News Page 9 - The Vintage Honey Shop
April 15, 2016

What To Expect When You're Expecting... TWINS

At the beginning of my first pregnancy, I had no idea what I was in store for. Excitement overtook me and all I could think about was the day I’d finally be holding my sweet baby in my arms. But by the second time I saw those two pink lines, I felt like a seasoned pro. I’d already experienced the sickness, cravings, spotting, mood swings, and weight gain, so bring it on! It was nothing I hadn’t already experienced before, or was it?

No matter if you’re on pregnancy #1 or #10, they’re all unique from the others. And let’s face it mamas, do we ever really know what to expect? That answer is definitely “no”, but I do know that a lot of us experience the same things during pregnancy. As a twin mama, I’m here to share some tips based on what I went through, in the hopes that it’ll be informative and helpful to some other expecting mamas of multiples out there.   

1. Morning sickness (or all day sickness for some of us) will not necessarily be worse while carrying multiples. I was much sicker with my daughter than I was with my twin boys. And you may not experience any type of sickness at all.  

2. You will more than likely show early on. I mean, there are two (or more) humans growing inside of you! Embrace that bump.

3. Your heart is going to start beating very fast around the middle of the first trimester. Your blood volume has more than doubled to nourish multiple babies, and it takes a while for your body to get accustomed to this. Once it does, your heart rate will go back to normal. Just hang in there for those few weeks and take it easy.  

4. Being tired takes on a whole new meaning. I never had that second trimester burst of energy with the twins. It’s okay to nap when you can!

5. You’re probably going to be very emotional at times. This too is normal. My emotions where all over the place. One minute I was crying over a cute kitten, the next I was ready to karate chop the next person to ask me a question. You’ll eventually stop feeling this way. But, it may take until after those babies are born.

6. You may have weird cravings. I craved certain scents. I wanted to smell Pine Sol and spearmint all day, every day. Neither of which I wanted to smell again after the babies were born.  

7. You’ll gain a significant amount of weight. This is true for any pregnancy, but especially true when carrying multiples. I was only able to carry my boys to 32 weeks, so I only gained 25 pounds. It’s those last few weeks where the weight really comes on. Just eat healthy, drink water, and stay a bit active. You’re bringing two or more new lives into this world, and you need that extra weight!

8. You will swell. And if you’re one of those women that doesn’t, you’re lucky. So don’t be too hard on yourself when you feel like the Goodyear blimp walking around. It’s short lived.

9. Say good-bye to sex. After the six month mark, it gets very uncomfortable and somewhat painful (at least it was for me). You will struggle finding a position to sleep in, much less have sex in. The belly is big and the back aches. Just keeping it real, ladies.  

10. You may not feel baby movements very often. This is especially true the further along you get. They are cramped for space in there and won’t have a lot of wiggle room. But it just makes it that much more special when you do feel a kick here, or a jab there. I loved feeling and seeing the boys move. It’s such an amazing thing to experience.  

11. Breathing is very difficult in the last trimester. The babies are getting bigger and there is only so many places they can go in your abdomen. Your lung capacity will be compromised. Don’t be alarmed when you start sounding like Darth Vader.  

12. It’s not “two for the price of one”. I heard this so many times during my pregnancy. No. Just no. You still have to buy two of just about everything. Double the diapers, two cribs, two nursing pillows, double the bottles, etc. etc.  

When it’s all said and done, your arms may be full, but your heart will be too. Every ache, every pain, every bought of sickness, will all be worth it. And honestly, you won’t even think about the hardships when you’re holding those beautiful gifts in your arms. If you’re anything like me, then you may even miss being pregnant. There is something so wonderful about the big belly, and knowing your babies are safe inside of you and with you every step of the way.

