Monday, June 27, 2016

Half-Birthday!!!

why is it people feel they can ask "are you breastfeeding?" as if it isn't a private question - like, whether you feed your baby from the boob or bottle should matter or be public knowledge...

at a glance, it's a benign question, with a simple answer... but the more I get asked, and the more I think about it, the more I want to answer - "what does it matter?? that is a personal decision made by the mom/parents, and what does it matter to you, stranger/parent-at-daycare/whoever-is-asking, if I'm breastfeeding?"
Maybe because I've been asked by a variety of people - men (my husband's friends) and women.  And interestingly enough, I never feel judged or like I have to explain anything when I answer a man - you get the succinct "oh ok, cool, my sister/wife/cousin did too..."
And then I get the moms who ask, and I get the sense they feel judged by my answer/choice... like when the fellow daycare mom asks, and I answer yes, she seemed to feel the need to defend why she's not BFing her baby  - "I tried with the twins, I had no milk, I had no milk this time either..." or another fellow daycare mom with an almost-1-year-old in Ms. Mack's room, when she saw me nursing one morning before running to work: "yea, I tried for a few weeks with him - my milk never came in..."

Not to sound harsh or unkind - but I didn't care! Not that I didn't care if they fed their babies, but I didn't care if they tried for 6 months, tried for 6 hours, didn't try and started immediately with formula - be a proud momma that you're taking care of your baby, yourself, AND working!!! That 'ISH IS HARD!

But thanks to a recent traffic-filled commute (hey, carride chronicles!), I think it's a personal choice, kind of like being asked, "do you use tampons or pads?"  ((neither, thanks for asking - still no PP period, wooooooot!))
(((and same thing - I don't care what you use, nobody else should either - as long as you do something to rein in that crimson wave... or - well, I guess you could "free bleed" ... technically...)))
wow I really got off-topic...
anywho...

Moving on to the most important part...

Eating: still nursing when together (evenings/nights, mornings, weekends) and takes (on average) two 3.5-oz bottles at daycare.  (Still pumping at work, twice a day - averaging every 3 hours...)
Eats breakfast at daycare - 4oz of food (bananas, peaches, mangos, yogurt) and cereal (mixed with formula), and then will nurse when we get home and have dinner with everyone (around 6:30/7) which is 4oz of food (yellow squash, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, spinach&apples)
I'm still making the food (saves mad money! one bag of carrots (will last a few days) is on average $1.00, while a single jar of babyfood is about the same - $1.00!) and will soon start some mixes: carrots&peas, apples&banana, peaches&banana, etc... This weekend we also tried Gerber's yogurt melts (broken into 3rds) and the all-famous multi-brand puffs... she makes the funniest face at the texture...

Sleep: OMG you guys I think we turned a corner... (or maybe her 5th WonderWeek Leap ended!) but the night of her doctor's appt (Wednesday night) she slept ELEVEN STRAIGHT HOURS! And did it again the next night... "PRAISE JEEBUS please don't be residual effects from vaccines!"
Well we were down the shore this weekend, and so had laaate bedtimes (around 10pm) but she slept straight through until 6am each night! And last night?!?!? 7pm-6am! WOOOOOOOT MOTHA-F*CKA!


Length:  at 26.75" this girl is now over the 80th percentile for length... just as I was "worried" she was going to take after my petite Italian in-laws...LOL  ((I'm all, "Dr are you sure you measured her right?!"))
Weight: drum roll please.. at 14lbs12oz, we jumped up percentiles!!! ((conflicting info from different growth charts, lol but we definitely jumped up!))
I won't lie and say I wasn't nervous at all as we waited for the scale to register her weight, but I definitely felt more confident than past appointments - that girl got some nice thigh rolls! And I still don't quite believe I did it - we made it BFing!!!
Wearing: still size 2 diapers. no more size 3 clothes (the leggings/pants, sure they fit, but are snug on the belly and are total high-waters...)
6M sleepers (and I wager we won't make it very much longer until 9M sleepers!)
Some 9M hand-me-downs, mostly 6M onesies and pants...
0-3M shoes (lol still petite feet! like her mommy!)
It's not summer without a good pair of jellies!

