Monday, September 30, 2013

Breastfeeding Take II

I have been nursing Charlotte for two months now.  With Owen nursing started out rocky.  We had latch issues and I had to pump first to get him to latch correctly.  I fed him with a syringe because I was so worried about nipple confusion.  And then the lactation consultant recommended a nipple shield.  It worked.  I was finally able to get him to latch, even if I had to use the shield.  After about a week at home I hated using the shield and would just pump for a few seconds to be able to get Owen to latch.  I cried in the hospital because I felt my body was failing me.  I was so upset I was unable to nurse and nourish my child.  There were many nights after that I cried and cried because I had to use the nipple shield or pump first.  I also would cringe a little when he finally did latch.  After a few weeks we were finally able to nurse with no help.  I tossed out the nipple shields and just nursed.  I nursed until almost 5 months but stopped because my diet just was not working and it was stressing both of us out.  He would cry for hours on end and it really made it difficult. After cutting out pretty much everything except meat and grain I couldn't do it anymore.  I went to the pediatrician and asked about switching to formula.  Two days after switching to formula he was such a happy baby.

I was concerned at the beginning of my pregnancy about how nursing would go.  However, my body is different than it was and towards the end I knew we would be fine.  Day one Charlotte latched on and by time we left the hospital it was as if we had been nursing for weeks.  Unfortunately, 11 days into breastfeeding I got some chills, fever, and really bad headaches.  I had mastitis.  Everything was going so smoothly until then.  My breast hurt more than I could ever imagine.  I saw the midwife and got some antibiotics.  Two days later I finally started feeling better.  Everything has been fine since.  After I was done taking the antibiotics I started pumping a few times a day.  I wanted to relieve engorgement, prevent blocked ducts, and build a freezer supply.  In the beginning I was pumping every single time I nursed.  I would pump one side while she nursed the other side and then I would pump on the side she nursed on.  I had built up a huge stash and have donated a little over 300 ounces so far, and I still have around 200 ounces in my freezer.  I honestly have no clue when I would use the milk in the freezer, but want it just in case.  I now only pump three times a day, when I first wake up, around 1:30, and again before bed.  If I don't pump before bed I get so engorged that Charlotte cannot latch in the middle of the night.  I have to pump when I wake up because I am engorged.  I know continuing to pump will not stop my body from making milk, but only want to produce more, and I am fine with that.  It allows me to have a freezer stash and to be able to donate to other babies in need.  

We have also come across an issue with pacifying.  Charlotte wants to suckle. I know babies have a desire for sucking on something, which is why pacifiers were created.  Charlotte feels the need to use me as her pacifier.  One down side to this is I cannot hold her and use me as a pacifier all the time,  In addition it causes a let down but she doesn't want to eat, so she spits it out and we both end up wet.  Labor day weekend my step mom was able to get Charlotte to suck on a pacifier.  It was great to not have her attached to me the  whole time.  However, after a couple days I noticed we were having latch issues.  I took the pacifier away and have not had issues since.  So once again I am her pacifier, which I am okay with.  We may try the pacifier again in a few weeks, but maybe she is just going to be one of those babies that just doesn't use one.

So far nursing has been great, we had some bumps but nothing we cant handle.  Things are going well and my diet does not seem to be an issue for Charlotte.  I just hope it stays that way.  I love the feeling of being able to nourish my child.  For anyone struggling with breastfeeding, keep with it.  The first few weeks are tough, but it does get better.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Menu 9/22-9/28

Most weeks hubby is out of town and so I tend to not eat full meals for dinner.  (I am trying to change this, but cooking for one adult + a toddler is difficult for me)  I am going to attempt to have an entire month without repeating meals (although we have our favorites that I could eat over and over, like the un-stuffed peppers).

Sunday-chicken strips and cream spinach
Monday- Un-stuffed peppers and rice
Tuesday- Wings, french fries
Wednesday- Chicken ranch casserole
Thursday- Chicken stir fry
Friday- Pizza
Saturday- Mongolian beef, broccoli, and rice

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Two months!

Charlotte is TWO months! 

 Wow.  It really does not seem like it's been nine weeks already.  It still seems like yesterday that I was having painful contractions and hoping for a baby.  She is growing quickly and I am so in love.  I am so glad we have her and that we could make Owen a big brother.  It is amazing.

