Slightly amusing if you sing this post’s title to the American Pie tune… But otherwise this situation is not amusing at all.
Yesterday I hurried into what I call “my office” for my second of three daily pumping sessions. I got all set up and comfy, flipped the power switch on Matilda (yes I named my pump – we spend a lot of time together!), pushed the power lever and… heard the saddest screeching sound coming from the heart of the motor. Matilda was stuck – no suction, nothing but a high-pitch, very loud, constant noise.
I desperately needed to pump but I couldn’t. I’m the kind who just looking at my pump triggers let down. I felt like a high school boy in the backseat on a third date with a freshman who won’t put out. You know what I mean…
So after gathering my thoughts for a moment, putting my big girl brain to work, if you will, I figured I had two options (sort of): leave work and drive the 15 miles home to my baby (the best pump in the whole world) OR find a suitable replacement STAT.
Leaving work wasn’t an option. It takes almost 45 minutes to drive home and I would HAVE to come back because I had deadlines yesterday (four projects due 11/1, no getting out of it because, “Um, yeah, boss man, my boobie juicer is stuck so I’m taking off for the day.” Right…).
On to finding a replacement. Luckily there’s a dive-sort of K-Mart around the corner (with a dive bar attached to it!) so during my lunch break I 1) stopped at the Halloween store to take advantage of the 50% deals, 2) got myself some grub and 3) picked up a $30 manual breast pump.
Side note – I tried to call K-Mart ahead to see if they had my pump in stock. I held on the phone for over five minutes, twice, and no one in the Infants department picked up. Very poor customer service. Although if I were to judge this K-Mart by looks alone, the level of service I received (or didn’t receive) is not too surprising. But, they did have one single Avent manual pump in stock (might as well get one that matches all the parts I already have, right?). Victory!
Anyway, I had to dump everything I pumped yesterday because the new pump wasn’t washed or sterilized, but I made it through the day. I got home, washed and boiled all my pieces and I am set for today. But I’m stuck with one-sided, manual pumping. On a positive note, it reminds me of when I pumped milk nine years ago for Kiddo1 and used a manual pump at work because we were too poor to buy an electric one. Ah, memories.
On a positive customer service note, I have called Avent and they were fantastic. Very apologetic about the malfunction and a brand-new pump is being sent to me as we speak. As long as I get it by Tuesday (they promised Monday) I will be a happy camper.
Another positive is that I had planned on buying a manual pump for our holiday travels anyway, so I’m not really bitter about needing to buy one already. I wish I could have planned the purchase to find a discount instead of paying the full $30, but in the emergency that was yesterday I probably would have paid twice that to avoid missing all my work deadlines.
Such is the give-and-take of working outside the home I suppose! But now the big question – what do I name my new pump?!
Where the hell is time going? Baby2 is already three weeks old as of yesterday and Kiddo1 just turned nine and a half earlier this week! I can’t believe Kiddo1 has half a year until he’s ten. That’s just insane.
Anyway, since we’re going strong on National Breastfeeding Month, I thought I’d post about how Baby2 and I are doing with our own nursing efforts.
At my last update I noted that Baby2 was only eating in five minute increments. That hasn’t changed. Sometimes she’ll eat for ten or fifteen minutes, but most of the time I get five minutes. She doesn’t fall asleep or anything, she’s just… done, I guess. I tried stretching out her feedings to see if she’d eat more, but no luck (and sometimes waiting three hours just isn’t possible!). I change her diaper after five minutes and sometimes she’ll eat more but usually not. I can try to change sides, wait 20 minutes and try again, all kinds of stuff but, still, I only get five minutes.
I was worried and spoke to the pediatrician about it at Baby2’s two week checkup. The thing is, Baby2 is perfectly… normal. Her weight gain is fantastic – she gained back to her birth weight by one week (a full week earlier than needed) AND she gained another half pound by two weeks of age. So no need to worry. And I wasn’t worried until this week when she stopped pooping – we haven’t seen a poop since Saturday (which happened to be a massive one at the movie theatre!).
