Happy Birthday, Nola Mae! – Two-Years Old

Happy Birthday, Nola Mae! – Two-Years Old

Two years ago you started out as the biggest surprise of my life. When you were a few minutes old I still thought you were my fourth son. I saw your little bottom and thought, “Where is the penis?”  Still, thinking you were my fourth boy.  My midwife, Jane, asked “Jenny, Do you know?” Reality hit me and  I said, “Yes, but I don’t believe it.” Everyone else in the room knew you were a girl before I did.

Nola Mae new

3 generations with Nola Mae copy

 

Other surprises you have given me in your first year of life:

You can be so easy-going, not mind meals being interrupted by older brothers, and not put up a fuss when there isn’t any milk, and you were a baby that loved to sleep.

You learned quickly how to go up and down the stairs with very little practice and guidance.

You were happy and smiling 99% of your first year of life.

You loved to be held, wrapped, and carried.

wrap Light Rainbow  Nola Mae snow

You were a mama’s girl and would be a papa’s girl once Papa came home – diving into your papa’s arms when he would walk in the door.

Jack & Nola Mae

You adored your big brothers.

Charlie reading to Nola Mae

You were more adventurous and more of a climber than Henry.

In your second year of life your personality is shining:

You are fast.

You are strong.

You are smart and absorb everything around you.

You love to be high up.

keller lake Nola Mae climbing

You love to cross-country ski.

Ski Henry pulls Nola Mae

You love to be outside.

You love to play with cars and just started playing with babies.

You make “motor” sounds with your mouth.

You like to wear your babies on your back, “wrap”.

wrap scarf grass

You like to breastfeed your babies, “milkies”.

You just started to love taking a bath.

You can get yourself dressed and have preferences of what you want to wear.

You still love to be held, wrapped, and carried.

You love to sleep next to someone during every sleeping moment.

Henry & Nola Mae napping

You still adore your brothers and show great love and affection – my favorite thing is when you are on my lap and Henry comes to give us a hug you make sure to kiss him and pat his back.

hugs

You miss the boys and Papa when they are at school/work and often mention them.

Kitchen stool Nola Mae w Robbie

You love to color on your skin with markers more than on paper.

Marker head

You love to read and look at books.

Nola Mae book

I love it when you want to do something yourself, you say “self” or “SELF!!!!!”

My favorite thing you copy what I do is when I yell “I love you!” out the door to the boys when they are walking to the bus. You say, “love you!”

My favorite word  you say  is “Zata” for pizza.

You are constantly saying multiple words to tell me something and that started just the week before your birthday.  Your vocabulary is growing so quickly I can hardly keep track.

I am looking forward to seeing what other surprises you have for us in your little heart and head.  I know there is a lot of beauty inside you and I wish there was a magic potion I could rub on your head to help you see that you are going to grow up to be a smart and loving person who is glowing with beauty from the inside out.

Happy birthday, Nola Mae!

Nola Mae 2nd birthday

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Our Last: 4-year-old Henry

Our Last:   4-year-old Henry

Today is Henry’s last day being four years old.  He is the funniest and cutest four-year old I know.  I love four-year olds!

Family photo shoot Henry 2013

Have you ever read the series of books by Louise Bates Ames, PH.D., & Frances LIlg, M.D., from Gesell Institute of Human Development?  I own the set of ten books (Your One-Year-Old to Your Ten-to Fourteen-Year-Old) and recommend them to every parent.  There is always a “rough” or “frustrating” time with every age of child.  These books have helped me to understand my child at the age they are, helped me to appreciate all the things I love about them, helped with ideas of how to handle situations and reminded me that this “rough” time will be over soon.

In the book Your Four-Year-Old  Wild and Wonderful one paragraph in the book says this:

“For the most part, we have found the boy or girl of this age to be joyous, exuberant, energetic, ridiculous, untrammeled-ready for anything.  What a change he offers as compared to his more difficult, demanding, Three-and-a-half-year-old, just-earlier self!  If at times he seems somewhat voluble, boastful, and bossy, it is because it is so exciting for him to enter the fresh field of self-expression that open up at this wonderful age.”

henry kick ball

Another one of my favorite paragraphs:

“The child of Four loves language.  He loves to talk, to rhyme, to whisper, to sing.  Or even to shout.  He is his own self-appointed commentator and often his own audience.  He loves words, likes to try them out, likes to play with them.  He likes new and different words.”

There are many things in this book that apply and don’t apply to Henry because every Four-year-old is different.  The authors do a fabulous job describing many characteristics and behaviors you would find in any four-year-old child. 

Now, let’s talk about my sweet four-year-old Henry, so I never forget what a fun four-year-old he was.

 

Henry is a great helper! 

Jobs Henry's coffee

 Henry can put away the silverware from the dishwasher, set the table, sweep, mop, fold and put away his own clothes, feed the dogs, collect chicken eggs, vacuum, get the mail, bring in firewood, load the washer, make a bed, make his own toast/bagel, flip a pancake, follow directions while baking/cooking with me, reach in any of the high places where I hide our candy treats, get himself dressed, answer the phone better than some kids twice his age, play independently for long periods of time, and do many jobs in the garden with me.

We were getting ready to make a smoothie.  He disappeared and came back with hearing protection.

Henry hearing protection blender  Henry hearing protection

And always ready to help as batman with rotten teeth.

Henry batman rotten teeth

 

This day he started helping me get the boys’ after school snack ready, before I was ready, by cutting the strawberries.

Henry & fruit

Often I will say, “I’m going to change Nola Mae’s diaper, then I will be ready to go outside to feed the dogs.”  A minute later, I hear Henry leave the house.  When I look outside he is feeding the dogs!

One day, Nola Mae was carrying around a glass (with water in it) a glass that Jack uses for his “Papa drink” (bourbon and coke) and said, “Nola Mae, you can’t drink that it has coffinee in it!”

Another day:

Me:  Java’s back from our walk.  (Because she wondered off and didn’t come home with us).

Henry: I’ll go put her away.

Me:  No, I’ll do it.

Henry:  I have shoes on, you stay in!

 

I am always entertained and impressed with the things that he tells me or the things that he does.

Henry has taken a small amount of piano lessons (5-10 minutes, once a week) for about 6 months and had his first recital in December 2013, although his song was not recognizable he still amazed me by going on the stage to perform and is very excited about practicing his piano, almost every day!

