Friday, October 28, 2011

Costume Friday: Final Chapter

As I promised last week, I saved the best for last! The top 2 most creative/weirdest maternity Halloween costume are...

Labor and Delivery Team


and...WAIT FOR IT...the #1 pick...A BELLY TURNED BOOB!!!  I may never be the same again...you all have already learned my fear of the pregnant belly button and this lady turned it into a nipple!!!


Thank you to Pregnant Chicken for posting both of these photos.  Here was the explanation of "how to do it" if you are so inclined..."I used eye shadow for the areola and a baby bottle nipple for the nipple. I stuck it on with Vaseline, since I was staying home, but I suppose you could use spirit gum and it would stay on really well."

AND the top 2 offensive baby costumes go to...

BABY HITLER 


Can you say therapy? Thank you to Momversation for their costume list. 

AND, of course...

BABY POLE DANCER


I just don't understand!!!  The least of this girl's worries are the exposed outlets!

This concludes the Costume Friday series!  I hope you enjoyed!

Don't forget to take pictures of you/your little ones this weekend for the Baby Book Video Contest! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Baby Book Contest

I am so excited to announce the photo contest prize that I mentioned earlier this week!!!  

So, I decided to make a Baby Book Video instead of having a standard baby book.  


The winner of the Halloween photo contest (as voted by "likes" on facebook) will win a video of their very own (up to 100 photos) made by me!   Here is the one I made for "L".  BIG TEASER:  The video reveals L's name for the first time :) (Please ignore my awkward hair toss at the beginning...not sure what that is about) My apolgies, but the blogger video upload does not show the best quality.

A note for all the email subscribers:  sometimes the videos I post don't show up on the email, so please click here to watch.


Don't forget to snap away in the coming days!  Best baby or maternity costume wins!  Email your photos to me.  The pictures will be posted on facebook on Tuesday, so please send them before then.

The big winner doesn't HAVE to use their prize for a baby book...I, also, made one for a friend's rehearsal dinner.






Pin It

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Gifting 2

One of my girlfriends gave me a package of “Monthly Onsie Stickers” to use every month when I take GiGi’s picture.  They are so cute and make for a great photo opp … and they’re stickers … SO SMART!!!!  This might just be my unique, go-to gift from now on ... and I'll probably include a few plain white onsies in various sizes with my gift.  Check them out at etsy.com.


See other gift ideas here.


Until Next Time,




Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's Go Time

Water breaking in the middle of the night, waking Special K to tell him "It's go time," racing to the hospital with our emergency lights on, wheeling me straight to delivery...No, none of those things happened to me.  Overall, heading to the hospital when I started having contractions was not the fire drill I imagined.   We waited throughout the day for them to get stronger and more frequent.  We picked up dry cleaning, had lunch at Central Market, cleaned the house, and just waited.  My hospital bag was ready to go for weeks prior, but in reality, I could have packed it that very day.

Regardless of when you pack your "go time" bag, it is always a good idea to have an idea of what to bring.  I have asked 4 moms there advice on what to bring...here is the list we compiled. 

Must Pack
  1. Your ID/Insurance Card
  2. Comfy Socks (a few pair)
  3. Boppy Pillow (or whatever you will be using for nursing)
  4. Camera and Cell Phone with chargers
  5. Button Front Pajamas (I bought these...they are super comfy and have so many patterns)
  6. Your favorite toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, tooth brush, tooth paste, face soap, etc...)
  7. Lanolin
  8. Tank Bra or Comfy Sleep Bra
  9. Snacks
  10. Baby "go home" outfit (bring 2 in case an accident occurs)
Items to consider
  1. Laptop (obviously not mandatory, but it was nice to have there)
  2. Your own personal pillow from home for you and your husband
  3. Baby Book (or at least the pages pertaining to those first few days)
  4. Baby Blankets (the hospital provides some, but in case you want your own)
  5. Baby Outfit for first photos (some hospitals offer newborn photography)
One I will expand on...Snacks!  Remember that you are the patient, not your husband.  You get meals (not the best, but at least it is food) and he doesn't.  We didn't think to grab snacks and Special K was starving to death.  He didn't want to leave the hospital very often, so he was ravenous most of the hospital stay.

