Sunday, October 31, 2010

Guest Blogger - *D*

Here is the second in the series of guest bloggers this week. This is from a friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous, except for the initial "D". She, too, has a friend as her daughter's known donor, and though her story is different than ours, there are some similarities and shows a different perspective. Enjoy:

"Our daughter just turned 20 months and I realized it has been a while since I reflected back on our donor situation. See our beautiful almost 2 year old has two moms and a known donor whom we consider an uncle. Two and a half years ago our wonderful best friends sent us an amazing email via MySpace. The wife wrote the message and it started off with "I hope you don't think this is weird". She and her husband are our best friends. We watched them have their first and only child just a few months prior. We baby sat for them and turned out to be the only baby sitters they trusted with this child. She explained that she sent us the email after speaking with her husband and hoped she was not crossing the line. She told me that she loved us and that we deserved to have a child without continuing to spend all of our money on anonymous donors. She also said her husband was super fertile ( her words haha ) and that she knew he could do the trick. I remember calling my wife into the room and asking her to read it. She started screaming because our list of known prospects were small and although we had spoken before about asking our best friend we thought it would be better to be considerate and not ask them since he just had a little girl with his wife.
I remember telling my wife "Lets not rush, let's think this out." The next day we wrote them back and the first line was " thank you so much for thinking about us, your words settle softly on a hard topic..." From there we wrote back and forth for about two weeks and even though we lived in the same city it seemed so much easier to talk about this kind of stuff through email. We met face to face after that and hugged and laughed about the prospect of my wife and I having a baby! They explained how hard it was to see us struggling to have a child. How we relived the disappointment each time we tried and how they felt they took getting pregnant for granted since they had an oops pregnancy. They also shared how amazing their lived were now that they had their daughter.
Now I have to mention their was one strange thing about this arrangement. I worked with my best friend at the same office, same team, same department. I often thought how would he handle seeing me pregnant knowing it was something he helped make happen. Our best friend is one of the most deep, loving and completely unselfish people we know. I knew in my heart he would handle it just fine. Would people suspect he was our donor?
My wife and I had been tracking my ovulation and we decided ( along with our friends ) that we would do a test run. We had tried the month before with another friend of ours but we kind of knew it wasn't going to work. Before that we had used a bank but that was ages ago. After checking our data ( makes it sound so scientific ) we went a head and let them know the days we wanted to try. Our plan was for my wife to pick up the goods on her way home from work and I would be home waiting.
Fast forward two weeks and I got a positive pregnancy test in the bathroom at work and it was the first time in years I was alone in this huge 20 person stall bathroom! I screamed and cried and called my wife to let her know. The pregnancy was not awkward and neither was being pregnant at work with my friend. He wasn't overly caring or anything strange, he was just my best friend. Same before, during and after we had our little girl. There was an office pool going at one time saying the baby would have red hair because our other best friend who was single was a red head, he also worked in our office. This made me laugh a little, if they only knew.
Recently we have decided to add our best friends to my will should something happen to us...because I have no family who is accepting nor unbiased when it comes to two women raising a child. They are two people I would want to have an influence in our daughters life and I know they would love her just as much as we do.
Not everyone knows this is how we conceived our daughter, no one in our families know. We have opted to keep this a secret and its a pact between the four of us. Our little girl may be the only child we have because of health issues that I have and its good to know she has a half sibling that is exactly a year older than her to the day. The girls share the same birthday....."

-- D.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Guest Blogger - *Jesalyn*


Since we're STILL in the process of moving, and my life is very chaotic, I am going to be hosting a series of guest bloggers over the next week. Some will be stories of motherhood, some womanhood, and maybe just a funny anecdote or two. But I hope you enjoy reading the words of my friends.

Today's guest blogger is Jesalyn, a new mom, and a friend of a friend. I hope you enjoy her story:

When you get pregnant the first thing people do is congratulate you. They then share their stories about their own pregnancy, their wife's pregnancy, their friends cousin's husband's sister's pregnancy. Some people tell you to help and share advice. Some people tell you so they themselves can relive that happy moment once again. And then there are the people who want to shock and awe, and many times it seems scare the living daylights out of you.

As a new mom, I now understand the value of these stories. I must admit when I first found out I was expecting, tales of 10 pound babies, 32 hours in labor, and (yes, I'm going to say it) episiotomies were the bane of my existence! I grew so tired of hearing horror stories about births and procedures that I even stopped watching baby programs on television. But the one thing I never became tired of hearing was about the magic moment when a mother first holds her child. I was told once I held my precious bundle in my arms and looked into his eyes I would never be the same again. I wondered how someone I'd never even met could have that much of an impact in one shared glance. And then I met my son, and there are no words to describe the way he makes me feel.

