Labor & Delivery

5 Amazing Items for your Hospital Bag to Make the Stay Comfortable.

If you are a first time mom then you are going to experience so many firsts, and it’s such a huge part of your life I can almost guarantee one thing will skip your mind, the hospital stay itself.

If you are a bit more seasoned momma then you know that the hospital stay has some discomforts that are more than actually bringing your baby into the world.

Body Pillow

You probably have heard that it is nice to have a comfy pillow from home, but it’s more than a homesick comfort item.

I dreaded the hospital bed. The one in delivery was horrible and made my bum fall asleep and if you had an epidural (I still felt this annoying pain) or if your water broke, and you’re not moving around as much, then you doing whatever you can to get some relief for your tail bone.

I would place the body pillow behind me folded up and sit on the 2 or 3 hospital pillows. This honestly made the stay so much more comfortable each time, bonus is that it gives your arm a nice prop when feeding baby.

Water Bottle

Most hospitals will give you a cup with a straw and its a nice size and all, but having one that doesn’t have the “hospital smell” is even better.

Not only that (and maybe I’m just weird) but trying to navigate a straw to drink in between pokes, prods, and some times pushing was adding an annoyance that could have been avoided.

Easy solution is go with what you know. If you work out or just drink water on a regular basis then use what you would in the same situation. I mean this is one of the biggest “work outs” of your life (see what I did there?).

Small Fan

This is one that I don’t see on most lists but it is my swear by.

After you have your baby, no matter how you had them, you have a large fluid shift and when you have that fluid shift it has to go somewhere…

You will be using the bathroom a lot, and you will sweat even more.

A personal fan like the one you would put on a work desk helped with this wonders, yes they keep the hospital on the cooler end but it still only helped so much…also a breeze is well welcomed when you can see out side but can’t be outside just yet.

Phone Charger

I know this one seems like something you wouldn’t forget but I have and my hubby has all of the brand new baby photos that I wish I had right away. Not only that but labor doesn’t always go to plan and let’s face it phone are everything. Pictures, entertainment while waiting for an induction to get things rolling, music to play while you are rolling on a ball and so much more. You’ll want your phone, so buy and pack up the extra charger.

Granny Panties

Need I really explain this one? Nothing tight but they feel better than fishnet undies and hold the mega pads in place a bit better.

Mom to Mom

Natural Help for a child with ADHD

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) can drive even the most patient parent up a wall, but it doesn’t have to.

My 7-year-old has taught me the beauty of deep breathing and counting to 10 on more than one occasion and in retrospect, I wouldn’t have him any other way. When he was younger his doctor told me about a range of medications to help him and I decided I would consider medication later down the line. I would like to put in here quickly that I have no problem with medications if you or your child needs them, you have to make the best choice for your family and I fully support. I also have ADHD and was treated at different times with Concerta and Adderall, both causing me to do better in school but came with side effects that I don’t want him to experience if he doesn’t have to.

Sports

A large thing that has helped my son is playing a highly active sport such as soccer this has been altered these days due to social distancing but a game of tag with his siblings seems to work just as well. There are countless other benefits of sports a large one being the release of cortisol ( the stress hormone that can only be released via tears or sweat) on a day that may be on the stressful side for him.

High Energy Pet

You may have read my Best Dogs for Kids post and saw that I own a wonderful husky, while the breed didn’t make that particular list… They are GREAT pets for someone who is high energy because they can keep up and some time out- do their loved ones. We also have a Savannah kitten who can play for hours and keeps my son entertained. (because he is cute so darn cute) 

Keeping a Routine

One trick that I have noticed works for not only my son but for myself and other people I have spoken to that have ADHD is that a routine is optimal. Knowing what to expect and when just kind of makes transitioning from one task to the next easier to manage and keeping it at certain times only boosts it. A routine helps us kind of go into an “auto-pilot” on some tasks that we would usually get distracted from.

Use Colors

Here’s something else that I used once I hit my teens and use with my son to help him with memory in school. Associate learning materials with colors or do equations in bright colors, it seems like it would be more of a distraction but it helps focus on the material in front of you by keeping it more entertaining.

Examples of this are that I personally will do my drafts and highlight different portions in different colors. For my son we do math problems in his favorite colors.

Those are the tricks that I use to help curb my ADHD as well as for my son, of course always talk with your doctor and come up with a plan that works for you and your family.

Cheers

Mom to Mom

Kids Summer Activities During Covid

“I want to get my kids off the video games for a bit and with the corona numbers rising again I feel limited. What are some summer activities you suggest that can be done mostly at home?”