 

 
 written by VHS contributor// Ali Jenkins
www.mytwinsmakefive.blogspot.com
April 13, 2016

Hostage Takeover

We can't even believe that the words 'hostage take over' and 'ransom' are coming out of our lips.  This has to be a bad dream spawned from watching too many Liam Neeson movies.  But it is true...our shop Facebook Page was taken over by hackers who are demanding we pay up.  They are ransoming our page admin access, which they removed from us.  We have gone 48 hours without access to our page.  We have contacted Facebook numerous times but have not heard back from them.  

We contacted our local news station here in Nashville in hope that this will get Facebook's attention.  Click HERE to see our story.

In the mean time do NOT interact with our Facebook page until further notice.  Once we regain access again, we will let y'all know.  

We apologize from the bottoms of our broken hearts about the things these hackers have been posting in our name.  Thank you for sticking by us & being loyal to our business!

xoxo, Jen + Mel

April 04, 2016

What Is Important (and what's not) For a Child's Birthday Party

I have birthday's for both of my girls coming up in May and so I've got birthday parties on my mind. This year my oldest is having a joint birthday party with one of her friends. And I think we'll just have our immediate family over to celebrate our baby. Over the past seven years we've had a variety of parties of varying sizes. Today I want to share what I've learned about them.

There Is No Right Party

There are some on the internet that get opinionated at those who they feel go "over the top" for birthday parties. And some feel that if you go too "low key" then you're doing your child a disservice. I say that you are the only one that knows how big is too big and how little is too little.

If your child loves doing crafts then it makes sense to have lots of activities at the party. If your child is uncomfortable in crowds then you wouldn't want to host a party for the entire neighborhood. If your child would rather get a larger gift or take a trip with you instead of a party, then by all means you should go that route.

And then, maybe the key ingredient in what kind of party you host is YOU. Maybe you have the gift of hospitality and love to host others in your home. Or maybe you're the opposite. No one should get a say in what kind of birthday party is right for your child other than you and your child. Although, children often have much grander plans than their parents can accommodate so don't feel bad about scaling their vision down to an acceptable limit!

Traditions Can Change

One year I put on my daughter's invitation "No Gifts Please." You would have thought that I had canceled her birthday rather than just asked for no gifts based on some of the reactions that I received. So, the next year we didn't specify. And this year my daughter and her friend have decided to collect toys for others. You can change your mind on what your birthday traditions are each year. You're never boxed in on traditions, especially when your children are young.

Still, traditions are a fun part of birthdays. I wake my children up on their birthday morning with the same song that my mom woke me up with on my birthday growing up. So try out some fun traditions like writing your child a letter each birthday or having the same breakfast each birthday morning. But don't be afraid that just because you did it once that it has to become a yearly tradition. Try different things until you find the tradition that you want to keep! 

You Are Not Superwoman

Like my first point, you know what you're capable of and what you're not. And if it's not hand decorating a three tier cake then don't stress yourself out trying to make one! Know your strengths, time limitations, and funds available and then work within those constraints. If you love pictures and have the funds, hire a photographer so that you can enjoy the party and still have fantastic shots after the event is over. If you are the craft queen, then enjoy yourself while you hand tie the ribbons on the hand made garland. But don't do anything just because you think you "have" to. It's always acceptable to outsource tasks that aren't in your wheelhouse. In most cases, your child will never know and even if they did they definitely won't care.

I'd love to know what you think about birthday parties for children. And what your tips are for making the most of the occasion without overwhelming yourself! If you'd like, hop on Instagram and tag me in a comment on a picture you have posted about one of your children's birthday parties so I can marvel at your amazing-ness! You can find me at @talesofapeanut.

 

written by VHS contributor//Jennifer Elwell

 

April 01, 2016

little eats | peanut butter oatmeal muffins

I am always on the look out for easy, healthy, and delicious snacks to munch on throughout the day. I recently have started making my own because 1) because it's nearly impossible to find dairy free snacks in the store, and 2) it's so much cheaper. Muffins are great because they are delicious and I can grab one and stuff it in my mouth while juggling a baby in my other arm. I came up with this recipe as a dairy free version, but you can use regular milk, peanut butter, etc. for this recipe and it’ll turn out just as great! You could add chocolate chips/nuts/whatever you want that day as well!

