new year’s resolutions.. you’re doing it wrong.

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i probably share this every new year somewhere but i will share it again.
this is a list of 33 “rulin’s” Woody Guthrie wrote in 1942.

i am sure your Facebook feeds have been filled with posts about what to aspire to, what you should be, how you should change, in the new year.

but all these resolutions & unrealistic lists make me feel inadequate & i have always hated the idea of making resolutions. it makes me feel as if i have failed the previous year.
but i haven’t failed, you haven’t failed. life happens.. & it does not go the way you plan it.

i  like to think that to have successful & happy & love filled years it all depends on how you choose to react to situations around you. not what you aspire or make resolutions to happen.

so i always look at this list on New Year’s Eve & make one for my own life.
& making sure i bathe on the regular is always borrowed to add to the top of my list.

& my personal favorite of all, “wake up & fight.”

pregnancy & toddlers & hey, i am blogging again.

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so i abandoned blogging again. life was pretty chaotic & blogging was an easy thing to drop from my list. i love blogging.. just going through & reading this blog’s comments & emails from wonderful mothers about how i helped them with their body image after pregnancy or breastfeeding or thanking me for answering babywearing questions  makes me feel like this is little blog has done a little good for some mama out there. but it does become overwhelming for me.

i guess i will jump right into life… we are having a baby boy. late march or early april. whenever he decides to appear. i think this new pregnancy is what triggered my blogging hiatus. i am sensitive when i am pregnant & i didn’t want to write something & someone hurt my feelings. but most importantly pregnancy for me is so much more than wanting to put sauerkraut on everything that i eat. it is more than puffy feet, hip pains, & crankiness. i like spending my free time (of which i have very little) trying to actually enjoy the miracle. getting to know the baby boy.. imagining what he will look like. if he will be a good sleeper. a good eater. if him & his sister will get along. you know, silly mama things. i enjoy that stuff.

i have also been spending more time with clementine. she learns so much every day. & i love to teach her. toddlers are super special & have extreme emotions.. so naturally i get along perfectly with them.

so you see, in my pregnant head it just seemed so silly for me to keep up with this because i am busy dreaming.

but i missed it. & i am back.

it is also nice to come back & see that my eff your beauty standards post is still like crazy popular. thanks y’all. & even more interesting to see that many people have found it by typing such things as “beautiful chubby women in bikinis.”, “large breasts on the beach.”, “moms with large hips.” & my personal favorite “darling nipples.” i hope that they all found what they were looking for in my blog. bahahaha.

i am not sure how frequently i will be posting & there are a few cool things that hopefully will be up on here soon.

but thank you all for reading & encouraging & liking things i have/have had to say. i am not nearly cool enough for your inquiries about where i have been.

the importance of tolerable children’s music.

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i am awesomely lucky in the fact that i grew up with a mother who always found & provided me with the best children’s music to listen too. i think too often as parents we think that all children’s music is annoyingly loud & techno-like when it does not have to be. children need music. honestly. it helps to develop their language skills, listening skills, encourages creativity & brain activity, & also it brings out the sweetest little dance moves.

too often i think our kids have to settle for what is on the radio when they would much rather be listening to songs where they can recognize what the words are & mean.. like songs about “apples & bananas” or “teddy bears”.

just simple & repetitive songs.

so, here is a list (my most favorite of things, A LIST) of “Clementine’s” favorite songs.

Peter, Paul & Mary

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yes, i may be peter, paul & mary obsessed. i blame my mother & grandparents. however they have the greatest children’s music!! actually, they have several albums that are kid friendly or purposfully made for kids.

  • Around the Campfire
  • Peter, Paul & Mommy
  • Peter, Paul & Mommy Too (this is my all time favorite & is very difficult to get your hands on.. but totally worth the hunt on ebay & amazon. i recommend the VHS.)

honestly, anything by this group i almost consider children’s music because they sing mostly folk songs. but, here is a link to our favorite Right Field. 

Raffi

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^^^this is indeed Raffi with a baby beluga whale^^^

every one should grow up with raffi. this is just how i feel. i love him. obviously i will not list albums of his because they are all actually children’s albums but i will mention our two favorites which are..

