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I’M BREASTFEEDING MY BABY!!

So, if you didn’t know by now- I’m one of “those” people who takes it upon themselves to tell everyone that I possibly can that I chose to breastfeed my child. Do I knock the people who don’t, can’t, won’t? NO! I’m VERY convinced that as a parent, and spouse, you need to do whatever is best for your family- no matter what that decision is. I also believe that you stink to your guns, and don’t worry about what others think. HOWEVER, since this is MY diary  blog, I get to choose what the topic is. I’m going to tell you something about this. It’s nurturing, invigorating, and fulfilling. It’s also a great way to lose that post baby weight! I’ve lost about 32lbs so far, and only gained about 27! Above all of those great things-what I would like to tell you more about, makes me so hungry all the time!

I think this is the part that no one really talks about. When people say “eating for 2” I’m not sure they take into consideration breastfeeding. Let us take a stroll down this path. Shall we?

Eating enough calories, drinking enough water. You know if you don’t have anything in your body, you can’t produce enough milk. Eating enough calories and drinking enough water is so important. Here’s the thing. You’re hungry and thirsty pretty much all the time. Oh- and those growth spurts that your child goes through? Yeah- just know you will be  acting as a human garbage disposal during those periods.

Watch what you eat. Yeah- I found this one out the hard way. Broccoli, onion, beer? If I would like to stay up all night with a SUPER gassy infant, then I’ll eat all the of those things. This one is tricky, but you kind of have to do trial and error here. I know there are certain things that my child doesn’t agree with, so I stay away from them. It’s hard, but I do it. I’ve also realized the more “bland” of a diet I have, the better off we will be. Do you know how boring that is for someone who likes to eat spicy foods?! CRAZY, RIGHT?!

Food Cravings. You thought that went away when you delivered? HA! Joke’s on you! I think I crave more different foods now then when I was pregnant. I think this has to do with getting enough calories and eating the right foods. Thai food, wings, Juicy Hamburgers? You name it, I’ve probably had a craving for it at one time or another.

Did you crave anything, or have any strange things happen while you were breastfeeding?

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Seriously, RSV?!

4 months old. My daughter is 4 months old! I can’t believe it happened all right before my eyes. I swear I blink too fast and she is another month older. How can this happen so quickly? I can tell you I’m thankful for being able to spend time with her, and watch her grow. I’m thankful for the late nights, early mornings, diaper changes, nursing sessions, I even don’t really mind the 123,456,789,087,654,321 times that she’s spit up on me already. I did a lot of research before getting pregnant, during my pregnancy, and even some after she was born. In NONE of those books, blogs, and research documents that I read, did ANYONE mention the way I would feel the first time she got sick.

It all started on a Tuesday. I took Jamie to her doctor for a 4 month checkup, and shots. They checked her out, I mentioned she had an onset of a cold, and the doctor checked her for that as well. Everything was fine. We went home, continued on with our schedule, and kept moving ahead. Wednesday she started getting a terrible cough, but I still didn’t think a lot about it. No fever, just a cough. By Thursday she was so bad with the cough I was getting concerned. See- we were leaving on Sunday to go on a trip, and I knew I needed to make sure that everything was in order before going on a plane with a 4 month old. So, after talking with my sister in law, I made an appointment for the doctor.

Friday morning. We go to the doctor. They run the tests. They check her lungs. And then they give me the scariest news. RSV. For real? My child, who is at home with me primarily, has RSV? How in the world? I wanted her out of the daycare life for these purposes. What does this mean? Is she going to be ok? Oh, no, I’m going to cry again, aren’t I? -(Cue all the mom emotions starting to flair up!)

Here’s what they don’t really tell you about this RSV business. What it stands for is “really scary virus,” (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) but that’s for parents only. In all my research on this topic,  I’m almost certain that this is just a really bad cold. The issue for most is that it’s not caught early enough because the child doesn’t have symptoms other than a cough and possibly a runny/stuffy nose. What happens is that all the mucus gets blocked and they don’t have any way to pass it because they are so little and can’t blow their noses, etc. Yes I’ve heard of cases where children have been hospitalized, and even worse. I’m thankful that this wasn’t the case for my child, but because of this “scare” on sickness, I watch her like a hawk, especially now!

