Wife, Mummy, Nurse: February 2013

28 February 2013

Breastfeeding and Working Outside the Home {#BFBlogHop}

I mentioned last week that I was the one who worked full time while I was pregnant. When Drew and I decided I would no longer work full time after Charis was born, we decided that I would stay on PRN just in case he still had not found a job, then it would be easier to transition back to full time at the hospital.  This was a very trying time.  I wanted to be at home with my baby, and we were uncertain about how things would work out.  I wanted Charis to continue getting breast milk, even when I was working.

If you too are a working or will be working, here are a few tips:

Be committed.  I did not do this 100%.  Yes, I bought a breast pump, but I hated pumping.  It was much easier breastfeeding Charis and then forgetting about pumping milk.  I only had ten 4 oz. bags of breast milk in the freezer when I returned to work. Thankfully, I only worked two days in a 28 day period, so that was not a major concern for me.

Make sure you get off on a good start breastfeeding.  Breastfeed on demand.  Take as much maternity leave as you can.  See a lactation consultant if you're having a hard time.  I was only home full time 6 weeks after Charis was born.

Immediately before leaving for work, breastfeed your baby.  Your baby is the best breast pump there is.  Try to pump during the day when your baby would usually nurse.  Breastfeed as soon as you can after getting home.  The last suggestion was hard for me to do.  Being a nurse in CCU, I was around patients who had MRSA, VRE, C-Diff, so I would take a shower immediately, then breastfeed.

Be flexible.  Yes, breastfed babies are healthier, breast milk  helps protect your baby against allergies, breastfeeding saves money, but it does not have to be all or nothing, if need be give formula.  It was hard doing that, but save the formula as a last resort and continue to pump and breastfeed as much as you can.

Did you work while breastfeeding?  What tips can you give?
Join me over at Sisters 'N Cloth for the #BFBlogHop.

27 February 2013

Splendid Triangle Shawl {Yarn Along}

This week, I have not gotten much knitting accomplished.  I have not cast off any projects or cast on any new projects.  It's that time of month, and during this time, I'm SO sleepy.  Instead of fighting and trying to stay awake, I at least lie down, if not nap when Charis is taking her nap.  Which means, knitting is put on the back burner; though, I have been able to work a few rows on the Splendid Triangle Shawl.  House work and school work go on and take priority.  Hopefully next week, I'll actually be able to post pictures of finished results.

I am reading Esther and listening to sermons on Esther.  I watched One Night with the King, and they definitely took lots of liberties in telling the story of Esther and added many things not in the Bible.

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

21 February 2013

10 Ways Drew Showed His Love to Me {#BFBlogHop}

I worked full time when I was pregnant, up to my 37th week.  Drew had not yet found a job, but I was TIRED of: working nights, being on my feet, being large, and being pregnant.  I had not started nesting because I worked, ate, and slept. When Charis was born, Drew still did not have a job.  Talk about a trying time!!  But, there were many benefits to this.  Drew showed his love to me in many more ways than he could have if he was working full time.  It was the simple, everyday things that helped.

  1. Cooking dinner.  Or at least preparing the food and dishing out what people brought.
  2. Washing dishes.  One of my least favorite chores.
  3. Putting dishes away.
  4. Getting water for me when every time I breastfed Charis.
  5. Staying up with Charis some nights.  Yes, I was one of the few who could sleep when the baby was awake!!  Since I was breastfeeding, I was still awake more than Drew.
  6. Staying up with Charis the morning I came down with a fever, chills, body aches, and a sore breast.  I was later diagnosed with mastitis.  Ironically, this is one of the fonder memories I have or Drew and Charis.  Drew was reading the Bible in Spanish to Charis and singing Psalms in Spanish; I had no clue what he was saying, but it was sweet to hear his voice.
  7. Washing and folding laundry.
  8. Changing diapers.  
  9. Hugging me when I started crying for NO reason.  Ugh!!  I dislike hormones, and I'm thankful it stopped within 3 weeks after Charis was born.
  10. Encouraging me to keep breastfeeding, even when I was worn out. 
What ways did your baby's Daddy help you with breastfeeding?
Join us at the weekly #BFBlogHop at Sisters 'N Cloth.