Suggestions - If you are going to visit a friend at the hospital that just had a baby, offer to bring some non-hospital food.  I promise they will appreciate it!

What did you pack in your hospital bag?

Monday, October 24, 2011

One Week Countdown

It is officially one week until Halloween!!!  I wanted to remind you to take pictures of your baby's/kid's costumes or any maternity costumes.  Get cute and get creative!  There is going to be a prize worth a $100...details to be announced later this week!

Now That's Nifty

Friday, October 21, 2011

Costume Friday: Homemade Addition

Last week we discussed painted bellies.  You are in luck!  I found a painting kit specifically for pregnant bellies, so have at it!




I found some great homemade maternity costumes I had to share...

LET ME OUT!  What is the baby holding in its hand?


LOVE the little elephant with his peanut!!!


You may only dress as a solar system if you pose like this...



Thank you Pregnant Chicken for the photos.

AND the offensive baby costume of the week is...


The Pimp






Hurry up and purchase it here...maybe mom could go as a hooker?


Just wait for next Friday...you know I have been saving the best for last!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's Raining Books

L has slowly accumulated quite a book collection and the allotted shelf has filled up.  Everything is constantly falling on to us when we are in the rocking chair.  I find myself wishing we had put a little more thought into book storage.  I don't know if we will ever get around to doing this at our house, but I wanted to share a few unique DIY ways to not only store books, but use them as decoration.

I really love these shelves I saw on Elizabeth Sullivan Design and wish we had a huge wall space in L's nursery to do this...


Elizabeth didn't include any "how to" instructions, but it seems other were inspired by the above picture...



Go to Frugal Home Designs, Kara's Corner, and Anything Pretty to see a some different ways to achieve this look.  If you don't consider yourself a do-it-yourselfer, Ikea sells similar shelves for $9.99 or $14.99 (depending on the size)...  



If you are good with a sewing machine, I found another book storage idea on Penny Carnival.  You could use any fabric you wanted with a curtain rod!



What do you use for book storage?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Co-sleeping = Terrifying

"Since mankind's earliest days, parents and babies have slept together for mutual protection, warmth, and to make nighttime feedings convenient.  It wasn't until the turn of the 20th century that U.S. parents were frightened away from co-sleeping.  They were warned it could spread illness, spoil children, or cause them to suffocate.  So, babies were moved to their own cribs and eventually to their own rooms.  Now as we enter the 21st century, this resistance to co-sleeping is slowly changing ... especially as breast-feeding continues to rise in popularity, nursing mothers are realizing the convenience of having their baby nearby.  However, like so many other primitive customs, co-sleeping doesn't always fit the needs and lifestyles of contemporary parents."  - Harvey Karp, M.D., Happiest Baby on the Block, 2003.

I guess it's safe to stay that I'm a "contemporary" parent because co-sleeping DOES NOT fit into my lifestyle ... it actually scares me to death!  For the first two months of GiGi's life I had the same reoccurring nightmare ... I would wake up in the middle of the night and think I had fallen asleep while nursing her and I would frantically start searching our bed for her!  It was always so terrifying and would take me a minute or two to realize that she was sleeping soundly in her bassinet right next to our bed.  One night, I rolled over and touched my husband's hand and thought it was her and I just about died it scared me so bad!      

