Drool Baby Expo. VIP baby!

Last year a new event popped up in Boston. It’s called the Drool Baby Expo. The good folks at Magic Beans teamed up with Big City Moms and put on an event to remember. It’s small(ish), upscale and fabulous. All the best baby and kids stuff in one place with cupcakes and manis and freebies! Seriously? Yes!

Well this year, if it’s possible, I think it will be even better!

What baby products are you drooling over find them at the drool baby expo


Sample new products, win incredible prizes, and walk away with an amazing gift bag, packed with products and services worth more than 2x the price of your ticket – guaranteed. Light refreshments and drinks will be served.

Some of the vendors that will be there include Ergo Baby, Orbit Baby, Britax, Bugaboo, phil&teds, Mountain Buggy, UPPAbaby, Skip Hop, Stokke, BabyHome, Viacord, and many, many more. All premium brands, offering demonstrations, freebies, and discounts

Are you pregnant, trying, have a newborn? – then this event is for you. And any grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends who are looking for the best products for babies come on along!

The Details:
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 starting at 5:30pm (VIP entrance is at 4:30pm)

The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts (in Boston’s trendy South End)

$35/person, and include delicious food & some beverages, complimentary spa services, access to exclusive discounts and gifts with purchase, free entries to win over $10,000 in raffle prizes and that amazing gift bag I was talking about (stuff worth 2x the price of your ticket. Yeah – that one!).

For $20, you can get a basic ticket (but no swag bag though), but you get access to all the fun, show giveaways and discounts. So bring hubs too ;-)

Valet Parking is $15, but there are facilities and street parking in the area.

Order your tickets soon before they’re gone!
Want to win a ticket? Well you’re in luck, I happen to have one :-)

I am giving away a VIP ticket
 (Thanks to Magic Beans!)

VIP tickets are currently sold out!  VIP Tickets are $60/person, you get an extra hour of Drool, a super premium gift bag with over $200 in fabulous products and services and a $25 gift card to Magic Beans. (The regular gift bag ain’t nuthin’ to sneeze at, I saw them last year!)
Just leave a comment below telling what product you’re excited to check out, or just that you’re dying to go. Winner will be chosen from the comments.

Extra entries:

Like the Life of Reilly on Facebook then come back and leave a comment
Follow me on Twitter then come back and leave a comment

 Comments closed. Congrats to Amy F.

See you there! Magic Beans was nice enough to give me a ticket too! And thanks to Charlene Chronicles for organizing it – muah.
Winner has 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. This giveaway will close at 11:59PM ET,  May 8th, 2012. Please leave a separate comment for each entry and remember to leave a valid email address.The winner will be chosen via the WordPress plugin “And the Winner Is” and will be notified by email and announced here on the blog. I received no form of monetary compensation for this post. I received a ticket to Drool Baby Expo to participate in this giveaway.  All opinions are my own. 

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BFAR – 5 things that helped me keep nursing

Your mileage may vary. Totally and completely.

But since you asked. Here’s the HOW of the whole BFAR thing

1. Herbal Galactagogues

  • Fenugreek – Mmmmm I love the smell of maple syrup in the morning. This is the gold standard of herbal galactagogues.
  • Go Lacta Capsules. The leaves of the Malunggay tree. Asian women have used it for years. My OB told me about it.
  • MotherLove Capsules. Love, love, love the mother love :-) I chose the More Milk Plus Special Blend. It has fenugreek in it so I took a bit less of the recommended Fenugreek.

2. Food & Drink

  • Oatmeal – I ate a bowl of oatmeal every night before bed. For the calories and for the increase in supply I am positive it gave me. For that reason I also ate oatmeal cookies, at least that’s what I told myself every time I went to Whole Foods to pick up some of their awesome oatmeal cookies :-)
  • Beer – This is anecdotal at best, but I like beer so I tried it. I saw a slight increase in the half a beer I drank.
  • Protein is what you need to keep that milk flowing. Vegetarian or carnivore – get your protein on!
  • Mother Milk Tea – I drank this every night with my oatmeal and midday.

