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.

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

-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.


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