Look Hoo’s One!

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Happy First Birthday Baby Girl!

Another time I might try and share some thoughts and reflections on the year, but today its your Birthday, and we are too busy celebrating! You had a hoot of a time with your friends and your grandpas and grandmas and aunties came too! Mommy made all sorts of decorations to celebrate your first year of life and you even had your first cupcake! Everyone gave you such wonderful presents,  you are going to have a great summer playing with them all!

Birth 2015 04 11_2758 2015 04 11_2760_edited-1 2015 04 11_2763 2015 04 11_2765 2015 04 11_2766 2015 04 11_2767 2015 04 11_2768 2015 04 11_2773 2015 04 11_2796 2015 04 11_2794 2015 04 11_2810_edited-1 2015 04 11_2816Happy Birthday little one! We all hope you had a fantastic day!

Learning to be Cheapskates Update #1

Well….when it rains it pours! Just when my maternity leave runs out and we officially become a one income household (and a *mostly* stay at home mom becomes my career title) we have had some fairly significant expenses come up! Rather then go into detail about that, I thought I would share some of the little things that have helped cut some costs….

1. We cancelled (well as soon as we can take the dang box back…they sure don’t make it easy!) our cable and home phone. With Netflix we never really “needed” the TV anyways.

2. We took one of the cars (that wasn’t running well) back to the place we bought it from and got a refund…we are now a one car family…. This has been challenging, more for my husband who has been biking/bussing/skateboarding to work and back, as if he takes the car I have no way to transport the kids.

3. I reduced our groceries bills in half…mostly by only going every other week instead of every week and still not spending more to make up the difference, we have had to go into the pantry a lot more and eat what we can find…also all those box foods that say to add butter….you don’t really need butter…..or the full amount of milk… Ironically buying produce from a local farmer has actually helped too…the prices are not a lot higher then the store and with smaller bags of things like spinach and sweet potato, we actually get to eating it all and have a lot less waste.

4. About waste….did you know that if you REALLY want to use up all the toothpaste in the tube….theres probably at least a weeks worth left after we previously would have deemed it empty….squeeze harder….cut the end off…theres still some hiding! Also watering down shampoos, bodywashes, not only help them last longer, but also makes them easier on the kids sensitive skin. Have also made rags out of some old T-shirts and by using them instead of paper towel or cleaning cloths….have already seen the papertowel last a lot longer!

5. I have sold $50 worth of maternity clothes on a local bidding site….and bought R’s adorable Easter dress of f the same site for $2.

6. Thanks to the great weather this week have been able to hang laundry instead of use the dryer  as much…which when I do at least 10 loads a week (between clothes, cloth diapers, cloths and towels…we produce a lot of dirty clothes!)…having only used the dryer half the time if nothing else is at least better for our ecological footprint as a family!

Will keep posting things as I think of them and make more adjustments, but I thought I need to start somewhere!

Thoughts on Breastfeeding

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Exactly one week before her first birthday we are done nursing. After months of me having doubts about my supply levels and trying to make it happen….to reach my personal goal of nursing until at least a year, she decided for me that we were finished. This makes me irrationally sad…I am proud we made it this long, and I commend all moms who try and BF as long as they can and I commend all moms who formula feed for many reasons….I did not expect to be sad about this day. I am only writing about it because it feels surreal to me, and that maybe somewhere there is another mother out there who can benefit from knowing she is not alone in her feelings. So lets back up…to the very beginning.

Pre-pregnancy: I had no desire to be pregnant, and full intention to adopt. I love babies, but giving birth to them was just not something I craved. Because of that expectation I never expected to ever have to even think about nursing. Even after deciding we were indeed going to try and conceive prior to looking into adoption more, Breastfeeding was not something on the front of my radar.

Pregnancy: I felt bombarded with information about nursing. The benefits, the judgment of those who don’t, the messages of trying to normalize it, but I still didn’t feel like it was something that I would ever be passionate or emotionally involved in. I was quick to defend those who formula feed and while I knew I would try and nurse for the sake of my child, it was never something that I was fully committed to.