Ingredients:

4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp softened peanut butter
2 cups almond milk (or whatever milk you drink)
1 egg
1 tbsp sugar
shredded coconut to taste (optional)
honey to taste (optional)

Directions:

-Preheat your oven to 375 F. Line your muffin tin or spray with some sort of non stick spray (I used PAM).
-Mix together oats, baking powder,  and salt in a large bowl. Mix together softened peanut butter, almond milk, sugar, and egg. Mix small bowl ingredients in with big bowl ingredients. Stir well to combine.

-Fill each muffin about half way to 3/4. If you want to have the shredded coconut, sprinkle the amount you want on each muffin now. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown (watch the shredded coconut if you added it).

-Let cool and remove. Seal in an air tight container for around a week. We drizzle honey on top of ours before eating. :)

Makes around 12-15 muffins, depending on how much mixture you put in the muffin space.

written by VHS contributor// Brandi Little
www.littlemommalife.blogspot.com
March 29, 2016

My Newborn Must-Haves for Baby #2

With my first baby, I painfully poured over reviews to find the best stroller, bassinet, swaddle, and bath tubI bought everything under the sun from all the major retailers.  With my second baby I have really focused in on only a few things that you won’t find in any big box store…

1. Dockatot – this is at the top of my list for a number of reasons. My 1st reason being that sleeping through the night is not only good for everyone involved, it is imperative when you also have a toddler running around in the morning. I know that this maternity leave will be way different from the first and having a baby that sleeps will make everything so much easier…I also love the mobility of the Dockatot from room to room, a must-have quality for baby gear!

2. The Ollie Swaddle – I found out about this swaddle a little while after my first child turned 6 months and was no longer swaddling and I vowed that I would scoop this swaddle up for baby #2. I love that it is made of moisture wicking fabric to reduce the risk of overheating. The reviews tell all with this one – when it comes to babies sleeping for long stretches since birth or even though the night - parents swear by it.

3. The Puj Tub – I realized pretty quickly that having a toddler and newborn wasn’t going to be easy and I am pretty determined to still spend as much time with my toddler as I can so we have decided to combine bath time by bathing my toddler in the tub and the newborn in the sink using the amazing Puj Tub. Don’t be deceived by its looks – it is made from soft foam that cradles and comforts baby while allowing parents to stand (AMAZING!!!) during bath time.

4. Nursing Necklace – after a few months of breastfeeding, babies will start to claw and pinch at your neck and your face making nursing a daunting task. With Baby #2 I invested in some stylish nursing necklaces from The Vintage Honey Shop to give baby something to focus and grab onto while nursing and even babywearing (which I plan to do a lot of).

5. A Nursing Cover/Carseat Cover/Shopping Cart Cover/Scarf from Covered Goods – I cannot wait to use this one! The 4-in-1 versatility makes it an absolute must-have. I dread nursing in public and hope that the Covered Goods cover with the 360 degree coverage will make this task a little easier as I know it will be something I won’t be able to avoid with an active toddler running around.

6. Binxy Baby Shopping Cart Hammock –I thought I would just want to be home during those first few months after having a baby but it was easy to get cabin fever and sometimes you just need to get out of the house. My favorite place to go other than for a walk in the stoller was a therapeutic trip to Target. Since you should never prop the infant carseat up on the shopping cart and putting the carseat in the shopping cart then leaves no space for much needed purchases – the Binxy Baby Hammock cradles the baby (or the carseat) making shopping with a newborn no longer a stressful outing.

