Friday, November 30, 2012

Flashback Friday-- Destructo Army Crawling

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wild Road Trips after Baby

As a college student, I had a few fun road trips.  I mean doing to the Kentucky Derby with a bunch of friends always made for a wild time.  Heck we even remade a few songs on those trips.  "We're going to party like it's the Derby, we're gonna sip Bacardi like it's the Derby...."  But I never would have dreamed that the wildest road trip of all complete with many people possibly catching glimpses of my boobs would take place after having a baby.

Yes I have nursed Destructo in many a parking lot, gas station, rest area park bench, and even a handful of wineries.  (The one winery owner will forever have my repeat business as she heard I was attempting to nurse my 2 1/2 month old son in the parking lot in the car in July and she had me come inside and do in their break room and nurse him on the comfy cozy couch and even asked if I wanted some water.)

Our first long distance road trip was when Kai was 2 1/2 months old for our family vacation.  Mr. Destructo didn't get to go because with me still on maternity leave and the bills from having a new baby, he really had to stay behind and work.  :(  It was about a five hour trip and we stopped half way on the way there, but drove the entire thing on the way home.
Snug as a Bug in a Rug

When Kai was 3 1/2 months old, we made a ten hour car trip (that actually took 13) to visit my grandmother who wasn't doing so well.  I wanted to make sure she got a chance to meet her grandson before she passed away.  Both of these trips were easy peasy.  Kai was still eating every 2-3 hours at this point so we would just drive until he was hungry, stop, I would nurse him and let him stretch, a quick diaper change and on we would go.  It was especially helpful that it was summer so I could nurse him anywhere outside without having to worry about him getting cold and he was still young enough that he was sleeping a lot of the day.
Me, Great Grandma, Destructo, and Grandpa Destructo

The next big road trip we made was when he was not quite 8 months old.  My grandmother passed away and we had to make a spur of the moment trip the day after Christmas to attend her funeral.  I knew that this trip wouldn't be as easy as he was quite active at this point and hated confinement.  We kept him up longer than when he would normally take his second nap of the day around lunchtime and fed him and I nursed him right before we left.  He slept from 1 when we left until 6:30 that evening.  He woke up starving and screaming and so we stopped for dinner and I nursed him in the car in the freezing cold parking lot.  Winter road trips suck by the way.

We then drove the rest of the 11 hours all in one swoop without him waking.  We got there at 2 AM and Destructo was wired.  I couldn't even nurse him to sleep.  Luckily my parents were there and my mom got up with him since she knew we were exhausted.
Dressed up in my suit

The drive home was awful though.  We did  it during his morning nap and he slept for two hours, but woke up to nurse.  At this point, he was still nursing about every 4 hours.  The drive took 14 hours and it involved lots of tears and stopping because he just didn't want to be in the car seat anymore. Plus he wasn't walking yet and he wasn't even crawling yet.  He rolled everywhere and wanted down so badly in restaurants, but you can't really let your baby roll around on dirty restaurant floors.  Gag.  I just did the best I could and sat in the backseat with him when necessary to entertain him.

We also made two other trips as a breastfeeding duo but he was 14 and nearly 16 months old by this point so I don't count those since he is down to nursing only first thing in the morning and occasionally when I get home from work by this point.

On all these trips, I also brought my pump with me since I normally pumped after his early morning nursing session.  I also would pump if I had to be away from him for any longer than normal period such as my grandma's funeral.  That way I didn't have to worry about my supply tanking.  I just kept the milk in the fridge and carried it home on ice and then froze it.


Here are my tips for a breastfeeding road trip:
1)  Drive as much as you can while the baby is sleeping.  We would get gas and snacks etc when we  had to stop to let him eat that way we could drive while he slept.
Sleepy boy

2)  Make sure to leave room for a cooler if you are going to be transporting milk back.

3)  Bring your pump just in case.

4)  Rest areas are great for stopping to nurse as most have nice little benches or picnic tables.  I would always find one out of the way and just turn my back to everyone.  (Kai would not nurse under a cover.)  If I had to nurse in a parking lot, I would usually just sit in the back seat and have Mr. Destructo park in the back of the lot.

