Wife, Mummy, Nurse: March 2012

31 March 2012

Mug Brownies {Pinterest}

I LOVE Pinterest.  Lately, I realized I'm pinning many ideas and recipes, but not really doing anything with them. I'm trying to be more diligent about not spending too much time on Pinterest and actually doing some of the things I pin.  Recently, I pinned mug brownies and decided to make them since I was wanting something chocolaty and sweet around that certain time of month.

What you need:

  • A microwave
  • The ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, oil, milk
I stirred together 4 Tbsp. unbleached flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar {the original recipe called for 4 Tbsp.}, and 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder.  Added 2 Tbsp. milk and 2 Tbsp. olive oil together and mixed everything thoroughly.  Microwaved it for about 45 seconds, and it was finished.

Overall, it was okay-not amazing {which is good because then I won't be as tempted to make it again}.  I could hear the crunch of the sugar, and I only used half of what was called for.  I thought it was a little bit sweeter than I would have liked.  I'm not planning on making a regular habit out of making this, and I'd prefer the Healthy grain free brownies over this brownie.  Plus, I'm not a huge fan of the microwave; it does not help with patience.

30 March 2012

"Helping" with Dishes {this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

29 March 2012

Low Milk Supply {#BFBlogHop}

I'm so thankful, I did not battle having a low milk supply.  There were several things I did to avoid it, such as nursing on demand, trying to get rest, drinking lots of water, and eating.

If you are pregnant, a few suggestions are prepare meals before your birth and freeze them {especially if you don't have people bringing you meals or family cooking meals for you}, by doing this you will be able to rest and not worry as much about cooking after your baby is born.  Speak with your midwife or doctor and let them know you want to hold your baby skin to skin after he is born, so that you can breastfeed within the first hour {if bathing needs to be delayed that's fine}.  Room in with your baby at the hospital {that way you can nurse when you see the early signs of hunger}.  Don't be afraid to tell visitors to take a hike {though depending on who it is, you might want to show more tact} so that you can rest, breastfeed, and/or bond with your baby.

Unfortunately, there are people who have done all of the above and are still battling low milk supply.  If your baby is not gaining weight or is losing weight, keep in touch with your child's pediatrician.  If you are having trouble maintaining your milk supply, try to find the causes of your milk supply issues with the help of a lactation consultant, who will help see if it's something that is wrong with the baby {Is it a sucking problem i.e. tongue tie?, Does your baby have a medical problem, i.e. cardiac or airway problems} or mother {Is it hormonal?, Is it something with your breast structure?, Do you have thyroid problems?}

Wear your baby this keeps your baby a few inches away from his favorite food and may entice him to eat more.  Cosleep-take your baby to bed with you and if able to sleep when your baby sleeps. Compress your breasts after your baby thinks he is finished-oftentimes a baby might wake up and want to continue nursing.  Consider pumping between feedings.  The herbs Fenugreek and Blessed thistle have been shown to help increase milk production.  Be aware that certain medications {such as Sudafed, some birth control pills, etc.} may interfere with production of breastmilk.  If you have supplemented with formula, wean gradually, take away a few ounces or a feeding.

26 March 2012

10 Random Things about Me {That You May or May Not Have Known}

  1. My favorite show growing up was Full House.
  2. When we eventually buy a house, I dream of being able to have chickens.
  3. I have been to Northern Ireland 11 times.  My husband and daughter have both been over there once.
  4. I tried crocheting, but quickly decided that I'll stick with knitting, plus I often prefer how knit items look over crocheted.
  5. I knew my husband for 14 years before we started dating.  Yes, we were childhood friends, and I thought he was nerdy {and still think that}.
  6. I had NO interest in nursing, until I worked as a nurse aid after my freshman year of college.
  7. I left college after my sophomore year to go into nursing, since Grove City does not have a nursing program.
  8. I'm horrible at starting projects {especially crafty} and not finishing them.  I'm thankful the Wednesday Yarn Along helps me to finish projects.
  9. When I went to Uganda {in 2006}, I brought back 22 lbs. of coffee beans. 
  10. When I went into nursing, I had hoped to work with women and/or children.  I still hope that, but I have no idea how it will work out.  Though technically, I am working at home with my daughter.

24 March 2012

Enter to Win a Lifetime Supply of Cloth Diapers

Booty Buns Giveaway Event
Welcome to the Go Green ♥ Give Charity Cloth Diaper Giveaway Event sponsored by Booty Buns Cloth Diapers! Over 175 blogs have teamed up to present this amazing cloth diaper giveaway hosted by Daily Mothering.
Here's your chance to win an entire stash of one-size cloth diapers!

