Friday, August 26, 2011

She eats better than we do!

I swear that 90% of the food I bought over the last 2 weeks has gone to making baby food for Madison and not for feeding my husband and I!

I am really into finding out what foods are cheap and easy to make and freeze. Madison is almost 7 months and we just started her on pureed foods about 20 days ago (delayed due to constipation) and I have already prepared many foods for the next few weeks in advance. She LOVES to eat!

I am giving one new food every 4 days and it is crazy how giddy I get over trying a new food.

We started her on organic brown rice cereal (definitely recommend over white rice cereal-SOOO much healthier and not expensive).

Ok soap box for a minute. . .I had been looking for an organic brown rice cereal for a while and every box I looked at had at least like 10 ingredients. Albeit some of those were probiotics and vitamins but some were not, like oils and such. I was shocked! I had just about decided to try just blending up brown rice myself when I found the Earth's Best whole grain rice cereal with only 3 Ingredients: Organic whole grain brown rice, Vitamin E, and Iron. But seriously why all the additives in an "organic" whole grain rice cereal. . .

So then we moved on to the orange veggies as recommend
ed by her pediatrician. Sweet potatoes were first, then carrots. She LOVED both. I boiled them in some water and used that water as the additive before freezing. Although if you wanted to not add the water and just puree it, then freeze it you could always add water, breastmilk, or formula after you thaw (sometimes the foods are watery after thawing anyways). I usually thicken my foods a little rice cereal or oatmeal and it makes the meal bigger and more substantial for Madi.

So I was going to do squash as the last orange veggie but I didn't have one and couldn't get to the store the day for adding a new food. (Remember I am too impatient from my giddiness to try new foods to wait one more day!). We are flying to Austin TX in 2 weeks and I have been concerned over being allowed to take my homemade food on the plane and read that a banana is allowed and you can mash it with a fork. So I tried that. . .it didn't go so well and she spit most of it out. I think it was because there were still chunks and she didn't like the change in texture. The next day I pureed them and she ate them well with some oatmeal (oh I added in whole grain Earths Best oatmeal cereal too).

So today I get to add another food. I can decide what to try. I now have already made and in the freezer butternut squash and apples. I have pears that i still need to make. I also read that avacados are a great first food but brown easily. They don't need to be cooked either (another thing to try before my trip to Austin) so I just cut them into slices and will thaw and mash them when I want her to eat them. SOOO EASY!

Some of the foods in my freezer, I use both ice cube trays and these little individual trays I got at Baby's R Us. The containers are microwaveable and BPA free-really great! Oh make sure to date your food and try to use it before a month is over.

I am pretty sure making my own baby food is becoming an obsession. Can't wait to start mixing things to create yummy gourmet meals for my daughter (which I don't even do for myself).

So much cheaper than buying baby food in cans/tubs (especially the organic food).
I bought 2 sweet potatoes (organic) for $2.99 peeled, cut and boiled them and they made about 7-10 meals for Madi (the organic food 7 jars is about $5-7
1 bag organic carrots $1.29 and again I made about 7 meals
1 small butternut squash ($2.50) one ice cube tray full (about 8 meals-2 cubes per meal)
5 medium organic apples ($4.00) one ice cube tray full (8 meals, or great for adding with other things)
I haven't determined if the apples will be worth it or if I should just buy organic applesauce. I need to price it out. I ended up going to the small expensive health food store in town b/c our regular store did not have organic apples. Whole foods or Stop and Shop might be cheaper and have larger apples to make more. . .or applesauce might be the way I go.

Organic or not?
So as much as I don't stick to this myself I am with my newborn baby. I go by the Dirty Dozen (I try to buy organic everything else unless it is on the Least contaminated list)

The 12 Foods with most pesticides
  • Peaches/nectarines
  • Apples
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Blueberries
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Spinach/Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes (ironically sweet potatoes are not included in this list)
The Foods with least amount pesticides
  • Onions
  • Avacado
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Sweet Peas (in the pod or frozen)
  • Kiwi
  • Watermelon
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya
  • Eggplant
  • Tomato
  • Sweet Potatoes
Anyways my favorite 2 websites I have found with easy recipes are:

If you have any questions about recipes or feeding please ask!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tip of the Day: Onesie removal

I have often felt so bad taking onsies and other outfits off as they will get stuck on M's head or around her neck if I don't stretch them out first. . .Then guess what? The neck is stretched out and hangs out down on her chest instead of around her neck. (Not too big a deal as she is a baby but still annoying.)

