Family Photo Gallery

After visiting some dear friends in California, I decided to hang some family photos.  Our apartment currently has a few up on the fridge and a few on display in our bedroom.  Our walls are pretty bare.  I’m not sure why I never put much up before.  After seeing my friends’ homes and how warm the photos displayed made the home feel, I decided it would be one of my (too) many summer projects.  What summer projects do you have on your to do list?

I have been using Pinterest to gather ideas.  Here are a few of my favorites.


StyleMint Mystery Bag

I have been eyeing StyleMint for the past few months.  One of my most fashionable friends introduced me to the site when she came over wearing a great shirt with zipper detailing on the sides.  Since that day, I have been debating whether or not to try out the service.  Each month you buy a credit for $29.99.  For that amount you purchase one or more items designed by the Olsen twins.  You aren’t obligated to buy every month.  Within the first five days of each month you have the option of skipping.   After browsing their collection, I saw several items I would have loved but had a hard time justifying $29.99 for something I am not sure will fit well.

This month they have the StyleMint Mystery Bag.  It is $29.99 and promises to have at least three items in it.  I figure this is a gamble, but after doing some research and reading StyleMint Mystery Bag reviews, I decided to try it out.  I ordered my first item and am excited.  Once I receive it I will do a review.

Have you tried StyleMint?  What are your thoughts?



Dealing with excessive lipase

For many of the working moms out there, I am sure you would agree that the last week of maternity leave is pretty emotional. To add to an already rough week my little guy was refusing to take the milk I had stockpiled in the freezer. It turns out I have an excess lipase issue that causes my expressed milk to smell and taste soapy and rancid after just a few days. Learning this left me concerned, confused and frustrated.

Luckily, I found several great resources on excess lipase. A resource I often turn to for breastfeeding issues is Kelly Mom. There is a helpful article about how to scald and store milk that has too much lipase here. According to the resources I found, some babies will still take it, but my little guy refused. I joke that he’s too much of a foodie to settle for my excess lipase milk. So I spent that last week before returning to work frustrated and disappointed. It was unfortunate that I had use my free moments pumping and scalding breastmilk, when I would much rather enjoy my last days of maternity leave with my little guy. Fortunately, my supportive hubby was there for me every step of the way.

For those of you who are experiencing the excess lipase issue here is how I have been dealing with it.

Step 1: Identify the problem

Before resorting to the extra step of scalding the milk, I had to first figure out if excess lipase was really my issue. To test my milk I divided my pumped milk into two containers. One of the containers was then labeled with the date, time, and the word “unscalded”. For the other container, I went through the process of scalding the milk and then labeled it with the date, time and the word “scalded”. I then kept a notepad near the refrigerator to taste test the two containers of milk. I made a T chart with one side labeled “unscalded” and the other “scalded”. I tested both containers every few hours and would write “ok” if the milk still tasted and smelled ok and wrote “no” when I knew my little guy would no longer take it. My unscalded milk smelled soapy and rancid by the end of the second day, while my scalded milk lasted four days. Based on my test, I did have excess lipase.

Step 2: Pumping breastmilk

When I returned to work, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to scald my milk right away. I learned that scalding it when I got home from work was fine. That was a major relief. My advice for anyone with excess lipase would be to store your milk in a fridge rather than relying on an ice pack. It kept ‘fresher’ longer.

Step 3: Scalding the milk

I think this is the trickiest of all the steps. To scald the milk pour your milk into a saucepan and turn the heat up to high. Watch the milk carefully. Once the milk along the sides of the saucepan start to bubble immediately take the saucepan off the heat and pour the milk into a glass container.

Step 4: Cool the scalded milk

To quickly cool the scalded milk I put the glass jar of milk into a bowl of ice water. I would let the jar sit for about five minutes.

Step 5: Transfer the milk into the bottles to be refrigerated or frozen

After about five minutes of leaving the milk to cool in ice water, I would transfer it to the bottles for feeding the next day. I found that even with scalding the milk, my frozen milk still had a soapy consistency. I did my best to avoid frozen milk even if it meant some days we would have too much milk and eventually have to pour it down the drain.

There you have it, how to deal with excess lipase. Don’t you think going back to work is already enough of an emotional rollercoaster? It was a tough week for me, but thanks to online resources I was able to get through it and know that while at work I was still able to breastfeed my little guy. Hopefully this post will help any other parents out there going through similar issues. For new moms out there, breastfeeding is hard, but worth it in so many ways. This was one of several occasions I considered formula but am glad I stuck with it. What issues did you have with breastfeeding? What was the result?

Now, what about my freezer stockpiled with over 100 ounces of breastmilk? Stay tuned.

Mommy and Me Out and About #5 Chicago Botanical Garden

This post is long overdue, especially since we went to the Chicago Botanical Garden in the Spring and now it is Summer.

For those of you looking for baby friendly environments that will coincide well lulling baby to sleep, the Chicago Botanical Garden is a great destination.  Located north of the city of Chicago, it is a quick car ride, or if you prefer, Metra train ride away.  The garden is peaceful, has plenty to look at and enjoy, stroller friendly, and a nice place to spend an afternoon.

We liked it so much we got an annual pass.  Maybe we will see you there?