Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Murphy's Laws of Parenthood

This may have been done before, but since it has been going on around our house a lot lately, I thought I would prepare some of you child-less people for what is to come. So here they are:

Murphy's Laws of Parenthood

1. When preparing for a family get together or party, your dog(s) and or your child(ren) will poop, pee, or spill something on your carpet ten minutes after you finished steaming it (& 2 hours before the guests arrive, because you did this last, so that you would not have to deal with this situation).

2. If you are having a party with seldom scene old friends, the day of the party, your septic tank will back up into 1 of your bathrooms. Resulting in 1 bathroom being shared by 8 adults and 1 child.

3. If you spend more than a minute deciding where to place your grocery list so you won't forget it, then, trust me, you will forget it.

4. When Christmas shopping, it does not matter how many time you check your list, how many times you go through the presents, you WILL forget someone! If you have children, then 1 child will end up with more presents than the other. And YOU will pay for this dearly in years to come (the severity of the payback depends on the age of the child getting fewer presents).

5. If you have 2 children sharing a room, and they are really close in age, then you will almost NEVER be able to find 2 matching shoes that fit the child you are trying to dress (unless you are a major neat freak, in which case, you're invited for a free "vacation" at my house!)

6. As a parent, you will eventually (or constantly, depending..) crave peace & quiet. And you will get it...but pretty soon it will dawn on you that it has been a very long period of peace & quiet. When you check, you will find your child(ren) sitting in their room making scrambled eggs (with real eggs!) on their carpetted bedroom floor.

7. When you wake one morning, you will hear nothing but silence. So peaceful, so very seldom that you get to enjoy waking up before the kids for some serenity with your coffee. You will very slowly get out of bed, stroll lazily towards the kitchen, savoring this oh so rare moment. You will casually start making coffee, then possibly go sit at the table and enjoy the quiet while the coffee brews. You turn your head to look out the window and admire your back yard, and you will see... your children. Outside, in the cold, in nothing but t-shits ( literally, no diapers, no pants...nothing) rolling around on the frost covered ground playing with the dogs.

8. You will one year decide to have your child's birthday party at a park. Here are 2 possible scenarios....
1) you get to the park to find about a dozen other parents who had the same idea. You end up with a couple picnic tables about a half mile from the play ground. You will lose half of the pizza's to ants, that come from nowhere and get into everything. Right as you're starting to eat, someone (thanks mom) will point out that you forgot to buy bowls and spoons for the ice cream. Mad dash (again, thanks mom) to the store to get bowls & spoons, but by the time everyone is ready for ice cream and cake, the ice cream has turned to soup! (This was the first attempt, as a "learn the hard way" kind of person...I did it again)

2) Since the party is at the park, you invite lots of people (say 75-100). After all, how hard is it to grill hot dogs? You figure on about half the people showing up (standard rule where I'm from, maybe not so in your area), so you buy 10 packs of hot dogs & buns, get the charcoal, & stay up the night before making 50 cupcakes. You get to the park, put together the grill, get the coals going, & start grilling. You then realize the party start time is long past, and only about 10 people are there (and 1 child, other than the birthday girls siblings). So you eat, open presents, & start packing up. You now have 50 hotdogs & buns, 35 cupcakes, 25 bottles of water and 3 12 packs of soda that you must decide what to do with. You consider giving it to the people who show up as you are leaving, but they have their own stuff, so you take it home. (3 months later, we still have half a case of water and some sodas sitting on our porch, and numerous packages of hotdogs in the freezer...)

This is just a random sampling of the sitcom worthy events that go on when you have kids. Everyone has stories like this. I would love to hear some of your favorite "Murphy Moments". Leave a comments, or post on my Facebook Page Wall.
Lots of Love,
from the swamps of the pee dee

Monday, December 28, 2009

What is Normality??

