Swimming

Zeke had his first swimming pool experience today when Jen was kind enough to invite us on base to use their indoor kiddo pool (thanks!). He was pretty nervous about the whole thing and hung out on my lap almost the entire time. So much for my plan of just rolling up my jeans and not having to let everyone see me in my swim wear! (But then there I go posting a picture for the wide world to see! Just don't look at my little belly pooch, lol!) I was a little disappointed that Zeke didn't like it more, he enjoys baths so much. But he wasn't so bad that I'm not hopeful that he will come around by the end of summer.

Anyways, you can thank Kaitie for the picture and I'm off to bed. I already set my April giveaway post to go up at midnight!

New Things

Sorry my updates are pretty sporadic lately. It seems I think about nothing but buying a house, do nothing but look up info on houses, school districts, crime rates, ect. I am getting tired of it and want the ball to start rolling! As requested, here's the link to some pictures of the house I am in love with. Ooh and ahh away.

We are going to go look at it again on Saturday. But we are also going to look at another one that day on the (dun dun dun to Kim who will be REALLY mad) South Hill (Kim was ecstatic that I was planning on going NORTH). It looks gorg. but I'm not getting my hopes up. Its a good $10,000 more than we can afford and already about $40,000 under priced, I doubt they will lower another 10! But Josh wants to go see it anyways and I dont mind.

In non-house news Josh has taught Zeke some new things. How to whistle and how to roll a ball!

video

Houses houses galore

Ok maybe not GALORE. I looked at 20 or so on the 'net. Have driven by....oh 8? Got it down to only 3 to actually walk thru today.

House number 1, while BEAUTIFUL and really well laid out was decided by Josh to be too small. Not too small for our present but too small for our future. And I had to grudgingly agree, even though I loved the place. Yes, it was big enough for the two of us and our ONE little blessing, probably even for a SECOND little blessing...but THREE or FOUR blessings in we'd be getting cramped.

House number 2...well lets just say that I am ready to make an offer for house number 2 RIGHT NOW. I was actually not all that excited about this house before we saw it. The pictures really didnt show it off well and the layout sounded awkward. But I am IN LOVE. It's the cutest little cape cod, circa 1947 I think. Full of charm. And one of my facvorite parts is the partially finished basement. Room to grow. Room we dont need right now, room we may NEVER need. But if we do end up needing it, well there is is. Just waiting to be finished. Josh wants to keep our eyes open...:( He loves it too but you know Josh, practical, not going to jump into anything quickly.

House number 3 was.... bright purple, a true violet. It was also pink in places, and bright red, and orange. And while I CAN paint and I probably WILL paint I dont want to have to paint the entire thing the day we move in. Plus it was really outdated as far as the appliances went and a good 15,000 over our "wish" price. Let's just say house number 3 didnt make the final circle.

This week we finish the paperwork for our loan, keep our eyes out for other houses, maybe walk thru #2 again, and pray for the strength not to nag our husband.... :) wish me luck.

Im praying for a lot of things, actually. I am praying ALL the time it seems. For my poor friend Kait and her family who have the worste flu of the century, for even poorer MckMama (a fav blogger) and her little Stellan in NICU with SVT(?), I'm praying for Josh and I and this momentus decision of buying a house. Praying, like I said, for patience and for submission, things I rarely have under a LOT less stress and when Josh and I's personalities are a LOT less at odds.

C.S. Lewis famously said that there are two types of people in this world. Those that say "Thy will be done" and those to whom God finally says "All right then, have it your way."

Submission is not a strong point for me. Not in my marriage and not in my walk with God. Sometimes I wonder if that is why the Lord made me a woman, and further than that a woman destined to be married. (Because I was LED to be married. It's another story but I was all signed up to be a missionary in Vietnam for 6 months when I decided to marry Josh instead. I learned at THAT time the difference between a GOOD thing and the RIGHT thing. Between something that is Godly and something that is God-directed.) But anyways I see my marriage sometimes as good practice in submission. Submiting to my husband so I can learn better to submit to the Lord.

I fail quite often.

But so far in this adventure I am doing really well. This next few weeks will be the roughest part. Because I have decided and Josh hasnt. And its waiting. Which I am bad at. But I will pray and so will you, right?

I am blessed

I am blessed with not only 1, but 2 boys willing to help me catch up on laundry.

