Nursing in the NICU

Posted 08-26-2011 at 01:45 PM by Britt Schwartz

I was not prepared for my youngest daughter Sawyer to be admitted to the NICU. Even though my Doctor told me to prepare myself for the possibility that she would be taken to the NICU, I didn’t and I regret it.

After I learned that she would be okay and was basically staying in the NICU for cautionary reasons my biggest concern was breastfeeding. I had nursed Sawyer’s older sister Payton as soon as I was taken out of recovery and she didn’t stop until she was 17 months, so I was a seasoned milker. During my first visit back down to see Sawyer after I was initially taken after her birth, I asked the nurse when I could breastfeed. The woman looked at me like I grew a second head right in front of her. Once she regained herself she announced that there were steps to follow and first Sawyer had to keep down her feeding by tube followed by a bottle before I could attempt to nurse. I asked her for mores specifics and she became flustered and literally walked away from me.

Diaper Swapers

Staying Organized In A Small Space

Posted 08-26-2011 at 10:30 AM by Mel

Last year we sold our four bedroom, two bath home and downsized to a 2 bedroom, 1 bath single wide mobile home. We plan to stay here 3-5 years while we save up to buy a farm. In the meantime, I have had to figure out how to organize all of our stuff into a much smaller space. The first step was to get rid of a lot of stuff. Everything we didn’t need and couldn’t fit in our shed was sold or donated. I have found this step crucial as you can’t stay organized if you don’t have a place to put stuff. So if you are already living in a small living space go through all your cupboards, closets, and drawers. Get rid of things you aren’t using or don’t need. One thing a friend of mine suggested is to take everything you think you need but don’t use regularly and box it up. Put it in your shed or garage and whatever is left after a few months get rid of. There are a few exceptions to this rule, so use your discretion. For example, I only use my canning supplies a couple months out of the year, but when I do use them I use them a lot. Canning supplies are something I cannot borrow from a friend because they would all be using them during the times I would need to. Obviously I should keep my canning supplies!

Once you’ve downsized and have a practical amount of possessions for the size of your living space you are ready to get organized. For those of you who are not good organizers check out Fly Lady. She offers great advice and it works great for even the most disorganized people!

When purchasing furniture looking for items that can be multifunctional. A good example of this is my wicker trunk that I bought at Pier 1 Imports back when we first got married. My husband thought that it was a waste of money at the time, but now agrees it was one of our more practical purchases. I use it to store my sheets, blankets, and quilts and it also functions as a coffee table.

Master Chef

Posted 08-26-2011 at 09:35 AM by Krista

When I was growing up, I didn’t cook very much because my mom would either shoo me out of the kitchen, or my sister would be peeking over my shoulder and pushing me away so she could stir whatever I was working on. This created a sort of food fear that I have only recently gotten out of. I married a cook, so I thought I was well taken care of. One thing you don’t realize about cooks is that when they get home, they rarely want to enter the kitchen, unless it’s to get a beer after work.

When I finally got up the courage to start cooking for my family—which I did with more regularity after my oldest turned a year old, and was eating table food with regularity—I discovered something amazing. I love to cook. I joke with J that my cooking talent is coming close to surpassing his own. I love to cook, and I love for people to eat what I’ve cooked. I find that it doesn’t taste quite as good until someone else has sampled it and given it the thumbs up. A compliment is the final seasoning to any culinary creation.

I love the TV show MasterChef, because the premise is that an amateur cook can become a chef! While I have no visions of grandeur in that department, I love to watch the show and learn new tips all the time. For example, did you know that you can add espresso powder to whipped cream for a delightful topping that any coffee lover would enjoy?

“What to Expect…”

Posted 08-25-2011 at 04:22 PM by Britt Schwartz

I heard a great quote the other day that really put parenting in perspective for me and I thought I’d share. I was on a parenting site and a debate was beginning during a heated discussion as to whether or not Attachment Parenting was the best method to follow, in the middle of the heated exchanges a poster commented that her aunt used to tell her “You read the parenting books, your baby didn’t.”

That statement resonated with me. Ever since I gave birth to Payton in 2009, I’ve been struggling with not feeling adequate in my role as a Mom. I would stress over every choice that had to be made whether it was where she sleep to what she ate, whether or not she needed the medication or how much juice was too much. I tried to research every detail of parenting and found myself overwhelmed when 100% of the time, I found conflicting opinions!

I’m slowly learning that I need to do what feels right to me and Matt, not what fit into a parenting style. One parenting ideal

Family Meals

Posted 08-25-2011 at 03:08 PM by whitneywalters

When I was little my family always ate dinner together and my mom cooked almost everything from scratch. My mom would make us shut the television off and we would all sit in the kitchen together and have supper. This was something that was really important to her and it is something that I have tried to continue doing with my children. Several studies have been done of the importance of families taking the time to eat together and the benefits of having family meals are pretty astounding.

1. Families that eat together have better communication. Sitting down together for a meal without the distractions of televisions, phones or computers gives you time to talk to your children about their day as well as giving extra attention to you children.

