My New House Mondays: Master Bed and Bath

This is the room we all sleep in! Don’t you love the fashionable curtains? Yeah, that’s the first thing I want to change. Here’s the before.

Peanut is trying to convince Daddy to wake up by sitting on him. He wouldn’t leave bed so I could take pictures. This is also a good view of our sun. I made it from the tutorial on Prudent Baby. It brings a nice amount of bright happiness into the dark dungeon of a room.

And here is the before. (that’s the inspector)

We decided to leave the closet doors off because they’re just a hassle. Yeah, we’re into being lazy. Some people may think it looks bad, but I think it looks better than the big wood doors. I would like to eventually get a new dresser because I’m not into “traditional” furniture (yeah, I watch HGTV). For now, free is good.

Here’s our half bath. It’s entirely different than before.

My husband and father ripped out the linoleum and replaced it with real tile. The sink (which was hanging and not very stable) was replaced with a pedestal sink by my sister-in-law. She also changed the toilet. Obviously we painted it. The colors are reversed from the bedroom so it makes the tiny half bath look bigger. We just need to stick the door back on (then we can take off the towel that’s keeping light out), then we’re done!

Updates

I’ve been awful about blogging lately and I figured I’d write a post to say why (pretending that you guys actually care). :-P

I had a Canadian friend visit. He says “aboot” and I find it amusing. Here’s a cute picture.

Then I started school. I’m pretty sure that my brain is going to explode from all of the science. First semester back full-time and Peanut isn’t a happy camper about Mama being gone so often (about 20 hours a week including driving). She spends her time with grandparents. She’s also acting like she hates me lately. :-(

Things I would like to blog about in the near future:

  1. Some baby-led weaning stuff. Though this is going to get more difficult now that I’m spending less time with Peanut in the day. That leaves mostly dinner for picture taking (since breakfast is boring and she’s with Mema or Opa for lunch), so I guess I’ll have to be creative with what I make for dinner! Gives me a reason to continue to cook. :-P
  2. Review for Green Salve. I already did a review/giveaway for More Milk Plus (you should enter!), but I need to write the review for the second product they sent me. It’s all outlined in my head, but just not onto the computer screen.
  3. My continuation of my no-poo journey. I feel pretty happy about where I’m at right now. Few kinks to work out though. Maybe you guys can help me with it?
  4. I made Peanut an awesome dress… which was too big. So I gave that one to Peanut’s friend (or actually, I will after I alter it so it fits her better) and made another one for Peanut… which I messed up on. I took a ton of pictures of them playing in matching dresses. I hope to do a totally cute post about it relatively soon.
  5. Peanut’s newsletter. It’s been nearly 2 weeks since her month day. I fail.
  6. Of course, I’ll be continuing with the photos of my new house. I’m pretty excited about tomorrow’s.

I think that’s all my plans for posts right now. I may have forgotten something though. Life is pretty hectic right now (hence the post at 10pm?) so I likely did.

Until I get a real post up, you should read these blogs:

Prudent Baby: In the short period of time that my life wasn’t imploding, I did a few crafts off of this site. Probably the coolest crafts ever. I’ve also been making good use of the Hot Mess Mommy tips. Doing small things before heading to school makes me feel less like a mom who can’t handle her work load and more like a normal human being.

Musings of a Redhead: Not only does Katrina do wonderful work with her At Mother’s Breast project (did you see the post with me and Peanut?), but she has a lovely personal blog too. This post with pictures of grandpa babywearing—priceless. I can’t even get my husband to babywear, let alone my dad.

Regretsy: I love funny things and I love Etsy. This one makes me laugh out loud (seriously, and I look ridiculous) every time I look at it.

Alright, I’m off to do physics homework that’s due tomorrow. Ta-ta!

Motherlove More Milk Plus

I have always had an incredibly slow letdown. My letdown takes somewhere from 3-5 minutes. I’ve never timed it exactly, but it’s pretty obviously slow. Peanut used to fuss and scratch/grab me to try to make it faster, but now it’s just normal for us. I’ve tried all of the techniques to speed it up, but nothing has ever worked. I also can’t get letdown while pumping ever. Not to say that I don’t get milk while pumping, but I always have to work really hard at it and it comes out very slowly. I think that I’ve actually accomplished letdown while pumping all of two times (not including times that she was nursing on the other side of course).