Newborn: Hello oversupply! The first weeks were hard, constantly correcting the latch, leaking all over the place, and actually nursing was painful, not enjoyable, …and what I would have done for more then a hour of sleep at a time…but I had decided that I would give nursing 6 weeks, and go from there. 6 weeks came and by then it got easier….still dealt with oversupply, but learned patterns that helped even things out and pumping became routine, I was able to pump enough for our needs and donate monthly to a little boy who was having a hard time digesting formula and his mom had really wanted to give him breastmilk that she couldn’t provide. (if you would like to donate please contact your local milkbank or Human Milk 4 Human Babies )

6 months old: Pumping stopped working….no mater how long or how often I would pump, I could never pump more then 1oz….this was also about the time nursing started to be more bonding, something I finally can even say I cherished. It helped that I was getting up to 4 or 5 hours of sleep at a time….maybe that was part of the beginning of the end. Either way, not being able to pump I think did make me care more about trying to make it to the goal of a year.

9 Months old: I began to question my supply…there were a few things going on…like a constantly hungry child, even with eating more solids the number of nursing sessions was going up during the day not down, she also was getting constipated a LOT. I no longer felt engorged, even when away from her for more then just a couple hours. I posted the following on a mom’s group after about 3 or 4 weeks of these observations.

Question for breastfeeding moms or finished breastfeeding moms: How do you know when you have stopped producing. Nursing has been challenging lately, with teething and distractions and eating more solids….its been about a week of her hardly eating on either side before bed and acting like she is still hungry (crying if I take her off, but just playing or coming off every two seconds when trying to nurse)…and today just out of curiosity gave her a bottle after she was “done”…and she drank almost all of it…. I stopped pumping months ago because my body stopped reacting to the pump….does this mean we are done BF? Should I bother trying things like nursing tea/fennel if I’m not sure if I am producing anything? Wanted to make it to year…but not sure what’s going on

11.5 Months: After doing everything I could short of medication to encourage nursing (nursing more often, drinking nursing teas, applying fennel, cutting back solids etc ) it just seemed to make me stressed and R more upset and grumpy I decided it was time to let my body and my child decide if we were done and not push it anymore. I stopped offering unless she asked, I let her have that full bottle after nursing if she still seemed hungry, and that brings us to today…

Over the last 2 weeks she has rarely indicated a want/need to nurse, only comfort nursing before naps(a whole lot of sucking and zero swallowing) she started to even refuse those. Saturday. A week before her first birthday, she did not want to nurse at all….I didn’t get engorged, or even feel ‘full’ instead I felt sad. I know I should feel proud and happy about making it to a year, but I feel more surprised and uncomfortable. I realize I had an assumption that nursing would either come “naturally” and last as long as there was a child to nurse, you hear the stories of the moms who are still nursing their 2 and 3 year olds, or it wouldn’t and you would have come to terms with not nursing in the first number of weeks. I somehow expected it feel more like I had a choice in the matter then my body and my baby deciding without me at this point.  It was an odd feeling today getting up and putting on a regular bra…in a size I haven’t worn in close to 2 years and it fitting, putting on a top that wasn’t specifically chosen to be able to pull down easily at a moments notice. A part of me is eager to have my body back…but I feel like I don’t recognize it either, and I am glad that weaning seems like its not going to be a bad experience….and I am not sure I am fully ready to admit my daughter no longer needs that intimate nourishment in the same way as has sustained her until now. IMG_0373_edited-1

Easter 2015

Easter was split up into a full weekend event this year! The boys were invited to a Egghunt at a local daycare, Then one set of grandparents came over and brought Easter treats over, then on Saturday we headed over to the other grandparents to have an egghunt and dinner and finally on Easter Sunday we all got dressed up for church and to celebrate what Easter is really about…Jesus fulfilling God’s plan and making it possible for us to be in relationship with the creator….followed by an easter egg hunt!

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