Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

Flats Challenge Kick-Off!

Posted: May 23rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cloth Diapers | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Blogging, Cloth Diapers, Day to Day, Firsts, Flats Challenge, FTW, Goals, Kids, Mom stuff | 3 Comments »

Wow!

It’s been a whirlwind weekend around here, what with moving and all.

I may not be able to find my clothes, but I made sure that my flats and covers were easily accessible and ready to go. That’s why you could find me hefting the huge box of pre-folds and flats up the stairs during our second tornado siren of the day on Sunday. On a different note- Judah can crawl up the stairs.

So for the Flats and Hand Wash Challenge I am using at max, 5 covers in rotation and 12 large birdseye flats from Diaper Junction. I’m still trying to decide which covers I’m using, Judah was in a well used Thirsties cover today and that lasted until bedtime. I’ll probably do a rotation of a Thirsties, a Flip and a Wonder Wrap. I’ve also got a Stacinator that I’ve been trying out but that might be too big for him and it might be a pain to dry….I’m obviously making this up as I go along.

So, tonight I had 4 flats to wash and 1 cover. There was a pre-fold in there that Yogi Dad used while I was out at a networking event, but it’s the first day, so I’m going to give him a pass. Just this once!

My plan is to wash them at the end of each night and dry them overnight. I prepared a spray bottle (maybe 10oz) with water and a tablespoon of Charlie’s Soap. I am going to try and see if giving them a good rinse in hot water and then spraying them with the diluted soap solution, and then some elbow grease followed by another really good rinse under hot running water will be good enough to clean them. When I washed them tonight it took about 15 minutes from start to finish. Not too bad.

I had planned on buying some sort of drying rack but never got around to it, so right now they are draped over empty laundry baskets in my kitchen. We’ll see if they are dry in the morning. Like I said, I am making this up as I go along. During the day I am keeping my flats and covers in a pail liner in the bathroom. Normally all diapers would go right into the diaper pail in the laundry room.

For nighttime we’ve just got him in a doubled up pre-fold in a cover, just like we usually do. Yogi Dad got everyone in their nighttime diapers so I may try a flat and pre-fold combo tomorrow night, we’ll see. I am using a super easy pad-fold/ tri-fold hybrid. I’m not good with the folds and this keeps all the areas covered.

One thing I noticed today was that the diapers were not saturated at all. This may be due to some weaning we’ve got going on, we’ll see how the week goes. I’m going to up the liquid intake tomorrow.

Day 1, down! I can’t wait to see if my flats are dry in the morning.

UPDATE!!! They were NOT dry in the morning. Boo! I draped them over the back of our dining room chairs and they were dry within 2 hours. I need to get my line rigged up!

If you are participating, leave me a link to a post about your plan!




It’s almost here!

Posted: May 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Cloth Diapers | Tags: Blog Hop, Blogging, Cloth Diapers, Day to Day, Goals, Kids, Mom stuff | No Comments »

I got a little reminder yesterday letting me know that I only have 6 days (5 now) left until the start of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge.  It’s nice to get reminders during this time of transition.  Moving is really the pits!  Maybe I can get reminders for everything in my life.  I suppose that would mean hiring a personal assistant and I’m guessing THAT is not in the budget.

So, the question is, what am I doing to prepare?

So far, other than a week of trial runs with folding technique and a few dry-runs with the handwashing…nothing. 

Did I mention we are moving*?

I think I’ll just dive right in on Monday after we get settled over the weekend.

I do have a nice little giveaway planned from the best little diaper shop in Minnesota.  Stay tuned for that on May 27th!

Now, back to my boxes.  And my cleaning.  And oh yea…my kids!

*I did a little inspection of our new garage the other day and found the tell-tale hooks leftover from an old clothesline- I’m totally running some clothesline wire between the garage and the fence!  Woo Hoo!  I can sun bleach to my hearts content!




BFBH Week 19: Birth Control

Posted: May 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: Blog Hop, Breastfeeding, Mom stuff, Nursing in Public, Stuff You Need | 4 Comments »

 This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog hop hosted by Life with Levi and co-hosted by The Slacker Mom and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife. This hop runs every Thursday and Friday and features a different topic pertaining to breastfeeding each week. Please feel free to link up a post that pertains to the weeks topic and remember to leave comments! (We all love comments!)