2. Families that eat together have better nutrition. A study that was done by Harvard researchers and published in the Archives of Family Medicine showed that families that ate together almost every day consumed more healthy nutrients including calcium, fiber, iron, vitamins b12,6,C and E then families that rarely ate meals together. Another study done by University of Minnesota showed that families that ate meals together ate more fruits and vegetables and less snack foods.

Journey to Motherhood–Post-Partum Depression

Posted 08-25-2011 at 11:59 AM by Krista

Like a lot of people ignorant on the topic, I thought I was immune from ever getting post-partum depression. I knew one girl who had gotten it, and I told J that she wouldn’t have if she’d wanted her baby like I wanted one (no hate mail, please! We know better now, believe me). At the time we had this conversation, we were trying desperately to have a child. I just knew in my heart that I couldn’t have post-partum. I wanted my baby too much to ever have feeling other than adoration toward her.

How wrong I was. I was hearing constant crying, even when she was asleep. I couldn’t sleep myself because of it. Bit by bit, I began to feel resentment toward this precious creature. I begrudged this intrusion on my sanity. I wasn’t eating, I didn’t shower. I just sat on the computer all day and touched her as little as I could. I took care of her; she was fed, changed, and burped. I just didn’t want to interact with her.

I told a few people about my feelings, but no one seemed overly concerned.

“It’ll pass. It’s normal new parent stuff,” they each told me, in their own words. I felt anything but normal, but I didn’t want to push it. Perhaps I understated the severity of what I was feeling. After all, what mother wants to admit that she finds her child less than lovable?

Then the day came that the dam broke.

My Little Cry Baby

Posted 08-24-2011 at 01:21 PM by blairmarie333

Do you ever just let your infant cry? I have a 2 month old daughter and sometimes I think she just likes to cry. I have heard people say that babies sometimes cry for no reason at all. Some have said they cry because it’s their only way to communicate with us. I don’t know if this is true, but if it is I think Aly really has a lot to say.

There are times when she is fed, changed, warm and I am even holding her and she just screams at me. She is too young to be teething so I just wonder if she just likes to cry sometimes. There have been times in the last few weeks that after a half hour of being screamed at I just put her down and go about my daily tasks. I can’t hold her all day and it doesn’t seem to help much when she gets in her crying moods. I have another child at home that also needs some of my attention. It’s hard, but what else can I do?

I am sure almost every Mom reading this has been through this. Is it wrong to just let her cry it out sometimes?

Mommy burn out

Posted 08-24-2011 at 12:49 PM by whitneywalters

I have been a stay at home mom for almost four years now. I love being home with my children but it is very demanding at the same time. From the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I lay down at night my day is filled. It is easy to let my whole day slip by without taking even a couple minuets just for myself and before I know it mommy burn out starts to set in. If you are  a mom you know what I am talking about, you get short tempered, feel completely worn out and want nothing more then to escape from it all for awhile. It took me awhile to figure out how I could avoid the mommy burn out but now that I have I can say that I feel so much better. I not only feel better about myself but I feel like I am a better wife and mother now also.

Here are my tips for those who are suffering from mommy burn out:

1. Do not feel guilty about being burned out.
Often times when I started feeling stressed and overwhelmed with motherhood,  I would start to feel really guilty at the same time. After all I wanted to be a mom and now all I wanted was to escape from it all. This would make me feel like I was failing my children. It took hearing it from my own mother before it really sunk in that every mom has been through the same feelings. Being a mom is a tough job, it does not matter if you are

Journey to Motherhood-the Road Bumps

Posted 08-24-2011 at 12:39 PM by Krista

If you have read some of my previous posts, you know that my husband J. and I experienced infertility. By the grace of God, we were able to conceive a child, almost immediately after beginning treatment for my PCOS. My pregnancy was fairly normal, after the first trimester, during which I took sedatives to insure that my body would not attempt to abort my baby.

I also mentioned that I would see my child as a beloved gift, if I was given the chance to be a mother. The remainder of my pregnancy passed by with a loving, attentive husband, who would get up at two in the morning to go get me a cream soda, if I so desired it. I didn’t have weird cravings, but I did want to exercise all the time. We walked everywhere. I was constantly restless, as if I couldn’t sit still for even an instant. If I did, my sweet baby would kick me very hard. I stayed so active during my
pregnancy that I gained a mere nine pounds. However, due to already being classified as overweight (another gift of PCOS) this was a nonissue.

When the big day arrived, I had been packed and ready for about two months. What was a relatively easy pregnancy morphed into a very difficult birth.

The handmade love

Posted 08-23-2011 at 02:41 PM by whitneywalters

I have always loved making items and getting items that are handmade. I can spend hours browsing sites like hyena cart and etsy. There is just a special quality about an item that has been made by someone rather then mass produced. Since having children and getting involved with cloth diapers, my deep love for hand made items has grown even more. I love being able to support other moms and in return getting an item that is special or made just for my child.

My oldest son is a really skinny boy. It is hard for us to find him underwear and sleep shorts that fit him correctly. I have started buying all his underwear custom sewn for him. He loves being able to get boxers like daddy wears and I like that I able to find them in a size that fits him well. Plus there is the added bonus of all the cute prints that I can get for him.