Thursday, May 30, 2013

Awesome Event to Help Tornado Victims!

Guess what?

Elegant Mommy is teaming with Green Bambino in Oklahoma City, OK to help tornado victims there! Check it out:

Elegant Mommy to Help Oklahoma Tornado Victims

Elegant Mommy, is teaming up with Green Bambino, Oklahoma City, OK to help out victims of the devastating mid-May tornadoes in central Oklahoma.

Elegant Mommy will be holding a “Great Diaper Trade-In”, where customers can bring in disposable diapers, and for each diaper, they will receive $0.10 in store credit that may be used to purchase reusable cloth diapers. Elegant Mommy will be taking disposable diapers on trade in from 5/30/13 – 6/8/13. Cloth diapers have come a long way in the last decade – they are not like what our mothers and grandmothers used. They are a simple and environmentally friendly way to save money and limit the amount of chemicals baby bums are exposed to.

All disposable diapers collected will then be sent to Green Bambino in Oklahoma City, OK, and distributed to victims throughout central Oklahoma who were affected by the tornados on May 19 & 20.

To participate in the trade in, bring or send your disposable diapers to Elegant Mommy at 207 W 37th St, Sioux Falls, SD 57105 between 5/30/13 – 6/8/13. If someone would like to donate and doesn’t need or want to participate in the trade in, donations from anyone will be accepted during this time. Call 605-338-0228 with any questions.

Elegant Mommy aims to be a market leader in providing maternity, nursing and natural parenting products and education which are affordable and practical so that families from all demographics can feel confident and supported in every stage of pregnancy and parenthood.

Find out more about Elegant Mommy at their website:, Facebook: www.facebook .com/ElegantMommy, and blog:

Encouraging Our Kids

So a couple weekends ago we took the kids to the Children's Museum in Brookings. Can I just! I was so impressed with it!

If you have never been, I highly encourage you to pack up your brood and make the trip. It's not quite as big as I envisioned it to be, but there are oodles of things for the kiddos to do and learn - it will be very easy to make many trips there through the years so the kids can get through it all. You will have fun too, I promise!

It's really tall :)
Anyway, in the old gym of the school they remodeled for this awesome place (my hubby used to go to that school by the way - he was shocked to see it transformed this way ;) ), there is this huge climbing thing. It reaches from the floor to the ceiling of the old gym - so it's really tall - and kids can climb up it. There are these surfboard shaped platforms with nets surrounding them, and the nets create a maze that work all the way up to the ceiling and then down, with many different ways to get to different levels throughout the tower.

Well, Vienna is our little adventurer. It didn't take her long to make her way well over half way up the tower. She was very quick to figure out the best way to go, and she would get half way up and look down at us and wave. She loved it. She didn't want to go up farther than that, though, until her dad offered to go with her. This tower isn't really made for adults, but it's definitely sturdy enough to hold them. He said he just needed to do some funky maneuvers once he got close to the top to make it through :).
She's excited to be over 1/2 way to the top! (white shirt/purple pants)
So, together they went, all the way to the top.

Porter, on the other hand, is not so adventurous. He's always been more reserved with stuff like this. While Vienna loved being thrown around in the air, upside down, etc when she was littler, Porter has never liked it. Vienna is almost getting too big, but she still loves to be swung upside down by her ankles. The other night Randall was swinging her, and Porter was watching with great enjoyment, and you could tell he wanted more than anything to try it.

So, he did.

For about 2 seconds.

Then he got a terrified look on his face and wanted to stop.

So we stopped. But we encouraged him to try it again, this time with me holding onto his hands/arms while Randall swung him by his ankles. He agreed, and did it for a little while, but really seemed scared so we stopped again. After he did it we made a huge deal about how brave he was, what a good job he did, how proud we were that he tried it, etc, etc. But he didn't want to do it again.

So now back to the surfboard tower thingy at the museum.

