Sunday, February 22, 2015

What you ACTUALLY need for a baby and what you don't

There is so much marketing aimed at new mothers these days. Makes you think how new parents (and babies) survived all those years with out the latest swing or gadget. Eight years ago I had twins and thought I needed every baby gadget on the market. Since then my husband and I have had 12 foster children, most of which were babies. When our princess made her appearance, I bought very little. You start to realize that all that stuff just clutters your house.

What you really do NEED

1. A crib. One of two things I would buy new.

2. A car seat. The other thing to buy new. Research which has the best safety rating, I was surprised. Also, buy neutral.

3. Baby clothing. Many people will buy you the tiny stuff, so buy a little bigger.

4. Diapers. When I was home on maternity leave, I used cloth diapers. I still have a huge stash for when life is not so busy. It is remarkably easy to cloth diaper a breast fed baby. Find some one who can teach you!!! I found Mulberry Street Diaper Company in Lancaster. They are wonderful and offer a cloth diapering class.

What you really DON'T NEED

1. Baby towels. Regular towels work just fine and last longer. Although regular towels won't make a cape for your 2 year old!

2. Baby bath tub. This is nice, but not at all needed. After your baby outgrows it, the bathtub takes up tons of space.

3. A bedding set. These are so expensive and the bumper is not recommended anymore. I bought the sheets and made the blanket and dust ruffle. But, you really don't need a dust ruffle.

4. Baby blankets. Ok you need these, but you will receive so many as gifts.

5. Brand new things. The crib and the car seat should probably be new, but for everything else buy used. Try hand me downs, garage sales, craigslist and consignment sales like Just Between Friends.

Things that are nice to have

1. Swing. All my babies like the swing.

2. Car seat and stroller combo. It is nice to not have to wake a sleeping baby to get them out of the car seat.

3. Changing table. When the boys where born, my dad made a changing table. With the princess, I just use a dresser.

4. Bouncer/Walker. They keep a baby entertained and out of trouble, but they are not required.

5. A rocking chair.  This is especially nice when having contractions.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Review of Milkin Cookies


Review of Milkin Cookies

At about 8 months my princess was way into baby food and nursed less. When I was away from her I pumped less, but when she was away from me she did not eat less. This created a problem.

At this point I am sick and tired of oatmeal and decided to try Milkin Cookies. I was hoping they would work as well as Milky worked, but at a lower cost.

I ordered the chocolate chip.At $22, they were less expensive. The cookies arrived quickly. I was surprised to realize that they were 210 calories. Compared to Milky which was 5 calories, this was tons more. Milkin cookies are made from real food ingredients, so the calories were somewhat expected.

The cookies are not overly sweet and tasted really good. They were packaged individually to keep them fresh. It was super easy to pack in my lunch for work.

They say most moms have results when eating one cookie a day. Unfortunately, I did not notice a boost in supply. I considered eating two cookies a day to see if that helped, but decided against the calories. I look forward to trying the other flavor, cranberry almond. Maybe I will have better results with those.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, February 15, 2015

My Birth Story

February on this blog is all about babies. I have two jobs and I don't drink the water at one. The reason is because they are all pregnant.  The girls said that they want to know lots of birth stories. I only have two, here is the most recent.

As many of you know, I had twins eight years ago. I had a difficult pregnancy and was on house arrest (also know as bed rest) from 16 weeks. They ended up being delivered at 36 weeks via c section and only one baby needed oxygen for a short time. I only made enough milk for one baby, so I had to supplement early. After getting a bottle at 3 days old, they only wanted a bottle.  That started a cycle of pumping and feeding. It took all of my time and I only lasted a month.  I had set a goal to breastfeed for 6 months, so I was disappointed in my self.

After the shock of being pregnant again wore off, I started to plan. I wanted to VBAC, go into labor naturally, and breastfeed like a champ. Pretty most nothing happened as I planned, it never does.  I took the time very early in my pregnancy I did tons of research to find a doctor/midwife group. I wanted a practice that would not immediately label me high risk.  I wanted a group that would let my body do what it is supposed to do as long as possible.  I wanted to VBAC and although Pitocin scared me I was willing to try it before a c section. The plan was to deliver without pain medication.

I had Braxton hick contractions all through my pregnancy and quit working about 37 weeks thinking I would deliver early again.  I lasted until 41 weeks. Then I called and begged to be induced. I had been scheduled the day before was 42 weeks, but they let me come in a little early.  We went to the hospital and checked in at 5pm. My Pitocin was started by 7pm. Then nothing happened. I walked and walked and walked. 

At Midnight, they gave me Benadryl to help me sleep.  A few hours later real labor started. The midwife was right when she said, "you will know the difference."  The pain was totally manageable with the birthing ball. But, try balancing on a ball after taking Benadryl. Princess started to have problems with her heart rate so we had to back off the Pitocin. At a six centimeters, I was exhausted, back in bed and requested an epidural.

Then I finally napped. My husband had given up hours before and had napped off and on. We decided we needed to watch princess closer and decided to place a scalp electrode.  The process broke my water. Then I went back to sleep. At about 6pm, they woke us up.  Princess had an irregular heartbeat (again) and we decided to go to the OR. She was 9 pounds 4 ounces and we knew why she did not come naturally.

In the end, labor did not happen exactly as I had hoped. But I had caregivers I trusted and together we had a great outcome.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Diaper Rash Cure

Diaper Rash Cure

- Because most diaper rashes are fungal, they are difficult to get rid off. My favorite way is to give them a good bath, let them air dry without a diaper and change them frequently. But when that does not work this will. First apply the Lotramin then apply a thick layer of butt paste. They Lotramin treats the rash and the butt paste is a protectant and keeps it in place. Repeat twice daily for several days.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Princess Custom Nursery

There are so many cute things out there for babies that are so cute. With Etsy, you can get them just the way you want them. But these custom items come at a price. Even if you buy them from any store, they are still so expensive. When we prepared for the arrival of our princess, I decided to custom make many of the pieces. I used pinterest to find easy tutorials.

The Blanket

The blanket was easy.  Buy I yard of minky (the soft stuff with the bumps) fabric, 1 1/2 of flannel and satin ribbon binding. I cut the flannel to fit the minky. Then I used this sew dang cute blog for a tutorial for the binding. It was easy and quick. See the crib above.

The Dust Ruffle

I wanted to make the dust ruffle because I could not find any that I really liked for sale individually. The recommendation is that you no long use the bumper, so I did not spend the money on a set. This was probably the most difficult, but it turned out great. I used Runs with Spatulas for this tutorial. See photo of crib above.  I think it turned out, but I would have matched the ribbon on the blanket to the ribbon on the dust ruffle.

The Name Above The Crib

This turned out to be my favorite craft.  Turns out painting is really relaxing. I bought these letters at Babys R Us, but they did not hold the paint well. These wooden letters are less expensive and should hold paint better.  As you might have guessed our theme is giraffe. I started by painting a tan background. Then drew in random spots with a pencil. I then painted the spots brown. I used this kind of paint, just regular craft paint.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

6 Money Saving Ideas

How are your New Years Resolutions going?

I have been posting money saving ideas in January to help you with those resolutions.
Here is a recap:

Food is one of the biggest expenses for a family, but very flexible. Here are some ideas to feed your family on a budget.

$5 Dinner Cabbage Soup

What I buy at Aldi

Homemade Seasoning Mixes

$3 Party Tray

Ground Beef Casserole

I also make room in my budget by making my own laundry soap. It lasts about 9 months and is great time saver as well.

Homemade Laundry Soap