I have spent 18 months of the past three and a half years breastfeeding. That might not make me an expert but it does - at the very least - mean I have some expertise. The first piece of breastfeeding advice I offer my friends is buy a breastfeeding pillow! Yes, the great part of breastfeeding is that you don't need to invest a ton of money in equipment (you already come fully equipped!). However, that doesn't mean you can't benefit from the right product.
When Griffin was born, I was given the Boppy and the My Brest Friend pillows. I had strong preference for the MBF but loved propping him up occassionally in the Boppy. When I heard about the Comfort & Harmony™ mombo™, which claims to offer the best of both worlds, I was excited to give it a try.
When the mombo arrived, I was immediately impressed by the Firm2Soft™, 2-sided construction. One side of the mombo is a firmer pillow similar to the one found in the MBF, which I prefer for actual breastfeeding. I find it keeps the baby positioned better, without the baby slipping down the pillow. This side was covered in a supersoft brushed cotton. The other side of the pillow was a soft, cushy pillow similar to the one found in the Boppy. Again, I found this side better suited to propping up Amos while he took in his surrounding.
While I loved the 2-sided construction, my favorite feature was a complete surprise. I noticed a hard disc in the middle of the pillow. When I pressed on it, the pillow started vibrating! Genius! Amos has always had a bit of reflux and he found the vibration very soothing post-meal. He even fell asleep a few times. I absolutely love, love, love this feature. I found myself putting him in the vibrating pillow anytime he was a bit fussy and it worked like a charm.
My only critique is the pillow doesn't fasten around your waist. This is my favorite feature of the MBF because it prevents any and all slippage and can really facilitate hands free nursing. I thought the mombo hooked around my waist better than most but I still could have benefitted from some additional support.
Overall, the mombo is a great addition to the breastfeeding pillow lineup and I would recommend it to a new breastfeeding mom. But hey, why take my word for it? Bright Starts has generously given us a Comfort & Harmony™ mombo™ Deluxe Pillow in the Taggies™ Fashion to give away!
With colorful, silky tags in all the right places for little hands to touch and explore, the Taggies™ deluxe mombo™ soothes and comforts baby.
Superior plush fabrics and unique detailed appliqués offer a sweet and cozy environment. The Firm2Soft™, 2-sided construction, is uniquely designed to offer distinct benefits on each side. The firm side offers enhanced back support during nursing and just the right elevation for baby. The soft side creates the perfect environment for lounging.
Sold exclusively at Babies R Us.
1. Leave a comment below telling us the best breastfeeding advice you've given or received.
2. Follow us on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Leave a comment letting us know you tweeted.
3. Like us on Facebook and leave a comment letting us know.
As always, we will use random.org to select a winner. The contest will run from today until next Wednesday, February 22nd at 11PM PST.
No purchase is necessary. Odds of winning are based on number of entries received (duplicate entries will be deleted and only one will be counted). This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and older only.
Congratulations to Karen Joyce!
We will announce the winner next Thursday.
Neither I nor Salt & Nectar were paid for this review. It is my own opinion based on my use of the mombo, which was supplied by Comfort & Harmony for the purpose of an experiential review.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland
Because February is all about hearts, I wanted to share this friendly reminder with you...
Kylee Shea is a bright, outgoing 12-year-old girl. She auditions for the school play, but happily accepts a role with the stage crew. She looks forward to her school’s father-daughter dance, but claims she’s too busy to bother with makeup for the evening. She enjoys movie and swim dates with her best girlfriends, but loves her parents and brother equally. At first glance, you’d think she’s an ordinary teenager. But upon closer examination, you’d see that she’s rather extraordinary—a scar sits below her left collarbone, the only tell tale sign that Kylee has a pacemaker.
You see, Kylee is my miracle niece. Almost six months ago, Kylee suffered from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Distinct from a heart attack, this means her heart stopped unexpectedly, out of the blue, and without warning due to what Kylee explains as an arrhythmia that “caused [her] heart to go into a nasty pattern which then made it stop.” The only warning signs? She felt tired when walking to P.E. class and felt the need to sit down to catch her breath. That was the last thing she remembered until she awoke inside the cabin of the helicopter airlifting her to the nearby children’s hospital. And, still to this day, the doctors cannot identify what caused this heart trouble for my otherwise healthy niece.