I had a beautiful pregnancy, filled with the discomforts of blowing up like the Michelin blimp, but also with a joyful and ever growing anticipation of the life I was creating. I never experienced morning sickness, only gained 20 pounds, and had the most supportive family and friends possible. I worked until the day before I went into labor as a full time waitress at a sports bar. Even my labor was a fairytale experience in which I slept for almost the entire time, pushed twice, and Theoren Joseph was born. Trying to articulate my feelings of when I fist picked up Theoren's tiny form would be not only be impossible, but unnecessary. Some events are just so powerful that comparing them to anything in this life is an injustice to them. Even now as I watch him sleep next to Daddy, I catch my breath thinking of how blessed I am to be privy to such a touching exchange.

I am not saying that becoming a new parent is easy. Parenthood is probably the most challenging thing I've ever experienced, and I am only 2 weeks in! The sleep deprivation, the feedings, and the hormones are just a few of the joys of bringing baby home. I can't touch my boyfriend for another 4 weeks, I'm in what feels like adult diapers for another month, and I now have a very small helpless person attached to my hip. It is overwhelming knowing that another human being is now completely dependent upon me, and I've been brought to tears a few times. I am already tired of diapers and very much looking forward to a potty trained individual. Preferably one that will not urinate on me...or his own face.

Now that I have my own story, I understand why other women are so eager to share theirs. It's not that they are being selfish and want to talk about themselves. It is simply that they are trying over and over again to put the way they feel about their children into words. Children are nothing short of miracles, and will not only change their parents lives but so many others. Every time I look at my son as an infant in my arms I think of the happiness he has brought with his arrival. I hope as the years go by I am able to make his life as inexplicably wonderful as he has made mine.

-- Jesalyn K.P.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Oh, Deer


We're in the process of moving to a more rural area alllllll the way on the east end of Long Island. And there are a lot of things different about living there. For starters there is no sewer system (anywhere on Long Island I think). Where I grew up in New Jersey, when you flushed, pipes carried your stuff far away where you never had to think about it again. But out here there are septic tanks that STORE all your stuff in the backyard and have to be emptied periodically. Ew! Also, where we are moving, there is no garbage pickup! You have to take all your trash and recyclables in your car to the town recycling center yourself! After living in NJ and NYC for all those years (17+7+3), all of this blows my mind. Don't get me wrong, there are lots of awesome reasons to move out there that outweigh these inconveniences, but still, these things were so bizarre to me. Also, at night, it's dark out there. And I mean, D-A-R-K. We have a porch light, and we could see about 3 feet in front of the porch, then endless black. And if you walk out into the driveway/street away from the light and let your eyes adjust, you can still only make out shadows. And the stars... there are 100,000,000x more stars in the sky there than any suburb of NYC.

The other thing I am getting used to is the wildlife, specifically deer. There are a billion deer out there, to the point that it is almost a nuisance to "society." I, however, love deer. Every time I see one (or a bunch) it makes me happy. They are just so pretty and peaceful and graceful. Whenever I leave someone's house out there at night, I always see a bunch driving out to the highway, then bunches of them grazing on the side of the highway, and sadly, occasionally a roadkill. I am always driving carefully, aware that one may bolt out at me any minute, but it hasn't happened yet.

Well, last weekend, after we had moved some stuff, I was driving the moving truck back west, and the main road was busy, a constant flow of traffic going about 35 mph. From two cars ahead of me, I saw something dark fly over both lanes of traffic and land on the other side of the road. At first it looked like a bag of trash to me, and I thought, who would throw their trash over the lane of traffic. Then, in the split second it took in my mind, I registered something sticking out, ad it looked like tree branches to me - so I thought a tree or bush had broken off and fallen/flew. Then of course, it hit me that it was a deer. I couldn't believe the height it had gotten. The car not right ahead of me, but the one before that had hit it, and it flew over the other lane of traffic and landed in the shoulder of the lane going the other direction. Traffic slowed down and I could see it on the side of the road. It wasn't dead (yet), but it was on its side and its legs were twitching and there was a look of panic in its nearly still eyes. It was young, and very beautiful. And I couldn't help it, I felt tears well up in my eyes and my throat got tight with near sobs. Missy and Ashley were a few minutes behind me in the car, and I called them to tell them what I saw, and they passed it a few minutes later and told me that it had died, which made me feel better that it wasn't laying there suffering and frightened anymore. But I couldn't believe that it was out alone on the crowded main street, in daylight.

