Posted: June 9th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Blogging, Breastfeeding, Family, Feelings, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Nursing in Public, Pumping, Wyatt | 8 Comments »
This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog hop, hosted each Thursday and Friday by Life with Levi and co-hosted by myself and Diary of a Devil Dog Wife. The topic is new every week, join us!
During both of my pregnancies I knew that I would be going back to work at some point. For better or worse, that was the plan. Because of this I started pumping pretty much from day one. Maybe day two. I was always feed, pump, supplement or feed, pump, freeze. Always the pumping.
Of course I pumped at work as well. I was lucky in the fact that I had my own office where I could hole up and pump three times a night, but for the most part it wasn’t enough. Because of certain rules my company had in place, I was only afforded two 15-minute breaks and one 30-minute break. It would have been much better for my if I had been able to do three 20-minutes breaks, but it wasn’t an option. 15 minutes to set up, pump through 2 let-downs and clean-up and be back to work? It’s almost impossible. but, I suppose as long as I was given the option and the space to do it they don’t have to go out of their way to make it work for me.
Because of supply issues I was never able to build up any sort of stash for Judah. There were many mornings (I worked overnight) that my husband would frantically call and want to know if I could get home early because the milk was gone and Judah was going crazy. Of course I was a good little breastfeeding Mama and I didn’t dare let him have formula. It was so much better to torture him by not letting him eat! That’s sarcasm, in case you didn’t catch it. Eventually I did have to get formula because I couldn’t keep leaving work early and I was already pumping around the clock and nursing and it was never ever enough. He was like a bottomless pit.
In my experience, I really don’t know how you can sustain both breastfeeding and pumping while working. I could see exclusively pumping, because you aren’t feeding the baby and then trying to build up a stash with what is left, one or two ounces at a time. Judah could put down 8 ounces in a sitting at 3 months old. I could only pump between 2-6 ounces in a session. It just never equaled out.
Eventually I ended up staying home and although it wasn’t the only reason or even the main reason, a big reason we came to the decision was to salvage what was left of breastfeeding with Judah. I had to quit my job to make it work. In the months that followed I spent the better part of my day parked on the couch with Judah nursing and me tweeting on my Blackberry. A lot of things didn’t get done, but the most important thing was nursing Judah.
And that was enough for me.
Posted: June 5th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Living in the City | Tags: City Living, Duplex, Feelings, FTW, Kids, Mom stuff, Northeast Minneapolis, Old Houses | 2 Comments »
There is one thing I am going to miss from our old place.
The claw-foot tub.
It was everything you could want in a tub. It was deep and long and just right in so many other ways.
I probably took over 1800 soaks in that thing over the 6 years it was ours.
When I was pregnant with the twins and suffering from PUPPPs I would soak in a cool bath 3-4 times a day, just to keep the itching away. Sitting in the tub, sniffing my bottle of Burt’s Bees face wash (I craved that scent when pregnant) just waiting for those boys to be born.
My boys all loved that tub. It was one of the only places Wyatt would nurse as an infant. It was deep enough to keep even Lincoln’s vigorous splashing from hitting the floors. It was pretty much the only place Judah was ever bathed after his frantic 1st bath in the pod. I’ve got many memories tied to that tub.
It was simply lovely.
Now, the bathroom in which this tub sat was nothing to write home about. Unless you were writing about how horrific it was. Cracking plaster walls. Sketchy floor. No outlets. I remember going to clean it for the first time after we moved in and thinking there was no way we’d ever get it clean. Except for that tub. I could scrub the hell out of that tub.
Word on the street is they are tearing it out for a (much needed) remodel.
They are getting rid of the best thing about that place.
Posted: June 5th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Out and About | Tags: cars, Day to Day, Family, Feelings, Grand Caravan, minivan, Mom card, Mom stuff, Montana, road trip, Saturn Vue, Stuff You Need, Virginia | 12 Comments »
In 2004 we bought a car. The second car we’d ever purchased together. The first we purchased on our terms, when we weren’t in desperate need of a car because ours had died. We saw a sale, we had a trade-in, we went and got ourselves a new car.
It was a Saturn Vue.
We loved that car.
It took us back and forth to Minnesota when we were moving from Missouri.
It took us east to Virginia, both before and after we had kids. The worst leg of a road trip ever was spent in it when we were stopped in traffic for an hour because of an accident heading into Louisville with no more water, no more bottles and two screaming 11 month olds who wanted to eat. The first thing we did when we found an exit was stop to get water and then stop to get beer for when we got to the hotel. It was the longest 60 minutes of my life.
