Saturday, August 24, 2013

Cloth diapers: Reusable rags

My daughter sits here cleaning the table with a preemie sized cloth diaper, this is after she spilled her hemp milk. She is learning to drink from our glasses, as she has mastered drinking from daycare's, but not our more fragile glasses. An aside, I am on the hunt for restaurant grade drinking glasses, the kind you see in a diner. 

The first glass I filled to the top: out came the large cloth diaper. Then Mommy got wise(r), and gave her less fluid: out came the newborn cloth diaper. sells these by the bag, of mixed sizes.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

One or two children household?

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about whether to have one child or two children. So far I have asked many of my friends and one way or another the two even themselves out. Now you have to imagine that me, as a data analyst, is not okay when the numbers don't tell a story. Only choice is to make my own story...

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Duct-tape to the rescue!

A favorite book can be read for hours, or in toddler time, over and over again and again. Needless to say that can lead to wear and tear to said book. What to do with the book? Fix it! 

Being the DIY mom, I thought, I need to learn book bindery now. Then, I remembered the many Kindle covers I've made using duct-tape, and it became clear that I found a more simple approach. Also, using duct-tape, something that I already had, made it low to no cost to fix. With larger board books, like the picture featured, duct-tape makes sense. For smaller, more delicate paper books, washi masking tape - made of many different patterns and colors - will be perfect to reinforce loose pages and binding. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Me time

Imagine this, a clingy 1 year old who anytime you leave the vicinity, she cries. Well having to go to the bathroom while alone watching my daughter, I chose to, being the super mom I am, I peed with my daughter on my lap. It worked! We both had our needs met. 

In all seriousness, sometimes you just need you time. A time to get pampered and surprise your husband instead of showing him you flossing your teeth etc. After my husband being in the delivery room, nothing compares to the things you experience there. But now, I think it's time to shut the door - to get more me time back; finding the balance. 

After the first few times, I was doing a dance and singing a song just because I could in the privacy of my own bathroom.  Now I shut the door with authority and peace of mind. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Being a new parent

Is their a guide book to being a new parent? Sure, plenty. They all say don't do this and eventually come to the conclusion that whatever you do you will F them up. 

Being a new parent: no rules and learning as you go. Did I mention at what rate you have to learn?? Constantly. If it were slower, wouldn't that be boring?!
If only there were a dull moment. From wiping snots all over your own shirt to flaking cradle cap, these are the exciting moments...

As if! The smiles and laughs or the cuddles while reading a book. These times make all the "exciting times" wash away like the food on a baby's face after eating.  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Losing the baby weight: Day 19 update

I work out 6 times a week. First week, I did three days of ab ripper x, two days of aerobic exercise (jogging, walking, hiking etc) and with one day off, then I get to choose what I want to do during the weekend. 

Meals: breakfast- honey nut Cheerios with peanut butter powder and a banana on top. Lunch - eat out and had fish tacos. Snacks of yellow peppers and a protein bar between meals. Dinner - yellow and orange peppers and chicken breast.

Realization: I can spin my ring finger finally. I can walk up hills faster and without needing to stop. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Don't say hello just yet to pregnancy leggings

I learned this trick post-pregnancy: wear your leggings backwards. when you look like you are no more than 20-25 weeks along (and the same when you are post-prenancy). Save your money that much longer, instead buy items for you baby's new room! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug: a great walker

I feel in love with the Prince Lionheart WheelyBug the moment I spotted the ladybug. I call my daughter my little ladybug, or bug for short, so of course it was perfect.

I put a price watch on it for a while, but it is manufacturing recommended age rating of 18 months to 3 years old, so I had time to watch the price drop to the lowest price. I did and I found it cheapest at $39 ($70 list price, current price as of today $48) then with Amazon Mom, I was able to get an additional 20% discount for an after tax price of $34.16!

One day last week, I decided to take the wheely out for her, so I could sit her on it and hold her while I wheeled around. But, it was a bust because her hands are too short to both grab the handles at the same time. We will have to wait on that. However, I left the toy out and don't you know she found a different use for it! She is using it as a walker. She is so speedy with that ladybug that she chases the cats on a level playing field. She uses the ladybug wheely as a walker more than she does her actual walker.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Daycare Teacher Appreciation: A Gift

Our daycare is fabulous in every way. My daughter's teacher is loving, encouraging and respects Alexandria as an individual. This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. My daycare sent an announcement on it, letting us know and had suggestive items like, a card every day and a special something like flowers on Friday. I opted for one card and candle set, to be given on Friday.

