KonMari with Kids: Part 3 Think Simple

I should get extra credit for typing this with manicured nails. (Yes, I’m 32, and I just got my first manicure last week!) At the time it seemed like an awesome idea to get a manicure. Then I went back to the real world, changing the twins’ diapers and cleaning toilets and eating chicken wings…what was I thinking? My life is not conducive to long nails at all.)

After Magic of Tidying Up, the real magic lasts if we address a deep-rooted issue most of us don’t want acknowledge.

If we do not change our consumerist habits then all the decluttering in the world won’t do any good.

Maybe it’s because somewhere in the cosmos, the fates realized I have a gift for decluttering that 3 (count ’em)—3 people I know (and I don’t really know many people to begin with) in the last 6 months have given/gifted/trashed me with garbage bags full of junk, things their kids stopped playing with ten years ago, a pile of garbage-looking toys, a collection of really nice Gymboree shorts I sold to Once Upon A Child (cha-ching) also 4-5 sizes old from a family with only one child at home. (So you’re saying you can’t trash these items, but I can?) I should start a business, “We trash your stuff so you don’t have to live with the guilt!”

In came more “stuff” and I had to revisit my need to hold onto things and my need to buy things.

Everyone knows I love shopping.
Everyone knows I love kids’ toys, kids’ clothes, and kids’ gear.
I may have de-cluttered, but I’m not recovered:

I realized that wall art is a nice new money-hobby because it takes up only room on a wall instead of part of my living room floor. It’s still buying things without the mess.

I don’t buy as much clothes now, but when I do I don’t feel bad overpaying because I’m already used to paying for very expensive LuLaRoe clothing. (If a shirt costs $35, then a $30 Mikarose shirt is a bargain right?)

I am also surrounded by people (ahem, millennials) who think they are rich. They want their kids to wear fashionable clothing. Statement pieces for toddlers? What? For moms’ day out, we’re going to order $40 plates for our dinner out? What? I mean, I love indulging too. But whatever happened to the simple life, the beautiful life I wanted when I first became a mom and had simple aspirations to just be content and not moving around the country for SG’s graduate school?

When did we become so entitled we feel we need to have stuff all the time? And to portray a certain value and status through the stuff we have?

I own to the fact I will always have stuff and I will be an Amazon Prime (get it in 2 days or less) type of girl. But there must be real change within, to not go back to the old ways. Maybe I’ll never fully embrace minimalism because I want things for myself and my kids but I can embrace a less consumeristic view. No, my kids don’t need every latest gadget. Yes, I want my home to feel comfortable and inviting but I don’t need to follow every Pinterest trend.

Think Simple.

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The New Year So Far 

Last night as I crawled into bed at 1 am again, I thought, “Dang it, not even a month into the year, my resolution to go to bed earlier is so not working!” What can I say? I am a night owl and I am super productive at night after the kids go to bed. I clean, sometimes I cook when I’m up to it, and lately I’ve been discarding under the KonMari method so it’s taken up my nights (more on this to come).

I will do better. And I think I will sleep better when all is organized in my home. 

Then when I got into bed I compared this year so far to last year at this time.

Last year I had twin infants. I was recovering from a c-section. Luckily I had my mom with me, then my mother in law, then my mom again. So it was nice but not nice. (If you’ve ever had a mother in law, even the most angelic, you know what I mean.) All in the same month. 

I didn’t sleep more than two hours at a time. Sometimes I was nursing every hour with the two. We supplemented with ready-to-feed for a long time (and Baby B never got off formula.) So there was a lot of juggling back then. And I was truly on survival mode.

This year is already better and I’m trying to be grateful that it is better. 

Baby A has slept through the night since 5 months. Baby B whines a little at night but she’s okay, it just could use improvement. Both of them are well-mannered babies. Baby B just started whole milk. Baby A is still nursing to my dismay but it’s still early in the game and he likes it so it’s fine. 

The only horror now is they are both learning to walk and I can’t just plant them on the ground  anymore. Separation anxiety is starting to kick in. But things are so much better. 

I can actually wear regular clothes again instead of my pjs. I get six hours of sleep and even eight when I plan it right. I don’t have to have my nursing pads in and distract Toddler all the time because he’s better at playing independently. 

My goals this year center around helping others and doing more for other people including my kids who will be 4 and 1. Last year, I went a little crazy indulging myself when I could because I needed it: I heavily relied on Amazon shopping and bought things for me and the kids whenever we needed it; when I needed a new wardrobe, I bought it and then some. I bought rich food and desserts because I was nursing two for a time. And while some of this is justified, it can’t remain this way forever. 

