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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ginny: One Month

Ginny is a month old! Where has the time gone?! Wasn't I just doing bump updates? Whoa.

Its been a very fast month and we are both doing great. I don't know if it was the quick labor or the second time Mom thing, but I felt much better, much faster this time around. G is doing a great and slowly falling into a recognizable routine, which is very nice. Unlike when Charlie was a newborn, I'm actually able to get a shower and eat during the day. It's lovely!

Stats: 9lbs. 3oz. and 20 1/2 inches long

Firsts this Month: First Easter, bath, visitors, cloth diapers, trip to the park, and overnight trip.

Clothes: Outgrown newborn onesies and sleepers, but still needs newborn pants despite the fluffy butt. They're still big, but 0-3 months sleepers fit length wise pretty well.

Favorites: Cuddling, eating, and sleeping. Ah, what a life.

Sleeping: So far, so good! Long naps, decent stretches at night, travels well - I couldn't ask for more at a month. She started out in the Rock and Play, but woke up every half hour. Then we moved her to the newborn napper part of the Pack and Play where she did a bit better. Surprisingly, she gets her best sleep flat on her back and unswaddled. Hey, I'll take it!

Eating: Breastfeeding milestone #1! We've made it one month and going strong. I've gotten really good at nursing in public, while walking, and even hands free in the Ergo carrier, which I'm particularly proud of. Next goal: 3 months.

New Tricks: Lifting her head briefly and beginning to track things with her eyes.

And in true month milestone fashion, here is G's monthly pic with her Minnie Mouse. I can't wait to see her grow and grow!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Surviving Growth Spurts

With the dreaded 3 week, 6 week, 12 week, etc. growth spurts on the horizon I know I'm in for a lot of time on the couch feeding G.

If you're unaware, growth spurts absolutely suck. You go from being a confident breastfeeding master to a sobbing mess. All of a sudden, your little one isn't satisfied and spends most of the evening crying through feedings and rooting all over the place. It can be mental torture and seriously hard on the boob esteem.

There are a few things you can do to try and prepare for this fun milestone/right of passage. First is to get plenty of rest (funny, right?), second is to keep nursing on demand as much as possible, and last, try to boost your supply through diet. A quick Google search of "lactogenic" foods will turn up a ton of sites with lists of how to boost your supply. None of them are scientifically proven, but a lot of Moms swear by them. All are healthy anyway, so why not give them a shot. Foods such as oatmeal, legumes, fruits and veggies with a lot of folic acid and fiber, grains such as barley, and of course plenty of water. Lots and lots of water.

A delicious and fun way to get in some good stuff is through lactation cookies. You heard me right - lactation cookies. Think oatmeal cookies on crack. I got this recipe from The Leaky B@@b and made them this week. They. were. delicious! I had to practically hide them from J, threatening that if he ate too many and lactated he would need to help with late night feedings. ;-)

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons brewer's yeast
  • 3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • If not in milled form, soak the flaxseed in the water for a few minutes to soften.
  • Mix dry ingredients.
  • Cream together butter and sugar, add eggs, flaxseed, and vanilla.
  • Add to dry ingredients.
  • Drop on cookie sheet
  • Bake 8 - 12 minutes on 375ยบ (I cooked them for 10 and they were perfect)
This recipe easily made 4 dozen cookies! The hardest thing to find ingredient wise was the Brewer's Yeast. I ended up finding it at WalMart in the vitamin section for about $3 a bottle. It came in pill form, but it was easy to crush up with a rolling pin.

So, I've got my oatmeal for breakfast, cookies for a snack, lentil soup for lunch (recipe to come!), and plenty of water. While I wish I could solve the world's breastfeeding issues with cookies, another piece of surviving growth spurts is patience and perspective. Enjoy the time with your baby, keep on nursing, have confidence in your ability to feed your baby, and remember....this too shall pass.

Bring it on, growth spurts.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

We need more space!

In the freezer, that is.

As I was feeding G earlier today I realized something - once I go back to work and start freezing breast milk we will be seriously short on freezer space. Then I further realized that once we start making and freezing baby food, well, there won't be any room at all! Time to start scouring Craig's List for a chest freezer. I wasn't sure if J would be on board with getting a semi-big appliance for what would realistically only be a year of milk and puree foods, he loved the idea! "We can always use more freezer space." he said. Done and done.

With gardening season rapidly approaching, I'm excited to start making and freezing baby food. By the time G is six months and ready to start solids, we should have a nice stash of purees for her to try thanks to our garden and local you pick places. Using this guide from Wholesome Baby Food's website, it'll be easy to decide what to freeze and for how long. 

If you want to make your own baby food, definitely check out Wholesome Baby Food. Its a great website with puree and baby led weaning info, recipes for different stages, and just about anything you want to know about feeding your baby.

Still working on breastfeeding? My favorite resource for that is There are so many questions and worries when you're breastfeeding and I can honestly say this site has answered every single one of mine - including information about pumping, storing, and using milk. With a deep freezer, I can store breast milk for up to a year. How's that for awesome?