I already covered my stance on using breastfeeding as birth control here.  (Spoiler alert!  I don’t trust it and am not going to tempt fate.).  And really, that only goes for the first 6 months anyways, so eventually, everyone has to make a choice.  Prevent…or not?  And if prevention is the goal…what are you going to do about it?

There are a few different options, some more conducive to breastfeeding than others. 

First off, “combination contraceptives” (progesterone and estrogen) are pretty much out until at least 6 months.  This includes the ring, the patch and the monthly shot as well as any combination pills.  Estrogen has been linked to low milk supply.  All of the hormonal birth control I have ever been on falls under this and I already have supply issues, so you’re right if you already guessed that this is not my first choice!  So, until your baby is well established with solids and you are probably wandering down the weaning path anyways…steer clear.

The better option would be the Progesterone only Pill aka the “mini” pill…Depo, some IUD’s and the progesterone implant’s work here too.  Even these have their downside, milk composition is not the same and some women do have supply issues, although not as many.

(Both estrogen and progesterone are deemed safe for breastfeeding mothers.)

And of course, good old fashioned condoms.  We’re all adults here, right?  No need to blush as the cashier rings you up or the pharmacist grabs your preferred brand from behind the counter!  Added bonus?  No side effects!

I’m not big on hormonal birth control for myself.  That is very…limiting.  But, the side effects I get from hormonal birth control (turning absolutely crazy) are something I for one, would reather skip.  Just a personal preference.  Also see: Supply Issues!

So, no hormones for me!

What do you tell your OB or midwife at that 6 week appointment when the question is first popped?  Pill?  IUD?  Not preventing?  (I’ve been down that road!)  What are the kids doing these days?


Breastfeeding Blog Hop Week 18: Nursing Clothes

Posted: May 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Breastfeeding, Kids, Mom stuff, Nursing in Public, SAHM, Stuff You Need | 11 Comments »

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog hop hosted by Life with Levi and co-hosted by The Slacker Mom and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife. This hop runs every Thursday and Friday and features a different topic pertaining to breastfeeding each week. Please feel free to link up a post that pertains to the weeks topic and remember to leave comments! (We all love comments!)

Nursing Clothes….I kind of skimp in this arena. My nursing bras are nothing special that I had my Mom pick up for me when I got home from the hospital with the twins and other than a few pairs of PJ’s with easy access, I’ve kind of stuck with my nursing tanks as my only nursing specific apparel.

Even those aren’t top of the line.

I have two brands…Old Navy and Gilligan and O’Malley.

Hands down my favorite tanks are my GOM’s- from Target. The Old Navy tanks don’t have a hook at the top of the bra- it’s just unhooking the strap, so if you unhook the strap to nurse you have to hunt around behind you to rehook and it’s just not very convenient. The GOM’s have the standard “nursing” hooks at the top of the bra…I’m really technical here!

All of my tanks, regardless of hooks and straps were great while I was still pregnant- they have a nice length to them that covered my belly- they make great layering tops.

If I ever do this again, I’d probably invest in some really good bras…I hear Bravado makes some great ones and I’d really love a Yummie Tummie nursing tank but they are a bit spendy for me. Target it is!

Because I don’t wear clothes specifically for nursing I am always on the hunt for something that is easy to pull up or down. If worse comes to worse I just wear a tank and take off my shirt if it’s really not going to work for nursing. Now that we are moving into summer I might just pick up a few more nursing tanks and just call it a day.

I have some nursing covers that round out the nursing friendly collection, but Judah is not a fan…so they mostly sit at the bottom of the diaper bag!

So what do you do? Make your wardrobe work for you? Buy a new wardrobe that revolves around nursing apparel? Spend your days (like me) in a nursing tank and yoga pants?


Breastfeeding Blog Hop Week 17: Healthy Eating

Posted: April 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: Blog Hop, Blogging, Breastfeeding, Day to Day, Feelings, Goals, Kids, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Mom stuff, Wyatt | 4 Comments »

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog hop hosted by Life with Levi and co-hosted by The Slacker Mom and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife. This hop runs every Thursday and Friday and features a different topic pertaining to breastfeeding each week. Please feel free to link up a post that pertains to the weeks topic and remember to leave comments! (We all love comments!)

You’re not doing it right!

