Monday, November 25, 2013

Stop the "Meaners"

Carson has a word he likes to use when someone isn't being nice. Meaner. He calls a person a "meaner" when he/she isn't being nice, doesn't do what is expected of them, etc. Today's post is about these folks...the "meaners".

As a parent we try to raise our children to be kind to others. To not pick on other kids. To NEVER. EVER. BE. A. BULLY! But how can we expect our children to behave nicely to others when we as adults can't be kind?

A few things that have occurred in our lives recently that I have been offended by. Actually, a couple even had me downright outraged! As parents we should be setting a GOOD example, not tearing each other down.  How can anyone think it is acceptable to sit at a sporting event/practice and make fun of children who are out there on the playing field pouring their little hearts into what they are doing? If you aren't afraid to use derogatory words toward a child or family while you are sitting within earshot of the parents, then I find it hard to believe that you don't act the same way around your child! But you better believe that if YOUR child was at the butt of the joke or comment that you would be offended and expect action to be taken against the other parent or child who committed the offense. Some of us actually can see through your "holier than thou" charade you put on. And then there's the ones who are right there with you, acting like a child and being disrespectful to others with you! Unacceptable. Especially as parents!

As parents we are supposed to be teaching our children respect for others, for their peers, for their elders. I'm not saying I'm perfect, never have been, and never will be, nor do I claim to be. HOWEVER, I do try my hardest to not be judgmental and if I do think something about someone, I sure as heck don't say it in front of my 5 year old! 

Oh, and another thing. The mommy wars....oh will they ever stop!? Just because you stay home and another mom works, doesn't mean you don't love your children the same amount. Formula fed vs. breastfed, disposable diapers vs. cloth diapers, cosleep vs. crib sleep, CIO vs. sleep training....the list goes on and on. 

We need to be bringing our children up in a nurturing, kind environment. People wonder why kids are so mean and why they often treat other bad, are bullies, or commit crime against others. WAKE UP PARENTS! You are raising them to be that way. Until we change our ways as adults and start to care for each other, our children will continue to follow by our example. Children are little sponges and soak up everything we do, good and bad. We have to be the change we want to see in our children. We have to be nice to other parents. Don't break them down, help build them up!

So I invite you to stand up to the bullies with me. STOP the "MEANERS"!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

It just keeps piling on...



I’ve been pondering this post for quite a while now. Finally, I’ve decided I need to just let it out. Again, as I’ve said in the past, this blog is MY space. MY place to bitch, whine, moan, brag, and share.  Lately, life has been running at a sprinter’s pace and I can’t keep up with it. Balance…that’s what I need. I have none right now and I can feel the pressure it is putting on me. On my family.  Everything is so piled up on me and I feel like the more I try to climb above it, the more that gets dropped on my head. Anxiety is through the roof for me, and I don’t like it one bit!

Work life?  Well, simply put, work is insanely busy this time of year. Add that to being down a couple of nurses and it just quadruples the stress level of it. 

Home life? Well that’s a whole other thing! Carson’s behavior has been less than stellar.  He argues with us constantly, back talks like nobody’s business, and has unpredictable, impulsive outbursts.  He’s often getting notes sent home from school….seriously, it’s an almost every day occurrence. I swear his teacher has it out for him! Most the time the notes are for stupid crap like “he said he didn’t have a coat but he did. He lied to me so he had to “pull-a-card” resulting in this note home.” In his defense, he had a zip up hooded sweatshirt on that day that he doesn’t consider a coat, but just a shirt. Momma is ready to look for a new school, that’s how ridiculous it is!  I feel horrible about it all, like I’m failing him as a mom because he’s in trouble at school. My patience is tried so much by him and I feel awful for losing my cool with him…often.

 Jonathan has been going through a rough time the past week or so.  He screams, cries and is generally unhappy from the time we get in the car to come home until the time we get up the next morning.  It’s really taking its toll on mommy.  I can’t remember the last time he slept longer than 2 hours in a stretch! I long for a time when he’s happy again and will sleep for 3-4 hours at night like he used to do.  Not going to lie. I’ve had to lay him down and walk away or hand him to Chris and walk away more than once lately. This just adds to the guilt about failing my kids and family.

Chris is busy training for his Ironman that he will compete in next year. I’m glad he’s training, but it puts a huge strain on our relationship. There are nights we see each other long enough for him to eat supper and be out the door to the gym or to the other room to get on his bicycle trainer.  By the time he finishes, I’ve wrangled the kids into the bath, got the older one’s homework done, and it’s bedtime.  I miss having my husband home. Even if it’s just to sit across the room in silence while we are watching TV, I miss him being there. Don’t get me wrong. I’m 100% supportive of his efforts, I just long for some time with just the two of us again.  I’m his biggest fan, and #1 cheerleader at his races.  I get all teary eyed with pride every time he crosses that finish line.

I know….it’s life. Deal with it, right? The problem is, I’m a “fixer” by nature. I have to fix all the problems or at least I think I do.  So what do I do? How do I fix it? I’m not sure, but I’ve got to figure something out.  Until then I will “just keep swimming, swimming, swimming” in the words of Dory.

Thanks for letting me vent…I feel a little better already!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rembering

It's funny the things that stick in your mind when you lose a loved one. The smell of their home, the dimple on their cheek, the exact moment you heard the news...That's the thing I remember the most.

The phone call.

Six years ago my only nephew went to be with God. It was a complete shock to us when God took him to be at his side.  Here's what happened, and how it has changed me forever.