To this day, I have not let GiGi even nap in our bed nor have I taken a nap with her ... it is simply too scary to me!  But, if bringing your baby to bed with you feels right then PLEASE follow these 10 steps found on page 225 of The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp, M.D.:

Ten Ways to Keep Your Baby Safe in Bed With You
Any parent co-sleeping with their infant must protect him/her in the following ways:
1.  Avoid pillows, toys, or loose bedding that could smother your baby.
2.  Never put your baby to sleep on a waterbed.  (Do they still make waterbeds?!?!?!)
3.  Eliminate spaces between the mattress and the wall, or the mattress and the headboard, where your baby's head might get trapped.
4.  Use a co-sleeper attachment on your bed so your baby can't fall off or get rolled on.
         -I have heard of co-sleepers using this one ... 


5.  Don't sleep on the sofa with your baby.
6.  Keep your baby swaddled tightly all night long so that he doesn't move into a dangerous position during the night.
7.  Let your baby sleep only on his back.
8.  Give up smoking! Babies are more likely to die of SIDS if their mom is a smoker.
9.  Always go to bed sober.
10.  Don't sleep with your baby if you are very obese.

This is our sleeping arrangement ... I'm happy with her sleeping right next to me!!!!



Until Next Time,


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stay Out of the Mom Zone

My friends have an ongoing joke about which one of us is going to get the mom-do first.  You know, the first one who decides to go for convenience over looks when you become a mom.  The first to chop their hair off like a boy.  The first to decide that it is too much trouble to have to style your hair every day.  It becomes a slippery slope...the "mom" cut, "the "mom" jeans, the "mom" wardrobe.  I am going to try my best to stay out of the "Mom Zone."

However, staying on top of trends is a daily struggle.  As you working moms know, you have a TON of new found time at home after baby bedtime.  It used to be your grocery store and boutique/mall time, but now you can't leave the house.  Online shopping has become my new best friend.  I have started ordering tons of things every time I see an online coupon from my favorite stores.  I usually end up returning 90% of it, but it is slowly filling the void in my closet where maternity clothes took over.  A second struggle I face when trying to keep up with the latest fashion is adding in the new guilt I feel buying something for myself instead of buying something for L.

So, I do not fancy myself a fashionista, but I am an excellent bargain hunter.  If I see something I like, I can almost always find a cheaper replica or the same product on a discount website.  I hope to relieve your new found guilt and lack of shopping time with a new series, "Stay Out of The Mom Zone."  Please email me looks you see and love, but want to find a cheaper version.

For example, I am in the market for some new boots and saw a picture of Kourtney Kardashian wearing these bad boys...


Since I need both brown and black boots this year, I thought I could kill two boots with one Kardashian.  Upon further research I found out she was wearing $2,000 Chanel boots...EEK! 

However, I found LOTS of similar two toned boots I love...


These range from $99-$715...they are listed from highest to lowest...


I ordered #6 and LOVED them, but they were too tall...for you long-legged gals, try them out...they are SUPER comfortable! 

Which one is your favorite?

I always struggle with boots because I have the weeniest calves and ankles you have ever seen.  Too bad the teeny weeny part doesn't travel up to my thighs...They are normal size...Just picture a V-shape and that is my leg silhouette.  It is hot, I know, so don't be jeal.  Anyways, I JUST found out that Nordstroms has an option to search for a "narrow" shaft boot.  I will keep you posted on what I end up with. 

Email me your bargain shopping needs.  I am happy to be at your service.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

The weather was so beautiful this weekend.  I couldn't bring myself to sit down in front of the computer.  We made a visit to the pumpkin patch!



Hope you all had a good one too and enjoyed the sunshine.  More posts to come later this week.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Costume Friday

When you can't find a costume that fits, just paint one on!

Can you tell which one is her belly?

www.pocketburgers.com

If you do fear the belly button, this is a good way to cover it up for Halloween.

www.jillstanek.com

I found SO many that like to remind you where exactly the baby is in case you forgot...

www.ebaumsworld.com

www.ugo.com

All I can say is a pregnant David Bowie from Labyrinth? Am I right?


www.toutlecine.com
www.ugo.com

And my favorite "out there" baby costume of the week is Lady Gaga!


www.bestweekever.tv

What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sunny's Notes

A professor in college told me a philosophy on how most college students think.  He said, "Most students decide at the beginning of each semester the formula...how to put in the least amount of work and time to get a grade that they are comfortable with whether it be an A, B, or C."  So true! 

