Thursday, July 30, 2015

She Slept, She Slept!!


Very happy baby - squealing with delight
I seriously am not sure what to do with myself right now! I actually got more than an hour of sleep at a time last night - for real!

Our Incredible Non-Sleeping Baby actually slept for reasonable amounts of time last night - WOOT!

Wow. I just had to share some of my joy with you all. We still aren't so great on the whole nap thing, but we are getting there!

So, this is what our night looked like:

7:25 pm - I laid down with her to nurse her to sleep
8:05 pm - Transferred her from our bed to her crib
11:22 pm - She woke and nursed for about 15 minutes. I laid her back in her crib
2:45 am (ish) - She woke and nursed for about 10-15 minutes. I laid her back in her crib
5:15 am - She woke and I pulled her into bed with us because I could tell she wasn't wanting to go back to sleep and I knew she would sleep next to me. She snuggled in and went to sleep
6:45 am - I got up and left her in bed
8:10 am - She woke for the day

I don't know if I can even express how big of a victory this is! The night before she was up every 1/2 hour to hour until I finally pulled her into bed with us at 2 am...I needed to sleep!

Mommy and Babe after the best night's sleep we've both gotten in a
very long time - see how rested we look?

Now, I feel like I need to justify this a little bit, so hear me out.

I know some people are totally anti-crib. They want to sleep with their babies all the time until they decide to go to their own bed. That is *totally* cool with me!

I'm really not against bed sharing. Really. The thing is, I need her to sleep in her crib at least part of the time. For my own sanity. So I can get some decent sleep, and so she can get more sleep. If she only sleeps with us, then she's not getting even remotely close to the amount of sleep she actually needs (because we go to bed late and get up early) and that's totally not awesome. For anyone in the house. I'm sure many of you can relate to having an over-tired baby around. Not cool.

When she's in bed with us I sleep better than when she's waking every 1/2 hour to an hour, but not nearly as good as I do when she's not in bed with us. My body starts to ache from sleeping on my side in one position all night long, and sometimes I just need to get some sleep. Good sleep.

So....with that, I feel like we are totally making some progress from where we were when I wrote this. We certainly haven't "arrived" yet, but we are on our way at least, and seriously? That's all I can ask for right now. Baby steps are totally fine by me!

Now....I'm praying that tonight goes AS well, and I'm excited to hopefully get the little sweetie-pie to take some much needed naps on a more regular basis. Like I said - baby steps.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Big Latch On

Ok, so let me tell you what I know about The Big Latch On:

The Big Latch On is an event designed to bring awareness to breastfeeding by getting a record setting number of mamas to latch their babies (or pump) at the same time for a full minute. It is held on July 31 & August 1 worldwide, which is the first day of World Breastfeeding Week. The idea for the event came from New Zealand, and was picked up some years back by some lovely breastfeeding peeps over in Portland, OR (be still my heart...I love Portland - I lived there for 8 years back before kiddos entered the picture). Anyway, since they brought it to the US, the event has continued to spread, and worldwide there are more than 640 locations registered this year.

Pretty sweet, huh?

So - now to the good stuff.

As far as I can tell, Educated Mommy is currently the only location hosting this awesome event in South Dakota! I know, right?! We are stoked to be part of it again (hopefully more locations will register next year so more people in our state have the opportunity)!

So....wanna be a part of it? Here is what you need to do:

  1. Show up to Educated Mommy (207 W 37th St, Sioux Falls) at about 10:00 am on Saturday morning (8/1/15)
  2. Sign in
  3. Have a cookie and hang out with other breastfeeding mamas and their kiddos
  4. At the signal at 10:30 am latch your nursling(s), or pump (if you are an exclusively pumping mama) and nurse (or pump) for 1 full minute
  5. Be a part of history!

That's it! It's pretty simple, really, and also pretty fun. :)

Unfortunately, I cannot be there *sniff*....even though I've been looking forward to participating since last year when I was very pregnant with our sweet little squish. Oh well. Things come up and that's the way it goes.

No worries, though....when you get there you will be greeted by some of our super awesome board members and other friendly faces.

