Monday, December 31, 2012

One word

An acquaintance does this thing called One Word where you choose a word and try to embody that word in your daily life. For example she chose "consistency" for her word last year. I didn't consciously chose a word last year but I would say my word ended up being "appreciate." I've spent the past year learning to appreciate the small moments in life that make it worth living instead of just looking for the big moments. Things like snuggling in bed with my kids or holding Bub's hand in the parking lot or baking cookies with him or seeing Button wrestle her stuffed bear. Small things that I'm afraid I will forget about them or in life in general. So many small memories get pushed aside for larger ones but it's the small ones that make up a worthwhile life, a happy life. I would say that this year I've really begun living in the small moments and appreciating them more.

This year I think I will chose the word "optimism" but I'm not sure if that is right word. What I want to do is feel good about things I have in my life, not just appreciate the fact that I have a job and a house but feel good about my just okay job and my most of the time dirty house. That I can't change anyone I work with but myself. This is a lesson I have to keep learning over and over again because when I don't agree with decision made I tend to rage and get upset about them. But it's really not worth it. I work with some who spend most of their time angry at the senior librarians and their decisions. I don't want to be that person. I've been that person before and I'd rather just be content with what I have. Even when I don't agree with things, I know I won't change them and so I need to not only accept them but to embrace the good things at my job.

On a personal level, most of my home life is fine. There are frustrations as there are with everything but for the most part it is fine. The dogs drive me crazy and the house is always dirty and I can't seem to find the time to do the things that I want to do. But none of that is do or die. Maybe instead of expecting help and forethought from my family I should just accept that they do what they do and just do what I do and called it good. For right now with the jobs that we work and the age of our kids, this might be the best we can do for now.

So maybe the word I am searching for is not "optimism" but "contentment." But not acceptance is a defeatist way but in an optimistic way. Like things are going to be alright just the way they are.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

And then we had everything

So six years ago I did one of the most amazing things I've ever done in my life and gave birth to my beautiful and sweet boy. It's hard to believe he is already six whole years. It went by too fast. Now he is not my baby but a big boy. I thought I'd share his birth story for his birthday today. When I was pregnant and ladies would tell me their birthing stories, I did wonder why so many mothers like to tell their stories, but once I had him I realized it's because you have done something extraordinary.  You have carried and birthed a whole other human person.  A real live human has just emerged from your body, which seems so crazy that it is amazing.

So here is that the story of me and a boy and what it took to get him out into the world.

He was one week late. I worked up to my due date which was on a Friday but that last week I only did half days because I couldn't stand to be at work longer. I remember working on my due date and someone asked when I was due. I growled at them "Today!"  and then they went away and left me alone. I think I scared them. I had a week off before he came which was just completely awesome in retrospect but at the time I just wanted him to come out. I played video games while bouncing on my birthing ball. When I laid down and put the controller on my stomach he kicked it off. We had a lot of fun with that.

Anyway.

On the Wednesday after my due date I went to the doctor and we scheduled an induction for the following Friday. It was nice to finally have a real date of arrival. We went in on Thursday night at 7. It was suppose to be 6 but I got confused so we were late. We did all the check-in stuff and they showed me to my room. Around 9, they put in a half a pill to soften my cervix because I was 0% effaced and 1 centimeter dilated. Contractions started faintly after this. Around midnight or so they put in the other half and started the Pitocin drip. This may be when the nurse broke my water. Details start to get fuzzy around this time. Contractions began to get strong. I really wanted a natural birth so I walked around trying to get through it. At some point I asked for a pain killer to take away some of the pain. I got a little sleep. Later I had it again but it begins to lose its effectiveness after the first time so it didn't help as much. My contractions never evened out. They are suppose to come in waves with a valley and a peak. I never really got to the valley. I was constantly contracting though never "big" ones. I never got a break. The baby's heartbeat was up and down. Sometime in the afternoon, I told the nurse that an epidural would be good. She agreed and so the anesthesiologist came in to administer it. BT got to stay in the room with me which was good. I'm not a huge fan of needles but when you are in that much pain you really don't care.

So blessedly, and finally, relief came and I got some sleep. Meanwhile Bub's heartbeat was still erratic and he couldn't seem to drop down into my pelvis. They put a fetal scalp electrode on him. Basically he couldn't get out and my body wasn't helping. In the end I never dilated past 6 cm. He was in distress. The doctor came in and called for a c-section. I was relieved. I was pretty much just done by then. The anesthesiologist came in and administered a second epidural to prepare me for surgery. I was shaking and shivering from it. So into the OR we went, BT coming a little later. I remember saying I couldn't breathe so they gave me oxygen. I'm pretty sure this was from the blood pressure drop that comes from an epidural. It didn't take them long to get the baby out. Maybe 10 minutes after I got in. I think it was a little more serious than I thought at the time. So out he came crying. He didn't cry long. There was too much to see. He was born nosy. I cried when I heard him. I kept asking how was he? BT said he was beautiful. And he was.

He went to the nursery. They finished my surgery. I fell asleep. Morphine is a wonderful thing. Later they bought my lovely boy to me. It wasn't the birthing experience I had pictured in my head. But it was the little boy I'd been hoping for and, in the end, I think that is what matters.







Thursday, November 22, 2012

Grateful

All month long on Facebook some of my friends have been posting everyday about what they are grateful for. I doubt I could keep that up all month long, but since today is Thanksgiving I thought I'd list what I am grateful for.

My husband. BT is seriously a good guy and is a great husband and father. He is the kind of man I hope Bub grows up to be and the kind of man I hope Button marries (if she is so inclined). On any given day, he is doing schoolwork, watching our daughter, doing laundry, cooking dinner or doing homework with Bub. Not that he doesn't have his faults, but he is a true partner and I am thankful for that.

My children. They are the light in my life. I try not to think about what I'm missing when I am at work and away from them but sometimes I let it get to me and I miss them. I try to spend as much time paying attention to them as I can when I am with them though. They are the best thing I've ever done and there are really no words for how much I love them.

My parents. They do so much for us and I don't know if I can every repay them for their time and their generosity, helping us out when we were in a bad place last year. They are always willing to watch their grandchildren or let us hang out over there. My mother is the kind of mother I strive to be. I have never doubted her love for me or her willingness to be there for me. And my parents have never made me feel like an inconvenience or like now that I am grown I am unwanted. They, especially my mom, have always made me feel wanted.

My sister. We haven't always gotten along. In fact, it wasn't until recently that we have become really good friends. It was a rough time growing up but now I can honestly say she is one of my best friends. She moved back to Louisiana from Oklahoma last year and it looked like she moving back again recently and I found myself praying everyday that she would get another job in Louisiana and thou and behold she did and I am relieved and happy that she will be staying. She is an amazing aunt to my son and daughter and Bub loves her so much. She spends so much time with him and he looks for her when she is gone. Thick as thieves, those two are and it is wonderful to behold.

My cousin. My cousin and I are 15 months apart and we have been best friends since she was born. She is the person I share a brain with as our family likes to say and she is the person who always gets it. She lives in Oklahoma so growing up we saw each other like twice a year and that number has remained the same as we have gotten older. I don't get to visit her as much as I like but it is always fun when I do see her. Now she is pregnant with her first child and I cannot wait til she is a mother and we can share in that experience too.

The rest of our family and friends. We are surrounded by people who we love and who love us back which is a wonderful thing and something I try not to take for granted. I truly cannot wish for better people. We may not see everyone a lot but when we do it is great. BT's parents are always happy to see us, especially their grandchildren, and I love how much they love them.

My job and BT's job. It's not until you lose something that you really appreciate it. Last year BT lost his job and it is one of the hardest things. So I am grateful for my job and the money it gives us and the house it pays for and the bed I get to sleep in. I am grateful for his job and the money it gives us and the groceries it buys and the food we get to eat every night. I am grateful for the work friends I have who make it ok to get up and go to work and leave my children for the day. Am I in love with my job? No. There are problems as always but it provides me with a purpose beyond my family and it teaches me what I really want in a workplace and has made me a better manager and a more tactful person.

