Category — baby
When I was pregnant with Declan finding the perfect diaper bag seemed like a big deal. Something that would fit a lot of baby things (what those were, I wasn’t totally sure) have a place to change the baby, and be easy to carry. I found all of that in a Petunia Pickle Bottom Backpack from Pottery Barn Kids. And it was awesome for a good 6 months. Mostly while I was on maternity leave and could use it as a purse and diaper bag in one. Once I went back to work it got pretty bothersome switching from a purse for work to a diaper bag at night/weekends. We had been gifted an embroidered Land’s End bag for Declan, which he used for school, so we started using that more and more. As Declan got older and in turn needed less and less stuff there were times when I wouldn’t bring a bag at all. I figured there was always a clean diaper somewhere in my car, or we were just running to Target where I could just buy diapers if it really came down to it.
While going bag-less had its perks, I realized just how unprepared I was for all of the little things that could happen. Runny noses, scrapes, a stronger sun than anticipated. I was at a loss for all of these. So while we still always pack a bag for long outings or out to eat (think diaper/wipes/extra outfit for those FEED-MASELF dinners/crayons/paper/books) I decide to take charge and prep an always ready Mom Kit (that didn’t scream Mom).
I picked up a pencil case and tissue cover from The Pleated Poppy to hold everything. I packed it with the following:
1 and 2. sunscreen stick and aquaphor for my little guy’s sensitive skin
3 and 4. Antibiotic cream and alcohol pads
5. Hand sanitizer
8. CPR booklet (which I understand would be useless in the case of an actual emergency, but you never know…)
I also threw in a pack of sensitive wipes (again, that skin of his. Poor little guy!)
The entire thing fits nicely into my purse, stays contained thanks to the zippered case and leaves me feeling one step ahead no matter where we are. Which is good because these days I usually start off two steps back! With the new baby coming I will probably switch back to the diaper bag while I am on leave, and then back to the Mom Kit and school bag once I go back to work. At least, that’s the plan!
Do you have a Mom Kit? Any items that you think I am missing that you were glad to have on hand in an emergency? I would love to hear!!
March 11, 2013 5 Comments
Tonight the advent calendar was filled with army guys, Indians, trucks, stickers and sweets. I think I am more excited than Declan is. Also, the bump, 14 weeks. Showing much faster than last time around.
November 30, 2012 2 Comments
So that was a long break! This past month was definitely one of those “you can only juggle so many balls” and blogging was the one that had to be dropped. I hope to be around more often, but no promises. But I will try! Two things that kept me away: 1. A sick toddler and husband 2. A tired, nauseous mama. Yep, baby #2 is on the way and unlike my last, super smooth and easy pregnancy, this one has been kicking my butt! I’m 11 weeks along and hoping I feel normal again soon. We are very excited to add a fourth to our family, and at the same time a little nervous. Any tips on handling a toddler and an infant? Declan will be 2 1/2 when the little one is born and he has a lot of exposure to babies at daycare so we are hoping that will help! Should be interesting.
See you soon!
P.S. Happy birthday to my favorite husband!!!
November 5, 2012 8 Comments
While Declan went to daycare all summer, so technically there wasn’t a last day, this week signified the beginning of a new year at his school. Hard to believe he was just 6 months old when he first started there! Last year his class was filled with toddlers who were all about 6 months older than him, which was fun because those kiddos pushed him to do more and learn more. Plus it was great getting to ask the other parents for advice since they hit all of the phases before us! For the next 5 months, until Declan turns two, he will be the oldest in his class by about 6 months. While it kind of saddens me that he isn’t with his friends in the big kids room, I am taking it as a great opportunity for Declan to learn to be gentle and to be a helper. We aren’t expecting baby 2 quite yet but any ‘big brother’ practice would be great!
September 1, 2012 1 Comment
Declan is turning into such a little boy! My baby is definitely all grown up and is a total toddler now. So here is a little run down on who this guy is and what life is like now at 18 months.
Eating: His palette has definitely improved, but still has a long way to go. He is eating more whole fruits now (watermelon is his favorite new dessert) and once in a while he will eat meat, which is great because he needs a new protein source! Yogurt, milk, cheese, pancakes, muffins, peanut butter and scrambled eggs are still go-to favorites.
