Wife, Mummy, Nurse: February 2012

23 February 2012

Help!: My Breastfed Baby is With Someone Other Than Me

When Charis was 17 days old, my husband was planning on meeting one of his old college professors and some friends in D.C.  I wanted to go with him, but was concerned about the suckling infant at home.  I told Drew I was going with him, but later changed my mind. Then changed my mind again, I was going.  Thankfully, my in-laws were in town and were over at our apartment and gladly offered to watch Charis.  Even though I trusted my in-laws completely, I was still slightly nervous about leaving. This was the first time my pumpkin was in the care of another and I was not around.

Before leaving, I nursed Charis, who fell asleep and had breast milk dribbling out of her mouth.  I handed my sleeping baby over to her grandma.  Drew and I left to go to the Metro station, so we could take the Metro into D.C.  I made sure to have my phone with me, with the volume turned as high as it would go; Drew did the same thing.  We enjoyed ourselves and were away for three hours. When we came back Charis was right where we left her, lying on top of Grandma.

If you breastfeed exclusively, three tips I have with leaving your baby with someone else:
  • Have breast milk in the fridge ready so that your son/daughter can be fed quickly.  
  • Make sure the person who is staying with your child recognizes early cues that your baby is hungry {such as smacking lips, opening and closing mouth and sucking}, especially if you nurse on demand.  Warming up breast milk takes longer than breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeed your baby right before leaving.
Did you experience the nervousness the first time you 
left your baby with someone?
Join us for the  breastfeeding blog hop at

22 February 2012

Dyeing Yarn Tutorial {Yarn Along}

This week, I decided to try dyeing yarn with Kool-Aid.  It was my first time trying to do anything like this and had no idea what to expect.  Items I used:
  • Kool-Aid: I had NO idea where to look for it in the store. I dislike Kool-Aid and can't remember the last time I bought some. I almost had to go to a different store because I couldn't find it at Shoppers. I kept wondering around and around, but finally found it!
  • Vinegar: I read elsewhere that this was not needed because Kool-Aid is acidic, you don't need vinegar. I erred on the side of caution and still used it.
  • Crock-pot
  • Tongs
  • Patons Classic Wool Yarn: It's 100% wool {but you can use any yarn as long as it's 100% animal fiber}.
I had no plans for this yarn, so I
decided to take the plunge.
First I had to unwind it into a hank. I originally tied it
with wool, but decided to cut of the ties and
tie it with cotton yarn instead.  

Be careful not to tie the yarn too tight!! 
{I tied the yarn too tightly and you could 
tell because every few inches it was still
 cream where the yarn was bunched together.}

Put water and a few Tablespoons of vinegar
in a crock-pot.  Place yarn in crock-pot
and let yarn get wet and submerge.
Sorry, I did not get a picture of me placing
the yarn in the crock-pot. 

While yarn is getting wet, prepare Kool-Aid.
At first I put in only 1/4 cup water, but that was
TOO LITTLE. I then added 3/4 cup water which was
much better, but I probably could have added more

Turn crock-pot on {I used the high setting}, and let the
yarn soak for about 30 minutes.

After it soaks, pour two colors in. I first put the pink
lemonade and grape. Do not stir. Leave the
crock-pot alone for one hour.

At the end of the hour, the water should be clear.
Even though, I read this was the case,
I was still shocked.

Turn yarn over, using tongs.

I then poured the Black cherry and Ice blue
raspberry lemonade in.  {See above picture.}

Leave for another hour.  Come back and
check the water.  If it's finished, turn the crock-pot
off.  Let the water cool {for me this was hard
because I was being impatient}.
After it comes to room temperature,
rinse the yarn with room temperature water.  Be
careful not to shock the yarn. Let the yarn dry.

The next day, I rolled it up into a ball while Charis
was napping.

I'm hoping to knit a newborn soaker for a friend of mine. I'm hoping {and praying} that I have enough yarn!!  I might make the waist and leg cuffs in a different color, so I don't have to worry about running out of yarn.