We drove west to Montana with three kids and although the seating was a bit more cramped than it was when it was just the two of us, we still had room to add a few more things on our trip home.
It was the family car.
But, it died. Unexpectedly. And with gusto.
It didn’t just die, it died hard. And all at once.
So, we had to bite the bullet. We had to get another car. We had to look at…minivans.
Now, I am not necessarily a minivan person. I liked the Vue. It was compact but it fit everyone and all of our stuff, even if it was tight.
But, the siren song of the minivan is hard to deny.
More space! Smoother ride! A place for all of your kids and their friends! And did we mention SPACE?!
So we went looking.
We did some research and were priced out of our top 2 choices pretty quickly (Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey) our third choice was the Chrysler Town and Country and our 4th choice was the Dodge Grand Caravan.
We found a few we wanted to look at, nailed down the dealerships we were going to, pulled our Carfax reports and went on our way.
The one we really wanted, the one that looked so perfect on paper ended up being a dud. It only had seating for 6, all captains seats and there is no way our stroller would have fit in the back. Boo. I’m not sure how this is possible, it’s a minivan…where is all the space?
We looked at a few more and then finally found one we can live with. It has a few more miles than we originally wanted, but not too many more. It has the 3rd row bench seat and 4 captains chairs. It’s got the Stow & Go seating which is pretty cool. It’s got the doors that open automatically which wasn’t on my list but I guess is a plus. And, it was lower than our price range, so huge plus.
It has more space than the T&C, but seriously….unless I drop the seats into the floor I’m not seeing the extra cargo room (and if you do that you lose that under seat space, so it’s kind of a draw). Yes, it has more space in the passenger area. It will be a lot easier to ride in on long trips for sure. I’ll give it that. But, with three kids in carseats, I kind of have to have all my seats up. So where is all of this extra space?
Do I like the minivan we got? Yes. I think it will end up being a great car for us. I’m not knocking this purchase at all. I think it was necessary and I think we made some good decisions.
But, I’m feeling really underwhelmed.
I thought I was going to have this big a-ha moment of
“OMG I can’t believe we’ve lived without this for so long!”
And I’m not.
Certainly I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Are they going to come take my Mom card now?
Posted: June 2nd, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blog Hop, Breastfeeding, Day to Day, Feelings, Kids, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Wyatt | 2 Comments »
This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted each Thursday and Friday by Life With Levi! Each week we focus on a different topic in the realm of breastfeeding. Please link up pertinent posts and join the conversation!
First, a little background…
I don’t do pregnancy well. When I was pregnant with the twins my midwife was pretty clear that she thought I might be high risk for PPD because it had been so rough for so long, she didn’t know if I’d be able to bounce back.
I was pretty worried about it myself. Yogi Dad was always on the lookout for signs. For the most part things were great. Immediately upon delivery I felt about a gazillion times better. I needed that. Of course as I’ve said in previous posts, breastfeeding has never come easy and with the twins it was kind of like my own personal hell.
But I’m not sure I would go so far as to say I had PPD.
Sure, it was frustrating beyond belief.
Yes, there were many, many tears.
I’m pretty sure I said some pretty crazy things about what I might do if I didn’t get a shower or some sleep or some time away from screaming babies.
But it all stemmed from something that I could have stopped if i had wanted to, if I had pulled myself away from everyone telling me I just needed to try harder. Once I finally did that things got better.
The frustration went away. The babies stopped crying. I stopped crying. Everyone got more sleep.
But there is the guilt in that. You know…taking the *easy* way out.
With Judah the frustration was always tempered by the fact that he wanted to nurse and nursed well, I just have supply issues. Once we got over the hump, things got better. We co-slept and bed-shared so sleep was never as big of an issue.
I am very aware that it could have gone differently. I think being aware of PPD and having my husband and family be aware of what to watch for was key to making sure if it did become an issue it would be taken care of right away.
Posted: May 20th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: #Judahthetank, Blogging, Breastfeeding, Day to Day, Family, Feelings, Friday Favorites, Kids, Nursing in Public, Weaning | 62 Comments »
Sponsored by Tomoson.com
I have a love-hate relationship with nursing covers. I love them, because I’m the kind of girl who likes to cover up my business. I hate them, because Judah doesn’t like them and spends the entire nursing session ripping it off, thus drawing MORE attention to me and him and OH LOOK! Boobs!
