Saturday, August 31, 2013

Just Peachy: Dessert Recipe Round Up

This week I bought a case of peaches...and kind of ended up with more than I can handle! But that's a good problem to have right?

So I spend an afternoon canning half of the case by using this tutorial from Make it Do. Super easy to follow for the novice canner without any extra special ingredients or tools. Just jars, water, sugar, peaches, big ole pot of water. Lots of time. Do it - you will be happy you did!

But I'm still left with a ton of peaches, and there's only so many times per week that I can make my super secret peach cobbler and still feel good about my self image. So I talked to some of my bloggy friends and they all shared their peachy recipes for me pass on to you! How nice!

So go ahead and pin this list round up and keep it around for the next couple weeks while peaches are in season and cheap. You'll be glad you did! And when you do try any of them out, be sure to let me know what you though! (And of course, give the author some love too!)

This isn't from a blog, but I tried these skillet pork chops with peaches from McCormick. I try to avoid copious amounts of salt, so I cut it down to 1/2 tsp of Lawry's.

A few ideas from The Pierogie Mama's kitchen:
Freeze slices on a cookie sheet to have for smoothies for the rest of the year
Puree / Mash up left over pieces and put them in a reusable baby/toddler food pouch.
---Like a Yummi Pouch - enter to win a pack here!---
Mix with finely milled oatmeal, yogurt, applesauce, roasted sweet potatoes or bananas! 
Got a recipe to share? Link up in the comments!

Friday, August 30, 2013

I'm thankful for breastfeeding through my first trimester

Welcome to the August 2013 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Breastfeeding 

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. This month our participants have written about breastfeeding. We hope you enjoy this month's posts and consider joining us next month when we share about breastfeeding.


Rewind to last month. I was 8 weeks pregnant. I was tired. Nauseous. But to my 16 month old daughter, it was another normal day - filled with anticipation of adventure and activity.

She was living up the excitement of summer and down to one nap a day - at 10 am. It's too early in the day for my mind to rest, so I resigned myself to the couch to watch mediocre shows or make a weak attempt to blog. I had zero inspiration and at the time hadn't shared about our pregnancy openly so I was drawing a blank on what to write.

It felt like every minute drawing by was an eternity. I knew I should eat. I wanted to eat. But nothing sounded good, I felt the urge to gag at foods that I normally loved. My cravings would come quickly and would have to be satisfied within 20 minutes, or I'd run the risk of turning my nose at it.

When my husband came home I'd sneak away to take a quick 20 minute power nap. But between working hours, Penny and I are running at full force.

My saving grace during the day? I continued to nurse Penny. Neither one of us were ready to wean and weaning because life could be easier for me just wasn't an option. That's not how I parent. The 15-20 minute breaks became such a welcome respite for this nauseated, tired mama. It ensured that when our meals are lacking in my normal exuberance, I knew at least she's getting what she needs. It kept us connected when otherwise I had such a lackluster attitude towards playing that I felt like a borderline bad mom.

...Thankfully, the 12 week mark was a turning point and mama is back in action! Hang in there, first trimester mamas. It'll get better.

Here's a couple resources to share..

Are you a currently pregnant & breastfeeding mama? Tandem veteran? Share your stories in the comments - I'd love to hear them! And you just might be getting a message from me in 6 months when I've welcomed Pierogie #2 and am fanangaling the art of nursing two kids..


Visit Living Peacefully with Children and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in next month's Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon August 30 with all the carnival links.)
    APBC - Authentic Parenting
  • Breastfeeding During the First Trimester - Bianca from The Pierogie Mama shares her experience of continuing to breastfeed her 17 month old daughter through the first trimester of her second pregnancy.
  • Night Weaning a Four Year Old - Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she successfully and gently night weaned her 4 year old daughter this year and how that lead to full weaning on her daughter's terms just this month.
  • Honoring Low Supply Moms with Breastfeeding Support - As a low supply mom, Mandy has worked hard to make as much milk as possible and to give her children the closest thing to CLW. At Living peacefully with Children, she shares her frustrations concerning the use of low supply moms in the attacks against sharing breastfeeding information and support.
  • Vulvar Itching (Pruritis) and Breastfeeding: Atrophic Vaginitis -At Authentic Parenting, Laura writes about a little known condition tied to breastfeeding that can truly mess up your day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I've got more important things to do besides wait on my laundry: Woolzies

Have you ever experienced the awesomeness of wool dryer balls? Their awesomeness goes beyond gaining you crunchy mama points, you know.

