Saturday, December 31, 2011

Creative Meals with Leftovers

Is there a good way to make meals with leftovers? Most moms enjoy cooking for the family but the drawback to that is ending up with a bunch of leftovers that nobody eats. In many households the food sits in the refrigerator and gets thrown out at the next weekly cleaning. We throw away tons of food every year because it is not eaten and spoils. How can we avoid this happening? The answer is to make creative meals from leftovers so the food does not sit around. Most families I know cannot afford to throw away food when budgets are tight and food costs are rising. This is a great way to save money by using up what you already have.

Creative Meals with Leftovers

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Easy Method for Removing Diaper Stains from Baby's Clothing

Babies poop a lot and that is one thing that does not change as they get older. The difference is that they tend to poop more. I have had to throw out stained baby clothes in the past due to occurrences of diaper blowout. What makes it so hard to get out is the fact that it seems like it sets in immediately and leaves a tell-tale orange-yellow stain on whatever it gets on.

As a newborn, my son always had leaky-diaper-syndrome because he was breastfed for nearly nine months and baby poop differs in consistency from formula-fed babies. Aidan’s poop was always runny and an orangey-yellow color( similar to mustard in color and texture). I found out that this is normal in breastfed babies so I had to figure out a way to cope with it.

I hate throwing anything away if I can use it a few more times. Baby clothing tends to get stained from leaky diapers due to bouts of diarrhea or diaper malfunction. The problem is when fecal matter gets on baby's clothing it tends to stain very quickly. Usually diapers that are soaked and treated properly will come clean but many times it is just not possible to get the diaper or item of clothing rinsed immediately. I found a very simple solution for getting my baby's clothing clean after these diaper blowouts using ingredients found in my kitchen.

My salvation came totally by accident when I decided to try a different cleaning method. I remembered that certain types of stains such as blood and milk stains are protein-based and require soaking in cold water and can be removed with meat tenderizer or hydrogen peroxide. Meat tenderizer is basically a salt mixture so I wondered if salt would remove diaper stains. I gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised to find that it did. I have used this technique many times over and will say that stains are removed much better if the items are washed in the washing machine after treating with the salt and dishwasher detergent. Hand washing just doesn’t do as good a job at washing out all the remaining stain. Here is the technique I use to keep Aidan’s clothes in good condition:

Secret tip #1
Feces, egg, blood and milk are all protein-based stains. One of the best stain removers for these types of stains is regular kitchen salt. The treatment is very similar to the method for removing blood stains.
Treatment method:
Remove any solids from diaper or clothing; soak the item in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes and drain. Lay the garment flat and sprinkle a generous portion of salt directly on the stain. The salt should completely cover the stain. Sprinkle a little water over the salt just to dampen it. Let this sit undisturbed for 20 minutes. Add a few drops of liquid detergent to the salt and scrub the stain until its gone then launder as usual. There should be no trace of a stain when removed from the washing machine.
  • · Important note:
  • If any stain remains repeat the steps above again. It is very important that you do not put the stained item in the dryer as the heat will permanently set the stain. Treat with the steps above as many times as needed to remove the stain. If you cannot wash the item right away you can rinse it, cover with salt and roll up or hang up to dry and use the stain treatment later. The stain can be removed later as long as it has not gone through the dryer.
Removing stains from bouncy seats and jumpers
I nicknamed my son "sir Poops-a-lot" because that is what he does. I have to wash his bouncer and jumper at least 2 times per week because he overflows his diaper. The legs ride up when he's jumping around and pushes it out of the diaper. To remove stains from these items disassemble or remove the cover if cloth or plastic, rinse in cold water and use the salt treatment for fabrics and a light coating of Palmolive "Eco" Gel Dishwashing Detergent for plastics. The jumper seat is plastic with fabric around the legs so the salt does not stick very well. The dishwasher soap works well for this and is eco-friendly. Wash the item first with a little liquid soap and rinse well. Pour a small amount of the gel detergent on the stain and lightly spread it over the spot and let sit for 60 seconds. Rinse hands immediately because this does contain a small amount of bleach. Scrub any spot and rinse well. Dry as usual.
The gel detergent method can be used on diapers and white or light colored clothing as an alternate. Since it does contain bleach do not leave it on for more than a few minutes and rinse out.
These are two of the best tips for stain removal that I have discovered in my 20 years of parenting experience. I raised 3 grown children and currently have a nine-month-old at home.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Comparison of Luvs and Parents Choice Diapers

