Wednesday, February 17, 2016

10 Beginner Tips for Breastfeeding

So my original idea for this post was to have 8 tips but when I started writing everything out, I realized that I needed to include 10 to really be of any help to new breastfeeding mamas.

Breastfeeding is sooo hard in the beginning. I wish I had more of a support system when I breastfed my first baby but my amazing fiance encouraged me to stick it out. I am so glad I listened to him. It ended up being the most amazing experience of my life and once we got the hang of it, it was easier than bottle feeding!!

1) Be patient.
I can't emphasize this one enough. You cannot give up at the first sign of trouble. It is so hard and challenging at first and I can promise you, it is nothing like you were expecting. In the beginning, it hurts more than anything I have ever experienced. I cried my eyes out night after night because I felt like I couldn't do it anymore. It was exhausting waking up so often to nurse and not getting a break from that pain. There were scabs and split skin and UGH it was awful. I promise you, this passes. After about a month or so, it gets soooo easy. Just stick it out until then and see how you're feeling!

2) Be prepared.
I don't mean mentally prepared, either. I mean have a book or kindle nearby, a bottle of water, lanolin, your cell phone, and a burp cloth. Seriously, you might be there for a while. In the beginning nursing takes a while and once you get that baby latched, you don't want to move again.

3) Get comfortable.
Do you have a rocker or glider with a foot rest? PERFECT. If you don't, get snuggled up on the couch (in the corner so you can sit up and still be comfy) or kick back in a recliner. If you can't do that, find the biggest and most comfortable chair you can. It's so much easier to relax if you can be comfortable and that is so important for both of you. If you can find a quiet room with a comfy seat, even better.

4) Let the baby sleep in your arms!
This one isn't going to make breastfeeding easier, exactly, but it will make it more bearable. You know when you just get done nursing your baby, lay her (or him) down, and she wakes right back up and wants to eat again? Repeat 5-10 times? Well, when she dozes off in your arms after eating, just enjoy it!! It gives you a little nursing break, saves you the frustration of your baby waking back up, and you get to cuddle your cute little baby! Win, win, win.

5) Feed on demand.
This is so important. You need to ignore the 2-hour rule. Don't follow that! I promise you don't need to. Just feed your baby whenever she is hungry. In both of my breastfeeding experiences, my babies have wanted to eat every hour or hour and a half. Sometimes (when we were on the go or they were sleeping) they would go 3-4 hours without eating. It was all fine for us!! If you nurse on demand, then your body will produce exactly what your baby needs. Nursing on demand even when it has only been an hour will keep your baby happy and will help increase your milk supply. I know this is a lot, but again, it won't last forever. Once your baby starts getting older, the times will increase.

6) Talk with a lactation consultant. 
Seriously, this is important. I would have never been successful with breastfeeding the first time around if it wasn't for the help of a lactation consultant. I saw one at the hospital before we came home and she corrected all of the issues we were having. Sylas wasn't latching correctly and that made it even more painful for me BUT it also caused him to not get enough milk. I spent a couple of hours with her and we were good to go. They know what they are doing, listen to them, please! Many times they are free to see and if you are a WIC participant, one will come to your house for free. Seriously, she will come to you and you won't have to pay anything. How awesome is that?!

7) Pump whenever you can. 
Hooking yourself up to a breast pump and sitting there for 20-30 minutes while a machine sucks on your nipples is a good time.... just kidding, it's not fun. It is extremely important, though. It will keep your supply up if your baby goes longer than normal without nursing and it will also give you extra milk so that you can have a break later on!! If you have extra milk pumped, daddy or grandma can feed the baby while you rest or take a little time to yourself. Currently, I pump for about an hour a day. 30 minutes in the morning and then 30 minutes during my lunch break at work. This gives me all that I need for Josie while I'm away, plus a little extra.

8) Take care of yourself.
To give your baby the proper nutrients, you have to consume the proper nutrients!! Whatever you eat is somehow making its way into that breast milk so make sure you are eating things that are good for your baby. You also can't produce milk if you aren't hydrated so make sure you are drinking extra water!! Breast feeding burns a ton of calories so keep healthy snacks (fruits and veggies) nearby for yourself. If you are depriving yourself, you're depriving your baby. Keep that in mind!

9) It's harder to nurse a screaming baby.
Don't wait for your baby to get to that point before you feed her. If you even think she is showing hunger cues, try to nurse her. If you wait for her to scream, it becomes much harder to calm her down and get her to latch.