According to Webster's Online Dictionary, the definition of NORMAL is : conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern.
There was a lot of talk over the holidays revolving around what is and isn't normal, in regards to family life.
I think this is a topic that very few people are qualified to discuss. After all, who is normal? I know I'm not.
We were all created by God, as special, unique, one of a kind creatures. There is no one out there exactly like you, or exactly like me. So why, if we are all a little bit different, is there such a controversy when someone goes beyond "a little different" to what some people call crazy.
I believe that God has a plan for each and every one of us. No one knows what God's plan for them is, so why should we assume that we know what is best for others?
And I wonder what Jesus would think if he knew that his birthday celebration was spent bad mouthing people who were not there to defend themselves and give their side of the story.
Live and let live people. If you disagree with someone, fine. That's your right. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. But that does not mean that your opinion is a fact. Just because you don't agree with someone or understand something, that does not automatically make it wrong.
We should all be more concerned with what we are doing, how we are living our lives, and what we are doing to HELP those who may need our help, instead of concerning ourselves with how we can change someone else to fit our standards.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Getting a pet for Christmas?

Well, seeing as Christmas is 2 days away, it might be a little late for these words of advice, but I felt the need to share this anyway.
So, your kid, your significant other, your parent, whoever, has said they want a dog/cat for Christmas. You think, that's fine, we can adopt one from the shelter. So you wait, because you can only hide a living present for so long.
But, there's a hitch. This year 2 days before Christmas is a Wednesday, and our local shelters are not open on Wednesday's. The one in the next county was open today, but they closed at 2 (and they were not advertising this anywhere, you had to call to find out). Both local shelters are closed tomorrow (Christmas Eve). So, the only place you're going to find that "perfect" pet for your loved one (or yourself) before Christmas is either a pet store or in the newspaper. Good luck. (or maybe I should say, better luck next year...)

Monday, December 14, 2009

More Money Saving Tips for the Holidays

Okay, so I remembered some more things that may help you with your finances this Holiday Season...

1) Use comics from the Sunday newspapers for wrapping paper. I say the Sunday paper, simply because those are the only ones printed in color. Feel free to use the weekday comics too, but I would add a colorful bow or gift tag to spruce it up.

2)Another wrapping paper idea is the plain brown packaging paper that you use for wrapping packages to ship. You can dress it up with curling ribbon, raffia, pretty gift tags, or be brave and let your kids decorate it with finger paints or holiday stamps.

3) Do not spend money on gift boxes. Save all good condition bags and boxes from all birthday/holiday parties. Use them, even if they don't quite fit the season or the occasion. The packaging really does not matter. When you run out of saved bags and boxes, hit up your pantry. Yes, your pantry. Got one pack of graham crackers left in the box, well put the last package on the shelf, and viola, you have an instant box, ready to be wrapped. You can use any kind of box...cracker, cereal, even coffee cans. Get creative and keep more of that hard earned money in your pocket!

Love to all, and Peace on Earth!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Surviving Shopping for Santa