Hates: still doesn't like getting her face/boogies wiped (which sucks, she has teeny-tiny nostrils and constantly has boogies!)
She also doesn't like avocado, after two tries... (WAH!) we'll still keep trying, as I think it's the texture of it, being a semi-solid...

Loves: bananas! (had bananas, mango & yogurt at a recent breakfast, and each time eating bananas she would grunt and squeal for more!)
loves summer weather (the sun, the sea-wind, the warm pools!)

Milestones: is completely sitting independently (sat the entire doctor appointment! MD was like, ummm... DAYUM GIRL!)

Ms. Mack is also pretty strong on her legs - if we prop her, she'll stand for at least a few minutes!
big brother helps her stand up!                                     Daddy helped her stand on our recent trip to Woodloch...


6@6

  1. you can recognize a bowl and spoon, know that it's time (or time soon) to eat, and you get so excited and start to grunt!
  2. You're ahead of your curve big girl! You've mastered sitting up, and in fact get upset when you have to lay down, trying to raise your head in a semi-sit-up/crunch position for awhile...
  3. When you sleep - you love to curl up on your side, fetal position like an adult... I swoon...
 4.  For some reason, Pops (FIL) scares the ba-jeesus out of you! each time you see him, or he pops up in front of you, your frowny-pout begins, and it's just seconds until you start crying for momma...
 5.  you've become enamored with my necklaces while you nurse... (you broke one yesterday!) and each time you're nursing, I can't resist - I start to sing, "Ma-de-line" and you grin, nip still in your mouth...
 6.  you still light up every time you see your big brother... I cannot wait to see how this adoration/affection develops!
(He's not a big fan of you playing with his toys, and frequently says, "Don't let Mad-oh-line put it in her mouth!!"






BIG BROTHER:


Button's adjusted well to being a big brother - he loves his little sister, and frequently will run a toy over to her to play with...


He is definitely a three-nager now, with the first crying fit sometimes hitting before his feet have even come out of bed...


He loves the summer weather, and had a blast on the beach with his auntie when we went down the shore this past weekend!

(Except when he threw sand all over his nursing sister... I.  WAS.   MAD)

Invitations just went out last Friday for his THIRD birthday party... (GAH!)


Can't wait to throw this little boy his Splash-Bash!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

a little bit of rambling...

(This is going to be kind of a rambling post, to get some stuff blogged about before I write up Ms. Mack's 6 MONTH UPDATE!)


It wasn't until I became a STM - but somehow a switch was thrown, time started going faster and faster...

I mean, I'd already seen first hand how fast time flies...


Even looking at the past three years, I absolutely cannot believe how fast the past six months have flown by...

Funny pump story - I recently had to use sterile sample cups at work to store pumped milk after failing to bring enough bottles (good problem to have! - I brought 3 bottles for 2 pump sessions - but I pumped so much that morning that combined it wouldn't fit in one 5oz medela bottle!)
 (Yes, still BF/pumping and going strong!) I've dropped to two pumps a day (11:30am and 2:30pm) and so far, so good! With the "go ahead" for more food - I am tentatively excited and sure we'll make it to the WCM switch in three months!
Such a big difference from this post, where I hung up the flanges and packed up the pump - OH SO HAPPY to see it go, after pumping round the clock, mechanically, for months!


A recent weekend I went to a "baby food class" at a local Pottery Barn Kids, where a "baby chef" came and talked about purees, best vegetables/foods to make, apparently how a baby's ready for solids at THREE MONTHS (poor preggo FTM asked, and was told by this "baby chef" that babies could start solids then... DAFUQ???!?!?!)
I didn't learn anything new (good thing it was a free course!) but it was fun to have the cute "live taste-tester" to feed peas and mangos to!

That night I also got to have a Mom's Night Out with moms from the weekly BF support group I used to go to... my BF/BFF tribe!
While drinking about $90 worth of martinis (per girl!) we chatted about our babies (all within about 45 days of each other!) and our cool "tricks" (um, hello to shooting streams of breast milk! somehow we all discovered that the husbands just don't get it... "no, I do not want to see something cool...")



Lately, Button has been on a "car goes by itself" kick - I have a remote start on my car, and when he was playing with my keychain once, I said "be careful, if you push the wrong button, the car starts/goes by itself!" and he hasn't dropped it since...
Well we passed someone out jogging on our drive home from daycare, and Button asks, "Why is that lady running? Because her car go by itself??"