He was running around playing with other things while Vienna was doing all her climbing. Then he became more interested in the tower. We had gone several places and come back to the tower several times. Each time we were there, he would go up to one of the lowest platforms, acting like he wanted to climb it. We would encourage him to try, but each time he backed off.

Then close to the end of the day he took the plunge. He climbed the lowest platform. Woo hoo!!

After his conquest. He's SO proud of himself!
This was the time that Randall was making his way to the top with Vienna, so I decided to hop on and help out Porter. So, I climbed up a couple. He followed. I went up a few more, and he slowly followed. With encouragement from the ground (Randall's mom was with us) and from above - of course I was cheering him on - he made it up about half way! Yay!!

He then was done and wanted to head back down, but that was a huge victory.

So, as the kids grow older, try new things, and are hesitant about others, we have found that there are different levels of encouraging needed. There are some things that we probably come close to forcing - though it's more like encouraging really strongly. We obviously don't *make* our kids do anything they really don't want to do (except pick up their play room and do the dishes - ha!), but we also don't want them to miss out on something that they might find completely awesome, and we want them to learn to take risks. Heaven knows life is risky, and there are some things that we would completely miss out on if we didn't risk it!

There was no way we would have forced Porter onto the tower. But with some encouragement and a safe place to land (mom's lap if he needed it), he did it!

Not only did he do it, but he wants to go back and do it again! Woot! Both the kids have been asking almost every day when we get to go back there.

"Soon, sweetie. Soon."

It's amazing to me, but this parenting thing gets more complicated the older the kids get, doesn't it? Each child is so different and they need such different things. I just pray that I'm up to the task of giving them what they need when they need it.

Do you have to "strongly encourage" your kids to do things? I'd love to hear your stories!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Honoring The Heroes

Today is Memorial Day.

A day to remember and honor those who have fallen for our sake. To protect our freedoms. To protect our kids' freedoms.

Our freedoms to say what we want when we want in whatever way we want. Our freedoms to bear arms if we so choose. Our freedoms to print what we want. Our freedoms to live the American Dream. To work hard and choose our own destiny - not being beholden to what someone else chooses for us.

My husband's grandpas both fought in WWII. He is a WWII historian who is writing several books on the subject. One of them is a compilation of interviews that he did with over 500 WWII vets, telling their stories. Let me tell you: the hell that they went through - for our sake - is unbelievable. And that's just WWII. I can only imagine what soldiers in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and others have gone through too.

I encourage you to take some time today and remember and honor those who have fallen for our sake. Also? Thank a soldier/veteran. Not just today, but any time you see one. They put everything on the line for us.

If you are a soldier or military veteran, or a family who stayed behind while your loved ones went away to fight for me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service. My family honors you today and every day.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Childbirth Professional Day - Meet Ashley Anderson

1. What is your Childbirth Profession?
I am a childbirth educator who teaches the Bradley Method® of husband coached childbirth.

2. Describe your profession and why someone would want to choose your profession for support in pregnancy and/or childbirth.
Childbirth educators are people who are passionate about birth and want to help educate expecting parents on how to give birth and the choices and options they have in labor.  The Bradley Method® is a natural birth method that focuses on training the husband (or coach) to be the primary labor support.  My goal is to help parents be as prepared as possible for labor and birth.  I teach how to stay low risk by eating well and doing pregnancy exercises.  I also cover topics such as first and second stage labor, knowing your options in labor, writing a birth plan, labor positions, relaxation, preparing for the unexpected, newborn care and postpartum care for mom.  I do teach about breastfeeding, but highly recommend that my students attend LaLeche League meetings for more information and support.

3. Why did you get started in your profession?
My husband, Chris and I took the Bradley Method® classes when we were pregnant with our first child.  I was amazed at how much I didn't know and was so thankful for the class and everything we learned.  We were able to labor naturally and give birth without any medication, thanks to my husband and his amazing support!  Realizing how wonderful birth can be, I became passionate about sharing this knowledge with other couples!  It is so rewarding to me to see a new family born, healthy and happy!