My family was thrilled with excitement when we learned my brother and his wife were expecting. This baby was to be the first grandchild on both sides! He was my first nephew. They had the picture perfect, textbook pregnancy. She felt great, baby was growing and perfect. There were two wonderful baby showers held for this blessing to be. The room was ready, the clothes were washed, and the carseat in the car. All that was missing was Asa.  She started having early labor around 38 weeks, everyone was thrilled. My mom went to be there with them and was to stay there for two weeks after the baby was born.  She continued having early labor symptoms for another week. The decision was made to induce at 39 weeks due to her small size (my SIL is literall 4'11").  That day on the way to the hospital they called and told her to go back home that it was unsafe to deliver her that day due to someone else being in labor. (Red Flag #1).  They were crushed but wanted everything to go smoothly, so they headed home. Just two days later, her water broke. She went to the doctor to be checked, confirmed it was broke and headed to the hospital around 1pm. They started Pitocin to help the contractions along after she got there (Red Flag #2).  Somewhere around 9pm they put oxygen on her and told them it was because the baby's heart rate was showing some signs of distress (Red Flag #3).  My mom called and told me this, and I begged my husband to let me get in the car and drive the 4 1/2 drive to them right then. He told me to go to bed and I could leave in the morning. I had a bad feeling inside me. I knew something wasn't right.

Around 3 in the morning, the time had come to start pushing! It was so exciting for them all. They were about to meet Asa! From what my brother has told me, she pushed and pushed but he just wasn't moving down enough. They tried the vacuum a few times and each time it popped off and the doctor would say, "I think we're going to need to call Dr. XYZ".  After the third time she said this my brother sternly said to her, "If you think you're going to need to call him, then DO IT! This is my family we're talking about!"  My brother could hear his son's heart beat slowing down with every push. In a whirlwind of activity, they called a STAT C-section. They flipped my SIL over on all fours and ran her down the hallway to the OR. My brother never stepped foot in the OR with her. They put her under and the on call surgeon came in to do the C-section (HUGE red flag!).  The nurses station blinds closed to the level 2 nursery. My mom and brother asked "how are they?" at the nurses station and the only reply was, "S is fine, absolutely fine."  "What about my baby?" to which they replied "They're working on him." By the time they did the C-section, my nephew was gone. He never took a breath on his own outside his mother, he never had a heartbeat outside her either.

At 4:40 am on Wednesday, July 18, 2007, my phone rang. I answered expecting to hear "He's Here!" Instead I will NEVER forget what my mom said. Through her tears I heard "He's gone. They lost him." I clearly remember saying, "Oh my God. I'm on my way!" My husband awoke to this, I told him as I ran down the stairs, packed a bag, and got ready to go. My dad called, came to get me, and we were on our way by 5:30 am. We made record time and got there in around 3.5 hours. That was the WORST. CAR RIDE. EVER. 

We got there in time to hold him and say goodbye before the took him off to donate his organs. A week later, we buried Asa on a beautiful summer day. He rests just 4 blocks from our childhood home. Just across the creek from where we would (and still do) sled every winter.

He didn't have to die. In fact, he NEVER should've died. My nephew died because a DOCTOR who didn't feel the need to tell my brother and his wife the she couldn't do a C-section. She had had her surgical rights taken away due to past incidents!

Since his death I have made it my goal to make sure everyone I know asks their doctor if they can do a C-section before choosing them for their OB.  I'm on a mission to make sure this doesn't happen to another unexpecting couple. ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS! If your OB won't give you an answer, find a new one! Please let my nephew's death be the trigger to ask your doctor if he/she can do a C-section if an emergency arises.

In Loving Memory of Asa Johnpatrick
July 18, 2007
 
Fly high my little man. Watch over our family until we can hold you again! Auntie Becky misses you!


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Second Time Around: 4.5 month update

Well here we are at just over 4 months since Jonathan was born. I would love to sit here and say, "Look at us! We are still succeeding!" But sadly, that is not the case.

As I mentioned in my last post, I was having difficulty finding time to pump at work.  Well those difficulties increased and my milk supply dropped even further. I was producing just 8-10 ounces a day :( Jonathan began to fuss and get agitated while nursing just before he turned four months old, around the same time I ran into issues at work.  He would nurse on both sides, then still scream for more. He would drink 3 ounces of a bottle after nursing! I knew he wasn't happy. When we went for his four month well baby visit, I told the doctor about all that was going on and that I thought he was starting to wean.  She encouraged me to keep trying, but told me if I felt it was time to stop, that that's ok too.  That day I cried on the way home from her office. I knew it was time.  I was excited that we had made it to four month, but sad that our special time was ending.  I still had some milk frozen for him to have, but it just wasn't the same.

That weekend was awful! I don't remember having near as much pain when weaning Carson. Of course, my supply never established with him though. I woke up soaked for three nights in a row while weaning, and had pain that I never imagined having. After 4 or 5 days though, it was done. I was pretty much dried up, and Jonathan was happy and content on formula.

I'm glad we got the four months that we did. I know in the long run it will (hopefully) help him be healthier, and lets face it, with the issues we've had so far, he could use a break from the doctor's office! As I've said repeatedly, any breast milk is better than none. So, four months is better than nothing!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Throwback Thursday

This is Carson when he was around 3 months old, at the pumpkin patch for the first time. I love the smile on daddy's face. This is one of my favorite pictures of them!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Four Month Update

Not sure how it is possible, but our sweet baby Jonathan is now 4 months old!