What are you knitting and reading?  
Join us atthis week's Yarn Along.

21 February 2012

Philippians 4:4-7 {Gratituesday}

Yesterday, I wrote that I wanted to memorize Philippians 4:4-7 this week.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
A few thoughts about these verses: Sometimes, I get anxious over money, my job, my home, my husband, my daughter, etc.  But instead of being anxious, I am to rejoice in the Lord.  Why should I be anxious in my hardships, when Christ was perfect and suffered so that He would save me.  God is sovereign and when I'm worried about difficulties, I'm showing a lack of faith.  Instead, I should be praying-I would be showing that I believe God is sovereign and be thankful for God's will for what happens in my life.

Goals for the Week {#FEBPHOTOADAY-Handwriting}

I often write down to do lists-sometimes I'm good at keeping them, but sometimes I'm not.  The thing I like about lists is that I'm more likely to do something if I write it down, but the bad this is, I sometimes feel like I'm a slave to the list-that if I don't get everything accomplished, I'm a failure.

This is my "To do" list for this week:

  • Memorize Philippians 4:4-7
  • Write to 3 people AND send the letters {one of which will be Grandad}
  • Clean living room
  • Blog about dyeing yarn
  • Mop kitchen floor
  • Go to hospital and get my TB test read-arm seen {Wednesday or Thursday}
I have since added a few items, such as soaking and cooking black beans.

Do you have lists to help you get things done?
If so, what's on your list for today or this week?

20 February 2012

Photographs {FEBPHOTOADAY}

February 12, 2012-Inside my closet
I had hoped to clean my closet before taking this picture.  A lot of the clothes you see are scrubs that I'm planning on giving to a thrift store for two reasons: 1)The hospital I work at switched to a solid royal blue color for the RNs and 2)A lot of them don't fit as well as they used to before pregnancy.  They're too small ALL over, and I need to be free to easily move when I'm working-especially when I'm providing patient care.

February 13, 2012-Blue
My daughter wore blue jeans, and I decided to take a picture of her legs while she was eating.

February 14, 2012-Heart
My Little Love on Valentine's Day in her red top with hearts all over it.  FYI: I really do try to keep her hair out of her face by using putting clips or pony tails, but every time I put something in her hair, within five minutes, she has taken it out, and I don't want to cut bangs for her.

February 15, 2012-Phone
Charis loves phones-both real, fake, and made up.  She's holding my cell phone and a toy phone in this picture; she often walks around the apartment with her hand up to her ear, talking, as she would on a phone.

February 16, 2012-Something new
This might be pushing it, but I really don't care...  I took a picture of a new cup of hot chocolate I made for myself at my in-laws house.

February 17, 2012-Time
I almost forgot to take a picture, but at 11:57PM, I remembered!  Saved by a few minutes.

February 18, 2012-Drink
My immediate family-my parents, siblings, and their spouses-celebrated our Christmas on Saturday, since we were not able to find a good time for all of us in December.  These were my brother's drinks-sparkling apple cider and root beer.  S&S brought the root beer, which I did not have because I hate it.

February 19, 2012-Something I hate to do
Okay, I don't hate playing the piano.  I just thought this was a cute picture of Charis, but this picture reminded me of my flute lessons.  I took flute lessons for 8 years and disliked one of my teachers.  She constantly said, "You need to drill, drill, drill, drill, drill, drill..." and hated the fact that she would constantly say that.  I was taking lessons to learn how to play an instrument, not to go to Julliard.  After having her as a teacher for less than one year, I starting to dislike practice.  Music teachers {and teachers in general} need to be careful not to take the joy of learning away from a student-how that's done, I don't know.

18 February 2012

Saturday Stumbles {Links}

A Handmade Afternoon
I would love to make this British flag pillow.  It would look lovely in an office-not that I have one.

10 Easy Bible Memory Verses for Kids
The author recommends Bible verses that would be a good starting point and easy for children to memorize.