Which is not what I’m going for.
So, I ditched my covers. And I had some cute ones!
I was cruising along pretty well just pulling my shirt down just so, keeping my breast covered and it was working great.
Then I heard about the Baby Bond.
A nursing cover that covers YOU, not the baby.
Hmmm…sounds pretty good. I watched some videos on their website and did a little sleuthing around and I was hooked. This was the answer! I could cover up AND keep Judah free to
So when given the opportunity to review a Baby Bond of my very own, I was on board.
I chose the Baby Bond Couture Nursing Sash and Belly Band.
via Baby Bond
The Couture is different from the Original and the Flexin that it is versatile (you can use it to cover you from the top or the bottom. It is also adjustable, fitting your body as it changes postpartum.
via Baby Bond
I wanted to try this one because as I discussed in a previous post, I have no real nursing wardrobe. I’m in my nursing tanks pretty much all the time. The Baby Bond Couture gives me another option- I can put it on under any shirt and still have my tummy and back covered while I nurse, my shirt will keep me covered up top. It’s perfect!
I actually had much better luck with it used in this way than if I used it to cover my top, Judah was all flailing hands and feet trying to get it off even though it wasn’t covering him at all. I ended up quite exposed when using it this way.
Still, I think it’s a great product. Lightweight, nice neutral colors, it even rolls up into itself for easy storage.
I would recommend this nursing cover to anyone.
Baby Bond has three different styles to choose from, all 100% cotton knit and they retail for around $35. Baby Bond nursing covers are Made in the USA.
Baby Bond is offering one of my readers the opportunity to get their hands on a Free Baby Bond Nursing Cover of their own!
– Visit Baby Bond and tell me which Baby Bond nursing cover you would choose if you are the winner
– Follow me on GFC
– Follow me on Twitter
– Follow Baby Bond on Twitter
– “Like” The Slacker Momon Facebook
– Tweet this: Hey! @TheSlackrMom is giving away a FREE @BabyBond Nursing Cover! http://wp.me/p14Qs6-4D #breastfeeding (pls RT)
Please include a seperate comment for each entry so they can all be counted.
In addition to this giveaway, Baby Bond is giving ALL of my readers 25% off their purchase at www.babybondnursing.com. Just enter the coupon code “SLACKER” when checking out!
This giveaway will end June 3rd at 10pm, the winner will be drawn by Random.org. I will contact the winner by email, if I do not get a response within 48 hours a new winner will be drawn. Open to residents worldwide.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com created by WebBizIdeas.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.
Posted: May 17th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Stream of Consciousness | Tags: Blogging, City Living, Cleaning, Day to Day, Extreme Couponing, Feelings, Firsts, FTW, Mom stuff, money, Saving Money | 6 Comments »
Spurred on by a photo of a friends latest Target trip where she purchased among other things, a box of Tide and some various other H&B products with her total coming out to be less than the box of Tide, I made a list.
I was going to try my hand at this Extreme Couponing thing.
I was pretty excited as I hunted through my coupons. You could say I was extremely excited.
So I put the boys on the bus, strapped Judah in the car, grabbed my list and headed towards my Target. Sadly, this might be my last visit to this Target. You know, because we are moving to the other side of the city and all. (cue sad music)
But this trip! This trip was amazing. (I took pictures but our camera cord is at the new house so this will have to do for now.)
MC- Manufacturers coupon TC- Target coupon
21oz Tide Stain Release Spray sale $4.49 ($3 MC + $1 TC) total $.49
114oz Tide Powder with Bleach sale $10.99 ($3 MC $.75 TC) total $7.24
J&J First Aid to Go x2 reg $.97 ($1 off 2 MC) total $.94
Olay Silk Whimsy Body Lotion w/ free trial size lotion clearance $4.18
Olay single bar soap reg. $.97
Secret trial size deodorant reg $.97
($4 off MC if you buy lotion+deodorant+soap) total $2.12
22oz Murphy’s Oil Soap Spray price cut $2.49 ($.50 MC + $1 TC) total $.99
1Qt Similac RTF reg $5.49 ($5 MC) total $.49
And my treat for my trip was a large Cherry Limeade from Sonic reg $1.99 ($1.99 voucher from Star Tribune STeals) total FREE!
Total: $33.51 Paid: $12.27 Savings: $21.24 (63%)
I would be amiss if I didn’t point you towards my current giveaway of $50 to Tea Collection which ends 5-27 and also my Coupons+Deals page. You can find lots of things on this page- coupon generators, coupon toolbars, freebies…
Disclosure: These were the prices at the Fridley MN Super Target on 5-17-11, some of the Sale prices may have been TPC’s (I didn’t write them all down as I was shopping).
