Monday, April 14, 2014

Two Months

And then she was two months old. Cause, holy crap, when did that happen?

We have been having a pretty hard time. Callie has been having a hard time gaining weight, so we have been going to doctor's appointments about twice a week. We have done everything from lactation appointments to LLL meetings, to allergy tests, to all day nurse-a-thons. She seems to be doing better now, as we have gained over a pound in the last two weeks. FINALLY. But, here she is, in all her finally above birth weight glory.

One of my better ideas...

Hey Guys!

Long time, no see... I thank you guys for being so patient with us while we adjust to life with a newborn. We do have a story, but that's for another time.

Today we are going to discuss one of my better ideas. One of my goals for 2014 was to be better about grocery shopping and meal planning. We spend a disgusting amount on take out. I admit that it is my biggest weakness, I am COMPLETELY addicted to take out. The ease and all those yummy-ummy chemicals just make me oh so happy.

BUT, given the fact that I've been off work for eight weeks, the maternity leave account is weaning off and we are making every penny stretch all that much further.

May I present: Broke Ass Meal Planning.

There are a million different ways to meal plan- they all piss me off. Why? I hate going to ten different places in my kitchen for the same thing. I also tend to grocery shop when the mood strikes me, then I forget what I bought, and then we get take out.

Oh, and weird thing of mine, I hate sunday-saturday calendars. Who grocery shops on Sunday? Not me, that means my meal plans are off several days.

So, in a random trip through World Market with my mom, I found these days of the week pins (not avail. online) and I thought they would be perfect for some meal planning.

I bought some magnets with adhesive on the back and combined the two. BAM. Magnetic meal planning.

Then, to make things even easier, I bought color coded note cards- each of them I've categorized into beef, pork, veggie, chicken, etc.

I'm in the process of putting all of our recipe cards onto these color coded, AND I'm taking it a step farther and I'm including the grocery list and possible side dishes. This means, when I open up the grocery flier and see chicken is on sale, I pull out all my chicken cards, decide what's for dinner, add them to my grocery list, then I add them to my pins!


Menu Planned.

Be impressed.

I like that I can move the days to where we actually have shopped on and we can add the "date night" right onto the menu.

Oh, and when I change my mind on something I can just move it to a different day.

How do you guys meal plan?

Monday, March 17, 2014

DIY Receiving Blankets

One thing that amazes me about this tiny human is how many things need to be washed from being attacked by bodily fluids. Add delicate skin on top of it and it's hard to keep everyone clean and comfy.

We were given these adorable flannel receiving blankets  at one of our showers, and we use them to death. The pack has 5 blankets in it, and we probably go through 2-3 a day.

When I went to purchase more for convenience- I realized that they were about $18 with shipping for the 5 pieces of flannel.

Don't get me wrong- they are adorable, but they're literally just surged pieces of flannel. They aren't backed, they aren't thick and they're not even a yard of fabric.

Not to mention that makes them about $3.50+ a blanket.

$3.50 for a piece of flannel that my kid is just going to barf the contents of my boob all over? No thanks.

So I did what any rational new mom would. The first day it went over freezing, we ventured to the fabric store! (go-go-gadget moby wrap!)

It just so happened that the flannel was on sale for $2 a yard- and to mimic the ones off of Amazon, I only needed 2/3 of a yard each.

I might have gone a little crazy.

What? Totally rational to babywear and dance through the flannel aisle throwing everything that makes one happy into the cart.

So, in that totally rational "oh my god is that the sun"/first time I'd been out on my own with the baby state, I ended up with 15 cuts of 2/3 yard of flannel.

Once we got home, I prewashed all of my fabric- flannel is notorious for shrinking and fraying.

Once everyone was washed, I took out my rotary cutter to square all the edges. I find this is just faster, if you don't have a rotary cutter, you can just cut regularly. I also cut each piece of fabric in half.

My mom used a similar technique making cloth wipes for us, but she has a serger. Sadly for us, she didn't forget to leave that at my house (unlike about 5 shirts and a bunch of random ends of yarn...) so I had to improvise.

I also took the time to cut all of them out during one nap so I could quickly sew one or two at a time instead of having to start over every time.

I could have finished the seams like a normal person, but again, my kid is just spitting on these. Ain't nobody got time for double hems on that bullshit. As my mom would say, "These don't have to be guest room beautiful"

So I set my sewing machine to a zig-zag stitch, at a 5 width and a 1.5 length for a wide but short running stitch. I folded the edge once as I was running it through the machine (ain't nobody got time for pinning with a napping newborn either...) I finished all four edges like this, and voila- instant burp cloth.

