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June13 021

We made Caterpillars for craft time last week thanks to Simple Kids! Chloe and Jaiden both loved them. Chloe named hers Pillar and carried him around everywhere. Chloe decided to take him to play “nap” together. She kissed him, proceeded to tell him a story and told him to go to sleep. I say ‘him’ but perhaps Pillar is a girl. It sounds more like a boys name to me though 🙂

I went garage sale shopping on June 6th. I mentioned here that Chloe and I got matching Columbia coats for $12 combined. I also got a HUGE bag of craft supplies, all sorted and organized into containers for….are you ready?….$4.00. The puff balls and eyes for this craft actually came from that purchase!! I’m sure we’ll have many other creations to share thanks to this bag of goodies!

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This Post Links to : Magic Marker Monday

Giveaway Announcements are posted in the left sidebar until the blog makeover. Remember that you always get an extra entry into all giveaways by subscribing to my blog!

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(For the record, Chloe picked her own outfit!)

We had a free sale today. Cleaning out things we no longer want or need, I put them out on the lawn with a “FREE to good home”  sign. We put a piggy bank out there with a sign that said any donations made would go to our church. Then we went out to the market. My husband thought I was nuts for expecting people to make donations when the items were free. He really thought I was nuts when I said I was going to leave the donation bucket out there unattended.

Thanks to the generous people who left donations for their free items, Chloe will be taking just under $26 with her tomorrow as her Sunday School offering. Not bad for a few items that we would have just donated anyway. The remaining articles went to Bibles for Missions – a local thrift store.

All in all it was a busy, successful day which ended with baths, jammies and bed!

June13 057(Here they are in their matching jammies from Thailand that my mother-in-law brought home for them. Nice and cool  – perfect for summer!)

alone Photo by kudomomo

As I mentioned yesterday, this is a sensitive and difficult topic. To my sweet (and expecting) or sensitive readers, you may wish to skip this series. While I believe it is important to be informed to a certain extent, we need to be so careful that our fear or concern over the future doesn’t steal the joy and happiness of the present. This goes for anything in life, but especially pregnancy.

Why this Topic?

I was found out I was expecting our first baby, Isaiah, in January 2006. I was not expecting to lose him before officially meeting him. It was one of the most traumatic and devastating things I have ever experienced. Afterwards, I was hungry for knowledge. I read every book our library had, visited many websites and read hundreds of personal stories of women who had experienced it and lived to tell about it (and there are many!). The Lord has been laying it on my heart to share my experiences so that perhaps I can be there for that hurting woman the way others were for me.

What is a Miscarriage?

When your baby dies in utero in the first/second trimester, it is considered a miscarriage. After that, it is referred to as a still birth. The medical term for miscarriage is spontaneous abortion, however, I never liked the term because ‘abortion’ implied to me that I had a say in it. Miscarriage symptoms are usually bleeding and cramping. Miscarriage is not often talked about, though more so today than before. It is surprisingly common, and most often, completely unexpected. Who plans to have one? The statistics say that 25% of pregnancies end with a miscarriage though the number is higher if you factor in women who miscarry at home or before they are sure that they are pregnant.

What Causes It?

I’m not a medical professional so anything that you read here is based on information that I learned in reading books and websites. Early miscarriages (13+/- weeks), in most cases happens because the baby isn’t growing correctly or there is some sort of genetic or chromosomal abnormality. Generally, there is no way to tell exactly what cause it and doctors consider it quite normal for a woman to have one or even two! Additional testing to determine causes isn’t usually done until a woman has had three miscarriages. In a small number of cases there are other reasons such as the pregnancy growing in the wrong place or an incompetent cervix but your doctor can help you rule these things out. As a believer, it is my firm conviction that God allows it to happen. We live in a fallen world and though it wasn’t originally part of His plan, He is in control of all things and therefore if it happened, it is because He allowed it. More on this later.

What Does Not Cause It!

Exercise, sexual relations, eating certain foods etc. do not cause miscarriage. I felt extremely guilty about the fact that I had eaten dozens of Cadbury Easter Eggs during the three months I was pregnant. I had read that chocolate may increase your chance of a miscarriage. My doctor assured me that it was not caused by eating chocolate. It may sound silly to some but once you experience that loss, you being to analyze everything that you may have done to have caused it. Try not to do that because in most cases, nothing you did caused it!

Could I Have Prevented It?

There is absolutely nothing you could have done to prevent it. If it was going to happen, it will happen regardless of your position, eating etc. I started spotting on a Sunday night. I went to work on Monday and Tuesday. I battled with guilt, wondering if I had stayed home and rested if perhaps Isaiah would have lived. This is not the case. Standing up, laying down, if it was going to happen, it would have happened anyway!

Am I Having A Miscarriage?