Okay, so I'm pretty much done with my Christmas Shopping this year. I may have a few more presents to get, but those are just extras, and maybe some to donate. I went out last Saturday with the intent of finishing, and that is what I did. I left my house around 10 AM, went to 6 different stores (Walgreens, Peebles, Pattycakes, Toys R Us, Jc Penny, and Rite Aid), and was home around 4:30. I saved roughly 40% average on all my purchases, but that's another blog altogether. What I want to do is share some tricks that helped me finish early this year (rather than running around 2 days before Christmas, like in years past) and how to avoid crowds and traffic when you are out on a high volume shopping day.
First, start shopping in the early fall. All the summer stuff will be getting marked down 75% or more. I've gotten $20 purses for $3 this way. When you find a really good deal, buy more than one. Even if you're not quite sure yet who you're buying it for, you'll figure it out. And if you end up with one or two extras, you either have 2 extras for yourself, or you can be the epitome of true holiday spirit and donate the extras to a shelter for homeless people, battered women, a food bank (yes they give out personal items too, though I'm not sure about purses...) whatever your charity of choice.
Next, if you are planning a big shopping day, like I did, then you need to start thinking about it in advance. I'd say a week or more, depending on your financial situation. You want to shop with cash. This will help you stick to a budget. So, if you won't have the kind of cash you need on hand, then you will need to work it into your budget as soon as possible. Some people set aside money every month for gifts that they know they will have to buy.
Once you know how much you have to spend, get out your notebook, pen, sale ads, and coupons. Also, have your Gift List handy. Start your search. Look through the sale ads and cross check these with your coupons. Also, be looking at your Gift List that way you know what you are looking for. I was also shopping for household essentials when I went out, and by doing all this shopping together, I saved even more money (again, an explanation will come on this later).
When you have determined what you want to buy at which store, make a master list, with the stores and the shopping list for each one, all together (mine ended up being about 2 pages...that is with a bunch of cross outs, stores I skipped, and spaces between the stores). I did this randomly and numbered mine so I knew the order of the stores I was going to. I started with the closest one to my house, moved in a circular direction through the stores I wanted to go to, and ended up at a store with an easy and quick route home, but on a different side of town.
The key to moving quickly through crowded stores and holiday traffic is knowing your town. I took every back road and neighborhood shortcut that I could. Instead of sitting in bumper to bumper traffic and getting into a 15 car turn line to go to Toys R Us, I took the back way and was there in 3 minutes. For navigating through crowded stores, I think the only thing you can do is hope for good timing (lucky for me, it was lunch time when I got there). Toys R Us was extremely crowded, but somehow I got in, got what I wanted (which was the last one on the shelf), and got out in 15 minutes. There was no fighting, no pushing, and very few long lines. Maybe I was just lucky. Also, 2 very nice gentlemen helped me put my item ito my cart after I almost dropped it on my foot. Jc Penny was crowded, and ended up not having what I wanted, but the sales people were pretty helpful. They could not fulfill the offer on my coupon, and really didn't offer any consolation to me. But when I was paying, I talked my way into an extra % off of some of the items I was getting. So, if you go to a store, and they can't honor a store coupon, you may be able to talk your way into an extra discount in exchange.
So, I wish you luck in your holiday shopping this year. May you find everything you are looking for, may it be on sale, and may you enjoy the love and laughter that comes with being around so much love this holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Solstice...that's about all I know, but I know there's more. Whatever you are celebrating, may you be surrounded by love and happiness and may you and yours be safe.
Peace and Love,
from the swamp lands :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Life Without a Microwave...1 Year Later

Okay, so about a year ago, I decided that we no longer needed a microwave. Not really sure what my reasons were at the time, but I have to say that I haven't missed the thing. (we donated it to a local women's shelter). I think we (I) decided to get rid of it after reading about all those chemicals in plastics leaching into the food when you cook it in the microwave.
So, 1 year later...haven't missed it at all...but we have had to do some readjusting. The first issue that came up was popcorn, of all things. We were buying the ones you cook on the stove with the tin foil tops, but those are kinda expensive. So we eventually moved to buying it in the big containers and cooking it in a cast iron dutch oven on the stove. Still haven't gotten the 'movie popcorn' flavor, but I don't think that's a natural flavor anyway...I'm satisfied. We do our defrosting in the sink or in the fridge, and reheating on the stove or in the oven.
All in all, I say that microwaves are just a waste of money, a waste of counter space, and a burden on your health. Just some thoughts to consider. I will post some links on the dangers of cooking in the microwave a little later. Time for bed now, got church in the morning.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My First Canning Experience

Okay, so in the past 4 years, I've had 3 children, whom I love dearly. However, this has prevented me from ever getting a decent garden going. My husband and I have tried for the last 2 years. The first year I think we went too big. This past year we had a baby right in the middle of the summer, so we had no time to take care of stuff (even though we did go a lot smaller this year). The only thing we've had success with 2 years running is mint (how hard is that! it will go everywhere), rosemary, and garlic. The garlic has been my favorite, but that's another post altogether.

