Preemie Twins, Why It’s Important To Have Others Understand Your Journey

Sometimes, more than anything, at the end of a long day you just want to know that you aren’t the only one going through what you’re going through.

My twin babies that I was so ready for, came far too soon — at just 26 weeks. Those months after they came were so scary and filled with a swift education that I was so unprepared for then, and am so proud of now. My babies that were once so itty bitty, are now a fierce kindergarten duo that are on the move, demolishing the house on a daily basis and we’re working on tying their shoes. At the end of the day, after all of its said and done, there’s still one thing missing — my turn to be heard.

[...]

A VBA2C Journey

It has been a very long road during this pregnancy. Having to switch providers at 28 weeks and “hunt” for one willing to support a Momma with a strong desire to VBA2C was no cake walk. I struggled with GD, controlled by high doses of insulin, 3 appts weekly 35 minutes from my home to get NSTs, u/s, and OB appts. Around 35 weeks I was hit with almost 10 days straight of Prodromal labor. Oh my I was so ready to to just give up… Our EDD wasn’t until May 28th and I was already starting to receive the “big baby” talks.

[...]

No Punishments, Many Rewards

I had started moving away from using punishments some time ago, for a combination of pragmatic and emotional reasons. Parenting-wise, 2013 was a difficult year for me, filled with intense sleep deprivation and a lot of mistakes (the two not being unrelated, obviously). It dawned on me slowly that time outs were not working to curb M’s aggressive behavior toward J, AND they were giving me intensely uncomfortable feelings, but I was really at a loss for what else to do. Still, I took one step in the direction of eliminating punishment: I quit using time outs.

[...]

Adventures in Bra Fitting

I’ve been researching bra fitting like crazy the last two days, thanks to two of my close friends Megan and Jennifer. I was buying some shirts from Megan and Jennifer commented that my current bra was not fitting me right AT ALL. Get ready to learn something ladies! My research started here with learning how to properly measure myself. This is a totally different way then what I had been told before!

[...]

Webster: Your BFF During Pregnancy

You may be hearing the name “Webster” thrown around quite a bit in your circles of pregnant friends, on parenting websites around the country or even right here on the OANP page. Who is this mystery man and what is he doing to make pregnant women everywhere sing his praises? If you’re someone who isn’t too comfortable with strangers, then you’re about to read some good news. “Webster” isn’t a man at all. The term Webster is actually referring to a specific chiropractic technique that can be used at any time throughout the course of someone’s life, but its history lies in the amazing results it produced in women throughout their pregnancies.

[...]

Help! I Can’t Babywear My Baby!

I cannot go a single week without hearing someone say, “I tried that babywearing thing. It’s just not for me. I can’t do it.” Usually it’s within the context of this amazing organization for which I happen to be an educator (Convenient, right?!). But sometimes it’s during a grocery store conversation, at a playdate, or when I’m randomly loading my littles into the car in a parking lot. Depending on the audience, we go back and forth and problem solve or I just throw a little tidbit of mind blowing, empowering information that maybe, just maybe, will open up their heart to this awesome parenting tool.

[...]

September 12, 2015
Playdough, It’s More Than Just Play!

We have heard that art is good for children. When this statement is said, the words creativity, expression, or imagination, are sure to follow. Often, reasons are given as to why art is so important. Phrases such as spatial awareness, adaption to environment, or develops fine motor skills are discussed. You’ve heard this, right? More than a couple times, right?

Parents are all for this stuff. We are desperate for our kids to develop those skills, as undefinable they sometimes may be. Suddenly art is so much more than a cute picture on Grandma and Grandpa’s fridge. We need art and we must do it RIGHT NOW!

Where to begin?

It’s so overwhelming. What type of art? What supplies do I need? Where do I find that? It costs how much?!
Lisa Phillips, author of “The Artistic Edge: 7 Skills Need to Succeed in an Increasingly Right Brain World”, published a blog titled “The Top 10 Skills Children Learn from the Arts” on www.blog.americansforthearts.org.
It’s worth a look. Art really does teach wonderful, powerful things. But it leads parents back to the starting gate…where to begin?

Playdough.

Magic stuff.

That list mentioned above? Those 10, all-important, must have skills that kids can learn from art? They can hone those soon to be talents with playdough. I own an arts and crafts studio for kids and in one corner, there is a playdough station. It is always open for use and there is always somebody there. There is creativity, concentration, perseverance, and collaboration happening all the time. (Those are a smattering of skills found in the Top 10 list.)
Playdough is an easy way to ease into the important world of art. And, you don’t even need to go out and buy it. The supplies are probably on hand in your kitchen. It’s cheap. It’s easy. The kids will love it. Go make some today!

