Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Breastfeeding Mommies, Unite!
Donate your milk (if you can)!
You can help preemies and babies in the United States and in Haiti by taking the time to donate milk. A lot of the water in Haiti is contaminated right now, so donated milk is crucial to the survival of newborns near the earthquake site. And as for the benefits for U.S. preemies, you can read about them here.
You can donate your milk to the nearest Human Milk Bank Association of North America. Please call 1-866-998-4550 or visit: http://www.hmbana.org/.
The closest milk bank to me is in Ohio (this bank sent the first batch of human milk to the USNS Comfort just yesterday, and you can get updates on milk going to Haiti here.) so there will be some shipping work involved with donating milk. I don't have to pay for the shipping, though. This is what I do have to do-- so you know what to expect when you call the milk bank:
1. Initial Phone Interview Health Screen
2. 4 Pages of Paperwork (involving you and your baby's health)
3. Blood Test (I am responsible for finding the place to get this done pro bono or I have to see if my health insurance will cover it (I really hope that works out.), but the milk bank sends all of the materials.)
4. Donate at least 200 oz. of milk from 3 months prior to the ship date. I am now to relabel and label my milk with my last name, my son's birthdate, and the expressed milk date.
I still need more information regarding the shipping process of the milk (seeing as I have only completed Step 1 at this time), but I am sure I will get more information once I am officially a qualified donor. I am so happy to be doing this. Stay tuned for updates on the process!
Gotta go now... time to pump!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
And it is due to a wonderful item I won on twitter from Coddlelife:
The Coddlelife Polypropylene Bottle.
I am not kidding when I say my baby was literally chewing on Medela, Avent, Playtex Nurser System, etc. nipples. He would chomp, scream, kick, flail, and pretty much expel his way through 45 minutes of bottle feeding with Daddy. Oh, and maybe he would get 2 oz. out of it before Daddy would look at me drained and say, “Please nurse him.”
So what’s so different about the Coddlelife PP that Gabe is able to nurse?
First of all, please understand this has not been a magic fix. Bottle feeding is still messy, and Gabe still sheds some tears while he figures things out in the first two minutes, but he was actually able to drink 5 oz. within 20 minutes. He didn’t spit up much afterward, and he wasn’t an angry ogre when it was over. He still needed some more from me, but he is just a hungry bugger lately. But this bottle is getting the job done well enough that I might actually be able to leave my sweet baby for longer than 2 hours at a time in the future, and here’s the science behind it:
The Coddlelife PP was developed with breastfeeding in mind. The nipple was designed to mimic not only the shape and feel of Momma (it even has little bumps on it), but it is designed to function like Momma—it actually stretches and flattens in baby’s mouth. It is pliable, allowing the baby to truly latch on and flange like he would if it were a real breast. And I think this is the key for Gabe.
The other wonderful thing about this bottle is that it was made for babies with colic and reflux. And if you read my blog at all, you know my little man has a nasty case of the ‘flux. This bottle has a special air venting system meant to keep the extra air in the bottle from getting into baby’s sucks. And that helps alleviate gas by preventing bottle-created gas bubbles. Good for the spit-up-tortured reflux baby.
It's BPA free, too, which is a must when it comes to bottles.
And I am such a skeptic and critic when it comes to bottles. I doubt every little claim of the anti-colic-blah-blah-blah because everything we have tried has NOT worked. Most nipples really do not remind my breastfed baby of my nipple, and he has a hard time getting any food at all. But this one has worked for little one a few times now, and it has given us some much-needed solace in the bottle battle department.
To be fair, I will offer one criticism of this bottle—I wish that when you turned it over, not a single lick of milk would drip out, because for it to be absolutely like a woman, it would have to function in that way. (Please realize the drip is so slow and so minimal, but I have to be critical about something, right?)
And as this bottle becomes more popular—and I am SURE it will—it would be fun for some colors to pick from other than pink. My boy is man enough to eat from a pink bottle, but I am obsessed with green baby items because they work for both lads and ladies.
So all in all, if you are having a hell of a time with bottle feeding, do yourself a favor and order yourself this bottle. It has gotten quite a bit of acclaim lately (featured in Parents magazine and on the Toy Man Product Guide 2009). Get this for your baby, because quite literally, it sucks.
