Do You Have the Mom State of Mind?

Mom State of MindOver the last few days, I’ve had the chance – no, the privilege – to speak with Shannon over at Mom State of Mind.

She is an absolutely fabulous gal, who has overcome a lot of challenges in her mom journey – and was gracious enough to share some of those challenges not only with me, but also with you, my readers!

Shannon runs a couple of different blogs, from the aforementioned Mom State of Mind, dedicated to her daily life (and its a great, fun read!), to the blog that started it all, God Gave Me You – a blog about the story of her son, Tristan, and the joy that his amazing little life brings her.

Of course, you can also find Shannon over on Twitter @momstateofmind and on Facebook, if you wish to follow her! (C’mon, give her a little bit of social media luv, gals!)

So without further adieu, I give you my interview with Shannon!

If you’d like to ask her more questions, you can comment here (she will be watching this post) or over at her blog!

Q. Shannon, would you mind telling us Tristan’s story? I know you’ve told me, but if you could share it with my readers I’m sure they would love to know.

Tristan Corey, my sweet blessing from God, came into this world on April 20th, 2007, 12 weeks too soon at 28 weeks, he weighed 1lb and 5.8oz and was 12inches. He spent from April 20th 2007 to September 24th, 2007 in the East Tennessee Childrens Hospital NICU. Tristan was on the ventilator for over 2 months and at one point we weren’t sure if he would make it on his own.

Tristan had many many complications which you can read about on his blog, God Gave Me You. Tristan came home with oxygen and a heart monitor, and a gastric feeding tube, because he was born before 30-33 weeks, he didn’t have the coordination for the suck,swallow,breathe that is needed to take a bottle, and when he tried he was losing more calories and not gaining weight, so he still has his G-tube and he only eats baby foods,yogart,apple sauce, he can drink most anything.

Tristan receives speech therapy/feeding therapy 3 times a week and also has occupational therapy and physical therapy. Tristan just turned 3 and is in special education preschool. He still doesn’t talk and doesn’t interact with other children or toys much at all. We are going to be having a vision and hearing screening and hopefully everything will turn out okay.

Q. Seeing the kinds of challenges you face being a SAHM with Tristan, things can’t be easy for you and your fiance. How do you make time for eachother?

I spend most mornings taking Tristan to either therapy or pre-k and my fiance, Allen, works evenings so he sleeps during the day mostly. Once Tristan is back home I am feeding him, working with him on different things, and trying to maintain a clean home.

My parents are not comfortable keeping Tristan overnight so he has never been away from us overnight..Allen and I don’t have alot of money with just him working for us to be able to go out and do alot of things, we mostly rent movies and stay at home and watch movies together, or we have “our time” when Tristan is taking a nap.

We really don’t do alot by ourselves, we always try to include Tristan. The last time we went out alone was Valentines Day. We just try to communicate and thats what has helped keep us together.

Q. Do you consider yourself to be a hero, caring for a child with special needs like Tristan’s? (I know many people would!)

I don’t feel like a hero as much as my own parents think I am.

They often tell me how much of a wonderful mother I am to Tristan, and that he is very blessed to have someone like me that cares for him. I feel that God gave me Tristan because he thinks I have “what it takes” to take care of a special needs child.

God is the real hero, he has watched over Tristan since birth and continues to do so! I praise him for everything. I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

Q. What has been the biggest joy for you since Tristan came into your life?

Everything. Seeing his beautiful face when I wake up and before I go to bed. Watching him get excited over the small things, watching him accomplish goals that most of us take for granted. He completed me, when I have my own bad days, I remember, he is here for a reason, and he is worth it all!

Q. How has being a Mom to a little boy with special needs changed you?

I am a very proud advocate for special needs children with all types of disabilites. I am a very proud supporter for the March of Dimes. I enjoy every single moment I have with Tristan, the good, the bad, and the very ugly.

I push myself everyday to get Tristan “where he needs to be” in order to live a fully active life. Even when I am tired or want “mommy” time, I remember he comes first. I try to inform others that life is very precious and don’t take anything for granted!

Q. Why did you choose to start blogging?

I became a member of a Yahoo group called Preemie Mom Blogs, when Tristan came home from the NICU. I didn’t know about this group until after he was already home. The support of other moms of preemies was great to have and these mothers had blogs where they shared their NICU experiences, told of everyday events, shared pictures, and gave advice.

