Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Purposeful Conception on Offbeat Mama

Purposeful Conception: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy is currently being advertised on Offbeat Mama!

I'm super-excited about the January course, which will be the last one before our baby arrives (crazy!). It will be such a good time for reflecting and setting intentions. It will definitely help keep me motivated to maintain the healthy habits I started during the pre-conception phase.

If you have any questions about it, feel free to e-mail me!

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Update on Holiday Traditions

My resolution to be more festive and create new traditions this year has been both good and bad. I'll start with the bad: it's been a little stressful to try to fit a holiday activity into every evening.

On most nights, Matt gets home at 6:30. By the time we cook, eat, and clean up, it's usually around 8. That gives us approximately 1.5 hours before our ideal bed time (we have to wake up at 5:30 every morning). Matt has to write a blog post every night, and we also like to do things like watch movies, read to "Coconut," putz around on our computers, play with Hoss, etc. We've also had added responsibilities related to the baby, such as appointments with our midwife and projects related to getting the room ready.

Despite those challenges, we did manage to accomplish 17 out of our 25 activities (definitely by doubling up on some nights and skipping others). I enjoyed writing love letters, making stamps, going around the neighborhood to look at lights, eating dinner under the Christmas tree, dancing to Christmas music (although the music wasn't exactly Christmas-related), and making baked goods for colleagues and friends (except that I had my first pregnancy sugar-binge and felt like crap afterward).

We also simplified some of the activities. For instance, instead of getting really creative with our wrapping, we just did some basic yarn with a simple tag (using the stamp I carved).

I look forward to revising the traditions for next year and adding new ones to fit our expanding family!

REMINDER: Registration is now open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on January 2. Register today!

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Cooking with Friends

Last weekend, we had friends over for pancakes, and it reminded me how much I love cooking with friends. Instead of stressing about preparing everything in advance, I simply set up different cooking stations with everything our friends would need to help us prepare. Very Montessori! (Hoss, of course, set us his own station on our bed. That boy loves the sun.)

For example, my friend was bringing the pancake recipe, so I put out all the ingredients that she requested in advance, as well as the measuring cups, etc. Then I set up another station for making fresh-squeezed orange juice. While our friends got busy at their stations, Matt and I set up the table with an electric griddle, so everyone could sit around making their own pancakes while we chatted.

It worked perfectly! Setting out ingredients is a lot less stressful than getting everything prepared and making the kitchen presentable before guests arrive. And honestly, I think people enjoy things more when they contribute to the process (as long as it's not an arduous and frustrating process when you're trying to enjoy yourself!).

It reminded me that I want our next house to have a giant kitchen with a gargantuan island facing out to the dining room table and the living room. I want to invite people over, toss them aprons, dole out jobs, and stand around chopping, cooking, and chatting together. That would be the life!

REMINDER: Registration is now open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on January 2. Register today!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

DVD Review: Laugh and Learn About Breast Feeding

Recently, I've commandeered our Netflix queue and have been moving a bunch of baby-related films to the top. Last week, we watched Orgasmic Birth (which I recommend for positive images of birthing, even though it has a general aura of hokeyness to it), and then I watched Laugh and Learn About Breast Feeding.

Initially, I wasn't going to put the movie into my queue because of the cover, but the description sounded useful. I'm so glad I did! It was like taking a real breast feeding course for free (I even practiced along by using a sock monkey as my pretend baby).

I'm convinced that each of us needs to prepare for the birth of our children in whatever way builds our confidence and our excitement. For me, I very much enjoy learning as much as I can from books and movies. Of course I will learn so much more by actually going through the experience, but getting a baseline of information helps me feel more ready as I head into parenthood (even when different sources contradict each other). Honestly, I think confidence is half the battle, so whatever we each need to do to build our confidence, we should do it!

