Monday, August 16, 2010

Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bustier Review & Giveaway

All I can say about the Simple Wishes Hands Free Pumping Bustier is this: how in the world did I not know about this sooner?! 

I spent over 6 months exclusively pumping before I got my hands on the Simple Wishes bra. I thought I had a pretty good system going - I would always wear those camis with the shelf bra in them under my shirt, so I'd tuck the pump flanges into the shelf bra, and then if I hunched over just right they would stay in place enough that I could type on my computer. But if I needed to, say, grab something off my night stand, or pick up one of E's toys for him... forget it. I had to unhook or do that weird holding-the-pump-on-my-boobs-with-one-arm trick. And that inevitably leads to the pump straying off center... and that, um, hurts. Bad. 

Enter Simple Wishes. When I first got it, I was so excited to try it! It took a few minutes to adjust it for me (I took out the center panel, and adjusted the velcro in the back), and it took awhile for me to figure out how to get the pump centered on my nipples. I was used to being able to really see what I was doing, so it took a few tries. By the time I got it figured out, I was kind of like "Seriously? Seriously. I'm not sure if this whole hands-free thing is worth it if it takes me 20 minutes to hook up!" But being able to freely type, text, and grab whatever I needed without anything budging out of place was glorious. Really. 

So I tried the pumping bra again the next day. It took a little less time to put on. And oh how I loved the convenience of it, once it was on. After a few more times using it, it really added no extra time to my usual pumping set up. And now, I use it literally at every pump. I start panicking if I can't find it (don't ask me how it gets lost. I'm like a wizard at losing things). Like, how am I supposed to pump without it?! As if it's my bottles or tubing or something. But really, since E has become mobile, it has become instrumental to my pumping success. It's so much easier to sit down to pump when I know that if I need to hand E a toy that's out of his reach or help him stand back up when he falls down, I'm not going to have to stop pumping to do it. 

The things that I loved about this bra are as follows:

It's adjustable: I love how adjustable it is. My boobs have definitely changed sizes since I first began pumping, and the vast range of sizes that the Simple Wishes bra is able to accommodate ensures that it will fit for as long as you're pumping (and will last through another baby, even!). I love that.

It works: It holds those flanges where they're supposed to be. I can't stress enough how important that is. The "Four Way Layering Support" really does its job. 

It's pretty!: I love the soft pink color. And it's sooooo soft.

The only thing that I was disappointed about was that it's pretty impractical to wear under your clothes all day. It's just a little too bulky for that, and there's, you know, that hole where you put the pump ;). Because I'm all crazy and occasionally pump while commuting, I was hoping that it would help me with that. Like I would be able to just lift up my shirt, hook up the pump and go, you know? As it is, I put it on and take it off every time I pump, and I wish it was more conducive to being worn as a normal bra. 

Overall, it's a great product, and it's helped me to become as happy as this woman in the picture, even while exclusively pumping...

Are you a pumping mom? Are you pregnant and are hoping to be a pumping mom? Have a baby shower to go to and need a gift? Buy a Simple Wishes hands free pumping bustier and get 15% off by entering the code "haute" (without the quotes) at checkout! 

Or... Simple Wishes has generously agreed to sponsor a giveaway of one of these wonderful bras to one of my readers!!!! 

Mandatory entry: Comment below, telling me how pumping hands free would reduce your stress (or anything else you like about the product)! 

Extra Entries
-Follow my blog with Google Connect
-"Like" Simple Wishes' Facebook Page
-Follow Simple Wishes on Twitter
-Tweet about this giveaway (one tweet, one entry per day.)
"Play w/ baby while pumping! Win a Hands Free Pumping Bustier by @SimpleWishes_ from @HauteSingleMama! #breastfeeding"

Leave a separate comment for each thing, please! Oh, and please make sure at least one of your comments has a way to contact you - email or twitter name is awesome. Thanks!

Also - don't forget your extra entries if you RSVP'd! Leave a comment for each of those, too!

This giveaway will end Thursday, 8/26 at midnight EST. Winner will be chosen via! Good luck!

I was given a Hands Free Pumping Bustier to keep. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are honest and my own

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wits' End

I posted on Twitter about this, but it's just way too much for 140 characters. I would spam up everyone's timeline with my whining. ;)

This morning I am totally at my wits' end with everything. E was up 3 or 4 times last night, for no apparent reason. I tried cosleeping with him in my twin bed - yeah... doesn't work now that he's HUGE. So, this morning I'm totally exhausted, but I'm trying to get back into a sort of groove since school starts again in two weeks. I figured I'd let E play for a little bit and he'd go back down for a nap (he normally gets up at 7 after sleeping through the night and naps at 9:30, so since he was up a few times in the night and up for the morning at 6:30, I was anticipating a really good nap).