Anyways the other night at work I saw a mom taking off the onesie from the top down over the body. I talked to her for a bit about why and it was because her baby didn't like things going over his head. M doesn't mind but nonetheless I tried it today and it was way easier and Madison didn't get almost strangled!

So if you are like me and have a kid with a big head. . .try taking onsies down to get them off.

You can also put them on this way I suppose if they really don't like clothes being put over their head.

Give it a try and let me know your thoughts. . .

Also if you have any great tips that go along with this please post a comment!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Diaper Rash Who?

Welcome to the first entry from Nurse Mommy!

I don’t know any mom that hasn’t had to deal with diaper rash. I know I have and only have a 4 month old. It can be brutal to get rid of and drive parents crazy and be very costly buying the "greatest and newest" treatments out there. Don't spend too much money yet! Don't waste a trip to you doctor until read this!

Disclosure: There are several different types and causes of diaper rash so if treatments don’t work you may need to see your doctor b/c it could be yeast or some other type of infection causing the rash.

When M got her first diaper rash I began using Desitin with every diaper change and it just wasn’t getting any better. I was so frustrated! I thought Desitin was like gold and cured diaper rash in and intance. . .So naive!

So I asked the nurses at work what they tell people on the phone. This is what one nurse told me she swears by and will cure the worst of diaper rashes (even the really gross ulcerated ones).

Step one: Use soap and water with gentle washcloths to wipe and clean the area. (Commercial wipes can be really costic and aggravating to the skin-although I find that Pampers sensitive work well for M but any other wipes leave her red). If the rash is really bad stick with mild (unscented) soap and water.

You Tube video on making and storing your own diaper wipes ( I am soooo doing it this weekend). There are many different variations out there on the interweb and well, just google it! But what a cost and skin saver!

Step two: part of the problem is not allowing the babies bottom to dry completely before applying the ointment/powder (the goal is to keep the moisture out with use of these products not keep it in by applying it to wet skin which will worsen the rash and breakdown of skin).

You can allow the area to air dry but make sure the crevices and folds in the groin dry completely as well. The nurses I work with recommend using a small hairdryer on cool to dry the area completely.

Step three: Apply a good layer of Desitin or whatever cream you prefer to use.

Step four: Over top the desitin apply Gold Bond baby Powder (it’s the best out there and not too expensive). The Powder over the cream makes for a great moisture barrier. It creates a thick paste and may take some effort to get off, but it’s worth it.

Step five: Diaper that toosh!

Repeat steps each time you change the diaper, which may be frequently until better usually 24-48 hours but may be longer.

**The longer you leave a baby in a wet or poopy diaper the more likely the moisture will break through the barrier and worsen the skin breakdown. It is very important that you dry thoroughly and apply a good layer of cream and powder if your baby doesn’t wake up for changes at night. I only change M’s diaper once usually until the morning so I lather her up good before putting her to bed and take the time to dry and lather well in the middle of the night.

The nurse I was talking to swears that if you do this for 24-48 hours meticulously the worst of rashes will begin to improve. (See previous disclosure)

OK So the rash is better (M’s cleared up completely in a couple of days). NOW WHAT!? Do you have to keep doing that whole routine forever??? I certainly don’t think so! But DRYING (via air or hair dryer) is a very important step no matter what!

My PCP says better to prevent the rash than have to cure even the mildest form.

This is what I found works for M.

I use the sensitive wipes, let her air dry, and apply the Gold Bond Powder. I LOVE this stuff and your hands don’t get messy like when you use the creams or pastes.

I hope this helps someone! I also recommend trying the make your own wipes. It is so much cheaper and better for the babies skin.

ENJOY YOUR DAY! And stay tuned for the next entry of NURSE MOMMY!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A blog with a purpose. . .

I told you I wasnt good at blogging. I haven't written anything over the last 3 months. Now Madison is almost 4 months. She is smiling, cooing, and even giggled for the first time today. She is sleeping well (in her crib since about 2 months old) except for the last week (I think she might be teething but how do we really know until that first tooth breaks through). She loves it when I sing to her (favorite songs are Blue skies and rainbows and Shake the Sillies out).

So because I haven't been great at the updates I have decided to give my blog more of a purpose. I am constantly getting phone calls and questions from friends and families with children about what to do in . . . situation. I don't always have all of the answers but since I have been working at a pediatric clinic I have learned many things about treating children and their ailments that I did not know before. Since I had Madison I am constantly asking questions and learning new things for taking care of babies and keeping them healthy.