Sleeping: While still not great, his sleeping habits have gotten better. We are down to one nap a day which will last 1 1/2 – 2 hours most days (hooray for getting to sit down without feeling guilty!). Nighttime is hit or miss. The last few weeks we have had more 7:30-6:00 nights which is really nice, but in the last few days he has woken up within a few hours of going down needing to be rocked back to sleep. We take what we can get.
Moving: Oh boy. This kid is on the go. Constantly running, trying to hop, and more recently jumping off his little picnic table bench (believed to be Olympics inspired). He has equipment for pretty much every sport and loves them all. He loves to run away from Bryan and I, and will often run without looking, resulting in lots of bangs and bruises.
Talking: Declan has so many words! My favorites are meeeeeeese and mama (of course).
Loving: His new basketball hoop and ball, bubbles, sesame street (melmo and cookie are his favorite).
Hating: Being told no when he wants something. He has started stomping his feet and whining/crying… no fun!
Size: 26 pounds (60%) 32 inches (45%). The poor kid has wide feet right now, which means that the only shoes that fit him properly are New Balance and Stride Rite. We bought him a pair of Native shoes which we loved, but they were just a little too tight so we can’t put them on him anymore. The rainbows (in the picture) are cute and fit his feet but aren’t good for running toddlers.
This little dude has stolen my heart. Bryan and I are lightly discussing baby #2 and it really is hard to imagine sharing the love, I am just not sure how my heart will be able to hold it all in! We have some time to figure that out, and until then I will pour everything I have into my little guy.
July 30, 2012 No Comments
While Declan was playing in the bath tonight I opened up the medicine cabinet to find these goodies staring at me.
When Declan was about 6 weeks old I came to the realization that he was sensitive to dairy.
Back up to the second week home from the hospital. Declan would cry, a lot. He would get gassy and cry and cry and wiggle around trying to get comfortable. No amount of leg pumping would help. It was a really hard time for both of us. One night I asked Bryan to pick up some baby gas-x on his way home just to see if it would help. The minute after we gave him the dose he seemed happier. It was a miracle! Except it stopped working. So we bought Gripe Water. My mom bought us Colic Calm. I picked up another brand. Everything seemed to help for the first few times and then it stopped. When I mentioned it to our pediatrician she said that maybe he was just going to be colicky, and gave us a few tips on how to soothe a colicky baby. Well, after some research on my end I found that many babies have a sensitivity to diary. You can read more about it here (scroll to Dairy Sensitivity in Babies). This really hit me since I was drinking a big glass of milk when I first read about it! I immediately cut out the obvious dairy in my diet, as well as soy (which meant iced coffee in the morning. straight up. ugh).
Now whenever I hear about little babies being colicky the first thing I ask is if the mama tried cutting out dairy. (This only works if they are breastfeeding. Most formulas are made with dairy or soy. It looks like Similac offers a non-dairy non-soy option, but I don’t know much about it.) It is a little inconvenient, but when you think about the huge change it can make in your baby and in turn in your life, it is very worth it! And luckily most children outgrow the sensitivity by the time they are old enough to have cow’s milk. I reintroduced it at 11 months and we switched Declan to all cows milk with no problems.
This motherhood stuff is tricky business. Luckily there are a lot of other mamas out there writing down their stories, and a lot of great resources to help guide us in the right direction.
I’ve mentioned them before, but if you are local to Southern California be sure to check out Milkalicious for all of your breastfeeding needs!
July 17, 2012 5 Comments
Fourteen months and ten days. That is how long I breastfed for. It has only been a few weeks since stopping and I already miss it.
I think I may have been more worried about being able to breastfeed well than I was about having a drug-fee birth. What if he couldn’t latch? What if my supply wasn’t enough? What if it hurt? I read half of my breastfeeding how-to book and decided that I had learned as much as I could about it (barring any real nursing problems). Instead of reading about all of the types of holds (seriously could never figure out how the football hold was supposed to be comfortable) I did what I could to set myself up to succeed.
- We hired a doula, who I knew would be there to help me if I had any questions or concerns about it after the birth.
