Tuesday, April 23, 2013

10 months of our Sweet E!

We are officially in double digits, my love, 10 months old!!

Getting closer and closer to the big year!!
(and yes, I am in full fledged birthday party planning mode!!)
  

You are so fun. I really don't know what else to say about this month, except for fun. 
You have so many smiles and giggles and belly laughs and happy faces for us all the time!
 

Please excuse my scary, no make-up, over exaggerated faces...I will do anything to get that giggle out of her!!
This went on for like 10 minutes. The Hubs was in the back of the house and heard it and came out with the camera. 
Probably the best 10 mins of my life!

Even when you do fuss, most of the time it is that fake cry and I can't help but giggle a little because I KNOW that is a fake cry and you are trying so hard to get your way! :) 
But when you do have that real cry, that big crocodile tears cry, oh it breaks our hearts!! I can't squeeze you tight enough!!
Speaking of, you have officially become attached to your Momma. You don't always go to others as easily as you used to...you will even cry and throw a fit to get to me. Not gonna lie, a little bit of me loves it (is that bad?!) but I do hate it too!

You are weighing in at __________, and that is from the scale at home which is less than 100% accurate, but we will go with it! :)
You are in 9-12 month clothes, which I am loving! I love all these little rompers that show off those fabulous little Michelin baby legs!
Couldn't you just die?!
Here are a few more....just because I can't get enough!
 

Still in size three diapers.
And eating everything in sight!!
You have yet to meet a food you don't like.
And straws, those are your latest entertainment obsession at restaurants, normally gives us at least 15 minutes!
 Those bottom right pictures....we gave you a lemon...we are awful parents....it was so funny though!!

You crawling everywhere....you latest favorite game is Momma chasing you....and I love it!
You giggle like crazy and keep turning around to make sure I am still coming to getcha! We MUST get a video of this!!

You are pulling up on every thing and you are always very proud of yourself!
And I love cheering you on and watching you beam with pride!

I'm pretty sure you will be walking soon as you are already moving around the furniture....scary!! Exciting, but scary...

You had some fun with Daddy this month!
and of course a few pics with Momma too!
 You got see all your friends this month a lot!
 
How sweet are you girls holding hands?!

You still love playing with toys that aren't toys....


And you are loving to dance! If you hear music or a rattle you bounce and squeal and cheer and wave your hands!

 You still absolutely love your bath time, it's like your favorite thing ever! I cannot wait to get you in a pool!!


We took you on your first road trip for Easter this year!
We went to see some family on your Momma's side in Charlotte.
We normally fly but decided to do a road trip this time...never again! HA!
You have never been a big fan of long car rides, so I'm not sure why we thought 7 hours would work!
You refused to sleep on the way there so Mom resorted to the iPad the last hour...and thank goodness for that! 
It saved our sanity! HA!
We stopped in Knoxville on the way (aka, your Daddy's heaven!)
see below, his favorite breakfast place!
He was beaming with pride that you and I were there with him! Happy Happy Boy! 

We had such a great time with family!
You got to meet 2 of your cousins (well they are my cousin's babies...so what does that make you, 2nd cousins??) Alexa and Christian and spend some quality time with you Uncle Adam & Aunt Gracie, Cousin Arin, and of course your GG (aka, your Great Grandma)!
And of course we celebrated your first Easter! It was such a special day!

And of course just some super cute pics from this month...

This pic doesn't do it justice, you were holding you head in your hand and leaning to the side...I about died at the cuteness. 
I got my camera as fast as possible and this was the best I could get before you stopped. You were like, "Whoa is me....".

After a long day at school you passed out in the card on the way home....never happens!
Look at those cheeks!!

Happy Baby!!
Helping Momma cleaning out the closet!
 

You are slowly growing into a little toddler, which I love watching but it also makes me a bit sad!
You are growing oh so fast, and as I always say, it's very bitter sweet.
You have me and your Daddy wrapped, there is absolutely no question about that!
You are amazing, Monk Monk/Lisey/Pretty Pretty/Monkey.
We love you to the moon and back!
(and then some!)
Happy 10 Months, Elise!

XOXO, Momma & Daddy


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Thursday, April 18, 2013

First Birthday Ideas!

Yes ladies, I have started the party planning!
You know me, I am a planner....so I may or may not have started a few weeks back.... :). 
 
I have a theme all set and I am pretty pumped about it....
 
