Wife, Mummy, Nurse: May 2012

26 May 2012

Things I Have Learned about Handwashing Diapers

Charis in her Disana wool cover.
FYI: I don't know what she was doing to the fitted
sheet in her crib.  Drew said she was playing for
about an hour before going to sleep.

  1. Use wool.  I've been saving PUL covers for when we leave the apartment, but at home, I've been putting Charis in a wool cover or pinning her diaper and allowing her to be coverless. Plus, wool is breathable and you don't have to wash it if it's just wet.
  2. Use bamboo or hemp at night time. I've been pleased with both the ODC and Dippee Dypees flats. Dippee Dypees is $8-$10 cheaper and both dry quickly.
  3. Soak flats in a bucket of water and keep it out of reach from your toddler.  Add the PUL covers about 30 minutes before handwashing the rest.
  4. Try using an OLD toothbrush to help get poop stains out of the diapers.
What recommendations do you have about handwashing diapers?

24 May 2012

Top 3 Breastfeeding Tips

Before Charis was born, I had not read any breastfeeding books.  Coworkers or friends would often ask what are you doing to prepare for breastfeeding.  I jokingly answered, "I'll be giving birth."  Many times, they'd be shocked and immediately recommend a list of books to read about breastfeeding, and I promptly ignored their list and would go on my way.

I wanted to stay away from books because when I flipped through one at Barnes and Noble, I noticed it was 200+ pages and I started to get panicky.  Thankfully, I did not buy it.  I think we are sometimes told so much information we begin to doubt ourselves and doubt what our body is designed to do.  I'm not saying it will be smooth sailing or that you won't have trouble, but I figure why worry about it unnecessarily.  The only real problem I had with breastfeeding was I had mastitis and the symptoms told me that something's not right and I'm going to call the on call doctor.  When I saw this week's topic for the #BFBlogHop is "Top 3 Tips!", I was thrilled.

  1. Don't feel like you have to read every little bit of information on breastfeeding.  You might become worried about every little thing.  Instead, relax and enjoy spending time with your baby.
  2. When people ask, "How are you going to feed the baby?"  Don't say, "I plan on breastfeeding, but we'll see how it goes."  When you say that, you are setting yourself to use formula.  Tell them, "I'm going to breastfeed."  Yes, there are times where breastfeeding doesn't work out and you can realize that, but often you can tell by somebody's tone that they're unsure that they'll be able to breastfeed before they even start.
  3. Lanolin is WONDERFUL.  Buy some before your baby is born.  It can also double for helping you lanolize wool soakers.
What are your tips?  
I have many more, but we're only allowed three.  ;)

I'm Thankful for my Washing Machine {No I Did Not Cheat}

Soaking flats in a bucket before
they're washed.
We are over halfway to the end of the challenge. Honestly, I'm glad.  After last years challenge, I found I actually enjoyed using flats and continued to use them after the challenge, but I also miss my maid-the washing machine.  It's much easier throwing diapers in, wash them, and hang them out to dry.

But despite that, so far it seems to be going well. Yesterday, I put more detergent than I should have and had to rinse, rinse, rinse, and repeat.  I also decided to wash diapers while Charis is napping or has gone to bed for the night. Yesterday, she was right over my shoulder and splashing the water-not that I blame her.  She LOVES baths, swimming, splashing around, basically anything to do with water, but it's much easier when she's not right over my shoulder.

I'm glad for a few things:

  • Using wool.  Two of the covers I'm using are wool-one handknit by me and the other store bought.  So I'm able to just air them out after Charis pees, plus they're breathable.  Last year I used a pocket diaper at night, but it's nice that I only have to handwash a flat diaper.  If I HAD to do this full time, I would probably use wool exclusively on my daughter.
  • The bucket.  I throw dirty diapers in the bucket so that they can get rinsed.
  • An old toothbrush.  Helps scrub poop stains out.
  • Gloves.  My hands would be raw if it weren't for gloves.
  • This morning my flats were dry!!!  
  • It's nice to know that if I had to do this, I could.  It helps me realize that I take many comforts in life for granted, instead of being thankful to God for them.
What are your thoughts on handwashing?
Join us at Dirty Diaper Laundry.