Mostly I am thankful for being loved and having people to love. I am grateful I have a house and a bed and pets. I am grateful I have nice clothes and have shoes and socks. I am grateful I have a car to drive and books to read and that I can read and write and type. I am grateful for dance parties with my children and Eskimo kisses and hugs and "I love you too Mom" and nursing my daughter and cuddles. I am grateful that I can buy nice things for my children and my niece and nephew. I am grateful that sometimes our parents will take us out to lunch and that my mom will take the kids to her house when I am sick so I can take a nap. I am grateful my sister likes to take her nephew places so I am not always the one amusing him. I am grateful that my parents come to all his soccer and/or tee ball games. I am grateful that BT's parents will drive over to see him play even if it is just once a season. I am grateful that they like to take him to Florida once a summer so he can go to the beach even if I can't and that one day they want to take him to Europe because I don't know if I will ever be able to provide that kind of experience and I want him, I want them, to see the world. I am grateful for all the million and one tiny moments in life that make life worth living.

I am grateful. I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

First big trip

I'm taking Button to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving and some other family related parties that will be going on that weekend. It's about a 9 hour drive but we are stopping in Texas to spend the night. I'm a bit nervous to take her on such a long drive. You can't just plug in a DVD player for a baby like you can for a kid. I know she will sleep a lot and that either me or my mom will have to sit in the back with her sometimes because she hates being alone. I think she would cry more in the car except she usually has her brother with her and he will talk to her and pat her occasionally. But he is already gone so she will be alone back there.

I don't think I would be making this trip if she were any younger. Now that she is almost 8 months she can go longer without nursing and my milk is so established that engorgement is rarely a problem. But if she were less than 3 months I doubt we would be making this trip. It would be too hard on both of us. I'm hoping now that she is "older" she will fine. But the longest she's been a car is 2 1/2 hours so I guess we will see. Because the trip home will be made all in one day.  Now that is going to be the real adventure.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sweet TV

I don't get to watch a lot of TV for myself. I mean I watch a lot of children's television and movies but there are not a lot of show I watch for myself. I'm about 15 episodes behind on Once Upon a Time though I am determined not to give up on that show. But what's funny is that even though I won't sit down and watch a TV drama, I will sit down and watch cooking competitions. Baking competitions specifically. 

My favorite show is Cupcake Wars. I don't know why. Maybe because in a world where I have money and time, I would open a cupcake food truck. I think I would love that. Anyway, I love watching them come up and make these delicious looking and sounding cupcakes. The cupcake, in my opinion, is the perfect dessert. And you always know when a baker messes up. I mean honestly no more strawberry and champagne or red velvet. And always brand your display final competitors. Have you never watch this show before!?

My new favorite is Sweet Genius. I just started watching that recently. But it is fun and I like the different rounds of the show and watching the chefs/cooks incorporate the weirdest things into their desserts. The candy level is really interesting, but all of them are really cool. Ron Ben-Israel is really a character and I like the faces he makes and his commentary on the desserts presented and when he is watching them cook.

And while I worry about watching regular TV with my son because you never know what is going to happen or be said on a drama or comedy, baking competitions are pretty safe. So one day I will get around to Once Upon a Time or finished Eureka or Warehouse 13 but for right now a little sweet TV is just the thing.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nursing in public (part 2)

I wrote before about how nursing in public makes me uncomfortable. Not other people doing it but me. It has been something I have struggled with. I am not down with making my breastfeeding a political statement like some people are. I just really want to feed my kid. I'm proud to say that I am making advances. I have actually nursed Button in public (with a cover) twice at the zoo. I am very much not a look at me type of person so this is a big deal for me. The first time Bub was playing on the playground and Button was getting hungry/tired and she kept pawing at me and diving for my chest so I took her to one of the benches under the play structure and just fed her there. It was super busy  but nobody really even looked and if there were comments I didn't hear them. The second time was a similar situation but it was less busy and I'm pretty sure an older lady mentioned to her husband while they played with their grandchild. But we made eye contact and she didn't seem too bothered by it. So it was a victory for me.

I still am not up for just plopping myself down in the middle of a restaurant or park and certainly none of this will ever happen without a cover. But now that the weather is nice I don't mind nursing her in the car (sans cover actually) like I did on a visit to a local Pumpkin Patch to pick up Halloween pumpkins. And I don't mind finding a quiet corner somewhere in public. I feel like though I am getting more comfortable at feeding her without feeling embarrassed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Stages

I read an article once in a parenting magazine that talk about the different stages of baby/toddlerhood  and how parents felt about them. It said that most parents have a favorite stage. Like most new moms, I was a little offended that a magazine would suggest that every stage of my precious boy's life wouldn't be my favorite. But it turns out that it is true. I am really not a fan of the newborn stage, a little more okay with the 3 months point and I love 6 months to about a year.

The newborn stage is my least favorite because it is so exhausting. Looking back it is hard to even contemplate how exhausted I was. After Bub I always said I wouldn't have another one til I forgot how tired I was. So yeah, it took 5 years. Newborns are just not like anything. They have no function but it eat, sleep and cry. They look funny all scrunched up and swollen and they are spastic because they have no motor control. Not to say that I didn't find my sweet babies adorable. It's just that, in hindsight, they definitely got cuter the older they got. The plus side is that you can leave on the bed and they will still be there when you get back. Also luckily for me they both slept through the night at 2 months. Of course, I let them sleep in the swing which might be a no-no but at that point I was willing to let them do whatever it took to get a little extra shuteye. And then they were both in their cribs by 4 months. There were/are still some difficulties with that but it works for the most part.

About 3 months is when they started to get awesome. There were genuine smiles and laughter and they were much more interactive. It's about when they start to feel less delicate and can start to hold their own head.  And they start to look more like babies and less like scrunching things. Of course this is when they start rolling over increasing the difficulty level. No more leaving them alone and expecting them to stay put.


But 6 months and on is my favorite. That is when they can sit on their own and will really play with you. Button is getting close to 8 months now and she is sitting and grabbing for things. She babbles a lot and can say a few words. She likes eating and it is fun to watch her with some cauliflower or Cheerios. Crawling will come soon and that in itself is another challenge because then Miss Nosy Parker will be into everything. But it is so fun to watch her learn and explore even if that means she is going to empty the cabinets of everything or try to use the mouse on the laptop. And I loved playing hide and go seek with Bub once he learned to crawl and I'm looking forward to it again. So many cute moments come once they hit this age and beyond. Until they get to the terrible toddler years but that is a different topic.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Small things

I worry sometimes that I will forget these small moments in favor of the big ones. Like on weekend mornings when we are all cuddled in bed together and he reaches over and holds her hand and gives her a kiss. Like how her face lights up when she sees him and she laughs. Like how he tries to make her laugh. I hope that I can remember these things as they get older and new moments come along. I've forgotten so much so far. I want to hold on to a few of these small things.

Friday, November 9, 2012

On having a girl

Ican honestly say I didn't care either way if Button was a boy or a girl. I really wanted a boy the first time around and I got that wish so it didn't matter if I was having another son or getting a daughter. That being said, I am pretty happy to have a girl. I don't consider myself really girly but I like things to be a certain way regarding clothes and shoes. Matching is important to me. So having a girl and getting to have girl clothes is fun for me with all the accessories and what not. BT use to complain that I dressed Bub up like a doll but that can go double for Button.

Beyond the clothes, I know that having a daughter will be both awesome and frightening as she grows up. She is definitely much more opinionated that her brother. Bub is pretty accepting and was willing to put up with the choices (and the mistakes) we made, which is good in an oldest child. Button also likes things a certain way, her way to be exact. So I foresee many clashes between the two of us as we each try to get our own way. Luckily as the Mom, all ways here are my ways.

But I hope that we have a close relationship like I have with my own mom. That I will always be a source of comfort for her and she will enjoy spending time with me as she gets older. I hope we have a strong bond and that she doesn't drift away from me or if she does that she will always come back.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Shabby Chic Giraffe Baby Shower

Someone asked me what the theme of my cousin's baby shower was going to be. "Shabby Chic Giraffes." They said they didn't know that could be a theme. I said well it is now.


