seen an ugly puppy. Even the ugliest dog breeds are adorable as puppies! Take a minute to think about it... and you'll realize that you've probably never seen an ugly puppy in your life. Ugly dogs, sure - but we're talking about the puppy stage. So I have to say it - overall, puppies are cuter than babies!

So what do you think? Which will you vote for? Now through November 23rd, you can vote at Puppies vs. Babies to have your say in the contest! You can even enter a photo of YOUR puppy or baby, if you think yours is cute enough to earn votes!  And be sure to comment and let me know your arguments for whichever side you're voting for. :)

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday {But With Words}

 This is the best picture I currently have of Monster's Halloween costume. That's because, like the great mommy I am, I forgot to take my camera when we went to Grandma's house for trick or treating! This pic actually came from Grandma's cell phone.... and Aunt Alethea & Uncle Chris stopped by after trick or treating and got some cute photos then, but those will have to wait until I get them! For now, you get this.



Monster was an Egyptian for Halloween. BopBop and Grandma brought the outfit back from Egypt when they visited in the summer of 2010, and it was the perfect size for him to wear this year! He was the cutest little Egyptian I've ever seen, if I do say so myself. ;)


Linking up with And Then She {Snapped}for Wordless Wednesday But With Words!


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Monday, October 31, 2011

Meal Planning Challenge ~ Week 6!


Linking up for Week 6 of the Plan It - Don't Panic Meal Planning Challenge!


As in the past, I'm linking to recipes where available! :)

Monday - Poppyseed Chicken & corn
Tuesday -Homemade Chicken Primavera Pizza (from an old E-mealz meal plan, no online recipe, sorry! But it's really yummy. In fact, here's a pic from last time we made it:

Wednesday - Chicken Divan with Garlic Bread & Mixed Veggies
Thursday - SUBWAY sandwiches on the way to worship team practice
Friday - Breakfast for dinner. I'm thinking french toast??
Saturday - Chili Mac! (Yay for super easy lazy meals in the meal options!)
Sunday - Dinner at MIL's house

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Meal Plan Monday - Week 5!


Linking up for Week 5 of the Plan It - Don't Panic Meal Planning Challenge!

Monday - Nachos & veggie salad
Tuesday -Spaghetti & mozzarella breadsticks & mixed veggies
Wednesday - Pizza Soup & garlic bread
Thursday - SUBWAY sandwiches on the way to worship team practice. :)
Friday - Dinner @ our friend Sara's house! (This didn't happen last week, so it got bumped to this week!)
Saturday - .....oops. Not planned yet!
Sunday - Dinner at MIL's house

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Meal Plan Mondays - Week 4 of the challenge!


Wow! I can't beleive it's already week 4 of the Plan It - Don't Panic Meal Planning Challenge!

I went on a weekend trip that I all but forgot about until Thursday afternoon... and Ben completely ignored the meal plan while I was gone (Friday & Saturday night). He made himself & monster simple stuff like grilled cheese sandwiches instead. :) So, we still have the ingredients from a few of the meals we were supposed to make over the weekend... they just get bumped forward to this week and we save more $$ on thie week's grocery budget! Yay!

Monday - Chicken Alfredo Lasagna & Broccoli
Tuesday - Tater Tot Casserole with cold veggies & ranch dressing
Wednesday - Lazy Chicken & Potato Bake & "Kitchencraft Demo veggie salad" - this salad is amazing! A bunch of fresh veggies (red cabbage, zuccini, carrots, squash, celery, etc) sliced up and tossed with raspberry dressing. Yum!
Thursday - SUBWAY sandwiches on the way to worship team practice. :)
Friday - Dinner @ our friend Sara's house!
Saturday - Hamburgers & baked beans
Sunday - Dinner at MIL's house

Looks like it's going to be a super easy week this time! Yay!