Comparison of Luvs and Parents Choice Diapers

When shopping for diapers for your baby you should buy the product that performs the best for the least amount of money. Parents' Choice Diapers and Luvs are two brands of diapers parents choose most often, but which one out-performs the other?
parent's_choice_diapersEvery parent wants to do the very best they can for their children. We skimp on other items so we can spend a few dollars more for the "best" diapers, formula, toys and etc. When it comes to a baby's skin, drier is better. The main thing a diaper should do is absorb the urine so it does not irritate the baby's bottom. So the question is, is it better to buy the more expensive diapers when the generic ones do the same job? Well, the answer is that it depends on the diaper. Some store brands are just as good as the name brands.
Which Brand to Use?
So here is where the comparison begins. I bought both the Parents Choice Diapers and the Luvs because I needed 2 boxes and there was only one box of the Parents Choice brand. My little one just turned nine months old and graduated to size 4 diapers so I had to make a trip to the local Wal-Mart to restock my diaper supply. In the past I tried out every brand of diapers when my other children were younger and found that many of the generic brands worked very well.
Parents' Choice Diapers were $13.97 for a box of 82 diapers size 4 at Wal-Mart and Luvs were on sale for $16.99 for a box of comparable size. I purchased one of each but for some reason I opened the Parents Choice Diapers first. I have used these diapers since my son was born so I know they work well. They do not leak and he has never had a diaper rash from them.
The Luvs brand diaper is made a little larger than the Parents Choice brand. They fit with a little more room around my baby's legs and tummy. Both diapers have the elastic waistband and leg bands and tabs on the side for fastening the diaper closed. I had no trouble with the tabs on either diaper.
I typically change my baby every two hours or so when he is awake but I noticed that he went through the Luvs diapers a lot faster because he needed more frequent changes than usual. A box of Parent's Choice Diapers usually last us for two weeks because he is eating solids now and taking fewer bottles but the Luvs were gone in a week.
Does Luvs Stop Leaks?
When the last of the store brand diapers were gone I started using the Luvs but was very disappointed that they did not live up to their reputation. When wet they feel very mushy and leak fluid when picking the baby up or laying him down to change him.
A lot of people would disagree with me and say that Luvs is the better diaper and doesn't leak for them but you must remember that every product does not perform the same for every person. What works well for one may not work well for another and the Luvs just didn't work for me. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Leaky Baby Diaper Dilema

Don't you hate running out of diapers, and especially at night. You get sucked into buying the cheapest brand because you don't have the time to shop around. I recently bought some diapers because they were on sale really cheap. I had used this brand when my baby was first born so I didn't think anything about it. I found out later why the baby diapers were so cheap, they were being discontinued. I did what everybody does, I went online and looked for reviews of the product and found out that there were a lot of complaints on them. My little boy wets a lot now that he is older, plus this week he went through the entire box of those cheap diapers because he had a bout with diarrheah. I love spending my morning cleaning poop out of his bouncer because his diaper tapes came open.  I usually go to Amazon or WalMart and look for products with 4 to 5 stars and a large percentage of positive reviews. Being desparate facilitates mistakes. Word of warning, before buying a new brand of diapers look for reviews on the product before buying them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How to Latch-on and Other Helpful Tips

I had problems breastfeeding Aiden when he was first born, he wouldn't open his mouth wide enough so we hardly ever got a good latch. I worked with nursing consultants in the hospital to get him started but it was frustrating for all 3 of us. I have three other children, all whom I tried breast feeding with, but was unable to continue past the few months due to sore nipples and lack of a good milk supply. I knew I wasn't doing something right because everyone kept telling me that if I was doing it right, it wouldn't hurt. I was determined to figure it out and breastfeed this child for as long as possible.

Two things that helped me was discovering the proper latch-on technique and learning how to express breastmilk with a pump and by hand. Once I had mastered these things I had no further problems nursing my little boy. I was able to continue breastfeeding for 10 months and after that I continued to pump up to 40 ounces of breast milk a day that went into bottles for him along with his solid foods.

I have included these videos to help other moms who may be struggling like I was in the beginning. Hope you will find some useful information here that will help you. I encourage all of you to not give up, once you get this down, it makes all the difference in the world. You can have a good milk supply, breastfeed your child without pain, and continue breastfeeding for as long as you and your child want. The World Health Organization has changed their recommendation now to 2 years instead of 12 months because babies continue to receive benefits from their mother's milk after the first year.

How to Latch-On

How to Use a Breast Pump

How to Express Breast Milk by Hand

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Breastfeeding Technique

I  made the commitment to breastfeed for at least a year. I have made it 8 months so far and still going. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about breastfeeding and keeping up your milk supply. I recently read an article about how the World Health Organization now recommends breastfeeding until the age of 2 or older.

Breastfeeding your child will give him or her the best start in life that they could possibly get. Breast milk has the highest amount of nutrition for a growing baby, and is the most convenient way to feed your baby as well. There is proof that older babies benefit from breast milk after the age of 12 months. They continue to receive the mother's antibodies through her milk and babies who are breastfed tend to be smarter and develop faster.

Breastfeeding Problems
breastfeeding infant

Breastfeeding for some new moms can be difficult. The first few times you try may be hit and miss because your baby is sleepy or doesn't open their mouth wide enough for a correct latch. This can become a problem because an incorrect latch leads to nipple soreness and more frequent feedings because the baby is not getting enough milk for the amount of time spent nursing. They get some milk (think of it like a kink in a garden hose) but not enough and always seem hungry, even after they just fed. I had this problem myself so I speak from first-hand experience on this, once I got my baby to latch-on correctly feeding him was easy and painless. Here is a breastfeeding video tutorial of the correct latch-on technique by Lansinoh that may help you if you're having trouble. It makes all the difference in the world to have your baby in the right position and have them latched-on correctly.

