Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Events Galore at Educated Mommy!

Have you checked out Educated and Elegant Mommy's schedule of events lately? We are booked!!

You can always find out what's happening by going to our online calendar, Facebook events pages (Elegant Mommy & Educated Mommy), as well as getting signed up to receive our newletters.

In case you aren't sure what awesome things are coming your way, you can scan them here:

This week:
10/1/14 - Milk Monologues (1:00 pm)
10/2/14 - Toddler Time Group (2:00 pm)
10/4/14 - Cloth Diaper 101* (10:00 am)
10/4/14 - Babywearing 101* (11:00 am)

Next week:
10/6/14 - Give it To Me Straight (6:30 pm)
10/8/14 - Milk Monologues (1:00 pm)
10/9/14 - Toddler Time Group (2:00 pm)
10/9/14 - Evening Milk Monologues (6:30 pm)
10/11/14 - Prenatal Yoga* (8:00 am - $10)
10/11/14 - Going Back to Work (9:00 am)

The rest of the month:
10/13/14 - The Dream Team (6:30 pm)
10/15/14 - Milk Monologues (1:00 pm)
10/16/14 - Toddler Time (2:00 pm)
10/16/14 - Making Babyfood Class* (6:00 pm - $10)
10/20/14 - Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail (6:30 pm)
10/22/14 - Milk Monologues (1:00 pm)
10/23/14 - Toddler Time (2:00 pm)
10/25/14 - Prenatal Yoga* (8:00 am - $10)
10/27/14 - A Place for Baby (6:30 pm)
10/29/14 - Milk Monologues (1:00 pm)
10/30/14 - Toddler Time (2:00 pm)

And don't forget to plan ahead for early next month as well!
11/1/14 - Cloth Diaper 101* (9:30 a.m.)
11/1/14 - Babywearing 101* (10:30 a.m.)
11/3/14 - Bumps, Rumps, and Dumps (6:30 pm)
11/5/14 - Milk Monologues (1:00 pm)
11/6/14 - Toddler Time (2:00 pm)

We'll see you soon!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Letter to My Jellybean

Hi there, sweet baby...

I'm getting closer and closer to meeting your beautiful face and the excitement is building like you wouldn't even believe.

I can hardly wait to kiss your sweet cheeks, count your precious fingers and toes, and smell your intoxicating aroma of just being born. To hold you in my arms is going to be the most amazing and relieving feeling in the world. As you kick at my hand through my belly I can only imagine how you will move, cry, look, and blink up at me when you enter this world...

The way you will latch on to my breast for your nutrition and comfort....

The way you will snuggle into my neck....

The way you will kick your legs out and stretch like you try to now (but have run out of room!)....

The way you will grab my finger......

Dear Jellybean, the thought of you being here with us is one of the most joyous and loving thoughts in the whole world. I already love you with my whole heart and pray only the best for you and over you.

If you are anything like your big sister you will be bit of a social butterfly and absolutely adore being around people...much like your mama. If you are anything like your big brother you will probably prefer just being close to the ones you love and at home...more like your daddy. But maybe you'll be a combination of all of us, or maybe you'll be completely different. However you are, I will love you to the ends of the universe and back. My love absolutely has no end for you.

I'll be there to help you learn all about the world around you. I will lovingly caress you when you need comforting, I will be someone you can *always* trust.

I won't promise that I will never make mistakes. That would be foolish.... I *will* promise, however, that I will own up to my mistakes and show you that it's ok to be human. We all do things we shouldn't do. It's just important to learn from them and try to do better next time.

My sweet Jellybean, we are ready for you whenever you decide to come meet us all face to face. I feel like I know so much about you already. I'm SO looking forward to seeing your sweet self and learning more and more about who you are and who you will become.

All my love forever and always.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Prodromal Labor....How Do I Loathe Thee?

From Wikipedia:
Pre-labour, also called "prodromal labour," consists of the early signs before labor starts. It is the body's preparation for real labour. Prodromal labour has been misnamed as “false labour." Prodromal labour begins much as traditional labour but does not progress to the birth of the baby.

Prodromal Labor. If anyone tells you that it's "False Labor" you feel free to tell them where to shove those words.

Prodromal Labor contractions are most definitely "real".

They may not be doing a lot of dilating of the cervix, and they may not be progressing things very quickly, but they are definitely and for-surely doing something real. They are not Braxton Hicks contractions. And they are not "false" contractions. They are basically early labor, just not very organized or progressive.

And I've been having them. A lot.

I had plenty with Porter, too. I just don't remember them being this early. I know I had them for a good week and a half with him. I even called my mom thinking labor might be starting. She came here and they stopped, not to begin again until late the following week.

The thing is, I was DUE then. I'm still not due for a week and a half and I've been having these silly things for a week already. I've been planning on not having this baby until about a week after I'm due, thinking it will be similar to my other babies.

But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe this one is coming *gasp* early?! I don't know what I'm gonna do if he comes early! Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to meet our little Jellybean, but I have plans. Things I gotta do. It will be really inconvenient if this little one makes his/her entrance into this world before I'm ready.