4. In detail, what is your personal childbirth philosophy?
I believe giving birth is a natural, normal process and is something that women's bodies were designed and created to do!  It is so empowering to be able to give birth confidently and without fear or medical intervention!  I also believe bringing a child into the world is a wonderful event for couples to experience together.  Parenting begins not when the baby is born, but when that child is first conceived.

5. If you could tell all pregnant women in the world something, what would it be?
Laboring and birthing is beautiful and rewarding, but it is also hard work that requires training and practice.  Please don't go into the hospital and try to just "figure it out".  If you don't have a plan, your care provider will create one for you and you may or may not like or agree with their choices.  You have a responsibility to become educated about labor and birth and make the best choices possible for you and your child.

6. How long have you been in your profession? Are you certified? If yes, by who?
I have been teaching since February 2011. I am certified by the American Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth (AAHCC)

7. Do you have a business name? How can people contact you for pregnancy and childbirth support?

8. Where do you practice?
I teach in Sioux Falls, SD at Marsh Family Chiropractic.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

It's Not Mother's Day - Take Two

So, I was working on a different post today.

Then I got sidetracked and stepped away from it for a minute. I'm so glad I did.

After I was done with my "sidetrack", I answered a message I had gotten from a friend and then took a quick peek at my facebook news feed and the first thing I saw was a video posted by my pastor. Now, I very honestly don't usually watch videos that people post. I don't know why, I just usually don't. There are some that catch my eye, though, and this is one of them.

If you don't take the time to watch videos usually, you'll want to take the time to watch this one. It's the PERFECT "It's Not Mother's Day" song - even though it was written for Mother's Day. I was giggling so much my daughter asked what was wrong (I had tears running down my face).

So, please take the time to watch - you won't regret it. It completely made my day, and I hope it does for you too!

I Love Moms Or Something (Mother's Day 2013) from Church on the Move on Vimeo.

Have a wonderful fantastic "It's Not Mother's Day" day!


Monday, May 13, 2013

It's Not Mother's Day

This is my "It's Not Mother's Day" post.

After all, most days aren't Mother's Day, right? Also, I didn't post anything yesterday, or even leading up to Mother's Day to talk about the day. Clearly, it's a pretty big day for mothers, right? It's NAMED for us, after all!

Just in case you missed it - yesterday was Mother's Day. We celebrated our moms, and those of us who are moms were celebrated (or should have been, anyway). If you went to church, you were likely singled out (with the rest of the moms present), maybe got a flower, or applause, or something. Maybe at home you got breakfast in bed, flowers, a fabulous present, or just time with your awesome family.

And maybe you didn't.

I've seen many posts this year about moms who felt unappreciated, who wish their husbands or children would recognize them more, or who have been hurt in years past therefore didn't want to even think about the day. I've also read the "Mother's Day was invented by corporations as a day to just make money so I'm boycotting it" articles and blog posts, as well as many, many, articles on what it means to be a mom. I even saw some politically correct posts yesterday talking about it being "Birth Mother's Day", and they wanted to thank adoptive mothers for all they do, too.

Now, that's a gamut of thoughts and feelings about the day!

I guess I have thoughts of my own that run the gamut, so no wonder when you get opinions and thoughts from thousands of different people they can differ so greatly.

I've gone through different stages in my life on my thoughts about the day. When I was little, I couldn't wait for Mother's Day! I remember secretly planning with my sister and brother to wake super early to make mom breakfast in bed. I also remember Mother-Daughter Tea at church, which was a very formal affair and I don't remember much about it other than we got to dress up in our Easter finest and spend the afternoon with mom and grandma. It was splendid.

Then the teen years. I honestly don't remember much about how I felt about Mother's Day, other than that it was usually a time that we went out to lunch with Grandmas and Grandpas after church.

Move to early 20s. I had a fiance and was looking SO forward to being a mother! I remember being at work the night before Mother's Day, and one of the nurses got all the moms on shift a carnation. But not me. I wasn't a mom yet. I had never felt so hurt that I wasn't a mom. Wasn't I good enough? I was, after all, a future mommy. Didn't that count? Apparently not.