    Simplify, simplify, simplify is my motto for Baby #2.  We don’t need a ton of different bassinets, strollers, and baby seats.  Just a few key items to make life with a newborn and a toddler a little bit easier… 

     

    written by VHS contributor// Megan Vanderslice
    www.littlebeanbaby.com

     

    March 22, 2016

    Breastfeeding My Adopted Baby

    I have been asked numerous times by many people to write about my experience and nursing Norah. Many people I meet are not even aware that it is possible to nurse an adopted baby and even some nurses and doctors are having to learn more about this sort of "as they go." It's not super common, but totally possible.
    Before I ever adopted, I spoke with a mother who had adopted two sons many years back and told me that she had nursed both of them and produced milk without even having to supplement. The idea kind of set me off... to be completely honest I sort of thought it was weird and told myself that I would just stick with the bottle, thank you very much. But the conversation never really went away in my mind. When we got our foster son, Koa (now adopted), I found myself wishing that I could connect more with him since there was already the barrier of being a foster mom, the barrier of him grieving the loss of his birth mom (yes, even newborn babies go through a grief process). According to research, "Even if you adopted your child as a newborn, he experiences grief that he might not be able to articulate until later in life as he loses his birth mom and the familiarity of her voice and heart beat."
    Obviously, in foster care it is very rare that you would have the opportunity to nurse a baby since the plan is most always "return to home." So I bottle fed Koa, but hoped and prayed that I would have time to prepare to nurse our next adopted baby. I started researching and I ordered a book with some great information. I also read up online about it often.
    When we had our failed adoption about a year ago, I had quite a bit of time to prepare to nurse the baby. I consulted with my OBGYN and turns out they have a specific protocol that they follow in order to produce milk or re-lactate. It involved taking a medication called Regalin and pumping about every three to four hours. Miraculously I began to produce milk (about a 1/2 ounce at a time) and I started freezing it to prepare for this baby. Well, long story short, the adoption failed and I had no choice but to let my supply dry up. The freezer milk ended up going bad when we had a problem with our freezer and it was pretty sad. I will say right here that Regalin does have the side affect of depression so definitely talk with your doctor if you are considering going on it. There is another medication called Domperidone, but it is very expensive and not FDA-approved. I went on this for awhile with Norah, but due to other issues I did not stay on it.
    Norah's adoption was very sudden (we had one night to prepare for her!) and as a result I had no time to prepare to nurse. Luckily there are these awesome things called Supplemental Nursing Systems or an SNS. The SNS is basically a bottle that you wear as a necklace with tiny tubes attached to the end where the milk/formula comes out. You attach them to your chest and nurse just like you typically would, except the baby gets the milk from the tubes.
    When I was in the NICU with Norah, I had a team of nurses and lactation consultants who were eager to help me on the journey. They were so kind and, even though much of this information was new to them, they went and researched articles and information just to be supportive and helpful to us. It was so awesome.
    I won't lie. It was hard at first. I kept getting frustrated when things were not working out. Initially I used a nipple shield and a temporary SNS, but eventually Norah got the hang of it and now she is able to nurse without the shield and using the long-term SNS.
    I made the decision to nurse Norah strictly for bonding purposes. There were several reasons why I decided not to re-lactate. The main one was that it was IMPOSSIBLE for me to be able to pump every three hours while taking care of a newborn, Koa, and two other toddlers that I babysat on the side. It was becoming a stressful thing and I believe I found the perfect happy medium of using formula, but still nursing with the SNS 90% of the time (we use a bottle in emergency situations).
    I feel incredibly bonded with Norah. I think nursing was a gift to us because I am her main source of nourishment and comfort, without having the extra stress of it all.
    I would say that the main thing (if you are considering doing this) is to not give up right away. It is a process, that's for sure, and it took us a full 4-5 weeks to fully "get it," but after that it became easier. I had really awesome encouragement from my mom, my MIL, my sister, my best friend, and my husband. Plus, I had a lactation consultant with whom I met and she gave me her phone number to call anytime if I had any questions, needed anything or just wanted to be reassured that I was doing the right thing.
    Some things that I believe have helped us bond even more are wearing her in my front pack and doing the bottle as little as possible. Sometimes if she has the bottle too much she can get confused and getting used to the SNS again can be hard. I wear Norah A LOT. I try to wear her every time I go into a store, every time I am doing housework that doesn't require a lot of bending over, any family outing, and any time she is fussy I slide her right into either the Moby or the Ergo. She loves to sleep in it. She loves the closeness of me and I love her right there near me so I can feel her breathing. It really is special.
    She really is such a happy baby and I feel like she is very bonded to me. I don't know if all that can be attributed to nursing, but I like to think it is.