Here's the stats:

Weight: 15 lbs, 10 oz.

Length: 26 1/4 inches

Sleeping Habits: He usually sleeps from 8:30-9:00 until around 1:00am. Then he will go back to sleep until 3 or 4am.  Some nights we will get lucky and he sleeps most of the night, and doesn't wake until 3:30 or 4am.

Eating Habits:  "Chub-a-wub" is now taking 4-6 ounces of formula or "mommy milk" every 3-4 hours.  We still nurse at night, but he has decided to wean. He isn't content with mommy anymore :( (but that's another post!) This month he will get to start solids too, which will be fun!

Favorite Moment this month: Listening to Jonathan's laughter, and hearing Carson talk to him and play with him. It melts my heart :)

Other facts: This month he has officially caught up to where Carson was at this age. He actually is the exact same length, and one ounce heavier than Carson was. The biggest thing this month is Jonathan can also roll over now! He's a rolling fool, and even tries to get up and crawl/scoot across the floor now. We may be in trouble with this one!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Note

It finally happened.


Yep. This week we got a note from the teacher. *cue dramatic music* Carson's been in school for 3 years now (2 Pre-K before starting K this year), and this is his first note home. Apparently his friends weren't moving fast enough for him, so he decided to push them to get them moving. Not once, but on two separate occasions in the same day! When his teacher tried to talk to him about it after the 2nd time, he walked away from her and kicked another child's pillow! Oy!

We had a long talk last night with him and he assures daddy and I that this won't happen again. I sure hope it doesn't because the mommy guilt I had from this episode was enough to make me lose sleep. I felt like we were "those parents". You know, the ones with the kid who's a bully. I really think it happened because he was hungry. When his blood sugar drops, he gets down right mean!

Why are little boys so mean? Why does his bad day make me feel like a bad mommy?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Breastfeeding: Second Time Around 3 months?!

     Wow!

     I simply can't believe that I am sitting here writing this post. I never dreamed that I would still be breastfeeding Jonathan at 3 months. I failed so miserably last time that I didn't think it would work this time. Granted, he gets 12 -16 ounces of formula a day at the sitter's but when we are home he gets mommy milk! I've even been courageous enough to breastfeed out in public a few times now!  I love getting to hold my little guy and nurse him to sleep at night. It's special mommy time that I miss since I work.  Speaking of work, pumping while there has become tricky lately but I think I've worked out the kinks we had and now I'm back on track.

     I told you all before that my goal was 6 weeks, then 2 months....now? Well I guess I need a new goal?!  So my new goal is 4 months. That's our next well baby check and I want to talk with our pediatrician before stopping. She and her nurse are super supportive of breastfeeding. They are incredibly encouraging of my choice to breastfeed and supplement. Never once has my pediatrician told me I could only do one or the other or that I should really stop the breastfeeding and only formula feed. She respects my opinion that "any breast milk is better than none" and stands by my choice even though we have had struggles with Jonathan and reflux.  She encouraged me to exclusively breastfeed but understood that I just did not produce enough and had to supplement. She worked with me to get Jonathan's tummy troubles under control and listened to me when I told her he couldn't tolerate when I had milk products.  She's such a difference from our pediatrician we had with Carson. It's amazing how the support of breastfeeding can make or break you.

    So stay tuned for an update in a few weeks!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Updating my Bucket List

You may recall a while ago I shared my bucket list with you all. I wanted to take a chance to update it now! I've crossed something off, and added a couple more things. Here's what it looks like now:

1. Visit Europe
2. Travel to Hawaii
3. Get my bachelor's degree *I have applied for admission into a program!
4. Learn how to drive a motorcycle
5. Ride in a helicopter
6. Meet a celebrity
7. Go to Ground Zero in NYC
8. Become a community leader
9. Have a second child (this one is still up in the air)
10. Make a difference in a child's life (that is not my child)
11. Trace my family roots back as far as possible
12. See my son graduate high school, college, and get married
13. Compete in a triathlon
14. Run a 5k
15. Ride a "Tour for the Cure" race
16. Teach my child about his family members that have passed before his time
17. Fly in the cockpit of an airplane
18. Sky dive
19. Swim with the dolphins
20. Buy a bigger house
21. Get my master's degree
22. Become a certified CPR instructor
23. Plant my own garden (and actually have it grow!)
24. See the Grand Canyon
25. See the Las Vegas Strip
26. Visit Australia
27. Organize a community group
28. Visit Alaska
29. Travel to the Virgin Islands
30. Take my children to Walt Disney World
31. Introduce our boys to my husband's relatives (this may seem odd but for the most part they've honestly never met me or our boys!)
32. Achieve and Maintain my goal weight of 145 lbs.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Three Months Old

Our sweet baby Jonathan is 3 months old!
 

Here's the stats:

Weight: 14 lbs, 4 oz.

Length: 24 inches? We haven't measured this month.

Sleeping Habits: He usually sleeps from 8:30-9:00 until around 2:00am. Then is up every 2 hours until morning. He naps 20-30 minutes in a stretch, a couple of times in the morning, and then takes a long afternoon nap.

Eating Habits:  Our little piggy takes 4 ounces of formula or 'mommy milk' every 2-3 hours when away from mommy. When mommy isn't working he nurses every 2-3 hours. I can't believe we are still breast feeding at three months!

Favorite Moment this month: Jonathan has definitely found his voice. He loves to coo, babble and shriek now.