This amazing cloth diaper prize pack includes:

20 Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers
(these true one-size cloth diapers fit 3-45 lbs!)
20 matching flannel/terry cloth wipes
40 microfiber inserts
20 cotton flannel liners
Booty Buns Cloth Diaper Giveaway
(picture does not show inserts or liners also included)

First, a little about Booty Buns...

Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers
In case you haven't heard about them, Booty Buns Cloth Diapers are incredible one-size cloth diapers that truly fit from birth to potty training! They feature a snap-down rise with 5 different snap settings (most one-size diapers only have 3!) and a waist with 10 regular snap settings plus 2 crossover snap settings. The diapers have hip snaps to prevent wing droop on smaller sizes. The incredible size range of this diaper fits from 3-45 lbs!
Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers
Booty Buns Cloth Diapers are pocket diapers and each diaper includes 2 snap-on microfiber inserts that can be stuffed into the diaper or laid on top with the included cotton flannel liner against your child's skin. The diapers have a waterproof PUL outer and a soft suedecloth inner with duel gussets on the inner lining to ensure everything stays IN the diaper! Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers come in an assortment of bright colors and each diaper includes a matching handmade flannel/terry wipe. You can find out more about the diapers at Booty Buns, or check out the detailed Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diaper Review at Daily Mothering!
Booty Buns Cloth Diapers
Booty Buns is dedicated to encouraging others to "go green" and "give charity." Shannon, the owner of Booty Buns Cloth Diapers, leads by example. For every diaper that Booty Buns sells, she donates one Booty Buns Cloth Diaper to a child in need in a third-world country. Shannon hopes to donate a lifetime supply of cloth diapers {20 diapers} to every baby in need around the globe. You can join in this effort by purchasing your own set of Booty Buns Cloth Diapers and telling your friends about Booty Buns!
Make sure to stop by and follow Booty Buns via Facebook, Twitter and Blog for news and giveaways!

And now for the giveaway!!

Booty Buns Cloth Diaper Giveaway
ONE WINNER will receive this gigantic cloth diaper prize pack valued at $546!
And, the winner will get to select their choice of diaper colors!
This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada.
Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
Sign in using your Facebook account OR your name and email address.
Click "Do It" for instructions on how to complete each entry.
There is no mandatory entry. Complete as many entries as you wish.
The more entries you submit, the better odds you have of winning!

23 March 2012

Breastfeeding {The Road Is Not As Smooth as I'd Thought It Would Be}

Confession: The first month after Charis was born, I told Drew multiple times, "I wish we had a wet nurse for Charis.  Breastfeeding is harder than I thought it would be."  But the truth is, parenting is hard; I have found I'm not as patient as I thought I was.

There were times I wanted to give up and throw a bottle at my baby {especially early on when I had nipple pain, leaking, cracked nipples, and mastitis}, but I'm thankful I didn't.  There was also the time, I felt like I had failed my daughter and was a bad mum for giving her formula.  I realize now that it would have been bad to let my daughter go hungry for a few hours while waiting for me to get home from work.  I'm happy I did not work full time because I'm convinced she would have been breastfed less than 6 months if I had to work.  So, for those who work full time and are able to continue pumping and breastfeeding, you get my congratulations.

My biggest tip this week is: If you are having trouble breastfeeding, do not be afraid to seek help.  After seeing the lactation consultant, she helped me see that Charis was not latching on correctly.  Once Charis was able to latch on, my nipple was able to heel, and I have since had no more episodes of mastitis.

21 March 2012

Owl Cable Hat {Yarn Along}

Last week, I posted photographs of the owl cable hat I knit.  I thought I was finished, but also mentioned I didn't like that the hat became tighter when the owls were knit.  Thankfully, my friend Lisa, suggested I try blocking the hat using a balloon.  Why didn't I think of that?  I had heard of it being done before, but it had slipped my mind.

On Friday, I asked Drew to buy me balloons on his way home from work.  When he got home, I blew up the balloon approximately the size an infant's head would be, placed the hat around the balloon, and sprayed water on the hat.  Less than 24 hours went by and it was completely dried.  I took the hat off and saw it worked!!