He finally got tired and I snuggled him and fed him a bottle. He was asleep, and I went to put him in his crib so I could start my day. I totally tripped on one of his stupid toys (that I usually clean up before we do naptime, but he was really whiny so I skipped it this one time in favor of the bottle) and it totally jarred him awake. I put him in his crib anyway, gave him his giraffe and his blanket, turned the music on, and went to the bathroom, hoping he'd have fallen asleep by the time I was done. Nope! He was crawling around in his crib, hitting his head on everything possible, and awake as can be. Great.

This is when I posted on Twitter. It doesn't seem like such a huge deal - so he skipped a nap. Move on. But I'm trying to get into the habit of working out regularly again, and I just don't know when to do it. I used to be able to put him in his swing or jumperoo, but now that he's mobile I have no idea what to do with him. We have very limited space - I have one bedroom of a 1500 or so square foot, 3 bedroom condo. Yeah. He can't crawl around in any of the other rooms, because my mom's house is and always has been clutter city, so my room is the only "safe" place that he can go around and not have a really close eye on him. My room houses a daybed, a dresser, a nightstand, a crib, and a jumperoo, so floor space is limited. If I let him crawl around, he'd be under my feet the whole time. I've asked my mom if I can help her move some of her boxes out of the hallway, so I could close off all the other doors (except mine) and he can play there, but she always says she "needs to go through them" and of course, never does. So my only option is to try to do it while he's napping, praying the whole time that the noise of me working out doesn't wake him up. Which is stressful enough, so when he didn't nap in the first place, it just threw me into a total funk.

The problem with the house is not a gigantic problem. It's not filthy, it's just cluttered because my mom downsized from a larger house, and doesn't know how to purge things. Somehow she doesn't get that if it's been sitting in a box for two years, you probably don't need whatever is in it. Especially when you're not even sure what's in it. I'm sure she's overwhelmed with it, because that's her personality. She can't just say "Okay, today I'm going to do this one box." She looks at the entire thing as a whole, gets overwhelmed, and doesn't even start. I can't do it for her, because it's not my stuff. If it were up to me, I'd load all those boxes in my car and have them dropped off at Salvation Army or something. But it's very frustrating to me - and trust me, I'm far from a clean freak - because it makes it so I have to either be cooped up in my room, or worry that E is going to get into something that could hurt him.

The next thing (sort of unrelated, but stressing to me) is that my mom decided she's going to go on this diet. That's great, because she really does have some lifestyle changes that need to be made (just like I do!). But the way she's doing it is totally, totally unsustainable. She's doing Body for Life, if you're familiar with it, but instead of learning to make actual meals using the guidelines in the book, she thinks she's just going to eat one protein, one carb, and one vegetable from her list for 6 meals a day until she loses the weight, plus some outrageously expensive protein shakes. And by that I mean she eats plain cottage cheese, unseasoned boiled chicken breast... you get the idea. It's completely unsustainable, especially for someone who actually enjoys food. So I know this is totally her business, but the way it involves me is that now, since she can't eat what she regularly makes for family dinners, she's just going to stop making them altogether. Fine, but she has a husband and a son who she has taught to be totally reliant on her cooking. And when she doesn't cook? They look to me. I absolutely despise that neither of them ever pick up the slack and make a simple pot of spaghetti, sandwiches, anything, but I can't change that. And let's face it, I want to eat too. So now, the burden of cooking rests on me. I could handle that. I cooked for M for 3 years, and for myself for 2 years before that after I left home. The thing is, everyone in this house is so freaking picky. My mom won't eat anything that isn't standard meat-and-potatoes fare (think meatloaf and mashed potatoes, breaded chicken and mashed potatoes, breaded chicken and rice-a-roni, etc.). Her husband... well, I don't really know what it is he likes, but during fall semester I was cooking a lot and he liked very little of what I made. I didn't realize it until he started telling my mom how fettucine alfredo is so bland the night after I made it, while I was sitting right there on the couch with them. I stopped cooking after that. Lazy, unappreciative men can eat cold cereal, for all I care. I do feel bad for my little brother, though, who, although he takes after his father and step father by not helping one bit, is not too picky and actually likes most of what I make. And again, I don't want to eat cold cereal every night! So I know that whole paragraph totally didn't go anywhere, but the point is, I'm frustrated and stressed about the whole situation.

I'm also frustrated about the general cleanliness of the downstairs area. It would be so easy to do if everyone just did a little bit every day, but my step dad and brother (who are home all day, every day, and are in front of the television and computer screens, respectively) won't do anything without specifically being told. My mom thinks that they're old enough (50 and 15) to not have to be told, so she doesn't, and she doesn't do it herself (which I don't blame her for, she works 10 hour days! Who wants to come home and clean after that?) so it just doesn't get done. I still feel a little uncomfortable doing it, because I feel like it's going to be more offensive than helpful since it's not my house - does that make sense? I of course clean up after myself, and do the dishes, and things like that, but I'm talking about mopping the floors, vacuuming, stuff like that. I approached her about making a chore chart, so we can all be responsible for something and not step on each other's toes, but she didn't really seem that into it. So I either live with it, or do it all myself. And yeah, I would be doing it all myself if I lived in my own apartment, but it just feels different because it's not my house.

