Review! Urbini Omni Stroller (pictures coming soon)

After lots of research and careful consideration, even with the lack of reviews compared to other strollers, I decided to take my chances and purchase the Urbini Omni Solo from Afterall, it was the only stroller featuring a parent-facing option in my budget. I figure a review is definitely warranted. 

Here are the factors that played into my decision:

  • Price I absolutely, positively did NOT want to spend more than 130.00$. Every other stroller with the features I was looking for were priced at 200.00$ or more. I paid 126.00$ for this stroller including free shipping. Plus, I ordered it on Monday and got it by Friday!
  • Features The main feature I was looking for was a parent-facing seating option and the Urbini Omni strollers offer much more! There is the travel system feature,where you just remove the seat and connect an Urbini brand compatible car seat, bassinet-style seat either facing parent or facing the world, or, with the click of a couple of buckles, you can convert the bassinet into a reclinable chair style seat with, again, the option of facing parents or the world. Please note that the compatible car seats for this stroller are very limited both to the Urbini brand and by model. My stroller, The Urbini Omni Solo, which is technically just the stroller instead of the complete travel system, is only compatible with the Urbini Petal Infant Carseat. So please make sure you do your own research about the stroller's compatibility with carseats before purchasing. To make life easier, you could just get the whole complete travel system if that is what you need. There is no child tray or even a parent console  and while these weren't issues for me as I have remedies that I either have or can purchase, understandably for some people, the lack of these features could be a deal-breaker. The storage basket is big enough for me and is better accessible through the front. Overall, it is lightweight, smooth, and easy to maneuver. However, it isn't too compact when folded and if you need it to be extra compact, you may have to remove the seat before folding which seems tedious to me. You may want to check the dimensions of the stroller versus your trunk before purchasing.

Here is a generalized list of pros and cons:

  • lightweight
  • easy to maneuver
  • versatile seating options
  • ability to create a travel system 
  • affordable, even when considering the full travel system 
  • big enough storage basket to store small - medium size bag and other small essentials    \
  • no parent console
  • no child tray
  • storage basket may not be big enough to fit everyone's needs
  • a little wobbly but sturdy enough to ensure safety
  • not compact when folded; may have to remove seat before folding to ensure compactness 
  • Carseat options for travel system is very limited

Overall, I am really enjoying my new stroller and I hope this review serves its purpose and helps others in their purchasing decisions. I will come back and update this review every few months just to let others know how the stroller is holding up in the long-term.

All About Infidelity

Infidelity within a relationship isn't a very open topic to freely discuss. Conventionally, it is hidden and kept secret however, with this post, I hope to shed some light on to the various forms of cheating, signs to beware of, and what you can do if you are the victim.

Forms Of Cheating:

Physically Intimate - physical cheating, through intimacy, is the most referred-to form of infidelity within a committed relationship. This form of cheating tends to be the end-all for relationships.

Emotional - emotional cheating is a bit more complicated and may be even more painful than if their cheating partner were in a conventional physically intimate affair. Although emotional affairs do tend to escalate into physically intimate affairs, emotional infidelity is unique in that it does not need to involve physical infidelity. The cheating partner becomes almost obsessed with the other person and talks to them in ways that he does not talk to his or her current partner. There are inappropriate feelings involved beyond what a strong friendship may involve.

Cyber - the internet is such a blessing, but with that come downfalls and one is that it gives partners another route of infidelity. Talking to others inappropriately whether on the internet, through text, or over the phone without your current partner's knowledge may seem petty to the one who is being unfaithful but it is a real and, unfortunately, common type of cheating that may be the relationship's deal-breaker.

Pornography - some people feel that viewing other people be physically intimate is another form of cheating but this opinion is not standard so it is important to know how your partner feels about it before you commit to each other.

Signs To Watch Out For: 

  • Becomes secretive with his or her phone, computer, e-mail, or social networking 
  • Money goes unaccounted for
  • Long and frequent phone calls in his or her's phone history
  • Begins talking about someone in particular incessantly
  • New and/or recurrent phone numbers in suspected partner's phone history  
  • Suspicious debit/credit card purchase history
  • Hangs up phone call when current partner walks into room
  • Leaves room when receiving phone calls
  • New sex patterns; Wants more or less sex than usual
  • Starts dressing nicer than usual 
  • Starts wearing perfume/cologne
  • Finds excuses to leave home or seems to become angered from petty arguments and walks out
  • Abrupt change  in work hours
Keep in mind that while the signs above do indicate that the relationship and suspected partner need extra attention, the signs do not necessarily  mean the partner is cheating. 