Okay, so we did not get a good crop of anything this year. So off we went to the farmers market to get some stuff to put away, while we had the money to do it. We have gotten (total) 1 bushel of peaches, 1/4 bushel of okra, 3 quarts worth of green beans, and 1/4 bushel of squash.
The peaches were what I started with. Seemed simple enough. The book said, peel, slice/dice, cook in syrup, put into jars and boil for 20-25 minutes. Okay. Well the first 1/2 bushel took me 6 hours to can 6 quarts of peaches. The second took only about 3 hours, so it does get a little easier, but let me note that peaches are a pain in the rear to prep for canning.

In between the two peach canning (successful) attempts, I thought I would get to the okra before it went bad (or Ryan fried it all). So I pulled out my pressure canner (bought at a yard sale about a year ago and been in a box in the closet since then) and started reading. Again, seemed simple. Prep, fill the clean jars, put into canner, and cook the appropriate amount of time (I think it was 10 minutes). I chopped up 7 pints worth of okra, cooked according to directions, fill the jars, and into the canner they go. But when I locked the lid into place, steam was still coming around the sides. It finally slowed down and was coming out the top, so I let it heat up as instructed, then put the weight on. But no jiggling. Not a peep. Not sure what I did wrong, but I decided (though it was tough, until I thought about someone getting sick) to toss all that okra. I felt bad because I had already given a jar to a family member, but I made sure to call him and let him know to toss it because I wasn't sure if I did something wrong or not. If you have some tips on this, please let me know.
Until I get it figured out, all veggies (short of tomatoes, or pickled stuff) will be frozen or dried (we did get 1 pint jar full of dried okra, and 3 so far out of the squash).

By the way, squash chips are a great snack, and my kids love them (we're talking yellow crookneck squash) because they are sweet. Good as a snack mix with rasins, seeds, and cereal peices.

Next project: Making my own sourdough bread starter, and hopefully some good bread. Will keep you posted.

The book I keep referring to above is call KEEPING THE HARVEST. The link is to look at/purchase the book on Amazon.com. You can get a used copy pretty cheap. I want another book, haven't decided which one yet. This one is good for basics though.

The photo is 3 pints of spiced peaches, and 1 half-pint of peach/apple/strawberry jam.

**Useful tip, right after you pull your jars out of the canner, use a black crayon to write the contents and the date on the top. That way you know whats in it, and it will help you remember not to reuse the lids)**

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Better Bread for Kitchen Klutz's

Ok, so I am not the best cook in the world, though I pride myself on creativity. I have had my fair share of snafu's in the kitchen.
Like when I was about 12...here's how the train of thought went...when you bake a potato in the oven you wrap it in tin foil and it's supposed to cook faster...but cooking in the microwave is faster than cooking in the oven...so my 12 year old brain said that if you wrap the potato in tin foil AND cook it in the microwave, it will cook super fast...the end result: eerie popping noises and blue flames coming from the microwave. So that's how I learned that lesson.
And recently (as recently as today, actually) I decided to test out a bread recipe that was published in one of my favorite magazines (Mother Earth News, see bottom of post for link). So I make the dough, get the oven ready as directed, and start to put things in. It says to preheat the stone and the broiler pan, and when oven is ready to put the bread on the stone, then put the water in the pan and close the door quickly. I did this exactly as directed (or so I thought). In my haste to get things ready, I just grabbed the first large rectangular pan in the cabinet, which happened to be a glass casserole pan. So, into a 450 degree oven goes the stone and the glass pan. Once preheated, I grabbed my loaf and slid it onto the stone without a hitch. Then I added the water to the "broiler" pan...this was followed by a very loud cracking sound as the glass pan splintered all along the bottom and I had water sizzling on the floor of my oven. So very carefully, I removed the loaf, still on the stone, and then, even more carefully (after all the water had leaked out or evaporated) I removed the now defunct casserole dish. I replaced this with a true broiler pan, filled with water, put the bread back in the oven and baked as directed. The photo above is of the finished loaf. My VERY first loaf of homemade bread! The basic recipe and instructions are below...
(ed. note - I did not come up with this..it was published in Mother Earth News, and the article was adapted from a book, ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois)