10) Relax!!
Take all of these tips I have given you and then relax! It's easier on both of you if you are relaxed. The baby picks up your moods and if you are feeling frustrated or stressed out, she will, too. If you are relaxed when you start nursing, the baby will latch much easier and have a better time eating. You'll see. :)

I won't sugar coat it, breast feeding is hard in the beginning. After a month or so, the pain goes away, baby has become a pro, and you guys will have a nice routine down. Stick it out for a month before you make any decisions about giving it up!! Unless, of course, your doctor or the baby's doctor recommends otherwise.

What other tips do you have for beginners? I would love to read them in the comments!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I cooked my first turkey!

Is it normal for a 24 year old to not know how to cook a turkey?
I didn't even know where to begin.

I asked for tips, looked on Pinterest, and googled it. Then I texted my dad a bunch while I was preparing the turkey. I had no idea so much went into it.

First I had to take the stuff out of the inside of the turkey. There was a bag of gravy and bag of giblets in mine. Then I had to wash the outside and inside of the turkey and put it on a roasting pan.

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees.

Leave the turkey sitting out for half an hour and rub salt and pepper on the outside of the turkey.

The next step that I read about during my research was to put two cups of water or chicken broth in the bottom of the roasting pan and then put the turkey in the oven.

When you put the turkey in the oven, lower the heat to 350 degrees.

Baste the turkey every 45 minutes.

So, super simple, right? Except for the part where the turkey is heavy as he** and you have to lift that bad boy out of the oven every 45 minutes because the oven needs to stay shut (you're not supposed to let the heat out). Thennnn... lift it again to put it back in the oven.

The very last time you baste the turkey, baste it with melted butter instead of the liquid from the bottom of the pan.

That was about it!

Oh, and let the turkey sit for 30 minutes after it's finished cooking before you carve it.

I also seasoned my turkey with rosemary, thyme, and creole seasoning before I put it in the oven.

It was seriously so delicious. Nice and juicy, too! Chris said it was the best turkey he's ever had.


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Pull the packaging out of the inside of the turkey.
  3. Rinse the turkey in water, inside and out.
  4. Place turkey in roasting pan.
  5. Rub salt and pepper on the turkey.
  6. Season the turkey with whatever seasonings you like. (I used thyme, rosemary, and creole seasoning).
  7. Put two cups of water in the bottom of the roasting pan.
  8. Place roasting pan in the oven and turn the temperature down to 350 degrees.
  9. Baste the turkey every 45 minutes.
  10. Use butter to baste the turkey for the very last time. 
I had an 18 pound turkey and cooked it for about 4 and a half hours. 

Let me know how your turkeys turn out!! 

Saturday, November 21, 2015


For the past 16 or 17 years the ladies in my family have made peanut butter buckeyes. We make a TON of them (enough for six families plus extras for sharing), so we make an entire day out of it and spend the entire day together laughing, talking, drinking wine & coffee, playing games when we have a down moment, and just having a good time.

It has always been one of my favorite days!! My sister-in-law moved here from Arizona this past year (YAY!) and was able to join the tradition. She is allergic to peanut butter though so we chose to change things up a bit. We love to pass these treats out to friends and family at the holidays and we love to sit them out when people visit so we still wanted to keep the treat sweet and easy to store so that it lasts through the holidays (freeze them!).

My sister hosted our get together and chose to do fudge. We made white chocolate peppermint, milk chocolate mint, peanut butter, milk chocolate with almonds, and just regular milk chocolate. They turned out so yummy. and were so much easier and quicker to make than the buckeyes are. We had even more time to sit and chat with each other (and drink more wine!!) and since we already switched our tradition up, we switched it up a bit more and let my nephew join in! He's going to be 16 next week so it was a big deal (to me!) that he wanted to hang out with us!

I love that we have a new tradition but I will still always call our get together "Buckeyes"! LOL

Fudge Recipe

1 1/2 sticks butter 3 cups of white sugar 2/3 cups Evaporated Milk (NOT sweetened condensed) Stir frequently over medium heat til rolling boil. Set timer for 5 minutes, continue cooking over med heat stirring CONSTANTLY!! Remove from heat Add one small jar of marshmallow creme, 1 tsp of vanilla extract and one 12 oz bag of any flavor chips until smooth. Pour in foil lined and greased 9x13 pan. If you make the peppermint, use white chocolate chips, add 1 tsp of peppermint extract as well as vanilla when you remove from heat.

You can easily double this recipe and split it up between two 9x13 pans.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

One of those days

I have a sick baby.
The older kids are driving me crazy.
My house is a mess.
The laundry is piling up in the laundry room.
I'm hungry and we "have nothing to eat" (that's my pregnancy talking, we have plenty).
I'm emotional and everything is bothering me.

