Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best of the Best for Any Expectant Mom

Almost two years ago, Kajiji Girls compiled a list of the most necessary items recommended for the expectant mom. In our small group, we came up with what we deemed as the "Best of the Best for Any Expectant Mom" list. Most of what's on the beginning of the list were my preferences, and then others added on. Since I've been asked to share it once again, I've decided to simply post it for all who may have interest. As always feel free to add to it in your comments section! Here goes...


  • Diaper Dekor plus and liners – I love this diaper pail!
  • Huggies diapers or Target brand diapers.
  • Seventh Generation diaper wipes – Has no chlorine or additives for being extra gentle on new baby’s bottom. Buy in bulk on and autoship for decent pricing.
  • Sleep positioner/wedge - keeps baby on their back/side.
  • Munchkin disposable changing pads – use during your outings and travels.
  • BebeSounds Nasal Aspirator – a battery-operated aspirator to clear baby’s nose. Sounds ridiculous (and it is more of a luxury item, I'll admit), but it's much gentler on baby’s nose than a bulb syringe with a strong enough suction to help baby to breathe better.


  • Philips Avent Breast Pump – just as good if not better than an expensive electric pump (if you'll be staying at home, that is. If you'll be working, an electric pump will probably make the job much easier).
  • Playtex bottles with disposable liners
  • Boppy pillow
  • Japanese Weekend Hug bra (nonsupportive & overnight bra)
  • Bella Materna bras – expensive but worth it!
  • Thermal breast gel packs such as BustBuddies – used for relief of engorgement.
  • Washable breast pads – you may have to research these to find the best ones for you. There's pure wool pads with their natural healing properties of lanolin or moisture-wicking pads like the ones made by Bravado.
  • "LilyPadz" - silicone, reusable nursing pads that help prevent leaking. They didn't work for me (Erin) until I wasn't engorged anymore, but then they worked like a charm and meant I didn't have to do as much laundry or use disposables.
  • IF you are going to use formula at all, I (Erin) highly recommend making your own. Here's one recipe:
Goats Milk (babies can digest it easier than cow's -I used Myersburg)
A liquid pediatric multi vitamin like Liquid Peds
Evening Primrose Oil
Cod Liver Oil
(You can also find other great all-natural recipes for baby formula at the Real Milk website.)


Maternity Clothing & Stores

  • One Hot Mama – not a large selection, but everything sold here is awesome!
  • Old Navy & Gap - I bought most of my pg wardrobe from here.
  • Bella Band - "the most versatile maternity accessory you'll ever need" - great from 1st trimester until postpartum
  • Maternity Mall – many maternity brands/stores at one site


  • Swaddlers by Kiddopotamus (find at Babies R Us) or Miracle blanket (on – no need for receiving blankets. These things are great and will allow baby to sleep more soundly.
  • A sling like the New Native Baby Carrier – simplest and nicest carrier out there; just be sure to buy the right size and get some pointers on their website. I know other KGs prefer different slings...
  • Bundle Me by J.J. Cole – perfect for infant car seats & strollers – no need for a bulky jacket or suit in cold weather!
  • Britax car seats – the best and safest car seats on the market.
  • Baby swing/bouncy seat/exersaucer
  • Doorway jumper (they now also sell these jumpers with a stand-alone frame – no need for a doorway.)
  • Bumbo baby seat (great for when baby wants to sit up but isn't developmentally ready yet - makes them feel big and keeps them entertained for a bit)
  • A baby back pack/carrier - for hiking or going anywhere where a stroller is impractical.
  • A food grinder or blender - for making your own baby food.
  • A co-sleeper or crib with a removable side and good, quality bungee cords - this creates your own bedside sleeper so that you don't have to get out of bed for nighttime feedings, but keeps the baby out of your own bed.


  • Mothering magazine – Forget Parents. This magazine will open your eyes to much better all-natural mothering than anything out there!
  • Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin - my #1 recommendation of all time (get this book!!)

  • Great with Child by Debra Rienstra – amazing, spiritually poetic, thought-provoking account of one woman's journey through pregnancy
  • Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Glade B. Curtis & Judith Shuler
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League – I learned new things about nursing from this book even after nursing three babies!
  • 100,000+ Baby Names by Bruce Lansky – This book has every name imaginable plus their meanings! I was actually able to find all of my kids’ names (with correct spelling!) in this book. Found it at Wal-Mart.
  • The Baby Book or The Pregnancy Book by Dr. Sears - (stay far, far away from the What to Expect... series!)
  • “Prep for Parenting” video series by Growing Families International


  • Arnica – Hands down the best miracle cream for bumps, bruises, strains, etc. Good for everyone in the house! It comes in cream or oral tablets for adults for internal pain. Take internally for the two weeks before labor, and it will help with the physical effects of labor and postpartum.
  • Perineal cold compress – If the hospital does not supply these to you for the first 24 hours after birth, bring your own!! These unbelievable instant cold compresses are a cross between a maxi pad and an ice pack. They feel absolutely amazing for your soreness!
  • Lansinoh cream (lanolin) – Essential for sore nipples during the first couple weeks of nursing and anytime thereafter.
  • Gripewater – Heard this is a necessity for when baby has gas or colic.
  • Hair powder, spray-on or dry shampoo - for those times when a shower is impossible but you don’t want to look like you haven’t showered. Can be found on
  • Chocolate Mint Zone bars – Kim swears by these to help with morning sickness.
  • Witch Hazel and an analgesic spray such as Dermoplast - After an episiotomy, you may need some relief. Also use the peri-bottle (you'll receive after delivery) filled with warm water in order to urinate comfortably.