3. Pumping – Ugh. I have a love/ hate relationship with pumping. Love, because I know it helps and it’s awesome to have extra milk. Women that work outside of the home are blessed to have this evil contraption! But for me, not so much. I work from home & my home and children are my work. I have low milk productionn (duh) so it was very discouraging to actually see it. Since I know that baby can get more from me than I can get when I pumped. I just kept nursing. Which leads me to …

4. Just keep Nursing – The biggest key to my success the third time around besides herbs was just the act of nursing itself. I started from the moment he arrived and didn’t stop. If he looked hungry I put him on the boob first, always. My doula always says just keep nursing. That advice may not be what you need but for that baby at that time it was what was best.

5. Supportive partners – This means, in my case, a guy who told me whatever I needed to hear in that moment. He would tell me to stick with it, help with a latch, or get me a snack. Or he would gently tell me I need to stop trying so hard. Not everyone has this, so I feel especially lucky even as I type this. Also, lactation consultants and post partum doulas are worth their weight in gold. Get one. STAT.

Lastly there is the aforementioned mental state. Do what you can and therein lies your success.

And keep a sense of humor about it…
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Breastfeeding after Reduction. I’m finally throwing off the nursing cover.

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week I thought that I would add my voice to the conversation. I figured since I wanted to get more up close and personal with the internet, why not start here. I will not be using a cover for this breastfeeding conversation so if you don’t want to read about me nursing my baby please use your god given right and ability to LOOK AWAY already.

This is not  your typical breast is best blog post. This will be an open letter to an internet friend that I should have met in real life. Months ago we said we would meet so I could tell her my story. She is going to give birth any day now,  we can’t really just pop over to the coffee shop anymore. So my audience is small and specific.

However, I think I can find a few more that may benefit from my story. It seems that on the few occasions I tell my story, people say “I have a friend that…” or “I didn’t know you could that.” I think that this story of a minority tribe of women who choose to breastfeed can help all women who choose to try. If I can do it…you can. Really. We’re talking BFAR here today. Breastfeeding after Reduction surgery.

When I was 19 I was, shall we say, large breasted. People from my high school that are cyberstalking me are doing the Bevis and Butthead “Booobies heh heh heh” laugh right now. I don’t care about them now. But in high school, I cared a lot. I spent all of high school and freshman year in college feeling like no one was ever looking me in the eye. The boys’ eyes were always cast downwards, always. To make matters worse I was a little bit of thing everywhere else and I had back problems. It all spelled misery to me. I spoke with my parents and they reluctantly agreed that I could have reduction surgery.

During the consultation the surgeon told me I most likely would not be able to breastfeed. I was 19. I did pause for a moment, but only that long. Fine I said. I’ll deal with that when the time comes. So off I went into the world with my new perfectly sized for me bubbies.

I never gave it another thought until I was about 4 months pregnant with my first baby – 16 years later. What have I done I thought? I read everything, as most first time pregnant folk do. All the books said it probably wouldn’t work. Most of the doctors and nurses said it probably wouldn’t work. My mom said it probably wouldn’t work.  I switched from an OBGYN to a midwife around 30 weeks. She took note of the reduction, contacted a lactation consultant, and said give it a try. My first ray of hope.

My first go at breastfeeding would not be considered a success by normal fully functioning ta-ta-ed women, but for me, it was a good start. Not that I realized it then, of course.

My first baby was born via c-section. I had a terrible recovery and post partum depression. The depression brought on in part from the tremendous nursing issues I was having. Nursing issues in part because of the tremendous guilt I felt for doing this to myself. I MADE this problem. There were lots of tears. My breasts and nipples were sore and bleeding. There were times that I was holding my screaming baby at the breast and did not want to feed him. It was awful. And yes, I supplemented, of course I did. And there was a hospital grade pump involved. I never managed to nurse him full time and we stopped at four months. Sigh.

I felt like a total failure. Which was cah-razy! Which part of “you most likely won’t be able to breastfeed” did you not understand young lady?

But you guys are getting what I’m saying here right?

