Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Love/Hate Relationship with Babies R Us

We've gotten so many things from Babies R Us - it's THE baby place, right? Right. But lately I have found myself not liking the place so much. And then liking them again. Back and forth. But more of the not liking, I think...

The last couple things we have ordered have been on promotion for free shipping, and then we had a coupon code for a discount off. One would think, hey, great! Free shipping and a discount. But if you pay close attention, once you put that coupon code in....your free shipping goes bye-bye. And if you call and ask about it, you're told that they only honor one discount at a time. So, why put the promotion on there for free shipping and then send out coupons for the same item?? How on earth does that make sense?! This has happened a couple times lately, and we have called each time.

And each time...our shipment arrived damaged! The first time, with Aiden's new car seat, it was due to shipping, I am certain. I call to report it, BRU ships out a new one and gives us the same discount, an extra 10% off, and free shipping. We have to deal with returning the first item (at their cost, of course), which is annoying. But hey - we get extra discounts, so it's not so bad. Then we order a new jogging stroller (yes, another stroller). This time the damage is not BRU's fault. The cover on the handle bar is torn in two places - and once that stuff tears, it just keeps going. With the amount we paid for that baby, we had BETTER get one in perfect shape. So....same deal - we get the same discount, an extra 10% off, and free shipping (expedited shipping this time) on the new stroller, and we send back the first one. This time the exchange was a little more annoying because it took an hour (yes, an hour!) to put the stroller together. I didn't notice the tears until I was completely finished because I left the plastic on that part since I had to have the thing upside down for a lot of the putting-together. This meant, we had to take it apart and then put the new one together. But...we got the extra discount, right?

The thing is, while I'm glad for the great service when we had something WRONG with our items and the good discounts then, what is up with BRU putting out two promotions on items and not honoring them both? Why bother? Or do they expect people to not notice when the free shipping is removed right before payment is requested? You really do have to pay attention to realize this, so I can't help but wonder. Now, perhaps I seem like I am expecting a lot here. I am, after all, getting some sort of discount either way. And we do end up buying the item regardless of the rip-off (because with these items in particular, we have not found them at better prices elsewhere, they weren't carried elsewhere, or our store happened to be out of the item at the time). So, do I have the right to complain? In my opinion, I most certainly do. They are putting a free shipping promotion out and then sending me coupons or putting those same items on sale. I just think it is wrong to give out both and then take one away once the item is in your cart. I think it reflects rather poorly against their store. Anyone else agree?

It's definitely making me look at other vendors more closely. As in...where else can I buy this item? I may look at the reviews at BRU, but I'm starting to look to other places to purchase many other items.

Just a bit of venting. And a warning to pay attention to your cart before checking out at BRU online.

And here's a cutie in his new stroller... We got this stroller so Daddy could go running early on weekends...and Mommy could sleep in. I might eventually join in, but for now, my priority is sleep!

Aiden is checking out the super-large window in the super-large canopy. This stroller really is great. It had the best reviews we could find and all the features we wanted, with some nice bells and whistles, too. Definitely one to look into if you're in the market for a great jogging stroller!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Giveaway coming soon!!

I'm so excited about this giveaway that I get to do soon! Actually, just a few days until I post it! BUT...we're trying to figure out what some of you would like to win the most. My friend, Sharni, makes gflappers - the cloth inserts I use in my gdiapers. I've mentioned them on here a number of times. I also have gotten a custom made blankie for Aiden, some of the softest wipes/cloths you could ever find, and a very cute diaper bag from her website (mine is the very first one you'll see - the one that's sold out because I bought it!). I want to post about some of those items soon because they are wonderful. The blankie is made from organic bamboo velour and is extremely soft. If I lay it in the floor, Aiden will roll all over it, lie his face on it, wrap it around him...you can tell he likes the feel of it! And I like knowing that it is a safe material for him to be rubbing on himself. The diaper bag is the cutest thing ever, and Sharni makes all kinds of diaper bags, custom ordered. You can even pick out the fabric from swatches she has picked out to go together or from websites she can order from.

Anyway, I digress... We want to know if you would rather win one of five all bamboo gflappers (my personal favorite), one of two medium size Nappy Shoppe brand wet bags (great for carrying cloth diapers but also anything else that could get wet, if you don't use cloth diapers - to keep the inside of your diaper bag dry), or one of two gdiaper gpants (that's my baby boy you'll see if you click the link!). Please indicate your choice on the survey on the right-hand side of the blog page. You only have a couple days to vote, so do it now!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Home Allergy Test Results

So....we put the dye on Aiden last night and left it on for 24 hours (since we were putting it on his back, which is less sensitive - but out of his reach). Tonight, we take off the bandaid, and this is what we see:

The purple is where the dye was. It will take a couple days for all of it to come off. (Looks like some terrible bruise, doesn't it?) But it was very clear to see that he was more red from the bandaid than the dye! He had no reaction to the dye. After that, we ended up putting some on the inside of his elbow because that is more sensitive. No reaction. Even put a dot on his face. No reaction.

The doctor had this crazy idea to also check for egg whites, so we thought we would do that, too. Why was it a crazy idea? Because Aiden has eaten eggs with no problem. So...doesn't make sense that he would have an allergy to them. Right?

Here...his face after a tiny swipe of egg white was applied and wiped off shortly after:

Yep, it's the EGGS, folks. (Imagine this all over his face and much more intense. That would give you an idea what happened from the icing that sat on his face for about five minutes.) Really didn't expect this.

Now, can anyone explain this to us? We're a bit confused. Can you be allergic to egg whites and still be ok eating them? Or has he had some reaction that we're not aware of?? We'll be calling the doctor tomorrow to see what he says. But...confused over here!! It's hard to really know this at this point, but I'm kind of thinking it might have been simpler to be allergic to the dye.

Teething Oil & Other teething solutions

After my post about Aiden's rough week teething last week, a couple people have asked to know more about the teething oil we use with Aiden. We do not use Orajel. Among other things, it has artificial colorings, flavorings, and sweeteners in it. We try to stay away from as much of that stuff as we can. We have been using an herbal oil with Aiden since he started teething - Gum-omile Oil by Herbs for Kids.

