Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Prayers for the Schuhmacher Family

I want you to meet Meri, probably one of the sweetest, kindest, most giving souls I have ever been blessed to meet. I count her as one of my best friends, even though I have only met her once.

You see, she lives in my computer, and we met because our children have type 1 diabetes. My child. Her children. Yes, I said, children. Three out of four of her boys have t1.

She is a mentor to me because her first was diagnosed as a baby; only 8 months old. During the next 13 years, she would be handed not only two more t1 diagnoses, but a melanoma diagnosis for her husband, Ryan, three years ago. He underwent surgery and chemo. They thought they had beat it.

Three years later, cancer has again reared it's ugly head... this time Ryan has 6 tumors in his brain, and multiple tumors in his lungs and abdomen.

My heart aches so bad for this family, and I spent a good part of yesterday crying when I heard the news (those of you who know me know that crying isn't really my thing). I love Meri as the sister I never had. She is simply an amazing woman who is married to an amazing man. I liked Ryan from the moment I met him. These two have been together for 19 years, and they truly make each other whole.

Will you please join me in praying for this sweet family? March 4th has been set aside as a day of fasting and prayer for the Schuhmacher family. You can read Meri's story
here. And for updates, join the facebook page that has been set up for the family.

Please tell all you know to lift this family up. Let's let heaven hear our voices loud and clear.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Only the b(r)est for my baby

When a child is born, we only want the best for them... best hospital, best doctor, best baby toys and all the other accouterments that babies need.

As they get older, our infatuation for the best continues; the best food, the best friends, the best school, the best teachers, the best college, the best spouse, the best life.

I think our fanatical desire for the best is natural. We love these little creatures to bits and would do anything for them. What puzzles me is why breast-feeding is considered best, but only up to a certain point.

When I went to the doctor a few months ago, she wanted to prescribe a certain medication. When I asked if it was okay to take if I was breast-feeding, the doc furrowed her brow and we had the following conversation:

She: how old is your son?

Me: 14 months (which he was at the time).

She: And you're still nursing him? Any particular reason?

Me: Because it's good for him and for now I don't see a reason to stop.

She: Well, if you want to take this medication, you'll have to stop. Maybe now is a good time to tell your son no more.

In the end, I opted NOT to take the medication, and the whole exchange still strikes me as bizarre (from a doctor, no less). I often get the same reaction from other people when the topic comes up:

You're STILL breastfeeding him? WHY?

Why not?

And why not, indeed? Over and over it has been proven that breast milk is THE best thing for a baby. It protects against infections and contains all the nutrients that babies need to thrive. Neither of my kids have ever had an ear infection, and seem to avoid a lot of the illnesses that are floating around.

For Moms, breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and also provides a great way for mothers to bond with their babies.

So why is it so weird that I support extended nursing? I nursed Elise until she was 2 1/2. Even though at 12 months, when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I was told to stop nursing her. I didn't, and never noticed an adverse affect on her blood sugar.

I plan on nursing Mattias for a few more months. When there are only pluses and no negatives, why shouldn't I?

get it... breast-feeding is not easy sometimes. I remember that in the beginning, every time Elise would latch on it would hurt so much I felt like throwing up. With Mattias, he staged a nursing strike at 4 months. I had to pump and syringe feed him at times because he refused to take a bottle. We were going through a bunch of other things during that time and it. was. HELL. I don't think I've ever been so stressed out in my life.

But I still knew it was best, so I stuck with it. And I think we proved who the most stubborn one of all is, right?

I love this part of being a Mom. I love the bonding that comes from those quiet moments where both of us are still. I enjoy looking at his sweet face; losing myself in his beautiful blue eyes, stroking his soft, silky hair and just reveling in that wonderful baby smell that still surrounds him.

This passage of time is so fleeting that I am in no rush to get through it.

Getting bigger (and cuter) every day.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bringing the Buzz... Kroger Comforts for Baby wipes!

Over the next couple of posts, I am going to be writing some reviews of products that I got to try by being a Bzzagent. To read more about Bzzagent, click here. These are my own opinions, I did not have to say anything nice about them if I didn't want to.

They're aren't too many things in this life that I'm picky about (okay, you can stop laughing now please), but one thing I tend to be choosy about is what I use to clean my baby's bum.