I am excited and looking forward to sharing these things with you all. Some will be very specific to the knowledge I have obtained on my current job and some will be Nursing 101 type things that I learned early on in school.

Please feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to answer them.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Madison's Big Day of Firsts

So at just 5 days old Madison had her first big outing; her first bath at home (2nd bath total); and her first bottle.

The outing took us 5.5 hours to go to the doctor, Adam's Walgreens store, and a quick trip to the grocery store.

We started at 12:45 by heading out to her pediatricians office (which is actually where I work) for a 2:00 appt for a weight check and bilirubin level . We left early so we could grab a bite to eat first and then I could have time to show her off to my coworkers before my appointment. The oogled over her of course which I enjoyed, everyone said she looks like her daddy (and I agree).

So her weight was the same as when she left the hospital 2 days prior. At least she hadn't lost any. Her bilirubin level was still slightly high but for her age and size it is a low risk and should be corrected with more feeding.

So as for the more feeding part. . .Everyone kept saying how great I looked and I felt good yesterday. I got quite a bit of sleep the night before, Madison (like her mommy) loves to sleep. She was only waking up to feed every 3 hours and I didn't know to do any different. I was told that I now have to feed her every 2 hours and let me just say that after a day of being on an every 2 hour schedule I feel the sleep deprivation coming on strong. . . By the time I get up and go to the bathroom, wake her up, feed her (usually about 30 minutes) and change her diaper it's been almost an hour. So I get one hour of sleep and it's time to do it all over again.

Anyways I fed her at the Dr office and we headed further down south to Adam's Walgreens store. He needed to get on their computer system to enroll her in insurance and we had a few things to pick up. Also to show her off. . .of course.

By the time we were leaving there it was time to eat again! So I sat in a back room near the pharmacy and 3o minutes later we left. Since she was recently fed and we were out of food at the house we decided it was an opportune time to stop at the grocery store. So she got to have her first grocery store experience. Then when we got home, time to eat again!

First Bath:
So we gave her her first sponge bath (really second bath, but our first) and of course she screamed the whole time until we got to her head. Which we did last after she was wrapped up in a towel. She loved it when I rubbed her little tiny head with my soapy washcloth. It was so cute. She just gave me this look of "Ohhhh yeaaah, mommy, I like that." So we made it through, we were nervous about her getting to cold and all that but it went fine.

First Bottle:
So this whole feeding every 2 hours instead of 3 is really tough as I mentioned. I have started to occasionally pump the side she won't be feeding on and pumping whats left in the side she does. I had a little over 2 ounces last night from one pump in the afternoon. Adam got to feed her for the first time and it was special to him. I know he enjoyed it. It was amazing though, what takes her 30 minutes to eat from me each feed, took only 5 minutes for her to guzzle down from the bottle. Feeding time was a lot shorter, and I was envious. We are trying it again tonight to give me a break. Hopefully I won't need to pump and can make it to the next feed without too much pain.

So that was Madison's BIG day of firsts. I think it was more exhausting for mommy and daddy than her (she slept a lot in the car).

Today we stayed home and did not leave the house. I'm starting to hit the brink of exhaustion b/c I'm not obeying that whole "sleep when the baby sleeps" rule. I need to do that more, even little cat naps if I can.

Oh and can I just say that sleep sacks are amazing! We have put her in just a t-shirt and sleep sack with socks on at night, then swaddle her. When I need to change a diaper there is no unbuttoning or unzipping of a onesie. All I have to do is unswaddle her, pull up the sleep sack and then change the diaper. We will eventually stop this I am sure, but for now it's easy access.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blessings and Football

So Madison's first experience after coming home from the hospital was a blessing and a Superbowl Party. I know you might think we are crazy as we had only been home from the hospital approximately 2 hours before taking her somewhere.

We are a part of a house church that currently is meeting in our best friends home 4 houses down the road. We did not get home until right when church was starting but we did end up going down the road for the end of worship to have a blessing offered over Madison and our new family and to partake in communion.