This year we’re returning to the simple and beautiful ways. Come with me.

Tale of the Fancy Dress

​Just returned from a week with fam. It only takes a so-called vacation to remind me that being a mom is not glamorous. Let’s not ever be in denial about that fact.

There was a lot of talk. Talk with the siblings (all of whom are or soon will be Parents) and their dream cars, dream phones, and dream houses. We all have plans and dreams for the future. But all these things paired with babies or children are completely impractical. 

And these things don’t make our lives all that much better when we do have kids. Expensive stuff gets ruined with kids. Lavish vacations are just babysitting at a hotel instead of at home; we do get to enlist more baby holders when family or daddies take time off but Mom still does most of the work. We get to do some grown up things but it is all interrupted by naps and diaper changes.

I’m not innocent either. I spent a ton on clothes this year including this past month, some nicer outfits, things I’d wear to a nice party. Simple Guy had a work party coming up and I figured I had an excuse to try out some fancy clothes. When was the last time I treated myself anyway? When the items arrived with all our held mail after vacation, I was pretty happy but in my vain heart, I knew deep down this was, plainly speaking, stupid. I don’t go to nice restaurants anymore. I don’t attend concerts, the ballet or the opera. I don’t attend holiday parties, unless they are kid birthday parties. So why did I pretend that I do? 

Sometimes we parents need an escape from reality and I guess babysitters can help with that. Yeah, it is possible we will get that one night of elegance. One day. So I would wear the dress a grand total of one time. Hmm.

I get that we mourn the loss of past freedom and independence we had as singles or married without kids. But it’s time to grow up, people. When all life stops for kids to be sick or dirty, let us realize there is more to life than just what we adults want. I know one day I will be able to leave all three kids with a babysitter. I know one day I will be able to have nice stuff. But I’m doing something eternally more important right now and luxury can wait. 

We are doing a great work by raising the next generation. When we are parents we are more than just an individual or even a partnership. We are caregivers with power to influence generations. 

The irony of it all is that the whole family got sick after the week of supposed vacation and we missed the work party, so I didn’t get to wear my fancy eveningwear. Luckily it was LuLaRoe holiday wear and doesn’t really break the bank, but it’s still kind of ridiculous to admit I own something that sparkly when I’m about to have two toddlers and a preschooler. Guess I will wear it on New Year’s after the kids all go to bed.

Lesson: Don’t buy stuff that doesn’t go with your current phase of life. Got kids? Don’t buy a fancy car, dress, or house or furniture. Kids will destroy or spit up on it anyway. Don’t falsely assume that your kids are going to be somehow cleaner than the rest of their demographic. Even Preschooler is compulsive about cleanliness and he just transferred marinara from his pants to the carpet not even 12 hours from me writing this.

Good for You

Rant time. Hope you don’t mind.

Since becoming a parent, I’ve encountered a lot of other parents with other styles, philosophies or priorities. Of course, to each their own. But today, could you hear me out?

What’s good for adults (you parents out there) is not necessarily good for your kids.

Example one: nutrition

I have several friends and relatives who are kind of health nuts: love to exercise, eat healthy and do recreation all day long.

While I of course support kids getting exercise and eating healthy, I do not understand why these friends push fad diets like vegetarianism and eating non dairy *without medical reasons* to do so.

Pediatricians recommend whole milk for babies from age 1 to 2. Instead these little kids are drinking soy milk when they are not lactose intolerant.

Doctors recommend a healthy amount of meat and other protein which is good for kids who grow rapidly compared to us adults. Instead these kids eat vegetables all day long and don’t ever get full. Or, get full on “snacks” perceived as healthy but not completely (granola, smoothies, (aka sugarrrrr!) or whole wheat crackers with a ton of sodium).

These kids are not obese either. I could see why a kid with a weight issue would need to cut back on (but not entirely eliminate dairy) a little or eat a little less meat. But these kids are normal, in fact, if anything they’re underweight.

Then these kids have serious behavior problems and are cranky all day and can’t control their emotions. I’m not talking about autistic kids or typical toddler tantrums, but consistent bad behavior which is not prevented by better well balanced nutrition and being well fed and is left unaddressed by poor parenting.

Harsh words. I know. I love these parents but I can’t get why they do this to themselves.

Read about CHILD nutrition. And don’t rely on blogs, fad diet books or holistic medicine. Be a good parent and support your kids’ growth to reach milestones. This isn’t complicated, people. Go do your research. Scientific peer reviewed would be your best option.