    *Update: Norah is now 2.5 years old and I was able to breastfeed her using the SNS for 17 months! I am so thankful for the people who educated me about nursing an adopted baby and that I was able to have this bonding experience!
    //The VHS would like to give a special thanks to Naomi for sharing her incredible story! Shop Naomi's Store!
    March 20, 2016

    30k Facebook Fans GIVEAWAY

    Woohoo!!!!  We have reached a huge milestone in our shop: 30,000 Facebook followers! Now that's reason to celebrate! So we are giving away three $30 gift cards to our shop! Will you be one of the lucky mama's?  You never know if you don't enter! 
     Giveaway ends Wednesday, March 23!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    This giveaway is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Facebook, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 18+ years of age, release Facebook of responsibility, and agree to Facebook’s terms of use.
    March 18, 2016

    Caring for Baby’s Sensitive Skin

    Today's post comes from mommy blogger, Ali Jenkins, read her story about how she dealt with her baby's sensitive skin...

    When my twins were born, I took one look at Lucas (my fair-skinned red head) and just knew that he was going to have sensitive skin like his mommy. I am about as pale as pale can get, and I grew up only able to use white soap. Anything containing any kind of dye broke me out severely. So, I was prepared with gentle body washes and laundry soaps before the boys were ever born.

    Within a few weeks I started realizing that I was wrong. It wasn’t Lucas who was sensitive, it was Zachary, my tan baby. If milk, saliva, sweat, or anything else for that matter, sat on his skin too long (5-10 minutes), it was bad news. He would get a raw area wherever the fluid had been, then it would dry out and crack open. I felt so bad for my poor little guy. The pediatrician recommended a popular brand of body wash and lotion. I purchased both items and began using them immediately. Sadly, those didn’t work out so well, they actually made it worse. It didn’t take long to come to the realization that Zachary was dealt a pretty severe hand of eczema. This was new territory for me so everything I tried was trial and error. I googled and read countless articles, I tried many things that had been suggested. By the time the twins were around 10 months old, I was ready to pull my hair out. Yes, for 10 months I’d been fighting this and nothing seemed to work.

    One morning, Zachary woke up and he was covered in red, raised bumps all over his entire body. His back felt like sandpaper. I took him to the pediatrician and was told he was on the tail end of a viral rash, but the reason it was so severe is that it had caused his eczema to flare. It was the worst case his doctor had ever seen. I decided then that enough was enough. I came home that day and tossed all of the baby wash and lotions we’d been using in the trash. I didn’t google anything, I just used my mother’s intuition. That evening I put Zachary in a luke warm bath and bathed him in MY Dove Sensitive Skin body wash, patted him dry, and coated him in a thick layer of Cerave lotion. I put his pajamas on him and put him to bed. The next morning his eczema had improved at least 70%! It continued to improve a little more each day, until it was completely gone about 3 days later. I couldn’t believe it had actually worked. It was a long shot, but I was willing to try anything at that point.

    Both of my boys are belly sleepers, so when they are teething and drooling up a storm, sometimes they lay, a good portion of the night, in their own saliva (pretty gross huh?) What I found that worked on his little red, chapped cheeks, was none other than Vaseline. Your baby may look like a greasy mess all day, but it really creates a nice barrier and lets the skin heal nicely.

    The boys are 18 months old now and Zachary has only had a couple of eczema flare ups since I changed up his bath time and lotion routine. I also only give him a bath every 4-5 days since baths are very drying to the skin.

    I hope this helps any of you mamas out there that are about ready to pull your hair out too. It can be very frustrating trying to find something that works for your baby as they are all unique. I’ve learned sometimes it’s better to just follow your own intuition. Sometimes mother’s really do know best!

