Weight Gain, Nature Study, Sacraments, and Easter Baskets {7QT}

Friday, March 22, 2019

Happy Spring! We've waited through a loooong winter and it's finally here!




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Spring means impromptu nature study for all! We're still dealing with quite a lot of frigid weather, but with the occasional gloriously warm day sprinkled in. The other day the kids went outside and collected purple dead nettle, speedwell, yarrow, and chickweed. Then they decided all on their own that they wanted to draw a picture of each flower, and then they arranged them in a bowl to make a "floating garden."

Given the fact that our nature study has never looked the way a "real" Charlotte Mason nature study is supposed to look, I'm pretty happy that they decided to do this all on their own! All those years of going outside and identifying plants while they refused to even try to draw them eventually led to this. Don't lose hope!

(These watercolors are great for younger kids, the older two got this set for their most recent birthdays, and Cecilia has been very happy with this notebook)

--2--

I've been brainstorming Easter basket ideas and adding items to my influencer list here—I think the flower headbands & handkerchiefs are a must for the girls, toothbrushes for all, and everyone has requested flower bulbs again (I found inexpensive ones at the Dollar Tree last year, of all places!).

I was going to get Calico Critter babies for some of the kids, but those have ended up causing a lot of fighting & drama so I'm refusing to buy any until the kids stop acting like lunatics with them (and stop taking them outside, losing them, accusing other children of losing them, and then finding them covered with mud. It's ridiculous.). They *are* very cute little toys that I generally recommend, we just have a very special breed of crazy in our house.

--3--

Lucy turned a month old on Tuesday! And she's finally gaining weight! 



We've had several babies who were slow to gain weight, all for different reasons, so it wasn't a total surprise to me when Lucy turned out the same, but it's still always stressful! This time, a bad latch in the beginning led to a cracked nipple (WOW is that painful!!!), so I ordered these nipple shields (and this cream for healing because I can't stand lanolin)  to help her latch & reduce the pain while I healed. They worked like a charm BUT resulted in a lazy latch & reduced stimulation so my supply tanked, which in turn made her sleepier, which led to MORE reduced stimulation... A bad, bad cycle!



So! I started pumping once a day (more would have been better but I just didn't have time) to actually drain both sides, bottle fed her that hind milk, took fenugreek when that alone wasn't solving things, and weighed her morning and evening using this scale. It took about a week to get my supply back (which is normal for me, and if her latch had been more vigorous I definitely could've skipped the fenugreek but it was still really weak), but she's finally gaining well!

Now we just need to work on efficiency, because she's still nursing aaaaall day long (and for several hours during the night) and it's really exhausting. I'm going to keep pumping at least once a day as long as I can find the time, I think, just to make sure my supply doesn't tank again.

(Also I abandoned any hope of giving up sweets for Lent and added a nightly milkshake to my diet, because for some reason that's always helped my supply. I know, I know, I could get calories in other ways, but I don't have the mental energy to figure out what else works, and I don't have the time to make much of any food because of the constantly latched baby!)

--4--

Edith is halfheartedly potty training. This feels very Lent-y (so did the whole weight gain ordeal, so my penances have really gotten picked for me this year!), because she generally stays dry well, then decides to stealth-poop in her underwear. Always so pleasant to clean up. At least she's cute? 



--5--

Current favorite post partum purchases? A new sling that I scored an AMAZING deal on when the color got discontinued (currently there's a 30% off coupon on other colors), these cups for my water and milkshake needs,and this nightlight so that I can see to latch the baby at night but don't just leave the bathroom/hall light on all night.

--6--

After over a year of preparing, attempting, crying, and generally anxiety/bitterness/fear/anger, Cecilia finally made her first confession!!! So she'll be receiving her First Holy Communion after Easter, which we're all very excited about. You can read all about the ordeal here.



--7--

Linking up with Kelly! Happy Friday!

9 comments:

  1. Those shields were lifesavers for me...but I do always suffer from an oversupply (like...a CRAZY oversupply...) so they never seemed to affect my supply. Crazy how everyone can react so differently. Glad to hear she's nursing better and gaining weight!!

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    1. I've had oversupply issues in the past but this time things regulated really quickly (and then kept regulating... In the wrong direction!!). I had no clue a shield could lead to supply issues! But after extensive googling, it turned out to be fairly common. Still worth it for faster healing and less pain, but if I have to use one again, I'll know to be on my guard for sure.

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  2. Jealous of the potty training! My daughter, a month younger than Edith, I tried to potty train in October. She was showing all sorts of readiness signs: telling me if she pooed, often peed, dry through night and naps sometimes, long dry spells between diapers. But she screamed even while I was holding her on the potty, going! And now when I suggest it, she freaks out.
    I was so carefully positive the whole potty training time, too!
    I am also jealous between your strong link with calories and production. I don't have that reason to eat as far as I can tell. AND YES eat your convenience food and don't let anyone guilt you!!!! It can be hard to find healthy high calories! I have trouble finding time to make a salad! If you have trouble finding time to make something, I BELIEVE YOU. Also: eat with one hand. But nuts are a good choice for fast healthy calories, if you need an idea...but expensive, Costco or no.

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    1. I've had kids freak out about sitting on the toilet! Just forget about it and don't mention it for a while and it'll change when she's ready—for at least one of them, getting an "exciting" potty seat was what changed their mind!

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  3. Just wanted to pipe in to say you are doing great! You have many kids, homeschooling, trouble with baby latching and supply... No shame about milkshakes! God totally understands. Be proud that you know a good solution! Blessings to you all.

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  4. I've been reading for years, but never commented. I love your blog! Anyway, I went through a similar ordeal with my last baby and weight gain, it is so frustrating. One thing my lactation consultant told me was to do a "milk shake" before each feeding. Literally hold your breast and shake it a few times. Sounds silly, but it mixes up the fore and hind milk, so she gets more calories from each nursing. Just wanted to share. Sounds like Lucy is on the right path though! And enjoy your milkshakes too! You need them!

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    1. I know breast compressions help baby get more hind milk, but I don't know how shaking the breast could do that, the milk ducts are pretty small 🤔

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    2. I'm not sure, but an IBCLC told me that. That's what she does for a living and it seemed like it couldn't hurt. My supply had tanked and my baby was to the point she had to have some formula, so I was willing to do whatever sounded like it would help. Since I was already pumping every three hours, eating as many calories as I could, and drinking gallons of water, that seemed like a reasonable thingy to add in. Whatever the combination was worked, she started gaining and got off of bottles and back to breastfeeding exclusively.

      By the way, I'm not sure how to make my name show, I didn't mean to comment as "unknown." I'm Sarah, and I have seven kids as well, oldest is 16 and youngest is 17 months.

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