BBCs 'Call the Midwives' Brings Back Memories
Monica Fitten remembers her training as a midwife in London in 1955.
Birth wasn’t a medical event back then; it was a family occasion conducted on the marital bed. Only women expecting twins or triplets or experiencing complications such as toxaemia ended up in hospital; everyone else just got on with it at home.

Easy Peasy Homemade Peanut Butter
I tried making peanut butter once, and it was a failure.  I would like to try this recipe and see how it works for us.

Breastfeeding and Internet Safety

In our society, breasts are over sexualized; at the click of the button, someone can have pornography on their computer screen.  Many people don't want to see a mother nurse her baby or toddler in public.  We are told we should cover up, go to another room, or just breastfeed at home and give your child a bottle.  Breastfeeding is not a sexual act.  Breastfeeding is the way God intended for use to feed our babies;   Note: I'm not saying parents who give their children formula are bad parents; I believe how a mother feeds her baby is up to her, as long as she has made an educated decision.

I do not have a problem with people posting pictures of babies being breastfed, but I have chosen not to do that.  I don't want to offend people {though I think they'd be offended unnecessarily}.  I also don't want to have photographs or videos spliced and created into a pornographic video, as with what happened with MaryAnn Sahoury.

14 February 2012

Thanksgiving {Gratituesday}

This week, as always, there are several reasons to be thankful.

  • My nephew was born last Thursday at 3:45PM. Weight 7lbs. 15oz. Length 20in.  He's cute and healthy.  My husband, daughter, and I are traveling tonight to see him and the rest of our family.  FYI: I'm hoping to post a picture of the finished longies after giving them to him.  Pray for his parents, that they will adjust to his birth and that God will sustain them.
  • My daughter was "good" {quieter than she sometimes is} during church on Sunday for my husband; I had to work, so he watched and held Charis.  I was pleased that my daughter's face lit up when I came home from work.  She immediately got of her chair and ran towards me.
  • I am thankful for my husband, that when I'm angry or down or cheerful, he points me to Christ.  God blessed me with a good husband.

11 February 2012

More Photographs {#FEBPHOTOADAY}

I have actually been keeping up with taking the photographs everyday so far in February.  Unfortunately, I have not been as faithful in updating daily, but I'm not perfect and my family needs me to take care of them first.

February 8, 2012-Sun
I had originally planned on taking a photograph of the sun, but we had very Irish weather, dreary, rainy, cold, etc.  The sun was hidden behind clouds.  Then I remembered one of my favorite Psalms {113}.  I sing this at least daily.  Psalm 113:1-3: 
Praise the LORD!  Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD!  Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore!  From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!
We are to praise God everyday throughout our entire life.  Sadly, the time I most sing this song is when I'm impatient with Charis.  I think this is because of the last verse {9}, 
He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children.  Praise the LORD!  
For your information, this also happens to be one of my mother-in-law's favorite Psalms.

February 9, 2012-Front door
When you come to our apartment, you will most likely see this wreath hanging on our front, but I'm hoping to take it down once spring arrives.

February 10, 2012-Self portrait
Charis and I walked to the library.  After getting home, I originally took a photograph of just myself, but decided it was too empty; so, I grabbed Charis and took a photograph of the both of us.

February 11, 2012-Makes you happy
I ran out of half and half, and that's the ONLY way I'll drink my coffee.  I don't like it black, and I don't like it with milk.  After Charis woke up from her nap, we went to buy half and half, and I was a very happy girl because I could drink my coffee.  I'm not sure if it's the half and half that made me happy, the coffee, or the Steelers mug.  You can decide.  I like all three.


Before my daughter was born, we had a bassinet for her to sleep in for the first few weeks and bought a crib to put her in about 1 month after she was born.  The first night, we were home from the hospital Charis did not sleep.  I was up at 4:00 AM, talking with my mum {no make that crying with her}, and had no idea how I was going to survive the next 18 years with a baby who was not sleeping.  Mummy told me, "Don't be afraid to bring her in bed with you if need be.  You can breastfeed her lying down."