Hopefully, Craig's List doesn't let me down. It is usually slim pickins in this area, but you never know. Wish me luck!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Weight Check #3

At birth, G weighed 7lbs 6oz. When she left the hospital, she was 6lbs 12oz. Totally normal to lose a bit of weight at first - no big deal. At her first weight check 8 days later, however, she had only gained back 3oz. Typically, its ideal for newborns to gain back an ounce a day after leaving the hospital.

Charlie at 7 months and 13lbs.
I didn't get it. She had been latching and nursing like a natural since birth - why wasn't she gaining weight? Another weight check was scheduled for the following Monday. In three days, she gained another 3oz. Finally, on the right track! Today, was a final weight check before moving onto the normal check up schedule and she gained another 5 ounces for a total weight of 7lbs. 7oz. Above birth weight!

Despite her gaining semi-steadily, I'm nervous. C was such a slow grower and yes, it could be attributed to his prematurity, but I can't help but worry the same will happen with G. His slow growth led to low muscle tone and delayed physical development landing him in physical therapy for a year. He didn't make an appearance on the growth chart until 11 months old when he jumped from >5% to 10%.

The thing that makes me laugh now is that when people ask how old he is they are shocked that he is only 2 1/2. "Oooh, big boy!" is the common response. How things change.

If G does follow in her brother's scrawny footsteps, there really isn't anything we can do about it. Some kids are just petite and who knows, she could hit her first growth spurt and blow the curve. Only time will tell. All I know thus far is that she's eating well, she's happy, and gaining. Keep it up, G!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Newborn Cloth Update

I spent most of my pregnancy researching and slowing building a newborn cloth diaper stash and while we started out using disposables on G's teeny tiny butt, now that her belly button has healed, its been all cloth.

Instead of buying all of one kind like I did with C, I collected all different kinds/brands to try out. My favorite so far has been Green Mountain Diapers prefolds and Thirsties covers. At first, I wasn't sure if they fit right, which surprised me since the covers say they start at 6 pounds. Truth is, on a baby this little, nothing is going to be super trim, hence the term "fluffy butt."

So far, we haven't had any leaks, which makes me happy because I'm a complete prefold folding newb. After a ton of Googling and tutorial watching, I can safely say that the jelly roll fold is my favorite. It takes a second to set up, but it seems to be the most trim and comfortable on her. It also creates little gussets around her legs to keep messes in.

See how tiny her legs are in comparison to my hand? Apparently, I only make children with tiny bird legs.

Other than their ease of use and ability to fit my little 7 pounder, I absolutely love the patterns that Thirsties come in! Argyle, flowers, stripes, solids - so pretty, its a shame to cover them up with clothes! I scored most of my Thirsties covers during Black Friday sales, which saved a ton of money. Even at full price, however, prefolds and covers are the way to go if you want to save some cash when building your stash.

Thirsties size one cover in Scottish Rose
Another big perk of prefolds is how easy they are to clean! I'm used to fighting with synthetic microfiber inserts and ammonia smell. Prefolds are cotton so they clean and rinse much easier. Thank goodness - I cannot wait to pitch C's microfiber inserts when he potty trains.

Two kids in cloth; one a messy, sweaty toddler, the other a spit up queen. Lets just say, I'm happily up to my eyeballs in laundry.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Beautiful Day!

Its been way too beautiful lately to stay inside. Time to break out the Ergo and get outside!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Sibling Love

Before G was born, I was actually pretty worried how C would react to having a baby around the house. Anytime I'd hold another child (of any age), C would desperately try to climb on my lap and sit with me. He was so protective! After being the center of our world for over 2 years, how would be react to sharing the spotlight? We did our best to prepare him for having a sibling, but there's only so much you can do.

Is that a face of confusion or what.
When C came to the hospital to visit, to say he was overwhelmed is an understatement. He wasn't interested in the baby (which was to be expected) and only wanted to leave. Poor guy wouldn't even take off his coat!

Now that G is home, however, everything has changed. He still doesn't quite understand why he can't play his drum and xylophone all the time or what an "inside voice" is, but at least its making G a hearty sleeper. He loves to sit next to me when I nurse her (even though he scolds her, "no biting!") and asks to hold her all the time. He's still referring to her as "baby" instead of Ginny, but you can hear the excitement in his voice when he says it and it warms my heart.

I love seeing them together and while they don't exactly interact yet, its amazing to sit with and hold my beautiful babies.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Breastfeeding: Take 2

A little over a week in and breastfeeding is going better than I could ask. In addition to being full term, I truly believe being able to nurse G so soon after birth, rather than pumping like I did with C, has made all the difference.

Now that my supply has settled and I no longer feel like I'm going to burst, nursing G has actually been very relaxing. I'm going the nursing on demand route, meaning I don't exactly get a lot done around the house and spend most of the day nested on the couch, but the snuggle time is absolutely wonderful.

Having "been there, done that" I'm trying to recall the struggles I had with C in order to avoid them this time around. While the situation is different, anything I can do to reach my goal of exclusively breastfeeding for at least a year is worth it.