Other facts: This month Jonathan discovered that his hands are quite tasty. We can often hear him sucking on it from the back seat or his room when we can't see him. He's quite the drool factory too, so we think he may be starting to teeth.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First Day of School

Today our son started a new chapter in life. He started Kindergarten!

This morning I made him a good breakfast, spiked his hair (at his request), and we set out on our way to school. We've walked to school on the first day every year since he started Pre-K 2 years ago.  We walked the three blocks to school, and found his teacher. He got in line with his class and I waited for him to go into school. He was so brave, yet so timid. Here are some pictures from our morning.






I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little sad to see my son start his education today. I held the tears back though and was strong for my little man, well mostly anyhow! I did cry a little when he ran into the bathroom excitedly this morning, saying "Mommy I'm a big kid! I get to go to school today!" I explained to him they were happy tears and mommy was so proud of him for starting school and being such a big boy. 

This is just the beginning of a new chapter in his life. I'm sure he will do well, as long as he keeps his enthusiasm he had today for the next 13 years!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pink Daisy Nursing Pad Review

Last month I was lucky enough to make a trip to Cotton Babies retail store in St. Louis. I went in to just "look around" and walked out with $45 worth of stuff, oops!  One purchase I was eager to try out was the Pink Daisy Bamboo Nursing Pads. I was tired of buying a box of nursing pads every few days, and wanted a reusable option. I asked the staff for a recommendation of one and they were happy to help me. (Another reason why I love Cotton Babies!) They recommended the Pink Daisy Bamboo Nursing Pads. They are highly absorbant and super soft!

Here's what one looks like:

    I was so eager to start using this product because at the time I was having a lot of trouble with disposable pads keeping moisture against my skin and causing extremely sore nipples. Within the first few hours of wearing these my breasts felt better! The bamboo velour is heavenly against your skin! I did have to wear a disposable pad behind these to prevent leaking onto my bra. Despite heavy leaking, I never leaked onto the disposable pad. I wore these all day, outside in 90 degree July weather and never felt like my breasts were sweating because of them.  I have handwashed these when away from home and they did take a while to air dry, but were still soft after washing. Machine washing is simple, I just toss them in with my normal laundry and then lay them flat to dry. They could be put in the dryer but I prefer letting them air dry so I don't lose them in the dryer.

Pros:
-Very absorbant
-Soft against your skin
-Extra thin (1/8" thick maybe)
-Large diameter (5")
-Breathable
 -Discreet under clothing

Cons:
-No moisture proof backing to prevent leaks
-Long air-drying time

I have 3 pairs of these and love them! Instead of buying a 60 count box of breast pads every 3-4 days, I'm buying a box of 20 every week or two.

*I have no relationship with the manufacturer of this product or the retailer I made my purchase from. I received no compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Soft Bums Echo Review

      Last month I got a Soft Bums Echo shell and Dry Touch Pod as part of my Fluff Fairy package from Kelly's Closet.  The Fluff Fairy is a monthly subscription that you can purchase month to month and delivers a surprise new diaper and 1-3 accessories to your mailbox!  I was excited when I opened it and found a SoftBums Echo because this is a diaper we hadn't tried yet.  The Echo is a one size, AI2 diaper. It can be used with the DryTouch Pods or Bamboo Pods which snap in. The pod covers the shell perfectly, so the shell could be reusable if you had more than one pod.  The Slide-2-Size adjustable leg openings are easy to adjust and make for a perfect fit.  This diaper is designed to fit babies 5-35 pounds.  The Echo is available in hook and loop or snap closure.

      It took me a while to get around to prepping the diaper and getting it on the baby but my, oh my, was I happy when I did!  Here's the Echo on my 13 pound two month old son.

Please ignore his double chin and goofy face

Thin through the groin area to fit narrow babies

.

Snug on his tushy, but with room to grow!

       Our Echo shell is hook and loop closure and has the large DryTouch Pod. Let me just say that I was EXTREMELY pleased with this diaper! The inside of the diaper, as well as the top fleece layer of the pod are incredibly soft!  It fit Jonathan very well thanks to the Slide-2-Size system. Our large DryTouch Pod kept him dry and happy for 4 hours (he slept in this one "overnight").  When I felt the top of it, I wasn't even sure it was wet because the fleece felt so dry! I'm sure it could have stayed on longer, but I was up feeding him anyhow, so I decided to change him. We've also used this diaper during the day and had no compression leaks even with Jonathan sitting in his bouncer or car seat for extended periods of time. 

      The Echo cover retails for $21.95 on various retailer websites. The large DryTouch pod retails for $4.95.

*All opinions expressed are completely my own. I have no relationships with the manufacturer or shop which I purchased this diaper from.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Another Proud Wife Moment

Last weekend my husband and I left the kids behind and headed 4 1/2 hours north to Benton Harbor, Michigan for the weekend. It wasn't for a romantic getaway, or laying on the beautiful beach, or anything like that. Instead, we were there for my husband to compete in his first Ironman event, Ironman 70.3 Steelhead.  For those who don't know what this is, let me explain. Ironman is a grueling triathlon. The Ironman is 140.6 miles total, 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run. Yes, a full marathon is the last leg of it!  Seeing as it was his first long distance event, Chris chose to do the 70.3  This consists of 1.2 mile open water swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 (half marathon) run. He's done other triathlons before, but this is by far his longest distance yet.