Thank you, Coddlelife!!
Available online and at Sears
Thursday, January 21, 2010
He has been miserable for 2 days. He has not been able to lay flat on his back for more than 15 minutes without shrieking, and, while this is not unusual, for every 5 minutes of tummy time, he spits up some amalgamation of something.
ANYWAY. I realized he has been feeling a little on the larger side lately. And, ha, well, he sure has grown! My husband weighed himself last night and then added Gabriel (in the nude)-- his weight went up 15.8 pounds!
Not yet 3 months old (just around the riverbend, but still) and almost 16 pounds?!
And here's the thing. He's a baby with body to him, but he is not fat-- he is probably around 25 inches, too. He just looks so much bigger than a 3-month-old.
BUT HERE'S THE POINT. I called the doctor and the doctor said my little monkey needed to DOUBLE his dose of Baby Zantac.
Clearly, therein lies the rub... he was uncomfortable because his antacid dose was way too low!
Anyway, a 2 ml dose later, he actually smiled and laughed after 3 p.m.
In other news, Gabe's Christening is next month, and I have no idea what to dress him in for the event. I know there are lots of traditional outfits, but I just do not like the baby boy Baptism outfits in stores. Christening gowns are beautiful, and especially beautiful on baby girls, but for some reason, most Baptism outfits just do not seem to fit for us. It seems so very formal to wear a gown or a mini-white tuxedo. I LOVE the ones with shorts, but alas, it will be February when Gabe is christened. I found a beautiful knit romper in ivory that I loved on a few websites, and of course, the 6-9 month size is out of stock everywhere (Yes, Gabe fits in 6-9 months right now). Hmmm... pondering and searching... Any suggestions?
It's going really well! It definitely has made all of the difference to prepare meals in the morning when Gabe is happy and/or taking a happy nap. I made an AMAZING low calorie southwestern chicken and sweet potato soup the other night. My husband and I just loved it, and it was nutritious. I will post the recipe next week in an Erin's Edibles.
Monday, January 18, 2010
This is great! I still feel like it is nothing, but I am 4 pounds less than I was 2 weeks ago. Supposedly nursing mothers aren't supposed to lose more than 1 poundish a week so I am pretty on track, and I am making sure to eat enough to keep the milk coming. And I will tell you how I am doing this-
- Weight Watchers Online. NO meetings where I feel like I a foodaholic. I just know how many points I can have with my weight, age, height, and full-time nursing mommy factors considered. Being a SAHM (for now and however long) has afforded me the ability to keep the laptop nearby with the points calculator and daily points tracker nearby. And I do eat all 38 points per day with flex points and lose weight (that sounds insane) because I am a hungry, nursing momma.
- Using Actual Weight Watchers Recipes-- they even have some recipes for the slowcooker, which is great, I reiterate here, because I need to use the slowcooker due to evil late afternoon reflux taking over my and g's lives. These ww recipes are decent, other than the casserole I made last night-- it freaked out my husband because I had to boil chicken before it was put into the mix. It pretty much ruined his night.
- Gym. I joined a Snapfitness-- you have an entry card and can go anytime you want to go. It is never crowded, I use the elliptical (just 15-17 minutes for now-- I was on bedrest for 6 weeks so I have to work up to ye olde 40 minutes), and I do some toning. I feel great afterward, and it is my nice, little break from baby, domestic life, etc.
- Nursing. I am convinced this is how I am -30 from pregnancy. (I gained 50 so I still have a lovely 20 to go to get to pre-pregnancy AND then I still need to lose more, but -30 sounds great anyway.)
So this week, I need to...
- Kick up the gym time.
- Eat more of the green food.
Hopefully this 2 per week trend continues...
Friday, January 15, 2010
I should have known something would get me down along the way. And it's not a depressive-my-life-is-ending down, but it's an I'm-too-tired-I'm-too-this-that-and-the-other down.
Let's just call it Spit Up Blues.