Really, we’ve gotten used to the slow letdown. The only real problem is getting her to sleep. Peanut needs a big rush of milk to go to sleep and she fights sleep really, really hard. So sometimes when she’s in an especially non-sleeping—while still incredibly tired—toddler, she’ll nurse on both sides and not be asleep. Then she can’t get asleep from nursing and I end up taking her for a drive in the car.

So when Motherlove contacted me about reviewing some of their products (I’ll have another review up sometime next week on their Green Salve) I was ecstatic. The first thing that popped out at me was their More Milk Plus capsules.

Motherlove just celebrated their 20th anniversary which means they’ve been making save, effective, non-toxic products since before other companies thought it was necessary. Their products are all 0’s on Skin Deep! These capsules are entirely organic and herbal—which is very important to me. They’re also vegetarian which is a big plus. You’re supposed to take them 4 times a day, but I’ll be honest—I never really remembered to take them that often. I just kept them on my counter and took one every time I saw it. I think I’ve only actually done 3 in a day though. You’re also supposed to wait 15 minutes after taking one to drink/eat anything (and I would assume before also?), but I didn’t do that either. I know, I know, I’m bad.

So even with me not taking the pills as I’m technically supposed to, they entirely fixed my problem! My letdown now probably takes a minute or less! It’s amazing! I hadn’t even realized how much better it could be! I swear I probably save at least 5 minutes (if not more) every time I put Peanut to sleep. Yeah, five minutes isn’t much, but it’s five more minutes of me time which feels like a big deal. Plus it’s less time I have to lay in bed trying not to fall asleep. :-P

Who wouldn’t want to own some More Milk Plus? Guess what? You get a chance to! One lucky reader will win a free nursing necklace from Little Nurslings! How do you win such a thing?!?!?!

Mandatory First Entry: Tell me why it’s important to you to get ahold of some of these magical capsules! Slow letdown like me? Maybe a low supply? Maybe you’ve had problems in the past and you want them just in case? Don’t forget to include your email so I can contact you if you win.

Additional Entries: Please leave an additional comment for each additional entry.

1 entry — Follow me on Twitter.

2 entries — Follow Motherlove on Twitter.

1 entry — Tweet about this giveaway (i.e. “#breastfeeding #giveway Win Motherlove’s More Milk Plus! http://wp.me/pDcm9-oa”). You can RT once a day.

1 entry — Follow this blog by RSS or email.

1 entry — Vote for this blog on Top Baby Blogs by clicking this link.

1 entry — Follow Motherlove’s blog by RSS.

2 entries (leave 2 separate comments) — Become a fan of The Adventures of Lactating Girl on Facebook.

2 entries — Become a fan of Motherlove on Facebook.

2 entries — Subscribe to Motherlove’s Channel on YouTube.

3 entries — Blog about this contest (leave a link in your comments).

This giveaway ends September 2nd, 2010, at 11:59 MST. A Random Number Generator will be used to choose the winner who will have 48 hours to respond to my email before a new winner is chosen.

Contest CLOSED! Congrats to Nickie Cardozo!


My New House Mondays: Peanut’s Room

And now we head upstairs (we’ll hit the kitchen on the way back down)…

This is Peanut’s room!

Yeah, she’s missing a bed. Since we’re still co-sleeping, it’s not a big deal to us to get her a bed. It would be nice to get one for her to nap on though, so it’ll happen soon-ish. Even bedless, it’s really nice to have a room to keep all of her stuff rather than our room. Makes things much less crowded.

I’m also super proud of that rocking chair. We bought it second hand while I was pregnant for something like $30. It needed to be cleaned up, but that’s about it. Then after a few months of use it started making funny, annoying noises. Just recently, I had my father come over and help me with it and we tightened some bolts (which mostly fixed it) and then sawed off part that it was catching on. Just like new! People kept telling me to just throw it out and get a new one, but that seemed so wasteful. I’m happy that we fixed it, thereby eliminating trash in the landfills and keeping money in my pocket!

I really love these little elephants. Elephants are Peanut’s animal (get it? Peanut. Elephant. Ha!) so they’re everywhere in her room and she has a ton of elephant clothes, toys, etc. I made these elephants and letters (yes, her real name is Dea, not Peanut) when she was still inside of my tummy. I painted all of them myself and I loveses them.