But, just like I tell my clients who go past their estimated due date, I need to remind myself of this: This sweet baby will come when he/she is ready. Not when I am.

So, to that I say "Ok". I need to let go of control and let my baby and body do what they are supposed to do, and whenever this sweet baby decides to come I'll be ready and waiting with open arms and an overflowing heart for our beautiful new addition.

But also, to my body I'd like to say: Please lay off the Prodromal Labor. Just let me know when it's really for real time to bring this sweet one earthside and I'll be ready. Thanks.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Breast Crawl - Do All Babies Have the Instinct?

So...as you can imagine, Elegant Mommy is a-buzz with three of us getting ready to welcome our sweet little ones into the world soon.

We are all (obviously) planning to breastfeed our littles, and even though we've all done it before and have been promoting breastfeeding for years, I thought it would be kinda awesome to watch some initial breastfeeding videos on YouTube. Well, there are a ton of them as you might imagine.

One in particular I found stuck out to me because as a doula (and a mom with two very different kinds of births) I've seen first hand the effect that medications administered during labor can have on newborns and initial breastfeeding.

I found this video and study-findings very interesting and thought you might too.

So, take a look and let us know if you have experienced any of this with your babies or if it rings true to you.

I'm looking so forward to breastfeeding again...whether you are nursing your sweet babe now or will be soon (like me!), I pray your initial breastfeeding got off to a great start (or will!).

Happy breastfeeding

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cloth Diapers....The Easy Way

With THREE of us expecting babies here at Elegant Mommy (Shelly, Stacy & I), you can imagine how we are all preparing for our precious little ones' arrivals. (They are all due within the next month and a half, and we can hardly believe our times are so near!)

One of the things we are doing is stocking up on our cloth diaper stashes! We all need to make sure we have what we need, in the amounts that we need.

Clearly the three of us have a bit of an advantage, working for Elegant Mommy. We live and breathe cloth diapers on a very regular basis, whether or not we are currently using them for littles (at the moment none of us are since our youngest are all well out of dipes, but give us a few weeks ;) ).

But what about everyone else? What about you? What about your sister or friend who is wanting to start using cloth? Where do you even begin?

Well, the first thing you should do is check out this blog post from Bummis. It goes through six ways to be an instant success at cloth diapering. Seriously. Read it. Right now ;)

The next thing you can do is check out our monthly class, Cloth Diapering 101 - it's usually offered the first Saturday of each month.

And, as always, stop into the store *anytime*. We are here to help! We are all experienced cloth diaper users (several employees are even still using them on their littles) and we all love sharing our expertise with anyone who needs it. It's what we are here for!

So....happy fluff-ing!


Friday, September 12, 2014

Ready or Not, The Baby's Comin'

Well, we are here.

I've only got about a month-ish left of this pregnancy, fall is in the air (hooray!!!!!!), and we've started homeschool for the year. Not only that, but I've gotten a *really* good start on my to-do list before baby arrives. This list was SO overwhelming when I wrote it. It's a full page of things like "clean out the classroom/office/sewing room that has become the junk room over the summer", "shampoo the rugs" and "wash and oil all the kitchen cupboards" - oh, and we can't forget "clean up the landscaping and transplant peonies". Sheesh.
37 Weeks!

I am in no mood, nor do I have the energy to actually tackle it all on my own. Enter my awesome family and friends.

My mom and brother's girlfriend came the week before we started school and helped us clean out, organize, and overall de-clutter the school room. Thank you Jesus for them! I wish I would have taken a before picture. But then you would have seen the "hoarding-esque" nature of what the room had become. I'm so not kidding - it had gotten so bad that I literally had to ask my husband to move the big heavy things away from my sewing table so I could sew anything. Also? I hadn't used my office desk all summer long and much of the spring (it was too cluttered) - I had just parked at the dining room table and let that collect all my office stuff instead. Of course, that means that I had papers, magazines, office stuff, and just general clutter in not only the "junk room" and covering my desk, but also in the dining room so we couldn't even eat at our table. Ridiculous.

Then mom came back and cleaned and oiled all my cupboards while I cleaned up the dining room and shampooed rugs. It was wonderful! My bestie even came and helped me go through all our baby clothes so I could wash what's needed and feel a little more organized in that regard.

My brother is making a clothes line for me, my husband is doing some fix-it stuff around the house, and I'm just overflowing with blessings from people who care about me. My sister is even talking about coming down and doing my hair before the baby comes (she's a super-awesome cosmetologist from Watertown).

So, with all that done and out of the way, some things checked off the list in-between all that big stuff, and only a few really big things yet to do, I'm feeling relatively ready for the baby. Sure, I still have to get my diaper stash washed, organized and figure out what I still need, and I also need to do some things to prepare for the actual birth, but I'm overall feeling pretty good about things, and relatively organized - even if I likely won't get our room painted. Sigh.

Am I all the sudden super-mom and awesomely prepared for everything, organized and all? Not even
close. Do I feel like things are coming together and we can get through the arrival of a tiny new addition to our family who will likely turn our routines and daily lives completely upside down? You bet. I at least have some clothes and blankets washed for him or her, and luckily my mom will be around and willing/able to do school with the kids on the days Randall can't, and I'm working hard to get everything prepared on the work front so I can take a little time off.