I am blessed with an amazing friend that is almost always up for going to lunch and never says anything about how naughty Zeke is behaving at said lunch...even when MY son spreads HER son's mac and cheese all over the table. (This isn't a pic from yesterday but hey, give me break, we look cute.)

I am blessed with this place, where I can always walk on a nice day....

...to get one of these, and I love Italian Soda's so much that I feel blessed just that they exist.

I am blessed with a God that brings Spring every year. And blessed with a tree in my backyard beginning to bud in proof that this year isn't any different.

I am blessed in so many ways every day. In small ways and in really really big ways. And I need to remember it more often.

WFDW- stuffed pork chops!

Stuffed pork chops. Wonderful served with pasta, or rice, or a salade, really with anything.

First cut your chops 3/4 of the way down the middle. Put some cheese, and some mushrooms in there. I used Gruyere because I had it in the house left over but usually I use mozzarella.


You can also put some delicious spinach in there and then tie the chops closed with twine. I didn't have any twine, and know from Bridget Jone's Diary that you cant use just any string for food.


Once they are tied dredge them first in egg with parsley, salt, and pepper, and then roll them in some bread crumbs.






Then bake 40 minutes at 375. Because I had no twine I had to wrap mine in foil to keep them together. I wouldn't recommend this, it almost doubled the cooking time and then my bread topping came off with the foil. :( Make sure you have twine in the house.

This meal can also be frozen ahead of time and then thawed and baked. I did that when I was pregnant and makign some meals for after the baby.

oh what to read...

It seems I'm at a wall in my reading.

I cant think of a single thing to read next and I HATE it when this happens.

You see, since Zeke was born I've been mostly working thru my own collection (which is fairly impressive if I'm allowed to say so, for a girl of 23, but by no means as large as I could want it to be) with just a few others thrown in because they were on everyone's lips, In Defense of Food- An Eaters Manifesto (LOVED loved LOVED it), The Twilight Series (couldn't stand it, or even finish it), Revolutionary Road (a much more appropriate and enjoyable read then it was as a young teenager, I hated it then but loved it this time), The Kiterunner (so good), Eat, Pray, Love (ick, so whiny) ect. I always insist on reading what everyone else is reading whether I think I will like it or not, its a vanity and a failing.

Anyways, Zeke and I started with Classics and continued that for as long as he let me read out loud to him. We hit Anna Karanina, The Three Musketeers, The Great Gatsby, and Tale of Two Cities, among others. Then he got too big to want to listen, and I started reading him picture books instead and went on myself to a Fantasy kick. I read all of my David Eddings, J. R. R. Martin, Guy Gavriel Kay, Phillip Pulman, and Lloyd Alexander. I got some Christmas books at this point and read those, including a gorgeous leatherbound collection of Jane Austin from my hubby, which I proceded to read in the order that she wrote them. That led me to regret yet again her death and read a bunch of trashy "sequels" to her novels. These kinds of things are never good, and I ALWAYS read them anyways. I dont know how to count how many Gone With The Wind or Pride and Predjudice sequals I have read...its a weakness and a sting to my vanity, lol.

Anyways, I want something NEW now, something I havent read yet but I'm at a blank. Its so hard because I'm such a freaking book snob. I used to be able to just go to the cart of books waiting to be put back on shelves at the library, I would pick the second row, seventh book over, and read it. But these days I never want to read anything that isnt a classic or a best seller. My tastes have either gotten picky or maybe its because my time is so much more valuable now. When you're reading several books a week you have time for some trash. When you are lucky to get 1 book a week in, well, then you want each one to be good.

I will probably either end up back in the arms of Harry Potter or re-reading Don Quixote. Classics and Fantasy, man, you cant beat 'em.

The sun will come out tomorrow....

It even came out for a little bit today. For a little while almost every day for the past few days, actually. I have been LOVING it, and its made me appreciate the extreme walkability of my neighborhood all over again, a blessing that goes mostly unnoticed in the winter. I have a library, a park, coffee shops, restaurants, and grocery stores all within a very easy 3 mile radius of our house. Its one of my very favorite things about this place and one of my top concerns when we buy a home. I love walking, but find that walking with a purpose actually gets done, while walking for walking's sake gets put off over and over.

Todays sunnyness (although it WAS fridgid I have to admit) allowed Zeke to take his very first swing! I think he enoyed it, how about you?

