Need Someone To Talk To?

Posted on

7 Cups of Tea7 Cups of Tea is a brand new start up that connects people trained as active listeners with people who need and want to be heard.

  • Want to vent about your child not sleeping?
  • Want to commiserate about lip ties with another breastfeeding mom?
  • Need to reach out to another parent with a special needs child?
  • How about you plain old want someone to listen?

If you have answered YES to any of the above questions then I highly recommend signing up for 7 Cups of Tea. … and the best part about this service is that it is FREE!

As a first time mom living far away from all of my family and close friends I had a rough start to motherhood. All of my friends at the time were childless. They did understand what it was like to have poop shoot across the room at 3 am and hit the cat. All I wanted was someone to witness my pain! I felt very alone and very isolated.

After hearing about this service and remembering how much it sucked to be alone with a baby all day, I signed up to be a listener. I want to be there for other caregivers who needed someone to witness their trials and tribulations! It also seemed like it could be a fun opportunity to make some extra money during nap time! I enjoy that I can chose whether to accept chats through my phone or the web interface or I can opt to chose to talk on the phone. As the inherently shy person I opt for the chat interface 😉

I truly feel this new service will help not only first time moms but any parent, family friend, or anyone really who wants someone to hear what they have to say.

 

 

 


Product Review: The Baby Whisperer Solves All of Your Problems

Posted on

I must preface this review with the following statement, I only read this book for tips on getting baby to sleep through the night.

The Baby Whisperer Solves All of Your Problems

Pros:

  • Very well written 
  • Excellent case studies
  • Easy to follow instructions

Cons:

  • My 5.5 month old was dehydrated when I tried to put her on the 4 hour schedule
  • I felt trapped and depressed putting myself on the 4 hour schedule
  • The pick up put down method didn’t work
  • There was 7 days of 5+ time a day meltdowns
  • I was getting migraines and physically ill from listening to my child scream for 45 minutes 5x a day

Again I did not read any other section of the book, but I really did not like her sleep training method at all. There is nothing routine about having a baby, and there has to be a sleep method that factors in some flexibility. There are some days when the line for the post office is out the door and we are going to miss a nap or have to adjust a feeding.

I modified her routine from EASY (eat, activity, sleep, you time) to EAESY(eat, activity, eat, sleep, you time). I also was rotating through them at a much faster pace. My girl can only stay awake about 1.5-2 hours at a time. She is very active during her time awake and is curious about everything. Her curiosity makes her a distracted eater. Withholding food for longer periods of time so that she will eat more per sitting is not my idea of a proper plan.

Again as I said in an earlier post, you have to do what works best for both YOU and your baby’s personalities. If you are into strict routines and your child eats a decent amount each sitting then perhaps this book is right for you! If you child is a distracted eater, and your life slightly more hectic than I do not suggest reading this book for anything more than purely pleasure!

-Rachel


Product Review: Bitybean the Cleverly Compact Child Carrier

Posted on

Bitybean-Logo-Vertical-02

  • front and back carry
  • recommended for infants with good neck control around 3 months and older
  • 8-40 pounds
  • waist straps fully extended measure 45.5″
  • the body is 15″ tall
  • the widest part of the body is around 14.5″
  • shoulder straps are just under 3″ wide
  • waist strap are 2″ thick
  • Shoulder straps completely loosed are 35″ long

A few weeks ago Robin (guest blogger and craft guru) and I teamed up to win a Bitybean off of their Facebook page. Right before our highly anticipated first time traveling with the infant our Bitybean arrived!

It is only slightly bigger than my iphone (shown in the middle)

It is only slightly bigger than my iphone (shown in the middle)

front of Bitybean in sand gray

front of Bitybean in sand gray

back of Bitybean in sand gray

back of Bitybean in sand gray

easy to use instructions on the label

easy to use instructions on the label

My initial reactions were of complete surprise. I kept checking the front door expecting a large package. Imagine my surprise when a small box the size of my Nalgene water bottle showed up!

After taking off the handwritten note, which I fully believe more companies should do this, and packaging I hastily pulled the carrier out of its carrying case and started taking pictures of it. The excitement began to wear off and I couldn’t help but wonder how in the world I was going to get the carrier back in the case. I felt this was a cleverly packed in carrier and it would never go back in the case. Later I found out that the company has a very handy video on how to repack your Bitybean, but I only discovered this after I realized that you can completely haphazardly shove the carrier into the case and it still fits. Matt tells me this is why we can’t have nice things 😉

Matt and I have both clocked numerous amounts of hours in the Bitybean and it has gone everywhere with us for the past few weeks. From San Francisco to Monterey, and it even went with us on our trip to Las Vegas. We are a very active family and are always looking for ways to help our little three-some keep moving efficiently and smoothly.