    *I am not sponsored by any of these brands. This is just what worked for my baby

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    written by VHS contributor// Ali Jenkins
    www.mytwinsmakefive.blogspot.com

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    March 17, 2016

    #keepinstagramchronological

    TO SIGN PETITION:
    https://www.change.org/p/keep-instagram-chronological
    We love Instagram & do not want it to change like Facebook did. Currently we see everything in chronological order. But now Instagram wants to put it in an order of 'most popular'...which is heartbreaking for small businesses & bloggers like ourselves because our posts may never be seen by you! When this happened on Facebook we practically disappeared. We have nearly 30k followers on FB but only an average of 150 people see our posts! We LOVE interacting with our followers & it will just break our hearts if this too fades away! So please sign the petition to show Instagram that the people want to keep it the same!
    We believe that if you like a page, you should be able to see it! 
    xoxo, Jen & Mel 
    thevintagehoneyshop.com 
    March 05, 2016

    Don't suffer in silence// A story of postpartum depression and hope

    photo credit// http://lyndsie.com   instagram// @lyndsiedesignandphoto 

    Liam was born May 29, 2014. A day that should have been over filled with joy had a slight air of overwhelming feelings. I was now responsible for this tiny little life. As I brushed aside those feelings of uncertainty, I assured myself this is normal. I just gave birth after thirty six hours of labor and my hormones were everywhere. Surely, every mother has these feelings after birth. Joyful but overwhelmed. 

    I remember laying in bed once we were home, closing my eyes only to then hear my my husband sneak in and say, "Liam won't stop crying I think you need to nurse him." As I sat up half awake nursing my baby I didn't feel that connection. I felt spaced out, detached and wondering what in the world I just got myself into. This sweet little soul knew nothing of the world and I was his everything. He nursed constantly. As a first time mom I knew nothing. I thought the disconnect with nursing was normal. I thought the shallow latch was normal. I just thought all the problems we had were normal. 

    Nursing was not easy for us. In short, Liam has a tongue tie. I never revised it because by the time I got to that point I just wanted a happy and content baby. I could capture moments in pictures but he cried. All. The. Time. In my eyes I was inadequate and he was never satisfied. I grew such an aversion to nursing in such a short time. I HATED it. It brought me such physical and emotional pain. I felt so ashamed. So alone. So beyond overwhelmed. 

    I realized my feelings surrounding my birth carried on for weeks and I didn't have the "baby blues" but that post partum depression was setting in and it wasn't going away. Our surrounding environment and circumstances at the time were less than ideal. We were living far away from our home, family and friends. It was a very lonely time I don't think I will ever forget. 

    I joined a group in Washington called Kitsap Hope Circle. It is a support group for pregnant and postpartum moms. http://www.kitsaphopecircle.org It was the best group I ever went to. I felt connected, safe and allowed to speak about things knowing I was free from judgement. I felt like I wasn't alone anymore. 

    When my husband and I decided to move back home to California I was sad and relived to be back home. I wasn't ready to leave my support group but I was ready to be home. 

    Fast forward and my son Liam will be two in May. I can say moving home was the right choice. Our lives have been more enriched since we moved back. We've had more opportunity and support than we would have if we stayed but I still to this day miss that group of women. They were empowering in helping break the silence of my postpartum depression. I can't say my PPD has completely subsided. I have many days where I feel alone, isolated and wondering how in the world do I raise this toddler to be an awesome human. In my journey I know I have more work to do. Speaking up and reaching out is the best way to bring light to PPD. I'm very honest about my birth, those early newborn days and my chapters in motherhood. It's how I bring light to my PPD. That tiny beautiful human you created loves you and it's okay if it takes time to love them back. I can say wholeheartedly my son has made me love deeper and aspire to be the best possible version of myself. 

    I pray love and light in the darkness. I promise you are never alone even in those moments when you feel you are. Don't suffer in silence. 

     

    Written by// Chelsea