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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lyn

My oldest daughter really amazes me sometimes. She is mature and helpful. She is smart yet she doesn't have a chip on her shoulder like a lot of 13 year olds. She isn't perfect by any means. She doesn't get along with her 10 year old sister at all and she doesn't like math. But I am truly lucky she was born to me and in my life.

Lyn winning the sharp shooter award at camp

My girl can shoot. It was only with bb guns but she did the best. She had a blast at camp. She is on her way to becoming a camp counselor one day.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bottle labels



I have always been a big supporter of breastfeeding. Some moms who pump and offer breastmilk in bottles fall into a categoy that is misunderstood. Moms who feed formula in bottles wonder why they bother and breastfeeding moms see them as lacking in knowledge on how to breastfeed or wonder why they don't want to bond with their child. There are a million reasons why a mom would express milk and feed their baby. All moms need support in order to mother the best way they can. These labels make me happy so I use them. And besides aren't they cute. Zoom in and you can see the picture is of Elaina nursing.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Almost 3 weeks old


Elaina weighs in at 8 pounds 1 ounce in a diaper.... We went to her first pediatrician's visit today. We were lucky to get in a practice where an old doctor of the kids' works. She used to work for a practice where the kids went for years till we were kicked out for not vaccinating on their schedule. Apparently this doctor didn't get along with the owner of the that old practice and was asked to leave. I am glad she is available to provide any medical care Elaina may need. She is one awesome doc and I am not quick to ever say that!!! We hung out at Granny's house afterwards and I had the best nap ever at her house.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Growing

Take a look at that chubby arm.... Little girl is still having some trouble with her latch but she is not lacking any mama milk. I have plenty of extra milk from pumping. I need to find a local mom who needs some for her baby....

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Impromptu picnic

Really hot outside and I didn't want to mess up the kitchen equals a simple peanut butter, fruit, and yogurt dinner for the littles....

Finally made up Elaina's wipe solution


I have been meaning to make some diaper area cleaning solution for Elaina and Ben. I finally made it today. I kept it simple. I added a quarter of liquid goat milk bath soap 3/4s water and a quarter teaspoon of coconut oil together in a spray bottle. I have hand fulls of cloth wipes. Some of them I bought when Ben was born. Some were given to me and some are scraps of flannel I cut from some of the kids' old pajamas. We are ready to go now for all the poopy. Elaina actually is getting a bit of a rash in her diaper area. She is the first one of my kids that ever got a rash this young. I have tried using 7th Generation diapers diapers on her but I think they are not agreeing with her. I have plenty of cloth diapers so I guess she will be wearing just those for a while to see if that helps.

Elaina hanging out outside


Now, that is one cute little girl.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Babywearing

Best way to help the big little kids get in their swings? Wear that baby!!!

Granny did it again


Last year my mother made up a picture frame with all of the kids' pictures in it plus one with all of them in it. Today she stopped by and dropped off a new one with Elaina added. She also took the photo of Elaina and me that Lyn took a few days ago and framed it. Thank you so much Granny!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Auction items from Motherly Creations

I am donating some items from my Etsy shop Motherly Creations to help with an adoption fundraiser for a dear friend of mine. I was very privileged to help the Hogeland's by going to the Ukraine and help bring one of their daughters home this past winter. I was able to see if not officially meet the daughter they had to leave behind. They are in the process of bringing her home. Part of that process is fundraising for the adoption and travel expenses. The Hogelands are having some auction events. I am working on getting some more links to the events so you can bid on them if you like. This link will take you to their facebook page for fundraising and general information (6 Little Hogelands). This link will take you to their fundraising blog . So far this is what I have to offer.....

Be fruitful and multiply...


These two pieces of jewelry can be used to focus a woman's energy and thought towards a pregnancy or just fruitful endeavors. The worry bracelet is big enough to be worn but it is really meant to be handled and stroked during prayer or meditation. It is heavy and just plain feels good in your hands.... Together the opening bid starts at $25.


Take me away....
These bath and beauty items will help relax you and take the stress away. They are all homemade by me and my children in my kitchen from natural ingredients. All items are available together as a set to be bid upon. Starting bid is set at $15.....

Lavender and Sandalwood lotion

 Lavender, Calendula, and Geranium bath salts


Natural Marshmallow Root Hair spray conditioner and detangler

Homemade Natural Lavender air freshener


Happy Summer











Creating family ceremonies.....