Our pediatrician tells us that breastfed babies can poop five times a day or once every two weeks. Both are normal. But this lack of poo is still freaking me out! Where the hell is it? Her body is not big. Where is she keeping the poo?! Fingers crossed for a big load soon.
Ah, the things a parents thinks about.
Anyway. I’ve been pumping every day, too, and the more I thought about my pumping quantities the better I felt about Baby2’s short meals. I can usually get 2-3 ounces from one breast in less than five minutes (I have a double electric Avent pump so I’m getting four to six ounces per session). I’m thinking about donating some of the milk I’ve saved up (I have almost 100 ounces already!). Initially I wanted to have a business month’s worth of milk reserved – 20 12-ounce days or 240 ounces. But why do I need that much? I’m sure I could part with my whole current stash and still be okay when I go back to work. So I’m looking in to that. I’ll post an update!
We haven’t yet used a pacifier. I’d like to see if we can get away without ever using one, but I won’t be sad if we do. We do have two that have been sterilized and are ready for us, just in case!
As far as my postpartum recovery, I feel pretty damn good, almost back to normal. The only time of day that I don’t feel pretty great is when I’m getting dressed – maternity clothes are too big but non-maternity clothes don’t quite fit right. Dresses are my go-to right now but I’m honestly getting a little tired of them. I miss pants! The time will come, though.
To expand on things that don’t fit:
Some regular things that make me feel normal:
Some not-so-normal things:
Lots is happening in the next week or so. I’ll probably post another update around Baby2’s one month birthday!
Nursing bras are a fundamental part of successful breastfeeding. I’m lucky to have a few that I love but often it is a real struggle to find the right fit! If only some of the regular bras that we have come to know and love could be nursing bras, right?
Well, word on “the street” (meaning, the internet) is that Nordstrom will convert any bra, even a non-Nordstrom-purchased bra, into a nursing bra for a flat $10 fee. Amazing! I read about this initially on Science & Sensibility’s blog – here’s the post: http://www.scienceandsensibility.org/?p=5100.
Happy last day of World Breastfeeding Week! Yesterday also marked the start of National Breastfeeding Month’s “20 Actions in 20 Days” campaign, an initiative to bring awareness, support and all kinds of good attention to breastfeeding. I hope to touch on at least a few of these topics in the coming weeks. Here’s the calendar from the USBC’s site:
This is the last post in a series about baby gear that I’m, well, obsessing over a bit. I’ve covered transportation and feeding items, now for the home stuff: crib, changing accommodations, bathing, play and cozy stuff. We only have about half of the items covered in this post and we haven’t actually used any of them yet so, again, these aren’t really reviews or anything, just stuff I’m lusting after!
A good crib is important to me but not THAT important. I’ll explain. First, the crib is important because that’s where my baby will sleep most of the time. I’ll save my opinions on sleep for another post so I don’t get all off topic, but it is important to me for baby to learn to fall asleep in her own bed.
On the flip side, I don’t think cribs are that big of a deal. First, I don’t like cribs all that much – they look like little baby jail cells and they kind of freak me out. Second, I don’t like to keep them around all that long. Once that baby can climb out of the crib… what are they going to hurt themselves on more? The fall from the top of the crib three or four feet high or the fall from a toddler bed a foot off the ground? Kiddo1 was in a toddler bed at around 18 months I believe, which I guess they say is pretty early. I know this crib won’t be used for too long so I don’t want to put too much of an investment into it. We don’t need anything fancy here! I also tend to stay away from convertible cribs because I figure we’ll just end up getting a new bed in a year or two anyway.
Since it is advised that new cribs are preferred by the experts over a used crib (with the whole drop-down side controversy and all that going on), I’m looking for something:
The IKEA cribs did it for me. Less than $100, solid wood where it counts (I like to have solid wood where pieces connect/screw into each other because it makes for a stronger connection), a choice of very simple designs and the mattress has two height settings.
We got this crib from IKEA which isn’t the cheapest $69 crib but is the close second (we spent as much on the crib as we did the crib mattress! Which is okay with me because the mattress will stick around to be used with the toddler bed too).