Following worship, they were hosting a superbowl party (we usually host it every year but are happy to have passed the buck this time around). I of course wanted to show my little beauty off so we decided we would only stay for a little while. We are trying to train her early to be a sports fan so it takes early in life and she is able to appease her future husband on a Sunday afternoon by allowing him to watch football. Albeit, I think most of the women, and some men, were more interested in the pass the baby game than the actual football game.
She made it through and we left when the game was over. It was fun, but for those of you who thought we were crazy by going to a social event just after getting home from the hospital, you are probably right in thinking so. Let's just say that we had a rough first night at home. Between my forgetting to take my pain medicine, extreme pain during breastfeeding, and forgetting to lower the third side to my co-sleeper (so I had to get out of bed-OUCH! note the forgetting pain med part-every time to get her out or just check that whole breathing thing) I didn't get much sleep and my incision was excruciatingly painful the next day. Luckily when you and your husband are both off work currently with no where to go staying in bed until 10:30 is an option. And bringing the baby into bed with us kept her happy and quiet for the morning hours.

Monday, February 7, 2011


So we had heard all these horror stories about how when you deliver at the hospital, you don't get any sleep, and are always interrupted by doctors, nurses, aids, visitors, etc. . . I am pleased to say that was totally not the case during our stay after Madison was born. Not to say they were negligent either.

We delivered via C-section at Brigham and Women's Hospital (the hospital I used to work at for 3 years in Cardiac Surgery), the #1 Labor and Delivery Program in the country. I had a c-section on Thursday morning Feb 3, 2011 and Madison Rylee was born at 9:34 am. (More to come about my freak out during c-section later). We sat in the recovery room for a little over 2 hours and had Madison with us the whole time. I was able to hold her and begin to feed within the first 30 minutes after I had use and feeling of my upper body again. From there we were taken to the post partum floor where our nurses were nothing short of helpful and wonderful. We were there for 4ish days and 3 nights. During that time they encouraged us to rest when we could. They have nurses on staff for the nursery 24/7 and made us feel safe about leaving her in there so we could get some rest. We took them up on that at night, keeping her with us until 10ish then having her brought in for feedings at night every 3-4 hours or when she was awake.

Anyways, they only did my vitals every 8 hours and the nurses made their assessments of me at a convenient time. If I was sleeping or feeding or eating, they would come back later. They were not in a rush just to get their paperwork charted. . .etc. One thing they were on top of which was greatly appreciated was my pain medicine. Toward the end they would leave it up to me if I wanted it or not but they always brought it in to me right on time if I wanted it on schedule. Good thing too, b/c I would have gotten way behind and lost track of when I had it last.

Even though they mostly new I was a nurse and even some new I worked in Pediatrics, they were always willing to answer my questions and never looked at me like, this is something you should know.

All in all I can't speak highly enough of the nurses of CWN 10 at BWH. It was such a pleasant stay and I did actually feel somewhat rested when we came home.

As for my C-section:
Lets just say that all the preparation I did, relaxation techniques, and even seeing a section before did not prevent a freak out on my part.

I did fine during the spinal block. The nurse was impressed that I was so calm and cooperative. She held my hand (they wouldn't let Adam in just yet) and I barely had to squeeze hers. That is where my calmness ended.

A lot happened very quickly after that:
They proceeded to lie me down on my back-my legs and abdomen beginning to go numb, put my arms in these arm rests (and told me not to move them), put up a blanket right in front of my face, place an oxygen mask on my face, poke me with a toothpick like thing and try to insert a catheter. . .all at the same time-oh and my IV started burning b/c of the antibiotic. Adam still was not in the room at this point.

I think I got too over stimulated and slightly claustraphobic (with the sheet and mask on). I couldn't feel my legs yet I could still feel areas on my stomach the anesthesiologists was poking with the toothpick and I was worried I would feel the incision too.

Anyways I remember starting to freak out and move around (which they didn't like). I started stating I couldn't do this, I wanted to just go home, taking off my pulse ox and mask, trying to sit up. . .etc. . .I was just crazy. One of the anesthesiologists took my hand while my OB tried to calm me down and tell me it was going to be ok and that people freak all the time (but they are probably not nurses). They brought Adam in the room (finally) and I remember thinking how irrational I was being. I was able to just close my eyes and focus on him holding my hand and stroking my face. I was calm as a cucumber from then on. My OB even asked if the anesthesiologist had given me anything to calm me down, which he didn't. The next think I know after thinking I just needed to cut it out and chill out, I heard my baby girl crying. I didn't even know they had made the incision yet and there she was crying for me to here.

I listened for 2 things. . .the word "She" and her weight. 7lb 2 oz, 18.5inches long.

It was amazing. I remember Adam bringing her over to me and I just remained calm during the closure b/c I could see her beautiful face.
So nurses don't always make great patients. It's so weird being on the flip side of being the one to care for the patients.

More to come later, but for now I must get back to this whole motherhood thing :)