What You Can Do: 

Generally, there are only 2 things you can do whether you are the victim or the cheating partner:
  1. End the relationship 
  2. Work it out
Ending the relationship may seem like the obvious  thing to do, but for some people it isn't exactly that simple. Maybe there are children involved. Maybe the victim has no resources so that he or she can leave the relationship without any further hardship. Maybe the relationship was really long and the victim isn't sure of what to do or how to do it. 

Working it out may seem like the most forgiving thing to do, but sometimes, even when the affair wasn't that severe, the boundaries have been crossed and trust broken and that may be irreparable. Maybe the victim was cheated on before. Maybe the victim has certain values and morals that he or she can't stand to degrade. 

On the other hand, the victim may choose to stay in the relationship physically, but mentally and emotionally disconnect him or her self until he or she can figure out the best option with a cool head. This may take hours, months, or years. 

Regardless of what you choose to do in the end, it is important that you don't make your decisions irrationally; Calm down and think clearly first. You need to sit down and plan what you will do and how you will carry it out. The first and most important step, however, is to make sure that you are acting on truth. Before you come to any conclusions you need to gather evidence and approach your partner with it calmly and without making any blatant accusations. Do not divulge how you got hold of your evidence. He or she may deny it entirely, confess, or accept only bits and pieces of what you are presenting. 

"It is especially important to remember that when going through issues as touchy as these, and some people may beg to differ, that the person who is victim to this behavior is at NO fault. No matter what you may or may not have done within your relationship, you are not responsible for the choices your partner makes. Ultimately, s/he is the individual who decides to cross any spoken or unspoken boundaries. 

On the other hand, if you have had or are having an emotional affair or are viewing pornography that upsets your partner or are talking with others online that your partner is not comfortable with, it is easy to tell your partner that s/he is overreacting. However, you have no idea how far you have crossed boundaries in the eyes of your partner. You have no idea the depth of their pain and their perception of what you have done or are doing. The easiest way to comprehend what they might be feeling is to let go of everything you believe in regarding such, open your mind, and put yourself in their shoes. You may feel you have done nothing wrong since there has been no physical affair, but in the mind of your partner you have already betrayed him/her; You have already lost their trust. Keep in mind that, statistically, most non-physical affairs eventually escalate. The only way to overcome this is to acknowledge your behavior and your partners feelings and take responsibility. "

My "No Toothpaste" Experiment

My entire life I believed conventional toothpaste was a necessary expense in order to have a fresh, healthy mouth. Buying it was a burden still and when we happened to run out my mouth felt dirty and uncomfortable. After some careful research and my own personal trial, I found that a healthy mouth is better achieved without conventional toothpaste.

I went through a whole week without toothpaste. Because I didn't feel clean just brushing with water, I used baking soda. I missed the flavors of toothpaste but my mouth seemed much healthier without it. My tongue's serrated look dissipated along with my bleeding gums. When I returned to conventional toothpaste as part of my experiment, both of these ailments returned as well.

Below you'll find my week-long journal of my experiment and some links to further reading so that maybe you can achieve a healthier mouth too.

Honestly, I am just glad I have one less item to have to worry about shopping for.

Day 1: Today marks the first day on my "No Toothpaste" experiment journey! I brushed with baking soda and was disgusted by all the color I spit out! YUCK! The taste is something I will need to accustom to or find a tastier alternative for, but my teeth feel cleaner than with the toothpaste I have been using up until this point.

Day 2: I brushed with baking soda again and I spit barely any color out. Yay! My teeth look a bit less yellow in the front but the sides are definitely more yellow.

Day 3: I am kind of missing the minty flavor of toothpaste.

Day 4: I cheated... I swished with toothpaste because I missed the flavors associated with brushing  but honestly, my mouth felt no better or fresher than with just the baking soda I have been using.

Day 5: I am noticing some big color change on my teeth. My side teeth seem to be more yellow, even though I know I am brushing there. Maybe I should put more baking soda on my toothbrush just to brush the more yellow areas?