I  made these invitations based on an image I found on google with a grey chevron background and a giraffe. I gave the giraffe blue spots since my cousin is having a boy.

The favors were hot chocolate spoons with minature marshmallows on top and I made little "thank you" labels and tied them with ribbon. The spoons are the made to look "real" ones from the Dollar Tree.



I did Wishes for Baby cards with the grey chevron background and a baby clothesline garland. Since it is a boy I made onesies with a giraffe, a tie, a truck (his room will be vintage trucks) and an S for his name.



 The cake ended up having blue giraffe spots on the sides and a giraffe on top. I made food cards for the table. We had a sandwich tray, a veggie tray, jambalaya, a creamy salsa dip, a banana split trifle, chocolate chip cookie dough dip (which was a huge hit), and giant chocolate covered marshmallows.


I made two diaper bouquets and added sock and washcloth buds along with the diaper "flowers."

For games we did gift bingo and the envelope pull. I got notepaper for prizes, something everyone uses. I think it turned out well. It was very simple and clean, not really babyish, but I figured the mom-to-be would get enough of that with her other showers.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hiding Christmas

When I was a child I didn't go into my parent's room or in their closet very often. It wasn't that I was forbidden, it was just a place I didn't feel welcome. Like it was their space and I was intruding when I went in which now as an adult I understand. But BT and I have essentially done the opposite of that. Bub seems to feel like our space is his space. We watch a lot of movies together in bed, he comes and crawls in with us in the mornings. He showers in our bathroom (though he needs to move into his own bathroom soon) and he goes in our closet.

So now where do I hide these Christmas presents? Usually under the bed but Button is getting something large and it is not going to fit under there. And, like I said, Bub feels oh so comfortable hanging out in our room. The attic? On a shelf in someone's closet? I don't know. Where do people hide oversized presents? It was easy when it was just him. But now I have to balance out both their Christmases and she might not know what is going on but he definitely does.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Little peacock

Thanks again to Pinterest for the idea of Button's peacock costume. I first saw the idea when I was pregnant with her and I knew that is what I wanted to do. I looked at many tutorials but in the end I made a tutu using teal, blue and brown tulle and added some teal and peacock feathers to the back to make the "tail." I bought a dark blue onesie for her to wear underneath.


I decided to make her a simple headband using the stretchy kind and added a small peacock feather as well as a few leftovers from the peacock thing I had bought. I think it was meant to be used for bouquets but I took it apart and used the pieces. It worked because she is so small that I couldn't have anything really big on her back and head.


Something else I bought was some skin tone colored knee high socks. I shortened the toe to fit her but in the end it was warm enough that she didn't need them though after the sun went down I should have put them on her.

I'm pretty proud of the whole things. This will probably be the only time I make her costume for her but I think I did alright this year.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A loss is a loss no matter how small

For my first pregnancy I found out at 8 weeks I was pregnant with twins. It was an incredibly exciting, scary, fun thing to find out. I had an early ultrasound to date the pregnancy and there on the screen were two little blobs with two strong heartbeats around 150/155. My mom was with me because BT couldn't make it. I was suppose to go straight back to work but I drove across town and threw the ultrasound photo on the counter at his work. He was shocked and excited. We called everyone. Everyone was thrilled. Twins!

We got a pregnancy book on twins. And in the book it mentioned Vanishing Twin Syndrome, when one fetus doesn't make it and suddenly "disappears" or is miscarried and reabsorbed. Suddenly I was afraid and obsessed with this. They both had good heartbeats so BT keep reassuring me. But at 10 weeks one day I was spotting and cramping lightly. This is often normal in pregnancy but I worried. We went out of town for the weekend and when we came back it had continued so I called the doctor and went in for an ultrasound to check. I called BT to go but it took him too long to come so I did the ultrasound alone. There was one strong heartbeat but two blobs still on the screen. One was gone. I cried so hard. I apologized. I was just so so sorry. It was nobody's fault and no way to prevent it. It didn't make it any easier.

So I went home. BT called our moms. I tried to tell my mom but there was no way. I stayed home an extra day. It should have been longer but I still had one to take care of, one that I would have to go on maternity leave for later. Everyone was sorry for me but still the circulation supervisor said the stupidest thing. She said she was sorry but at least I still had one. It's true that I was lucky to still have one baby. Maybe I was being greedy but I wanted them both. Maybe that's just not something you say to someone who has just experienced a loss.

I still think about this from time to time. I look at Bub and I think that there could have been two of him. I think I'm the only one who remembers the little lost twin. Most days I do feel lucky. I have a beautiful healthy boy. If I had twins, I never would have gotten Button. Things work out how that should. It doesn't make it less painful at the time. While I've never experience a total miscarriage, I can say that it is hard to lose that potential, that hope for the future. Loss is hard in any form, even when it is a small one.

Monday, October 29, 2012

MOOOOOOOOOO

A co-worker asked if I was still doing that while I cleaned the parts to my breast pump. "Yep," I said enthusiastically. "Going to for as long as I can," I said cheerfully. I don't think that is the reaction she were looking for. Because if she was looking for me to admit I am getting tired of it, she can keep looking. Yes, I get tired of hooking myself to a machine and feeling like a dairy cow, but I do it for baby girl because I want her to have the best. So MOOOOOOO and no I'm not ready to quit.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Beat out by the damn dog

Bub's first word was "Dada" as it most often it is with babies. His second word was "Java" and then "Mama" came third. I like to joke that I grew him, birthed him and nurtured him but he still said the dog's name first. It is actually fitting given how much he loves the dog. I'm sure if we had Kona then his name would have been up in there.

So Button is beginning to say words. Her first word was "Hi" complete with the arm motion for a wave. Then came "Dada" while looking directly at BT. And then just the other night she was sitting in her highchair when she said "Java" so clearly that he got up out of his bed and went to her. Yet no "Mamas." There goes my chance at ever being a first word. Beat out by the damn dog again!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

8 years

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary. And as of yesterday we have been together for 14 years altogether. I feel like this is quite an accomplishment. It hasn't been easy and there were some extremely rough points throughout. But there was never really an option of not being together. Well, I guess there was the option but neither one of us wanted to take it. From almost the minute I meet BT we just were. And I like to think that we will always just be.

My father-in-law likes to say that I can't count the first 6 years. I guess in his head the clock starts over when you say "I do." But those 6 years were important. We figured out a lot of things between us in those 6 years and got through some of our hardest times. So those years were important and I will always count them.

One of our hardest times after we were married came when we became parents for the first time. That is a difficult stage, maybe not for everyone, but it was for us. It was one of the few times I wasn't sure we were going to make it. But we did and we learned how to be good parents for Bub and how to do it together as a team and, in the end, that too made us a better couple.

Just this morning we were having a conversation about how different people are when they are 20 versus 34. How when you are 20 it's easy to take things for granted and to not know the value of something. How BT takes his schoolwork more seriously now than he did when he was 20. It's amazing really to me to think about who he was when we first meet compared to him now. 20 really is awfully young to find the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with but that is what happened. We've grown up together and make plenty of mistakes together. We've also made 2 babies and bought a house and keep 2 dogs and made so many happy memories together. I hope that we continue to find more happiness in each other. I cannot imagine it any other way.

Monday, October 22, 2012

TMI: Pumping routine

You can file this under TMI if you want, but the other day I was reading a blog post about essential equipment for pumping. Luckily this isn't my first rodeo for pumping. I pumped in a supply closet at my old work for 8 months for Bub and I do it all over again for Button but thankfully I have my own office this time around. It took a while to establish a good and fast routine the first time and for the most part I've kept to the same routine this time around. I was and am always interested in how other women handle this routine so I thought I'd share.