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Meal Planning Challenge ~ Week 3


Monday - Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings & rolls (got bumped forward from last Saturday)
Tuesday - Pizza Casserole & sald
Wednesday -Easy Chicken Pot Pie (double recipe) & mashed potatoes
Thursday - SUBWAY sandwiches on the way to worship team practice. :)
Friday - Chicken Alfredo Lasagna & broccoli
Saturday - Hamburgers & baked beans
Sunday - Dinner at MIL's house

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday {But With Words} ...on Thursday

  Linking up with Rachel @ And Then, She {Snapped} for wordless-Wednesday-but-with-words.

Except I forgot to post it on Wednesday. So I'm doing it today instead! Can you forgive me?


I finally took 18 month photos!
Behold, Monster's hair. Those gorgeous reddish curls!


 I love that hair. But, I think I may be coming to terms with the idea that we should probably cut it sometime. Maybe even sometime before the new baby comes - which means within the next 7 weeks (AAAHHHH! How can I be that close to my due date?!). I am afraid to chop off all the curls, so we will probably keep some curl. Just trim the whole thing up and make it a bit shorter on the sides & in the back.
I'm just not ready for him to look "grown up", which normally happens after that 1st haircut.

So... I'll avoid it for a few more weeks.
:)

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Things I've Been Meaning to Do - October!

 Wow! Another full month has gone by already?! Crazy. And with the new month brings a new list of things I've been meaning to do.
{Linking up with The Lazy Mom}

1. I've still been meaning to buy some plastic storage bins, so I can put all these bags of baby clothes into them.

2. Frame & hang this picture. It was made by my step-dad's great-grandma (I think?) who painted lots of pictures. A bunch of random ones were kept by a distant family member, who passed away recently 2 months ago, and gave all the paintings to every great-great-grandchild in the family. And even being "just" a step-child, I was included! This will go perfectly in our master bedroom. But it's been sitting here on the floor of our room since we got it...



3. Take Monster's 18-month photo. Thankfully I'm not too far behind on this one... yet. He just turned 18 months on the 1st of October. But I haven't taken a monthly photo since he turned 12 months.

I have a good excuse for that, I really do! The outfit he'd been wearing didn't fit anymore. Remember the outfit?
 When he was tiny, it was too big.
Then he got bigger, and it was too tiny.

So naturally, the right thing to do was completely forget about taking monthly photos for 6 whole months. (oops) But maybe in the end, it will seem purposeful? I mean, 12 and 18 months are the big 'birthday months', and nobody really cares about 13 months or 16 months... right? Right?! 

But now he's 18 months old, and I am going to take an 18-month photo. Hopefully I do it this week!

(Oh, and what should he wear?)

4. Post about going to the Fair. We went to the Puyallup Fair last year - and I put together a nice blog post about it. Well we also went this year - 2 weeks ago. And I started a post about it.... but never added pictures. Or finished writing about it. So maybe I'll actually finish that post sometime this month and share it! We had lots of fun. :)


Well, that's all I can think of for this month's list of Things I've Been Meaning To Do! Do you have a list like mine? If so, please share, and link it up with The Lazy Mom, too!

 
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Plan It - Don't Panic: Week 2!

Wow, I can hardly believe a whole week has gone by, and it's time to post the next meal plan!
On the other hand, I can't believe it has only been 1 week since the last meal plan was posted. A lot has happened in our worlds! (In addition to the normal stuff, we also did 2 interviews with potential new childcare providers, a day at the zoo, and went to a baby shower! Whew!)
 

Yet, even with the super busy week that we had, I managed to stick to the plan and make a homemade meal every nigh... except for Sunday - but as I explained last week, it's our weekly family dinner at Ben's mom's, so I'm off the hook. ;)

Hopefully this week goes just as smoothly! So without any further ado - here's the plan!
Again, I included links to the recipes that have them, in case you're interested in making any of these yourself!

Monday - Tater Tot Casserole & corn
Tuesday - Easy Baked Ziti (with Ricotta in place of Cottage Cheese) & garlic bread
Wednesday - Baked Potato Bar
Thursday - Pulled Pork Sandwiches & mashed potatoes
Friday - "Date Night" at the marriage conference we're attending - Yay! 2 nights off this week!
Saturday - Slow Cooker Chicken & Dumplings & rolls
Sunday - Dinner at MIL's house

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Motherlove Herbal Company Giveaway ~ WINNER!