Piano Henry & Robbie

Last summer we had not one single bluebird nesting on our property, usually we have at least six out of ten bluebird houses full.  While we were out for a run, Henry and I saw a bluebird.  Henry said, “Maybe I could sneak up on her and whisper ‘come live at our house!'”

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Often he draws pictures of me with one of my babies in my belly and goes on to tell me what order they all came out explaining, “Robbie is the biggest, Charlie is bigger and I am bigger than Nola Mae.”

   henry drawing w baby in belly

 henry drawing of mama

Henry copied Robbie’s melted crayon artwork by taping his crayons to the paper after he made the marks, very clever!

Melted crayons art

 

 

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“Chocolate Treating”  instead of “Trick-or-Treating”

I love the way his mind works.

We rent our field to a neighbor who bales large bales wrapped in white plastic.  First thing Henry said one morning, “Yep, Mr. Ernst put marshmallows in the field last night.  BIG MARSHMALLOWS!”

hay marshmallows

One time he came to me…

Henry:  Does my face look sad?

Me:  Yes.

Henry: I can’t get the sadness off.  (Rubbing his eyes)  Now do I look happy?

Me:  Yes.

Henry:  I can’t make it happier.

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One of the many times I found evidence that someone was snacking on a sugary treat, I found a chocolate chip bag in the garbage.

Me:  What is this?  What about eating healthy stuff?

Henry:  I don’t have room in my tummy for stuff!  Like oranges, apples and pears.  Just yummy stuff!”

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“I love my blanket because it catches my blueberries and doesn’t make foot prints.”

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“I wish we had a more better potty.  Like a potty dryer next to Papa’s bathroom drawer.  So it sucks up the potties.”

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When we are in the car he talks non-stop and many times I wish I had the video camera mounted on the dash.  I just might do that one of these days.

One day he told me while we were driving he noticed a car going faster than us.  And said, “they better slow down because they may get policed for driving too fast!”

Another time in the car we had this conversation…

Henry:  There is a stinky girl on the bus.

Me: Is she a pretty stinky or a yucky stinky? (holding my breath because I was afraid he told her this fact, that she is stinky)

Henry:  A pretty stinky.  When mamas go dancing with papas, they smell stinky like that.

 Side note:  I don’t wear perfume and sadly, Jack and I don’t go dancing.

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This winter when it was too cold for the dogs to be outside in the kennel they stayed in the mudroom.  Henry went in there and told the dogs, “No eating Nola Mae because she is my sister.  NO HURTING HER!”

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“It is a good thing I have boogers, so I don’t smell anything when you toot.”

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Henry’s teacher told me that during “share time” the question was “what did you do this weekend?” Some kids said stuff like “went swimming”, “played outside”, “went to my grandma’s”, Henry said, “I peed on the couch.”

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About our wedding photo…  Henry:  Why do you have a big one and a little picture like this?  Me:  Because it is my favorite.  Henry:   It’s my favorite too because papa looks different.

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I have saved funny Henry stories forever (in emails and on scraps of paper)  and now seems like the time to put them all in one place…

Henry was playing outside, came running into the house to ask if he could go to Marlene’s because “I know she is home. I hear her in her yard.”   I said yes and reminded him to ask her if she has time to visit when he gets there.  A few minutes later he came back because Marlene wasn’t home.   I asked, “What did you hear then?”   His response, “I think it was just my echo.  I even knocked on two doors.  Or maybe she was sleeping.”

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A few weeks after Nola Mae was born…

Henry:  Do all babies have blood on thems head?

Me:  After they are born, yes.

Henry:  Why was Papa holding my shoulders , so I don’t fall in?

Me: Fall in what?

Henry:  In the bucket.  He was holding me close to him so I didn’t fall in!

Side note:  Henry was in the room when Nola Mae was born.  He retold the story to Korina and Christie (two of our three midwives) and me a couple of hours later.  I wish I had that conversation recorded or written down.  His recount of the birth was amazing for a 3-year-old.  I only remember bits and pieces.  And one of my memories is that the bucket was a key object in the birth.  He told us that Christie didn’t let the baby fall in the bucket, but he thought the baby was going to fall in the bucket.  I have this picture from our birth photographer, Brianna.  This is as close to “holding me close” that I could find in our photos. 

Nola Mae's birth blog

B Pure Photography

 

 Henry retold the story of Nola Mae’s birth to Robbie and Charlie when they woke up to meet our new baby.  Another moment, where he was so darn cute and said some cute things that I will never remember.

Nola Mae's birth boys blog

B Pure Photography

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“Oh Mom!  Nola Mae is done nukking. Her mouth is off a nuker. Now put her in your room!”

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“Nola Mae woke up from a nap crying…Henry:  Nuk her!  Or I will nuk all the milk!”

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3-year-old-Henry was getting tired and crabby while shopping today and asked to “Nuk here!” and went to a bench to sit down. I explained that we could nuk at home because we are almost done. Surprisingly, in his frustrated and tired emotions he said to me “for privacy?” I am sad to say “yes.”  I didn’t have the courage/energy today to do it in public today.

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“You should put some hair on Nola Mae.”

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Nola Mae was chewing on the end of my braid…Henry:  Oh NO! She is eating your tail!

 

Henry’s first “selfie” that he took.

Henry first selfie

 

Please feel free to share any funny stories about Henry in the comments.

I am looking forward to falling in love with our 5-year-old-Henry.

 

Books:

Your Four-Year-Old: Wild and Wonderful http://www.amazon.com/Your-Four-Year-Old-Louise-Bates-Ames/dp/0440506751/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396734050&sr=1-1&keywords=louise+bates+ames+four+year+old

Your Five-Year-Old: Sunny and Serenehttp://www.amazon.com/Your-Five-Year-Old-Louise-Bates-Ames/dp/0440506735/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396733952&sr=1-1&keywords=louise+bates+ames+five+year+old

 

 

March 2014

 March 2014

March was a month full of many highs and many emotionally draining sad days.

Nola Mae’s Christmas gift from Uncle Eddie and Auntie Kay arrived this month.

Nola Mae's Kitchen

Nola Mae dressed herself like this one day.

Nola Mae clothes

My cousin Eric passed away this month after battling brain cancer for over six years.

Eric Hamm & family

This one is one of his daughter, Ashlee’s favorite pictures.

