Sunday Surf

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI’m joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!

For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.

Happy Surfing!

We’re down for the count around here. Other than the fact that I read 79 pages of text on evolution over 5 days (procrastination is not your friend!), we seem to have come down with whooping cough (or something similar). That means that all of my day is spent comforting poor Peanut who is not only coughing her brains out, but also vomiting for the first time. Regardless, keep your expectations low in terms of content for at least the next couple of weeks. Until then, I’m still reading! I wanted to share some of the most interesting/helpful things I’ve read over the last few weeks. Hopefully this gives you all some interesting things to read too!

  • Rebirth: The Things We Don’t Say from The Sage Mama. “A new self did emerge. This is what women do not tell each other. I want to say it here: You will die when you become a mother and it will hurt and it will be confusing and you will be someone you never imagined and then, you will be reborn.” Reading this has made me cry multiple times. So beautiful. So true.
  • Sh*t Crunchy Dads Say from Mama Natural. On a funnier note, this one made me laugh out loud. My husband even thought it was funny. Though they forgot to put “Look honey! There’s a crotch dangler!”
  • 10 Ways to Simplify Without Becoming a Minimalist from Small Notebook. I used the clean up to a song thing and it actually worked! So much so that Peanut asked me to do it in two more rooms! Might have had something to do with the fact that the songs we were playing were from the Tangled soundtrack. 😛
  • Club Unicorn: In which I come out of the closet on our ten year anniversary from The Weed. This isn’t a blog that I regularly read, but a friend posted it on Facebook and I found it to be fascinating. I won’t even begin to pretend I understand their situation, but I do think that sexuality is fluid. It’s not straight or gay or lesbian or bisexual. There’s a whole realm of in between. I’m not personally LDS, but I live in a state with a very high population of mormons, so I find that aspect of it interesting as well. It’s all about what works for you.
  • It Happened. Even If You Didn’t See It On Facebook. from The Minimalist Mom. While I do keep my Facebook account, I am making an effort to not share every little detail of our lives with the whole world. It’s actually refreshing. Facebook can be a wonderful place to keep in touch with those who we don’t get to see often, but it bothers me when people start using Facebook in place of face-to-face interaction. Family members that haven’t met Twig in person telling other people how cute she is, friends who won’t text me back “liking” my statuses. I just get tired of it. So, I choose to “keep some of the beauty in [my] life all to [myself]”.
  • Homemade Cough and Cold Syrup from Modern Alternative Mama. This one is particularly useful to us as Peanut is coughing so hard that she throws up. Honestly, she’s just throwing up too, but still. Awful coughs are awful. I’m making some of this as I type (Don’t worry. I’m not that talented. It’s just simmering.) and I’m excited to use it. Also, if you haven’t read her vaccine series, you should. It starts here. It’s a wonderful consolidation of information and she’s very thorough on her sourcing. No fact or number goes without a source. Very, very useful.

Happy Sunday and happy reading! Hopefully we’ll soon return to the world of the well and I’ll find time to post more frequently again!

Advertisements

Zinny Jane Wool Soaker Review and Giveaway! Ending 4.29 Worldwide!

We had A LOT of problems with Peanut and diaper rash. She spent so much of her first two years with actual open sores on her bum that I’m surprised that she doesn’t have scars. We did everything we were supposed to do to both prevent and get rid of rash. Plenty of airing-out time, wiping with water only, cloth diapers, etc. When all of that didn’t work, we ended up getting various creams from the doctor, which still didn’t do much. Eventually the rash would go away, just to turn around and come back for virtually no reason. Even when the open sores weren’t there, she always was pink.

Without a medical degree or testing this at all, since it only occurred to me in hindsight, I think it might have been the lack of breathability of her diapers. Especially at night.

This realization made me want to use more breathable diapers on Twig when she came. I also needed something that I could easily remove for elimination communication. After reading this post by Hobo Mama on prefolds and That Mama Gretchen’s Wool Week posts, I decided that was the route I wanted to go. I started in search of prefolds and wool covers.

That’s when I stumbled upon Zinny Jane on Etsy.

This lovely woman knits the cutest wool soakers in the world! I’ve been using the small one she sent me in combination with other covers and I have to say, it’s by far my favorite. It is absolutely darling. I know that soakers generally go under clothes, but I often find myself putting Twig in this one with leggings just because it is So. Frickin’. Cute.

And it’s not just cute. It’s really well knit. Knowing some about knitting myself, I can recognize a plain pattern versus an intricate one. This one has special ribbing in all the right places rather than just around the legs and middle. It has different colors of yarn used for the stripes, but I’ve had zero problem with the seams leaking or anything of that sort. It’s all perfectly the same tension and it’s really tightly weaved. I’ve heard others say that they can’t use knit covers for nighttime, only felted will do. This one has had zero issue, even with me finding out the other day that I had only partially been lanolizing my wool (I was using wool wash with lanolin, but not any pure lanolin). Zero leaks even when her prefold is literally sopping in every square centimeter. And, teamed with a stay dry liner, very little pink rash.

Beyond that, it’s super easy to clean. Twig has monster poops. She only poops once or twice a day, rather than the probably 4-5 times Peanut used to when she was this age, and she definitely makes up for it all at once. I’ve seriously tried Every. Single. Fold. that is supposed to contain breastfed baby poop, but it still gets on the covers (any tips or ideas on this would be great!). If you use wool, you know how much of a pain it is for poop to get on the wool. You can’t just throw wool in the washing machine, you have to hand wash it. Some of my wool covers seem to just hold the poop in. I spend upwards of 2 minutes scrubbing to get it all out of the fibers, which is difficult when Twig is screaming to be picked up and Peanut is screaming to be played with. This cover has it all come off instantly and there’s zero staining, even in the off-white colored yarn. It’s awesome! And it dries quick too!