I only pumped at work twice, around 10 and 2. But, at this point, I have about an hour window either way if I have a meeting or can't stop what I am doing. 2:00 works best because that way I have milk for Button when I get home but I'm not full to the brim. I still have the pump I bought for Bub, a Medela Pump-in-Style, the first generation, not an Advanced. So it's not the most high tech on the market but it has held up really well, only giving me a few problems lately that have been fixable. I'd recommend Medela because of this. This pump is well over 6 years old and should serve me the next 6 months (*fingers crossed*).  I kept in my closet all these years so I think that contributed to its extended life. I also invested in a hands-free bra, something I did not have the first time and wished I did. It is a must have and it has makes things much easier.

My day starts at 5:45 a.m. I get Button and nurse her but she almost always only does one side. Just enough to put something in her belly and make her sleep a little longer for her dad. Then while I get ready for work I pump the other side. I have enough parts to have a work set and a home set so that makes it easier too. I keep my work parts in a little bag that fits right inside my pump bag. Another convenience is having my own mini-fridge in my office. I didn't have that at my old work so I just used a drawer in the fridge in the break room. Anyway.

At work, after I pump the first time, I wipe down the parts with the Medela Quick Clean Breastpump & Accessory Wipes and store the connectors, valves, and membranes in the little bag in the fridge and the breastshields in my cabinet. The milk I combine into one bottle and that goes in the fridge as well. For the afternoon session, I reuse the empty bottle from the morning and a new one. That milk gets combined into one bottle and I wash the other bottle so it's one less thing to do at night. Everything gets steamed cleaned in the Quick Clean Micro-Steam bags and left to dry in my cabinet until work is done and it is put back in the bag. At the end of the day, the milk goes in the cooler that came with the pump along with an ice pack for the drive home. It would be fine without it but I get paranoid about my breastmilk.

After afternoon cleaning


At home I use Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags. I've honestly tried about 3 or 4 brands of storage bags and these are the ones that have held up every time. They feel secure and not cheap like some brands and they double seal. And the people who warm up the milk (aka her dad, my mom and sister) have never had a problem with them. She gets the fresh milk from the day before and some of the frozen I have saved up. And lately I've been using some baby food jars (that a friend gave me) to save the 2 to 3 ounces I pump in the mornings for her sippy cups so I don't have to use a bag for an amount she doesn't drink from a bottle anymore.

So in summary:
Things I need are the pump (obviously) and micro-steam bags and the Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags. A roll of paper towels and tissue are also handy to keep around for clean up any leakage.

Things I like having: the Quick Clean wipes - I can rinse out the parts or just put in the bag fridge without wiping them down if need be. I just feel like they are cleaner with the wipes though. And the hands-free bra is not a necessity but it makes things that much easier for me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The line in the sand

Today my co-worker made a thoughtless comment today about how her husband didn't want to sit next to my son at a football game. And I have to say it made me mad and it hurt my feelings. It wasn't that he didn't want to sit next to Bub. That is fine. But she said she sat between them to be the "buffer" and that is where I got mad. Not everyone has to like my kid. I get that he can be a lot. He is an endless talker and extremely energetic. I get tired of it sometimes myself. It's that she apparently felt like she had to protect her grown-up husband from the kid. Just whatever. Honestly if you are going to say negative things about my child, maybe not do it in front of his mother. I basically just shut down on her at that point and that was the end of that. Because my line in the sand will always always be my children. You don't have to like them, just kept your opinions to yourself.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dinner Time!

Button is 6 months old! Or she will be on Friday. I can't believe she is already half a year old. It goes by so quickly. She is such a good, sweet girl. She can sit up by herself, "talks" quite a lot and is reaching and grabbing for things.  In fact, last Friday we picked up some burgers after Bub's soccer practice and I was holding her on my lap as I was eating and she reached out and grabbed my burger from me and tried to stuff it in her mouth.  I thought that was a good sign she was ready for solids.

I'd heard about a method for teaching babies self-feeding called Baby Led Weaning and had read the book and I knew that is what I wanted to do for Button. For Bub we did the traditional purees and while it was fine it wasn't that much fun and really it only lasted til he was 8 months when he started eating table food. Button is older than he was and she has been avidly watching us eat for about a month now, making the chewing motions. She thinks she is a big girl, wanting to be up there with her brother. So I gave her some bread from my bun and she had a good time getting it into her mouth. Since then she has had cornbread, potatoes, broccoli, snap peas, cauliflower, cucumber and even some alligator sausage! She doesn't eat all of it. Some of it she just sucks on or gnaws on. Last night she had chicken and baby corn and got quite a bit of it down. Her little eyes light up when I put food on her tray and reaches and grabs. It is quite a bit of fun to watch. I am enjoying watching her explore food in a way I never did when Bub started solids. I've had a couple of naysayers but in the end she is having a good time eating, she is working on her hand/eye/mouth skills and generally it has been a good experience so far.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mother and Daughter



BT also took this picture. I wanted one to match a maternity picture that was taken of Bub and I looking into the water in silhouette but he wouldn't stand still for it and wandered off so it is just Button and I. We will have to try again later. But it turned out to be a lovely picture.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Father and son



I love this collage. I didn't take the pictures but I made the collage. BT was trying to do a self-portrait silhouette and Bub walked into the picture. It makes for a sweet picture. My fellas.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

On being good

This year has resulted in a lot of changes. Clearly the biggest one has been the new addition to the family. But starting in late February we had to remove Bub from the daycare he had been going to for 4 years because of the preschool teacher. So BT started working nights to keep Bub during the day. And then I had Button and Bub stayed home with the two of us. This was not the most stimulating of times for him. I pretty much left him to his own devices while I was dealing with the newborn. When I went back to work Bub started at a summer camp near our house which was good for him. He got out of the house, played with kids his own age and got to go on field trips. I think he missed his old life though and playing with the friends that he has known since he was one year old and seeing his dad every night. He has always been a child who likes familiarity and doesn't like change. He also likes structure and schedules but at the same time will try to get away with everything I let him.

He is not doing well in kindergarten, another big change for the family and a huge change for him. He won't be quiet and sit still, he keeps drawing on his papers (something that aggravates his teacher) and he plays around all the time. I am at a loss right now. I really don't want him to be that kid. I know that it is the beginning of the year and they have only had one full week since last week was interrupted by a hurricane. But the lack of good behavior has me worried and is resulting in more changes. No more TV after I get home, early bedtime, no video games if there is a bad report from school. I am trying everything I can. I know that he will catch on though. His pre-k teacher when he was 3 had a good behavior system in place and he responded well to it. I think it has been so long since he has had any structure that it is hard on him.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oh, the places you'll... never mind

So there are all these neat ideas on Pinterest of stuff do for your child as keepsakes. One of my favorites is the book where you get all the teachers to sign over the years and then you give as a gift when they graduate. Now I wonder how many poor kindergarten teachers are going to be inundated with "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" this year to sign. And I wonder through the years how many well-meaning moms will lose or misplace the book or just give up in the middle. I would probably be one of those moms. I have come to accept that flaw in myself that I get bored with long term projects. Still I'm hoping to keep up the first day of school project at least. That one should be a given. I think it is cute that so many people are of the I'm going to do that! varieties. I just feel for the teachers.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Great Food Truck Race

It's not really a secret amongst my family and friends how much I love food trucks. Sadly there is only one in my town but luckily it is just awesome. Anyway, I had never saw an episode of The Great Food Truck Race before but I have been watching Cupcake Wars steadily and they have been advertising it. So I settled down the other day and watched it with Button. The show has eight teams competing for a cash prize. This year the twist is that none of the teams have any food truck experience. They just have the concept. So the winner gets $50,000 and to keep the food truck.  The teams are:
Barbie Babes - cooking Australian BBQ. They were behind the entire episode and I really wanted them to go home first. But they slid by.
Coast of Atlanta -cooking seafood. One of the ladies was quite rude and I wasn't really invested in them either.
Momma's Grizzly Grub - cookin comfort food pasta. No real feelings on them.
Nonna's Kitchenette - cooking their nonnas’ Italian dishes. They seemed ok.
Pizza Mike's - cooking pizza. These guy's were pretty cool and I hope they make it far.
Pop-A-Waffle - cooking waffles. Now I love a waffle truck but I'm not sure about the food they were serving. Also I really wanted the one to quit waving that flag around.
Seoul Sausage - cooking Korean-style sausages. I liked these guys and I have a feeling they will be around a while.
Under the Crust - cooking savory and sweet mini-pies. The main chef had a really sad story and I wanted them to stick around another episode just so she wouldn't have to go home first. Unfortunately they made the least amount of money so they had to go home.