To say that your dietary needs as an adult and the dietary needs of your child are the same, is to seriously neglect your child’s needs. Kids don’t eat that much. Make every bit count. Of course, seek to be well balanced.

Example two: community

Simple Guy and I have a deep connection to the Bay Area of California because of his family and my volunteer missionary work in Oakland. We always talk about if we didn’t have kids how we could live in the big city…’kay, we love our kids so much, but I think every parent naturally wonders what things they could do without kids. Exotic travel and fine dining comes to mind. Oh, yeah, and buying designer furniture!

We choose to live where kids can grow and have a sense of community and wholesome activity. And I’m sorry, but the big city is not wholesome. It has a lot of fun. It’s great for travel. But it’s not an ideal place for people like me who 1) want to save money instead of pay rent and 2) believe in traditional values and family. I believe with all my heart there are good people in all places, for I’m now related to some big city dwellers and I lived in a pretty big city (Oakland). But the problem is the overall community.

What does the community value? And will the community support your values?

Those are the biggest questions. I respect all walks of life but I don’t necessarily want my kids in a culture of chaos, confusion and coldness, which is what is in all city life. Go ahead and prove me wrong.

I know many suburb dwellers and small town people and we’re always complaining about how boring it is where we can’t do activities we once did, because now we have little kids. Get over it! Parenting is not glamorous!

We live in one of the nicest suburbs, probably in the nation. It’s freaking awesome! It’s got good schools, good eats, and lots of walks of life. But we do it without being in a huge city where people have learned to only think of themselves. I’d love if all my friends lived here, but I know they can’t.

They’re limited to jobs and family and a billion other factors. Some have to deal with the city issues to support their families. But these decisions are not just about you. Choose for your kids to be in a place where they can thrive and have a sense of community and where values are upheld.

Example three: childbirth

Okay, I know this is a tough subject, but I have to write this!

It is wonderful if you or someone you know gives birth naturally, in a birthing center or in your home.

But before recommending it to all your girlfriends, please, please know this. There are tons of things that can happen to women and their babies in a birthing situation.

Several mom friends have described to me their birth stories: c-sections, vbacs, premature births, large babies, babies with respiratory issues. All these things are best treated by a doctor with medical experience and in a hospital with NICU and with licensed and trained professionals.

Let us agree that there are many good ways and options to have babies. But not one fits the needs of all women.

Do what’s good for your child.

Recently a dear friend of mine debated on having her baby in a birthing center or hospital. Of course, I had my opinions but let her choose her way and would respect her decision.

She told me, “I wanted to be in a birthing center because my first delivery was really painful and I wanted to have the extra support a birthing center would give me. But then I realized that I was only thinking of myself and what I wanted for my birth plan, without really thinking of the needs of my baby. So because of certain health issues I am concerned about, I sought out the best hospital in the area so in case I need the help it will be there. ” and she described to me this strong feeling she had to follow this impression.

This was absolutely. brilliant.

She is a great mother, thinking of the needs of her unborn child.

Think of your baby. What does she need? As a c section mom, I realize that the baby only cares about coming to earth in a safe and healthy way, where her chance of survival is highest.

Think that over, ladies.

Love,

SimpleGirl

LuLaRoe Clothing Review Part 2

As if my last post wasn’t long enough, here’s some more information for you if considering Lularoe clothing:

I have purchased…a lot of clothing from shopping VIP groups and multi consultant sales. Don’t tell Simple Guy. Luckily for me I sold some big ticket items from my excess home goods (unwanted gifts and sale rack finds) on eBay for some supplemental income. I feel like a druggie selling my valuables for a dose.