Because last night, after being spit up on for the umpteenth time that day, I cried. I cried for my dirty laundry. I cried for my poor little refluxing baby. I cried for my stretch marks. I cried for the weight I have to lose. I cried for the sleep I want and need so badly. I cried for my overworked and underpaid breasts. I cried for my lack of hair drying time. I cried for all of the things my husband doesn't understand about me being a full-time Mommy. I cried for the money we had to spend on our car in the shop. I cried for Conan O'Brien. Let's just say, I cried for a lot of things.
But it was mostly about spit up.
And I know it could be worse! I know I could have a baby with colic. I know I could have a truly ill baby. I know I could have to deal with a lot of things that would be worse than spit up. But last night, at that moment, I had had enough of the spit up. And to be honest, I am still pretty sick of it now.
So tonight begins the weekend. I am going to recharge, snuggle my baby and husband closer, work out at the gym tomorrow morning, and take a nice long breath.
...And, ya know, pray my baby's sphincter matures a little more and we get a little closer to beating this reflux thing.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
I'm tired of not being able to have a warm home-cooked meal ready for dinner on a regular basis. But frankly, cooking in the late afternoon and evening is pretty near impossible with an angry infant.
And he's not always angry, and he is not angry every evening even, but he is not predictable and more often than not, he's a malcontent once 4:30 p.m. comes along.
Why? REFLUX. It hits him hard by dinnertime, and it means one thing.
I.WANT.MOMMY and I.WANT.HER.NOW-- NO, do not pass go. Do not sit down. And do not put me in my swing.
Conundrum! How does one safely cook with le bebe attached? It's just not happening for me. And I NEED to cook healthy food.
But he's happy in the morning ALWAYS. He's a one-stop smile monster at 9:30 a.m. sharp. If only I coulc cook then; he would sit in his bouncer and laugh at me as I told him about bell peppers.
It dawned on me. SLOW COOKER. Not such a novel idea for the busy Mom, but a new one for me-- love that crock pot, but mostly use it if a fave recipe needs to stay warm long-term.
And here's another great thing-- Weight Watchers (I joined online to help with the mcfatness) has a stash of low-point-per-serving slow cooker recipes that will be easy to make and healthy to eat!
So... healthy, easy, warm, and wonderful. Slowcookermania, I'm in.
Tomorrow's menu? 3-bean Pork Chili. I'll let you know if the mania works out.
Friday, January 8, 2010
We are switching to cloth!
I am so pleased, excited, and well, terrified. There were so many things to consider when signing on with cloth diapering. I am going to spill the beans here, letting you know what went through my mind and what we decided to do.
What type of diapers do we want to use? ...cloth with covers, and if cloth with covers, fitteds, flats, prefolds or contours? which covers? which fitteds? which prefolds? which contours? how do I close folded diapers? ...all-in-twos? which ones?...all-in-ones? which ones? ...how about a combo of everything? hmm, what is the RIGHT combination for our baby, for our laundry needs, and for my husband not to run away?
Where do we purchase these diapers? ...there are so many helpful online retailers...
How much do we want to spend and how do we maximize what we are spending? ...wouldn't we love to strictly be saving money here? ...and even though we will have used disposables for the first three months, shouldn't we still be able to save almost $2,000 by cloth diapering?
What accessories do we need? ...wet pail or dry pail? which pail or just a trash can? which pail liner? where do we buy this? ...which wet bags? do we need travel wet bags, as in, will we cloth diaper when out of the house? ...do we need disposable liners? actually, what are disposable liners? ...what is a doubler and do we need that?
What in the world does this mean for our laundry?
...how do I choose a detergent? ... and which of the detergents that are choose-able will not make the diapers stink?
I didn't know there were so many CHOICES involved here. I have not blogged since Tuesday because every second my child slept in daylight hours and/or my husband was home, I was busy reading, reading, reading diaperpin.com, the eco-friendly family blog, and the cloth diaper report to get a better picture of what cloth diapering entails and just what each choice in cloth diapering will mean for our family. So I did a lot of listing, a lot of number crunching (moneywise), and a lot of review reading, and we decided to purchase the following (and a what's what of our buys):
12 Contours (15-35 lb.)
8 Chinese Prefolds (15-30 lb.) 3 1-size Prefolds (econobums) 2 bumgenius bamboo fitted (15-22 lb.) - 3 1-size econobum covers 3 1-size flip covers 1 bummis super whisper wrap (to 30 lb.)
