Monday, February 22, 2016

Organizing for Mom-Guest Post

You’ve finally taken the time to get organized, but what can you do to maintain the systems you’ve put in place? Here are some tips to make sure your efforts aren't wasted!

#1 Think before you shop. (This pertains to anything bought or acquired that makes its way into your home) Before you acquire an item, ask yourself the following questions:

-Do I need this?

-Do I really like/love this?

-Do I already have one or something that serves the same or similar purpose?

-Do I have a place to put it?

Finally, resist the urge to buy or take items you did not answer “yes” about. Try writing the items in question on a list. After a few days, see if the items are still something you want or need. Chances are the answer is no.

#2 If you find yourself answering yes to the above, try to always use the “one in, one out” rule. Swap an old item that you no longer need, love or have a place for with the new item.

#3 Set up a “donation can.” I recommend setting one up on each floor of your home. Like a trash can, these “donation cans” should be used to collect items that no longer serve a purpose for you or your family. “Donation cans” allow items to be immediately collected to ensure unwanted things don't make their way back into your home. When the can is full it’s time to take a trip to your local charitable drop off location.

#4 Schedule a weekly day to purge the house of unwanted items and to put things back in their places. You should also use this time to take inventory of items you may have run out of or need for the week(food for lunches/dinners, supplies for upcoming school projects, etc...) This cuts down on last minute shopping trips that encourage “impulse buys” as well as helps to avoid purchasing duplicates. I like doing this on Sunday night to give the week a fresh, organized start. Remember, establishing routines is key to staying organized.

#5 Remember that YOU control what comes in to your home! Practice saying “No Thank You.” When you are offered free-bees, informational brochures, unnecessary receipts or items that do not serve a purpose-JUST SAY NO☺.

Unsubscribe from magazines or coupon lists that you do not use or wish to receive.
Just because something is free or discounted does not mean that you need it. Although harmless in small quantities, continuing to aimlessly acquire these items can sabotage your efforts to get organized.

#6 Lastly, try your best to treat each one of your “to-dos” like an appointment. Scheduling tasks to be completed on a specific date and time is the best way ensure that your goals are being accomplished!

Back to Basics Organizing, LLC
Rachel Kowitz, Owner & Professional Organizer

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Upcoming IBC Events

What's even better than being a doula? Being a doula and working with a great organization called Informed Birth Choices. Check out my profile at IBC.

In addition to birth doula and postpartum doula services, IBC offers childbirth classes, comfort measure classes, infant care and breastfeeding classes. I have the privilege of teaching at IBC and I love it. 

Here are some of their upcoming classes:
  • Informed Childbirth Weekend 
    • February 20-219:30 am-3:30 pm
    • April 16-179:30 am-3:30 pm
  • Comfort Measures Workshop
    • February 214:30-7:00 pm
    • April 216:30-9:00 pm
  • Baby Basics (infant care and breastfeeding)
    • March 261:00-5:00 pm
    • May 141:00-5:00 pm
Also, IBC is offering a FREE comfort measures class with the purchase of birth doula services for all of 2016!!

Thinking about becoming a doula? Well, IBC has you covered there too. IBC is hosting both a postpartum and birth doula workshop (DONA approved) in the upcoming months. In addition, IBC offers the 3 hour DONA approved Breastfeeding for Professionals, which is a prerequisite for becoming a doula

  • Postpartum Doula Training 
    • March 18-208:00 am-6:15 pm
  • Birth Doula Training 
    • April 23-248:00 am-6:30 pm
    • August 20-218:00 am-6:30 pm
  • Breastfeeding for Professionals
    • June 41:00 pm-4:00 pm
    • September 241:00 pm-4:00 pm

Sign up for any of these classes here.

Want to meet IBC in person? Then check out the Columbia Baby Expo on March 12. 

Hope to see you at IBC!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Journey in Adoptive Breastfeeding: Part 5

This may be the hardest blog post that I write.

The journey in adoptive breastfeeding has been a long and trying one of waiting, praying and pumping. Around September, my husband and I felt that maybe we had been waiting long enough and that if we didn't get matched by December that we would come off the adoption list. We planned a trip to Hawaii with my sister and her husband (and no kids) and kind of prepared ourselves for the end of our journey. Well, sure enough, we got a call  that we were matched with a baby girl who was due on late October. "Over the moon" doesn't begin to describe how we felt! We were so thrilled that our dream of a third child, a daughter, was about to come true. We were so over Hawaii and ready to be parents again. She was perfect and right on time (on her due date).

Now there was the "small" decision to make: do we take direct placement of her knowing that the birth parents have 30 days to change their minds or should we just wait out the 30 days with her in transition care through our adoption agency. It seemed simple to us. We want to care for her and love her as soon as possible. So with some negotiating, we were able to take placement of her 8 days after her birth. We named her Mychelle Sydney Byrd. And she was with us for two weeks...

She was such a lovely, sweet baby, who had no problem going back and forth from nursing and bottle feeding. Breastfeeding was such a sweet time for me and she loved it too. I am so blessed that I got to experience that. I know for many women it is hard and doesn't go as planned, but for Mychelle and I, it was magical!

After two blissful weeks, our adoption agency called us and told us that her birth parents decided to parent her. We were completely devastated. We cried with each other and with our friends and family who showed us great love and compassion during the process of returning Mychelle to her birth family. It was the hardest and saddest thing that we ever had, and I hope ever will have, to do. I hold on tightly to the memories I have of her and miss her.

Ok, so what about the pumping? I stopped pumping gradually. Since we weren't sure if we were going to continue on the adoption list or not, we decided to stop pumping. It was important not to stop all at once so that I didn't get blocked ducts or mastitis. It took about two full weeks for my body to stop lactating. During this process, I had to not only mourn the loss of a baby, but also my breastfeeding experience.  I was able to find some families who could use my frozen breastmilk, which is some consolation.

We did end up going to Hawaii to get away for a while, but Hawaii ended and we were thrust back into the reality of our loss. We are at a great crossroads. Should we keep waiting for another baby or move on to see what life brings us? More to come...I hope.