Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Helpful Reviews

I was pondering, this morning, all the questions I had, as a new mom, and even when I had my DS. It can be overwhelming to not know which diapers are good, which sling is comfortable, which car seat is safest, etc. The list gets quite extensive, especially if you have no one around you to ask!
The first thing on my list of reviews:
Medela Advanced Personal Double Breast Pump
I can only give my personal review, on this particular pump, so if you're looking for comparisons, I'm sorry. This pump is actually a great pump. It comes in a very convenient traveling case, with just about everything you'll need.  I had to buy the bigger flanges, but, other than the nipple cream, olive oil for the flanges, etc., I haven't had spend a lot of money on the pump. 
Bright starts bouncer and matching swing
Let me tell you that, if you're in a pinch financially, and can only afford this name brand, they're ok. But, JUST ok. There are SO many more swings and bouncers that I've seen that I wish my in-laws would have purchased, but, I didn't have a say in the matter. 
Huggies diapers
I prefer Huggies over every disposable diaper out there. I've tried Luv's, Pampers, Babies R Us brand, etc., and Huggies tabs make all the difference in the world. I wish i had looked into disposable diapers, but, it's a little too late for all that. 
Eddie Bauer high chair
My hubby gets the credit for that one. He did good, too. I really love how modern it looks. It's more like a pretty piece of furniture. 
Bab Boobies nipple cream
This is the best cream I've found for sore nips. I tried the AIO cream suggested by some Dr.'s, that has the triple antibiotic, etc., in it, and I didn't like the way it felt. This cream is smooth, smells and tastes good, too. Doesn't seem to affect the way my milk tastes, either, which is a bonus. 
Tommy Tippee bottles
We tried the Dr. Brown's, and they're nowhere near as close to the shape of my nipples as the TT bottles. I really don't like all the little pieces, but, they are easy to use. 
Angel Care monitor
This has made my life SO much easier. It's also my crutch. I try to be as safe as possible when it comes to sleep-safety, but, this just gives me peace of mind. Well worth the money! 

Hope you find these reviews helpful! 
As always, your ever-helpful milk-maker

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

We aren't meant to be compared!

So, I just read a great article, minus the skepticism of breastfeeding, about why moms compare themselves to other moms. It's so ridiculous, but I have been guilty of this, myself. If another mom can cook, clean, breastfeed, work, never have a glass of wine, never yell at their kids, never get tired, I should be able to, too, right?
I don't think so, anymore. After this little man made his grand entrance, I made it my mission to try to be perfect. Still keep the house spotless (minus the laundry. I hate doing laundry), still cook every night, exclusively breastfeed, etc. I found myself crying just about everyday! I was so disappointed, overwhelmed, and exhausted!
It didn't take me long to figure out that we're all capable of being able to multi-task, but, at different things. I thought I could be super mom. I still consider myself to be a super mom, but, I know, now, that spending time with my kids, and hubby is far more important than having an immaculate home. Also, letting myself have a glass of wine, now and again proved to be a great remedy!
 Don't get me wrong, I still clean, but, if something needs to be put off, so that I can have an hour to talk to my hubs. you better believe, that's where I'll be. I know my hubby understands, which makes a world of difference. I do what I can, when I can, and, as long as we're happy, that's all that matters.
I was so hard on myself about breastfeeding, too. My bestie made it sound pretty easy, but, for me, it wasn't. Still isn't. I got mastitis, which meant breast damage for me. Less milk=fussy baby. I had to accept the fact that he would be partly formula-fed. I was devastated, at first. Now, I know as long as he's getting fed, he's ok. He gets 90% breast milk, and, I supplement the rest. It's easier, now that he's eating baby food, and cereal.
At the end of day, to know my kids are safe, well-fed, and my hubby is happy, makes me feel like I AM a super mom. I struggle, just like everyone else. There are days I wish little man really DID have an easy button, my daughter could entertain herself, and my hubby could make conversation with himself, but, that's my job. I love it. I get paid with kisses, hugs, and smiles. My hubby spoils me, too, which helps. lol I'm one blessed woman. Wouldn't change a thing about my life.
Hope you, too, remember we're all human. We all make mistakes. But, we're all super moms, and dads. We love our kids, and that's what matters most!
                                                             Until then, the Super mom/milk-maker

Homemade cleaners, being frugal, and softball coaching woes

So, I've started using homemade cleaners. My hubby thinks I'm turning into a hippie. That's ok by me. I just want to be frugal, and be more self-sufficient.So far, everything I've tried has turned out pretty good. My 9 year old and I cleaned the bathroom with baking soda, peroxide, and vinegar. Glass has never been cleaner, but, not so sure about the smell.
The homemade laundry detergent seems to have worked quite well, too. My hubby insists that I don't wash his clothes in it, but, once he sees how well it did, I'm sure he won't mind, anymore! He's so skeptical, but, folks all around the world are doing this! They have been for quite some time, too! It's been around for centuries, but, I'm the crazy one for wanting to save money, and figure out how to make stuff, myself.
The less I depend on "the man" ;p, the happier I'll be. I mean, if we fall into total anarchy, and chaos, will it not be beneficial to know how to wash clothes, myself? lol
Breastfeeding is still proving to be the hardest thing for me, right now. His teeth haven't been ground down, yet, so, they're still like razors! He's grinding them, too, which is driving me nuts, but I've read that it's normal. Sounds like nails on a chalkboard, to me, though. I still can't get this monster to sleep more than a few hours at a time. I've tried slipping him some formula, feeding him cereal closer to bedtime, but nothing is working!
Something else that's bugging the heck out of me are some of  the parents of girls I'm coaching! They never bring their kids to practice, never tell me they won't be at practice/games until the last minute, and, they yell at their kids during games to the COMPLETE opposite of what I'm teaching them! I've already made the vow that I won't coach in this league, again. Not worth the time/trouble. If you expect greatness, you have to have the dedication. I know they're only 9-10, but you teach them now, and they'll have the life-lessons for when  they're older.
Anyways, I know this post hasn't been the funniest, but, my life is pretty boring, so there ya go! ;p
Until we meet again,

                                                      Your exhausted milk-maker

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Why don't babies have an easy button?

