Archive | February, 2013

Human milk for human babies

25 Feb

Last night Emmanuel slept for TEN hours straight!  I couldn’t believe it.  Actually, it might have been more than ten hours, but I decided to get up after 10 hours to pump, because I was so engorged.  I laid there for a few minutes debating, “Do I pump?  Do I wait?  Surely Emmanuel will wake up any minute and need to eat.

My milk I pumped this morning.  I'm so proud of my 8 ounces!  I could have pumped more, but only pumped 1 side at a time, plus it was almost 5am, plus I wanted to make sure I still had a good amount in case Emmanuel woke up shortly after.

My milk I pumped this morning. I’m so proud of my 8 ounces! I could have pumped more, but only pumped 1 side at a time, plus it was almost 5am, plus I wanted to make sure I still had a good amount in case Emmanuel woke up shortly after.

If I pump now, he won’t have much to drink when he wakes!”  Those are the thoughts that I am sure every breast feeding mom will have at some point.

I decided to just pump to take the edge off, and since I only had one pump attachment clean, I only pumped one side at a time, and got this amazing (for me) amount of milk.

Since I am not working this school year (and praying that I don’t have to work next school year either), this morning I started wondering what I should do with all the milk I have in the freezer.  With Hadassah, I was pretty active in pumping as much as I could to build up a supply during my maternity leave.  With Emmanuel, I am only pumping when I am uncomfortable.  Even so, I have about 80 ounces in the freezer (and I usually have about 8 ounces consistently in the fridge to try to sneak in to Hadassah’s sippy cup here and there).  80 ounces really isn’t a lot of pumped milk.  It’s really only probably a 4 day straight supply of milk for a baby.  But it takes up a good amount in the freezer, and I realized that, since I am not working, I probably won’t need all this milk.

I had heard about an organization called Human Milk for Human Babies two weeks ago from an article I found on pinterest (you can read the article about modern day wet nursing here).  It is basically just a milk network, connecting mothers who have extra milk with mothers who need milk.  I wish I had heard of this organization when I was struggling with my supply with Hadassah.  I am quite passionate about breast milk and babies, so I was excited when I decided to look up my local chapter.

I am not 100% sure what I will do, but I am thinking about donating most of my freezer stash to someone in my city and maybe developing a relationship with a family where I can donate a bit of milk weekly.  When I was pregnant with Emmanuel, I was most looking forward to not having to pump since I wasn’t working.  While I don’t plan to pump religiously any time soon, I think I will continue to pump here and there when I am uncomfortable and I think I can probably easily get a day’s worth of milk each week.  And if it helps a family in need, why not?  And maybe I will burn some extra calories in the deal and get skinnier a little bit sooner (haha).

Here is the link to the website for Human Milk for Human Babies.

Also, I thought it was super exciting to read on their FAQ’s page about how there is something called a lactation stimulating device.  This is used for mothers who are adopting and want to breast feed, and also forlactation mothers who have low supply.  Here is a picture with a link to what that looks like.  How awesome is this!?

Please help adoptive mothers and other mothers out there struggling and share this information!  I had no idea that it was out there until two weeks ago, and I am already on my second kid!

Transitions

24 Feb

Hadassah is growing like a weed.  Last week she was running around the kitchen and I thought, “Hmm… her head is getting close to the counter top.”  A few days later I swear it got even closer to the counter top.  Today I noticed there is literally probably less than a centimeter before she will start hitting her head.

She also makes me laugh more and more every day.  I’ve been realizing over the past few days that she is transitioning to be a little girl.  She isn’t a baby (even though I like to say “My two babies”), and she is leaving the toddler stage.  She talks while bobbing and cocking her head, using the cutest intonation, and waving her hands every which way.  She bats her eyelashes, scrunches her nose, and lets out shrieks of laughter.  She also has this very “adult” walk.  Besides the fact that her normal stride consists of swinging her hips from side to side in the most feminine way, sometimes she will place both hands behind her, palms stacked in the small of her back, and she will pace through the hallway with a furrowed and quizzical brow.

I literally feel like I have blinked and she has gotten this big.  Watching a child grow up is like watching the hands of the clock move.  The minutes tick by, but you never notice when the hands are moving.  Pretty soon five minutes have passed, then ten, then an hour.  My newborn daughter is now a little girl.  I do think I have pinpointed some big transitions in her life.

