9.29.2011

Losing the Baby Weight tip: Pants (ones that fit!)

I've been trying to lose weight for the past few months, needing to knock off the last 10 (troublesome, stubborn) pounds of baby weight and would like to drop a few more beyond that.

I have been working pretty hard at it, but it's slow going, so in the meantime I've been wearing a lot of dresses and elastic waist skirts to get by until my regular pants fit again. The problem is that the weather is starting to change here in southern Indiana and my breezy, elastic-y wardrobe keeps me just a little too cool most days. So I started trying out some of my old pants. I could wear them, but they were not flattering and most certainly not comfortable!

I don't know about you, but being squeezed to death, stuffed like a sausage in too-tight pants all day DOES NOT make me motivated to work out or eat right. When I'm feeling really fat, I actually have less motivation and feel a little hopeless about the situation.

So I mentioned at my small group a couple weeks ago to keep an eye out for size "x" pants because I don't want to spend money on pants that I'm hopefully not going to be able to wear in a few months. My dear friend Katie came through for me! She had just gotten rid of a bunch of clothes in my size, but a friend of hers had lost a significant amount of weight recently and was getting rid of hers! She brought me a whole box of free, new-to-me clothes! Thankfully, a lot of them were work attire, also, which was exactly what I needed!

Long story short, ladies, if you're in the middle of your journey, don't hesitate to ask for help! Send out a shout out for what you need via social media, church, small group, work, family, friends...wherever you are around people! This way you won't spend a fortune and then feel guilty for only being able to wear the clothes for a month or two. You also get the great benefit of the motivation that comes along with feeling like you look good!

9.27.2011

Drying Dishes

So my Mom calls me the other day (I know when you use the word “my” before “Mom” the word is no longer a proper noun and shouldn’t be capitalized, but I just can’t bear not to capitalize “Mom”. She reads, after all!) and has a wonderful (and hilarious) suggestion. If my dryer wasn’t in the basement, I’d be all over this. She and I are in a similar kitchen predicament: no dishwasher. She tells me a very sad tale in which she does ALLLLLLL the dishes from the past couple days by hand and no sooner does she finish them than my Dad (same grammar lesson…) comes in with ALLLLLLLL his plastic ware from his lunches the past week.

I would have cried.

But my Mom, being much less of a weenie than me, washed all the plastic ware. Her least favorite part of the process is drying all those little nooks and crannies under the lip and the creases in the lids. That’s everyone’s least favorite part, right? And really, who has the counter space to spare to air dry that stuff? Not me. And not my Mom.

This is where the genius idea came in. Mom’s laundry area is just a few steps from her kitchen sink (in the next room, on the porch). So she gathered up all her wet plastic ware, walked to the dryer and tossed ‘em in! I laughed at this point and asked if it all promptly melted. She said no! She put the plastic ware in the dryer on high heat for about 5 minutes and it call came out perfectly dried, no melting to be seen (even the cheap stuff and the recycled cottage cheese containers, etc)! I was amazed!

So if you have the luxury of your dryer being close to you kitchen sink…go for it! Mom even said it was quieter than when you have a pair of bibs (where the metal button catches clank all around) and definitely quieter than a pair of shoes.

Hope this gave you a laugh…it’s funnier every time I think about it…and maybe some inspiration!

9.26.2011

DTR, blog style

I've been working on a few things for on here over the weekend, but nothing got completed. I've got photos picked for a new feature I'm calling "one-tank wonders" and some photos chosen for a "watch me grow" post in honor of NR's 6 month "birthday". I've also done some work on a DIY of some under-sink storage. So, things really are coming...eventually.

I am a faithful reader of the blog Young House Love. They had their "blogiversary week" last week and I read some of their blog tips. One of them talked about not making your blog be something it's not. There's a big difference between Young House Love and I, because I'm not doing this as a means of income (let alone my sole means of income), but their advice rang true: people can read falsity in a blog just as easily as they can in real life.

Now, this is certainly not to say that I have shared anything false with you all up to this point! But I have needed the advice so I could have a much needed DTR (defining the relationship) talk with getagriep.

I have been trying really hard to decide what I want my blog to be like over the past couple months and have failed miserably. Do I want it to be about parenting? About DIY? About my life? Travel? Food? But what I realized is that it doesn't have to be about one neat, tidy, little thing! It can be about ALL of those things and still be great!

So, no, every post doesn't have to have pictures and instructions; doesn't have to seem well put together...it just has to be me. Us. It just needs to be our dorky, happy, crazy life. And I'm happy with that. So look out! There will probably be more posts from here on out, and who knows what the topics will be, but you can be sure it'll be all Griep!

9.21.2011

Weekend Craftiness: Hairbow Hanger

We have a little girl, so we have hairbows. It’s kind of like “I think, therefore I am,” as in, “I am a baby girl, therefore I have hairbows,” or some such. Hairbows used to live in a little box in one of her drawers, but as the bow collection has grown and the clothes have needed more space that system was not working anymore. I saw these hangers in stores, but wasn’t about to pay what they wanted for something I knew I could make myself. Then I found a picture on Pinterest here and got inspired. It was so quick and easy, I wanted to share it with you!