Ezekiel been working on his utensil use lately too, mostly with daddy honestly because mommy doesn't have the patience for it. But here's a picture of Zeke eating shells with a baby fork. I stabbed them on and let him feed himself with it.


Zeke has also been very busy drumming lately. He's very musical, my son. Or at least very loud.

His favorite drum, however, is now the Wii drum set. That's the one that he see's mommy and daddy playing and he's always loved watching us play Rockband. Well now he's decided that HE wants to play the drums when we play rock band. I dont think I have to say how much this has lowered our score, lol. He always climbs up on the couch and starts banging right away. Oh well, we will just have to teach him to keep a beat, right?

Verse of the Week

And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take you up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?

Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.

Joshua 4:5-7


I've been noticing a pattern (and yes, I'm supposed to be reading the NEW testament right now...I promised myself I would really focus on the NEW testament this year...so sue me. I'm Jewish at heart and I cant help it.) Anyways. They are always building these stone monuments whenever God does anything for them, so that they can tell the next generation about all of His ways and blessings. I've noticed this before of course, but for some reason every time it comes up in my reading it really hits me lately.

I really like the idea. I mean, obviously I want to tell Zeke about God and about Jesus. I want to tell him and have him know all the stories, old AND new testament. But I also want to tell him something that I dont see shared very often. I want to tell Zeke about what God has done IN MY LIFE. I want him to learn about MY walk with the Lord just as clearly as he learns about Noah's and Paul's.

I think I am going to start a rock garden.

Two truths and some good news

Two truths about my life right now:

1. I LOVE how Zeke loves me. I love all the cuddles and kisses and hugs I get and that he always wants to be held by me. I love that he always wants me to play with him, and that I am his best friend. And I really try to enjoy it. Sometimes I hold him his whole nap, just because he lets me. Sometimes I put off housework and we just play together all day long while dishes and laundry pile up. I know that this time is short and that in 20 years its the fun we will both remember and not the dishes in the sink.

2. I cant wait...CAN NOT WAIT...for Zeke to develop a little independence. I want to shower by myself. I want to go 2 hours without anyone touching me. I want him to PLAY BY HIMSELF every now and then.

Motherhood is both the most rewarding and most tiring thing I have ever done.

Although its been a good few days, and he gets more and more independent and less clingy all the time. He's almost a freaking toddler, and it hits me strong now that he's constantly doing this:

Other than walking being just around the corner there is other good news,

*WARNING, personal and if you are male maybe uncomfortable info to come*

The backstory: Ever since Zeke was born, and even more so ever since Zeke slowed his breastfeeding down and starting eating a lot of solids I've been a hormonal mess. Severe cramping, random bleeding/clotting, ovarian cysts left and right, and a disposition that might qualify my husband for sainthood. Not to mention anxiety attacks. Which I've always had a problem with but have had under control for YEARS. I mean, I had a few during my first trimester what with the hormones and the stress of previous miscarriage, but its been even worse now that my hormones are dropping then when they were building up.

The good news: I am now on a regular cycle and far far less crazy...at least 3 weeks out of the month. I havent had an anxiety attack in 6 weeks and I've had 2 normal periods normally spaced. I am soooo happy. Also, I'm pretty sure that means I'm ovulating again? So maybe we will have even more good news soon!

Oh the hilarity....

Zeke apparently takes great joy in his mommy's defeat...

video

Yep that is right, "darnit" is officially the funniest word ever. It was first said when Josh wanted chocolate cake instead of my favorite, yellow. And it caused this kind of laughing over and over and over again after that.

And yep, that is also right, I dont know how to make the video go rightways....

Whats for Dinner Wednesday- Green Pepper Casserole

Did you think I forgot what day it is? Because I totally didn't.

Its...
And today for dinner is what I will call Green Pepper Casserole, because its really Stuffed Green Peppers disassemble and eaten casserole style.

Start some rice first but then get busy slicing green bell peppers. If you are stuffing them however (which is a bit prettier) just wash them, cut off their tops, and empty out the insides.





Next brown some ground beef with chopped onion and garlic and add it to the peppers along with your rice, fresh (or canned) tomato, basil, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce. Of course if you are stuffing your peppers then just mix all this up and stuff it in.

Top it all off with more mozzarella then is really good for you and bake it at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. If you are stuffing them I usually just cut some thick mozzarella slices and lay them on top like "hats".