Out of the stash I bought, I was able to make 30 cloths for about $26 after my coupons. This made my receiving blankets about $0.87 instead of over $3.50

I also think that the snuggle flannel at Jo-Anns is a better quality and will hold up better. Not to mention that true to the name, they are hella snuggly.

Also, if you need another hit of cute- it's a certain dog's birthday today. Which is, of course, why we named his Seamus.

I hope you all have a safe and happy St. Patrick's day!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

One Month

Somehow, a month has gone by. And my beautiful, squishy baby has morphed into a beautiful, not so squishy baby.

The rate she is changing is blowing my mind. She is such a joy, and I am loving every single second of this journey.

Love you my little Wookie Monster.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The One Thing

Hi Everybody!

Somehow, and excuse me while I cry in the corner, tomorrow night, my baby will be a month old. The same baby who it seems like only yesterday I was staring at her wondering how the hell I made a human. This month has been a roller coaster and I've really been enjoying my time off- in fact, this is one of the first times I have touched a computer this month.

This is not to say that we didn't have our challenges this past month- the biggest of them being feeding the baby.

I birthed a beautiful 8 pound baby that dropped to 7 pounds in two days. She wouldn't latch on and even when I thought she was, she wouldn't eat- she would just fall back asleep.

I was lucky that my hospital is equipped with really awesome lactation consultants that spent literally hours with Callie and myself trying to figure it out, and they kept tell me, "she is so close! Once your milk comes in this should be a sinch!"

We were sent home with a sick abyss of formula and told that we had to supplement to try and get her weight back up while we played the waiting game with my milk.

Yeah, except the three kinds of formula our pediatrician gave us resulted in us having one gassy, stinky, unhappy newborn who was getting used to nipples that were too easy, and it wasn't helping her laziness.

Then, the milk came.

And oh my freak, did it come with a vengeance. Like, wake up covered in milk, soak through pads and shirts, totally not understanding what's happening, kind of milk. So I did what anyone with rock hard boobs of deliciousness would do, I turned myself into a cow, sat down with a pump for hours a day just to make myself feel relatively comfortable again. (With a freezer getting over 100 oz of milk one weekend not including what the baby ate)

Yeah, does anyone agree with me that pumping is horrible? I understand it's a necessity, but it was very hard for me emotionally to sit there attached to a machine while Nate got to feed the baby. It almost felt like I did all this hard work, and I didn't even get the perk of breastfeeding that everyone pushes on you.

Can we just talk about how much I hate "Breast is Best!"

Yes, I'm aware that breast milk has it's benefits, but it's not fucking fair for everyone to treat you like you're sucking at life because your baby won't eat and you're spending hours cleaning bottles, storing milk and setting up stations around the house for you to be able to take care of business.

Not to mention, they didn't want Callie getting nipple confusion, so I was pumping into the medela bottles, then sucking the milk up with syringes and feeding her several ounces at a time like a little bird. By the time we were done feeding her, it was time for me to attach myself to the machine again.

This is why I was so, so, so, so happy to have the Kiinde System. And no, this is not a sponsored post- I just legitimately want to scream from the rooftops how great this system is.

Yes, I was still attached to a pump- but I was pumping directly into the bags which turn into the bottles. I had the security of knowing that there was no way my milk would be ruined or messed with someone else watching the baby.

It was a relief to know that the nipples were more challenging and made Callie have to work for her milk, and the longer nipples helped with her deep set pallet.

I loved not having to do a million dishes, and be able to actually spend time with my baby instead of sitting there attached to a machine or the kitchen sink watching someone else snuggle my fresh baby.

I really recommend anyone that pumps to give this system a try. Why am I such a fan? Because after 2.5 weeks of feeding her with the kiinde system, she gained weight fast and miraculously one day she just....suddenly understood how to breastfeed. I don't know if it's silly, but I completely credit the Kiinde system.

Not to mention, a happy boob coma'd baby is a wonderful baby.

I hope you guys all take a second to check it out, and then immediately buy a gift set for anyone you know that is going to be having a baby. I know for certain it is the only reason I stayed mentally intact for our first month because of it.

pssst: if you need a baby picture fix while we're spotty on posting, make sure you look at our instagram. someone might make appearances there several times a day.