Hat after it was blocked-much more pleased with it now!!
I had planned on knitting a soaker for my friend, but I did not pick up any needles since last Wednesday.  It's been so lovely outside, that I've taken Charis out any chance I could get.  I also had to be at the hospital on Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday which meant spare time was spent cleaning, cooking, trying to get rest for my shift, and studying since I had to renew my ACLS {on Friday} and BLS {on Tuesday}.  My plan is to knit the soaker this week.

This week, I'm planning on reading From Forgiven to Forgiving by Jay E. Adams.  I think I'll just read a chapter/day along with reading the Bible for my devotions.

What are you reading and knitting/crocheting this week?
Join as at Ginny's Yarn Along.

For your information, I'm also planning on participating
in the 3rd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week
23rd-29th April 2012. 

19 March 2012

One Reason I Dislike Cleaning...

Charis eating an apple on St. Patrick's Day
... is because I don't know what I'll find.  I was cleaning this morning and found, not one but, three pieces of apple lying in the living room around my daughter's toys.  Gross!  I honestly do clean, but my daughter has a cut up apple everyday.  I often find an apples that she has not completely eaten; usually it's after she goes to bed, but last night, I was too tired to do anything after work, especially since I was on my feet for over 13 hours.  So, this morning, I decided to pick up and was grossed.  I also realize I should be thankful for having food to eat and not having ants in our apartment.

Do you find anything interesting or gross from cleaning?

Sneak Peek: $500+ Cloth Diaper Giveaway Starts Saturday!

Booty Buns Cloth Diaper Giveaway
Would you like to win a LIFETIME SUPPLY of cloth diapers?!
The Go Green ♥ Give Charity Cloth Diaper Giveaway Event sponsored by Booty Buns Cloth Diapers starts this Saturday, March 24th!

Over 175 blogs are coming together to present this fantastic fluffy giveaway hosted by Daily Mothering. Mark your calendar because you don't want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win an entire stash of one-size cloth diapers!

ONE WINNER will receive a gigantic cloth diaper prize pack valued at $546!
And, the winner will get to select their choice of diaper colors!

This amazing prize pack will include:

20 Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers
(these true one-size cloth diapers fit 3-45 lbs!)
20 matching flannel/terry cloth wipes
40 microfiber inserts
20 cotton flannel liners
Booty Buns Cloth Diaper Giveaway
(picture does not show inserts or liners also included)
This giveaway will be open to U.S. and Canada.

Come back March 24-31 for your chance to win it all!

16 March 2012

Weaning {What's That?}

When I saw this week's Breastfeeding Blog Hop topic, I laughed!  I have not really actively tried to wean my daughter.

For about 3-4 weeks prior to Thanksgiving, she was only breastfeeding 2X/day, but then she got a stomach bug and the ONLY thing she could keep down was breast milk.  I was trying to drink a lot of water and nursing her throughout the day so she could stay hydrated.  Then we went to visit family and friends in Pennsylvania, for 1 1/2 weeks, she was surrounded by people she does not see on a regular basis and wanted to be comforted.  So, I started nursing her when she was hungry and needed comforting.  After that week, Charis started nursing 4-6X/day.  At times, I selfishly thought, "What is this??  I want Charis to be finished with nursing because I want XYZ."  Note: I'm NOT saying those who wean their child/ren are being selfish, but I was thinking primarily of myself and not my daughter.

Recently my daughter has been sleeping for 8-12 hours at night between feedings!!  Now, when she wakes up, Drew often goes out to her and tries to hold and comfort her and often he'll give her teething tablets since some of her teeth are about to erupt.  If she's still crying after a few minutes, I'll nurse her.  On Wednesday, I nursed Charis around 9:00AM, put her down for a nap, she woke up from a nap and we went to a park, went to prayer meeting, went grocery shopping, and she crashed on the way home.  I carried her in the apartment and put her in her crib.  She did not wake up until 5:00AM on Thursday.   I was not planning for that to happen, but it did.  I was about to pump some breast milk at that time, but then she woke up {so thankful}.  Avoid weaning suddenly, you'll be engorged and be at increased risk for mastitis.  Instead, where I am at, is Don't offer, don't refuse.  If Charis is asking for "milkies", I nurse her, but only then.  If she's content to play, I'll let her play with her dolls or duplos.  Sometimes, I also try distraction, not for weaning purposes, but more for convenience, such as when we're out shopping.  If she starts wanting to be nursed, but I'm unable to right then, I'll try to give her something to keep her content.

Have you ever weaned a baby or toddler?  If so, 
what worked and what did not work?

14 March 2012

Owl Cable Hat {Yarn Along}

The last knitted item I made is now complete.  I knit the owl cable hat and will be giving it to my pastor's wife.