Oh the deliciousness.

PS Taking requests was a good idea, and I am working on that recipe for you soon, Kim.

We're baaaaaack!

Yep, its true. We are back. And I am even caught up on all of my unpacking, dishes, and laundry blogs, e-mails, and forums. Because, yes, I rushed in the door, gave my husband a quick kiss and immediately started doing chores surfing the internet.

Speaking of my husband, I remain unconvinced that he missed me while I was away. He SAYS that he missed me. But let's face it, the dude called me ONCE the entire week I was gone. And he got to play an awful lot of WOW (World of Warcraft, yes I'm married to a Wower) with his buddies. I have a sneaking suspicion that he really enjoyed himself while I was away. Oh well. I missed him a ridiculous amount, and I supposed that just means that I am the weaker link of this marriage.

At least Kaitie missed me. She even wrote me a ballad, lol. THANK THE LORD for girlfriends right? I know that I do.

The trip went really well, though. Zeke was awesome on the plane, not nearly as shy with the family as he usually is, and slept like a champ up until the very end. The last night, and the last day there, got rough. A. Ezekiel was homesick, tired, and FED UP. B. He developed two red inflamed bulges where his top teeth are going to poke thru any day now.

He was happy happy happy to be home, though. He got the biggest smile when he saw Daddy at the airport. And when we got home he veered even right past daddy to say hello to his train, lol. The excitement proved too much to last however and he soon ate, got a bath, and passed out cold.

I of course barely took pictures, because I NEVER think to take pictures. Oh well. Here's to staying home for a while. Until June, at least. When Zeke and I go to Seattle!

Im Flying High

Well by the time you read this (because I am pre-writing this post) Zeke and I will actually be in Idaho, or at least flying there. I am crossing my fingers that it goes off without a hitch. It's only an hour flight, but we all know that really means closer to 2 hours sitting on the plane more often then not, and we also all know what a pain a 9 month old can make himself in 2 hours if he so chooses...

Because, yep, today (I mean yesterday) Zeke hit 9 months! He is such a big boy, I have no idea how to express my amazement at how much he's changed! I am really trying to enjoy every moment but they go by so fast I tend to feel like I've just lost a month in all the hustle and bustle of life. And he's such a big helper too! To prove it, here are some pictures of Zeke in action today... I mean... yesterday. (Man, this pre-writing thing is confusing)

Here is Zeke helping me pack throwing everything I'd packed the night before all over his room.

And here is Zeke helping me sweep the kitchen making me wait to sweep the kitchen until he is done playing with the new "toy" I just got out.

Ok, ok, maybe he's not actually THAT helpful. But he IS cute.

An explaination: I really do put pants on my son. Everyday. I swear it. The thing is, Zeke HATES to wear pants....I mean...who doesnt? as Josh likes to point out. And Zeke is now smart enough to take off his pants. Therefor there are many pictures on this blog of a pants-less Z. Because sometimes a momma just has to pick her battles.

Anyways, wish me luck on this flight. And this trip in general now that you mention it, this is my first time traveling with the baby sans husband. Hopefully not my last, but we will see about that after I find out how hard this is! At least if its awful I'll have a great post to write, right? Gotta look on the bright side.

I don't know how much I'll be able to update, if at all, while I'm away but just so you don't think I've died, I will try to Tweet from my phone now and then. Be sure to watch for them on the left sidebar.

Whats for Dinner Wednesday- Chicken Casserole!

What's for Dinner? Why one of Josh and Zeke's favorite meals of course!! The easiest, peasiest, Chicken Casserole!

Its so easy. Maybe 5 min of prep. Which makes it one of my favorite meals as well!

Your first step is to spread some raw vegetables in a casserole dish. I use whatever is left-over from previous dinners, which this week happened to be frozen peas and a few carrots. If I don't have any vegetables left over, or if I'm in such a rush I cant be bothered to chop anything, then I just use a small bag of frozen assorted veg. I ALWAYS keep a small bag of frozen veggies in the house, its so handy. A good change is the Fiesta mix with the red peppers, broccoli, and corn for this casserole.

Next mix in 2 cans of cream of chicken and 2 cans worth of milk, some chopped up or shredded chicken breast, and before I got married to Josh (who HATES all things sour cream) I would also throw in about a cup of that dreaded stuff.