1 thirsties duo wrap (to 18 lb.) 1 thirsties duo wrap (to 35 lb.) -
4 bumgenius 3.0 1-size pockets 2 fuzzibunz size small
2 fuzzibunz size medium - 3 bumgenius doublers 200 bioliners
4 snappis -
1 Wahmies Pail Liner 2 Kushies Wet bags Trashcan
Rockin Green Cloth Diaper & Laundry Detergent (unscented)
Rockin Green Pail Freshener
Wooden Detergent Scoop (Teaspoon)
Diapers and Covers
12 Kissaluvs Contour Diapers ($77.88)
These diapers are shaped just like a disposables so they fold right around your baby without doing anything fancy at all. You just have to close them with a snappi. We chose to buy 12 of these so that there would be a stash of easy-use cloth diapers-- no folding necessary. These do not scare my husband, and I figure they will be a good diaper/cove option when we are in a rush or out of the house. They are also almost the same as a fitted diaper-- the difference is simply in the closure (contours need a snappi or pin while fitteds snap or velcro shut), but they are much more afforable. And let's be quite clear here-- money matters.
8 Diaper Service Quality Chinese Prefold Diapers ($1.75 each)
are the diapers that do scare my husband, and they intimidate me, too. Are they going to be excessively bulky? Will I be able to effectively fold them? How do I fold these with a squirming baby? Won't these be messy? I am figuring there will be quite a learning curve here, but I am hoping to get the swing of this diaper. We only bought 8 of them, thinking that I only will use just a couple of these per day while we are at home. I am ready for the challenge. And why Chinese over Indian prefolds? According to what I have read, for just about 25 cents more per diaper, the Chinese wash up cleaner and last longer. And I want these to last. I chose to use some of them because it would save us big bucks.
2 Fitted bumgenius Bamboo Diapers in Size 15-22 lb. ($7.77 each)
These fitteds have wonderful reviews and they are being discontinued. I could not even find them in a bigger size than the 15-22 lb. So they are super soft, and I would like for our little one to have a little luxury-- I think about him having a diaper rash or maybe on a rough reflux night, and I like the idea of having something disgustingly comfortable for him-- and for something like $7.77 a piece, we can afford to have these little fitteds for him.
3 Econobum One-Size Diaper Covers with 3 One-Size Prefold Diapers ($9.95 each)
As I understand it, the econobums are fairly new to the market and are made by cotton babies (the makers of bumgenius). For $9.95, you get a 1 one-size prefold and a 1 one-size snap-closure diaper cover that should last us from now to the end of diapering. The reviews are decent, though not amazing, but because we are also purchasing a few other "more expensive" diaper covers, it seems worth it to have these in rotation.
3 Flip System Diaper Covers (13.95 each)
These are also newer on the market from the makers of bumgenius, and they are a snap closure, one-size fits all cover. I figure they will be durable (snaps rather than velcro that can destroy itself) and last until the end of diapering, hopefully even onto our next child. This cover has rave reviews in many places. In order to purchase the cover without the system with inserts, you have to order from cottonbabies.com.
1 Bummis Super Whisper Wrap in Size Medium (15-30 lb.) (Free) This came for free with the Kissaluvs, and I figure it should last us awhile, and the reviews on diaperpin are decent. I also like the idea of having both snap and aplix closings on the covers, which leads me to my purchase of...
1 Thirsties Duo Wrap in Size 1 and 1 Thirsties Duo Wrap in Size 2 ($12.75 each)
They have good reviews, cute colors (I chose meadow and honeydew), and aplix closures. Case closed.
4 Bumgenius 3.0 One-Size Pocket Diapers (Paid with Gift Card...)
These diapers have wonderful reviews, other than a few warnings about the material stinking after long-term use (wait for my detergent choice). I have read they are great for overnights with doublers as well long car rides. They are all in one piece so they will be very handy when out of the house, too-- just take it off, shake it out, and put it in the wet bag and pull out the next as if it were a disposable.