Beyond that, Molly, the owner of Zinny Jane, is amazing. She spent quite a few messages back and forth with me explaining what to measure, how to measure it, and what sizes would be best. Since Twig is such a huge baby (13 lbs 13 oz at 9 weeks!), she sent me two covers to review! One small and one medium. How nice is that??! I know how much time and effort goes into knitting a project, so in my mind that gives her extra props. Honestly, I wish I owned more of them even. I just love this soaker so much! I’m sure that I’ll be talking my husband into getting some more soon.

So do any of you want to win a wool soaker?! You can! (make sure to leave a comment for each entry!)

*Mandatory*  1 entry – Go check out Zinny Jane’s Etsy store and tell me which product is your favorite in a comment! (don’t forget to include your email in your first entry so I can contact you if you win!)

1 entry – follow me on Twitter. If you already follow, you still get an entry!

1 entry – Tweet about this giveaway (leave a link to the tweet in the comment). You can tweet about this giveaway once every day for an entry. That’s up to 31 entries just from tweeting!

2 entries (make 2 separate comments) – follow this blog by RSS or email.  If you already follow, you still get an entry!

2 entries – become a fan of The Adventures of Lactating Girl on Facebook. If you’re already a fan, you still get an entry!

2 entries – become a fan of Zinny Jane on Facebook. If you’re already a fan, you still get an entry!

1 entries – Write a post on your Facebook page about this giveaway! Make sure you link to The Adventures of Lactating Girl on Facebook in the post and leave a comment here each time you do it. You can do it once per day! That’s up to 31 entries!

4 entries – blog about this contest (leave a link the comment). Once per giveaway.

This contest is worldwide. The winner will be chosen on Sunday, April 29th at 5PM Mountain Standard Time by random. The winner will be emailed and must respond to the email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck everyone!

Minimalism and Organization

I am slowly, but surely, learning that I am not a person who lives well in chaos.

Somehow regardless of that fact, I’ve grown up a very cluttery person. I’ve never been one to keep trash or dirt around, but I’ve just always had so many things that my areas would be cluttered with stuff. I emphasize those words because that’s what I really valued for such a long time. I’ve grown up using “retail therapy”, buying things I don’t need, and spending more than my means. I’ve known for a long time that this is a problem because—having such a frugal husband—it has caused arguments and unhappiness in my marriage. Little did I know, it has also been causing unhappiness in my life.

Not to say my husband isn’t part of my life. Of course, he is a very important part of my life. What I’m saying here is that I’m not a happy person when surrounded by things. There are certain items that are necessary for living or that make life better, but—at least in my world—there are many things that are just unnecessary and adding stress to my life.

I was turned onto the idea of minimalism when reading this post by Hobo Mama. If Hobo Mama introduced me to the idea, The Minimalist Mom gave me the road map to get there. There’s more to minimalism than the lack of stuff, but it’s a mind-set. It’s buying less. It’s reducing your carbon footprint. It’s having a clear mind. It’s increasing your self sustainability. For me, it’s being at peace.

I’ve been reading through The Minimalist Mom’s blog (which I very much recommend doing) to get ideas and inspiration, but a lot of it is just finding out what I need to work on. I’ve already gone through my clothes, my shoes, my bags, Peanut’s old clothes, Peanut’s toys, my {intensely large} pen and pencil collection, my books, and I’m sure there’s more I can’t remember at the moment.

I figured it would be hard. I figured I would start regretting losing my possessions as soon as I put them into plastic bags. Surprisingly, it’s been incredibly gratifying and {gasp} has made me happier.

When I say that I used to rely on retail therapy, I am far from using that as a cliche. In our most recent money argument, my husband went as far as to say I’m a “shopoholic.” Really, he hit it right on the money. I’ve used buying things as my “hobby” for as long as I can remember. I thought that I just enjoyed buying things and had problems saving. Hindsight, of course, is 20-20, and now I realize that it’s how I spent money was the problem. I would buy something new and make myself feel better short-term, but almost instantaneously I would start to feel bad again, so I would covet something else. I became so reliant upon the cyclic spending that I would actually start to feel sad if I didn’t spend money.

I can’t say that I won’t ever fall back into my habits, but I feel like I have an amazing new view on my financial habits. I realize that so much of my self worth is tied into my possessions and that’s not healthy. So much of my time is spent buying things, wanting things, managing my life around things and so little is spent on just making lasting memories. I took my dog to the park today. I played with my daughter on the floor. I wrote two blog posts. I made lunch and dinner. I lived.

So even as I take trash bags full of things to sell at consignment stores or give to good will or throw in the recycling/trash, I feel happier. I feel a burden lifted from my shoulders because I don’t feel like all the stuff surrounding me is going to eat me up. I feel less stressed about going to this store and that store and cleaning my house. You know what? My house is actually clean. It’s an incredibly easy thing to do as you decrease the amount of stuff to clean and/or work around when cleaning.

It’s easy to find things to let go of too. Do I need to keep purses that I will never be able to use because being a mom requires you carry too many things? Does my daughter really need to keep the toys that are pull-your-hair-out annoying or broken or she never touches? We have yet to go through any of my husband’s things because he’s not comfortable with that, but that’s just it—don’t do more than you’re comfortable with.

Some minimalists don’t have a TV. Some live in studio apartments as a family of 3 or 4. Some live with a total of 100 things. These are things that won’t work for me. Getting rid of books that I will never read again, that I’m okay with. That, I’m actually happy with.