I also wanted to be apart of this great group of bloggers. So I started Tristans blog, God Gave Me You, and from there I got to meet other bloggers, known as “mommy bloggers” and then I started a blog that was more of a “fun” blog, Shannon Blogs Here, and now its Mom State of Mind. I haven’t updated Tristans blog in a while, but I have been doing some “cleaning up” and “updating” so I’m going to try and get back into that.

Q. Any tips for mommas who want to start a blog, but aren’t sure if they should?

I think a blog is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. If you don’t want others to read your blog, you can make it private, and invite those you want too, to read it.

I recommend using Blogger, its a very easy platform and its free.

If you want to bring traffic to your blog, I would join blog directories and social media sites, like, Twitter or Facebook too.

Its really a personal choice if you want to start a blog.

If you love to write though, you would love to blog!

———————————

See what I mean about Shannon being an amazing woman?

I honestly don’t know if I could ever do what she does. I have so much respect for every man and woman who can take on the challenge of parenting a child with special needs, and do it with such grace and so much love! And she is so humble, like most every day heroes are.

She is an inspiration to me, and she doesn’t even realize it. Every day when Fluffmonster is giving me a tough time kicking, making me feel ill, or just making things a bit more difficult, I remember Shannon and other moms and dads like her. And I realize that if they can get through the challenges they’ve faced with so much love, and so much humility – then surely I can get through even the biggest challenges I face with my little one.

Shannon and Tristan’s story gives me strength, it gives me hope, and it gives me perspective. Sometimes it seems easy to make a mountain out of a mole hill, until you realize that your mountain is a grassy knoll compared to the peaks that others joyfully climb.

We’re all so lucky. Every mom, from Shannon to Alison to Pippy and me – we’re all so lucky to have our little miracles in our lives.

I hope you all get a little bit of inspiration from Shannon’s story, and if you want to find out more about her, then follow her blog and check her out on Twitter! I follow both, and she’s always been someone fun to keep up with!

Q. Shannon, would you mind telling us Tristan’s story? I know you’ve told me, but if you could share it with my readers I’m sure they would love to know.

Tristan Corey, my sweet blessing from God, came into this world on April 20th, 2007, 12 weeks too soon at 28 weeks, he weighed 1lb and 5.8oz and was 12inches. He spent from April 20th 2007 to September 24th, 2007 in the East Tennessee Childrens Hospital NICU. Tristan was on the ventilator for over 2 months and at one point we weren’t sure if he would make it on his own. Tristan had many many complications which you can read about on his blog, God Gave Me You at http://palmersf.blogpsot.com . Tristan came home with oxygen and a heart monitor, and a gastric feeding tube, because he was born before 30-33 weeks, he didn’t have the coordination for the suck,swallow,breathe that is needed to take a bottle, and when he tried he was losing more calories and not gaining weight, so he still has his G-tube and he only eats baby foods,yogart,apple sauce, he can drink most anything. Tristan receives speech therapy/feeding therapy 3 times a week and also has occupational therapy and physical therapy. Tristan just turned 3 and is in special education preschool. He still doesn’t talk and doesn’t interact with other children or toys much at all. We are going to be having a vision and hearing screening and hopefully everything will turn out okay.

Q. Seeing the kinds of challenges you face being a SAHM with Tristan, things can’t be easy for you and your fiance. How do you make time for eachother? I spend most mornings taking Tristan to either therapy or pre-k and my fiance, Allen, works evenings so he sleeps during the day mostly. Once Tristan is back home I am feeding him, working with him on different things, and trying to maintain a clean home. My parents are not comfortable keeping Tristan overnight so he has never been away from us overnight..Allen and I don’t have alot of money with just him working for us to be able to go out and do alot of things, we mostly rent movies and stay at home and watch movies together, or we have “our time” when  Tristan is taking a nap. We really don’t do alot by ourselves, we always try to include Tristan. The last time we went out alone was Valentines Day. We just try to communicate and thats what has helped keep us together.

Q. Do you consider yourself to be a hero, caring for a child with special needs like Tristan’s? (I know many people would!)

I don’t feel like a hero as much as my own parents think I am.

They often tell me how much of a wonderful mother I am to Tristan, and that he is very blessed to have someone like me that cares for him. I feel that God gave me Tristan because he thinks I have “what it takes” to take care of a special needs child.

God is the real hero, he has watched over Tristan since birth and continues to do so! I praise him for everything. I couldn’t imagine my life without him.

Q. What has been the biggest joy for you since Tristan came into your life? Everything. Seeing his beautiful face when I wake up and before I go to bed. Watching him get excited over the small things, watching him accomplish goals that most of us take for granted. He completed me, when I have my own bad days, I remember, he is here for a reason, and he is worth it all!

