Car Seat Safety

Posted 10-27-2010 at 05:55 PM by brewanothercup

My favorite local cloth diaper store sponsored a WIC cloth diaper event and a car seat safety check.  Before my son was born, I tried to take the installed car seat to AAA only to discover they no longer did safety checks in my area.  They referred me to the police department, but there was no one there certified.  A nice officer looked at the seat and gave me a few pointers, but as I learned today, despite these pointers our carseat was still one of the 8 in 10 installed incorrectly.

Firstly, my car has a LATCH system, which means that there are special clips built into the car to make installing a car seat super easy. Since the middle seat is the safest in the car, we installed my son there but were at a loss as to what precisely to do since the LATCH system didn’t exist there.  Instead, we used the side LATCHes, which is not correct. Turns out that even though my car is less than 2 years old, the LATCH system doesn’t work in the middle seat. The seat can go there, but it has to be buckled in with the seatbelt – a process entirely new to me.  Never use both the belt and the LATCH (my husband and I joked this was double the safety!) because carseats are not designed for this.  Regardless of how the base or seat is secured, the car seat should move no more than an inch left to right.  Seatbelts, if used to secure, must be pre-locked.

Diaper Swapers

Fall Into Fall Party!

Posted 10-27-2010 at 05:53 PM by ParamedicMama

Any opportunity to celebrate life and the change of seasons is a great thing since it breeds creativity, bonds family members as they prepare things for each other, and creates memories of fun times. It doesn’t have to be expensive and you can easily plan a Fall party for just your own children or for their friends (and yours!) as well. Here are some ideas to help you plan your own adult or child “Fall Into Fall” party.

The Omni-Present Mama Guilt

Posted 10-18-2010 at 03:03 PM by brewanothercup

As a new mother, I’m surprised at how often I find myself feeling guilty about something related to my son.  It began early in pregnancy when it seemed like every drop of caffeine would be dripped directly into my unborn child, and then it peaked at 38 weeks when I developed pre-eclampsia and was convinced that one wrong move during my required bedrest would inevitably damage my child forever. And now that my son is here, there’s a slew of other things to feel guilty about – the two bottles of formula I fed him in the hospital haunt me; the cold he got from daycare because I have to be a working mother, the TV that is on in the background of home movies I take, the rash he got the day I forgot to rinse the diapers that last rinse.

I try to remind myself that there is always something to feel guilty about and that this simple fact should indicate to me that no parenting decision is absolutely perfect. I try to remind myself that I am not the first person to make these choices, and that in my journey of parenthood there are always going to be decisions I could make differently.  What matters most in the end, I believe, is that we are all making the best decisions we can for our families given our circumstances. There should be nothing to feel guilty about then, right?

Incorporating Learning Into Every Day Life

Posted 10-18-2010 at 02:58 PM by ParamedicMama

With the start of school comes a renewed focus on education for parents of small children. We want our pre-school aged children to be learning and absorbing the world around them just as much as we expect our school-aged children to be doing so! Here are some easy ways to incorporate learning into your every day activities:

Get a routine going. This will help your children know what to expect when, thus leading to less poor behavior. Having the freedom of a flowing day will give you the best opportunity to interject learning into your daily activities and will give your children the ability to look forward to things they know are going to happen!

Sing songs. Making up your own words to familiar tunes, or creating a brand new song all together helps stimulate learning on various levels within the brain. Musical memory is often stronger than verbal memory both in the short and long term, so anything your child learns through a song has the potential to stay with him better than if he was to have learned it through words alone. Singing a particular song about scrubbing the different body parts every time a child takes a bath, for instance, will help him learn his body parts without even trying, and can also help you get through bath time since it’s a game instead of a chore.

Dealing With Loss

Posted 10-18-2010 at 02:57 PM by whitneywalters

When I found out I was pregnant with our fourth child it was a little bit of a shock. We were not trying to get pregnant but we were still happy about it. I was around seven weeks when we found out. Since this was going to be our last child we decided to wait to tell our family and friends until after we had our first ultra sound, we wanted to make cards for them. The next couple weeks went by, while I never had morning sickness I did not feel good at all. I spent this time trying to find a doctor that we liked, the first one I tried was not what we were looking for so about a week after seeing her we decided to try the hospital where our other children were born, they had a midwife there that we loved but since she was gone I did not want to go back but we heard they had  a new midwife so I decided to give it a shot. They set me up for an ultrasound before my first appointment since I was not sure of the date of conception. That day is a day that would change our lives forever.

I woke up on July 22nd 2010 and I just did not feel right and I was having some pretty bad cramps. I tried to brush it off and not worry since I would be heading to the doctor in a few short hours. When I got to my appointment they started the ultrasound it was only a few minuets later that we heard those fateful words, ” I am sorry but there is no heart beat.” I was devastated. It took a moment to sink in and at that time I just started to sob. I sent my husband over to get my mom who was working at the time.  The ultrasound tech went on to tell me that it looked like the baby had died shortly after nine weeks and according to my calculations I should have been right around twelve.

Megaroos Prefolds

Posted 10-5-2010 at 01:51 PM by Mom2Finn

Megaroos extended tab prefolds totally live up to the hype!  I had read a lot about them on the Diaperswappers message boards.  I had looked at her website and drooled over her cute patterns.  But I could never find them on FSOT – they always seemed to get snapped up so quickly.

Finally, I traded with a mama for three of my AIO dipes.  She had three gorgeous premium prefolds with bamboo inners.  The only problem?  I have a rough and tumble boy and her diapers were pink, pink, pink.  But I didn’t care – I wanted those prefolds, and I knew Finn was secure enough to wear a pink diaper…with butterflies…and a furry pink interior…

These were the Premium Ultra with a layer of velour next to the baby.  When they arrived, I loved how soft they were.  These prefolds have snaps on them, which made it super easy to put on, although I think I would like them just as well with a Snappi.

It Takes a Village

Posted 10-5-2010 at 01:47 PM by brewanothercup

I was a mess the first day my son attended daycare.  Scratch that – I was a mess for a full two weeks leading up to my son’s first day at daycare. I cried thinking about it. I cried visiting it.  I cried when he smiled at me because I knew there’d be smiles daycare would see and I would miss. I read things online about how daycare providers have a “don’t tell” policy when it comes to milestones, and then I cried some more. And I’m not a crier, so all these tears were a big deal.

The crowning moment of the crying was when I thought to myself, “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, leave my baby with strangers!” And after it ocurred to me that four days of labor and the subsequent c-section were actually the hardest days of my life thus far, I then realized this was just the beginning of the hard things. I have colleagues who are missing their little one’s first day of kindergarten because as teachers it is insanely difficult to take off the first day of school.  That seems even harder than the first day of daycare. I have friends who have kids starting their senior year of high school, and you can see the impending sadness in their eyes that doors are opening and closing forever.

Questions To Ask a Private Music Teacher

Posted 10-5-2010 at 01:43 PM by ParamedicMama

It seems as though most extra-curricular activities involve a teacher figure for your child. How can you be sure the teacher is not just wasting your money, though? To avoid the awkwardness of having a teacher that just isn’t working out, ask this list of questions to a potential art, music, drama, or other teacher before you start taking private lessons:

  1. What is your background in studying this form? You want a teacher who has studied his or her area of expertise for at least five years. Generally, the longer, the better! Ask where the teacher has studied at and under who. If you can also find out the style/genre they studied, you will also be able to know what things they will emphasize to your child.
  2. What has determined your favorite and worst teachers (that you have taken lessons from), and why? The good things will be the things she repeats, and the worst things will hopefully be the things she won’t repeat in teaching your child!