Friday, August 30, 2013

5 on Friday!

1.   I joined Citrus Lane earlier this week and can't wait to get our first box!  Citrus Lane is like Birchbox but for your babies/kids!  Each month you get a box full of things for your little one....and the box is specific to your child's gender and age. 
Click here for $10 off your first order!
2.  I am so happy a 3 day weekend is here!  My husband has been out of town since Monday so Connor and I are very happy to have him home for a few days before he has to go back out of town. I am looking forward to a date night, our first trip to the lake with Connor and seeing some friends that are coming in town for the weekend!
 3.   This Sunday we are joining my church I grew up in as a family!  I have gone to this church with my brother and parents since I was a kid so it is really exciting to re-join with my husband and Connor and start getting involved!  I hope to join the MOPS group and eventually a ladies Bible study or get involved in missions.  When trying to decide where we were going to go as a family we visited several local churches but always felt that my church was "the one."  We love that we know so many people there, my mom & step dad go there, they have an AWESOME nursery and children's area and so many other things.  So, this Sunday we will make it official and become members :)

4.  Old Navy was having 30% off last week so I took advantage and ordered a few new things for Connor.  Whoever said shopping for a boy wasn't fun was wrong.  Between Old Navy, Baby GAP, ETSY and a couple local boutiques I seriously have a problem when it comes to shopping for him.
Here are a few of my favorites from my latest purchase.....   :)  
5.  After 3 months of refusing a paci and not having any interest in his thumb, I officially have a paci and hand sucker!  But not just any paci.  He will only take the Wubanub.  I wasn't sure I wanted him to take a paci or thumb but I have noticed a big change it how often I nurse him and how he goes to sleep in the past week since he started sucking the paci.  Now, when I know he is tired, instead of nursing him to sleep, I am just giving him his paci and Larry (his little security blanket) and he will usually self sooth himself to sleep!  Whohoo!! He hasn't quite figured out how to pick it up and put it back in his mouth when it falls out of his mouth though.  There are so many cute little wubanub animals.  We have the bear, giraffe, monkey and duck (gotta have several in case you lose one!).

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Post-Baby Vacations

My husband and I love to travel and we have quite a long list of places we still want to go.  Some with Connor, some just us two.  We knew when we had a baby that traveling would take a back seat for awhile but we have started to get the itch.  The past few weeks we have started talking about where we want to go for our first trip (without Connor).... but we are waiting until sometime in the Spring or Summer 2014 to go probably. I know we will take some smaller trips before then but this will be our first big trip, just the 2 of us.  
We have decided on Banff in Canada and stay on Lake Louise!  My husband actually lived there for a Summer when he was younger.  His family moved there for his dad's work but they only stayed for a few months.  Ever since the day I met my husband he has told me he wanted to take me there one day.   After seeing pictures of it, hearing his stories and seeing it on Sean's season of The Bachelor I knew we had to go and had to go soon! 
I mean, does it get any better than this???

Living in Texas and growing up in the south means I don't do cold very well, so we know we want to go during the warmer months (although it is definitely not hot).  There are several national parks, tons of golf courses, canoeing and kayaking, hiking, beautiful resorts and so much more.  The water really is THAT blue and clear my husband said.  Yes, count me in!
For our first little vaca WITH Connor, we have talking about renting a little cabin/house a few hours from here in the Texas Hill Country, right on the Guadalupe River for a weekend.  We are thinking about going on a weekend when A&M isn't playing (of course) sometime in late September or October. I have a couple friends who did this over a weekend with their babies and had a great time.  It will be so nice to get away for a short weekend with our little family :) 

How soon did you travel with your baby and without your baby?
Where did you go?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Oh, How Pinteresting!