SIL and I recently tried SUP yoga...
 and wouldn't you know - after falling into the lake once (and accidentally pulling SIL in with me - our boards were tethered to the same anchor lol) I totally rocked the pose pictured middle above (not our actual picture)
I held that wheel pose better than I ever have in the studio!! (hot yoga tonight - hopefully I can give a repeat performance!)


And one last random blurb - last week we spent three days (two nights - and not enough time!) at Woodloch Pines Resort, an all-inclusive family resort in the Poconos... we opted to stay in one of the guest "homes" (versus the hotel-style rooms at the main lodge) located a mile or so from the lake at Woodloch Springs... two bedrooms and two bathrooms (plus fireplace, kitchen and dining room!) were perfect for our family - and cheaper due to a June-mid-week-sale!!!
We had an awesome time at their indoor/outdoor splashpad/pool area - the outdoor was heated, and had a max depth of 15" or so (was even still attended by a lifeguard) so it was perfect for Button to play in while we sat and soaked up some sun in the lounge chairs...
And with SO MUCH to do, the two full days we had were nowhere NEAR enough time to hit it all (next time on our hope-to-be-annual vacation: bumper boats and zip-lining for sure!)


So here we are, the second official day of summer, and celebrating Ms. Mack's 6 month "half-birthday!" (ack, yes. time... FLYING...)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

SHOPPERS come in! =P

you guys - reading another blog this morning, I re-discovered the coolest thing in consignment shopping since, well - consignment shopping!

thredUP has got kids, baby, maternity and adults!    clothing!!     accessories!!



And now that summer has (finally) and officially hit with Memorial Day Weekend passed, I'm ready for some new clothes for a body that has definitely changed more after baby#2 than it did after baby#1... (must have something to do with Ms Mack's positioning (head down!) versus Button's breech the entire time - I'm all, "Wide Load coming through!" lol)

Check out what I got this morning!!!

Of course - I don't shop anymore without stopping for something fun for at least one of the kiddos...
I've been on the hunt for a cute long-sleeve guard for Ms. Mack, and this was the first thing I found during my shopping spree foray on thredUP this morning!

And those belts, how could you not for those prices??

And to go with the belts, first of all, the pants...
I "usually" (i.e. used to before kids...) wear typically size 6 pants... those are definitely a bit snug on the thighs/hips area now (oh THAT was fun, trying on all of my old work/dress pants from storage recently... WAAAH!)


So I am really excited to get these and try them all on!

And I'm always looking for new styles/fashions to wear to work (I change things up so often, I probably don't repeat outfits but just a few times a year...) so I jumped at these"tops" finds:
  Do you guys see those prices?! (I can't wait to wear the peach cowl neck sweater with some dark denim jeans, a white long-sleeve shirt underneath and some brown riding boots!!) - wait, we wanted SUMMER and I'm already jonesing for boots?! lol

speaking of summer - nothing says it more than some nice sundresses!
(I had removed the middle one from my cart at first, but then pictured it again - off the shoulders, my large floppy hat and cute sandals, sipping a margarita... (frozen, with salt please!)

Or even better, a sharp pair of shorts:
 how about for girl's night - a sparkly tank or tee, some long earrings, a bit of sushi and a pomegranate martini!

And what better tops off a girl's night style than this lovely azure lady...

YUP - that's a Kate Spade clutch, for just $32... And - with a promo code for 40% OFF - I actually got my Saturday Envelope clutch for UNDER TWENTY DOLLARS!!!

HOW can I get those bargains?! you may ask...

Well just head on over to thredUP and SHOP! 

(oh, you might want to use the code "KELLE40" and get your 40% off, courtesy of this fabulous blog!)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

5 Months... Holy 'ISH

Can't believe this girl is...