Students are experts at shortcuts to get to their goals.  One of the most well known shortcuts out there is Cliff's Notes.   A prego friend of mine began reading Baby Wise and became overwhelmed.  She found out there and is a Cliff's Notes version of Baby Wise written by Sunny and sent it to me...I have named them Sunny's Notes.



Read her summary below.  (I have this available as a PDF as well...Email me if you would like me to send it to you)  Please note her disclaimer at the top.  I am not sure what all the "Contact Mom" stuff is about...must be the class?  I LOVE the fact that Sunny constantly tells you it is OK if your cycle is not perfect every time.  In my opinion, the book makes you think everything HAS to be perfect each time and that is not practical. 

(A quick couple of comments after reviewing these notes that I disagree with, but this is just my opinion...First, her suggestion to pump as early on as 1-2 weeks may be too soon.  Second, after 6 weeks, L hardly ever took a two hour nap.  To this day, we usually get anywhere from 1-1.5 hours)


The following is a summary of the principles I learned while taking the “Along the Infant Way” class. This is NOT intended to replace reading the book or taking the class. All opinions are my own, and have not been approved or endorsed by anyone associated with GFI. I am not a contact mom, only a mom who has sat through the classes and implemented the principles with my own child. I made these notes only to remind myself of the principles when I have more kids. I share this with you only to be helpful, not as an expert. –Sunny,

Ages are APPROXIMATE.
Use the principles found in the books to help you identify the “signs” in your baby’s day which indicate that it is time to transition to the next phase, or modify your routine.


Feed, Wake, Sleep…Feed, Wake, Sleep….Feed, Wake, Sleep
Every moment of your new baby’s life will fall into one of these categories…Feed,Wake, Sleep. Initially, baby will sleep a lot, but wake time will gradually increase. Because your goal is to keep the baby awake to take a full feeding, the feeding is wakeful and stimulating for the baby. It is therefore difficult to separate feed time from wake time. Here I will list “total wake” which will include the meal,
burping, plus any left-over wake for diaper changing, baths, playing, etc…

The Ezzo’s material often gets confused with “cry it out” theories from other books. This is not a correct association! If you use the PDF principles correctly, your baby should not have extended periods of crying unless there is another problem (like colic). If you have a lot of crying during either “normal cry periods” or “not-normal cry periods”, call a Contact Mom because there is likely a very easy solution. With my first child, I spoke with a Contact Mom on three different occasions about my baby’s crying... All three times she recommended an adjustment to my schedule which fixed the problem within 24 hours!!!

0 - 2 weeks

Feed=30-45 min
Total Wake (Including the meal) = 45 min
Sleep=about 2 hrs – 2hrs 15min

Your primary goal is to get the baby to take a full feeding every time. Sounds easy, but the baby will be very sleepy, which makes it quite difficult. See book for recommendations on how to keep the baby awake. Limit wake time during this period to just feeding time, which will likely take about 45 min.  Excessive wake time will result in an over-stimulated baby (which leads to disrupted napping).

Feed every 2.5-3 hours (and not less than 2hrs), except for one longer stretch at night. Wake the baby every 3 hours, except after the late night feeding (somewhere around 9-11 pm) you can just let the baby sleep until she wakes up, but do not let her sleep longer than 5 hours. Initially, the feeding times will likely vary significantly from day to day. By that I mean that one day you may feed at 3, 6, 9, 12, 3, 6, 9, but if the baby sleeps 5 hours, your next feeding will be at 2 am, so the second day will be 5, 8, 11, 2, 5, 8, 11, and 5 hours later is 4 am......so every day looks different. (Around 6 weeks is when the times on your schedule become extremely consistent.) The important thing for a newborn is to focus on getting full feedings every time, and TRY to have 2.5-3 hours elapse between feedings. As soon as one feed, wake, sleep cycle is finished, you plan for the next one. Don’t plan all of the baby’s feedings for the rest of the day, because Murphy's Law will quickly come for a visit. No matter what time your morning started, you always schedule the next feeding time from the previous feeding time. Ex: if your first feed of the today started at 8am, plan for the next one to be 11am. If a cycle isn’t “perfect”, don’t beat yourself up, just try again next cycle – beginning with the feeding.

