Monday, July 14, 2008

MEALS, Differentiated Instruction, and a Baby Shower

Hello everyone! It's been a busy past few days. Since last I have blogged, Adam and I attended a breast-feeding class, I attended a 3-day conference on differentiated instruction, and my mom, Adam, and I (with Pam :) ) made our way to and from Indianapolis for a fantastic baby shower thrown by our friends Amy and Ben! So, I decided I would keep this blog entry in time order and start from our breast-feeding class.

Our breast-feeding class was last Thursday night. It was offered by Pat Rice, who is also our instructor for baby birthing class. We had to bring a doll with us and then be prepared to listen, participate, and watch a video. I was a little worried about this class and had fear that we might be whipping off our shirts and actually having to fully expose ourselves during the participation stage of the class. Fortunately, those fears were just that - fears - and there was no whipping off of clothing! Yeah! :) During our class we learned several positions that seem to work best for breast feeding, particularly at different phases of the baby's life. For instance, apparently one of the easiest ways to nurse immediately post-delivery is with the mother laying on her side and the father helping the baby to latch on and get in a position that will both allow the baby to be fed and the mother to not have pain. We also learned that we should record the time of day when we attempt to feed the baby (particularly while at the hospital) and let the nurses know. But, we should not worry about the actual length of time that Sadie nurses. This is because "normal" nursing time can range from anywhere between 8 and 35 minutes. Some babies are very fast and others like to take their time. Instead of worrying about time, we are instead supposed to observe MEALS. This stands for:

M - Mouth widely open (like Mick Jagger and with the mouth resting about 1/2 an inch back from the nipple)

E - Ears wiggling (this is to be a very smooth and slow movement and she should be keeping an even tempo - like a metronome)

A - Areola compressed (breast feeding is really about the areola (the area around the nipple) and not the nipple itself)

L - Lips flared (the chin should be touching the breast and Dad moves the baby's lips around by pressing underneath the chin)

S - Swallows (baby should only need to be burped if she's swallowed a lot of air)

This sounds easy enough and I'm certainly a big fan of memory devices such as this one. I've put it on yet another note card that we will be carrying with us in our stack of note cards that we're taking to the hospital. I'm hoping these note cards will prove useful and not just a tedious extra thing to carry. I think in the heat of the moment it may be nice to have something already prepared to look at and help both of us regain our focus, but depending on my amount of pain and frustration, I may just want to throw all of the cards in the garbage. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. :)

On one final breast-feeding class note, we also learned that the mother can consume up to 1 pound of chocolate per day without having to fear she is going to cause her baby to have an allergy to chocolate. So, if nothing else is making me feel better during my many upcoming sleepless nights, at least I can have chocolate! :)

Alrighty - on to topic 2 - differentiated instruction. Differentiated instruction is a fancy term for finding different (differentiated) ways to teach (instruction) all of your students. The conference I attended was the Midwest Conference on Differentiated Instruction and I'm really glad that I went. I attended only one horrible presentation and the rest I was able to glean at least some useful information from. I got some great ideas about organizational devices to use, motivational devices to use, and math songs that will help get math concepts "stuck" in students' heads. I took a lot of great notes, received several good handouts, and even got 4 new books on how to better differentiate in the classroom. Hopefully all of this will come in handy next year and make the school year flow more smoothly. For anyone that's interested, I'd be happy to tell you more, but I figure that most of you aren't itching to know more about differentiated instruction so I'll move on to the "good stuff." :)

Topic 3 - The Baby Shower
Our good friends Amy and Ben hosted a dual baby shower for Adam and I and our friends Alicia and Suellen. Sadie is due on August 31, but baby "P" is only a few weeks behind and is due on September 17. We are both having girls so we've really created ready-made friends. Isn't this fantastic?

Here are the four of us opening some of our gifts:

As you can tell from the picture, we have some very generous friends! To give you an idea of some of the gifts we received, we got: a baby bather and bathing products, a "Stride-and-Ride" Lion (it converts from a walker toy to a rideable toy), some clothes, a baby gate, an exploration station, a safety kit, and more! All of our gifts are very much appreciated and will be well used and well loved.

Here are some more pictures of our friends in attendance:

In the foreground of this picture you can see Jason, Kristin and Miles, Emily, and Andrea's back.

In this picture you can see Amy, Rob, Cathy, and Pam.

In this picture you can see Mike, Andrea (Andy) and Andrea's husband, Josh.

In this picture you can see Sarah, Pam with Shaylee, Kristen, and Adam and I.

And, one final picture that is perhaps my favorite. Two of our smallest party guests: Emily and Hannah. :)

Hopefully this photo is just a sneak peek at what Sadie and Baby P will look like together in 2 years!

All in all we have had a wonderful last week and felt very fortunate to get to catch up with some old friends. Tonight we have our hospital tour after baby-birthing class, so I'm sure I'll have more to report on soon. Thanks for reading! Take care!


Suellen said...

Great pics, Krysten. It was awesome to see you guys and I can't wait until Sadie and P can play together. FYI - Andy's husband's name is Josh.

Andrea said...

OMG I love the last picture! So cute (and I like that my back is labeled in one of them - LOL). As for the breastfeeding class, I found it very helpful. It made me feel like I at least kind of knew what was going on and it helped me set my goal of nursing for a year. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to ask! (

amypfan said...

Glad you had fun!! :)

Andrea said...

I sent out your gift today - let me know if you don't get it by Friday!

The Kahl Family said...

Great seeing you - if only for a bit! Sorry we had to leave early, but you'll soon find out how cranky babies can put a damper on your plans!