Realizations 

  1. I’m thrilled to report that LuLaRoe Clothing has helped me to be braver with trying out new prints and colors I didn’t try before. Colors like yellow and green I always assumed Asians couldn’t wear. But I learned that as skirts, you definitely can! And if you’re like me in skin tone, try these “taboo” colors in jewel tone rather than camouflage tone, it actually looks fabulous
    Love the variety of colors and patterns but had to sort through the ugly to get to this beauty.
  2. The clothing does seriously rock, but it is pricey. I made a spreadsheet of my purchases, because ahem, there are that many, and realized that my whole yearly budget for clothing is easily met by shopping Lularoe. With limited prints available in my specific sizes, shopping LLR has become borderline addiction for me. Having said that, I think there are some items really worth the price. The Amelia dress, Julia dress and Carly dress are my favorites and worth every penny to me. They have a great fit though the hemlines are longer for me, because I’m short. The Carly is more of a casual dress, so it’s more on the pricey side, but it’s also the latest thing. Another more pricey item that I love is the Maxi skirts. I love them because they feel effortless to me, yet make you feel elegant. I guess that’s the whole appeal of this clothing line. I also feel disappointed shopping on other sites now because it can be very challenging to find modest clothing that is also stylish and affordable. Whereas on LLR, I know everything will fit and be comfortable. For some reason the both stylish-and-modest apparel come at a price. Modcloth and Anthropology are such examples. So the word pricey is debatable.
  3. People are so obsessed with the leggings. Maybe it’s because I’m short and don’t want to draw attention to my legs and maybe because it’s still summer part 2 here in Texas, but the excitement for them wore off for me rather quickly. They are super comfortable. But they are quite warm and honestly, how many pairs do you need? I decided for the fall, that I’d have a few versatile pairs of solid and more unique but not crazy patterns. But then I realized that I shouldn’t keep shopping for leggings that are only worn a part of the year here. At $25, they’re a little steep.
    Yes, I actually commented sold first on this unicorn print of sleeping foxes set. Cute or crazy?
    Again, it’s because of the climate that my current focus of Lularoe Clothing is carly dresses and various skirts because they are short and airy and extremely versatile if carefully selected. If you live in a colder place than Texas you might get a lot of use out of leggings.
  4. Exchanges can be a bust. Most consultants have an exchange only policy which I kind of despise since they only have an online presence. I have loved most of the clothing but I have returned quite a few items for exchanges due to sizing or colors. The problem with exchanging is that the selection you have is limited to the seller only. Imagine buying an item in a store, only when you return the thing you fell out of love with, the store only has a few remnant pieces left of the clearance rack. That is kind of the feeling you get in this process. You shop a huge sale to find the one item you love, only to find out that consultant doesn’t have much else to exchange for. The best thing to do is wait, if you can, for new inventory to arrive, but depending on the exchange policy and your level of patience, you may not have much time to shop around. 
  5. Tees can potentially be a bust too, if ordinary, would be outrageously priced at $35. I admit I’ve bought a few tees which seemed at the time, the right price point because they’re so uniquely cut but beware, some of the plain ones made of recycled material feel cheap to me. The problem for me right now is finding a substitute for Lularoe tops, that cover the butt so they look good with leggings and still are modest with sleeves and high necklines. My usual favorites are failing me in this category. It is incredibly hard to find a similar product, so it’s outrageous in cost, but I guess we still buy them.

I have a huge new stash of modest clothing that makes me feel great. I do still love this brand, the positive image for women and family. So the magical effect of the drug Lularoe has kind of worn off for me but I’m still not fully recovered because I’m still in a few Facebook groups waiting for some more fun and unique items to pop up. Can’t wait for the next sale.

I mean, how can I resist a Carly in a floral?

LuLaRoe Clothing Review Part 1

I honestly don’t even know how I first heard about LuLaRoe, which just shows the power of social media, getting into our minds and into our lives.

I wanted to share my review since I’m not consultant and not related to one, just wanted to share an honest review. I’m a fan, but with some reservations.

First, why did I look into the clothing ? One of the reason I got into it was for my postpartum body. I’m small and petite, but there’s just the last few baby pounds I just cannot shed and I refuse to diet now because I’m still nursing twin Baby A. I just became very frustrated that I couldn’t wear any of my old clothes. And the excess weight is distributed in the oddest of places. Seriously no dress zipper can zip shut! Guess a twin pregnancy will do that. But let’s face the facts, any pregnancy changes the body as well as the lifestyle one lives when one has three little children at home and no time or energy to workout. This brand is definitely flattering to all women’s body shapes and sizes which is amazing.

First, here are some things I think you should know.