Now all you have to do is throw it in the oven at 350 degrees until the veggies are soft and the chicken is cooked thru. It takes about a half hour. Once its cooked or at least almost cooked, I top it with Pillsbury crescent rolls cut into stripes and put it in for another 7-10 minutes. You could also top it with bread crumbs and cheese, however.


YUM!

Giveaway Winner!

Well I have finally drawn the lucky winner of my March Giveaway! Out of 120 entries random.org picked ......drumroll please Zeke....number 34!!! Which just happened to be Lace from Keeping My Finger's Crossed! As soon as I go over to her blog and tell her, and then receive her shipping information, I will be mailing her THIS beautiful ring sling.

Didn't win or even worse never entered? Well don't lose hope on free babywearing just yet. Next month, from April 1st until the 10th you will have a chance to win a gorgeous pouch sling from DrewBabyDesigns. Here are Zeke and I trying it out!


I've never actually used a pouch sling before this one arrived in the mail. And let me tell you, I was glad that its that beautiful (but not very boyish) pale purple. Because I was VERY tempted to keep it!

I'll be giving a LOT more info on this wonderful pouch on the first of April when the giveaway begins. But I bet you are already looking forward to it as much as I am.

Looking forward to it too much and just want to go buy one? I certainly wont stop you and the prices at DrewBabyDesigns are really nice. 10 dollars for a pouch and $15 for a ring. She will even let you mail her your own fabric and size one to you!

sick sick sick

I feel like the sickness in this house has been just endless this winter. Seriously. Between Josh and I, I'm pretty sure its been a cold/flu a month since October. Right now we are both out of commision with a rather awful cough. I am doing my usual routine of drowning my sickness in sugar.

Usually, I am one of the healthiest eaters around. Zeke and I's breakfasts are always one or a mixture of: unsweetened steel cut oats, origional-style unsweetened yogurt, fruit, whole wheat toast, scrambled eggs, or unsweetened cereals (he eats Cheerios and I do Kashi). See the pattern? I dont really do sweets. Even during the rest of the day we snack on and off on healthy foods: almonds, cheeses, fruits and veggies, whole wheat crackers, unsweetened peanut butter, hummus, ect. But for some reason when I am sick all that goes down the drain. An example? The last 2 days for breakfast Zeke and I have been eating: donuts.

I dont know why but for some reason when I am sick all I want is grease and sugar. Josh says all I want is grease and sugar all the time but its just that when I am sick my defenses are down and I give in. Maybe.

One way or another I am sick of beign sick. When will Spring begin!?!?!?!? Thankfully Zeke hasn't ever really caught anything bad. Knock on wood and thank the Lord for breastfeeding, right? Although I don't understand how I can be giving him antibodies that are keeping him from getting sick when it seems I apparently don't have good enough antibodies for myself...

But Zeke just keeps going and going like the little energizer bunny he is. Learning something new everyday. He just mastered the theory of "around", which may not seem like a big deal at first but if you've seen how frustrated he used to get trying to climb over toys and thru chairs you would be singing Hallelujah as well. He's also really mastering how to use a lot of his toys. He now pushes his train and cars all over the house, bangs on his drum with the drumsticks (oh joy), and knows to push buttons to make things happen. He will also pick up books and start to babble like he is reading them! Ezekiel hits 9 months on Wednesday and I just cant believe how much he has changed and learned.

I better go try to nap a little bit while he is still asleep. Wish me good health before our big trip to Boise on Thursday. And double wish that Zeke doesnt get sick!

Mobius

Only 4 more days to enter my giveaway! Dont miss out!

Zeke and I went to Mobius (a local children's museum) today. I've discovered its sort of the place to be on Friday mornings in Spokane. Seriously, everybody who is anybody in the baby and toddler world is at Mobius on Friday mornings. If my life was a Jane Austen novel (oh if my life was a Jane Austin novel!) then Mobius would be London...

Its sort of a fun place for me because I always run into about 100 people I know, because, you know, I know everybody with a baby in this city. And its fun for Zeke too, because he likes crawling around in their "under 3" section.

Today we showed up early so that Ezekiel could enjoy some time crawling around while the place was empty without worrying about his rather severe stranger anxiety, and then we stayed late so that I could chat with everyone once the place was really hopping and Zeke was passed out on my shoulder.


Anyways, here are some pics!