If you have stumbled onto this post by research because you suspect you may be having a miscarriage. I encourage you to call your doctor immediately. Bleeding (even light spotting), cramps, a gush of fluid, or anything else that seems unusual warrants an immediate call to the doctor!

For more information, check out this site: Pregnancy Loss. I actually just found this site after writing the series. It looks great and in depth for those of you who need or want to read more that just the basics of causes and such.

Coming Up in this Series:

Isaiah’s Birth Story, The Grief Process, Survival, and Helping Others

This Post is linked to Homemaker Barbi’s Family Friday

Sizzling Summer Logo 

Photo adapted from Zanastardust

We’re all going green. Hurray for our wallets and our earth. But in some cases, this also presents us with a problem! I don’t know about you but I always used plastic grocery bags to carry home wet swim suits from the beach or pool. With my fabulous re-useable bags, the plastic bags are no longer plentiful and I find myself at a loss…

I mentioned earlier that in participation of Set for a Sizzling Summer Series, Ottawa Cloth Diapers kindly sent me a JamTots Wet Bag to review.

wetbag Photo from Ottawa Cloth Diapers

The product details are here.

For Diapers: I think it was originally designed for dirty cloth diapers while out and about. I used it for this purpose and it worked great. It held two soiled BumGenius diapers easily. It would have accommodated more however that was all that John soiled 🙂 With the water-resistant lining, it did a great job of keeping the smell contained which is important since I don’t really want to walk around smelling…ummm, well you know!

For Wipes: I’ve recently started using cloth wipes. I’ll be sharing what I have learned so far in a future post next month. Though I am still using disposable wipes when we go out, I am in the process of changing that. I think this would be an ideal bag for taking moist cloth wipes out with me for quick wipes of sticky faces & hands or for bottom changes! I haven’t done this yet but I’ll come back and let you know how it works out for me.

Laundry Bag: Often I am out and about (at mom’s etc.) and one of my littles needs to change clothes. This bag also makes for a great laundry sack. Now the bag isn’t huge so for older children this wouldn’t work but because my little ones are small still, it works perfectly for me. I love the way the bag snaps onto itself around the strap of my diaper bag because many times there isn’t enough room in my diaper bag for a bag of laundry.

Swim Suits: And of course, the reason that this product is featured in our Sizzling Summer Series is because it is the perfect swim suit bag. I can fit Chloe’s (2), John’s (10 months), Scott’s and my bathing suits all in this bag. There is still some room but I wouldn’t want to strain the zipper. Larger families may need to invest in two bags. Just toss the suits in and then snap it onto your bag. No worries about getting anything else wet!

Colors that Match! It really is a cool bag with many uses. It comes in a fabulous array of colors. Ottawa Cloth Diapers was kind enough to send me one in ladybug (pictured above). I was VERY excited about this since my stroller is the same color. My diaper bag is black and has a little red tag on it so it matches that too. (I got my very cool diaper bag off kijiji). The only reason that I mention it matching is because most of the times that I have used the wet bag, I have taken advantage of the snap feature and attached it to either my stroller or my diaper bag for easy carrying. It’s nice when things match isn’t it?

wetbag

Buy It!

You can buy one of these fabulous bags from Ottawa Cloth Diapers. The have a wonderful online shop filled with treasures! Vicky is a very friendly and helpful lady who would be happy to help you with any questions you may have about her products.

Win It!

Ottawa Cloth Diapers wants to give one lucky reader a wet bag in their choice of in stock color! Entering is easy! Winner will be announced on June 26th. Open to Canadian and USA friends!

  1. Main Entry: Go here and pick your favorite color bag, come back and leave a comment
  2. Bonus: Subscribe to my blog for an additional entry
  3. Bonus: Blog about this giveaway and leave the link in the comments
  4. Bonus: Buy anything from their store for an additional 3 entries (leave 3 separate comments)

alone

Photo by kudomomo

Coming up this Friday is a mini-series on miscarriage. In this series I will share some Miscarriage Basics, Isaiah’s Birth Story (my personal miscarriage), The Grief Process, Survival and a post on Helping Others.

As I will explain in the first post this Friday, this series is not aimed so much at every day readers but is being posted to help someone out there looking the way I was after losing Isaiah. I am thankful to all the brave women who shared their stories ‘out there’ to be a help and encouragement to others (me!). I aim to be one of those brave women.

With that being said, this is a difficult topic to cover and knowing how much to share has been a struggle for me. I have decided to be fairly detailed in the writing of this series and pray that you will not be offended. Please know that Isaiah’s story is detailed and that if you are particularly sensitive you may wish to skip that post.

I’ll see you on Friday to continue on with this topic. Please feel free to share your thoughts, stories and insights throughout the series to be a blessing to me as well as others who may come upon this series in their time of need.