Now, you really shouldn't rely on these type of numbing agents much at all - orajels or oils. It is possible to numb the child's tongue or throat (hopefully they do not get enough to swallow it!!) because they could bite their tongue, and other problems have come from the numbing of children's throats due to these types of things. This is not the first thing we reach for. Plus, Aiden isn't crazy about the taste, though I've read reviews where people said their children loved it. It is good for those times when there is a lot of pain and you need something immediate. We used it with the molars a tiny bit last week, mostly when trying to get Aiden down for a nap and the other things we were using hadn't kicked in yet - and he just needed something to help calm him down for a moment to help get to sleep. The last couple times we used this with Aiden, he did not seem to mind the taste at all. Not sure if he is just ok with it now or if he realized that it helped his pain (and therefore the taste didn't factor in).

When you do use it, be sure to shake it well. The first couple times I used it, I didn't and was wondering why it didn't seem to work. (I tried it on myself first - I always do that before giving something to Aiden.) But (thanks to my mom for having common sense and asking...did you shake it?) if you shake it, that stuff does work! Just use a tiny bit on the area that is sore. And remember, it doesn't last long and you shouldn't be using it repeatedly. That's not what it's for.

For the locals, I got a jar of this from the Women's Birth and Wellness Boutique in Chapel Hill. It cost $9.99 for a 1 oz bottle - but baby this stuff goes a long way!

Most of the time, we use Hyland's teething tablets for teething. For those REALLY bad times, we do Motrin (dye-free, of course). I have heard that Hyland's makes a teething gel, but I haven't tried that.

We have a hard time relying on some of the other non-medical methods for teething...though we don't use any of these things unless Aiden really needs it. Of course, the child teeths on everything. But he doesn't like cold things, so (even though we keep trying) giving a frozen piece of fruit, wet/cold or frozen cloth, or something like that is not something he goes for. He doesn't pay any attention to his actual teethers anymore. What he does go for is nursing, though, so we do rely on that some. If he's in pain and that helps, why not?! :) And no, he doesn't bite.

Any of you have some tricks that always work?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Update on Aiden's possible food allergies...

If you haven't read/heard about what happened with Aiden's reaction to his birthday cake icing, check THIS out first.

We went to the ENT today to have Aiden tested. While there, we ran into no needles, were instructed on doing some "testing" at home, and learned lot of other information.

First of all, the allergy part. The dr is pretty sure it was the dye, which would be more of a contact dermatitis issue versus an actual food allergy (I'm still not too sure what the difference would be in this situation, and regardless, if this is it, Aiden is to not eat things with dye in them). That kind of test is more expensive and typically not covered by insurance - and an at home test gives you the same (but immediate and cheap) results, so he recommended just that. Ryan picked up some of the dye from the bakery, and Aiden now has a drop of it on his back, covered by a bandaid (fittingly, a Curious George bandaid). We'll see what it shows tomorrow! (We could have found out sooner, but we would need to put the dye on his face or the inside of his elbow - difficult for a baby to keep a bandaid there for a small amount of time without grabbing at it. So, the other option is to have it on his back - where he can't grab at it - and keep it there longer.) If he has a reaction, the culprit is the dye. What to do then?? Avoid dyes for a full year...and then do the same test over to see if he has outgrown it or not. What if there is no reaction? We go back to the doctor for some blood work. (They do not do the skin pricks for babies this young - just skip to the blood work.)

We'll see tomorrow what his skin shows us...

We also got the chance to chat with our doctor for quite a while! He was very thorough and took the time to explain...well, more than we even needed to know (which I happen to like). One thing we learned is that since Aiden's blood type is A, Ryan and I both have OA blood types (they just usually say O). I know I am O+, but Ryan doesn't know what he is (which I have repeatedly insisted he find out...) - according to this doctor, he HAS to be this other type if Aiden is type A. We KNOW Aiden is type A because we had to have him retested when he was born. (The hospital had two different types written in his hospital paperwork - good thing we read through the whole thing! So, we had to test again to find out which it was.) Interesting... Something else about type A people...they have more digestive issues than others. The doctor said they make up about 15% of the population but over 70% of his patients. Did not know.

Then the doctor talked with me a bit about my own possible food allergies...that I keep saying I need to get tested for but haven't. Long story short, I may have a wheat allergy/intolerance. My symptoms are quite different than what you would expect - joint problems. I always expect people to kind of give me a strange look when they hear that; that is not what you would think would happen because of a food allergy. I've been to so many doctors that never considered food when dealing with my joint problems. Over years, the problems spread from my knees to include my wrists - and I've been diagnosed with so many things and forced to wear wrist guards and do all kinds of exercises... When it spread to my ankles, as well, and I was in excruciating pain just sitting (forget trying to drive long distances or type for more than a minute), I knew it had to be something else. My mom (who has lots of food allergies) suggested food...try taking wheat out and see what happens. The pain went AWAY! The rheumatologist I had been seeing tested me for Celiac, which was negative (both types of tests), but he said...maybe we're onto something here. Anyway, back to today - this doctor went right along with me. Never skipped a beat. He said it's very likely that is the type of reaction I have to an allergy. Has to do with the type of allergy I have and...while I understood all he said, I don't remember all the names/acronyms...something settles into the joints, and after they build up...pain. When you stop consuming the food, the pain will go away fairly quickly. And it will take time for it to build up again once you start eating the foods again. This is quite different than other types of reactions that can take years to stop (or to be able to eat the foods - after which one might have an immediate reaction). Ok - maybe that wasn't quite so short... This doctor had a similar type of reaction to other foods, so he said once it builds back up and my pain is back - come in for the testing. :) I went off wheat right before getting pregnant. Since then I've eaten some, but I had a bread aversion during the pregnancy, so I didn't eat much at all! I eat it now and have been for the past year or more. Thing is...recently I've noticed pain in my wrists and knees more often. Hmmm... I'll wait until it's back more than this, though, because he said there needs to be a good amount built up in order for it to show up in the tests. Might be seeing him again sometime in the next year - and not for Aiden.

So, back to Aiden...we have the dye on there now but won't be looking at it until tomorrow evening. He said to keep it on the back for 24 hours. More news then, I suppose. We'll either be avoiding food dyes or going back for more tests.

The doctor did sing my praises for breastfeeding Aiden (and told me to keep doing it as long as possible - love hearing that!!). Breastfeeding helps to prevent possible allergies. He gave me a detailed explanation (that I have actually read about)...briefly, it has to do with how the digestive system matures, which isn't until the child is older (about 3 or so). And then we've been making Aiden's food and giving him whole, organic foods and avoiding processed/artificial foods, all of which help. Throughout the whole time we met, he would keep coming back to how wonderful it was that I breastfed and how we did the foods. Very validating! And it feels great to know that we did what was best for Aiden, especially considering the problems that can (and kind of are) arising and his possible predisposition to many allergy and digestive-type problems (family history, eczema issues, the blood type thing - which I had no idea about..., etc). We've also been told to go easy on the dairy, even though he's had some without problems. The dr suggested rice milk. And even though he's eaten eggs with no problem, we're to do the skin test with egg whites, as well.