This particular style does convert to a toddler bed but we’ll see if we end up using that option or not. I liked the white finish because it goes with anything! I thought about painting it when we first got it but I don’t want another project (although, after we finished the dresser Mr. Handsome thought we should paint everything bright colors!).
With the exception of a crib, I like furniture that I can keep for awhile. We’ve had our couch for almost nine years and it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! So the idea of getting a traditional changing table just doesn’t work for me because I don’t know what we’d do with it once diapers go away.
A dresser, on the other hand, is an item that we can use for a while. We all have dressers for our clothes and stuff right? (Well, Mr. Handsome and I use shelves for our own clothes, but Kiddo1 has a dresser.)
So I wanted to use a dresser as a changing table just like we did for Kiddo1. Just put one of those contoured changing pads on there and you’re good to go. I like to add a small lamp for midnight changings and a mirror to entertain a squirmy baby. When diapers are no longer used you still have a very functional piece of furniture. Score!
Although some people say bathing with your baby or using the sink is just as good. I would think bathing with your baby would be hard because they get so slippery! Would it take longer? And the sink is only so big and offers no support for babies who can not yet sit up. I’m willing to try these things… but we did register for a baby tub anyway.
Not one of those crazy baby spas with the jets and all that though! Those things crack me up! I’m okay with the $20 plastic version.
We registered for (and my mom already bought) what I think is a pretty kick-ass play mat. We didn’t do any research on this one, we just picked whatever what was at Target and not COMPLETELY covered in pink. That ended up being this Little Einsteins Ocean Play set. This thing looks even more awesome now that it’s in my house. I want to bust it out and turn on all the lights and music and just zone out.
I’m also a little obsessed with all these wooden toys that have come out lately (I make it sound like simple toys are a Brand New Invention, don’t I?). I very much disliked all the battery-powered plastic toys that Kiddo1 received. These wooden toys don’t have the plastic chemicals and I think they foster more creativity too.
I’m loving toys by Moby, Haba and Manhattan. The adorable carrot and strawberry are by Under the Nile – they’re for teething mostly (for chewing, not eating! Hehehe).
I like this bouncer/rocker combo by Maclaren. It vibrates, plays music, bounces, rocks, has a toy bar and plays music. Can I get an adult-sized one of these?
I could go on and on about diapers, clothes, pacifiers, all those good things, but this post would be like 5,000 words if I did that. So instead I will focus on my current accessory obsession: blankets.
I have two kinds I’m loving: the Aden + Anais lightweight cotton or bamboo sets and the heavier Moby wrap blankets.
I love the softness and weight of A+A: perfect for a summer baby. I can not stop hearing good things about this brand too. I have a three-pack of bamboo blankets and am registered for a bunch more. You can never have too many blankets right? Oh and the prints are adorable!
When I went to a local boutique to spend a coupon I was dead-set on getting a wrap but these blankets kept calling out to me. Of course, the sales lady said they were their most popular item (she’s got to say that, right?) but she also mentioned they get softer each time you wash them. I was sold. I’ve heard good things about them on a few blogs that I read too. All these people can’t be wrong, I’m sure of it.
I put my three-pack of blankets through the wash last weekend. A whole lot of fuzz came off but the blankets seemed to actually fluff up a bit and, get this, they actually did seem softer! Maybe the sales lady at that boutique was on to something…
The Moby blankets are great for nighttime swaddling when the temp dips a bit. I think they’re great floor blankets too because they’re relatively thick and good sized. Also, I love the bold colors! I’m not a fan of pastels and it is SO unbelievably difficult to find bold-colored baby blankets (especially for girls). These Moby ones look awesome and will fit in well with my bold-colored nursery.
One more thing about the Moby blankets… they come with a matching newborn hat! Instant outfit, right? I want three: Eggplant, Pacific (pictured) and Natural.
Wow! Lots of stuff for baby! Hopefully I’ll get to review a few of these items after we’ve used them for awhile – assuming I 1) buy them and 2) have the time to review once Baby2 arrives!
