A Pair of Boots

Seemed like a simple prayer. I prayed that there would be a pair of boots in Anneka’s size at the second-hand store that would be more appropriate for wet, cold weather than the soft boots she had been wearing.

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Why I am Not Afraid To Tell People About Plexus

For two years, I was afraid to tell people about what Plexus did for me. I was afraid to be “that direct selling lady” who bothered other people and used every social media and #irl contact to try to grow her business (note: I know many people who are direct sellers who do not do this). I was also afraid that the blog I’ve worked so hard to build product review cred on would lose trust. I felt like I ran a successful business with my husband and that talking about Plexus somehow made it sound like my role as a web developer and designer wasn’t enough. I was afraid people would see me as a MLM business woman instead of a children’s book writer, blogger, or developer.

I also just flat out don’t like product parties. Seriously, take all the fun out of shopping, why don’t you? Now I have to have social anxiety and personal offense mixed in to my shopping and returning experience. When I started blogging about products, it was after being tied quite emotionally to a direct selling company which was a negative experience in many ways. It gave me a sense of freedom to make the determination that I would never actively sell for an MLM on my blog, because I feared I would lose the integrity of my own reviews.

Recently, I realized I have been intimidated into silence. It was when I was researching ingredients for cleaning supplies (I’m an ingredient nut—my husband calls me a chemist), and I narrowed all the options down to Norwex. I bought out of knowledge of the science behind the ingredients, then tried the products and they did not disappoint me. I calculated the savings of using 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent and realized I was saving money. I cleaned my laundry shelf and achieved one more step to minimalism (my goal in art and life). I got rid of every bit of hard water buildup in my one-year-old house with zero elbow grease. I began throwing away the chemicals that made me cough, especially knowing I didn’t want them around Anneka.

This made me happy, and I began telling other people about it with enthusiasm. I am able to clean my own house because of Norwex, saving $100 a week by not hiring someone else to clean it. And I can do it in less time than I ever have, and it’s cleaner than it’s been for 8 months. (I should mention I’ve literally tried every natural line to be found in stores that I could find. The problem with them all was that they didn’t work well on hard water, mineral buildup, or set in stains).

With Plexus, it was the other way around. First I tried the product, then loved the results, then began researching if there were replacement products because I thought Plexus was a bit expensive. I experimented on myself with half a dozen inferior products, achieved little to no results, and was relieved to sign up for monthly Plexus shipments. You can read about my health story, “From Hypoglycemic to Happy and Healthy.”

It’s tough to keep saying Plexus is expensive or over priced, when there are no parallel products on the market, much less one for less!

It was after the Norwex experience that I realized I was letting the negative experiences I and others have had with MLMs deprive myself of being myself. When I’m excited about a product, everybody hears about it, and it also goes on my blog.

If you ask me what the best diaper cream is, I’ll say Weleda. I have no qualms about this, because I do not make money from saying this.

If you ask me what the best skincare is, I’ll say Paula’s Choice.

 But I do not know of a health supplement line that equals in quality to Plexus.

 And I do not know of a cleaning method (or product, or lifestyle), that comes close in quality to Norwex.

So allow me to be the patient, detailed researcher I am and trust me when I say I can vouch for these products, and that they are the best in value, just like when I tell you about Paula’s Choice, Weleda, Lille Baby carriers, Love to Dream Swaddlers, and more.

I also hope that my friends will not think I’ve changed. My main goals in life are still to be a writer and coder. But one of the things I write about is life-changing products and product lines.

Plexus is one of those product lines.

If you want to chat more about hypoglycemia, hair health, norwex, diaper rashes, acid reflux, or baby carriers and swaddling, please contact me! I love to talk about all these things!

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My 10 Favorite Products for Mom and Baby

Lille Baby Carrier

In my baby’s first months, she had a lot of tummy trouble, which is agonizing, as any Mom will tell you. I learned she needed to sleep upright due to her problem with acid reflux, and being held closed helped her digestion as it calmed any separation anxiety she may have felt.

I cannot tell you the transformation that came over my newborn when I put her in this Lille Baby for the first time and kept her in it her entire nap. Not only did she sleep oh so peacefully for two hours (a record for her), she also was much calmer afterward, and within days of sleeping in the Lille Baby (yes I used it for every nap), she was OK with being set down to play by herself sometimes. The sleep transformation was so healing. No more waking up crying because she was spitting or throwing up, just her nestling her head on my chest and sleeping as peacefully as a baby ever has. I cherish these bonding memories with her, as she began sleeping in a little crib at 5 and a half months for her naps.

At the time of this blog post, Anneka is 8 and a half months old and I still pull this out whenever I just don’t know what else to do. It calms her and makes everything OK when she needs extra snuggling. You can see she likes it.

