Spring Yard Projects

Our BIG project over the weekend was working in our yard.

I don’t know how we are going to get it into shape without hiring someone to help us!  You would think one acre would be easy to maintain. The problem is BOTH of us love to work in the yard, but someone has to watch the Wild Child.

-Front Flower Beds-

We have a mailbox flower bed which has been left to maintain itself and won’t need much work this spring.  However, there are two other flower beds that require maintenance and that is usually MY job.  I pick the flowers to plant, weed, and water.  One bed is specifically for flowers that attract butterflies!  The other flower bed is in front of our house and is usually reserved for azaleas, hostas, gardenias, impatiens, four o’clock flowers and one hydrangea.  That’s two THREE flower beds that should to be weeded, planted and taken care of all summer.  Once they are planted they are fairly easy to maintain, but just removing all the fall/winter leaf accumulation is no small task.

Butterfly Garden 2011

-Deck Plants-

Next I have all the plants growing in pots on the deck.  The pots of parsley, mint and chives came back up, so I just need to buy some basil and cilantro then I’ll be happy.  The deck is also home to my orchid and bromeliad collection.  Those poor orchids lived in my whirlpool tub, in our master bathroom, and just barely hung in there over the winter.  With the baby taking up so much time, they only had minimal care.  I normally get 2 of them to bloom during the winter, but not this year.

-Yard-

Then there is the yard.  The previous owners never really took care of the lawn so Don has been trying to get grass established.  No big deal other than mowing, seeding, and a little weed control….. ok yea, that’s a lot of work too.  Let’s not forget that we still have chopped wood to be stacked from that BIG tree that fell down.  Seriously, when are we going to find time to move and stack all of that before it gets unbearably hot and humid in the south?

-Edibles -

There are two medium blueberry bushes that should be LOADED this year!  I’ll have to keep a close watch on them so the birds don’t get all my blueberries.  As far as edibles go we also have to planter boxes that are now home to tomatoes and strawberries.  The tomatoes we planted in our boxes last year were super producers and I’m hoping for another great tomato crop.

This weekend we installed a raised bed beside our house so that I could grow a few more fresh vegetables.  I’ve decided that the raised bed project deserves its own post so look for that to come in a few weeks.

I know it sounds like a lot of work and it is!  It’s a good thing we really enjoy our time outside.  I really hope our Wild Child loves watching us work in the yard because there will be a lot of that this spring and summer.

Do you have a green thumb?  What are your favorite flowers or plants to grow?

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This post is part of the Manic Mommy Monday blog hop hosted by The Gnome’s Mom.


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The THREE Month Bump

 This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by The Slacker Mom
and co-hosted by Happiness Redefined & The Gnome’s Mom

Today’s topic:  Road Bumps

Never once did I think it was going to be such a struggle for me to breastfeed!  It’s the natural way for crying out loud!

We had five bumps in the first five months:

  1. pumping and dumping for 4.5 days & formula supplementation
  2. three months of thrush
  3. dairy intolerance
  4. vasospasms
  5. oversupply

I wrote about all of these earlier challenges & successes  They did and we did too!

The biggest hurdle of those five was more of a MOUNTAIN than a bump -  we endured three long months of thrush!  It started as a pinching, burning, feeling with the latch at the beginning of every feed.  The first time I complained I was told that it would “go away” and “it was sometimes normal for new breastfeeding moms to feel discomfort” all I needed to do was be patient.

I accepted this until it got excruciating!  I started to cry every time my baby would need to eat and I was using my best labor breathing just to feed him.  I started to demand help.  It wasn’t until I was crying when my bra or shirt touched me that I finally got some medication from my OBGYN.   However, that was just a topical treatment for me and when that didn’t work I mentioned it to our pediatrician who gave my son meds.  I bounced back and forth between these two doctors for a MONTH before I got angry.   My son showed no signs of thrush so his doctor was hesitant to do any major treatments even though I showed symptoms.

I was desperate to find an expert ASAP.   The level of care I was able to obtain locally was NOT helpful!   Our IBCLC gave me the number of the Mississippi Breastfeeding Medicine Clinic, I made an appointment, packed our diaper bag and drove 4 hours for our first visit.  Keep in mind that my son was 5 weeks old when we made our first road trip and it was not easy.  After our first week of treatment under the care of the MBMC the pain was manageable.   It wasn’t a singular treatment that cured it, but an ongoing battle for 3 months!  I think that the onset of winter was one of the biggest factor in being able to stop the thrush. 

I had lots of support and encouragement that really helped me stick with the treatment plan and keep going during our biggest road bump.  The ladies from our breastfeeding support group checked up on me to see how things were going and promised that things would get better.  My husband helped me dose our newborn with medicine, waited at the drugstore for refills, and stayed positive that a full recovery was soon, very soon!  It was a very good thing that I had all this external support because at one point I had convinced myself that thrush was a war that I might not win…….  but we won!