Q. How has being a Mom to a little boy with special needs changed you? I am a very proud advocate for special needs children with all types of disabilites. I am a very proud supporter for the March of Dimes. I enjoy every single moment I have with Tristan, the good, the bad, and the very ugly. I push myself everyday to get Tristan “where he needs to be” in order to live a fully active life. Even when I am tired or want “mommy” time, I remember he comes first. I try to inform others that life is very precious and don’t take anything for granted!

Q. Why did you choose to start blogging?

I became a member of a Yahoo group called Preemie Mom Blogs, when Tristan came home from the NICU. I didn’t know about this group until after he was already home. The support of other moms of preemies was great to have and these mothers had blogs where they shared their NICU experiences, told of everyday events, shared pictures, and gave advice. I also wanted to be apart of this great group of bloggers. So I started Tristans blog, God Gave Me You, and from there I got to meet other bloggers, known as “mommy bloggers” and then I started a blog that was more of a “fun” blog, Shannon Blogs Here, and now its Mom State of Mind. I haven’t updated Tristans blog in a while, but I have been doing some “cleaning up” and “updating” so I’m going to try and get back into that.

Q. Any tips for mommas who want to start a blog, but aren’t sure if they should? I think a blog is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. If you don’t want others to read your blog, you can make it private, and invite those you want too, to read it.

I recommend using Blogger, its a very easy platform and its free.

If you want to bring traffic to your blog, I would join blog directories and social media sites, like, Twitter or Facebook too.

Its really a personal choice if you want to start a blog.

If you love to write though, you would love to blog!

An Evening with Alison!

Alison from BeingMeSo today is the first day in a series of interviews with fellow bloggers. Why? Because I’m a new mommy, first and foremost, and asking other mommies questions is PART OF WHAT I DO TO SURVIVE. And because this blog is my outlet and my way of sharing lessons with the world, I post them here so others can learn from them, too. And because I’m a new mommy-blogger, too, and can use all of the bloggy-friends I can get!

So Alison over at Being Me (a great freebies site) agreed to do an interview with me. She is a blogger, a mom to two little boys, a breastfeeder, a momma who tries her best to be crunchy, a cloth diapering momma, and a very neat person. And I got the chance to ask her some questions about her life, her loves, her challenges, and what she would tell a person like me – a new momma – to help me get through it all.

In a later email, she did mention something about getting sleep now – but the all night kicks from fluffy had be so sleep deprived, I forgot what it was.

So, without further adieu, here is my interview with Alison!

So Alison, how did you get started in blogging?

Well I myself was getting freebies and samples and all of that good stuff from other blogs. And I thought hey why not share all of these with other people. So that is how I got started blogging. Plus it made me feel good, that I was helping other people, like it gave me an identity other than just being a mom, since that’s pretty much all I did all day long.

You’re a mom to 2 boys – that must be crazy sometimes! Tell us one of your favorite adventures with your boys.

Oh boy is it crazy! It was amazing when we went up to the Lake George area right before Christmas and stayed at the Great Escape Lodge (I think that is what it was.) It was just so nice, mainly because they have an indoor water park. Landon would just sleep on me in his sling, I would read a book in the nice 76 degree weather (I live in NY so it was COLD) and Hunter and Daddy had a great time playing in the water. It was just nice and calming time.

I can also tell you a crazy time! We lost power for 3 days at the end of February. It is not fun trying to keep everyone warm, especially a baby that was only 5 months. He couldn’t do anything to even keep himself warm. I hope we never live through that again horrible! I did a short little blog post about it which you can find here. http://beingme-alison.blogspot.com/2010/03/storm-that-knocked-out-our-power.html

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a work at home mommy?

Really just finding the time to be able to blog, and really write things. If I’m rushing to post up a freebie or some other great deal, I don’t get to write a lot of what I want to do. But I want to share it with my readers so they can get in on the deal. Plus getting housework done as well. I feel like I’m being pulled into a million different directions most days.

How did you overcome those challenges? Are there any you still struggle with?

I struggle with housework the most I think. But I’m slowly getting into being more consistent with it, I hope. Some days I slack but those are the days that the kids are grumpy and they need extra mommy time. Other times I’m just on the computer too much, so I just need to turn off the monitor sometimes and read some books with the kids or become Hunter’s jungle gym while Landon laughs at us. It’s just putting things in perspective and doing the more important things first. Other things can wait.

