Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Fun Craft Ideas

If you are following this blog, then you know that the posts center around three things (pregnancy, prepping for baby or new baby advice.)  But because Halloween is my favorite holiday and my son and I are obessed with our costumes, craft projects and Halloween parties, I decided to throw in a holiday blog every now and then.

Here are three fun Halloween craft projects for you to do with your kids.  If you are intimidated already, please continue reading.  There is an easy craft, a moderate project and a more difficult one!

·         Paper Plate Jack-o-Lantern – buy orange paper plates or have your kids color/paint white paper plates.  Use black felt, foam or paper to cut out eyes, a nose and a mouth.  Create a green pipe cleaner stem and leaf )or just use green construction paper.  Hang around your house and enjoy!

·         Noodle Skeleton – buy different noodle shapes such as wheels, penne, macaroni and shells.  Glue noodles in skull or skeleton shape on black construction paper.

Clothespin Bats – use a pencil to draw a bat outline on black foam, felt or construction paper.  You can find templates through Google Images (free coloring pages are a good route.)  Cut the form out (you will need two bat forms for each clothespin.)  Glue googly eyes to the bat, or use colorful construction paper, paint, etc. to make eyes.

Meanwhile, paint clothespins black (spray paint is easiest).  Once dry, glue a bat form to either side of the clothespin.  Glue the tips of the wings together.  Hang around your house with the clothespin clip!

Happy Halloween crafting!!!!

Pregnancy - Syptoms and Solutions

I had every pregnancy symptom under the sun, how about you?!  Hopefully this post can help you relieve some of the more common pregnancy symptoms.

-eat 4-5 mini meals a day
-don't let stomach become empty
-eat crackers before getting out of bed in the morning
-chew crystallized ginger or drink ginger tea
-peppermint flavored items, drink peppermint tea
-wear motion sickness bands
-if you are throwing up and can't eat, you might need IV fluids
-eat granola bars, Capri Sun drink pouches, lemon candy or Preggie Drops

-listen to your body! It needs LOTS of rest, so don't feel guilty if you sleep on the couch from the time you get home from work until dinner and then you go to bed after dinner!

Stuffy Nose
-saline drops
-warm compresses

-maintain proper posture
-use good body mechanics (don't bend over sideways to unload the dryer)
-try pelvic tilt exercises

-eat lots of food with bulk - whole grains, bran, raw veggies, fresh and dried fruits
-drink lots of water and fruit juice
-establish a daily habit
-get regular exercise like walking
-if none of these natural remedies do the trick, ask your doctor about trying Milk of Magnesia or Miralax.  The latter got me through pregnancy and post-anesthesia.

Leg Cramps
-partner can place the heel of mom's foot in his palm, then gently use forearm to push the ball of her foot towards her body
-adjust calcium/phosphorus ratio (talk to your doctor)

-eat small frequent meals
-drink liquids in between meals rather than during a meal
-avoid fatty and high spiced foods
-avoid lying down after a meal
-avoid carbonated drinks
-try Tums or even a prescription medication

Shortness of Breath
-maintain correct posture
-slow down
-sleep propped up with pillows

Swelling in legs and feet
-sit, swim or walk in water
-increase fluid intake
-sit instead of stand; lie down instead of sitting; elevate feet several times a day

Varicose Veins
-elevate legs at right angle of body 2-5 minutes several times a day
-wear support hose
-try a warm bath
-avoid crossing your legs or locking your knees

-avoid constipation
-Keggel for circulation
-apply witch hazel compresses (over the counter at the drugstore)

Copied from Prepared Childbirth The Family Way by Debby Amis and Jeanne Green

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Baby Prep Advice - Nursing!

If you are going to nurse, you need to prepare!

Breast pads - I tried the Lansinoh and the Medela and liked both equally.
Lansinoh nipple cream - great for sore nipples and it is OK to leave this on for nursings (easiest way to get it off your hands is a dry tissue .)
Milk storage bags - definitely buy the Lansinoh bags. I bought another brand and all of my frozen milk went bad!

This is tricky because you don't know how big your breasts will be once your milk comes in. You can try and buy one or two before you give birth. It is generally safe to go up one size from your pregnancy breasts. I had a very hard time finding a bra that fits because I have very large cup size and relatively smaller around the bust. I didn't like any of the bras that looked like traditional bars. I had luck with the Seamless Nursing Sleep Bra by Medela at Mimi Maternity. It comes in S, M, L, XL and it is very comfortable for every day. I didn't know it was a sleep bra until I looked it up for this web site! I then bought two bras at Motherhood, one with underwire and one without. These were very uncomfortable because I had such nursing issues (very sensitive breasts inside and out), but they were fine for going out.

Now, I can't stress enough how much I love the sleep bras at Motherhood Maternity. At the time that I purchased them, they were $11. If you are apprehensive about buying 'cup size' bras, just buy 2 of these sleep bras and wear them day and night when you first come home. They are so soft and comfy and they have decent support for day and night. I bought one in white and one in black, but would have preferred two whites.

And once my breasts regulated and went closer to their normal size, I was able to wear this great Wacoal bra that is a soft lace with no under wire. It is comfy and because there is no under wire, there is easy access for feedings.  Just keep in mind, without underwire, there WILL be less support!

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or you work full time, buy a high-end, professional grade pump. This was a piece of advice a friend game me and I thought, nah, I am going to be at home or bring baby to work, so I can get a cheapy. I thought that going cheaper just meant that it might take a little longer for the milk to come out. Well, it can take A LOT longer but it can also be harder to get the milk out. And that is the last stress you need!

I suggest the Medela Pump In Style or the Ameda Purely Yours. The Medela is the most mainstream and well-known because it is sold in stores like Babies R Us.

The Ameda is ranked as a tie in Baby Bargains, but it is harder to find. It is about $50 cheaper, so that is why I sought it out. I bought it online at and I have been very happy with it. It actually came damaged and the manufacturer sent me a new which I received within two days of calling.

The only downside I can see with the Ameda is that the refrigerator storage bottles only hold 4 ounces, but the Medela bottles hold 6 ounces. Once I started feeding baby 6 ounces, I had to pump 3 ounces in two bottles or do 2 and 4 ounce bottles.

I also was told by friends to buy the pump before baby was born. But I didn't listen. I honestly thought that I might not need it - that I would be such the Mother Earth that I would only nurse. WELL, once I started nursing, 8 times every 24 hours, and I had sooo many issues with it, I was DYING to pump at least one bottle a day so my husband could give me a break. SO, buy it ahead of time, unless you are really on the fence about nursing and think you might not want to do it.

Ah, what we go through for our little babes!  I didn't even mention my thrush AND mastitis!