It was like a light bulb went off in my head.  Why didn't I think of that?  Unfortunately, we often hear negative remarks about co-sleeping and before Charis was born, I did not want to be THAT parent.  I quickly became THAT mum.  It is much easier for me to nurse her lying down than it was to get up 4+ times a night, and I felt more rested than I previously did.  I do want to add though that there were times that Charis did not sleep with us, and those were the few times I had a glass of wine shortly before sleeping, which I did at my cousin's wedding and sister's wedding {both times I had two glasses} or took medication that would make me groggy, such as Benadryl.

We co-slept until our daughter was about 12-13 months old.  She started waking up at night and want to play.  She would cry and cry as I would hold her, but when we put her in the crib, she went right back to sleep.  In one sense I miss having her next to us, but in another sense I'm glad she's reached that stage where she doesn't need to be right next to me in order to fall asleep.  It's bittersweet.

09 February 2012

I'm So Hungry {Breastfeeding Blog Hop}

...I could eat a horse.  That's what I felt like shortly after Charis was born.  I had this baby who I thought was going to permanently be attached to me at the breast.  When I was pregnant, I had very few cravings, but when I started breastfeeding, that quickly changed.

It was so easy and tempting to eat junk food or processed foods because it's ready, but I quickly realized I needed to eat healthy food throughout the day.  My top favorite snacks were:

  1. Water: technically not a food, but I'm including it because it's so IMPORTANT to stay hydrated when you're breastfeeding.  I have two Nalgene bottles.  One would be filled in the refrigerator ready to be pulled out after finishing it, and the other would be with me, so I could drink it and not have to get up and fill a glass of water when it ran dry.
  2. Apples: I remember going apple picking when Charis was about five weeks old.  I ate four apples while picking {don't worry, the workers said it was okay to eat as I picked}, brought home 10+ lbs. of apples, and within two weeks, they were all consumed.  FYI: Drew had five.
  3. Oatmeal: I prefer Steel-cut oats, but since I was so hungry, I settled on rolled oats.  I have since found out that Trader Joe's sells Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats.
  4. Raw almonds: I would grab a handful before sitting down to nurse Charis.
  5. Plain Greek yogurt: My favorite is from Trader Joe's, but considering I go to there 1-2X/month, eating different brands when we run out
What snacks or food did you eat when you breastfed?
Linking up with the weekly breastfeeding blog hop at

07 February 2012

My Husband {Gratituesday}

I'm so thankful for my husband-for many reasons, but I'll only write one reason now.  On Friday, I had to work. When I came home, the kitchen was cleaner than I left it.  Drew knew that I've been trying to keep the kitchen clean.  When it's dirty, I feel like everything is in pieces.  After Charis went to bed, he made sure all the dishes were finished and that food was on the table when I arrived home.  I'm blessed.

Photographs {FEBPHOTOADAY}

February 5, 2012-10am
Drew and I woke up at 9:00, which is late for us on Sabbath; church starts at 10:00. Since we were running behind schedule, I did not take a photograph at 10:00AM. Instead, I took one 12 hours later; these tights are the ones that Charis wore to church.

February 6, 2012-Dinner
Turkey-Barley Vegetable Soup/with bread and butter.  So easy and delicious.  The soup recipe is a keeper.

February 7, 2012-Button
My Irish rugby shirt with the button.  Wearing this often makes me want to stop what I'm doing and sing "Ireland's Call".

04 February 2012

Saturday Stumbles {Links}

10 Tips for Nurses on the Night Shift
Before Charis was born, I worked full time nights in CCU.  These are great tips for others who work nights, especially the tip to avoid caffeine early on in the shift.  When I would drink coffee first thing, I would crash, but I would often leave the floor around 0330 and go get coffee.  It was a great pick me up towards the end of the shift.