5)  Wear easy to nurse in clothes and make sure baby is wearing easy to change diapers outfits.  I always found it easier to change Destructo right on the car seat since a lot of bathrooms didn't have changing tables or were filthy.

6)  Add a couple extra hours to the trip since you will have to make stops as often as baby normally eats.

7)  Finally, enjoy the ride.  Under one year road trips were by far the easiest ones we have done yet.  When we went to the beach in October, we listened to 9 hours of fire truck sounds coming from the back seat.  You know in between the screaming and crying to be let out of his car seat. 

Linked up at:
Breastfeeding Blog Hop

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten Moments I am Dreading the Most

As every mom knows watching your child grow up is the most amazingly happy sad thing ever.  I love seeing him hit new milestones and get bigger, but on the other hand I miss my little baby and know that he will never be this age/size again.  I often dream about the person Destructo is going to become.  But it always ends up with me being teary eyed over him growing up so quickly.

Here are the top ten moments I am dreading the most (at least at this moment in time.)

1)  Destructo weaning.  This one tops the list because while to some people Kai isn't a baby anymore and doesn't need to nurse, he will always be my baby.  We have nursed each and every day of his life.  It is such a special bond that over the past year and a half has soothed ouchies, comforted a sick or overly tired baby, and chased the monsters away in the middle of the night.  My breastfeeding journey hasn't always been easy, but it is probably the thing I have done that I am the most proud of. I dread the day he decides he doesn't need to nurse anymore, but will be proud of the fact that we made it in the end even when many a days I thought I would quit.

2)  Kai's first hair cut.  It is coming.  I know it is.  My little baby that was nearly bald at birth will have to have a hair cut.  In my eyes, that really means he isn't a baby anymore.

3)  The first time Kai gets really sick.  He has had his share of colds and coughs, but nothing major.  The only fever above 100 he has ever had was from getting his shots.  I dread the first time he gets really sick since I know I will feel helpless to fix him and hate seeing him in pain/sick/whatever.

4)  The day Kai fully potty trains.  I have told you guys before I have a bit of a cloth diaper addiction.  Don't get me wrong, I will love when I don't have to change diapers anymore.  But I will miss seeing his fluffy butt run by and potty training really means he is a big boy.

5)  The day he hits double digits in shoes.  I don't know why this makes me teary eyed, but it just seems like he will be so big then.  Of course at 18 months old, the boy is already is a size seven, so it isn't that far off.
Kai's newest size 7 shoes from his Auntie Kara

6)  The day he starts wearing his 2T clothes.  Doesn't 2T just sound so much bigger than 24 months or 18 months?  This day is also rapidly approaching as he is currently in 24 months.  Funny side story here, I went to put on a pair of Kai's bummy sweat pants so he could be comfy when he napped.  He had worn them a week or two before and they fit fine.  They were high waters.  He looked so silly the rest of the day.

7)  The day Destructo no longer loves Daniel Tiger.  This is the first thing he has fallen head over heels in love with.  Oh sure, Elmo is cool and he likes the little red monster, but not to the extent that he is in love with Daniel.

8)  The day Kai moves from the crib to a big boy bed.  He was so little on the day we brought him home from the hospital and laid him in his bed.  I think his crib has shrunk since then.










9)  The day Destructo turns from extended rear facing in his car seat to forward facing.  I won't turn him before two for sure.  But sometime between 2 and when he hits the rear facing limit of 45 pounds or 52 inches, he will turn.  And that makes me a little sad over what a big boy he will be.

10)  The day he stops saying nope, nope.  This is a new thing he has started saying in agreement with me.  For example, he pointed to chips at the store and I told him well we surely can't eat chips for dinner since that was what we were shopping for.  Destructo replied with nope, nope.  I am not sure where he picked this one up (although my awesome coworker just informed me I say it sometimes haha.)  But it is truly the cutest thing he has ever said. 

Isaiah 46:3-4
“I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.”

Linked up at:
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Loving Our Children Tuesday
Modest Monday
Mommy Brain Mixer
Mommy Moments
Tell Me Tuesday
Top Ten Tuesday
Tuesday Baby

Monday, November 26, 2012

Awesome Cloth Diaper Sales still Going on at Kelly's Closet


 If anyone that reads this blog is in the market for some new cloth diapers, Kelly's Closet is having some awesome deals today.  There are lots of sales and free shipping with triple diaper dollar reward points. 

