Sunday, September 28, 2014

How to "Install" Plastic Snaps

Today we are going to talk about how I needed a new toy, and I bought one.

That's right, of all the things in the world I wanted, I decided I needed a plastic snap installer for baby shit.

YEAH. After about 5 posts since Callie was born, I sat on the floor in her room and played with plastic snaps while Callie did this.


Cause she does that now.

I also realized while doing this and taking pictures that I didn't vacuum the rug before doing this. Bad plan. Because it's Seamus' rug.

For reals. So, real life...dog hair alert.

Now, whip your head around, and re-freaking-wind to my baby shower when I opened a box of about 20 handmade flannel bibs from my mom and sister. They were tacky and amazing and made out of my mom's scrap fabric stash. So, my mom says, "Those are your ugly bibs." and I said, "why do I need ugly bibs?" and she said, "You'll find out soon."



And yes, yes I did.

The bibs that match outfits and stuff are all fine and cute for when you're out and about to catch drool, but when your kid is flinging green beans, you'd like them naked with an ugly bib on.

There was only one problem...and it wasn't really a problem until about a week ago. The damn kid figured out how to rip the bib off. Granted, it was easily done since they were only held on with a little velcro circle, but still, I was offended. Almost as offended as I am grossed out by my camera picking up the dog hair.


So, I had been doing some research into how to make different baby crafts, and they all required some kind of velcro or snap. And since Callie already established she was more powerful than the velcro, I thought it might be a good investment to buy the snap installer thing. Plus side? It was 40% off at Joann's when I went in to look at it (though now I'm seeing online they're 50% off so that bothers me...)


I bought the pliers and then I bought white snaps, because I figured they go with everything- although they do have cute colored ones if I become an addict.

First things first on fixing the bibs (which if you're interested in making are just flannel-batting-flannel sewed around a bib shape)- I used my seam-ripper to remove the velcro.


Then, I laid the bib sides over each other and poked a hole with the awl.


Now, when you're actually installing your snap sides, you need to think a little bit. They come all mixed in in one bag so make sure you grab two thumb tack looking things, one innie and one outie. And, you know, make sure you install them so your project snaps flat.


Then insert your thumbtack so it's facing OUT and your snap part going the same direction. The spike will fit through that little hole you made.


Then fit this into your pliers, the thumbtack side goes into the black side of the pliers.


Give her a squeeze, and repeat with the other side of your project.

...TA-DAH! SNAPS. (and dog-hair.)


Snap them together...you should hear a pop if they're installed tightly enough. If not, just give them another squeeze with the pliers.



Here is the velcro and snap side-by-side for comparison.


I don't know about you guys, but I think the snap looks MUCH better. And, best thing is, she can't rip them off!


 The whole process took only a couple minutes per bib and I was able to do the whole project on her floor while she played near by.

Although when I wasn't looking she snuck under her crib. Movers, man. Gotta watch them.

I know that $15 in supplies is kind of silly for fixing bibs, which is why I have a lot more projects planned with these snaps. Looking forward to sharing all my ideas with you guys- I JUST WANNA BLOG, GUYS. I MISS BLOGGING.

What have all my homie's been up to? I miss you crazy bitches. Tell me things.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Marco?

I have sat down to write this post about 600 times.

Then I get sad, or barfed on, or pooped on, or the mailman comes, or my phone goes off, or I pass out in my recliner.

Motherhood, ya know?

To start, today I officially have been blessed with half of a year of awesomeness with my Callie Kay. I can not fathom how six months happened. I mean, look at this!


This summer has not been what we planned. Honestly, it has been very, very hard. To adapt to my lower income, Nate took on a second job. That job did not pay him when they said they were going to so we fell behind and are still playing catch up on life. On top of that, we never saw each other, like...ever. We did go away for one weekend this summer, but everything has been kind of tainted.

Our house is currently grieving. Along with the typical friend purge that happens around a major life event (wedding, children), someone very close to us has been diagnosed with a terminal cancer which is a new experience for both Nate and myself. We have never had a prolonged death before- only sudden. So we have spent as much time this summer as possible spending time with our loved ones and wrapping our heads around what an impact it will make on our life.