I'll include the notes I took from the video below, in case they're helpful:

  • Use a small pillow for back support.
  • If baby is swaddled, unwrap him/her first. Swaddling signals sleep.
  • It's easier to start with regular bed pillows rather than specialized nursing pillows when your stomach is still large and you need to get the baby close.
  • Cross-Cradle Position: Right hand holds the baby's neck (as if you were holding the baby out it front of you by the neck). Baby's mouth goes to left breast. Left hand also goes to breast.
  • Nose and chin should be right up against the breast. If the nose and chin are not right up against the breast, the baby is too far away and it will cause problems. Don't worry about the baby being able to breathe (that's why they have "pug noses"!).
  • Football Position: Still need a pillow behind you to push you far enough forward that the baby has room for its feet. Second pillow goes on the side (regular bed pillow are your friend when it comes to breastfeeding!). Left hand supports the baby's neck (same as first position) and you bring the baby to the left breast. This position is particularly good post-c-section. Also, this position can be modified for babies that have reflux. Instead of coming at the breast around the side, they can come around and then sit up so that they latch onto the breast with their head in an upright position.
  • Sideline Position: Right arm cradles baby as s/he sucks at the right breast and lies on the bed.
  • Put finger in mouth and pull jaw down to de-latch a baby (when a baby is latched on, it feels like a "vacuum cleaner").
  • A baby should be finished burping in 2-3 minutes. To burp them, cover your hand/arm with a burp cloth and use that hand to hold them at the jaw line (with the baby sitting on your lap). Use the other hand to pat and rub the baby loud enough so your partner can hear it across the room. Other strategy is to hold the baby up high on the shoulder (which puts pressure on the gas in the stomach).
  • Nurse every 2-3 hours from start to start; 10-15 minutes per side.
  • Day One = 1 poop, 1 pee
  • Day Two = 2 poops, 2 pees
  • Day Three = 3 poops, 3 pees
  • Once milk starts to come in, the guideline is 6 pees and 3 poops.
  • If the baby is extra sleepy in the first 24-48 hours and you need to wake it, you can hold it under the arms and move it from side to side like a pendulum. To keep a baby awake while breast-feeding, you can nudge it under the chin.
  • Consider putting one pinky-sized portion of Lansolin on each nipple once a day to prevent dryness. Also, try to give your breasts as much air and light as possible. You can also cope with sore nipples by soaking them in bowls of salt water or putting tea bags on them. Expect sore nipples for about two weeks.
  • Coping with Engorgement: 15 minutes of warm-wet (washcloths, shower, etc.), 15 minutes of nursing on each side, and 15 minutes of ice pack (or a frozen green cabbage leaf). Engorgement last for about 48-hours.
  • Most women need to eat about 3,000 calories a day.
  • Pump right after a feeding (pump the first three feedings to make enough for a partner to feed the baby at night).
  • In the fridge = 5-7 days
  • In the freezer = 3-6 months
  • Best time to by a bra is in the 36th or 37th week of pregnancy.

Also, in case you're interested, here's the link to all my notes: Basic Infant Care.

REMINDER: Registration is now open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on January 2. Register today!

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

iPod Applications?

Refrigerator magnets

I realize that I've already said goodbye and signed off for the year, but I have too many post ideas piling up. I need to express some of them before I bring engorgement upon myself (can you tell I've been learning more about breast feeding today?).

Really, this post isn't so much an idea as much as it is a request. You see, I have an iPhone, but I am terrible about using technology to its fullest capabilities. As I thought about using Microsoft Word to create a tracking sheet for our baby's eating/peeing/pooping/etc., I remembered that someone around these parts has already mentioned there's an app for that.

So, please, tell me what I'm missing! What apps do you find helpful for new parenthood? What about life in general?

Please share your wisdom!

REMINDER: Registration is now open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on January 2. Register today!

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays & A Happy New Year!

My vacation has officially started! I have lots to get done before the holidays, most of which relates to finalizing the baby's room (I promise a photo tour will be forthcoming!) and getting the binder together that will have all the information people need to best help out around the house once the baby is born.

I'll also be setting aside some time for reflection. At the end of every year, I like to look back and celebrate what I'm proud of, think about what I wish I would have done differently, and set my intentions for the year new. I use this form to guide my process, and then I make a visual collage to represent the year. I know I've mentioned it before, and I don't mean to sound redundant. I just wanted to close this season with a nod to introspection and mindfulness.

Wishing you community, connection, warmth, love, and fun this holiday. Happy New Year! I'll see you in 2011!

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Co-Sleeping Options

I'm getting pretty tired of figuring out all the products we need to be prepared for the arrival of our baby. I'm definitely not buying into the hype of the Baby Industrial Complex (I haven't even stepped foot in a Babies 'R Us), but there's still a lot of stuff to get.

By far, my biggest dilemma is figuring out the co-sleeping situation. We want to co-sleep with our baby initially to promote attachment and make it easier on me to breastfeed in the middle of the night. Although I have no concrete way of predicting how long we'll co-sleep (it totally depends on our baby and how the situation is going), I'm currently thinking somewhere in the three-month range (but I'm really just pulling that number out of my butt). I'll keep you updated.