Oh how I have missed joining this link up every Wednesday!  Michelle over at The Vintage Apple is turning this into a monthly link up instead of a weekly one, but I am still going to share my favorite pins from the past week with you today.  Happy Wednesday, friends!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

{Erin Condren Love}

I love a good planner.  My favorite item to buy when I would go school supply shopping every August was a planner.  And now I am 31 and still love buying a new planner each year. 
I can't do those little dinky, cheap planners that you can get just anywhere.  I want something big, sturdy, bright and with tons of room for notes.  Enter Erin Condren. 
I first discovered Erin Condren Life Planners about a year and a half ago.  I noticed all the bloggers that I followed had them and constantly posted about how awesome they were.  So, I bought one.  And I fell in love them moment I got the package in the mail. 
First of all, they can be personalized.  Second, they are BIG, have tons of space to write, they are colorful and have fun quotes all throughout.  There is a folder in the back for sticking receipts, notes, whatever.  There is a zip lock pocket for anything you don't want to lose.  There are tons of colorful stickers for better organization ( I am a little OCD and love to color code everything ) and to keep things bright!  And last but not least, it comes with the cutest little gift labels that are personalized with your name.  They just throw those in as extras!   
This would be a great for all you going back to school this month or teachers headed back to work!  Or really anyone :)
If I lost my planner, it would be tragic.  My life is in my planner.
So, do yourself a favor and head over to their website and get you one!   


Friday, August 23, 2013

5 on Friday!

I am linking up with April, Darci, Natasha and Christina for their 5 on Friday link up!  One of my best friends, Jen, has been doing this for awhile now and it looks like fun, so here I am =)
1.  I have a friend who has always wanted to open a bakery in our area and she has started making and selling lactation cookies!  She brought me over a few to try and I fell in love.  So, now I have bought 2 bakers dozens from her.  I can't stop eating them!  Not only are they so yummy, but they really work!  I pumped 7 oz in 4 minutes earlier this week!  If you are in the Houston area and want to try them let me know and I will send you her info!
2.  I started working on a shadow box for Connor's nursery for his "going home from the hospital" outfit and his first blanket. I originally wanted to include his hospital wrist band and a couple other items from the hospital but I think I like it with just the blanket as the back ground and his outfit and hat!  What do you think?
3.  I have a new addiction.  These chips. 
They are the best chips in the history of chips.  If you are in the Houston area and live near a Central Market/HEB, go buy these immediately.  
4.  This weekend marks the beginning of football taking over my husband's life for the next 6 months.  Every year we host my husband's friends NFL draft party at our house, so this Saturday is the day.  10-12 guys will take over my house and will spend the day drinking, eating and choosing their teams....and making a mess of my house ;)  I'm making pulled pork, pasta salad, baked beans and a couple desserts for them then Connor and I are leaving for the day!
5.  We have started the process of transitioning Connor to his nursery and crib and out of our room.  I have been putting him in his crib once or twice a day for naps but have not tried it at night yet.  At first it was not going well but the past 2 days he has done great!  So, I think some night soon we are going to try putting him in their at night.  This Mama is a nervous, emotional wreck when I think about doing that though.  I have loved having him in our room so close to us every night for the past 3 months but I know it's time for this change.  If you have any tips for making the nighttime transition easier I would LOVE to hear them!  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Our Breastfeeding Journey So Far......

Today marks 3 months (+1 day) of exclusively breastfeeding Connor.  That is 94 days to be exact of nothing but breast milk.  Not one drop of formula. 
It hasn't always been easy but I am so proud of us for making it this far and I hope our story can be encouraging to other mommies out there in their breastfeeding journey.
In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, here is our far....
(sorry in advance for the longest blog post ever....I have a lot to say ;) )
I always knew I wanted to BF.  It never even crossed my mind not to do it. 
During the last few months of my pregnancy I began reading BF books, reading articles and blogs on others BF stories and took a Breastfeeding Basics class at our hospital.  After learning so much about it I was really, really excited.  I decided my goal would be 6 months but in the back of my mind I told myself just to get to 3 months then we would see how it was going.
Well here we are at 3 months and it is going GREAT! And my goal has changed from 6 months to 1 year. 
Connor was born at 4:13 PM and within 10 minutes of being born he was latched on and nursing.  It hurt and I had no clue what I was doing (all that I learned flew out the window in those few moments).   But seeing my baby lay on my bare chest and find his way, ON HIS OWN, to my breast was one of the most amazing, emotional experiences of my life.  I was hooked. 
During that "Golden Hour," as my hospital calls it, (the first hour of the baby's life where he/she spends that time skin to skin and nursing) a lactation consultant came in to see us and make sure we had a good latch, etc...  It still hurt and still was not really sure what I was doing but she helped a lot.  We were in the hospital for another day and a half and during that time the LC came to see us a few more times.  We were finally getting the hang of it.  On our last night there we had a lot of visitors in the room and I was having trouble getting Connor to nurse so I had a breakdown and just cried and cried.  I got really overwhelmed with all the visitors, upset that Connor wasn't nursing and throw in some crazy hormones.   The nurse came in and was really encouraging and made me feel much better. 
We left the hospital around noon on Wednesday and were on our own.  We got home and I knew Connor was hungry so I tried to nurse him and he would just cry and never latch.  So, then I cried.  It had been 5 hours since he had nursed so I began to worry something was wrong with him.  FINALLY with the help of my husband we got him to latch.  I cringed through the pain but was so happy he was finally nursing. 
When Connor was born he weighed 8.3 lbs.  When we left the hospital 2 days later he was 7.11 lbs.  2 days later when we went to the pediatrician for his first appointment he was back up to 8 lbs.  YAY, happy mama! The doctor was happy with his weight gain and said to keep doing what we were doing. 
My milk came in on Thursday (he was born on Monday) and I remember sitting on our couch nursing and noticed that he was making bigger gulping sounds and nursed longer than normal.  I knew right then that my milk was in. I had forgotten about leaking and had not started wearing the nursing pads yet so I was walking around our house and my husband saw me and said "What's wrong with your boobs?"  I went to the bathroom and the entire front of my shirt was drenched. HA! week and one day after C was born, I was at our photographers house for some extra newborn pictures she wanted to take.  I wasn't feeling well, couldn't stop shivering and I had some really hard lumps under my arm pit, close to my right breast.  I was in her studio where she keeps it SUPER warm for newborns and I was sitting there with goosebumps all over my arms.  That night when I woke up in the middle of the night to feed Connor I noticed my entire body ached.  I felt like I had been in a car accident.  When I got up the next morning I felt like I was dying...something was definitely wrong.  My husband took my temp and it was 103.1.  Eeek!  I've never had a fever that high in my life!  An hour later it was 102.9.  I started googling "breast pain and fever" and found all this info on Mastitis.  I definitely had it....I didn't need a doctor to tell me, I just knew based on my symptoms.  If you have get lucky and never have to deal with Mastitis....thank your lucky stars. It is the devil.  It is like having the worst flu ever along with the worst pain in your breasts ever....then times that by 10.   Ok...I am being a little dramatic....but it is awful and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.   I had to be put on antibiotics and was told to take a lot of hot showers, apply warm compresses to my breasts and continue nursing.  After a few days I felt so much better.  Hallelujah!
After this experience it crossed my mind to quit BF.  I never wanted to deal with that again.   But, I stuck with it.
By the 2nd week Connor was spitting up ALL THE TIME and crying ALL THE TIME.  If he wasn't nursing or sleeping...he was crying and spitting up.  I was calling our pediatrician every few days and they had us come in.  She determined that he had Acid Reflux and Colic.  She told me I should start watching what I was eating and maybe eliminating things from my diet.  And she said hopefully by 3 months he would grow out of the colic stage.  Awesome.   She put him on 2 prescriptions for the reflux and told me to try Gripe Water and gas drops for the Colic.  The medicines did help a little but he still spit up a lot and cried a lot.  He did not seem to be in pain after eating anymore though.   Once again, after a few weeks of this, I HIGHLY considered giving up BF.  I did not want to have start eliminating foods from my diet but I felt terrible that what I was eating was causing him discomfort. I decided that formula would be the cure.  And at the probably would have "cured" him.  BUT for some reason I stuck with it still. 
This is how the first 6 weeks went.  It was a constant battle in my mind. I wasn't loving BF because I felt like it was making him sick.  He was nursing every 1-1 1/2 hours (that is exhausting) and I wasn't getting that lovey dovey bonding feeling.   But, at the same time I knew "Breast is Best" as they say and I felt guilty if I didn't keep going and felt like I would be judged for giving my baby formula so soon.  
Thankfully my husband and family were very supportive and I met some awesome blogging buddies who were very encouraging and even going thru some of the same things as I was...and they were sticking with it.   Week 7 was a turning point for us.  Connor wasn't crying as much, we were getting into a good routine, nursing didn't hurt anymore, I was pumping once or twice a day and seeing my freezer get full......and Connor started smiling at me when I would nurse him.  Once again...I was hooked.  And here we are at 13 weeks and going strong.
BF has definitely been the hardest thing I have gone through since having Connor.  It is a huge commitment and sacrifice and at times it is exhausting and painful.  I can't be gone from him longer than 3-4 hours at the most because I either need to feed him or pump (and he isn't taking a bottle very well these days).  So, that makes it difficult to  do things enjoy a long date with my husband.  I didn't drink much before I had Connor but now if I want a drink I have to plan it around BF or pumping. To me I would rather not drink so I can BF him than have a couple drinks and have to pump & dump or use some frozen milk.   When you chose to EBF, it has to become a top priority and you have to be willing to sacrifice other things.  We have several things coming up in the next 6 months and I am already trying to decide if I will even be able to games & tailgating, a golf tournament, an out of town wedding....  These things will take a lot of planning since I am BF.  I know they can be done but it just takes more planning and commitment (pumping at random times and places to keep up supply) than it would if I wasn't BF.  I used to be very selfish with my time and lifestyle....why not?  It was just me and my husband.   But that all changes when you have a baby.  And it changes even more when you EBF. 
I absolutely love breast feeding.  I look forward to his "hunger signs" because I know it's time to nurse.  When I go run a quick errand that won't last more than a couple hours, I tell my husband to try not to give him a bottle so I can nurse him when I get home.  I don't even mind waking up in the middle of the night to feed him.  The first time he ever slept through the night I was actually a little sad because I missed nursing him and snuggling with him in the middle of the night.  When he stops nursing and looks at me and smiles then goes right back to nursing, it melts my heart and makes it all worth it.   When I think about quitting BF one day, I get really sad so I try not to even think about it......
I know everyone has a different experience with BF and has different feelings about it and different goals.  Some people can't EBF when they really want to.  Some have to stop sooner than planned for medical reasons or maybe because it is just too much.  I would never want to judge anyone for choosing to do something different.  Heck, my Mom didn't BF my brother and I and I think we turned out just fine ;)   This is just MY experience and my feelings towards it.  And I would respect and support anyone in any decision they make about breastfeeding.
I just wanted to share my story so first of all, I can look back one day and remember these sweet and difficult times...but also so maybe there is a Mom out there who is struggling and considering giving up like I did, but still deep down wants to stick with it.  I hope this can be encouraging.
I honestly thought I would have given up a long time ago.  I never imagined I would love it as much as I do!
Oh and did I mention how much weight you will lose if you EBF?!  I've lost 44 lbs in 3 months and I have to say I have not worked out once (just walked some)....and I eat ALL.THE.TIME. haha 
Just an extra perk :)
I will check back in at 6 months and post about where we are at and how it's going!  Hopefully we will still be going strong and working towards our one year goal! =)
If you stuck with me this long, THANK YOU!!!!