We arrived in Michigan late on Friday night and went right to bed. On Saturday we got up late and headed down to "Athlete's Village" as I called it. There were tents set up with different vendors to visit. We spent a few hours there while Chris' bike got checked out for the race, and Chris got checked in for the race. The beach was beautiful! The sand was white and the waves were crashing peacefully on the shore. I could've stayed there all day as it was sunny and warm. After we checked his bike into the transition area for it's overnight stay, we headed down the shore a ways to Silver Beach. We ate at an awesome pizza place and even enjoyed a nice pear cider. (I think that may be my favorite new drink!) After eating, we set out to drive the 56 mile bike course so Chris knew what he would encounter the next day. We drove through some of the most beautiful countryside! We saw vineyards, blueberry farms, gorgeous homes, and so much more! When we finished driving the course we headed back to the hotel to rest a bit and decide where to eat supper. We ended up driving down the road a bit to a place called The Grand Mere. It was overlooking Lake Michigan, and had amazing food. We called it an early night and went back to the hotel to get some sleep.

Our Sunday started out at 3:45 am our time (Michigan was an hour ahead of us).  We got up, loaded up the gear and headed down to the race. We had to park over a mile away, but luckily in the morning they had a shuttle for us (too bad it didn't run all day!).  We got down to the race area and Chris got everything set up. Then we walked the 1.2 miles down the beach, as the sun was rising, to reach the starting line. It was so peaceful walking along the shore in the dark with the waves crashing beside us, even though there were 2000 other people walking the same direction with us.

A panoramic of the morning crowd for race kick-off

He's in that group somewhere!

At 7:52am, Chris dove in the water with his group. I made sure I rushed back to the swim finish to see him get out of the water an hour later, and then watched him in transition. I even caught a picture of him taking off on his bike!

He survived Lake Michigan!

Bye see you in three hours!

Then I waited for three nerve wracking hours for him to come back from the bike ride. He was so surprised to see me standing along the route cheering him on as he turned the next to last corner on the course. I ran down to watch him leave the transition area and take off on his run.

Then it was another 2 hours before I knew where he was. After 2 hours I stood at the finish waiting for him to cross. He never came....finally I found out I could track his progress on the Ironman website. I did that and realized he was struggling on his run and slower than he usually is. While I stood there at the finish line waiting for him, I was overcome with emotions. I honestly stood there and found myself crying.  He had come so far and trained so hard for this and now he was finally achieving his goal.  He had lost 40 pounds training for this triathlon! I quickly wiped away my tears of pride and prayed no one saw me crying. (I blamed the post partum hormones, lol)

I stood there for another hour and a half. Finally, I caught a glimpse of a green shirt coming down the "finish chute" as they called it. I knew it was him. I started cheering and got the cameras ready for his big finish. When he crossed the line I started tearing up again. I was overcome with pride and excitement for him. He set a goal, stuck with it, and now he had achieved it. I couldn't be more proud of him for this accomplishment! I love you Chris, and your dedication to your fitness and health (even if I grumble about it sometimes).

After the finish line, he got his "Finisher" Medal and Hat

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Breastfeeding and Working

     As some of you already know, I work full time. Since I work 40 hours a week, it interferes with nursing Jonathan. We haven't given up our breastfeeding though. Making it as long as we have is a HUGE accomplishment for me this time around. I was determined to keep it up as long as I can after returning to work. I've now been back to work for a month, and we are still breastfeeding! Granted, Jonathan does get some formula, and that's okay. Really.  He's been supplemented from the beginning so it's only slightly different now that I am working.  I have low production, so when I'm away from him the milk I have left for him to have from a bottle just isn't enough. I've tried Fenugreek and power pumping, but not had any luck increasing my supply.

     How do we make it work? Easy. I use my trusty companion, my Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced.  Actually, I'm on my second pump. The first one was older and quit working very well, so a couple weeks ago I took advantage of my secondary insurance coverage and got a new pump. WOW, what a difference there is! This one works much better.  How to I find time to pump during my busy client schedule? Well since I work for a health department and we are very pro-breastfeeding here, my coworkers are very understanding about when I need to take 10-15 minutes for myself. It's a law in Illinois that employers must provide you with time and a private space to express breastmilk for your infant if you are breastfeeding. Luckily, my office has a door so I can close it and hang my little "knock please" sign so that people don't just walk in while I'm getting milk for my baby.  I generally nurse Jonathan right before I get ready for work, then pump twice a day at work. When I get home at night, we resume nursing on demand. While I'm at work he will get my pumped milk as well as supplemented with formula. It works for us.

It's not always easy and I don't always have time to pump right when I need to, but I make the best of it. I'm so thankful for an understanding employer and coworkers. I'm thrilled to be able to be breastfeeding Jonathan still, and will continue to breastfeed him and work full time as long as I can. Like I've said before, any breastmilk is better than none, and I'm not afraid of formula.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Geffen Baby Fitted Review

   A few weeks ago I ordered a Geffen Baby Fitted Diaper from Lovely Eco Chic. Being new to cloth diapers, I was eager to try something different than my all-in-ones that make up the most of my diapers.  The Geffen Baby Fitted I purchased is a 100% cotton, snapless diaper. It requires a cover to be waterproof, and a snappi or pins for closure of the fitted.  Each size has a different color serged edge, for easy size recognition.  This diaper seems very thin when you first get it, however, after washing/prepping it, it does become thicker
Source: Geffen Baby

    I purchased the small for Jonathan. The small says it fits "9-15 pounds. Here he is in the diaper at around 10 pounds. (Excuse the poor job of lining up the Snappi. It was our first time using it!)