The first episode consisted mainly of the teams learning their food trucks and figuring how to cook, price and sell from them.The Seoul Sausage and the Pizza Mike's guys have been cooking together as a business for a while and that was to their advantage. The Barbie Babes were just terrible and they just couldn't pull themselves together but they were more aggressive in selling and I think Under the Crust priced too low so that is why they came in last and Barbie Babes squeaked by.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Yummy Things

Yesterday I decided we needed some snacks at our house being that we are woefully lacking.  I've made these No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars before and I always have trouble with them crumbling even with the changes noted on the recipe.  C'est la vie.  They are still good.  Now my husband loves the cheap Sunbelt chocolate chip granola bars. He thinks partly because they have coconut in them.  So this time I bought some shredded coconut and added about 1/4 cup of that along with the other dry ingredients. I also threw in a handful of chocolate chips (I use the mini-chips) into the dry ingredients. Doing this will make some of the chocolate melt. Not a problem for me but if you want to have chips then you might want to want til after you pour your hot liquid.  I added a handful of chips to the top of the granola bars and put it into an 8x8 pan. They still didn't stick like they are suppose to but are still delicious to eat. I also found out this morning that it is good to eat in a bowl with milk.

Chocolate Chip Granola


The other yummy thing I made was chocolate peanut butter popcorn.  This was very simple. I just melted about a 1/4 of cup of chocolate chips til smooth and then added a tablespoon of peanut butter to the chocolate then poured it over the popcorn. We have an air popper popcorn bowl so I made a 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels (about 5 cups of popcorn).  It was pretty good. I wish I'd added more peanut butter. Oh and we have some chocolate jimmys so I threw some in there as well. I wished I'd had marshmallows because then I would have made s'more popcorn. Maybe that will be on my list of things to try next.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn

Friday, August 17, 2012

"Back" to Sleep

Button is mastering the art of rolling over. Exciting, I know. This morning when I went to get her for her morning meal she was on her tummy. Now she rolled over for the first time on the floor at her aunt's baby shower at the beginning of August and she has been giving a halfhearted effort ever since. But yesterday I was on the phone with BT and he said she was working hard at rolling over and she did while we were talking. Cut to this morning and she is stomach sleeping. I nursed her and put her down on her back. She immediately rolled to her side, a position she has become comfortable in lately. I peeked in at her before I left for work thinking she would be on her stomach, but no she was still on her side. Then I got a text from BT this morning saying he found her on her tummy too.

I was telling a co-worker about it (she has a 6 month old) and I said that in all the pre-baby classes, they emphasize "back to sleep," putting your baby to sleep on their back. It's a big deal. But they never address the fact that the baby will one day learn to roll over and parents will never be able to keep them on their backs. When my co-worker's son start rolling over I told her not to freak out the first time she sees him asleep on his stomach. She did a little but that's normal. I did when I had Bub. I was so worried because it had been drilled into me "BACK to sleep." But once babies are able, of course they want to make themselves comfortable. So this morning I put my hand down on her to let her know I was there before I picked her up and to check to make sure she was still breathing (paranoia is not something that will ever leave me) and I found myself touching her bottom instead of her stomach. She lifted her head, turned it, sighed and settle back down. I patted her and then picked her and feed her.

So now begins a new phase in our lives where she won't stay exactly where we put her. Mobility is going to be achieved soon. It's both a good thing and bad thing. But at least now she can make herself comfortable when she sleeps.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Big day!

So today was a big day at our house, specifically for Bub. It was his first day of kindergarten! I got up early and made his favorite muffin waffles for breakfast. We got a few pictures and then it was time to take him to school. I expected to cry but I only got a little emotional when his teacher hugged him and when we were leaving. We got there, found his classroom and meet his teacher. She had us put his stuff away and we looked around a little and then BT and I left him there. He said he was scared but I think he just meant nervous. There was a lot going on in the room. I really hated leaving him there but he will be fine. It's also going to be his first trip on the bus home. I can't wait to hear what he thought about it all of it though.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Photography (new hobby?)

Not that I'm looking for a new hobby but I'm feeling cheap right now. I want some great pictures of Button and Bub but just some causal ones. Later I'll have to get some of just Bub for his 6th birthday. But for now I want some of the two of them and also one of the 4 of us. But I don't feel like paying for a photographer. We have too many other things that need attention like my brakes and the dogs and the oven to spend on a photographer.

BT has taken up photography as a hobby but he just started school and so between that, watching Button in the mornings and working at night he doesn't have a lot of time for it now. He is really good with landscapes but doesn't really have the patience for working with the Boy. I am better at that. So I guess I will have to study up on lighting and camera setting and give it a try myself. Now where I am going to find that time?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Advice for new moms

I have a few ladies in my life who are currently pregnant with their first babies. I have a few friends who have recently had their first babies. Occasionally I get asked about this and that because I am on my second baby so I have some experience with this whole thing. I will say that the second time  baby care is easier because you (mostly) remember the things you are suppose to do. Time management is another story. Anyway, I was thinking about what kind of advice I'd really give to a new mom. There are a lot of things I could say. I have opinions on most everything. But really my advice comes down to two things:

This is only applicable to breastfeeding moms. If you don't want to breastfeed, then don't. It will be fine, your baby will be fine, you will be fine.

1. There is a good chance that breastfeeding (especially the first time) will hurt at first. And don't let anyone tell you differently. Hell, it hurt the second time, but not as bad.

With Bub it hurt about 2 weeks but a lot of that had to do with a late milk supply. So he'd nurse forever but without getting very much. My milk didn't come til around day 7. He was starving and he was supplemented for a while. Because he was hungry and there was nothing there he'd suck and suck and the friction and strong suck just killed my nipples. He also got thrush which didn't help. With Button, my milk came right away, but I still got really sore and cracked nipples. It's just something your body has to get use to. Plus she had a lazy latch when she got sleepy and we had to work to correct that.

My point is that breastfeeding does not come easily to everyone and even when it does there still can be problems. If this is a priority make sure you try whatever you can to fix it. If you have to give up do not feel like a failure.  While breast is best, it is luckily not the only food available. Happy moms have happier babies and if feeding time is filling you with dread than it is not good for either of you.

2. This is your baby, not your mom's or your mother-in-law's. Yours and your partner's (if you have one). So while it is helpful to hear what has worked for others it doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. There are things that most babies like in general but not all babies. Most people like cupcakes, some don't. Babies are the same.  Button is completely different from Bub so I've had to work out new tricks with her.

Relatives mean well for the most part but when it is suddenly your job to take of a new little person, it is hard when they seem to be up in your face all the time pointing out what it feels like you are doing wrong. Those relative do genuinely care for you and your baby. They just can't seem to understand that you are actually old enough to care for an infant yourself.
Also older relatives like to say things like Well, in my day, we used X baby thing and it didn't kill you. Well, you know what? Science, ok. Maybe sometime in the last 30 years things have become more advanced. Perhaps a reduced rate of infant mortality can be explained by the use of, let's say, car seats as well as many other wonderful baby safety items. Just because your kids made it out alive and with all ten fingers doesn't mean a rocking horse on a giant spring is a good idea.

Don't be afraid to stand up and say this is my baby, thank you for caring but I will take care of him/her in the best way I know how. The truth is you know your baby better than anyone. No one else will ever have that bond so you will know what to do whatever may come.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Waffles

We got a waffle maker for Christmas last year. Well, technically we got a gift card that lead to us getting a waffle maker, but still. I love waffles and I was sad that we did not have a waffle maker. BT wanted to make chicken and waffles. You see where this is headed.