Jeff Harold, Liver Recipient
Jeff {we were in the same graduating class in high school} writes about the importance of organ donation.

Send Them Away
"Lord, make my heart more compassionate toward those who need my help. May I make a difference in their lives for your namesake."

Little Man Diaper Clutch Tutorial
This makes me want to go through Drew's closet and see what suits or jackets he does not need.


Today my daughter and I went to Target so that I could buy contact lens solution. Afterwards, I bought an iced coffee for myself and banana walnut bread for my daughter and me. I took a picture of Charis {in the background you can see the blurred legs of strangers}.  I was not brave enough to go up to a stranger and ask if I could take his or her picture for my blog.

03 February 2012


Today I had to work at the hospital.  I missed holding and caring for my baby girl, but I I was able to care for patients, and hopefully show some mercy and kindness to patients and their family members.  Today my hands have held my daughter while I breastfed her this morning, attempted to insert an NG {nasogastric} tube in a patient, held a patients hand, cleaned a person up after he had a BM {I'm a nurse; if this is TMI, stop reading}, attempted to work to try to bring a patient's BP {blood pressure} down, called a Cardiology PA and Intensivist with changes in a patient's condition, started an IV, gave Kleenex to a grieving wife/mother, attempted to see that my patient was transferred out of the hospital, plus many more things.  One thing they did not do was chest compressions for which I'm thankful {this would be BAD for the patient-it means they would not have a pulse}.  I'm also grateful that I was able to hold my husband's hands as we prayed together tonight.

What have your hands done today?

Breastfeeding and Sex {Breastfeeding Blog Hop}

Others have written about how they have decreased sexual relations with their spouses. As it says in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding,
Your love life is just one more area where things have changed for now.  The words to remember are for now.  Life with Baby will gradually become less intense {this is good to remember in general}, the the sex life you previously enjoyed will gradually resume.
Immediately after Charis was born, I thought, "Babies are created because of sex, and I never want to have another baby, so I'm never having sex again."  Thankfully, this thinking did not last too long.  Yes, we do want children in the future, but not right now.

I was not given the okay to have sex at my 6 week appointment because my episiotomy had not completely healed and my midwife had to use silver nitrate on it {Ouch!}.  When Drew and I had sex for the first time after Charis was born, I had no idea what to expect.  I'm thankful that my sexual relationship with Drew has not changed too much, and I have found it helpful to talk about my fears and thoughts with him instead of keeping everything bottled up.  He was understanding.  God has been good to us.

02 February 2012


"For two days she and her bears lived and
played in her castle peacefully."

Today's photograph theme was "words".  This picture was taken while I was reading Christina Katerina and the Box, one of my favorite childhood books, to Charis.

Fall in Love with Fluff Giveaway

Fall In Love With Fluff - Valentine's Day Cloth Diaper Giveaway Event
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Incredibum Bamboo Wipes
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BabyLegs Leg Warmers

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Green Line One-Size Cover
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SoftBums Omni One-Size AI2/Pocket Diaper
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Planet Wise Flannel Wipes
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Leslie's Boutique Pail Liner
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Rumparooz Print Wet Bag
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Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering
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01 February 2012

February Goals

February 1: My view today
My shiny sink!!
My friends and family would unanimously agree with me when I write, "I dislike cleaning."  And I hate that I don't like cleaning.  I have slowly come to realize that I don't like cleaning because it seems like a huge mountain that I must climb in a day, but that is not the case.  This month, I hope to start taking more of a baby steps approach to cleaning and maintaining our home.  I will be using Apartment Therapy's guide How to clean your house in 20 minutes a day for 30 days and The FlyLady's 31 beginner babysteps.  The biggest thing I need to work on is cleaning as I go.  If I cook or make a meal, do the dishes as things are cooking. 

I had hoped to do the 365 challenge this year, but stopped taking a photo everyday around January 10th. I'm also hoping to take a smaller approach to this and just take one photo every day in February using Fat Mum Slim's February photo day challenge.

What are your goals for February?