So, here's the dilemma:
  1. We have a queen-sized bed. Matt and I already jockey for space in our bed. There is no way we are fitting another living being in it (we don't let Hoss sleep with us either). Since we can't even consider this option, we don't even need to think through all the safety considerations related to the firmness of our mattress, blankets, etc.
  2. That means the baby needs to sleep next to the bed. Since Matt and I have an IKEA Malm bed, we sleep very low to the ground. This means an option like the pack-n-play (which is a an inexpensive, co-sleeping option for the side of the bed) will not work well for us. It would tower over our bed and require more work than I want to reach in and retrieve the baby in the middle of the night. I want to be able to reach over and touch the baby throughout the night.
  3. The Arm's Reach co-sleeper does have a "universal" option that adjusts to line up with platform-style beds, but it is approximately $240. That's way too much to spend for something that we might not use very long.
  4. I've heard about the option of renting a co-sleeper, but I haven't heard of any options in Houston. This option might be worth pursuing; it will just take more annoying work (like I said, I'm getting tired of thinking about all the products!).
  5. The space between my side of the bed and the closet is tight. If we get anything too bulky, it will make it difficult to navigate around our room.

So here's what I'm currently considering: Buying a thick mini-crib mattress (I found one that is about 6" high), lining it up next to our bed, and then buying something like this to put on top of the mattress (and put the baby in).

So what do you think? Please help me evaluate my current option, and suggest other ideas!

Looking forward to hearing from you...

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Living Christmas Tree

This year Matt and I opted for a living Christmas tree. I found a local farm a little out of the city that sells them. However, we were out of town the first two weekends in December and couldn't make the long trip, so we decided to get one from Home Depot for $50 instead.

I was hesitant to get a living tree because I thought they would only come in small sizes, but our tree is seriously about six feet tall. I also worried that the pot would look ugly, but I simply bought 2.5 yards of fabric from IKEA and wrapped it around the bottom (no sewing required!). It will look even better once it's covered in presents. We even managed to transport the tree home in Matt's Prius by simply bending to top of the tree to the side (it's really flexible).

Once we got the tree home, we set it on a large trash bag to protect our floors from daily watering. We also used a second trash bag plus some tape to make a little tray to hold any excess water.

I also worried about where the heck to plant the tree after Christmas. I talked to a friend about it, and he suggested that I ask the principal at my school. So I did, and she agreed. Woo-hoo!

I also worried that having a live Christmas tree would worsen Matt's allergies, but he hasn't complained!

I imagine that we will start a tradition of buying a living tree and then planting it in the new year. Maybe we'll stand around it and recite our intentions for the new year. Hmmm...

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bowling Baby Shower

Matt and I are trying to accomplish as much as possible before the Christmas holiday. When we get back in January, I'll be 34 weeks pregnant (out of 40). Since many babies are known to arrive up to two weeks early, it makes sense for us to be prepared as early as possible. Also, I'm nervous about taking childbirth classes twice a week for two hours a night for three weeks. Eek!

Since our evenings are already so packed, we try to get as much done as possible on the weekends (and still relax and have fun!). This weekend, I made a new slipcover for the ottoman in the baby's room, wrote lots of thank you cards, made a trip to IKEA and Home Depot for more nursery stuff, and ordered the invitations for our Bowling Baby Shower.

Matt and I decided that we wanted to have a party to celebrate the imminent arrival of our little chap, but we didn't want to saddle our friends with the burden of hosting something. So we opted to just go bowling instead! We had a free postcard deal from Vistaprint, so we decided to make a color invitation. We used some pregnancy paint that a friend of mine gave us to paint my belly like a hot pink bowling ball and then headed into the backyard (with one of our neighbors) for a photo shoot. We had a ball (pun intended)!

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Registration Is Now Open!

I'm very excited to announce that registration is now open for the next Purposeful Conception: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy online course, which begins January 2 and runs through February 4. This course will be the last one before our baby arrives (crazy!).

I'm particularly excited about this January course because it's the start of a new year (a new decade, for that matter!), which, for me, always represents a fresh start, an ideal time for introspection, and a renewed opportunity for self-growth.