Sometimes baby will wake up too early, and you can rock them back to sleep so that they get an appropriate amount of time elapsed between feedings so that they are hungry enough to take a full feeding. Remember that your primary goal in this phase is a FULL FEEDING. Let all caretakers know your "goal time" to get the next feeding, and instruct them that if the baby wakes, they rock, sing, swing....whatever they can do to keep the baby asleep until you reach the 2.5-3hr time. However, if the baby is fussy and will not go back to sleep, feed the baby. (Always feed a hungry baby.) The last feeding may not have been successful (for reasons such as if baby fell asleep during the meal, baby couldn’t get latched on, etc…). If this becomes common (the baby can’t make it at least 2.5 hours) contact a lactation consultant or Contact Mom, because there may be a problem with your milk supply.

A suggestion to help Mom get rested: pump 15 minutes before your last feeding (10 pm for example) and then go straight to bed. Let daddy or grandma give the 10 pm bottle, and then they go to bed around 11 pm or so when they lay baby down. Then, Mom can wake up with the baby (around 3 am), and she was able to get 5 solid hours of sleep since Mom did not have to do the late night feeding. Daddy sleeps through the 3 am feeding, so he is rested and ready to help at 6 am, because he got 7 hours of sleep. Every night won't be ideal, but at least this way you both get some shut-eye

Here is a sample day for newborn (0-2 weeks)
6 am-wake, feed 15 minutes on L side, burp 5 minutes, feed 15 minutes on R side, burp 5 minutes,
change diaper 5 minutes...(basically this process take 45 minutes, even if baby only nurses for 30
minutes.)
6:45 am-9 am---sleep
9 am-feed like above, only starting on R side
9:45-noon---sleep
12 noon-feed
12:45-3---sleep
3 pm--feed
3:45-6--sleep
6 pm--feed
6:45-9--sleep
8:45--Mom pumps, then goes to bed
9pm-Dad gives bottle
9:45-Dad and baby go to sleep
2 am-Mom wakes up with baby and feed
2:45-back to bed
5 am- wake up with baby and feed
5:45-back to bed
8 am—1st feed of the new day.

Dad has been asleep since 10pm (10 hours). You slept from 9-2 and 3-5 and 6-8 (9 hours). My point is that even if you don't sleep that long, you can work it to where you both get “decent” sleep at night. Also, I recommend you nap during the day if you are tired or have a bad night, but you likely won't need to after the first week or two, once your baby is consistently going approx 3hrs between meals, and consistently taking 2+hr naps. If nursing, I do recommend that you get up with the baby at night, because you are still establishing your milk supply, and shouldn't miss a feeding (but it is fine to pump 15-30 minutes before a feeding then miss the actual feeding).

3 - 4 weeks

Feed= 30-35 min
Total Wake (Including the meal) = 45-55 min
Sleep=about 2 hrs – 2hrs 15min

2.5-3 hour cycle should be stable, and closer to 3hrs most meals, but each day may look different. Baby goes to bed awake and falls asleep on her own. Shouldn’t be much crying, but there may be a few minutes at “normal cry times.” Set your baby up for success with falling asleep….don’t over-stimulate the baby with exposure to TV, lots of light, over-stimulating toys or activities, large crowd of people. If you find that your baby is crying a bunch, cut back wake time by 5 minutes next cycle. (Contact your Contact Mom if you need help determining if you need to lessen your waketime.) You may rock baby and get baby sleepy, but lay her down awake.


