- Shammy- my life completely changed when he was born. He truly marked the beginning of a new awesome chapter in my life and despite the challenges of a three-nager he makes me very happy and I am blessed to have him call me mama.
- Zen- another amazing soul who calls me mama.
- my husband- an excellent provider, he works so hard for his family, is a great father and puts up with me, I don’t deserve him.
- family- enough said
- Saturday morning cuddles- can’t think of a better way to start the weekend
- toddler hugs- because you can’t help feeling better after one of those
- being able to work part time- spending time with my kids is very important to me, I don’t want to miss out on these precious early years so while our budget would really benefit from more income, I am thankful that we are able to manage.
- reading- it’s therapeutic and it gives me a break from mundane stuff
- streaming TV- if I couldn’t stream I would never be able to watch any TV, thank you technology
- good weather-My moods are heavily influenced by the weather
- comfort foods- nothing like the gastric orgasm of satisfying a craving
- fertility- I didn’t originally plan on having kids so I took fertility for granted. I am blessed to have been able to conceive easily when I know so many that suffer through infertility.
- parents- they may drive me nuts and I find it near impossible to have real time communication with them without getting upset but if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here and have nothing to be thankful for.
- Facebook- if it wasn’t for this website I would have lost touch with a lot of people over the years but instead we keep in touch and at the very least “like” each other statuses and photos
- Facebook friends- being without a car this is my only form of adult interaction most days. They put up with my rants and help keep me sane. I am closer to some FB friends I’ve never met in person than to most people I know in real life. They bless me with thoughful and generous gifts like gift certificates for cloth diapers and slow cookers. They are truly a blessing.
- WIC job- so grateful for a job where I get paid to do what I love and that is flexible enough to give me minimal separation from my boys.
- La Leche League- this organization was key to my breastfeeding success
- Breastfeeding- so cheap, so awesome
- Groupon and Amazon- have gotten some great deals and good gifts on there, things I wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.
- Evernote- without it my life would be full of disorganization and chaos and I wouldn’t even know where my head is. This blog would never get updated without this app.
- Zen being such a teething trooper, he got his first molar with only some extra clinginess and we didn’t miss any sleep
- Overabundance of junk. It’s amazing how things accumulate but without this extra stuff I don’t need I wouldn’t be able to sell things for emergency cash.
- Husband on same parenting page- he is supportive of my parenting style which is very important to me
- TV parental controls- they save my children’s impressionable mind but also saves us money by preventing Zen from ordering movies when he gets a hold of the remote
- Late trash pick up- I can sleep in and still take the trash out on time, I also don’t have to worry about the truck waking up the boys.
- The Summer 2012 moms group, what a wonderful group of mamas, amazing friends that I can feel comfortable sharing personal things with
- Cloth diapers- we have saved SOOOOOO much money with them. And they are so cute!
- Internet- I wouldn’t know what is going on in the world nor be able to stay in touch with people without.
- USA- I am thankful for this country and government while far from perfect still offers opportunities and comforts that I take for granted but wouldn’t come so easily if I lived elsewhere.
- Living in Florida- not only do I get to enjoy halfway decent weather most of the year but we are also close to so many attractions. While many families have to plan carefully, save for a year and travel to go to a theme park we can enjoy FL resident discounts and make a day trip out of it. I love living near the Ocean even if I haven’t gone to the beach in over 3 years.
Just because it’s a religious holiday for us doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy it in the traditional sense as well.
This is the first year that Shammy is really into trick or treating and he is loving the whole concept of dressing up and collecting candy. I am still candy police confiscating the bulk of the loot and he doesn’t mind as he is still eating special treats. I may let him eat those “fruit” gummies that are high fructose syrup with no fruit in them but only at a rate of 1 a day. He does get to enjoy raisins, animal crackers, rice krispy treats and 1 M & M (yes, that is 1 M&M, not 1 bag). Zen feels like hit the jackpot with his animal crackers. My fee for managing the loot is to eat all of the Kit Kats, this is my GMO, sugary unealthy goodness guilty pleasure.
Zen mastered walking just in time as his costume doesn’t lend itself for easy babywearing or strollering.
I hope that you all have a fun day if you celebrate.
I frequently hear from mothers complaining that they don’t get very much milk when they pump. A breastpump is nowhere near as efficient as a baby at emptying a breast but it’s better than nothing when baby isn’t able to nurse for whatever reason or you need to save milk for future use. The amount you can pump will vary greatly depending on several factors including the type of pump, time of day, last time the breast was emptied, length of session and even level of distraction. I have been known to pump 7 ounces from one side in one session and only drops in another and every amount in between.
I wrote these tips in a document for the La Leche League Facebook group and I frequently copy and paste it to e-mail replies when asked for pumping help so I figured that it would be a good idea to share this on my blog for quick and easy reference.
Below is a list of things that worked for me when I used to pump and that have helped many of my clients. I hope that you find at least some of them useful.
The type of pump, the frequency and length of the sessions all play a role in how much you’ll get. There are different tricks, many minor tweaks that have helped me and many of my clients such as:
- If pumping at work try to time your breaks at baby’s usual mealtimes
- Be hydrated, drink water right before and during pumping (for myself cold water worked better than room temperature water)
- Being relaxed when pumping is important, muscular tension can also occur in the breasts which inhibits letdown. If your neck and shoulders are tense, chances are that you will have a hard time getting much milk out. Deep breaths, relaxing music, brief meditation, whatever works for you as a quick relaxant will help. A lot of moms find that using a hands free pumping bra allows them to have a more relaxed posture than holding the flanges against your chest (you can easily make your own pumping bra out of an old sports bra).
- Avoid multi tasking while pumping- it’s harder for your brain to have a good letdown with a machine so focusing on baby helps. Some moms use a piece of clothing that baby wore, a picture of baby, a video. Iin my case a recording of baby crying gave me more milk than a picture of him smiling and double the amount of milk than if I was just sitting there eating, watching tv, Facebooking or texting while pumping.
- I know it’s hard to do but avoid staring at the bottles while pumping as stressing over ounces will reduce output.
- Using breast massage and compressions before and while pumping greatly increases the output since you’re able to get milk out that the suction of the pump can’t get. This video teaches a great technique to increase production http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/MaxProduction.html
- Dry pumping for several minutes after the last drop sends the signal to your body that it needs to make more milk. For me I found that drinking a tall glass of water while still dry pumping would give me a second letdown after about a minutewith an average of an extra ounce per side.
I hope that at least some of these tips are useful.