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Written by Mama Monday

Blog posts written by mamas on cloth diapering, green living, natural parenting.

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for lovers and I want for my children to understand that. The day of love can be used to celebrate friendships and family relationships. I’ve always liked Valentine’s Day; although I think it mainly has to do with the colors associated with Valentine’s Day. As a tomboy it was nice to get a day where everything was pink, red and white. With the origins of Valentine’s Day being rooted in the Catholic faith, the holiday originally had nothing to do with the love that we think associate it with. St. Valentine was a Roman Catholic priest who lived during the reign of the Roman emperor Claudius the second. Claudius had a law that prohibited young couples from getting married because the thought of the day was that young, unmarried soldiers fought more effectively than those soldiers who had families. St. Valentine married these young couples in secret proclaiming that it was better for couples to marry in the church than outside of it where it was allowed to have polygamist marriages. Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned, and tortured for his acts of love. The saint is remembered for taking a stand and helping those who were not allowed to marry the person they loved and I think we can all appreciate that for more than a sappy love fest holiday.

Here are some fun ways to help your little ones get excited about celebrating their love for their friends and family!

I made these pretty hearts for our dining room after finding them on Pinterest. It was difficult to find the original blog post with the directions but it can be found here on Jill Ruth & Co.

Book page hearts for Valentines Day. Thirsties Blog


I love this idea from Growing a Jeweled Rose. It would be especially perfect for the wee ones in your home; a Valentine sensory bath!

Valentine's Day Bath. Growing a Jeweled Rose

Participate in doing acts of love for others as a family. I love this idea from Make and Takes, and there’s even a tutorial!

Coloring-Rice-Red-for-a-Valentines-Day-Craft. Make and Takes

Create some Valentine’s crafts together as a family! Growing a Jeweled Rose has a compiled a list of great, easy Valentine’s Day crafts for the whole family to do together.

Valentine Crafts. growing a jeweled rose

This one is my personal favorite, send a hug to a family member or friend who’s far away! You can find the instructions on Paging Supermom.



How will you be teaching your kids about Valentine’s Day?

22 weeks. I’ll be 22 weeks on Tuesday and I feel like I’m sleeping as well as I would if I were in the last weeks of my pregnancy. Pregnancy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Thirsties BlogWhy? One little nuisance called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). This is an ailment that some people have to deal with all the time, pregnant or not; I feel for you seriously if you’re living with this 24/7. If you aren’t familiar with CTS, I’ll explain it to you in easy non-medical terms (we’re all parents, right? Sometimes I just don’t want to think more than I have to!):

Everyone has a nerve in their hand that helps control the muscle at the base of your thumb (look at your hand and move your thumb, see it?). The nerve runs through a bony canal or “tunnel” called the carpal tunnel. The extra blood and fluid that your body produces during pregnancy causes pressure on the tunnel and makes it smaller. That makes the nerve that runs through it compressed. The compression causes the pins and needles and numbness feeling in your hand. CTS is most common in people who have occupations that require repetitive movements like typing on a computer or working on an assembly line.

It’s common to be worse at night; which is partly why I’ve been sleeping so terribly. Most CTS symptoms develop in the second trimester but with this pregnancy I noticed it right away. It was one of the signs that made me think I was pregnant. I didn’t have it with my first pregnancy but I definitely did in my second pregnancy. If you’ve had CTS with a pregnancy it’s more likely to happen with subsequent pregnancies.

So what can you do? There are a few things that can help you cope with this annoying pregnancy problem. One of those things is wearing a wrist brace at night. This helps position your hand so that the tunnel the nerve runs through remains opened and not compressed by the water and blood redistributing in your body. Your doctor can help you in choosing the correct wrist brace.

You can also try shaking your hands out periodically during the day. You can hang your hand over the bed at night and shake it out. If you can actually remember to do this in the middle of the night, let me know your trick. It’s hard enough for me to make it to the bathroom in one piece let alone hang my hand over the side of the bed and shake it!

I’m going to give the wrist brace a try. I know it’ll take some getting used to but it’s got to be better than what I have been doing…which is nothing, other than repositioning myself what feels like 100 times a night. Have you experienced pregnancy Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? What helped you relieve the numbness and tingling feeling?

Waiting to Find Out The GenderBy the time you read this I’ve already had my 20 week ultrasound appointment. It’s bright and early this morning. Hopefully all will be well with the Gummy Bear (the nickname that I’ve given this little life growing in my womb). With my past two pregnancies I met this appointment with anticipation and hope. I so badly wanted a baby girl when I was pregnant for the second time that I went against the plan my husband and I had developed for our second pregnancy.

You see, my husband has always wanted to have the experience of being in the delivery room and hearing the doctor or nurse say, “it’s a….” But, I was so sick with morning sickness during my first pregnancy that I reasoned with him that finding out the gender would help break up the long (or at least what felt like a long) pregnancy a bit. It was beginning to feel like it would never end and I was miserable. We agreed then to find out. When I got pregnant with baby number two we decided that we’d let it be a surprise. Okay, I wasn’t ever really on board with the idea but I wanted to make my husband happy. It was his turn after all; surely I could give him this one little desire.