Our summer, which was previously planned to be full of gardening, camping, exploring and adventure with the new baby has turned into a lot of pouring over excel spreadsheets, a lot of time in the car, and a lot of emotional talks.

Not exactly the best way to spend the 12 weeks Michigan gives us before dropping us back into the abyss that is Winter.

We did take Callie on her first camping trip, it was so much fun and I feel like she did really well. Seamus on the other hand, would have rather stayed in the car. She joined him once in awhile because if you check our instagram, you'll see that those two are the best of friends.


You know who her other best friend is?

This guy.


And yes, that is a pink batgirl costume.

Ontop of all the day to day stuff going on- almost every major appliance has broken in this house this summer- so fixing things has been pretty much how we spend our days.

So, I guess the long and the short of it now, because there is so much to say, I don't know where to start, follow us on instagram. I post at least once a day as it's an easy way for me to keep everyone updated without having to sift through my thoughts. Right now they're just not my favorite place to be left alone with. Although this week I was able to lift my head up, put on my big girl panties, and I did and sundried about 10 loads of laundry.

We're pulling ourselves up, but please forgive us while we're down.

Friday, May 30, 2014

My Stay-At-Home Salary

I want to thank everyone for your support with my recent job change and our drastic lifestyle change! It was so kind and encouraging to read everyone's supportive words.

Today I'm going to talk about a few of the decisions we made to accommodate my approximate $18,000 pay cut.

Yeah, I hate doing the math. Excuse me while I sob while looking at that number.

The biggest thing has been of course me not needing daycare other than my awesome neighbor who lets me drop Callie off for 10 minutes if Nate gets caught in traffic. According to google, not sending my newborn to daycare saves me on average over $11,000 a year. I'd say that's a pretty big leap towards making our ends meet.

The most trivial savings that has shown up in our day to day has been me eating at home for breakfasts and lunches. It was too easy to grab a coffee and bagel on my way to work, as well as have Jimmy Johns delivered to my desk (or when I was pregnant a hot Dub and Cookies) so the approximate savings based on my bank statements last year was well over $2100 (and honestly probably more since I'm home to make Nate a sandwich to take to lunch)



This means just between food and daycare I'm already over a $13,000 salary for myself.

Next would obviously be cloth diapering. Now, since we didn't pay for our diapers (because we used amazon gift cards from baby showers) we didn't add that to our monthly expenses. It always makes me kind of twitch when people say that cloth diapering saves so much money. Saving money to me indicates spending something and then not spending it anymore. Like, I am saving on cable by cutting my service- Boom- I just saved $50 a month. If I was doing disposables and switched to cloth I still wouldn't be saving money because I would have had to buy diapers.

I just didn't do anything. My diapering budget stayed constant- $0.



We have our utilities on a high average bill- meaning I told them to bill me slightly more than my monthly average. At the end of the year I should have a credit which should cover the increase in our water and electric usage.

ZERO DOLLARS.

But, if we are going with the "how-much-I-make-staying-home" scanario, according to the googles again (I figured I'd keep my sources to the happy box that comes up when you ask google a direct question- I'm fully aware these numbers may not be accurate for my area, but I'm rounding) if we had gone the disposable route, I would spend about $2,577.35 over the course of Callie's diapering existence. 

I also breastfeed. Though while I do use my AMAZING Kiinde system (which I will promote until the cows come home) and that costs me money for my breastfeeding pouches, I am saving money on not having to use formula as well as the health benefits that the breastmilk provides. I am not going to put a monetary amount on this because it is just an impossible situation to tell.


Also, can you put a monetary amount on the cuteness of a daddy feeding his baby (and giving you a break in the process?)