One goal of mine is to make breastfeeding easier - on me and on J. How so? With C, I had this awful habit of sitting down to nurse him and always forgetting something I needed. Water, lanolin, etc. J was always getting me something that I forgot! This time, I took advantage of one of my favorite My 31 products, the Littles Carry All, and made a quick grab nursing kit. In my Littles Carry All I have...
  • Lansinoh lanolin
  • Water bottle
  • Extra breast pads
  • Burp cloth
  • Tissues
  • Lip balm
  • Easy to eat snacks
And there's still plenty of room to throw my phone and anything else I may need in there. With its little handle, this super cute tote is easy to grab and go from room to room. J certainly appreciates the drastic decrease in, "Honey, can you please get me ________?" requests.

Another goal was to make breastfeeding more comfortable. With C, I had a Boppy pillow - like every other Mom I know. I also had killer back pain from hunching over to use it. Maybe it flattened out over time, maybe it just wasn't right for me. Either way, I recently purchased a My Brest Friend pillow and WOW is there a huge difference. With its larger and firmer pillow and huge back rest, nursing is way more comfortable whether sitting in a chair, on the couch, or in bed.

(I'll be posting more of my new favorite baby items on Saturday!)

I know its only been one week, but I hope things continue down this path. We have a long road of growth spurts, me going back to work, and starting solids between us an the 12 month mark, but I have faith we can make it!

Speaking of making breastfeeding easy and comfortable, don't forget about the Undercover Mama camisole giveaway! It ends on Monday - have you entered?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Clone Wars

When C was born, we weren't exactly sure who he looked like. As he got older, however, it was very clear who's genes were at work - not mine! I swear, I had a hand in making him, but you'd never know it. From his long torso and short legs to his bushy eyebrows, C is the spitting image of his Dad. Its quite funny actually - even people who don't know J well or who've just met us point it out.

 J (left) and C (right) 7 months

When C does look like my family its always my siblings, never me. Weird, huh? These are the best examples I could find without digging through old photos, but trust me. Every once in a while C will make a face that makes me go, "WHOA! Its Doug/Nick!"

 My brother Doug (left) much younger than C in this pic (right), but you can see what I'm talking about.

 And my other brother Nick (with my nephew).

Maybe its a little selfish to want a kid to look like you, but after 2 1/2 years of hearing about how much C looked like J, I thought it'd be nice. Then came G - my own little clone. Sure, it could change as she gets older, but for now its kind of neat.

What do you think? Do you see it? Ya know, despite my sweet 1980's mohawk.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Undercover Mama Camisole Review & Giveaway!

I'm so excited - our first giveaway! I'm extra excited because its for a product that I absolutely love and have been raving about for over two years now - The Undercover Mama Nursing Camisole.

When I first started out nursing C, I couldn't afford to revamp my wardrobe with fancy nursing tops and tanks. At $40+ a pop, it wasn't in the budget (is that in anyone's budget?) I was left to struggle with huge nursing covers or hot receiving blankets in an attempt to keep myself remotely covered. I'm not shy about nursing, but no one likes their postpartum stomach hanging out in public!

The answer? Undercover Mama. 

A camisole that can turn ANY shirt into a nursing shirt. Whether under a t-shirt or a blouse, they're super comfortable, discreet, and inexpensive. Plus, they come in 10 pretty colors and 2 trims! The cami easily attaches to your nursing bra (the part that folds down) so when you're ready to nurse, just pull up the over shirt, unclip as usual, and go about your business. The long, fitted cami covers you while providing easy access to nurse. Save your money for those crazy pricy nursing bras - this is the way to go.

Now, as a large-ish busted woman to begin with, I know the struggle to find regular ol' camisoles that fit properly. Cami straps coupled with bra straps all weighing on my shoulders are uncomfortable and shelf bras are a joke. Even after weaning, I continued to wear my camisoles from Undercover Mama for their comfort and convenience.

Now that G is here, I'm not wasting any time. You bet I packed a few of my Undercover Mama's in my hospital bag. The nurses and lactation consultants kept asking me where I got them - they wanted to tell the other Moms! I owe a lot of the confidence I have to nurse in public to this product; it allows me to do what I need to do in comfort and style. Even in the warmer weather, these 95% cotton/5% spandex blend camisoles remain cool and comfortable.

You can see in this picture how the grey camisole covers me when I pull up the striped t-shirt. Imagine how much of my tummy would be hanging out without it!

About Undercover Mama:
A company started, developed, and run by Moms, Undercover Mama strives to help nursing Moms be more comfortable so they can more fully enjoy the wonderful experience of nursing

Where to Buy:
Check out the Undercover Mama site for direct sales and retailers near you!

How to Win:
Join this giveaway via the Rafflecopter below. One lucky winner will receive an Undercover Mama Camisole of their color choice (excluding limited edition colors) to enjoy! This giveaway is open to residents of U.S. and Canada and ends April 8th at 12:00am. Good luck!

Thank you to Undercover Mama for sponsoring this review and giveaway! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway