Friday, October 26, 2012

3 months old

My baby is 3 months old.  He's no longer considered a "newborn", he's now officially and infant.  I've looked up 3 month milestones and he has hit all of them.  Actually, he's gotten all expected 4 month milestones down as well.  My precious little boy.

We've had a few big steps.  I had to start back to work this week, Thursday.  
Liam is as stubborn as I am so of course he decided a few weeks ago that he was going to have nothing to do with a bottle.  We tried warm milk, cold milk, freshly expressed milk, warming nipples, 5 different bottles, and having me leave the house.  Thursday morning came and all I could do was I hope and pray that he would decide that it was OK to take a bottle from the babysitter.

No dice. 

This is how it went- 

Day 1- I cried on the way to the baby sitters.  I cried on my way to work.  I cried at work. (Thankfully my first day of work was a half day).  My baby who usually eats every 2 hours ate at 6:30 AM then refused all bottles. He waited for momma to get home at 1:00.  He was exhausted from crying and hungry when I picked him up.  I cried.  I cried that I was starving him.  I cried that I was hurting my baby and there was nothing I could do to help him.  I fell asleep crying.

Day 2- I cried leaving him.  I cried UGLY tears.  I sobbed because I knew how hungry he would be if he didn't eat.  BUT.... come10:30 AM I got the best text message ever.  Liam took a bottle.  He was hungry and must have known that it would be a looooong time before he got to eat.  Granted, he ate only 5 ounces the entire day when he'd usually eat 20, but he ate.  Yay.  Now come Monday, I will cry.  But it won't be because of my starving baby, it will be because I miss my baby.

Going back to work is the hardest thing ever.  I never thought I would want to stay at home, but I do.  I don't want to miss a second with my little guy.  I don't wanna.  WAAAAH!

Here he is:  3 months old today.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Liam's Gray and Teal ( and Orange) Nursery

I love my son's nursery.  Initially, I wanted to make it an "owl" nursery but the owls ended up just blending into the room and not becoming a "focal point" per se.  His colors were gray and teal with white accents but I decided I also wanted a "pop" of orange.  Here's what I ended up with.  Like I said- I love it!  The pictures don't do it justice.

My dad made the stump table from a tree the had on the ranch. My husband and I designed and made the shelving.  My husband and father in law installed the crown molding.  I recovered my sister's navy blue glider.

The rug is from Urban Outfitters (orange zig zag rug) the tree decal is from Etsy (tree decal)
I would like to say that the rug is more of a dull orange than a bright orange.  It also came with a funky smell.  I had to put it outside for days and spray it down with tons of febreeze.

I made the crib bedding and bed skirt.  My husband and I made the abacus based off Anything Pretty's tutorial (abacus).  The curtains are from Z gallerie (mimosa curtain) but I'm not sure they still make them in aquamarine.

My sister and I made the birds for this mobile and my husband I  spent a few hours balancing birds and branches! (Design Sponge Mobile DIY)

The cubes are from Target though I couldn't find an orange one so my sister covered  it for me.   The lamp, which you can't see well from this terrible photo is actually a white tree stump.  It's from Target too.  (tree lamp) though I can't find an original link.

Here's more "artsy" photos.  Taken at my baby shower by my co-worker's daughter, Kati.  She's a better photographer than I am!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Breastfeeding: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I wanted to post something about breastfeeding because I'm pretty proud to be doing it.  I have no experience with formula feeding so I can't compare but I can share my experience that I've gained in the past nearly 3 months of breastfeeding.

Initally, I spent HOURS researching "what is normal" while up in the wee hours of the morning feeding Liam. I found that a lot of my struggles were common, a lot of "common" views weren't exactly accurate, and breastfeeding isn't easy.  It's actually as far from easy as you can imagine. But with each ugly there is a good.  With each bad there is a good.  With each good, there is a wonderful.   To sum it all up with a simple phrase- "Just give it six weeks".  If you can get through the first 6 weeks, you've made it.

We'll start with The Ugly.
     Your nipples-
      They will be scabbed.  They may even have blood blisters on them.
     When you shower, even the water from the shower head will cause so much pain you reconsider ever taking a shower again.  
      The initial latch hurts like hell. Every time.  I reconsidered breast feeding every time Liam would cry to be fed.  I dreaded that latch.  It brought tears to my eyes.  Liam would latch, unlatch, and re-latch a dozen times in the beginning.  I may have yelled at him once or twice to figure it out.
      Everyone tells you to use Lanolin to help- what they don't tell you is that you'll have oily stains on your shirts, bras, and anything else that comes in contact with it.  If you don't use it, your nipples stick to your clothes and peeling them off isn't pleasant.