Bumgenius Freetimes are Buy 5, get 1 free.  I haven't used these personally but have heard great things about them.
http://www.kellyscloset.com/product.asp?itemid=4701&affid=658
Photo via Kelly's Closet
Grovia shells are buy two get one free.  I love these diapers as I have said many times and this is a great deal.
 http://www.kellyscloset.com/product.asp?itemid=4479&affid=658

Thirsties duo diapers are on sale for 15.73 which is three dollars less than normal.  This is another favorite diaper of mine.
  http://www.kellyscloset.com/product.asp?itemid=3786&affid=658
Two other good sales I see on the site are itti bitti products are 20% off and Oh Katy's are 25%.  I have tried Oh Katy's and they worked well, but the fit just wasn't ever right on my little man. 



This post contains affiliate links which compensate Adventures with Captain Destructo with a % of the sale. Using these links doesn't cost you anything extra, but it helps support this blog and my family. Thanks!

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhooodddddd

Before Kai was born, I planned to seriously limit television watching (and really any kind of screen time.)  This wasn't the only thing that went out the window once he was a crazy older baby.  You can read all about it in this post.  But I held strong to this one until he was mobile.  Then I decided it would be okay for him to watch a little TV as I cooked dinner.  Well he was never very interested in TV except for a few minutes of the Wiggles.
Mesmerized by Daniel after destroying the house

Then Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood happened.    My sister called me at work to tell me that Destructo was entranced in some show that had Daniel in the name.  I did some research and found out what it was and decided to DVR a few episodes of it. He sits and watches an entire episode with a look on his face of utter joy.  We even bought him a cute little tiger cub beanie baby that looks similar to Daniel and he loves it. 



Doing Ughamugha with Daniel
 The show is relatively new and is based on the work of Mr. Rogers.  Daniel Tiger was his first puppet.  It follows a tiger family and teaches little life lessons.  The songs are brain worms and will be stuck in your head forever and ever.  I am forever singing "Everyone is big enough, big enough to do somethingggg."  Kai also uses this when he wants to be my helper.  He will start taking dishes out of the dishwasher wanting to put them away and sing "Beeee enoghhhhh."

But the cutest moment in the Daniel love was last night at dinner.  We say prayers as a family every evening when we sit down to eat.  We always ask Kai who he wants to pray for and he chimes in with names.  Last night it was Momma, Dada, and then a string of nonsensical babbling that ended in Daneelllll.  I nearly fell out of my chair laughing that my silly son had included his tiger friend in his prayers.  He then clapped and said yay which is his equivalent to amen.
Sleeping with Daniel in hand

So what are some favorite TV shows of your kiddos?  Do you try to limit TV/ screen time?  Just for the record, I still limit him to an episode of Daniel a day (so 30 minutes) with the occasional two episodes on days where I am home by myself with him and really need to get dinner cooked.

This post contains affiliate links which compensate Adventures with Captain Destructo with a % of the sale. Using these links doesn't cost you anything extra, but it helps support this blog and my family. Thanks!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It has been a Poopie Few Days

As you might or might not realize, I got a nasty stomach bug early Wednesday morning.  I spent six hours throwing up and had other nasty maladies off and on since then.  I at first thought it was my equilibrium since I was also slightly dizzy and my ears were ringing.

I dragged myself to work because I really didn't want to lose my holiday pay and managed to get the things I needed to get done finished.   This was an hour commuting time.  I crashed and napped for two hours and had to get up and get packed to drive the hour to my parents house.  I felt so awful I could barely move by the time I got there.

My youngest sister got sick Wednesday night as well.  Then fast forward to last night and both my brother in law and friend from Italy that celebrated the holiday with us were both up puking half the night.  I am so tired because I could hear the bathroom doors opening and closing all night.  I spent a good part of the night in prayer begging for God to spare Kai from this illness.

This morning we headed home as soon as Kai woke up and I had to leave my friend behind because she was too sick to make the drive home.  My parents are going to drive her home tomorrow and all, but it still made me feel awful.  But I just wanted to try to get Kai out of there before he was triply?? exposed to this bug.

On the trip home after we had looked at Christmas trees since we decided to get a slim one even though they are more expensive to save room, the dog threw up twice.  I walked in the house while trying to keep an eye on Kai as he mowed the yard to grab cleaning stuff and discovered the cat had pooped in Destructo's room and next to the litter box and puked all over.  She hates being in the house without someone to let her out so she refuses to use the litter box.  (It isn't medical just for the record since she uses the litter box perfectly when we are home.)  So I couldn't even let Kai in the house because there was puke and poop everywhere.  I had to put him in the back yard, open his bedroom window, and watch him play as I cleaned the rug.  Arrrghhh

I am really hoping and praying he doesn't get it.  The one good thing we have going for us is that he is still nursing once or twice a day so I know he is getting some antibodies from me since I had it already.  He still isn't fully over the cold that just won't go away either.

But just for the record, amidst all the puking and sickness that surrounded us and with a bit of crankiness on Kai's part, Thanksgiving day was actually a ton of fun with good food and I even felt okay.  So yay for that!  Oh and Destructo ate nothing at Thanksgiving lunch and applesauce for dinner.  You gotta love picky toddlers.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top Ten Things I am Looking Forward to About Christmas Time

1)  Christmas music.  Typically my favorite radio station starts playing it on Thanksgiving and it goes nonstop until the day after Christmas.  I can't wait.  I love Christmas music and occasionally listen to Transiberian Orchestra year round.

2)  Getting to see Kai's excitement and joy over the Christmas lights, tree, presents, etc.  I already got a very small taste of this last night when we drove back from the grocery store and one house on my road is already all decorated.  He ooohhhhed so loudly and said it was pretty.  This year is going to be quite fun with a baby big enough to get really excited.  And I bet he can rip open presents this year.  He could last year, but refused to.

3)  Getting to watch Kai play with his Little Tikes Nativity set that a friend is getting him for Christmas.  I really look forward to sharing the Christmas story with him even if he is still too young to fully understand the importance of the fact that Jesus was born to save us from our sins.

4)  Possibly seeing the first snowfall of the year.  Maybe.  You never know in the south if you are going to see snow.  We only got flurries a few times all last winter and never enough for Kai to really play in even though he was really too young for it anyway.  But I look forward to getting some snow pictures this year.

5)  Going to church Christmas morning all dressed up and hearing the Christmas story.  It really took on new meaning to me as a mother.  I can't imagine having to give birth in a stable and not have anything but rags for my baby.  But I sure do wish I was as faith filled and strong as Mary to accept that she was going to give birth to God's son even though she had to be terrified.
  Source

6)  Getting to see Destructo's excitement when he wakes up Christmas morning to his very own kitchen set.  He loves the one at Grandma and Grandpa's house, so I imagine he will be equally excited to play with is very own.  I have finally settled on the Wonderworld kitchen set.  It is made of recycled rubber wood and is ecofriendly.  I even found it for around 120.  It isn't quite what I wanted, but is a lot more affordable.  But if money was no consideration, I would totally buy this kitchen set. 

7)  Hot chocolate.  I love hot chocolate.

8)  It being the time of year where it is acceptable to wear fuzz ball hats.  I have admitted before I have a bit of a hat addiction.  

9)  Getting to spend time with friends and family.  Life is so busy you don't always get to see your friends and family as much as you would like.  Christmas is a great time to catch up.

10)  Time off work.  Everyone loves a bit of a vacation and I usually take at least a week off.

 Luke 2:9-12
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Linked up at:
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Monday No Rules
Monday's Musings
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 This post contains affiliate links which compensate Adventures with Captain Destructo with a % of the sale. Using these links doesn't cost you anything extra, but it helps support this blog and my family. Thanks!

Monday, November 19, 2012

I have sad eyes

In case you have noticed I haven't been as active on my blog as normal, it is a two part explanation.  One is that work and life is busy with Thanksgiving coming up.  We go to Mr. Destructo's family for lunch that day and then my family's for dinner.  So a lot of go, go, going that day.  Plus we have had play dates and doctor appointments all Friday.

But I am also busy pouting, moping, and having sad eyes.  My bestie, my coworker, my work "husband", my long lost twin sister is leaving to go back to Italy for good.  Friendship with Mickey-D has always been easy.  There is no effort involved in it and we have the best times together.  Work (and life in general) won't be the same with her a bazillion miles away.  You guys like that knowledge of geography?

I have been lucky in my life to make some really great friends that have truly been there for me through thick and thin for the long haul in life.  My childhood bestie, Kelly and I met when I was 4 and she was 3.  We were inseparable playing house and school, building mud pies in the sand box, riding our bikes through the neighborhood.  When I moved to the south from Michigan in 1993, we still kept in touch.  We had slowly drifted apart and I didn't have her address or phone number in the early 2000s when thank goodness for myspace I looked her up and we reconnected.  We got engaged the same day, married three months apart, and while we don't talk daily or even weekly, when we do talk it is like we have never missed a day.  I am lucky to have a friendship that has spanned 26  years!

Kelly and I at my wedding
I was very lucky to have some great friends in high school.  Shanna, Beth, Tabitha, April, Missie if you guys read this you guys made life much more fun.  I didn't want to leave you guys out.  I think back on all those memories:  home ec classes, the times someone (Beth or Tab) got me in trouble, prom, dances, boyfriends and always think of you guys.

Trishie was my bestie through my wonderful college days.  We even did an internship on thoroughbred breeding farms together before we graduated.  Potrishie was my maid of honor in my wedding and has been there (although usually from a distance unfortunately) for all the ups and downs of my life.  Amazingly enough though we don't live near each other and usually only see each other once or twice a year, there is never any distance between us.  I will always laugh when I remember the days of "Sprite", heterosis, and breeding pigs while slightly inebriated with her.  I know that no matter what time of day I call her, she will pick up the phone and "pat my back" through whatever has me down.
Trish on my right side and Loey on my left making a Moey sandwich

My other college bestie was Laura aka Loey.  We lived in the dorms together and she cooked awesome corn for me.  We had a shared interest of riding horses and spent many many hours skipping classes and riding horses.  Even our horses were besties.  She is the only one of my friends who lives close enough to get together with, but life and families keep us both pretty busy so we don't see each other often.  But we always find good memories to laugh about when we do.  Whether we were going the speed of light,  sitting in a car that was a comfortable temperature for all, or riding on trippy dirt we made some awesome memories.

Then there was the oh crap I am an adult and have to get a real career friends.  I mentioned one of them in this post.  Kristy will be forever missed.  But after Kristy there was Sung.  Sung was the one who was someone I never would have expected to get as close with as I did.  She and I always got along well, but one day we went to Panera on our lunch break.  She told me a tidbit of gossip and we might as well have bought matching best friend necklaces right then and there.  Whether it was schoolgirl crushes, red shirts, or brownie bites we gossiped about, we had a great time doing it.  Even after she moved to Cincinnati to go to med school, we still have kept in touch and have a blast when we do get together.
Good times with Sung

And finally, the vanilla girl of Michela.  Sung and I thought she was vanilla and a bit boring when we first met her.  Little did I know that she would do a 180 on me and become the most fun person I have ever hung around with.  We have a friendship like no other (which is a good thing because I couldn't handle two Mickey-D's in my life.)  We make even the blah ordinary day to day work tasks seem like a day at the zoo.  There have been more laughs in 2 1/2 years than in a lifetime in a lot of ways and a lot of those laughs were the kind that make your stomach hurt.  Now on the eve of her leaving the country, I have sad eyes.  I can't picture coming to work without her to make me laugh, distract me, and be my bestie.  On the sad eye days that I am sure will follow, I plan to remember all the letters that became jokes (DC, CT, BB, CG etc), the stupid things we did involving tape whether it was taping her mouth closed or giving me tape highlights, or how we speak a language that always ends in a full circle.
Tape Highlights

While I have sad eyes at the moment, I know that this is just the beginning because even when distance separated all the other friendships in my life, they have kept on going.  Different, but still thriving.  Plus when one door of happiness closes another opens and all that.  I am sure God will send someone else into my life to share laughs and jokes with.  We shall see.
Always goofing off

So tell me about your best friends!  I love hearing heart warming stories about friendship.  Maybe it will even make my sad eyes a bit happier.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fun Day Tomorrow

We are going on a play date to the children's Discovery Center in the morning.  Kai absolutely loves going here as they have a water table and that is the best thing ever to him.  Then we are going to work on painting.  I want to make Christmas gifts for family and have a few ideas in mind.

Here are some of my favorites I found while perusing pinterest.

Toddler Scribble Art
Word Canvas
 Salt Dough Handprints

I am also thinking about just framing some of his prettier art in nice frames.

So do you guys have any Christmas gift ideas that Destructo can make for people?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top Ten Things I Never Thought I Would Say- 18 month edition

1)  Please stop licking the tires on that truck.

2)  You may not lay down in the parking lot.  Do you want to get squished like a bug?

3)  Please stop hitting Bug (our dog) with a spatula.  Nooo you can't hit her with the mixing spoon either.

4)  I am pretty sure he is possessed by evil spirits.  This was said on the night of this epic tantrum.

5)  Don't lick the cat.  She doesn't like it.

6)  I will give you gummies if you lay nicely and let me change your diaper.  This started with lifesaver gummies that he caught me eating one day.  But when the bribe worked well, I knew I had to find a healthier alternative.  I found some gummies at Target that are fruit puree and no added sugars.  Yay for bribes that are still reasonably healthy!

7)  Why do you like sliding down the slide naked?  Doesn't that hurt?  (We have a slide in our living room.  I promise my child wears clothing when we are at the park.)

8)   Stop touching your junk.  You are getting poop everywhere.  (Some things don't change.  This was the things I can't believe I have said 12 month edition.)

9)  You better say peace be with you to these people after the way you have been acting.  They deserve a little peace.  Destructo doesn't always behave very well in church.

10) You can not eat food out of the trash.  Do you want to get salmonella?

Linked up at:
Monday Mom Musing
Top Ten Tuesday

Monday, November 12, 2012

What I Wish I had Known Upon Delivering Destructo

A post on one of my message boards got me thinking about all the things I wish someone had told me before I gave birth to my first child.  And in reality, someone probably did tell me these things but either I wasn't listening, I couldn't possibly understand them until I had a baby, or I choose to ignore them thinking it wouldn't happen to me.  But they did and I am here to share with you guys.

I wish someone had told me about the insane amount of sweating (especially at night) that I would do immediately after having Destructo.  Hormones be crazy!  I had the air cranked up so high I was freezing my mom out the second night in the hospital and the nurse actually turned it way up and told me I would freeze my newborn.  (He was in a sleeper and wrapped in two blankets so that wasn't the case at all.)  But I was dripping sweat like a soaker hose.  I literally woke up with the sheets soaked and my clothes nearly able to wring sweat out of.  This got better within a few weeks so don't despair!

I wish someone had told me that at least in my case recovery after giving birth even with a second degree tear wasn't that bad.  I was uncomfortable and couldn't move very fast, but by day 3 or 4 I was just a bit sore.  I never had to take anything stronger than 800 mg ibuprofen the entire time.  Honestly the itching as the tear healed was the worst part of the whole experience.  (I realize that this isn't the case for everyone.  But for me recovery wasn't nearly as scary as I figured it would be.)

Which leads to, I wish someone had told me that the first postpartum bowel movement was kind of liking giving birth all over again.  It hurt so bad where the stitches were that I thought I might pass out.  I lied.  This was by far the worst part of the recovery.  My only words of wisdom are apple juice and fiber foods.  Trust me.

Speaking of pain, I wish someone had told me that the uterine cramps that come while nursing your baby are awful. And that breastfeeding really hurts at first. Although I didn't experience this as much as I would have liked to since Destructo wouldn't latch on at all and I ended up pumping more the first few weeks than breastfeeding, I still got to experience it to some extent while pumping.  Trust me.  They go away within about the first week.  Just another stop on the crazy road of my breastfeeding journey.  (Oh and if you want to read my top ten things I wish I had known as a new breastfeeding mom, click  here.)

I wish someone had told me that mastitis is the devil.  Truly it is.

I wish someone had told me I would be completely exhausted literally to the bone.  Oh wait.  A bunch of people did tell me that.  But honestly it isn't something you can really and truly understand until you are in the midst of a screaming newborn who has his days and nights mixed up, isn't nursing well, and won't sleep laying down.  I was told this, but assumed I would do better than most since I am the world's crappiest sleeper (you know besides my son) and a good night of sleep for me is 7 hours with one wake up.  I regularly run on 3-6 hours with a wake up.

No the sleep deprivation when you have a newborn is something totally different.  I actually slept great those first few months due to the exhaustion.  No insomnia for this girl.  I was so exhausted before he was even born from not sleeping well while pregnant (thanks carpal tunnel and charlie horses) and then you add in a 74 hour labor med free for 70 of it and having been awake a straight 92 hours and tired takes on a whole new meaning.  The first week Destructo had his days and nights mixed up and slept all day and was awake unless being held all night. Then he was the typical breastfed baby waking every 3 hours to eat.   My only words of wisdom for this are to take any help that is offered to lessen your load, try your best to sleep when the baby sleeps, and don't be afraid to use a swing, bouncy seat, rock n play, whatever.  I worried so much that Destructo would never sleep in a crib that I fought using the swing 24/7 at first.  It was a moot point because around six months he effortlessly transferred to the crib in his room without any trouble.  Your kid truly won't go away to college with their baby swing.

I wish someone had told me that between the hormones, the bone weary exhaustion, and the uncertainty of whether you were screwing up your child for life that some days you will feel like running away and never returning.  You might even wish you had your old life back.  This is okay unless the thoughts consume you.  I also wish that someone had told me more about postpartum anxiety and postpartum depression.  I knew a little bit about it but not really what to look for.  You know the saying hindsight is 20/20.  It truly is.  Looking back I realize that I definitely had PPD and even a bit of PPA.  I will be on the look out for signs of this again if I have another baby and talk to my doctor about it.  Luckily around nine months, I just woke up one morning feeling more normal and happier.

I wish someone had told me that not every mom has that magic moment where she looks at her baby in the delivery room and is engulfed by a wave of love for her baby.  After 74 hours in labor, I looked at Kai and I felt relief that it was over and extreme exhaustion.  I always knew I would give my life for his, defend him with every inch of my being, and do whatever I had to do to make sure he was happy and healthy, but love wasn't there instantly   And this is okay.  By six weeks, I was head over heels in love with my baby and to this day prefer not to do things if I have to leave him behind.  But it wasn't immediately after birth that is for sure.  (I really really hope if I have a baby number two that I get that magical moment in the delivery room where our eyes lock and I am instantly in love.  We shall see.)

I wish someone had told me that when your newborn, baby, toddler, etc cry, it physically hurts you.  I mean I had heard that babies crying would make your boobs leak and all that.  But it actually makes me anxious and hurts me when Destructo is crying inconsolably   I guess this is God's way of making sure mothers take care of their babies.

Speaking of pain in your heart, the love you have for your child is actually painful.  I love Destructo so much that it hurts.  I have so many dreams for his future and all I want for him is happiness and health and good things.  Sometimes as I watch him sleep, I am so overcome by love that all I want to do is hold him for all time.  Each little milestone makes me grin like a fool and weep a little on the inside because I know all the love in the world won't keep him little for long.

Motherhood and raising Destructo truly are the best things I will ever do with my life.  I sometimes look back and don't even recognize the woman I used to be before Destructo.  What did I do with my spare time?  What made me laugh because nowadays the things that crack me up are nearly always Destructo?  Did my life have meaning because my son gives my life its meaning today?  I know that while it is a crazy ride, I wouldn't trade a second with Destructo.  Not even for a night with no wake ups, quiet lazy morning, and a day to myself.  Haha

Proverbs 6:20-23: "My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life."

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fall Art

Today Destructo and I painted.  Or Pahyyy pahyyy as he calls it.

We did a fall tree with leaves using his hand print for my mom's birthday (even though it was two weeks ago.  Ooops!)  You paint the child's forearm and hand brown and press it onto the paper.  Then you let them dip their fingers into fall leaf colors and dot the page.

Then he still wanted to paint so we did hot wheels painting.  This is super easy you just put paint on the paper and let your child drive the car through it.  He loved it.  I mean he got to paint and play with cars two of his very favorite past times.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Working and Being a Milk Cow

Source  This was me the entire first year of Kai's life


As everyone already knows, I went back to work with Kai when he was 12 weeks old.  I was determined to make being a working and breastfeeding mom work so I knew getting a good pumping schedule down was essential.  I was very lucky to have a pro-breastfeeding boss.  Both of his kids were breastfed and he really feels it is important so there was never any problem there.  In fact, he was nice enough to let me pump in his office when he was out of town to make it easier on me.  I also work for a breastfeeding friendly hospital so they have pumping rooms set up all over campus for the times my boss was in town.

I bought the Medela Pump in Style Advanced in the tote bag (since I already carry a back pack with lunch, badges, etc to work.)  I loved this pump and it worked very well for me.  I also liked the tote bag because after I was done pumping, I could keep the bottles of milk in it as I walked back to my lab to put them in the fridge.  It also comes with a small cooler bag with ice pack that I used to store the milk in the fridge until I went home.  I also highly recommend getting a second set of parts to make it easier on you.   I pumped before work and would use one set of parts then and also have a clean set of parts ready to go.  I then stored the parts in a big Ziploc bag in the fridge so I could skip washing them after my first pumping session since I pumped twice while at work.  (Honestly I had three sets and left one at work after my first oops I forgot my pump parts debacle.)  Two other things that were invaluable to have were the Medela quick clean wipes for the days when I forgot my Ziploc bag.  You can use these to wipe the pump parts down without needing soap and water.  I also liked keeping an extra set of membranes in case I accidentally ripped one of mine while washing it and didn't realize it when putting the parts together that morning. 

Now that you have all the tools to make pumping work, you might wonder what my schedule looked like.  I usually woke Destructo up before I went to work and nursed him then and then I would pump for ten minutes before I left the house.  I kept a small bit of a oversupply this way which was important for me since my supply was always just enough.  I usually got to work around 7 and pumped at 10 ish for 20 minutes and then again at 2ish for 20 minutes.  I skipped an actual lunch break so that I wouldn't have to stay later.  Pumping took about 30 minutes total for me when you counted in setting up, cleaning up, and the walk to the pumping rooms.  I left work at 3:30 and usually nursed Kai again as soon as I got home around 4:30-5.  

I stored the milk in Medela milk bottles through out the day and would use what I needed for Destructo's bottles the next day all week.  Then on Fridays I would freeze any extra milk and use frozen milk on Monday (or any other time I was short fresh milk) that way I was constantly rotating my freezer stash to keep it from getting too old or too far past his age since breast milk is tailor made for your baby's developmental stage/age.  I froze the milk in Lansinoh breast milk bags in 3-5 oz increments.  (I did 3 at first, but as his bottles got bigger increased the amounts.)  These worked for us great because they fit on the Playtex nurser bottles we used at first so I didn't even have to do anything but thaw the milk and slip the bag on the bottle.  I used these bottles until Kai started to really show nipple preference to the bottles and then we switched to the Breastflow bottles.  These really helped this issue and actually helped Destructo to improve his latch.

I stored all the frozen milk in ten bags zipped into a big Ziploc bag in our deep freezer in the garage and boy did I check it religiously since it is older and I did not want it to suddenly stop working and lose my entire stash.  I kept about ten bags inside as well just in case and even had a few bags at my mom's house for an emergency. You can keep frozen milk in a deep freeze for up to six months.

Here is a link to safe breast milk storage conditions.  http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/milkstorage/milkstorage/

Here is also a great link about being a pumping mom with any information you might need.
http://kellymom.com/category/bf/pumpingmoms/

Oh and one other thing that made my life ten times easier was a hands free pumping bra.  This way I could pump and play games on my phone or read a book.   I always meant to splurge and get one of the nice ones like these, but never did.  Instead I was super cheap and bought a tight fitting sports bra and cut holes where the pump flanges went.  It was a pain to have to take off my bra and slip this one on and more time consuming, but hey I am cheap.  I also never wore actual nursing bras, I just rocked a sports bra.  I am cool like that.  Okay I am cheap like that, but hey who's counting.
If you guys have any questions, feel free to contact me.  I pumped at work for 9 months, so I know a thing or two about it.
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