Hadassah slept in our room for almost 7 months.  That is something I am determined to modify with Emmanuel.  I wanted to keep her as a tiny baby for as long as possible, and should have promoted some independence a bit earlier (for my own sleep sanity).  She transitioned from infant to baby around 5 months.  She transitioned from baby to toddler around 14/15 months.  It is hard to identify a strong transition here because she didn’t walk till she was 17 months, so it is easier to think of a toddler as a baby until they start walking.  However, we got rid of bottles easily at 15 months.  Finally, she has made the transition of toddler to little girl at about 19 months.  I know the “girl stage” will last awhile, and that I can’t compare her to a 7-year-old girl, but she is turning in to quite the little person.

I can hold conversations with Hadassah and she communicates so well.  We play together and she follows directions.  Just yesterday I started teaching her how to put her dirty clothes in the clothes basket!  I am especially excited about that.  Supposedly at 18 months of age, a “normal” vocabulary for children is 6-8 words.  Hadassah at that time frequently said about 60 words.  At 19 months it was well over 100 and I just stopped counting.  She is now 20 months old and she says new things all the time.  She knows lots of animals in both English and Spanish.  She knows all body parts in English and Spanish (except maybe palms and thigh) – in fact I was thinking about starting to teach her the bones in the body!  She also knows several shapes, however she only says those in English.  She knows a variety of foods, but not all of them she communicates in both languages.  For example, she says apple, but not manzana.  She says crema but not sour cream.  I just want to make sure I record her accomplishments, because she amazes me every day.  I’m guessing her vocabulary is around 200 words right now.  I literally was counting and just had to stop because I would think of 10 more words she would say a few minutes after I put my pen down.  Additionally, she still signs words while she is speaking.

I love watching her grow and hope I don’t blink too much and miss other transitions!

Homemade whip cream

23 Feb

I feel like I have had PMS for a month straight. It is really annoying. I have the munchies like crazy and I am not satisfied by anything I consume. This is not good for the waistline, and I’m stuck at looking 5 months pregnant (Emmanuel is soooo fat. Shouldn’t that signify that he is sucking the fat off me?). Ugh.

Tonight I had an antojo – roughly translated into English as a craving. I remembered I bought 2 canisters of strawberries on sale a few days ago, which means they needed to be eaten or consumed pretty much by today.

I was planning on cutting them up and freezing them tonight, but my antojo for something (I never can really pinpoint for what) was creeping up. Suddenly strawberries with shortcake and whip cream sounded really good. Only problem was I was missing everything except the strawberries. However, I remembered I actually had some whipping cream in my fridge and realized I could make my own whip cream! So I did. And it was delicious. I used a cup of cream, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Unfortunately, I realized my electric mixer sounded like it was going to either

A. Explode
B. dangerously eject the beaters and mutilate a part of my body
C. Catch on fire

I mean, I made it through the 5 minute whipping session, but the real tragedy was when only 1 can of strawberries and all the whip cream were gone and I wanted more (Hold your horses. I didn’t eat it all. Fernando ate half).

I didn’t want to take the chance of using the dangerous mixer again. My antojo was surprisingly satisfied. But I couldn’t stop thinking about my whip cream. And I really needed to use up those strawberries…so I did something stupid.

I settled.

I got some hot fudge put from the fridge and had hot fudge and strawberries. It sounded like a good, restaurant worthy idea, but it was disappointing after my phenomenal cream.

Note to self, I need to stick to this formula:

Bananas + hot fudge

Or

Strawberries + whip cream

= culinary happiness.

Do not deviate.

No Regrets

11 Feb

I have some strange thoughts sometimes.

Hadassah stopped breast feeding when she was 9 months old. It goes against every logical argument in my eyes in biology and survival. I do think part of the reason is that I was working, my milk supply was decreasing daily, and I was pregnant. After she stopped breast feeding, I literally grieved for months. In fact, I think it was only a month or two before Emmanuel was born that I came to terms with reality, and i think a large part of that happened only because I knew I had another little baby on the way to breast feed. After bearing a child,the second thing that makes me feel utterly feminine is breast feeding / producing breast milk. Even though I have stopped grieving the process with Hadassah, I still feel sad when I think about it. I try to comfort myself with the fact that she is an extremely comfortable, sweet, and secure little person, and she sleeps well, in her own bed, all night long.

On to my strange thoughts:

Emmanuel is a big baby. 14lbs at 8 weeks old. That’s how big Hadassah was at about 5 months old. I’ve taken pride in the fact that my breast milk is basically awesome. However, recently I’ve actually started…grumbling.

Ugh, he’s so heavy!
Ugh, carrying the car seat was so much easier with Hadassah!
Ugh! It’s so hard to whip him around in the middle of the night!