My gift to her was owl themed.  She mentioned one time at prayer meeting that she was wanting to get an owl fitted crib sheet at Target, so I went there and bought the floral owl fitted crib sheet.  I then decided to knit this hat {see photos below}.  I also bought her some owl washcloths and Rockin' green cloth diaper detergent.  FYI, I love owls on baby items.
I don't like how when I start knitting the owls,
it became tighter.

Clifford modeling the hat.

Looks good on Clifford.

12 March 2012

My In-Laws Just Left {Gratituesday-Posted Late}

I'm not thankful for the fact that my husband's parents just left; rather, I'm thankful we were able to spend Friday-Tuesday with them.  I worked at the hospital on Friday, so they watched Charis while Drew was working on his dissertation.  I'm thankful that I did not have to do any dishes while they were down with us.  I came home to a clean kitchen and take out Chinese food on Friday.

On Monday, they stayed with Charis so that I could take part in the yearly competency fair at the hospital, and yes, I am still able to work there.  Afterwards my MIL, Charis, and I went to my favorite thrift store.  I was able to look around by myself, since Charis was watched by her Grandma.

Do you get along with your in-laws?  I do!  Yes, we may have our small disagreements, but I'm pleased to be their daughter-in-law.  Of course we we friends LONG before Drew and I were married.

Note: I meant to post this on Tuesday, March 6 {for Gratituesday}, 
but accidentally saved it and decided to go ahead and post it.

10 March 2012

First Blog Anniversary {A Wee Bit Late}

Over a year ago {February 2011}, I decided to start a blog, not on anything specific, just life in general.  During the last year, I have written a lot about knitting, cloth diapers, and breastfeeding.  A few of my favorite posts from last year are:
Tips on Flying with an Infant
How to Lanolize a Wool Diaper
I'm So Hungry {Breastfeeding Blog Hop}
Those having to do with the Flats and Handwashing Challenge
Rigatoni with Parmesan Broiled Tomatoes

I decided I wanted to celebrate and have a small self sponsored giveaway.  I will be giving away a BumGenius 4.0 Pocket diaper in Ribbit.  I choose Ribbit for two reasons: 1)It's gender neutral and 2)St. Patrick's Day is this month.  Enter in Rafflecopter below:

08 March 2012

My Top Tools for Successful Breastfeeding {Breastfeeding Blog Hop}

There are many breastfeeding products on the market today-some were useful to me and some were not.  A few of my top favorites are:

Kissing Charis after she was breastfed;
I pushed the Boppy out of the way
to kiss her forehead.
A supportive environment: {I know technically not a product, but it's important}.  God has blessed me with many people in my life that helped.  My husband was {and still is} great; he would get me a glass full of ice water every time I nursed Charis, along with doing the dishes and cleaning the first few weeks.  A lot of my friends from church have also breastfed and were of encouragement-not just with breastfeeding, but with everything, especially bringing meals.  My mum was only able to be with us a VERY short time, but the first night home from the hospital, she took Charis outside at 4:00 AM, so that I could get some sleep.  I had not slept at all, and was breaking down.  My in-laws came down for about two weeks and helped with buying groceries, cooking, and holding Charis, which allowed me to rest, shower, eat, etc.  Charis's pediatrician is also supportive, and even though Charis did not regain her birth weight at the time of the appointment, he did NOT push formula.  When her doctor found out I had mastitis, he referred me to see an IBCLC.  The lactation consultant helped me realize that Charis was not latching on correctly.

Boppy pillow: When my mum saw my pillow, she commented how she wished she had something like that 20+ years ago.  It was nice to have the first 3-4 months, but after that I did not use it for breastfeeding.  I used it for tummy time {which Charis HATED} and when she was in the early stages of learning how to sit up.

Lanolin cream: Helped my nipples, and I have more than half a tube left, but use it to lanolize my wool diaper covers.

Lanisoh soothies: These were a LIFESAVER!!  I did not buy these until the lactation consultant told me about them.  They did not stick to my cracked nipple.

Breast pads: Yes, I was DEFINITELY one who overproduced.  I still need them from time to time.  A comment was left on last week's post about wearing tops with printed designs; I want to remember that suggestion since there were times I definitely had circles on my shirt.