  • Baby Beluga 
  • Singable Songs for the Very Young.

we love Down By The Bay, Baby Beluga, & of course Apples & Bananas.

Sing Me to Sleep – Indie Lullabies

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ok, this one is not an artist but a compilation of different indie artists singing lullabies. it is amazing. i stumbled upon this while pregnant & just love it so. who would not love music song by lovely indie darlings? our favorites..

Jerry Garcia & David Grisman

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YES!! these two have an amazing children’s album that i totally would listen too without the babe on a regular basis. it is called Not For Kids Only. who does not like to listen to two old hippies singing children’s songs? There Ain’t No Bugs On Me & Teddy Bears’ Picnic are on constant repeat.

 

you may all be thinking by now i know waaayy too many children’s song but i assure this is not nearly half of it. this may have to be a two parter ;) my husband & i have found all these songs an amazing alternative to having the tv on all day. because let’s face it.. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is super annoying.

 

 

the boobie post number 2.

we no longer choose to cover our breastfeeding. the breastfeeding of clementine or any future children we may have. the reason i say “we no longer choose” is because it is a decision i made with my husband. after struggling with a nursing cover in public for around 9 months i asked my husband if he would be opposed to me nursing coverless in public. to which his response was, “no, i was wondering when you were going to give that up.”

that is why i love him.

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you see, as a society we should give our men more credit when it comes to looking at a nursing woman. a woman nursing freely without a cover is not sinful or scandalous in any form. we are using our bodies the way that they are entended to be used. & most argue that they will arouse sexual desire in the men & young boys who may happen to catch a glance of us mothers trying to nourish our babies. & this is where my husband & i agree that it is nonsense.. & even if the sexual desire is aroused in said men than that is something that they need to look upon their own heart & realize that a woman’s breasts serve two purposes. to feed her children. & to please her husband. but in no way will the one take dominance over the other so as to make it sinful or scandalous for a mother to feed her child.

 i ask you this.. is it okay for your teenage daughters to wear bikinis? is it ok to see lingerie ads in stores? these are socially acceptable but yet they cause the lustful desire in men even more so than a breastfeeding woman i would say.

i have come across the argument that some families do not want their children to see nursing mothers.. to which i say is absurd! what? why?! children are the ones who will see breastfeeding for what it is, not the sexual entity that some try to make it! once when i was breastfeeding a very tiny clementine with a cover a little girl around 3 wanted to know what was going on under my blanket. i told her to ask her mother if she could see & the mother agreed. & i just sat there while that sweet little girl popped her head under my cover & watched clementine nurse.. she was not disgusted. she did not giggle. she was fascinated. she was learning.

perhaps if i grew up seeing more women nursing in public i would have been less scared in the beginning to take my sweet baby out in public. you can nurse without a cover & still show very little to no skin. & i can say from experience the people who are going to stare at you for breastfeeding will watch & stare at you if you have a cover or if you do not have a cover. like i said earlier.. you cannot mind these people for they need to look upon their own hearts to become comfortable with themselves. it is not you mama that is the problem or your child at your breast.

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the boobie post number one.

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august 1-7 is world breastfeeding week. so as a breastfeeding mother of 17 months now  i will do my part in sharing knowledge & the love i have for this topic.

i will start first by saying this is NOT a breast is best or breastfeeding will make my child more intelligent post. i actually really despise posts & articles like that because i think they are nonsensical in a way. i was a formula fed baby & currently have a 4.0 GPA.. so i don’t see much validity there. also, those posts do nothing but cause a ruckus & hurt the feelings of other mothers. & this blog will never be about that. 