20 February 2013

Snow Hat for a Kid {Yarn Along}

This Saturday, Charis and I are going to a birthday party.  One of her friends will be turning 3.  Instead of going out to buy her something, I decided to knit her the snow hat for a kid.  I just cast on today.  I'm using up part of my stash from the leftover yarn when I knit Charis the skirtie.  The pattern calls for bulky yarn, so I'm holding 2 strands together.  I originally cast on 68 stitches, but that hat was going to be HUGE. So, I unraveled it and cast on 60, which appears like it will work much better.  I've already knit 2 inches, but tried taking a picture and since it's dark, I did not like how the flash looked.  Sorry for the boring picture with the barely cast on hat.

Right now, I am listening to The Associate by John Grisham.  I love reading and listening to Grisham novels.  I used to want to be a lawyer when I was in 6th grade; I'm so glad that did NOT happen.

I also started reading Rainbow Garden by Patricia St. John to Charis as part of our bed time routine. Drew is starting a full time substitute teaching job through the end of the year, so our schedule is going to drastically change.  He'll be teaching high school Spanish, and it has the potential to turn into a full time job next year.  He'll still be tutoring 12 hours during the week. We're used to getting up at 8:00-8:30, but now, we're going to start getting up at 6:00 am.  I order to help Charis get used to an earlier bed time, I figured I'd read to her, instead of just singing and praying with her.  This book was actually my mummy's book-inside it is written, "Louise McFarland-Prize."

What are you reading and knitting this week?
Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.
This post contains affiliate links.

19 February 2013

Photos from Valentine's Day

Confession: I used to hate Valentine's Day.  I called it Single's Awareness Day.  It was the day everyone started dating, got engaged, or was married.  My brother was one who was engaged on Valentine's Day.  Now, I LOVE it.  I love showing Drew and Charis how much I love them.  Here are some photos from February 14, 2013.

Attempted making Os and Exes out of bacon.
Word of advice: Don't.  Only one X survived, and
none of the Os did.  Next time, the bacon
is going on strips into the oven.
Drew had hot chocolate, and I had tea.  

I made waffles.  When Drew and I were dating, I had him over at my
parents house for breakfast around Valentine's Day.  I asked him, "What's
your favorite breakfast food?"  "Waffles with ice cream on top," was
his answer.  I bought a waffle maker and made waffles, but did not put ice
cream on top.  Now, I try to make waffles every Valentine's Day.
Part of the Drew's Valentine's Day gift from Charis.
Messy feet.  Glad we did this in the bathroom.
Charis opening her gift.  I bought a brand new
Melissa & Doug Princess Elise Magnietic Dress-Up Set at our local thrift store for $3.
The finished product of Drew's gift from Charis {and her mum}.
Since Valentine's Day is about love, I thought I'd post 1 Corinthians 13:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.   
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Do you enjoy Valentine's Day?

14 February 2013

Breastfeeding and Sex {#BFBlogHop}

This post speaks about breastfeeding and sex, along with the possible problems one can have because of breastfeeding.  I'm not crass and believe that there is a place for talking about breastfeeding and sex. I hope others may find the information useful.

13 February 2013

One Downton Abbey Gauntlet Complete {Yarn Along}

I had been keeping up with the Jimmy Beans Downton Abbey KAL, but on January 27 when we received the instructions to remove the provisional cast on and begin knitting the shell lace edging, it looked backwards.  It looked like the inside of the glove should be on the outside.  Thankfully, I received some help.  We switched directions (from up to down), so I had to switch which way I went around for my rows. I needed to knit in the opposite direction.  Now, I just need to cast on and complete the left hand gauntlet.