Eating: no more 100% boob juice... she's a mean-eating-machine! While she still gets 3.5oz bottles (three each day) sent to daycare, and will eat anywhere from 1.5 to all 3 bottles, she's also getting two meals a day of Banana Oatmeal cereal (2-3Tbsp) and an oz or so of a fruit or vegetable (our repertoire so far includes apples, bananas, peaches, carrots and avocado - tonight we'll be trying butternut squash!
 (and I recently got those cool freezer storage "jars" to make our own food - not to say "boo-store-bought-baby-food" or "we're so crunchy-hippie" but more to save money!!! A jar of baby food averages $1 each, but I can get a bag of carrots/butternut squash/peas for the same price, boil/steam and puree them and get a large batch of baby food made!)


(I still have Wednesdays off, so then and weekends we still nurse on demand! (averages every 4 hours during the day around food...)

Sleep: her naps can be hit or miss (she took a great 2-hour nap recently at daycare!) and I think eventually she'll settle into a nap schedule (thanks to daycare) but nighttime?? Three consecutive nights she recently slept 11 straight hours!!!! (And then followed that up on the fourth night with three wake-ups, the first she was rocked back to sleep... and the fifth night with two wake-ups, again the first she was rocked back to sleep for another 3.5 hours before waking to eat... It's like, I know now you can make it 11 hours! Growth spurts aside, you can do it little girl!!! SLEEEEEEP!


Weight: no clue right now, next doctor weight is at 6 month appointment (AGH! SIX MONTHS NEXT?!?!)

Length: same as for weight...

Wearing: size 2 diapers (daycare had her in 1's the other day, which resulted in a huge blow out. lol) a few larger-brand 3M onesies, like when Mommy is in denial that she is moving up a size, and still wants to get wear out of that cute pair of 3M pants/outfit... (she can only wear 6M sleepers or larger, and 3M pants are definitely too short. lol)

Hates: getting dressed/undressed, hates having her nose/face wiped

Loves:bathtime (non-stop feet kicking and splashing!) and loves to watch her big brother and doggies play, loves being worn (ring sling, moby, ergo - it don't matter!)
Doesn't mind getting her nails did (still filing, haven't tried clipping yet!) and likes to play with her feet (happy baby yoga pose!)

Milestones: Can pretty much grab toys/hands/mommy's coffee on the first try, and with determination! She also reaches out and plays with her carseat toys all the time!



FIVE @ FIVE
1. When you nurse, you get all kinds of crazy - kicking feet (still) to grabbing and playing with my necklace to making sure the other boob is still there...

2. Your hair has recently gotten long/thick enough to make some really cute hairstyles (As we also saw in the very first picture of the post)

 3. Your baptism is this coming Sunday, and I cannot wait to see you in the cute white dress and bonnet! (complete with monogrammed bloomers... lol)

4. You and I love to occasionally go to a Saturday ballet class together - you snuggle tight in your carrier and usually snooze out a few minutes into class!

5. You love your foods! Each meal time we get you situated in your MamasPapas chair and bib, and you intently watch Daddy or Mommy prepare your food, and as soon as the spoon's airborne, your mouth is baby-bird-wide open!



BIG BROTHER:
Button has been having a blast at daycare, enjoying things like Monarch butterflies visiting and getting ready for the summer camp: water play, yoga, FitKidz - we're ready for the warm weather to come with it!!! (Swim lessons possibly soon!)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

damn you text-predictor...

I was trying to type a text out on my phone this morning, something about "walking" somewhere...

and my phone text-predictor kept changing it to "waddling"...

perhaps I shouldn't have skipped my hot yoga last night...

Except - it was skipped for good cause! I still have Wednesdays off work ("the better to nurse on demand, my Dear!") and yesterday E took off as well - to do "something on our family day" and that something was LEGOLAND!
(We took this green-screen picture, hopefully I can get it loaded onto Photoshop at home and have some fun with editing...)

There was a station to build and race cars (E's car won, but Button took second place out of three cars!)

There was a station to build towers and test their strength against simulated earthquakes!
 There was also this really cool giant Lego Man... =P

My favorite part (aside from Lego Friends karaoke... LOL) was Miniland and all of the miniature NYC/NJ landmarks (like Rockefeller skating rink, and Statue of Liberty (complete with Ellis Island!) and Giants Stadium (boo Giants) and Empire State Building (complete with a climbing King Kong!)