First I will start with pros and cons and then finish with some closing remarks!

Positives:

  • Dad and other family member friendly
  • Super comfortable for shorter (1-3 hours) trips
  • Completely idiot proof and very friendly towards the baby wearing illiterate
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Compactable it can be squeezed down to the size of a water bottle
  • No metal parts so it goes through airport security easy breezy
  • Very easy to breastfeed in
  • Drool, spit up, and water resistant
  • The straps don’t drag on the ground while changing a diaper or strapping  up for a shopping trip
  • Supports baby from knee to knee
  • Excellent warranty (1 full year)

Cons

  • Gets slightly uncomfortable after wearing the child for 6-8 hours a day
  • Waist strap may dig into the fluffier areas of the wearer

Overall Opinions

Unfortunately this Bitybean is off to its new home with Robin and I am buying our very own for Matt! Matt has been trying for 4 months to find a carrier that he can use with the baby. He has tried Mobys, woven wraps, Ergos, Maya Wraps, and wrap conversion ring slings. His carrier of choice is the Bitybean. He doesn’t have to know a thing about proper seat and how to origami tie the baby to his chest. The first time he tried to put the Bitybean on he was completely successful and my assistance was not required. Bitybean has made his babywearing experience worry and stress free. Personally I think Bitybean should market this carrier more for dads/father figures, and family (aka grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends of the family) that want to wear the baby but are never in a million years going to attempt to wrap and are overwhelmed by the bulkier and more complicated looking soft structured carriers on the market.

IMG_2169

While in the airports and going through airport security the Bitybean was great. First, please note that TSA reserves the right to make you take off the baby before going through the metal detector. This can be quite nerve racking for the first-time-with-an-infant traveler but not with the Bitybean. It is so easy to quickly take on and off that I was not going to be phased by anything TSA could throw at us. There is no way I was ever going to try and get through airport security with a stroller. I have seen those moms and I feel badly for them. It is so bulky and such a process to get through with a stroller.

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 9.47.41 PM

on board with the Bitybean

The baby and I went up and down the strip from the convention center to Mandalay Bay and even to old Vegas and Circus Circus and the Riviera. I was carrying that baby from around 9am till about 2pm when we came back for a nap and then from 5pm until about 8pm every day while we were there. While I loved that the straps never hit the ground (Las Vegas bathroom ground scares me) while I was changing the baby and it was easy to breastfeed standing up when there was no suitable place to sit down, my shoulders hurt after the third day of extended wearing. I hope that for future models they give the option of wider straps!

Breastfeeding in the Bitybean is extremely simple. Loosen the shoulder straps until baby’s mouth is about nipple height. I have tried to breastfeed in other wraps, mei tais, and carriers and found it to be extremely difficult. Most the time I would have to take baby completely out and readjust before being able to breastfeed. This is not the case with the Bitybean. Loosen shoulder straps and go. Baby is still secure and there is once down just tighten the straps back up and go!

I found the easiest way to take the Bitybean on and off was to put on the waist strap. Then put the body between baby’s legs and put both shoulder straps on. This should be done with the shoulder straps loose. The piece that holds the shoulder straps together is very easy to reach and clasp without assistance while the shoulders are loose. Then tighten the shoulder straps and the piece moves into place. This is so simple and can be done in a jiff. We currently have an Ergo as well and I still have problems putting that on without needing Matt’s help.

Overall we had a wonderfully positive experience with the Bitybean and like I said earlier I am going to be buying our very own Bitybean here shortly for next the next couple of months when we visit the grandparents in South Carolina and Pennsylvania!

-Rachel

 


Product Review: The Babywearing Workout

Posted on

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 10.02.17 PM

To make a very long story short, Kelli’s workout video was a life saver for this household.

That's me on the left before pregnancy!

That’s me on the left before pregnancy!

I went from being a very active and somewhat athletic person to completely sedentary by my third trimester. I had some wonderfully not-so-fun actually pretty awful third trimester pregnancy side-effects that kept me on the couch or in bed for most of my days. By the time I delivered we discovered I was growing the jolly green giant and had to be cut open. After my c-section I swelled up and left the hospital weighing more than when I went in from the water weight.

my feet on the day I left the hospital!

my feet on the day I left the hospital!