2 Fuzzibunz (7-18 lb.) and 2 Fuzzibunz (15-30 lb.) (Paid with Gift Card...) I liked the idea of a sized pocket diaper for easy use, too. I figure this way we will have 2 go-to diapers for his size, so as not to kill the bumgenius diapers with overuse. We also had a gift card to Target, and it seemed worth it to make the investment now.
3 Bumgenius Doublers ($4.95 for pack of 3) I learned quickly that these 'double' the absorbency of diapers, and I figure this will be great for overnight, long car rides, or when baby is sick and explosive. We may need to purchase more of these, and I actually am thinking now we definitely will, but for now, we will have 3.
4 Snappis ($4.99 for pack of 2, but we got them on sale for 2.99 for pack of 2) These are the modern gal's diaper pin. They are y-shaped 3-part hooks that hold a prefold or contour together underneath a cover. I ordered 4 regular size for now, and I know I will need more later, especially when he moves to toddler size. Oh, it was only 2 weeks ago when I did not even know what these were.
200 Bio-Soft liners ($6.29 per 100-liner roll)
They line diapers to help with the whole poop situation of things. They are flushable and compose IN 8-20 DAYS so now bio-hazard there. While I don't really need these until Gabe starts solids (exclusively breastfed babies' poop doesn't need to be dumped out before washing), it seemed a good idea to purchase them now.
1 Whammies Pail Liner
We needed a liner for the trash can that will house thee dirty diapers, and this one came in seaspray. Pretty and Poopy at the same time.
2 Kushies Wet Bags ($9.98 for 2, but used gift card)
I really wanted to order a cute one from etsy.com, but this was a great deal for 2 not-so-bad looking bags. Definitely worth it.
First of all, choosing a laundry detergent to order was insanely hard to do. I read lots of reviews, including this informative guide to detergents. I was about to order Planet, but then I read it leaves a nasty smell after awhile. Then, I was all about Charlie's Soap, but I read it can cause out-of-this-world diaper rash. And then, I read all about Rockin Green, and my fears were allayed.
Rockin Green Cloth Diaper and Laundry Detergent (softrock- Unscented)
($21.95 for the bundle of soap, freshener, and wooden scoop)
No dyes, enzymes, scents, phosphates, or fillers. It claims and is reviewed to kick butt on microfiber stink (alla bumgenius). Great for sensitive skin, and $.13/load. Worth a shot!! Maybe this will turn into household detergent?
A NOTE ON OUR CHOICES
Total Spent: $233.93 (and that's diapers plus accessories!)
(Remember, we had some gift cards, and I found some coupon codes.)
Purchases made from...
cottonbabies.com, thanksmama.com, amazon.com, target.com, rockingreensoap.com
In approximately 11 weeks, we are strictly saving, and next week, our household waste production PLUMMETS. Nope, we will not be sending over one ton of non-decomposing waste into the world after all.
These purchases reflect our needs for now until Gabe is done with diapering. We did not purchase diapers with the thought of using cloth on a newborn because a)Gabe is not a newborn-- he is almost 14 lb. and b)I do not think I will use cloth on any newborns in the future-- I just do not see myself making that kind of effort while I am healing the way I was with Gabe. I also know we may need more diapers (contours, fitteds, and/or pockets) as Gabe gets bigger, and we are ready to make those purchases should we need to do so. For now, I hope we are all set.
What we chose to purchase was based on our current suspected needs, our budget, my willingness to try certain things and MAKE THEM WORK, and my husband's comfort level. This is by no means a map for anyone to follow, unless it somehow matches perfectly for you, and maybe it will.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
And when he was all done and I picked him up to take him to a changing room to clean him up, he smiled a huge smile and said, "Haaaayyy, Iyeeee, Huh-iiiiii," as he usually does when he sees me for the first time after not. He smiled through a rough little spot this morning, and it was possibly the first moment of many to come that I can and will say I was a very proud momma.
This morning, I was so proud of my son.
Monday, January 4, 2010
In my go green efforts and thoughts, I have been doing a lot of consideration in regards to the cloth diapering.