When the twins were born I was so ready to breastfeed.  I had my nursing/ pumping station set up at the end of the couch.  I had a gift bag full of snacks that fell into the energizing and supply building variety and I *really* tried to eat fairly healthy.  I remember munching on wasabi almonds and various fancy flavored granola bars and bowls of oatmeal and Mother’s teas.  Feasting on delicious meals and generally doing it right.

I lost a lot of weight after the boys were born. I weighed less two weeks after givng birth than I did before I was pregnant. I slowly krept back up to my pre-pregnancy weight over the next year, by trying to eat healthy and the use of natural supplements like Kratom, that I got from different  sites such as http://kratommasters.com/red-vein-kratom/ .

Cut to two years later and I have two toddlers running around so there is no real nursing/ pumping station set up- parts would have been strewn from one end of the house to the other!  Bag of snacks?  Forget about it!  I was lucky if I was eating anything some days moreless almonds and granola bars.  No, after Judah was born I started drinking pop.  (Chocolate Cokes to be specific) Like it was going out of style.

Add to that meals that were more out of conveneince and I quickly gained back everythign I lost after he was born…after I had lost it!

How’s THAT for a punch in the teeth?

Looking back at the two different situations I know I did much better with the twins.  It was dare I say *easy* back then.  Being able to have a bag of healthy snacks right where you are going to be nursing is a lot easier than having them in the kitchen cupboards.  It may seem like no big deal, it’s just 10 feet away…right?  Yes and no.  10 feet is a long way when you’ve got a nursing baby attached to you and after 30-45 minutes of that, well, you sometimes forget about the almonds and just start eating the mac and cheese right out of the pot it was cooked in.

I’m trying to make healthier choices, but find myself stress eating like I’ve never done before. I know I’m doing it, but it’s like I can’t help myself. Take away all the extra running around I’d do when I was working and I’m just a mess over here.

I can’t wait for Spring to finally show up in Minnesota, because the beautiful days we’ve seen have made it so easy to get outside and *want* to be outside, but the days like today, where it’s SNOWING, well…they make me want to eat my weight in pie.

So, I suppose my big tip is to keep snacks where you can reach them in the spot you normally nurse in. Make them be something you like to eat, easy, packable, quick. Don’t get into a rut where you are caught without a break and nothing close enough to reach from your chair. We all get tot he point where we can walk around balancing a baby on the Boppy, but it’s easier if you can avoid that!


Breastfeeding Blog Hop week 16: Tandem Nursing

Posted: April 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Blogging, Breastfeeding, Lincolnton and Wy | 4 Comments »

This weeks Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by Life With Levi and co-hosted by The Slacker Mom and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife is about Tandem Nursing. 

Although I nursed my twins until they were a few months old, I probably will never have the opportunity to tandem nurse.  While tandem nursing is indeed nursing two children during the same time period, it’s traditionally defined as children of different ages.   I probably won’t nurse Judah much past 12 months and if we do decide to have another baby it will be a few years down the road, we can all breath a sigh of relief over that one!

I do however, have a little experience nursing two at once.  Or, in my case, two nursing babies who never ever nursed at the same time.  (Unless you count those two times that we crossed our fingers and prayed really hard to anyone who would listen that this would be the beginning of something great.)

It wasn’t.

If you’ve ever nursed twins, you are told  it’s going to be so much easier if you can get them to nurse at the same time.  Actually, I think all the books I read were really pretty adamant about the fact that you could just put them both to the breast, sit back and relax and it was going to work.  Easy peasy.  You were going to save so much time….right!

(I seriously want to be in these women’s shoes for one day.)

I had reluctant latchers who liked to pop on and off every 13 seconds when they had my full attention on them trying to keep everything cupped the right way and angled the right way and supported the right way and it was an insane amount of energy and time just to keep one nursing and to get two situated was a logistical nightmare.  As soon as one got going the other one would pop off.  It was an exercise in futility.

Just attempting it brought me to tears almost every day.

So, we carried on nursing them one after the other, then pumping and supplementing.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

It was pretty endless.  Did I mention I have no memories of the first 3 months that did not include breastfeeding, pumping or supplementing?

It was all encompassing.  And in a different way that nursing Judah has been all encompassing.  Judah likesLOVES to nurse.  Every time I pick him up he’s trying to get at the goods.  He might be nursing  up to a dozen times a day, but it’s not a fight.   It’s not emotionally draining.  Draining, yes…but in a good way.