You told me that you’ve been breastfeeding for 3 years now. Is there anything you wish you had known before you started? Share some of your breastfeeding tips!

That they wouldn’t take my son away. Haha when I first brought Hunter home almost 3 years ago (His birthday is May 2nd) I was struggling with nursing. Chaotic time. So I started pumping and giving him my milk in a bottle. I was so afraid they were going to take him away from me because he wasn’t gaining weight. (I was only 21 at the time.. so let’s chalk it up to that haha.) But than finally the day before his 1 or 2 month appt, I forget which, I said to heck with it and he was getting it straight from tap. And he took right to it, I’ve since learned I was lucky. The next day the pedi told me to supplement him so we knew how much he was getting because he wasn’t gaining alot. But yet he was getting alot from me pumping, so I knew that was just crazy talk. I didn’t listen to her. Turns out he’s a very slow slow slow gainer. He’s always been around 5% for weight. It’s just him.

The La Leche League forums (http://www.llli.org/) helped me a ton the first year of nursing as a new mom. Just being able to talk with other nursing moms, and get hints and tips helped a whole lot. Probably why I got to over 2 years with Hunter.

Landon nursed like a champ right from his first few minutes of being more. And gained like a horse. He’s already almost 20 lbs at 7 months. You have to remember that all babies are different, and they all gain differently.

Nursing can sometimes be a whole lot of hardwork. But it is so rewarding. I love being able to nurse my sons, and Hunter has really never been sick. I attribute it to nursing. (And now I lost my train of thought since I had to stop for 30 mins and deal with a baby that woke up. )

Did you do tandem breastfeeding with your boys? Do you have any tips to share?

I wasn’t opposed to it. But I got really bothered when I was pregnant with Landon while nursing Hunter. It just… felt weird and it hurt. So I had to stop because of that. Hunter did want to try nursing after Landon was born. So I let him try. It was like he was kissing my nipple. He forgot in 4-5 months that he was doing for 2 years. It’s amazing how quickly they lose the talent of nursing.

You also mentioned that you’ve been cloth diapering your boys for almost 3 years. Is it more or less challenging to diaper two babies at once? Any tips to share?

I must confess, I don’t use CD with my oldest anymore. His diapers after being 2 years old were not working anymore. The velcro on the BGs were just not sticking and it wasn’t worth it anymore. I’m hoping to potty train him this summer so I couldn’t convince my husband to buy some more CDs for him. (Now these were version 2.0 for the BG’s they have since came out with 3.0’s which Landon is using and the velcro seems so much better.)

But it was challenging when they were both in CD’s, I had to do 2 seperate loads for their CDs since Hunter’s were in horrible condition. And having a newborn and a toddler it’s hard to do all of that laundry all of the time, I was having laundry overload.

What is your favorite cloth diaper so far?

I do love BumGenius diapers. They are the closest for me that compare to a regular disposable diaper. Which was also nice for my husband.

Would you ever use one-size cloth diapers? What about cloth wipes?

I do use one-size! They are just wonderful. Use it through infancy all the way up till there potty trained I love it. And cloth wipes! Totally use them. More with Hunter so far, not with Landon. I’m using Hunter’s old burp clothes for the wipes, and they just don’t seem to wipe off baby poop. So I’ve been using regular wipes until Landon starts eating some solids and his poop changes.

What was your biggest cloth diapering challenge, and how did you overcome it?

Not going crazy with buying cloth diapers. You become addicted to them! I’ve really only used a few Fuzzi Buns, BG’s and prefolds. Though I would have loved to have tried out some wool covers and a whole bunch of other things. But with how much they are, and I don’t know if I would like them/ they would work with my children, I just haven’t strayed too much. I’m sure my husband is thankful for that.

If you could give any advice to a mommy who wants to work from home, or run her own business, what would it be?

Pace yourself. Don’t try to do everything at once. If you can put something aside and do it later, do that. Don’t forget to cuddle with your children and spend a ton of time with them. Use time when they are sleeping effectively!

And just for fun, 3 fun facts about yourself. Name the first things that pop into your head!

Your favorite ice cream : Strawberry
The best product you’ve gotten to review : Well I had this already and than gotten a new version of it to review and do a giveaway with.. it was my Couponizer. LOVE IT!
Your favorite blog post : My favorite post would have to be from my other blog. Adventures of Being Me. Which is more of my mommy blog. It’s called My Dyson, My Love.