  • It’s best to try on the clothes before browsing on online pop ups, a fancy way of saying online party. I bought a Julia for my first purchase and I liked the fit, but I didn’t love the design. Luckily I lived close to the lady and went to her house for an exchange. She let me write down all my sizes and that has been a huge help. Also, the clothing is designed so you can fit multiple sizes for different looks. A top can be fitted or loose and flowy, depending on your frame.
  • Be extremely critical of the clothing. Please note that almost all Lularoe I have seen is approximately 96% polyester and 4% spandex. We live in the Dallas area where it can get hot. Generally I do not recommend this fabric for extreme heat but it’s just my preference. I can get by most of the year here wearing Lularoe, but I think I will stick to their fabrics that are more airy and light in the summer. Lularoe fabric is anything from cotton like to slinky and silky, so always ask the consultant when you purchase online. I love the Classic tee but a lot of the solid tees are cotton-poly blend, which feels cheap. Recently the new Carly dresses have blends that are softer and lighter. Also the Gracie kids top (I wear size 14), has a great cotton modal blend version. Ask the right questions.
  • Shopping the Lularoe multi consultant sales on Facebook is a good way to familiarize yourself with the good, bad and ugly. Sorry, avid fans, some prints are in my opinion, hideous or old-fashioned. Just one girl’s opinion. Other prints and fabrics are adorable and designer quality. Its like shopping at Ross Dress for Less, where 80% of items are ho hum and others are major finds. In lularoe language, they’re called unicorns, because they are unique and you can never find them in your size. Ask for a close up shot if you are not sure what you are buying. Browse multiple sales to see how items look as they are photographed by multiple people.
  • Speaking of unicorns, it can be extremely frustrating to search and search and search for what you want. Every consultant has received unique items, some are repeats, others very special. This is part of the fun and torture.
  • Be smart. Assess what you need or are looking for and what you’re willing to spend. I laugh while I’m writing this because I’ve totally broken all my rules.
  • Does it spark joy? Be in the right mindset so you can act quickly on an adored item, to buy before someone else does. It’s first post, first serve. You need to devote time and energy to shopping these sales. Best to not be rushed and to window shop as much as you can, to determine if you truly love something or can go without. It’s kind of like that wacky tidying up book from Marie Kondo: hold an item and ask if it sparks joy. And luckily for our wallets, most Lularoe does not! But it’s those few items that really do, that makes this brand so addicting.

My eyes in the last two weeks have been sore with the screen time devoted to finding some Lularoe. I splurged on several items and have learned my lessons:

  • I’ve limited myself to a select few styles that best suit my body type. This type of information can be obtained by finding a local consultant and trying on items for sizing and style.
  • I will also limit my shopping to sales that offer free shipping or from consultants who live in tax free states if possible, to save an extra buck or two.
  • I have also started to save images from a Facebook party during window shopping periods (usually the day before) so that I can give myself time to really consider if I like or even want an item. Sometimes the artificial demand created in a party makes us want to buy something before someone else does, thus creating a frenzy. This fake feeling can really make you go crazy. Yes, people will buy things before you get to them. Get over this reality and move on. Save the photo in Pinterest and keep looking. A lot of times an item I think is unique really is not.
  • Sometimes multi consultant sales are not the right place for you. Working with a few good consultants’ VIP pages, who take good detailed photos, respond to questions quickly and are helpful, will help you to find quality items. And typically most consultants will open new inventory with their VIP page to build customer loyalty but may not carry your size. Many showcase new inventory on Facebook Live and new inventory goes very quickly.
  • Multi consultant sales are are not created equal. The sales have a large variety of clothing so that is where you will most likely be able to find the best selection or a pile of remnant unwanted items. Some groups post photos all at once on the day of the sale, creating chaos. Others allow you time to window shop before a sale goes live. Some people are better business people than others. Encourage the group of consultants to practice good business methods like offering exchanges and free shipping. Shop around for a good group to join.

Consulting?

As for becoming a consultant I would generally not recommend it for most people. Even I was slightly tempted for a while because it would be so cool to get the inventory first. And you would have a little boutique in your house.

But that’s just the problem. Where do you put everything and how do you afford hangers and tags and shipping products?

Some people do well handling MLMs, but most of us do not, and would not succeed. As a consultant you need a lot of inventory to start, which could cost thousands and thousands of dollars out of your own pocket. This is bad business practice,  in my opinion. Why should you as the consultant have to risk the cost of the products? The company’s customer is you the consultant  because they are done with their transaction. Essentially all the business risk is on you.

There are some hideous prints out there and you have no control over what items you get as a consultant. There’s not even a way to buy a gold level package of inventory full of unicorns for an additional fee. So how will you sell these items no one wants or sell the items every other consultant also has? And even the most avid of fans already owns fifty pairs of Lularoe leggings, so why would they buy yours, especially if you only get a handful of unique stuff. I mean, someone may buy the occasional black or gray pair to coordinate outfits, but how many people can and will do that when they already spent money on the pretty top for almost $40?

