Monday, April 16, 2012

Guest Post: Post Pregnancy Tips

The Semi-Organic Mom's Note:  It appears that having two boys--especially ones as young as mine--is rather time consuming.  Who knew?  So today I have some insight from fellow blogger and mom Katie Moore:

Pre-Delivery Tips for Post-Delivery Ease

Many first time moms see their impending maternity leave like a wonderful extended vacation. However, once the baby is born, they realize that motherhood is not always a walk in the park; there are a number of things that a mom can do in order to make this transition a little easier. Some of these tips will also be helpful for friends and family members of a mommy-to-be if they are wondering how they might be able to support or help out.

Breastfeeding, while thought of as the best option for baby, can be hard for a new mother. It is very demanding of her time and her body, but there are some things that can help her prepare. The first is attending a pre-natal breastfeeding class. This type of class is often offered by hospitals or healthcare providers and will provide a great deal of information. Women will learn not only how to nurse the baby, but also how to understand hunger cues and typical feeding issues that a baby may experience. Additionally, even a woman that plans on only nursing, purchasing a breast pump is a good idea. By pumping and allowing someone else to feed the baby once or twice a day, a mom will be able to get some extra rest and the freedom to get out of the house without the baby.

Cooking and freezing meals prior to the birth is a way to ensure that a new mom and her family can continue to eat healthy and wholesome meals after the baby comes. There are also meal services that can be set up in advance. Depending on availability in the area, some services will hand-deliver hot, cooked meals at meal times and others will deliver a prepared dish that will simply need to be heated or baked in the oven before eating.

Besides continuing a healthy and hearty diet, a mother needs to be sure to rest as much as possible. A newborn will wake every few hours to eat and a mother will quickly find herself sleep deprived; making sure to sleep when the baby sleeps is the best way for a mother to feel more rested. Having a family member or friend come over to handle a couple feedings to allow a mother to shower and sleep will also help battle the feelings of exhaustion.

New moms-to-be will also want to identify health care professionals before the baby comes. This will include interviewing and choosing a pediatrician and a pediatric dentist. Sometimes it is helpful to talk to the doctors about decisions that need to be made before birth and early in the child's life so one has the ability to fully consider the options. This includes utilizing cord blood banking and deciding on a vaccination schedule. Additionally, new moms who are returning to work after the baby is born will need to find a childcare provider that they are most comfortable with. They will need to decide the type or style of care - in home care, nanny, or daycare - and then visit or interview providers to find the best fit for the family.

"This article was written by Katie Moore. Katie is an active writer within the blogging community who discusses maternity, motherhood, prenatal health, childbirth and other topics within this niche.  If you have any questions or would like to connect with Katie please contact by visiting her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter @moorekm26."

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm Too Good for Walmart

So, today I made myself homemade vegetable beef soup.  It's super easy, and normally I make it on the stove, but today the boys were rather needy, so I threw all of my ingredients in the crock pot.  Here's what I do:

1/2 bottle low sodium V8 juice
1 can crushed tomatoes (16 oz)
1 package stew meat (browned)
And a random assortment of veggies.  Today I threw in:
4 carrots, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
Peas, shelled

Normally I throw in green beans, too, but Cat started crying and I decided to punt on them and count my blessings that I actually had made the soup.  So I turned on the crock pot and let the mixture simmer for about 6 hours until all the veggies were good and tender and the meat cooked all the way through.  I stirred it about every 1-2 hours.

Anyway the point of all of this is after my soup was made and put away, I started to clean my crock pot and then I realized (much to my chagrin) that there was a very large crack in it and that some of my soup was leaking into the bottom.  This made me very sad because I love my crock pot and I cook with it at least once a week, and I concluded that I couldn't go for another day without a new one, so I waited until Jon got home and I got Cat down for the night and then...

...I went to Walmart.

Look, I'll be honest.  I don't normally shop at Walmart.  I'm just not a fan, and the shopping center near my house has a Target in addition to the Walmart, and I just plain old prefer Target.  But I needed crock pot liners, anyway, and they don't sell those at Target.  They sell them at Walmart.  And, I thought to myself as I made the drive, they remodeled the Walmart recently anyway, so who knows?  Maybe it's actually the sort of place I'd like to shop at now.

So, I steeled myself and walked in.

To my surprise, it actually looked really nice at first glance.  This isn't so bad, I thought as I navigated the new and improved food aisle.  Maybe I'll come back here.

But that's when the troubles started.

