Sunday, December 22, 2013


Trey's Grandmother sent us a Christmas card with a wonderful poem in it. The poem reminded me just how lucky I am. Squeaker is failing majorly in the sleeping department but I have a nice warm house, and a comfortable bed/couch to sleep on.

T'was the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
in a one bedroom  house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
an to see just who in this home did live.
I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stocking by mantle, just boots willed with sand,
and on the wall pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
a sobering thought came to my min.
For this house was different, so dar and so dreary,
the home of a soldier, now I see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
not how I pictures a United States Soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

I realized the families that I saw this night,
owed their lived to these soldier who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,'
and grownups would celebrate a bight Christmas day
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the yea,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
i dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I hear a rough voice,
"Santa don't cry, this life is my choice;

I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,
my life my God, my country, my corps."
The soldier rolled over and soon drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still,
and we both shivered from the cold evening's chill.

I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark, night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
whispered, "Carry on Santa, it's Christmas day, all is secure."
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right.
"Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night."

By Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt

In our family military service is abundant.
Trey's Grandfather- Army Air Corps- Air Force
Trey's Brother Rich- Army
Trey's Brother Lee- Navy (currently stationed on a air craft carrier and will not be home for Christmas)

LR's Father- Marines
LR's Brother Alan- Navy
LR's Brother Shwaa- Army (active duty but stationed state side)

That's just in recent generations. To all the families to sacrifice their loved ones being away, an of course to our soldiers both past and present,


Friday, December 13, 2013

The Pumping Diet

Recently the one of the best people in the world, Jenna, had her first baby. Jenna is one of the best people in the world because she introduced me to Trey, and helped set us up on our first date. Jenna's little boy was born 8 weeks early I believe and she has been pumping breastmilk for him. Which is a noble and very difficult pursuit. I know I did it for 14 months. It takes a certain kind of crazy to pump breastmilk hence why most people don't do it when nursing fails them. I'm so proud of Jenna for being as crazy as me and to help I'm posting the diet I used to help keep my milk going.

Water! 2 quarts (8 cups) is what is recommended for the regular person, for nursing and pumping moms we are talking closer to a gallon. Yes that is a lot. I suggest investing in a nice water bottle that is easy to use one handed so you can just hold it all the time until you get used to drinking that much. Once you are used to your new intake level you will seek it out a little bit. The downside is you will have to go to the bathroom more. Especially as you are trying to build up your breastmilk levels water is crucial.

Meet your new favorite food- Oatmeal. Oatmeal is a fantastic source of whey which builds milk supply. Now oatmeal as a cereal
is best. Rolled oats, steel cut, and flavored packets all worked the same for me. Oatmeal cookies and oatmeal cream pies were a great desert too.

Yummy, green, and great for milk supply it's Avocados.
Fresh, sliced, creamed, or even as guacamole, eat up and enjoy. Some woman it takes 12 hours to see improvement others its a day or so. Either way all those healthy fats should help your system make some wonderful food for baby.

Are you ready to go nuts? Well try some almonds on for size. That's right almonds can help with production too. Grab a handful as a snack or have a smoothie made with almond milk. Yes you can even get the chocolate almond milk, it will still work. Oooo how about some sliced almonds on a salad, I'm starting to get hungry. :)

Now that you are sick of water how about something new to drink, Ovaltine. Now it has to be the name brand on this stuff. I have yet to find another brand that uses whey in the their ingredients. And since whey is what we need to increase supply well the other brands don't do any good. You can use the original malt, malted chocolate or milk chocolate. They all have it. It's winter time so make your hot chocolate out of Ovaltine. A yummy treat with a purpose.

Not a fan of Ovaltine pick up any brand of Whey Protein Powder. Add it too your milk shakes, mac and cheese, smoothies, or just mix and drink in milk. Whey Protein Powder maybe easier and cheaper to find depending on where you are. Or maybe your significant other once was a body builder and there is still a jar sitting on top of your fridge. Open it up start using it.