Eric Hamm

Eric was a great cousin to my brother, they were close in age and had made a lot of fun adventurous memories together – no mom would ever want to hear those stories.  Eric, his brother Travis and my brother, Steve, were mostly annoying little boys to me when I lived on the farm.  I do remember thinking those little Hamm boys were cute, sometimes.  Eric grew up to become a kind, loving, hardworking, generous man who was a loving husband and father.  He helped my Step-Dad farm, they had breakfast together almost every morning and was the best nephew and friend anyone could ever ask for.  Because we have two cousins named Eric in our family, he is called  “Grandpa Jerry’s Eric” who gives tractor rides by Henry.  Eric was wonderful with Henry and kept him in the combine with him for a very long time.

Eric Hamm & Henry combine

Here is a story that was played on Wausau Channel 7:  http://www.wsaw.com/home/headlines/We-Are-9-1-1—Fire-Fighters-251835861.html?device=phone#.Uy-6_COhLbt.facebook

Nola Mae had a bit of one on one time with her cousin Joey when we were home for Eric’s funeral.

cousin Joey

 There were many pairs of dress shoes in the entry way at my Mom’s house.   I asked Nola Mae to put her shoes away and she found this comfy spot in Ben’s shoes.

Shoes Ben & Nola Mae

 

 I was able to ski with two of my sisters in the same day this winter.  Becca is training for the Ironman race this fall, so we were required to skiing for at least 1.5 hours.  Kayla’s brilliant idea was to make Becca pull Nola Mae in the sled.  I felt like I was flying on my skis!

skiing sisters

 

 Getting ready for a ski. skiing sled

 

Nola Mae strap and ready for a nap in the sled.

skiing ready in sled

We skied backwards on the trails today for the Ski Backwards Party (annual spring party) . I was cruising and debating which way to go because the difficult uphill climbs are really awesome downhills during this springtime party. Just as I was bringing myself back to reality that I can’t ski ALL the trails today while pulling Nola Mae because she will wake up soon. She started screaming. I looked into the sled and saw her hands were out of her gloves and they were freezing! I sat in the snow bank next to the trail and put both of her hands in my stinky arm pits and nursed her until she was happy and her fingers were warm again. I have nursed all my kids on the ski trails at some point and can remember each time. Because it always involved screaming and a really good ski.

 

skiing milkies break

 When Henry saw our shadow he said it looked like a “two-headed monster.”

skiing 2 headed skiing monster

 

skiing shadows

We hit a beautiful spring day for skiing a couple times this month.  One that is memorable to me is a day that I was unable to convince Henry to take the blue and black trails with me.  He told me “you do the blue loop and I’ll do the green loop.”  There have been times this winter that he skied ahead of me, while I packed Nola Mae into the sled, so maybe a 7 minute head start.  Last year when he was almost 4 years old he left the chalet and headed out on the green trail without telling me.  I had many skiers looking for him for me and he was pretty far out there (for a kid that was almost 4) when someone found  him and directed him back to the chalet.  One day we skied together to the shelter taking our blue loop short cut.  With the promise that I would pull him up the big hill.

Here he is getting pulled down the hill to the shelter.

skiing spring

Once we arrived at the shelter I got him comfortable with snacks and did a small loop around the shelter area multiple times.

 skiing shelter snack time

 

 On another day, we went separate ways with the plan to meet at the shelter.  I skied as fast as I could up the biggest hill on the blue loop to meet him back at the shelter.  He told me he would play around on the hill by the shelter and that he would eat his snacks when he got tired.   It was nice to get outside for the fresh air, exercise, a nap for Nola Mae and Henry getting a boost of independence because he is a big boy!

 

My friend, Michelle, has been a good source of hand-me-downs to our family, was doing some cleaning.  She had this electric guitar that was a little broken and no being loved by her boys anymore.  She wondered if Jack could fix it and would we want it?  I thought, “what the heck”, maybe Jack would want it!  When Jack came home I was a little nervous about what he would say to me adding to his list of things to fix.  His eyes lit up and he told me he was actively looking for a used electric guitar on craig’s list.   Jack was able to fix it and it is being played often at our house.

Henry guitar

Robbie found this thin piece of ice outside and was very excited to show me and have me guess what shape it is.  Can you guess?

WI shaped ice

Before one of the snows we got this month a chicken came out of the barn and was walking around in the yard.  When I tried to “shoo” her back to the barn by the others she insisted on walking to the road, crossed it and there was no way I was going after her then.  I said my good byes and wrote her off as a dead chicken.   Especially when I woke up two days later to find snow on the ground.   Later in the day, Nola Mae was in the living room telling me that there was a chicken outside.  I didn’t believe her and told her that chicken is probably dead.  I looked out the window, she was right, there was a live chicken out there!

lost chicken

I got a piece of bread and caught her!

lost chicken catch

This photo was taken just before my most recent This Moment post titled “Trust”.  Henry helped Nola Mae climb the big snow bank and then she wanted to get down and he was going to help her.

helping

 

 Every chance Nola Mae gets she goes outside.  She often asks to go outside.  This is her first time going to the shop to see Papa all by herself.  I remember each boys’ first trip to the shop without help.  I may even have pictures of them doing it like this one.

Nola Mae heading to shop

 When there are still snow banks you can sled!

spring time sledding hill

 The boys had a blast during the last weekend of their spring break sledding down this snow bank into the muddy grass and muddy puddle.  I actually have great videos.

And when we go hiking in the field for one last sledding adventure sometime you have to pull the sled through the mud and grass.

spring time sledding

Babywearing:

 I had an awesome morning in the sewing room! Nola Mae was on my sewing table twice and the rest of the time she played nicely.  (I say that because she didn’t tip anything over or knock all my bobbins and spools of thread on the floor.)  Nola Mae found a long piece of cheetah fabric and wanted “wrap!” It was too short for us so I suggested she get her baby. She went upstairs by herself to get the baby and we wrapped the baby.

babywearing Nola Mae doll

One day Nola Mae wasn’t taking a nap.  I suggested she get wrapped on my back while we work in the sewing room.  She agreed and within minutes she was sleeping!

Ellevill Jack blue eyes   Ellevill Jack sleeping

 Dyeing projects:

I shared the start of this rainbow ice dye in last month’s post.

This is what I got!

A women’s XL shirt, newborn nightgown, 2T turtle neck, 5T cotton dress shirt, newborn onesise, a pre-fold diaper,

ice dye raibow project

Dylon Dye – 2 packs of tulip red, 1 pack of goldfish orange, sunflower yellow, dark green, ocean blue and intense violet.