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^^ i love, LOVE how many images of the nursing toddler Jesus there are. ^^

so let us make this boobie post about our choice as a family (because my husband does have a say in how he wants his child raised) to continue breastfeeding past a year & let Clementine make her own decision about when she is ready to be done.

let me start by saying that i never thought that our nursing relationship would make it past 8 weeks.. we had a horrible start with a baby who would not latch & screamed & screamed & pushed away at my breast. it is heartbreaking. we also had problems with weight gain.. & people & family members scare you by throwing words out there like “failure to thrive” but we were lucky to have an extremely breastfeeding friendly pediatrician who assured us that was not the case. we were fine.

it is not that my family was unsupportive.. they were just new to breastfeeding. & i think everyone was tired of seeing me struggle. because i probably cried every day. one night an episode of 16 & pregnant came on & there was a 17 year old successfully breastfeeding a baby she almost gave up for adoption. i lost it.

but luckily for me i am stubborn & we worked through it. but it took a lot of time at home. a lot of time on the couch. a lot of time nursing & pumping.. & those darn nipple shields. (i loathe them).

as we reached clementine’s first birthday.. i began to realize that she was not ready to be weaned. she still nursed at the point about 6 times a day & it seemed unnatural to take it away from her. so my husband & i reached the decision to let clementine wean herself. two years old is also the recommended age by the World Health Organization. what we are doing is common practice in other countries & has been for centuries.

so, for those few that we have come in contact with that think i am breastfeeding because it is an emotional need i have.. you are wrong. or if you think i am lazy & don’t want to wean, i am making my child more dependent & clingy, or that i am gross… you are all wrong. i am going to continue to nurse my child because it is my choice as a parent, i feel it is better for her health, & is what feels natural for us as a family.

& i will continue to share our journey as an encouragement to other mothers & as part of an effort to normalize breastfeeding.

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(there will be one other boobie post this week.. about why we no longer choose or feel the need to hide our breastfeeding in public.)

the overly sensitive & overly expressive enjoy some bits of summer.

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sometimes you just have to keep the baby out past their bedtime. (& i am strict routine enforcer!) sometimes you need to take that sweet little ever growing toddler baby & enjoy the city you live in. even if you are not too fond of your city this time of year because of the wave of enthusiastic tourists that come after the television network TLC’s recent & seemingly ongoing fling with your city. (insert eye roll here).

anyways.. fall semester is about to start for me. & i actually have to attend classes on campus this semester. which means i will be away from said precious toddler baby for 5ish hours twice a week & then 2ish hours again in the evenings. most say i should be excited about contact with other humans that are over the age of 2.

but i do not want to leave my comfy mama & clemmie bubble. 33949_10200537962400238_567481384_n

so the past few days.. i have been sad & oversensitive. & anyone who felt the affects of this i apologize. i am currently mourning my stay at home mama time.

so back to enjoying our city. which is difficult to do in the melting july-almost-august-heat (the worst kind). we took clem to ride the ferris wheel & look at sparkly lights & stare at the tourists.. (who do rather strange things. like take pictures of birds flying in the sky. like normal birds. ???)

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^^ ok so i know this picture is rather blurry.. but i love how much of an over expressive family we are.^^

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what? a music post..

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get-attachment-9^^my feet always have flip flop tans.. i do not wear real shoes hardly ever^^

so after basically telling everyone to EFF off after my last post, i decided things needed to be cheery & lighthearted. so music. music is happy & clem & i listen to a lot of it. it’s how we start & end our day.

so a list! my favorite thing!

music everyone should listen to & if you are not shame on you list. 

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Peter, Paul, & Mary In Concert on vinyl may just be the most amazing thing anyone can listen to ever. If only to listen to them sing Jesus Met the Woman at the Well.. amazing & their banter is always entertaining no matter if you already know what they are going to say next. 

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Arlo Guthrie Hobo’s Lullaby. yes, i know this is not the greatest album from the son of music legend Woodie Guthrie, however it is the one i usually reach for.. perhaps i just enjoy watching Clem dance to Ukulele Lady or maybe it is the cover of his father’s 1913 Massarcre.. who knows but this album is probably the second most played in our home.

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Avett Brothers Four Theives Gone. ok, i do not really care who thinks my lovely avetts are sell outs now.. because they are not. they are amazingly talented songwriters.. always. four theives gone could perhaps be my most favorite album from this century & the only reason for this being Left on Laura, Left on Lisa. (your argument is invalid here.)

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Johnny Cash The Man In Black. i love this man. i love every part of his career. this album is kind of my church.. it is what i listen to when i feel i need Jesus.