 

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baby cozy in lille baby attachment parenting

Arms Reach Cosleeper

If you have a King size bed, you probably don’t need this. Or if you’re not comfortable with co-sleeping in bed with your baby. We practice a hybrid approach, but Anneka spend several hours each night in her Arms Reach Cosleeper. I always wished it was level with the bed (I realize it’s not for safety reasons), but I can get Anneka out of her cosleeper and nurse her without ever waking up. At least it seems that way, since I often wake up in the middle of the night and I’m holding Anneka and I don’t remember getting her. But it does make night nursing sooooo much easier, and you will feel more rested. I think the mini is the best choice for the younger months, because I can move this from bed side to her nursery against the wall to beside my desk to play time as well. She likes the small cozy size and freaks out in a bigger crib.

Love to Dream Swaddle

This little baby girl loves fabric, and loves to suck on her little 100% cotton covered fists. This is without a doubt the best swaddler solution I tried, and I tried the Zipadee-zip (good for older babies), muslin cloth swaddling, and those velcro swaddlers by Swaddle Me. She didn’t love the Swaddle Mes for very long, because she really want to play with her hands and suck on her fists. She absolutely loved the security + freedom of this arms up Love to Dream Swaddle. I think this is a must have. I switched Anneka to a Zipadee-Zip at 6 and a half months because you are supposed to stop using the Love to Dream when Baby learns to roll. It was a month after she learned to roll and I didn’t want to stop. In my experience watching Anneka, she did fine both on her back and on her tummy in this, so I never knew if stopping was necessary, but an abundance of caution is good. Learn more here. 

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Bamboobies

Skip the disposable nursing bra liners and get one set of these bamboo liners. You’ll be glad you did. They are smooth, absorb a ton of milk, and will save you money in the long run.

Tummy Calm

Absolutely essential. If your baby has tummy problems, colic, or acid reflux. The first night I gave this to Anneka, after a 2 hour crying fit, she burped and fell into a deep 3 hour sleep. Thank God. Available at Walgreen’s.

Nixi teething necklace

This just doesn’t stop being a favorite with Anneka. She holds on to it for comfort in her car seat and she loves the different textures on her teeth. It started being a favorite at about 5 months. Sometimes I wear it while I hold her. She can grasp it and chew on it the whole time she’s in her Lille Baby, sling or in my arms. Sometimes I take it off, unloop it, and let her play with it under supervision. A little fashion for Mom and a lot of fun for baby – win, win! We both love this. Available at many places, including Target. 

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Indestructibles Books

indestructibles books that babies can really sink their teeth into

Books babies can really sink their gums into. That’s what the tagline for Indestructibles says. There is almost nothing Anneka likes better than paper, and with these crinkly textured books (they feel like Tyvek house wrap or money), I have total peace of mind that I won’t be having to rescue her from little choking-hazard sizes pieces of soggy paper.

Summer Infant® Babble Band™ Wearable Audio Baby Monitor

summerbabbleband

You’ll never have to wonder if you can hear your baby or monitor over the noise of conversation, dinner, barking or a video. Any unusual sound and this watch vibrates to let you know something might be amiss or your baby is waking up. Then you can press and hold the middle to hear the actual sounds coming from the nursery. There is also a setting to leave the sound on at all times if you prefer. We even have a white noise machine in Anneka’s room and we learned that as long as we put this on the other side of the room from the monitor, it won’t report on the white noise, meaning vibrations actually represent baby vocalizations or other new sounds.

We had a more traditional monitoring system before and found it very problematic. I could hear Anneka before I could actually hear the monitor due to a 5 second delay and the fact that household noises drowned out the earliest little noises she makes.

I love the Summer Babble Band!

Bio-Kinetics Oats

The first night I gave Anneka Bio-Kinetic Oatmeal instead of regular oatmeal, she went from waking every 2 hours to sleeping 7 in a row.

Bio-Kinetics Oats are oats that are sprouted. If you’re a fan of Ezekiel bread, for instance, you’ll understand the significance of sprouted grains. Since my darling one has a sensitive tummy, this was just another link in the tummy calm regime I’ve found for her (baby wearing, probiotics, etc). Sprouted grains make grains much more digestible, which is why Anneka must have slept so long. My guess is that they not only filled her tummy, like oatmeal is prone to do for babies, but also settled it. Sprouted oats are full of enzymes. Plus I love that Bio-Kinetics doesn’t add forms of iron that might constipate or irritate baby’s stomach. It doesn’t add anything at all. It relies on the nutritious value that is inherit in such a wonderful food as sprouted oats (which already contain iron).

By the way, don’t purchase Bio-Kinetics from Amazon. I tried my first order from Amazon and it was noticeably stale. The second time I ordered directly from Bio-Kinetics and it was as fresh as a freshly baked cake.

Probio5

Probiotics are necessary to heal the real cause of hurting tummies, and probiotics with enzymes and grapeseed extract are a triple threat to digestive issues. Anneka slept longer and was much calmer anytime I was faithful with giving her her Probio5 for at least 2 days. Enzymes help with digestion, probiotics promote healthy bacteria in babies that may have had them wiped out due to antibiotics from birth, and grapeseed extract kills the bad bacteria. While you’re at it, get some for yourself. You probably need the extra energy they’ll give you.

After trying many other brands of probiotics and researching the ingredients, I’m convinced there is absolutely nothing better on the market (that I’ve seen or tried) than Probio5.

top10productsformomandbaby