To keep loyal fans on personal VIP groups, it is best to have fresh new inventory on a weekly basis, so you will continue to invest money back into the business, money of out of your own pocket, unless you have financing readily available to you. Google the breakdown of investment of Lularoe and you will see, it is very difficult to sell every single piece of inventory and the rate of return is poor.

Maybe I’ll do it when I need a hobby.

I love many of their items: the Amelia, Julia, Carly and the Cassie, Madison, and Maxi. I will continue to shop this brand because its image is quite healthy for women, to accept their body shapes and sizes. But I would be realistic about what type of business this actually is. Glad it works for some women out there, but I’m not consulting.

Sizing and fit

Here are my stats for those considering Lularoe for petite sizes, I’m 5’2, 120 lbs. I wear size small in Amelia, Julia, Cassie, Lola and Randy. I wear XXS in Maxi and XXS to XS Carly. Size M for Azure.

I do not recommend Irma and Perfect tees and Lindsay kimonos for petite sized women. These items are huge and large women can wear XXS. So an XXS would swamp women like me. I also prefer the classic tee in XXS over the perfect tee. The perfect looks like a short dress, very wavy and it’s too overwhelming for my body type but nice to pair with leggings.

People consider me an XS at first glance, but I’m really a S in Lularoe which they say is approx. size 6-8. So get yourself fitted.

I love the Amelia and I own two. I sought out one on eBay I really liked and paid the premium for it. I don’t mind, but that’s the price you pay to get what you want without all the hassle. This dress is truly unique with its pockets and is the best dress of the clothing line. I would buy this dress for a party.

Cassie is a very comfortable pencil skirt. Most pencil skirts are super uncomfortable. This one is very comfortable and the fabric of some skirts are very textured, adding some variety to your clothing. I tried them on and love the fit. It’s just I’d rather not be bending down for crawling babies in this skirt. Keep in mind it’s not going to hold big guts in, there’s minimal support.

I like the Maxi (and I’m wearing this one while blogging) because it’s a maxi that works on someone short like me. Usually maxis are extremely long on petite frames. This one in XXS is just perfect on me. So I will mostly be buying maxis as my mom work clothes.

New moms, let’s be kind to ourselves.

I’ve lived in pjs for most of the year; my twins were born in January. Almost 8 months later, I’ve finally realized living in pjs, while necessary some days (you know, those crazy days) is not good for me mentally or emotionally. I need to treat my SAHM role as a job some days: get things done, don’t complain, and keep positive. I often think, “Poor me, I’m so alone and I’m so stressed out and I’m busy all the time,” but in reality this is what God has given me time to do, to quote a fellow mommy blogger. I can feel good about myself, my changing body, and my efforts no matter how small or insignificant to the outside world. I think it will help my children too to see their mom happy and satisfied at home. This brand has allowed me to do that with a type of transitional clothes after pregnancy so I do love the brand despite its weaknesses.

If you have a spare moment, check out Lularoe Clothing as maternity wear. It’s pretty cool. If I find the post, I will add it here.

Confessions of a C-Section Mom

I know there are plenty of doctors out there who will push c-sections on expectant women and it’s not right. Plenty of us can and should have normal deliveries.

The key is to finding an OB-GYN you really trust, to give you sound medical advice and to give you the best shot at a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Easier said than done.

My c-section was scheduled because my baby was breech.

I had a few ultrasounds done throughout my pregnancy by the same sonogram technician who was always grumpy and sour (I know, not the best person to tell pregnancy news to expectant moms, but you know, can’t have everything). My last sonogram a few days before scheduled c, my ultrasound showed the baby flipped but uncharacteristic of this grumpy tech, she went into detail about giving birth to her son, a 9-lb child and how she tore and she had many lingering issues due to a delivery that in her mind should have been a c-section and kindly advised to stick with the c-section.

Yeah, I guess it’s true she could have been paid by the docs to say that to all the women who came into the office. But the way she said it indicated to me she was completely sincere especially when she related to me her own experience. (Later, then my second pregnancy with the twins, she told me she has dealt with back pain for years, ah, ha, that explains the grumpiness. I felt bad for being judgmental. When will I ever learn? )

I had to make a choice and it was a choice most “granola moms” would not support me doing: I chose to proceed with a c-section. The granola moms asked me if anything could be done to prevent me from having a c-section. They asked me if I was being manipulated by my doctor and commented on how evil and money hungry doctors are. I really respectfully disagree with them.

People are very vocal about c-sections. Many old-timers will tell you “Once a c-section, always a c-section” which is not necessarily true anymore. Other more sympathetic old-timers will tell you about their own c-section experiences, which were a lot more risky back in the day than they are now. We know a lot more about c-sections and what risks are involved.