First, I gathered up my supplies. I had picked up a 5” pink, glittery foam “N” at Hobby Lobby a few weeks back for this project for $1.49. As I was cleaning up our little bedroom I came across my box of tissue paper (so I could make some tissue pompoms like I saw on Pinterest here) and on the top I had tossed some zebra striped ribbon from the diaper cake one of our Church Chicks made for my baby shower. It was perfect. Then, I busted out the ‘ol glue gun. How long has it been since I was crafty like this? Well, the glue gun was under my bed with stuff from a young adult retreat I worked in January. Ahem. I got that little guy fired up and got busy.

It was as simple as putting a little glue on the back of the foam “N” and attaching the ribbon. By a little glue, I do mean a little because it is a foam letter, after all, and doesn’t stand up to the hot glue all that well. “N” was a tricky letter because it doesn’t have a nice chunky spot on the bottom middle to attach the ribbon to (like the letter S or C or B or E…you get the idea). Since I would be attaching to the slanty, middle bar on the “N”, I made sure one edge of my ribbon was attached directly to the letter, leaving a little triangle sticking up over the middle slant. Then I just folded the triangle over and tacked it down. You could also just trim the excess off. I’m not sure why I didn’t think of that till just now.




The bottom of my ribbon was already “finished”—it was folded over and stuck with some double-sided tape from it’s original job as a diaper cake decoration. I would recommend this just for a cleaner look. At the very least I would singe the bottom with a lighter to avoid it coming unraveled (as long as it’s not ribbon that’ll go up in flames immediately—grosgrain works well to singe).

My letter had four little sticky pads on the back, so I just peeled, eyeballed where I wanted it on NR’s closet door and stuck!






Then we clipped the ribbons on—I told you it was easy! My ribbon was really wrinkled looking, but it was wire ribbon, so a lot of that wrinkliness went away with the weight of the bows.



I chose to use a shorter ribbon than the ones you see in stores simply because we don’t have a million bows and I can see NR ripping it off the closet door if it was in her reach. If we aquire more bows than the ribbon can hold, I’ll just pull it off and attach a new ribbon. Since we didn’t know whether we were having a boy or girl till NR got here, this is one of the few truly girly items in her room. I’m looking forward to “girling it up” more as she grows, but for now this makes me smile!

I'm linking up with dutchbeingme's pinterest challenge!


9.10.2011

Confessions of a Bottle Feeding Mom

We hear a lot about how breast feeding is best for babies. One of the hospitals in town is running an ad campaign with slogans on billboards and bus benches such as “Breast is best” and “Every baby deserves the best. Every baby deserves breast milk”. I want to be a voice for the bottle feeding Moms out there. Here’s my story about the very difficult choice not to breast feed my daughter.

After NR was born, I began breast feeding. She took a long time to actually nurse for only 5 minutes the whole time we were in the hospital. With her being my first child, I didn’t know that she should be nursing longer and more efficiently in such a short time. We only had one opportunity to meet with a lactation nurse and by the day we left she was barely nursing.

The day we got home, we struggled through the day and that first night, with her failing to latch and nurse enough to speak of. She went 18 hours without nursing and without wetting a diaper. I remember calling the lactation office so hysterical that I could barely even speak to her. She instructed me to immediately make a bottle and give it to her. Thankfully, they had sent some instant formula home with us from the hospital. After getting her some nutrition and a wet diaper, we went to rent a breast pump and made an appointment with the lactation nurse. She had me attempting to nurse NR as well as pump to try to keep my milk supply up.

When we attempted to nurse, NR was the “nip and nap” type. She would eat a few minutes and then nap a while. She usually followed this pattern for 40 minutes while latching and unlatching about 100 times (I’m not exaggerating) before becoming frustrated enough to melt down. I also had to pump and she was taking the expressed breast milk as well as supplementing with formula when necessary. The whole process took nearly an hour and a half. I was repeating every 2 hours. That’s right. I had a half hour between cycles. This means that in those 30 minutes I slept, ate, or played with NR. Pretty much the only time I got to spend with NR was while we were struggling to nurse.

I was stressed to the max, sleep deprived, chapped, cracked and sore. I would sit in the nursery and cry. When NR would latch nurse, my toes would literally curl and my stomach would turn with the pain. I could feel my grip on my mental health slipping away. That sounds sensationalist, but I was spiraling into depression and that’s how it felt. Whenever I held her she was crying and I would be frustrated, angry, and sad. We were not bonding healthily. She was sensing my anxiety and frustration and mirroring it, but I couldn't control my emotions. The whole process was counterproductive. I held out hope that that things would get better and kept trying for 2 ½ weeks.

When after 2 ½ weeks my milk supply was still not fully “in” and the vicious cycle was more than I could take. After prayer, talking to husband, family and friends, I finally made the decision to switch NR to formula exclusively. I felt better immediately. I was providing for my daughter. She was satisfied and growing. I could sleep, she could sleep. We could bond in a healthy way and I could enjoy her.

For us, the breast was NOT best. I applaud and respect the breastfeeding Moms who overcame the same obstacles, others, and some even more difficult ones. Breast milk is best for babies, nothing else compares. But even more important is having a healthy parent who can cope and care for baby. Do I get the side-eye from other Moms when they see me pull out a bottle? Yes. Will I try breast feeding next time? Yes. Do I regret the decision I made for NR and myself? No.

Sorry this got so long, and thanks for reading our story. Hopefully someone will stop feeling guilty for making the same decision I did, or someone will be more compassionate and less judgmental of bottle feeding Moms because of it.