Since contractions (real ones, not just the normal and constant Braxton Hicks) began last weekend and I'm 37 weeks, I think it's finally starting to sink in for real that this baby is coming sooner than later. I don't have months left anymore - it's more like weeks. I'm still quite certain that he/she won't grace us with their presence until about 41 or 42 weeks, but it's all the sudden very real.

I feel like my body is really revving up for the big show, and I'm just sitting here praying that doesn't actually happen until after October 3. I've got almost every single day mapped out with something planned until then.

So, baby Jellybean, if you could just hold on until then, I'll be most grateful!

Ok - I really need to get going and keep checking things off my list...for work and home. And if anyone really likes to weed or do landscaping, let me know - I'd totally take your help (I'll give you some peonies)! *wink*


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Parenting is Hard!

What an adventure!

We have about a week and a half of our homeschool under our belt for this year and I can already see some things that are potentially going to be challenging.

What am I saying? Some things that *are* challenging already.

The thing is, I highly doubt that it's only moms that are home with their kids all.the.time that deal with some of these challenges. My guess is that you might be dealing with them too. So....here goes.

Screen time.
Like any other mom, I want as little screen time for our kids as possible. I've read the "Screen time is the devil!" articles.  I know how my kids act when they get too much of it. I get that there are some scary statistics out there of how much time kids these days spend in front of screens, how detrimental it can be, etc.

We've started the school year out pretty well, but I gotta say - limiting screen time is definitely a challenge. For one, we use an online curriculum. Our 6 year old learned to read online, reads books online (as well as physical ones, but her "schooling" is online), is currently (as I'm typing this) doing copywork from an online Bible, and has a lot of screen time just to do all her school subjects. Same with our 4 year old, though I'm just doing some super-short preschool activities with him daily. So, since his school takes up so little time, he's always looking for things to do while big sister does her school. He's done a really great job keeping himself occupied so far, but I don't know how many weeks/months he'll be into playing Cootie, Dominoes, and coloring non-school things by himself. As I'm typing this he's playing a game on the Kindle. Granted, it's educational, but still. Gah. It's so hard!

So, I guess I'm just going to have to continue to do my best but not beat myself up over screen time. It's definitely a challenge in this world, but as long as I keep a balance of sorts it's ok. Right? Someone tell me I'm right, please! ;)

So this isn't an issue with our son yet, but it's pretty easy for our sweet little miss and I to butt heads on things. Often.

She's hit an age (and growing into her personality) where she definitely has her own ideas of how things should be, how she should be expected to do them, and she really doesn't like me giving her my input. Which is a bit of an issue with homeschooling and me being her main teacher. (I think she enjoys it when her daddy is around to teach her instead of me, but maybe I'm just being too sensitive - ha!)

Anyway, we have had several conversations about her attitude, about how she's expected to respect me, how certain things she says and attitudes she has simply are not acceptable, and how there will be consequences for those things if she doesn't change her actions.

So far so good. I want her to be independent. I really do. But at 6 years old she still needs guidance, and I'm doing my very best not to squash her independent spirit. I want her to think of different ways to do things. But I want her to be open to *all* possible ways of doing things...even if some of those ideas are coming from me and she really doesn't want to hear them :)

This isn't really about our son. Again, it pertains to our precious oldest.

I was so totally like her in this area when I was her age that I honestly don't know what to do about it. Maybe there's really nothing to do but what I'm doing and just wait for this phase to pass. We've tried breaks, moving on to different things, etc, etc. But sometimes it is just extremely difficult for her to stay focused on a particular task. I for sure would never want her not to daydream or doodle like any other 6 year old. But, when I'm sitting right next to her and trying to get her to read through something and she absolutely can't seem to finish it, I have a very hard time not getting irritated.

I'm doing my best, and I know she is too. There are simply some things that are more difficult to deal with than others. This is one of those things for me. Please don't judge. I know she's just a little kid and she shouldn't be expected to have to do any one thing for too long. It doesn't change the fact that I find it crazy annoying.

I'm sure that when our little Jellybean makes his or her appearance in the next several weeks we will be presented with a whole new list of challenges in our routines, schooling, and just general overall life. But for now, I'm just going to do my best to be very very happy that we have the opportunity to school our children, that I get to be home with them and work from here.

Is it always easy? Heck no. But, by doing what I'm doing, I get to be the main source of our kids' encouragement, I get to teach them all kinds of stuff that they won't learn from books (or online curriculum). I get to be their first teacher (as ALL moms are), and I love every minute of it. Even the annoying and challenging ones.

So, whether you homeschool, send your kids to public or private school, or maybe your kids aren't in school yet. Whether you work outside the home, from home, or don't have a job other than the utmost important job of raising your precious children, just know that you are NOT alone! This whole parenting thing? It's HARD! Hang in there, continue to believe and KNOW that you are the absolute best parent for your child(ren), and that you and only you know what's best for your family.

And if you are in need of a little support, don't hesitate to seek out some advice from your "village". If you need a village, let us know! We are here for you - you've got this, mama!