We have had other simple "savings" as well. This includes things as simple as I'm happy to be home 98% of the time with my baby. I'm happy to be singing show tunes to my nursing baby, doing laundry and texting my mommy friends all day. And emotional happiness is saving us a lot of money. Even though it's honestly the hardest work I've ever done, I don't feel the need to go drop $300 on bullshit because I had a hard day at work, or my boss made me angry, or I just needed to be out somewhere. And, when the time comes for me to run over to the studio for a few hours I'm happy for the break! It uses a different part of my brain and allows me to not get vomited on for 3 hours (always a perk).

Another thing that has come from this is MOMMY FRIENDS. I have lived in this area for 5 years and never really clicked with anyone. I was too young to hang out with the older married couples but too...married to hang out with the younger couples. Kids are the world's greatest age equalizer. Hey, you have a kid? ME TOO! Hey, you nurse? ME TOO! You cloth diaper? OMG NO WAY.


This alone is worth the paycut to me.


Though at the end of the day, if you add the basics up, and put in my little salary from the art studio, we are just over breaking even to my full time job with the expenses of having a newborn.


So yes, I still took a paycut, but I'm happier, healthier, and I get to watch my child grow up. Which is worth a billion dollars to me.


What changes did you make when you had your children? What are some of your biggest successes and failures while adapting to a budget change?

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Day I Realized I was Done.

Last week, something happened to me and I realized, I'm done.

That's right, I am so, so, so done with my money not belonging to me.

Nate and I spent pretty much my entire maternity leave trying to figure out a way for me not to have to work 30+ hours a week to make our budget work, and honestly, had we not been frivolous and spent hundreds of dollars on take out over the last 3 years, I could be a stay at home mom.

Some how we didn't make that connection when we'd cruise through the drive-through on our way home from work.

It has always been our dream to have me stay home with our kids (and our goal is to have many of them, PCOS permitting) and have Nate bring the bacon- so why in our time of infertility treatments and our several years of marriage leading up to the birth of Calliope were we not living like that was the goal?

How do you justify making over 50k a year and have ZERO savings to show for it?

Zero.

Granted, we do not have any "consumer" debt, and for that we are really lucky. But here we are, staring down the face of a dryer that does not dry, a 17 year old car that is going to explode any time now and, oh yeah, I had a baby in February so we have medical bills falling out of our ass.

So how have I been coping? Panic, mostly. And not understanding what we did so wrong.

And then, the weirdest thing happened.

Nate bought me a bedroom set.

He bought me the most beautiful new quilt, rug, and curtains for our master bedroom. He said things like, "it's for your birthday", "it'll get you back in the swing of blogging" and "we need a nice calming retreat at the end of the day with all the new stress" and even the logical "summer is coming and Seamus ate a hole in our summer quilt"

It was so sweet of him. And it only cost $173.27 according to the receipt.

Guys, real life, I could have crapped $173.27 several months ago- it wouldn't have phased me AT ALL to buy that much stuff.

But, as it sat in the bags in our bedroom for three weeks with me staring at it all I could think of were the bills I could pay with $173.27

So, I don't have a beautiful new bedroom set to show you today, I have an admission of hitting bottom.

I'm officially off the blogging bandwagon where I keep buying things to have new things to show. I'm OFF it. I still have things to say and it will take me awhile to get in the groove of things but it is different now. And, it's mostly money driven.

Somehow, we were able to make our tax return kush my entire maternity leave. And then the time came barreling towards me where it was time for me to go back to work. And I won't go into all the details, but I didn't go back to my office job.

And I'm terrified because of it.

That's right, somehow a bedroom set made me realize that I want my money to be mine, but that I needed to take a step back at the same time. When we looked at the numbers, the simplest reason I left my job was that it was not cost effective for me to be at work with Calliope in daycare. After daycare I was essentially going to be bringing home about $2 an hour. Add in the weight problems she's been having (which I think are mostly under control now, thank god- finally was able to put the NB sizes away!...well most of them) and it just seemed stupid for the food source to be away from the baby.

So I took a leap of faith and so far we haven't fallen on our faces. So far.

I went back to my roots. I recently moved into a very part time job at a local non-profit art studio in Lansing. I'm loving seeing my work every day. Every day a toddler comes to their first art class, or a teen comes in for a free after school class, I feel like I'm making a difference.