I stay away unnecessary scents or other harmful additives that are harsh on skin. I'm hoping Mattias hasn't inherited any of the skin issues that go along with being a redhead, and I'll do my best not to contribute to the problem.

I was very pleased with Kroger Comforts for Baby wipes. The were thick and soft; almost cloth-like, and had just the right amount of moisture. And I like that they don't have alcohol or any other chemicals in them.

In fact, I like them better than Pampers; which have way too much moisture in them and aren't as thick. The Kroger wipes are comparable to the Huggies brand, except in price.

When I buy wipes, I look for a price point of .015 or less per wipe, and the big box of Kroger Comforts brand usually sell for that without a coupon. If you're a Kroger Plus member, you can usually load coupons for the Comforts brand into your shopping card on the Kroger website.

I also like to buy their smaller packs to throw in the diaper bag... at about $1.25 for a pack of 72, it's much cheaper than either Pampers or Huggies.

I give the Kroger Comforts for Baby wipes 5 out of 5 dirty tushies!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

She's going to Bollywood

My older brother (whom Elise has dubbed "Uncle Turkey") goes to India quite a bit. He's a musician, and he studies there. When we were in Vancouver in 2010, he had just returned and bought with him some of the cutest outfits for Elise. Unfortunately, they were a bit too big for her at the time, but fit quite nicely now.

Here's Elise striking some poses in what she calls her "Chinese Indian Princess Outfit". I'm scratching my head over the Chinese part...

When she was on the phone with my Mom (while wearing this outfit), she told her, "I wish you could see me, I look fabulous!"

She does, doesn't she?

Monday, February 13, 2012

She may not have my eyes...

The other day we were doing our usual mad-dash to get ready for school. I was busy with Mattias, and when I told Elise we had to leave in 5 minutes, she walked into the kitchen and announced that she had gone to the bathroom, brushed her teeth, and put her shoes and jacket on. All by herself and without being asked.

I told her that she did a great job, and I couldn't believe how big she was getting.

Then I said, "Where did my baby girl go?"

With a glint in her eye and a sly smile on her face she replied, "she died?"

Looks like someone inherited my twisted, dark sense of humour.

I couldn't be more proud.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bringing the Bzz... Kroger Comforts for Baby

Over the next couple of posts, I am going to be writing some reviews of products that I got to try by being a Bzzagent. To read more about Bzzagent, click here. These are my own opinions, I did not have to say anything nice about them if I didn't want to.

Long ago, in a lifetime far, far away... I used to have spare time. And in that spare time I did things like product reviews, mainly for a website called Bzzagent. I loved it... Sharing my opinion and getting free stuff? Winning!

But then life happened, and things like being a Bzzagent went on the back burner. I wanted to contribute, but just didn't have the time to do a decent job at it. So I stopped. I was sad.

Then, the other day, I received an email from them asking if I wanted to try out the Kroger Comfort brand of baby products.

Ha! Finally, something right up my alley! Baby products have invaded a large portion of my life, and I was going to be able to try the Kroger Comfort diapers, wipes and sippy cups, as well as receive a bunch of coupons that I could use towards other Kroger Comforts products.

For today, I will be writing about the Kroger Comforts for Baby diapers.

Let me start by saying that I am very leery of store brand products, especially when it comes to diapers. For most of us, cheaper usually means lesser quality. Because let's face it, changing a diaper is not the most fun thing in the world, and changing a diaper that has leaked (whether it be # 1 or 2) does nothing to endear us to the task.

But I was pleasantly surprised with the Kroger Comforts for Baby diapers... they don't feel all that different from the Pampers brand (maybe a wee bit thinner and a bit stiffer), and have a very cute design of bees on them. You know, if you care about that stuff.

Their shape was a little more square than any of the leading brands, but it didn't have any effect on containing any of the liquids or solids that my son emitted.

In fact, we had no leakage, or any other issues at all, and with the price of these diapers running around $14 for a box of 96 (size 3), that is an awesome deal. That makes each diaper .145 cents.

I only buy diapers when I can get them for .16 or under per diaper, and I usually have to get a great deal and use coupons the get that. If you have a Kroger card, you can electronically add coupons to it, and more often than not, they have $1 off coupons for the Kroger brand diapers on their site.

My rating? I'd give these diapers 4 out of 5 poops. They lose one poop because I haven't yet tried the overnight test yet... I'm working up my nerves, it's just that changing crib sheets makes me violent.