I HAD MILK. My broken, self mutilated breasts produced milk for my baby! I was officially a BFAR mom with a success story.

With my second baby we turned down the crazy meter a bit, on the breastfeeding anyway. Because now I was concerned with a VBAC. (Yeah, pretty much tell me I can’t do something and I’ll keep at it until I do it.)

Riding high on my natural vaginal birth with my daughter, our start to nursing went a bit smoother. The nurses still insisted that I take formula home with me. The lactation consultant was wary. My husband looked nervous. I took some herbs and pumped a bit, but not as much as the first time. We made it to 8 months of half time nursing half time formula.

Third baby, second VBAC. He nursed like a champ from the very start. No one questioned that I would nurse him. All was well for 11 months. We were a half time formula half time nursing team! Then he self weaned. My goal was a year, but I’ll take it. It was incredible.

All of my babies lost more than 10% of their birth weight the first week. With the first two I abandoned nursing full time at this news and supplemented. With the third I kept on nursing and added formula – there is a slight but distinct difference.

BFAR moms should know certain things about breastfeeding. Whatever your success, even just trying and “failing” is your success. You tried. It didn’t work as you wanted. Please move on for your own sake and your baby’s. Expect the worst and hope for the best. In our case I think that planning to supplement is the best plan. Others would disagree with me and say that’s setting you up to fail. But I just think it’s realistic. Herbs DO work. Pumping does help. Each subsequent nursing relationship will be better than before. Nerves located in the breast and ducts can regenerate. Did you know that? Cool, right?

Every woman chooses a different path as a mother. None right, none wrong (well I mean some are totally wrong, but I digress). I do believe that breast is best, but I also give my babies formula. It took me 3 kids, 5 years, and lots of tears to get to that point. You might not want to take that path. So the whole breast vs. bottle? Please! Just love your baby.

Relax, breathe through it, take your time, keep at it, accept the outcomes, celebrate, express gratitude, move on. Really, I could be talking about anything. But that is the prcoess that worked best for me.

So to my BFAR ladies…It’s not easy, I’m not gonna lie. Just do your best and wherever that takes you is where you are – doing your best for your baby, scars and all :-)

 Want some tips to help your BFAR epxeriences? See this post!
(and yes I realize that all this talk of reduction makes this post super silly. whatevs.)
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Movie Monday – Bottle laughs

My first installment of Movie Monday!  Something light and funny, and really, who doesn’t love a laughing baby?

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Wordless Wednesday – One!


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He’s crawling! (and so am I)

Crawling at a snails pace. Me, not him. I’ve been meaning to write more. I also meant to have a new blog design and narrow the focus a bit. But life gets in the way. Every day.

You know just a few things…I’ve been trying to get the baby on a schedule. Not easy for a gal who doesn’t do well with schedules. I need to get a handle on our finances. We’re struggling a bit and it’s starting to strain us in every way. Our businesses are not as successful as they should be and we’re trying to work out how to do things differently so we can get different results. I want to lose the last 10 pounds of baby weight and it’s totally bumming me out that I can’t even find 30 minutes daily to work on it

I am always tired, the house is constantly messy, and the romance is on fumes.

So there you have it, life gets in the way. Every freaking day.

So maybe this IS my narrow the focus of the blog post.  Because we are certainly not living the Life of Reilly around here.  Trying to make two business work, under one roof, while raising three kids under 5, in an affluent suburb on a limited budget. Oy.

This is our Life of Reilly and it’s real.  It’s messy.  AND it’s tired.

Something’s gotta give and I think it begins with me. Doesn’t it always have to do with mom? Damn mother’s guilt.

So to kick it off, it’s Wordless Wednesday today right?  Well, I’ve noticed that I do A LOT of Wordless Wednesdays these days and not much else. Today I’m going to break that habit. Gotta start somewhere right?  Instead of a photo I give you video.  I know, I know, hold your applause for the major milestone.

It’s cute for goodness sake. Just shut up and watch it.  I’ll get to the big stuff like money and child rearing tomorrow.

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