 
   As you can see, I had plenty of diaper to pull together with the snappi. In fact, the first time I put it on him the diaper was a little big around the legs. We covered it with an Incredibum cover and he wore this diaper for around 3-4 hours "overnight".


 
 
The diaper seemed to absorb the urine very well! He did not cry immediately after wetting as he usually does.  When I changed him, the back was still dry, the only wetness was in the front. It was very trim on him as well. Now that he's a little older, I find myself adding a hemp doubler in the diaper for overnight wear, but not for day time wear. This diaper still fits him well at almost 13 pounds.
 
At around $9-10 each, I feel that the Geffen Baby Fitted diapers are a good deal. I actually just purchased 2 more for our use because I liked it so much!
 
 
*I purchased this diaper on my own. All opinions expressed here are entirely mine. I was not compensated for this review, nor do I have any relationship with the manufacturer.
 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Two Months Old




Hanging out in the yard on my 2 month birthday!


Baby Jonathan is two months old already! Well, actually he was two months old LAST week, but I waited until he had his well baby check to post for everyone.

Here's the stats:

Weight: 12 pounds, 13 ounces

Length: 23 1/2 inches

Sleeping Habits:  What is sleep??? Actually he has started to get a little more sleep now that his tummy is under a little better control. He will nap in the morning (short nap), again in the afternoon (usually a long nap), then goes to "bed" around 8-9pm. He will sleep for 3-4 hours then he's up every 2 hours after that.

Eating Habits:  Nurses every 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours from the time mommy gets home from work until she leaves for work.  During the day he takes 4 ounces of breast milk or formula every 2-3 hours.

Favorite Moment this month: Jonathan has started vocalizing and smiling! His big, toothless grins whenever he sees a familiar face are wonderful.

At this point, JP is 4 ounces heavier than his brother was at 2 months, and 1 inch shorter.  I have a feeling though that JP is going to be bigger than his brother when he grows up.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Natural Parenting...well, sort of

     When we became parents for the first time, 5 years ago at the age of 24, I had no clue what "natural parenting" was. I used disposable diapers, fed my baby formula (breastfeeding failed), hugged him all the time, bought organic milk when he started on whole milk, etc.  We did what worked for us and what we could afford. My husband started college a week after baby was born, so money and family time were tight.
 
     This time around, we are older (29 & 30), and in a better place financially and emotionally.  We are making conscious decisions to help our children thrive. I didn't even realize we were "natural parenting" because we are just doing what comes naturally to us and makes sense as parents, until I was in on a Facebook chat a couple weeks ago. Here's what we do that makes us "natural parents", sort of.
 
    When I was pregnant my friend, Marie-Etta, (She's a super sweet gal with an adorable little boy), sparked my interest in using cloth diapers.  All it took was a conversation one evening and I was hooked. She made me realize how easy it could be and that I could handle it. By the next week I had purchased my first cloth diapers! Why did I choose cloth?  Well, why wouldn't you chose cloth?!? It just makes sense. It saves the environment, saves money, and is gentle on baby's bottom. Plus, cloth covered baby booty is adorable :) We only use cloth diapers in the evening and on weekends when I'm not working since my babysitter isn't comfortable with cloth, but hey, any amount of cloth we use means less disposables in the landfill!

     Marie-Etta also got me hooked on the Ergobaby baby carrier....Can I just say that I love babywearing! I love to carry my kiddos around, so being able to do so in a comfortable, ergonomically friendly carrier, is a big help with this! It brings the baby close to me so I can attend to his needs while still giving his brother attention and meeting the needs of our family (cooking, cleaning, etc.).
   
    We feed our boys wholesome foods as much as possible. Additionally, I breastfeed Jonathan. I tried so hard to breastfeed Carson, but it just didn't work for us. This time around, I'm much more successful. I'm breastfeeding him, with the encouragement and support of my husband.  While Jonathan isn't exclusively breastfed, he is primarily breastfed and only gets around 3 bottles of formula a day while I'm at work. Even when we give him a bottle, we are talking to him, loving him. When he switches to solids, I will be making a lot of his baby food.  As a family we try to eat fresh foods. It doesn't always work out that way, but most of the time at least our fruits and vegetables are fresh. We don't eat a lot of "junk" or candy. I plan to keep it this way with Jonathan, just as it is with his big brother.

    We co-sleep (Gasp!) with our baby. I know that there are people who say this is a big "no-no". We do it responsibly, and we did with Carson too. Carson was in our bed until he was almost 4....yeah it was a long 4 years!  Now, he has to have daddy lay with him every night to fall asleep in his own bed. Jonathan has a little co-sleeper that is structured, so he can't be rolled onto. He sleeps in between us at least half the night. We don't have a strict bed time for him and he doesn't cry it out. We hold him until he goes to sleep.

  
     While we aren't over the top "natural parents", we are responsibly and consciously raising our boys. We may not do all the things that natural or attachment parenting includes, but we do what works for us. What was natural and sensible to the health, well-being, and happiness of our children.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Testing Our Water

Now that I am using cloth diapers on the baby, our water quality is more important to me. Water that is too hard or too soft, can really effect the laundering of your diapers. This is important to me, as I want my "stash" to stay in tip top shape and be used and cared for with ease.  We live "in town" so our water should be good, but it's a small rural town. Needless to say, I don't really care for our municipal water.  We don't drink it, we have bottled water delivered to our home and use a water cooler.