They even had One World Trade Center (I only have this "nighttime" shot - the daytime was more impressive...)
Left most building: Empire State Building
Center building with silver spire: Chrysler Building
Far right building (turquoise lights): One World Trade

Little Miss hung out in my ring sling the whole day, just quietly taking it all in (we even nursed in it, twice!)
 both kids were done and worn out!

Button conked out nicely at bedtime, while Little Miss Mack fought it a bit - she arched and fussed so much, we tried gas drops, and were about to try tylenol for possible teething, when E pulled the "Maybe she's still hungry" card... to shut him up, I put her on the boob - but 5 sucks in and she was LIGHTS OUT!

 "How many sucks does it take to make a baby fall asleep??"

(She then proceeded to wake up at 12:45, when I rocked her back to sleep pretty easily, and she next woke at 4:45 to eat... closer to getting back to STTN, which she did three nights last weekend!!! we're talking 11 straight hours!!!)

Friday, May 6, 2016

water in my hair... I don't care...

I swear toddlers walk slower in the rain...

As water is pouring in the back of my trench, down my neck, Button is all strolling down the walk to the car... hooded rain jacket, what does he care?? OOO look a puddle to splash in!

Anyways - we had our pictures taken last weekend, and they came out SO FREAKING ADORABLE...


It is by far the best investment we'll ever make (at only $50?!?!) especially when Button's daycare asked for a family picture to go on their Family Tree, and I looked... and looked... and looked, and could only come up with a badly lit picture of the three of us from Cancun. Taken LAST YEAR...

And one of my favorite (I have probably 50 "favorites" from the 500+ pictures taken that day!!!)



Also - Ms. Mack has been sleeping in her crib now almost a week, and I do think it's helped! the last few nights she's gotten down to 2 wake-ups (and feeds)... the going down can be a little rough (last night we tried from 7:30-9pm, then I brought her down to her swing, and then she chilled in E's arms until I went to bed at 10pm and brought her up, nursed her to sleep (I KNOW... ugh) and put her in the crib...) but two nights ago was smooth as buttah! (in the crib at 7:30, asleep by the time I left Button in bed at 8:30)

All that to say - last night she slept 10pm til 2:45am (relatively awesome for us!) and then til 5:15 - and at this point I usually bring her to back to bed with me, for fear of her waking up Button mad early (and him waking US up...) but I put her back in the crib, and they were both fine in the nursery until we all woke up at 7:40 - YAY!!

So her first night spending all night in the crib, I feel rested (probably because I woke up between REM cycles as opposed to during one) but hopefully this chick starts to get the idea of STTN!

She's been eating enough for sure - 3Tbsp at a time of cereal, plus a fruit (banana, peaches or apples) and I think tonight we'll try avocado! (She has this at breakfast time and dinnertime with us...)

(maybe we'll try avocado... we might be too crazy, as we'll be flying around (as usual) after work tonight, to take the kiddos to Open Swim at the local indoor pool... maybe swim lessons for Button soon!)

((also - I get to attend Button's daycare's Muffins with Mom for the first time in three mother's days! MIL is down with a stomach bug today, on the day she usually watches Button, so I used that as an excuse with work - "I won't have to call out, but I do have to leave early to get him from daycare, they didn't originally have him on the schedule for today..." hee hee - I'll leave early and have Mom Muffins with my kiddos!))



To the mommies with babies in their arms...
to the mommies who hold memories of their sweet babies in their hearts...
to the mommies who hold dreams & desires for babies in their whole being...


Happy Mother's Day...

Friday, April 29, 2016

PTSD, EBF and STTN...

Is that enough acronyms for you?!

Let's start with the first one: PTSD.

I had a friend half-joke recently that she thought I had PTSD from Button's rocky weight gain... and I had to agree...

(Most likely) Because of my experience with Button, I was/am a little sensitive to making sure Baby girl was/is on a good growth curve.  At the same time, I was damn determined to make BFing successful, and I made the decision that I was NOT going to EP like I did for Button... Having experienced the nursing relationship with Ms. Mack, I can look back and say I missed out on the bonding with him because I was instead hooked to a machine 8-9 times a day, and (mostly) someone else fed him a bottle of my milk...
 Anyways - back to the PTSD and how it affected me this go'round:
Little Ms. Mack's intake was first tracked on apps and on paper: which side she started on, how many minutes for each side, and if a nursing session all of a sudden was minutes less, PANIC ENSUED!
Was she getting enough?!  