Now that  spring is here it’s getting hot and humid in the south again, I am nervous!  One of the major factors in our case of thrush was my oversupply compounded by the hot and humid southern summer that made the perfect environment for thrush.  I’m SUPER NERVOUS that the thrush will return and I will have to go through this battle all over again during the last three months of my one year goal.

 

Did you encounter any bumps while breastfeeding?  I’d love to hear about them!

Categories: breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Blog Hop, MS Breastfeeding Med Clinic, resources | Tags: , | 7 Comments

New Nap Schedule – No Memo For Mom

I never get a memo from my son about the new schedule or change of events.

One of the things I’m learning about babies is that they never do anything on a schedule other than their own!  No matter how much you want them to do something,  even if it is normal behavior for them….just when you get used to it *BAHM* they change it up on you.  Since they have no way of communicating that change to you in advance, it can make for a very frustrated mom!

The best example I have is our radically changing nap patterns!  From the time he was a newborn until 3 months he was napping “by the book.”  Around 4 months we were down to 2-3 naps during the day.  One in the morning, early afternoon and sometimes late afternoon.  At 6 months he was napping 2 times a day mid-morning and mid-afternoon for about 1.5 hours each.

Now at 8.5 months he’s dropped that afternoon nap!  My Wild Child has now consolidated his napping to a two hour nap from 10-noon.  If I’m lucky, he will do a short nap (almost an hour) around 5 pm before his bedtime at 8 pm.  That’s one long stretch of playtime in the afternoon!

At first I had a problem with this “new” nap schedule.  I fought him all during spring break to keep that mid-afternoon nap.  Which for me meant a lot of rocking, music, ocean waves, and even vacuuming the house with him in the ergo since we don’t CIO.  Nothing would make him nap mid-afternoon.  Seriously, the vacuum technique has never failed me until now!

Yesterday, I decided I wasn’t going to fight with him anymore over that afternoon nap.  If he shows any signs of being tired I will encourage him to nap, but I’m not going to get frustrated over this anymore!

Of course, this totally deviates from anything you will EVER read in a book or online.  The majority of my mommy-friends (MY blog I can make up words) have babies that stick with the mid-morning & afternoon naps until they are almost 2 years old.  However, if you mention something, it doesn’t take long to find out that you are not alone.

I’m not sure if the reluctant, afternoon, nappers are teething babies or just busy babies. I haven’t taken a survey yet, but maybe I should…..

In the meantime, as long as my Wild Child is not a fussy baby we are golden!

What is nap time like at your house?

Categories: parenting, sleep | 2 Comments

Asparagus Delight

This baby loves asparagus!

Making baby food with asparagus was so easy!  I love simple, fast, baby food ideas and this one took me all of 20 minutes from start to freezer.  I’m not sure why I didn’t try it before.

Simple Instructions:

  • Wash asparagus
  • Cut off the woody ends
  • Bring about 1 inch of water to boil
  • Put asparagus into a steamer basket (cover pot with lid)
  • Cook 7-9 minutes
  • puree!  *no extra liquid needed

After the first bite he loved the asparagus so much that he kept opening his mouth like a baby bird.  I just couldn’t feed it fast enough!  So now at 8.5 months old he loves pears & asparagus.  I wonder if that is a trend he will continue throughout his life?

One word of warning: If you are going to try asparagus be ready for some funny smelling diapers!

Did your baby/child ever love eating a vegetable that you were unsure of?

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Survived Spring Break

Spring break is over -  finally!  This was the worst spring break I think I’ve ever had.  Not that I ever did much over spring break during college.  I wasn’t one of those people that went to the beach.  Instead I would go climbing, camping, or hiking.  Occasionally, I would visit family for a week, especially if they were offering to cook me meals!  There is nothing like a home cooked meal when you are in college.

I didn’t figure that spring break would affect me since I’m not in college anymore!  However living in a college town that shuts down during spring break you feel the effect!  My normal baby activities were all canceled last week – no kindermusik or park playdate, and our breastfeeding support group would be downsized.  I thought that wouldn’t be too bad, but I was wrong, wrong, wrong!

From Monday until Thursday I was lonely!  I didn’t realize how much I had begun to rely on my weekly activities for adult conversation.  A few of the moms in the support group were back in town on Thursday, and I had them over for an impromptu lunch & playdate.  Then Friday we had another lunch playdate with some of the other support group moms.  In retrospect, I should have gone to the breastfeeding support group even though the majority of the moms were gone.

Today kicks off our NEW weekly activity schedule and I couldn’t be more excited!