A ring sling piece or material for a skirt, and

ice dye raibow ring sling

a piece of cotton quilting white on white fabric 54 X 54.

ice dye rainbow quilt fabric

An ice dye of china blue and ocean blue dyes for this ring sling piece.

 ice dye china blue & ocean blue ring sling fabric ice dye china blue & ocean blue ring sling

The shirt is how I envisioned the ring sling to turn out, with less splotches and less purple.   The cloth napkin sat in the dye that dripped into the bin.

ice dye china blue & ocean blue shirt & napkin

Sewing:

I had extra squares from my scrap quilt that I am making and made this trivet.

                  trivet square scraps

 Henry found this scrap piece and wanted me to make him a teenage mutant ninja turtle mask.

teenage mutant ninja turtle mask

February 2014

February 2014

I have had a busy month.   I am pleased with the amount of things we (I) did and the things we caught on camera, considering it was a short month.

Nola Mae loves to play in the water.  I am expecting to have lots of fun this summer at the beach.  Whenever she hears the water running in the kitchen she comes running and yelling “bubbas” and lately she has spent time in the bath tub.  She is making up for the lack of baths she had during her first year of life.  Every time I tried to give her a bath she would scream.  I don’t really care for extra messes around our house, but when this sweet girl is loving the bubbles I can’t resist.

Nola Mae bubbles

My friend, at Kissing Glue, shared a few awesome valentine ideas that she has done in the past that inspired me to do this with our boys.

valentines swedish fish

valentines Charlie

We don’t celebrate anything in a big way, ever, especially on Valentine’s Day.  I am okay with that!  My Valentine wrote me a sweet letter with all the things he appreciates I do, and he didn’t miss a single thing!  My letter is definitely a keeper to dig out on a rough day!  He also made me a drink, one of my favorites, that I haven’t had in a very long time!  I sure do miss Rusty’s Backwater Salon’s bloody Mary’s!

valentines drink

I love this smile:

sledding smile

We had a little excitement this month with Charlie.  I wrote a blog post about Charlie’s emergency visit, click here to read that post.

ER Charlie finger 1

Someone left the door open and Nola Mae followed.

barefoot in snow

Her hair is starting to come.  I knew it would arrive sometime because I was a bald child until I was two.

Hair on Nola Mae

Nola Mae nursed her baby doll for the first time this month.  She also has read books to her babies!

      nursing doll

Reading:

I am proud to say everyone in our house likes to read books.   Nola Mae hasn’t shown much interest until recently.  Henry and I read books often and she plays in the room and sometimes comes to sit on my lap to look at one or two pages at a time.

Reading Henry & Nola Mae

She recently has started to bring me books to read to her and even sits in my lap for the entire book!  Last week she kept bringing me books, we read these five twice in one sitting.  And then she sat there for another 10 minutes reading them by herself.

reading Nola Mae

I came home from night skiing with friends and found this…

reading to sleep

When it was time for me to go to bed I found her like this…

   reading book tent

Skiing:

Pointy hood, heart booty, cutie pie!

skiing snow heart Nola Mae

skiing family night

Skiing Robbie snowbank crash

skiing Robbie snowbank rest

If this girl could ski every day she would be happy.  Everyday, she says, “kiing” and puts on someone’s skiing helmet or boots or plays in the skiing sled when I have it in the house.

skiing sled

Babywearing:

I wrote this post this month with photos from one of our snowshoe outings.

snow shoe nap wrap light rainbow

Lately I have been thinking, “I don’t remember the last time I wrapped Henry.”  I was feeling kind of sad thinking that there may not be another time, since he will be 5 in one month.  Then he got hurt in the toy room, dug out my wrap and brought it to me and asked to go on my back until he felt better.  He was up there for about 10 minutes and was happy to take a picture so we can remember this moment.

Wrap me Henry

Dyeing projects:

ice & snow dye purple & green on line 2 ring sling pieces1

Finished ring sling ice & snow dye:

 ice & snow dye purple & green ring sling with toddler

This could actually go in March’s monthly post because it will be finished in March.  But I started this rainbow ice dye on February 28th.  My collection of dye projects is growing and I may get a “dyeing project”  blog posts done in March and include the finished projects from this dye session.

ice dye rainbow on ice

I bought this basket for ice dyeing, $2.49 at Goodwill.  I will need to test it out soon.  I couldn’t use it for my rainbow project because I needed a bigger surface.  I struggle every time to stack the ice or snow high enough and I think the sides on this basket will help solve that problem.

ice dye basket

My sewing projects this month:

I went to the library looking for fat-quarter quilt books and jelly-roll patterns.  This is what I came home with…

sewing books inspirations

I used these scraps of fabric that I ice dyed last month to sew these zipper bags and this panel of fabric that may turn into a baby quilt or a tote bag.

ice dye pink & yellow bags & quilt

While I was making zipper bags I dug out my bag of unfinished zipper bags.

 zipper bags

The three ring slings I made this month.  The last one is for a child to carry a doll and strong enough for an older sibling to carry a real baby.

ring sling green Carolyn ice & snow dye purple & green ring sling ice & snow dye purple & green ring sling child size

I wore this sweater last winter.  It slowly shrunk on me and so I felted it to make a stuffed fish.  Wouldn’t it make a cute fish?  Well, it fit Nola Mae perfectly.  So she will wear it this winter and I will have to come up with something else to make with this wool sweater.

wool sweater stripes felted

I found a different sweater for the felted wool sweater fish.  The loop holding the wooden teething ring is Velcro.

wool sweater fish w wooden teether

pillow case monkeys

pillow case TNT Landon

Fingerless gloves I made from a felted wool sweater.  I added the four heart beads to each glove.  I have great appreciation for the beautiful work my aunts and step-mom do with their jewelry making!

wool sweater fingerless gloves w heart beads

This black sweater had a lot of love in it when it came to me.  I added a little love when I made these little pillows for two sisters who miss their Daddy.

wool sweater kitty

wool sweater wolf

Jack asked me to find a bag that would fit his shoes, a t-shirt, a small towel and a pocket for his wallet for when he goes to racquetball.  I thought it would take me awhile to find the right bag so I thought I would just make him one.  It was fun, quick and easy.  I didn’t buy a single thing for it.  The lining fabric came from my friend, Anna.  The padding and outside fabric came from my mother-in-law and the handles were the end of the strap from a Mei Tai that I made for our cousin, Jessie.  I was surprised that the blue matched perfectly.  I have a box of the trimming from straps of bags and aprons that I have made for this very reason!

bag Jack's racquetball  bag Jack's racquetball pocket

 

Baby Doll

If you know me well, you know I love my lactation consultant, Sandy, and think every mother with a new baby (breastfed or formula fed) should attend a baby group like the one she facilitates, or LLL (Le Leche League) meeting or a moms’ group.  I was almost a
failure in my breastfeeding with my oldest child and youngest child.  But,
thanks to the amazing support I received from Sandy, the moms in the baby
group, my friends, and my family, I succeeded.  Robbie and I made it last until he was 16 months old.  Nola Mae and I are still going strong at 17 months.  You can read Robbie’s story here and Nola Mae’s story here.

