Monday, December 4, 2017

How to Survive the First Few Weeks of Breastfeeding

I am about to begin week 3 of breastfeeding my newborn. I was very worried about breastfeeding this time around (baby #2) because I struggled with my older son and began supplementing at 3 days old and was never able to breastfeed exclusively until he didn’t want to nurse any longer. This time around I was a little more prepared when I went to the hospital and though I had to supplement a few feedings it didn’t prevent me from nursing exclusively when my milk came in.  Here are my tips for making it through those first 2 weeks.

1.     Drink loads of water in the hospital and when you get it home. I didn’t do this before and saw a major difference in my milk when I did.
2.     If you must supplement, be sure to do it while nursing through a supplemental nurser, it’s basically a syringe that you place in the baby’s mouth while he/she is nursing to get in some formula along with the colostrum. I needed to do this as my son needed to void (pee) before he could get his circumcision as they needed to make sure he wasn’t having any problems before they performed the procedure.
3.     Mother’s Milk tea is your friend. I didn’t discover it before until a friend showed it to me when my son was 6 weeks old, by then I was really struggling to keep up with feedings.
4.     Rent a hospital grade pump or use one in the hospital at least. This really helped with the milk coming in for me as well. Plus, I could capture some milk and stick it in my baby’s mouth to know for sure he was getting the colostrum.
5.     Feed baby every 2 hours, this really stimulates the breast and even if he isn’t eating, having him on or near the breasts stimulates production, too.

I am so happy to be nursing exclusively and will send an updated post at 6 weeks to see where I am and talk about my babies sleep pattern, which right now is still at every 1.5 to 2 hours of waking up.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Montessori Education: The Absorbent Mind book review

I have a 4 year old and have been a Montessori mom for exactly a year and 2 months. My child attends a public school Montessori program, so I am extremely fortunate. The school has been great about inviting parents to events to learn about Montessori education and even offers free books for us to learn more. I have recently begun reading "The Absorbent Mind" by Maria Montessori and it has been extremely helpful in helping me understand the concept of the "guide" in the Montessori classroom. I would suggest this book to anyone thinking of sending their child to a Montessori program. The book begins with birth and talks about the education of the child into adulthood. The primary theme is that the child's brain is learning from the day he/she leaves the womb and it's up to us as parents to foster that....this was a breakthrough concept in the early 19th century and still relevant today as a lot of times we think we need to save money for our kids education when they are older, but Montessori challenges that by saying invest today. The investment can be a time commitment as well as just paying attention to the child's needs and interests. These interests can be in everyday life like picking of up language and speech or cooking or math equations. I haven't finished the book, but already Montessori has convinced me that my child needs an extra language course, so he currently attends Language Stars, a fun class that teaches many different languages to young children. My son loves and looks forward to this class on Saturday mornings, and so do I. He's learning a new language without even realizing it and working on his social skills outside of his everyday classroom. In the spring, the program will focus on gardening other outdoor life skills.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Toddler Birthday Party: Spider man bounce house theme

So, this year, my little one is getting close to the end of his beloved toddler years, so I thought, we’d bring in year 4 with a fun mix of his favorite things: music, jumping around and spider-man all in one place. Enter “Pump It Up”, Pump it up is a fun company that has indoor bouncing fun in 2 different rooms and then a fun and colorful birthday party room with cake and a visit from a special character upon request. You can even add features like a bubble machine, air hockey and a wind machine.

We really loved this year’s party theme of spider-man, too. The funny thing is the 4-year-old boys love Spider man, however, it takes a while for them to get used to him in person, so we had a few tears at first as they warmed up to him. Here are some fun photos from the party.

I would highly recommend Pump It Up as a party destination and the best part is….no clean up. The company orders a pizza from Papa John’s and drinks but they allow you to bring in a veggie tray. I have a lactose intolerance so I couldn’t eat the pizza from Papa John’s and some of the other parents opted for the veggie tray as well. We also, had a non-dairy cake this year, which made everyone’s waistline happy.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Easy Easter basket idea

So, last year was my first time creating an Easter basket for my son. He was 2 years old at the time, and not really into Easter, except when he saw the pretty baskets at the store filled with toys and treats. I decided then that I wanted to create a tradition of our own by making his basket each  year myself and filling it with fun things that I know he really enjoys, I also created a few of our own surprise eggs since he loves to open those, too.

So, I grabbed my basket from Michael's and plan to use it for a few years. I picked up inexpensive items from Target for a few weeks that I thought he'd enjoy. Walmart had the cute clear plastic wrapping paper that I used to wrap the basket and the cute bow also came from Michael's craft store.

Check out how easy the basket was and how it turned out below:

Friday, February 24, 2017

How to keep Christmas spirit all year long

So, I just starting doing just this year. My son gets so many gifts from my family for Christmas that it's embarrassing to carry it all home. I also don't want my son to be overwhelmed and then quickly underwhelmed with all the toys and other gifts. I decided to take half of the gifts and put them in a hidden place in the house and wrap and give them to him when he does something special, for example last week he received a "gift" when he entered preschool without tears for a week. Other times he will receive a gift when he goes a week with no accidents at school or when winter time blues hit and he could use a pick me up because playing outdoors isn't possible due to the cold. It's actually a lot of fun because each gift gets a lot more attention and I explain to him who wanted him to have it, etc. Let me me if you do this, too!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Toddler boy Valentine's tissue box decor

We got the lovely email asking parents to help kids decorate a tissue box this year for Valentine's day, so we went with the lego theme as this is my 3 year old's favorite toy of the moment. Check out this tissue box, made with wrapping paper, bottle caps and shiny letter stickers from Michael's craft store.