Last week I decided to order a test strip from Kelly's Closet to see just what type of water we have at our home.  The strip cost $0.60, a bargain in my opinion! So I added a strip on to my cloth diaper order. It arrived on Tuesday of this week. By Wednesday morning, I couldn't wait any longer, so before I left for work I checked our water. Below you can see what the process was like.

 
This is what the test strip looks like when it is delivered.

 
The chart and instructions for the test.
 
 
After removing strip from package, I held it under running water for one second.


After waiting 15 seconds as the directions stated, here's our results.  It would appear that our water is between hard and very hard. 

It was a simple process that took me under a minute to complete. Now I know how to adjust my laundry routine to best care for my cloth diapers.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Our First Weeks in Cloth

A few weeks ago, I started using our cloth diaper stash on JP. I was hooked instantly! Cloth diapers are so easy to use!

Geffen Baby Fitted with a Incredibum cover


Most of our diapers are AIO (all in one) diapers. But I also have a few pocket diapers and a prefitted.  Soon I will also be trying out some prefolds with a cover too!

He was a little hungry here. He's wearing a BumGenius Freetime


I have found very quickly that I am a fan of aplix (hook and loop, velcro), especially since Jonathan has skinny legs and big belly. The aplix allows me to better adjust the fit to his body.

Soon I am going to start reviewing my stash to share my thoughts about each diaper type with you all!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Carson!

Dear Carson,

     I can't believe it's been five years since you entered this world on a hot July night. Our lives haven't been the same since!

     In the last year, you've learned to ride your bike (almost without training wheels). You've became a big brother. You graduated Pre-K, and passed your pre-kindergarten screening exams. You played your first little league game, and even played in a hockey league! Every day I am amazed by how smart you are and how you are growing into a little man. You are a smart, wonderful, and extremely loving little boy. I hope that as you continue to grow, you always keep that quality, that you care for everyone you meet.
 

Happy Birthday C-Monkey!


Friday, July 12, 2013

Our Fourth of July

Last week we had a wonderful time celebrating our freedom. The day was filled with fun, family, smiles, great memories, and laughter.  The day involved a parade, watermelon, sack races, and turtles.

 Here's a photo review of our day!


Hi everyone!

Cman in the parade
 
Trying to convince him to touch his turtle for the race

Cman got 3rd place in the sack race!




We ended the day with fireworks :)


I only hope that the memories we made last week will stick with Carson for forever. It was probably the best 4th we've had with him. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Second Time Around

   Remember my earlier post  where I said I may not breastfeed the new baby? Last time I failed my son. I didn't produce enough milk. This coupled with numerous complications we both had just ruined it for us from the start. It left me very discouraged to try it again. I felt like I couldn't do it and was a failure, so not to even try.

   A couple of weeks before JP was born, I decided to give it my best shot. "Breast is best" and I wanted him to get all the help he could. Even more so when he was born almost 3 weeks early.

   I'm happy to report that we have been successfully breastfeeding for 6 weeks! Yes, we supplement and he gets bottles when I am away (sometimes that's formula, sometimes breast milk), but from 6pm-6am, we nurse or he gets pumped milk. This is an improvement from last time around when we made it just 10 days, so I'm happy. My theory was that any breastmilk was better than none. With me returning to work this week, it will be interesting to see how long we can keep this up.

   My point of this post is that every pregnancy, every baby, is different. Just because something didn't work once, doesn't mean it won't work again. I almost didn't even try this time, but now, I am happier than ever that I did. Knowing that I can keep my baby happy and healthy makes me feel like I am helping my son succeed.

   My first goal was to make it a month, then six weeks and we did that. My next goal is to make it to 2 months, then we will make a new goal :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

6 weeks already?

So today was my first day back to work. Jonathan is now 6 weeks old. How did that happen? I swear just yesterday we were at the hospital having an unscheduled c-section!?

The last six weeks have had their ups and downs for us. JP had his first emergency room visit (and a few doctor's visits). We found out Jonathan has severe gastroesophageal reflux. He projectile vomits at least 2-3 times a day, and spits up half of every feeding. He is still eating every 2 hours due to the fact that most of every feed comes back up, so he's always hungry. JP was shrieking in pain from the reflux and the hiccups caused by said reflux, but he's currently on medication, so the shrieking is improving. This past week he even slept for 4 hours in a stretch one night. That made mama very happy! He's just started to give us an occasional smile when we interact with him, which is pretty much on the same timeline his big brother did too! As of last week he had gained over 3 pounds since birth and was up to 11lbs 4oz! He's growing so much! He's gotten longer and of course, chunkier :)  We have even started using our cloth diapers...which mommy is in love with already!



Carson started and finished his first teeball season during the past 6 weeks also. (I'll save that fun for another blog post!) He's been doing pretty good with the baby. He loves his little brother so much and it warms my heart to see the two interact. Carson has also been going to the local library's summer reading program. So far we have read 15 books to earn him, a travel pack (ziploc bag with car bingo, a pencil, tattoo, and plastic centipede?), a 6" subway sandwich, and a pass for putt-putt golf. Next week he will turn 5.  FIVE! Again, I do not know where the time has gone.



Chris has competed in 3 triathlons and a 5k in the last 4 weeks. It's been pretty hectic around our house on weekends due to this.



I've been released to start working out again and can't wait! I have set a goal to participate in a triathlon in September, and come hell or high water, I will do it!