The baby's lips should resemble the baby in the photo on the right. The lips should be flanged outward and cover the entire nipple and aeriola. The whole area needs to be in the baby's mouth so that the gums press down on the milk ducts releasing the milk and making it easier for the baby to feed.

Make sure you are in a comfortable position and use a breastfeeding pillow if possible. It puts the baby at just the right heigth so there is no strain on your back from leaning over. I loved my pillow and used it long after we quit nursing.

Relax and let your baby nurse for 20 to 30 minutes on each side. Watch your favorite television program (mine was always Law and Order) while your baby nurses or do something relaxing to enjoy your special cuddle time with your little one.

If you need more information or have questions about breastfeeding and nutrition, contact your local Health Department or La Leche League.

Increase Milk Supply Naturally-Steps for Encouraging More Breast Milk Production
Boost Your Breast Milk Production with These Tips

By Lisa Musser

Many nursing mothers experience decreased milk production from time to time. It is possible to get your supply back up even if it seems like your breasts are empty. If you are producing any milk at all, you have a chance to regain a nearly full supply by following a few simple steps. Many women assume that they are drying up because the breasts no longer fill up or feel full like they once did.

Why the Breast May Feel Empty

This is not an indication that your supply is low, it just means that your body has adjusted to your baby's needs and produces just the right amount. Contrary to popular belief, the breast is never truly empty. You have milk in the milk glands waiting for the body to signal its release, this is known as the let-down reflex. This is the tightening or tingling feeling in the breast when your baby starts to nurse. If your baby is not nursing enough then more milk stays in the breast and the signal to produce more is less frequent. Here are some steps to boost a lagging milk supply:

1. Nurse Your Baby as Often as Possible

This is of course the most important thing you can do to increase your milk supply. Every book you read and every article posted on the web tell will tell you to nurse more often. A newborn baby needs to nurse approximately every two hours because his little body only processes small amounts of food at a time and breast milk digests faster than formula. If you are attempting to increase milk supply naturally for an older baby you will need to follow the same steps as you did when the baby was first born. Nurse him or her as often as possible even if it is only for a few minutes you just need to stimulate the milk glands. Breastfeeding works by a process of supply and demand so to produce more milk you must nurse more often.

2. Increase Fluid Intake

Many mothers find it difficult to drink a gallon of water a day but you need fluids to make milk. An easy way to make sure you get enough liquids is to fill up a glass of water and keep it beside you all day. Fill the glass with water or juice, add some ice or a straw and just sip on it until it is empty. Once the glass is empty, fill it up again and start over. You do not need to count the glasses or wonder how any ounces you drank, just be sure to keep the glass full at all times. The important thing is to stay well hydrated to produce milk for your baby. If you are curious as to whether or not you are getting enough fluids the answer is to look at your urine output. If the urine is a clear yellow then you are getting enough liquids. However, if the urine is a darker yellow to orange color then you need to drink more liquids.

3. Make Good Use of Your Breast Pump
A breast pump is your best friend. To increase milk supply naturally you must empty the breast often. This means nursing sessions and pumping to stimulate milk production. If your baby nurses well you can pump for five minutes or so after each feeding. As babies get older they nurse less often or for shorter durations so there is still milk left in the breast that needs removing in order for your body to signal the milk glands to produce more. Here is a very important tip: the more milk that is removed from the breast the more it will make. Your breast begins producing more milk when it is empty to be there for the next feeding. If you nurse less frequently or do not remove all the milk from the breast your body will think it needs to produce less because the baby is eating less. If your baby does not take a full feeding, pump the remaining milk and store it for later use.

4. Stimulate the Let-Down Reflex
Your baby's sucking stimulates nerve endings in the nipple and areola, signaling the pituitary gland to release the hormones prolactin and oxytocin. Prolactin converts the proteins and sugars in your blood to make breast milk and oxytocin causes the tiny cell structures around the glands to contract squeezing milk down into the areola. This process is essential to keeping a good milk supply. You need to stimulate this reflex as often as possible by nursing or pumping milk.

To Increase milk supply naturally:
  • Nurse as often as possible
  • Drink plenty of liquids
  • Pump after feedings to empty the breast
  • Stimulate the let-down reflex to signal the body to produce more milk




Sometimes being a mom again after 40 can make you feel like the oddball around younger moms.  I am a single mom who just had a baby again at 44. My three older children were grown by the time Aiden came along, there's 22 yrs age difference between them. I started this blog as a way to connect with other older moms who may be feeling like the odd man out. I am here to share my experiences and stories along with some helpful information along the way.

I will be posting stories and articles pertaining to breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing and AP parenting in addition to tips for saving money and raising happy healthy kids. You are welcome to comment on posts, and I encourage you to share them with others if you feel they may benefit them. Also feel free to share your ideas and experiences as this blog is meant to help other over 40 moms and moms-to-be.