Being a card maker and all-around crafty person, I made our teacher a card and decorated the gift bag. I think those two things really can make any present look like it cost more and that care was put into it.

Here is the card, present and gift bag:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Reusable snack pouches

Reusable food pouches: need I say more? Okay, they come in cute designs like a panda bear and a walrus. After paying between $1.09 and $1.89, at the grocery store and just a little more at Starbucks, for one pouch of, smoothie-like organic fruits and vegetables, I decided to make my own instead. After I recently saw this brand reusable food pouches, I instantly knew I could do it. For example, it is easy to clean with a bottle brush that I already own. And, the pouch is way cuter than the ones at the grocery store!

My first recipe is smashed/pureed Cauliflower seasoned with coconut water and nutritional yeast. It called for:
*half a cauliflower
*one tablespoon nutritional (or commonly called brewer's) yeast
*one cup of coconut water
It was tasty!

With the my daughter in daycare, I am sending her to daycare with a Squooshi that says "Do not throw away."

I use food pouches as a snack between meals, while in the stroller, as a side to a meal or when we are dining out. I tend to get vegetable flavored pouches instead of fruity ones because I heard that if you feed them vegetables first they won't reject them later on, over the children that ate fruits first.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Walking away the baby pounds

Day 2: 

1. Peanut butter on spouted wheat English muffins for breakfast, vegetables for lunch, and mac&cheese with kielbasa (enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow) for dinner
2. Activity: Walk Away the Pounds - 3 miles DVD in the basement of my house, for free since the food budget has blown-up with three people living in the house (oh wait, why am I on this diet? :) [my sarcasm]). 
3. Realization of the day: I am no longer carrying a 40 pound baby on this tiny frame, I can stand tall. 

I think we all have that one dvd or even VHS (I am showing my age) that we hold onto for those days that we hope will never come. And then it comes. This DVD is it for me. In college, I started walking to this in my very cramped dorm-like apartment. Then, was back down to my weight from high school - sweet! Then I moved and away went the DVD for many years. Great DVD to walk you back into the swing of things post baby. I went from walking at their pace to my own, an even started dancing instead during some parts. Fun! I broke a sweat without needing to drink two times my water weight in water. I have to say the DVD ages well. God is mentioned twice. I am learning stacking the bones, type of posture, which is good because the walking will promote proper posture (yay - I love alliteration). This movie is on my top shelf of aerobic exercises to do twice a week.   

Monday, May 6, 2013

Losing the baby weight: day 1 of many

Are you as frustrated too, or is it just me? I stopped getting the "when are you expecting?" about a month ago, now I hear "but, you just had a baby..." and my response is, yeah like many months ago. I'm enlisting myself into a do-it-yourself to lose 20 pounds diet. With no time frame. Why? The clothes collecting dust in  my closet motivate me.

I could preface this with, I was that or I made sure not to do this or that, but I won't as I think regardless of where I was at, this is where I want to be: 20 pounds lighter. 

Starting every day, I will "eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper." Then eat whenever I get hungry. I will move my hips when I walk and bend at the hips to pick things up. I will shrink my thighs so they no longer rub together, as I dance with and make funny gestures at my baby. With a mix of abs and aerobics, the pouch of a belly will go away. Please, please boobs stay! Don't leave me at the end of this process. And sex drive, absolutely come back!!!

Day 1: 
1. Peanut butter on spouted wheat English muffins, sushi for lunch, and oyster salad for dinner. (recipes on request)
2. Ab ripper X (Yes I want those abs - just not part of this goal)
3. Realization of the day: I stopped eating sushi when I was full. I felt full. That has not happened in a while. Feels good to be eating regularly and no longer the extra calories for a baby.  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Keeping the snots at bay

When our daughter gets a cold, along comes the buggers. To spare ourselves of washing the toys after the cold passes, all the cloth toys are put away until the cold goes away. It looks like they are in "toy jail." Then the non-cloth toys can be washed nightly or at whatever cadence chosen.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

To my daughter

I love my daughter. She is with me every second of the day, even when apart. She has made me a stronger person almost the very moment the doctor said I needed to be induced. Her smiles and objective eyes melt my heart. With the tie of once being together as one, I am forever changed and in many ways finding the balance of me and her time. Leaving the Jen I knew, to the new Jen; who knew I  would like to be called Mummie? The co-operative cuddling makes for sweet kisses, then all is right in my world.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Breastfeeding Experience

As a new mom the most difficult or challenging part has been feeling adequate in my ability to feed my baby with the best she can get, breast milk.