And when I read the details of the deed to my husband he pretty much decided I was nuts.
"You're going to push our baby's poop, even once it is no longer breastfeeding mustard poop, into the toilet? You're going to swirl shitty diapers around in water with your hands? You're going to do a load of diapers in the wash every day? Because I will tell you this. I am NOT doing any of that."
Le sigh. When the husband is not on board with one of my wacky ideas, they are much harder to get off the ground. And oftentimes, they don't fly at all.
So I decided to really research this cloth diaper thing anyway. Unfortunately what I discovered is that they create the same carbon footprint as a disposable per production, distribution, and use of electricity to clean. What they do do for the environment is limit waste. And that does seem compelling to me.
Actually, it seems more than compelling. Every time I see my husband walk out of our condo with a blue bag stacked with smushed diapers alla Diaper Genie, I die a little bit inside. I think to myself, "You are single-handedly destroying your child's world." I am overdramatic, in case you didn't catch on to that yet.
And that brings me here, to the still in-my-head dilemma regarding diaper destruction. I am sitting considering right now if it is worth the crap, quite literally, to limit the waste leaving our home. I know my husband thinks it is not, but I also know that if I vow to take on the task with great solemnity, he will be willing to invest in the cloth option.
So I am sitting here pondering cloth diapers, and (angry look down) the post below.
I have done the weight loss thing before-- I even lost over 50 pounds-- but a little thing called, oh, pregnancy fouled up the minus weight and packed on just about everything I lost.
I have lost just about 25 of those pregnancy pounds, and I credit that to breastfeeding and the fact that Gabe's placenta was supposedly the same size as him (Gabe was 8-7, so...).
But "it is time," as they said quite dramatically in The Lion King, to lose the rest and more. And as I sit here post Lean Cuisine lunch thinking about the left over chocolate chip oatmeal cookies in the kitchen, I know this is not going to be an easy journey.
As per my last weight loss success, I am going to be gym-happy. I need the elliptical machine-- actual running never bodes well for a girl with large breasts, and well, right now, with the nursing, I am at my wits end dealing with their giganticness. I fake-did Weight Watchers last time, but I am not sure that is going to be my plan for now. I need to just straight eat well, as in veggies, veggies, veggies. I love the color green otherwise so I should probably start loving it in my food.
My goal? To be in EXCELLENT backpacking shape by June.
What does this mean? I need to lose at least 25 pounds by June.
What is my end goal for 2009? I want to lose at least 40 pounds.
Will I do this? I have to.
Why? For my health. For my sanity. And let's just be honest, For the sake of sexual confidence!
And what is my one solace right now?? That I am not going on this quest alone. If ya'll read TheHeirToBlair, and you probably do, McFatty Mondays have started, and there are lots of post-partum Mommas taking the weight loss plunge and posting the grueling grossity of it all online for the world to read.
THIS WEEK I intend to get to that gym, put my money where my mouth is and join. I need to figure out what I am going to do about sports bras, because I very well may need to wear 7 at once in order NOT to offend other gym go-ers. And the husband and I are going to be stocking the fridge with healthy food.
I shall call this week the 'establishment' week. No weight loss expected, but the serious lifestyle swing is to get going.
So there's my entry to kick my McFat Butt into gear.
Time to shine.
Friday, January 1, 2010
For now, we'll discuss this little item I decided to make with my Dad in mind, and it's called...
You can go here to read the blog entry that inspired me.
I also used the directions there. As for ingredients, I halved the amounts listed, utilized an 8 x 8 pan, used maple smoked bacon, and sprinkled regular old sugar.
It's different... sort of like a chocolate covered pretzel gone... pig. Or pork belly, if I should be precise. My husband and I keep joking it brings umami to fudge (and if you have seen the later episodes of The Next Iron Chef 's second season on the Food Network, this might amuse you, too.) I guess all in all, I would describe it as savory, rich, and chocolate. Bacon-y, too. Possibly even a party for your taste buds, if they can figure it out.
My recommendation? Give it a try. It's easy to make and a surprising treat for your family and friends to munch and discuss. A perfect addition to any foodie's dessert spread.