A missing Whats for Dinner Wednesday

I have just had "one of those days". One of those days where my brain would just absolutely. not. work. And it was just 3 days ago that I was telling Josh I thought my baby-brain was diminishing and I felt more like my old self. Yeah, right. Evidence?

-I sounded like a Valley girl in at least 6 phone calls (Hi, is this....Sandra...I mean...Jennifer? This is Courtney Clark, I'm from....pause...Spokane Mothers?...you uh....applied for a membership?)

-I almost got in numerous car crashes (3 out of 4 of which would have been my fault)

- I remembered all anew why I don't believe in multi-tasking (many jobs poorly done or 1 job done really well, that is the question that I learned the answer to years ago, even without mommy brain!)

- I swept the floor right before feeding Zeke lunch (what was I thinking..oh yeah...I wasnt)

- And I locked myself out of the house while checking the mail for Austrailia from Netflix (good thing I never lock the back door....or any door....except the front one when I check mail I guess. oh yeah, and Australia wasnt there)

So, sorry, but no What's for Dinner Wednesday this week. Because guess what was for dinner?
Yes, that is Zeke yucking it up and eating fast food fries, the only food he eats willingly other than mushrooms right now. (Yes, mushrooms are his latest craze, much to his grandma melanie's chagrin I am sure) If only that woman at Huckleberries could see us now.

So go buy some fast food for dinner...or better yet order in. Because we all deserve a break now and then.

And instead of offering you a delicious and easy dinner recipe I will offer you 5 random thoughts and events from today instead.

1. I love those cell phone headsets. Because now when I talk to myself in the car, gestulating wildly, people dont think I'm crazy, just that Im talking on the phone. If only there was some explanation for singing the Bumblebee song over and over and over again, complete with hand motions....

2. Speaking of songs, I have the narwhal song stuck in my head. Stupid Brian for sending it to Josh, who then send it to me. It reminds me of high school...and the Badger song (which was by the same guy). If you knew me in highshool and therefor know the badger song...20 points to you.

3. Speaking of knowing me, my netflix queue knows me too well. My top genre's? Indie Romance, Romance Classics From the 1950's, Pre-20th Century Period Pieces, and Classic Movie Musicals (oh yeah and then Natasha Hendstridge but that is because of Josh and Species). I might be obsessed with Romance movies of all kind...

4. Speaking of obsessions, I have been drinking fruit smoothies literally everyday and more often twice a day for about a week now. I do this. Eat something obsessivly for a while and then never again for months. It has most recently been rice, and then oatmeal...now smoothies. I'm afraid I've passed this foodie stubbornness onto Zeke (see above and the mushrooms.)

5. And speaking of Zeke and I's stubbornness, Josh and I bought him a walker to push him along with the whole walking thing. He then commenced to push it all around the room, while crawling. Foiled again! This is going to be the sitting thing all over again, I can tell already.

Facebook and Boobs

So...evidently Facebook doesn't allow pictures of breastfeeding babies on their site, calling them "obscene". And sorry if you had already heard about this, but I am slow on the uptake in the recent news division and just found out yesterday.

What the heck? Seriously, I thought this was the 21st century. Or maybe the problem IS that this is the 21st century, but obscene? Breastfeeding? That's what God put them there for buddy! I get so frustrated with this kind of attitude, I really do. We are flooded in this country, left and right, with images of breasts as a commodity. They are used to sell movies, to sell CARS. But NEVER do you see practical examples of breasts being used for what breasts are for: feeding babies.

And I suppose its no wonder then that formula is the norm for a baby's diet in North America. The WHO (the World Health Organization, not the band, lol) calls it the 4TH choice when considering feeding methods (1. being breastfeeding, 2. being expressed milk from the babies mother and 3. being expressed milk from a milk bank), but around here we are told that formula is "just as good these days", that breastfeeding is hard or painful, that it ruins your breasts, that most women/breasts cant produce enough milk, or that the father wont bond with the baby if you breastfeed. We are told its inconvenient, that its gross, and that it is innapropriate and should only be done in private.

Well I am here to tell you that NONE of that is true. And breastfeeding is NOT obscene! And until all these untruths about breastfeeding are no longer spread around (even by doctors at times!) and until we see (literally SEE) more mothers breastfeeding and it's no longer compared to a sexual or private act, children and women are the ones who suffer for it!