I was pretty revved up to nurse the boys.  I remember a co-worker who’s sister had twins telling me one day that I was crazy to even think about nursing twins.  That was always in the back of my mind after that.  I don’t think I would ever tell anyone that.  Knowing how horrible it felt to fail at that goal with the boys made me push through this time around.

Breastfeeding is normal.  It is not something reserved for special circumstances, it’s not just for singletons or the babes of crunchy tree-hugging Moms.  It’s for everyone.  And everyone should have the support they need to reach their goals. 

Even if those goals involve nursing your toddler and your newborn at the same time.

Link up to the hop!  Show some love to the other bloggers: Follow! Comment! Everyone loves a little feedback.


Breastfeeding Blog Hop Week 15: Comfort Nursing

Posted: April 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Breastfeeding, Kids, Mom stuff, Weaning | 9 Comments »

If there is one thing I know about breastfeeding, it is comfort nursing.

I called Judah a “good” nurser from day 1. Mostly because he was eager and seemed to want to nurse all the time. I remember tweeting about the constant rooting and endless sessions while I was still in the hospital. I think on day 3 I did something I never thought I would do: I called the nurse and asked her to bring me a pacifier! I needed a break and a few hours of sleep. Of course he wanted nothing to do with it! He couldn’t get enough of me.

He wanted to nurse every hour, on the hour and often for 45 minutes at a time, sometimes longer. That gave me what…a 15 minute break? We went on like this for MONTHS. During this time he wasn’t gaining weight and we had to supplement pumped milk (when I found time to pump in all of that is a mystery). Then I went to work and he needed to have a few hours between sessions, but the sessions were still long.

Some people said I should have put him down after 10 minutes, 15 minutes etc. etc. “he’s using you as a pacifier!” is a favorite, “he doesn’t need to nurse that much…he’s not getting anything after 20 minutes anyway” is also commonly heard. I ignore it. He’s not going to nurse forever.

And, he is getting something. First off, he’s getting the majority of his nourishment (we are practicing Baby-led weaning). He is also getting the comfort he needs to sleep, it was the only time he ever naps without crying (I know- another bad habit I instilled in him). I also think it gives him the confidence to go out and knock down the milestones. He sat up, crawled and cruised way earlier than his brothers- we’re working on standing unassisted and walking right now. You can guess what calms him down when he bumps his head or gets pushed down by Lincoln or Wyatt!

And, in the end, I was getting something. Without that seemingly constant nursing, my supply would have been gone. I know, lots of people like to tell women with supply issues that it’s not real (‘Very few women actually have supply issues!”) but I had supply issues. Him nursing around the clock and bed-sharing is the only thing that saved that. Every time he skips a session we spend days going through the frustration of getting everything back into place.

Would I do this again knowing the time I’d need to dedicate to such an endeavor? Of course I would.

This isn’t going to last forever.


Breastfeeding Blog Hop week 14: Breast Care

Posted: April 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Breastfeeding | 2 Comments »

It’s Week 14 of the BFing Blog Hop!

Topic: Breast Care

Share your tips, advice, and experiences with breast care while breastfeeding.

I think I’ve been fairly lucky in this department so far.  I did have that endless run of thrush that we were passing back and forth for about 2 months that coincided with Judah taking a little chunk out of my nipple with his new little chompers causing horrific pain for about two weeks but leading up to that and since that passed things have been pretty smooth around here.

I almost resorted to a nipple shield during that time simply to let the skin heal but right when I was about to do that things started to get better and I decided to see how it would pan out and everything started working just fine on it’s own.  While Judah was taking the Nystatin for his thrush I was using an OTC anti-fungal cream and rinsing with a vinegar & water solution between feedings but as soon as we cleared the thrush we discontinued all of that.

Aside from that I have never had a need for creams or lanolin and think that rinsing with water (no soap!) and air-drying are pretty much the best tools you can use to keep everything clean and healthy.  Judah has had a great latch so that has prevented many issues.

I have never experienced mastitis and I really hope that at this point that never becomes an issue.  I believe this is an issue that pops up with engorgement and since I have the opposite problem I’m probably not likely to run into this.  I do have one duct that seems to get plugged every week or so.  It’s not painful and usually Judah can nurse it out so I haven’t had to resort to any extreme measures.