After my experience in the hospital the first week, waiting for my milk supply to come in, I now have a standard present to new mom's in the hospital: Mother's milk tea and lactation cookies. In addition, I let them know about Fenugreek. However, once out of the hospital it is best to see a lactation consultant to discuss milk supply.

First the issue of my having a c-section slowed the production of my milk, with the first week being the most challenging as the baby was hungry almost every hour, was losing more than 10% body weight, and needed more milk. I had the standard items I mentioned above (and maybe ate too many cookies), was eating and drinking at every feeding to produce good quality milk, and pumping and hand expressing after each feeding to get whatever was in there out, plus increasing my milk supply by demanding more production. Baby gained her weight back drinking only breast milk and was gaining weight steadily - no issue clinically with milk supply. 

Then came issues with latch. From day one, baby found the boob easily and knew what to do on the boob. Trouble came though when the swallows became farther and farther apart, more than 4 sucks per swallow, which indicated that milk supply could be low. It was time to troubleshoot why my milk could be low. First, it could be poor latch, so I had help with that through lactation consultant and breast feeding support group. Had the suggestion to make sure baby was awake by tickling her cheek and tapping the upper boob (not at the nipple so as to not break the latch). I learned baby had tension in jaw and shoulders and potential tongue-tied so I was referred to a craniosacral therapy to find out more. After a few appointments the tongue appeared to be able to go up and extend out without a tongue tie, however there were many appointments follow (9 to be exact) to get her jaw to go up and down rather than side to side - which resulted in chomping and very sore, cracked nipples. To this day her jaw is better, but not good. After two months of purple and cracked nipples I started pumping exclusively, well I suppose it was the results of the feeding evaluation at Children's hospital that really solidified the decision to exclusively bottle-fed breast milk. 

As a result of the poor latch issues, my supply would fluctuate. In reaction to I went on prescription medicine called domperidone. It is to treat motion related sickness with the side-effect of causing lactation. Perfect! It really worked. It is not covered by insurance. I don't remember if FSA covered the cost. I went to a pharmacy in the USA and got a 3 week supply for the same price as I did 2 months on an online site.

We switched to bottles, after going to a feeding evaluation at Seattle Children's Hospital. The jaw exercises were consistent and made the bottle feeding awkward for both parents. In terms of feeding and bonding, having the baby eat comfortably was my preference. And so, my journey into a breast-pumping mom began; a story for another time.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

When I stopped breastfeeding

The attachment that comes from breastfeeding cannot be mimicked by a bottle or breast pump. There is that bond with the child and the mom. I stopped breastfeeding at 6 months (now 10.5 months), but I did not mentally stop thinking about breastfeeding. 

As I clean the kitchen tonight, I had a yearning for my baby to take my nipple. It was flashbacks of the first two months when every problem is solved by a nipple. Then, I remember all the steps we tried to get breastfeeding to work. Or, the calluses caused be expressing milk while pumping. Remembering that in the end all that mattered was the sign of a growing baby; it makes the past almost comical. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Best diaper cream for a diaper rash

At three months, my baby had her first rash. Mild really. We tried different types of diapers, oatmeal baths, and many diaper rash creams. The diaper rash cream that is prescribed by the doctor for yeast, or infection, caused rash are the absolute best - gone in three days.

We started with the Pediatrician recommended Boudreaux's Butt Paste, which has a high level of zinc, or so I thought, until I found

Jason Earth's Best Baby Care Diaper Relief Ointment, Aloe Vera & Vitamin E, 4-Ounce Tubes (Pack of 2). I now own one for daycare, one for the diaper bag and one for the changing station. 

At nine months old, while we were on vacation, we forgot our diaper rash cream and faced with the options I chose Earth's Best. I applied the cream on after every pool session and diaper changing and she became rash free within three days. I was impressed that even after hours by the pool, it was like the water had not even touched her delicate skin. Then, I checked the level of zinc oxide to find it was 21% - no wonder it was so protected! This was higher than Boudreaux's at 16%. 

I feel like I should be the mom that hands out samples of diaper rash creams. Diaper Rash Creams that I have tried and have plenty of extras of:

  • Merry Hempster's Baby Salve
  • Weleda Calendula Cream 
  • California Baby Super Sensitive Diaper Rash Cream
  • Puremedy Baby Salve (2nd Favorite)
  • Boudreaux's Butt Paste
  • Earth's Best Diaper Relief Ointment (Favorite)