Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ozeri Electric Wine Bottle Opener Review

I personally do not like the taste of alcohol nor do I drink it; not even the perfect wine paired with a delicious meal. What can I say? I just don’t have the palate for it I guess. But when Ozeri asked me to review their Electric Wine Opener I was intrigued so I agreed. I have many friends and family members who enjoy the occasional glass of wine and I have heard stories of how frustrating removing a wine bottle cork can be.

Corks can dry rot and crumble. Corks can become firmly wedged in place and be virtually impossible to remove with a corkscrew; then the knife comes out when you have to dig the obstinate cork out of the bottle. You can you end up with a butchered cork that is below the opening of the bottle, thus rendered useless and potentially forever stuck. If you are hoping to relax and/or enjoy a meal with said wine you are just out of luck if these things happen to you.

There has to be a better way, right? Luckily there is. The Ozeri Electric Wine BottleOpener provides an easy, fuss free open every time. No more straining, stress or potential cuts from trying to wrangle open a stubborn cork. The smart folks at Ozeri even include a foil cutter and aerating pourer in the box. One of the nice things about the Ozeri Electric Wine Bottle Opener is that it uses an AC adapter, not batteries, to charge. Oh, and they claim that you can open up to 80 bottles of wine on a single charge, so you won’t have the annoyance oh having to charge it every single use. I was also impressed with the design of this opener. It is sleek and coated with a velvet-y like slip resistant coating and has chrome like accents.

Overall I think this is a great product to have at home for everyday use or for the occasional dinner party. Its pleasant and streamlined design makes for a perfect home addition that won’t stick out like a sore thumb. Or, like me, you could give this great item as a gift. Who wouldn’t love to receive something that will make their life easier? You can check out this Ozeri Electric Wine BottleOpener as well as their other fine products at their website or at Amazon.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

You Can Lead a Baby to Breast, But You Can’t Make Her Drink

In honor of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month I figured I would share my ups and downs with breastfeeding. About 2 weeks ago I gave birth to twin girls, my second set of twins in the span of 19 months. I was thrilled to have 2 more wonderful children and a second chance at breastfeeding. You see, 19 months ago when I gave birth to my first twins, I had a horrible experience with the birth, recovery from surgery and breastfeeding.

This time around I was at a different hospital with a different doctor so I was hoping for a better experience. I did still end up with a c-section, which I feel separates you from your children for an undesirable amount of time. However, at least this time I got to hold my babies within a few hours as opposed to 8 hours later like the first time. I had really high hopes both pregnancies. I had dreams of tandem breastfeeding my twins until they were 2. I longed for the bonding experience that breastfeeding is said to create. I prayed for these children for so many years, and I just wanted every possible mommy experience.

We took a birthing class and the nurse taught us all about breastfeeding; we saw diagrams, photos and videos. Based on this information and all the women I knew, not to mention the movies, I thought breastfeeding would be a breeze. Its natural right? I assumed that all babies would just be born ready to nurse. I mean, what did women do before lactation consultants, bottles, nipple shields and shells, and pumps? Didn’t all babies just start nursing before they starved to death?

Boy was I na├»ve. My first children were premature, born at 34weeks 6days. I can only assume that played some role in their inability to nurse. We had 4 lactation consultants and countless nurses try to help us with breastfeeding. My kiddos just couldn’t get the hang of it. So I pumped. And that was disheartening. On a good day I could get 3oz total from a pump. That just will not feed twins. I realize now that I was under a lot of stress at the time and I probably wasn’t staying hydrated; 2 things which can hurt your milk supply.

So here we are again, 19 months later, trying to breastfeed a new set of twins. This time around I did get to put a baby to breast sooner than 3 days after birth (which is what happened last time) and I thought it was semi successful. For a couple of days I would try to breastfeed and I would have the lactation consultant stop in to help. I thought things were going well. I had them bring in a pump so that I could get a lot of colostrum for the girls since my milk hadn’t “come in” yet. The pediatrician said they looked great and that for about 3 days I didn’t need to worry about how much the babies got from the breast. Well, the next day we found that my one little girl’s urine was brown; she was dehydrated. So I found myself in a position where I could “stick to my guns” of breastfeeding only with no bottles used or I could supplement with formula until my milk came in, thus treating her dehydration. I of course opted to supplement with the formula for her sake. On the fourth day I started to get a trickle of milk, but not much. Even when I pumped it was like I was made of stone.

My friend gave me a lactation supplement and I started it once I got home. I kept hoping and waiting and literally praying that my milk supply would increase. Days and days went by and still I barely could get an ounce from each breast. I visited another lactation consultant and with the use of a nipple shield we got a baby to latch successfully, but after nursing her for 30 minutes she had only taken in 10ml of breast milk. She normally drinks 2 ½ ounces of formula; that’s 75ml so the 10ml I was able to make for her was just a drop in the bucket.

The consultant sent me home with the task of solely pumping for 24 hours (no baby to breast) to track how much milk I was actually producing. This would help her to determine if I could physically make enough milk to feed my children. In 36 hours I only made 13 ounces. Each of my twins were eating 20 ounces a day…so this was more than a little discouraging. The results are that I just don’t produce enough to feed my twins; I have to supplement with formula. Since then, I rarely get to nurse my twins. My life is so chaotic right now with my 19mo twins and the newborns. My little girls need so much help to nurse that I just don’t do it much. I still try to pump every 3 hours at least, but sometimes 6 hours go by between pumps because life just happens
I feel like as a woman I should be able to provide milk to feed my children. I feel like as a large breasted woman, these cumbersome things that have burdened me all my life should finally be put to good use and nourish my children. Sometimes I just feel like a failure. So many people ask “are you breastfeeding” immediately upon meeting my new babies and I then feel the need to explain what an inverted nipple is and give a rationalization as to why I cannot breastfeed both twins at the same time while simultaneously feeding my other twins, changing 4 diapers, and feeding myself; like I have to justify my use of bottles and formula.

However, I have an awesome husband and a group of friends who encourage me daily. They remind me that I have 4 kids under the age of 2; 2 sets of twins. That I just had major surgery. That I am doing the best that I can. That there is nothing wrong with pumping and bottle feeding. That these kids are healthy and thriving and happy. That my sanity and happiness is more important than what other moms think of me.

So in honor of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I salute you mothers who successfully breastfeed your children. I admire your courage to nurse in public and your tenacity to keep up breastfeeding even when they get teeth. So while I may never make the cover of a magazine for audaciously breastfeeding in a public spot, I am slowly becoming okay with the idea that I may never solely breastfeed. If you are like me, and struggle with producing enough milk, or have physical challenges, or for whatever reason you just don’t breastfeed; take heart. You are not alone, and it is okay. Formula fed babies turn out just fine. I agree that “breast is best” but breast is not always an option.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

11 Easy Cleaning Tips for Common Household Problems

While thumbing through a recent copy of Woman's Day magazine I came across a great article with tips for cleaning common household problems.  I found that I could have used many of these tips in just the past few months so I thought I would share them all with you, my most valued readers :)

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Dream Baby Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Shannon Foust, our lucky winner! And thank you all for giving me grace to get this winner announced. I am so sorry about the delay, but the bright side is that my twin girls were born healthy and happy and we are finally home from the hospital. 

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