Anyway, I was on Pinterest (of course. Damn I love that site) and I saw Waffled Cinnamon Rolls. Bing! I also love cinnamon rolls. What a coincidence! My new waffle make and I were going to be best friends. Waffled cinnamon rolls are so easy and quick. I love them a lot. This has lead down a waffley and delicious road. I've tried muffin waffles which are a big hit at my house. Cookies did not turn out so well but I think that is because I used pre-made cookies. I would not recommend this. Brownie batter worked out much better though I need to thin it out a little more.

Triple Berry muffin waffles


The other day I tried biscuits and they were delicious. The first time I used Grands Flaky and dipped them in cinnamon sugar. The second time I used regular Grands biscuits and sprinkled the cinnamon sugar on top. I like how the flaky biscuits turned out but with the sprinkling rather than the dipping. I froze them and they are great heated up in the microwave in the morning.

Biscuit waffles

I've learned that pretty much all you need is a batter and it will cook in the waffle maker. I've yet to try cake batter in the waffle maker but guess what is next up in my waffle experimentation. I think you can guess.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Moments

The important thing is to remember that this moment will not last forever. And that goes in both directions. When someone is being unreasonable, doesn't want to listen or behavior, or go to bed/sleep/take a bath, that moment won't last forever. Eventually that someone will become reasonable and do the things I want them to do. When Button refused to sleep in her crib and cried and cried, I reminded myself that this moment won't last forever and she will sleep in her crib with no problems. It happened with Bub, it will happen with her. When Bub is being a pain and not eating his food, I remind myself that this moment won't last forever and he will eat his food and he will grow and he will be ok. The way I get past bad moments is to remind myself that it won't be this way forever, just right now.

The flip side and the sadder side is that these moment won't last forever. She won't snuggle into me, sighing after nursing, falling asleep satisfied. He won't sit on my lap and tell me I'm the best mom and give me Eskimo kisses. She won't look at him like he is the best thing she's ever seen and he won't look at her with pride forever. I won't get these moments back. So I'm trying to pay attention and remember that, these moments, they don't last forever either. But there are new and wonderful moments coming up that I am not prepared for and I hope that I appreciate them then like I appreciate the ones now.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Nursing in Public

Now I am a big believer in breastfeeding, obviously. But I have a harder time with nursing in public. It's not something I do a lot and never without a cover. I don't have a problem with those who can nurse without a cover. That doesn't bother me though I know it bothers a lot of people. But whatever, gotta feed the baby. Usually the only time I nurse in front of others is at my parent's or my in-law's. Both sets of parents are supportive. But I always use a cover even at their houses. I remember with Bub at my in-law's house I would go upstairs every time and after a while I began to feel isolated. I wanted to be in the company of other people and watch whatever they were watching. So I asked BT if they would mind. No, he said, they won't care. And they never did. Never even blinked. It is very nice to have parents who are supportive especially knowing that a lot of people's mothers or mothers-in-law give them a hard time.

This weekend I went to a baby shower and I knew that Button was going to need to be fed. I thought ok, I am going to be in a room full of people I mostly don't know. But I am fairly good at getting her under a blanket and nursing without it being a big deal. But yeah, she was not quiet about the whole thing and so I don't think it went as well as I hoped it would. I'm pretty sure I flashed the left side of the room when she flailed under the blanket. And it was so hot in there that the second time I tried nursing her she got really mad because she got hot. I hate making people uncomfortable so I hope they were all understanding. No one said anything to me. I'm sure it was fine. I just don't like being so awkward about something that is perfectly natural. And that it is my own hang-up. I need to get over that.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

6 Layer S'mores Cake AKA the Death Cake

Yet another Pinterest creation. This comes from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body. She calls it the Ultimate S'More Anniversary cake and her version has 7 layers and is much prettier. BT requested this for his birthday after seeing it on Pinterest. Yes my diabetic husband wanted this delicious monstrosity for his birthday and so I complied. It is suppose to have 2 layers of brownie, 2 layers of cheesecake, 2 layers of cookie, a graham crackers layer plus marshmallow frosting and chocolate frosting. I only have one springboard pan so I made only one cheesecake but I used the entire recipe so it wasn't like the cheesecake was halved or anything. And while the recipe called for everything to be made from scratch I don't have that kind of time on my hands or anything so the only from scratch in this thing is the cheesecake. Still it was all kinds of delicious. I used a triple chocolate chocolate frosting in the middle and whipped frosting on the outside. I'm pretty pleased with how it tasted though I will never make it again. It is so good yet I found myself losing the will to live half way through a piece. It was just so very very much, very decadent. I know that I'm not selling it here but if you have the time and the inclination I recommend making it at least once.  Because you have never experience any like this cake.


My version

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bean sock

Button was an excellent sleeper as a newborn because that is all she basically did. I was amazed though because Bub never slept when he was a newborn. Too nosy. Anyway, around mid-June (2 1/2 months old) when we were visiting my in-laws, I put Button down in the playyard bassinet area and she slept all night in it. Amazing considering up to that point she'd only ever slept in her swing all night. So when we got home I tried her in her crib and she slept in it all night. This went on for about two weeks. And then she suddenly decided that no, she was not going to sleep in her crib anymore. After a few weeks of back and forth and relying on the swing, I started to try new things.

Luckily I came across this pin for a baby snuggler and a light went off. Maybe when I lay her down the coolness of her sheets was part of the reason she was waking up. So I've started warming a blanket in the dryer and laying it in her crib. And I gave up one of my knee socks to the cause. I bought some cheap white beans and filled the sock. I warm it up in the microwave for one minute and put it in her crib. So far about 5 minutes after I have done this I've laid her down (taking the blanket out obviously) and putting the sock right next to her. Monday, the first night, she was sound asleep and only made a few snuggling down sounds. Tuesday she was awake but very sleepy. She let out a few protest cries but then settled down to sleep and didn't wake up at all. Both nights I took the sock out about 15-20 minutes after she was asleep and she didn't wake up. I think she just needed a little extra warmth to fall asleep and maybe the sock feels more like a warm body. Babies do like to sleep next to someone. Now I can go to sleep at a decent hour. Who knew a sock full of beans would make a difference in my life?

The sock in question. I realized later that I picked a four leaf clover sock. Maybe I was hoping it would be my lucky charm.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

21 days followup

So I wrote at length about my 21 days to form a healthy habit. I'm happy to say I stuck it out for the most part. And then I decided to take up running. Did that like twice and quit everything all together. It's too hot right now for outdoor activities at least for me. I'm going to try again in September. Anyway, I got sick around mid-July and I realized that I am pushing myself too far. Right now I'm trying to get up at 5 a.m., nurse the baby, pump, work out, and then get myself and Bub ready for the day. I think that is why I got sick and I realized as much as I want to be skinny, I need to stay healthy in order to take care of my kids and in order to work out. A sick mommy is nobody's friend. So I decided to take a couple of weeks off of working out, figure out how to get Button asleep earlier without a lot of drama, and get to a better rested place in my life. It looks like next week I'll be able to start again. Though weirdly enough I have lost a little weight since I started getting more rest.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ready to Pop baby shower

My sister-in-law, BT's younger sister, is due to have a  baby late September so this weekend her mom and I threw her a baby shower with a "Ready to Pop" popcorn theme. Let me tell you Pinterst is really my best friend now.

We based the whole thing off of these invitations which we thought were so cute.


I thought a popcorn buffet with four different types of popcorn would be cute. There is a Popcorn Bistro nearby where three of the four popcorn flavors were bought. We had cheese, rainbow, cinnamon toast crunch and white chocolate with M&Ms. I found popcorn tubs at the dollar store and made a matching label for each flavor.

Popcorn Buffet


I also made diaper bouquets in popcorn cups for centerpieces. I got the idea after seeing this pin and thinking that it is really cute. I bought newborn size Target brand diapers since I knew the bouquets would be small and also they are the only all white diapers that I know of in a decent brand. I rolled them up and tied them with clear elastics and inserted a wooden skewer. Then I put a piece of floral foam in the popcorn cup and arrange the diaper "flowers." I added some metallic tissue paper around to cover up the skewers and to make it look pretty. I love the way they turned out.