What does this have to do with a baby doll?

Here is the story:

I was at one of Sandy’s baby groups, the topic was baby wearing. A friend of mine was teaching/demonstrating with a doll weighted with bee bees so the doll was more real to life.  Sandy thought that kind of baby would be helpful to her when she is teaching the breastfeeding class and childbirth class at Riverside Medical, demonstrating baby wearing and while working with moms/dads; she can show things while the mom/dad holds their baby.   I told her I could try to figure out how to make one of those babies for her.  Now I can do something to help Sandy and other future breastfeeding mothers!

I am the queen of cheapness!  I try to make Do It Yourself (DIY) things all the time!  Why not with this project?  I was searching rummage sales, Goodwill and St. Vinnie’s stores for many months.  In August I hit the jack-pot at St. Vinnie’s in Marshfield with their “50% off sale”.  I completed this project by only spending $1.25, the baby has “2.50” marked on the left foot.

I started with this baby doll, cut open the body to see how things looked on the inside.  Next time I will open the seams where the legs are attached to the body.

baby doll

I cut the seams that were holding the arms and legs on.  And needed to make the body a little bigger to hold the insides.  The pink fabric was given to me.

baby doll body

I gathered rocks for the head.  I put them in a sack so they wouldn’t bang around inside the head. Next time I will put more weight in the head.

baby doll rocks for head

I gathered pea gravel, washed and rinsed it.

baby doll rocks for body

I made pouches for the arms and legs to have sections full of rocks, with stuffing added to soften and round out the arms and legs.  Arms weigh about 3.5 ounces each.  Next time I will make the arms heavier.

baby doll parts arms

The legs are about 5 ounces each.  Next time I will make the legs heavier.

baby doll parts legs

A pouch for the body cavity weighs four pounds.

baby doll parts body

All the parts here are ready for me to put the baby back together.  I made a second sack for the body and stuffed the stuffing in to soften the body.

baby doll parts

At this point I was hoping clothes or a sleeper on this baby doll will make the shoulders and attached limbs look more real.

baby doll pins

I was unable to sew the last seam with my sewing machine.  Nola Mae wanted to sit on my lap while I sewed.  Many times she kissed the baby’s foot.

baby doll toe kisses

Done!

baby doll finished 1

Dressed!

baby doll finished 2

This baby is looking pretty real and feels real, not the eight pound baby I was hoping for.  The final weight is 6 pounds 5 ounces.

I had the baby on the chair for the above photo.  Nola Mae climbed up for some cuddling.

baby doll Nola Mae smile

This makes me think she has to have her own weighted baby doll.

baby doll Nola Mae squeeze

After the big squeeze, she started to pat the baby on the back.

baby doll Nola Mae pats

Then kisses!

baby doll Nola Mae kisses

Henry needed a turn for some cuddling and

baby doll Henry hug

baby wearing in the Mei Tai.

baby doll Henry Mei Tai

After this baby doll was finished I went to my sewing room to clean up a little, I looked outside my window and saw Henry carrying the baby down the driveway to meet the bus.

When the fourth baby arrives…

When your fourth baby arrives you think you know how to be a “good” mom and you think you are a “pro”.

kids in basket

When your fourth baby comes out a girl (after three boys), prepare yourself for some serious shock, surprise, denial, depression and acceptance.

When you have breastfed three other children for a total of 6 1/2 years you SHOULD know a lot of things about breastfeeding when your fourth baby comes.

When your fourth baby doesn’t cry or fuss you celebrate that you have the “perfect baby”, the fourth baby is a charm!

checkers

When your fourth baby is a “good sleeper” you celebrate.  You are happy to get a few consecutive hours of sleep.  You enjoy the quality time with your other children during those naptimes.

When your fourth baby doesn’t gain any weight you start to worry…

Nola Mae 1 wk weight

We knew something was wrong when Nola Mae was about five or six weeks old.  I was getting frequent weights checks at different places.  There were different weights on the scales at the clinic, with my midwives and at baby group.  We didn’t worry too much because there would be differences in those scales.   Sandy, my lactation consultant, was concerned because none of the scales were showing any weight gain.  Which led me to start seeing her regularly for about a month at the hospital.  (I wrote about Sandy & my struggles with breastfeeding my 1st baby, click here to read that story.)

Tandem breastfeeding

Since I was tandem nursing Henry and Nola Mae I was being careful not to breastfeed Henry for long periods of time or regularly.   I heard my family’s comments and concerns that if I tandem nursed Nola Mae wouldn’t get enough.

For a week I kept track of when both of them would breastfeed and I continued to distract Henry when he would request to “nuk” and I would make sure Nola Mae nursed on each side.  It was very interesting to see I was spending at least seven hours each day breastfeeding and very frequently and there was hardly any weight gained.

I did the weight test to see how much milk Nola Mae was getting in a typical feeding.  First you weigh the baby, nurse for a “normal” feeding, then weigh the baby again.  With the very accurate scale that my lactation consultant has we found out that Nola Mae’s total intake of breast milk was 1.8 ounces in a 15 minute latch.   This was very bad news!  Where did my milk go?

Sandy suggested I take fenugreek.  I went straight to the Nutrition Center in Waupaca and bought a bottle (without looking at the price), opened it in the car and took my first capsule at 11:30 AM.  At 4:30 PM my milk had arrived and I was feeling very “full”.

Side note:  I NEVER purchase anything EVER without looking at the price, until I had this bottle in my hand.  I didn’t really care how much this bottle would cost me.  I needed to make more milk for my baby!   I pay attention to everything I spend my money on.  I don’t always remember birth dates but I can tell you how much I paid, almost to the cent, for big and small purchases/expenses.   I purchased a total of three bottles of the fenugreek and one bottle of Motherlove:  More Milk Plus (one bottle of this was given to me).   I can’t tell you how much that cost.  Now that I am writing about this I was interested in knowing how much I spent to get my milk to return.  Total spent on the fenugreek and the More Milk Plus – $95.  The cost of weigh-in/consults with lactation consultant, I don’t know this amount.  Our insurance doesn’t pay for the consults, so whatever that cost us I have no idea! 