These breasts are working hard and they deserve to be treated gently.  Now if only Judah would listen to reason and take his frustration out on a teething ring instead of me we’d all be a little less skittish!

*****

New to blog hops?
You might want to check out: “How To Blog Hop”

Hosts:

Life With Levi

The Slacker Mom & Diary Of A Devil Dog Wife

Want to participate?

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Link up a post! Find a post on your blog related to this week’s topic. You can write a new post, or use a past post. (Be sure to use the URL for your linky entry, NOT your blog homepage. You may link up as many posts as you’d like, as long as they all relate to this week’s topic.
  2. Follow the blog hop hosts via GFC in spots 1-3 below. (We always follow back!)

Optional:

  • Share the linky by adding the code to the bottom of your post, along with these guidelines. (You can grab the linky code by clicking
    the “Get Code Here” link in the lower right corner of the Linky box below)
  • Check out some of the other blogs that linked up – the more
    blogs you follow (and comment on), the more followers you’ll gain.
  • Grab the Breastfeeding Blog Hop button below and display
    it on your sidebar or in your post.

This linky will be open two days – Thursday, 04/07 & Friday, 04/08.

Life With Levi

Breastfeeding Blog Hop Week 13: Fertility and Sex

Posted: March 31st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: Blog Hop, Breastfeeding | No Comments »

It’s Week 13 of the BFing Blog Hop!

Topic: Fertility and Sex

Share your experiences, feelings, or concerns about how breastfeeding affects fertility or your sexual relationship with your partner.

New to blog hops? You might want to check out: “How To Blog Hop”

Hosts:

Life With Levi

The Slacker Mom & Diary Of A Devil Dog Wife

This Week’s Guest Host:

A Breezy Life

Want to participate?

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Link up a post! Find a post on your blog related to this week’s topic – Weaning. You can write a new post, or use a past post. (Be sure to use the URL for your linky entry, NOT your blog homepage. You may link up as many posts as you’d like, as long as they all relate to this week’s topic.
  2. Follow the blog hop hosts via GFC in spots 1-4 below. (We always follow back!) Spot #4 will always feature a guest host chosen from participants in the previous week’s blog hop.

Optional:

  • Share the linky by adding the code to the bottom of your post, along with these guidelines. (You can grab the linky code by clicking
    the “Get Code Here” link in the lower right corner of the Linky box below)
  • Check out some of the other blogs that linked up – the more
    blogs you follow (and comment on), the more followers you’ll gain.
  • Grab the Breastfeeding Blog Hop button below and display
    it on your sidebar or in your post. And make sure to check the The Bust boosters for awesome info about your breast.

This linky will be open two days – Thursday, 03/31 & Friday, 04/01.

Life With Levi

Breastfeeding Blog Hop Week 12: Weaning

Posted: March 24th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: Blog Hop, Breastfeeding, Weaning | No Comments »

It’s Week 12 of the BFing Blog Hop!

Topic: Weaning

Share your thoughts about weaning – experiences, fears, advice

New to blog hops? You might want to check out: “How To Blog Hop”

Hosts:

Life With Levi

The Slacker Mom & Diary Of A Devil Dog Wife

This Week’s Guest Host:

Darcy and Brian’s Tales From The Nursery

Want to participate?

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Follow the blog hop hosts via GFC in spots 1-4 below. (We always follow back!) Spot #4 will always feature a guest host chosen from participants in the previous week’s blog hop.
  2. Link up a post! Find a post on your blog related to this week’s topic – Weaning. You can write a new post, or use a past post. (Be sure to use the URL for your linky entry, NOT your blog homepage. You may link up as many posts as you’d like, as long as they all relate to this week’s topic.

Optional:

  • Share the linky by adding the code to the bottom of your post, along with these guidelines. (You can grab the linky code by clicking
    the “Get Code Here” link in the lower right corner of the Linky box below)
  • Check out some of the other blogs that linked up – the more
    blogs you follow (and comment on), the more followers you’ll gain.
  • Grab the Breastfeeding Blog Hop button below and display
    it on your sidebar or in your post.

This linky will be open two days – Thursday, 03/24 & Friday, 03/25.

Life With Levi