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Simon & Garfunkel Bookends. this album is another that could be in the running as one of my greatest of all time. America. everyone should know this song. also, Mrs. Robinson is on this album & i used to sing this to Clem when she was itty bitty (still do) & yes i know the song was for a movie about an adulterous woman. it does not stop me from turning it into a lullaby.

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Justin Townes Earle Nothings Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now. if you do not know who this man is.. that is an awful shame. i once saw this man play a 30 minute guitar solo & i will say it was the most amazing thing i have ever seen. i love him because every single album has its own sound & style. this is also what some people don’t like about this man. Look The Other Way.. just listen & fall in love with him.

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Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA. because i needed a cliche american rock album on here. we really do listen to this regularly.. Glory Days being our favorite of course.

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Glen Campbell Too Late To Worry – Too Blue To Cry. forget the crazed rhinestone cowboy for a minute & just enjoy the young wholesome glen. lord knows i enjoy real country music.. i mean, i wanted to name clementine Dolly but was told “NO!”.  I’ll Hold You In My Heart. perfect country song.. kind of reminds me of elvis.

i realize i do not listen to very many women. i will make another list one day.. for there are actually very very few women i listen to.

EFFFF your beauty standards.

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two nights ago now i posted a picture of me in this bikini on instagram with the hashtag  #effyourbeautystandards. i had an overwhelmingly supportive response. like seriously thank you to all those beautiful beautiful people out there. i also had so many mama’s tell me that this gave them courage to put their bikini back on.. & few others say they never thought they would have the confidence to do this.

it broke my heart.

i am not looking for people to tell me i am beautiful. i am looking for acceptance. if an overweight man were to go to the beach shirtless in swim shorts this is socially acceptable. for me, a plus size woman with a few stretch marks from pregancy to go to the beach in a high-waisted bikini i am subject to ridicule & stares.

i have always always been a curvy person. some times i was much smaller than other times. but always no matter how “skinny” i was.. still curves. i enjoy them. it is part of me. & have never had much of a self confidence issue until after giving birth to my daughter.

i had never had stretch marks. yes, i had curves but i always had a flat tummy. i assumed after popping that baby out it would be all flat & normal again.. but it didn’t. & after 16 months i have lost most of the baby weight (a few stray pounds linger on…) but my body is still different. i have stayed away from cameras & covered up. it breaks my heart knowing that there are so few pictures of me & my perfect newborn clementine because i would not let anyone take them.

so i am done with that. i may not be where i want to be but i can’t hide forever. when i am done having children & life slows down i will be the perfect curvy goddess i once was.

for now, this is me. perfect for who i am now.

at one time in human history with my wide hips & large breasts i would have been a sign of beauty & fertility. now i am lazy & less than attractive. i was born in the wrong era i guess.

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side note: i have several questions about where this bathing suit is from. i bought it at modcloth almost 3 years ago.. they no longer carry this particular suit but they have several similar styles.

cloth diapering for cheap-o’s.

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ok.. small disclaimer before i start this post. i began cloth diapering clementine when she was about 10 months old so i have not been a cloth diapering mom the whole time. some cloth diaper mothers invest an enormous amount of money into their stash & spend an enormous amount of time keeping them in pristine condition.

this is not me. 

i started cloth diapering for two reasons. reason number one was the obvious to save money & reason number two was to end our diaper waste. disposable diapers are horrible for the environment.

the only reason i did not cloth diaper from the begininning is that i was intimidated by the prices of some of the brands of diapers & the crazy cleaning methods that some of the mothers use.

here is what works for us. we have never had a problem with these cheaper brand diapers. AND i never have a problem with stains or smells despite not using certain tricks that other mothers swear by.