- I spoke with a good friend whose son is six months older than Declan. I can still picture us at her table, eating lunch, me hugely pregnant and worrying out loud that I may not be able to breastfeed. She looked at me and said not to worry about it. That it would be natural and fine and everything would go well. Of course she had no way of knowing, but positive thinking plays a huge part in, well, in all things labor, birth and breastfeeding!
- That same friend gifted me with a purple tube of amazingness. After Declan was born I used this after every feeding, starting in the hospital. I never once had dryness, cracking or bleeding. I attribute that to the purple tube.
- We didn’t introduce a pacifier, bottle or any type of artificial nipple until Declan was 6 or 8 weeks old. By then he had his latch down and I was not worried about nipple confusion.
We did have an issue with him being gassy, which almost led to colic. I cut dairy and soy out of my diet and the problem resolved itself. I eventually re-introduced both into my diet when he was about 11 months old. I exclusively nursed him until I went back to work at 13 weeks. There was one formula incident while I was at my six week follow up appointment. My mom was watching Declan for me, the appointment ran late and he got hungry. The formula did not go over well.
Once at work I pumped during the day and Declan used special bottles meant for babies who go between breast and bottle. You can read my post on pumping here. He still nursed in the morning, to sleep and throughout the night. (Even though we moved him to his crib at 8 months old, he would still wake throughout the night. The easiest thing for me was to bring him into our bed and nurse him back to sleep, although this led to more waking during the night to nurse him.)
After he turned 12 months old we switched his daytime bottles to whole milk, which luckily he didn’t react to! He took a week or so to get used to it, and it was difficult on the weekends when I was home during the day to stick to the bottles, rather than nursing him. In mid-March he got sick, then I got sick, then he got sick again, which meant lots of down time for both of us and lots of comfort nursing. At that point he was still nursing to sleep and then coming into our bed around midnight and nursing throughout the night.
And then a few weeks ago I decided that it was time for him to sleep through the night in his crib. While I love the cuddles that come with bed sharing, I work full time and the constant lack of sleep was really starting to get to me. I never felt right letting him cry it out, I never thought he was old enough to understand why I was leaving him there by himself, so we just never did it. But at 13 months old I knew that he understood. Not 100% of course, but he got it. One night, after the third round of putting him down only to have him wake up immediately I had to walk out of the room for a few minutes. He kept crying so I went in and stood there, letting him hug me while he cried. Eventually I got on my knees, arms over into the crib, hugging him, singing to him as he cried and cried and cried. It was so hard but I knew that if I picked him up we would have to start all over. I knew that he was just angry that I wasn’t picking him up. He didn’t need food, or warmth, or a clean diaper. He was just pissed that he had to sleep by himself (as I would have been. Sleeping alone kind of sucks…) After about 30 minutes of crying (and 2 arms that were completely asleep) I walked out of the room again. I went into our bedroom, turned on the video monitor and watched him as he stood up, crying. That’s when I started crying. I was so conflicted. Some mothers do this at 6 weeks and their babies still love them. Some mothers never do this. Which type of mother was I going to be? But before I could answer that question there was silence. He cried for four minutes and then fell asleep. It was 8:32 pm. He slept until 7 am.
The next night I nursed him until he fell asleep, I put him in his crib and of course he woke up. I got on my knees, he put his head on my should and cried, but not with the same anger as the night before. After a few minutes I gave him a kiss and walked out. He cried another three minutes and was out. He slept 11 hours. Life. Changing.
With the sleeping concurred, and only the nursing to sleep left, I tried a bottle before bedtime. I was sure he wouldn’t take it. How could a plastic bottle bring him the same comfort as nursing?! I was wrong. He downed the bottle, fell asleep and didn’t wake up until the next morning. All of a sudden my time breastfeeding was over. With taking a bottle to bed, no night feedings, and him waking up after I leave for work it was over. Just like that. I still have my freezer supply which I plan on using the next time he gets sick to help kick the illness quicker.
I am enjoying my sleep, and the prospect of getting babysitters for after he goes down. But honestly? I really miss the closeness that breastfeeding brought. The day after I realized that my time breastfeeding Declan was over I had a little pity party, silently mourning the end of that phase of our time together. I am so happy, and blessed, that I was able to do it for so long. I can only hope that it is as easy next time.