Well, when push came to shove, and the closer we got to the ultrasound, the more desperately I wanted to know the gender of my baby. We had tried to conceive a girl and I, for some reason, was obsessed with whether or not it worked. The ultrasound was in the afternoon and my husband was going to meet me at the appointment. He was 20 minutes late so I got all checked in and started chatting with the ultrasound tech. She asked me if we were going to find out the gender of the baby and I explained to her that I wanted to know but my husband didn’t. We had agreed that we would have her write it down on a piece of paper and then we’d seal the envelope. She looked at me and said, “Well, he doesn’t need to know that you know.” Just like Eve in the Garden of Eden with the serpent, I enthusiastically agreed, “Okay!” And just like that, I found out that I was having a little girl. I lasted about ten minutes pretending to not know the gender of our baby; then I broke down and told him that I already knew.181786_581932580919_5815278_n

Today’s ultrasound will go differently: Ben, my husband, will drive into the appointment with me since it’s in the morning. We’ll tell the ultrasound tech that we don’t want to know the gender and that will be it. Now that I’m closer to the possibility of knowing, the temptation to know is getting stronger. My best friend happens to be due the same day as me and she found out what she was having this past Friday. One of my neighbor’s had a gender reveal party on Saturday. It could be my turn today but love and respect for my husband has me waiting until the birth which could be the end of May. Hopefully I won’t drive my control-freak-self too crazy before then…

Did you wait to find out the gender of your baby? Was it worth the wait?

Cold winter scene. thirstiesGreetings from the arctic! Today, Monday, Minnesota’s governor, Mark Dayton, has closed all schools thanks to the frigid arctic blast that’s happening outside. Sure, the children are elated and most of us parents are a little disappointed. School resumed after winter break just last Thursday and now we have yet another day off. Worse off, with a low of -22* and a windchill of -50*, experts are saying that skin will freeze in five minutes. There is no way my kids will be venturing outside tomorrow if I have anything to say about it!

So what’s a mom to do when the weather is dangerously cold? Here are a few things I’ve done before that seem to be a hit with my kids, as well as a few suggested ideas from my friends!

Bring the snow inside and experiment with colors! One of my favorite things to do in the winter, especially since I’m not a fan of cold weather, is to grab a few of my pots and wooden spoons and bring the snow inside. Then I mix some water with food coloring in a spray bottle and let the kids go to town! They spray the snow, eat the snow, and eventually spray themselves in the face. You can do this in the kitchen with some towels covering the floor to make cleanup easier or in the bathtub. (pictured below)snow coloring fun. thirsties

Make Snow Ice Cream : A few of my Minnesota friends do this on a regular basis and while we won’t have freshly fallen snow tomorrow, perhaps you will. It’s very easy to make and only requires four ingredients – freshly fallen snow, white sugar, milk and vanilla. I’m sure that if you aren’t using refined sugar you can substitute it with honey. Here’s a recipe from

Have a PJ party all day with movies and popcorn! What better way to a homebound day than curled up with a few good movies, some popcorn and your comfiest clothes? You could do any number of things other than watching a movie – play games, read books, color. The important thing in my opinion is that you’re making the day special by doing something out of the ordinary, staying in your PJs.

Cookie baking day! Make this occasion different by letting the kids really help out. They can pick the kind of cookies to bake, put in the ingredients and of course lick the spoon!

Bring out that Play-Doh! Let them make a mess and play with that sometimes crumbly dough.

Like I said, these are just a few ideas to help get the creative juices flowing. What is your favorite indoor activity when getting out of the house is simply out of the question?

Have you ever had this scenario happen? You’re with a group of parents, doing the small talk thing because you’ve just thirsties-one-size-pocket-babies-vert-4recently met each other and aren’t quite comfortable baring your heart and soul, when suddenly you find out by chance, that the woman who has been sitting kitty-corner to you the entire meal also uses cloth diapers on her baby. Your face perks up and you think to yourself, “Ah! A fellow cloth diaper user!” The conversation quickly changes from small talk to fluff talk and the two of you are quickly forming a close relationship…all based on your use of cloth diapers on your children.

See, that’s what I love about the cloth diaper community: You could seemingly have absolutely nothing in common with another parent you’re becoming acquainted with but the second both of you discover that you use cloth diapers there’s a bond. It doesn’t matter if the mother next to you uses formula or if the woman in front of you at the grocery store happens to co-sleep with all of her children in a family bed. You two have a common thread that ties you together: cloth diapers.

The bond of cloth diaper use is a strong one and I’ve been trying for a few months to figure out what it is about these adorable fluffy butts that can make even the most diametrically opposed individuals gush and rave about their favorite kind of cloth diaper. Perhaps it’s because using cloth diapers isn’t the norm any more? Or maybe it’s because there is a bit of a learning curve to taking care of your diapers that every caretaker experiences? Whatever the case, the cloth diaper community is one parenting community that’s hard to beat. I have seen countless mothers on my own blog’s Facebook page offer up advice to complete strangers simply because they were having a problem with their pocket diapers leaking at night. I have actually become better friends with a few women because we all use cloth diapers on our children.

thirsties-one-size-pocket-babies-hor-4I really believe that for me, part of the reason why I have successfully cloth diapered two children (with number three on the way) is because of the amazing community of cloth diapering parents. They are supportive and all want to see another cloth diaper using parent succeed. In today’s competitive world, that my friends, is a rare and wonderful find. So cherish your cloth diaper using friends, near and far, and remind them how much you appreciate their acceptance and help!