So......set your alarms and plan to be there early. We look forward to seeing you and being a part of raising breastfeeding awareness!

Peace out and keep calm & nurse on....


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Medela Recycles!

Anyone who breastfeeds and pumps has likely heard of (and used.....and loved) Medela. Check out their latest announcement!

So if you needed another reason to love it is ;)


Friday, July 17, 2015

It's A Party!

We are SO excited, and we hope you are too!!

We are throwing a Customer Appreciation Block Party next week! Can I get a Whoop Whoop?!

It is going to be SO much fun!

We want to express our gratitude to all of you, our amazing customers and friends for being with us the past 7+ years. So, THANK YOU!!!!

We have hundreds of dollars worth of giveaways just looking for a new home (will it be yours?), HUGE specials in store, VIP's will get a free Swag bag with purchase, free food, free games, a photo booth with the awesome Stacy Avery Photography, and face painting. Bring your family and enjoy an afternoon of fun in the sun with Elegant Mommy!

We have Giveaways from the following AWESOME businesses:

Undercover Mama
Best Bottom/Planetwise
Marnie's Naturals
Nana Pants by Betsy
IttyBitty Lydi
Birds & Bees Teas
Rebekah Scott Designs
Sakura Bloom

Does that look like something you want to miss out on? I DON'T THINK SO!!

I'm super excited about it, and I really hope to see you there!


Monday, July 13, 2015

When You Become A Mom

This story has been floating around the inter-webs again lately and every time I read it I think "Holy cow. This is SO true." Then I get a little emotional and tuck it away in the back of my mental rolodex until I see it again.

I decided to share it with all of you - you know, just in case you don't see the same things I do when you're online. I SO wish I knew who originally wrote this so I could credit them. I don't though, so without further ado.....enjoy:

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of starting a family. "We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking "What if that had been MY child?" That every plan crash, every house fire will haunt her.

That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop her souffle or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself.

That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks.

I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child.

I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike.

I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time.

I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I finally say. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.

"May you always have in your arms the one who is in your heart"


Friday, July 10, 2015

The Incredible Non-Sleeping Baby

I usually try to be encouraging and uplifting in my "mama" posts, but today I'm simply gonna vent a little.

One of my greatest joys in life is being a mommy. I truly love it with all my heart, and our children are brightness in my days and they warm my heart at night. I am completely and perfectly happy with our little family, and even if God doesn't decide to bless us with any more little lovies then I'll be satisfied. My heart's desires are being fulfilled every single day that I get to parent these perfect little beings, in all their un-perfect and learning/exploring/creative/curious ways.

I love them.

I love them to the ends of the universe.

I love them more than I ever could have imagined loving.

I am truly overflowing.

You know what else?


Whew. Ok. Now that I got that out of my system, let me fill you in on what's going on.

So, pretty much from day one, little miss has been sleeping in our bed for all or at least portions of the night. We practice safe bed-sharing. We have a rock and play (best invention ever, by the way) that I put right next to my side of the bed. I would rock/nurse her to sleep and put her in the rock and play. When she woke in the middle of the night (usually only once - sometimes twice), I would pull her into bed with us and snuggle while she nursed and we both drifted off to sleep.

Until now.

A couple months ago, she got strong enough that she actually crawled out of said rock and play. Well, fell is more like it probably. I wasn't actually in the room when it happened. I had laid her in it for a nap at my mom & dad's house, went upstairs and was doing some things in the kitchen. When I heard her crying I went to go get her, and instead of being in her rock and play where I left her, she was on the floor by the door. Yep - she had gotten out somehow and crawled, crying the whole time, to the door looking for me. Poor baby.

Well, we hadn't gotten her crib put together yet, nor did we really have a space to put it. So, I figured a nice compromise would be the pack and play. And I'm sure it would have been if she didn't scream her head off as soon as I laid her in it. Not just a regular scream. It was a blood-curtling someoneispullingmyarmoff kind of scream.


Well, we reconfigured our room to fit her crib in it. Now, all we needed to do was get her to sleep in it.

No dice.

She apparently didn't appreciate all the finagling we had to do to make it fit and doesn't think it is a very good solution, either.