My medium is typically paper, not fabric, so sewing is a little daunting to me. Fabric stretches and moves around too much! Perhaps that’s why I’ve put off my sewing projects for so long! But this weekend I swallowed my pride, took out the machine and got some stuff done!
I finished four projects and seven items this weekend (that’s the great thing about sewing – it does go fairly quickly once you actually get going!): two changing pad covers, three throw pillows, a crib sheet and a Boppy pillow cover (I finished the crib skirt over spring break). I feel such a sense of relief getting these projects behind me! I get so into the whole “project mode” thing that I take on too much and I’m too stubborn to back down. Another thing: I understand that this nursery isn’t necessarily for Baby2. It is and it isn’t. Yeah, it’s for her in that she needs a place to sleep and all that, but she can’t appreciate the colors and fabrics and what not: all that is for me, let’s face it.
With that disclaimer aside, on to the finished project pictures! I can’t figure out why they’re coming out a little blurry, but you get the picture (haha). The red also looks really bright in these pictures but it’s actually a pretty deep red…
The dresser was finished last weekend and we hung a mirror on the wall over it because babies like to look at themselves (and hopefully this will distract her and keep her from wiggling too much!).
Since it makes me happy to review lists, here’s what I planned, what I’ve done and what’s left to do in the nursery:
While I can’t wait to finish, I also wonder what will occupy my time and thoughts once I’m done and have no baby yet! I guess I’ll just have to relax or something!
Back in mid-second tri, I had admitted my addiction to buying maternity clothes. I kept buying maternity clothes since then but have slowed WAY down in the past couple months. I did buy a pair of shorts and a skirt a couple weeks ago, but I remind myself that I only have a few weeks left to go so there’s really no point in buying anything else now… unless I can wear it after pregnancy too!
My addictions don’t really go away, they just get transferred to something else. For example, I used to bite my nails real, real bad. I don’t bite anymore but I am seriously addicted to nail polish and painting my nails. I probably own two dozen colors, no joke. I paint my nails almost every Sunday (I say almost because I have totally slacked in the last month, but before that I hadn’t missed a week in almost a year).
Now that I’m not buying maternity clothes, my addiction has transferred to the benefit of my daughter-to-be: she is super duper well-stocked with cloth diapers.
I’ve talked a little bit about my desire to cloth diaper this baby. I’ve read a great book (Changing Diapers by Kelly Wels) and attended a class at a local boutique. I subscribe to some cloth diaper blogs and follow feeds on Facebook. I have absorbed myself in the cloth diaper culture.
Early in this pregnancy, I told myself that I would only buy a couple diapers, see what works for us, and THEN stock up on our favorite brands and styles. Well, that plan quickly went out the window as my addiction to the fluff grew and grew.
First I was buying All-In-Ones (AIOs) and pocket diapers because they are the most similar to disposables. I think in the long run these will be great for us – Mr. Handsome stays home during the day so I want something quick and easy for him. Not because he couldn’t handle anything more complicated but because he has enough going on during the day – one less step in diapering is the least I can do for him. I’m already making him use cloth wipes as well so I don’t want to add any more complications!
The AIOs and pockets that I’ve gotten are pretty much all one-size diapers, meaning they have lots of rows of snaps so they can grow with your baby (most fit from approximately 10 to 35 pounds!). But they’re HUGE and super fluffy even when snapped to the smallest setting. I want to cloth diaper right from the get-go, mostly because we have a very limited capacity for garbage in our current living arrangement. These one-sizers aren’t going to fit a 7-ish pound newborn (Kiddo1 was 7 pounds 2 ounces at birth, so I anticipate something similar even though I know I could be WAY off).
What’s a mama to do? Well, I chose to buy more diapers, of course! I’ve heard prefolds are a great way to go for newborns, so I got me 12 unbleached cotton prefolds, 2 hemp prefolds (for heavy wetting) a three pack of snappis to secure the prefolds and four newborn/small size covers (plus four more one-size covers!). I’m even thinking about taking these to the hospital with us so Baby2 is cloth diapered from the get-go.
So that’s my latest addiction. Hi. My blog name is Mother Mary. And I am addicted to cloth diapers. And my baby isn’t even born yet!
