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Product Review: Sassybumz Hybrid, Juliette

The first cloth diaper I ever tried was a Sassybumz hybrid. Manufactured in the U.S. (California), by mom Shannon Workman, this finely crafted diaper is guaranteed to hold leaks in during naps, bedtime, or anytime.

My design is Juliette, a beautiful floral pattern in a field of powder blue. The snap-in stocking inserts are fantastic.

Like many cloth diapers, you can find them on Hyena Cart. Get some here:
http://hyenacart.com/stores/Sassybumz/

You can also join the Sassybumz Facebook page here: https://m.facebook.com/SassyBumz

Want to buy or sell on Facebook? Refer yourself to the Buy, Sell, Trade (BST) page:

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My Thoughts On: MTV’s Teen Mom Series

I watched Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2 (as well as 16 and Pregnant) before I had this blog. Why, you ask? I wanted to gain insight into something I had never experienced. I knew a few teen mothers in high school, but was of the mindset (at the time) that they had made a mistake. The mistake, of course, was having unprotected sex. I wondered if their parents were babysitting their kids while they went to school. I thought it was weird.

I was newly married when the first season of Teen Mom aired. My favorite moms from that season are Maci and Catelynn. I think they are the most responsible, however, I think my age is starting to show, because when I saw MTV’s recent special, Being Maci, I was slightly annoyed. I guess ‘Being Maci’ is drinking and partying, I thought. Then, I realized something. What the hell what I doing nine years ago, when I was 21? Some of the same things, while I, like her, was attending college.

Should it really surprise me that she is playing beer pong and going to clubs? I guess not. I wish they would have shown more scenes of her going to school and discussing her plans for the future. She is studying the same things I did. You can do plenty with a Communication degree, and the media track is purportedly her choice. Amber Portwood is violent and Farrah Abraham is a whore. The end.

Teen Mom 2 is quite the train wreck. Jenelle is on drugs, moving in with boys she’s known for five minutes, and constantly fighting with her mom, Barbara, who is just as toxic. I don’t really hold out much hope for her. Chelsea would succeed if she quit going back to Adam and stayed in cosmetology school. It’s a good thing that her dad, Randy, is there to save her. Kailyn is interesting. Her relationship with her mother is screwy. They hardly communicate, and yet she thinks she is entitled to seeing Isaac. Susie goes all DWIL on Kailyn’s ass, telling her she has the right to see her grandson. Okaaaaaaaay. Leah seems to be settling in with Jeremy, the twins, and her newest addition, Addalynn. Let’s hope she stays put.

On to Teen Mom 3. I like Katie so far. She’s going to school and working. She openly EBFs, and according to my research, breastfed until Molli was 16 months old! Great job, mama. Joey, her (according to my online research), ex-fiancé, seemed ok. He seems like a typical, apathetic teenage boy. Alex seems to be a decent girl, but she definitely needs to control her outbursts. Matt’s drug problem is a giant red flag, and according to the previews for this season, he overdoses. She needs to file for sole custody, STAT. Mackenzie is very sweet, and is a good mom to Gannon (I love the name!). She and Josh just got married, so I hope they can last. I can’t imagine these kids dealing with some of things us “older” (since they were born when I was 14!) couples do. Briana has the most supportive mom and sister, and the second worst baby daddy on the snow. She should also file for sole custody and focus on graduating from high school.

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You! Lingerie Rain Maternity Tank Review

You! Lingerie graciously asked me to review their beautiful Rain Maternity tank. I love this product.

This is my first maternity/nursing tank. I love the colors—I even have a blue and pink pair of panties to match this if I use it for nighttime nursing! The clasps are easy to access with one hand, just like my Basically You! bra. Here’s a bonus: if you’d like to make it a criss-cross style, you’re in luck: there’s a little silver hook in the back for this.

If you want support, this is it! It beats the heck out of a shelf bra in your average tank top by 1000%. This will hold the girls in place, and you can easily slip a nursing pad in there–no problem.

So, what did little A2 have to say about this? Let’s see…

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She approves! Good girl. 🙂

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Here I am!

On a scale of 1 to 10, this is most definitely a 10. Hook yourself up, mamas! You can order one of these nursing tanks here. Be sure to look for the Rain Maternity tank, and browse the other selection of maternity/nursing tanks as well. All of them will meet your needs.

Got Instagram? You can follow You! Lingerie at youlingerie10. Tell them Mama J sent you, and feel free to post yourself in your fabulous new digs. If it suits your fancy, add a hashtag for all to see. If you like it, then you should #putapinkbow on it, just like me. Cheers!