Makes 4 1 pound loaves

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 T. granulated yeast
1 1/2 T. coarse kosher salt or sea salt
6 1/2 C. unsifted, unbleached, all purpose white flour

1. Heat water to about 100 degrees F (just warmer than body temp)
2. Add yeast and salt to water in a large, lidded container (I used a plastic Tupperware cake holder, trust me, you need something this big) Don't worry about getting it all to dissolve.
3. Mix in flour by gently scooping it up and then leveling the top of measuring cup with knife; don't pat down. Mix with a wooden spoon, high capacity food processor/ heavy duty stand mixer with a dough hook until uniformly moist. DO NOT KNEAD!
4. Cover loosely, Do not use screw top jars as they could explode from trapped gases. Allow to rise at room temp until it begins to collapse, or at least flatten on top, about 2 hours, but up to five hours will not harm the results. you can use a portion of the dough any time after this, though refrigerated dough will be less sticky and easier to work with.
5. Prepare a pizza peel (I used a large plate, as I do not have a pizza peel) by sprinkling liberally with cornmeal (I used all purpose flour the first time, but cornmeal does work better...flour gave the bottom a spongy texture ). Sprinkle surface of dough with flour, then cut/pull off a 1 pound piece (about the size of a large grapefruit). Flour your hands, gently stretch the sides of the dough around the bottom, so you end up with a ball with 4 bunched ends on the bottom.
6. Place dough ball on pizza peel (or plate) and allow to rest for 40 minutes (it may rise a little).
7. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on another shelf.
8. Dust the top of the loaf with flour. Slash across the top in whatever pattern you choose. These slashes will help the dough expand during baking.
9. Slide dough onto baking stone. Then quickly pour about a cup of water into the broiler tray and close the oven door to trap the steam. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is brown and firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely, preferably on a wire rack for best flavor, texture, and slicing. The crust may initially soften, but will firm up again when cooled.
10. Refrigerate the remaining dough in your lidded (NOT air-tight) container and use it over the next 2 weeks. You will find that even 1 day's storage improves the flavor and texture of your bread. The dough can also be frozen in 1 pound portions and thawed in the refrigerator prior to baking day.

5 Minutes a Day for Fresh Baked Bread - Mother Earth News Full Article

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day - Amazon link to buy the book

Hope you enjoyed this....and please leave comments about how your bread turned out, or some kitchen mishaps you would like to share :)

**just a note, the second loaf turned out much better than the first. the crust was firmer and did crackle when i took it out of the oven...could have had something to do with the broiler pan mishap during the first attempt...the oven was not at temp when i put the first loaf in, so the crust was a little too soft, even after cooling**

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Where's My Milk?!?

Ok, so we've all heard that there are many things that can affect the amount of breast milk your body produces. Some examples of things that may reduce the amount of milk you make are: caffeine, smoking, dehydration, diet low in nutrients...and I'm sure there are more.
Here's my experiences...
First, I'm a smoker, though I have cut down considerably. I have not noticed smoking affecting my milk. Nor have I noticed any difference, no matter how much coffee I drink, and I can go through 4-5 cups a day, depending on whats going on.
What I have found to decrease my milk supply is soda, caffeinated or not (I don't drink diet), lack of sleep, and lack of protein in my diet.
If I drink soda, it's almost certain that the next time little Archer wants to eat, he's gonna have to take a little less that he would like, but he makes up for it by nursing again sooner than he normally would. As long as I don't gulp soda all day, my milk goes back to normal. If I don't get enough sleep, I hardly make any milk at all, and a lack of protein not only decrease milk production, but also makes me more tired.
These are just my experiences, I know everyone's body is different.
Things I have noticed that seem to boost milk production are: cashews (recommended by my wonderful midwife), drinking milk or water, eating fresh fruits or lightly cooked veggies (I'm not big on raw veggies, but to each his own) and if all else fails, I take a multi-vitamin (I take the NOW brand VIT-MIN 100, which is a "high potency multiple, sustained release, includes trace minerals" and its has 25 mg psyllium husks fiber which about the same as a serving of metamucil disolvable powder).
These are just my experiences. If you have questions about breast feeding, talk to your doctor, midwife, lactation specialist, or contact your local Le Leche League leader.
Happy Nursing! :)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Using a Baby Sling after a C-Section