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We were awarded with this cute little Pink Panda looking nebulizer and a prescription, and off we went. Honestly, I know I am lucky that it wasn’t any worse, but Jamie has been handling this treatment like a champ and I could see a difference in her within the first 2-3 days. It’s now been a week, and we have a couple more days left of her medicine, but there is no more cough, everything has seemed to pass the way it’s needed too, and my child is still laughing and smiling like she should be! Seeing my daughter with this oxygen mask on, it breaks my heart. I know that it’s for the best though. Really, she doesn’t seem to mind it either!

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My caution to everyone else out there is to do your research. I know from my own experience in just the 4 months Jamie has been on the “outside” that this shit is scary. It’s freaking scary being a parent. Especially when these cute little babies can’t communicate with words to tell you what’s going on. Also, take your children to the doctor. I am glad that I didn’t wait, and that I acted as soon as I could to talk Jamie to the doctor. My last piece of advice. Trust your instincts, whatever they are. We have a crazy sense as parents. Don’t be afraid of it. Just keep on doing what you’re doing. WE ALL are doing great. WE ALL will make it!

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Crib Life

I did it. I finally got up the strength to move our daughter into her own room. If you ask my husband, he says things are going GREAT! Me, on the other hand, I’m still having a hard time with it, but I know this is a process, and we will get better as we go.

First of all, I’m just going to go on record to say GET A MONITOR! A VIDEO MONITOR! I don’t think I would have moved Jamie at all if we hadn’t gotten a monitor. Even though I know it was time because, well, her Rock and Play was becoming a hazard to sleep in. We found a good deal on a Summer Infant baby monitor, and bought it. I also have to take a second to say their customer service is PHENOMENAL! For some reason our device won’t let us connect to the App on the phone. I called and without any questions asked they are sending a new one! AMAZING! I didn’t even have to argue with anyone. Just called and told them what was happening. That makes this momma VERY proud!

The first night was a Friday. Mommy breakdown #1. I really had some serious anxiety about this whole crib thing. I mean, my baby is growing up. She’s moving into her own room! My husband went hunting that evening with some friends, and Jamie fell asleep rather early. I thought she might wake up again before “actually” going to sleep, but she didn’t. She ended up getting up 3 times that night. Also on Friday Jamie learned a new party trick. She started rolling over both ways. I thought this was an awesome trick, and couldn’t have come at a better time! One of the things I quickly realized was that the worst part about this whole crib situation is walking across the house to get her, nurse, and put her back in her crib. Then I have to walk back to our room and continue on with my sleeping. When your child gets  up 3 times during a night, that’s kind of tough. I was pretty tired on Saturday. But we did it again Saturday night, and she got up 3 times again. The final time, I brought her into our room for the morning nursing session. We are now on night 3- Sunday. She only woke up 1 time!! That would have been great if mommy didn’t have a cold of some sort and was up and down myself all night.

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All in all, I think we are doing a good job. I know this transition won’t be the easiest at times, but I know it’s needed. She needs to be in her own room. It’s time. I’m sure she is happier too! Really, in hindsight, maybe I shouldn’t have waited so long. Hey- there’s always next time, right?!

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Listen to the children

We have a new President now. Donald Trump was Inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on January 20th, 2017. A day that will go down in the history books. Whether you agree with this or not, it happened, and we- as the people- need to figure out a common ground. While I was watching the Inauguration- and a post interview with children from the 5th grade, I had to stop and listen to some of the things that they were saying.

First and foremost- these are our children. The children of our future, there is no other way around that. MY child- even at 4 months old, is one of those children of the future. She can be WHATEVER she wants to be. I, as I’m sure her father will agree, hope that she never holds back, and fights for what she wants and believes. (I also hope that she wants to be something that will make us rich and famous- JUST KIDDING! )

What these children were saying spoke volumes to me. They said they were scared. They wanted to live in a world where there was less hate, and people got along. They didn’t want discrimination. WHAT? These are 5th graders!! I can PROMISE you when I was in 5th grade, I was more concerned about the fact that I had moved from Michigan to Memphis, Tennessee a year before than whether there was hate and discrimination in my life.

Do I blame the media? HELL YEAH I DO! With the media, SOCIAL media, and everything else we are focused on it’s easy to say that these children are picking up on our opposing views, and they aren’t happy about it. We have to stop this. We are adults.

Stop the bickering, stop the fighting, stop the name calling. Do you argue with your partner at home? Do you argue with co-workers? Do you let your children see this? If the answer is NO, then why do you feel it’s acceptable to argue with random strangers on social media, or in public, while in front of your children? How else do you think they are hearing these things? There is a fine line between “healthy” arguments, or disagreements than what is happening now.