...ready for it???
 

Do you love it?! Sprinkles on absolutely EVERYTHING!!!
I should tell The Hubs to buy stock in sprinkles....

So I have booked our fab photog!
And the awesomness that is Jessica, is of course designing all the pretty paper goods! So I will have invites to share soon!

I have a full list made with all the crafty and yummy goodies I want to do!
I need to start....like now.

I have also started a wish list on Amazon for relatives and friends that are wondering what Miss E "needs", and I say "needs" very very loosely.

Here are a few that have made the list....

What little one doesn't need a good ball pit?!?!
here

This fab 3 in one Radio Flyer Tricycle!
 
We saw it when we went to Miss Caroline's first birthday and just knew we HAD to have it! :)

I have both of these on there...but I'm not sure if I can wait until the end of June!! :) 


here / here

And these...
but maybe in mint!
Yep, kind of obsessed with the mint....maybe I should get a matching pair.
 
 And something she can push around the house, how cute is this mini vacuum cleaner!?!
 here

stacking fun

here
 
bath toys!
here

here

And of course the necessity, the big girl carseat!!
 
I believe I have decided on the Britax Boulevard, what do all you Momma's think? 
What do you have? Likes, dislikes??
We gotta buy two of these suckers, so we better like 'em!!


So those are just a few, any Momma's to one-year-olds have any other suggestions for good toys/entertainment??


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Friday, April 12, 2013

My breastfeeding (or lack there of) experience.

So, I had intentions of writing this post last summer...like right after Elise was born. 
Best of intentions, right?
 
Recently the topic has come up a lot....with my cousin going through similar struggles as I did, my BFF expecting her first little one very soon, and other friends with new babies. 
I read Little Baby Garvin's post on her experience this morning and it made me think, I need to share my story. She was honest and it made me feel better that I wasn't the only one who felt the same way. 
I thought I could share that with you all in hopes to help ease other new mommie's worries.

Like most Moms, I had full intentions of breastfeeding my children.
Before becoming pregnant, I really didn't know that much about it. 
One friend opted not to breastfeed and another very dear friend had a terrible experience with it and was heartbroken when it didn't work.
Sooo, when I did get pregnant I started to try and learn as much as I could before hand. 
We took the class at the hospital.
I read mommy blogs, 
websites, 
all kinds of internet stuff to get as many tips and tricks as possible!
And I told myself, we will try and make it work. 
If it does, awesome. If not, I wouldn't beat myself up about it....
I was so confident I could do it that I didn't buy the pump yet. 
I thought, I am not "supposed" to pump until at least week 2 or 3 to allow my supply to adapt. 
yeah right.Why tempt me? 
(oooh, If I knew what I know now)

Fast forward to after Elise was born. 
First go 'round, awesome.
She latched and started feeding. 
I thought hell, this is easy. I can totally do this.
 Ha!
 
The next day wasn't so easy. 
She would latch, but she wouldn't do it for very long. It was almost like she would get distracted. 
We called the nurses in and of course, she did it perfect.
It's amazing how perfect everything goes when the nurse is there...the nurse walks out and it's a WHOLE different game! 
 
Fast forward to our first night home....
My milk had officially started coming in. 
TMI, they were getting bigger and scarier by the minute. 
Which made latching impossible. 
I had my first crying breakdown that night. 
Crying from pain, exhaustion, frustration, worry. 
The poor, sweet, hubby was so scared/worried/concerned....he called his mom....at like 4am. 
She was there like 3 hours later (lives an hour and half away). 
I was annoyed and happy at the same time. Not that I don't adore my MIL, I wanted us to do this on our own for the first week, I thought we could do it. 
I was wrong. 
While, I know we could have....we have an amazing family on both sides and we are lucky to be able to have all of them so willing to be there for us. 

We took Elise to the doc the next morning and she had already lost a little over a pound. 
Not good.
The doc said, you need to supplement or pump and feed her by the bottle for the next couple days to ensure she is getting enough.
And from the looks of your boobs...you need to pump....okay she may not have said that it exactly, but that's the gist.
I, of course, go into freak out mode.  

My boobs hurt so badly. They were engorged and hurt more than anyone ever warned me!
I had my second crying breakdown. 
In the Target parking lot.
The Hubs wanted to get me home and he go get the pump...I couldn't wait that long. I needed to get this milk out. We got in an argument...I cried...it wasn't pretty. Later, he saw all the milk I pumped out and apologized. Learning experience for both!