As I get closer and closer to my due date, I feel even more thankful for the time I spent preparing my mind, body, and life for pregnancy. Although there is so much that is out of our control when it comes to conception, pregnancy, birth (and parenthood, for that matter!), there's a lot we can do to lay a solid foundation and create a nurturing and welcoming environment. Transitioning into parenthood is a big, huge life event that is worthy of intention, thought, and preparation. The average couple spends months and months preparing for a wedding. It makes sense to spend an equal amount of time (or longer!) preparing for children.

Here's some of the positive feedback the past two course have received:

  • "To be honest, I was hesitant at first to spend the money on a class about preparing for conception (rather than saving it towards actually having a baby!). However, both my husband and I have benefited SO much from this; it's been worth EVERY penny and more. Truly. It's been fantastic and I'm so glad I 'splurged.'"
  • "This was an excellent course and a lot of thought, research, hard work, and love went into it - that is obvious. It was comforting to find a community of others who are really taking the time to plan for conception and parenthood, because I don't find that among my local community. Great job, Sara. Really and truly. This course was a big help to me and I will definitely recommend it to others!"
  • "Thanks to all the reflection, guided discussions, and useful advice from this course, [my] worry/fear has pretty much disappeared. My partner and I have figured out what 'ready' means to us, and it's not as hard as we thought it would be to get there. We have a short to-do list with achievable goals. I'm happy to be where I am right now in my life."
  • "I was very ambivalent about having a child before taking this course. I now know that my husband and I are more prepared than I thought we were to have a child. For the areas in which we need some work, I now have concrete action steps to complete...It's wonderful to actually be excited about this next step instead of fearful or unsure."
  • "I have a long way to go, but I want to work on myself before having a baby. This course has helped me identify concrete areas that need work."

The Nitty, Gritty Details

  • An online course and community focused on preparing our minds, bodies, and lives for pregnancy
  • January 2-February 4
  • $99 USD

Here's the more detailed version:

Are you thinking about getting pregnant or are you already actively trying? Welcome to Purposeful Conception! This course is for all of us.

The idea is simple: bringing a baby into the world is both an overwhelming joy and a life-changing commitment. When we approach conception with intention and purpose, we create a welcoming and prepared space for children in our lives.

This online course will help us position our minds, bodies, and lives for pregnancy. Over the course of five weeks, a new lesson will be uploaded each weekday. The lessons will address a whole host of topics, such as preparing your body through solid nutrition and exercise, finding balance between what you can and cannot control, making space in your life for pregnancy, deciding whether to track your cycle, building a solid partnership as a foundation for your future family, and much, much more. As a participant in the course, you'll receive information, tips, reflection exercises and prompts, access to interviews, and a community of like-minded kindred spirits who are on a journey similar to your own.

Interested in learning more? Visit the Course Overview or About the Author. Spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be limited to the first 100 participants, so Register Now! The total cost is $99 USD. Happy Conceiving!


Please consider spreading the word by sharing this post via the buttons at the bottom of the post or by reposting the information on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Thank you so, so much!

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

On the Reading Docket

I'm so excited about the books I picked up at my local library (requested through inter-library loan):

  1. Diaper Free: I'm eager to learn all about elimination communication (although I have to confess that I just read random sentences out of the book, and the author seems very radical--think unassisted home births).
  2. Montessori from the Start: This book seems a little dense but also full of useful information as I try to figure out how to transfer my Montessori knowledge from 6-9 year-olds to infants.
  3. How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way: Even just flipping through the pictures excites me!
  4. Body, Soul, and Baby: I read this book during my preconception days, and I loved it. I ordered it again so I could refresh my memory about the pregnancy stuff.

I also went to a recent book sale at the public library and picked up a copy of Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman.

Of course, I really need to be reading about birth right now!

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Tentative Post-Baby Daily Rhythm

Lists, lists, lists!

For those of you who get really irritated with my passion for planning (or those of you who think I'm spiraling into delusion and disappointment by planning things that can't possibly be planned), be forewarned that you might not want to read this post. Who needs to elevate their own stress levels by subjecting themselves to something that is really, really going to bother them? Seriously, why not close this site and go check out something more lighthearted?

For the rest of you, I'm going to share some of my thinking about what my life might be like when I'm on maternity leave.

First, I must state for the record that I absolutely hear and believe people when they say, "Be prepared to get nothing done. There are days when showering is just too much of a stretch."