So, one thing I really hate about Walmarts in general is that they always seem to have made the aisles unable to accommodate more than one cart at a time.  Plus, I don't know what it is about the people who shop at Walmart, but they all seem to do the same thing, which is angle their cart diagonally across the aisle so that you either don't go down the aisle they're in or you have to stand there politely and wait until they notice you and move their cart.  Or they simply ignore you, and you say, "Excuse me," and then they glare at you like you have the freaking Ebola virus and harrumph very loudly as they move their cart, which they wouldn't have had to do if they weren't BLOCKING THE ENTIRE AISLE.

One thing that I needed was wipes.  Even though I try to use cloth wipes, I am still not comfortable cleaning up poopy diapers with the cloth ones.  So I go down the wipes aisle, only to encounter another cart.  The woman manning this cart had two children with her, who I would guess were in the three to five age range, and I was immediately accosted with the smell.

If you are a parent, or you deal with children at all, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  It's the smell of a child with a poopy diaper--a poopy diaper that has clearly been stewing for awhile.  I am sort of a fanatic about poop, especially when we're out--the moment I know that one of my children has evacuated his bowels, I immediately get rid of it, not just to prevent the inevitable diaper rash that emerges if either one of my children sits in poop too long, but also because I despise the smell--especially the stench of poop that has been sitting.  So I admit.  I turned up my nose a bit at this woman.

But not only was I accosted with this olfactory malfeasance, but additionally, she committed the sin of leaving her card in the aisle diagonally AND completely ignoring me.  So I'm standing there with her blocking my way, and blocking my access to the necessary wipes.  I knew exactly what I wanted (Huggies Natural Care, the only ones that don't irritate Cat's delicate rump), and I was forced to watch this woman pick up a pack of wipes, set it down, pick up another pack, and set that one down, over and over again until I politely said, "Excuse me," and I grabbed the wipes that I needed.

You seriously would have thought I had stolen a coveted toy from her during Black Friday Shopping.  She sent me a death glare, and folks--the wipes that I grabbed weren't even one of the ones that she had touched.

Shaking my head, I quickly grabbed the rest of the items I needed and then sighed with relief as I made my way over to the bargain aisle.  I always go to the bargain aisles in stores, and the ones in Walmart were filled with leftover Easter candy, which I desperately wanted to partake in.  I turned down the aisle and came face to face with a family of four who were arguing over which chocolate bunnies to buy.

"Well," said the Mom, "these ones are only 79 cents."

"Yes," said the Dad, "but these are 89 cents and they taste better."

"Moooooom," wails the tween-looking daughter.  "Moooom, why can't I have an iPhone?"

"Papa!" shrieks the younger daughter, bouncing up and down.  "I want these peeps!  Please let me have peeps!"  She then twirls into my cart, and then the parents glare at me because it was my fault that I was standing there, beholding the spectacle that was them, and then their daughter crashed into my unmoving cart.

"Watch where you're going!" the mother hissed at me.

I gaped at her, at an absolute loss for words.  Was she serious?  She must have been, as she was still looking at me like I was some sort of monster who was attempting to run down small children. Then the younger daughter began twirling again and she fell into the the display, causing me to snort and turn away.

So, I pulled my cart down an abandoned aisle to quickly go through my coupons and I thought to myself, wow, Amanda.  Do you really think that you're better than these people?  Is that really the sort of attitude you should have?

Then I thought to myself, well, yes, I do think that.  I would never be like the couple who had their two children who looked to be about Bug's age out at 8 at night when they're clearly exhausted.  I would never leave my kids to stew in poo.  I would never...

...but then I thought, you need to give these people a break.  You don't know what they're going through.  And as for the very loud scanners who were shouting back and forth at each other as I walked down the aisles, I should give them a break too.  Walmart isn't exactly known for treating its employees well.

So, chastened, I organized my coupons and got in line, mentally patting myself on the back for putting myself in my place.

Until the cashier got all up in my grill.  "Ma'am, this is the Express Lane.  You have to have less than twenty items."

And then something inside me snapped.  With an edge to my voice, I said, "I have nineteen items."

The cashier, who I suspect was a good ten years younger than me, looked at me dubiously.  "It looks like more than that."

So, in my most mature, adult manner, I said, "Allow me to count them for you."  And with gusto, I started banging them on the counter, saying, rather loudly: "ONE!  TWO!  THREE!" and so on, and so forth, until I got to nineteen.  Then I met his gaze with a challenge.

He backed down.

I got to my car and then gobbled down the peanut butter egg I had decided to treat myself to.  I had only been in the store for twenty minutes, but honestly, it was twenty minutes way too long.  Then I drove home and put Bug to bed and told Jon that I was never shopping at Walmart again.

Do me a favor and remind me of this post if I ever mention going there