Sigh. I don't know. None of this really bothered me before E was mobile - it wasn't a big deal to be cooped up in our room. But now it is, and I don't know what to do! I guess I just suck it up, and do it all myself. Cook, clean, take care of the baby, for a family of 5. Plus school, plus hospice volunteering, and dealing with M/the divorce/everything else emotionally.

I seriously hope this gets easier.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

No Go BlogHer Questions!


I'm still a blogging newbie, so I'm obviously not going to BlogHer. Actually, I just recently figured out what it was in the first place. And now that I know, I'm oh so very jealous of all of those wonderful bloggers who get to go and meet all the other wonderful bloggers *gasp* in real life! I can't even fathom it.

So here I sit, behind my computer screen still, and I'm psyched to be participating in the No-Go BlogHer Blog Hop! So here are my answers to the questions: 

When did you start blogging?
I believe I started Haute Single Mama in October of 2009. I had a couple of blogs before that that I didn't really keep up on, and they fizzled out. This one was the lucky one that stuck, though!

Why did you start blogging?
Definitely as an outlet for myself. I haven't written in an actual diary since I was 14 (long story) and I knew it would really help me to sort out everything I have been through to write about it. Plus, @KatiesPickles kept bugging me to start one. 

What is one thing you are going to do this week that is WAY cooler than going to BlogHer?
I already did something awesome this week that was WAY cooler than BlogHer - I celebrated E's first birthday! I don't have the pics uploaded yet, but I will soon. I promise. 

Share a post that you think says a lot about you or is your favorite.  (share the link in YOUR post so we all can see)

This is lame, because this was my last post before this one, but I love the post where I put my year of exclusively pumping breast milk into quantifiable terms.  I think it says a lot about me, just because I am so totally impressed with myself for actually making it to a year. There were so many days that I didn't think that I would, and my mind is still basically blown that I did. Seriously, this is just one of the many, many things that I'm doing that if you had asked me a year ago, I would have said "I could never do that!" As difficult as the past couple of years have been, I am so much stronger for it. And pumping is a prime example of that. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

How Do You Measure A Year (Of Exclusively Pumping)?

365: Number of days I've been pumping.
5.5: Average number of pumping sessions per day
2,007: Approximate number of pumping sessions, total
40,150: Minutes spent pumping
669: Time spent pumping in hours
27.8: Time spent pumping in days
15,330: Approximate number of ounces pumped
18.5: Pounds E has gained since birth
56: Pounds I have lost since E's birth
1,800: Dollars not spent on formula
650: Dollars spent on pumping supplies
119.7: Approximate volume pumped in gallons

**How I got these numbers: 
1. Duh
2. 8 sessions per day at the beginning, down to 3 sessions now. Averaged those two numbers. 
3. 5.5x365
4. (previous) x 20 minutes 
5. (previous) /60
6. (previous) /24
7. Output has ranged from 60 oz/day to 24 oz/day. Averaged those, x 365.
8. Fact
9. Fact
10. Googled ;)
11. Lansinoh pump, Lansinoh bags (approximate amount bought), breast pads, all of the breastfeeding supplements I've taken (including Domperidone and Reglan). I didn't include bottles because I didn't include them in the cost of formula feeding, just the cost of the formula itself. 
12. Added this as an afterthought because my mom asked ;) Used a converter I googled to convert oz to gallons! Wow!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Breast is Best Giveaway Event!!!

So, to kick of World Breastfeeding Week, and in celebration of E's first birthday tomorrow, I'm announcing my Breast is Best (even in a bottle) giveaway event!!!

This is my first giveaway event ever, and I'm so excited that I get to give away some of the products that have been truly instrumental in my success at pumping for E for a whole year! And I know you guys are super excited to WIN some of this awesome stuff!

To RSVP and win extra entries, comment on this post and tell me what your secret to success is! What helped (or is going to help) you to be a successful breastfeeding mom, however long you chose to continue? A day, a month, a year - breast is best for our babies! You have to do this for the following to count when I start rolling out the giveaways:

For 2 additional entries in EVERY giveaway, follow Haute Single Mama publicly with Google Friend Connect. 

For 3 additional entries in EVERY giveaway, put my event banner on your sidebar!

This is going to be so much fun - I have LOTS of breastfeeding swag for all my fellow lactating mamas!

UPDATE: I thought you guys might like a list of sponsors. Yeah, I'm new at this whole giveaway thing.

Some of my AWESOME sponsors include:
Simple Wishes
Earth Mama Angel Baby
....... And more!

If you have a product you would like to include in my giveaway, I'd love to hear from you! Email me at or tweet me!