This is one of Peanut’s toy boxes. The picture is a little cat and dog (because Peanut loves cats and dogs). It used to be my husband’s and when I found it in storage I immediately thought of Peanut. She squeals every time she sees it. Then the board above it is for collecting mementos. Also something we found in storage. Her first movie ticket (which is actually mine because I didn’t have to pay for her) is all that’s on there right now.

These are some cute little elephants I made from a DIY on Prudent Baby. I love making elephant things for Peanut so when I saw this I had to do it! The only change I made to her tutorial is that I starched them after I was done because they wanted to bend.

Lastly, here are some more elephant things along with her dresser and growth chart. I’m really happy we started keeping a growth chart. I wish we would have started earlier though. My only other project for the room besides getting a bed is painting the dresser. This is one that belonged to my husband’s grandma and it’s pretty hammered—especially on the top. I would like to paint it white. Possibly pink or green like the walls if I’m feeling daring.

Do any of you have way too much fun decorating children’s rooms? Am I the only crazy one who gave my child a theme of a specific animal? :-P

Edit: I realized I forgot to add a “before” picture. Here ya go!


Baby-led Weaning Wednesdays: Corn on the Cob

One of my favorite things about summer is corn on the cob. I love corn not on the cob, but somehow it’s just a billion times better straight off the source. No need for butter or salt—just give me some of that corn!

Needless to say, we eat corn on the cob frequently in the summer. Even if you’re not a corn-lover like me, I’m sure you do too since it’s so ridiculously cheap and pick-your-own farms everywhere seem to have it. Peanut has always liked corn too and in the beginning of the summer, I used a steak knife to cut the corn off of the cob for her. Then one evening a few weeks ago, she reached for my corn before I was done dishing everything out and it suddenly occurred to me that she could probably handle it off the cob. So I gave it to her and of course, she was a champ at it.

Now she eats corn off of the cob all of the time. Yeah, sometimes she chews on the ends. Yeah, sometimes she keeps trying to bite it off of the same place over and over. What matters is that she loves to do it. (Not to mention less work for mama. We always like less work for mama.)

Look at how happy she is!

Chomping on the end.

She ate a good portion of it!

So what have I learned from this experience? Let my child try things for herself! It’s the big theme of Baby-led Weaning right from the get go, but somehow I lost it a little. I need to remember to back off and let her try things on her own. Only if she can’t figure it out should I step in an help a little.

Meet Sebastian Alexander Bartholomew III

Yes, I buckled him in.

SAB is my birthday/anniversary/partial-Christmas gift. I have been pining this camera for probably pushing on two years. I watched as the prices went down waiting and waiting, then suddenly they just stopped going down. My husband kept telling me that it was too expensive and I kept saying I wanted to take beautiful pictures of our daughter. Finally, we came to an agreement that I ask for money from everyone for my birthday to go towards the camera and then what I didn’t get in money would go towards my future holidays. So it turned out to be my birthday, anniversary, and about half of my Christmas.

If you’re looking for a digital SLR camera, I definitely recommend using this guide. I spend a couple hours on there one day deciding exactly what was important to me in a camera (which was mostly being able to carry it around and take pictures of moving objects—well, just one moving object). I figured I should do some comparison shopping against the Nikon D3000 before actually laying the money down to buy it. As you can see, the comparison shopping lead me straight back to my camera.

Then I started looking around for deals. I thought I found a great deal at Walmart, but it turned out to have a completely different lens than the other deals I had found. The Walmart lens was missing the function Nikon calls “VR” which just means that it reduced blur from camera shake/movement on the end of the picture taker. This is an important feature to me because I’m a klutzy person and not good at holding my hands still.

I’m still working on the functions because it’s been a long time since I’ve shot more than a point-and-shoot and this is my first time owning a digital SLR at all. Still, I want to share some of SAB’s work with you. Yes, it is SAB’s work, not mine. I am only the medium that Sebastian works through. These are his pictures. :-P

Peanut on the train.

Yes, this is an artsy picture of corn. (Watch out for a Baby-led Weaning post tomorrow on this)

Sebastian’s flash makes Peanut blink.