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Product Review: NUBY Grow With Me Sippy Cup

My MIL came over yesterday, and asked us if we wanted this sippy. I figured I’d try it, and if A2 disapproved, I would give it to another mom.

It’s yellow, which a cute color for a girl. I like the concept of transitioning spouts by age. A2 wasn’t thrilled, unfortunately. She chewed on the spout most of the time.

The first spout is, essentially, a nipple with a wider hole. She gave that the biggest chew. The second is your standard Nuby spout. She could get some BM out, but she mostly let it run down her face.

I can’t really give anything a poor rating, because babies are picky about bottles and sippy cups.

I will give this product a 7 out of 10.

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—The yellow one in the back is the one we have. Image taken from Walmart.com

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Product Review: Nuk Sippy Cup

A2 likes Nuk bottles when I’m not available. I decided to get a Nuk sippy, since the spout seems similar.

First of all, I love the interchangeable parts! I can use the bottles I already have. All you do is insert them into the base, put the spout in the nipple ring, and you’re good to go!

On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this an 8.5.

A2 was pretty good with this one. I will be letting her test the waters again soon.

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–Image taken from Walmart.com

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My Thoughts On: The Royal Baby

First of all, congratulations to the royal couple! It took me a while to get caught up in the hullabaloo that is everyone’s fascination with the Royals, but hey, I made it.

Daddy J and I were talking about it after the announcement as made on CNN. “Eight pounds, six ounces? That’s not a big baby.”

This is because A2 was nine pounds, 4.6 ounces.

Before we talk about my birth, let’s talk about all the splendor surrounding Kate’s. I cannot understand how the British media and the rest of London forgot how long it takes to have a baby, especially a first baby. She was in labor for 14 hours. When I had A1, I was in labor for 15 hours, 21 minutes (I was induced). I hope plenty of fish, chips, tea, crumpets, mutton, and other goodies were passed around. It must have been quite the campout.

Being due in July is no picnic. A1 was born on the 11th of this month. I was 10 days past my due date and ready to smack the bejesus out of anyone who said, “You should have the baby on my birthday” or “Did you have that baby yet? (<—–Thanks, Facebook.) Furthermore, those heavy English maternity frocks make me hotter than hell just looking at them. I know it's traditional, but for crap's sake, she must be dying in there. I couldn’t believe she had the energy to don one of those crazy hats every day, too.

I’ve delivered an eight pound baby and a nine pound baby. Both are hard to deliver, but let me tell you, a nine pound baby is hard to carry.

Both of my kids turned early. A2 turned at 31.5 weeks, and since I’m short (5’2″), I carry low. (I also had girls, so that debunks that gender myth.) I had pelvic girdle syndrome, and back pain from hell. Carrying a 17 1/2 month old didn’t really help, either.

My second labor was 10 hours, and felt like a breeze. It took me 15 minutes to deliver A2. Her head came right out, but then my OB told me to stop pushing. I heard the words that stop most practitioners in their tracks. “Shoulder dystocia.” Oh, shit. She is wider than my birth canal, I thought.

The OB and lead nurse tried the Woods maneuver, which involved spinning A2 around. No dice. The lead nurse then pushed on the top of my uterus as hard as she could to free A2’s left shoulder. She finally slid out after that. I had a one degree tear (over my previous episiotomy, which puts you at risk). I also lost a ton of blood and passed out an hour after she was born.

A1’s head was as big was A2’s shoulders at birth. It felt like I was pushing out a softball. A2’s head only created that burning sensation when she started to crown; A1’s did the entire time. My former OB (this gentleman is now retired) performed an episiotomy, and I had four stitches. Other than feeling loopy from Stadol and tired from pushing for an hour and 45 minutes, I was fine. No major blood loss.

Kate is a tall and thin girl. You couldn’t even tell she was carrying a baby that size. I’m willing to bet she had her work cut out for her when she delivered. I hope she is resting comfortably and nursing/bottle feeding her baby. I wish her all the best.

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Product Review: You! Lingerie Nursing Bras

Earlier this year, I decided to splurge on a You! Lingerie nursing bra. It was from the Basically You collection. I love the fact that it’s a neutral color combined with bright orange,one of my favorites, beneath a lace overlay. You also can’t beat the support—we’ve all worn the run-of-the-mill wire-free versions from department stores. This is the first wire-free bra I’ve ever worn with supportive cups. I actually regain some of the lift I’ve lost when I wear it (we all know what pregnancy can do to the body—a slight decrease in gravity!).