Today is the Summer Solstice. To celebrate I took the littles out for a walk to collect Mother Earth's bounty in the way of flowers. I wanted to do more today to celebrate the renewal of Summer but I was just a bit too tired from having Elaina and having to work this morning. Danny, Connor, and Annika are at their dad's house. Lyn was out visiting friends. I placed Elaina into her sling and we found flowers in our yard and in the common area behind our home. Eliot helped place some of the flowers into a vase that reminds me of a woman's shape. It is a little hard to tell in the pictures but the vase  has a curvy look to it. One of the little egg mamas that I have around the house joined us on our flower hunt. When we got home we found our red summer candles and cleaned off the shelf I use as a seasonal altar. I have a mother figure for each season. The red open armed one for Summer is my favorite. Evan and Eliot were the best helpers. They helped dust and clean off each Mother figure and helped place the lit candles in their holders. We rearranged the Mother figures to place the Summer on in the center. It was a simple ceremony but Summer is officially welcomed into our

2 Weeks Old

Elaina spent 2 hours with Granny today so I could work a little bit. Of course Granny had to take some pictures. Elaina looks so different in this one. We tried to weigh her and it looks like she weighs a little over 8.5 pounds. I need a real baby scale to see exactly. She is definitly growing.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pumping and holding



When your baby needs to be held she needs to be held. Thanks to my hands free PumpEase band I can pump and hold Elaina on my chest in between my breasts. I just place a cloth diaper on top of the band to cover the clasps and tuck her in under my chin. If I were more well endowed with larger breasts I don't think I could pull this off. Elaina always goes straight to sleep when I hold her like this. I bet the swooshing of the pump sounds a lot like the rushing blood she heard in the womb.

I am just taking breastfeeding one day at a time. It is frustrating that professionally I help moms with the problems I am facing all the time. I have all of the answers to help them and I know how to help myself but theory and practice don't always go hand in hand. Elaina's mouth is so small and I am still sore so we are still having some latch issues. I ordered some of my favorite bottle nipples to help with latch training. I have had a lot of luck with the latex nipples made by Playtex. They are a bit hard to come by. I ordered some off of Amazon instead of running all around town looking for them. I prefer the latex because it is not as stiff as the silicon nipples. Nothing comes close to mom but these seem more natural. They just don't last as long. They are wide and help train little one to use a wider latch and suckle instead of just a lip based suck on the tip of a nipple. They go along with the drop in bottle system. I guess those bottles have a place but I think they are a bit wasteful. I will use them for a little bit till I get Elaina's latch under control

Sunday, June 17, 2012

11 days old

Today has been a little better than yesterday. I am not hurting as much and even though I really did not sleep AT ALL last night I feel better. A visit from my mother who brought a hamburger always helps.... Elaina is still eating, sleeping, and pooping like a newborn should. We are taking advantage of the bright Alabama sun to soak up some vitamin D. What better way to do that than in a sling. A friend of mine who made my regular everyday black and white ring sling that I use for everyday with Elaina and Ben also gave me a small mesh sling great for use in the shower or anywhere else you may get wet. It works great when it is hot out too. Elaina helped me put in a load of diapers and then we caught some rays....  Lyn makes a pretty good photographer.





Saturday, June 16, 2012

37 years and counting

A lot of women have their first baby when they are my age. A lot of women have babies who are more out of shape than I am and more overweight. But for me recovering from this pregnancy is hard. I know it has been less than 2 weeks but I hurt. My body is stuck in pregnancy elephant mode and get everything back where it belongs mode. And I am stuck in the middle asking to be hit over the head. Time, time, time, that is what I need. I don't remember feeling this way with my other deliveries except Annika's whose was off the chart pain wise (c-section).

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Elaina

Just a sweet picture in the sun.....

My breastfeeding journey

Some readers and followers of this blog may not realize that I maintain a separate blog about my experiences breastfeeding. Of course I mention stories and experiences here on my main family blog but I go into more detail on that blog. It is titled My Breastfeeding Journey. You can click on the link here or on the picture on the sidebar titled My Breastfeeding Journey. Follow along on my journey if you wish.....

Kisses

Sisters... ahhh!

Elaina looks so much like Eliot when she was a baby. It is a bit uncanny...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Herbal "kool-aid"


Herbal "kool-aid"??? What is that? OK, I started with red raspberry herbal tea as my base. I used this brand because it does not have any added ingredients other that a variety of herbs. It makes a very bright red colored tea. I used about 4 tea bags in 4 cups of water. I added a bag of chamomile to just round it out and help with digestion. I came across this black currant juice concentrate in the store a while back and thought it would add a richness to this mix. I added a quarter of a cup of it to an equal amount of water and added it to the tea. A little organic cane sugar was added and voila! Homemade herbal 'kool-aid" drink. It is real light and not too sweet. The kids seem to like it just fine. It tastes just like raspberries without all of the sugar of full juice or artificially flavored drinks. And the black currant juice has a good bit of calcium in it. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I am 6 days old

Elaina slept really well last night. She had her grumpy time after 10pm as usual when everyone was asleep. She was fed and I decided to swaddle her to see if that helped her calm down. It did. She woke halfway to eat once but slept till 5am. I was in shock. I am sure we will not see a repeat performance but, who knows.....