  • By adding a pack of 6 Woolzies wool dryer balls to your dryer, you can reduce the drying time to about 25%. Me - I've got a dozen. I hate running the dryer and am experimenting with how many balls is too many balls before they don't make an impact on dryer time anymore. Today I washed and dried our sheets which normally takes a couple hours for our king sized stuff (along with stopping, untangling and removing already dried parts)- and it was done in less than an hour!!
  • When you save money on energy, you also save money on buying fabric softener. That's because the dryer balls are karate chopping and kneading your fabrics into submission.
  • Wool allergy? Don't worry - it's not an issue with wool dryer balls. The wool isn't touching your skin and the fibers don't shed.
Check them out online, Facebook and Twitter...
Keep an eye out for a giveaway for a pack of Woolzies Wool Dryer balls 

from The Pierogie Mama in October!

I received a pack of Woolzies Wool Dryer Balls for free using
Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


Yummi Yummi Yummi in Penny's Tummy! Yummi Pouch Review and Giveaway

What is always in my bag when I leave the house with my toddler?

It's not diapers. It's not a change of clothes.
It's food.
Can I get an 'amen' ?!

Penny's favorite snack lately has been yogurt or applesauce. But she's not to the point of self feeding... how can I put this...cleanly? ;)

Whether at home or on the go we use our Yummi Pouches for filling with gooey goodness like applesauce, different flavors of yogurt, finely milled oatmeal and even mashed potatoes (extra smooth and with extra cream to help make it more squishable). There's tons of other fillings you can try - any pureed fruit or veggie would work perfectly! I sometimes peruse the baby food aisle at the grocery store to get ideas of what to make at home ;) Check out my Pouch Food Pinterest Board for other ideas too!

My favorite part about Yummi Pouches is the rectangular shape. They are easy to clean (the main reason why I ditched other brands) and are easy for Penny to hold.
They also feature:
  • an expandable bottom so that you can stand them up
  • a wide ziplock opening at the top
  • a 6 oz capacity
  • BPA and Phthalate free
  • dishwasher and freezer safe

Are you ready to win some Yummi goodness? Yummi Pouch has generously agreed to offer 2 prizes! 
The first prize will be their Little Munchkin Set (shown above)
  • Set of 6 Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches
  • 16oz filling funnel pitcher
  • 10 dishwasher safe name label stickers
  • 2 decorative dishwasher safe sticker sheets
  • 6 mixed color extra pouch caps
And a second prize of 6 pack of Yummi Pouches.

This giveaway is over - thanks to all for entering! 
Keep an eye out for more Pierogie Mama Giveaways.

Disclosure: Thank you, Yummi Pouch, for providing The Pierogie Mama with free product to review. 
I received no other compensation and all words and opinions are my own. Participating bloggers Ramblings of Mama and Found Frolicking are not responsible for prize fulfillment. 

Would you like your product or service be featured on The Pierogie Mama? 
I'd love to chat! Send me an email and we'll discuss details :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What to do when your kids are bored - Guest post by Charis by Design

Guess what I'm doing today? You got it. Tearing apart my house. Today I'd like to welcome Dannellys from Charis by Design. She shares great activities to do with your kids that can be done inside or outside when they are needing some new direction. 