I know that tomorrow will (probably) be better but today I'm just so discouraged. I was up almost all night with Sylas... he had a fever and a terrible rash all over his body. We went to the doctor this morning and found out that it's a viral infection and we'll just have to wait it out. My poor baby is miserable and extra cuddly. The extra cuddly part is great, the miserable part is not so great.

The pictures don't do the rash any justice but you can see it a little! 

Sylas slept with me for the first time ever last night.... he slept across my neck while I awkwardly laid with my head at a weird angle trying not to move so he could get some sleep. It was the only way he could get comfortable apparently. LOL! 

As for the older kids driving me crazy..... telling them to be "quiet" while Sylas naps is the equivalent to telling them to scream in my living room. At least according to them. Asking them to pick up after themselves is definitely a crime. OH, and that jello I made and put in the refrigerator to set? They put their nasty little fingers all over the top of it to "see if it was done" (it wasn't, I could have told them that if they had only asked). Plus, they're arguing... kicking each other out of these great business ventures the other comes up with, which leads to tears from Peyton. Someone stole a string off a handmade boat, which led to more tears from Peyton. SCHOOL STARTS IN EXACTLY ONE WEEK!!! I'm not excited or anything. ;)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Stocking Stuffers

We still have more than four months until Christmas but it is going to fly by!! Seriously, it'll be here before we know it. I am crazy about buying gifts... I lovelovelove it. My kids always get so spoiled on birthdays and Christmas. We aren't rich (not even close), so I have to plan ahead and look for the best deals to give them what they want. I ask for updated lists every couple of months throughout the year. This is ridiculous, I know, but it keeps me excited about shopping and it lets me know what they REAAALLLY want as opposed to random "wants" that they will forget about. I already finished big gifts for our oldest, and now I just have to work on her stocking stuffers. The other three, however, still need gifts AND stocking stuffers, so now I definitely need to crack down and get started.

I started a list of ideas that I have for stocking stuffers for the kids, ages 2 months - 11 years old. I think this part of Christmas is the most fun and definitely the most exciting, so the list is pretty long.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas For Kids

Phone Case
Cool Socks
Hair Bands
Temporary Tattoos
Cocoa Mug
Card Game
A book
Stuffed Animal
A Journal
Gift Card
Washi Tape
Nail Polish
Perfume/Body Spray
Minecraft Figurines
Small Lego Set
Joke Book
Small Christmas Craft
Cap Gun
Small Lotion
Hand Sanitizer
Hot Cheetos
All-Skate Giftcard (All-Skate is our local skating rink)
Glow Sticks
Hair Brush
Post-it Notes
Onesie/Christmas Outfit for Baby
Baby snacks
Bath Toy
Teething Toy
Hair Accessories 
Fake Nails
Lip Gloss
Crazy Straw
Lottery Tickets
Selfie Stick
Video Game

There are so many possibilities for stockings. Many times my best finds are just random ones where I am browsing through a store and find something that I know one of the kids will love. Of course you also have to put candy in the stocking!! 

Do you have any awesome stocking stuffer ideas? 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Free Blogger Template

So I desperately needed a cute template for my blog but I'm so new to this I have NO IDEA how to create one yet!! So in the mean time, I counted on Pinterest to find me exactly what I needed.

I found a cute, simple template that I was able to easily put on my blog with no problem! Who would have thought??? It was made by This Creative Mom.

Her blog is soooo cute AND she gives away free blog templates! Definitely check her blog out. ;)

This picture is from The Creative Mom blog.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Positive Reinforcement

Grounding, taking away privileges, etc. will only get you so far with kids. With my kids, it doesn't seem to work at all. I still do it because if they are misbehaving or being disobedient, I will not allow them to get away with it. However, it isn't very successful in helping them make better choices the next time around.

Because of this, I needed something positive. My kids respond best to positive reinforcement and we didn't have a system in place for this. I created one and it's already working wonders.

It's simple... I just used scrap paper and wrote out points. I made slips of paper worth 1 point, 5 points, and 10 points. Then I used more scrap paper to write out rewards that the kids can "buy" with their points. They simply save their points up and turn them in for a reward. They are mostly very simple rewards, but there are some better rewards for more points.

We just started this morning, and already Nevaeh has earned 5 points! She cleaned the living room and vacuumed without being asked or required to do so. I'll take it! I'm sure she's working her way towards a trip to the movie theater or all-skate.