Jump forward about 8 years. I was 6-years-married, and had just found out I was pregnant a couple weeks earlier. My husband got home from work with a package for me on Mother's Day evening. It was my very first Mother's Day present. I had never felt such pure joy. I had done it (FINALLY)! I was a mother, and it was validated on the day designated for them. For mothers. For moms. For mommies.

I currently view Mother's Day as "our day". I like to think of myself as part of a kind of club - it's not a secret club. Just one that mommies are a part of that allows them to be understood by other mommies. And I don't mean just mommies that have physically given birth. I think grandmas, aunties, mommies of babies/children who are in heaven now, mommies of babies who never knew the light of day or their mommy's touch, friends, adoptive mommies, expectant mommies - basically anyone who has ever either conceived a child or has had a part in a child's upbringing - is part of this club.

As part of our day, I expect *something* special...whether that's a reasonable expectation or not, I still expect it. And frankly, I think all mommies should expect it. It's ok to expect it.

I don't, however, expect anything extravagant. Life isn't extravagant. Sure, diamonds, massages, clothing, and new kitchen appliances are nice, but you know what? Enjoying a homemade card, a picked flower from our garden and a colored-with-crayons/markers flower basket while spending the day with my kiddos and people I love is even more valuable than those other material things.

My Mother's Day gifts

You know what else? I get to spend almost every day with my kiddos, hubby, and others I love.

Are all those days perfect? Nope.

Are all Mother's Days perfect? Nope.

Does that suck? Yep. But it's life.

Thankfully, I get to make up for it with all my "it's not Mother's Days" in my life. Because seriously? My husband adores and appreciates me and my kids love me every day. Not just on Mother's Day.

I pray the same for you.

So, have a happy "It's Not Mother's Day" Day!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mother's Day Giveaway!

Are you a new mommy, going to be a new mommy, or know a new mommy? If so, enter today to win our awesome New Mommy Prize Pack for yourself or to give as the perfect Mother's Day gift! Included is the book Birth Matters and a New Mommy Survival Kit.

All mamas know how much birth matters, and can read the famed midwife, Ina May Gaskin's thoughts on how and why that's true in her book, donated by South Dakota Birth Matters.

Not only that, but the winner of this wonderful giveaway will also receive one of
Elegant Mommy's New Mommy Survival Kits! These awesome kits contain some essentials for new mommies - 3 Pack of Educated Mommy Hair Ties; Cozy Sox; Simply.Natural. Lip Balm, Heal Up, and Soothing.Mommy. Tea; Chocolates and Mints from Master Creative Designs; Glitter Sports Band from IttyBitty Lydi; Educational Material to Support the New Mom

So, whether you are expecting or know someone who is, enter to win this wonderful Mother's Day gift for new mamas! The winner will be drawn and announced on Saturday, 5/11/13!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Keeping Your Baby Close

In looking through 'The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding' as I was looking for what to post today for the La Leche League post, I found a pretty cool little excerpt (shared below) talking about keeping baby close and how important it is for baby's development, etc, etc. 

It could actually be an excerpt not just for La Leche League, but also for Babywearing International, which also holds Sioux Falls Chapter meetings at Educated Mommy.....if you haven't gone to one, you should definitely check one out!

Anyway, enjoy this excerpt from 'The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding' on keeping your baby close :)

Along with whatever else you are doing during the day, you will want to have your baby close to you as a matter of course. You don't have to have him in your arms every minute, although you will be holding him often, both when you are nursing and between times (as he needs this contact). But you will just want to be there because what your baby needs most of all is you. No one else can take your place. To him, there is nobody quite like his mother.

In many cultures it is the custom for mothers to be practically inseparable from their babies during their first years, with the baby either strapped to his mother's body or sleeping cuddled next to her. In these cultures, it is unusual to hear a baby cry.