Owl Cable Hat {Yarn Along}

I've FINALLY finished the longies for my nephew!!  I'll post a picture tomorrow.  I would do it tonight, but it's 10:44 PM and the flash is causing a horrible shadow, so I'll wait until daylight to take the photograph. {Pictures have now been posted.}

Tomorrow, I'll be off to the post office to send them out.  I'm glad J. was not nearly as big as Charis was when she was born.  When I was holding him a few weeks ago, I kept thinking, "He's SO tiny."  Then I reminded myself, "No Sarah.  Charis was a big baby {9 lbs. 12 oz.}."

My next knitting project is the owl cable hat, and I would like to have it finished by Saturday for a baby shower, which should not be a problem.  I just need to find time to sit down and knit for 2-3 hours.

05 March 2012

Feeling Burnt Out with Nursing

I work PRN at a local hospital, but what many of you probably don't know, I'm feeling burnt out with nursing.  To be honest, if you had told me in nursing school, "You'll be fed up with nursing in 6 years," I would not have believed you.  I think I feel this way for a few reasons:
  1. The shifts are long.  I am away from my daughter, my husband, and my home for 12+ hours.  On Friday, I arrived on the floor at 6:51 AM and did not clock out until 9:20 PM. 
  2. I do not feel like management is very supportive of the nurses, and several nurses who are experienced, knowledgeable, and helpful have resigned.  Note: I do not have anything against new nurses and hate how "nurses eat their young."
  3. I work only 2 shifts/month.  This is both a blessing and frustration.  Blessing because I want to stay home with Charis as much as I can, but frustration because new policies come and I don't know what's new and what's old.
The above things are out of my control.  At this point, I have to work and do not have the option to be a full time SAHM.  I came across this blog post last night-How to improve nursing morale and avoid burnout.  I liked how focused on what's in my control.  It helped me realize another reason I may be fed up with nursing is because I don't have a nursing goal or more accurately, I'm not meeting that goal or have not yet met it and don't know how to meet it.
If you just go into work and complete your 12 hour shifts without a goal in mind, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’re going to be burnt out! ... It doesn’t have to be anything huge.
When I went to nursing school, I hoped to work with either children or women, not in telemetry, ICU, or CCU.  While I'm happy for the experiences I've had, I still hope to work with mothers and babies.  One option I'm considering is becoming an IBCLC {International Board Certified Lactation Consultant}.  I've read the different Steps to Becoming an IBCLC and I think Pathway 3 {Pathways} would be the best for me and my family, but have no idea how to go about doing it.  Should I do it now, while we are in Maryland?  Or should I wait until we move to Pennsylvania, whenever that will be?  There are so many unknowns, I don't know.  I told Drew about this a few days ago, but at this point no decisions have been made.

03 March 2012

Saturday Stumbles {Links}

BIG funding for Northern Irish World War Two hero
This is a brief post about my Great Uncle Lithgow, Grandad's brother, who served for the RAF during WWII.

How to sew a Nook or Kindle case {tutorial}
I'm planning on sewing one for my dad as an early birthday gift.  Today, my MIL, Charis, and I went to Joann fabrics to buy fabric, a zipper, and interfacing for this project.  Hopefully, pictures will be posted when I'm finished with it.

7 ways to clean with castile soap
I LOVE Dr. Bonner's castile soap and use it often.  I do all of these except for the dishwasher liquid.
Mix together ½ cup liquid soap, ½ cup water, 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice and ½ cup white vinegar. Blend well and store in a plastic bottle. Two tablespoons will do for one load of dishes.

01 March 2012

Nursing in Public {Blooper Edition}

When I saw what this week's breastfeeding topic was, Nursing in Public {Blooper Edition}, I confess I can't remember any bloopers.  I wrote previously that I often nursed her in the bathroom and would ONLY nurse her with a cover.  Every.single.time she wanted breastfed at church, I would go into the hallway, even though I had a cover.  I did these things because I was so used to the culture saying breasts are sexual; they don't see the OTHER function and at this point in my life, that's where I'm at-they are used to feed and nourish my daughter..  I then reached a point where Charis was too busy trying to throw off my cover, I no longer used it.  

I do remember a few times, I was so engorged I was leaking everywhere.  On my first night home from the hospital, my mum stayed with us.  Charis had not slept at all that night; my mum made toast and tea, I was crying, and leaking everywhere, which caused me to cry even more {and yes, I did have had breast pads on}.  In May 2011, I went to visit my family in Pennsylvania and my MIL had her siblings and their children come to her house so they could see Charis.  I started leaking there-only this time, I wasn't wearing pads, so I went into the bathroom and stuffed Kleenex down into my bra and prayed that it would not be noticeable.