Summer is definitely different this year, but that just gives us a bit more reasons to get creative.

You never indicated the ages of your children and that can make or break ideas, I mean you’d have to be doing some interesting stuff to get a teenager off of Fortnite. As a matter of fact my sister and her boyfriend took their kids shooting and taught them gun safety ( I’m not suggesting that but their kids were outside).

Puffy Paint

For my younger children I like to break out the puffy paint.

It’s so easy to put together just add some food coloring to shaving cream for shades that can be just a tint, pastel, or vibrant. I also give my children paper and paint brush ( we all just wind up using our fingers).

This does engage the youngest kids the most but my 7 & 8 year old sons have played with the paint as well ( mostly throwing it at each other but again it got them outside)

Be sure that it is a mild or hypo-allergenic shaving cream and keep a close eye on little ones so that don’t try and eat it or possibly get it in their eyes.

Home Made Ice Cream

You Scream..I Scream…We All Scream (from the news broadcasts) FOR ICE CREAM!

There are so many different ways you can make homemade Ice cream. With my teenager a cold plate seems the most ideal and we have as much fun doing the set up as we do making the ice cream.

For the cold plate you can get an electric one that looks like a hot plate or griddle but larger or you can do what we do and make one yourself!

The setup for the DIY cold plate is

  • 2 Towels
  • 1 Large baking pan ( large sheet cake pan)
  • 5 lbs Dry Ice*
  • Vodka* (This isn’t going into the Ice Cream)
  • Cast Iron Skillet or a Cookie Sheet

*The Dry Ice and Vodka combo is optimal however if need be you can sub it for Ice and Salt.

Place the first towel on your table to help protect your table for any potential frost damage. Then you will want to place the cake pan on top of the towel and place your dry ice inside of it. At this time you will want to place your second towel over the dry ice (and tuck it underneath like your putting a fitted sheet on it but with a towel) wet the towel that is covering the dry ice with the vodka to make it extra cold.

*If you are using regular Ice then fill the baking pan with the ice and add the salt then cover with the second towel if you wish.

At this point you want to place your cast iron skillet or cookie sheet atop the baking sheet filled with dry ice and there you have your DIY cold plate.

Now all you need to do is place some heavy cream and condensed milk mixed at a 1:1 ratio onto your cold plate and add your favorite ingredients (mine is strawberries and dark chocolate bits) and use two spatulas to mix everything in as it freezes.

Lastly Enjoy!

Water Fight

This has pretty much been our staple this year.

Get some water balloons, squirt guns, maybe a small pool and just have at it. You’ll stay cool and there will be many laughs from the kids. If you start to lose then grab the garden hose and get to spraying.

Play with Fire

Fireworks are just not happening this year, but depending on your state (check your local laws) and common sense (don’t be the family that shoots roman candles into a tree) you could still have fun with some and put on a fairly impressive (Even if its just making patterns and writing your name with sparklers). Grab some sparklers, roman candles, bottle rockets and fire crackers and give the kids an at home show.

If fireworks aren’t your thing then maybe a fire pit. You could do the traditional hot dogs then make yummy s’mores or tell stories (my favorite are the “back in my day ones”).

There are so many more things you can do.

  • Craft Day
  • Different forms of art
  • Fun Exercises (My kids can’t get enough of hoping on the trampoline)
  • Cooking new foods (We learned how to make Onigiri and I see it becoming a staple dinner)

Hopefully some of these ideas are helpful and hopefully you and yours stay safe, happy, and healthy.

Cheers!

Holiday

A Post for the Daddies

I don’t know why but Fathers Day has always been a big deal for me, and I’m not even the dad.

When I was little it was great getting up and making my dad breakfast in bed and then spending the day watching “The Terminator” and then “Lord of the Rings” when that came out (we love Master Baggins). To be followed by helping my mom make what ever he chose for dinner. Another plus was that we would have cake and ice cream (his birthday is June 19th so it was fathers day B-day combo. NICE). I still love cooking my dad a birthday/ fathers day dinner to this day.

Now I get to do the same for my husband! Except now of course I’m the mom and have the kiddos helping me and we’re playing video games instead of movies (Mario Racing rocks!) There is something about seeing my kids light up and wanting everything just right like I did as a kid.

Whether it’s a yummy meal, a special outing, gifts, or time well spent together it’s great memories made that will last a life time.

Thank you to the great Dads out there.

Happy Fathers Day!

Mom to Mom

Mom 2 Mom Series

This month I am launching my Mom to Mom series which is taking questions asked by moms and answered by either myself or mom that have the experience to answer the questions submitted.

