Clean With Me: Spring Cleaning + Decluttering

Spring is around the corner so you know it’s time for some heavy cleaning and decluttering!

I have started the process of shredding old documents and miscellaneous papers we don’t need. You should never throw away papers that have impertinent information due to the risk of identity theft. I organized the papers that we need into labeled folders so we won’t have to scramble to find what we need.

Next, Hubby and I teamed up to tackle our clothing. We separated our clothing into two sections: what we are keeping and what is being sold/donated. We aren’t using any of the popular marketplace apps to sell our clothes; we will just visit the local consignment stores. The donated pieces are going to the Goodwill.

Parting ways with items that hold “sentimental value”

The biggest dilemma of the decluttering process is figuring out what to do with items that hold sentimental value. This includes: trophies, plaques, and other awards, old high school prom trinkets, my prom dress, my debutante dress, our high school and college grad attire, etc. Many of these things signify very special moments in our lives, but we’re ready for them to go. We already have pictures and fond memories so there’s no need to hoard these items.

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My Simple Wash Routine For Natural Hair

Happy Saturday!

I wash and treat my hair every weekend. My routine is very simple and I do not use a whole lot of products.

Shampoo: Aussie Miracle Moist

Conditioner: Aussie Miracle Moist

Protein Treatment: Aussie Miracle Moist mixed with one egg

Leave-In: Aloe vera gel and water in a spray bottle

Oil: Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)

Routine

First, I part my hair into four sections. Next, I shampoo my hair, rinse, and repeat once more. Next, I take the conditioner and mix it with the egg. The egg boosts the protein content of the conditioner, making it a protein treatment. I apply the treatment to each section and sit with a plastic cap for ten minutes then rinse it out. I follow up with the conditioner, detangle with the wide tooth comb, and rinse. Lastly, I spray my hair with the aloe, add oil and twist my hair into eight twists to air dry.

While air drying, I go about my day completing chores, tending to Baby Boy, etc. Once my hair dries, I style my hair as I choose. Lately, I’ve been wearing my hair in a bun.

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Postpartum #3: Six Week Checkpoint

It has been six weeks since our Baby Boy was delivered via a Cesarean procedure.

Breastfeeding: I am still breastfeeding and pumping everyday. I built a nice frozen stash, but still prefer to feed Baby Boy fresh milk from the source or via bottle. Also, I registered to become a Breast Milk Donor to help other mothers in need.

Wellness & Self Care: As of today, I’ve lost a total of 42 lbs since delivery and have been cleared by my OBGYN to begin an exercise regimen. I was working out consistently before my pregnancy and will return back to my old routine. Life is all about Baby Boy’s needs, but I still make time to myself, even if it’s for thirty minutes. I take a power nap, paint my nails, apply a mud mask, write a blog post, etc.

Baby Boy: His Pediatrician appointments have been fine so far and he has gained a lot of weight since his discharge from the NICU. I will write a separate post about his milestones and all of the jargon that comes with raising a preemie.

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Military Wife Life: We Have Decided to Stay.

We moved to a new city four months ago because Hubby had new orders. Now, we are going to stay for a few years. I’m excited because I have a lot of paternal relatives living here that I haven’t connected with since I was a child. It’s good to have support when you move to a new city. Also, it’s a nice break from the noise and constant congestion found in our hometown.

To prepare for the long haul, we are going to start interviewing realtors about options. Hopefully by the late summer, we will be ready to make a move.

Now that we are 100% sure that we are not moving out of state anytime soon, I can complete my Nursing Degree. I decided to purse an ADN because it’s much more affordable and advance to the BSN afterwards.

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New Parent Chronicles: We Stayed Up All Night…Again 🙃

Baby boy was up all night suffering from gas pains. He would grunt, cry, and throw his little legs up in the air. Also, he was cluster feeding so we were constantly picking him up to feed him, burp him, and massage his belly so he can release the gas.

I suspect his gas issue being the result of me fortifying my breastmilk. The recipe that was recommended by his Pediatrician has a slightly higher calorie count than the one he received in the NICU. It might be a little too strong for him because I have never seen him have such a bad case of gas like this before. He little legs were up in the air all night long.

This morning, I called to speak to one of the RNs on duty for medical advice. We were recommended Gripe Water and/or Mylicon Drops. I am familiar with Gripe Water, but was not sure if he was old enough for it being that he is only one month old. Most infant medications that I researched require a minimum age of three months old. The Mylicon Drops are safe for newborns to use.

Mylicon Drops
Gripe Water

So, Hubby purchased both the Mylicon Drops and Gripe Water while I stayed home to comfort Baby Boy. I administered the Mylicon Drops in a one ounce bottle of breastmilk (no powder added) and his pains subsided in approximately ten minutes. He drank one more ounce and fell fast asleep.

I am not a doctor, but as a mom, I definitely recommend the Mylicon Drops to those with infants and toddlers. Our Baby Boy felt relief very quickly and finally fell asleep.

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Breastfeeding Experience + Helpful Tips

It took four days postpartum for my milk supply to fully come in. Prior to that, I was able to pump colostrum and was seemly dry afterwards. Although I had the lactation team to coach me, I didn’t have any experience to pull from because I’m a first time mother. I pumped the recommended eight times per day for at least fifteen minutes and all I could produce were little droplets. I grew frustrated and toyed with the possibility of not being able to nurse my baby. On the fourth day, I began pumping just before sunrise and to my delight, my milk finally arrived! I was filled with joy because my pregnancy didn’t go as smoothly as I hoped. I would have been devastated if I couldn’t breastfeed.