By labeling breastfeeding as something objectionable, Facebook is perpetuating all these myths and stigmatizing women who are doing nothing wrong, who are in fact doing something very right, and very natural.

Seriously, I would delete my account, if not for the fact that I plan on participating in the Nurse-in that is comming up!

*Note- please believe that I am not trying to be rude or uncompassionate to women that are unable to breastfeed, or have chosen not to. I WILL say that if you have been labeled unable to breastfeed in the past, or are having troubles currently not to buy that you "cant" without first talking to a breastfeeding consultant or a La Leche League leader. The medical field is often too quick to give up in this country.

What a day!

I wake up this morning to over 50...OVER 50!!!...entries to my give-away. In one day! 50!!! And this thing is gonna run for 1o days! So if you want to get a chance to win THIS gorgeous ring sling, don't despair, there is still time, but you better go HERE.

Then in the midst of reading all those lovely comments I get an email from Kristen Andrews at La Dolce Vita (we have been following each other a few months now and I really enjoy her blog)...and I find out that I am her featured reader this morning! I had forgotten all about this. If you want to see my interview then go HERE.

Wow, I feel so special!

Giveaway!

Yes, its finally time for my first Z's Favorite Things Giveaway!!!!

And what exactly am I giving away this month? A gorgeous black and white, machine-washable cotton, ZoloWear Ring sling! This one, to be exact. And it will even come with a DVD on the many different ways you can carry your baby/toddler in it!

Here is Zeke and I at The Olive Garden with this ring sling when he was...say....3 weeks:

And here is Zeke and I in the same ring sling yesterday:
I LOVE baby-wearing, and so does Ezekiel. Like I've said many times, I don't know that either Zeke or I would have survived our first couple of weeks together (outside the womb) if it wasn't for my MANY carriers. I have 3 at the moment, 2 ring slings and one mei tai. Zeke just HAD to be held when he was born....ok sometimes he STILL just HAS to be held. But I also just HAVE to get things done sometimes. And with a carrier we both get what we want. He is held and I have 2 free hands.

Lets begin with the pluses to baby carrying in general. Like I said, two free hands! If you are a mother, you know how special (and rare) that is. Then there is the ease of traveling, Zeke was in his ring sling at the mall, at the grocery store, at parks while I walked, pretty much everywhere. I didnt have to lug a huge stroller around on every outing and I didnt have to fill my grocery cart with his carseat (or put my newborn in the germy seats they provide). Plus he was happy in there. He could sleep, nurse, poke his head out and have a look around, then nurse and sleep again.

A lot of doctors also recommend baby wearing. Dr Sears of The Baby Book (My own personal Dr Spock) believes its one of the most important parts of attatchment parenting. And there is even a study that was done where one group of parents were asked to carry their babies three hours more than usual and the other group carried their babies the amount they normally would. After 12 weeks, the two groups had only a 1.7 hours difference in daily carrying, but the group of babies that were carried more cried 43% less than the other group. Impressive!

Now on to the pluses of ring slings in particular. They are probably the most well-known type of sling. (Other that maybe the commercial baby bjorn type carrier, which is actually a HUGE chiropractic no-no)

Like I said, I have two different kinds of slings. And I already have 2 other kinds that I have NEVER used lined up for future give-aways (and reviews), but I have definatly used the ring sling the most. I love how easy it was to learn to use, that it fits in my diaper bag when not in use, and that it will work all the way from newborn to toddler. I especially love the adjustability (as a rather tall person with a rather tall baby) and that it can be used in many different postions. Zeke, for example, HATED laying down in the sling, even as a newborn, so he alwasy was carried sitting up.

Well, now I KNOW you want that ring sling, or maybe you want to give it to someone as a gift! And you only have until March 10th before I draw the winner out of a hat out of random.org.

So here is how you enter to win!

You get your first entry for leaving a comment on THIS post saying you want the sling.

And you can get more (bonus) entries for doing any of the following:
-Blog about this contest (of course linking to this post)
-Twitter about this contest (linky linky!)
- TWO entries if you are my follower (gotta show love to my peeps)
- And another TWO entries if you are a Twitter Follower
(please leave a comment for each bonus entry you earn and telling me why. IE if you are a follower leave 2 different comments saying "I follow you".)

7 total chances to win, because 7 is also one of Zeke's favorite things...or at least one of his mom's favorite numbers.

Good luck!