So for the next few days I pumped and pumped and pumped. It was amazing how much I was supplying. I was so excited to get so much stored up in the freezer! 
Again, I was like...this could work!
HA!
So then we attempted to start breastfeeding again. 
I wanted so badly to breastfeed naturally. 
She wouldn't latch...and then we she did...she would get distracted again.
The Hubs had to sit in there and hold her hands so that she wouldn't put them in the way.
That wasn't exactly convenient. 
 
Then I would feed her a bottle afterwards and she would take it all...
did that mean she wasn't getting anyting in the feedings?
I was SOOOO terrified that she was going to lose weight again.
We were on the up and up and I was not going backwards!
 
And on top of all this, it was painful. All of it.
Pumping.
Latching.
Putting a bra on.
Taking a bra off.
Taking a shower.
All of it.
 
As sad as I was it wasn't working, I was still very happy that she was getting breastmilk. 
I made the decision to solely pump. At least that worked and I knew how much she was getting.
 
So here is what most of my days looked like:
 
Feed E...
...then pump for 30-45mins.
Clean pump parts and bottles and 
seal, label, and store pumped milk.
Do chores for 30-40 minutes....
Start again.
This went on for months. The pain never getting better.
I guess it was somewhere in the 3rd or 4th week I got my first round of Mastitis. 
Yes, you read that correctly, first round.

Went away for about 10 days....and came back.
Ladies, I didn't know much about Mastitis before hand...and why would I? But holy crap, IT SUCKS!
It is an infection of a blocked duct. Your boob gets rock hard and even the touch of my arm rubbing against it was excruciating. I would try and raise my arms and cry.

At this point both my Momma and My Hubby told me to stop. 
They said I was torturing myself.
It wasn't worth it for me to be in pain all the time.
It was such a good feeling to hear that...that they supported me if I did decided to stop.
But of course, that guilt of a new mom is stronger than anything else.
I couldn't do it. I felt selfish.
I can do this. At least until I go back to work. I can do this. 
And while it got a bit easier, mainly because I was staring to get used to the routine, it controlled my life. 
She was sleeping through the night at 2 weeks, but I still had to get up to pump.
Any outing I did had to be in a 2-3 hour window as I HAD to pump. 
If we went anywhere for longer I had to lug her diaper bag and the pump bag and a cooler for the milk. 
If we had guests, I would be stuck in our bedroom attached to the wall.
It wasn't easy by any means, but I was so happy she was getting it.

Then, the devil, that is Mastitis came back. 
And with every time I had it it lessened my supply. 
I was pumping the same amount of time, but get only about half the supply.
And she was eating more and more. 
I was fighting a losing battle.

This time I got an antibiotic for it and an antibiotic to dry me up.
It was time.
I had pumped for almost 3 months and she had enough milk to get her to almost 4. 
And ladies, other than creating/birthing her, I think that is my biggest accomplishment.

Clearly I didn't have the best experience with breastfeeding. 
I wanted to make it work so badly and was willing to do whatever I could to make it work.
Honestly, I don't think I will the next round.
I will try again. If he/she latches and it works, awesome.
If not. I don't think I can solely pump again. 
Just the thought of the sound of that pump makes me cringe and want to cry.
The day I zipped that sucker up and stored it in the basement was one of the best of my life!
I actually look forward to the day that I can take it into a field and beat it "Office Space" style. :)

All this being said, I have a few friends that had amazing experiences with breastfeeding. 
They were able to do it until their little one was a year.
It never hurt (at least past the first month), it never controlled their life, it just worked.
And it was one of the best experiences of their life! 
Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural thing and if it works, it is a blessing.
I hope that is the case for my next little one.

But if it doesn't....you are not alone. 
Lots of moms have to stop....whether it is their choice or their body's choice. 
That doesn't make you a bad mom or mean that you don't love your baby. 
And while it is easy for me to say, I have been there and I know that guilt. 
But from one Mom to another, I support you! :) 
Here is my almost 10 month old, healthy and growing like a weed!  
I mean look at those chunky little arms! I die!
Enfamil is a good thing. HA!
Okay, that was a lot! 

I hope this helps some of you Mommas or soon-to-be Mommas out there.
And please, feel free to ask me any questions....clearly I am an open book!! :) 

Good luck to you all!! :)
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