5 - 6 weeks

Feed= 30-35 minutes
Total Wake (Including the meal) = 55-60 minutes
Sleep=about 2 hours

Stable 3 hour routine (6, 9, 12, 3, 6, 9, 12). Begin each day at the same time by waking the baby for the 1st meal of the day, and each day’s schedule should start to look the same (which is nice, because you can plan ahead and know what the baby will need at a specific time.) Baby should nap well for 2 hours. Nap time should remain at 2 hours each nap until the baby is 18+ months old, but the number of naps will decrease as the time between meals is extended. Establish the first feeding of the morning, and keep this consistent. As the baby starts to sleep better through the night, gradually drop nighttime feedings.

To determine your desired waketime, decide what time you would like your baby to go to bed during his childhood… then add 12hrs. For example, if you’d like your child to go to bed at 7pm, then a 7am waketime would be appropriate for your family.

*Rule of Thumb: Time between nighttime/morning meals (Nighttime sleep) may extend to 6 hours at 6 weeks, 7 hours at 7 weeks, 8 hours at 8 weeks, and so on until 12 hours at 12 weeks – which should last until they begin school. Ex: Baby may eat dinner at 7pm, and then be down for the night by 8pm, and then wake at 7am for breakfast. This would be 12hrs between meals – or 11hrs of nighttime sleep.

Typically, parents do not need to push the baby for more nighttime sleep. A baby whose day routine (eat/wake/sleep) is well-adjusted will naturally fall into the above nighttime sleeping patterns. Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t fall into this exactly – just use it as a guideline to know if you’re “on-track”. Your baby may be a week or so behind this, which is fine.

Around 12 weeks

Same 3-hour routine, but no nighttime feedings (Ex: 6am, 9am, 12 noon, 3pm, 6pm). A 6th feeding can be added to the day if Mom’s milk supply needs it by waking baby once more in the late evening, feeding, and then returning to bed (Ex from above would include on more quick feed at 9 or 10pm.) Since baby will be going 12hrs between dinner and breakfast, Mom can also choose to pump once in the evening before bed to store up breast milk.

Around 16 weeks

Feed/Wake=1.5 hours
Sleep= 2 hours

3.5-hour routine. You are starting to extend baby’s wake time, which causes fewer naps and fewer feeding times. (Ex of feed times: 6am, 9:30am, 1pm, 4:30pm, 6pm—feeding right before bed to “top off”—no nap between 430 and 6 feedings).

Around 20 weeks

Feed/Wake=2 hours
Sleep=2 hours

Transition from 3.5 - 4-hour routine. (Ex of feed times: 6, 10, 2, 6). Three 2-hour naps. Be careful extending wake times. If your baby’s naps or waketimes start to suffer, go back to the 3.5 hour routine and wait another week or more before trying again. My 2nd baby didn’t transition to a 4-hour routine until she was over 6 months old.

6 months

Same 4-hour routine, but decrease 3rd nap to cat nap of 35-50 minutes (one sleep-cycle.)

8 months

Drop cat nap (only two 2-hour naps).
Follow “Extended Day” routine in the book to line 3 meals up with family meal times.

12 months

Drop bedtime feeding. 3 daily meals line up with family meal times.

Between 18-22 months

Drop morning nap. One 3-hour nap (after lunch) until age 4+.



Lastly, remember that God chose YOU to be your child’s parent…..not me, not your Contact Mom, and not the Ezzo’s – or any other parenting expert. Use your God-given discernment to provide the best care for your baby. These guidelines have worked for many, many parents. But, even the BEST “Babywise” parents vary from the routine from time to time. So don’t fret, the principles are designed as a guide, not a rule book. And HAVE FUN with your baby!--Sunny

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More Ridiculousness

Last week, I mentioned the MTV show "Ridiculousness" ... I hope some of you have searched it out and had a good laugh or two!  

