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Can Busy Moms Stay Organized?

I am thinking of organization a lot right now, as I have recently cleaned and reorganized my bedroom closet. I am so happy to have donated a huge load of clothing and shoes to a local organization that helps women get back on their feet AND to have a neatly hung closet where I can easily find what I need.

If you have kids, you know the avalanche of “stuff” that can fall on you without notice. You look around their room and think, “When did we get all of this?” At least you multi-tasking Moms have your Bottle Snuggler so you have one hand free to start the cleaning out and organization process while your baby takes a bottle!

Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons that perks up my organizing efforts. To me, it’s a lot easier to keep a closet orgainzed than it is to keep my schedule, along with my son’s and my husband’s, plus our social calendar, our holiday obligations, and keep everyone healthy and happy. I often look online for help in this area, and I recently found Maria Gracia, an expert who offers free tips to orgainze all areas of your life.

If you go to www.getorganized.com, you can download a list of 50 tips. My favorite so far is the idea of using only one central calendar, rather than one on your desk, one on the fridge and one in your Blackberry. It’s tough to do, but I intend to put this tip to use. She also suggests to schedule time for yourself each day (why don’t I already do that?) and to take a few minutes to put things away each day, rather than trying to do it all on Saturday morning.

I hope you find the tips as helpful as I did. I will take any help I can get, especially free help, to get and keep my life in order these days. Enjoy the fall weather!

Finding the Right Breast Pump

It’s easy to get  caught up in the breast vs. bottle feeding debate. There is such strong emotion on both sides. Personally, I try very hard to stay out of the debate altogether!

I breast fed my son for several months, pumping after the first couple of weeks so that my husband could participate and so that we didn’t lose any of the liquid gold that I was actually over-producing. So I can see both sides: knowing that breast milk is super nutritious and having to make a personal decision (or having it made for you by your body) to formula feed. I trust every Mom to make the right decision for her and to make sure that her baby is fed. Bottle Snugglers are perfect for breast milk and formula! In fact, it was during that time that I actually discovered them.

That said, because I remember going through a myriad of breast pumps to find the perfect one for me, I wanted to give a resource for a few that are on the market now. I found a great list on www.babylovesyourmilk.com grouped together by price. That site also has lots of articles on breast feeding and in depth features and info on each of these styles. You first have to choose whether you want an electronic one or a manual. I used electronic, but the manual models are somewhat cheaper. To each her own!

Personal Electric Pumps, $150 and up

  • Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump
  • Medela Pump In Style Original Breast Pump
  • Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump
  • Avent Isis IQ Duo Breast Pump
  • Playtex Embrace Breast Pump 

Electronic, $75 and up

  • Medela Double Select Breast Pump
  • Medela Swing (new in 2006) Breast Pump
  • Bailey/Ameda Nurture III Breast Pump
  • Avent Isis IQ Uno Breast Pump

Manual Breast Pumps, under $75

  • Medela Harmony Breast Pump
  • Ameda One-Hand Breast Pump
  • Avent Isis (manual) Breast Pump
  • Medela PedalPump Breast Pump

Can Pets be Hypoallergenic?

A few months ago, we got a pet kitten, which my son, Max,  named Moses. This may sound trivial, but with myself and my son both being allergic to cats AND dogs, it was a big deal to take this leap.

We found a breed called Devon Rex, which is supposedly very close to hypoallergenic. This is also said about Poodles, and we have found that neither of us react to Poodles, so we gave Moses a chance. Of course, we love him dearly already. Max and I had some low grade reactions to him at first, but we have built up some immunity, I think. This is an ongoing process!

Recently, Max (4 years old) got his first lower respiratory infection (or chest cold), and he has been on a nebulizer for two weeks to clear up his lungs. We don’t want to jump to conclusions, but in the back of my mind, I am wondering if the cat may be partly to blame for his illness. We have been given some tips on how to reduce the chances of a cat allergy affecting Max, and I wanted to pass those along to you. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

-Give pet a bath every week (or more often, if possible). This will cut down on dander on the fur.
-Keep pet out of the child’s room (or whomever is allergic.) They need to have somewhere to go that is totally clear of the dander, fur, etc.
-Vaccum more often, and even vaccum the cloth furniture and window treatments.
-Roll your child’s clothing with a lint brush after he/she handles the pet.
-Be vigilant with hand washing after handling the pet.
-Put an air filter in your child’s room.

Pregnancy Brain – Is It Real?

We have all heard of Pregnancy Brain, right? It’s the phenomenon where, when you are pregnant, you seem to be more forgetful or flighty than your usual self. Once the baby is born, we start calling it Baby Brain, and it usually lasts until Mommy can get a full night’s sleep on a regular basis.

I read an article today on Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine’s website (www.pnmag.com) which cites an Australian study in which 1,200 women were followed over three four-year intervals for eight years. During that time, 264 of them got pregnant, yet those women showed no cognitive differences from their non-pregnant peers. Does that seem right to you?

I can personally attest to being more forgetful during pregnancy, from losing things to doing things twice to walking into a room and them wondering what I had gone there for. But, according to the researcher doing this study, I was no more or less out of it while pregnant than I was before. Her theory is that we are conditioned to blame it on being pregnant, so we do! I will agree that she has the right to draw that conclusion, but I suspect that the pregnant women who were  tested probably left their keys in the bathroom on the way out of the building and then forgot to stop at the grocery before going home. :) Plus, don’t you focus better when you KNOW you’re being tested than when you’re just living life?

And I dare say that in month two or three, when those Mommies were exhausted from lack of sleep, they were claiming Baby Brain, even if Pregancy Brain was just a figment of their imagination. What do you think?

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