What to do when your kids are bored? 
Summer is coming to an end and so are all the fun activities of playing in the pool, park, and eating BBQ.  It was raining all day yesterday and my little ones were just dying to go outside and play.  What could I possibly do to keep the kids entertained? I literally sat down and started thinking of games that I used to play when I was a kid; so why not have them do the same?  If you are looking for ideas on what to do, then here is a few things that I have done in the past with my kids that they have enjoyed.
1. Finger painting is always my favorite.  It’s a time when you see their little imagination come to life.  My little ones can stay there for hours if you let them.  Don’t worry about the mess until after they are finished.  Otherwise, they will not enjoy themselves if you are always concerned about them spilling paint on the floor.  Just make sure to place newspapers everywhere and use washable paint; and you will see how much fun they have playing.
2. Building their own little home.  For his birthday, he got a cardboard house where he can actually draw on the house itself and they both loved it.  He loved to write on it but she loved playing house.  We brought snacks, drinks, and flashlights.  They were so excited about having their own little home.
3.  Drawing with chalks on the sidewalk.  They had so much fun writing on the sidewalk and just drawing whatever they wanted.  It was fun to see them get excited over alphabets and numbers. 
4.  Making music together.  My kids absolutely love music so when I was able to get a hold of a guitar and maracas it was like celebrating Christmas in the Summer.  They were singing and dancing and just being silly.  It was great to see them create their own music and to see them make up songs. 
5.  Collecting leaves or flowers is always fun when we go on little walks.  They are always fascinated with leaves, rocks, and flowers; so why not let them pick them up and make a project out of it.  You can just take whatever leaves or flowers were collected and glue them to a piece of paper.  That could be their artwork for the day.
6.  Spotlight your kids and see how well they perform.  My kids love to put on a show for mommy and daddy.  My son is all about putting on a magic show or playing an instrument.  And my daughter is about dancing and singing so let them perform for you and see how well they do under the spotlight.
7.  Cooking together makes magic.  Whenever I feel like baking, I always involve my kids.  They love to help mommy cook.  It’s just so much fun to put the ingredients together and seeing how it tastes after it is finished.
8.  Playing with boxes can really come in handy.  These boxes can be used to push them around or just pretend that they are climbing into a rocket ship. 
9.  Write your own book.  This can be so exciting because they always have lots of stories to tell. To be able to write it down and have their own book, makes them feel special. 
10.  Reading a book together.  At the end of the day, I always like to finish with reading a story.  It’s the best part of my day when I get to sit down with them and talk about the whole day and share a great story.  That’s the best way to end a day in my book, lol!
Kids that are under five have so much imagination and so much to say.  This is the best time to enjoy them and cuddle with them when you can.  I like to do simple things with them because they really do enjoy the simple things in life.  Parenting can be complicated but if you really take the time to listen to your kids then it can get a little easier.  Enjoy the rest of your summer!

About me:
My name is Dannellys Rosario and I am the creator of Charis by Design.  I want to take the time to share a little bit about myself.  I worked as a Marketer for a Fashion Magazine and Assistant Buyer to two well-known Fashion Companies.  I am a mother of two and married to a loving husband.
I created this blog to be an inspiration to those that have faced the same questions and challenges that I have personally experienced.  It could be a range of topics anywhere from being a mom, fashion, celebrities, life, arts, culture, health and more.  I want to share everything that I love!
Hope you enjoy my blog at

Monday, August 26, 2013

{Under Construction} Flooring and Paint

Don't want to miss out on any of our renovation shenanagins? 
Click here for a full list of my posts on it!
This past week has been a whirlwind of changes in the house.

Let's start out with the most obvious, shall we?

There's no carpet.

Ps- There's no way you've missed that ceiling, right? 

Someone spent a lot of effort on this ceiling. But it's not our style so it'll be painted over shortly. There's a few other murals throughout the house that I'll have to post on here before they get erased.

Last weekend we had a mini-demolition party where my father in law, step dad and Adam tore out the carpet. It was the major culprit behind the stink in the house and once removed, 99% of the odors were gone. The blue tape you see on the floor is where the island will be, and off to the right marked off for our kitchen booth that Adam is going to build.

You can also see that we're missing a few cabinets to the right of the sink - that used to jut out at a 90 degree angle as a little peninsula. We decided that we'd prefer for a run of cabinets to continue along the wall to the french doors, as the little peninsula would get in the way of the flow of the kitchen with the addition of the island.

My step dad also did an amazing job at whipping the yard into shape. The man has a talent. It didn't seem to look that bad when he started, but after a weekend of mowing, weeding and pruning - I don't know how I didn't see it all before. Hidden within the weeds we discovered that I have 3 blueberry bushes, 2 apple trees and a pear tree. Yipee!

After the carpet was torn out, Adam's next move was continuing to build the half wall that will support the raised bar on the island. We used this same concept for our peninsula in our previous remodel so this is turn key for him. He'll be rewiring a little bit to give the island power and routing in plumbing for a small prep sink as well. Gosh, my man is handy.

While he's been working on the big projects, I help with whatever support tasks I can. I had the distinct pleasure in pulling out the staples that were used to keep the pad from shifting under the carpet. That meant about 4 hours of using needle nosed pliers to pull up individual staples. Can't say it was the most glamorous work, but this is one of the biggest ways we save money in carpet replacement - tear out the carpet ourselves and prep the floor for the installers. This time we're working with a wholesaler that keeps large amounts of carpet in stock so we will not have to worry about lead time (last time we went through Lowe's because we thought it was the easiest option, and ended up waiting almost a month for the carpet to simply arrive!).