I am preparing for the adjustment to life with a newborn as much as I possibly can. I'm asking my mom and bonus mom (i.e., my mother-in-law) to come and stay with us at separate times after the birth to help take care of the house, cook, do laundry, walk the dog, etc. Once they go, I'm going to ask friends to deliver meals, mow our lawn, and do our grocery shopping for several more weeks. I've also been talking with Matt about how important it is for him to take paternity leave (for all of us!). I'm setting myself up to have zero obligations (I'm writing posts in advance for this blog, and I've asked guest posters to cover 2000 Dollar Wedding for at least five weeks). I won't run another Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy for a while.

Even with all those supports in place, I know it will still be hard. Plus, we may struggle with things that we can't even anticipate right now (e.g., medical difficulties, colic, other unexpected life-changing events in our family, etc.).

With that said, I still need to think through what kind of life I want to live when I'm home alone with a baby. Personally, I'm much more productive, intentional, and happy if I plan such things in advance (or at least jot some things down on a brainstorming list). I absolutely acknowledge that this list may fall completely by the wayside, but I'll still be glad I created it because it gives me immense reassurance right now. I am very much looking forward to life with a new baby (which is a great place to be as we head into the final months before the birth).

So, enough of that rambling preamble. Here is my current list of what kind of daily routine I might want to have, once things have settled down a bit in our household:
  • Stay in bed until I have slept 8 hours (I got this idea out of a book; basically, I wake up and feed the baby all night long and into the morning, but I don't actually get up and out of bed in the morning until I have slept a total of 8 hours, no matter how long that takes!)
  • Shower
  • Practice Spanish while breastfeeding (using these CDs)
  • Write one blog post while the baby naps
  • Take the baby for a walk in the Moby wrap or Ergo carrier with a neighbor of mine (hooray for adult conversation!)
  • Give the baby a massage
  • Spend time out in nature with the baby
  • Give the baby tummy time and lie-on-your-back-and-stare-at-mobiles time
  • Read the baby a story
  • Read my own books while breastfeeding
  • Do laundry, tidy up the house, and talk on the phone while wearing the baby, if possible
  • Nap (during one of the baby's naps)
  • Go on occasional outings to visit friends, browse antique stores, tutor my children at school
  • Try to fit in some of my own work, either while the baby is napping or while the baby is entertaining himself with mobiles
  • Spend quality time with Matt

I'll keep you updated about how it goes!

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Antique Store Finds

I am so in love with my local antique shop. So-in-love.

I was able to walk in and find exactly the two things I needed, as well as two things I really wanted.

For the two essential items: I found the exact container I wanted for my portable breastfeeding station. It looks perfect, and it even fits my 40-ounce water bottle. It's a little on the heavy side, but I can deal with it. I also found the exact little kind of wooden drawer I wanted to use as a shelf above my desk. It will hold my new tape dispenser, as well as a few other desky items.

I also found an amazing card catalog that I couldn't resist. I mean, the overarching theme for our home is old school house, so it made perfect sense. It will be a helpful place to store more office supplies.

Finally, I found a yellow frame that I really adore for some reason. Once I got it home, I realized that it holds 8.5 x 11 paper, which gave me an idea. I framed the most recent letter I wrote to Coconut. Every time I write him a new letter, I'll take out the old one and put it in his scrapbook. I'm excited!

Are you ready for the grand total for my four items? $50.


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Monday, December 6, 2010

Montessori Floor Bed

Matt and I have definitely decided to go the Montessori floor bed route rather than get a crib because the idea resonates with us for a couple different reasons:
  1. We're eager to help our child develop independence, and a floor bed is designed to do just that. The entire room is designed to be as safe as a crib would be (it's usually closed off from the rest of the house with a secure gate). That way, when the child wakes up, s/he can simply start playing in his/her room.
  2. Buying a mattress rather than a crib + a mattress helps us save money and is better for the environment because we're using less stuff.

The challenge is going to be figuring out what size mattress to start with, so that we minimize the number of mattresses we need to get through the years. Because our house is so small right now, we can't get anything bigger than a crib-sized mattress. With the sleeper sofa in the baby's room, a crib-sized mattress will just barely fit (and that's because we are using a tiny desk in that room). We could go with an even smaller portable crib mattress, but once we do move into a larger house, we would need to buy a new mattress.

So it probably makes sense to go with a regular sized crib mattress right now and then upgrade to a bed-sized mattress when our child is old enough to get out of bed and walk (instead of rolling). At that point, we could make the switch to a low platform bed and use that for years.