  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup salt
  • 1 TBSP oil (any kind works)
  • ½ TBSP cream of tartar
  • Food coloring
  1. Put all the ingredients into pot. Stir together. Heat over medium, stirring often. When playdough thickens and pulls away from the side of the pot, remove from heat.
  2. Let cool.
  3. Play!
  4. Store in airtight container. Put in fridge for longest shelf life (2-3 months).

September 8, 2015

50 Shades of Fluff

From a Man’s Perspective

“There’s something sexy about a man talking about cloth diapers,” said a sultry voice as she walked towards my conversation carrying nothing but a red cloth diaper and her desire to hear more of my diapering conversation. “Can I show you how this works?” she said flashing her long, black eyelashes. “I would like that” I said. She began unsnapping the diaper slowly, deliberately, one snap at a time moving her hands and fingers as though this wasn’t her first time. My eyes began to widen as the diaper grew larger and larger. Although it felt as if time had stopped, it was only a matter of seconds before the diaper was at its full, complete size.

She laid it gently on the table, spreading it to its full potential. She ran her manicured finger across the soft micro-fleece following the contours of its sides describing how firmly it fit around the legs and back. “Would you like to reach inside?” She said with a devilish grin. I didn’t have to answer; she already knew I wanted to. I gently slipped my finger and thumb into the slit in the front until I felt something soft. “Go ahead…pull it out” she said. At this point I knew I was in for something special and I could tell by the look in her eyes that she was ready for me to quit playing.

With my other hand I firmly grasped the opposite end of the diaper to show it that I was in charge. I pulled and couldn’t believe what came next. I could see the wave of extreme satisfaction bursting from her as I held the two inserts between my fingers. We both knew this was what I had been thirsting for. I couldn’t take it any longer. I had an uncontrollable desire and knew that I had to do what I wanted. I immediately threw the inserts to the side, swept the clutter to make room and we did it right there on the table…wrote a purchase order.

It’s no secret that diapering of any kind is not nearly as glamorous as my totally true story (that I made up). You put a diaper on your baby, baby messes in the diaper, you take it off, put a new one on and the cycle continues. I want to let all my fellow dads out there know that cloth diapers can be fun. They have a few amazing differences. First, your savings is equivalent to a fully set-up man cave. Second, they are super soft! So soft it makes me envious. They also have snaps, which are like little padlocks that keep your kid from ripping off his diaper and running around like Frank the Tank. This is parenthood.

The reality is that it always comes down to the topic of poop! “What do you do with the poop?!?” is the number one question we get asked. There are actually 3 options and none of them involving touching it. This is something we discuss in our Cloth 101 classes. We would love the opportunity to educate you on this choice, whether you decide it is for your family or not. I challenge any dad out there to give it a try for themselves.

Who knows…you might just like changing diapers.

Communication Barriers With Children

(Part 1 in a 3 Part Series)
By Kate Jobe

The ability to communicate ones emotions and thoughts in a way they can be understood by others is probably the most important component of successful relationships. Succeeding in communicating your emotions and thoughts and then having them acknowledged and supported is equally important, regardless if you are an adult or a child.

[...]

To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool

I have been talking to a lot of families about potentially homeschooling their children. The rise in homeschoolers is awesome! Homeschooling is not a decision to be taken lightly, or is it? Once we came up with the decision to pull our then 5th grader from public school, it was easy. Well, the decision was easy. We are still working on the carrying out phase.

We developed our ‘why’. Why do we want to homeschool? Ours was simple. We don’t want any more stop light, emails or notes home about our son’s behavior. Let me clarify: He had/has ADHD and was constantly being a distraction to the normal format of a public school day. Not only that, he had no friends. His self esteem was in the toilet and he began to question his own existence. That was our huge red flag saying HELLO!! Your child needs something else.

[...]

12 Things to Try Before You Get an Epidural

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: EPIDURALS ARE NOT EVIL. *Gasp* Are you shocked to read those words from a doula who has given birth twice without an epidural and has supported more than two dozen other moms who have done the same? It’s the truth. Epidurals can be helpful and effective tools when used apporpriately. The same is true for IV pain medications used during labor and birth.

[...]