Day 6: My mouth doesn't feel any less dirty than with ordinary toothpaste. Honestly, I am not missing toothpaste that much anymore.

Day 7: Today marks the last day in my No Toothpaste Experiment! What I have noticed is that my gums are bleeding less, my tongues serrated look is diminishing, and that my teeth look a bit whiter and that they don't feel any dirtier than with toothpaste.

For further information and some recipes please visit:
Toothpaste Alternatives
What Are The Harmful Ingredients In Toothpaste
Home Remedies: Natural & Herbal Dental Care

If you enjoy what you are reading, be sure to show your support by liking the brand new Facebook page!

A Letter To Vaccine Pushers

Dear "Vaccine Pushers", 

I am the mother to children who have all been vaccinated  according to the recommended schedule - until recently. It was no easy decision determining to first delay vaccines, then vaccinate selectively, and then refuse vaccination altogether as information was presented to me. I read many books, questioned medical professionals, and yes, even took to Google. To say there are no valuable resources on the internet would be a huge FALSE. I did extensive research and continue to do so. 

When I had my first child, I thought scientists and doctors had it all figured out and that I had nothing to worry about. After appointments my childrens doctor gave me a handout about each vaccine, highlighted symptoms to watch out for, and noted the dosage of Tylenol to give for minimizing any discomfort. It broke my heart to have to hold my child down and hear them scream, but at that time I thought I was doing the right thing. 

Fast-forward to when my fourth child went in for his 4 month checkup: The doctor examined him, deemed him healthy, and a little while later the nurse came in and administered vaccines. He was extra sleepy and fussy but that was to be expected. The next day, I noticed his bowel movements changed. They were happening more frequently, becoming runnier and runnier, and instead of being the usual yellow, they were turning green. He became increasingly fussy and stopped being the good eater he usually was. I thought something was wrong with my milk since I was breastfeeding. Whenever I tried to feed him he would latch, suckle a little, then turn his head away and cry. I decided to call the doctor who scheduled an appointment for the next day which the doctor discovered that my son had developed an "impressive" double ear infection. It took 7 rounds of various antibiotics to finally rid of the infection, not to mention the Thrush that developed which no prescription medication could treat .

While I know I can not logically blame the vaccines for my son's infection, that it correlated so closely with vaccination provoked me to do some research. I was appalled by the things I was learning; The ingredients, that adverse reactions are not that rare after all, that the makers of vaccines are not liable for any damages they may cause, that doctors are getting their information about vaccines from the same people who are making money off of them, I could go on and on. However, what stood out to me most was that my children can still get sick with the same diseases these vaccines were created to prevent, that all these shots my precious children were enduring would wear off and they would need to have boosters for the remainder of their lifetime and that that wouldn't even guarantee protection, and that my children could be spreading diseases after being injected with live vaccines. I learned that my firstborn child's special needs MAY just be vaccine induced, but there are too many other factors that come into play as well so I can't say for sure. One important lesson I learned was not to approve of any injections or treatments blindly, just because a doctor recommends it. I learned that many professionals have an alternative agenda, that others simply are unaware, and that some are truly remarkable but I am really the only person with the best interests regarding my family. 

It is NOT my obligation to risk my childrens health and safety or my health and safety from vaccines for the sake of the "greater good". Why should anyone elses health and safety be priority over that of my children or self? There is no right or wrong here when both sides and everyone else in between knows they are making the best decision. For some, the risks of vaccination outweigh the risks of the diseases they are supposed to prevent and to bash another person's judgement on that matter goes against the rights for people to choose. Do what you feel is necessary to protect your family, but please stop being so judgemental and nasty towards anyone who questions or refuses anything contrary to what you believe. We are all human and should treat each other as such. 

Sincerely, "Information-Seeking Mom" 

An Inspirational Story About Overcoming Breastfeeding Obstacles

I had our third child, our first daughter, at a freestanding birth center with a wonderful midwife and nurses. I received no pain medication and no intervention besides an IV of antibiotics for a 1/2 hour as a precaution since I tested positive for GBS during my pregnancy. I had a surreal and empowering birth experience that I did not believe was possible. She weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and was 20.5 inches long; My biggest baby yet! She was beautiful, healthy, and normal albeit a bit of a poop-machine which was great since she was eliminating all that meconium. 12 hours after she was born we went home but before we left, we set up an appointment with our daughter's pediatrician for the next day as requested by our midwife because of the GBS result.