The Good?  This only lasts about 4-6 weeks.  The scabs go away, the stains become something to laugh at, and showers become your friend.  The latch stops hurting ad you and your baby figure each other out.  It becomes better.  It becomes wonderful.  It becomes a bond.

The Bad.
  I have 2 words- cluster feedings.  These are what makes mommas think they aren't producing enough milk to feed their children.  These feeding occur typically in the evenings, though they can be at anytime.  They occur around growth spurts, so 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, etc.  They exist to help stimulate increased milk production to help feed baby during these growth spurts.
In my experience here's what happened-  I'd feed Liam- he'd take his typical HOUR to eat.  Then 10-20  minutes later, he was crying and rooting for the breast again.  Back on the breast he'd go.  He'd eat again, and again, and again.  I can remember one day he was latched to the breast for 3 straight hours.  I couldn't believe it.  Thank goodness I had my Kindle Fire because I was researching away to make sure this was "normal".  Guess what?  It was.  It didn't mean there wasn't enough milk there- it just meant he was helping let my body know that soon he was going to need more.  I just needed patience (and nipples of steel would have been nice).

The good?  These feedings don't last forever.  The evening cluster feeds actually helped Liam sleep through the night by 6 weeks.  (He now sleeps 10+ hours at night).  The repeat feedings helped us learn to latch better. Liam now eats in under 20 minutes, both sides.  They increased my milk production.  Initially when I pumped I'd only get 2 ounces total from both breasts in 20 minutes.  Now I can get 5 ounces in about 10 minutes, just on one side.  Patience.  JUST GIVE IT SIX WEEKS.

The Good.
You're passing to your child immunity to illnesses.  You're decreasing their risk of asthma, allergies, eczema, ear infections, and even certain cancers.  You're developing a bond like no other.  Yes, mother's who formula feed have a bond too, I'm not discounting that, but  it's so hard to explain.  Breastfeeding a few weeks will make a difference.
Oh yes- and let's not forget the additional 500-800 calories a day you'll burn by breastfeeding!  I shed those 24 baby lbs in the first 6 weeks post partum without exercise.

I've now been breastfeeding for nearly 12 weeks- so I'm not an expert by any means but I really do encourage other mom's to give it a try.  Please ask if you have any questions.  I've even breastfed in public (in the doctor's office waiting room, at a wedding, in my car in a parking lot, and at the table in a restaurant!), and while that was a little panic inducing at first- not a single person said something to me or even looked at me wrong.

A great website and resource is .  I spent many an hour reading the information on there.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Postpartum working out and other identity crises

I started working out this month.  I realized that I was going to have to- I can't go from "i swallowed a watermelon-itis" (aka this:
 to "I can fit in my pre-pregnancy jeans!" without putting in some work.  But here's my dirty secret.  I haven't worked out since I fractured my ankle and had to have it surgically fixed 1.5 year ago.  My other dirty secret?  I gained 20 lbs that year!    After having Liam I lost all the baby weight within a few weeks.  I lost the weight, but what I didn't lose was flab and wider hips.  And I still have 20 lbs to lose from my "I broke my ankle so I can't workout but I sure can eat lot's of crap" year.

I started doing the "30 Day Shred" by Jillian Michaels.  It's tough but only 30 minutes in total so I can get the workout in while Liam sits in his bouncer.  I was so sore the first 2 days I could hardly lift Liam.  I am planning on working out 5-6 times a week and doing some extra ab work in there too.  I'd prefer not to have "dunlap" disease for ever.  (my stomach done laps over my jeans for those of you who are a little slow don't get "dunlap")

Sadly, I have great expectations that I'm not meeting.  I stepped on the scale after 3 WHOLE days of working out and no change.  Perhaps I will have to change my diet too?!  Gasp!

I also cut off all my hair.   I was having an identity crisis.  I wanted a new body but went ahead and got a new hair style instead.  I cut off 14 inches and donated it to "Locks of Love".  They make wigs for children under going cancer treatment.  Here's my new 'do.