If you are having problems breastfeeding there are a ton of resources out there. Contact your local La Leche League, and if you are local to Southern California, check out Milkalicious in Aliso Viejo.
I know that breastfeeding isn’t easy for everyone, and due to whatever circumstances you may have had to stop earlier than you wanted to. Please know that this post is not about judging, or saying that I am superior (ha!) for going so long. To each their own (especially in motherhood), no judgements here!
April 25, 2012 7 Comments
Last year I made Declan a bunny for his first Easter basket. I followed this pattern from Martha, and by follow I mean I looked it over and said to myself oh, I don’t need to print that out, I can totally free hand it. And I don’t need to read all the steps, it can’t be that hard. It came out okay, except I couldn’t get the arms on right so one may or may not have quite a few stitch lines in it trying to keep it on…
Anyways, I am thinking a homemade bunny may be an Easter tradition (I say now, on Easter number two with one child. Ask me again on Easter number ten with three children. Yes Bryan, I said three.) Here are a few I have seen around and think could be doable.
March 27, 2012 2 Comments
Declan is only wanting what Bryan and I have these days, which includes proper silverware. Of course I am a little worried that he will poke his eye out (kid!) but he is getting pretty good at stabbing food and getting it in his mouth.
March 6, 2012 1 Comment
I just read this article (saw it linked from here) about pumping at work and felt like talking about it. I haven’t been making time for this space lately. Dishes, couch time, cleaning up toys and sleep have all taken priority. But breastfeeding, and therefore pumping is something I feel strongly about and, well, reading the article got me wanting to talk about it.
I have been fortunate enough to have an office at work to pump in since coming back from leave after 12 weeks. I have bounced around between a few empty offices and they have never had locks on the door but I have always had a quiet place, a chair, a table, and most importantly comfort while pumping. I am down from three times a day to one now, and within a month or so will probably be done with it. There is talk of the company creating a room specifically for pumping mothers, as there are currently three women out on maternity leave (our company employs about 100 or so people), which will be good for the next time around I guess.
Even though I have had offices, I have not gone without the awkward conversation when the question comes up. “What are you doing in there?” I guess it isn’t obvious to many people, which in itself is sad, that a mother, right back from maternity leave, who is walking into an office with a black tote three times a day, is going to pump. I tried different answers. “Oh, well I am still nursing Declan, so, I, um, need to make sure he has bottles while at daycare.” “Declan isn’t on formula so while I am here I have to, um, make sure he has bottles.” Eventually it was “I’m still breastfeeding so I am going in here to pump.” The same person never asked twice. Coming out of the office afterwards women will give me a knowing smile and men avoid eye contact.
There was one week where I had to use an office in the technology department. I had okay’d it with the assistant to whose office I was using, but the rest of the team did not know about it. After two days, going into the office twice a day and posting my “Please do not disturb” sign on the door, one of the women finally, loudly, said “What are you doing in there?!” I explained, and they all seemed satisfied with the answer. The next day I got an email from one of the older gentleman in the department. He has a great sense of humor, and we go back and forth and have fun. In his email he asked what time the Dairy Queen was going to be open that day, because he had to use the office for a conference call at 2:00. It was funny, and still makes me laugh, but it was also a little awkward.
I know that I have had it good, awkward moments aside. I have friends who have to pump in closets. Friends who are told that the provided space for pumping mothers is the same place they put the sick kids in the nurses office. This friend opts for the faculty bathroom, has to stand up while pumping and has to try to ignore the door handle jiggling the entire time. Every time I hear about this I just want to run up to the company executives and say “Come on! Really? By law you have to provide a suitable place, so get out of your office. She is going to use it for 15 minutes, 3 times a day!” I know it isn’t that easy. I know that for some women it is hard, and frustrating, and switching to formula would be so. much. easier.
If you are going through this, standing in bathrooms, closets, sick kid rooms… know that your baby is worth it. Keep at it, turn on some music, stick a huge sign on the door and try your hardest not to give a crap about what people on the other side of the door might think. You are doing this for your baby, and that is all that matters.
February 23, 2012 4 Comments