The next day the nurse-practitioner (NP) who examined our daughter seemed almost disgusted that she wasn't born in the hospital and I don't think she took into account that our daughter was just a day old, not the usual 2-4 day-olds they customarily see. According to the scale my daughter now weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces so the NP prescribed a bottle of formula after every breastfeeding. I was dumbfounded by what she was suggesting and asked for a second opinion by the head pediatrician who agreed without much investigation. They shoved four large cans of formula into our hands as we left for home and I was devastated since I vowed to my second son that I'd breastfeed any future children for at least a whole year because he was supplemented with a lot of formula, weaned exclusively to formula at just 9 months and, consequently, experienced health issues that my firstborn, who I breastfed exclusively for 6 months and then-on with complimentary food until he was 21 months old, did not experience. I knew breastfeeding wasn't completely over for our daughter and I, but I did know that the bottles and formula would dramatically reduce our chances of successfully reaching our goals.

When we got home I decided to call the midwife to get her opinion. As I waited for a call back I tried feeding our daughter how the NP prescribed but, fortunately, she did not take to the bottle. When the midwife returned my call, her advice was quite contrary to what the NP and pediatrician advised. The midwife said that our daughter's weight loss wasn't that significant, that I should not giver her the formula, and that it'd be best if we found another pediatrician for our baby. I was a bit confused by the conflicting advice but she reassured me that our precious daughter would be fine and that in 3 days, they would bring a scale to the routine postpartum visit to check her weight.

I had to take our daughter for weight checks the next two days in a  row with which the NP was never satisfied enough with her gain. Instead of resting, healing, and bonding and getting to know our new addition, I was running around worrying and stressing. I felt relief the day of the postpartum visit since I did not have leave my house for once. Our daughter was sleeping so she examined me first and then our baby. Our daughter pooped 3 times within that 1 hour visit and the nurse said that that could be the reason for our daughter's weight loss, but that it was actually good since she was eliminating the meconium and that her weight loss was actually not concerning since she was wetting the recommended amount of diapers, obviously exceeded in pooping the amount recommended which are better indicators that she is getting "enough". Our baby girl now weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces! I was so grateful for the midwives at The Birth Center and I called our daughter's pediatrician to let them know.

We had one last weight check a week later and our daughter now weighed 9 pounds. The NP seemed satisfied but right before we left I let her know that our daughter would not take to the bottle and that she did not get any formula and her mouth seemed to just fall open.

This picture is of my daughter breastfeeding just after she was born. She nursed for 2 hours straight before the nurse decided to interrupt for the routine examination. 

This story is just a small example of what a lot of mothers have to overcome in order to breastfeed successfully. This story represents why it is so important to have support for your decision to breastfeed and know where to go when help is needed. 

An Introduction

I believe this very first post should serve as an introduction. My name is Jessica and I am a stay at home mother to 4 beautiful children ages 7,5,3, and 1. I love pregnancy, giving birth (yes, I said THAT), and babies! I have been with my husband for 8 years. I plan on becoming a doula once I am done having babies and they start school. Until then, I fulfill my passions by contributing to The Birthing Site (I added a tab to link you to all my articles there). 

Recently, my interests have led me onto a different path than just my usual pregnancy, birth, and parenting passion. Lately I have been looking into natural health remedies which somehow led me into vaccines which has really opened my eyes to just how much we don't know about most mainstream practices. With all this contradicting information presenting itself to me, I find that my opinions have shifted accordingly and I need to express them somewhere, hence this blog. 

By creating this blog I hope to educate others and encourage them to question convention. At the very least I would like my posts to pique their brains. After all, convention and mainstream practices aren't all evil or unnecessary but I believe that we have deviated so far from our ancestral times that we have developed some kind of fear or aversion to anything natural. I feel that people should be asking questions and researching before accepting routine, mainstream practices and that authorities should humble themselves in order to properly inform people. 

Its not always so serious around here though! I will also post recipes, reviews, crafts, DIY projects, and whatever else I come up with. 

I hope I can touch peoples lives the same way that others blogs have touched my life to create a sense of balance and harmony in all of my readers and, every now and then, a little laugh.