Friday, September 27, 2013


I have "googled" and follow many different blogs and most of them are to find recipes and menu plans.  I often find myself in a rut, asking what to make for dinner hours before it should be made.  I repeat meals frequently and I am just tired of eating the same things over and over.  I have come across a few yummy meals and feel I should share them, as well as how I have modified them.  I hope that sharing my menus will help me stick with them and not repeat meals.  I am going to strive to have one month where no meals are repeated.  It is very doable, there are tons of different types of meals to make. However, I have a picky husband and child, so it makes cooking a little difficult.

Every week I am going to post the menu I have planned for that week.  I will also share some of the recipes I am using.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

When did he get so smart

"Charlotte, count with me.  1, 2, 3, 4...."   I over heard Owen counting to Charlotte this morning and I am just in awe.  He is very smart.  Owen can carry on a full conversation (sometimes with himself).  He also has developed and show his imagination.   I love to watch him play and observe how he behaves and interacts with his toys when he thinks no one is looking.

It is well known that Owen is obsessed with cars and trains.  He can spend hours in the toy room building and changing the tracks.  When he plays with his cars he makes them stop at red lights and go at green lights.  He gets into his cozy coupe and says he is going to the grocery store.  He even puts toys (usually hot wheels cars) into the little storage in the back.

He knows many different shapes and he knows his colors.  When driving, every stop sign we see he screams "red octagon...Means stop!"   We play a game in the car where we point out the road signs and say the shape and color of it.  He enjoys it and it helps keep him busy.

However, one thing I have not gotten around to teaching him yet is right and left.  I did not know that a two/three year old was expected to know these.  When I took him in for his three year check up, they tried to do a vision test and asked which way the arrow was pointing.  He was able to respond to up and down, but not left and right.  So that is what we are working on currently.

He is getting very good at counting and he sings  the alphabet very well.  He also can recognize his numbers from 1-10.  We have to work on the numbers after that.  When he reads the numbers instead of saying 22 he will say two two.

We have things we need to work on, but overall I am amazed.  He is so smart and polite.  I just love watching him grow and learn.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Another year

Last week I turned 25!  It is amazing.  When I was in high school there were many times I was asked where I wanted to be in 5 and 10 years.  I always knew I wanted to be married with children, although at that time I thought I would want five or six, (man what was I thinking?!?!).  One thing that is different however is I thought I would be a business woman/accountant by now.  However, I think the route I took was better because this way I get to be home with my children and go to college while I am home.  By time I am done with school they will be old enough for kindergarten and preschool and I will not have to pay for expensive daycare.

Right after high school I was offered an internship at an accounting firm.  I was also awarded a scholarship for school.  However, I decided I wanted to move to Maryland.  I think about this decision frequently and wonder what my life would be like had I not moved.  But, I can't turn back time and re-do it.  I love my life, I love being a wife and a mom.  I wish I had that college campus experience, but I am fine without it.

So, where do I want to be in 5 years?  I hope to have completed my schooling and starting a career.  Both of my children will be in school.  And hopefully my husband has a job closer to home.  I hope to be able to successfully juggle a career, my responsibilities of a mom and wife, and my home. Here's to another five years.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

DIY Hair bow holder

My wonderful daughter is almost eight weeks old has accumulated a bunch of headbands and they are EVERY WHERE!  I have searched Pinterest and could not find any that I really liked.  Most of what I found used an oatmeal container or a picture frame.

I went through the materials I had on hand and looked at tons and tons of pictures to try to come up with an idea.  I ran to the store to get hooks and saw a fabric memory board to hang pictures on and thought it would look really nice on the wall.  I was going to buy it and just put the hooks in the bottom of it, but it was EXPENSIVE!  Way more than I wanted to pay and I knew I could craft something myself for much cheaper.  The hooks were the most expensive part of this project, but 36 came in the pack, so it was not too bad over all.  The cost varies on what size you make it and also what materials you have on hand.  Many of the materials needed can be found at A.C. Moore and if you use a coupon you can get it really cheap. 

 Materials Needed:
Fabric to cover canvas
Buttons or beads (I used beads)
Staple gun
Drill and drill bit (size varies on hooks)
Needle and thread

 Step 1
 Cut fabric to the size of the canvas leaving room to wrap it around.  Using the staple gun, staple the fabric in place.  Be sure to pull the fabric tight so there are no wrinkles.

Step 2

Measure and cut strips of ribbon.  Measure and mark distance between each ribbon.  (I did this originally but the ribbon moved as I was trying to staple it.)
**Tip** Tape ribbon in place before stapling.

 Step 3
Sew on buttons where the ribbons cross.