Posted: May 12th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Autism | Tags: Autism, Autism Awareness Month, Birth to Three, Day to Day, EI, Family, Feelings, FTW, Goals, Kids, Lincoln, Lincolnton and Wy, Wyatt | 5 Comments »
I kind of feel like we have been doing this for years, when in reality it’s only been a few short months.
In the past 2 weeks, it’s like we have a totally different kid.
Wyatt is engaged more than not.
He’s calling things by their names (even if it’s only the first syllabel of the word).
He’s “singing” the alphabet.
It’s just so awesome to see.
Yes, we still have a long way to go. Yes, he still has autism- that isn’t going away.
It’s just *so* encouraging to see such great progress. You get so mired in all the details of your day it’s like a slap in the face to say “This is what we are working towards and it’s happening!”
Lincoln is coming out of his shell a bit too. Today when his teacher and the speech therapist came for a home visit he met them at the door with a hug and spent a good part of the visit hanging off the speech therapist’s back (he’s really into piggy-back rides) and giggling. He’s making progress too, communicating in his own way. We are learning how to meet him at his level, which is probably the biggest obstacle! He knows just how to get what he wants, we just have to read his cues a bit better.
Posted: May 10th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Parenting | Tags: #Judahthetank, Day to Day, Family, Feelings, Firsts, SAHM | 6 Comments »
He is 9 months old and he:
– is as big as Lincoln was at 12 months
– is as big as Wyatt was at 15 months
– is walking, on his own, with no encouragement about 25% of the time
– likes to play fetch with Stanley
– eats more “real” food than the boys on a regular basis
– really needs to get in for his 9 month appointment so this awesomeness can be documented for realz
– might be weaning, but I can’t be sure…
– has no inhibitions whatsoever- this one likes to explore!
Where did my baby go?
Posted: April 29th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | Filed under: Stream of Consciousness | Tags: Cleaning, Day to Day, Family, Feelings, Food, Mom stuff, Royal Wedding | 1 Comment »
(via google images)
Last night I told Yogi Dad that I was going to get up at 4am to watch the Royal Wedding. I don’t think he thought I was actually going to do it.
I was prepared though. After grocery shopping I stopped at Starbucks and got myself a venti Mocha with an extra shot to reheat when I got up- I figured a reheated Starbucks was going to be more enticing than anything else I was going to get at that hour. I set my alarm clock for 3:45. I fed Judah right before I went to bed in hopes he would stay asleep until I needed to get up.
It worked! And I practically jumped out of bed all giddy with excitement like it was my OWN wedding day or something.
So there I was. Me, the TV and all of Twitter. It took me a few minutes to decide what coverage I was going to watch, but I finally just settled on CNN. Judah woke up a few minutes before it started to *really* get good and my mocha was just what I needed. Judah was a star nurser and went right to sleep, it was just like when he was wee.
I watched, I teared up, I turned it off at 9 so the boys could watch Super Why. I took this energy and was productive. Dishes! Laundry! I scrubbed out both cat boxes and cleaned the baby gate! I made the most delicious apple pancakes and served them on my fancy pink crown plates! We played and had lunch (also served on pink crown plates) and then I turned it back on and re-watched the entire thing when the boys went down for their naps. I was sorting diapers, so I was still getting something done!
It was kind of awesome.
I remember watching Prince Charles and Diana get married with my Grandma, but it must’ve been a rerun years later. I wouldn’t remember that from when I was three…would I? Maybe they replayed it when her boys were born. When Diana died I remember watching hours and hours and hours of coverage in my best friends dorm room in college. We talked about using our student loan money to fly to England for the funeral. For about 6 seconds. We weren’t crazy. Although it was before classes started, so we could have been back in time. Just sayin’.
I don’t know what it is. I don’t pay attention to The Royals any other day for the most part. I haven’t watched or read any of the coverage leading up to this wedding, but somehow, it was always something I was going to make time in my day for. You can count on me tuning in for any and all future weddings, births, coronations, funerals…I’ll be there.
For the record, I loved the lace, I loved the veil, I loved the uniforms and the boys choir and the kisses and the stolen glances and the song they played during the signing of the registries….I pretty much loved it all.
Posted: April 28th, 2011 | Author: Erin Clotfelter | 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.
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!