My so-called birth plan went out the window as I had to prepare for surgery instead of delivery.

When my 8 lbs 12 ounce child with a head of 98% percentile size was delivered, I was so grateful that for me, I had made the correct decision.

Recovery was slow and tedious. There were many times I thought I failed as a mother and I took the easy way out. I was also battling other losses in our family’s life, my father in law passed two weeks prior to Baby’s birth unexpectedly. We were in shock.

Time healed these wounds.

For my twins I wanted to try for a VBAC. A lot of people think it’s not possible with twins but it can be done. My old OB retired so I found another in her practice willing to do a VBAC if Twin A was head down and I really think she would have done it for me , except Twin A did not cooperate and and was transverse from Week 32 on. There was actually a lot of movement during the last trimester when they predicted there wouldn’t be. But no matter how the twins moved, they did not get into the correct position. I was due for a repeat C.

This time I was almost completely prepared for the process of getting a c-section and this time it went better than the first time. Healing was faster. The hospital days were a mini vacation and we left the hospital with our boy/girl twins, 6 lbs 1 oz and 5 lbs 8 oz.

In the end I I was just thankful for healthy babies knowing a lot of multiple births have complicated pregnancies, deliveries and post births problems.

Now I view c-sections differently especially since this will probably be my mode of delivery for the rest of my childbearing years. I have accepted this in my life.

Is it ideal? Of course not. Would I wish it on my sisters in law or my daughter? No! Emphatically no. But it happens, so can we remove the stigma associated with cesarean birth? Yes.

People like to talk about how the statistics of c-sections are rising but honestly, I don’t care that I add to that stat. Me and my three beautiful children are not a statistic in my eyes or my husband’s. We’re a growing family. I care not how they were born, just that they are here now, and I thank God for healthy children.

I wish people would be less judgmental about my decisions to have c-section and just realize how blessed we are that we can have medical care necessary for almost each birthing situation.

Honest Company City Backpack Everything Tote Diaper Bag Review

Hi, it’s me. Back from incubating and delivering our boy/girl twins via repeat C. Sorry, it’s taken so long, but really I’m not sorry. I’ve been tried to bond, recover and organize a house that is going through serious growing pains. Our 3-bedroom house suddenly went from spacious to very tight with three kids three and under. That’s a story for another day.

I wanted to share with you my recent discoveries, the most exciting one being new diaper bag that I’ve found from an unexpected place—the Honest Company, you know, that company that sells subscription diapers and wipes. I haven’t tried their products yet but when I found their line of diaper bags then I decided I would.

Toddler and I were at the mall on a morning that Grandma was watching the Twins. I know it sounds bad, but it’s feels great to be able to escape them sometimes, it’s just so intense watching twins sometimes.

I went to Nordstrom, which is a store I never shop at because it’s so expensive even though I must admit I heard their return policy is kind of amazing. I guess everyone has his or her weak spot for material goods and Nordstrom bags might be my next weakness.

I returned the bag I bought in store to order online through Honest Company directly because I got a discount buying two bags (a little excessive? My rationale below) as well as trying out their Essentials bundle. I’m still working on testing the products. I went crazy and bought two bags, but if you just need one, you might try Nordstom online, to check out the other colors not available in store like Elephant Gray which is not gray, more khaki.
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One of the main issues I have with my old Petunia Picklebottom boxy backpack is that the backpack straps are so incredibly painful to wear as a backpack. I always wear it as a messenger bag and I have the most sloped shoulders ever. Asian girl shoulders. So it can be extremely annoying having the strap fall off during diaper changes in those gross public bathrooms, during flights, and basically anywhere. The City backpack is extremely comfortable In comparison, which is its most winning feature.

I searched high and low for a diaper backpack to be hands free with my twins. I bought and returned the Vera Bradley one, available on the Vera Bradley website. It’s awesome because it is black exterior, but it’s fabric, a quilted nylon. The biggest pro is that the inside is wipeable vinyl and would be so easy to clean. The mesh pockets I thought were kind of too tight, and not deep enough to hold baby items like bottles or formula dispensers. I also did not like the designated diaper area. Not big enough for diapers for two kids.

The Honest Co. City backpack is an vegan leather exterior, I hate that term, but it is lightweight and wipe clean. The pockets are well thought out. The front one is great for cell phone and keys, though I read on other reviews the iPhone doesn’t fit. This could be a deal breaker for some of you. The second deeper pocket is insulated, which is an awesome feature. You can store food, milk bottles or sippy cups. Just be aware that it’s not going to fit every type of bottle. I have to squeeze my Avent bottles in for a snug fit.