My other supportive task was to mask off for paint and finish the tiling project that Adam got started for our front entryway.
It originally had a laminate entryway that was demolished from years of abuse. We like tile better and overall the investment for 30 sq ft of tile was about $40. We chose a non-descript almond colored tile from Lowe's and I went for dark grout, which I'm really happy with. The last time we tiled an entry way we matched the grout to the color of the tile (similar to what we have chosen this time), and over the course of a winter the beige colored grout became dingy and no longer uniform, no matter how much I scrubbed. So this time around I decided to be head of the game and make it dark so that we don't have that issue again ;)

Another big project for Adam that will continue throughout the next couple weeks is the hardwood situation in the kitchen and breakfast nook area. Here's what we started out with.
The original hardwood was really beaten up, and in some areas needed boards to be replaced. Unfortunately no one keep unfinished hardwood in stock, so we found some finished oak at Lowe's that was as close of a match as we could get. The most important part was that the the tongue and groove (how the boards fit together) matches up. The biggest pain was that Adam would have to still strip away the finish of the new and the original hardwood, because when we refinish the entire floor we need the old and new to be as uniform as we can get it. It's easier to sand down the new stuff and refinish everything in whatever finish we want versus try to find a finish that will get the original wood to match the new hardwood. Capish?

So here's a comparison of the original vs replacement boards.

So after a day and a half of sanding, we have this:

Looks mostly uniform, but we're not allowing it to bother us too much when there's some really different pieces because we appreciate the uniqueness of it all :)

Adam's final accomplishment of the weekend was that he got started on painting the rooms. The last time we painted we rolled everything on. We had huge entry way that had a crazy 19 ft ceiling and almost all of the rooms had 9 foot ceilings. Everything was rolled on. In the interest of A) our sanity B) time and C) that I can't really help because I can't paint with Penny around, we opted for a paint gun. And after working out a few glitches, Adam was able to get a coat of paint down in about 15 minutes per room! Sweet! Totally worth the investment.

So that's the state of the house in the 10 days of us owning it. >.<

Friday, August 23, 2013

Milk Makers Lactation Cookies Giveaway with More Than Mommy

This post was originally published in collaboration with MilkMakers & More Than Mommy

MilkMakers are cookies that help to promote a mother's milk supply while nursing.Not only are the nutritious, but they are delicious as well! 

The ingredients are organic and nut free.
You can read a full review from Renae at More Than Mommy HERE.

One lucky winner is going to receive their choice of MilkMakers
or BumpBoosters (for expecting mamas!).

This giveaway is over - thanks to all for entering! 
Keep an eye out for more Pierogie Mama Giveaways.

The Pierogie Mama is not responsible for prize shipment. Must be 18 years or older and within the United States. The winner will be notified via email. They will have 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be chosen. This giveaway will run until 11:59 Sept. 2, 2013.

Monthly Its: Aug

This month I want to introduce to you StarGazer soaps - some beautifully awesome delicious smelling soaps that I will be writing about (and giving away!!) in the coming weeks. Check out her youtube page for some fun videos on how she makes her beautiful soaps. Each one is unique - you won't find soaps like these anywhere else!

My name is Nicole, and I am a soap maker! 
I began making soap to try to save my family some money.  As a busy stay at home mom of 5, every penny counts!  While doing my research, I learned all about commercial soap, and what they put in it.  This reaffirmed my decision to make my own soap.  I didn't want my children bathing in chemicals.  I didn't count on how much I would fall in love with soaping.  When I make soap, it is always a surprise.  Each bar is unique, and one of a kind.  Since I began soaping, I have never looked back.  I couldn't imagine spending money on commercial soap again.
From my family to yours, 
we hope you love our soap as much as we do!

Nicole Farrell, Owner & Creator

Ok some of my favorite posts from the last few weeks:

You read about my experience with bed sharing (and how we're transitioning to more independent sleep with night weaning), here is a story from another mama who's family of 4 cosleeps.

Tantrums are no fun. Penny has started to simply drop to the floor in defiance, but there are times where her frustration comes out in angry, swinging hits. These 6 tips for gentle responses to these big feelings are a great way to help calm our little ones.