I would like to add that this will be more like girlfriends talking together over a glass of wine (or tequila if that’s your thing). Whatever may be written is nothing more than personal experiences and outcome and in no way replicate or replace someone such as a counselor. Here’s to moms helping moms.

Cheers!

Review

“Konny” ready wrap Baby Carrier.

In the midst of having my last baby I had learned about “baby wearing”.

Baby wearing is more or less the practice of constantly having your baby doing skin to skin or “wearing” them with a bay carrier for the first three months after delivery to kind of help baby adjust to the outside world (I’m almost 30 and still not adjusted but hey if those extra 3 months attached to me or my hubby helps them feel more comfy just means all the more cuddles).

So this brings us to the quest of which carrier is best for the baby? Which is best for me? Which can withstand longer periods of time? And in my case, due to bubs being born in March, which one will do well and not overheat my lil guy in the warmer months?

I had narrowed down ultimately two carriers and the first one was the “Konny Summer” (we’ll get to the second in another post)

After a few hours (days) of research I had found my first baby carrier to try my baby wearing experience.

The Ready To Wear Wrap

To my current knowledge there are a TON of baby wraps that are a solid very long article of fabric that you can wrap and morph into a saftey caccoon for you and your baby.

This scares the shit out of me.

I had one with an older child of mine and I could never wrap it quite right with out help and the whole time I used it I felt afraid she was slipping out. So naturally when I saw the ready to wear wrap I was over the moon, because it honestly was quite easy to use.

The wrap I had bought was the “Konny Summer” and it is as easy to put on as a tee shirt (in fact that might be one of their selling points, but im not here to sell, just to give my humble opinion). Another thing that I liked about it was the fact it definitely ran cool due to the construction of a large mesh. Lastly I love that I can transition to toddler mode if need be due to the fabric being able to hold up to 20 Kg or 44 lbs. So high point of this baby product was the fact that it would keep bubs cool, for a few years at that, along with being as hassle free as you can be.

With that said the carrier did have a few down sides which did ultimately have me get a second carrier.

The first issue I had is that you order this product to size, there is a saftey strap/ tie around band but THAT IS THE ONLY ADJUSTMENT. This is very well is a Me problem, the product is made in Korea and while that itself is not an issue (c’mon I’m a mutt married to a Lao- Brit I’m the last person to be judgy on where someone is from) I am not from a country that has the same thin giving eating habits, not to mention that my chest likes to play an interesting size change game the duration of breast feeding so I can go between a Large and an XXL easily with my chest alone. So some days I felt like I was sqeezing bubs to much (he slept the whole time so I guess he didn’t mind) while other times I felt like he could slide out. This is what led me to letting my hubs use this wrap and me switching to a different carrier for myself.

Secondly is a slight design issue that could be my personal paranoia, the wrap has a cross or “X” that goes across baby’s back, while I don’t see how else this could be made better ( I’m a writer not engineer) I felt it was easy for my son to throw himself backward and the security band not being tight enough (the material is a smooth and slick feeling polyester and spandex combo that feels like a 90’s sports jersey) to stop him from tumbling outward.

In essence it’s a nice product that I would enjoy if my body was a bit smaller and predictable and if there was maybe a more wrap design that had one one permanent layer over the “X” shape. If traditional wraps are a pain and traditional carriers are cumbersome, then with keeping safety in mind at all times, this could be a great baby wrap for you.

Cheers.

Uncategorized

Potty Training 101

Watching your child grow is full of bitter sweetness. There are moments that you will miss along with moments that you might not miss so much. Big example of one you may not miss so much is blow out diapers (in all their stinky glory). Potty training is a monumental milestone and once achieved one that gives your nose along with your wallet a well-deserved break, that is at least until those teenage years.

“How will I know when my toddler is ready for potty training?”

Well a few hints to know when the right time is including:

  • Your child being able to walk efficiently (seems to be a no-brainer but we’ll get to why I say that in a moment).
  • Having the ability to hold their urine for at least two hours.
  • Have solid bowel movements consistently.
  • Has the ability to pull his/her pants up and down on their own.
  • Possesses the ability to sit undistracted for a few moments.
  • Have the ability to express that they need to use the restroom prior to doing so.