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention: This baby hasn't taken a regular nap during the day since she was 4 or 5 months old. She just stopped doing it one day. Oh believe me, she *needs* to nap. She just won't *take* one. She will fall asleep in the car (but wakes up right away when the car ride is done), and she usually will cat-nap while nursing, then when done she opens up her eyes, pops up and looks around with a look of "what did I miss?!" in her eyes. And, yes. It's about as super awesome as you can imagine.

About a week ago I absolutely reached my breaking point with all this. I mean - what kind of baby absolutely won't sleep during the day? Some days I feel like I can't get ANything done. She sleeps well when I'm wearing her....the only problem? I can't sit or be still when I'm wearing her or she will wake up, and unfortunately my "at-home" job kind of dictates that that I'm sitting or at least standing in one spot if I take my computer to the kitchen counter.

There also brings into play my dear husband. I'm pretty fortunate that my "out-of-home" job is really flexible so I can work around his work schedule for the most part. The problem? Since she absolutely won't nap and he can't nurse her, he has his hands completely full when I'm gone for a day. He'll give her a bottle, but she drinks from it to quench her thirst/hunger....not for comfort. I'm her comfort.

Seriously? I totally don't mind sleeping with her at night. In fact, I super enjoy it and honestly would rather sleep with her in bed with us. The problem is that she won't take a nap during the day at all, and I can't even lay her down in the crib for awhile at night so I can get some things done after she goes to sleep.


I have felt like I'm going completely crazy with no idea what to do about it - and I refuse to let her cry it out like I did with our first. I regret that way too much to do anything remotely similar again.

Introduce: SANITY. In the form of a book called The No Cry Sleep Solution. [Cue the Hallelujah Chorus]

I have recommended this book to clients for years. I have never personally had a need to read it until now. After just one week of reading some of it and putting into practice a couple of very minor things the past several nights, she is sleeping longer at night - and IN her crib! She still won't sleep during the day, and last night she woke up a LOT to nurse, but at least I have some things to work with now, and they are starting to make a difference, no matter how small. Hey - baby steps, right?

So, there you have it. A story of my Incredible Non-Sleeping Baby.

I totally don't have any super awesome nuggets of wisdom for you, and I can't even tell you what to do if you are in the same boat as me....because I'm just starting to try a few things and for sure can't tell you what's working yet.

I just hope that by my tale of woe makes you feel like you are not alone. I'm right here in the trenches with you. It sucks and it's hard and I'm really really tired. But it will be ok. Because even if I don't figure out how to get her to nap during the day and sleep through the night eventually, I know that she's not going to be a baby forever. I can pretty much count on the fact that eventually - no matter what - she won't be overly tired and waking me 72 times in the middle of the night to nurse or just because she needs me.

And after all - right now she *needs* me. I'm going to be here for her no matter what.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Certified Bra Fitters at Elegant Mommy

Did you know that every one of our in-store employees is a Bravado Certified Bra-Fitter? Even if you did know, do you know what that actually means? And what difference does it make anyway? You just need a nursing bra, right? Does having the right size actually make that big a difference?

Well, let me start out by saying that having a nursing bra that fits you perfectly is absolutely essential!

Take it from me. I'm a rather well-endowed woman, and I really had no idea how much the size of my breasts would fluctuate during pregnancy, the first few days after birth, and even through the next months of nursing. During all my pregnancies my bra size increased at least a full cup and rib size. After my first two babies were born, I was so engorged when my milk "came in" that my breasts actually looked plastic. Talk about painful. I was blessed to be able to prevent engorgement this last time around. Even so, my breasts got pretty huge.

After a couple months of finding our nursing "rhythm", I finally got to a somewhat "regular" size. Those first couple months, though, weren't easy. Depending on what side my baby ate on first, how long it had been since she/he had eaten, etc, my size varied greatly.

I was fortunate and have never dealt with plugged milk ducts or mastitis, but those are very real issues that can turn up, especially if you have an ill-fitting bra. Continuous pressure in a single spot can cause a plugged milk duct, and if it doesn't get drained it can lead to mastitis. Both are very painful and difficult things to deal with when you have a newborn that depends on you for complete care!