Did you have a special evening every week that was reserved for family dinners? The older I get, the more I really appreciate them for what they are. As Penny grows, I hope that we can arrange for extended family dinners once a month, so that she and her cousins can reconnect on a less formal basis that holiday dinners.

Oh em gee - Pizza braids! Check out my homemade pizza pinterest board for some pinspiration :)

Finally, who can resist an easy Pioneer Woman recipe? Cinnamon crisps are an anytime snack in my book, but how about dessert for the next taco night?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Jelly Strands Review

Happy World Breastfeeding Month :) 3 cheers for nursing 17 months strong!

That being said, nursing an active toddler is not always easy. Lately Miss Penny has been experimenting with acrobatics while nursing - if she isn't tired. Or pulling on my hair, bangs, tapping on my nose (which leads to giggles) and other distracted shenanagins. I normally don't wear necklaces anymore because of their distractibility (and destructibility), but decided that for once and for all I'd give a nursing necklace a try. My broken hair strands beg for it.

So I decided to give Jelly Strands a try. For the moment, the wiggles are taking a break during our nursing sessions and this mama can have some peace!  She twirls her fingers around the beads or squishes them between her fingers. When we're not nursing, Penny likes to wear the necklace herself and chew on it. The beads size is just right for her to stick in the back of her mouth and gum on as her 4th molar is still attempting to make its presence.  The beads are made of food grade silicone and are dishwasher safe.

Want a set of your own? Jelly Strands is offering The Pierogie Mama readers free shipping! Just enter code "FreeShip13" when checking out. Be sure to keep up on facebook to get all the great deals!

I received a Jelly Strands "Kate" for free using Tomoson.comRegardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Best Anniversary Gift: Our Pierogie #2

On July 4th, Adam and I celebrated 4 years of marriage. I joked with him that morning that it should be our "golden" anniversary (after all, I celebrate "golden" birthdays - and this year happens to be my year!).  We were down visiting my parents for the long weekend and got them to babysit while we went out for a late lunch.

While lunching (and honestly, eating at my own pace..), I began to discuss with him about how I've felt "off" the last couple weeks, that my body just seems different and that I'm a little more tired than usual. I chalked it up to simply another readjustment in parenting life as well as settling further into my mama body. What was lingering in my mind was that my period was a little over a week late. But I had ignored it for the last 7 days, as my cycle had only recently returned (after a wonderful 25 month hiatus due to pregnancy with Penny and postpartum!) and the length of the cycles were still off.  Nonetheless, this little nagging feeling kept creeping up in my mind and we decided to stop at the store to pick up some random things we were needing, and a pregnancy test.

Of course I couldn't just wait to take it at home! So pretty much right after checkout I made a beeline to the bathroom and did my business. Less than 30 seconds later, I saw that I am going to be a new mommy again!

A biiig squeal of delight escaped my lips, and a shit eating grin painted on my face as I gathered everything and washed my hands. Another mom saw me, with the box balanced on the sink, and gave me an all knowing smile and reassuring nod.

We are so excited to embark on this new journey as second time parents and renovators. It's all coming together very quickly and so far without a hitch - and we are hoping this continues (though aren't kidding ourselves!).

Pierogie #2's due date is March 4th. Penelope was born on March 3. We'll see if Penelope will be sharing a birth day. Here's a recap of why I call my pre-born babies "Pierogie."

Friday, August 16, 2013

And so it begins..

Starting yesterday, we have 22 days between the closing date on our new house and the end of our lease. 22 days to strip carpet, refinish hardwood, paint the interior, design and install a new kitchen island (complete with plumbing), make some minor changes to the footprint of the kitchen and finally.. actually move in! All without hiring any contractors. Can we do it?

Not to waste any time, we started work immediately. I began work on prepping the windows for paint - they had not been cleaned in such a long time that the caulking around the edges had turned black and were mostly water damaged. Scraping is the name of my game. Adam began the demolition of the pantry that is in the middle of the main living area. The house originally featured a fireplace in that spot (?), but the previous owners decided to change that into a pantry. My wish is to have a much more open floor plan where I can see the living room and breakfast nook from my perch in the kitchen so we decided to remove the pantry, build a bitchen island and rearrange other cabinets to create some food storage.

This weekend we'll be tearing up the carpet and prepping the kitchen for renovation.