I wanted to compare my way of getting my milk back to the cost of formula feeding a baby.   I did a quick search on the estimated cost of formula feeding for one year, it’s somewhere around $1,138 – $1,188 plus bottle cost. Also, additional health care services cost the managed care health system between $331 and $475 per never-breastfed infant during the first year of life.

I learned there are two things in this world that I don’t care how much they cost – fenugreek and a skidsteer.   (I was able to convince Jack to stop looking and thinking about the price tags on skidsteers, because he bought me one this summer!)

Back to my story…

I spent the next four days worried, praying, and keeping track of everything.  I also was relived that we were figuring things out.

I had the fenugreek and it was starting to work.  I am very thankful because that isn’t always the case with mothers who are unable to produce enough milk for their baby.

I continued to keep track of her feedings.  I started to realize from my notes that shortly after I sat down to breastfeed Nola Mae all hell would break loose in our house with the older boys.  I would put down my “happy-sleepy” baby and take care of what was needed.  Sometimes it was one of the boys sneaking food out of the pantry (guess who!) just before a meal, or someone was hurt, or someone needed wiping, or fighting started between the boys, just to name a few events that interrupted Nola Mae’s feedings.  When I went back to my baby to finish feeding her, I would find her sleeping.  Never wake a sleeping baby, right?  I should have because I was loosing my milk.

sewing room ready to sew

All this time when she wasn’t getting much milk she wasn’t making that wonderful swallowing noise that babies do when they drink.  How did I miss that?  I started to realize that all this time when she would have a wet diaper it wasn’t full and her BMs weren’t so big.  How did I miss that?  I started to realized that all this time she was sleeping, being one of my happiest babies that maybe she is a very easy-going baby that rarely complained about being hungry.  I was starving her!

At one of my appointments with Sandy, she  said, “Nola Mae when you are the fourth baby you have to speak up!  That means you may have to cry a little.”

I feel blessed to have the four children in my family that I always dreamed of having.  I never expected it to be so difficult.  Four children really put me over the edge during that first year!  And there are many days where life isn’t “easy” for me.  Each of our children teach us many different things throughout our parenting journey.  I feel as though Nola Mae taught me a few things during her first year of life.  I often wonder what kinds of things my fourth baby will teach me in the future.

It has been over a year since I started writing this post, it has been a difficult topic to write and think about.  I will always wonder in my heart,  “what if I would have nursed Henry more often would I have lost my milk?”,  “would Nola Mae’s weight issues been blamed on Henry and our tandem nursing?”, and “would we have experienced this trouble if I nursed Henry and Nola Mae all the time?”  I have healed a little and come to terms with how rough our first year with four children really was.

I found this in my journal notes.   I know a lot of breastfeeding mothers have moments like this but it was really hard for me to accept these feelings and I am surprised I even wrote this down.  “A couple of weeks ago I was ready to quit breastfeeding.  I have a friend who formula feeds and she has such a chunky baby.  Formula fed babies aren’t the only ones that are chunky!   I have a cousin who exclusively breastfeeds her very beautiful chunky baby.   I want some of that chunk on mine!  The fenugreek that I started taking last Thursday is working.   Everyone I talk to about it was impressed that I got such quick results.   My milk is coming back and Nola Mae gained 5 oz. in four days (1 oz./day is “standard”).  I will get the next weight check next Thursday and it seems too long for me to wait. 

All I want to do is nurse her constantly and at the same time I don’t want to be tied down to nursing her and be the sole person responsible for her health and growth.  I have gone back to taking the postpartum supplements because I have been having a lot of moments of ups and downs and not much in the middle. 

It hit me this past weekend that I am in over my head with four kids. Henry was tired, impatient, unreasonable (like any normal tired 3 yr old) and crying, instead of being loving and kind and understanding I screamed at him.  It was horrible!  That was one of my worst moments as a mother.  The root cause I think is from me feeling like a horrible mother who can’t feed her baby my heart is not here.  I was still out of patience that night at bedtime.  Robbie may have been able to tell because he kind of took over with Henry by reading to him and asking him to cuddle with him.  Later I thanked Robbie for being a great big brother and helper to me and he said “well, you’re a great mom.” 

I saw my midwife on Wednesday night.  Jack came home and I left to pick up the postpartum supplements.  When I got to her office she had a lemonade iced tea waiting for me and asked me to stay and talk to her.   I stayed an hour! It was wonderful to talk to her. My week has gotten better. 

I spent the afternoon at the beach with my close friend, Kat.  I didn’t get much deep conversations done because of watching each other kids in the water and visiting with other moms.  But it was nice to be out in the fresh air, watching the boys having so much fun.” 

Nola Mae is still “smaller” than some children her age but she is just as healthy and smart as any 17 month old child.

Nola Mae Watermelon

A great read and a salute to all mothers who do their best every day:    http://ouradoptionfaithwalk.blogspot.com/2013/08/world-breastfeeding-week-salute.html

March 2013 – Month 3

March 2013 – Month 3

March was a busy month for us and a good month for photos.  We took a lot of photos which made it difficult to decide what to share and put in this month’s blog post.  I was able to post six different blog posts in the month of March to share photos and events instead of putting them all here.

Charlie is very good about getting his reading homework done.  Nola Mae was interested in sitting on his lap for about two of the four books he needed to read.

Charlie reads to Nola Mae

Since we got serious about co-sleeping 3+ years ago we have made our bedroom more co-sleeping friendly. The best improvement was to throw out the bed frame and put the box spring and mattress on the floor. For many months Nola Mae has been able to crawl off the bed. Now she can get onto the bed.  One day I was working on the computer (just outside my room) and Nola Mae was in my room. I heard the sound of tissue being pulled out of the box.  She was so excited, laughing and smiling and trying to roll in the pile.

Tissue Nola Mae 1  Tissue Nola Mae 2

We spent a weekend in the Chicago area (click here to see that post).  Robbie designed and built these vehicles with the Legos we bought from the Lego store.

Robbie's lego design

If you read my Chicago Trip post you learned about my use of bad words.  Which resulted in more bad words being said at home.    I have always had a fowl mouth and having kids has helped me (a little), but not cured me.  The boys like to talk about many “P” words at the dinner table.  Jack started a bad word jar that week.  We all agreed that the money in the bad word jar would go to his Rotary Club.  Money motivates everyone in our family.  We may not have much to give the Rotary Club, after the first few days the bad words drastically decreased.