Monday, June 11, 2012

First WIC appointment for Elaina

Ben had his re-certification appointment today and Elaina had her first WIC appointment today. Ben's iron was really good. (Cooking with iron skillets makes a big difference.) Of course he is considered on the small side but I think he is perfect. He weighs 25 pounds. Little Elaina is growing well. She weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces today. That girl can eat! She has also grown an inch in length. My mom came with me for this appointment to chase Ben around. I signed up for my electric breast pump. When I reach 4 weeks of exclusive breastfeeding I am eligible to pick it up. That should be good timing for when I start back to work. I was a little worried about Elaina's weight. She was a nursing champ in the hospital but now I am SORE!! I know exactly what to do to remedy the problem but that doesn't mean I can make them work in practice immediately. She must still be getting enough to have grown so much.

What is that!?!

OK, this picture may be a bit disturbing for some. Yes, that is blood. It is blood from Elaina's spit up onto her onesie shirt and a cloth diaper used as a burp cloth. No, she is not bleeding. It is from my nipples. Elaina is having some trouble with her latch and the result is sore bleeding nipples. As a consequence she is swallowing some blood and since she is a spitter (like Eliot) we get to see the blood mixed with milk. It is not harmful for her to swallow this small amount but the whole idea is a bit disturbing..... I have to get this little one better at nursing!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

One, two, and two.....

Ben loves playing with his "ballies" as he calls them. Three was the magic number today. If one of these balls was out of sight he immediately knew it. I am not concerned so much if Ben can count to 3 or up to 10. I am more concerned if he is able to understand the concept of 3. Having one, and another one, and making the big step to MORE than another one is huge!!! Way to master 2 year old math Ben!!

Using a breastpump is not the end of the world....


Elaina has been nursing OK but no matter how hard I try to encourage a good latch I am still sore. My milk has come in really well too. So as a result I decided to pump some. I have a manual pump that was given to me at the hospital. I am hoping to receive a better one from the health department in a month. I was able to pump a little over 3 ounces from both sides. The little bit in the second bottle is what leaked out on the opposite side while I pumped. For a little inspiration I took this picture with some of my Mother figures in the background.

I have been thinking about how promoting pumping can be detrimental to the breastfeeding relationship especially with a newborn. A lot of lactation professionals really discourage pumping so early. (Elaina is only 3 days old.) They believe it just sets up a mom to end the nursing relationship. It can interfere with milk supply and set up a mom to supplement with formula. I do think that does happen with a lot of mothers but I know my body and what I need to succeed at breastfeeding. I am a member of a group on Facebook that consists of moms who pump a lot for their child or are even exclusive pumpers (those who provide all of their child's milk by way of pumping). I joined the group when I was exclusively pumping for Ben for 3 months. The women in this group are awesome. They are very supportive and without them I would have felt so alone. Now I enjoy supporting other moms in the group who are going through what I did. I thought of them as I pumped for the first time for Elaina. Instead of feeling like my body has failed me by having sore nipples I felt empowered. I am not afraid Elaina will forget how to nurse if I offered a bottle. I celebrated the fact that Elaina enjoyed my milk in a bottle and I was able to heal a little. I pumped enough to save a few ounces for a back-up feeding just in case. I like to think of myself as an attached parent but I am not set in stone by black and white AP principles. I use modern gadgets to read books, wash laundry, and yes to help support my breast feeding relationship....

All is well

Because we went home a little early the hospital wanted Elaina's billirubin levels monitored. She had  a level of 9 when we left the hospital and since it is the weekend and the pediatrician's office is not open we came into the hospital first thing this morning to have it run gain. It was down to a 4. I guess frequent feeds and warm Alabama sunshine worked their magic. I really didn't even see any signs of jaundice from Elaina. I guess the hospital was just being overly concerned.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Home


We are home and resting. I have so much to share. I will eventual share my birth story but I have to work through it first. I will say that my nurse, April, and Elaina's nurse, Misha, made this hospital experience bearable. If it were not for them I would probably be a basket case right now. I will be sharing photos on the blog for a while but my brain is a bit fried to go into a lot of detail of the past few days. I will get there.....

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My oldest daughter and my youngest...

Lyn came up with Granny to the hospital to visit with Elaina. It warmed my heart to be reminded how mature Lyn is sometimes. She has always been such a help and seeing her with Elaina made my day.....

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Baby Elaina is here

Now, when does a child ever decide to be born ON her due date? Today Elaina did.....

This is a horrible picture but it shows off her almost black hair.

She weighed in at 6 pounds 13 ounces and was 18 inches long. That is so small by my standards. My labor was OK but my actual birth I will have to work through before I post about it.

More photos and tidbits to come after I sleep and make it home.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Yes, more cloth diapers....

I am always on the look out for a good deal on cloth diapers especially covers. Etsy is one of my favorite places to look for unique diapers and good prices. Besides, by buying from individuals I get to help out small business owners and stay at home moms trying to make a living. My newest diapers and covers come from a shop named Counting the Blessings. The colors are vibrant and the fit of the diapers are trim. If you have a very chunky toddler you may want to request a slightly larger size but they are designed as a one size fits all with adjustable snaps or closures. My babies are on the smaller size so these work great for us. I would love to have some more pocket diapers from this store but since I have so many prefolds and they work fine for us I just can't justify buying more pocket diapers so covers it is....