The main compartment has a mommy pocket with a zipper and two open pockets. There are two small elastic side pockets as well. The main compartment is divided into two sections. The back side is best for diapers and wipes because there is a zipper on the back of the backpack, so you can easily access the diapers while still keeping the main zipper of diaper bag closed. Cool cool features.
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As with any backpack, the biggest issue of using it as a diaper bag, is depth, aka digging for things you need. But if you use little bags and the compartments well, then it lessens the digging around. Waste of time! Simple Guy wanted me to use a regular Jansport, but they just don’t work if they don’t have pockets and dividers. This one I feel is really well designed, having just the right amount of pockets.

Thus bag would be plenty big for one baby. It is tight for three kids, but we’re going minimalist, keeping extra diapers and wipes and other random items in the car, etc.

Everything Tote

The second is the Honest Co Everything Tote, which I have been using as a backup bag. Crazy, yes I am. It is a great bag strapped on the stroller. Hands free is a great concept, but a diaper backpack means you have to carry the weight, either that or make your husband carry it all. I have been using the backpack more for quick outings and the tote for more major outings, it’s more spacious than the City backpack.

Yes, I wish the City backpack had a better way to attach to a stroller like an added strap you could clip off, but no. It’s really trying to be a backpack in style, not look Iike a messenger bag backpack.

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The best feature of the tote is the outer zipper pocket that is wipeable similar to the Vera backpack. This works great as a wet bag and I wish the backpack had this feature. The pockets are deep. The bag is kind of heavy by itself, but so is the PB boxy backpack. It is a beast to haul around so I use it on stroller outings. I would rather not carry this around my shoulders.

Why two bags?
Short answer: Because I’m crazy.

Long: With so many little people, I thought I would need to use both at one time, but I have only had to do that on full day outings which don’t happen for me that often anymore with so many littles. The backpack would carry diapers, the other a ton of snacks and water bottles. I will review my use of the bags in a year or so, but they have been great, totally functional for me.

What’s also nice about these bags is that they can be used beyond the diaper years as mom bags. They don’t scream diaper bag. So hopefully they will be used for a while.

After a few months of use:
I am not one of those vegan moms who buy all organic, so I’m not loyal to the brand, but so far the bags have been awesome. I wish they were cheaper, they range from $149-169 MSRP. but I think they are so worth it, given the smart design. Yes, real leather would have been cool, but probably make the bags heavier.

UPDATE: My sis-in-law has a pretty awesome diaper backpack that I wanted to share as a much more affordable option with cute prints. It’s called the Ecosusi Diaper Backpack from Westlife and is available at Amazon for $46.99. Its main con is the lack of capacity for large bottles, but this would be an excellent choice for a breastfed baby who doesn’t need bottles.

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Our Upcoming Additions

Sorry that I’ve been MIA from the blog recently.

But in my defense, I have a really good excuse.

I’ve been sick all summer. pregnant. with twins.

First, it was a matter of getting through the day with a 2-year old while completely exhausted and nauseated. I have a version of morning sickness much better than a lot of other moms out there, so I shouldn’t complain, really.

But then I received The News, that SimpleGuy and I knew might happen if we were to go on fertility meds, which is multiples. No one thinks it will happen to them. Then it does.

Lest you think I’m a Debbie Downer, please know that I realize I’m doubly blessed. But I also realize it’s going to be a huge adjustment for me and SG, our marriage and relatively low-drama family life with Baby (aka Toddler). Besides his occasional tantrum, we’ve lived as a threesome in a slice of heaven. We’re all reasonable, calm people but I know this will be life-changing and a part of my heart and mind is scared to death of the responsibilities ahead.

So I’m celebrating a new chapter but also mourning the loss of the old one. I’m excited yet irked to be buying (yet) some more baby clothes because I’ll need more of everything that I painstakingly accumulated from clearance racks and bargain hunting over the last two years. What I envisioned of hand-me-downs and using the same stroller and car seat for Baby’s little bro or sis, is turning into a do-over shopping frenzy. I’ll write a book and call it The Things They Carried. Again. I felt like a veteran mom of one and now I’m back to school as a new expecting mom of twins.

I’ll be wrapping up the New Baby Series this fall and taking a break around the holidays. But I will resume with more advice and lessons learned with twins when I’m up to it again.

Love,

SimpleGirl