And most regrettably:

He isn’t a tiny little newborn. He’s a huge newborn. In fact, I think it’s safe to use the word giant. He’s in the 90th percentile for weight! So I caught myself actually grieving the fact that he wasn’t tiny. And it made me sad. I need to dwell on all the good things. I mean, the fact that he is comparable to Baby Hughey is an awesome thing! He’s growing like a (fat) little weed!

So that was my strange little thought for today that I’m going to try to correct. There is no reason to live with that as one of my regrets!

The Mystery of the Missing Mint

4 Feb

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of mystery novels. I finished the entire Sherlock Holmes series in December (I read while breast feeding. Goes to show you how much time I spend plopped on the couch. Or just up having a party in the middle of the night with Emmanuel). I have an unsolvable mystery here and it is driving me nuts!

Back in September or October I journeyed to Whole Foods just to get some peppermint essential oil to help with my migraines. I used it once or twice, it worked wonderfully, and I haven’t seen it since!

Not in the bathroom. Not in my nightstand. Not in the linen closet. Not in Hadassah’s room with her essential oils I use for cloth diapering. Not in the kitchen.

I just want to whine. I have a headache today. I don’t want Tylenol. I don’t want to load up two babies to go get more. I don’t want to spend the money on more. I just want to whine and make it appear.

HOW DOES A BOTTLE OF ESSENTIAL OIL DISAPPEAR? If only I could conjure Sherlock Holmes right now…

The 14 Days of Love (Valentine’s Day) – Spanish Version!!!

1 Feb

My mom is super creative. She can whip out thoughtful and creative ideas like it’s her job. I, however, did not inherit that gene. But, it has been a goal of mine over the past year or so to improve in this area, and let me tell you: it is HARD work!

At the beginning of January, I realized that if I am going to do anything for Valentine’s Day, I had to start planning ASAP. I sat down at Pinterest to get some ideas, and guess what? It didn’t work for me. Why? Sure I found lots of cute ideas, but they did not work in Spanish. While Fernando and I both speak English and Spanish, Spanish is the language in our home and our relationship. I couldn’t give him a bag of nuts and say “I’m nuts about you,” and just translate that in to Spanish. It doesn’t sound romantic at all, and it wouldn’t make sense. So I had to REALLY use my brain to be creative and come up with most of the ideas on my own. So, here are my 14 ideas that I will be doing to show my hubby that I am thinking about him.

Day 1 (That was today!) – I left him a note in the shower with Hadassah’s bathtub markers. It just says, “Feb 1st Today begins the 14 days of love. I love you. Love, Your Wife”Image

Day 2- Invitation to a romantic bubble bath. I’m going to create the event in my cell phone calendar and invite him to it.

Day 3- Naked juice – ok, this is my only thing in English, but how can you beat this for Valentine’s day stuff?! Day 3 is Sunday. I would have loved to have packed this in his lunch during the work week, but it could end up really awkward if someone sees a note attached to it.

Day 4 – an orange for lunch with a note that reads “Tu Eres mi Media Naranja” complete with some tajín. This means “You are my half an orange” with actually translates to “you are my soulmate”. I’m pretty proud of this idea!

Day 5 – a piece of gum with a note that says, “quiero estar siempre pegado a ti” meaning “I want to always be stuck to you”. Works in English as well, but doesn’t quite sound as good.

Day 6 – a sandwich cut in the shape of a heart

Day 7 – he eats quesadillas and eggs for breakfast, so I’m going to leave a note on the cheese that says “Queso prendente eres” which sounds kind of corny and means “you are so surprising”

Day 8 – A note on the toothbrush – “Me haces sonreír”

Day 9 – A simple note in his Nook that says, “Te amo”

Day 10 – Heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast with pink tinted batter

Day 11 – I’m including a heart-shaped hostess cake in his lunch

Day 12 – I’m including a tea bag in his lunch with this note/joke “¿Cuál es el té más lindo?” It means “Which tea is the sweetest tea? And the answer, which I know he knows, is “Te Quiero” Which translates to I love you, but in Spanish there is a play on words, so it is cute.

Day 13 – I’m leaving a note on the eggs in our fridge for when he makes his breakfast. I’m not sure what it is going to say exactly, but even if I did I don’t think I would write it down here, so if you speak Spanish, I’m sure you will understand. Huevos.

Day 14 – I’m going to make heart shaped calzones for dinner! And I’m talking about the ITALIAN calzones, not the Spanish ones, which mean underwear (Hmm… maybe I can incorporate this all somehow)

For the Valentine’s Gift, I was going to try to make a photo gift with the kids’ picture and Emmanuel’s footprints and Hadassah’s handprint on a matte that will help spell out Te Amamos.

So, there it is: my 14 days of love, for a Spanish speaker!