 There were 45 entries in the Motherlove Herbal Company Giveaway and Random.org chose...



Entry #40.... Congrats simplymerry

You have been emailed, and have 48 hours to respond or I will have to draw a new winner.

Thanks to everyone who entered!


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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Zoo!!

Yesterday, we went to the zoo! It was free for all Tacoma residents - so we took full advantage of the opportunity! We went after Ben got off work, so we got there around 1 pm, and they closed at 4 - so we had close to 3 hours to see everything.I won't bore you with words.... but I took 145 pictures & videos during our 3 hours.... so I'll try to showcase some of the better ones, haha!




Well, folks - now you know. THAT'S what a monkey says! Haha

That's a Tapir!

 
Ben's pretty proud of this shot... poor monkey got caught doing his 'business'!

These fish make holes in the sand, and then pop in and out!
Can't do the zoo without taking advantage of the shark's mouth photo opp!

This was the best shot we got of the 3 of us. Seriously.
 

 
Monster's hand compared to a polar bear paw print!
Armadillo
Reindeer

That's one big fish!


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Monday, September 26, 2011

Plan It - Don't Panic: Week 1

The "Plan It - Don't Panic Meal Planning Challenge" has begun! Today is the day that everyone is sharing their first week's meal plan - so here's mine! 

My meal plan contains only dinners.

I always make a large enough meal for dinner, that both Ben & I take leftovers for lunch to work the next day. That makes lunch planning a breeze! And on the (rare) days that we don't have leftovers, we keep the sandwich essentials on hand - bread, peanut butter/jelly, lunch meat/cheese. 

And breakfast -we're on our own! Since Ben wakes up at 3am for work (and I, um... don't.) we don't eat breakfast together. We have fast breakfast stuff on hand: eggs, cereal/milk, sometimes oatmeal, etc. Weekends we eat the same stuff, or if we're feeling especially un-lazy, we might make pancakes or french toast on a Saturday morning. :)

To start the meal planning process, I sat down and thought up every meal that we regularly enjoy, that are fairly easy/fast to make. I ended up with a list of over 30 meals. A lot of these "meals" are broad-ended, too. For example, one might be 'sandwiches'. This could be BLT's, Reuben's, grilled cheese... the sky's the limit. If I draw "sandwiches" when putting together the meal plan, we get to decide then which kind of sandwiches we'd like that week. :) We also have a 'homemade pizza' option, and 'soup' option. Those are also open-ended, and I can choose what kind of pizza, or what kind of soup, to make. This means our 30 meal options is really more like 50 options or more! Meaning... we should be able to go about 2 months without repeating meals! :)

So, without further ado, here's this week's plan! I've included links to recipes where applicable, in case you're interested in trying one out for yourself!

Monday (today!): Taco Salad
Thursday (lazy, fast day):Chili Mac
Friday: Southwestern Chicken w/ Rice
Saturday: Breakfast for dinner - bacon, eggs & hashbrowns
Sunday: Dinner at Ben's mom's house - a standing invitation every Sunday afternoon

Well there you have it! What we're eating this week. Thursdays are a day that we need to leave the house within an hour of me getting home - so those are always going to be super lazy/fast meal days. Chili Mac is obviously not the healthiest option - but its fast and everyone likes it, so it's a winner in my book for nights like that! 

Be sure to head over to Keeper of the Home and check out everyone else's Week 1 Meal Plans!

~If you enjoyed this, don't miss any future posts! Please find a way to follow - options are over on the right side of the page. Don't forget you can also "like" the Urban Granola Facebook page, too! I'd love to see you back!~

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Plan It - Don't Panic - 6 Week Meal Planning Challenge!