  • Monday – first swim lesson at the college for my Wild Child
  • Tuesday – kindermusik
  • Wednesday – open
  • Thursday – park playdate
  • Friday- breastfeeding support group & 2nd swim lesson

I’m THRILLED that we are going to have some busy weeks ahead of us.  I might live in the south, were things are supposed to be relaxed, but I love to be busy!

How do you stay busy?  What activities are fun for babies under one?

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This post is part of the Manic Mommy Monday blog hop hosted by The Gnome’s Mom.



Categories: activities, parenting, staying busy | Tags: | 2 Comments

Weaning – No Time Soon

 This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by The Slacker Mom
and co-hosted by Happiness Redefined & The Gnome’s Mom

Today’s topic:  Weaning

*WARNING*  Just so you know, everyone — their mom, cousin twice removed, dog, cat, and goldfish — are going to have an OPINION on when YOU should wean your baby.  I think weaning is a personal decision between mom & baby and everyone else should just butt out.

I try not to agonize over weaning or when/if he will ever wean, but society doesn’t make it easy for a nursing mama!   The next time someone asks me when I’m going to wean my 8.5 mo old, I might just throw something at them….Hmmm, I’ve got plenty of dirty diapers.  He still breastfeeds every 2-3 hours so obviously he’s not ready to wean anytime soon.  I try to politely remind people that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant.”  Pediatrics Vol. 129 No. 3 March 1, 2012

Honestly, most people just do NOT get it!  The #1 Weaning Myth complete strangers love to tell me is:

  • “If you don’t wean by 12 months you’ll be nursing that baby until he’s 5 years!”

WHAT?!  Where do people get this stuff from….. breastfeeding isn’t all or nothing so I’m sure there’s no magical “weaning” date either.  In fact, if you nurse beyond 12 months your baby is still getting all the nutritional, immunological, and emotional benefits of breastfeeding that they did as a newborn (Dr. Saenz Tips#15)

Breast milk will start to decline gradually with the introduction of more solid foods as your child ages.  This is the natural process and the way it is supposed to work!  This is the way I envision the weaning process happening for us.

Bottom line – I’m not weaning this baby anytime soon!

 

When did you wean?  Was it an easy experience or difficult for you?

Categories: breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Blog Hop | 2 Comments

Regression Analysis

Here is a brief update on our sleep situation.

Nothing has improved in the sleep department.  ALL of us are still waking up every 2-3 hours.  We are the zombie family for sure!

My poor baby has been taking his milestones in giant leaps rather than baby steps and I think all these new things at once are totally throwing his sleep off.  Sleep…. what am I saying this baby doesn’t sleep!

A recap of the LEAPS of our last 15 days:

  • My Wild Child finally got his first tooth and I think that has been a BIG part of his poor sleeping habit.  I can tell when his teeth are hurting when he’s extremely clingy, fussy, rubs his hand across his mouth and is in general irritated with the world.  He doesn’t drool or get those red, puffy gums like other babies do he just does a Jekyll & Hyde personality flip.
  •  Another BIG bump in our sleep pattern is he’s a very busy, mobile baby!  He started taking his first steps away from the furniture 10 days ago.  He cruises the furniture, crawls at full speed, and bounces along ALL day!  This new mobility has really brought out his independent and adventurous nature.  It’s also really made me consider a baby helmet and crash pad or a padded nursery!

I know from conversations with other breastfeeding moms that waking to nurse during the night is common during teething and also during sleep regression which can be caused by major developmental milestones.  I even wrote a post about reverse cycling, but I honestly believed that it would STOP by now….. after all he SLEPT great from 1-6 months of age!

I tried the “tips” that people recommended on the Blog Hop, but none of them have helped me.  I feel that after 2.5 months of this it’s just going to continue on forever!

The adults here are suffering due to lack of sleep!

Categories: breastfeeding, milestones, sleep, trouble | Comments Off

and They Are Gone

The grandparents have left the building…..

My parents came down for the weekend to help keep my teething baby distracted and busy.  We had the best time!

They brought their new border collie puppy and my kid watched him play fetch all day.  We took the puppy and baby for walks around the neighborhood.  They entertained, played, and kept my baby super busy!   He was so busy and occupied that Don & I got a TON of things done that had been on the “to-do list” forever.

Walking Baby & Puppy

My parents are really great about keeping an eye on the time and watching for fussiness that means “I need mom/food.”  I know lots of people have that problem when nursing babies are hanging out with family, but mine have no trouble handing over the baby to nurse as long as I bring him right back.  I had to nurse him in a quiet room away from all the fun to keep him focused, but that is just the new normal for us.