Yikes! Ever sense Levi got teeth, my nipples have been cursing me! His latch has ensued this. I've tried breaking him of it, to no avail. At this point, I'm wondering whether or not I should go back to pumping, and give the kid half formula/half breast milk. I don't know if my nips can handle too much more of his "gnawing". 
On another note, does anyone else have problems getting their 6 month old to go to sleep? Levi seems to think that he should only sleep when he's riding down the road, attached to my breast, swinging in his swing, etc. When I lie him down, he goes nuts! When he awakes in the middle of the night, I am sometimes in there an hour trying to coax him back to sleep. He'll be sound asleep when I go to lay him down, but once his face touches the bed, it's all out war! I pat him, rub him, talk softly, but, after an hour of screaming, I either have to walk out for a few minutes, or pick him back up. 
When we first transitioned him from co-sleeping to his crib, he did pretty good. He was waking up 2, maybe 3 times a night. He did this, again, when he became sick with a cold. Other than that, I'm up for what seems to be, all night. I don't ask my hubby to get up, because he works, and often has to take 12+ hour drives to make a delivery. Thus, this momma is always tired! Honestly, it doesn't matter if I give him a bottle, or just nurse, he awakes when he wants to, and doesn't go back down, until he's good, and ready. 
When he stays with my mother-in-law, he still awakes at least 3-4 times a night. I know all babies sleep through the night when they're ready, but, I'd settle for some consistency! I put him to bed at the same time, every night. He has had the same routine for months, and still does this.
 I read somewhere that when babies are over 5 months they start using nursing for more than just food supply. I can see how that might be the case, but, what's a momma to do when their little one uses them all day, and all night?? I'm sure my hubby would love a night where we could enjoy each other's company without me having to run off, sometimes, every hour, to two hours. Some nights, this kid wakes up every thirty minutes! Yeah, on those nights, you probably already guessed, I wish I could tag out! 
On a plus note, summertime has finally arrived, so I now have our 9 year old little girl to help me out during the day. If you've never seen a sister love a baby brother, you should look no further than my daughter. She was an only child for 9 years, and, even during my pregnancy, didn't want a brother. Once she saw him, though, it was love at first sight. They're kind of magical to watch. They both light up when they see each other. 
Anyways, I guess I'm about to start making some jambalaya for my hard-working hubby, who was on the road all day. Yes, I'm a magnificent cook, so if you need some REAL cajun recipes, comment on this blog, and I'll start blogging about my EPIC food! ;)
Until next time, the cajun milk-maker   

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

He's 6 months old, today!

I'm starting this blog way too far into this, so those of you reading this, forgive me if my details sounds sketchy, at times. It's because I have the memory of a gnat, these days. Seems most of my thoughts are of when Levi might wake up to nurse, again, did Faeth feed the cat, did I remember to turn the dryer on for the 5th time, etc.
As I'm writing this, tonight, I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I've made it breastfeeding for 6 months now. Even though we supplement because of all the damage done to my right breast from mastitis(I'll come back to that), I'm still proud to have made it this far. There were so many people who told me I shouldn't, and that I couldn't, in the beginning. Mostly because I tried with Faeth, and was told when she was just over 2 weeks old that I had to stop because I had mastitis.
Lo and behold, I got it, again, when Levi was exactly the same age as Faeth was when I got it with her. My right breast, up until that moment, had been the "bread winner" of breasts. They try to tell you how bad mastitis is, but, until you have it, you'll never quite understand. Kind of like how it feels to give birth. Now, there's a pain all women love to talk about. Anyways, when I found I had gotten it, again, I just knew breastfeeding was over. I didn't give up, though, and I'm glad I stuck it out.
Levi gave me all kinds of trouble, from the very beginning, with breastfeeding. He had a latch that would make a cow want to trample you. It feels like a chip clip is being attached to the very sensitive, bruised, and now ruined nipple that feeds this kid. You would think he'd be a little nicer to the ole gals. My husband swears that one day, I'll get the old girls a lift. I sure hope so. After the things these breasts have been through, the least they deserve is to not look like flat tires, anymore.
I wish I had asked more questions at that breastfeeding class I attended back when I was pregnant. I'd have asked her how to get a teething baby to stop biting the breast that feeds him. I'd have asked her was she going to show up and nurse my baby at 3 A.M., when he's nursed so much my nipples are dry, and my breasts have been tapped dry, because she thought formula was evil.
 She was the first one I ran to when my supply didn't come in, and guess what she gave Levi? Formula! That's right! Good ole, pre-mixed formula. The kid was starving! Same thing happened with Faeth, though I didn't know it, when she was born. There are so many things that can go wrong with breastfeeding, but, the lactation consultants don't want to talk about those things. I wish I had given myself a break, in the beginning, and just relaxed. I'm sure my husband would have appreciated that, too. I was so worried about looking good for the nurses, I forgot I'm only human.
But, I'll pat myself on the back, for even drudging through all the problems I had, and some I still have. As for tonight, I'm going to hope that little stinker lets me sleep more than 3 hours, consecutively. I long for the nights he'll actually sleep though the night. I keep hoping it's tonight. Then again, when that happens, I'll wish for the nights he needed me, won't I?

Until next time, the sleepy milk-maker.