23 May 2012

Skirtie and The Hunger Games {Yarn Along}

I am still knitting the skirtie for Charis and at this rate, when I'm finished with it, she would have outgrown it.  Sometimes when a knitting project becomes boring and monotonous, I stop knitting it.  As a result, I have not touched this for the last few weeks.  My goal is to finish it this week.

There was so much to do the last few weeks.  I worked the last two Fridays, tried to keep up on housework, tried to rest for my shifts so I could actually stay awake, spend time with Drew's mom who came down to watch Charis while I worked, read The Hunger Games, etc.

Speaking of The Hunger Games.  I could NOT put it down.  It's very quick to read and had no clue how it was going to end.  Drew's now reading the copy I borrowed from the library.  I am on the waiting list to read Catching Fire {out of 100+ people}.  There are over 100 copies in our library system though.  The Hunger Games reminded me of The Lottery and gladiators during Roman times.

What are you reading or knitting?
Join us at Ginny's Yarn Along.

Folding Flats

Pad fold in a Thirsties duo wrap
When I first looked at different cloth diapers, I immediately ruled out flats.  Why?  Because I'm lazy and didn't want to have to learn fold techniques.  Which is why, the fold technique I use at least 75% of the time is the pad fold.  It's also easy, and I don't have to worry about the flats being too small.  If Charis was exclusively breastfed, I would not use this fold, because poop would be more likely to excape.

But at night when my daughter is in a wool cover, I like Charis's diaper to be secure, so I usually do the origami fold.  Thankfully, the flats I've used so far at night have enough stretch and allow me to use this fold.  Here's a video I found on YouTube demonstrating the Origami fold on a baby.

We decided Charis's baby also needed a flat diaper on, instead of her newborn fitted diaper. So yesterday, I put a flat diaper on dolly. Unfortunately in the process of taking a photograph, Dolly's head got cut off in the picture.

Day 2's Thoughts: It went much better than day 1, mainly because there were no unexpected trips to the pediatrician.  I have four diapers to wash, two from yesterday and two from today.  Now, that Charis is napping I better go wash them.  Last year, I learned to try to wash only a few at a time instead of waiting until the end of the day and finding them still wet {or damp on good days} in the morning.  I'm also praying the sun comes out and helps dry the diapers.

What are your favorite folding techniques?
Join us at Dirty Diaper Laundry.

22 May 2012

Nursemaid's Elbow {Gratituesday}

A much happier baby girl and
mummy.  She just had a bath.
Yesterday was very emotional for me because Charis was in a lot of pain.  Around 2:50PM, we were walking up to our apartment door, I was holding her hand, she suddenly pulled away from me, I still held on to her, but then heard a "pop".  Charis started crying, so I carried her inside.  She then stopped crying, and I put her down.  When I put her down, I noticed her left arm was straight down to her side, and she wasn't using it.  Charis was guarding that arm and using her right hand to keep her left arm in towards her body.  She started to cry every time I put her down.

I then called the pediatrician's office and the nurse said, "It sounds like nursemaid's elbow.  Give your daughter Tylenol because you need to come in and have your daughter's elbow relocated."  We left immediately, but I was such a wreck and missed the exit for the pediatrician and as a result it took 30 minutes instead of 15-20 minutes.

Charis cried and cried during the reduction, and I started crying because she was in pain.  I tried nursing her, but nursing didn't even help.  Thankfully, she's now able to suck her left thumb again.

I'm thankful:

  • For doctors and nurses
  • That Charis has mobility of her arm again
  • That I called the doctor's office

Supplies for the #Flatschallenge

Pretty IKEA "flats"
What supplies am I using for this challenge?  Flats, specifically:
  • 12 Osocozy flat diapers that I used last year
  • Four IKEA "flats"
  • One Orange Diaper Co. bamboo terry square
  • Two Dippee Dypees flats
  • One Hemp Babies hemp flat
Last year, I found that having only 12 flats was stretching it too much.  So I decided to purchase a few flat diapers.  Altogether, I have twenty flats.  The challenge runs through Sunday, but I will not be handwashing them that day.  Instead, I will handwash them on Monday, since I believe Sunday is a day God has given us as a day of rest and worshipping Him.