Still want/need more? Try these supplements, Fenugreek, or Malanga. Fenugreek is cheaper and a little easier to find. It will be at most heath food stores. It can make some people smell like maple syrup. But there are worse things in the world. Malanga is a little harder to find and tends to be more expensive, it does tend to have a greater results. The choice is up to you based or your needs and what you can do.

 When you are pumping make sure you over pump. Milk is based a lot on supply and demand and since pumping is not nearly as effective as nursing you have to trick your body into making more. So once it looks like you are empty and nothing else is coming out leave the pump on for a couple minutes more for the extra stimulation. Trust me you'd rather have too much hanging out in the freezer for a growth spurt than not enough.

Lastly snuggle. Carry, hold and snuggle your baby a lot. Even if
you aren't nursing having baby close can help keep your body in tune with baby's needs. Not to mention it just fun to hold those squish little ones.

Okay now to put it all together this is what a normal day looked like for me.
Breakfast: A giant bowl of Oatmeal. usually about 1 cup or oats. Cooled down with a little Almond milk
Snack: Smoothie with Whey Powder
Lunch: Whatever we had planed
Nap-time: Snuggling with Squeaker
Dinner: Quesadilla with Guacamole
Snack: Oatmeal Cream Pies, Almond milk with Ovaltine

That was what I did at the worst of times. During the good times I wasn't nearly as strict. I got to a point where I only pump 2-4 times a day. I just made sure the fore milk (the thin watery stuff) was mixed with the hind milk (the thick creamy stuff). That way Squeaker was getting good balanced milk all the time. Which when a child is nursing happens normally.

As a side note I used the 8,8,8 rule for milk storage
8 hours out of the body
8 days in the fridge
8 months in the deep freeze
I pumped directly into the bottles Squeaker drank out of. Only if we were traveling did they not make it into the fridge right away. Then if they had been there for 6-7 days I would put about 15 oz into a glass canning jar and put it in the bottom of our deep freeze. There it would stay until needed, or time for rotation. Once frozen and then thawed milk cannot be re-frozen. Also NEVER EVER EVER harshly shake breast milk. It will speed the break down of all that is good which means less for baby.

Hope it helps!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Not Too Shabby

Today Squeaker had her first infusion therapy. (If you have forgotten what infusion is you can read here, here, here and oh yeah here.) And honestly it couldn't have gone much better. Of course she kicked and screamed while they put the IV line in. She hated having the syringe attached to IV line to open up her veins. After about 30 minutes they took off the syringe and put on the IVIG. Squeaker was able to take it at full run which meant that the vial was gone in a mere 2 hours :)

Then a 30 minute saline bag to wash out the line, 30 minutes of observation and off we went.

Talked to our primary care doctor today as well and it looks like we should be able to get infusion moved from Birmingham to Huntsville. That will save 1.5hrs drive each way. Yes I am excited about saving the gas money but not having to wake up at 5:45 to take Squeaker to receive her treatment.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Finally after two weeks I thought we had gotten back into a good routine. But Squeaker had other things in mind, and I tell ya 3am is too early for anything.
About two weeks ago Squeaker had a sleep study. The night started out okay. She fell asleep pretty easily and then all the electrodes went on. Yes she slept through it. The tech waited to put the nose sensor in until Squeaker was in a deep sleep. Within seconds Squeaker was awake kicking and screaming. I calmed her back to sleep and the tech tried again. After four tries Squeaker was stressed out had realized all the other stuff stuck to her and wanted it all off.
Squeaker kicked , screamed, thrashed and begged for it too all be over for over an hour. It was very rough and sad. At 2:30 am the doctor ordered the test terminated. Off came all the electrodes and straps, then Squeaker ran to the car in excitement to go home. 3am and we were home. It was way too early to be home :(
The other night Squeaker just had a rough night. It took a long time for her to fall asleep and she tossed a lot. I had no idea what was happening or how to help. So I just snuggled up and went to sleep. 3am and Squeaker woke up and never went back to sleep. It was way too early to be up.