12 February 2013

Thankful that the End is in Sight {Gratituesday}

The end is in sight for the completion of my BSN!  I started an online RN-BSN program Fall 2007 and was only taking 1-2 classes per semester, but when my daughter was born, I dropped out.  My husband and I decided that I should go back and finish my last class this semester.   I am taking "Nursing Case Management in Today's Healthcare Environment".  It's not my favorite class since it's so dry and boring, but I just completed week 2 and have 13 more weeks to go!!  Graduation will be the same weekend my brother graduates from seminary in Pittsburgh.  Thankfully his graduation will be on Friday night, and mine will be on Saturday.  Drew, Charis, and I are planning on taking a road trip to Pennsylvania that weekend.

Did you get your Bachelor's Degree?
Was it before you had children or after?

08 February 2013

Reasons I Like Cloth Diapering

Saves money.  This is one I realize more, especially now that Charis is VERY interested in the potty. My daughter knows when she has gone pee; she gets a look on her face and starts walking with her legs straddled, but she has not yet figured out she needs to pee before she actually does it.  So, I constantly have to change her every 30-120 minutes.  I'm putting 8-12 clean diapers on her per day.

They're convenient.  I don't have to ask Drew to stop at Target at 9:30 PM as he's coming home from work to get disposable diapers because we're on our last diaper and need more before we wake up.

I can reuse the diapers on future children we may have.  I've also lent diapers to family and friends who are considering cloth diapers.  If we don't have more children, they will be sold and given away.  I'm not filling a landfill with cloth diapers.

They're good conversation starters.  Yes, I was THAT person at Babies"R"Us who told the couple about Greenberries, the local consignment store that sells Thirsties, Flips, Fuzzibunz, Grovia, Green Mountain prefolds and fitted diapers, etc.

I can coordinate costumes with her diapers.  Last year when Chick-fil-A were giving a meal away if you came dressed like a cow.  Charis dressed like a cow down to her diaper.  The only thing that did not have a cow print on were her sandals.

Do you cloth diaper?
What do you like about it?

07 February 2013

What I Loved about Breastfeeding {#BFBlogHop}

Breastfeeding is free. Everytime, I'd go to Target and went into the formula aisle, I was thinking, "Ch Ching! Look how much money we don't have to spend." Before Charis was born, I worked full time, but Drew did not have a job. After she was born, it took two months before Drew could find a job; money was tight, and I was SO thankful I had relatively few hardships with breastfeeding.  I was blessed with a wonderful supply to feed my baby.

Nursing on demand.  If Charis was hungry, I could nurse her right then and there; she did not have to wait for me to get formula ready, while I was preparing it or putting it in a bottle.  The temperature was perfect.

The quietness.  Breastfeeding meant that I had to stop what I was doing and feed Charis.  The dishes had to wait, the laundry had to stay piled up a few more minutes, the meal could get colder a few more minutes, my baby needed her nourishment, and I was able to pause and savor my time with her.

Sleeping while breastfeeding.  {Maybe this is more of a selfish reason.}  Once I figured out how to nurse from a side lying position, I took full advantage of doing so at those 2 AM feedings and ended up falling asleep instead of coaxing a baby to finish her bottle.

Knowing that my daughter is getting the best.  All the nutrients she needs are in breastmilk.  Her risk of getting gastrointestinal infections, ear infections, pneumonia, and diarrhea were reduced.

It was convenient.  I did not have to worry if I had enough formula or bottles if I went somewhere for the day.  It was one less thing I had to worry about packing.

Most importantly, I enjoyed holding my baby.  I realize this more now that my daughter's growing up, which is a good thing.  As a baby, she was content being held as I breastfed her; now, she wants to go, go, go nonstop from morning to night with a two hour nap in the middle of the day.

What do you love about breastfeeding?
Join me over at this week's #BFBlogHop at Sisters 'N Cloth.

Boppy Travel Pillow Giveaway Signups

Boppy Travel Pillow Giveaway

After Charis was born, one of my favorite breastfeeding accessories was my Boppy pillow.  I took it everywhere with me for the first 2 months and would loved to have a travel pillow-one that I could keep in the car.