Tips

  • Utilize all of your resources. Do not hesitate to contact your lactation specialist for help.
  • If you are pumping, make sure to schedule eight sessions throughout the day. Even if you only have time to pump for 15 minutes, that’s better than skipping . It’s important to empty your breasts in order to trigger your body into producing more milk.
  • Make sure you use some type of lubricant on your nipples to protect them from getting dry and cracked; I use castor oil.
  • Stay hydrated! Your supply is affected by your water intake.
  • Eat a well balanced diet and continue to take your prenatal vitamins so your baby can receive the nutrients.

Must Have Products

  • Nipple shields: Makes it easier for your little one to latch on. Also, they can be used if your nipples are sore.
  • Boppy Pillow: Provides support and comfort while feeding.
  • Breastfeeding/Pumping Log: It’s very easy to get off track and forget things while adjusting to a new baby. Having a log (paper or digital) will keep you on track of your feeding and pumping schedule.
  • Aspirator: If your baby starts to spit up or choke, you can suction it out with a manual or battery powered aspirator.
  • Castor oil: Prevents dry and cracked nipples.
  • Large Water Bottle: Replenish your fluids all throughout the day.
  • Comfortable chair: A designated place for you to nurse your baby.

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New Parent Chronicles: Baby’s First Night Home

Our baby boy was discharged from the NICU a couple of days ago. Although it was a joyus occasion, Hubby and I were very nervous because we didn’t have his monitoring system or RN to assist us anymore. Moreover, Hubby and I spent most of the day bonding with him just as we’ve done while he was in the NICU. We followed the same care routine as well by checking his temperature and changing his diaper before feeding him.

At night, we found ourselves staying up late holding baby boy because he refused to sleep in his bassinet. Every time we tried to lay him down to sleep he would cry. We decided to exchange the bassinet for another model because he seems to hate the one he has now.

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New Parent Chronicles: Our Baby is Coming Home!

Hubby and I received the greatest news this morning! His neonatologist has cleared him for discharge and he will be coming home in a few hours!

His first Pediatric appointment is very shortly after discharge. Since baby boy is premature, it was recommended that we schedule his appointment within 72 hours post discharge.

We already have his nursery cleaned and decorated for when he gets a little older. For now, he will be sleeping in a bassinet right next to mommy and daddy.

This whole experience had its ups and downs, but we tried to remain positive through it all. It was the love for our baby, our Faith, and the major support from our families that gave us the strength to remain positive.We are very thankful that he is healthy and that we have the opportunity to be the loving parents that he deserves.

Mommy and Baby
Daddy and Baby
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The Military Wife Tag

I found this tag while browsing Armywife101.com and decided to participate.

So…

  1. How did you and your spouse meet? At work; he was a coworker of mine.
  2. How old were you when you two met? He was 24 and I was 23.
  3. How long have you been together? Six years.
  4. Where are you and your spouse originally from? The Peach State; Georgia.
  5. How did you feel about him joining the military? I come from a military family so I was on board with it.
  6. Where did your spouse go to Basic Training? Texas.
  7. Has your spouse ever been deployed? Yes.
  8. Ever been to his promotion ceremony? No.
  9. How long have you been a Military Wife? Two years.
  10. Did you marry him before or after he joined? Before.
  11. How did your husband propose? He disguised the proposal as a “couple’s photoshoot” for a friend’s photography portfolio. I had a feeling he was up to something, but I didn’t want to assume anything. He dropped down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.
  12. Where did you two get married? Decatur, GA.
  13. How old were you two when you got married? He was 28 and I was 27.
  14. Did he wear his uniform on his wedding day? No.
  15. Where are you and your spouse currently stationed? Alabama.
  16. Do you live on base? No.
  17. How long where you married when you had to go through your first separation? Six months.
  18. What is your favorite base so far? Keesler AFB. I liked the culture and diversity found on the Gulf Coast. There’s a unique beauty to the area.
  19. Do you think your spouse looks good in his uniform? Of course.
  20. Do you think military life is more advanced than civilian life? There are a lot of benefits to take advance of.
  21. Do you like the benefits you receive as a military dependent? Yes.
  22. Do you have a lot of military wife friends? So far, I have a few. I will meet more in the upcoming years.
  23. What is the hardest part of the military life? Moments of separation from my husband =(.
  24. Do you own military wife stuff? Just a key chain and car magnet.
  25. Do you support your spouse as a member of the military? Yes.
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Postpartum Update #2: Baby, Weight loss, and Breastfeeding

It’s been a little while since the first update so there’s quite a lot to share.

Baby: Zach is doing very well! He met most of his development goals and is currently working on transitioning to being fed solely by mouth. He has no issues latching on to feed by breast or bottle. However, until two days ago, he would get tired towards the end and had to finish by tube. Once he is more consistent with his feedings, he will be discharged home.

Weight loss: I’ve lost 27 lbs so far. Because I underwent a C-Section, I was instructed to not do much physical activity outside of light housework and light walking for six weeks. I attribute most of my weight loss to the postpartum night sweats and frequent urination I experienced for one and a half weeks. In addition, I breastfeed/pump which promotes weight loss as well.

Breastfeeding: It took four days for my milk supply to come in. My lactation specialist is amazing and because of her, I feel empowered to breastfeed/pump exclusively. On average, I pump about 30 oz per day with the Medela brand electric pump. I make sure to stay hydrated, eat a nutrient dense diet, and I am still taking my prenatal vitamins.

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