Close-up of Diaper Bouquet


My mother-in-law made diaper wreath for the front door which turned out really cute. I'm not sure what tutorial she used but the basic idea is here and it turned out really cute. She used size 2 diapers so the new mommy doesn't have to take it apart right away.

Diaper Wreath


Food wise, we had a sandwich tray, brie tartlets, bacon wrapped cocktail weenies, a fruit salad, a very cute shower cake made to match and a popcorn cake. My MIL made some baby cake pops too. For drinks, we had mimosa punch and a non-alcoholic raspberry punch along with the usual sodas.  It was all very good.

Dessert Table

We  hung garland made of baby onesies, socks and a pair of bloomers from the mantle for decoration in the present opening/gathering area. I customized plain white 0-3 sized onesies with designs that I thought the guest of honor would like: an elephant, a cupcake, an airplane (the dad-to-be is a pilot) and the baby's first initial A. I used some of the patterns along with the how to instructions from this DIY onesie party and found the pattern for the plane on google images. There wasn't any good red/yellow fabric in a fabric bundle so I got a pink/green bundle instead figuring that it would be cute on a new baby.

Onesie clothesline "garland"

We didn't do many games. Just present bingo (my favorite) and an envelope pull. Just have each guest write their name and address on a thank you card envelope and pull a winner out of a basket. That way the mommy-to-be doesn't have to address all those envelopes and it makes for a fun quick game. Prizes for this shower were some popcorn cups with shaker of popcorn seasoning. Favors for the shower were microwave popcorn bags with a Ready to Pop wrapper (similar to these). I made a matching Wishes for Baby card for everyone to fill out which will hopefully be a sentimental keepsake.

All in all, I am happy with how it turned out. I think everyone had a good time and it was really cute.

And check out the mommy-to-be's blog Hot Shot Mama for her take on pregnancy and prepping for a new baby.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Day 6-8 in which I embark on utter madness

Day 6 and 7 - Ah, the weekends. My downfall always. I didn't do any exercise unless you count cleaning the house (hint: I do). I did do some shopping and walking around on Saturday and then cleaned on Sunday. Mopping is hard work, okay? I bought an armband so I could embark on my new obession, the Couch to 5K program. I also downloaded a podcast that keeps the time for you, provides the right beats per minutes and also has cues to alert you when it is time to switch from running to walking and vice versa. That lead to ...

Day 8 - I got up at 5:15, nurse the baby girl, pumped and then got dressed. So I made it out of the house at 5:50. I really have got to get up exactly at 5:00 to start this routine. Anyway, I did it. I did the first day of C25K and I am so happy with myself. I mean I sweated forever even after my shower and my legs and butt and arms (for some reason) are hurting. But it felt good to do something beyond my normal. It wasn't too bad in the morning because the sun is not fully up but it still got hot out there. Running is so not my thing but they say you start to like it after a while. I am not convinced of this fact, but everyone has to start somewhere. I'm thinking of taking the big dog out with me. He'd like the running and being outside. Anyway I'm starting at 3 days a week so tomorrow will be an off day. Rather than taking the day completely off I might do some Pilates for stretching and low impact exercise. Regardless I'm chalking today up as a good job done. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 5

So I did a 20 minute WAtP this morning. That was good. Then I stopped at Starbucks and made a great breakfast choice of their spinach feta wrap with egg white. And made a horrible choice in drinks. You know when you do something and then immediately regret it. Yeah that was me. Better choices. That is going to be one of my challenges. I know what I should get but I don't always get it. I need to work on that. Weight Watchers was good at getting me to make the right choices. There is something about the points system that makes me want to do the right thing because I hated wasting points on something stupid. You'd think that would translate the same when counting calories but my mind doesn't think about it in the same way.  Plus I find 5 points for something is easier for me to compute than 300 calories. So next goal is to get onto Weight Watchers. I just need to establish a workout routine before I start that.

This morning a friend posted about the Color Run which looks really interesting to me. Apparently you run or walk this 5k and at intervals you get blasted with color so by the finish line you are rainbow colored and then there is a big party. This actually looks fun to me! And they will be in New Orleans in November. I would love to do this but I don't know if it will work out being so close to Thanksgiving and all. Something to think about. But this lead me down the internet road to the Couch to 5k program. I've heard of it before and know some people who have done it. But I never liked running so I didn't look into it. Now I'm seriously considering trying it. It use to be that I couldn't leave the house in the mornings since I couldn't leave my son alone and I wasn't going to wake him up. That's why my primary exercise routines have been in the house (well, that and it is crazy hot). But BT is home in the mornings now so nothing is stopping me from going outside (except the heat). So I am giving the C25K some thought. Maybe after these 21 days are up. Maybe before. We will see.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 2,3,4

Day 2 - I got up and worked out for 25 minutes. I ate fairly well and managed around 4 veggie/fruit servings. Not great but have to start somewhere.

Day 3- Did not get up and exercise. Instead I decided to lay down while I nursed the baby girl (Button). This is a mistake I knew I was making when I did it because I will very often drift off while she is eating and lose 10-15 minutes. But it is just so nice to be with her. I meant to make it up during the day but I didn't. I ate really badly too and had soda. So this day was a wash.

Day 4 - Today. Did one mile of a Walk Away the Pounds video with the cool down so it was about 15-18 minutes. Eating has been pretty healthy and I didn't mark it down but I'm willing to bet that I haven't got my calories in today. Drank all water with the exception of a hot chocolate. So far around 3 servings of fruit/veggies and some good fiber.

I'm noticing that I have a hard time doing a walk during work time. I really need to get up and at least walk around the building or something. More fruits and vegetables always and small snacks rather than large meals would be a good idea. But so far I've made it up 3 out of 4 days and that is something.

Monday, June 18, 2012

21 days

They say that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Well consider today Day 1. I am going to try and remake my workout habit in the next 21 days. I have got to do something with myself. I feel just gross. I've lost my pregnancy weight but everything is still soft and some of it isn't where it was before I got pregnant. I am over being overweight. I really want this to work this time. I only did 20 minutes or 1 1/2 miles of a Walk Away the Pounds video this morning. My goal is to shoot for 30 minutes a day even if it is broken up. Like in a few minutes I am going to go on a walk for that extra 10 minutes. I have got to get up and get moving.

I have 55 pounds to lose before I feel like I will be at an acceptable weight for my height. Ideally I'd like to lose a pound a week but they recommend nursing mothers lose 1/2 lb a week instead. Either way this is going to take me a while. I'm thinking seriously of doing Weight Watchers. I've done it in the past and had good luck with it so I might go that route again. I'm not trying to turn this blog into a weight loss blog or anything but I will be updating more often with health related posts. I need to hold myself accountable again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

TV, my lost entertainment

TV. I would actually like to watch more of it. After Lost went off I couldn't commit to anything. I started watching Once Upon a Time recently but I've fallen behind. I also have Grimm recorded but haven't watched it. I had planned on using some of my time off to get caught up but mostly we have been watching Eureka and Warehouse 13 on Netflix, two excellent shows, one of which has sadly been canceled. I generally watch what ever Bub is watching which means a lot of Power Rangers and cartoons. Mostly I have been reading. I've managed to read two or three books since I've been on maternity leave, an improvement over the last few months of pregnancy when I had trouble getting into anything. So that is probably actually better. It's just that I miss regular TV sometimes. I will have to start trying to keep up with a couple of shows.

Monday, May 14, 2012

On breastfeeding my children

I know the hot topic right now is extended breastfeeding and attachment parenting. While I have thoughts on those subjects, it basically boils down to not for me but who I am to judge those it works for. I do breastfeed though. I nursed my son til he was 10 months old and plan on nursing my daughter for at least as long but I'm shooting for 12 months with her. It was a struggle for me with my son. I had problems with my milk coming in so that by the time it did he was supplementing with formula so as not to starve. After that he was mostly fed breast milk and it was a constant worry that I wouldn't produce enough milk to feed him once I went back to work. It was pretty day-to-day sometimes with very little stored in the freezer. My original goal with him was 2 months, but then it became 6 months and then I thought I'd press on til it was time to quit. That came around 9 months. He was going to start daycare and it seemed like a good place to stop. He weaned fairly easily, something I attribute to being use to formula and I was sad to stop but worked for us both.