So it is not surprising that a recent study found that more human contact makes for a happier baby. Those babies who spent more time being held or carried either in mother's arms or in a baby carrier - even while contented or asleep - cried less. The younger the baby, the more dramatic were the results. Three extra hours of carrying a day reduced the amount of crying in a four-week-old infant by forty-five percent.

These findings confirm what our mothering instincts tell us - that plenty of loving contact does not "spoil" a baby or make him more demanding, but instead helps him feel more comfortable and happy in his new world.

For many mothers, owning some type of a sling or baby carrier is essential. Helen Nichols of Massachusetts can't say enough "in praise of the baby carrier." She writes: "As with breastfeeding itself, the benefits of the baby carrier are not entirely for the baby. In fact, as I discovered, mother receives a generous portion of them. I could cook, clean house, wash dishes, care for the older children, even sew while Benjamin slept blissfully in his cozy nest. It was, purely and simply, the very easiest thing to do."

When you are considering what kinds of equipment you'll need for your new baby, remember that very little specialized baby equipment is really necessary; more important to the baby are mother's sweet milk and loving arms. Lee Stewart of Missouri sums up the subject well: "Children's natural values are very human and simple. They want to be held and loved. They want to be with those who care for them. They want to be comfortable. Given a choice between the warmth of human values and material values, babies will almost always choose the human."

So keep your baby close. Love them, hold them, and don't worry about "spoiling" them - it's not possible to spoil your sweet baby who just needs you. You are the perfect thing for your precious babe!

Don't forget to join us for La Leche League this Thursday at Educated Mommy at 6:30 p.m., and have a wonderfully blessed Mother's Day on Sunday - You deserve it!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Another Record on the Books

Well, we did it again!!

We just received official word, and the record has been broken for the third year in a row - woot!

This year 8,301 babies were changed around the world - that's AMAZING!

Here are some stats that the Real Diaper Association gave us today [my comments are in brackets]:
  • 182 sites qualified for the world record by having at least 25 participants at their site and submitting complete evidence. [If a site didn't have at least 25 participants their number didn't count toward the official total]
  • Those qualifying sites were spread across 15 countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Chile, Germany, Spain, Finland, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, United States
  • Another 4 countries held nonqualifying (but cloth-diaper-awareness-increasing!) events: Mexico, Brazil, Korea, Philippines
  • 84 cities hosted events that didn't qualify for the Guinness World Record BUT DID ACCOMPLISH our goal of increasing awareness about reusable cloth diapers.
  • 5 continents held GCDC events. [That's kinda awesome!]

Unofficial babies changed: 10,029
  •  8 (qualifying) sites had >100 participants in Denver, CO, US, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OK, US, Orland Park, IL, US, Carolina, PR, Montreal, QC, CA, Knoxville, TN, US, and Blaine, MN, US. [Let's set a goal of being in this category next year! We can do it - help us spread the word!]
  • Denver and Oklahoma City have been in the top 10 events all 3 years, with Orland Park, Knoxville, and Tulsa in the top 10 for the last 2 years.
  • 12 sites JUST made the Guinness minimum with 25 attendees each. 
We are so excited to be a part of this movement toward sustainable, reusable, and healthy living! Cloth Diapers have so many benefits, and we will continue to spread the word!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

It's May!