So please, AMERICA, if we can’t agree on anything else, can we PLEASE agree that if you don’t want to come together- that’s cool- but can we unite and stop doing these things in front of our children. FOR OUR CHILDREN!

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Positive Lifestyle

People that know me, and even people that maybe have just met me could tell you that I’m a generally positive person. Therefore, I will never understand how people can always be so negative all the time. It will never make sense to me. Thus, I have complied a list of ways in which I try to live, in hopes they help someone in this world become more positive.

Starting your day with a smile. Haven’t you ever watched Annie? “You’re never fully dressed without a smile.” They were right,you know. The reason behind this is because if you start with a smile, you will think positive thoughts for the rest of the day. It’s harder to be negative when you have a smile on your face. Even when I’m mad, I still usually smile. It’s just what I do. I make jokes about almost everything, and this is why!

Count your blessings, in the morning. Why? Because if you can reflect and be thankful for the things, life, people, you have in the morning, you probably won’t be focusing on the negative things, or it’s harder to see. I use mornings to read a scripture passage, and reflect on how great I feel like the things in my life are. I see my daughter, sing her a song every morning. The same one. Good morning beautiful. She smiles, my heart melts, we repeat. EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING.

Compliment someone or something everyday. Do you know how you feel when someone you know, or even a complete strange compliments your hair, makeup, clothes, or anything about you in general? It makes me feel warm and cozy, or just like I’ve really done something good with myself. It is a true ego booster- if you will. Have you tried to compliment someone or something every single day, for a week? It’s amazing how people will react to you when you do this. It’s also amazing how you begin to feel once you light up someone’s eyes, or make them smile. It can be contagious.

Say I love you. You don’t have to have a partner to do this with. Family, friends? There has to be someone you love out there. Don’t be afraid to tell them. Tell them at least once a day. Give them reassurance that you love, support, and honor them being in your life. It’s pretty cool to love, and to feel loved. Show it. Share it. Live it!

Walk, Run, Exercise. I’m going to quote a favorite movie of mine. Legally Blonde. Yep, I went there. Well- Reese Whiterspoon had a really good point when she said that “Exercise creates endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands.” All I’m saying is that even spending a few minutes outside walking your street, getting some fresh air and vitamin D can make a huge impact on your day. I always think it’s so cool the way I feel once I crushed a workout. I feel like a million dollars. Like I’m a total badass and I can conquer the world. I feel good being outside. I feel good walking, running, biking. Whatever the case is. Try something to make yourself a little more active. You’ll be happy you did. Hell, you might lose a pound or 2 in the process, and if you’re like me, you’ll be even happier you did!

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I truly hopes this helps someone out there. Maybe you don’t know how to be positive. Heck, maybe you don’t realize that you are being a “Negative Nancy” out in this great world of ours. At any rate- maybe this will give you an idea to try something new.

Take the positivity pledge, I know I have!

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Why I hate my Fitbit

If you’re like me, and probably the other million people on the planet, you have a fitbit. If you don’t know what that is by now, please do us all a favor and crawl out from under the rock you are living. Where there are different types of these devices out there, some that do more, or less than others, they are all the same in the fact that they are trying to help with your overall health and wellness.  I’m here to give you the reasons that mine annoys me.

Reminders to move. As if I needed some other way to let me know that I’m lazy and I’ve been on the couch for the last 6 hours watching Game of Thrones on Netflix. Now  I have this device that’s attached to my arm that vibrates ever hour if I don’t get up and walk around for a little bit. Sure, I could probably turn it off, but what’s the point. I love tackling my frustrations head on, not hiding from them.

Step Goal. If the reminders to move weren’t enough, I’m supposed to have some daily step goal in mind. If it’s too low then I feel like I’m not doing enough, too high, and I’m constantly feeling like a failure. Where is the sweet spot here? Why can’t I tell you my daily activities, and you assign me a goal to meet?! Instead I’m stuck wondering if I’m doing too much or too little.

Challenges. You have a weekly challenge, a weekend challenge, a friends and family challenge, neighbor challenge, and whatever other challenge you can possibly dream of. Why? Because in some strange way I enjoy seeing my results as compared to the other people near and dear to my heart. If I’m losing, that lights some kind of sick and twisted fire in me to start moving even more, because I need to win this competition. So here I am syncing my device every 2 hours, just so I can see how I stack up against the rest of the squad.

Pushing a stroller/shopping cart. REALLY FITBIT? This is your biggest fail. Why do my steps not count if I’m pushing a stroller or shopping cart? Have you tried to push a cart in Costco with a 20lb baby carrier,  2-3 cases of beer/wine (let’s face it, that’s the only reason anyone shops at Costco), meat to feed a small army, and any other small item I can find a place for? I’m here to tell you, that cart is NOT light. And what about my stroller? I’m out in the wilderness (ok fine, it’s really a walking trail) pushing my baby, trying to stay fit so you don’t vibrate my arm off every hour, all to have my dreams crushed because I can’t use 2 hands to push this stroller. Get with the program here. Honestly, my steps should count double for this one!

Charging. First of all, the cord isn’t long enough. It needs to be longer, or maybe there is an option I haven’t found and I can purchase a longer cord. Secondly- I already have a clock, baby monitor, cell phone charger, breast pump, and night stand lamp plugged into my outlets. Now I have to find a way to incorporate my fitbit charger because if it’s not beside my bed, and I have to walk to get it, do those steps even count? I need credit for every step I take to make this astronomical goal I have set for myself. Just get a longer cord  so I can reach down and grab my device before I step out of bed in the morning. God forbid I forget my fitbit at home…

And here I am, still getting up every day trying to beat those daily goals, and motivating myself to move because I have to do better. You may not be too bad after all, dear Fitbit. But start working with my cart and stroller please. Thank you!

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Baby Schedules

How important is it to get your child on a schedule? Well, if you want raging infant, I would say it’s pretty dang important. Babies need sleep. LOTS of sleep. I’m no baby raising expert, but I can tell you from my own personal experience that if your child doesn’t get enough sleep, exercise, stimulation, and attention- they are raging beasts and they will let you know all about it. Even in their first year of life. Who the heck do these little humans think they are, ruling our lives like they do?! I read so many articles, and did so much research on this topic, but I decided to try a schedule for myself. Obviously not everyone can do the same things, and not every child is the same- but this is what worked for us. Keep in mind, I’m also still pretty much exclusively nursing my daughter, and she eats about every 2.5/3 hours. I fit those feedings into this schedule too. You need to find a schedule that works for you!

Jamie is almost 4 months and this is her schedule:

Sleep- 9:30-10pm. Up again around 2-3am/5-6am. The times she is awake is solely for nursing purposes. She will nurse (dream-feed) and go back to sleep right away.

Awake- 6:30-7:30/8am. Nursing/Feeding. This is a great time to use your play mat, or for tummy time. I’ve found that my child likes to stretch and wiggle in the morning, so getting her wiggles out on her play-mat is ideal. This also gives me time to shower, shave, and just starting trying to look like a human again.

Nap- 8am-9am. This is usually while I am sitting at the computer working on things, or eating breakfast in the morning.

Awake- 9/9:30-noon. Another feeding time. This again is a good time for her bouncer, play mat, tummy time. I will also read a book or 2, let her watch something visually stimulating, or play with her toys. I use this time to help with sensory learning, and just talk, sing, dance, and play.

Nap – 12pm-1/2pm.  Feeding before nap. Also a good time for me to sit, have lunch, and accomplish tasks that need to be taken care of. I also use this time some days to let her nap in the car -seat while I’m running errands. She is good at sleeping in the grocery store, or Hobby Lobby, wherever I need to go.

Awake – 2-3:30/4pm. Feeding again. More play time, book reading, learning and development.

Nap –  4-5/5:30pm.  I will nurse Jamie to sleep, and let her sleep in her crib during this nap. I will start prepping dinner, tidy the house, dust, finish laundry, or tackle any tasks that have been left from the day before/current day.

Awake- 5:30-7/7:30. Once she is awake, I use this time to begin cluster feeding her for night-time. Husband is usually home by now, and he is able to help. He will spend time with our daughter, and I am able to complete dinner, get some sanity back, and get myself ready for the next day.

Nap 7:30-8. This little siesta is only for the purposes of eating dinner. We usually put Jamie in her bouncer chair and she will doze off for a little bit. I will wake her up and allow her to play, and bathe her, and get her ready for bed after I’m finished with dinner.

Awake until bedtime.Still continuing to cluster-feed as best as I can until it is time for bed.

Any other ideas on schedules out there that could be helpful?