Join the
Boppy® Travel Pillow Giveaway!
Event dates: March 1 - 31, 2013
Prize: Boppy® Travel Pillow [(Mama Dot/Basket Green color) $45 retail]
TWO free links with announcement: Facebook AND Twitter
Requirements to join
Post the giveaway announcement - HTML can be found here Agree to post the giveaway HTML on the date the event begins Promote at least 2x a week during giveaway period Open to U.S. residents only

06 February 2013

My "Knitter" {Yarn Along}

Yesterday, I was trying to knit my ribbed lace bolero.  I didn't finish it, but my family is more important than my knitting.  I have two more inches to knit.  My daughter saw me knitting, came over, sat in my lap, and said, "I knit."  So, I decided to let her "knit"; I found the cheapest ball of yarn I could find-100% acrylic; I believe it's Vanna's Choice.  I gave her 10 1/2 needles and let her "knit".  She LOVED it and kept saying, "I knit" with a look of concentration on her face.  She's just like her daddy; she was trying to figure out why this works.

The bolero I am still knitting.

The winner of last week's Crochet So Fine giveaway is Karin Ishibashi.  I put all the names in a bowl and this is who my daughter drew-remember, she can't read.  I had planned on taking photographs the whole time, but after the first picture of the bowl, the camera said that the battery needed to be recharged.

Do your children enjoy knitting?

Babyville Boutique {#craftytime}

Welcome to the It's Time to Get Crafty Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network. With the colder weather keeping us inside, it's the perfect time to get crafty! I’ve joined with over 30 other bloggers to bring you great products to keep you or your kids busy this season.

This event will run from February 6-20 and each blogger in the hop has a great prize, worth at least $25, to help you be creative or to admire someone else's handmade creations. While you're hopping, be sure to check out the Grand Prize for this Event - a 6 month subscription to Green Kid Crafts AND a $100 Michaels Gift Card!

Our amazing sponsor is Babyville Boutique; they bring products to help you sew handmade items for your babies and children.  Read my review of the products they sent me.  The winner will be sent their choice of girl, boy, or gender neutral products including a book, new pattern, fabric package and coordinating accessories.

Giveaway is over. 
Winner: Jamie B.

According to Jenny, So Easy Being Green, and the Time to Get Crafty participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.  After you enter here, be sure to click through the link below and enter to win other amazing prizes.

05 February 2013

Babyville Boutique Review {Time to Get Crafty}

Charis is now beginning to show a lot of interest in using the potty.  I've been wanting to get her some pull up style pants to wear at home.  I was recently at a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft store; I saw that Babyville Boutique now had a Totally Trainers booklet.  I was thrilled when Babyville Boutique agreed to sponsor my Time to Get Crafty prize.

Babyville Boutique sent me the Totally Trainers booklet, Simply Soakers booklet, and 51 Babyville Boutique Projects, along with supplies including a package of PUL, EZ Adjust Tabs, Fold over elastic, and a set of diaper pins.  Upon receiving the box, I squealed; I love sewing and crafting and my in-laws were in town and could entertain Charis while I sewed.

I first looked at the Simply Soakers booklet.  I like the fact they cover many diaper fabrics, ranging from cotton, bamboo, hemp, and microfiber fabrics.  I only had cotton flannel on hand, so I decided to sew a newborn fitted diaper.  I decided to sew the trifold soaker.  I appreciate that their is a soaker layers reference in the book with suggestions of how many layers are needed for different soaker styles.

I then looked at the Totally Trainers booklet and decided to sew the basic knit trainer, since I wanted to know when my daughter is wet and she's not yet at the point where I'd put a trainer on her when we leave the house.  The instructions were easy to follow. But, I had to make adjustments for the suggested braided and fold over elastic length; it needed to be shortened.  This was my first time sewing with fold over elastic, but I managed; I hope it gets easier once I practice more.  Plus, Charis LOVES wearing her "big girl panties".