Well, enough of my rambling for today. I will try to post more often now that I am back to work and a in a normal routine again.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Today is not only Father's Day, it is also the Birthday of my husband. The father of my children. The man I love more than anything in he world!

Chris, 

You have bloomed into a wonderful father, and positive fitness influence for our boys. I love watching you interact with our boys and especially how you talk to our baby, Jonathan. Carson loves you more than you will ever know. He idolizes you. I love the bond you have formed with him and look forward to seeing you bond with Jonathan too. Thanks for being there for our boys and for being such a great daddy to them!


Happy Father's Day! And Happy Birthday too!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Jonathan's Birth Story


On the 23rd, last Thursday, I saw my OB. I had been having blood pressure issues for a week or more, and headaches with blurred vision. Chris and I told him this, as well as about my swelling in my hands and feet. He was concerned due to my symptoms, as well as the presence of protein in my urine. These are signs of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is "diagnosed by the elevation of the expectant mother’s blood pressure usually after the twentieth week of pregnancy combined with the appearance of excessive protein in her urine." according to www.preeclampsia.org. Dr. H was concerned that we may need to deliver the baby now. He said it was ok since I was 37 weeks, but he needed to make sure it was medically necessary before we took any action.

We left that appointment with orders to go straight to Labor & Delivery for monitoring of my blood pressure, lab work, and monitoring of baby, knowing it was possible we would have a baby that night. When we got there, I was having contractions every 90 seconds, my blood pressure was high, my urine had protein in it, and my reflexes were abnormal.  (We found out later that our nurse was actually concerned that I would have a seizure and had everything ready for an emergency c-section!) We were told to expect staying for 24 hours for a 24 hour total protein in my urine.  A few hours later when they were finally able to get a hold of my doctor. He said to send me home with the stuff to do the 24 hours urine test at home, and orders to not go to work in the morning. My blood pressures were still high, my vision blurred, and I felt awful.

Friday evening I dropped off urine jugs, and waited for the doctor to call. 10:00 that night rolled around and I felt even worse. I called my OB...He was gone and not on call. They transferred me to the on call OB. I told his answering service my symptoms and that I had just turned in a 24 hour urine. They passed this info on to Dr. M, immediately got back on the phone and told me to go directly to the hospital and asked which hospital I would be going to.

We dropped of Carson at my parents, and headed for the hospital.  When we arrived to the hospital at 11:40, they were waiting for us on labor and delivery.  They doctor had called ahead and spoke with them about me. Within 15 minutes, I was hooked up to the fetal monitor, blood pressure monitor, and they were drawing labwork.  My first blood pressure there was 175/100! Within another 10 minutes, I had an IV of magnesium sulfate to bring my blood pressure down. That stuff stinks! It makes you feel flushed all over and makes you want to drink non-stop. I wasn't allowed to drink water or even have ice chips as there was concern we would be having an emergency C-section.  By 1:00am, we were told my labs were worsening.  My total protein was over 1800 (it should be under 300). My platelets were dropping, my hemoglobin was dropping and my blood pressure was still too high.

CUE ANXIETY NOW!

My friend who is a nurse at the hospital we go to came in and gave us the news.   We were going to be having a C-section at 7am. The doctor on call was not happy with my labs from Thursday and was even less pleased with the labs from Friday night. He decided it was time to have this baby and stop the preeclampsia before it causes permanent damage.  I was ready to have the baby and feel better, yet I started crying.  I think this is the point that Chris realized just how serious everything was for me and Jonathan.

We called our parents, moved to another room to rest for a few hours, and tried to prepare for the morning.

Saturday morning I "woke up" around 5am. My blood pressure was now stable. My head still hurt, but I was very fuzzy on everything mentally. I just laid there thinking about what was about to happen, hoping that the medicine wouldn't cause any problems for Jonathan (it's been known to cause respiratory, reflex, and muscle issues).  By 5:45, the anesthesiologist was in my room asking questions to prepare for my spinal for the surgery.  Within another 30-45 minutes, my room was a flurry of activity. Jonathan apparently was having heart rate issues and there was concern that they would be doing a stat emergency C-section. He straightened up though and pretty soon they were giving me pre-op meds and prepping me for surgery.

My in-laws were there with us by 6:40. At 7:05, they were preparing to wheel me to the OR. I was upset because I hadn't seen Carson yet and I wanted to tell him I loved him before I went in for the surgery.  As they wheeled me out of my room, there he was with my parents and grandparents. It brought tears to my eyes to see him.  The reality of everything set in and I was ready.  I was wheeled into the OR at 7:15am.  They performed my spinal anesthesia (weirdest feeling ever!), laid me back, checked baby's position and started the surgery at 7:40.

They brought Chris in and he sat right by my right hand and my head.  It seemed like everything went so fast at this point. I was sick from my blood pressure dropping,  so I was in and out of being alert. At 8:00 on the nose, we heard, "He's a big boy!" followed by the sweetest cry. Jonathan was born. He was crying, and active. It was an answered prayer!


They weighed the baby, cleaned him up, and brought him to meet mommy. 



Then, Chris and Jonathan went to the nursery and they gave me medicine for pain and nausea. Everything after this point is very fuzzy. 

I remember being given a picture of our son to hold and take to recovery with me. I remember being rolled down the hall to see the baby in the nursery, then off to recovery.  They kept asking me to wiggle my toes there, as soon as I did that, I was back to my room to see my family!

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