If you had a c-section to have your baby, then you know that recovery can be painful, and longer than that for a vaginal delivery. That being said, here are some tips from someone who has a variety of childbirth experiences (1 hospital vaginal birth, with all the trappings; 1 homebirth waterbirth; and 1 c-section).
First off, know your history and your family history when it comes to sensitivity to antibiotics. They will give you at least 1 bag in your IV after a c-section, so you need to know if you or anyone in your immediate family has had a reaction to a certain medicine. I say this only because the ones they gave me made me sick, and thus dehydrated, which led to a decreased production of breast milk and my little losing a lot of weight in his first few days.
Now, as far as baby slings go, I am all for them. I used one for a little while with my second, but I was not really comfortable with it. It was a ring style sling, and just a little too complicated for me to figure out. It did its job, but it made me nervous. I am not bashing ring style slings, you may find that those are the ones you prefer, but they did not work for me. This time I am trying a pouch style sling (made by Little Rubi, bought on EBay). It is all one piece of fabric that is sewn in a circle, and folded in half onto itself to form the pouch for baby; then you just put one arm through and rest the top part of the sling on one shoulder. I like this style a lot better, it feels more secure to me. As with all slings, do not use them during potentially dangerous activities (like jogging, running, cooking, etc).
We spent almost 3 hours at the WIC office the other day, and being that I knew it would probably take that long, I decided it was the perfect time to try out my new baby sling. So I tried it, and it was great. My little man slept the whole time, and was right up next to my body, so if had wanted to eat, it would have been very easy (and discreet) for me to feed him. As it was, he slept the whole time we were there, so I did'nt have to feed him, but feeding with a sling is great for times when you don't want your boob hanging out for everyone to see.
BUT, my little man is just now 3 weeks old, so that puts me 3 weeks out from major abdominal surgery. I did not think anything about this at the time, and wasn't having any pain, so I just went on with it. The next day, however, I was rethinking the whole sling idea. My abs were almost as sore as the day after we came home from the hospital. It never occured to me that when you use the sling, you aren't using your arms to support baby's weight, you are using your back and your abs, your core muscles. The same muscles they have to cut through to get baby out.
So the moral of this story is, slings are great; but if you have had a c-section you may want to wait 4-6 weeks before using the sling for an extended period of time, or you will definitely feel it the next day.
Another alternative (after waiting 3-4 weeks) would be to use the sling for little bits at a time. Maybe 1/2 hour the first day or two, then move up to an hour, and continue moving up SLOWLY until you are comfortable and don't have pain the next day.
Talk to your doctor or midwife if you have more questions.
I have provided a link below to Little Rubi's Ebay site. The slings are cute, with great fabrics,good prices, and pocket for your stuff, a loop for baby's toy, and a matching carrying case.
Enjoy your little ones!

Little Rubi Baby Carriers

Monday, July 27, 2009

Breat-feeding vs. Bottle Feeding

Ok, so as a mom of three, I have a "little" experience feeding babies. Thought, most of it was with a bottle. I bottle fed my first, started breast feeding my second, but gave up, and now, with my third, I am exclusively breastfeeding. Here are my thoughts on the pro's and con's of both.
Lets start with bottle feeding:
- others can help feed the baby
- you can feed baby anywhere without awkward glances and comments
-formula is expensive, and produces trash (ie, the empty cans, lids)
- bottles are not expensive, but not free
- bottles have to be washed, constantly
- formula is not milk, not even close. it is a concoction of chemicals that are made to be similar to milk, but it is no where close to natural
- bottle fed babies are sick more often