If you read my last post, about things I've been meaning to do, you might recall that one of those things was to put together a meal plan. Well, guess what? I still haven't done it. And there has been that panic feeling every weeknight as I head home, wondering what I'm gonna throw together that night. 

So imagine my delight when I stumbled across THIS blog post this morning! Stephanie at Keeper of the Home is having a "Plan It - Don't Panic" meal planning challenge!

It will be a 6 week long challenge of creating and sharing meal plans for our families. I already know that getting started is the hardest part about Meal planning. But after 6 weeks of being held accountable to the other women joining in the challenge - and all of my blog readers(!), that I should have the habit formed, and be able to continue going strong with it.

Each Monday, I will be sharing my meal plan for the week, right here on my blog. If you are interested in joining up, please do! If you just want to follow along and maybe get some new ideas and recipes for your family's meals, then make sure to check back in with Keeper of the Home once we get started, as that's where the big link-up will be listed. :)

Wish me luck as I start this new challenge! If you currently meal plan, will you share some tips in the comments below? If you don't meal plan, let me know if you plan to join this challenge, too!


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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Things I've Been Meaning To Do!

Linking up with The Lazy Mom for the September edition of "Things I've Been Meaning To Do"!

1. I'll be completely honest here. I've been meaning to join the "Things I've Been Meaning To Do" link-up since the first month that Stacey started doing it. But now that I'm finally doing it, I guess it doesn't really belong on this list? Oh well, I'm too lazy to go and erase all those words that I worked sooo hard to type out for you. ;)

2. Buy some plastic bins to store all of these baby clothes in.
 I sorted and bagged all of Monster's old clothes a few weeks ago. The bags have been on the chair/couch since. I don't want to put them outside in our shed in only plastic bags - bugs and rodents could get in! Yuck! But I don't have any plastic storage bins, other than the ones currently in the shed, full of Christmas supplies. So I must go to the store, buy the bins, and then put the bags in them.
That, my friends, is the reason it has already been a few weeks since I bagged them up.

3. Make a meal plan.

I actually started writing out meals that I like and that we'd like to eat on a regular basis. The goal is to then create little magnet thingys with them and put this "calendar" on my fridge, and use the meal magnets to plan our weekly meals in advace. We used to use the e-mealz system, and LOVED it, but with the tight budget lately, we decided to take advantage of our church's food bank, which is open to all church members once a month (otherwise they only serve certain zip codes - where we don't live!)
So now we have all this meat and canned goods to use - and no recipes or any clue what to make.

Which is why I've been meaning to make our meal plan...

So, I guess it's not a terribly long list at the moment. Either that, or I'm in denial about some things... haha.
Now let's just see if this post is motivation for me to actually DO the items on this list. :)

Do you have a list of things you've been meaning to do? Please share them so I don't feel so alone in my laziness!

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Need Help From Fellow Bloggers!

I'm posting in hopes that some fellow bloggers who happen to read this might know the answer to my question!

Blogger has a "share box" that shows up below each of my posts. One of the buttons on it is the Twitter button.

I've visited blogs before, that when you click that button, and the pop-up window opens for you to Tweet the message to your Twitter feed, it has related Twitter accounts already marked with the @ symbol, and it has the # marks to categorize the post, etc.

But when I click the Twitter button on any of my posts, it just gives the post title, and the URL link.

Does anyone know how to edit the Twitter button so that it has all the Twitter extras in it, relevant to that specific post? If you don't know how to do this, but you think you know somebody who can help, please point them in my direction!

Thanks so much!

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Motherlove Review & GIVEAWAY!

A few weeks ago, I was contact by Motherlove Herbal Company and asked if I would be interesting in reviewing one of their products. If you've never heard of Motherlove before, here's a bit about the company -
Creating the purest products of the finest quality, Motherlove Herbal Company is dedicated to using certified organic ingredients for a holistic way to soothe, pamper and enrich the pregnant or breastfeeding body. Certified cruelty free and without the use of preservatives, artificial fragrances and petroleum-based additives (such as mineral oil) found in most body care products, Motherlove products instill confidence and peace of mind as you nurture yourself and the life within.