The next question is whether we opt for an eco-friendly mattress or an IKEA mattress. The former costs hundreds of dollars, while the latter starts at $35. Of course, it's inaccurate to just compare price tags. If the IKEA mattress is made with materials that cause cancer or lead to other health risks, then its "cost" is actually much, much more.

I hate having to make such trade-offs!

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Portable Breastfeeding Station

My dear friend, Carolyn, explained to me the importance of having water bottles on hand to rehydrate oneself, as well as snacks, books, etc. to make breastfeeding more comfortable and to fit in some self-care. When I first heard from mothers that breastfeeding happens all over the house, I thought about setting up "breastfeeding stations" in a couple different rooms.

Although I love the idea in theory, once I started thinking about what it would mean to put a breastfeeding station in the baby's room, the living room, and our bedroom, I started to like the idea less and less. The main problem is that our house is tiny (like 900 or 1,000 square feet). It can look cluttered very quickly. One of my goals as I move into parenthood is to not let our house get overrun with baby stuff.

That's when the idea hit me: a portable breastfeeding station! I know exactly the contraption I need to buy from my local antique store. It's a wooden box/tray with a single handle coming out the top. It looks like something a carpenter might have used. The single handle will allow me to hold the baby, grab the breastfeeding station, and go wherever we want to breastfeed.

Here's what I'm thinking I will put into the portable breastfeeding station:
  • iPod (we're going to have a docking station in the baby's room and we already have one in the living room)
  • Magazines
  • Books
  • Journal (if I absolutely have to jot down something that I read)
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Burp cloths
  • Clipboard with paper and pen for tracking feedings/poopings/etc.

I think all of that will fit into the contraption I'm thinking of. I'll have to see. If not, I'm sure I can find a basket that will do the trick.

In the meantime, can you think of anything else that I might want to have by my side when I'm breastfeeding (aside from a breastfeeding pillow, extra pillows, and the baby?). Thanks for your suggestions!

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December: Reflection & Rejuvenation

From the Nikki McClure Calendar

Wow. We are officially heading into the last month of 2010. I think this marks the end of a decade. It's strange to me how I can compartmentalize so much of my life chapters according to the decades. The '80s were my childhood. The '90s were high school and college. The '00s started with my career, took me on a self-subsidized sabbatical, and connected me with my life partner. And now the next decade marks the beginning of my journey as a parent and the wholehearted pursuit of some of my bigger dreams related to building community and revolutionizing education.

Okay, I won't go too deeply down the path of end-of-year reflection. I like to save that process for my New Year's ritual (my best friend Andy, Matt, and I always fill out a reflection form and make collages to visually represent our intentions for the upcoming year).

Let's see how I fared according to my intentions for this month:
  • Organize the bedroom: I started this task, but didn't finish it.
  • Organize the kitchen: Ditto.
  • Pull together Matt's birthday present: Yes! I was quite happy with it.
  • Invite a friend over for a dinner party: I put this on Matt's plate (pun intended), and it didn't end up working out.
  • Attend a La Leche meeting: I tried, but I ended up missing it because the website was down and by the time I finally located the address and forged through the Houston traffic, the meeting was over.
  • Spend Thanksgiving vacation engaged in a two-person writing retreat (with my best friend): We decided not to work on our writing because he just bought a new house and wanted to obsess about how to decorate it, and I was equally obsessed with how to decorate the baby's room.
  • Help Matt plan his birthday party: Yes! It was very, very fun.
  • Spruce up our front porch: Yes! I suffered through the intolerable project of making new cushions.
  • Buy holiday presents: Yes!
  • Organize the living room: Yes!
  • Keep working on baby's room: Yes!
  • Learn about infancy: I feel like I've learned almost as much as I can about infancy, so I've moved on to learning about birth.
  • Relax and rest: Yes, for the most part, I've still been able to nap and exercise every day. I also go to prenatal yoga once a week.

And here are my intentions for the upcoming month:
  • Organize dining room (as well as the rooms that didn't get finished last month)
  • Enroll participants for the last Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy before I have a baby (starts January 2)
  • Have fun implementing our new holiday traditions
  • Finish putting together the baby's room
  • Finalize our baby registry and send out the link
  • Plan our baby shower for January
  • Plan my birthday party for early February (I promise it will be low-key, since I'll be in my last month of pregnancy)
  • Continue learning about birth
  • Have friends over for dinner
  • Start working on my New Year's Reflection form
  • Rest & relax

I'm looking forward to it!

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