My daughter in her Orange Diaper
Co. flat in the origami fold.
Closed with a Snappi.
The covers I plan on using are a Disana wool cover, Thirsties duo wrap in snaps, Baby Bee Haven cover, Flip diaper, and a hand knit soaker made by me.  

Pins and Snappis to help close the diapers.

Rubber gloves, laundry detergent, and a plunger.

What supplies are you using for the 
Flats and Handwashing challenge?

Day 1: It wasn't too bad, except when Charis woke up from her nap, she had a massive bowel movement in her diaper.  So, I soaked the flat diaper in the toilet.  Once the poop was off, I placed the diaper in a small bucket of water to help rinse out the diaper.  Overall this worked well, but even with all the scrubbing, there's going to be a stain.  I'm trying to think what Charis ate to make her poop so dark.  I accidentally left one of her diapers on for about 4 hours because of a trip to her doctor to relocate her elbow.  I forgot to bring diapers because as we were leaving for the pediatrician's office I was so flustered and kept blaming myself for her nursemaid's elbow.  Which reminds me, I need to pack the diaper bag.

How did Day 1 go for you?
I am linking this post up at Dirty Diaper Laundry.

21 May 2012

Buffalo Chicken Dip

One of my favorite chip dips to make is Buffalo Chicken Dip.  I decided to make it on Saturday for a friend's graduation party.  Unfortunately, it's not exactly healthy for you, so I make it very infrequently.  The last time I made it was when I was pregnant with Charis.

Cook 2 lbs. of chicken.
After they are cooked, shred or dice them.

Add 2 cups cheddar cheese.

Add 8 oz. Ranch dressing/blue cheese dressing
{I used blue cheese dressing}
and 8 oz. hot sauce.
{See the toddler wearing pink at the right side,
make sure small children
don't dip fingers in the dip.  :)}

Stir together.
Add a blog of cream cheese.
Stir some more.

Put in a 9X9 inch pan and bake
in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Enjoy with chips {or crisps if you're British}.

What appetizers do you enjoy eating?

Am I Crazy? {#flatschallenge}

I probably am.  You may remember last year when I participated in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge.  Well, I am participating again this year.  The biggest thing that has changed is my daughter is now eating solids without any problems.  Last year at this time, she was just starting to eat solids, which meant her bowel movements were very mushy, but now they are solid and usually easy to just plop in the toilet.

A few reasons why am I participating in the challenge.

  • I want to see if I could use flats for the WHOLE challenge.  Last year, I didn't try flats at night because I was not home and wanted to use something I knew would work for my daughter.
  • I want to see if there is anything different that I would do with handwashing the diapers since my daughter is largely eating solid food.
  • I'm home, so I'll be able to do it from the comfort of my own place.  Last year, I was at my parent's place.
  • I will be more likely to put Charis on her potty since I'll be handwashing diapers.
  • Finally, I just like a challenge, and it's only for one week.
Go to Dirty Diaper Laundry for more information about the Flats and Handwashing Challenge.

Are you participating?  What do you hope to learn from this challenge?

15 May 2012

My Husband {Gratituesday}

I am so thankful for my husband!  I worked on Friday, and before going into work, I was in a horrible, foul mood.  Around 3:00 PM, the unit secretary tells me, "There's a man here to see you."  I was with a patient and told her it would be a few minutes.  When I walk out, she then told me, "I directed him to the waiting area."  I went out and my husband had a dozen roses and chocolate for me.  Yes, he loves me.  Not that I needed chocolate or roses to know of his love, but it was still wonderful.

FYI: Continue to pray he gets his proposal turned in for his dissertation.