Used to soothe the discomforts of pregnancy and breastfeeding, and pamper the body, our products are also safe and gentle on baby's skin. Motherlove products have been proven so effective they have earned the trust and continued support of lactation consultants, midwives, healthcare practitioners and mothers everywhere.
The products they make can be categorized into 3 main groups - Breastfeeding, Pregnancy, and Birth & Baby. The Breastfeeding line has a variety of herbal supplements to increase milk production in safe, natural ways, as well as a nipple cream that gives relief to sore, cracked nursing nipples.

 The Pregnancy line of products includes oils and salves for stretching bellies, and a balm to soothe the discomfort of hemorrhoids (ah, the joys of pregnancy...).
And their Birth & Baby section contains Sitz baths for post-partum perineal discomfort, birth & baby oil, and a diaper rash & thrush cream that is safe for both cloth diapers (yay!), and a nursing mother's nipples.
Being the indecisive person I am, I was having a hard time deciding which product I'd most like to review - so I was graciously sent two!
The first product I chose to try was the Pregnant Belly Salve.
 
With Monster, I sure got my fair share of stretch marks! Thankfully they have faded a lot since his birth, but they are still noticeable. I have been rubbing this salve all over my belly, breasts, and thighs (yes, my thighs, too. Ah, pregnancy...) where my stretch marks were. I rub some on each morning and night to help prevent my skin from gaining any new stretch marks with this baby. It did take a bit of time to get used to the consistency of the salve - it's almost a solid until you warm it up, and then it can become almost liquid. But that means when I rub it on my skin, it's nice and smooth. And did I mention that it smells super nice, too!


 Here's my jar after about 4 weeks of use - as you can see, it's still very full!
The nice thing about the consistency of it is that you don't need to use very much at a time. This jar will easily last someone an entire pregnancy- or possibly longer!
The other product that Motherlove sent me to try is the Diaper Rash & Thrush Cream. It's called a cream, but it's similar consistency to the belly salve, not very creamy. Thankfully, diaper rashes are a rare occurence in our house. But about a month ago, Monster had a staph infection on his boy bits. We had a prescription ointment that cleared it up quickly, but he was left with a few small pink spots on his bum - almost like scars, but not quite. I've been putting the cream on those spots, and they've already lightened up.
Monster is also cutting his bottom molars at the moment, and I can tell that he's got that 'teething rash' type of thing going on. So I've been putting the Diaper Rash cream on it, and when he wakes up in the morning his bum looks nice and healthy again! I don't know how well this cream would work on a really bad rash, but I can say it works just fine for the typical red bum that Monster gets now and then.

Overall, I am very satisfied and impressed by both of the Motherlove products that I tried and would recommend them to any of my friends.

WIN IT!!
Motherlove has generously offered one winner (chosen via Random.org) one Motherlove product of their choice, so that they can pick the best product to meet their specific needs.

Mandatory entry:  Please visit the Motherlove website and comment below letting me know which product you would choose if you won!

Extra Entries:
*Follow this blog publicly via Google Friend Connect. (+1)
*Like Urban Granola on Facebook (+1)
*Subscribe to Urban Granola via email (+1)
*Like Motherlove Herbal Company on Facebook (+1)
*Follow MotherlovePR on Twitter (+1)
*Share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter - you can use the handy button below.
Make sure to leave a permalink to your post  (+1 for each)
*Leave a comment on any non-giveaway post.
Please let me know which post you comment on (+2)
*Grab my button and leave a link to where I can find it (+3)
*Blog about this giveaway and leave a link (+5)

Please leave a separate comment for each entry - and don't forget to include your email address so that I can contact you if you are the winner!

This giveaway is open to residents of the US only.
It will end at 11:59pm PST on Friday, September 30, 2011.

(I received the Pregnant Belly Salve and Diaper Rash & Thrush Cream by Motherlove for the purpose of this review. I received no other compensation. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, and have not been influenced in any way.)
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