Now on to breast feeding:
- it's free
- it promotes bonding between mom and baby
- baby is less likely to be sick, as an infant, and as they get older
- breastfeeding lowers mom's risk of osteoporosis and certain cancers
- there is no trash to throw away
- no bottles to wash
- baby's poops are less smelly :)
- breast feeding is recomended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as the best way to feed baby
- mom does all the feeding (though if you pump, dad or some other family member can help with feeding, so this is only a part-con)
- mom will not get 8 full hours of sleep for a while after baby is born (unless using expressed breast milk for dad or others to help with feeding)

So, by my tally, breast feeding wins by a landslide. But you don't have to take my word for it. There are multiple websites with more in depth information. There are some links at the bottom of this post where you can find more information.

My experiences with bottle feeding were ok. It was nice to be able to get some sleep after baby was born. My husband did most of the baby care after our first was born.
With our second child, I attempted to breast feed, but did not get off to a good start. Looking back, I was probably dehydrated, so I wasn't making enough milk to feed my little one. I eventually gave up and went to bottle feeding again.
With our third child, I was determined. He nursed constantly for the first few days, but was steady losing weight. After a trip to the pediatrician on baby's third day, it was brought to my attention that I was not taking care of myself, therefore I could not take care of my baby. Your body is designed for self preservation. So if you are dehydrated or malnurished, then your body will not make the amount of milk neccessary for baby.
After getting this information, things changed almost instantly. I went home and drank a bottle of water and big glass of milk. Seems like less than an hour later, my boobs were full of milk ready for my little one. You have to take care of yourself if you want to be able to take care of your kids (or anyone else, for that matter).
So far, I have been breast feeding for almost 3 weeks. We have no formula or bottles in our house, so I am not tempted to back slide.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the bonding time with my son. Getting the chance to sit with him multiple times a day and watch him grow, is absolutely amazing. I feel great, physically and mentally. I have not had the problems with post-partum depression like I had after my first two kids were born.
I am hopeful to continue this relationship with my son for as long as possible. If an obstacle does come up, then I plan on pumping so that he still gets the best food for him, even if its not 'directly' from me.

If you have questions about breast feeding, contact your local La Leche League leader for lots of helpful information. And check out these websites for some answers...

La Leche League

American Academy of Pediatrics - breastfeeding page

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - Breastfeeding Patient Pamphlet

Pregnancy.Org - Breastfeeding Information

Saturday, July 25, 2009

what AM I doing??

Ok, so everyone in my house is asleep ( a miracle with 3 kids [1 is only 2 weeks old] and a husband who would rather be in the woods or making a fire with sticks...more on that later) and what am I doing? Surfing the internet.
I could be taking a bath, reading a book, or, better yet, sleeping! And yet here I am...online. And after some thought, I think I may actually pick up a book...after I watch cops :)
Night all!

Friday, July 24, 2009

SC Style 'Gumbo'

Venison Gumbo Recipe

2 lbs venison burger
2 large potatoes
1 large red onion
1 large yellow onion
4 large cloves of garlic
2 large tomatoes
2 cups okra
2 large (or 4 small) yellow squash
1-2 cups carrots
1 can diced tomatoes in juice
1-2 cups chicken broth
small amount red wine vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
salt, pepper, cajun seasoning

Chop potatoes, okra, tomatoes, carrots, and squash; set aside.
Chop onions and garlic, set aside separate from other veggies.

Brown venison burger in large dutch oven (just until brown, do not overcook!)
Add salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning to meat.
In small skillet, brown garlic and onions until slightly caramelized.
After meat is browned, add chicken broth, 2 cups water, can of tomatoes, sugar, onions and garlic.
Use red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) and a little water to deglaze garlic/onion pan. Add to large pot.
Bring to a boil, then add rest of veggies.
Return to a boil, cover, and turn heat down to low.
Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
Don't overcook, as veggies will lose all their color.

(Amounts of broth and water can be altered to suit what you have available.)