As much as I love seeing deer out there, I'm never going to get used to seeing them get killed. And I seriously hope that it's never me that hits one, I just can't deal with that at all. The other stuff I can get used to, but it'll never stop being sad to me when I see one of these beautiful animals get crushed.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Lucky Day

Not normally a lucky person, I definitely felt lucky when I won my first giveaway from My Baby's Green! Lilian got this adorable set of 8 books that are not only "green" themselves (made on recycled paper and/or of organic fabrics), but are on the subject of being ecologically responsible! For now, they got packed away since we're moving this weekend, but I can't wait to add them to Lilian's book shelf and read them to her in our new home!

Thank you, My Baby's Green!

Fluff Fun Week...

Marine Parents blog is doing some cool diaper giveaways for Fluff Fun Week!

Fluff Fun

Mud Butt cloth diaper giveaway... we've never tried this brand, we'd love to win!
AppleCheeks giveaway! A Wet Bag giveaway, and we totally need another one!
Organic cloth wipes giveaway - I'd love to use cloth wipes, but have none yet.
Sprout diaper

Gimme My Ball! Give me MY BALL!!!


We had a breakthrough in Lilian's language skills last month. Before that, Lilian had a HUGE vocabulary... she knew words that shocked me even, she could name every animal, color, food, things in nature, actions, etc. But she had never put words together to form sentences or even phrases. She'd ask for "more". And I'd say "more what?" And she'd say "juice". So I'd say "can you say 'more juice please?'" And she'd say "please". So I'd say, "no, say 'more juice.'" And she'd say "juice," just repeating the last word that I said. But people told me that the phrasing would come, and when it did, it would come rushing out like a waterfall... and so it did.

Last week, while we were packing, we came across an orange Reese's "kickball" that we got her at Hershey Park last year, but it was mostly deflated, so it was given to our dachshund, Elliot. Well, the next day, Lilian woke up and when she walked into the living room and saw Elliot chewing on her ball, she ran over to him with her arms extended and declared "Gimme my ball!" It was so hilarious, Missy and I tried to suppress our laughter, because it was also a milestone moment: her first sentence! She kept saying it over and over as she got angrier and angrier "give me MY ball!" "gimme my BALL!" (Elliot never did give it up to her).

Then later that night, when we went to the bathroom to wash up, instead of doing her usual pointing up at the sink and saying "brush", she went to the bathroom and said "brush teeth." And she handed me a book and said "read book." She asked for a "monkey cupcake" (Missy had baked banana cupcakes in monkey paper wrappers). She asked to "feed Spock" (her fish, pictured below). And so on and so on.

She's certainly not speaking in full sentences yet, but we're one step closer. She has definitely figured out the merits of putting words together to express herself, and I guess we're on our way!

Blog posts are always more fun with photos... so here are a few photos of Peanut from September. Her hair is a little wild now, we're growing it out and it's kind of in an in between stage right now, but it kind of suits her.

(While you're here and reading, please click on one of the ads to the right or below... it helps me out, and it really adds up!)











(Sleeping with Philip)



(While you're here and reading, please click on one of the ads to the right or below... it helps me out, and it really adds up!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

DRYBEES AIO-Hybrid Cloth Diaper *Review and Giveaway*

In our quest to find a cloth diapering system that works for our toddler, we also tried a Drybees All-In-One Hybrid cloth diaper.

Drybees sent me two diapers, one to try and one to giveaway. Since the green (celery) one is a size small and the lavender is a size medium, that's the one we kept. (Besides, I love purple!)

This diaper has a waterproof PUL exterior and a fleecy soft inner layer touching the baby's skin. But different than a pocket diaper, it has a micro fleece absorbent liner (soaker) sewn right in - which makes it an All-In-One diaper. Just like a disposable, you just wash/dry, and put it on with the hook and loop closures (Velcro) just like that. No stuffing, folding, pinning, etc. It's pretty much as close as you can get to a disposable, without actually being one! And it's just as easy. To wash, just run it through your washer/dryer (no fabric softener though) and you're all set!
In the below photo, you can see the green diaper open, and you can see where the liner/soaker is sewn in (under the fleece fabric). But the thing that makes this diaper one step BETTER than an All-In-One, is that is ALSO has a pocket underneath (which you can see open here too). This is the part that makes it a HYBRID, because while it functions like an All In One, it also works like a Pocket diaper, you can stuff additional soakers/liners inside for extra absorbency or night time use.