We do have an appointment with a pediatric allergist at Duke... We're still debating on whether or not to keep that appointment. We'll see.

We'll post more updates later. Thank you all for your concern, thoughts, prayers - all of it! We really appreciate it.

Rough Week

Last week. Was rough. Hoping for a bit better this week. So far it seems to be better...

It's those stinking baby molars! You know, when Aiden got his first two teeth in and they were soooo easy and didn't cause any problems other than the massive amount of drool, I knew not to say "he's an easy teether" when people asked how he did with them. I knew it could get worse. We've had some trouble with some of the other teeth, but nothing major. Mostly Aiden might get a little clingy (but still play well for the most part) and he has a rough time going to sleep. But the molars...oh those are a different story. Kind of.

He still doesn't really get fussy when awake, though he was a bit clingy with me some last week. Not enough to call him "fussy," though. But sleep...what's that?? Night one...we got NO sleep. I mean, none. Ok, maybe 10-15 minutes here and there a couple times, but we were up for hour-long (sometimes two or more) stretches at a time. At one point, I was on my back and he was lying across my belly, with his legs dangling off one side and his head dangling off the other...and he FELL ASLEEP! No way was I going to chance waking him up by moving him. We'd been up for more than two hours at that point. He slept a solid 15-20 minutes! Not sure why that position worked, but...I'll take it. During all of this, Aiden wasn't playing or even crying a lot; he was TRYING to go to sleep. You could tell he wanted to be sleeping. I felt so badly for him. He just tossed and turned. And nursed ALL NIGHT LONG. Sometimes he fussed because there was no more milk (maybe because he had been nursing for almost two hours straight?).

Night two...we got about two hours of sleep. Night three...maybe up to 4 or 5 total.

Now before you ask if I tried this or that - YES! We did. We tried teething tablets, his teething oil (we don't do orajel - we use this other stuff that is the same thing but has natural ingredients...and yes, it does work), motrin. We pulled out all the tricks we knew. Naps weren't much better. He usually will sleep about an hour and a half. This week, naps were no longer than an hour, and that was with him waking up between 3-5 times!

Yes, it was a rough week. By day three, the sleep deprivation was getting to both of us. We were both quite cranky and clearly exhausted. I felt like crap, and I'm sure he did, as well. Funny thing is, he's back to his normal sleep schedule by now - but the teeth have still not come through!! We actually went through some tough teething days with these same molars more than a month ago (though not this bad!). They are taking their sweet time. His gums are so swollen right now, and forget trying to touch them to see if anything is poking through. I just hope they do come through soon - for his sake and a little bit for mine, too.

The next two nights...teeth were ok, but for some reason Aiden had really bad gas that kept him up. This hasn't happened in the longest time. Could it be related to the teething somehow?? (I'm serious!) He also got a really bad diaper rash - and that never happens! Bad enough that we put him in flushies so we could use the really good stuff on his bum (can't use ointments with cloth) - and I trapped him in the kitchen/dining area so he could run around with no diaper for an hour or so a few times to help clear it all up. I can't help but think all of this has to be teething-related because it's not like him.

Another funny thing...CAMDEN is also getting molars in! Actually, he says they are already in. And they hurt. But he barely complains; just mentioned it as a fact. They're his twelve-year molars - a little early.

Ok - just an update on what a terrible week some of us had last week. Feel free to sympathize with both boys (and me, if you want....). :) At least we're doing better now! I just hope we don't go through a similar routine when the baby molars finally do cut through... How long do they really have to take! You can tell they are very close with how swollen and soft his gums are (when I can force my finger in there to feel).

Anyone want to share your experiences, so we can all feel sorry for one another?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

First Words

Aiden said his first real words today.

First, let me say he has been "talking" in his own way for quite a while. It's a little pet peeve of mine to hear other people say their little baby (5, 6, 9 month or however old) "talked" when they said "mama" or "dada" but they were really just making the sounds and didn't understand the meaning behind it. Yeah, I'm sure some babies get it really young, but I seriously doubt most 6-month-olds know what they're "saying" when they do that. They're just babbling, people. I know you want them to talk, but...they're not.

I don't count it as being a word Aiden speaks until he knows what he is saying and says it in the correct context. That said....

Today, Camden was talking to his friend (named Ryan) on the phone. He said "goodbye" and hung up. And Aiden said "bye." Ryan (my Ryan) and I look at each other..."did he just say that??" He wouldn't repeat it for us, of course, but would just wave as WE said the word.

Then tonight, we were talking on the webcam to Pop & Lisey (my dad and stepmom). When we were saying our goodbyes, Aiden kept repeating over and over "bye bye bye" and waving at the same time. He clearly knew what he was saying. How exciting!!

He's also been trying to say "more." When he wants more to eat, he'll sign more and make the sound "meh." Of course, when we try to get him to repeat it and ask, "more?" - he just keeps signing. And gets frustrated because we're not giving him more, of course! I guess in a way we could have counted "more" as his first word because he did it before today - and it's a harder word to get ALL of it correct. But we'll with "bye" because he said the whole word correctly for all of us to hear. :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

TWELVE Months!!

ONE YEAR. One Whole Year Old!!!

As every month, Aiden has learned so much and has grown so much this past month. It is CRAZY to think he is already a year old. I feel like he just joined our family, though at the same time, it feels like he's been with us for so much longer.

I know that Aiden has been twelve months old for a couple weeks now. This post and everything in it is based only on things up to twelve months old, so it does not include more recent happenings.

Weight - 21 lbs, 9 oz (30th %tile)
Length - 30 inches long (50th %tile)
Head Circum. - 47 cm (70th %tile)
I feel like Aiden is so tiny! Compared to Camden who was always in the 99th %tile for everything. I know he's not tiny, but he's always felt like it to me!

Crazy...a picture where he looks like Mommy (it's because the mouth is covered, so you see the eyes really stand out - the one thing he gets from me!)