Peanut at the park.

My New House Mondays: Living Room

Welcome! This is what you’ll see when you first walk into our house (except the dog will not be so calm). Yes, we’re nerds who have Full Metal Alchemist hanging in our living room. One of my plans for future changes is putting something super neat and artsy there, but for now we figured that was representative of us.

As you can see, we took out the gate that was attached to the railing. Apparently one of the former owners was blind. We also decided to take off the whole panel that connected the gate to the wall—which was a big mistake. It took a lot of effort to get the panel off (they had nailed, screwed, and glued it on), and then it took a lot of mudding to get the hole covered. Thank goodness my father used to do drywall for a living.

We also painted the whole room yellow with white trim. We have the same white trim in the two rooms on this level of the house. As you can see, the one wall has stripes…

That’s because it used to look like this. We thought about taking off the wall paper, but behind it is wood paneling (not the only place in the house) and so we decided to just paint over it. Honestly, I really like how it looks with the lines showing through. It looks like we did it on purpose!

The drapes came with the house and we specifically picked a color of yellow that would go well with them because they’re very nice drapes. I’m happy with how it turned out. We don’t really use this sliding glass door because it’s older and takes more effort to open, but I love having all of the light and even though it’s just looking out into the neighborhood and our patio, I enjoy looking out it.

Lastly, this is our hide a bed. No, we did not plan on having a hide a bed in the living room. We bought it for the Magic room (like Magic the Gathering, which is what will be played there), but could not get it up the stairs even after denting the walls a ton. So the couch that was down here is now in the Magic room and the hide a bed is downstairs. We may switch them again whenever we get the windows replaced (these windows are likely the same ones the house was built with in 1961 and therefore not energy efficient at all) because I’m sure that the couch could fit through the window.

Things I’d like to do with the room:

Fireplace

Photo courtesy of http://www.homebedazzle.com.

I don’t like the color of our current fireplace. There is a reoccurring theme of salmon pink in (and outside) this house and that is simply not my color. Surprisingly, we painted the downstairs room a very salmon-like pink. Yes, a full room of pink. You’ll have to wait to see it though. :-P

Back to the fireplace: I mostly just want it to be white. I like the idea of tiling it, but with the jagged edges of the brick, I doubt that will be possible without a ton of effort. Either way, it won’t happen for a long time.

Entrance

As I said, we don’t want to keep the Full Metal Alchemist poster above the stairs… well at least I don’t. Anyway, I’m really into grey and yellow lately and thinking of maybe putting something like this, or this, or this. I like the sunflowers, but it doesn’t necessarily have the be a sunflower thing. Let me know if any of you have any good ideas for something in that space. I really like the idea of vinyl wall art. Or possibly painting something, but I’m not a good painter.

Seating

While this hide a bed does make a dandy couch, it only fits about 3 people comfortably. Therefore, we need more seating—preferably two more seats. As I stated before, I like the idea of grey and yellow. I love the pattern of this chair, but I wish it had arms. This one is pretty lovely too, but also lacking arms. I like this kind of chair. Guess I’ll just have to keep my eyes out.

At Mother’s Breast

A couple months ago I read this post from Heather at It’s All About the Hat and started jumping in my seat when I heard that I could participate in this wonderful project. Katrina from Musings of a Redhead is doing a photography project of mothers and their babes nursing. Katrina is an awesome lady that I didn’t know before I heard about her project, but now that I do, I’m really enjoying reading her blog and looking at her lovely photography. She even gave me advice about my roses! And she even had her breach baby at home just weeks ago! My kind of lady.

We did our photos in the Salt Lake City Public Library which felt very fitting because my crazed obsession for books and the fact that we nurse in that particular library quite frequently. Katrina (with then an adorably big pregnant belly) was so nice and made me feel comfortable in front of the camera. At one point, I accidentally covered Peanut’s head with the book I was “reading” and Katrina said something along the lines of “Dea, can you tell your mommy to move her book? It’s covering your face.” Come on! If someone can correctly that sweetly when I’m being klutzy me I can’t help but like them!

So if you’re in the area, you should definitely contact Katrina about participating. Even if you’re outside of the area and have some professional photos of you nursing, you can send those in too! Until then, you should go check out my pictures.