While Kylee doesn’t know what caused her heart to stop, she does know that her heart now continues to beat due to her coaches’ swift action and use of an automatic external defibrillator (AED). This simple piece of technology is not only life changing, but it is live saving. Children—like my niece—who experience SCA outside of the hospital only have a 3% chance of survival. When it often takes paramedics eight-plus minutes to respond to an emergency, you want to know that those immediately on the scene have access to an AED because, in the case of SCA, every second counts and this miniscule sliver of time literally means the difference between life and death.
While Kylee is one of the 3% of survivors, 6,000 to 8,000 kids each year are not so lucky. The same week Kylee was shocked back to life by an AED, a Los Angeles cheerleader who collapsed at a football game due to SCA sadly did not recover despite receiving CPR. While CPR is one of the crucial and appropriate life-saving steps, it alone may not be enough—various online sources, including the American Heart Association, report that CPR coupled with early defibrillation increases survival rates by 31% to 70%. Kylee’s cardiologist is certain that this was the case for her—the quick use of the AED was the decisive factor in saving her life
I share this story with you following Valentine’s Day because it’s a love letter to and in honor of my niece, my son, your children, those children sadly lost, and those children yet to be born. And the best way I know how to express my love for their lives is to make sure I do what it takes to protect them, their hearts, and their dreams. This means spreading the word about what we can do in our city, our community, and our own backyard to save another child’s life from SCA.
For parents, Kylee’s mother Sheryl Shea says, “Ask the questions...Does your child’s school have an AED? Who is trained? What is the emergency plan if something were to happen? If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘I don't know,’ MAKE IT HAPPEN. Active parents make a HUGE difference. Kylee’s story is a call to action.”
Based on Sheryl’s wise words, this is what you can do to be prepared in a heart health emergency:
- Be aware of the symptoms.
- Find out about your state’s AED laws.
- Sign the AED Petition Now Alliance petition.
Because it's February, the month that celebrates Valentine's Day and Heart Health, please share the love and spread the word.
~ The Other Sarah
This post was originally published yesterday on Moonfrye.
As part of our austerity plan, I've been reading Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. I found the book through Simple Mom, where it came highly recommended. One of the first steps the book asks you to do is total the value of every. single. thing. you. own.
Everything you own valued over a dollar. Write it down. Find the value. Tally it up.
I remember when we first moved into our house. We had lived in 700 square feet or less for our entire marriage. As I packed the boxes for our china place settings away in the attic, I smugly proclaimed we wouldn't need to store anything else up there. We had storage for days!
Ha. This is what our attic looks like now.
Simplification has been in order for a while. Not to mention, I had been inspired by Alexis's 2,012 in 2012 challenge and knew I needed to cull, organize, and clean. So, I thought, "I'll do everything all at once!" I'll get rid of what I don't want or need, organize and deep clean what's left, WHILE simultaneously creating our home value inventory (which can conveniently double as inventory for insurance purposes!).
And here's the thing. I'm actually doing it.
I began at the door we most often enter. It seemed appropriate. This door enters into our kitchen so that's the first room I tackled. I threw out a bag of magnets that had sat untouched since we moved in three years ago. I cleaned the refrigerator. I organized the junk drawer! I was a woman on a mission!
The more I did the better it felt. I felt lighter. I felt more efficient. I felt happier. Like most moms, I spend a substantial amount of time in my kitchen. Every time I'd open the silverware drawer (which is a lot) and see the crumbs that needed to be cleaned out of the sorter or the old baby spoons I needed to sort through and organize I'd frown to myself and feel overwhelmed. Now, everywhere I turn I see evidence of my hard work and am energized by all the neatness.