  • Take care of yourself!!
  • Wear comfortable slip-on shoes in the later stages of pg and after delivery.
  • Take advantage of the free lactation consultations.
  • Check baby’s tongue to make sure he/she is not tongue-tied. This can interfere with nursing, and it’s extremely quick and easy to take care of.
  • Get plenty of fiber after birth.
  • Research vaccinations & circumcision.
  • Find a MOPS group near you (at local churches) or come to Kajiji Girls! ;-)
  • Cook meals ahead and freeze.
  • Do your dreaded Kegel exercises – they really work!
  • Buy the softest, most luxurious bath towels (Marshall’s or TJ Maxx) to use when your nipples are extremely sore during pregnancy and in the postpartum period while learning to nurse – it makes all the difference in the world!
  • Use cold cabbage leaves on your breasts to relieve the pain of engorgement.
  • Sore nipples require air drying right after feeding and then immediately apply lanolin gel for between feedings.

*All links included here were working as of 12/30/09. I cannot guarantee they will be working anytime in the future.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pet Care in a Post-Rapture World?!?

Ok, I just noticed this website posted on someone's fb page, and it piqued my curiosity. It's called Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, and I want to point out that this is NOT a joke! In fact, they'll tell you that in the FAQ's section which I highly recommend reading. It's marketed toward Christians whose faith includes the idea of a Rapture in which we'd be taken up to heaven to meet Jesus and leave behind those we love who don't proclaim faith in Jesus as well as our precious pets. Yes, pets. After all, when we are raptured, who will take care of our pets? And unless we believe our pets to have souls and the ability to have a saving faith, then they also will be left behind in the chaos of this post-rapture world, will they not?

The idea behind this program may be laughable, scary, bizarre or just plain practical to some, but it tends to bring one up short and analyze how it makes one feel. Is it simply a scam? Is it a service that demands "the rubber meets the road" in our faith? What are your thoughts on post-rapture life? Do you even care what happens after the rapture? Should we do anything to prepare for it in any way? For instance, for those who have read Left Behind, there is a situation where one of the raptured pastors had prepared a video for those left behind explaining what happened and what they can still do to be saved. Or do we not think about the rapture at all?

PLEASE, please, please leave your thoughts and comments here as I would LOVE to know what's going through your mind right now. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pondering Christmas

Only a couple more days until we celebrate the most cherished holiday of the year! I've just come back from a trip down South, and I have to say how pleased I was to notice how many businesses did not take the "PC" way and shirk from offending by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. As we passed a big Pepsi-Cola plant, emblazoned on the front of the building was a huge Merry Christmas!. Along with the warmer temps and the sun, it was such a breath of fresh air. Christmas is typically a holiday of merriment and, when we think about it, of holy awe. As we prepare for the birth of our Savior, let us ponder on the significance of God's gift to us.

Migdal Edar*
When you picture the birth of Jesus Christ, what comes to mind? A cave converted into a stable? A manger, with Mary and Joseph looking at Jesus? Or maybe you imagine barnyard animals looking at the newborn baby? The Bible gives us some details concerning the birth of Jesus, but there are many things that we do not know, such as the location of the birth of Jesus. In this newsletter we would like to explore a possible location for the birth of Christ that we think you will find very interesting.

In our recent research we have identified Migdal Edar as a possible location for the place of Jesus' birth. Migdal Edar is located about two miles south of Jerusalem on the road to Bethlehem. The Bible clearly states that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but Bethlehem at the time of Jesus was larger and more spread out than modern day Bethlehem. Today Jerusalem and Bethlehem are separated by only six miles.

Migdal Edar means "tower of the flock".

You might ask, "What flock?" The answer would be the flock that produced the lambs for sacrifice in the Temple at Jerusalem. In light of Jewish Law, under which Jesus was born (Galatians 4:4-5), this place would have been considered a "clean" location in which to give birth to the Messiah.

It is also interesting to note that the shepherds were told to go to Bethlehem and there they would find the Messiah. The shepherds did not need to ask where in Bethlehem they would find the Child, for they knew about Migdal Edar (Luke 2:11). The "sign" given by the angels was that He would be lying in a manger and dressed in swaddling cloths (Luke 2:12).

During this time of year, we often ponder the events surrounding the coming of our Savior. Migdal Edar was dedicated to producing perfect lambs for the temple sacrifices. It is our reminder that Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, came to be the final sacrifice for our sins.

Wow. Even Jesus' birth heralded his death. As we celebrate Jesus' birthday this week, let us remember why He came. Our children are born because we love, and they are the result of that love. Jesus was born because we hate, and His death was the result of that hate. May His abundant love cover you in this year and the next. Merry Christmas!

*Taken from the most recent Grapevine Studies e-newsletter.
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