This below diagram shows all the features of the diapers from the Drybees website.

Another interesting thing about them, is that they say their sizing is cut generously to make the diapers last longer, and I have found that to be true. Lilian at 25 months, usually is wearing a large in a lot of diapers, but this medium diaper fits her, with the waist closure as small as it goes (so she still has room to grow!) Medium says it goes to 22 pounds, but she being long and lean at about 23.5-24 pounds, it still fits her with room to grow. Some of the one-size diapers I have are snug on her, and I know she's petite for her size, so this brand may be a good option for older babies that are on the bigger side.

And... just as important to me is the cuteness factor... and this diaper has lots of cute color choices in both a pastel palette and a bright palette (I like both). We have the soft lavender, ad it's very pretty, but I also love the cornflower, orchid, red, chocolate, and purple. (Click color chart to see larger).



So how did it work for us? Excellent! I love that we could use it straight out of the dryer, but Lilian being a big drinker/heavy wetter, I do put an additional soaker inside. So this diaper is truly customizable. I like the generous fit and cute colors. And whereas I usually prefer snaps/hooks to Velcro, this diaper has a very streamlined look while on, very smooth under clothes. It does take more than one cycle in the dryer to dry, but that doesn't bother me at all. Overall, I have no complaints about this diaper!

BUY ONE: At $16.95 each, this diaper is priced nicely! Especially considering you don't NEED a cover OR an insert, it works just as is. Go here to buy one and try it out.

WIN ONE: I have the celery green, size small Drybees All-In-One Hybrid diaper to send to one lucky reader.

Mandatory Entry:
You must be a public follower of my blog either via Google reader/friend connect or Networked blogs. Just leave a comment and tell me about the diapers you currently use and what works for you.

Additional Entries (all worth one unless otherwise specified) Please leave
SEPARATE comments for each entry you are entitled to:
* Like
Lil Family Blog on Facebook
* Like Drybees on Facebook and leave a comment telling them I sent you with a link to this entry!
* Click on both the "Top Mommy" brown button and "Picket Fence" buttons on the right of my page to vote for Lil Family Blog on both sites. (worth 1 total entry)
* Click on the black
Swagbucks button on the right and sign up as my referral. (Will be verified on the Swagbucks site).
* Add one of my buttons to your site (again, on the right of my page, copy the text below the button and then paste it onto the sidebar of your blog). Worth 2 entries.
* Post about this giveaway on your blog or site and leave me a link where I can see it.
* Share this contest on
Facebook. (Can be done easily with the little "F" icon on the bottom of this entry near the comments).
* Add me to your
blogroll/blog list on your site.
* Leave a comment on any one non-giveaway entry and let me know which one.
* Enter any other of my current giveaways and let me know which one.
* You get one additional entry for every friend/family member you get to enter (they have to leave an extra comment saying who sent them). So send your friends!


Remember, leave a SEPARATE comment for each entry you are entitled to, winner will be chosen via Random.org

This contest will end on October 25, 2010 at 11:59PM EST, no more entries will be accepted after that time. The winner will be chosen at random and announced within a day or two on the blog. The prize will be shipped directly from me to the winner within a reasonable amount of time, but has been provided by Drybees, and I cannot be responsible for any defects or issues with the product. Please see my disclosure link on the top of the page for fine print.

*Disclaimer* - I purchased this product from the wholesale/blogger portion of their website and will be refunded the full value of the item upon review. I was not paid in any other form for our review. The photos of lavender/green diapers, words, and opinions are my own except those quoted. Photos may not be used anywhere else on the web without my permission. The size/color chart and diagram are from the Drybees website and is their property.

Lil Family Blog Winners?

Did YOU win one of our giveaways?
I'd love to hear what you think of your prize and/or see photos of your family and the prize!
Please email me at LilFamilyBlog@gmail.com
And if there is anyone who hasn't yet received a prize, please let me know!

Packing, Packing!

What have we been up to??? Packing, packing, packing!
We're moving!!!
So, I'm not intentionally ignoring the blog, just busy! We are doing the first leg of the move on Sunday (a week from today) with a UHaul truck and a lot of good friends. Then we'll pack up what remains, and hire professionals to move the heavy furniture (bed, crib, couch, refrigerator, etc.) after that, and hopefully be completely moved in 2-3 weeks from today.
And when we are... our lives are going to get a lot better! :) I can't wait!
So until then, blogging will be sporadic, then I'll be back in full effect!
Wish us luck!
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