The doctor check-ins (and stalled weight gain) added to the tracking.  Now I was also logging pump sessions (at first, once every morning: how long after she nursed, for how long did I pump, how many ounces did I get...) as well as logging a supplemental bottle Ms. Mack got (when she got it, how many ounces she took).

And then I met with an IBCLC and did a weighed feeding, and for 5 days following that appointment, I logged and tracked even more: nursing sessions (which side first, how many minutes) and pump sessions (after every nursing session - how many minutes, how many ounces per side) and supplemental bottles...

On top of all this logging, I was also tracking her weight gain via weekly visits with the scale at our local BF support group... (She only gained 6oz from last week! She gained 7 the week before, SHOULD I WORRY?!)

It was probably around this point that friend made her PTSD observation... (It didn't help that I frequently vocalized my freak-outs to her: "I weighed her this week in just a onesie, and she only gained 4 oz - but last week I weighed her in TWO onesies, so do you think she actually gained more than just 4 oz?!"  (*probably close to an actual question I posed...)

but gradually, the neuroses dropped away... I stopped logging every nursing session and its length in an app... (I then relapsed and was writing on a whiteboard each day just when she ate, and when she had wet diapers - needed to be at least 8 feeds and 5-6 wet diapers!)

And then I wiped clean the white board and even stopped logging those (it probably helped that she kept up a 7oz/week weight gain for about a month...)

Now?  I don't even count at the end of each day the number of times she nursed, nor do I count how many wet diapers she had (a lot!) In fact on our days off I probably couldn't even always tell you the time at which she last ate...

PTSD has faded - if she's hungry? I'll feed her... simple as that... (and the pump sessions at work? I try to barely even look at how much I pump... if it's not enough, that's what the freezer stash (70 ounces!) is for!! and when that's gone? formula!)
t'aint the end of the world!!



And so - the second acronym, EBF:

She has started eating oatmeal cereal (and recently peaches!) and just loves it!  no longer formally "EBF!"  (and also - daycare uses formula to make the cereal - I ain't about to have them make too much cereal and then have to toss that 'ish because she didn't eat it all!)

She has no clear pattern for eating day-to-day at daycare (Tuesday she finished all three bottles (3.5oz) between 11:30a and 4pm! and yesterday, she only finished one entire bottle...) but she gets cereal in the morning there, and cereal at dinner with us and she loves it! She also gets peaches at dinner, and while she makes the sour face from time to time (so freaking cute) she noms 'em all up!

Avocado or banana coming up next!





And last (but not least... especially for the lack of it...) is STTN...

Ms. Mack gave me a few stints here and there of stretches like 10p-4a or 11p-6a, and in just enough consecutive days that I was all, SQUEEEE we're on our way!

Yea.



Not... she laughed at me as we got back to frequent wakings (like, at least 3 times a night -frequent... two nights ago was around 12:45am, 2:15am, 4am and 6amish (or something like that...))

My theory was that she wasn't really needing to eat at those times (especially because she'd drink for a minute or so and start to fall back asleep... UH HUH) so last night, after waking to eat at 12:30a (she'd last eaten around 8pm) she woke/stirred again around 2a and I thought, NOPE... I gave her the pacifier, sssh'd a little bit (and held the cradle still*) and she totally fell back asleep until waking to eat at 3:45a! And then, she again started to wake/stir around 5am and again, I thought, NOPE! and brought her into bed with me (I know, I know...) and she conked immediately back out until 7:45.

*Now the adjusted theory is that she's waking herself up as she drifts from one REM cycle to another because she's in a cradle that rocks and moves when she even slightly shifts... (there's a pin in it to keep it from rocking, but it's just not as immobile as a crib)

SO - Tonight we'll be sleeping in the big-girl crib in the big-girl room (with Button) and see how it goes... Hopefully I can stick to it and not give in, out of fatigue at 2am on the 10th trip into the nursery, and bring her back to bed... lol

Beauty sleep is important tonight because tomorrow afternoon we're finally doing a formal family photo shoot! (mini session, anyways - 20 minute shoot and 5 images for just $50! Even the photographer in me can be down with that! Now to pick out all the matching clothes!! lol)