Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Miracle Stain Remover

My baby happens to be a champion pooper. It generally happens about 7 minutes into his feed. He starts getting a big agitated at the breast and then pulls off entirely with this incredibly determined look.

Its then I know what's about to happen... and I wonder... how big will it be? Will my clothes be stained?

The rumble begins and can go for minutes and can be heard within a 10 metre radius at least. It can also be heard over the phone. I know because a vendor I was on the phone with commented on how loud it was. Embarrassing!? YES!

I hear about kids that store up their poops for days and then have these rippers. Well my son seems to have these rippers MULTIPLE times every day! And for a while there when he hit the 5 kilo mark, he seemed to be between nappy sizes and I was the victim of blowouts several times every day!

Now, when I find myself covered in the yummy yellow mustard sauce courtesy of my son, I am so diligent to soak it in nappy san immediately and then put it in the wash. Unfortunately, we have still succumbed to some stains. I thought all was a loss until my girlfriend heard about our misfortune and offered me her "EXIT" stick to borrow.

This little stick looks very humble and almost homemade. But let me tell you, it is a miracle worker! My yellow clothes suddenly turned back to their beautiful shades of blue, green, gray, and yes, even white in under 60 seconds.

According to their website, "EXIT INSTANT STAIN REMOVER is 100 % biodegradable, compact and portable, and is a safe and very effective mutli-purpose stain remover suitable for a wide range of stains made by blood, biro, boot polish, grease, lipstick, red wine and many other household stains.

The active ingredient is a by-product of the citrus juice industry and is a natural substitute for most other organic solvents, this results in a safe yet very effective stain removing soap."

Exit Soap is a new must-have in my house and I recommend it for yours too!

From one pooped out mommy to another,

Saturday, April 17, 2010

We Want to PUMP! YOU UP! (My Double Electric Breast Pump Has Arrived!)

Yes, I have been so eagerly awaiting the day that my Medela InStyle Double Electric Breast Pump would arrive! I absolutely adore breastfeeding my little boy, but I am also a working mom. While I am blessed enough to be able to work from home and also have an area to bring my son to work, there are times when meetings are on and I need to leave bub with someone else to take care of him.

Because I've been breastfeeding exclusively, I've really been hesitant to use formula even for those occasions I had to leave my baby with someone else. I know breastfeeding is not for everyone but since it is something that is working for us, I wanted to maintain what was going into my son's body.

My pumping journey has been a bit on the hilarious side.

1. First, I tried a manual pump from a friend. I started out very optimistic., picturing an abundant flow milk pouring from my bosom. Then came the reality check. After about 15 very uncoordinated minutes, I found myself with a cramped hand, and an ounce of milk. I was so discouraged!

2. I then rang the chemist as I heard they hired out electric pumps which would hook up into this manual pump. I had to ring a few places before I found success and it was $30/week! Great for a once-off but not a good long-term solution at all.

3. A couple of days later I happened to be at a friend's house. She was moving out of the country and had a few items to get rid of so I was stoked to see that one such item was a electric (battery operated) pump. This was the funniest experience to date. I hooked up, convinced this was going to be the pump that changed my life. As soon as I got it connected, I cried out in pain! It literally felt like my nipple was going to fall off! I finally understood women who say they have great pain in breastfeeding and immediately felt horrible for them! Determined as I am, I continued to try but no milk came out. My midwife happened to be coming the following day for a home visit so I asked her about it. After showing her what I was going, she said, "First of all, this pump is too small for your nipple." (Hence the awful ripping feeling!) None the less, the battery faded out within the time that it took to try and show my midwife so I gave up on that one!

4. My husband and I decided to suck it up. We have been very thrifty with our "Baby Bonus" but this was going to be worth it. We did lots of homework online - and asking other breastfeeding moms - and decided to go with the Medela In Style Breast Pump.
Even the packaging indicates that THIS is the real deal! It arrived in a beautiful backpack with a compartment for the actual pumping mechanism on the bottom and a section at the top for bottles and the cooler bag (included.) There are all kinds of practical compartments which really excites an organised mom like me. It even came with a manual pump just in case!

My first pumping experience was in t
he evening and my baby was going through one of those big eating stages. He had all but sucked me dry but I still managed to pump 2 ounces. I couldn't believe how comfortable it was compared to the other pumps I had tried! It felt like a miracle and I waved the milk in my husband's face in joy!!

I now pump regularly to keep up a stock for those just in case times and always have a great yield in record time and with a lot of comfort.

Its a real blessing. This morning, our baby woke up about half an hour early. Being the weekend, my sweet husband grabbed him and gave him a bath while I kept sleeping (yes, exhausted from the other 3 times I h
ad fed him in the night!). I started to hear my son's hunger squack but by the time I had come out from bed, there was my wonderful husband feeding our baby a bottle.

We love our Medela In Style Advanced Breast Pump and would DEFINITELY RECOMMEND it!

Happy feeding times!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What's Your Motivation?

Whether you call it that or not, I think everyone has a parenting philosophy - a set of thoughts, values and ideas that drives why we care for our children the way that we do. I find that there are lots of good principles to chose from among advice from friends, parenting books, etc, but as I consider the decisions I make with my son, I constantly come back to one thought:

What is my motivation?

There are obviously a lot of motivating factors that drive what we do - from the big things like the way we were raised, our values, our spouse's values, and even our circumstances. (Let's face it, if you're child is hungry but you are about to wet your pants, you might go to the toilet quickly first and then come back to feed your child.)

I've identified 2 motivating factors that often challenge me in the wrong way.

1. What makes me happy.

Yep. I said it. Sometimes, when I'm looking after my son and I think about all the sleep I'm not getting or all the things I could be doing, I think to myself, "I have to find a solution so that I can get what I want! More time to myself! More sleep!" Sounds terrible, doesn't it? When I realised this is part of how I was thinking I was so disappointed in myself. How selfish!!

But there was another motivating factor equally as bad...

2. What makes my son happy.

I am a sucker for my sweet little boy's smile. It is so addicting. And making him laugh?! Oh my goodness, I never want him to stop! Sometimes I equate the smiling with the happy child I want him to be and his crying or disappointment as this negative thing that I want to protect him from. I think we all want that.

But reality is, being happy 100% of the time isn't life and the thought of raising my son to think that made me equally as disappointed in myself.

Life is about compromise. Its about what we do in the midst of disappointment - even if that disappointment is a meal delayed by 60 seconds because mum had to go the bathroom.

And that's when I realised that the answer to what motivates me has to be both - it has to be what makes me happy AND what makes my kids happy. But it also has to be more than that. It has to be what makes my husband happy. And what makes the world around us happy. I'm not talking about people pleasing - I'm talking about kindness, compassion, friendship and brotherly love. And not in the fuzzy wuzzy way - I'm talking about the difficult way - the way that highlights just how selfish we really are - the way that means that caring about others has to come above our own selfish desires.

Its important for my son to know that most of the time, his needs come first and his mum and dad are 100% looking out for him. Its just as important for him to learn that there times when mum and dad make the decision that something else is more important or equally important and his needs might have to wait a little bit.

So with that said and my son sleeping, I'm gonna go spend some "me" time with his daddy,