This is a very comfortable bra that can be worn with a variety of shirts and dresses. The hooks can be unhooked and refastened with one hand, which is always the most important feature in my book.

What would I change about this product? Nothing. In fact, I’m ready to see what else they release. I think the Isis Blue bra is gorgeous. In fact, I may even order that one next.

What I would suggest to You! Lingerie is the idea of a convertible strapless bra, just like the non-nursing version we all know. Keep the same great features with extra support at the bottom, of course, to prevent slippage. I have a strapless nursing bra from the La Leche League. It works well for nursing, but shows in low-backed dresses and some v-neck tops. I’d love to have the same silhouette that a regular strapless bra gives me.

On a scale of 1 to 10, this one’s a ten. I think this can definitely make all us want to “put a pink bow on it!”

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Photo Credit: You! Lingerie Facebook page.

My photo to follow!

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Product Review: Step 2 Water Table

My parents recently sent us a Step Two water table from Amazon.com. Good stuff. Here’s my review.

Very little assembly required, which is perfect! There’s nothing that irks me more when it comes to toys than assembly and tamper proof ties. It also has a ramp for small toy boats to float (two of them come with the toy) and spinning wheel that rotates when you pour water through the top. A1 had fun with it, so it gets her seal of approval. On a scale of 1 to 10, this one gets a 10!

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Product Review: Breastform Mi Pump

Shortly after A1 was born, M was two months old, and my SIL, also J, eschewed breastfeeding long before (M was two days old and her milk hadn’t come in, so she gave up). She was kind enough, however, to give me her remaining Medela nursing pads (thumbs up!) and let me borrow her Mi Pump.

I tried the pump. It works, but I had to put it on level 5 before I could express any milk. Furthermore it hurts (did I mention how important getting fitted is?). It turns out the flanges were too small.

It is LOUD…the whir and click that you hear is pretty damn annoying. I bought my PISA a month later and returned this to SIL, thanking her for her generosity.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I rank this a 3.5. At least it comes with a nice carrying bag and one of the best (according to other EBFing and pumping moms) nipple tips for breast-to-bottle feeding.

Here it is:

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Product Review: Medela PISA

Almost two years ago, I made the decision (which was no longer a possibility last May) to return to work when A1 was 10 weeks old. I needed a pump that would work well, express milk on a reasonable setting, and travel with me. I also needed one with a car adapter.

I went to my LC, who is amazing. She recommended the Medela Pump In Style. It came in a messenger bag, and was well concealed. In fact, if you zip up the side to hide the hookup/operation component, you wouldn’t even know it was a pump at all. It looks like another briefcase! I already carried one of those anyway, so I’m sure this came as a shock to no one at the office.

I wanted a pump that would last, something to carry me through my second nursing relationship (little did I know I would be pregnant again that spring).

This is an excellent pump. I can’t sing its praises enough, but I will try.

First of all, as with any breast pump, it is critical that you are fitted properly. All flanges are in different sizes. In my next review, I will discuss the experience I had with the borrowed Breastform MiPump I used. I am on the large side for flanges–30 mm, which is XL. Comfort is key when you select a pump. Pumping can suck, especially if you do it exclusively (EP). I will cover that subject in a future post as well.

The greatest and perhaps most innovative feature of the PISA is the two-phase expression technology. The let-down phase actually does trigger the milk-ejection reflex, and the expression phase can be set to a comfortable level. You want it to be almost as comfortable as nursing. It feels slightly awkward using a pump the first time in general, but you will get used to it.

You can’t go wrong with an electric double pump, which this model is. I can express a full serving of milk for A2 (5-6 ounces) in 10-15 minutes. (Yes, I produce that much, and yes, I will reveal my lactation secrets in a future post.)

Another great feature is the ability to switch from a single to a double pump. If you are engorged on one side, you can switch the small yellow port plug to the opposite one. It will give you all the suction you need. In fact, the suction is excellent either way. The car adapter doesn’t change that, either.

All parts, of course, including the bottles, connectors, and freezer bag adapters—are compatible. You get a cooler, cold pack, and set of four 5 oz. bottles with it. A1 still uses Medela bottles. She loves them! The membranes I had lasted almost two years, so I just replaced them last month. They are also easy to clean and sterilize in Medela bags or the dishwasher.

On a scale of 1-10, I give this product a 10. I EP’d with A1, which was hard, but the pump always worked well. I pump for A2 once a day to build up my frozen stash for travel or other events that require time away from her.

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Credit: The Medela website

This is the model I chose, the “On the Go” bag. Also available are the backpack and the metro bag.