So far it's been so very easy with the baby girl. She was brought to me while I was in recovery and latched on right away and it's been fairly smooth sailing ever since with my milk coming in right away. She is a great nurser and we have had very few problems. I have a lot of milk stored in the freezer since she does not eat as much as her brother did and I have to pump quite often. So I'm feeling quite good about this nursing experience. I tried to explain why I like breastfeeding my children so much to my sister. I couldn't come up with much more that It's nice. There is something about knowing that I am feeding my baby the healthiest option for her and that I am the one providing her food and that I can do it myself. It is also just a nice feeling I get when I nurse her and she looks so sweet and so full afterwards. It's a feeling that can't be beat.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

So I had a baby ...

So I had a baby two weeks ago. I can't believe that it's been two weeks but there is it. She is 2 weeks old and absolutely perfect. She came via scheduled c-section so there was no surprise. When the doctor pulled her out he exclaimed "Look at those cheeks!" and then "look at the size of her chest!" and the whole time I'm thinking that I would like to see those cheeks. She was crying like a mad girl and then they bought her to me and she had the chubbiest chipmunk cheeks and she stopped crying when I talked to her and it was great. I was crying a little because she was finally here in this world and I finally finally got to see her. And it was no wonder I was in pain because she was 8 lbs. 8 oz. and 19 3/4" long. A big baby for little me.

So far so good with her. She is a good sleeper, a great nurser, and just so sweet. Bub seems to really like her and wants to hold her a lot and gives her kisses. The little dog could care less but the big dog worries over her. He reminds me of Nanny from Peter Pan. It is an adjustment having a newborn baby in the house again but she is an easy baby and very content so it hasn't been as difficult as I feared. I'm enjoying being a mother of two so far.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nursery!

Baby girl AKA Birdie's room is all done and it is super cute and very girly. I don't think of myself as a girly girl but I guess I have those tendencies. I wanted to stay away from PINK but I still picked out a bedding set that was pink. I tried to tone it down but accenting with the other colors and not focusing on the PINKness of it all. All in all I love it!


Photobucket
Crib with tree decal
Photobucket
Dresser and crib
Photobucket
Bookshelf. Love the lamp.
Photobucket
Loveseat with name sign
Photobucket
Art made by Bub for sister baby's room

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nobody panic except me

So yesterday it dawned on me that I am going to have a baby soon. Duh, you are thinking. But the truth is that you are pregnant for so long that it all seems in the distant future. I have pretty much been pregnant for my entire 33rd year. Being pregnant takes up so much energy but it becomes the norm in a way. An always changing norm, but still. But here I am at the end and I'm so very close to having this baby and no longer being pregnant but instead becoming a mother of two. A mother of two. I keep saying those words over and over along with This is my son and this is my daughter. Daughter.  It's a little crazy to me. 5 years of mothering a boy and now I'll have a girl too. And so much has been happening with the boy and so much is happening with him the week I am scheduled to have her. For one thing it's kindergarten sign-up that week and I won't be able to go. BT is going to have to sign him up which is fine. But I never thought I'd miss out on signing my baby boy up for kindergarten.

But there's going to be another one in about two weeks to care for and I won't be in any condition to go down to the school and will barely be out of the hospital and there will be a baby. A newborn. I am actually going to have another baby and get to hold her in a very short time. It's blowing my mind a little. So I just have to finish up one more work project and then I have everything ready at work. I have a few things to buy for her room but it's pretty much ready to go. Everything is ready. Now I just need to get my mind there too. But ready or not, she's a coming.

Friday, February 24, 2012

An open letter

Dear every stranger ever: 
I know that I am huge. Between the two of us, I believe that I am more aware of it than you. But thanks for pointing it out. It's what I really needed to hear as I waddle about in pain. I am 5'1" and proportionally short in all areas so there is really nowhere else for this baby to go but out. No, I am not having twins. Have you ever seen someone who was pregnant with twins? I do not look like them. So your unnecessary double take and bugged eye stare at my protruding stomach do not serve any purpose but to make me want to punch you in the face. Think about your words before you say them.
Sincerely, 
Andrea

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Remember when I was the sole occupant of my body? Those were good times.

So I'm going to have a baby soon. Very soon. In about a month. I'm trying not to freak out about taking care of a new little one and my son. Because he isn't in daycare/preschool anymore (long, dramatic story) and will be staying home with me and baby girl til I go back to work. This is going to be even more of an adjustment for all of us.  But anyway, I was just reflecting on being a mom in the hospital and how quickly the focus shifts from you to the baby. Before, when you are pregnant, everyone is all How are you? all the time in your face and concerned for your well being. Once that baby is out, you are a mere accessory to the baby. I get that people have been waiting to see this kid for a long time and they don't have the bond that you have developed over the last 9 months. Carrying another person inside of you for that long as they develop from a tiny poppy seed size cell to a full blown 8/9 lb person really creates a bond that other people can't understand. Sometimes I feel sorry for my husband because he just cannot know like I know. Also I wish I could take the belly off for a few minutes and let him carry her around while I get some relief. Wishes...horses, etc.

This pregnancy has been more painful than the last. Either I blocked it out or it is just a second pregnancy (for me) thing. I remember being uncomfortable but I am just flat out in pain this time. Hips, back, belly. It doesn't end and there is not comfort being achieved ever. I hit that third trimester and that was that. She is going to a big baby and she is a mover constantly kicking or pushing or rolling around. Little feet or little hands are everywhere. Her favorites places are my ribs or my bladder and I believe she is trying to wedge as much as herself as possible between my hip bones. She uses them as a resting place. How snuggly it can be wedged in my pelvis I don't know? But she loves it. I really could go on a length about my lack of comfort. But the thing I know is that once she is here I might get some physical relief but my level of exhaustion will rise to a degree I haven't experienced in a long, long time. I keep trying to tell myself that. At least I can get more than 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Soon that will be a pipe dream. I know this, but it is hard not to concentrate on the here and painful now.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"All because two people..."

"All because two people fell in love." For some reason, this phrase is starting to grate on me. I've been seeing it a lot lately since I have fallen into the world of nursery and pinterest. That coupled with my obsession with babycenter.com makes it pretty clear that that is not how every baby is created. It's more like "all because two people decide to have the sex." It is preferable that the baby is born into a loving and stable household. That is not always the case. It just seems so sentimental and trite. And I'm not the sentimental type by nature. Plus now it is being kind of cliched and hackney. Not my thing at all.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Getting the nursery together

I'm pretty much in the nesting phase of pregnancy. And one thing that has been driving me crazy is the fact that nothing is really done in the baby's room. It's funny that I feel the need to do all of this now. But I know that once she is here I won't have the energy or the time to put into fixing up her room. But now the crib is ordered and we have bought Bub a new chest of drawers for his room and are moving his old dresser into the baby's room (after refinishing it). It takes up a lot of space in his room and it pretty much what I wanted for the baby. So it all worked out. It will just take some of BT's elbow grease to make it the right color. And the crib is lovely and I am so excited. It was on sale at Babies R Us when I went with my sister and so I got it for a great price. BT really likes it. Now we just have to wait for it to come in at the store where we live but that should be by next week.
I've gone through about 3 patterns of bedding and finally decided on one called Happi Tree. It is so cute with owls, a squirrel, and a porcupine. It's a little pinker than I wanted but the room is yellow and I am going to accent as much as I can with the other colors in the pattern. The lamp is completely adorable but I don't know I'll be getting it. I think this will all look nice with the dark wood of the furniture.


I've also been on pinterest way too much lately looking for ideas for making a name sign for her. I think I am going to do something like this but make one for each letter without the bottom part and with a bigger circle. I think I will just hang it like a canvas like in the picture.
From Project Nursery

I also just had the brilliant idea of letting Bub paint her a picture with the left-over paint that we can hang in her room so that he feels like he is apart of everything.

I'll post pictures when I get it all done in real life. I am so excited that something is finally happening in that room!