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Thanks so much for your fabulous answers, Alison. I actually learned a fair bit from them… Especially about cloth diapering and breastfeeding. I love hearing about other mommies experiences, because it will help me shape my own!

If you’d like to visit Alison on her own turf, check out her freebies blog Being Me – or her personal blog (which is just the cutest design, by the way!) Alison Adventure.

I know I’ll be following your blogs now, hunnie – you’ve been an awesome interviewee! Thanks again for answering all my crazy new momma questions!

What's Coming Up…

So, partially to keep you all informed, and partially to write everything down and keep my sanity, I’m going to write down some of the events coming up in the next month that myself and CrunchyBusiness is involved in!

So here it goes :

  • First, the ComfyRumps launch sale started yesterday, and ends at midnight Pacific on April 28th. Use the coupon code TWITTER2010 for 10% off!
  • The CrunchyBusiness Interview Series will be kicking off this Friday, and running for at least a week. If you’d like to be interviewed, let me know!
  • Early May, I’ll be doing a giveaway for Lovable Labels!
  • I’ve become a sponsor of The Month of Fluff, giving diapers away to @mrstrophywife1 ‘s readers!
  • I’ll be reviewing Elizabeth Pantley’s “The No Cry Sleep Solution” on Thursday, since I did actually finish reading it on time!
  • I’m seeking to trade guest posts on the blog for mid-May on your experiences with cloth diapering. I’ll return the favor with a guest-blog post for your blog on any topic your readers might like (I can give ideas.) Contact me if you’re up for doing a guest post swap!

That’s all for now! If you have a product you’d like me to review or give away, you’d like to be interviewed, or you’d like to trade blog posts, get in touch with me either via Twitter @crunchybusiness or by clicking here!

Do you run a business? Have a blog? Let's talk!

I’m going to be doing something very special over the next month or so, that could really help a lot of WAHMies – so listen up close!

If you run your own business, and you have a blog, I have a very special proposition for you. It DOESN’T involve giving your product away, or allowing guest posts, or giving away advertising space. It DOES involve getting you more sales of your product, more blog readers, more subscribers, and doing less work than even a regular blog post requires!

You see, I’m a mommy blogger – yes. But I’m actually a mommy to be. I’m pregnant with my first child, and really in a lot of regards, I have NO idea what I’m doing. I have a lot of questions about the different products that many WAHM’s have to offer, like slings/wraps, cloth diapers, nursing covers – pretty much anything a WAHM could sell that relates to babies.

In my writing and internet marketing career, and on my writing blog, I’ve done this several times. So I thought to myself, this would be a FANTASTIC way to help some awesome work at home mommies get more sales, more subscribers, more followers, and build their businesses – while helping to launch my blog!

Here is the deal. Send an email to momma AT crunchybusiness.com (or message me on Twitter!) and tell me a little bit about your product, and your blog. Make sure to include a link to both your blog AND your products, so I can see!

Then, I’ll pick one or two (or even three, if I get lots of responses!) of each type of product, and I’ll send you some of my questions. Some of them will be basic, like “Where can I buy this?” and “Does it come in pink?” – other questions will be a little bit more detailed things about running your home business, so that even my readers that don’t buy your product can get something out of the interview.

Here is the best part though.

Once you answer all of my questions, I’ll write up a blog post dedicated to YOUR product and YOUR blog. I’ll post it right here, on my blog. And all you have to do is mention that I interviewed you on your blog, and link to the interview.

Now you may be wondering, “How does this benefit me? Your blog is pretty new, it doesn’t have that many followers…”

While I am seeing an increase in traffic each day, you’re right – the blog is pretty new. However – if we can get 5, 10, even 15 different people’s interviews posted here – every one of THOSE blogs will be sending traffic here as well. And THEY will be seeing YOUR interview! There is the very real potential for thousands of blog readers – people who normally wouldn’t see you or your products – to see the interview with you, and be introduced to you and your blog!

Some may buy your products, some may subscribe to your blog, and some – well some people may not pay any attention at all. But the more people we can get participating and giving interviews, the more people will see YOUR interview!

Which is why I’m offering a little bonus. If you give me an interview about your product and your home business, and you send me a friend – either a work at home mom, or a fellow blogger – who ALSO agrees to do an interview, I’ll give you a 125×125 ad FREE for one month. All you have to do is get them to email me, and mention your name in the email!

There is limited ad space available, so make sure to get your friends referred ASAP!

** Just to clarify, you can only get one month of free advertising space – not one month per friend you refer. Sorry for the confusion!