It also helps that with my new job, the baby is never without a parent. That's right. I work when Nate doesn't. And so far it's working great for us. I'm in a much better mood after not being in a stuffy IT job (which, don't get me wrong I was VERY thankful for) by being back in my non-profit bubble, and Callie is happy because she is always with her people.

I'm thankful for a husband that went out and got a second job so I could be home. I am also thankful for a world where we have the ability to make these hard choices to do what is best with our family.

I am also not a stepford blog-mom. At least not yet. Today I got excited because the baby fell asleep on Nate and I was able to scrub the toilet. I'm lucky if my kitchen is clean 3 nights a week. I'm REALLY lucky if the laundry is folded, or even better put away! (Although somehow the diapers always get washed, stuffed and put away- priorities?) And I'm pretty sure there's enough dog hair in my garbage can at the end of each week that I could make a new pet.

I've done a decent job of keeping up everything my mom did for us, but it for sure looks like a newborn who likes to be with her parents lives here. By the way, baby wrapping? Amazeballs. I just wish I could bend over with her on!

I guess long story short, I put everything down on paper and prioritized. And a certain squeaking baby and her bald daddy came out above Wendy's, a big bank account, and a full time job.

I just hope we can stay afloat long enough for Nate to graduate from school and for him to get a "real job".

Though, this doesn't mean I'm not still dreaming about the bedroom set.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Scales of Springs

I have been known to slap stuff up on the wall whether or not it is perfect (if I DIY it) just because I hate empty spaces on the wall where something obviously should be. An example of this is next to the hutch in the dining room.


The scale of the little fabric covered canvas has always bothered me, but not as much as the empty space would have. Back when I quit on our vintage crib (that I never used, coughcough) I put all the pieces out on the curb except for the springs. I've always wanted a vintage crib spring memo board. I love how people pin things to them and they look both industrial and artistic. So I slapped her up there and suddenly the dining room was a million times taller. The scale was way better...


I can't wait to get some pictures printed and hung up! Although, the weirdo in me kind of likes it empty... what do you think?

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Hospital Bag List

One thing I have been meaning to put down for myself for future reference is what I actually needed at the hospital when I had Calliope. I tried to be reasonable and not pack too much because some of the pinterest lists are RIDICULOUS.

This is what I actually loved having at the hospital with me.

CLOTHING:
A lightweight robe- my sister got me a cheap wal-mart one for christmas (in black, in case of blood)
Nursing tank top- pretty much the whole time I was at the hospital all I wore was a nursing tank and the robe, which I pulled up when I was in bed to not bleed on it.
Flip Flops- for showering/quick trips around the room
Fuzzy socks with grips on the bottom- if my dad's cellulitus taught me anything it is NEVER touch a hospital floor barefoot...just in case.

TOILETRIES:
Chap Stick- for the love of god, take chap stick, I never use it, ever, but it was suggested to me and for the love of everything holy it was the most useful thing I brought. Something about an ice chip only diet for 15 hours that makes chap stick heavenly.
Loufa- So good for the scrubbing. Scrubbing is amazing.
Travel size toiletries- nothing felt as good as that first shower.

EXTRAS:
Camera
Cell Phone
Charger.

Oh hell, was that list too short for you? Sorry it was pretty and full of pinteresty goodness but that's the way the cookie crumbled.

I didn't turn on the TV once, I didn't have time to read a book, I didn't wear pants, let alone brand new pants I've bought specifically for the birthing of said child and most of my "free" time was spent staring at, taking pictures of, and updating family and friends with updates on the baby child.

If there was one thing I'd tell moms about to go into the hospital, it's that they are fully ready to deliver a baby to a woman that comes in a hospital with only her purse. Just spend as much time as you can accepting the fact that this tiny human suddenly belongs to you, and pinch that little baby ass as many times as possible. Nothing in the world is as cute as a fresh baby butt (though nothing is as remarkable as fresh baby moving fingers).


Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Photo Dump

We had the special occasion of a day where all of us were home, so we decided to take an updated family picture. This one turned out to be my favorite!