My life is full of ridiculousness when it comes to things we purchased for GiGi and this definitely falls into that category ...



It's a CUSTOM CAR SEAT COVER ... totally ridiculous but totally "preshrunk"!!  There are several sites on Etsy that specialize in this ridiculousness ... mine is from Nollie Covers... don't judge me when you see what I paid for it ... it does fall under the "ridiculousness" category just because we'll only use it for a short amount of time and it's just going to get dirty and eventually look awful ... but what can I say - I LOVE IT!

Until Next Time,


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Million Dollar Idea

You know the moment you think you have come up with the next million dollar idea and, BAM, you find out it already exists.  Utter disappointment! 

Well, I hadn't worked out the kinks yet, but I knew I needed to come up with something.  When milk would run down L's face and into the abyss of neck rolls, I would shutter. It is nearly impossible to clean their necks when they are very young.  Many infants break out into rashes because of this.  I was trying to think of an invention that would block all liquids from running down into her neck.

Then, I was introduced to Tommee Tippee bibs



Just like that, BAM, my million dollars vanished into thin air.  I soon recovered and was excited to learn of this product.  The unique absorbent pad around the neck helps catch leaks and spills and are machine washable.  They may not be as cute as some bibs out there, but this is a case of function over fashion.  L is almost 11 months and we use them daily.  I recommend registering for at least two, 2 packs of these.  I have seen them on Amazon and at Babies R Us.  For whatever reason, they are significantly cheaper at Babies R Us.

Did you come up with any million dollar ideas for your baby?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pump-a-thon 3




Let me begin with my usual warning...if nursing at all weirds you out, do not continue you reading.

In Pump-a-thon 1, we discussed Pumping Supplies.

In Pump-a-thon 2, we discussed the two different Medela electric pumps.

Today, we will discuss a good strategy for pumping at work.  This is where the commitment part of your "marathon" kicks in.  I will not sugar coat this...pumping was exhausting and took a lot of time.  It was definitely my least favorite thing about having a baby, but I hung in there and eventually was on autopilot.

#1  Mental Preparation...Prepare yourself for awkward moments/conversations.  Unfortunately, my office building does not have a designated pumping/nursing room, so I was forced to use the bathroom stall.  Many, many times I had to converse with complete strangers about pumping whenever I was washing all the parts at the bathroom sink.  Women will no doubt ask what that noise is coming from the other stall.  A random man in the hallway once said to me with a wink wink, "We have a bag like that at home." (I was carrying what I thought was the discreet Medela black pump bag) REALLY!!!!  Do you want to stand in the middle of the hall and discuss pumping with me!?!?  I flashed him an awkward smile and rushed into the bathroom.  It might be a good idea to carry a different bag in case you run into a new father who thinks he is "in on it." 

#2 Supplies...Each morning in my bag I would pack my...



(I would usually have the battery charged from the night before, but always have the cord with you just in case)



(Yes, you must wash and dry every pump part and bottle every time you use it)


(I used mild dish soap, but Palmolive makes the above baby liquid soap)



(Not necessary, but helped lighten my load each day)


(Explanation below)


#3 Scheduling...The Medela pump comes with 4 bottles and a cooler that you could potentially use for storing at the office.  I thought keeping up with all of those bottles everyday seemed a little much.  Plus, I could only imagine the awkward questions I might get about "what is in the cooler?" by people at work looking in the refrigerator.

There are two thing I need to explain before I continue...

  • I read that breast milk can stay good any where between 6-10 hours at room temperature (Ask your doctor for their recommendations on this)  
  • You are not supposed to mix breast milk at different temperatures (Again, refer to your doctor on their recommendations)  
Because of these two things, I decided to use the large measurable container with a pour spout.  I would dump it all in the same container each pump and leave it in my (not so discreet) bag at room temperature at my desk throughout the day.  I got home before the 7-hour mark and could refrigerate it as soon as I walked through the door.  My sitter would use the container the next day to avoid using the freezer supply.  The measurement markers were clutch!  She knew exactly how much to dethaw in the morning based on how much was in the container.