 

Walking was incredibly painful, and I had to wear my husband’s bedroom slippers because my feet were so swollen. My abdomen was and frankly still is swollen. I was unable to bend over and pick up the baby until she was almost two weeks old.

Needless to say, by the time I reached 6 weeks postpartum I was extremely worried my body would never even be able to hold a candle to my pre-pregnancy self. I tried to start running again, but could literally feel my uterus bouncing and decided it was a bad idea. Yoga was out of the question as the baby was nursing almost every hour. Hopelessness was setting in 🙁

While researching workout alternatives, I found Kelli’s New Year’s Weight Loss Challenge.  While it would have been nice to join Stroller Striders and leap back into fitness, it wasn’t a practical option. I needed something I could do at home, and preferably with the baby.  Not only did the Babywearing Workout meet my requirements, it was incredibly affordable.  Why not try it?!?!

Within the first couple of minutes of watching Kelli’s video I knew I found my saving grace! She spends the first couple of minutes discussing proper babywearing form. FYI mine was completely wrong!

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 10.19.00 PM Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 10.05.47 PM

Positives:

  • short about 25 minutes. I didn’t feel like death afterwards and was still able to take care of baby!
  • Lots of stretching. It is a lot easier to make time for stretching when babywearing!
  • Total body workout. My legs, core, and arms were all utilized and pushed!
  • Routine goes well with any music! After watching the video 2-3x/week for 10 weeks I now mute Kelli and play Mumford & Sons instead!
  • TOP NOTCH SUPPORT GROUP ON The Babywearing Workout This one is extremely important to any weight loss success. Kelli has a very loyal following of super sweet women who have been through it all. There is no judging and not pressure to get on the scale. Just women cheering on women!
  • Last but not least… IT FREAKIN’ WORKS!! Not only did I lose 10 pounds and get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I started feeling better! I cannot say enough about how my whole outlook changed after Kelli’s video! I started eating healthy again (though there are plenty of chocolate milkshakes still!), and for the first time since getting pregnant I went clothes shopping and had fun (I loathed clothing shopping when I was the size of a beach ball!)

Needs Improvement:

  • There is only one video! I am very anxiously awaiting for the next installment of Kelli’s The Babywearing Workout! 
  • Triathlon preparation this is not! The video is by no means going to get me marathon ready, but it was the perfect thing to get me moving again and feeling better about myself and being a mom.

I could go on all day singing Kelli and the The Babywearing Workout praise, but I will let you discover it for yourself! The Babywearing Workout

-Rachel


Terra Naturali – Baby Bum Bum Balm

Posted on

309190_412346092162862_886410493_n537588_10100284061091165_662883940_nI was lucky enough to receive a sample of this product about a month ago, and I absolutely love it. Our one ounce container has only recently run out and I am scrambling to place our order! Before I get into our experience with the product let me tell you some of the facts.

Ingredients List:

  • orangic olive oil
  • organic coconut oil
  • beeswax
  • organic calendula
  • organic chamomile
  • organic plantain
  • organic chickweed

About Terra Naturali

  • Made by a Work At Home Mom (WAHM)
  • From Cary, NC
  • 100% all natural/ non-toxic ingredients
  • All ingredients are sourced from American companies
  • Oils are lovingly infused over several months
  • Natural Living and Gentle Parenting advocate
  • Getting ready to expand her line to include herbal baby rub oil, Non-talc powder, lotion bars, safe deodorant

Review Time!

294313_10100284061166015_186366245_n

Here’s the skinny: Terra Naturali Baby Bum Bum Balm is 100% all natural, works great on more than just diaper rash, cloth diaper safe, and sourced from American companies. What is there not to love?!

As I mentioned, since switching the baby to cloth diapers we have not had a need for any kind of diaper cream, butt balm, lotions, oils, etc. However, we did discover that the baby does have a dry skin problem. While using Terra Naturali Baby Bum Bum Balm to keep her rear in the clear, I started putting it on her dry spots instead of using our usual go-to, Aquaphor. I found that not only does this little ounce jar of Terra Naturali Baby Bum Bum Balm go a long way, but it also works gets on the babe’s dry skin. I dare say, even better than the sticky globs of Aquaphor we had been using!

My favorite part is I am now free from worrying about balms effecting the absorbency of our cloth diapers, because Terra Naturali Baby Bum Bum Balm is 100% cloth diaper safe! When using the Aquaphor I had to be super careful where I put it on the baby. If it came in contact with the cloth diaper there would a very long and involved stripping process required!

I am waiting very impatiently 😉 to try the rest of her line when it comes out!

-Rachel