Elegant Mommy Specials and Events
  • Belly Casting* - 5/17/13, 7:00 p.m.
    • If you would like to preserve your beautiful baby bump forever, let us help! For only $25, we will help you cast your belly! Register today - space is limited!
Educated Mommy Events
  • Milk Monologues - Every Wednesday, 1:00 p.m.
    • If you have a newborn, you won't want to miss this support group that meets every Wednesday afternoon!
  • Babywearing International of Sioux Falls Chapter Meeting
    • This chapter meeting is every 2nd Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. and every 4th Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
    • Come and learn how to comfortably and safely wear your baby! If you don't have a carrier, no problem - we have lots for you to try out! If you are an experienced babywearer, come and enjoy the company of like minded mamas and maybe learn a new carry or two! 
  • International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) Sioux Falls Chapter Meeting
    • ICAN Sioux Falls Chapter Meetings are held the 1st Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
    • ICAN Chapter meetings are open to the public.  We encourage you to join and support your local ICAN chapter so that women in your area will have access to the resources and support of our organization. A local chapter is invaluable in assisting women seeking information about caregivers/ hospitals in her area.  They create opportunities for women of like minds to meet in a safe place to share their experiences and make changes in their community. 
  • Cloth Diaper 101* - May 4, 2013, 9:30 a.m.
    • Join our team of experts as they help you navigate the seemingly overwhelming world of cloth diapering. You will be amazed at how easy it actually is! 
  • Babywearing 101* - May 4, 2013 10:30 a.m.
    • Are you interested in babywearing? Do you wear your baby but want more information? Are you confused at where to even start? Well, look no further! Come to Educated Mommy and learn the basics from some experts! 
  •  What's the Downward Dog on Prenatal Yoga?* - May 6, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
    •  So, is yoga during pregnancy safe? Is it helpful? Can it help me feel better? What ARE the benefits of yoga during pregnancy? Where can I find a prenatal yoga class? I'm feeling very "not-graceful", can I still do yoga? Get the answers to these questions and more during our discussion on prenatal yoga!
  • Birth Trauma Support Group - May 7, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
    • This group is a safe gathering place to voice opinions, relate stories, ask questions, and process birth experiences without judgement or guilt. The good, the bad & the ugly! This group will meet the 1st Tuesday of every month.
  • La Leche League - May 9, 2013 6:30 p.m.
    • La Leche League meetings offer breastfeeding information, support and encouragement in a warm, friendly environment. Topics are open discussions and questions are welcomed from mothers in any stage of breastfeeding. Meetings are open to all women with an interest in breastfeeding. Bring a friend! Pregnant women are encouraged to attend several meetings before baby arrives. Babies and toddlers are always welcome and nutritious snacks are served
  • Going Back to Work* - May 11, 2013, 9:00 a.m.
    • Are you heading back to work after baby? How is breastfeeding going to go now? What about pumping? Get the support you need to keep your precious breastfeeding relationship with your little one. 
  • Why a Doula is Worth the Moola* - May 13, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
    • What is a doula, anyway? Why would I need to hire one? My husband will be there, so I definitely don't need anyone else, do I? If I hire a doula, what would my husband do? I'm just going to get an epidural, so I certainly don't need one, do I? Join some local doulas and get answers to these and any other questions you may have! 
  • Young/Single Mom Support Group - May 14, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
    • Join this support group to discuss topics like parenting, breastfeeding, labor & birth, realities of single parenting, skill building. It will be a time for sharing & building community with others. This is a safe gathering time for information, education, support, and healing! 
  • Give it to Me Straight (Alternative Care)* - May 20, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
    • So, you're pregnant...or maybe you just had your beautiful baby. How can Alternative Healthcare help you? Well, come to this discussion and join us as we talk through Accupuncture, Chiropractic Care, and Cranio-Sacral alternative healthcare.  
  • Tea With a Homebirth Midwife* - May 21, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
    • Join Debbie Hayden-Miller, eastern South Dakota's practicing out-of-hospital Certified Nurse Midwife! She will be on hand to discuss natural birth, and you will be able to ask her whatever questions you have about homebirth!
  • Make Your Own Baby Food* - May 29, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
    • Are you concerned about what to feed your baby in the future? Don't like buying baby food at the store? Want something fresh and healthy for your little ones? We are here to teach you how to make your own healthy baby food! 
  • Cloth Diaper 101 - June 1, 2013, 9:30 a.m.
    • Join our team of experts as they help you navigate the seemingly overwhelming world of cloth diapering. You will be amazed at how easy it actually is! 
  • Babywearing 101 - June 1, 2013 10:30 a.m.
    • Are you interested in babywearing? Do you wear your baby but want more information? Are you confused at where to even start? Well, look no further! Come to Educated Mommy and learn the basics from some experts!