Have you used Babyville Boutique products?
If so, which products are your favorite?

Win it: One reader will win their choice of girl, boy, or gender neutral products, including a book, new pattern, fabric package and coordinating accessories. Come back for the Time to Get Crafty giveaway hop from February 6-20 for chances to win.

Check out Babyville Boutique on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest.

I was sent products from Babyville Boutique to review.
All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated in any way.

My Sister's Second Anniversary

Two years ago, I received a new brother. My baby sister, Saundy, married Seth. They are perfect for each other.  I was the matron of honor and gave this speech at their reception:
We have gathered together to celebrated the marriage of Saundy and Seth.
When Saundy was born, Robbie and I would fight over who would hold her.  There were a few times Robbie "won"-much to my displeasure. We liked to swing Saundy, tickle her, and poke and prod her. Surprisingly, she still talks to us and loves us.
Even though Saundy and I are almost four years apart, we've had a lot of good times-playing basketball, singing, acting, swimming, going to Northern Ireland, etc.
When Saundy was in high school and early college she said, "I want a man who sings like Frank Sinatra, dances like Fred Astaire, and plays the piano like Ray Charles.*"  I don't know if Seth does any or all of them, but what's important is that Saundy and Seth both love God and seek to serve Him.
We pray that God blesses your marriage as you become closer together and closer to Him and that the LORD will build your marriage and give you many years together.
I love you Saundy and Seth. 

04 February 2013

Shower Punch

I love baby showers, and bridal showers for that matter.  I enjoy the happy moments in people's lives and rejoicing with them in their marriages, pregnancies, and births. At church, I'm one of the people in charge of showers.  The last two baby showers, we had a punch that was so easy to make and there were no leftovers.  It only has four ingredients:

  • White grape juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Sierra Mist
  • Sherbet  
Do you enjoy punch?  What's your favorite?

02 February 2013

The Little Thief {AKA Charis}

A confession.  Before becoming a mother, I told myself, "I will NEVER let any of my children color in coloring books.  They will color on plain paper."  I wanted them to use their imagination.  But, I was at Jo-Ann Fabrics, and noticed they had Hello Kitty and My Little Pony coloring books.  I was oohing and ahhing at them.  Yes, I'm supposed to be the adult.  Charis was too busy sucking her thumb to notice.  I went ahead and bought them for myself.  That didn't last long.  This morning I was coloring and a little thief comes along and decided to color in the coloring book herself.

The thief coloring.

The end result.

The thief sucking her thumb.
FYI: I did not mind her taking the book, and I love my little thumb sucker.
Have you done anything as a parent you thought you'd never do?

01 February 2013

Hello Kitty: My Cloth Diaper Wish List

Charis LOVES Hello Kitty.  Every time, we're at  a store, and she sees a Hello Kitty product, she shouts, "Hello Kitty!!" and points the item with much enthusiasm.  I created an Etsy Treasury with Hello Kitty items sold by various shops-a few of my favorite Hello Kitty diapers and diaper accessories are...

Made by Payley Knits and Crochet.  Everything she makes is custom made and sell hand knit diaper covers, crochet items, and wool dryer balls.

Sprouting Love sells this diaper which is made out of cotton, organic bamboo fleece, and organic bamboo velour.  There are seven thirsty layers of bamboo in the soaker.  If you have a heavy wetter, check out Rena's diapers.

You don't have to cloth diaper to enjoy the many uses a wet bag has, especially with summer swimming. Jody's Designs also makes crayon roll ups, burp cloths, plus a number of handmade items for your children.

Sold as a burp cloth, but this would be nice pad folded into a cloth diaper cover, such as a Flip or Thirsties.  Brookidlyn sells blankets, Boppy pillow covers, and nursery bedding.

I had to add this.  My daughter has become SO interested in the potty, but will no longer sit on her small potty chair.  She's love to get a pair of Hello Kitty underwear, such as these.  If you want a layer of hidden PUL, just convo My Fun Clothes.