In Friday’s update post I promised to post about some scones I made, so I’m finally getting to that now! It’s been a busy weekend… but, first – the scones!
I found this receipe on the Smitten Kitchen blog and I have reposted it here. It is mostly a verbatim repost but I did modify it slightly after perusing the comments.
Whole Wheat Raspberry Scones
1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
1/2 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar*
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold unsalted butter
2 tbsp vanilla
2 cup (136 grams or 4 3/4 ounces) fresh raspberries
3/4 cup (189 grams) greek yogurt (6 oz)*
1/3 cup (79 ml) heavy cream
* parts that I changed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, sugar and salt together.
With a pastry blender: Add the butter (no need to chop it first) and use the blender to both cut the butter into the flour mixture until the biggest pieces are the size of small peas. Toss in raspberries and use the blender again to break them into halves and quarter berry sized chunks.
Without a pastry blender: Cut the butter into small pieces with a knife and work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Roughly chop the raspberries on a cutting board and stir them into the butter-flour mixture. (Mine turned very pink by adding the raspberries this early. In my next batch I’ll probably add them later so the dough is more marbley like the photos on Smitten Kitchen’s post.)
Both methods: Add the ricotta and heavy cream together and stir them in to form a dough with a flexible spatula. Using your hands, gently knead dough into an even mass, right in the bottom of the bowl. Don’t fret if the raspberries get muddled and smudge up the dough. This is a pretty thing.
With as few movements as possible, transfer the dough to a well-floured counter, flour the top of the dough and pat it into a 7-inch square about 1-inch tall. With a large knife, divide the dough into 9 even squares. Transfer the scones to prepared baking sheet with a spatula. Bake the scones for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges. Cool in pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. It’s best to cool them about halfway before eating them, so they can set a bit more. I know, way to be a big meanie, right?
Do ahead (I took this route so they could be fresh-baked in the morning): Scones are always best the day they are baked. However, if you wish to get a lead on them, you can make them, arrange them on your parchment-lined sheet and freeze them. If you’re prepping just one day in advance, cover the tray with plastic wrap and bake them the day you need them. If you’re preparing them more than one day in advance, once they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or container. Bring them back to a parchment-lined sheet when you’re ready to bake them. No need to defrost the frozen, unbaked scones, just add 2 to 3 minutes to your baking time.
I also added the lemon icing for some more sweetness, because even though I doubled the sugar in the original recipe these scones still weren’t sweet enough for me! This is my own recipe:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
Adjust the milk-to-powdered sugar ratio to achieve the desired consistency. I wanted more of a glaze than a fluffy frosting so I used a teeny bit more milk. Just stir and stir until the lumps smooth out and it is ready to go!
In other news, this dresser that I have been working on forEVER is finally finished! I’ve been sanding this thing sporadically over the last month or so (this picture was taken after I had sanded half of the drawers). My goal was to get it all painted by this weekend because the baby stuff we’re accumulating needs a home!
It took some serious perseverance and carefully watching of the weather but it all got done. The weather this weekend was so unpredictable. It looked like it was going to rain but aside from an intense thunderstorm on Saturday night we stayed mostly dry. I started painting on Saturday around 2 and brought everything in around 7:30, about 30 minutes before the storm started. Whew!
Anyway, here it is! I added some glass-like pulls that I thought we a bit more girly and, as a last-minute addition, I painted the insides of the drawers hot pink. The pink doesn’t really go with the rest of the color scheme but I think it’s a nice surprise when you open the drawers.
On Sunday I applied a coat of sealer so the paint won’t scratch too easily and I let it sit outside to air out for awhile. As a result of all that work I rested a ton today, taking a nice long nap on the couch and generally neglecting all my duties and other projects. This week I’ll be sewing so hopefully I’ll have a post in a week about more accomplishments!
Welcome to the second post in a series about my baby gear obsessions. The last post covered transportation gear: car seat, wraps/carriers, diaper bags and bike accessories. The next post will cover home items include our top crib choices, changing table, diaper stuff, bouncy seats, and play accessories like mats.