11 May 2012

My Breastfeeding "Hero" {#BFBlogHop}

...is my mum.  It's because of my mother, that I didn't give a second thought to using formula.  She breastfed my siblings and I when we were babies.  My mother helped normalize breastfeeding for me.  I remember doing everyday activities which my sister was being nursed, especially watching The Bill Cosby Show.  I think in order for breastfeeding to become better accepted in our culture in the future, we need to breastfeed in front of our children.  They should see that the purpose of breastfeeding is to provide nourishment to babies and toddlers.

05 May 2012

Wearing Charis on My Back {this moment}

Breastfeeding Myths {#BFBlogHop}

Before Charis was born, I NEVER thought I'd still be nursing her at 20+ months.  My goals were to:

  1. Breastfeed exclusively until she was at least 6 months.  Failed at that one, but I did my best.
  2. Breastfeed until she was at least one year.
  3. Start weaning her after she turned 1.
Thankfully, her pediatrician has been very supportive of breastfeeding, and told me, "Try to breastfeed her until she's at least two."  But by that point, he did not need to tell me that.  Unfortunately in today's society and culture, we are told that...

Toddler's should not be breastfed, and if you breastfeed a toddler that's gross.  Both of these thoughts are FALSE.  Why do we think that breastmilk is best for babies, but when your baby becomes a toddler, we tell women to stop?  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends...
Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child…  There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer.
As those who have successfully breastfed, we should also be careful not to be critical of mom's who have decided to use formula.  I have read that moms who use formula are lazy or they don't care about their children as much as I do, etc.  We need to come back down to earth and realize, I'm not in that mother's situation.  There may be things I don't know, such as difficulties she is having.  We should be supportive of those who have decided to formula feed and realize it's up to parents on how they are going to feed their children.

02 May 2012

Skirtie {Yarn Along}

I have been on a knitting strike recently, and have not completed the skirtie.  UGH!  I'm so frustrated with myself.  I partially blame the hotter weather, especially since our air conditioning has not been turned on yet.  When it's 80+ degrees, who wants to knit, especially when one has a teething, crying baby.  Yes, Charis is teething and has been miserable.

Hopefully next week, I'll be able to show that I have completed this current knitting project and will be able to show you what I have started.

What are you knitting or crocheting?
Are you having a harder time completing projects 
because of the warm weather?

01 May 2012

Upcoming Job Interview {Gratituesday}

As you know, I have not been happy with my job at the hospital, but I'm not able to quit.  If I quit, we'd be coming under our outgoing expenses, and by staying on, we're in the black. Drew has applied to many jobs, but nothing has come out of the numerous applications, except 2 part time jobs {for which we are thankful for}.  He works 50+ hours/week and on top of that is trying to find time to work on his dissertation for his PhD, in addition to being a husband and father.  I don't know how he does it.

I applied for a school nurse position and have a job interview next Tuesday.  I want to get the job.  I'd be working Monday-Friday, 8 hour days, and have weekends and holidays off. Basically, I'd be following the school calendar.  If I was offered the job and accepted it, Drew would stay home with Charis, and he'd be able to focus on completing his dissertation.  He'd probably work 1-2 nights per week-four hours each night.  Yes, I want to stay home with Charis full time, but Drew has been looking for something full time for 20+ months and nothing has come.  We feel like we are in limbo.  Once Drew finishes his dissertation, hopefully he'd be able to find a job at a college or university.

I'm thankful that I'll have an interview, but would like prayer that the interview would go well, and that God will give us wisdom.

Mother's Day #ClothDiaperHop

Mother's Day is almost here and we are celebrating with our love for cloth diapers!
Welcome to the Mother's Day Cloth Diaper Giveaway Hop hosted by Daily Mothering! Nearly 100 blogs have linked up to bring you dozens and dozens of exciting cloth diaper giveaways. Enter my giveaway below to win a Stretch Bamboozle fitted diaper, a Glow Bug Pocket Diaper, and a Fuzzibunz perfect size pocket diaper and then hop to the other blogs listed at the bottom of this post to enter their fluffy giveaways too! Each blog has a cloth diaper prize valued at $15 or more, and many blogs have prize packs worth over $100. And, don't forget to enter the GRAND PRIZE giveaway at Daily Mothering for your chance to win this amazing $1300 Cloth Diaper Prize Pack!