Sizzling Summer Logo Photo adapted from Zanastardust

One of the most important things to think when getting Set for a Sizzling Summer is Sun Safety. While we love to bask in the glow of Mr. Golden Sun, it can be dangerous!

Cover Up Your Body

One of the best ways to avoid overexposure and burning is to cover up! One great option is UV Skinz. No worries about missed spots or under applying/ reapplying sunscreen and it doesn’t wash or wear off. Obviously, the more areas that your bathing suit covers, the less direct sunlight they are getting and the safer they are! Whatever suit you choose, make sure that it covers as much as possible without restricting their ability to maneuver, swim and play. Even though you may not feel that you are getting burned while swimming, water reflects 100% of the suns rays so it can be deadly.

What is UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) vs.. SPF (Sun Protection Factor)?

SPF is used in reference to sunscreens while UPF is used for sun protective fabrics. If a person can stay in the sun for 10 minutes before getting sunburned and applies an SPF 15 sunscreen, then that person should be able to remain in the sun without getting sunburned for 150 minutes (10 minutes x SPF 15 = 150). UPF measures how much of the sun’s rays are penetrating a garment. A UPF 50 rating means that the fabric only allows 1/50th (2%) of the sun’s UV rays to pass through it and blocks out 98% of UV rays. UPF protection applies to both UVA and UVB rays.

UV Skinz Website

Cover Up Your Head and Eyes

Another important, and often neglected, area of covering up is your head and eyes. The sun can burn the eyes and cumulative exposure can lead to cataracts later in life. There are many types of UV protective glasses out there, just make sure they actually do filter out rays and are not just tinted. Hats are another important article of clothing in the summer months. A wide brimmed hat will help cover the neck, ears and face. Whatever the hat, make sure that it will stay on and that they will wear it. While I scrimp on many items, the hat that I have splurged on the past two years is made by Puffin. I like it because the material screens out rays, it’s great in or out of the water, it dries fast and it has a chin tie/cordlock that keeps it on.

Using Sunscreen Wisely

The most obvious area of sun safety is sunscreen. There are many different types out there. A ‘broad spectrum’  SPF 30 or higher, that protects against UVA ad UVB rays should be applied liberally! Make sure you reapply often (every 2.5 +/- hours), especially if swimming. Remember that it takes approx. 20 minutes for the sunscreen to be absorbed and start working so be sure that you apply it 30 minutes before sun exposure. Some insect repellants actually decrease the effectiveness of your sunscreen so be sure to use a higher SPF if combining the two. I have been blessed with two little ones with extremely sensitive skin and eczema. Some sunscreens that work fairly well for our family are Ocean Potion and Aveeno Baby. One that I have recently discovered is SmartShield and I am pretty excited about this one. It will be featured in an upcoming review as part of Set for a Sizzling Summer.  Remember that babies under 6 months of age should not wear sunscreen and should avoid sun exposure entirely.

Avoid Peak Rays

The sun is generally strongest between 11am and 4pm so, if possible, avoid direct exposure at that time. Umbrellas, shade shelters, and pop up tents are all good ideas.

Stay Hydrated

While this may not have anything to do with avoiding sunburn, it is an important factor in being outside in the heat. Innate Gear offers a great selection of water bottles for the whole family. Having them close at hand will encourage you to sip frequently.  Fresh fruit is a great source of fluid as well. Snacking on melons, cantaloupe, peaches etc. is not only healthy but it will help keep you hydrated!

Set an Example

Little ones are impressionable and tend to do what we do rather than do what we say. Let’s make sure we’re practicing what we preach 🙂

Sunburned?

  • Avoid further sun exposure until healed
  • Cool baths or cool cloths will help soothe and take away heat
  • Aloe Vera is great for relieving pain and helping speed up the healing process. Visible Aid is an amazing product without the gooeyness of aloe vera. Visible Aid is as close to a miracle cure as they come! Great for cuts, scraps burns etc!
  • Tylenol/Motrin will help if pain is severe.
  • If the burn is bad or blistering, go see your doctor!

A Tip and a Giveaway!

I actually use a lip sunscreen stick for Chloe’s nose and the tips of her ears. With it’s tiny size, it  is something that I am able to just have in my pocket or purse and easy/mess free to use when I just needed a little (to reapply) while out walking or at the park. Lips, noses and ears are extremely prone to burning! I have one of these Lip Potions to give away along with a package of Sun Sensors (consumer reports has a review of these here).

To Enter:

  1. Leave a comment with your contact information either visible on your profile or in the comment.
  2. Subscribe to my blog.

Open Worldwide. Closes June 17, 2009.

Update: Later that day, this post showed up in my reader from Totally Tots. Be sure to check it out too!

This Post is linked to WFMW and Family Friday with Barbi

Related posts: Set for a Sizzling Summer 1.0