Step 4

Measure and mark where the holes for the hooks should be drilled.  Drill holes and screw in the hooks.

Add bows and headbands and hang on the wall.  Step back and admire your creation.  ;)

(Note: This project would also be easier using a hot glue gun or another type of strong glue.) 

Monday, September 9, 2013


The sun that is, it has magical qualities.  Hanging diapers out to dry not only dries them, it gets rid of stains.  Don't believe me?  See for yourself.

Lil Joey AIO N/B after being washed, has yellow staining on seams.  
 (Click pictures to make them bigger)
Diapers drying/sunning
No more stains!!!  
It's magic!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

6 week update

Six weeks, holy smokies!  Charlotte is definitely growing.  Last time I weighed her she was ten pounds!  Also, this girl loves to smile.  She smiles in her sleep, she smiles when I look at her, she smiles when I talk to her or sing to her.  This morning she had a bath and she loved it!  She was kicking and splashing and smiling the entire time.  Charlotte also makes cute little noises, almost like she is humming.  It is adorable.

Owen is getting a little better at being gentle and asking before picking her up.  He loves to snuggle with her and give her kisses.

I have been pumping milk from one side every time Charlotte eats to build a stash in the freezer.  I had a good stash but I donated to a newborn in need, so now I have to re-build.  Owen has grabbed the pump and supplies a couple times and put it to his chest.  Silly boy.  My supply has finally leveled out and I am not constantly engorged, which I am so happy about.  Another thing I am happy about, having my body back, well almost.  I guess while I am nursing I technically do not have my body totally back.  While pregnancy is amazing and feeling kicks is breath-taking (literally and figuratively) I am happy to be able to hold my child in my arms.

So far having two children has not changed my day to day routine besides having a baby attached to my chest throughout the day, and night.  I know this will change once Charlotte is mobile things will be different and more difficult.  I am more tired and that has made me less motivated to do as well in school, but I am doing my best to make sure I continue to earn high grades in my classes.

We are still cloth diapering and I am so glad to be.  I have used a couple of disposables on our trip to MD and they leaked and they have a smell.  Since I already wash cloth diapers it does not really seem like it is too much more work, and it is so much cheaper.  If we were to have used disposable diapers at 16 diapers a day (average sometimes less, some days more) for 5 weeks, at $0.15 a diaper, we would have spent $85 approximately.  The cost of the cloth diapers was more than $85 but she still has room to grow before she outgrows them.  Plus they have a really good resell value of just a couple dollars under retail.  So if I use cloth for just two months, it will be cheaper than disposables.

I am so glad to have her and so excited to watch her and Owen grow.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Father son time

Every time Martin packs up his kayak and fishing gear, Owen gets all excited and helps him get everything ready.  One Saturday Martin headed toward the coast to do some fishing/  The night before Owen helped him get everything ready as usual.  When Owen woke up he was so upset that Martin left without him.  We decided it was time, Owen was big enough to ride in the back of the kayak.  We waited for a beautiful day and loaded everything into the truck and hit the lake.

He kept telling Martin to go faster, then once Martin started  catching fish he wanted more fish.  We brought the grill and had a little picnic.  Although, I forgot the plates and utensils, so it was a bit of a caveman dinner.  Owen had such a blast.  He asks when he can go back.  On our trip to Maryland we crossed over several bodies of water and Owen asked to go kayaking on them.  I think Daddy is proud to have a son so excited about kayaking and fishing.  <3

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Family get together

For Labor Day weekend my Dad invited us up for a family get together at his house for the holiday.  We left home Friday afternoon and headed to his house in Maryland.  On Saturday the in-laws also joined us.  Owen had such a blast visiting with everyone.  On Saturday we celebrated my nieces second birthday.  My sister did an excellent job decorating.

One month!

I was told over the weekend that my daughter is not two weeks old anymore.  I was confused at first because I know that she is not two weeks old.   It was then explained I have neglected my blog.  I apologize for that.  Life has been a little crazy and time I allot for blogging has lately been going towards family and school.

At Charlotte's one month check up on August 28th, she weighed 9 pounds and 22 3/4 inches.  Really almost 23"??  She really grew that much since birth?  It amazes me.  She is definitely long and lean.

She is still doing great at nursing.  She also is doing very well at sleeping 4-5 hours at night.  When her big brother lets her, she takes good naps during the day as well.  Week three she hit a growth spurt and started cluster feeding, eating almost every hour.  I believe her stats from her month check up reflect that growth spurt she hit.  Glad to see mommy's milk is doing her good.