Bad word jar

A few of my mom friends have taken pregnant belly photos of themselves and then when the baby is nine months old they take a photo of them holding the baby.  My version is on cross-country skis.

  Nine Months In.                      Nine Months Out.

Shadow Baby Belly 2012  Shadow  Baby on back 2013

Jack’s  birthday is this month.

Jack w Nola Mae

March was the best month for skiing, snow shoeing and playing outside.  I have been working on a winter skiing post.  My excuse for not having it completed is that the skiing just kept on going, our last day on skis was April 3rd.  I have many favorite days of skiing this year – one that I will always remember is the day I skied for 4+ hours with friends, our mission was to ski on every trail at Iola Winter Sports Club.

Henry and I invited ourselves over to our neighbor, Anna’s, to go snow shoeing with her.

Anna Snow shoe

We had an ice rink in our field.  Jack took multiple photos of Charlie and made it into one.

Charlie on pond

Henry and I went snow shoeing on our property.  I took the orange sled in case he got tired and then I could pull him.  It turns out he was tired before we even hit our woods.  I got a great workout that day.  (I think he is trying to catch the big snow flakes on his tongue.)

snowshoe 7 sled

Nola Mae is easily entertained watching her brothers play outside.  Lately she has been not happy about being on this side of the window.  She will watch them for a few minutes laughing and squealing with excitement and then flop her body on the floor crying.

Nola Mae window

I was able to drag our whole family to the ski hill two or three times this year.

Family ski

Nola Mae loves the snow (loves to eat it) and tries to escape out of the house every time the door opens.

Nola Mae loves snow

Our school had a few days off around Easter weekend.   We had an egg hunt on the ski trails with my friends Mary and Phil and all of our kids.  It was a blast!

egg hunt on skis

More outside photos are in my First Spring Walks post.

 This Moment – My Skiing Partner.

Nola Mae’s activity around the house has been a lot of fun (for her).  March was the month she has taken her furniture climbing to a new level.

Nola Mae Climbs 2 Nola Mae Climbs 3

Nola Mae climbs 4    Nola Mae climbs 5

And she has gotten into some messy things.

Nola Mae black mouth

Nola Mae Nutella

Jack finished his game table, a very nice addition to the beautiful furniture he has made for our home.

Game table Jack

Coloring eggs is always fun for the boys.

eggs coloring 2013

eggs colored 2013

I am getting a little more brave in my soap making.  I have always wanted to try to naturally color a batch of soap.   My first attempt was with cinnamon.  When I first cut the soap after 24 hours it looked like this, to my chocolate loving eyes, I thought it looked like peanut butter cups.

soap cutting coloring

After the inside was exposed to air for about 15 minutes it darkened to a very pretty dark brown.

Soap bars cut

Jack bought lights and backdrops for his photography.  He took many pictures of us with the black backdrop.

Three brothers  Nola Mae in purple

I seem to have different wrapping photos each month and this seems like a good place to put them.  These are my favorites.

wrap Zara velvet ruck w Jenny wrap Zara velvet ruck wrap Zara velvet eyes

Robbie wrapped himself up in the long brown packing paper that came in the box with Jack’s photography equipment.  Henry wanted to wear his deer with his Mei Tai.

wrap paper  Henry's Mei Tai

In the wrapping world mamas often share a “stash shot”.  If you don’t believe me, google “stash shot” in Google images!  My little stash won’t look so big either.

wrap stash

Henry’s fish DIY Mei Tai, black Ergo, DIY green Mei Tai, top of pile – Zara Velvet 6, Light Rainbow diamond weave 7, DIY lavender linen 7,  Ellaroo Ysable Medium, and DIY plum Ring Sling.

My two favorite wraps are my Zara and my Girasol Light Rainbow.

wrap ligth rainbow DHTT 2 wrap light rainbow DHTT 1

On Easter Henry stopped breastfeeding. I made a cake to celebrate the day.  He went to school and told his class that he has a nuking birthday party on Easter.  The teachers didn’t understand what he was explaining and thought that he had his story mixed up with his upcoming birthday.   This Moment – Tandem Breastfeeding

Cake nuking

Milk Making Cookies

Milk Making Cookies

These can be eaten by non-lactating people!

IMG_0970

When I was having trouble producing milk for Nola Mae I found this cookie recipe.  I never made them when I “needed” them.  I was too stressed out to do any extra things at the time.   I breastfeed her more often and took fenugreek to increase my milk supply and that worked.

My sister-in-law recently had a baby and I thought it would be fun to give her some of these cookies.  I finally made them!   I forgot the chocolate chips at first so some were made without chips, which my 3-year-old nephew enjoyed.

I made a few changes to the orignal recipe (rearranged the order of the list of ingredients for easier making, added more cinnamon and used peanut butter and coconut oil).  I didn’t add nuts because I rarely cook with nuts and really didn’t know what kind to add.  I thought about chopped garbanzo beans because I have done that before.

What kind of nuts would you add?

Milk Makin’ Cookies
 (http://www.drmomma.org/2010/08/major-milk-makin-lactation-cookies.html)
Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
3 t cinnamon
1 t salt

3/4 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. coconut oil (or butter)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 t vanilla
3 T brewer’s yeast
1 c. ground flax-seed
1/3 c. water + about 2 -3 T

2 large eggs

1 3/4 c. rolled oats

2 c. (12 oz) chocolate chips
1 c. nuts (optional) or maybe chopped garbanzo beans

Directions:
Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
In a large bowl, beat peanut butter, coconut oil, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, brewer’s yeast, flax and water until creamy.

Mix in eggs.

Gradually beat in flour mixture. Slowly mix in oats. Mix in nuts and chocolate chips.
Place Tbsp.-sized balls of dough onto greased cookie sheets. Press down each ball lightly with a fork.

Bake 12 minutes at 350F. Allow to cool.

Freeze already made cookies or dough for eating and baking later.

IBCLC Day! (Revised 2013)

You may be wondering what that means.

Last year I learned that today is IBCLC Day and wrote this post!   Today I have revised it a bit.

An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is a health care professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. This person has demonstrated competence to practice by passing an internationally recognized criterion-reference examination.

In my opinion, one of the most important people in health care!