Because of this, a bra that fits right is simply essential. I didn't know all these things with my first babies, and looking back I wish that I had known more about well-fitting bras. This last time around has definitely been different! :)

I have at my disposal (AND SO DO YOU!!), Bravado Certified Bra-Fitters at Elegant Mommy. Everyone who works in the store has gone through Bravado's course and passed a rigorous test to become certified to help us all get fitted correctly. Elegant Mommy *cares* about your breastfeeding relationships with your babies, and wants to help everyone have the most successful experience possible.

By having a well-fitting nursing bra your chances of getting a plugged milk duct or mastitis drastically goes down, thereby helping breastfeeding relationships with your babies flourish!

So if you are needing a nursing bra, look no further than Elegant Mommy. No appointment is necessary. Just stop on in anytime during regular business hours and get the service you've come to expect from our awesome team!

Happy nursing!


Monday, July 6, 2015

Babies Are to LOVE

Everyone must figure out their own parenting style. Most of us around here practice some version of Attachment Parenting - always with some adjustments to fit our own families' needs.

Today as I was preparing to write something specifically about breastfeeding, I came upon this section of La Leche League's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and it summed up exactly what I personally needed to hear, so I decided to share it with all of you as well.

I hope you enjoy:

Through doubts and anxious moments, remember - babies are to love. The task of caring for your new baby will not seem nearly so awesome if you keep this thought in mind. "Tender loving care" is what the very best authorities recognize as the prime need of babies. Look to your own baby. Is he happiest when snuggled close to you, nursing very often, perhaps even every hour? Or does he respond best when laid down after a nursing and patted to sleep? Your baby's well-being, comfort, and security are your guides.

There is a beautiful simplicity about the care of the young baby that does not apply at any other stage of childrearing. With sureness we can say that a baby's wants are a baby's needs. The wants of a two- or three-year-old, however, may not always be what he needs. Parents will not respond any less lovingly then, but their approach will adjust to the changing world of the mobile child.

Mary Ann Cahill, one of La Leche League's co-Founders, talks about the needs of a newborn:
From living in the womb with the umbilical cord supplying all his needs, he has progressed to a position outside of, but near, mother's body. He is meant to be within close proximity of her warm breast and the sound of her voice. It is nature's careful way of providing a transition from the infant's old world to his new one. The little newcomer has the freedom needed to grow, yet is assured of continuous, loving support. The all-important mother-child bond replaces the umbilical cord.
With your newborn, "giving in" to him is good parenting. Feed him according to his own time schedule. Comfort him when he is upset. But you may ask, won't such permissiveness spoil the baby? This question is asked by many parents who are sincerely concerned about their children and want to do what is best.

A mother, grandmother, and La Leche League Leader, Marion Blackshear, had this to say on the matter of spoiling and babies. "When you think of a piece of fruit as spoiled, you think of it as bruised, left on the shelf to rot, handled roughly, neglected. But meeting needs, giving lots of loving care, handling gently, is not spoiling. I could carry this one step further and say that a piece of fruit is at its best when left to ripen on the tree, its source of nourishment - and baby is at his best when held close to his source of physical and emotional nourishment - his mother."

And others agree. Dr William Sears, pediatrician and author of numerous child care books says, "Spoiling is a word that should be forever stricken from parenting books...Babies do not get spoiled by being held. Babies 'spoil' when they are not held."

And in his classic book, How to Really Love Your Child, Dr Ross Campbell explains:
We cannot start too early in giving a child continuous, warm, consistent affection. He simply must have this unconditional love to cope most effectively in today's world. those babies! Nurse those babies! Nurture those babies!

They are only so tiny once. And don't worry - you have a village here to help you through anything that may come up! Join us every Wednesday at 1:00 pm for Milk Monologues (except for THIS Wednesday, 7/8/15), and every second Thursday (that's this Thursday!) at 6:30 pm for Evening Milk Monologues. Remember - we are here for you!


Friday, July 3, 2015

Super Awesome Deals!

Check out all the awesome things we have going on this weekend and in the coming week!

From Elegant Mommy to you: We hope you have a fantastic and safe July 4th celebration!

Happy Independence Weekend!