While ever single child is unique and will learn at their own pace there are a couple of key points to keep in mind such as the gender of your child. Typically boys will learn how to use the potty quicker than girls, but girls seem to show a need for independence earlier than boys and will learn at a younger age. Also boys seem to become distracted easier than girls (in my experience my sons rather play in the sink than actually sit on the potty)

One thing that does stay relatively the same is how to go about getting your little miss or sir to use a potty. The first thing I learned was to go for a simple toilet. With my oldest child I bought an expensive potty chair that would sing and play music whenever it sensed “she went potty” this turned into sheer horror and she refused to get near ANY and ALL potty chairs for months. Ultimately with her I had gotten one of those seats that you can place onto a normal adult toilet but this led to me having to go into the bathroom every time she had to go and then making the choice of carting a mini toilet seat every where or taking the chance that she may not sit on “the big potty” and take steps backward in our training journey.

The next tip I have is a very simple one and one we use everyday as parents, a ton of praise when he or she does go to the bathroom in the right area. It’s beyond simple but if five babies have taught me anything it’s that a little praise goes a very long way.

This brings me to my third tip (That I’ve only had to use once), just let baby go around in the buff. I kid you not my second child became potty trained because he had no diaper on and peed a little on himself and disliked that so much that from that day on he used his potty chair ( I wish they were all that easy).

There is way more tricks and tips you can find but I have found those to be my top ones.

Good luck to all mommies going through this milestone and may the porcelain gods be with you.

Cheers

Nursing

Back to work bottles for the Breastfeeding Mamma (pt.2)

Ok mumzies bottle number 2 on my list is none other than Dr.Browns. Now after boasting about the nipple on the Lansinoh it feels awkward to say Dr.Browns but hear me out. The nipple is more standard but they have different flow rates that are interchangeable. The reason that I love this so much is that the Newbie has to work a bit harder to get the milk out on the “preemie flow” which mimics the flow of breast milk, this helps prevent baby from wanting the bottle more because he can get a full feeding out in 5 minutes as opposed to like 7 or 10.

Another perk to the Dr. Browns is the system to vent its air so that baby won’t be colicky or have gas. The extra part is a bit annoying to clean however there is a small pipe cleaner brush that is included in most bottle sets that makes this easy to get into the nooks of the piece, along with getting into the deepest parts of the bottle nipple.

I truly wish there was a way to get the best of both worlds with the flow rate of this bottle and the nipple shape of the previously mentioned one, but I suppose that is in a perfect world.

Cheers

Nursing

Back to Work Bottles for the Breastfeeding Mamma (Pt 1.)

I’ve done it time and time again but going back to work sucks. I had all this time with my little monsters seeing them day in and day out, not to mention having the Newbies skin to skin cuddles and (of course or else this post wouldn’t exist) being able to breastfeed on demand. It’s a special bonding moment that really doesn’t feel like it can be replaced, and after a difficult road of a crappy latch for his first 4 weeks (swear my nipples looked like they had the same crater look to them at the moon) I am not ready to give that up.

After who knows how many hours looking at bottles and reviews and “what to look for in a bottle” This is one I had finally decided on.

The first bottle being the “Lansinoh Momma” bottle which boasts to have a nipple for the most natural latch. This was an instant try it out in my book, I said before Newbie had a horrible latch and I didn’t want anything to change it now that we got it down well. The company is also a breast pump manufacturing company so I figured they would know a thing or two. The nipple is very flexible and has a good shape also it is a more gentle slope than most standard bottle so my son didn’t seem to have much of a problem getting used to the feel of this bottle. There is also a hole on the top of the nipple for ventilation to avoid colic (which I mean we all have to appreciate right?)

The only real con I am finding with this particular bottle is that I do wish there was a slower nipple flow. The flow is a bit slower than a standard bottle but the issue at hand is that he might get lazy on me and decide to prefer the bottle and getting his food quicker than working for it from me. Here’s to keeping the breastfeeding relationship alive for a bit longer at least.

Cheers

If you had to go between bottle and breast definitely leave a comment below

Uncategorized

Something Beautiful during a challenging time.

In the midst of dealing with social distancing, being isolated from family that I would see at least once a week, trying to figure out what the hell is up with this “new- not so new math” and what is going on with the “do not enter” stickers on the store floors… I had my last baby.

Yep had a baby just like so many other strong woman that I know are doing the same during this scary time. I feel for these women because even though I did the same thing there are women who are having their first child and can’t have their mom’s there or even in some areas are forced to give birth alone. no spouse. no support person (except a nurse). Just them and the doctors trying to do something they’ve never done before.

And that experience and view of strength led me to here.

Seeing other women endure sharing the memory of one of the happiest and scariest moments of their lives with the constrictions of a monster like virus, showed me to work through my fears of wanting to write a blog and hopefully help women in all stages of motherhood feel less alone during these times and feel a part of a village in happier times.

Here’s to being a mommy, mom, mother, mum, mama or mumzie in all fashions.

cheers.