Kawaii

i will start with my all time favorite cheap cloth diaper. kawaii brand diapers. for the original square tab kawaii brand pocket diapers you will pay $7.50. they come with two inserts. this brand is my favorite because of the fit. if you have a baby with chubby thighs they work wonderfully. i have never had a problem with leaks, stains, or smells with these. & they are very user friendly.

get-attachment-10^^ original square tab kawaii diaper^^

Alva Baby

this is what i started to cloth diaper with. if you buy the solid color diapers you will pay $4.99. you cannot beat that price. with the alva baby diapers you have to order from the company in china so they do take about 2-3 weeks to ship. the reason that these are not my favorite diapers is they do not feel as durable as the kawaii brand & sometimes i feel as if the sizing is incorrect.. some of the diapers are slightly smaller than others. which should not be because they are a one size diaper. but this a great way to be introduced to cloth diapers… they do what they are supposed to do.

get-attachment-11 9.35.05 PM^^alva baby solid color diaper^^ 

Charlie Banana

this is probably my least favorite diaper but it is still a good diaper! the positives about this diaper is that they have adorable prints & bright colors ALSO they have a slimmer less bulky fit to them. they are the most expensive diaper i have tryed… at $16.79 a diaper. that is a bit steep for my taste but i had heard wonderful things. the one major issue i have with this diaper is that you pull the insert out in the front. which means you have to touch the pee.. with kawaii & alva baby i never touch pee. lol.

get-attachment-9^^charlie banana diaper^^ 

ok.. there is my low down on the diapers. now the other major issue that turned me away from cloth diapering was the detergents you are supposed to use. they are extremely expensive. well ladies, there are commercial detergents that are safe for cloth diaper usage. we use tide.. i am not ashamed to admit & it works wonderfully. i never have to treat stains or have i had problems with smelly diapers. it is ok to use it despite what you may hear.

to total up what we spent to start our cloth diapers…

20 alva  baby: $99.80

10 kawaii: $75

1 charlie banana: (on sale) $8.50

4 wet bags (2 large hanging wet bags for the home & 2 travel size for the diaper bag): $30 used off of ebay

grand total: $213.30  *our water bill went up $5 a month. thats it.*

the average total to diaper a baby until potty training.. $1600. that is around $60 a month. that is a ton of money & a ton of waste. 

cloth diapering is not as intimidating as it sounds. modern cloth diapers are amazing. no folding necessary. all you are doing is adding an extra load of laundry every other day.. not so bad. ask my husband.. he loves it!

short list of incredible women for a 16 month old darling.

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tonight as i crouched down on the floor to attempt to take this super artsy picture of Clem reading on the couch it hit me that this lady is a 16 month old in 2 days. i will spare ya’ll the normal babel about how i cannot believe how much she has grown, all the things she knows how to do or say, or what her current favorites are. just know she is oh so intelligent & full of sass. 

somehow my thoughts meandered to our society & the women role models (or the lack there of) my Clem has to look up to growing up. i mean i feel as if there are plenty of women we have from the past 100 years who are known for their amazing feats.. Amelia Earheart, Marie Curie, Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Thatcher, you know all those awesome ladies Clem will hear about in school. & left me searching for modern women that i would want my daughter to look up to.

so here is my oh so short list.. & yes an amazing breastfeeding advocate is at the top.

Mayim Bialik. 

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^^ nursing her then 3 year old son in public. badass. ^^

This amazing lady not only is incredibly funny Amy Farrah Fowler on the Big Bang Theory BUT she is a brilliant champion for attachment parenting, extended breastfeeding, cosleeping, homeschooling, & just women’s rights in general. She blogs about these things here. Oh.. she also has a B.S. in Neuroscience. She is a wonderful example for girls on how you can be a wonderful mother & follow your dreams. One does not have to over rule the other.

Ellen DeGeneres.

This one may be cheesy & maybe I just really love Ellen.. but one thing Ellen does very well is showing others that it is ok to be yourself. I love how she uses her mainstream success & addresses issues such as bullying in such a public setting while maintaining her funniness.

J.K. Rowling.

Ok, I love Harry Potter.. I even have a HP related tattoo but all that aside J.K. Rowling’s success story is an amazing one of a single mother making something out of nothing & achieving greatness. Rowling also does a wonderful job writing female characters in a way so that they are good role models for our daughters (Hermione, Luna, Ginny..) unlike that Twilight book where all the women/girls are whiney, clingy, & obsessed with boys (perhaps that was harsh..).

there is my list. i said it was short. perhaps i will add more one day. feel free to leave me any suggestions :)

& happy 16 months darling clementine.

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