This one is my favorite. It’s Peanut and I signing “I love you” to each other.

Friday Fill-Ins

#189

FFI

And…here we go!

1. Music blasting with the windows down is my favorite way to drive.

2. More sleep is what I like first thing in the morning.

3. The first thing I said this morning was: “We don’t hit Mommy to wake her up!”.

4. Marinated chicken; it’s what’s for dinner tonight.

5. It’s all been a very stressful summer. Painting, moving, Breastfeeding Cafe, our Canadian in town (yes, we own him), then school starts again! No breaks here!

6. Blogging is what I feel like doing right now, but I shall go pick up Peanut from her Oma and Opa’s instead.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going to the fair, tomorrow my plans include driving to Wyoming for chickens and Sunday, I want to finish cleaning the house before our very first guest staying in our new home arrives Monday!

We’ll add some fun linkage too!

Check out my photos at At Mother’s Breast (my post about them will hopefully be up tomorrow).

Look out for the post with LOTS of pictures from the Babywearing Fashion Show (also hopefully up tomorrow).

And I absolutely can not get enough of reading Heather and Kristi. Seriously, you guys should post every 20 minutes so I can read it. :-P

Baby-led Weaning Wednesdays: Soup

And we’re back! It seems like everything is getting in the way of my weekly Baby-led Weaning post! We had the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival for the last two weeks of August and before that there were weeks of planning the Carnival. To be quite honest, my posting is going to get pretty scarce in the near future because I’m going back to school full-time for the first time since Peanut was born. Hopefully I’ll at least keep up with my weekly posts!

With Peanut being a full-blown toddler, I’m feeling a bit more adventurous with foods lately. I’ve shared everything I’ve eaten with her for the last 10+ months, but there were certain foods that I gave her in easy-t0-handle ways or possibly just avoided all together. Now that she’s using utensils and maybe-kind-of-sort-of less messy, I’ve been branching out. So I gave her soup.

Yes, she’s had soup before. In the past I’ve given her just pieces out of the soup or just loaded the spoon and handed it to her. This time I just set a bowl of soup in front of her, gave her a spoon, and let her party!

Here are my tips for your first experience with soup:

Tip #1: Naked! It’s easier to clean a toddler than her clothes. Some people are opposed to naked toddlers—especially at the table. We spend a lot of time with a naked Peanut running around our house, so it’s not horribly unusual for her to be eating dinner naked. Maybe we’ll pay for it in the future when she’s 4 and wants to eat naked when we have guests over? Guess we’ll deal with that as it comes.

Tip #2: Ice! Soup is now an automatic favorite because I can put ice in it. Peanut is a food freak and will scream the whole time I’m cooking because she wants to eat NOW! (yes, she still screams if I cook when she’s not hungry yet) Then I put the food on her plate and put it in the fridge and that’s when the hissy-fits begin. How dare I not give her the food on the plate?!? Awful Mama hiding food from the toddler! I will kill you Mama! Soup is great because I stick an ice cube in, stir, and it’s good to go!

Tip #3: Don’t use the good china. Yeah, as if anyone uses their good stuff with a toddler! We personally took an old fold-up table outside to eat on. You definitely don’t want to use anything that doesn’t wash off easily. Also, since it’s summer time and we have our new lovely patio, we decided to eat outside. Really, nothing even got on the ground, but I’m still happy that we ate outside rather than risking getting red all over the carpet in our kitchen (Yes, we have carpet in our kitchen. Yes, it is awful). Most of it got on Peanut.

Tip #4: Bathe immediately. I figured that washing her off with the hose (no, it’s not as bad as it sounds) would do the trick, but oh no. It might just be that it was a tomato based soup, but that stuff dyed her skin! After hosing her down we let her play around outside for a while and I’m certain that if she was scrubbed in the bath sooner that she wouldn’t have had that reddish hue for the next few days.

All in all, soup was a good experience. It’s nice to give her something and just let her go at it. There’s zero effort for me in the actually food-eating stage so I’m able to sit back and relax—something rare for a parent of a toddler. She certainly had fun with it too. It was kind of hard to fight the urge to clean her up when she was literally rubbing it all over herself, but I just kept telling myself that she would just get messy again so it would be wasted effort. We’re not big soup people around here, but I think I’ll probably make it more often now.