The IBCLC in my life is an amazing woman named Sandy.  Sandy saved my breastfeeding relationship with Robbie almost eight and a half years ago.  We spent many hours with her during the first year of his life.  Sandy helped us on an individual basis by phone, visits to the hospital and at her New Baby Support Group.

Before Robbie was born I knew I wanted to breastfeed.  I read every book our library system had on breastfeeding.  I didn’t take the breastfeeding class that was offered at the hospital because I was too cheap to pay for the class and too busy to schedule it.  Instead I read all I could about it.  My main motivation wasn’t the health benefits to me and my child it was the gut feeling I got about the yuckiness of formula and the cost.  Breastfeeding is FREE!

I had good role models in my life who breastfed. One of them was my Mom. She breastfed five out of the six of her children. Three of them, triplets, who were born prematurely. My mom pumped milk for them and even had extra milk for the other babies in the NICU. She pumped for four months until the triplets finally latched on.

At the hospital where Robbie was born the nurses and lactation consultant tried to help us.    Robbie never latched on while we were there.   The staff kept telling me he will and they continued to “slam” his face into my breast trying to get him to latch on.  All he would do was scream bloody murder and pulled his head away from me.  Did this cause his strong-willed personality or was this the first sign of it?   The staff at the hospital insisted on me watching a 45 minute video on breastfeeding before I went home. All I can remember about that video was “I am doing that” and “I already know this”.   I think they sent me home thinking I was a lost cause and would fail at breastfeeding.  The lactation consultant there found out that we lived closer to Waupaca than Neenah and told me that I would need to get in touch with Sandy the IBCLC at the hospital there, because “She is the best lactation consultant in the state!  Waupaca is lucky to have her there.”

Robbie’s bilirubin was high when we left the hospital at two days old and the numbers kept climbing until he was 5 days old.  We met Sandy after seeing our family doctor when Robbie was three days old.  He was sleeping all the time still not latching on.

I will always remember my first meeting with Sandy.  She reassured us that we could make breastfeeding work.  She asked me to show her how I was trying to breastfeed.  Sandy’s exact words were, “Jenny, you are doing everything right!  It’s Robert who needs some work.”  I thought to myself Thank you for not making me watch another video!  I fell in love with Sandy during that first meeting.  I could feel her love for mothers, babies and breastfeeding.  That is when I knew then that I had the best lactation consultant in the world!

Sandy set us up with a breast pump, supplemental finger feeder, a chart to chart everything: ounces of breast milk pumped, Robbie’s intake and output, minutes of latch, minutes of drinking my milk with the finger feeder, Robbie’s mood or reaction and what time all of this happened.

The supplemental finger feeder.

The bili-blanket.

Because his bilirubin was still climbing he was hospitalized for more lights and monitoring when he was 4 days old.

After things settled down and Robbie got the hang of breastfeeding.   The largest benefit I got from Sandy’s wisdom was attending her New Baby Support Group twice a month for his first year of life. I rarely missed a meeting! I went to many of these meetings when Charlie and Henry were new babies too.  Sandy has specific topics for each meeting and always had a scale to weigh your baby.   She always stayed later to answer every mom’s questions.  My babies were breastfeeding a lot.  I always wondered if they were getting enough.   I was reassured by the scale that they were getting enough and were gaining weight.  I learned something new about breastfeeding, how to take care of my baby and myself, and how to be the mama I wanted to be at every meeting.  On top of these wonderful things I also met many other mamas who have become dear friends to me.

Because of the support I got from Sandy, Jack and all of my family and friends I was successful with breastfeeding Robbie, Charlie and Henry.   Between our three boys I have been able to breastfeed for a total 76 months.  Baby number four will add to my number of months of total breastfeeding.

Added: March 6, 2013

As you know, Nola Mae arrived about 11 months ago.  We had a good start to breastfeeding.  And then things started to go down hill.  Four kids knocked the wind out of my sails for many months, my milk supply dropped drastically and Nola Mae wasn’t gaining weight.  We discovered this by visiting Sandy often for weight checks and she got us back on track.  I feel like there are many more details to share about the things I learned during the first 6 months of Nola Mae’s life – I do have a blog post drafted about this topic  I just need some time to work on it!

I am now up to about 88 months of breastfeeding and still going strong thanks to all the support I have gotten from Sandy, Dr. Charlie, my family and friends.

A related post I put together for World Breastfeeding Week in 2011:  https://skiingmama.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/world-breastfeeding-week-2011/

Week 51 – December 17 – 23, 2012

Week 51 – December 17 – 23, 2012

(Completed on 1/28/13)

My recent weeks have not been very productive.   A friend asked me to make her some diaper liners.  It was what I needed to get motivated to get back into my sewing room.

sewing cloth liners

I played around and made these for my jars that I like to drink tea out of.

sewing jar covers

I wrapped and labeled some of my soap.

Soap

Jack completed his “container” for the Vaters’ art exchange.  One of the most beautiful things he has made (in my opinion).

Cabinet Jack built

I worked on my “container” and came up with this cloth bowl.  Since it seemed lame to me, comparing it to what Jack was contributing.  I filled my cloth bowl with extra goodies, like honey, tea, my homemade soap and body balm.

sewing clothes bowls

Nola Mae is getting close to joining us at the table in her own chair.

Nola Mae eats at table

Snow shoeing has been fun with the boys.  Robbie is the super snow shoer!  We have been working hard at packing our trails so we can ski on them too.

snow shoe path

It was too cold and too late in the afternoon for Nola Mae to ride on my back so I packed her in the sled so she would be warmer.

skiing sled Nola Mae

Henry had his preschool Christmas program this week.  He (like all our kids) is not a performer.  He just stood in the front row with a smile on his face.  In the days before and after the program he has proven to me that he can sing the songs, just not in front of all the parents.

Henry pre school

I learned of breast milk popsicle for teething babies.  I bought some little plastic shot glasses, pumped some of my milk and froze it with a Q-tip for the stick.  Nola Mae was a little crabby one day and I just couldn’t tell what was going on with her.  I remembered the popsicle that I made and gave her one.  It did the trick because she was very busy working on the popsicle until it was gone.

breastmilk popcicle

Henry thought it was cute to put Nola Mae in the basket.  She liked it only for a short time.

basket baby

Once in a while Henry wants to wear one of his stuffed animals.  I made this Mei Tai for him after I made mine.

Mei Tai kid size

A Christmas tree cake I made for someone who wanted to take a dessert to a Christmas gathering.

Cake x-mas tree