My average pumping schedule went something like this:

5:30am wake up and immediately pump
10:00am second pumping session
2:30pm  third pumping session
4:45 pm placed large container in the fridge and steamed clean all pump parts with Medela Steam bag
6:30pm fourth pumping session
10:00pm fifth pumping session

Definitely don't use this schedule strictly...every one and every baby is different.  When I went back to work, I had to solely pump because L preferred the bottle.  It would have been wonderful if the last two sessions could have been nursing and not pumping, but I did not have that luxury.  I wish you luck!

I hope this helps and please pipe in if you used a different approach.  My schedule was totally exhausting...any suggestions on how to schedule differently?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Costume Friday

I have been waiting for October to share with you some fantastic maternity Halloween costumes and inappropriate baby costumes.  Funny Friday will be replaced by Costume Friday this month! 

You know how in Mean Girls they "dress up" in lingerie slap on a tail and some ears and call themselves a cat. 


Well, some people take this "sexy" version of costumes into their pregnancy.

Playboy Bunny from Gily Gily...work it girl!


Sexy Angel from  Pregnancy-Blog


And finally, a baby hooter from Blip Pitt!  I have to admit that this did make me chuckle, but not ok.


Have a great weekend!

  

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Testosterone

This is totally an aside, but this post reminded me of a funny story.  One Thanksgiving we had just finished a huge turkey dinner.  We were all vegged out on the couch and my sister says, "Gosh!  That testosterone has really made me tired."  We all look at her extrememly confused.  She says, "You know...in the turkey."  We all realized at once she means tryptophan.  I was wondering where she had gotten an extra dose of testosterone and why that would make her tired!

That completely random story came to mind because of this PBS.org article I found stating that fathers testosterone levels drop after fatherhood...


"Diaper bags and strollers may do more to change new dads than they think. A new study from researchers at Northwestern University shows that testosterone levels take a dramatic plunge after men become fathers"  Read more here.

If you notice your baby's daddy acting a little less "manly," my sister would suggest throwing some turkey his way. ;)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ridiculousness

There is a new show on MTV ... I know you're thinking, "Who still watches MTV?" but I do! ... anyways, the new show is called Ridiculousness!  The show is hosted by Rob Dyrdek and it is basically an "America's Funniest Home Videos" show for YouTube videos and it is hilarious!  One of my favorite videos was shown the other night ... "Motocross Lady Fail" -

I  think it's one of my favorites because the lady on the dirt bike reminds me of my mother-in-law and the lady in the wheelchair reminds me of my Gran-Gran ... SO FUNNY!!!

Well, aside from hilarious YouTube videos ... there is a lot of ridiculousness when it comes to baby products!  In all actuality, you only need a few simple things but I loaded up on two of everything and was a total sucker for items that would fall into the "ridiculousness" category!  The BabyPlus Prenatal Education System definitely tops my list of ridiculousness but I bought it and wore it religiously twice a day for 20 weeks!!! 


The BabyPlus website provides the following description of their product - "The BabyPlus Prenatal Education System is a series of 16 naturally derived sounds that resemble a mother's heartbeat.  The rhythm of the sounds increases incrementally as the pregnancy progresses.  The BabyPlus sonic pattern introduces your child to a sequential learning process, built upon the natural rhythms of their own environment.  The 'auditory exercise' strengthens learning ability during the developmental period when the advantages will be most significant and enduring for a child.  BabyPlus is the first educational tool designed for prenatal use that has been proven effective.  BabyPlus children have an intellectual, developmental, creative, and emotional advantage from the time they are born.  Your baby can very clearly hear these patterns.  She/he learns to discriminate between the sound coming from the mother and those from BabyPlus.  In other words, learning has begun." 



This is clearly ridiculousness at it's finest!! What was I thinking????


Until Next Time,

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