Little tough stuff even ate more solids while they were here and wasn’t fussy about it at all!  I don’t know if that has more to do with the fact that his tooth finally erupted all the way or their entertainment at meal time.  Either way he ate a huge dinner last night almost 8 oz of food at one sitting!  He also slept better while they were here – even with the time change he slept one 6 hr stretch last night!!!!  We haven’t had that much sleep in TWO months…. they are hired!

I just watched them pull out of the driveway and head back toward Missouri.  As I was standing with my buddy in the Ergo hip carry position waving bye-bye I thought about how quiet it was going to be without them.  In the back of my mind I have this urge to throw together a suitcase, grab a few diapers, and drive up the interstate after them.

I am SUPER jealous of all moms who have family close that are available to come over and entertain the baby.

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Categories: life, sleep, solids, support, weekend | 2 Comments

The Breast Tools Ever

This post is part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop hosted by The Slacker Mom
and co-hosted by Happiness Redefined & The Gnome’s Mom

Today’s topic:  Tools of the Trade

When you decide to breastfeed you are bombarded by stuff everyone says you are going to need.  I actually did NOT need very much in the beginning and now 8 months later I need even less. Here are my TOP tools of the trade in ORDER of  use since day one.

Disposable Nursing Pads

By far the most helpful item I have is my nursing pads!  When I was pregnant I was absolutely, 100% certain I was going to use the washable, organic cotton, pads. I tried them and they FAILED me!  Between my oversupply and 3 months of thrush the cotton pads were completely worthless.  I was told to stay dry, use disposable, and change pads after every nursing session so the thrush treatment would have a chance to work.  Now that my baby is 8 months old I have almost stopped leaking.  I still have to wear them, but I now I only need to change them if they get damp.

Nursing Pillow

It doesn’t matter if the pillow is my Boppy or a small throw pillow off the couch – a pillow is a must!  My Boppy became my security blanket in the first few months.  I even took it with me to our breastfeeding support group meetings, had it in the car during grocery store runs, and made sure it could be within my grasp at a moments notice.   I never know if a nursing session is going to last 5 minutes or 45 minutes so I need a pillow to support my little ones weight otherwise my arms would have given out long ago.

Pump

Without an electric double pump I might not be breastfeeding today.  I started out this nursing journey by “pumping & dumping” 10-12 times per day during the second week after my son was born due to an antibiotic episode (read about it here).  Then had to combat my oversupply problem for 6 LONG months by block feeding (nursing on one side for 2 feedings) and pumping the other to “comfort.”  After all that pumping just so that I maintain my supply and then pumping every morning just so I wouldn’t get blocked ducts for months is A LOT of pumping for a SAHM.

Cover

In order to get out of the house and not panic during a “feed me NOW” situation I needed a nursing cover.  I NEEDED a cover to breastfeed gracefully and not make a huge scene!  I was blessed to receive several as baby shower gifts and I’ve used them all.  When I was using the cover on a regular basis (before the nursing rodeo began) I tried to use colors that blended in.  My favorite one is lightweight, the color is neutral, and my mom made it!

 

My Favorite Cover

 

What did you find to be the best breast tools?

Categories: breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Blog Hop | Tags: | Comments Off

Fleece Liner – DIY

How is it that I cloth diapered for over 6 months before hearing about fleece liners?

I use pocket diapers with microfiber stuffing which is just great, but my super soaker boy was always damp.  I was pretty much going to throw in the towel on cloth diapering due my extreme frustration.   I searched for a solution and was persistent with asking questions to my friends (many are cloth diaper gurus).  Finally I decided to give fleece liners a try.  It was the last effort on my part before giving up on cloth.

Let me tell you – they have saved my cloth diaper experience!!!! Fleece liners are the perfect moisture barrier for my little ones bum.  No more wet bum!!!  NO more frustrated parents finding that yet again 20 minutes post diaper change our baby was wet.

My mother recommend I make my own but I had no clue what size, shape, or thickness of fleece I needed.  I ended up buying my first set of fleece liners since I wasn’t confident in my DIY abilities.  I totally could have made my own for WAY LESS money.  Oh well, live and learn.

The 6 liners that I bought were a good starting point, but cost over $1 each.  From these I was able to make a pattern and cut my own.  I purchased one yard of blue fleece for $2 and with it I was able to make …… LOTS of liners.  I stopped cutting once I hit 21.  If I ever need more I can probably get another 20 and maybe more! If you are doing the math that’s $0.05 per liner!

DIY method:

  • Fold your fleece material length wise
  • With the material folded cut your first liner 12″ long by 5″ wide
  • Continue the length cut across the fold and ta-da THREE liners cut
  • No need to sew the edges fleece does not unravel

Check out the images below for a visual guide.

length

Picture 1 of 4

 

So if you are considering giving up on cloth, give fleece liners a whirl first!

Do you use fleece liners with every diaper?  Any other DIY cloth diaper projects I should try?

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