Not to mention, I added another step to the process because it was going so smoothly. I decided that once everything was culled, organized, cleaned and inventoried I was really going to take a step back and a page from The William Morris Project. If there was a part of the room I wasn't in love with or an aspect of the decor I've wanted to change forever, I was going to change that as well.
In the kitchen, it was the main wall. When we'd first moved in, I'd hung a Kentucky Oaks poster I've had since we first got married. I really love it. However, it has hung in a prominent spot in our home for eight years. Over a couch. Over a mantel. In the kichen. I stopped actually seeing this print long ago.
Instead, there are several new pieces in my life for which I wanted to make space. I'm also working through 52 Bites (a post for another day) and had come to the week on the Family Purpose Statement. As y'all know, we wrote ours last year but I had yet to display it. So, I created a graphic poster of our statement. I also hung a painting I'd received from my grandmother and a family portrait drawn by THE Dan Zanes I'd won in a blog contest. Last but not least, I wanted a cheap and easy way to display Griffin's artwork as it was quickly taking over my fridge. I had clipped this idea to Evernote forever ago so with a few small changes I ended up with the kitchen wall of my dreams!
I LOVE IT!
Now, it took me almost the entire month of January to complete the kitchen. I definitely got slowed down by particular tasks I was dreading. (I put off cleaning the fridge for at least a week.) However, I feel like I have real momentum now. I've already tackled the pantry and yesterday I finished my bookshelves. I am extraordinarily attached to books and had thought of only a handful I knew I wanted to get rid of. But when it was done my donate stack looked like this!
Plus, taking even more inspiration from Pancakes & French Fries and her Unread Library. I organized my own unread library on one shelf.
Most importantly, after all the organzing, my bookshelves can breathe a little bit easier.
As this project progresses, I'm finding so can I.
~ Sarah Stewart Holland
I'm not a spontaneous person, except when it comes to my hair. While I don't necessarily go the wild or Avant-garde route (I wouldn't look good as Rooney Mara à la Girl with a Dragon Tattoo), I am the type of person who tells the stylist to do whatever she wants with her scissors. Or I decide to chop off all my hair on the spot even if means that I'll have to invest in a bobby pin company as it grows out over my freshman year in high school. My philosophy is simple—it's just hair!
Thus, it's no surprise that I arrived at the salon on Friday and without pause told Denise to cut off five-plus inches of my beachy waves and, heck, snip some bangs while she was at it. End result? A playful cut that makes me look younger. A tired mother's dream come true.
I couldn't wait to show off my haircut, but, natch, I got stuck in LA's rush hour traffic. So, I had more than enough time on the drive home to sneak glimpses of my new fringe in the rear view mirror and let my mind wander. When I was doing this important thinking, I came to the realization that (light bulb!) the lessons of motherhood and hair are the same.
1. Despite what you imagined, you’re always surprised (for better or worse) in the end.
2. It’s not forever. Just as haircuts will grow out, all phases shall pass. And when in doubt, follow my friend Summer’s advice and tell yourself that it’s only for now.
3. Versatility is the name of the game. As a mom you must smoothly adapt and switch gears to manage life with kids, just as your haircut needs to look equally good pulled back in a ponytail for park play, styled sleek for work, or tousled for sexy date nights.
4. You promote and embrace change / exploration / experimentation / self-expression.
5. Mistakes happen and that’s okay. The beauty of life is that you get the chance to start fresh and do over…every minute, hour, day, year (and those rare occasions you find the time to sit in your stylist’s chair).
6. You’re in control of your (out)look.
7. You want to exemplify self-awareness, self-grooming, and personal hygiene. Yes, hygiene!
8. You’re reminded of the importance of living in the present. No one wants The Rachel in 2012 (at least I hope not!), and no mom wants to miss out on the here and now with her child. Being preoccupied with what happened five years ago or what could happen five years in the future doesn’t serve you, but staying current is fashionable in more ways than one.
9. It’s a time to play, which is very important for the vitality of your kids’ lives and yours.
10. Faith and trust are essential to your relationships with your children and hairstylist. These ingredients ensure that you don’t cramp their style and allow for creative independence.
~ The Other Sarah