Favorite Things
  • Peaches - When we are at the grocery store and walk by the table of peaches, Aiden will get really loud and reach for them. He LOVES peaches! I used to think we would "share" a peach - that I could dice up half for him and eat the rest myself. No. He eats it so fast that I don't get a chance! He'll eat the whole thing and want more.
  • Tomatoes - Another thing he will see and beg to have. He will eat them until we stop giving him more!
  • Making funny sounds. He makes this throaty sound that is hard to explain - you breathe in and make this groaning noise in your throat. He and Camden will do it back and forth. Then one day in the grocery store, we passed a kid in a cart who did it - and Aiden did it back to him as we walked passed. The mother and I each whipped around, surprised, and could only laugh about it. Aiden also makes this wheezing sound (on purpose) - just because it sounds funny, I guess. He does it sporadically, usually when he's playing on his own, but it's hilarious to hear. He also makes this fake laugh that will make you crack up! He'll do it out of nowhere - just because he thinks of it or something - and it is obviously fake and loud.
  • Peek-a-boo. He discovered he could play this game on his own. You can say "Where's Aiden?" and he'll cover his face with his hat, blanket, toy, whatever he has and then he'll pull it down and grin. He won't do it to anyone else and gets kind of bored if you do it, but he loves to do it to himself!
  • Camden's room. If we put him down in his room, he makes a beeline for the door and straight into Camden's room. I don't think we even need the gate on the stairs (which is right next to his door) because he's clueless to the stairs since Camden's room is the other direction! He always goes right to the bookshelf for Camden's legos that are out... He doesn't hit at them or try to eat them; he just picks up the small pieces and looks at them. It is definitely the place he wants to be.
  • Guess How Much I Love You. If we put him down in his room (anytime he doesn't go towards Camden's room...), he will go right for this book. He will pass up any toys or other books just for this one thing. And he'll sit there and flip through it over and over. This is the book we often read to him before bedtime, but he likes it even if it's not time for bed. He really does seem to be crazy about it! The copy is a hardcover with paper pages...and it was Camden's when he was a baby. Not wanting to risk it getting ripped, we bought Aiden a cardboard version that he could play with when we're not reading to him. At the book store, we put it in his hands and his face lit up and he grinned and grinned!
  • Bunny. Aiden has this soft, floppy bunny that he's been napping and going to sleep with since he was a few months old, but he never seemed to pay it too much attention. He's not a very cuddly baby, but this past month, he's really taken to hugging and kissing on his Bunny. He'll grab it and shove it into his face and just bury his face into it. We'll ask, "Where's Bunny?" and he'll look all around and grab it. Sometimes when he gets up from his nap, he'll reach back in for Bunny - which he'll hug and then throw back into the crib. He'll flop Bunny all around while going to sleep. Sometimes he'll throw him down (like when he doesn't want it to be naptime - b/c Bunny's presence also indicates it's sleepytime...) but then he might cry after it after throwing it (sometimes). He's become very affectionate with Bunny, though, and it's adorable (not so much when he hugs and then quickly throws it...)
  • Music! Wow does he love music. I really just have cds that I had when Camden was younger, so we're not on top of the new stuff. We play the cds in our dvd player and have to turn the tv on to have the sound - so a blue screen shows. When I ask if he wants to hear music, he gets very excited and goes over to the tv and stands by it; that's what he thinks the tv is for (because we still do not have him watch tv). When the music is on, he will just dance and dance.
  • Snack cups... You know, the ones that hold in the puffs/cheerios but they can stick their hands into to get the food, but if they're turned upside down, nothing spills out (one brand is the snack trap). They're fairly new, I think. He loves being able to get his snacks out of there on his own. He usually grabs a whole handful and spills half of them before he reaches his mouth, so we still get a mess, but they're still great!
  • Grabbing things from bags or the grocery cart while out grocery shopping - and throwing them. It doesn't matter how many of his favorite things I bring for him to play with/drink/eat. I have to watch where I put things in the cart because they might end up flung out and onto the floor if I'm not careful!
  • Nesting/stacking - Bowls, toys inside objects that open - he loves to put things into other things, and out again, and back in.
Least Favorite Things
There really aren't any different, new least favorites from last month... Lots of the same (diaper changes, having things he wants taken away, not getting milk immediately when he really wants it...)
  • He will often stand now when he's not thinking about it - if he has something in his hand and forgets that the thing is not attached to something else. But when he realizes it, he will sit down and might get mad about it. Still doesn't like us trying to walk him by holding his hands, either.
  • Riding in the car for really long periods of time... We took a number of trips (to KY, to Hilton Head Island for a wedding, etc), and he is not a fan of long car rides. Or sleeping in the car. He might take one nap that lasts less than an hour, but even if we are on the road for 12 hours - that's all you get, folks! And for the next few days, he will fuss whenever you get him near that car seat. He will protest.
  • We found that, while Aiden likes frosting somewhat, it does not like him back. Therefore, I think it's safe to say this is not a favorite thing... If you recall, he had a very allergic reaction to the icing on his birthday cake, and we found ourselves in the Emergency Room instead of opening gifts and playing with friends. We go for testing this coming week.

12 month pics this month were harder because he is so much more mobile! We pulled out all the stops...books, snacks, a drink, toys... This is a picture of Aiden with his snack cup - and a handful of puffs being shoved into his mouth.

I think he found a few puffs he spilled onto the chair...

New developments this past month:
  • Climbing stairs. He showed no interest in working hard to get up the stairs for a while. Now that we have some, he would go to them and act as if he were trying to think it through, but then he would just give up without really trying. But while at Mammaw Melly and Pappaw Gene's, he got it in no time. They have a room that is just two steps down from the rest of the house, and he would go up them without skipping a beat! Time for gates at home now! When we got home, he actually went up the entire set of stairs (with someone behind him, of course!) - and quickly.
  • Not sure where this fits in...it's not something he LIKES to do, but not necessarily a developmental thing, either... But Aiden constantly gags himself with his hands! (Sounds gross, I know, but it's really not.) He just plays with his fingers or hands or anything and will get it in his mouth to where he kind of gags himself. Nothing big, he just makes a sound. I don't think he's even aware of it because he never changes his behavior based on it. We just ignore it (and sometimes laugh quietly). It is kind of funny, actually.
  • Showing he understands more of what we say... For example, when putting him to bed, if he keeps getting up, we can say "lie down, Aiden," and he'll do it. Even if he grins and then jumps right back up... He does understand what we told him to do. We've been noticing more and more of that sort of behavior that shows he really does comprehend a lot.
  • We're not sure what this means, but whenever he's in his high chair and I tell him "no" about something, he'll turn and look at Daddy. We're not sure if he's just trying to read him to see if he agrees with Mommy or what, but it means something.
  • Still picking up those signs! He can now sign: milk, more, eat, drink, all done, and music. We're about to get some videos to teach us all some more. (Yes, this means he'll actually watch a little tv...but this is educational, and it's also for ME - b/c I need to learn more words and want to make sure I'm doing it right, and I'm a visual learner. Otherwise, I would just do it and teach him that way.)
  • Standing more on his own. Like I said before, he usually does this when he isn't too aware that he's actually not holding onto something, but he clearly can stand alone and for quite a long time, too. (He totally could walk if he wanted to; he has the balance down - just needs the desire/motivation.)

Aiden standing while I'm trying to take pictures...

Mommy's eyes and Daddy's mouth (and just about everything else!).
The resemblance to Daddy is much easier to see!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Year in Review

Since I took Aiden's picture each month in the same chair, I thought it would be fun to show a picture from each month in order. See how much he changes!

One month old

Two months old

Three months old

Four months old

Five months old

Six months old

Seven months old

Eight months old

Nine months old

Ten months old

Eleven months old

Twelve months old

Twelve months post to come soon. I know this stuff is really late...remember I warned about this, though. August is a super busy month this year! Lots of family in town and other things going on. But I'll get it all up soon! :)

No more gardening today!!

I was outside during Aiden's nap trying to neaten up this area in the back - since we've focused mainly on the front flower beds so far. After a few minutes, I look up to see this spider less than a foot from my hands... I said a few choice words and got my rear back inside rather quickly (well, and came back out to snap some pics and then got back inside - thank goodness for zoom lenses!). This thing is at least three inches or more across, including the legs, of course. HUGE, even by North Carolina standards. For someone who is TERRIFIED of the tiniest spider (that would be me!!), this was beyond frightening.

Anyone know what this thing is? Poisonous?? I'm rather grateful our neighbor is an exterminator - we'll see if he knows what it is! Either way, I'm not sure I'll be back out there anytime soon. Maybe the back yard flower beds can just become overgrown....

A little closer (zooming - not me moving closer!)

That spider next to the big one is a normal sized spider, not a teeny-tiny one.

Keep in mind those little white flowers really are little. This sucker was huge.
Tell me that's not scary.

Go on - try!
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Monday, August 17, 2009

What about FREE gflappers?

If you recall, I have mentioned gflappers in most of my posts about gdiapers. These are the cloth inserts we use with our gdiapers and bumgenius diapers. They are WONDERFUL. I'm not even tempted to consider trying any other kind of inserts because we are so happy with these.

Yesterday I posted last minute about how to win some gdiapers, but today I can tell you a week in advance how to enter to win FIVE free gflappers made from all bamboo (my favorite!). Just go here. :) If you don't want the gflappers for yourself, feel free to enter and give them to me if you win. I won't mind.

PS - I will also soon be doing a giveaway for gflappers, so stay tuned! (This means you could possibly win them twice....)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Want FREE gdiapers??

Hop on over to this blog to be entered to win a gdiaper starter pack or another colored gdiaper. Only thing is, contest ends TONIGHT!! Sorry I didn't post this sooner - I just found out about this blog and giveaway!! You still have a few hours, so get on over there...

Walkin' the Walk

Just a little something that took place today...

Way to go, Aiden!

Short video of the first steps later - and how we got him to go for it! Let's just say he didn't want to walk, but we knew what would motivate him enough to take those first steps!

Friday, August 14, 2009

First (FULL) Haircut

We took Aiden for his first full haircut today. He's already kind of had a haircut - Mammaw recently cut the hair on the sides of his head. He was able to get by with that for a while.

But he was in desperate need of a FULL haircut this time. I could deny it no longer. A friend recommended Snip-its, so we went for the cut today, since Ryan had the day off (forced day off b/c the office is moving to a new and closer building!) and our weekend is already too busy to fit this in. We were worried that Aiden would move around too much - b/c that's what he does. But he ended up doing so well! He sat on Daddy's lap and played with a little toy that the stylist shared with him. He never fussed or tried to move out of the way while she cut. Well, once or twice he leaned a bit and gave her a funny look, like "what exactly are you doing to my head.....," but that was the extent of it. It was a really great experience. Aiden didn't cry. And I didn't even cry! At the end of the visit, he got a treat, too. He doesn't get that yet, but I'm sure by the next time, he'll figure it out! They also have tvs for little ones to watch here, but ours was never even turned on. I'm actually glad for that b/c I think it can be a little much, and why do it if it's not necessary. Now, if he was a bit older and really fighting it, I might feel a bit different, but for now - it was not needed, and I'm glad the stylist didn't even go there. She was great with Aiden, too. Things went much better than we expected, to be honest!

Sitting on Daddy's lap - getting squirted before the cut!
I love his expression here!!

What's going on here, lady??
This was about the most fight he made. Very well behaved!

See...he's even smiling and sitting still while she cuts away! How great is that?!

Looking more like a little man now...
Made me rethink this haircutting business a bit!

Ending things with a mohawk!

Getting his treat from the machine - Aiden got a little fish that you squeeze.

Ok, the mohawk was just temporary.
I totally would have let him leave with the mohawk, though!
(This was supposed to be a picture of us with the Snip-its guy - this is what I get when I ask Ryan to take a picture of us with something... An example of why I take most of the pics and why I am not in many of them.)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Why Aiden will never eat cake again

Ok, that's not quite right, but we hope to soon find out what he should possibly never eat again. Here's the story...

Aiden was having a great time at his birthday party. Lots of friends showed up to play, and then it was time for CAKE! Aiden had a big blue smash cake that ended up having a very thick layer of icing. After having the time of his life rubbing icing all over his face, Aiden had a terrible reaction to it. We saw that his face was red when Ryan wiped it off, but after we got him upstairs to really clean up in the tub (b/c that kid got the stuff EVERYWHERE), it was much worse and he ended up with hives ALL over his face, neck, part of his back and chest, and part of his arms - basically everywhere any amount of icing touched. It looked bad enough that we rushed off to the Emergency Room with no hesitation. Camden was very scared when he saw Aiden - he immediately started bawling and was extremely worried.

This was NOTHING compared to how red he got soon after this.
His entire face, neck, some of his chest, and some of his arms were bright, bright red and COVERED in hives.

Aiden seemed to be breathing ok and wasn't fussy, but he looked terrible and was rubbing his face a lot...and he was coughing a bit. Anyone that has visited an ER knows it takes longer than it should to see someone, so by the time we saw the first nurse, the redness was almost gone - and by the time we got to see the doctor (over two hours later), it was even more almost gone, which was good on one hand, but we also wanted them to SEE the reaction. We didn't have a camera with us, so the only pictures we have are ones we took on the drive to the ER with the camera phone and were able to show those to the dr (we like to have photographic records of all of these kind of reactions, etc...). We don't have anything fancy like an iphone, just a regular flip phone, so the pics aren't the best but did what they needed to do. Aiden did rub his face a little while the doctor was with us, so some of the redness came back. They gave him half a dose of benadryl. His throat and ears looked fine, which is a good sign. My mother has severe food allergies (to just about everything you can be allergic to), and her reactions are respiratory, so we were concerned about that with Aiden, even though he seemed to be breathing just fine - good to have those things checked out.

We also talked with the lady that baked Aiden's smash cake at a local bakery, and she told us what ingredients were in the icing. We're thinking it was either a reaction to the food coloring or the soybean oil - most likely the coloring. We have a check-up scheduled on Tuesday already, so we'll be speaking with the doctor and perhaps be on our way to an allergist soon to possibly go through some testing (hopefully for just these things and not a whole lot of other testing at this time...we'll see, though). We want to do whatever it takes to make sure we find some answers so we know what to do from this point on, of course. We've had a few scares when it comes to Aiden and his skin, so we're not taking it too lightly, and food allergies aren't anything to scoff at, either. He IS doing well right now, though. :) And we're very glad we've been feeding him natural, whole (organic when possible) foods up to this point! I wonder how many babies show up to ERs and Urgent Care centers on their first birthdays from reactions similar to this? I would not be surprised if it happened more than we thought, really. I know Aiden never got any sugar or anything artificial up to this point...

The culprit...

After Aiden's dr appt on Tuesday, I will postwhat happened, if anything significant does happen. Hopefully we'll get some answers soon so we can decide what our next steps are. We keep hearing that first reactions are the mildest and the ones following get worse with each occurrence, so we definitely do not want something like this to happen again. This was bad enough!

On a positive note, the party was a lot of fun and we were so happy to share the day with so many of our friends. (Unfortunately some showed up after we left and we really missed seeing them!) We are VERY thankful for Ryan's dad and step-mom that were visiting with us. They took over while we rushed off. They stepped up in such a big way, and I don't know what we would have done with out them. THANK YOU Gary and Susan!!!

We did manage to get a few pictures. Here are the ones from the party...
2009 August - Aiden's FIRST Birthday (NC Party)

And here are August pics so far...Not too many, but there are a few from his actual birthday, where we went out to eat and Aiden got a little tiny cupcake - and some waiters from The Cheesecake Factory sang to him. :)
2009 August

If some of you out there took some pictures at the party, could you email them to us so we can have copies? Since we were busy with all that party-throwing business, we didn't get as many as I normally would. ;) Thanks! Email is daisyryan.adkins(at)gmail(dot)com.

Needless to say, this was a birthday we will NEVER forget! And maybe the most expensive birthday party we have thrown in quite a while, too (thanks to that ER bill)... We did notice that Aiden has had big skin issues come up around both birthdays so far - his tushie troubles when he was born (and the big stuff with that happened around day two) and then this on his first birthday (two days later....hmmmm....). Let's hope this isn't some sort of trend.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Baby Turns ONE

Sometime in the next few days or next week, I will post with pictures and updates on Aiden and his FIRST BIRTHDAY, which was yesterday, August 6th. We have a big birthday bash happening tomorrow, and we celebrated yesterday with dinner out with the family and MaMaw Sharon. Aiden enjoyed some yummy veggies at the Cheesecake Factory - and then went to town with a little cupcake. We handed over one of those "two-bite" cupcakes, which was plenty big enough to him. He picked it up like he knew what he was doing and just ate every last bit of it. THEN our waiter and a couple others came by to sing to him and give him some ice cream (with a TON of whip cream, which we quickly spooned off). I think he really enjoyed himself!

And yes, in case you're wondering, I did shed a tear or two. I woke up and told my little baby "Happy Birthday" and couldn't help recalling how wonderful it was to meet him one year ago. That day is still so fresh in my mind.

If you haven't read Aiden's birth story....
  • Aiden's introduction (just a quick intro and slideshow of pics) - Click HERE
  • And his birth story - Click HERE - The cons are listed before the pros. I wanted to end the post on a positive note. :)

More pictures coming soon!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Great Thing About Parenting...BREASTFEEDING Part TWO - Extended Breastfeeding

As Aiden nears his first year mark (THIS Thursday!!), I know one issue at the forefront (for some other people) will be...when are you going to wean him??

Welcome to Part Two of the breastfeeding discussion...EXTENDED Breastfeeding. If you read the first part (the post before this), you know the drill. Be nice. No debating/bashing. No rights or wrongs. This is just about sharing what we do/think/feel/etc.

When I had my first son ten years ago, I was 19 years old and just went along with the mainstream parenting methods. I thought it was great to nurse until the first birthday if you could, but I (like most that I knew) thought that was enough and you should stop then. I never got to the year mark because my milk went away, so I don't know how I would have felt when that year was up. This time around, I am a very different mama. I expect to nurse Aiden until he is two years old or to let him self wean. Who knows - he may wean himself before then. I'm not so sure I would EXPECT that the way he nurses now, but it could happen. I haven't thought much about breastfeeding past that point. As one of my teachers long ago (as in elementary school) used to say...we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. At this point, I am not sure I would be comfortable nursing a child past the age of two, but I realize that could change. I am on an online group where a soon-to-be-mama started a conversation about extended breastfeeding, saying she didn't think she could nurse past one year because she didn't think she would be comfortable with it. Someone else had a great point...those babies don't get to be a year all the sudden. It's gradual. And when it's so gradual in that way, you don't think of your babies as being older...you still see them as babies. So, nursing a two month old and a year old baby aren't all that different when you get there one day at a time. And that is so true. I don't think about that kind of thing when I nurse Aiden now. Whose to say I will feel one way or another as that TWO year mark approaches.

So, why two years?? Why not stop at one? There are a number of reasons.

For one, why wean at a year? Who says that is the right age and why should we just buy into that? First of all, each baby is different and has different needs (same goes for the moms, I would think, too). There are benefits to baby (and mom) with nursing, and they don't suddenly STOP when that baby hits twelve months old.

One benefit from nursing is how the breastmilk works with brain growth. They say that breastfed babies grow to be slightly more intelligent than their non-breastfeed counterparts. Research is now showing that there is a time of brain growth in the second year of life and that these children could benefit even greater from being breastfed during this time.