Follow along as I share about our new adventure as second time renovators. I've also teamed up with a group of awesome bloggers who will be guest posting here - we have a great mix of recipes, family tips and DIY projects.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Polish Apple Pancakes #Wordlesswednesday

Growing up, these were called simply "placki" (platz-ki), which means pancake - but the real name is placki z jablkami (apple pancakes - platz-ki z yab-calm-y).  Forgive the horrible mix of phone and actual camera photos.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A New Mama's Tale for Nursing On The Go {re-run}

Welcome to the 2013 World Breastfeeding Week! Below is a story I'd like to share from when Penny was 2 months old and our experience with learning how to nurse in public. 

Last year, Penny and I took a family trip across the country from the Pacific Northwest to the Gulf Coast for my brother's college graduation from the University of Alabama. Penelope had just turned 2 months old. This was my first vacation with the little one, and unfortunately my husband wasn't able to make it due to work. Luckily I have the great support of my parents, and we were accompanied by my other brother and SIL + 8 month old nephew (bottle fed, I'll explain in a bit why I make the distinction). After the 'Bama graduation we drove to Pensacola, Florida for a week on the beach. Pretty amazing vacation, but definitely tiring! Even with the extra help from family, managing this little miss for a trip of this proportion had a little bit of coordinating to do - specifically when it came to feeding her.  Penelope is exclusively breastfed and in her first 2 months I had only nursed in public a few times. Although I became more and more confident each time I did it, this vacation opened my eyes to what feeding my baby on the go really means.

For starters, I'll give the disclaimer that the entire reason why I had any trouble because the most efficient way for me to nurse Penelope at the time was by using the football hold, which is not the most "travel friendly" hold. We were able to do cradle and cross cradle just fine, but football hold keeps nursing to 20 min per side, while any other hold is upwards of 40 minutes. Not sure why. In a restaurant, park or other public area, this is not functional for me.
This was a fairly low key trip, with visits to the beach and a little bit of sightseeing. But everything was accompanied with nursing session, or three. Here's some of the situations we found ourselves in:
  • In a restaurant: still haven't mastered the whole eating while nursing thing, especially since I'm such a novice at cradle/cross cradle.
  • At the beach: during the hottest part of the day, both of us are already uncomfortable and now to stick my little one's head under a cover and eat. We did what we could to keep air moving around under the cover, but there was not much to be done. Now this 17 month veteran BF'ing mama would have no problem discreetly nursing without a cover, but back then it was still very much a production and I was concerned about my privacy. And trying to do this while sitting on a sandy towel, and the empty beach loungers close by look so enticing but are a whopping $25/hour.
    Here's a little aside: why do I need to concern myself with a nursing cover on the beach where 90% of the women out there are showing more cleavage than I am?!
  • On the airplane: I nursed her at take off and landing in order to help with her acclimation to change in air pressure. It worked great. But trying to fanangle this in a coach seat? Almost impossible! Luckily I sat next to my mom and we just put the arm rest up to give me more room.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love nursing my baby. I am committed to breastfeeding as long as she wants, and don't intend to keep nursing an "at home only" event. But in each of these little scenarios, I also watched my SIL whip out a bottle for her son with ease and fed him in no time flat, with little fuss and no muss about silly covers and ways to hold her child. Not going to lie, as I fumbled once with getting Penelope into a comfortable position where I tried football hold while sitting at a picnic table, I got jealous. I thought about how much easier my life would be to get Penny on the bottle with milk from mama. I just hadn't introduced the bottle in time for this vacation. Note: On the contrary, not having to deal with bottles is AMAZING! I never did end up giving her a bottle. The only way Penny gets milk is directly from me - which again, this seasoned mama wouldn't have it any other way. 
Oh and the stares I got! I am positive that breastfeeding is no more out of the ordinary in Florida than it is in Washington State, but I certainly got a few looks from "the hot babes" on the beach and even was admonished by a man at graduation while I nursed with a cover - "miss, you can't be cold on a day like this!" After my confused look, it clicked for him and he says, "oh, is there a child under there?" Why, yes, there is! "I've never seen a woman breastfeed in public." And he walks away, chuckling at what I'm sure is the darndest thing he had seen that day.
But, even if I had been on the ball and started giving her a bottle in preparation for this trip, there's a few reasons why I still would have chosen to nurse her on this trip instead of having the convenience of a bottle.
  • I wanted to be able to give her the emotional comfort of nursing while we're in a strange new environment (and certainly new climate!). Even though we were on the go a whole lot more than we are at home, she at least got the consistency of the breast.
  • In terms of nutritional value, breastfeeding gives the highest source of nutrients. Makes sense, its the freshest way, right?
  • Lastly I didn't have to worry about all the accessories that comes with bottle feeding. Pumps, bottles, ensuring supply, cool packs, the ability to warm a bottle after being kept cool, etc. When the time comes, I pull out my cover and away we go. My SIL, despite the convenience of the bottle, would find that she can't find little Zeke's bottles because they were moved around, or she ran out of juice/formula/water.
So although I've battled the silliness of finding a comfortable position in skinny booths, jumped in shock in mid sentence when she chomped down a little too hard, had to cut feedings short because it was time to go (and consequently ended up having to nurse more often!) and dealt with feeling like I'm sweating all over my child, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Because above all that, I had the happiest baby on this trip. No night-time crying or fussing, and a perfect angel during the day. I can't say that the entire reason behind this stellar behavior is because of nursing, but I'd like to think that my choice in consistency versus convenience did make a difference.

What was your experience with taking your little one out on a big trip for the first time? 

Do you have any funny stories or tips to share? 

This post was originally published on A Little Bit of All of It.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bear's First Birthday Bash prize giveaway

Welcome to Bear’s First Birthday Bash! Hosted by Spit Up is the New Black

Ashley over at Spit Up is the New Black is celebrating that big mom milestone – her little Bear is turning one this month! To celebrate, she’s gathered together a group of amazing brands that offer wonderful products perfect to kick start a little one’s special second year (where did the first year go?!). I am excited to be partnering with her to offer one lucky reader a prize suite valued at $680!

#BearsBdayBash Prize Suite

  • For the car – Is that car seat carrier getting a little heavy? It just might be time for a convertible car seat (rear facing is still recommended until age 2) and the Combi Coccoro Convertible Car Seat is a great choice!
  • For those first steps – Before you know it, she’ll be running around! For those first steps, Pediped has a line of shoes called Originals. The Pediped Originals Betty – Silver shoes feature leather soles for ultimate flexibility (if the winner has a boy, he/she may select a boy version).
  • For the outdoors – The cream of the crop of children’s folding chairs, the Kelsyus Go With Me Chair is perfect for kiddos ages 3 months through 75 pounds!
  • For the first (or second) birthday – Looking for that special way to commemorate your child’s birthday? Petite Lemon will personalize a birthday t-shirt or bodysuit with your child’s name.
  • For dress up – Looking for a prop for your little girl’s first birthday photos, or are you starting to fill up the closet with dress-up clothes? Oh So Pretty Designs makes adorable custom baby tutus and headbands and is giving away a set!
  • For meal time – Sick of the sticky high chairs when going out to eat? The guzzie+Guss Perch Hanging High Chair comes with a travel bag and just slides onto the table (great for Grandma’s house too!)
  • For the tummy – Have a picky eater? Can’t get in the vegetables and fruits he needs each day? The winner of this prize suite will receive two (2) Gourmet Baby Squoosh Samplers. Each pouch delivers one full serving of fruit and vegetables with no added sugar or salt.
  • For the closet – I have loved shopping at Gymboree since the day I found out the gender of my child. A $75 gift card to Gymboree could certainly help build that fall wardrobe!
  • For your java – The guzzie+Guss Universal Cup Holder hooks on to just about anything – from the stroller to the grocery store shopping cart and fits my cup perfectly. Java moms, this is a necessity!
  • For juice or milk – Keep your toddler’s beverages cold (or warm) with the Pacific Baby 7oz. 3-in-1 Bottle with Handle/Sprout Set.
ONE lucky winner will win ALL of the items listed above! To enter to win this suite of prizes, please use the Rafflecopter below. Open to residents of the contiguous US states, ages 18+. Giveaway closes 8/31/13 at 11:59PM ET. Good luck!

This giveaway has ended, thanks for playing! Check out more Pierogie Mama giveaways here!

 This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or Twitter. Prizes to be fulfilled by Combi, guzzie+Guss, Pediped, Kelsyus, Gymboree, Gourmet Baby, Oh So Pretty Designs, Petite Lemon and Pacific Baby. Color and/or style of prizes may vary. Prizes will be shipped separately. Neither Spit Up is the New Black nor any blog in which this giveaway is posted is held liable for lack of prize fulfillment. Open to residents of the 48 contiguous United States, ages 18+.


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