This one is all about eating, because that takes up a good portion of a new baby’s time and, even if you’re breastfeeding, there’s a surprising amount of gear associated with the task! Breast pumps, bottles, support pillows and high chairs will be covered here.
Disclaimer: I haven’t purchased/used all of these products so these posts are not reviews but rather an overview of research I’ve done.
Ah, breast pumps. The Holy Grail of working mothers (and SAHMs who need a break sometimes!) is a good, reliable, comfortable and quick breast pump. I’ve done the most research about this product than I have any other baby item I think. A close second would probably be the wraps for all the babywearing I have planned. I digress…
I started doing my research way back in the early second trimester after I had a weird dream about my baby’s birth, memory lapses, loss of time and pumping (it was a weird dream). But it prompted me to research pumps, including Avent, Medela and Lansinoh. Check out that post if you want the full run-down, but for this post I’ll just focus on the one I’ve picked (and have purchased already, just not used so again, this is not a review).
What’s important to me in a breast pump? To reiterate the dream post:
I’ve chosen the Avent Isis Double Electric pump.
I’m very excited to start using this pump. It will be such an upgrade from what I had last time!
One more thing about pumping… I found this little device on Amazon and I’m hoping beyond hope that it lives up to its promises. That’s right, it’s a bra with holes for your pump so that you can pump hands-free! That takes electric pumping to the next level right?!
You just strap it on – there’s a zipper closure in the front – stick the pumps in the convenient little holes there, turn your machine on and then get your Angry Birds on! (Or whatever it is that you’d rather be doing than sitting there holding your pumps in place which you try to somehow distract your mind from the boredom.) I think it’s genius. It had better work!
If you’re going to pump breastmilk then you’ve got to have a way to feed it to the baby, so everyone needs bottles even if they’re breastfeeding. I’m quite interested in these glass bottles by Kinetic, for a few reasons:
I don’t have so many requirements for a support pillow. It’s a pillow, how hard can it be, right? Last time we used a Boppy Pillow. I know there are a whole lot more options out there for pillows now (including some that have pockets, but I’m not sure what you’d keep in there). I still like the Boppy because we could use it for more than just breastfeeding support for my arms. It was helpful for assisting Kiddo1 when he was learning to sit up. It’s good for tummy time too! And we took each monthly photo with Kiddo1 sitting in the pillow so we had something to compare his growth too. It worked out pretty well!
I thought for sure we had kept our old Boppy around but Mr. Handsome doesn’t think so. I can’t find it anywhere so I suppose I’ll get another one! This time I’m making a removable cover for it so I can clean it up. I never had any problems with it getting too dirty last time but you never know!
I like a chair that can be pulled up to the table so that baby can be close to the family during meals. We had a regular “stand-alone” high chair for Kiddo1 and has always felt so far away. Plus I think it’s more difficult to turn around and help them out. You could always pull the chair up to the table but then the tray sometimes gets in the way, maybe it doesn’t adjust to the right height, blah, blah, blah. I think the following two options are better in that they facilitate family dinner time with all members of the family, no matter how small. A high chair also has to be:
The Platinum: Stokke Chair
Honestly, I wish I could get one of these for every member of my family. Seriously! Look at how they work: the horizontal piece for the seat can move to any height using the cool slots on the inside of the “Z” pieces, making it fully adjustable and customizable. Mr. Handsome can have a low seat, Kiddo1’s medium and Baby2 can have a nice high seat so we’re all looking at each other at about the same height. Genius!
The only problem with this option is that we don’t really have kitchen chairs. We use stools because they’re stackable, lightweight and they won’t break. We used to have real chairs, but they were clearance from IKEA and they broke. All three of them (no, actually two of them broke, while we were sitting in them, so the third is condemned to the basement because we’re too frugal to actually get rid of it. “Oh I’m sure we can use it for something!” I’m not really sure why we think this).
So in order to make this option work we’d need to buy real chairs. Which does make “The Platinum” option more feasible. We’ll see!
Whew! All that just for eating?! Next post will be about Home gear. I think that actually might be a two-part post… Stay tuned!