Attachment. Is your child suddenly ready to stop nursing at the age of one? Maybe he/she is! But maybe not. In my case, I want Aiden to wean when HE is ready to stop nursing. If it is important to him to continue, I am comfortable with that. He won't nurse for the rest of his life or for that much longer, when you look at the big picture. For those of you that think babies that continue to nurse into their toddler years will turn out to be clingy, dependent children, research shows that these children turn out to be more independent and self-confident. These children feel safe and are more trusting and, therefore, feel safe being more independent.

Nutrition. There is more fat and energy content in breastmilk from a mother nursing more than a year than earlier on. Interesting. Here is some more info along those lines... 448 ml of breastmilk during 12-23 months contains:
  • 29% of energy requirements
  • 43% of protein requirements
  • 36% of calcium requirements
  • 75% of vitamin A requirements
  • 76% of folate requirements
  • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
  • 60% of vitamin C requirements
Less illness and fewer allergies for nursing toddlers. The immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process, according to the kellymom.com factsheet. Toddlers that nurse are sick much less often than non-nursing toddlers. Asthma is also less common.

Did you know that the WHO recommends breastfeeding up to two years? Here is the statement from their website: Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.

There is some other great information at kellymom.com. Here is a section on breastfeeding - there is a heading for nursing past the first year and one on weaning, if you are interested.

Honestly, I only recently read some of this info. I've heard a lot of it for a while now, which made the decision to nurse past the first year an easy one for us. But I haven't done a ton of research on the topic and just recently discovered the kellymom website. I don't need a lot of research or stats to convince me to continue to nurse Aiden. It is what I feel comfortable doing as a mother. I want him to self-wean, if at all possible, because I feel that is what is best for HIM.

Someone (I don't know who it was because I wasn't told and I didn't ask) recently had a short conversation with someone else that I know... This someone was surprised to find out I was still nursing Aiden when he was about to turn a year old. Well, he's just nursing for comfort. I assure you, the child nurses for nourishment, for the milk. Yes, sometimes it is for comfort, but the majority of the time, the child is hungry. Well, she's just nursing him to sleep. No. I don't nurse him to sleep. Sure, he nurses before naptimes and bedtime, but AFTER nursing, he gets a story and other parts of his routine before going to sleep. And even if he is nursing to calm down and prepare for sleep, what's wrong with that? Other questions were about baby food and him eating other things. Trust me, the boy can eat. But if he wants milk, nothing can substitute, as far as he is concerned. He will tell me (by signing) when he wants milk...and he wants it right then, too, whether it's naptime, whether he just ate lunch, or regardless of where we are. He wants MILK. And I can tell he is getting plenty of it. I still let-down (and I have a very active let-down) every time he nurses. If he misses a feeding, I can tell, if you know what I mean.

Now, I don't feel the need to become defensive with my discussion. I don't feel defensive about this person asking questions, even though they were clearly trying to say that Aiden did not need to nurse at this point. I said in the last post, though, that I had not yet experienced the dirty looks or comments about nursing or nursing in public. I know that might change once Aiden is clearly older than a year old. I know more people have an issue with nursing a toddler than nursing a baby. So, I'm trying to prepare myself for this. I would love to hear how some of you have dealt with this, are planning on dealing with this. How did you handle or do you plan on handling it? What about those of you that think it's unnecessary? Why do you disagree with it?

Ok, it's late, and I'm off to bed (sorry if this post seems scattered - I'm exhausted!). After I eat some cake that my mother-in-law brought us (she came today to visit for the week). Then I'll nurse Aiden and bring him to bed with us, once he wakes in an hour or so. :) And yes, we'll continue to co-sleep and nurse at night, too. But we're working on not nursing to sleep at those times (per the No Cry Sleep Solution methods...seem to be helping so far!).

Share what you want! Just remember the rules. :) Comment on blogger, be nice, no debating. Thanks!!

The Great Thing About Parenting... BREASTFEEDING

I haven't done anything with the parenting series for a while. Things have been just way too busy to sit down and take time out for a serious post, especially one that requires me to think clearly, take the energy to come across as knowing what I'm talking about, and perhaps through in some research. This post might not involve as much of that as I want, but I am hoping to at least get the post WRITTEN and maybe even make some sense.

This post also has two parts to it...one being about breastfeeding in general. The second part - extended breastfeeding (past the one-year mark). One thing at a time, though...

Now, if you are new to the blog and aren't familiar with the parenting series, please feel free to see the post introducing it all HERE. See the other posts/topics HERE (diapers, co-sleeping, vaccines...). Basically, this is a friendly place to share the way we each do things, how we feel about it, what we think, etc. Key word - friendly. No bashing allowed. No debating. This is not about right vs wrong. Disagreeing is fine, but watch your words, please. Also, for those of you that follow along via email subscription or facebook, comment on the actual blog so we have the discussion all in one area.

Ok - I have breastfed both of my children. Camden was nursed up to 6-7 months, when my milk went away. After about a month of doing everything possible and everything a lactation consultant suggested, I had to give in and go to formula full-time. He simply was not getting enough milk from me alone, unfortunately. Not a happy month for me. Aiden is still going strong nursing at (almost) one year. Aside from my milk going away with Camden, nursing has been really easy for me. I never had any clogged ducts, no cracking of anything..., no problems with latching. It was a very natural thing for me and for both of my babies. They both went right to nursing like they were pros from the start. I don't take for granted how easy breastfeeding has been; I know many people that have had different experiences. Feel free to share yours - good, bad, indifferent, etc.

With that, I must say that I really don't get it when people say they have a hard time breastfeeding. Let me explain before some of you get a little defensive...... I'm not saying you don't have a hard time and that you're making it sound worse. No way. I believe you. I know a number of mamas who have struggled big time with breastfeeding. Some ended up going the formula route, and some stuck with it (through some REALLY rough times, too!) and breastfed for quite a long time (so proud of those girls!!). What I am saying, though, is that I don't understand those struggles because I haven't been there; it's hard for me to know what it's like. I can't understand the frustration and the stress that goes along with it. It's just like anybody who hasn't nursed can't really understand the closeness and bonding that comes from breastfeeding. I think it's one of those things you have to experience to get - either way.

Maybe part of my love for nursing my boys has stemmed from how easy it was for us; I don't know. But I do know that it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced. Aiden is still a frequent nurser, always has been (frequent but fast), and we sit down many times each day for our nursing sessions. It's always so much fun and relaxing for me. He's quite the wiggler and gets distracted easily. He'll look up at me, play with my face, play with his feet, show me how the fan goes round and round (yes, while nursing), play with my hands - it's definitely an interactive time! As fun as it is most of the time, there are times when I can be heard saying..."Are you done Aiden? Or are you going to drink more milk??? Which is it?" (insert a tone with slight frustration and impatience). He hears a noise, sees someone walk by in another room, just about anything, and he has to turn to see what it is (sometimes without unlatching properly to do so...). But for the most part, breastfeeding is a wonderful time for us, even when he is being distracted.

Since Aiden has always been such a frequent nurser (as in it was just recently he started going up to three hours between nursing sessions; sometimes it's more frequent than that - sometimes it's longer), I've had to learn to plan things around breastfeeding. And I've had to get used to the idea of NIP/BIP (nursing/breastfeeding in public). You quickly learn how to do that without it hardly being noticed when you HAVE to do it so much. I know this can be a controversial topic, and many people have experience negative reactions to NIP/BIP. I really haven't. I have breastfed Aiden COUNTLESS times in public, and nobody has ever said anything to me or even given me a dirty look. One time I thought someone was giving me a look in a doctor's waiting room, but when we walked by after our name was called, the lady smiled at us, so I think it's safe to assume there was no dirty look. I don't have to nurse out in public as often now, but when we take our road trips or we are out for more than a few hours, it will be necessary. If I can go to a dressing area or the car or a more hidden area, I will do that. It's easier on everyone that way, especially with such an easily distracted baby! I used to use a nursing cover when Aiden was a newborn, but he will have nothing to do with that now, so we don't cover, but he is big enough to cover up anything that doesn't need to be seen by others (or I do have a hand I can use). It's never been a problem or much of an issue, really. I feel fortunate. I know of others that have had problems, but I also have heard wonderful stories from friends with great NIP/BIP experiences, including people telling them not to bother covering up that baby. Nursing is a natural and beautiful thing, and I'm thrilled when people treat it as such. If you're interested, here is something I saw recently (there are different versions online that I've seen - some have had the pictures removed by the websites, which is kind of sad...). It's comparing the reactions to NIP/BIP and the other ways we see breasts in our everyday media, etc... "Breastfeeding is Offensive" If this link doesn't work, I can post another that should.

On that note, here are some "offensive" pics of me nursing Aiden (obviously, I do not think they are offensive...and could you even tell for sure that I was nursing if I hadn't said so??).

Covered up in the early months...

Stopping to take a peek at Mommy

We even have to eat when we're at the beach!

Another part of me having to learn to be ok nursing in public is that Aiden never took a bottle. We tried a couple times, but when he wasn't into it at all, we didn't push it. It wasn't something we felt was necessary. I supplemented some when Camden was a baby because I worked very part time from the time he was three months old up to nine months old - and it wasn't enough time to stop and pump, so he would get a bottle. I've always wondered how much that contributed to my milk going away, even though "they say" you should be able to do that and have no problems. So with Aiden, I never supplemented, and we didn't push a bottle with breastmilk, either. I would rather be able to nurse him longer than have the convenience of using a bottle (which really isn't all that convenient compared to breastfeeding, in my opinion). Honestly, I don't like the idea of giving him formula at all. This was not a sacrifice to me.

We have room-shared since Aiden was born and began bed-sharing when he was about five months old to make it easier to nurse him at night, since he woke so often to feed (and still does). I haven't spent much time at all away from Aiden at all - how could I when I am his primary source of food? He does eat solids now (and boy does he like to eat!!), but that never really slowed down the breastfeeding much. So, yes, for Aiden's first year of life, my own life has pretty much revolved around breastfeeding. And that's ok. I'm doing what is best for him, I love doing it, my husband is in agreement; so there are no problems with it in our family. Even my older son is perfectly fine with me breastfeeding. The very first time he saw Aiden after the delivery, I was nursing Aiden, and Camden got wide eyes, and you could tell he was wondering if he should look away. I asked him what he thought about it, and he said he wasn't sure. I said - well, you're just going to have to get used to it because this is how he eats! And...that he did. Immediately. He knows this is just how babies eat, and there is nothing wrong with it and no need to feel embarrassed or worry about how to act/where to look. It's not an issue in our home, which is how it should be (for us). I even have some pictures that a friend took of me breastfeeding Aiden when he was around six months old. She took other pictures of just him, too, but the nursing ones are by far my favorite. They are BEAUTIFUL (if you want to see them, just let me know - I'm ok with sharing as long as they are not on the world wide web for all to see. I can send you the link to view them - they are not public if you just go to our photos, however.), and I am so thankful we have those pictures. To me, nursing is one of the best and most rewarding experiences in this entire world.

I think we've all heard the benefits of breastfeeding...
  • Healthier babies (less illness) in the present and long-run and in so many ways. I won't list them all - it's easy to get this info.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to be obese later in life
  • Breastfed babies' poop smells better/sweeter (well, it's true)
  • Smarter babies (research says it's just slightly so)
  • Faster weight loss for moms that nurse (get that baby weight off!)
  • Moms are at reduced risk for breast/uterine/ovarian cancer
  • Moms experience less postpartum depression
  • Saves money (formula is expensive, breastfeeding is free/cheap)
  • Ingredients are all natural and change to baby's nutritional needs throughout nursing
  • Helps babies attach to moms (and moms to babies)
  • Convenient - no fixing/washing/carrying bottles/formula/etc. Breastmilk is ready when needed!
There are more. Feel free to add in the comments. I'm just doing a quick run-down. I'm not going to mention all the research behind the benefits of breastfeeding to everyone. Just have little time right now. I will share a few websites that are interesting and have great information...

Kellymom.com - Articles/info are evidence-based; this website is often sited/recommended for gathering info on breastfeeding (and other topics)
Dr. Sears - Breastfeeding topics
WHO (World Health Organization) on Breastfeeding
World Breastfeeding Week 2009 - Going on THIS WEEK! I just happened to find this out as I was writing this. What great timing, huh? Any of you doing anything for this? There are events all around the world to celebrate/support it.

Share any other sites you think are worthwhile. There are many more out there, I know!

And...while I feel I have not done this topic justice in any way, this is all I am writing at the moment due to time constraints and a very huge to-do list for the day. I will post soon about the second-half of this topic...EXTENDED breastfeeding. Later today, so stay tuned!

Now it's your turn!! Remember the rules - no bashing and BE NICE. Post on blogger in the comments section. If you're reading via email or on facebook, there will be a link on the title of the post - click that to come to the blogger post and share your comments. Thanks for reading (and sharing!). Looking forward to seeing what others have to say.