Yes, I am that mom that puts ridiculously sized bows on my small child.

But look, she loves me anyway!


I even remembered to put her in something cute and take some Easter Pictures.


And one sunny day we decided to do one of my favorite things, Potter Park Zoo in Lansing. It's a local zoo which just happens to be the perfect size for kids. It's not so big they get cranky, in fact, you can see just about everything in 2-3 hours, but it still has some cool stuff like lions, tigers, and tons of monkeys. Also, rogue peacocks- which in my opinion are always a good time. By the time we'd seen just about everything Callie was ready to head home.


We also grabbed the obligatory zoo family pictures.


We are so thankful the weather has snapped and we are able to get the hell out of this house!!! What have you guys been doing with this above -40 degree weather?

Friday, April 25, 2014

It was a Bedskirt.

Here we go, travelling back in time, to when I was crazy pregnant and doing projects but not having the energy to post anything about it...

So back in the day, when the nursery was a makeshift guest room, I'd dressed a twin bed (cough-airmattress-cough) up with bedding from Home Goods and Delia*s.


Then, when we did the nursery, I somehow dressed the windows using very similar fabric as the bedskirt shown above.


So, logically, when I was faced with dressing the small window in the playroom, my logical thought was, "hey, I bet I can turn that bedskirt into a tiered curtain."

...what, you don't have thoughts like that in the middle of the night when you're freakishly pregnant?

I figured even if I couldn't make it work I wouldn't be out anything since the bedskirt was haphazardly thrown into the guest bedroom closet- so out came the scissors!

First, I cut the the ruffled skirt off of the flat panel. If your bedskirt is not ruffled, you will not have an easy time making it tiered. I with with the ruffly tiered look because the bedskirt was already gathered.


(Whoops- Naked boppy, cutting in.)

Then I measured the window and added half the width to it, and then divide it in half! (Example, if you have a window that is 20 inches, add another ten inches to it, making your total curtain 30- divide that by 2 for two panels, making a bunch of 15 inch rectangles)

Now, the trick with a pre-gathered skirt is to make sure you are measuring your needed length from the top of panel. Your panels will be more trapezoid shaped, so be careful- they're supposed to look that way!



Now, because my window was very small, I was actually able to use the large part of the bedskirt (the part that goes under the mattress) as the "curtain" part. I finished the raw edges on the bed skirt tiers and the large curtain pieces by folding the edges over twice and doing a straight stitch down.

I then sewed my ruffles onto the curtain causing the top of one to overlap the hem of the previous by about 2 inches so there was no exposed panel.

To allow it to hang on the rod, I simply sewed ribbons evenly across the top to get the tab-top appearance we achieved with the curtains in the main part of the nursery. The point of this was to coordinate while still being different.

And then I hung them up and realized that Nate was absolutely right. There was way too much white for a kids room.


After I pressed it (for obvious reasons), I took out some of my Wild Thing fabric to add more ruffles and color. There is a real way to gather, I didn't feel the need to do it because I was really pregnant (that's a good defense, right?) I made the ruffles the most pin crazy and lazy way possible. I pinned the sides. Then I pinned the middle, and then I kept pinning half way between the pins until there was a nice ruffle, and straight stitched right over that bad boy. AND I only broke three needles. Badass, right?


The curtains ended up costing only what I had spent on this fabric for other pieces of the nursery (I don't remember the exacts, but I think I only used 2 yards or so). Adding the Wild Things also added a hit of whimsy and really brought the room together- I'm glad I slept on it and made the decision to do it.



Overall, this curtain project made me realize how important it is to grasp the concepts behind sewing, not just knowing how to sew a specific thing. If I had only known how to sew with flat fabric and patterns it never would have occurred to me to use the bedskirt. The weird, newly sentimental part of me likes it too because the bedskirt was in the room while we were waiting to get pregnant. I feel like it's a weird mom reminder how lucky I am to have her.

Plus, I didn't have to drive all the way back to IKEA for more curtain panels 8.5 months pregnant. Always a good thing, right?

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!

BOOM.

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.